The Lung Cell Biology group at the Imperial College London is performing a preliminary in vitro assessment of the nanoparticles behavior with the lungs cells, the first target that the nanoparticles encounter before translocating to the heart.
In order to study the biocompatibility, a broad range of concentrations of nanoparticles have been applied to alveolar type 1 cells and analyzed after 24 hours, looking in particular for cell survival rates and a sign of inflammation. Overall, these preliminary studies indicate that the nanoparticles did not induce cell death when applied to the alveolar epithelial type 1-like model. Further studies are required to quantify particle uptake and to complete the bioreactivity studies in more physiological-like conditions that take into account the air exposure and blood flow dynamics. For this reason, the CUPIDO consortium is currently developing a fluid-flow bioreactor that mimics the gas-blood interface found in the lung.