Even nanotechnology is a relatively new field, nanoparticles are not. The first use of nanoparticles already dates back to 10 th century BC. Nanoparticles (NP) are of great scientific interest as they are the connecting link between bulk materials and atomic or molecular structures. From a scientific point of view the most attractive are nanoparticles of the graphene family. One of them is graphene oxide (GO) - an oxidized derivative of graphene, in recent years has been acclaimed a ‘superstar’ in the area of nanomaterials. It concentrate researchers’ attention with a number of its unique physicochemical properties which determine its potentially widespread use in the industry, science and medicine. Yet despite the fact that the demand for graphene and its derivatives in commercial applications is still growing, many aspects of its toxicity and biocompatibility are still poorly recognized. Results of research conducted mainly on in vitro models and, much more seldom, in vivo models, show that exposure to graphene oxide may lead to many negative effect in living organism such as: damaging genetic material, disturbing the cell cycle, and unfavourable mutations The most important global problem, significant from the point of view of ecotoxicology, seems to be nanoparticles entering the ecosystem in form of industrial and household nanowaste and nanopollution as well as their accumulation in environment. Market analyses unambiguously show that materials of graphene family will be more and more often employed in industry, medicine and in food products. Therefore, it seems obvious that organisms can be exposed to nanoparticles via many routes of entry. It is believed that they can penetrate the inside of an organism through inhalation, skin permeation, ingestion or injection – when we consider their use in medicine. Natural environment protection is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges for science, hence use of graphene oxide (GO) in so many areas of life requires deep understanding how it acts at different levels (i.e. cells, tissues, organisms).
The main objective of the project was to describe risk associated with exposure to GO in food intake and by injection. Various cell parameters such as level of oxidative stress, cell apoptosis, DNA damage and histological changes in gut and male gonads were evaluated. Reproductive potential of insects and cellular changes in the second generation of animals were also determined. In vivo studies have shown that graphene oxide is not neutral to the organism and can lead to many negative consequences.