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Action of Nanoparticles on Platelet Activation and Plasmatic Coagulation

[ Vol. 23 , Issue. 5 ]


Eleonore Fröhlich   Pages 408 - 430 ( 23 )


Nanomaterials can get into the blood circulation after injection or by release from implants but also by permeation of the epithelium after oral, respiratory or dermal exposure. Once in the blood, they can affect hemostasis, which is usually not intended. This review addresses effects of biological particles and engineered nanomaterials on hemostasis. The role of platelets and coagulation in normal clotting and the interaction with the immune system are described. Methods to identify effects of nanomaterials on clotting and results from in vitro and in vivo studies are summarized and the role of particle size and surface properties discussed. The literature overview showed that mainly pro-coagulative effects of nanomaterials have been described. In vitro studies suggested stronger effects of smaller than of larger NPs on coagulation and a greater importance of material than of surface charge. For instance, carbon nanotubes, polystyrene particles, and dendrimers inferred with clotting independent from their surface charge. Coating of particles with polyethylene glycol was able to prevent interaction with clotting by some particles, while it had no effect on others and the more recently developed bio-inspired surfaces might help to design coatings for more biocompatible particles. The mainly pro-coagulative action of nanoparticles could present a particular risk for individuals affected by common diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Under standardized conditions, in vitro assays using human blood appear to be a suitable tool to study mechanisms of interference with hemostasis and to optimize hemocompatibility of nanomaterials.


Nanoparticles, platelets, plasmatic coagulation, hemostasis, nanotoxicology.


Center for Medical Research, Medical University of Graz, Stiftingtalstr 24, 8010 Graz, Austria.

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