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In Heliyon

Engineered nanoparticles (NPs) composed of elements such as silica and titanium, smaller than 100 nm in diameter and their aggregates, are found in consumer products such as cosmetics, food, antimicrobials and drug delivery systems, and oral health products such as toothpaste and dental materials. They may also interact accidently with epithelial tissues in the intestines and oral cavity, where they can aggregate into larger particles and induce inflammation through pathways such as inflammasome activation. Persistent inflammation can lead to precancerous lesions. Both the particles and lesions are difficult to detect in biopsies, especially in clinical settings that screen large numbers of patients. As diagnosis of early stages of disease can be lifesaving, there is growing interest in better understanding interactions between NPs and epithelium and developing rapid imaging techniques that could detect foreign particles and markers of inflammation in epithelial tissues. NPs can be labelled with fluorescence or radioactive isotopes, but it is challenging to detect unlabeled NPs with conventional imaging techniques. Different current imaging techniques such as synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy are discussed here. Improvements in imaging techniques, coupled with the use of machine learning tools, are needed before diagnosis of particles in biopsies by automated imaging could move usefully into the clinic.

Coutinho Almeida-da-Silva Cássio Luiz, Cabido Leticia Ferreira, Chin Wei-Chun, Wang Ge, Ojcius David M, Li Changqing


Cancer, Cytotoxicity, DAMP, damage-assocaited molecular pattern, Epithelium, FBG, foreign body gingivitis, Imaging, Inflammasome, Inflammation, NP, nanoparticle, Nanoparticles, PAMP, pathogen-assocaited molecular pattern, ROS, reactive oxygen species