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Systems Toxicological Approach to the Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials

Systems Toxicology


  1. Sang-Hee Jeong1,
  2. Wan-Seob Cho2,3,
  3. Ji-Eun Kim4,
  4. Myung-Haing Cho4

Published Online: 15 SEP 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat247

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Jeong, S.-H., Cho, W.-S., Kim, J.-E. and Cho, M.-H. 2011. Systems Toxicological Approach to the Risk Assessment of Nanomaterials. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Hoseo University, GLP Research Center, College of Natural Science, Asan City, Korea

  2. 2

    The University of Edinburgh, ELEGI/Colt Laboratory, Centre for Inflammation Research, The Queen's Medical Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK

  3. 3

    National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation, Nutrition and Functional Food Research Team, Seoul, Korea

  4. 4

    Seoul National University, Laboratory of Toxicology, College of Veterinary Medicine, and Department of Nanofusion Technology, Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Seoul, Korea

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2011


Nowadays, nanomaterials have come into the spotlight as new materials that have lots of prominent benefits in various fields of human life. Risk assessment of the nanomaterials requires a multidisciplinary understanding of the differences from their large particles in surface physicochemistry and dosimetry. The size, biological effective dose, surface chemistry, interactions with biological membrane and dispersion media are important factors that make unique characteristics of nanomaterials in their toxicity potency. Conventional methods for the toxicological assessment may have limitations in proper understanding of the dose-response relationships of the diversity of structures and compositions of nanomaterials. Challenges to toxicological testing of nanomaterials will be covered with the strategy of systems toxicology including toxico-genomics, toxico-proteomics and toxico-metabolomics. The data driven from systems toxicology are valuable in the identification and characterization of the mode of action of nanomaterials. Many of toxicogenomic and toxicoproteomic studies have released that the production of reactive oxygen species and inflammation caused by oxidative stress are the key mechanism of toxicity of nanomaterials. However, there is still limited information for the assessment of toxicity thresholds based on dose-response relationships and for the estimation of exposure in risk assessment of nanomaterials. More integrated and systemic studies are required for the risk assessment of human health impact considering various but unique properties of nanomaterials.


  • nanomaterials;
  • systems toxicology;
  • toxico-genomics;
  • toxico-proteomics;
  • toxico-metabolomics;
  • risk assessment