Calcifying nanoparticles (CNPs) are particles smaller (80-500nm) than known bacteria and have bacteria-like features (membrane structures, in two division, colony formation). CNPs have shown in human and animal sera, human’s pathological calcifications (kidney stones, dental pulp stones, heart valve calcifications, arterial calcifications, psammoma bodies in ovarian cancer, etc.), the nature’s calcifications (travertines, etc.) and Mars meteors. CNPs are able to grow in Dulbecco's modified eagle medium (DMEM), can be examined by transmission and scanning electron microscopes (TEM, SEM).
Previously CNPs were known as small bacteria (nanobacteria) that cause calcifications by precipitating calcium and phosphate crystals into the capsules. In recent years, the opinion that CNPs are complex structures consisting of protein and minerals has become more important. According to this opinion some proteins (such as albumin, fetuin) known as the physiological inhibitor of calcification cause to work CNPs as a nidus for calcification and the formation of hydroxy apatite crystals. Despite the known, unknowns are still the majority about CNPs. We also aimed to emphasize with this article, the need for new studies about CNPs that are thought to have the roles in pathological calcifications.
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.