Nano medicine is the next wave of advancements in the healthcare space. The nanotechnology revolution is now enabling novel approaches to address the major problems in modern medicine, leading to the emergence of nano medicine as a new paradigm for diagnosis and therapy, according to experts.

In a discussion on the varied applications of the nanotechnology, scientists and  medical experts present at the 4th edition of the Bangalore Nano agreed that nano-science adopted drugs and diagnostics was the way forward to unravel the complications for comprehending the disease symptoms and therapies.

Prof. Srinivas Sridhar director, IGERT Nanomedicine, Science and Technology and Visiting Professor, Radiation Oncology Northeastern University Boston said that the IGERT has developed several nano platforms that offer potential for significant improvements in multi modal imaging, targeted delivery of therapeutics and monitoring of outcomes. “Magnetic liposomal nano platforms for thereanostics combine multiple functionalities including imaging magnetic guidance to the disease site, delivery of drug payload through sustained as well as triggered drug release. We have already demonstrated in-vivo multimodal imaging using MRI, SPECT and FMT using these nano platforms,” he said

Nanoporous coating has also  been developed for implants, cardiovascular stents used in image guided radio therapy of cancer. The non-erodible coatings show sustained release profiles that are comparable to those from erodible polymer platforms but with no problems of de-lamination. Non-porous coated fiducial markers have been developed with tailored release profiles suitable for radiation oncology treatment. In fact a new doctoral programmes have also been established incorporating new courses in the disciplinary  research in nano medicine, said Prof. Sridhar while addressing the developments in the area of nano materails in biomedical applications.

According to Dr S Swaminathan, director, Centre for Nanotechnology & Advanced Biomaterials, Sastra University Thanjavur, the two key applications that have emerged in recent years are regenerative medicine and smart drug release systems. “Nanofirborous polymeric scaffolds have geometries that mimic the  extracellular matrix closely and thereby provide the right topography for the adhesion, growth and proliferation of cells,” he said.

Stating that smart nano delivery systems have been widely investigated for sustained, targeted and triggered release of drugs at the target cells, Dr Swaminathan pointed out that it would reduce the side-effects, dose and frequency of administration of the drugs. In this regard, the lab at the Sastra University is  now actively involved in the synthesis of novel products which not only help to alter drug load efficiency but also modify the drug release time, stated Dr Swaminathan.

Dr Robert Stokes, application development manager, EMEA, Nanoink Inc. US, said that micro and nanoscale materials hold huge potential for medical and life sciences. The establishment of Dip Pen Nanolithography (DPN) is used in ELISA-type and biosensors to help increase sensitivity for faster detection.

Research on nanoparticles cover nanotechnology and biotechnology which  provides numerous opportunities and end-product modifications, he said.

This story is reprinted from material from  with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.