Precision design of engineered nanomaterials to guide immune systems for disease treatment

Jiulong Li, Xingfa Gao, Yuguang Wang, Tian Xia, Yuliang Zhao, Huan Meng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are widely used in industrial, commercial, and medical fields due to their unique physicochemical properties and diverse functional advantages. Human exposure or direct contact with ENMs via various routes, including dermal, inhalation, and systemic administration, may allow ENMs to interact with immune systems, leading to immunostimulation or immunosuppression outcomes depending on antigen properties. The actions of various immunological responses and how ENMs' intrinsic properties impact immune responses are fascinating but under-investigated. Herein, we systemically review state-of-the-art advances in various molecular mechanisms of ENM-induced immunological responses to outline the critical roles of material properties on immunity. Through the growing awareness of nano quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR), we further conceptualize how to utilize ENMs’ immunomodulatory properties to develop safe, precise, and effective immunomodulation strategies based on high throughput and predictive discovery paradigms. We also discuss the challenges and opportunities for clinical translation using nano-enabled immune modulation for disease treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1162-1191
Number of pages30
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 6 2022


  • computational design
  • immunostimulation
  • immunosuppression
  • immunotherapy
  • nano QSAR
  • nano-immune interaction
  • nanomaterials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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