Weihao Tang, Xuejiao Zhang, Huixiao Hong, Jingwen Chen, Qing Zhao, Fengchang Wu

Computational Nanotoxicology Models for Environmental Risk Assessment of Engineered Nanomaterials

  • General Materials Science
  • General Chemical Engineering

Although engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) have tremendous potential to generate technological benefits in numerous sectors, uncertainty on the risks of ENMs for human health and the environment may impede the advancement of novel materials. Traditionally, the risks of ENMs can be evaluated by experimental methods such as environmental field monitoring and animal-based toxicity testing. However, it is time-consuming, expensive, and impractical to evaluate the risk of the increasingly large number of ENMs with the experimental methods. On the contrary, with the advancement of artificial intelligence and machine learning, in silico methods have recently received more attention in the risk assessment of ENMs. This review discusses the key progress of computational nanotoxicology models for assessing the risks of ENMs, including material flow analysis models, multimedia environmental models, physiologically based toxicokinetics models, quantitative nanostructure–activity relationships, and meta-analysis. Several challenges are identified and a perspective is provided regarding how the challenges can be addressed.

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