Silica nanoparticles are an emerging class of biomaterials which may be used as diagnostic and therapeutic tools for biomedical applications. In particular, hollow silica nanoshells are attractive due to their hollow core. Approximately 70% of a 500 nm nanoshell is hollow, thereforemore particles can be administered on a mg/kg basis compared to solid nanoparticles. Additionally, their nanoporous shell permits influx/efflux of gases and small molecules. Since the size, shape, and composition of a nanoparticle can dramatically alter its toxicity and biodistribution, the toxicology of these nanomaterials was assessed. A single dose toxicity study was performed in vivo to assess the toxicity of 500 nm iron-doped silica nanoshells at clinically relevant doses of 10-20 mg/kg. This study showed that only a trace amount of silica was detected in the body 10 weeks post-administration. The hematology, biochemistry and pathological results show that the nanoshells exhibit no acute or chronic toxicity in mice.