'Nanomedicine' is a term that is quite literal. Combining the words 'nanotechnology' and 'medicine', it basically means the application of nanotechnology to medicine for disease prevention, treatment and diagnosis. The medicine branch includes a wide range of applications but the most common one involves using nanoparticles to enhance drug delivery in treatment.
But first, what is nanoparticles? Nanoparticles are nanoscale particles, which can be formed naturally through erosion or combustion, but can also be formed via man-made process, for example through the use of nanotechnology – the science and technology of matter manipulation on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale.
The use of nanotechnology on drug delivery can enhance the absorbability of drug, making it easier for the nano-sized drug particle to pass through the membrane. Not just that, nanomedicine also prevents the drug from getting wash out too quickly from the body and remain in the bloodstream for a longer period of time until it has done its job.
Nanomedicine is also useful when it comes to minimising the exposure of drug to the rest of the body. For example, when treating cancer, the conventional chemotherapy can be toxic resulting hair loss. This is because the strong drugs used in chemotherapy not only destroy cancerous tissues but also healthy tissues. However, with nanomedicine, the treatment would be more precise, as nanoparticles will direct the drugs to the viruses and tumour while keeping healthy tissues unharmed, allowing a much higher percentage of patients to survive the process of treatment.
Nanomedicine is still currently in development, but many drugs that utilise the nanotechnology have been accepted and marketed globally as nanomedicine provides an easier, safer, more successful and cost-effective treatment for patients. Nanomedicine is believed to be able to bring changes and new possibilities to the medical field.
Written & Edited by Genopharma's Marketing & Communication Team
Date: 1st March 2018
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