Uptake, distribution, clearance, and toxicity of iron oxide nanoparticles with different sizes and coatings

We systematically investigated the in vitro cell uptake, cytotoxicity, in vivo distribution, clearance and toxicity of commercially available and well-characterized Iron oxide nanoparticles with different sizes and coatings

Qiyi Feng


Scholarcy highlights

  • Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles have been used for a wide range of biomedical applications such as drug delivery, magnetic resonance imaging, thermal ablation therapy, in vivo cell tracking, and magnetic separation of cells or molecules
  • Most Iron oxide nanoparticles introduced to the bloodstream are usually subjected to opsonization, followed by subsequent recognition and uptake by macrophages residing in the organs of the mononuclear phagocytic system, resulting in the elimination from the blood circulation
  • There are an increasing number of studies devoted to understanding the interaction of IONPs with biological systems, published data on the macrophage clearance, biodistribution and toxicity of IONPs are not consistent, which might be due to variation in IONPs characteristics and experimental conditions used in different studies
  • It is generally believed that the size of nanoparticles for cancer therapy should be in the range of 5–100 nm, in which the blood circulation time and enhanced permeability and retention effect are maximized
  • Appropriate surface coating is essential for biomedical applications of IONPs
  • Our aim was to understand the influence of particle size and surface coating on the biological distribution of IONPs and their biological effects in vitro and in vivo
  • It was interesting to find that Iron oxide nanoparticles with polyethylene glycol coating but not PEI coating were able to induce autophagy, which may play a protective role against the cytotoxicity of IONPs. Because of the high affinity with plasma proteins and rapid clearance of macrophages, positively charged nanoparticles are generally considered to have faster blood clearance than neutral particles

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