Biological and Medical Applications of Calcium Phosphate Nanoparticles

Chemistry. 2021 May 12;27(27):7471-7488. doi: 10.1002/chem.202005257. Epub 2021 Mar 16.


Calcium phosphate nanoparticles have a high biocompatibility and biodegradability due to their chemical similarity to human hard tissue, for example, bone and teeth. They can be used as efficient carriers for different kinds of biomolecules such as nucleic acids, proteins, peptides, antibodies, or drugs, which alone are not able to enter cells where their biological effect is required. They can be loaded with cargo molecules by incorporating them, unlike solid nanoparticles, and also by surface functionalization. This offers protection, for example, against nucleases, and the possibility for cell targeting. If such nanoparticles are functionalized with fluorescing dyes, they can be applied for imaging in vitro and in vivo. Synthesis, functionalization and cell uptake mechanisms of calcium phosphate nanoparticles are discussed together with applications in transfection, gene silencing, imaging, immunization, and bone substitution. Biodistribution data of calcium phosphate nanoparticles in vivo are reviewed.

Keywords: calcium phosphate; drug delivery; gene therapy; nanomedicine; nanoparticles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles*
  • Nucleic Acids*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Transfection


  • Calcium Phosphates
  • Nucleic Acids