The Self-Adaptation Ability of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles Enables Reliable Cancer Treatments




Taylor, Zane
Marucho, Marcelo

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Optimal procedures for reliable anti-cancer treatments involve the systematic delivery of zinc oxide nanoparticles, which spread through the circulatory system. The success of these procedures may largely depend on the NPs' ability of self-adapting their physicochemical properties to overcome the different challenges facing at each stage on its way to the interior of a cancerous cell. In this article, we combine a multiscale approach, a unique nanoparticle model, and available experimental data to characterize the behavior of zinc oxide nanoparticles under different vessels rheology, pH levels, and biological environments. We investigate their ability to prevent aggregation, allow prolonged circulation time in the bloodstream, avoid clearance, conduct themselves through the capillarity system to reach damaged tissues, and selectively approach to target cancerous cells. Our results show that non-functionalized spherical zinc oxide nanoparticles with surface density N = 5.89 × 10(−6) mol/m2 , protonation and deprotonation rates pKa = 10.9 and pKb = −5.5, and NP size in the range of 20–50 nm are the most effective, smart anti-cancer agents for biomedical treatments.



zinc oxide nanoparticles, electrical double layer, smart anti-cancer agents, cancer therapy, nanomedicine


Nanomaterials 10 (2): 269 (2020)


Physics and Astronomy