To learn more about the intersection of nanotech and drug discovery and development, read the abstract below from Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Nanomedicine and Nanobiotechnology, which is published by John Wiley & Sons, the publisher of Pharmaceutical Formulation & Quality. To read the full articles, click on the links below.
Understanding Specific and Nonspecific Toxicities: A Requirement for the Development of Dendrimer-Based Pharmaceuticals
Dendrimer conjugates for pharmaceutical development are capable of enhancing the local delivery of cytotoxic drugs. The ability to conjugate different targeting ligands to the dendrimer allows for the cytotoxic drug to be focused at the intended target cell while minimizing collateral damage in normal cells.
Dendrimers offer several advantages over other polymer conjugates by creating a better defined, more monodisperse therapeutic scaffold. Toxicity from the dendrimer, targeted and nonspecific, is not only dependent upon the number of targeting and therapeutic ligands conjugated, but can be influenced by the repeating building blocks that grow the dendrimer, the dendrimer generation, as well as the surface termination.
Overview: Risk Management of Nanomaterials
Nanotechnology has become the focus of a large amount of scientific, political, and financial interest. Limited information on the exposure to nanomaterials is available, with only a few occupational exposure studies having been performed. While laboratory animal studies on the biological effects of some nanomaterials have been published, no epidemiological studies have been reported to date.
This lack of data on exposure and human health effects hinders risk assessment of these materials. As the use of nanomaterials increases rapidly, it is of vital importance that the risk assessment community understands the complexities of the issues surrounding the manufacture, use and disposal of nanomaterials, the potential of environmental and occupational exposure to human populations, as well as adverse health outcomes. For this to happen, it is in many ways necessary for the scientific community to also understand what questions risk assessors need to ask, and what research will best answer them.
Risk management of nanomaterials requires more information as to the human and ecological effects of exposure to various nanomaterials. At this time, there are no specific regulations for nanomaterials, but a few efforts to include nanomaterials under existing environmental regulations have begun. The purpose of this article is to describe the potential regulations for nanomaterials, and the current issues related to the risk assessment of nanomaterials.
Advanced Review: Multifunctional Imaging Nanoprobes
Multifunctional imaging nanoprobes have proven to be of great value in the research of pathological processes, as well as the assessment of the delivery, fate, and therapeutic potential of encapsulated drugs. Moreover, such probes may potentially support therapy schemes by the exploitation of their own physical properties, e.g., through thermal ablation.
This review will present four classes of nanoparticulate imaging probes used in this area: multifunctional probes (1) that can be tracked with at least three different and complementary imaging techniques, (2) that carry a drug and have bimodal imaging properties, (3) that are employed for nucleic acid delivery and imaging, and (4) imaging probes with capabilities that can be used for thermal ablation.