Nanomedicine: Photo-activated nanostructured titanium dioxide, as a promising anticancer agent

Nefeli Lagopati, Konstantinos Evangelou, Polycarpos Falaras, Effie Photini C. Tsilibary, Panagiotis V.S. Vasileiou, Sofia Havaki, Andriani Angelopoulou, Evangelia A. Pavlatou, Vassilis G. Gorgoulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The multivariate condition of cancer disease has been approached in various ways, by the scientific community. Recent studies focus on individualized treatments, minimizing the undesirable consequences of the conventional methods, but the development of an alternative effective therapeutic scheme remains to be held. Nanomedicine could provide a solution, filling this gap, exploiting the unique properties of innovative nanostructured materials. Nanostructured titanium dioxide (TiO2) has a variety of applications of daily routine and of advanced technology. Due to its biocompatibility, it has also a great number of biomedical applications. It is now clear that photo-excited TiO2 nanoparticles, induce generation of pairs of electrons and holes which react with water and oxygen to yield reactive oxygen species (ROS) that have been proven to damage cancer cells, triggering controlled cellular processes. The aim of this review is to provide insights into the field of nanomedicine and particularly into the wide context of TiO2-NP-mediated anticancer effect, shedding light on the achievements of nanotechnology and proposing this nanostructured material as a promising anticancer photosensitizer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107795
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Public Investment Program of the Ministry of Development and Investment/General Secretariat for Research and Technology , in the framework of the of the Flagship Initiative to address SARS-CoV-2 ( 2020ΣΕ01300001 ), by H. Pappas donation and through IKY scholarships program and co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund—ESF) and Greek national funds through the action entitled “Reinforcement of Postdoctoral Researchers”, (N. Lagopati-scholarship for Postdoctoral Researchers-MIS5001552), in the framework of the Operational Program ”Human Resources Development Program, Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2014–2020.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)


  • Anticancer properties
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanostructured materials
  • Photocatalysis
  • Titanium dioxide

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review


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