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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
Tablets
Creams
Pregnancy tests
Cancer drugs
Novel gene sequencing technologies
Bone and neural tissue engineeringProthesis
Antibacterial
Antimicrobial
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
Silver
Gold
Synthetic amorphous
Nanoribbons
Graphene
Cosmetics and personal care products Sunscreens
Make-ups
Moisturisers
Hair care products
Toothpaste
Deodorants
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
Silver
Carbon black
Fullerenes
Synthetic amorphous silica

That’s being said on nano & medicine


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