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Potential Ecotoxicological Risk of Nanopharmaceuticals in the Aquatic Environment

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Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW,volume 47)

Abstract

Nanopharmaceuticals are an emerging innovative domain of research that integrates nanotechnology and biotechnology applications. This technological development will permit producing unique nanopharmaceutical compounds used in the medical field, particularly in drug delivery. This book chapter focuses on organic (polymeric and lipid nanoparticles, dendrimers) and inorganic (magnetic nanoparticles and quantum dots) materials used to produce nanopharmaceuticals with different characteristics such as size, structure, chemical composition, and behavior enabling their use in different fields, one of which the drug delivery systems. Within drug delivery systems, special emphasis is given to vesicular (liposomes) and nanoparticulate carriers as they are the most explored at the market level. The biotechnological development, main features, and examples of applications of some types of nanostructures are discussed. Moreover, data available on sources, pathways, and effects of nanopharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment are discussed, with special emphasis on the environmental impact of these nanopharmaceuticals to the aquatic environment. Results indicate that there is no standard protocol for ecotoxicological testing and limited information exists on environmental impact assessment of nanopharmaceuticals. Thus, human and environmental safety guidelines are urgently needed to protect both the human health and the environment.

Keywords

  • Aquatic organisms
  • Biomarkers
  • Drug delivery
  • Ecotoxicity
  • Environmental risk assessment
  • Nanopharmaceuticals
  • Nanotoxicology
  • Public health

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by National Portuguese funding through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia – through projects UID/BIM/04773/2013, UID/MAR/00350/2019 and UID/Multi/04326/2013.

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Correspondence to Maria João Bebianno .

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Bebianno, M.J., Rocha, T.L., Pontes, J.F., Amaral, A.C., Grenha, A. (2021). Potential Ecotoxicological Risk of Nanopharmaceuticals in the Aquatic Environment. In: Yata, V., Ranjan, S., Dasgupta, N., Lichtfouse, E. (eds) Nanopharmaceuticals: Principles and Applications Vol. 2. Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World, vol 47. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-44921-6_8

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