Nanotoxicology and nanomedicine: The Yin and Yang of nano-bio interactions for the new decade

Olesja Bondarenko, Monika Mortimer, Anne Kahru, Neus Feliu, Ibrahim Javed, Aleksandr Kakinen, Sijie Lin, Tian Xia, Yang Song, Thomas P. Davis, Iseult Lynch, Wolfgang J. Parak, David Tai Leong, Pu Chun Ke, Chunying Chen, Yuliang Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Nanotoxicology and nanomedicine are two sub-disciplines of nanotechnology focusing on the phenomena, mechanisms, and engineering at the nano-bio interface. For the better part of the past three decades, these two disciplines have been largely developing independently of each other. Yet recent breakthroughs in microbiome research and the current COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate that holistic approaches are crucial for solving grand challenges in global health. Here we show the Yin and Yang relationship between the two fields by highlighting their shared goals of making safer nanomaterials, improved cellular and organism models, as well as advanced methodologies. We focus on the transferable knowledge between the two fields as nanotoxicological research is moving from pristine to functional nanomaterials, while inorganic nanomaterials – the main subjects of nanotoxicology – have become an emerging source for the development of nanomedicines. We call for a close partnership between the two fields in the new decade, to harness the full potential of nanotechnology for benefiting human health and environmental safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101184
JournalNano Today
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Coronavirus
  • Microbiome
  • NanoEL
  • Nanomedicine
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Protein corona

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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