Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery
According to Dr. Ngyuen,” nanotechnology is technology at the atomic/macromolecular level with structures between 1 and 100 nanometers”. It is becoming one of the most efficient ways of delivering medication to the body at a very specific detail using nanoparticles that can maneuver around endothelium and blood/brain barriers, a feat that other types of drug delivery procedures cannot do. This technology is such a success that it is starting to replace surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and radiation. There are 4 types of nanoparticles used in nanotechnology, 3 of which are:
1. Metal based (Quantum Dots)
Metal-based nanoparticles (also called quantum dots) are very small, heavy metal dots used to track how the nanoparticle travels throughout the body. They are generally used in photodynamic therapy, drug delivery, and tracking of cell migrations. An example of metal-based nanoparticles is the magnetic particle (MNPs). It can be manipulated using a magnetic field to attract these particles. Unfortunately, however, metal-based nanoparticles are highly toxic and can remain within the body, which can cause more issues later on.
Lipid-based nanoparticles are nanoparticles that resemble the natural phospholipid bilayer found in our bodies. Their advantage is that they are biocompatible and can conjugate with antibodies, meaning they can unite with antibodies to help distribute medications throughout the body without being rejected. They also allow for hydrophilic intravenous drug delivery.
Biological nanoparticles are particles similar to lipid-based nanoparticles. One type of biological nanoparticle, infused with a drug, takes on the structure of a virus by opening the virus shell. Once inside, it releases its drug and binds to targeted peptides of the virus for genetic mutation. Another type of biological nanoparticle is the biodegradable nanoparticle. The biodegradable particle is...