Next Article in Journal / Special Issue
Neural Cell Chip Based Electrochemical Detection of Nanotoxicity
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Nano-Sized Secondary Organic Aerosol of Diesel Engine Exhaust Origin Impairs Olfactory-Based Spatial Learning Performance in Preweaning Mice
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Nanomaterials 2015, 5(3), 1163-1180;

Nanotoxicity: An Interplay of Oxidative Stress, Inflammation and Cell Death

Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 4 Medical Drive, MD10, Singapore 117 597, Singapore
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert Tanguay
Received: 15 May 2015 / Revised: 16 June 2015 / Accepted: 23 June 2015 / Published: 30 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advancements in Nanotoxicology)
PDF [392 KB, uploaded 30 June 2015]


Nanoparticles are emerging as a useful tool for a wide variety of biomedical, consumer and instrumental applications that include drug delivery systems, biosensors and environmental sensors. In particular, nanoparticles have been shown to offer greater specificity with enhanced bioavailability and less detrimental side effects as compared to the existing conventional therapies in nanomedicine. Hence, bionanotechnology has been receiving immense attention in recent years. However, despite the extensive use of nanoparticles today, there is still a limited understanding of nanoparticle-mediated toxicity. Both in vivo and in vitro studies have shown that nanoparticles are closely associated with toxicity by increasing intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and/or the levels of pro-inflammatory mediators. The homeostatic redox state of the host becomes disrupted upon ROS induction by nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are also known to up-regulate the transcription of various pro-inflammatory genes, including tumor necrosis factor-α and IL (interleukins)-1, IL-6 and IL-8, by activating nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signaling. These sequential molecular and cellular events are known to cause oxidative stress, followed by severe cellular genotoxicity and then programmed cell death. However, the exact molecular mechanisms underlying nanotoxicity are not fully understood. This lack of knowledge is a significant impediment in the use of nanoparticles in vivo. In this review, we will provide an assessment of signaling pathways that are involved in the nanoparticle- induced oxidative stress and propose possible strategies to circumvent nanotoxicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoparticles; nanotoxicity; ROS generation; oxidative stress; inflammation; DNA damage; apoptosis nanoparticles; nanotoxicity; ROS generation; oxidative stress; inflammation; DNA damage; apoptosis

Graphical abstract

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Khanna, P.; Ong, C.; Bay, B.H.; Baeg, G.H. Nanotoxicity: An Interplay of Oxidative Stress, Inflammation and Cell Death. Nanomaterials 2015, 5, 1163-1180.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Nanomaterials EISSN 2079-4991 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top