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Potential toxicity of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION)

Author(s): Neenu Singh | Gareth J.S. Jenkins | Romisa Asadi | Shareen H. Doak

Journal: Nano Reviews
ISSN 2000-5121

Volume: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: SPION | cellular stress | cytotoxicity | DNA damage

Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) are being widely used for various biomedical applications, for example, magnetic resonance imaging, targeted delivery of drugs or genes, and in hyperthermia. Although, the potential benefits of SPION are considerable, there is a distinct need to identify any potential cellular damage associated with these nanoparticles. Besides focussing on cytotoxicity, the most commonly used determinant of toxicity as a result of exposure to SPION, this review also mentions the importance of studying the subtle cellular alterations in the form of DNA damage and oxidative stress. We review current studies and discuss how SPION, with or without different surface coating, may cause cellular perturbations including modulation of actin cytoskeleton, alteration in gene expression profiles, disturbance in iron homeostasis and altered cellular responses such as activation of signalling pathways and impairment of cell cycle regulation. The importance of protein–SPION interaction and various safety considerations relating to SPION exposure are also addressed.
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