Use of scanning electron microscopy to monitor nanofibre/cell interaction in digestive epithelial cells
We provide data obtained by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) on the interaction of ingested tungsten nanofibers with epithelial cells of the digestive tubes of a test organism Porcellio scaber. Conventional toxicity endpoints including feeding behaviour, weight loss and mortality were also measured in each investigated animal. No toxicity was detected in any of exposed animals after 14 days of feeding on tungsten nanofiber dosed food, but when nanofibers enter the digestive system they can react with epithelial cells of the digestive tubes, becoming physically inserted into the cells. In this way, nanofibers can injure the epithelial cells of digestive gland tubes when they are ingested with food. Our SEM data suggest that peristaltic forces may have an important role, not predicted by in vitro experiments, in the interactions of nanomaterials with digestive intestinal cells.