Nanotechnology is a rapidly expanding field with wide application for industrial and medical use; therefore, understanding the toxicity of engineered nanomaterials is critical for their commercialization. While short-term in vivo studies have been performed to understand the toxicity profile of various nanomaterials, there is a current effort to shift toxicological testing from in vivo observational models to predictive and high-throughput in vitro models. However, conventional monoculture results of nanoparticle exposure are often disparate and not predictive of in vivo toxic effects. A coculture system of multiple cell types allows for cross-talk between cells and better mimics the in vivo environment. This review proposes that advanced coculture models, combined with integrated analysis of genome-wide in vivo and in vitro toxicogenomic data, may lead to development of predictive multigene expression-based models to better determine toxicity profiles of nanomaterials and consequent potential human health risk due to exposure to these compounds.
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