Nanotechnology, nanotoxicology, and neuroscience

Won Hyuk Suh, Kenneth S. Suslick, Galen D. Stucky, Yoo Hun Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Nanotechnology, which deals with features as small as a 1 billionth of a meter, began to enter into mainstream physical sciences and engineering some 20 years ago. Recent applications of nanoscience include the use of nanoscale materials in electronics, catalysis, and biomedical research. Among these applications, strong interest has been shown to biological processes such as blood coagulation control and multimodal bioimaging, which has brought about a new and exciting research field called nanobiotechnology. Biotechnology, which itself also dates back ∼30 years, involves the manipulation of macroscopic biological systems such as cells and mice in order to understand why and how molecular level mechanisms affect specific biological functions, e.g., the role of APP (amyloid precursor protein) in Alzheimer's disease (AD). This review aims (1) to introduce key concepts and materials from nanotechnology to a non-physical sciences community; (2) to introduce several state-of-the-art examples of current nanotechnology that were either constructed for use in biological systems or that can, in time, be utilized for biomedical research; (3) to provide recent excerpts in nanotoxicology and multifunctional nanoparticle systems (MFNPSs); and (4) to propose areas in neuroscience that may benefit from research at the interface of neurobiologically important systems and nanostructured materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-170
Number of pages38
JournalProgress in Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Engineered nanomaterials
  • Multifunctional nanoparticle
  • Nano-bio interface
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanoscience
  • Nanostructured
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Neurobiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Toxicology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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