Effects of Nanomaterials on Human Blood Coagulation

EPA Grant Number: R832843
Title: Effects of Nanomaterials on Human Blood Coagulation
Investigators: Perrotta, Peter L. , Gouma, Pelagia-Irene
Institution: West Virginia University
Current Institution: West Virginia University , The State University of New York at Stony Brook
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: February 1, 2006 through January 31, 2009
Project Amount: $375,000
RFA: Exploratory Research: Nanotechnology Research Grants Investigating Environmental and Human Health Effects of Manufactured Nanomaterials: A Joint Research Solicitation - EPA, NSF, NIOSH (2005) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health , Safer Chemicals , Health Effects , Nanotechnology


The goal of this project is to determine the effects of commercially available nanomaterials on the human blood coagulation system. The rationale is based on the fact that common human diseases, such as myocardial infarction, are caused by abnormalities of blood coagulation that predispose to thrombosis (clots) and these diseases are clearly influenced by environmental factors. Because of their large surface area and reactivity, nanomaterials that enter the workplace or home have the potential to adversely affect blood coagulation, which could result in clotting abnormalities.


A comprehensive approach will be used to study how a wide-range of commercially prepared nanomaterials affects human blood coagulation. Techniques will focus on the two major components of the clotting system: blood coagulation proteins and platelets. First, the toxic effects of nanomaterials on blood clotting proteins will be studied using coagulation-specific laboratory assays. We will focus on the ability of nanomaterials to promote and/or retard the catalytic activity of coagulation enzymes. This is because adsorption of enzymes on the extensive available surface of nanomaterials may alter the functional groups of the enzymes and, hence, their enzymatic activity. Surface interactions between blood coagulation proteins and nanomaterials will be further detailed at the molecular level using surface plasmon resonance and atomic force microscopy. Finally, classes of nanomaterials will be identified that have the ability to “activate” human platelets because platelet activation plays a role in many thrombotic diseases.

Expected Results:

Studies outlined in this proposal will identify nanomaterials that can harm the human blood coagulation system. Furthermore, thresholds of toxicity and dose-response effects of coagulation proteins to nanomaterials will be quantified. The advanced techniques utilized will help to understand the complex interactions between nanomaterials, coagulation enzymes, and platelets. Through our findings a system for classifying engineered nanomaterials based on their physiologic effects on blood coagulation will be developed. This will help to predict whether novel classes of nanomaterials and/or functionalized nanomaterials can potentially harm human blood coagulation.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 21 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 4 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

nanotechnology, environmental factors, thrombosis, biology, engineering, pathology, adsorption, chemical transport, risk assessment, health effects, human health, dose response, enzymes, cumulative effects, chemicals, toxics, particulates, analytical,, Scientific Discipline, Health, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Health Risk Assessment, Environmental Microbiology, Risk Assessments, Biochemistry, Risk Assessment, blood clotting, bioavailability, nanotechnology, nanomaterials, blood coagulation enzymes, nanoparticle toxicity, exposure assessment

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2006 Progress Report
  • 2007 Progress Report
  • Final Report