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Science Fiction to Reality: Nanomedicine Brings Fresh Hope
to the Medical World
ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 2, 2004--Emerging nanomedicine
technologies could dramatically transform medical science as
we know it today with their potential to address unmet medical
needs and provide targeted therapy.
Nanomedicine technologies could find an increasing place in
various areas and applications of the healthcare sector including
drug delivery, drug discovery and development, diagnostics and
"Nanomedicine holds the promise of site-specific therapeutic
action and consequently, fewer side effects," says Technical
Insights Industry Analyst Rajaram Sankaran. "Such site-specificity
holds the promise of a better risk-benefit ratio and thus enhances
the prospects for nanomedicine applications."
The advent of nanomedicine and techniques for the early diagnosis
of diseases could usher in a new era of superior prophylactic
or preventive medicine. By using preventive medicine, treatment
for diseases could be initiated even before preliminary symptoms
Prophylactic interventions might help postpone or even avoid
diseases altogether. Nanomedicine could therefore have a huge
impact on people's lives, substantially improving their physical
health and quality of life.
If nanomedicine's adoption rates in pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical,
and drug delivery companies are anything to go by, its prospects
in the healthcare industry seem bright.
Nanocrystal technology, for instance, is being used in drug
formulation and the new chemical entities screening in the discovery
phase of drug development. Quantum dot particles are being applied
in high-content drug screening and in the detection of breast
cancer cells among others.
However, as with other new technologies, nanomedicine also faces
its own set of issues. Scalability is one of its biggest technological
challenges. While large-scale production makes better economic
sense, this is likely to be a complex task, especially when
manufacturing three-dimensional nanostructures as compared to
stand-alone or two-dimensional layer-shaped nanosurfaces.
This perceived difficulty is attributed to the fact that manufacturing
standards for nanomaterials and components are yet to evolve.
Therefore, there is an urgent need for standardized manufacturing
techniques; only then can nanotechnology become ubiquitous in
"Furthermore, since the characteristics of nanoscale matter
are very different owing to their unique nature, there is a
need for appropriate quality control measures that are specific
to them," notes Sankaran. "This will become increasingly
relevant as nanomedicine continues to evolve and face various
Nanotechnology also faces a strong challenge in the shape of
negative public perceptions with growing reports about the possible
toxic effects of exposure to nanoparticles. Concerns about the
potential ill effects of engineered nanomaterials such as carbon
buckyballs and nanotubes through inhalation, ingestion, or absorption
through the skin are increasing.
Although there is sporadic evidence supporting these possible
hazards, it is essential for the nanomedicine community to take
the lead in defining the risks associated with nanotechnology.
Proactively supporting experts in risk communication can help
avert a situation in which the public might actually reject
the technology due to unexplained fears and worries.
Nanomedicine - Global Developments and Growth Opportunities,
part of the Healthcare Vertical Subscription Service, studies
the emerging field of nanomedicine and the exciting possibilities
it offers. It discusses prospective therapeutic and diagnostic
applications of nanomedicine, focusing on path-breaking research
developments and trends that have helped bring it to the forefront.
Executive summaries and interviews are available to the press.
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Nanomedicine - Global Developments and Growth Opportunities
story has been adapted from a news release -
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