Gastrointestinal System

Mark A. Jepson*, Hans Bouwmeester

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The epithelial lining of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) acts as a barrier to uptake of potentially dangerous material while allowing absorption of processed food. The gut may be exposed to a diverse range of engineered nanomaterials due to their deliberate addition to food and consumer products and in the form of particulate delivery vehicles for drugs and vaccines, and inadvertently via contaminated food and water and after efflux of material from the respiratory tract. The extent of inadvertent ingestion of nanomaterials is not currently known, but it is nevertheless prudent to assess interactions of nanomaterials with GIT cells in order to assess the potential impact of nanomaterial uptake. Although nanomaterial toxicity within the GIT has been much less extensively studied than that at other interfaces or compartments, over the past decade a number of studies have begun to address the impact, behavior, and interaction of nanomaterials in the GIT. Some reports suggest that GIT cells may be less responsive to nanomaterial toxicity, but it is also clear that nanomaterials may affect the function of cultured GIT epithelial cells in ways that are not detected by standard toxicity assays. This chapter summarizes the current knowledge of the uptake and potential toxicity of nanomaterials in the gut and highlights potential research priorities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdverse Effects of Engineered Nanomaterials
Subtitle of host publicationExposure, Toxicology, and Impact on Human Health
EditorsBengt Fadeel, Antonio Pietroiusti, Anna A. Shvedova
EditionSecond Edition
ISBN (Print)9780128091999
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Gastrointestinal tract
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanotechnology
  • Respiratory tract
  • Toxicity


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