Transforming lanthanide and actinide chemistry with nanoparticles
Lanthanides and actinides are used in a wide variety of applications, from energy production to life sciences. To address toxicity issues due to the chemical, and often radiological, properties of these elements, methods to quantify and recover them from industrial waste are necessary. When used in biomedicine, lanthanides and actinides are incorporated in compounds that show promising therapeutic and/or bioimaging properties, but lack robust strategies to target cancer and other pathologies. Furthermore, current decorporation protocols to respond to accidental actinide exposure rely on intravenous injections of soluble chelating agents, which are inefficient for treatment of inhaled radionuclides trapped in lungs. In recent years, nanoparticles have emerged as powerful tools in both industry and clinical settings. Because some inorganic nanoparticles are sensitive to external stimuli, such as light and magnetic fields, they can be used as building blocks for sensitive bioassays and separation techniques. In addition, nanoparticles can be functionalized with multiple ligands and act as carriers for selective delivery of therapeutic and contrast agents. This review summarizes and discusses recent progress on the use of nanoparticles in lanthanide and actinide chemistry. We examine different types of nanoparticles based on composition, functionalization, and properties, and we critically analyze their performance in a comparative mode. Our focus is two-pronged, including the nanoparticles free of lanthanides and actinides that are used for the detection, separation, or decorporation of f-block elements, as well as the nanoparticles that enhance the inherent properties of lanthanides and actinides for therapeutics, imaging and catalysis.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Review Articles