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Nanotechnology And Its Applications Essay

860 words - 4 pages

- Nanotechnology, the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale, is the powerful and potential tool with vast applications in medicine, electronics, biomaterials and energy production. In recent years, biomedical research based on nanotechnology has been performed resulting in significantly enhanced efficacy in both diagnostics and therapeutics.
- In the field of nanomedicine, nanooncology refers to applications of nanotechnology in cancer detection, diagnosis, management and therapy.

One of the major applications of nanotechnology in cancer therapeutics is drug delivery. The effectiveness of an anticancer drug is not only determined by the drug itself but also the ability of drug delivery to cancer tissue. The significances of effective drug delivery in cancer take into account of the optimal therapeutic effect of drugs and considerable cutback of toxic side effects. Typically, the full therapeutic effect of drugs in cancer is limited by drug resistance due to noncellular mechanisms impeding drug diffusion across the cell membrane and cellular mechanisms referring to biochemical and metabolic changes inside cancer cells, and intracellular and extracellular transport mechanisms. Moreover, lack of specificity of chemotherapeutic drugs results in systemic toxicity causing significant damage to normal tissues and lower concentrations of drug delivered to the tumor [Thakor]. Currently, novel pharmaceutical formulations have been developed and utilized to design efficient drug delivery systems in which the drug is distributed to the tumor at higher concentrations with its minimal exposure to noncancerous tissues. Approximately 150 drugs in development for cancer are based on nanotechnology [Jain_Handbook]. Fundamentally, the surface area to volume ratio relevant to functional surface area is an important factor for the reactivity of a material. Nanoparticles have a large functional surface area due to their nanoscale size that allows them to interact with biological systems at cellular level. Therefore, anticancer drug particles can be incorporated, entrapped or encapsulated into nanoparticles, then transported to cancer cells. Upon the tunability in structure and properties, nanoparticles, moreover, perform remarkable advantages in high stability, biocompatibility, and effective transportability during drug delivery process. All unique biological, chemical and physical properties are employed to functionate nanoparticles as nanoscale carriers or nanoparticle drug complexes for nanotechnology-based drug delivery in clinical pharmacokinetics. Incorporation of chemotherapeutic drugs into nanoparticles also creates pharmaceutical formulations at nanoscale level. This book chapter illustrates the nanotechnology-based drug delivery process and present how nanoparticles perform their drug transportation and tumors targeting function. Nanoparticles, their formulations with anticancer drugs, advances and recent applications in nanooncology are...

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