The Impact of Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles on Male (In)Fertility


Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are among nanoscale materials, attracting increasing attention owing to their exceptional set of characteristics, which makes these engineered nanoparticles a great option for improving the quality and effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment. The capacity of ZnO NPs to induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, DNA damage, and apoptosis represents a promise for their use in both cancer therapy and microbial treatment. However, their intrinsic toxicity together with their easy entrance and accumulation in organism have raised some concerns regarding the biomedical use of these NPs. Several studies have reported that ZnO NPs might induce cytotoxic effects on the male reproductive system, compromising male fertility. Despite some advances in this area, the knowledge of the effects of ZnO NPs on male fertility is still scarce. Overall, a brief outline of the major ZnO NPs biomedical applications and promises in terms of diagnostic and therapeutic use will also be explored. Further, this review intends to discuss the effect of ZnO NPs exposure on the male reproductive system and speculate their effects on male (in)fertility.




Materials Science


Pinho, AR; Rebelo, S; Pereira, MD

nossos autores


This work was supported by the Instituto de Biomedicina -iBiMED (UIDB/04501/2020 and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007628); and the Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (FCT) of the Ministerio da Educacao e Ciencia, the COMPETE program, QREN, and the EU (Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional). The authors acknowledge support from the project 'Wisdom-Impact of wide-spread proteome aggregation through aging in mammals and implications for the development of age-related diseases' (PTDC/BTM-TEC/29843/2017) and the Integrated Programme of SR&TD 'pAGE-Protein aggregation across lifespan' (CENTRO-01-0145-FEDER-000003), co-funded by Centro 2020 Program, Portugal 2020, EU, through the European Regional Development Fund. This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020 & UIDP/50011/2020, financed by national funds through the FCT/MEC, and when appropriate co-financed by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement.

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