Genotoxicity of amorphous silica nanoparticles: Status and prospects

Nanomedicine. 2019 Feb;16:106-125. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2018.11.013. Epub 2018 Dec 7.


Amorphous silica nanoparticles (SNPs) are widely used in biomedical applications and consumer products. Little is known, however, about their genotoxicity and potential to induce gene expression regulation. Despite recent efforts to study the underlying mechanisms of genotoxicity of SNPs, inconsistent results create a challenge. A variety of factors determine particle-cell interactions and underlying mechanisms. Further, high-throughput studies are required to carefully assess the impact of silica nanoparticle physicochemical properties on induction of genotoxic response in different cell lines and animal models. In this article, we review the strategies available for evaluation of genotoxicity of nanoparticles (NPs), survey current status of silica nanoparticle gene alteration and genotoxicity, discuss particle-mediated inflammation as a contributing factor to genotoxicity, identify existing gaps and suggest future directions for this research.

Keywords: Gene expression profile; Genotoxicity; Inflammation; Silica nanoparticles; Structure–activity relationship.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Nanoparticles / toxicity*
  • Silicon Dioxide / chemistry*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Silicon Dioxide