Organ biodistribution, clearance, and genotoxicity of orally administered zinc oxide nanoparticles in mice

Ching Hao Li, Chuan Chou Shen, Yu Wen Cheng, Shih Hsuan Huang, Chung Che Wu, Chen Chieh Kao, Jiunn Wang Liao, Jaw Jou Kang

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139 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding tissue biodistribution and clearance of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) is necessary for its risk assessment. Both fed and intraperitoneally injected ZnO-NPs (2.5 g/kg) were absorbed into circulation (within 30 min post-dosing), then biodistributed to the liver, spleen, and kidney. Intraperitoneally injected ZnO-NPs remained in serum for 72 h and could more effectively spread to the heart, lung, and testes, whereas the clearance for fed ZnO-NPs in serum began 6 h after oral administration. Compared with zinc oxide microparticles (ZnO-MPs), ZnO-NPs exhibited much higher absorptivity and tissue biodistribution in fed treatment. A greater fraction of fed ZnO-NPs localised in the liver resulted in transient histopathological lesions. However, superoxide generation and cytotoxicity were showed in vitro treatment with ZnO-NPs (above 20 μg/mL). Considering both in vitro and in vivo data, the ZnO-NPs induced acute liver toxicity which was in compliance with its absorption, biodistribution, and clearance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-756
Number of pages11
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012



  • Absorption
  • Biodistribution
  • Clearance
  • Nanoparticles
  • Zinc oxide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Toxicology

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