Understanding Nanoparticle Toxicity to Direct a Safe-by-Design Approach in Cancer Nanomedicine

JA Damasco and S Ravi and JD Perez and DE Hagaman and MP Melancon, NANOMATERIALS, 10, 2186 (2020).

DOI: 10.3390/nano10112186

Nanomedicine is a rapidly growing field that uses nanomaterials for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of various diseases, including cancer. Various biocompatible nanoplatforms with diversified capabilities for tumor targeting, imaging, and therapy have materialized to yield individualized therapy. However, due to their unique properties brought about by their small size, safety concerns have emerged as their physicochemical properties can lead to altered pharmacokinetics, with the potential to cross biological barriers. In addition, the intrinsic toxicity of some of the inorganic materials (i.e., heavy metals) and their ability to accumulate and persist in the human body has been a challenge to their translation. Successful clinical translation of these nanoparticles is heavily dependent on their stability, circulation time, access and bioavailability to disease sites, and their safety profile. This review covers preclinical and clinical inorganic-nanoparticle based nanomaterial utilized for cancer imaging and therapeutics. A special emphasis is put on the rational design to develop non-toxic/safe inorganic nanoparticle constructs to increase their viability as translatable nanomedicine for cancer therapies.

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