M.Sc. in Nanomedicine


According to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), "nanotechnology is the use of tiny structures - less than 1,000 nanometres in diameter - that are designed to have specific properties" and "nanotechnology is an emerging scientific field used in a wide range of applications, from consumer goods to healthcare products". In terms of medicine, nanotechnology has so far been exploited to improve certain properties of drug molecules, such as their solubility and stability, altering their pharmacokinetic profile and bio-distribution, but also to create new ways of diagnosing diseases, targeting pathological tissues and supporting cell and tissue regeneration. A number of nanotechnology-based medicinal products or nanomedicines have been authorised by the EMEA, following a recommendation from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use. Such formulations use innovative excipients, such as liposomes (e.g. Caelyx and Myocet) or are nanoparticles of already used active substances (e.g. Abraxane and Rapamune). Nanomedicines are considered as a 'multidisciplinary' topic in the 'human regulation' issues of the EMEA.

Especially in the field of cancer therapy, nanotechnology carriers have offered many advantages. Tumour-targeted delivery of cytotoxic drugs is achieved with a range of nanosystems, cellular or particulate, such as liposomes, micelles, dendrimers or lipid, polymer and protein nanoparticles, as well as polymer-drug and protein-drug conjugates. Many of these products are on the market or under clinical investigation (phase I-III).1 An example of the added value that nanotechnology has brought to cancer therapy is the improved safety profile of liposomal doxorubicin compared to conventional anthracyclines.2 Simultaneous delivery of imaging and therapeutic agents is also possible, highlighting the concept of nanotherapy.3


  1. Estanqueiro et al., 2015: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2014.12.041
  2. Rafiyath et al., 2012: www.ehoonline.org/content/1/1/10
  3. Muthu et al., 2014: http://www.thno.org/v04p0660

The following video from the University of Cambridge shows the revolutionary field of nanomedicine: