Applications of zero-valent silicon nanostructures in biomedicine.

Nanomedicine (London, England)

PubMedID: 26295171

Kafshgari MH, Voelcker NH, Harding FJ. Applications of zero-valent silicon nanostructures in biomedicine. Nanomedicine (Lond). 2015;10(16):2553-71.
Zero-valent, or elemental, silicon nanostructures exhibit a number of properties that render them attractive for applications in nanomedicine. These materials hold significant promise for improving existing diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. This review summarizes some of the essential aspects of the fabrication techniques used to generate these fascinating nanostructures, comparing their material properties and suitability for biomedical applications. We examine the literature in regards to toxicity, biocompatibility and biodistribution of silicon nanoparticles, nanowires and nanotubes, with an emphasis on surface modification and its influence on cell adhesion and endocytosis. In the final part of this review, our attention is focused on current applications of the fabricated silicon nanostructures in nanomedicine, specifically examining drug and gene delivery, bioimaging and biosensing.