Nanosilver is the most popular and most studied nanomaterial, however, a family of nanomaterials is rapidly enlarging. They are used in various branches of industry and everyday life. In medicine new nanomaterials can be used either alone or in combination with other “classical” drugs, e.g. cytostatic drugs or antibiotics. They can be also used as diagnostic agents. A development of nanoparticles has led to a new combination of diagnostic and therapy - theranostic. Size of a particle makes a difference not only between bulk material and nanomaterial, but also in their properties and toxicity. Nanomaterials can have beneficial properties, but can also be toxic. New issues concerning nanomaterials arise - an industrial exposure and environmental pollution. They can enter human body in various ways. Cellular mechanisms of nanomaterial toxicity comprise mainly a generation of reactive oxygen species and genotoxicity. The differences between toxicity of fine particles and nanoparticles have led to an origin of a new branch of science, nanotoxicology.
Part of the book: Nanomaterials