Toxicity Assessment of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles upon Intravenous Injection in Mice: Implications for Drug Delivery

Academic Article


  • Nanoparticles are popular tools utilized to selectively deliver drugs and contrast agents for identification and treatment of disease. To determine the usefulness and translational potential of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), further evaluations of toxicity are required. MSNs are among the most utilized nano-delivery systems due to ease of synthesis, pore structure, and functionalization. This study aims to elucidate toxicity as a result of intravenous injection of 25 nm MSNs coated with chitosan (C) or polyethylene glycol (PEG) in mice. Following acute and chronic injections, blood was evaluated for standard blood chemistry and complete blood count analyses. Blood chemistry results primarily indicated that no abnormalities were present following acute or chronic injections of MSNs, or C/PEG-coated MSNs. After four weekly administered treatments, vital organs showed minor exacerbation of pre-existing lesions in the 35KPEG-MSN and moderate exacerbation of pre-existing lesions in uncoated MSN and 2KPEG-MSN treatment groups. In contrast, C-MSN treatment groups had minimal changes compared to controls. This study suggests 25 nm MSNs coated with chitosan should elicit minimal toxicity when administered as either single or multiple intravenous injections, but MSNs coated with PEG, especially 2KPEG may exacerbate pre-existing vascular conditions. Further studies should evaluate varying sizes and types of nanoparticles to provide a better overall understanding on the relation between nanoparticles and in vivo toxicity.
  • Published In

  • Pharmaceutics  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Maccuaig WM; Samykutty A; Foote J; Luo W; Filatenkov A; Li M; Houchen C; Grizzle WE; McNally LR
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 5