Nanoparticles and the Immune System

M.A. Dobrovolskaia
Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, Advanced Technology Program, US

Keywords: nanoparticles, cancer, immune system

Summary:

Nanomedicine is a rapidly growing field. Nanoparticles are being developed for many industrial and biomedical applications. The clear benefits of using nanosized products in these applications are often challenged by questions regarding safety of these materials. One area of interest involves the interactions between nanoparticles and the components of the immune system. Nanoparticles can be engineered to either avoid immune system recognition or to specifically interact with the immune system. Nanoparticle physicochemical properties determine their interactions with various components of the immune system. Although there are common trends in nanoparticle immunocompatibility, each nanoformulation is unique. This presentation will review data regarding nanoparticle-mediated immunostimulation and immunosuppression and the role of nanoparticle physicochemical properties in mediating certain types of immunotoxicity. I will present case studies demonstrating the significance of comprehensive physicochemical characterization of engineered nanomaterials prior to their toxicological evaluation as well as correlation between toxicological in vitro assays and relevant in vivo tests. Funded by NCI Contract No.HHSN261200800001E