We summarize the literature involving the deposition of nanomaterials within the placenta following oral exposure and the biological interactions between nanomaterials and placental development and function. The review focuses on the oral exposure of metal and metal oxide engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), carbon-based ENMs, and nanoplastics in animal models, with a minor discussion of intravenous injections. Although the literature suggests that the placenta is an efficient barrier in preventing nanomaterials from reaching the fetus, nanomaterials that accumulate in the placenta may interfere with its development and function. Furthermore, some studies have demonstrated a decrease in placental weight and association with adverse fetal health outcomes following oral exposure to nanomaterials. Since nanomaterials are increasingly used in food, food packaging, and have been discovered in drinking water, the risk for adverse impacts on placental development and functions, with secondary effects on embryo-fetal development, following unintentional maternal ingestion of nanomaterials requires further investigation.
Biological interactions between nanomaterials and placental development and function following oral exposure