Reflection is an important step in the process of learning. As the nanotoxicology community celebrated the successes of a decade of research and innovations, we also looked back to assess what did we miss, what could we have done differently, and whether we, as a community, delivered on our promises. One can argue in favor of a number of great achievements during this decade of nanotoxicology research. We all have our own favorites. However, we would like to emphasize two broad aspects as perhaps the most significant successes of this decade of nanotoxicology:

(i) Nanotoxicology evolved as a truly interdisciplinary field, one in which research, training and collaborations happened at the interface of existing disciplines, rather than within each traditional cores. This has been a defining feature of nanotoxicology. Perhaps as a result of our heightened sense of challenges posed by novel materials on existing test models and metrology, and our heightened responsibility to avoid past mistakes in commercialization of new technologies and chemicals, the nanotoxicology community (broadly defined earlier) committed to safe, responsible and consultative development of nanotechnologies. We can argue that so far

(ii) the community has succeeded in those commitments. Because of this latter realization, our personal perception is that regulatory and funding agencies may now see nanotechnologies and nanotoxicology as being past peaks. This may be an overly optimistic assumption because our work is not done yet and several challenges remain for this community.

This Research Collection brings together fifteen papers, 13 of which are original research and 3 are review papers. The collection reflects several of the issues discussed above - challenges, emerging themes, and concrete outcomes that can be translated to practice. Of note, a sizeable number of papers on this special issue focus on engineered nanomaterials in food and their impact on the GI system. Two papers focus on exposures to engineered nanoparticles from printing and photocopying, as an example of real world exposure scenarios from nano-enabled products during their life cycle. Such applications along the life cycle of nano-enabled products highlight a number of additional complexities that nanotoxicology had to deal with – limited availability of nanomaterials for testing, physico-chemical and morphological (PCM) properties of released nanoparticles differing from the input nanomaterials, background nano aerosols, lower exposures and dosimetry conversions, and most importantly, chronicity of exposures.

Read the full editorial introduction >>>

Access the research collection here >>>

We would like to thank the many authors and reviewers of this research collection, and the editorial team of NanoImpact for their hard work and timely response, which made our work easier. It is to them, we owe a huge sincere ‘thank you’.

Happy reading!

Sincerely yours,
Dhimiter Bello & David Leong,
Associate guest editors for the special issue