Nanomaterial Toxicology


Technological innovations have led to the emergence of nanotechnology and due to large scale use of nanomaterials globally, the dimension of exposure to flora and fauna will be unrestricted as the nanomaterials have the ability to cross the cellular barriers. The biological interaction of the nanomaterials (NPs) when compared to their bulk counter parts is largely different due to their extremely small size and they can interact directly with macromolecules such as DNA. To assess the safety/toxicity of nanomaterials, some of the most critical issues that need to be addressed include: i) effect of shape and size; ii) dosimetry; iii) route of delivery and tracking; iv) development and validation of test models; v) in vitro vs. in vivo extrapolation; vi) ecotoxicity; vii) environmental monitoring and viii) life cycle analysis. In this context, scientists of the Nanomaterial Toxicology Group have recently completed a CSIR Network project under the 12th Five Year Plan Network Project-NanoSHE (Nanomaterials: Applications and Impact on Safety, Health and Environment) with 12 other CSIR laboratories on health and environmental effects of nanomaterials to delineate their toxicity and assure safe usage in consumer products and therapeutics. The project was an interface between chemical, biological and engineering clusters to use domain knowledge and expertise available in CSIR laboratories for significant presence in the emerging area of nanotechnology.


  • Synthesis, characterization and testing of simple and composite nanoparticles for therapeutic, imaging and consumer use
  • Develop methods for toxicity, LCA and risk assessment
  • Evolve a certification process for nano-products, frame guidelines for safe handling of nanomaterials in laboratory/occupational settings and dissemination of outcomes to the civil society
  • Glimpses of Research:
    1. Bhatia T, Gupta MK, Singh P, Chauhan A, Saxena PN, Mudiam MK, (2016). Sol-gel approach for extracting highly versatile aspirin and its metabolites using MISPE followed by GC-MS/MS analysis. Bioanalysis, 8: 795-805.
    2. Chopra D, Ray L, Dwivedi A, Tiwari SK, Singh J, Singh KP, Kushwaha HN, Jahan S, Pandey A, Gupta SK., Chaturvedi RK, Pant AB, Ray RS, Gupta KC, (2016). Photoprotective efficiency of PLGA-curcumin nanoparticles versus curcumin through the involvement of ERK/AKT pathway under ambient UV-R exposure in HaCaT cell line. Biomaterials, 84: 25-41.
    3. Gupta K, Kumar S, Gupta RK, Sharma A, Verma AK, Stalin K, Chaudhari BP, Das M, Singh SP, Dwivedi PD, (2016). Reversion of asthmatic complications and Mast cell signalling pathways in BALB/c mice model using quercetin nanocrystals. J Biomed Nanotechnol, 12: 717-31.
    4. Khan S, Bhatia T, Trivedi P, Satyanarayana GN, Mandrah K, Saxena PN, Mudiam MK, Roy SK, (2016). Selective solid-phase extraction using molecularly imprinted polymer as a sorbent for the analysis of fenarimol in food samples. Food Chem. 199: 870-5.
    5. Kumari M, Mishra A, Pandey S, Singh SP, Chaudhry V, Mudiam MK, Shukla S, Kakkar P, Nautiyal CS, (2016). Physico-Chemical Condition Optimization during Biosynthesis lead to development of Improved and Catalytically Efficient Gold Nano Particles. Sci Rep. 6: doi: 10.1038/srep27575.
    6. Pandey V, Pandey G, Tripathi VK, Yadav S, Mudiam MK, (2016). Nucleation temperature-controlled synthesis and in vitro toxicity evaluation of L-cysteine-capped Mn:ZnS quantum dots for intracellular imaging. Luminescence. 31: 341-7.
    7. Ratnasekhar Ch, Sonane M, Satish A, Mudiam MK, (2015). Metabolomics reveals the perturbations in the metabolome of Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to titanium dioxide nanoparticles. Nanotoxicology, 9: 994-1004.
    8. Senapati VA, Jain AK, Gupta GS, Pandey AK, Dhawan A, (2015). Chromium oxide nanoparticles induced genotoxicity and p53 dependent apoptosis in human lung alveolar cells. J Appl Toxicol, 35: 1179-88.
    9. Senapati VA, Kumar A, Gupta GS, Pandey AK, Dhawan A, (2015). ZnO nanoparticles induced inflammatory response and genotoxicity in human blood cells: A mechanistic approach. Food Chem Toxicol, 85: 61-70.
    10. Srivastav AK, Kumar M, Ansari NG, Jain AK, Shankar J, Arjaria N, Jagdale P, Singh D, (2016). A comprehensive toxicity study of zinc oxide nanoparticles versus their bulk in Wistar rats: Toxicity study of zinc oxide nanoparticles. Human Expt Toxicol, Feb 9, 2016, doi:10.1177/0960327116629530, PMID: 26860690.
    11. Ujjwal RR, Purohit MP, Patnaik S, Ojha U, (2015). General Reagent Free Route to pH Responsive Polyacryloyl Hydrazide Capped Metal Nanogels for Synergistic Anticancer Therapeutics. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 7: 11497-507.
    Instrumentation and Facilities
    Comet assay facility for measuring DNA damage in single cells Nanodrop spectrophotometer/fluorimeter Confocal microscope Freeze dryer/lyophilizer
    Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with EDAX Hybridisation oven for FISH Gel documentation system
    Zetasizer nanoZS High speed centrifuge Ultrasonicator Incubator shaker
    Flow cytometer HPTLC Thermal cycler and Real Time PCR Spectrofluorimeter
    HPLC Microplate reader Cell culture facility Various types of centrifuges

    Contact person:

    Dr. Alok Kumar Pandey

    Principal Scientist
    Area Coordinator, Nanomaterial Toxicology Group
    CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research
    Vishvigyan Bhavan
    31, Mahatma Gandhi Marg
    Lucknow - 226 001, Uttar Pradesh, India
    Phone: +91-522-2217497
    Email: alokpandey[at]

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