Qinjuan Ren1,§, Si Sun1,§, and Xiao-Dong Zhang1,2 (✉)
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1 Department of Physics and Tianjin Key Laboratory of Low Dimensional Materials Physics and Preparing Technology, School of Sciences, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300350, China 2 Tianjin Key Laboratory of Brain Science and Neural Engineering, Academy of Medical Engineering and Translational Medicine, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China § Qinjuan Ren and Si Sun contributed equally to this work.
Homeostasis of gut microbiota is extremely essential for maintaining nutrient metabolism and regulating immunological function.
The increasing evidence suggests that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is strongly associated with dysregulation of gut microbiota.
During activated inflammation, excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) produced by
inflammatory cells play a detrimental role in regulating IBD and gut microbiota. ROS/RNS cause damage to the surrounding tissues,
including nutrient absorption disorders, intestinal dysmotility and barrier dysfunction. Meanwhile, ROS/RNS provide terminal electron
receptors for anaerobic respiration and support the bloom of facultative anaerobes, eventually causing gut microbiota dysbiosis.
Redox-active nanoparticles (NPs) with catalytic properties or enzyme-like activities can effectively scavenge ROS/RNS, and
selectively target inflamed sites via ultrasmall size-mediated enhanced permeation and retention (EPR) effect, showing great potential
to regulate IBD and maintain the homeostasis of gut microbiota. In addition, the widespread application of NPs in commercial products
has increased their accumulation in healthy organisms, and the biological effects on normal microbiota resulting from long-term
exposure of NPs to gastrointestinal tract also need attention.