IMR Press / FBE / Volume 3 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/E236

Frontiers in Bioscience-Elite (FBE) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 2 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Heavy metals nanoparticles in fetal kidney and liver tissues
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1 Laboratory of Biomaterials, Dept. of Specialistic Surgeries, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena Italy
2 Institute for Research on Mental Retardation and Brain Aging IRCCS Oasi di Troina, Troina, Italy
3 Department of Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Health G. Garibaldi Hospital, Catania, Italy
4 Institute of Anatomy, Mantova Hospital, Mantova, Italy
5 Nanodiagnostics Research Laboratory, Modena, Italy
6 Institute of Perinatal Malformative Disorders, G. Garibaldi Hospital, Catania, Italy
7 Department of Pediatrics and Neuroscience Giannina Gaslini Children’s University Hospital, Genoa, Italy
8 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, C. Arrigo Children’s Hospital, Alessandria, Italy

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Academic Editor: Fabio Galvano

Front. Biosci. (Elite Ed) 2011, 3(1), 221–226;
Published: 1 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary approaches to prevent chronic-degenerative diseases)

The proliferation of the nanotechnologies with the production of engineered nanoparticles presents a dilemma to regulators regarding hazard identification mostly for human health. We investigated the presence of inorganic micro and nanosized contamination in fetal liver and kidney tissues by Field Emission Gun-Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (FEGESEM) innovative observations. An observational study in 16 fetuses, complicated (n=8) or not (n=8) by neural tube defects, whose mothers obtained the authorization for abortion between 21-23 weeks of gestation was carried out. Heavy metals concentrations in maternal blood were undetectable. FEGESEM assessment showed particles of iron, silicon, aluminum and magnesium in different tissues analyzed. The mean size and the number of the foreign bodies detected in kidney and liver tissues were higher in NTD fetuses as well as the number of total particles (P<0.05, for all). The present study shows first the presence of xenobiotic, nanoscaled contamination, not detectable in maternal blood in fetuses. Data are suggestive and open-up a new clue for further investigations to elucidate the relationship between pollution at nanoscale stage and multiorgan damage.

Heavy Metals
Neural Tube Defects
Spina Bifida
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