Nanomedicine: Definition And Areas Of Application

In the near future, nanomedicine will enable the best diagnosis of diseases and more effective treatment.

Nanomedicine: definition and areas of application

Most of the advances nanomedicine is currently bringing to health sciences are focused on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases that have a strong impact on the population.

This area of ​​medicine uses the knowledge of nanotechnology in particular for the targeted treatment of diseased tissue without damaging healthy tissue.

Nanotechnology is dedicated to the control and manipulation of matter on the order of less than 1 micrometer. In this way, materials and systems with unique properties are developed that can fulfill any function.

Areas of nanomedicine

The Nanomedicine covers three areas:

1. Nanodiagnostics

Nanodiagnostics is based on the use of nanodevices and contrast systems. In this way, a finer, faster and more accurate detection of an early stage disease is achieved. The devices for nanodiagnostics can be used in vitro or in vivo.

2. Nanotherapy or controlled drug delivery

This part of nanomedicine is based on the use of nanostructures that allow the enrichment and controlled release of a drug exclusively in diseased cells .

The nanostructures must be as follows:

  • Biocompatible.
  • Transport the appropriate dose of the drug.
  • Remain stable until the target tissue is reached.

3. Regenerative nanomedicine

Repairs or replaces damaged tissues and organs with the help of nanotechnology. This can stimulate the repair mechanisms of the human body.

Theragnostic systems are currently being developed which combine elements in the same nanoparticle for the detection and local treatment of a disease.

On the other hand, these systems enable the visualization and evaluation of the kinetics and the effectiveness of the treatment.

Advances in nanomedicine in oncology

Recognizing diseases with nanomedicine.

In the oncology field, the use of nanomedicine has focused on two problems common to any type of cancer: the diagnosis and the side effects of chemotherapy.

The early detection of cancer increases the chances of recovery considerably. One of the main applications of nanomedicine in this area is the ability to detect tumor cells in the early stages of the disease .

In this context, studies on animal models have shown that magnetic nanoparticles in conjunction with tumor markers make it possible to reliably detect cancer.

This is also possible if the values ​​of these markers are far below the values ​​that can be determined with the methods currently used.

Nanomedicine to avoid side effects from chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a very aggressive treatment. It is based on the destruction of cancer cells and has numerous side effects associated with it, as it also destroys healthy cells.

In cancer treatment , nanotechnology makes it possible to “encapsulate” the drugs used in chemotherapy. In this way, the effectiveness is improved and the toxins in the patient’s body are reduced.

Recently, a group of European researchers created nanospheres that can only penetrate cancer cells. In this way, the negative consequences of chemotherapy such as nausea, physical weakness or hair loss can be avoided.

Nanomedicine for cardiovascular diseases

A number of benefits have also been discovered in cardiovascular disease. One of the most important results is the ability to identify lesions in the arteries very early.

In addition, studies are being carried out in which certain nanoparticles are able to deliver drugs specifically to the affected areas.

Neurodegenerative Diseases

Treat Parkinson's disease with nanomedicine

Diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or arthritis can be treated more effectively. The nanoparticles act on certain areas of the brain or tissue.

Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a progressive death of neurons. In this context, the possibility was presented of generating neurons from existing stem cells in the brain using growth factors.

However, if the growth factors are injected into the bloodstream, they can be taken up by other tissues. This problem could also be solved thanks to nanomedicine.

Summary

Nanomedicine will enable the best and earliest diagnosis of diseases in the near future. In addition, localized and personalized treatments are being developed. Likewise, the development of the diagnosed disease can be precisely monitored.

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