Engineered nanomaterials are increasingly being developed for paints, sunscreens, cosmetics, industrial lubricants, tyres, semiconductor devices, and also for biomedical applications such as in diagnostics, therapeutics, and contrast agents. As a result, nanomaterials are being manufactured, transported, and used in larger and larger quantities, and potential impacts on environmental and human health have been raised. Poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers are specifically suitable for biomedical applications. They are well-defined nanoscale molecules which contain a 2-carbon ethylenediamine core and primary amine groups at the surface. The systematically variable structural architecture and the large internal free volume make these dendrimers an attractive option for drug delivery and other biomedical applications. Due to the wide range of applications, the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) have included them in their list of nanoparticles which require toxicological assessment. Thus, the toxicological impact of these PAMAM dendrimers on human health and the environment is a matter of concern. In this review, the potential toxicological impact of PAMAM dendrimers on human health and environment is assessed, highlighting work to date exploring the toxicological effects of PAMAM dendrimers.
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