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Nanotechnology is becoming a crucial driving force behind innovation in medicine and healthcare, with a range of advances including nanoscale therapeutics, biosensors, implantable devices, drug-delivery systems, and imaging technologies. Universities have also begun to offer dedicated nanomedicine degree programs, such as the MSc program in Nanotechnology for Medicine and Health Care at the University of Oxford. A nanotechnology-based system, for instance to eradicate cancer, needs four elements: (1) molecular imaging at the cellular level so that even the slightest overexpressions can be monitored; (2) effective molecular targeting after identifying specific surface or nucleic acid markers; (3) a technique to kill the cells that are identified as cancerous based on molecular imaging, simultaneously with photodynamic therapy or drug delivery; and (4) a postmolecular imaging technique to monitor the therapeutic efficacy. Various nanotechnological approaches for effective drug delivery have been developed and some of them have already been successfully commercialized. Most prominent nano drug-delivery systems that are in the market place are oncology related and based on liposomal, solid nanoparticle-based, protein–polymer conjugates and polymer–drug conjugate-based delivery platforms.

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25 Nov 2019
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