Ultrapure laser-synthesized Si-based nanomaterials for biomedical applications: in vivo assessment of safety and biodistribution


  • Baati Tarek
  • Al-Kattan Ahmed
  • Esteve Marie-Anne
  • Njim Leila
  • Ryabchikov Yury
  • Chaspoul Florence
  • Hammami Mohamed
  • Sentis Marc
  • Kabashin Andrei
  • Braguer Diane

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Si/SiO x nanoparticles (NPs) produced by laser ablation in deionized water or aqueous biocompatible solutions present a novel extremely promising object for biomedical applications, but the interaction of these NPs with biological systems has not yet been systematically examined. Here, we present the first comprehensive study of biodistribution, biodegradability and toxicity of laser-synthesized Si-SiO x nanoparticles using a small animal model. Despite a relatively high dose of Si-NPs (20 mg/kg) administered intravenously in mice, all controlled parameters (serum, enzymatic, histological etc.) were found to be within safe limits 3 h, 24 h, 48 h and 7 days after the administration. We also determined that the nanoparticles are rapidly sequestered by the liver and spleen, then further biodegraded and directly eliminated in urine without any toxicity effects. Finally, we found that intracellular accumulation of Si-NPs does not induce any oxidative stress damage. Our results evidence a huge potential in using these safe and biodegradable NPs in biomedical applications, in particular as vectors, contrast agents and sensitizers in cancer therapy and diagnostics (theranostics).

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