Laser-synthesized TiN nanoparticles for biomedical applications: Evaluation of safety, biodistribution and pharmacokinetics

Ivan V. Zelepukin, Anton A. Popov, Victoria O. Shipunova, Gleb V. Tikhonowski, Aziz B. Mirkasymov, Elena A. Popova-Kuznetsova, Sergey M. Klimentov, Andrei V. Kabashin, Sergey M. Deyev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Having plasmonic absorption within the biological transparency window, titanium nitride (TiN) nanoparticles (NPs) can potentially outperform gold counterparts in phototheranostic applications, but characteristics of available TiN NPs are still far from required parameters. Recently emerged laser-ablative synthesis opens up opportunities to match these parameters as it makes possible the production of ultrapure low size-dispersed spherical TiN NPs, capable of generating a strong phototherapy effect under 750–800 nm excitation. This study presents the first assessment of toxicity, biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of laser-synthesized TiN NPs. Tests in vitro using 8 cell lines from different tissues evidenced safety of both as-synthesized and PEG-coated NPs (TiN-PEG NPs). After systemic administration in mice, they mainly accumulated in liver and spleen, but did not cause any sign of toxicity or organ damage up to concentration of 6 mg kg−1, which was confirmed by the invariability of blood biochemical parameters, weight and hemotoxicity examination. The NPs demonstrated efficient passive accumulation in EMT6/P mammary tumor, while concentration of TiN-PEG NPs was 2.2-fold higher due to “stealth” effect yielding 7-times longer circulation in blood. The obtained results evidence high safety of laser-synthesized TiN NPs for biological systems, which promises a major advancement of phototheranostic modalities on their basis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111717
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Biodistribution
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pulsed laser ablation in liquids (PLAL)
  • Titanium nitride (TiN) nanoparticles
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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