Biophysicochemical perspective of nanoparticle compatibility: A critically ignored parameter in nanomedicine

Shabir Hassan, Ajay Vikram Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Engineered nanomaterials are increasingly used in domestic and commercial products due to the rapid growth and increasing public and industrial interests in nanotechnology. Undoubtedly there will be more exposure of living organisms and the environment to nanomaterials. Therefore, understanding the biophysicochemical interactions of nanoparticles with proteins, membranes, cells, DNA, and organelles at the nano-biointerface will help to control fundamental biological and dynamic colloidal forces to promote biocompatibility of the particles. In this article, we review how bio-and physicochemical surface characteristics at nanoscale govern particle biocompatibility for in vivo and in vitro models. We also revisit the promise and predictions gained from this understanding to design special types of nanoparticles, such as quantum dots (QDs) and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs), for biomedical applications. This knowledge is essential not only from the perspective of safe use of nanomaterials, but also in paving the way for nontoxic interactions with biological systems. It paves the route for safe implementation of the materials in novel biomedical diagnostics and therapeutics. We also put forward an outlook and future perspective, which are largely "ignored parameters" in nanomedicine. In conclusion, emphasis on the systematic evaluation of nanomaterial toxicity in primary cells derived from vital organs and the need to develop an international consortium for a materialomics database is encouraged.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)402-414
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Biomedical applications
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanoparticle
  • Oxidative stress
  • Theranostic


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