Approaching the Asymptote: Obstacles and Opportunities for Nanomedicine in Cardiovascular Disease

Abstract

Over the past decades, tremendous advances have been made in the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. However, we now face new challenges, including an aging population and increases in metabolic risk factors, that threaten to slow and even reverse these gains. To overcome these new challenges, fundamental insights from the life sciences must be integrated with advances from the physical sciences to develop novel molecular tools to better diagnose, monitor, and treat this complex disease. Nanotechnology has emerged from the intersection of several disciplines and, if combined with our evolving molecular understanding of atherogenesis, has the potential to revolutionize our management of patients at risk for or with existing cardiovascular disease. However, to realize this potential, we must understand the principles governing the interactions between nanomaterials and biological systems. This review explores nanoparticle attributes and how they can be leveraged to develop novel molecular tools for the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

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Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the late Charles A. Janeway, Jr., Ruslan M. Medzhitov, Joe G.N. Garcia, and James R. Baker, Jr. whose work inspired what we have done and will do.

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Correspondence to Sascha N. Goonewardena.

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Goonewardena, S.N. Approaching the Asymptote: Obstacles and Opportunities for Nanomedicine in Cardiovascular Disease. Curr Atheroscler Rep 14, 247–253 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11883-012-0249-9

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Keywords

  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanomedicine
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophage
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Molecular imaging
  • Cardiovascular