Methodologies and approaches for the analysis of cell–nanoparticle interactions

Angela Ivask, Andrew J. Mitchell, Anzhela Malysheva, Nicolas H. Voelcker, Enzo Lombi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


How to study nanoparticle–cell interactions is the key question that puzzles researchers in the fields of nanomedicine as well as in nanotoxicology. In nanotoxicology, the amount of nanoparticles internalized by the cells or bound to the external surfaces of cells determines the toxic profile of those particles. In medical applications, cellular uptake and binding of medically effective nanoparticles decides their efficacy. Despite the importance of understanding the extent and mode of nanoparticle–cell interactions, these processes are underinvestigated, mainly due to the lack of suitable user-friendly methodologies. Here we discuss the advantages and limitations of currently available (and most advanced) microscopic, spectroscopic, and other bioanalytical methods that could be used to assess cell-nanoparticle interactions either qualitatively or quantitatively. Special emphasis is given to the methods that enable analysis and identification of nanoparticles at single-cell level, and allow intracellular localization and speciation analysis of nanoparticles. This article is categorized under: Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Cells at the Nanoscale Toxicology and Regulatory Issues in Nanomedicine > Toxicology of Nanomaterials.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1486
Number of pages22
JournalWIREs Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

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