Nanomedicine: Tiny Particles and Machines Give Huge Gains
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- Tong, S., Fine, E.J., Lin, Y. et al. Ann Biomed Eng (2014) 42: 243. doi:10.1007/s10439-013-0952-x
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Nanomedicine is an emerging field that integrates nanotechnology, biomolecular engineering, life sciences and medicine; it is expected to produce major breakthroughs in medical diagnostics and therapeutics. Nano-scale structures and devices are compatible in size with proteins and nucleic acids in living cells. Therefore, the design, characterization and application of nano-scale probes, carriers and machines may provide unprecedented opportunities for achieving a better control of biological processes, and drastic improvements in disease detection, therapy, and prevention. Recent advances in nanomedicine include the development of nanoparticle (NP)-based probes for molecular imaging, nano-carriers for drug/gene delivery, multifunctional NPs for theranostics, and molecular machines for biological and medical studies. This article provides an overview of the nanomedicine field, with an emphasis on NPs for imaging and therapy, as well as engineered nucleases for genome editing. The challenges in translating nanomedicine approaches to clinical applications are discussed.