Fast-screening flow cytometry method for detecting nanoplastics in human peripheral blood.
Summary: Plastic pollution is a global problem. Animals and humans can ingest and inhale plastic particles, with uncertain health consequences. Potential effects of nanoplastics (NPs) exposure may be associated with alterations in the xenobiotic metabolism, nutrients absorption, energy metabolism, cytotoxicity, and behavior. In humans, no data on nanoplastic absorptions has been reported previously. Nanoplastics are particles ranging from 1 nm to 1000 nm that result from the erosion or breakage of larger plastic debris, and can be highly polydisperse in physical properties and heterogeneous in composition. Given that their detection relies significantly on environmental exposure, we have prospectively studied the presence of NPs in human peripheral blood (PB). Specifically, we have used fluorescence techniques and nanocytometry, together with the staining of the lipophilic dye Nile Red (NR), to demonstrate that NPs can be accurately detected using flow cytometry.