Nanoparticles can be engineered with distinctive composition, size, shape, and surface chemistry to enable novel techniques in a wide range of biological applications. The unique properties of nanoparticles and their behavior in biological milieu also enable exciting and integrative approaches to studying fundamental biological questions. This review will provide an overview of various types of nanoparticles and concepts of targeting nanoparticles. We will also discuss the advantages and recent applications of using nanoparticles as tools for drug delivery, imaging, sensing, and for the understanding of basic biological processes.
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