Expert opinion on drug delivery

Zinc oxide nanoparticles for selective destruction of tumor cells and potential for drug delivery applications.

PMID 20716019


Metal oxide nanoparticles, including zinc oxide, are versatile platforms for biomedical applications and therapeutic intervention. There is an urgent need to develop new classes of anticancer agents, and recent studies demonstrate that ZnO nanomaterials hold considerable promise. This review analyzes the biomedical applications of metal oxide and ZnO nanomaterials under development at the experimental, preclinical and clinical levels. A discussion regarding the advantages, approaches and limitations surrounding the use of metal oxide nanoparticles for cancer applications and drug delivery is presented. The scope of this article is focused on ZnO, and other metal oxide nanomaterial systems, and their proposed mechanisms of cytotoxic action, as well as current approaches to improve their targeting and cytotoxicity against cancer cells. This review aims to give an overview of ZnO nanomaterials in biomedical applications. Through a better understanding of the mechanisms of action and cellular consequences resulting from nanoparticles interactions with cells, the inherent toxicity and selectivity of ZnO nanoparticles against cancer may be improved further to make them attractive new anticancer agents.