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Open Access Open Badges Editorial

Different biokinetics of nanomedicines linking to their toxicity; an overview

Sara Mostafalou1, Hamidreza Mohammadi2, Ali Ramazani3 and Mohammad Abdollahi1*

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Clinical Toxicology, Baharlou Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Faculty of Georesources and Materials Engineering, RWTH-Aachen University, Aachen, Germany

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DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 2013, 21:14  doi:10.1186/2008-2231-21-14

Published: 22 February 2013


In spite of the extreme rise to the knowledge of nanotechnology in pharmaceutical sciences, there are currently limited experimental works studying the interactions between nanoparticles (NPs) and the biological system. Adjustment of size and surface area plays the main role in the reaction between NPs and cells leading to their increased entrance into cells through skin, gastrointestinal and respiratory system. Moreover, change in physicochemical reactivity of NPs causes them to interact with circulatory and cellular proteins differentially leading to the altered parameters of their biokinetics, including adsorption, distribution, translocation, transformation, and elimination. A direct relationship between the surface area, reactive oxygen species generating capability, and proinflammatory effects of NPs have been found in respiratory tract toxicity. Additionally, complement-mediated hypersensitivity reactions to liposomes and other lipid-based nanodrugs have been well defined. Inhalation studies of some NPs have confirmed the translocation of inhaled materials to extra pulmonary organs such as central nervous system (CNS) via olfactory neurons and induction of inflammatory response. Injectable uncoated NPs have a tendency to remain on the injection site while the poly ethanol glycol (PEG)-coated NPs can be notably drained from the injection site to get as far as the lymph nodes where they accumulate. This confirms the existence of channels within the extracellular matrix for NPs to move along. Furthermore, induction of DNA strand breaks and formation of micronuclei have been recorded for exposure to some NPs such as single-walled carbon nanotubes.

In the recent years, most of the studies have simply outlined better efficacy of nanodrugs, but few discussed their possible toxic reactions specially if used chronically. Therefore, we emphasize that this part of the nanoscience must not be undermined and toxicologists must be sensitive to set up suitable in vivo or in vitro toxicity models. A system for collecting data about the relationships between NPs’ structure-size-efficacy-toxicity (SSET) should be specified with special regard to portal of entry and target organ.

Nanomedicine; Biokinetics; Nanotoxicology; Review