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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 746960, 11 pages
Research Article

Control of In Vivo Transport and Toxicity of Nanoparticles by Tea Melanin

1Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, China Medical University and Hospital, 91 Hsueh Shih Road, Taichung 404, Taiwan
3College of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
4Institute of Chemical Kinetics & Combustion, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia
5Institute of Electrical Control Engineering, National Chiao Tung University, 1001 University Road, EE772, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan
6Institute of Organic Chemistry, Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk 630090, Russia

Received 5 April 2012; Accepted 14 May 2012

Academic Editor: Xiaoming Li

Copyright © 2012 Yu-Shiun Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nanoparticles are unfamiliar to researchers in toxicology. Toxicity may be generated simply due to the reduction in size. Compounds that prevent or cure toxic materials may not work on nanoparticles. Furthermore, as there are more and more applications of nanoparticles in drug delivery and in vivo imaging, controlling the transport and toxicity will be primary concerns for medical application of nanoparticles. Gold nanoparticles (GNPs) if injected intraperitoneally into mice can enter hippocampus and induce cognitive impairment. GNPs caused a global imbalance of monoamine levels, specifically affecting the dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons. Pretreatment of tea melanin significantly prevented the deposition of GNPs in mouse brains, especially in the hippocampus. Pretreatment of melanin completely alleviated GNP-induced impairment of cognition. Pre-administration of melanin stably maintained monoamines at normal profiles. Melanin completely prevented the invasion of GNPs into the Cornu Ammonis region of the hippocampus shown by coherent anti-Stoke Raman scattering microscopy. Here we show that the administration of tea melanin prevented the accumulation of Au in brain, the imbalance of monoamines, and the impairment of cognition in mice. The current study provides a therapeutic approach to toxicity of nanoparticles and a novel strategy to control the transport of GNP in mouse brain.