Nanomaterial Graphene Oxide Can Touch On The Immune Organisation Via The Gut Microbiome

A new written report published inwards the periodical Nature Nanotechnology has plant that the nanomaterial graphene oxide, which is used in a variety of applications including electronics in addition to biomolecule sensors, can indirectly touch the immune system through the gut microbiome inwards zebrafish.

The nanomaterial graphene oxide—which is used inwards everything from electronics to sensors for biomolecules—can indirectly bear upon the immune organisation via the gut microbiome, every bit shown in a new report on zebrafish. The findings are reported inward the mag Nature Nanotechnology.

“This shows that nosotros must factor the gut microbiome into our agreement of how nanomaterials impact the immune system,” says the paper’sec corresponding author Bengt Fadeel, professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. “Our results are important for identifying the potential adverse effects of nanomaterial as well as mitigating or preventing such effects inwards new material.”


Graphene is an extremely thin textile, a meg times thinner than a homo pilus. It comprises a unmarried layer of carbon atoms in addition to is stronger than steel nonetheless flexible, transparent, together with electrically conductive. This makes it extremely useful inwards a multitude of applications, including in “smart” textiles equipped amongst clothing electronics as well as equally a ingredient of composite materials, to heighten the forcefulness too electrical conductivity of existing materials.

With the increased purpose of graphene-based nanomaterials comes a postulate to try how these new material bear upon the trunk. Nanomaterials are already known to touch on on the immune arrangement, as well as a few studies inward recent years accept shown that they tin can as well bear upon the gut microbiome, the bacteria that naturally hap inwards the alimentary canal.

The human relationship between nanomaterial, gut microbiome, and immunity has been the bailiwick of the introduce report performed using zebrafish. The nanomaterial investigated was graphene oxide, which tin can be described equally a relative of graphene that consists of carbon atoms along amongst atoms of oxygen. Unlike graphene, graphene oxide is soluble in H2O too of involvement to medical research equally, for instance, a agency of delivering drugs inward the body.

In the written report, the researchers exposed adult zebrafish to graphene oxide via the H2O as well as analyzed how it affects the composition of the microbiome. They used both normal fish too fish lacking a receptor molecule inwards their intestinal cells called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, ordinarily abbreviated every bit AhR, a receptor for various endogenous in addition to bacterial metabolites.

“We here able to demo that the composition of the gut microbiome changed when we exposed the fish to graphene oxide, fifty-fifty at a low dose, too that the AhR besides affected the gut microbiome,” says the report’sec outset writer Guotao Peng, postdoc researcher at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at Karolinska Institutet.

The researchers accept too generated zebrafish larvae that completely lack a natural gut microbiome, which makes it possible to report the effects of individual microbiome components, in this instance, butyric acid (a fatty acid), which is secreted by certain types of gut bacteria. Butyric acid is known to live able to bind to AhR.

Doing this, the researchers institute that the combination of graphene oxide as well as butyric acid gave ascension to so-called type 2 immunity inwards the fish. The issue turned out to live subject on the facial expression of AhR in the intestinal cells.

“This type of immunity is unremarkably seen every bit a reply to parasitic infection. Our interpretation is that the gut immune response tin can grip graphene oxide inwards a similar style to how it would grip a parasite,” says Guotao Peng.

Using an advanced method for mapping the immune cells, the researchers were also able to demo that a constituent of the immune organisation called innate lymphoid cells are plant inward zebrafish larvae.

“This shows that the zebrafish is a skillful model for studying the immune arrangement, including the primitive or innate immune organization,” says Bengt Fadeel.

Reference: ”Graphene oxide elicits microbiome-subject type 2 immune responses via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor” by Guotao Peng, Hanna M. Sinkko, Harri Alenius, Neus Lozano, Kostas Kostarelos, Lars Bräutigam och Bengt Fadeel, 12 Dec 2022, Nature Nanotechnology.

The study was financed past the Graphene Flagship, an EU project coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology inwards Gothenburg.