Neutrophils are key components of the innate arm of the immune system and represent the frontline of host defense against intruding pathogens. However, neutrophils can also cause damage to the host. Nanomaterials are being developed for a multitude of different purposes and these minute materials may find their way into the body through deliberate or inadvertent exposure; understanding nanomaterial interactions with the immune system is therefore of critical importance. However, whereas numerous studies have focused on macrophages, less attention is devoted to nanomaterial interactions with neutrophils, the most abundant leukocytes in the blood. We discuss the impact of engineered nanomaterials on neutrophils and how neutrophils, in turn, may digest certain carbon-based materials such as carbon nanotubes and graphene oxide. We also discuss the role of the corona of proteins adsorbed onto the surface of nanomaterials and whether nanomaterials are sensed as pathogens by cells of the immune system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research