Oxidative stress and potential effects of metal nanoparticles: A review of biocompatibility and toxicity concerns

Yung Li Wang, Yu Hsuan Lee, Chu Lin Chou, Yu Sheng Chang, Wen Chih Liu, Hui Wen Chiu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Metal nanoparticles (M-NPs) have garnered significant attention due to their unique properties, driving diverse applications across packaging, biomedicine, electronics, and environmental remediation. However, the potential health risks associated with M-NPs must not be disregarded. M-NPs’ ability to accumulate in organs and traverse the blood-brain barrier poses potential health threats to animals, humans, and the environment. The interaction between M-NPs and various cellular components, including DNA, multiple proteins, and mitochondria, triggers the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), influencing several cellular activities. These interactions have been linked to various effects, such as protein alterations, the buildup of M-NPs in the Golgi apparatus, heightened lysosomal hydrolases, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, cell membrane impairment, cytoplasmic disruption, and fluctuations in ATP levels. Despite the evident advantages M-NPs offer in diverse applications, gaps in understanding their biocompatibility and toxicity necessitate further research. This review provides an updated assessment of M-NPs’ pros and cons across different applications, emphasizing associated hazards and potential toxicity. To ensure the responsible and safe use of M-NPs, comprehensive research is conducted to fully grasp the potential impact of these nanoparticles on both human health and the environment. By delving into their intricate interactions with biological systems, we can navigate the delicate balance between harnessing the benefits of M-NPs and minimizing potential risks. Further exploration will pave the way for informed decision-making, leading to the conscientious development of these nanomaterials and safeguarding the well-being of society and the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123617
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2024


  • Biocompatibility
  • Metal nanoparticles
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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