Document Type

Capstone Experience

Graduation Date


Degree Name

Master of Public Health


Environmental, Agricultural & Occupational Health

First Committee Member

JoEllyn McMillan PhD

Second Committee Member

Terry Stentz PhD

Third Committee Member

Kelli Kopocis PhD


Silica Dioxide nanoparticles (SiO₂-NP) have become increasingly ubiquitous in industry, which has stimulated research into the potential toxicity of these compounds. Recent studies have explored the association between amorphous silica nanoparticle exposure and the potential for neurotoxicity. Additionally, research has been conducted in the application of SiO₂-NP’s in theranostics and as drug directing agents , which based on current literature may be contraindicated for individuals with conditions such as Parkinson's Disease (PD) which is characterized by neuroinflammation. The following literature review will discuss evidence for silica dioxide nanoparticle exposure to induce neurotoxicity which may exacerbate neurodegenerative diseases such as PD. The following study selected articles based on the criteria of known neurological pathologies seen in PD and utilized in-vitro neuronal cell exposure assessment research to derive conclusions. SiO₂-NP dose-response in-vitro models demonstrated significant damage to astrocytes, dopaminergic neurons, and upregulated apoptosis. The systematic review provides insight into the general exposure risk to SiO₂-NP’s for the PD population and proposes safety considerations for SiO₂-NP biomedical applications.