Send to

Choose Destination
Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2009 Jun 21;61(6):438-56. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2009.03.005. Epub 2009 Apr 19.

In vitro assessments of nanomaterial toxicity.

Author information

Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-5820, USA.


Nanotechnology has grown from a scientific interest to a major industry with both commodity and specialty nanomaterial exposure to global populations and ecosystems. Sub-micron materials are currently used in a wide variety of consumer products and in clinical trials as drug delivery carriers and imaging agents. Due to the expected growth in this field and the increasing public exposure to nanomaterials, both from intentional administration and inadvertent contact, improved characterization and reliable toxicity screening tools are required for new and existing nanomaterials. This review discusses current methodologies used to assess nanomaterial physicochemical properties and their in vitro effects. Current methods lack the desired sensitivity, reliability, correlation and sophistication to provide more than limited, often equivocal, pieces of the overall nanomaterial performance parameter space, particularly in realistic physiological or environmental models containing cells, proteins and solutes. Therefore, improved physicochemical nanomaterial assays are needed to provide accurate exposure risk assessments and genuine predictions of in vivo behavior and therapeutic value. Simpler model nanomaterial systems in buffer do not accurately duplicate this complexity or predict in vivo behavior. A diverse portfolio of complementary material characterization tools and bioassays are required to validate nanomaterial properties in physiology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center