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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 308381, 9 pages
Research Article

Toward a Blended Ontology: Applying Knowledge Systems to Compare Therapeutic and Toxicological Nanoscale Domains

National Exposure Research Laboratory, US Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA

Received 3 October 2011; Accepted 7 January 2012

Academic Editor: P. Bryant Chase

Copyright © 2012 Christopher M. Grulke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bionanomedicine and environmental research share need common terms and ontologies. This study applied knowledge systems, data mining, and bibliometrics used in nano-scale ADME research from 1991 to 2011. The prominence of nano-ADME in environmental research began to exceed the publication rate in medical research in 2006. That trend appears to continue as a result of the growing products in commerce using nanotechnology, that is, 5-fold growth in number of countries with nanomaterials research centers. Funding for this research virtually did not exist prior to 2002, whereas today both medical and environmental research is funded globally. Key nanoparticle research began with pharmacology and therapeutic drug-delivery and contrasting agents, but the advances have found utility in the environmental research community. As evidence ultrafine aerosols and aquatic colloids research increased 6-fold, indicating a new emphasis on environmental nanotoxicology. User-directed expert elicitation from the engineering and chemical/ADME domains can be combined with appropriate Boolean logic and queries to define the corpus of nanoparticle interest. The study combined pharmacological expertise and informatics to identify the corpus by building logical conclusions and observations. Publication records informatics can lead to an enhanced understanding the connectivity between fields, as well as overcoming the differences in ontology between the fields.