Nanotechnology is an emerging discipline that studies matters at the nanoscale level. Eventually, the goal is to manipulate matters at the atomic level to serve mankind. One growing area in nanotechnology is biomedical applications, which involve disease management and the discovery of basic biological principles. In this review, we discuss characteristics of nanomaterials, with an emphasis on transition metal oxide nanoparticles that influence cytotoxicity. Identification of those properties may lead to the design of more efficient and safer nanosized products for various industrial purposes and provide guidance for assessment of human and environmental health risk. We then investigate biochemical and molecular mechanisms of cytotoxicity that include oxidative stress-induced cellular events and alteration of the pathways pertaining to intracellular calcium homeostasis. All the stresses lead to cell injuries and death. Furthermore, as exposure to nanoparticles results in deregulation of the cell cycle (i.e., interfering with cell proliferation), the change in cell number is a function of cell killing and the suppression of cell proliferation. Collectively, the review article provides insights into the complexity of nanotoxicology.


Biological Sciences

Keywords and Phrases

Calcium; Reactive Oxygen Metabolite; Cell Proliferation; Chemistry; Drug Effect; Metabolism; Oxidative Stress; Animals; Cell Cycle Checkpoints; Humans; Nanoparticles; Reactive Oxygen Species; Calcium Homeostasis; Physicochemical Property; Toxicity

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1422-0067; 1661-6596

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2017The Authors, All rights reserved.

Creative Commons Licensing

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2017

PubMed ID


Included in

Biology Commons