Anticipation is rising that nanotechnology will bring great advances in diagnosing and treating disease1–7. But what is nanomedicine? Agreement on definition challenges even those working in the field. But recently the European Science Foundation's Forward Look on Nanomedicine defined it as “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”4. Five overlapping subthemes include: (i) analytical techniques and ex vivo diagnostic tools fabricated using nanoscience; (ii) nanoimaging (from subcellular events to diseases in patients); (iii) underpinning chemistry and engineering that is generating nanomaterials and nanodevices; (iv) nanomedicines administered to treat disease, including biologically active therapeutics and drug delivery systems; and (v) translation from bench to clinic, including industrial scale-up, validation and regulation, and evaluation of safety and efficacy.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(05)71032-4