Background: As nanomaterials possess attractive physicochemical properties, immense
research efforts have been channeled towards their development for biological and
biomedical applications. In particular, zinc nanomaterials (nZnOs) have shown great potential
for use in in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, and as tools for novel antimicrobial treatment,
thereby capitalizing on their unique antimicrobial effects.
Methods: We conducted a literature search using databases to retrieve the relevant articles
related to the synthesis, properties and current applications of nZnOs in the diagnosis and
treatment of diseases. A total of 86 publications were selected for inclusion in this review.
Results: Besides studies on the properties and the methodology for the synthesis of nZnOs,
many studies have focused on the application of nZnOs as delivery agents, biosensors and antimicrobial
agents, as well as in bioimaging.
Conclusion: This review gives an overview of the current development of nZnOs for their
potential use as theranostic agents. However, more comprehensive studies are needed to better
assess the valuable contributions and the safety of nZnOs in nanomedicine.