Influences of nanomaterials on the barrier function of epithelial cells

Shariq Ali, Erik Rytting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Recent advances in nanotechnology have led to exciting opportunities in medicine, energy, manufacturing, and other fields. Nevertheless, it is important to adequately assess the potential impacts of nanomaterial exposure. This chapter focuses on the interactions of nanomaterials with epithelial barriers in the lungs, intestine, kidneys, skin, and placenta. Methods for determining transepithelial electrical resistance and paracellular permeability are described. Effects on cell viability and barrier integrity depend on the chemical nature of the nanomaterial, nanoparticle size, surface coatings, and concentration. Disruption of tight junctions can affect permeability and interfere with normal regulatory processes of the epithelial barrier. Future research is needed to better understand the possibilities and the limits of novel approaches in nanotechnology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
StatePublished - 2014


  • Cells
  • Epithelial
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Tight junctions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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