New research conducted by Stony Brook University scientists reportedly reveals that “pure gold nanoparticles found in everyday items such as personal care products, as well as drug delivery, MRI contrast agents and solar cells can inhibit adipose (fat) storage and lead to accelerated aging and wrinkling, slowed wound healing and the onset of diabetes.”

The researchers reportedly tested the impact of nanoparticles in vitro on multiple types of cells, including adipose (fat) tissue, to determine whether their basic functions were disrupted when exposed to very low doses of nanoparticles. They discovered “that the human adipose-derived stromal cells—a type of adult stem cells—were penetrated by the gold nanoparticles almost instantly and that the particles accumulated in the cells with no obvious pathway for elimination.” They also concluded that “the presence of the particles disrupted multiple cell functions, such as movement; replication (cell division); and collagen contraction; processes that are essential in wound healing.”

“Reductions caused by gold nanoparticles can result in systemic changes to the body,” said lead researcher Tatsiana Mironava. “Since they have been considered inert and essentially harmless, it was assumed that pure gold nanoparticles would also be safe. Evidence to the contrary is beginning to emerge.”

“We have learned that careful consideration and the choice of size, concentration and the duration of the clinical application of gold nanoparticles is warranted,” she added. “The good news is that when the nanoparticles were removed, normal functions were eventually restored.” See Stony Brook University News Release, April 24, 2013.