Ultrafine superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (USPION) hold great potential for revolutionising biomedical applications such as MRI, localised hyperthermia, and targeted drug delivery. Though evidence is increasing regarding the influence of nanomaterial physico-chemical features on toxicity, data however, is lacking that assesses a range of such characteristics in parallel. We show that iron redox state, a subtle though important physico-chemical feature of USPION, drastically modifies the cellular uptake of these nanoparticles and influences their induction of DNA damage. Surface chemistry was also found to have an impact and evidence to support a potential mechanism of oxidative DNA damage behind the observed responses has been demonstrated. As human exposure to ferrofluids is predicted to increase through nanomedicine based therapeutics, these findings are important in guiding the fabrication of USPION to ensure they have characteristics that support biocompatibility.
Pub Type: Journals