Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:


Nanoparticles versus the placenta

Pregnant mice treated 70-nm silica nanoparticles or 35-nm titanium dioxide nanoparticles suffer damage to the placenta and fetus, whereas larger nanoparticles do not have an adverse impact.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Nanoparticles (shown in red) injected into the maternal blood supply (top) must pass through three layers of trophoblast cells to enter the fetal blood.


  1. Saunders, M. WIREs Nanomed. Nanobiotechnol. 1, 671–684 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Menezes, A., Malek, A. & Keelan, J. A. Curr. Pharm. Biotechnol. (2011).

  3. Tsuchiya, T. et al. FEBS Lett. 393, 139–145 (1996).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Fujimoto, A. et al. Environ. Toxicol. 20, 431–440 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Takeda, K. et al. J. Health Sci. 55, 95–102 (2009).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Semmler-Behnke, M. et al. Small 4, 2108–2111 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Yamashita, K. et al. Nature Nanotech. 6, 321–328 (2011).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Myllynen, P. K. et al. Reprod. Toxicol. 26, 130–137 (2008).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Wick, P. et al. Environ. Health Perspect. 118, 432–436 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Nabeshi, H. et al. Nanoscale Res. Lett. 6, 93–98 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jeffrey A. Keelan.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Keelan, J. Nanoparticles versus the placenta. Nature Nanotech 6, 263–264 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing