Home / Utopia / Nanomedicine is Bringing a New Era to Fighting Diseases

Nanomedicine is Bringing a New Era to Fighting Diseases

by | May 14, 2022 | Technology, Utopia




Every 5 seconds someone dies of cancer. At least one-third of us living on Earth today will develop cancer during life. And in many cases, our best weapon against the disease is chemotherapy, where a drug is injected into the patient’s bloodstream to kill the rapidly dividing cells. But the problem is that the drug spreads to the entire body and damages our healthy cells also which causes all the side effects.

When the chemotherapy spread throughout the body, only a small portion as little as 0.01% of the dose reaches the disease. It is like sending out firefighters (drugs) to fight fire (cancer) but without a fire truck. Over 99% of these firefighters never make it to the fire because they lack transportation and tools to take them to the location they’re aiming for.

Hence, a change is needed because things have not been working that well. Researchers and practitioners want to deliver more drugs to diseases and less to the rest of the body. That way they can reduce the dose as well as the side effects without compromising the good effects of the treatment. So nanotechnology seems to be a viable solution to this problem.

Nanoparticles can function as a carrier and necessary equipment to bring the drugs to the heart of the diseases. They are the fire trucks which is loaded with drugs. In 2018 the National Foundation for Cancer Research announced a potential breakthrough in terms of delivering drugs to cancerous cells with extreme precision. A new field of “nanomedicine” has emerged to diagnose and treat a wide variety of diseases.  So what exactly are nanomedicines?

What is nanomedicine?

Nanomedicines are drugs shaped to target specific cells and tissues. Nanotechnology allows them to recognize the cells they are meant to target and avoid healthy ones. This technology is being used to develop drugs for various medical conditions, including cancer. The use of nanotechnology in medicine is changing the face of health care.

From complicated drugs to nanobots, these innovations are changing the way medicine is practiced and understood. Nanoparticles are materials with overall dimensions in the nanoscale (less than 100 nm). They are a major player in contemporary medicine, from using them as contrast agents in medical imaging to delivering genetic information into individual cells.

Using molecular assemblers, nanomedicine has the potential to improve drug delivery, enhance efficiency and minimize side effects. This technology can also help doctors to target drugs at the site of disease and stimulate the body’s repair mechanisms. Research in nanomedicine is aimed at artificially activating adult stem cells to treat different diseases.

Although the field is focused on cancer, it is also showing promising signs of progress in many other areas. While the approval rate of cancer treatments is still above 50%, clinical trials are increasing for pain relief, infectious diseases and vaccination. There are also new indications for nanomedicine, including the treatment of eye and neural system diseases, as well as genetic diseases.

nanotechnology in action against disease cell
Image courtesy by Nature.com

Nanomedicine uses natural biopolymers, such as proteins, for drug delivery. Nanoparticles are biodegradable, non-toxic and widely available. These particles are easily functionalized and nanocarriers can pass through cell membranes. Some can also be programmed to release drugs only when they are needed.

It is also possible to use nanoparticles that can change the environment inside a cell. Besides that, there are many other uses for nanotechnology in medicine. It can be used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Many large companies are already involved in medical nanotechnology. They help promising startups develop novel concepts and bring them to market.

Why do we need nanomedicine?

Scientists use nanomedicine to deliver drugs to the body in a precise way. These tiny particles can also improve imaging technologies. This technology is also poised to revolutionize the way we monitor the progress of disease and identify early symptoms. Nanomedicines have the potential to change the course of treatment for millions of patients.

Nanomedicine is becoming an increasingly important tool in the development of cancer therapeutics. Nanoparticles are small enough to bypass the liver and still deliver therapeutics to the disease. They also have properties that make them tunable in size. A nanoparticle with tunable size can have a variety of functions, from detecting a tumor to monitoring its response to therapies.

In addition to enhancing the sensitivity of anticancer drugs, nanoparticles can be used in diagnostics and therapy. They can also carry therapeutic agents for tumors. In this way, they can target tumors while reducing systemic toxicity. If successfully tested, nanoparticles will soon become commonplace in medicine.

One promising method is to use biocompatible nanoparticles to target and repair nerve damage. Nanomaterials can help the body repair nerve damage, limit scarring and block substances that hinder growth. Researchers hope to create scaffolds that guide the growth of nerve tissue. These scaffolds can be placed in areas of the body that cannot be reached by normal therapies.

Nanoparticles could also help doctors deliver medications to the brain, where they can be more effective and reduce the risk of side effects. They may even be used in the treatment of brain tumors, stroke and Alzheimer’s diseases. Other potential applications include the prevention and treatment of meningitis.

Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize the way we treat diseases. Nanoparticles can identify the presence of blood clots in the heart. They will be able to show up on scans of patients, allowing doctors to identify heart disease earlier. Nanomedicine can even provide biocompatible joint replacements and artery stents.

Eventually, nanoparticles may help patients live longer and healthier lives. This field is set to change the landscape of pharmaceutical care. Biological nanoparticles are already part of the human body. They are found in the urine, blood and saliva. These particles are small enough to penetrate the bloodstream and deliver cancer drugs to the tumor.

Since nanoparticles are small enough to enter the body, they are less likely to be categorized as foreign objects. Therefore, nanomedicine is poised to improve disease treatments. These particles are not only more effective at attacking cancer cells but they also reduce the risk of harming healthy cells.

nanoparticles in action against blood cells
Image courtesy by Medgadget

Nanomedicine may also be used in cancer treatments as chemotherapy can have negative side effects, including nausea, hair loss and other adverse effects. It may help physicians target these drugs more precisely, limiting the harm done to healthy cells while still allowing them to do their work effectively.

Nanoparticles could also be used in medical imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging. Fluorescent nanoparticles could provide clearer images than traditional contrast agents and make MRIs more affordable. The use of nanotechnology in medicine has heightened expectations. As a powerful tool for disease detection and treatment, nanomedicine has the potential to help save lives.

In addition, it is said to be the key enabling instrument for personalized and targeted medicine. Ultimately, it could improve diagnostics, treatment monitoring and implantable devices. These developments are expected to make healthcare more affordable and efficient.

Future of nanomedicine

Nanotechnology in medicine has the potential to bring about tremendous advances. These tiny particles slow down the release of asthma medication, giving the patient a longer period of relief. Nanogenerators, which can be embedded in bandages, can deliver electrical pulses to the affected area.

In addition to these advancements, nanotechnology can also be used in tissue engineering. In the near future, nanotechnologists are expected to develop materials that can interact with the molecules found within cells and extracellular matrices. As such, nanomedicines should be developed with a clear clinical view in mind, with the patient’s health as the end goal.

Nanomedicine is a promising new field that is fast approaching its clinical applications. In the near future, medical nanorobots will be able to perform precise interventions on the molecular or cellular levels. Nanorobots could be used for pharmaceutical research, clinical diagnosis, dentistry and mechanically reversing atherosclerosis.

They could also be used to improve respiratory capacity, resolve gross cellular insults and repair damage to the nervous system. Another application for nanoparticles in medicine is ophthalmic treatment. Nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems have the potential to extend drug residence time in the eye.

In the eye, the mucus layer acts as a diffusion barrier for macromolecules and protects the epithelial layer of the cornea. Drug solutions administered in the form of eye drops are usually highly concentrated and must be applied frequently. Nanoparticle-based eye drops reduce the risk of precorneal loss caused by blinking.

These developments will also make it possible to develop customized treatments that are tailored to the patient’s genetic makeup. The future of nanomedicine may involve the development of personalized vaccines and other treatments that are personalized to the patient’s needs.

Another application of nanotechnology is in vaccine development. Nanoparticles can improve the delivery of vaccines to patients without the need for needles. This can increase the effectiveness of vaccines since the same vaccine could cover a wider range of strains and require fewer resources to produce.

One type of cancer treatment that is nearing human trials is kanzius radiofrequency therapy. This treatment involves delivering microscopic nanoparticles to tumors, which cook the tumors without damaging the surrounding tissue. In addition to kanzius radiofrequency therapy, Nanowires embedded in sensor test chips may be able to detect biomarkers and proteins that cancer cells leave behind.

This technology could eventually help physicians diagnose cancer earlier. To ensure that nanomedicine has a positive impact on human health, scientists are investigating the benefits of nanomedicine in a variety of medical fields. They are focusing on more efficient drug delivery, personalized medicine and more. One emerging nanomaterial is carbon nanotubes.

These hexagonally-bound carbon atoms are useful in the development of new diagnostic agents and for targeted drug delivery. If properly developed, nanomedicine could be a revolutionary technology for treating disease and improving quality of life. Advances in nanotechnology are already changing the scale of vascular imaging and drug delivery.

The NIH Roadmap’s ‘Nanomedicine Initiatives’ envision that nanoscale technologies will result in more medical benefits in the next 10 years. Nanopore sequencing and laboratory-based diagnostic platforms are among the nanotechnologies being researched. Advancements in nanoparticle technology also enable the delivery of targeted molecules to various parts of the body.

Nanoparticles made of natural or synthetic lipids are more biocompatible than other nanoparticles and work with living tissue better than their alternatives. Liposomes are a good example of this type of nanoparticle. However, there is one major challenge.

The delivery of nanomedicines is still insufficient to make significant improvements in the treatment of cancer patients. Because nanoparticles are not passive carriers of drugs, less than 1% of the active pharmaceutical ingredient is delivered locally. But other pharmacological parameters, such as the kinetics of drug delivery, may improve.

The ethical analysis of nanomedicine should consider potential value conflicts. Values like personal freedom and economic competitiveness may conflict with the need to protect human life and dignity. Unrestricted freedom of one group may jeopardize the health and safety of others.

Therefore, a fine line must be drawn between legitimate values in culture and the rights of individual people. It is also vital to ensure that nanoparticles are produced and used in a safe environment. Any product that involves nanotechnology should be subject to rigorous scrutiny and mandatory government regulation.

Workers should be trained to handle nanoparticles and the environment as if they were a human. A small number of these particles can have harmful effects on humans. Aside from these concerns, it is also important to note that nanoparticles are highly effective, yet there is a lack of regulatory oversight over this technology.

The biggest challenge in the development of nanomedicine is obtaining reproducible production of these molecules. And large-scale manufacturing is both challenging and expensive. In addition, nanomedicines are still not as efficient as established drugs and have significant side effects.

To combat this, researchers are looking to rely on clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy and safety of nanomedicines. However, only a few nanomedicines are currently available. To date, the FDA has approved only a handful of nanomedicines.

Hence, nanomedicine has the potential to make our lives better, from diagnosing diseases to delivering highly effective treatments. It has the potential to revolutionize many fields in healthcare, from surgery to chemotherapy and regenerative medicine.