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Challenges in Nanomaterials Characterization

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Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2018.00237


  • 1Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM), Portugal

Over the years, the scientific importance of nanoparticles for biomedical applications has increased. The high stability and biocompatibility, together with the low toxicity of the nanoparticles developed lead to their use as targeted drug delivery systems, bioimaging systems and biosensors. The wide ranges of nanoparticles size, from 10 nm to 1 µm, as well as their optical properties, allow them to be studied using microscopy and spectroscopy techniques. In order to be effectively used, the physicochemical properties of nanoparticle formulations need to be taken into account, namely, particle size, surface charge distribution, surface derivatization and/or loading capacity and related interactions. These properties need to be optimized considering the final nanoparticle intended biodistribution and target. In this review, we cover light scattering based techniques, namely dynamic light scattering and zeta-potential, used for the physicochemical characterization of nanoparticles. Dynamic light scattering is used to measure nanoparticles size, but also, to evaluate their stability over time in suspension at different pH and temperature conditions. Zeta-potential is used to characterize nanoparticles surface charge, obtaining information about their stability and surface interaction with other molecules. In this review, we focus nanoparticle characterization and application in infection, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: Nanoparticles, dynamic light scattering, zeta-potential, antimicrobial peptides, anticancer peptides, Cardiovascular Diseases

Received: 17 Apr 2018; Accepted: 04 Jun 2018.

Edited by:

José M. Catita, Fernando Pessoa University, Portugal

Reviewed by:

Felisa Cilurzo, Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara, Italy
Victor M. Bolanos-Garcia, Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2018 Carvalho, Felício, Santos, Gonçalves and Domingues. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: PhD. Marco Domingues, Instituto de Medicina Molecular (IMM), Avenida Professor Egas Moniz, Lisbon, 1649-028, Lisboa, Portugal,