Inorganic Nanomaterials: A Brief Overview of the Applications and Developments in Sensing and Drug Delivery

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, Imam Hussein University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Medical Biotechnology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Recent investigations have been shown that inorganic nanomaterials including gold nanoparticles, nonporous and mesoporous silica nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticles, and quantum dots have shown great potential in bioimaging, targeted drug delivery, and cancer therapies. Biocompatibility, ease of synthesis, and ease of surface functionalization are among the significant properties of nonporous and mesoporous silica nanoparticles in various nanomedicine applications. Quantum dots due to their high brightness, long-lasting, wide and continuous absorption spectra, and high fluorescent quantum yield are being used as the new optical probes for bioassays. In addition about gold nanoparticles, the ease of preparation, stability, low cytotoxicity, and high extinction coefficient of light from visible to NIR regions are some properties that introduced them as important candidates in cancer drug and nanocarrier development. As a specific type of inorganic nanomaterials, magnetic nanoparticles that exhibit super paramagnetic are capable of being used as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging, site-specific gene and drug delivery, and diagnostic agents in the presence of an external magnetic field. This review will present the physicochemical properties of most popular inorganic nanoparticles and their recent applications in sensing and drug delivery.