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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Introduction to nanopharmaceuticals

Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology. It covers areas such as nanoparticle drug delivery and possible future applications of molecular nanotechnology (MNT) and nanovaccinology.

A definition from the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Great Britain.

Nanopharmaceuticals represent an emerging field where the nanoscale element may refer to either the size of the drug particle or to a therapeutic delivery system. These therapeutic systems may be defined as a complex system consisting of at least two components, one of which is the active ingredient. In this field the concept of nanoscale is the range from 1 to 1,000nm. The definition includes polymer therapeutics, which share many characteristics with macromolecular prodrugs such as antibody conjugates of drugs.

The European Science Foundation definition.
Nanopharmaceuticals can be developed either as drug delivery systems or biologically active drug products.

This sub-discipline is defined as the science and technology of nanometre size scale complex systems, consisting of at least two components, one of which being the active ingredient. In this field the concept of nanoscale was seen to range from 1 to 1000 nm.



Nanopharmaceuticals as a big part of what nanomedicine is today. From the Ruth Duncan presentation.

Various kinds of nanoscale particles used for nanopharmaceuticals

Nanoparticles is a microscopic particle with at least one dimension less than 100 nm.

Liposomes is a spherical vesicle composed of a bilayer membrane. In biology, this specifically refers to a membrane composed of a phospholipid and cholesterol bilayer

Antibody conjugates
A conjugate vaccine is created by covalently attaching a poor antigen to a carrier protein, thereby conferring the immunological attributes of the carrier on the attached antigen. This technique for the creation of an effective immunogen is most often applied to bacterial polysaccharides for the prevention of invasive bacterial disease.

polymer therapeutics

From the Ruth Duncan presentation

Buckyballs and Nanotubes

Nanoemulsions is a type of emulsion in which the sizes of the particles in the dispersed phase are defined as less than 1000 nanometers. A nanoemulsion of soybean oil to create drops of 400-600 nanometers in diameter will kill many pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.

Quantum Dots is a semiconductor nanostructure that confines the motion of conduction band electrons, valence band holes, or excitons (bound pairs of conduction band electrons and valence band holes) in all three spatial directions. The confinement can be due to electrostatic potentials (generated by external electrodes, doping, strain, impurities), the presence of an interface between different semiconductor materials (e.g. in core-shell nanocrystal systems), the presence of the semiconductor surface (e.g. semiconductor nanocrystal), or a combination of these

Small quantum dots, such as colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals, can be as small as 2 to 10 nanometers, corresponding to 10 to 50 atoms in diameter and a total of 100 to 100,000 atoms within the quantum dot volume. Self-assembled quantum dots are typically between 10 and 50 nm in size. Quantum dots defined by lithographically patterned gate electrodes, or by etching on two-dimensional electron gases in semiconductor heterostructures can have lateral dimensions exceeding 100 nm. At 10 nm in diameter, nearly 3 million quantum dots could be lined up end to end and fit within the width of a human thumb.


Dendrimers - Dendrimers are synthetic polymers, a thousand times smaller than cells. Dendrimers can be synthesized in various predetermined sizes, and can interact with biological agents by modifying their surface properties.

FURTHER READING
An article on nanopharmaceuticals and veterinary medicine

Presentation by Ruth Duncan on nanopharmaceuticals

A nanopharmaceuticals site