IN THE NEWS: Nanoparticles Disrupt Human Cell Line

Environmental Engineering Associate Professor Yongsheng Chen is leading research teams in evaluating the exposure impacts of manufactured nanomaterials on human cell lines. The goal of the research is to establish prototype evaluation methods for nanotechnology risk assessment and to determine the relationship between nanoscale properties and toxicological effects.

The teams includes members from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Georgia Tech and the School of Life Science (SOLS) at Arizona State University. Dr. Chen's group is currently focusing on the evaluation of the environmental behavior, biological impacts, and nano-bio interactions of manufactured nanomaterials. Studies are being conducted at cellular, genetic, and molecular levels, including techniques such as AFM, KFM, TEM, SEM, DLS and ICP-MS.  Environmental Engineering Ph.D. student Wen Zhang performed the exposure test experiments and atomic force microscopy analysis.  Dr. Chen serves as Zhang's adviser with projects partially funded by the EPA and SRC.

Full results of the research can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.  To read a summary of the research, visit

Researchers at Georgia Tech are using atomic force microscopy to characterize the surface properties of commercial manufactured nanomaterials.