Physicochemical Characterization of Polymer Nanoparticles: Challenges and Present Limitations

  • Jeffrey D. Clogston
  • Rachael M. Crist
  • Scott E. McNeilEmail author


The biocompatibility, including aspects such as biodistribution, clearance, and immunotoxicity, of a nanoparticle depends upon its physicochemical properties. Characteristics such as size, charge, and hydrophobicity are well-known parameters influencing the biological compatibility of in vivo administered nanoparticles. Measurement and evaluation of these and other parameters, however, are not always straightforward. This chapter describes six critical areas for nanoparticle characterization, especially as pertaining to polymer nanoparticles intended as therapeutics: starting polymer characterization, nanoparticle size, nanoparticle surface properties, drug loading and release, nanoparticle stability, and batch-to-batch reproducibility. The challenges and limitations of the most common techniques used in assessment of these parameters are described.


Nanoparticles Physicochemical characterization Polymer nanoparticles Polymers 



This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, National Institutes of Health, under contract HHSN261200800001E. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US Government.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey D. Clogston
    • 1
  • Rachael M. Crist
    • 1
  • Scott E. McNeil
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, Cancer Research Technology Program, Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc.Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer ResearchFrederickUSA

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