Distribution and potential toxicity of engineered inorganic nanoparticles and carbon nanostructures in biological systems

Eudald Casals, Socorro Vázquez-Campos, Neus G Bastús, Victor Puntes

TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 27, Issue 8, September 2008, Pages 672–683

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165993608001428

Abstract

Biocompatibility, biodistribution, biodegradation, inflammation and interference with cells and normal functioning of organs, among other factors, will determine the toxicity of engineered inorganic nanoparticles and carbon nanostructures, and therefore the extent of their use. Recent examples in the literature show that engineered inorganic nanoparticles and carbon nanostructures, which may incidentally or intentionally enter into contact with living organisms, normally, at realistic doses, do not cause acute toxic effects. However, their prolonged interaction with living organisms may disrupt normal activity leading to malfunctioning and diseases. Indeed, observed nanoparticle-biological interactions, which can be used to detect and to manipulate biological states and therefore heal damaged organs, could also lead to environmental and human health hazards. In this scenario, how those nanostructures enter and are distributed inside the body is critical.