Surfactants, whose existence has been recognized as early as 2800 BC, have had a long history with the development of human civilization. With the rapid development of nanotechnology in the latter half of the 20th century, breakthroughs in nanomedicine and food nanotechnology using nanoparticles have been remarkable, and new applications have been developed. The technology of surfactant-coated nanoparticles, which provides new functions to nanoparticles for use in the fields of nanomedicine and food nanotechnology, is attracting a lot of attention in the fields of basic research and industry. This review systematically describes these “surfactant-coated nanoparticles” through various sections in order: 1) surfactants, 2) surfactant-coated nanoparticles, application of surfactant-coated nanoparticles to 3) nanomedicine, and 4) food nanotechnology. Furthermore, current progress and problems of the technology using surfactant-coated nanoparticles through recent research reports have been discussed.
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