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Going Even Smaller: Engineering Sub-5 Nm Nanoparticles For Improved Delivery, Biocompatibility, And Functionality.

Manman Xie, Y. Xu, J. Huang, Yuancheng Li, L. Wang, Lily Yang, Hui Mao
Published 2020 · Computer Science, Medicine

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The rapid development and advances in nanomaterials and nanotechnology in the past two decades have made profound impact in our approaches to individualized disease diagnosis and treatment. Nanomaterials, mostly in the range of 10-200 nm, developed for biomedical applications provide a wide range of platforms for building and engineering functionalized structures, devices, or systems to fulfill the specific diagnostic and therapeutic needs. Driven by achieving the ultimate goal of clinical translation, sub-5 nm nano-constructs, in particular inorganic nanoparticles such as gold, silver, silica, and iron oxide nanoparticles, have been developed in recent years to improve the biocompatibility, delivery and pharmacokinetics of imaging probes and drug delivery systems, as well as in vivo theranostic applications. The emerging studies have provided new findings that demonstrated the unique size-dependent physical properties, physiological behaviors and biological functions of the nanomaterials in the range of the sub-5 nm scale, including renal clearance, novel imaging contrast, and tissue distribution. This advanced review attempts to introduce the new strategies of rational design for engineering nanoparticles with the core sizes under 5 nm in consideration of the clinical and translational requirements. We will provide readers the update on recent discoveries of chemical, physical, and biological properties of some biocompatible sub-5 nm nanomaterials as well as their demonstrated imaging and theranostic applications, followed by sharing our perspectives on the future development of this class of nanomaterials. This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > in vivo Nanodiagnostics and Imaging Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants.
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