I am an inhalation toxicologist who has carried out about 20 years of research on particle toxicology and the last 10 years or so specialising in the lung toxicology of very small particles - called ultrafine particles by toxicologists up till recently, but nanoparticles by physicists. These pose very special problems to the lung in view of the large particle number and large surface area that they display and by the fact that they can relocate within the body, away from the lungs, in ways that 'normal-sized' particles can't. We have published a large number of papers on the effects of nanoparticles (ultrafine particles) on the lungs (see below) and indeed my group is the foremost UK group studying the effects of nanoparticles on the lungs. It is important, in my view, that inhalation toxicology of nanoparticles be considered in the Royal Society's nanotechnology review since bulk production of nanoparticles is set to increase and human exposure, currently very high because of nanoparticles in the atmosphere (such as diesel soot), will undoubtedly increase. Additionally the particles may be composed of exotic materials and these will enter the product chain from a diverse array of sources. I would therefore like to volunteer my expertise in the subject of the inhalation toxicology of nanoparticles to assist the review.

Selected publications:

1) Zhang Q, Kusaka Y, Donaldson K. Comparative injurious and proinflmmatory effects of three ultrafine metals in macrophages from young and old rats. Inhal.Toxicol. 12 Suppl 3, 267-273. 2000.

2) Stone V, Brown DM, Watt N, Wilson M, Donaldson K, Ritchie H, MacNee W. Ultrafine particle -mediated activation of macrophages: intracellular caclium signalling and oxidative stress. Inhal.Toxicol. 12 Suppl 3, 345-351. 2000.

3) Donaldson K, Stone V, Clouter A, Renwick L, MacNee W (2001) Ultrafine particles. Occup Environ Med 58:211-216

4) Renwick, L. C., K. Donaldson, and A. Clouter. 2001. Impairment of alveolar macrophage phagocytosis by ultrafine particles. Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol. 172:119-127.

5) Dennekamp, M., S. Howarth, C. A. Dick, J. W. Cherrie, K. Donaldson, and A. Seaton. 2001. Ultrafine particles and nitrogen oxides generated by gas and electric cooking. Occup.Environ.Med. 58:511-516.

6) Brown, D. M., M. R. Wilson, W. MacNee, V. Stone, and K. Donaldson. 2001. Size-dependent proinflammatory effects of ultrafine polystyrene particles: a role for surface area and oxidative stress in the enhanced activity of ultrafines. Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol. 175:191-199.

7) Donaldson, K., D. Brown, A. Clouter, R. Duffin, W. MacNee, L. Renwick, L. Tran, and V. Stone. 2002. The pulmonary toxicology of ultrafine particles. J.Aerosol Med 15:213-220.

8) Wilson, M. R., J. H. Lightbody, K. Donaldson, J. Sales, and V. Stone. 2002. Interactions between ultrafine particles and transition metals in vivo and in vitro. Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol. 184:172-179.

9) Dick, C. A., D. M. Brown, K. Donaldson, and V. Stone. 2003. The role of free radicals in the toxic and inflammatory effects of four different ultrafine particle types. Inhal.Toxicol. 15:39-52.

10) Kim, H., X. Liu, T. Kobayashi, T. Kohyama, F. Q. Wen, D. J. Romberger, H. Conner, P. S. Gilmour, K. Donaldson, W. MacNee, and S. I. Rennard. 2003. Ultrafine carbon black particles inhibit human lung fibroblast-mediated collagen gel contraction. Am J Respir.Cell Mol.Biol. 28:111-121.

Yours Sincerely

Professor Ken Donaldson
ELEGI Colt Laboratory
Wilkie Laboratory
MRC Centre for Inflammation Research
University of Edinburgh
Medical School