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Nano Lett. 2008 Aug;8(8):2180-7. doi: 10.1021/nl0805615. Epub 2008 Jul 8.

Method for analysis of nanoparticle hemolytic properties in vitro.

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  • 1Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, Advanced Technology Program, SAIC-Frederick Inc., NCI-Frederick, Frederick, Maryland 21702, USA.


Hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) in vivo can lead to anemia, jaundice, and other pathological conditions; therefore the hemolytic potential of all intravenously administered pharmaceuticals must be evaluated. Nanotechnology-derived devices and drug carriers are emerging as alternatives to conventional small-molecule drugs, and in vitro evaluation of their biocompatibility with blood components is a necessary part of early preclinical development. The small size and unique physicochemical properties of nanoparticles may cause their interactions with erythrocytes to differ from those observed for conventional pharmaceuticals and may also cause interference with standardized in vitro tests. Separating true hemolytic responses from the false-positive or false-negative results caused by particle interference is important for correct interpretation of these tests. Here we describe validation of an in vitro assay for the analysis of nanoparticle hemolytic properties and discuss observed nanointerferences with the assay. We propose alternative methods to avoid misleading results from nanoparticles and discuss the potential relevance of nanoparticle in vitro hemolytic properties to in vivo systems.

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