Nanotechnology Project

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Environment, Health and Safety Research

Pulmonary Deposition and Translocation of Nanomaterials

Project Information

Principal InvestigatorRobert Mercer
InstitutionNational Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Project URLView
Relevance to ImplicationsHigh
Class of NanomaterialEngineered Nanomaterials
Impact SectorHuman Health
Broad Research Categories Exposure
Generation, Dispersion, Transformation etc.
NNI identifierb4-10

Funding Information

Anticipated Total Funding$900,000.00
Annual Funding$300,000.00
Funding SourceNIOSH
Funding Mechanism
Funding Sector
Start Year2004
Anticipated End Year2007


Recent years have seen an exponential growth in the development and production of nanomaterials. These materials have unique physical, chemical, and electrical properties due to specially forged arrangements of atoms on a nanometer scale that do not occur in natural systems. Because of the unique properties and small size of nanoparticles, issues have been raised as to their potential adverse effects on the lung upon inhalation and whether they can translocate to systemic sites. This project will identify where in the lungs inhaled nanomaterials might deposit, the health risks that might arise from nanomaterial deposition, and to what extent the nanomaterials might translocate to other organs of the body after depositing in the lungs. Results of this study will address critical issues identified by the NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center and assist in hazard identification and risk assessment.

(Project budget is an estimate only, based on available data)