Toxicity of nanocarrier systems involves physiological, physicochemical, and molecular considerations. Nanoparticle exposures through the skin, the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract and the lymphatics have been described. Nanocarrier systems may induce cytotoxicity and/or genotoxicity, whereas their antigenicity is still not well understood. Nanocarrier may alter the physicochemical properties of xenobiotics resulting in pharmaceutical changes in stability, solubility, and pharmacokinetic disposition. In particular, nanocarriers may reduce toxicity of hydrophobic cancer drugs that are solubilized. Nano regulation is still undergoing major changes to encompass environmental, health, and safety issues. The rapid commercialization of nanotechnology requires thoughtful environmental, health and safety research, meaningful, and an open discussion of broader societal impacts, and urgent toxicological oversight action. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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