Toxicity of therapeutic nanoparticles

Melissa A. Maurer-Jones, Kyle C. Bantz, Sara A. Love, Bryce J. Marquis, Christy L. Haynes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


A total of six nanotherapeutic formulations are already approved for medical use and more are in the approval pipeline currently. Despite the massive research effort in nanotherapeutic materials, there is relatively little information about the toxicity of these materials or the tools needed to assess this toxicity. Recently, the scientific community has begun to respond to the paucity of information by investing in the field of nanoparticle toxicology. This review is intended to provide an overview of the techniques needed to assess toxicity of these therapeutic nanoparticles and to summarize the current state of the field. We begin with background on the toxicological assessment techniques used currently as well as considerations in nanoparticle dosing. The toxicological research overview is divided into the most common applications of therapeutic nanoparticles: drug delivery, photodynamic therapy and bioimaging. We end with a perspective section discussing the current technological gaps and promising research aimed at addressing those gaps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-241
Number of pages23
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


  • Contrast agent
  • Dosing
  • Drug delivery
  • Nanoparticle
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Toxicity


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