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THE PHARMA REVIEW (OCTOBER 2008)

Nanomedicine: Therapeutic and Diagnostic Prospects

Kamal Dua, V.K.Sharma, V.P. Yadav, A. Samad, Pranav Sharma

Abstract: The use of nanomaterials in the field of medicine by the virtue of advancement in nanotechnology has offered ample opportunities for the researchers to change the health care system dramatically for diseases like cancer. Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology that will hopefully lead to useful research tools, advanced drug delivery systems, and new ways to treat disease or repair damaged tissues and cells. Vital and significant contribution of naomedicine for the prevention,control and treatment of ceratin diseases has attracted the attention of researchers and they are trying to exploit the other potential appliactions of nanomedicines like nanonephrology etc. This paper focuses on what is known as nanomedicine, referring to the application of nanotechnology to medicine.

Nanomedicine - The Concept
Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology that will hopefully lead to useful research tools, advanced drug delivery systems, and new ways to treat disease or repair damaged tissues and cells. The approaches to nanomedicine range from the medical use of nanomaterials, to nanoelectronic biosensors, and even possible future applications of molecular nanotechnology. Current problems for nanomedicine involve understanding the issues related to toxicity and environmental impact of nanoscale materials.
 
Nanotechnology involves the creation and use of materials and devices at the level of molecules and atoms. Research in nanotechnology began with discoveries of novel physical and chemical properties of various metallic or carbon-based materials that only appear for structures at nanometer-sized dimensions. Understanding these nanoscale properties permits engineers to build new structures and use these materials in new ways. The same holds true for the biological structures inside living cells of the body. Researchers have developed powerful tools to extensively categorize the parts of cells in vivid detail, and we know a great deal about how these intracellular structures operate. Yet, scientists have still not been able to answer questions such as, "How many?" "How big?" and "How fast?" These answers must be provided to fully understand cellular structures in order to repair them or build new "nano" structures that can safely operate inside the body. This will lead to better diagnostic tools and engineered nanoscale structures for more specific treatments of diseased or damaged tissues.

 

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