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Natural-Shaped Plastic Nanoparticles Could Improve Delivery of Toxic Drugs to Tumors

Researchers from UNSW Sydney have developed a method to control the shape of polymer molecules so that they self-assemble into non-spherical nanoparticles, a [...]
Nanotechnology in medicine involves the use of nanoparticles, some of them under development, in several applications.
One application is to employ nanoparticles to deliver drugs, heat, light or other substances to specific types of cells (such a cancer cells). Particles are engineered so that they are attracted to diseased cells, which allows direct treatment of those cells. This technique reduces damage to healthy cells in the body and allows for earlier detection of disease.
Other application of nanotechnology are therapy techniques. For instance, there are “nanosponges” that absorb toxins and remove them from bloodstream. The nanosponges are polymer nanoparticles coated with a red blood cell membrane. The red blood cell membrane allows the nanosponges to travel freely in the bloodstream and attract the toxins.

Development of diagnostic techniques is another field of application: antibodies attached to carbon nanotubes are used in chips to detect cancer cells in the blood stream; other method uses gold nanorods functionalized for the early detection of kidney damage. In addition, nanorobots could be programmed to repair specific diseased cells, functioning in a similar way to antibodies in our natural healing processes, and nanoparticles are used to implant and prosthetic design too.
Antimicrobial activity of nanoparticles is the most studied and employed  property of nanotechnology, used in both medical and cosmetic applications. Therefore, advances in nanotechnology have significantly impacted in personal care products for the topical skin care: zinc oxide is used in sunscreens to block ultraviolet rays while minimizing the white coating on the skin. Other nanoparticle and proteins encapsulated in liposome nanoparticles are used to reverse aging at a cellular level.

Application Product or article Improved properties Nanomaterials
Medical and Healthcare Applications Suppositories
Wound dressing
Pregnancy tests
Cancer drugs
Novel gene sequencing technologies
Bone and neural tissue engineeringProthesis
Cell response
Viscosity and uniformity control of active ingredients
Higher thermal resistance
Higher tensile strength
Electromagnetic interference
Barrier properties
Drugs targeted release
Spinal cord injuries
Mimic crystal mineral structure of human bone
Synthetic amorphous
Cosmetics and personal care products Sunscreens
Hair care products
Baby care products
Face creams
Neurons growthEncapsulation of nanoparticles
Stability of vitamins, unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants
Controlled release of active ingredients
UV barrier
Aesthetically pleasing products (not leaving a noticeable white cast)Deeper penetration of the product
Zinc oxide
Titanium oxide
Carbon black
Synthetic amorphous silica

That’s being said on nano & medicine

  • Nanomedicines:...

    ...nanomaterials, highly appropriate to precision medicine approaches. Acknowledgements I would like to thank all contributors from industry involved with the development and delivery of this article from the TechVision Group at Frost & Sullivan. Further reading 1 Agrahari, V. and Agrahari, V., 2018. Facilitating the translation of nanomedicines to a clinical product: challenges and opportunities. Drug discovery today. 2 Etheridge, M.L., Campbell, S.A., Erdman, A.G., Haynes, C.L., Wolf, […]

  • Catalytic Ozonation...

    ...the typical pharmaceutical and personal care product and used to evaluate the catalytic activity of ZnAl2O4. Compared to ozonation, an obviously higher removal efficiency for the SSal degradation was achieved with the nanocatalyst addition in catalytic ozonation... […]

  • Nanosensors for the...

    ...nanoparticle sensors for the highly specific detection of acetylcholine in the living brain using magnetic resonance imaging. The nanosensor is composed of acetylcholine-catalyzing enzymes and pH-sensitive gadolinium contrast agents co-localized onto the surface of polymer nanoparticles, which leads to changes in T1 relaxation rate (1/T1). The mechanism of the sensor involves the enzymatic hydrolysis of acetylcholine leading to a localized decrease in pH which is detected by the pH-sensitive […]

  • Graphene...

    ...graphene oxide and upconversion nanoparticles, which could be used in the early detection of Zn deficiency in crops, sensing mRNAs encoding members of the ZIP-transporter family in crops. ZIPs are membrane transport proteins, some of which are up-regulated at the early stages of Zn deficiency, and they are part of the biological mechanism by which crops respond to nutritional deficiency. The principle of these sensors is based on the intensity of the optical output resulting from the […]

  • Nanoformulations of...

    ...Nanotechnology, focused on discovery and development of new pharmaceutical products is known as nanopharmacology, and one research area this branch is engaged in are nanopharmaceuticals. The importance of being nano has been particularly emphasized in scientific areas dealing with nanomedicine and nanopharmaceuticals. Nanopharmaceuticals, their routes of administration, obstacles and solutions concerning their improved application and enhanced efficacy have been briefly yet comprehensively […]

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