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Cells pass on plastic particles

27 June 2024

Micro- and nanoplastic particles can be passed on during cell division and possibly promote the spread of cancer. This was discovered by Viennese researchers from the University of Vienna in laboratory experiments. They exposed four cell lines that occur in colorectal tumours to plastic particles of different sizes. It was found that micro- and nanoplastic particles are taken up by lysosomes, but are not degraded by them. The particles are even more resistant than originally assumed. In the experiments, they were passed on to newly formed cells during cell division. The researchers also found evidence that tumour cells contaminated with plastic can move around the body more easily. Enclosed particles with a diameter of 0.25 µm reduced the strength of the cell membrane and thus made it more difficult for the cells to grow together. This can potentially promote the metastasis of tumours. This makes it all the more important to remove plastic particles from the blood. INUSPHERESIS is a particularly effective way of doing this.