Utility of models of the gastrointestinal tract for assessment of the digestion and absorption of engineered nanomaterials released from food matrices

  • Lefebvre D
  • Venema K
  • Gombau L
 et al. 
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Engineered metal/mineral, lipid and biochemical macromolecule nanomaterials (NMs) have potential applications in food. Methodologies for the assessment of NM digestion and bioavailability in the gastrointestinal tract are nascent and require refinement. A working group was tasked by the International Life Sciences Institute NanoRelease Food Additive project to review existing models of the gastrointestinal tract in health and disease, and the utility of these models for the assessment of the uptake of NMs intended for food. Gastrointestinal digestion and absorption could be addressed in a tiered approach using in silico computational models, in vitro non-cellular fluid systems and in vitro cell culture models, after which the necessity of ex vivo organ culture and in vivo animal studies can be considered. Examples of NM quantification in gastrointestinal tract fluids and tissues are emerging; however, few standardized analytical techniques are available. Coupling of these techniques to gastrointestinal models, along with further standardization, will further strengthen methodologies for risk assessment.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Alimentary canal
  • Bioaccessibility
  • Bioavailability
  • Nanotechnology

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