M.Sc. in Nanomedicine

NANOMEDICINE

According to European Medicines Agency (EMA), “Nanotechnology is the use of tiny structures – less than 1,000 nanometres across – that are designed to have specific properties” and “Nanotechnology is an emerging field in science that is used in a wide range of applications, from consumer goods to health products”. Concerning medicine, Nanotechnology has so far been utilized for the improvement of certain drug molecule properties, such as their solubility and stability, altering their pharmacokinetic profile and biodistribution, but also for creating new ways to diagnose diseases, target pathological tissues and support cell and tissue regeneration. A number of nanotechnology-based medicines or nanomedicines have been approved by EMA, after recommendation from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). Such formulations utilize the field of innovative excipients, like liposomes (e.g. Caelyx and Myocet) or are nanoparticles of previously used active substances (e.g. Abraxane and Rapamune). Nanomedicines are considered as a “multidisciplinary” subject in the EMA “human regulatory” issues.

Especially in the field of anticancer therapy, nanotechnological carriers have offered many advantages. Tumor-targeted delivery of cytotoxic drugs is achieved with a gamut of nanosystems, vesicular or particulate, such as liposomes, micelles, dendrimers or lipid, polymeric and protein nanoparticles, as well as polymer-drug and protein-drug conjugates. Many of these products are present in the market or currently undergoing clinical investigation (Phase I-III).1 An example of the added value that Nanotechnology has offered in anticancer therapy, is the improved safety profile of liposomal doxorubicin, compared with conventional anthracyclines.2 The co-delivery of imaging and therapeutic agents is also enabled, bringing forth the Nanotheranostics concept.3

References

  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 Cambridge University presents the revolutionary field of Nanomedicine: