Toxicity of nanomaterials is an emerging issue for public health and environmental safety. However, currently available toxicity screening methods are not fully compatible with nanotoxicity studies.Due to the unique physicochemical characteristics of nanomaterials, such as altered light absorption or scattering properties, the conventional cytotoxicity assays have been shown to create complications in nanotoxicity evaluation. Therefore, alternative methods that can reduce or replace the complications in nanotoxicity determination are highly desired.
In a new study, published in the September 9, 2016 online edition of Analytical Chemistry (“Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering to evaluate nanomaterial cytotoxicity on living cells”), researchers used surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) to evaluate the cytotoxicity of nanomaterials. They show that SERS can be used as an alternative nanotoxicity evaluation method especially for the nanomaterials that have been shown to create complications in conventional cytotoxicity assays.