Biodegradation of the ZnO: Eu nanoparticles in the tissues of adult mouse after alimentary application

Paula Kielbik*, Jaroslaw Kaszewski, Julita Rosowska, Ewelina Wolska, Bartłomiej S. Witkowski, Mikolaj A. Gralak, Zdzisław Gajewski, Marek Godlewski, Michal M. Godlewski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Biodegradable zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are considered promising materials for future biomedical applications. To fulfil this potential, biodistribution and elimination patterns of ZnO NPs in the living organism need to be resolved. In order to investigate gastrointestinal absorption of ZnO NPs and their intra-organism distribution, water suspension of ZnO or fluorescent ZnO:Eu (Europium-doped zinc oxide) NPs (10 mg/ml; 0.3 ml/mouse) was alimentary-administered (IG: intra-gastric) to adult mice. Internal organs collected at key time-points after IG were evaluated by AAS for Zn concentration and analysed by cytometric techniques. We found that Zn-based NPs were readily absorbed and distributed (3 h post IG) in the nanoparticle form throughout the organism. Results suggest, that liver and kidneys were key organs responsible for NPs elimination, while accumulation was observed in the spleen and adipose tissues. We also showed that ZnO/ZnO:Eu NPs were able to cross majority of biological barriers in the organism (including blood–brain-barrier).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-852
Number of pages10
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • ZnO:Eu
  • nanoparticles
  • blood–organ barriers
  • nanoparticle circulation
  • biodegradation


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