The specific use of engineered nanostructures in biomedical applications has become very attractive, due to their ability to interface and target specific cells and tissues to execute their functions. Additionally, there is continuous progress in research on new nanostructures with unique optical, magnetic, catalytic, and electrochemical properties that can be exploited for therapeutic or diagnostic methods. On the other hand, as nanostructures become widely used in many different applications, the unspecific exposure of humans to them is also unavoidable. Therefore, studying and understanding the toxicity of such materials is of increasing importance. Previously published reviews regarding the toxicological effects of nanostructures focuses mostly on the cytotoxicity of nanoparticles and their internalization, activated signaling pathways, and cellular response. Here, the most recent studies on the in vitro cytotoxicity of NPs, nanowires, and nanorods for biomedical applications are reviewed and divided into two parts. The first part considers nonmagnetic metallic and magnetic nanostructures. While part 2 covers carbon structures and semiconductors. The factors influencing the toxicity of these nanostructures are elaborated, to help elucidating the effects of these nanomaterials on cells, which is a prerequisite for their save clinical use.
Part of the book: Cytotoxicity