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Introduction

  • Praveena Velpurisiva
  • Janel L. Kydd
  • Rahul Jadia
  • Stephanie A. MorrisEmail author
  • Prakash RaiEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Bioanalysis book series (BIOANALYSIS, volume 5)

Abstract

Traditional medicine has been in use since ancient times to treat various forms of illness. The modern practice of medicine has evolved into advanced surgery, endoscopy, laser treatments, radiation therapies, and chemotherapies. Newer modalities of treatment include immunotherapies and genetic therapies that aim to be molecularly targeted to a patient’s disease. These advancements have enhanced healthcare leading to improved treatment outcomes. However, these forms of treatments tend to be invasive and pose side effects due to their non-specificity for the diseased tissue. Since existing options do not provide a go-to solution for every disease, some of the emerging pharmacological technologies focus on providing personalized and targeted treatments that minimize toxic effects while effectively treating the illness. Success stories in drug discovery have led us to identify a vast library of therapeutics that can be very effective in in vitro and in vivo models of diseases but often fail to produce the desired response in humans. Maladies that continue to plague mankind are considered caused by “drug delivery problems” as opposed to “drug discovery problems,” which have been conventionally thought of as root sources of failure in successful disease-ameliorative measures. Delivering the “right drug” to the “right place” at the “right time” in the “right dose” could help improve treatment outcomes across all disease types. As Sir Richard Feynman had envisioned the field of nanotechnology in the mid-twentieth century, key nanoscale properties like high surface area to volume ratio and smaller size have revolutionized various fields like drug delivery, diagnostics, 3D printing, cosmetics development, food processing, nano-fertilization for agriculture, miniaturization of chips and semiconductors in electronic devices, composite coatings for automobiles, and decontamination of water and soil. Nanoscale materials vary from bulk or macroscale materials in their mechanical, electrical, optical, and magnetic properties. Exploiting these properties in nanomaterials for applications in medicine, referred to as nanomedicine, can address concerns about the location, time, dose, and ability to deliver the most appropriate drug and will be the focus of this book.

Keywords

Nanotechnology Nanomedicine Nanotheranostics Nanodiagnostics Nanotherapeutics Cancer Oncology Targeted Personalized medicine Theranostics Smart medicine Drug delivery systems Infectious diseases Cardiovascular diseases Neurodegenerative diseases Clinical Translational Surface modification Zeta potential Multifunctional Chemotherapeutic drugs Contrast agents Photosensitizers Nanodevices 

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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. government work and not under copyright protection in the U.S.; foreign copyright protection may apply 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Engineering and BiotechnologyUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA
  2. 2.National Cancer Institute, NIH, Nanodelivery Systems and Devices Branch, Cancer Imaging Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and DiagnosisRockvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of Massachusetts LowellLowellUSA

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