Nano technology is one of the most promising advancements for science in the near future and there are so many ways it can be utilized, with medicine being one of them. In this article, we talk about nanomedicine technology and the opportunities available for its use in the medical field.
Nanotechnology is currently being used to deliver drugs to specific cells, which should lower overall drug consumption; subsequently, reducing potential side effects of drugs and the cost of treatment.
A recent study, published in Science Advances, led by researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York found that nanomedicine can reduce the inflammation that may cause a heart attack.
The researchers were able to halt the growth of artery plaque cells by applying a cholesterol-lowering medication with nanotechnology. The nanoparticles targeted the inflamed immune cells within the high-risk arterial plaques to reduce the inflammation that eventually leads to a heart attack or stroke.
“Our nanotherapy treatment strategy may be particularly useful immediately after atherosclerosis-related events, such as [myocardial infarction] or stroke, which have an up to 20% recurrence rate within three years,” the authors wrote.
The market for medical device nanotechnology was valued around $5 billion in 2014 and is expected to reach $8.5 billion by 2019, according to Research and Markets. The market growth is expected to be driven by a population that is getting proportionately older.
There is global interest in investing in nanotechnology. For instance, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the University of Waterloo in Canada just received joint funding from The Gerald Schwartz & Heather Reisman Foundation. They are working on targeted drug deliver using nanotechnology with a focus on conditions of the lung.
“There are many organs that we can live without but we can’t survive without a lung. The lung is such a critical component to quality of life,” Frank Gu, PhD, from University of Waterloo, said in a statement. “The problem with these drugs is they aren’t getting to the right target. Our goal is to make these particles so small and so smart, and efficiently transport these therapeutic compounds to the right place.”