Potential neurotoxicity of nanoparticles

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With the rapid development of nanotechnology, there is a growing interest on the application of nanoparticles in various fields such as photonics, catalysis, magnetics, and biotechnology including cosmetics, pharmaceutics, and medicines. However, little is known about their potential toxicity to human health. Owing to their special properties, nanoparticles have the capacity to bypass the blood–brain barrier (BBB). However, the toxic effects of nanoparticles on central nervous system (CNS) function are still lacking. And the interactions of nanoparticles with the cells and tissues in CNS are poorly understood. Thus, neurotoxicity induced by nanoparticles is still a new topic that requires more attention. In this review, we summarized the pathways by which the nanoparticles could enter into the CNS and the recent investigations on the neurotoxicity of nanoparticles both in vitro and in vivo, as well as the potential mechanisms. Furthermore, the future direction in the neurotoxicity studies of nanoparticles is also discussed.

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