Perspectives of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Medicine and Pharmacy
Nanotechnology has now reached the status of being one of the key areas in investigation attracting researchers in the twenty-first century in their endeavours to make use of the unique characteristics of atomic and molecular assemblages constructed at nanoscale. The ability to manipulate the physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles offers researchers the possibility of designing and using nanomaterials rationally in diverse applications.
Through their own merits, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology have become one of the latest bastions of revolutionary events in Science and Technology. The still young field of Nanoscience has seen considerable advances. Thus, nanoparticles of different nature are used in a variety of disciplines, from Medicine to Physics, Biology or Chemistry, whose development has been boosted by the increasingly in-depth knowledge of nanomaterials. Today a broad range of synthesis procedures has been described, aimed at the preparation of nanoparticles with a tight size distribution that have been used as functional building blocks in the development of superstructures with novel properties and applications.
The possibility of applying nanomaterials to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases makes nanomedicine one of the most attractive areas of nanotechnology. The application of nanomaterials in molecular imaging, drug delivery, and therapeutic interventions promises to have a positive impact in this area owing to the unique properties of nanoparticles, which will allow them to overcome cellular and physiological barriers.
In this context, one particular field that has gained advantage due to the nanotechnology revolution is pharmacy. A new distinctive discipline has since evolved, namely nanopharmacy. Nanopharmacy involves the preparation and delivery of ultra-small pharmaceuticals or therapeutic substances in the molecular and nanometer (nm) size range (preferably 1 to 100 nm) to the desired site of action in the human body, without affecting healthy organs and tissues. The importance of this science lies in the fact that almost 95% of the actual discovered drugs present poor pharmacokinetics and bioavailability properties.
The aim of nanopharmacy is to improve drug pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, non-specific toxicity, immunogenicity and the biorecognition of systems in order to attain maximum efficacy and minimum undesirable side effects. To achieve this aim, drug formulation, thr route of administration and specific targeting are the major parameters considered.
KEYWORDS & TOPICS
Nanomedicine; Nanopharmacy; Nanoparticles; Nanomaterials; Diagnosis; Therapy; Drug Delivery; Biofunctionalization; Nanotoxicology; Regulation.
Title: Nanobiosensors in diagnostics
Speaker: Arben Merkoçi
Institution: Instituto Catalán de Nanotecnología, Spain.
Title: Identifying molecular signatures of tumor dormancy as a basis for the rational design of precision nanomedicines
Speaker: Ronit Satchi-Fainaro
Institution: Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.
Title: Designing Hybrid Nanoparticles for Therapy and Diagnosis
Speaker: Jesús M. de la Fuente
Institution: Institute of Nanoscience of Aragon, University of Zaragoza, Spain.
Names: Profª. Dra. Dª. María Jesús Almendral Parra
Institution: Universidad de Salamanca, Spain.