Recent years have witnessed an unprecedented growth in research in the area of nanoscience. There is increasing optimism that nanotechnology applied to medicine will bring significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
However, many challenges must be overcome. If the application of Nanomedicine is to realise the improved understanding of the patho-physiological basis of disease. Also to bring more sophisticated diagnostic opportunities and yield more effective therapies. Both the optimism and the challenges have prompted governmental science and funding organisations to undertake strategic reviews of the current status of the field1.
Their primary objectives being to assess potential opportunities for better healthcare as well as the risk-benefit of these new technologies, and to determine priorities for future funding.
Definition of Nanomedicine
The field of Nanomedicine is the science and technology of diagnosing, treating and preventing disease and traumatic injury, of relieving pain, and of preserving and improving human health, using molecular tools and molecular knowledge of the human body. It embraces five main sub-disciplines which are in many ways overlapping and are underpinned by common technical issues.
The aim of Nanomedicine may be broadly defined as the comprehensive monitoring, control, construction, repair, defence and improvement of all human biological systems, working from the molecular level using engineered devices and nanostructures, ultimately to achieve medical benefit. In this context, nanoscale should be taken to include active components or objects in the size range from one nanometre to hundreds of nanometres. They may be included in a micro-device (that might have a macro-interface) or a biological environment. The focus, however, is always on nanointeractions within a framework of a larger device or biologically a sub-cellular (or cellular) system. It was noted that Nanomedicine is built on the science and technology of complex systems of nanometre-scale size, consisting of at least two components, one of which is an active principle, and the whole system leading to a special function related to the diagnosis, treatment or prevention of disease.
Also Read: European Science Foundation: Nanomedicine