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J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2014 Jan;14(1):730-43.

Nanotoxicity: oxidative stress mediated toxicity of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles.


Metal and metal oxide nanoparticles are often used as industrial catalysts or to improve product's functional properties. Recent advanced nanotechnology have been expected to be used in various fields, ranging from sensors, environmental remediation to biomedicine, medical biology and imaging, etc. However, the growing use of nanoparticles has led to their release into environment and increased levels of these particles at nearby sites or the surroundings of their manufacturing factories become obvious. The toxicity of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles on humans, animals, and certainly to the environment has become a major concern to our community. However, controversies still remain with respect to the toxic effects and the mechanisms of these nanoparticles. The scientific community now feels that an understanding of the toxic effects is necessary to handle these nanoparticles and their use. A new discipline, named nanotoxicology, has therefore been developed that basically refers to the study of the interactions of nanoparticles with biological systems and also measures the toxicity level related to human health. Nanoparticles usually generate reactive oxygen species to a greater extent than micro-sized particles resulting in increased pro-inflammatory reactions and oxidative stress via intracellular signaling pathways. In this review, we mainly focus on the routes of exposure of some metal and metal oxide nanoparticles and how these nanoparticles affect us or broadly the cells of our organs. We would also like to discuss the responsible mechanism(s) of the nanoparticle-induced reactive oxygen species mediated organ pathophysiology. A brief introduction of the characterization and application of these nanoparticles has also been included in the article.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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