The complexity of nanoparticle dissolution and its importance in nanotoxicological studies

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Dissolution of nanoparticles (NPs) is an important property that alters their abundance and is often a critical step in determining safety of nanoparticles. The dissolution status of the NPs in exposure media (i.e. whether they remain in particulate form or dissolve - and to what extent), strongly affects the uptake pathway, toxicity mechanisms and the environmental compartment in which NPs will have the highest potential impact. A review of available dissolution data on NPs demonstrates there is a range of potential outcomes depending on the NPs and the exposure media. For example two nominally identical nanoparticles, in terms of size and composition, could have totally different dissolution behaviours, subject to different surface modifications. Therefore, it is imperative that toxicological studies are conducted in conjunction with dissolution of NPs to establish the true biological effect of NPs and hence, assist in their regulation.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-32
Number of pages8
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • Biological Transport, Membrane Transport Proteins, Nanoparticles, Particle Size, Solubility, Surface Properties