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Do blood-borne calcifying nanoparticles self-propagate?

Authors Mathew G, McKay DS, Çiftçioglu N

Published 6 June 2008 Volume 2008:3(2) Pages 265—275


Grace Mathew1, David S McKay2, Neva Çiftçioglu2

1Nanobac Pharmaceuticals Inc, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, USA; 2NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, USA

Abstract: The nanotechnology industry is currently in the process of producing new nanoparticles. The biological activity of nanoparticles including adverse as well as beneficial effects tends to increase as their size decreases. The smaller the particles are, the greater their bioactivity and toxicity. Thus, one can easily conjecture the impact of a nanoparticle if it could also self-replicate. This in vitro study reveals the self-propagating ability of unique calcifying nanoparticles (CNP) that can be as small as 50 nm in size and found in blood, blood products, and calcified soft tissues. Although specific detection techniques, morphological characteristics and biomineralizing properties of CNP are well established, their genomic information and self-propagating capability have always been challenged. The objective of this study is to document the propagation of CNP under physiological conditions, using inverted light microscopy (LM) and the Biostation IM time-lapse imaging system. Their detailed morphological structure was examined using scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopy. This present study, in conjunction with previous findings of metabolic activity, antibiotic sensitivity, antibody specificity, morphological aspects and infectivity, validates CNP as self-replicators. Therefore these sterile-filterable, blood-borne nanoparticles should be of concern to the nanomedicine industry.

Keywords: calcifying nanoparticles, time-lapse photography, self-replication, apatite

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