Recent Insights into Metal and Metal-Based Nanoparticle-Induced Cytotoxicity: Exposure, Effects and Mechanisms

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Exposome Analysis and Risk Assessment".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 March 2024) | Viewed by 4498

Special Issue Editors

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedicine and Environmental Research, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, 20-708 Lublin, Poland
Interests: mechanisms of toxicity of selected elements; mechanisms of metal interactions; seeking the most sensitive biomarkers to assess organism reactions to some metals; cytotoxicity of metals; bioelements; oxidative stress; antioxidants; in vivo/in vitro studies; experimental toxicology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT), Campus de Gambelas, Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
2. CCMAR, Campus de Gambelas, Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal
Interests: metals in molecular sciences; decavanadate biochemistry; polyoxometalate (POM) interactions with proteins; metals and biomedical applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is indisputable that elements (macro/micro-elements) in concentrations exceeding their physiological level are toxic to animals and humans. It is also known that both an excess and deficiency of bioelements can result from their mutual interactions and lead to weakening of the function of a particular organ, thereby contributing to the development of various diseases. Hence, the importance of the interactions between elements must always be kept in mind. As metal ion excess can be life-threatening to humans, it is important to detect changes in the organism as early as possible and to subject the resulting disorders to a reliable assessment. Only the optimal concentration of elements ensures the proper growth, development, and metabolism of the organism. In the appropriate dose, bioelements can prevent numerous disorders, help maintain health, and support the treatment of many illnesses.

In turn, some heavy metals which are considered toxic are common pollutants of the ecosystem and pose a particular threat to human health. Their increasing concentration in recent years is one of the most onerous elements of environmental pollution. It should be emphasized that various anthropogenic activities, the rapid development of technology, and changes that are taking place in the modern world have a significant impact on both the environment and human health. For this reason, there is a need to develop methods for controlling the doses of toxic substances and the effects produced in living organisms.

Despite the tremendous knowledge of metals, many aspects of their action still need to be explained. Hence, such issues as the role of elements in the prevention of certain illnesses and their impact on the course of treatment arouse the unflagging interest of researchers from many scientific centers worldwide. The balance of elements in humans, which is complex and not fully recognized, also continues to be an exciting area of research. Moreover, studies on the effects of heavy metals (which often manifest after many years and are not yet fully understood), likewise those focused on the cytototoxicity of metal-based nanoparticles (NPs), remains at the center of interest of many scientific units as well. Moreover, polyoxometalates (POMs) nanoparticles and POMs decorated nanoparticles have garnered interest too.

As human exposure to NPs is inevitable, the assessment of their safety is gaining more attention. It should be emphasized that the widespread use of nanomaterial-based products, which are currently used in almost all areas of life, is of increasing concern to toxicologists and requires interdisciplinary research aimed at recognizing their properties and effects on the organism. A solid understanding of the properties of NPs and their effects on the body is also important from a clinical point of view and crucial to furthering knowledge in this area.

We invite authors to submit original research papers or review articles on the cytotoxic effects of metals and metal-based nanoparticles (NPs), with a focus on mechanistic insight as well as on the effects of POMs nanoparticles.  Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Unique biological effects of metals and metal-based NPs at the cellular level;
  • The most recent in vitro cytotoxicity studies of metals and metal‐based NPs;
  • Interactions of metals/metal-based NPs in the context of their cytotoxic effects;
  • Human exposure to metal-based NPs versus novel nanoparticle systems for therapeutic purpose;
  • Innovative methods/promising strategies for assessing metal‐based NP‐induced toxicity;
  • Perspectives on the safety evaluation of metal‐based NPs;
  • Metals and metal-based NPs in modern-day medicine;
  • POMs nanoparticles cancer effects;
  • POMs nanoparticles cytotoxic effects;
  • POMs nanoparticles, oxidative stress, and lipid peroxidation;
  • Current challenges in cytotoxicity studies and potential directions in further research.

Dr. Agnieszka Ścibior
Dr. Manuel Aureliano
Prof. Dr. Juan Llopis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • metals
  • metal-based NPs
  • exposure
  • cytotoxicity
  • nanotoxicology
  • nanomedicine

Published Papers (1 paper)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:


18 pages, 3469 KiB  
Evaluation of Gold Complexes to Address Bacterial Resistance, Quorum Sensing, Biofilm Formation, and Their Antiviral Properties against Bacteriophages
by Ana Marques, Sónia A. C. Carabineiro, Manuel Aureliano and Leonor Faleiro
Toxics 2023, 11(11), 879; - 26 Oct 2023
Viewed by 3700
The worldwide increase in antibiotic resistance poses a significant challenge, and researchers are diligently seeking new drugs to combat infections and prevent bacterial pathogens from developing resistance. Gold (I and III) complexes are suitable for this purpose. In this study, we tested four [...] Read more.
The worldwide increase in antibiotic resistance poses a significant challenge, and researchers are diligently seeking new drugs to combat infections and prevent bacterial pathogens from developing resistance. Gold (I and III) complexes are suitable for this purpose. In this study, we tested four gold (I and III) complexes, (1) chlorotrimethylphosphine gold(I); (2) chlorotriphenylphosphine gold(I); (3) dichloro(2-pyridinecarboxylate) gold (III); and (4) 1,3-bis(2,6-diisopropylphenyl)imidazole-2-ylidene gold(I) chloride, for their antibacterial, antibiofilm, antiviral, and anti-quorum sensing activities. Results reveal that 1 significantly inhibits Escherichia coli DSM 1077 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, while 2, 3, and 4 only inhibit S. aureus ATCC 6538. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 1 for S. aureus ATCC 6538 is 0.59 μg/mL (1.91 μM), and for methicillin-resistant S. aureus strains MRSA 12 and MRSA 15, it is 1.16 μg/mL (3.75 μM). For E. coli DSM 1077 (Gram-negative), the MIC is 4.63 μg/mL (15 μM), and for multi-resistant E. coli I731940778-1, it is 9.25 μg/mL (30 μM). Complex 1 also disrupts biofilm formation in E. coli and S. aureus after 6 h or 24 h exposure. Moreover, 1 and 2 inhibit the replication of two enterobacteria phages. Anti-quorum sensing potential still requires further clarification. These findings highlight the potential of gold complexes as effective agents to combat bacterial and viral infections. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop