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Chapter 20

Important Aspects of Safety, Risk & ELSI of Functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles for Analytical Purposes

Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are of great interest in analytical chemistry applications due to their unique magnetic properties, which have the potential to improve the performance of existing methodologies. They can be used for effective diagnosis and treatment of various diseases as well as water remediation applications. However, in many of these applications, the surfaces of the MNPs need to be modified. Meanwhile, increasing production and applications of functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (FMNPs) is raising some concerns about their impacts and potential risks on the environment and to living organisms. The physical characteristics of MNPs such as size, shape and surface chemistry play a decisive role on their toxicity. Their size which is comparable with biomolecules allows them to penetrate the cell membrane easily, to diffuse from blood vessels and to be sequestered into various body systems. Therefore, toxicity assessment is a critical point in the development of FMNPs. This chapter focuses on major points concerning FMNP toxicity, and explain mechanisms responsible for FMNP toxicity and possible scenarios regarding the environmental and human hazards and risks issues of FMNPs, and then will address some of the most recent studies on in vitro and in vivo toxicity of the FMNPs with potential use for the analytical applications.

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04 Aug 2021
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