The phrase “small is beautiful” has taken on new meaning to
Some nanomedicine drug-delivery systems and anti-cancer drugs
those involved in the scientific field known as nanotechnology,
are already in use. Many other applications are in various phases
which involves engineering and utilizing materials at the nano-
of clinical or pre-clinical testing, and, if found safe and effective,
meter scale – that is, as small as one-billionth of a meter. Reduced
may reach the market in five to 12 years. More advanced nano-
to these minute dimensions, substances often undergo significant
medicine products – such as biocontainers for medical diagnostics
changes – for example, carbon becomes stronger than steel and
and cell treatment – are in earlier stages of development.
copper is transparent.
The increasing ability of science to compress materials to the submicroscopic level is affecting many fields of human endeavor.
Current and emerging nanotechnology applications include advanced energy generation and storage systems, as well as new chemical additives and industrial materials. More than 300 products with nano-scale ingredients are already on the market, ranging from sunscreens to bowling ball coatings.
Regulatory and Risk Issues
Despite the accelerating pace of nanotechnology progress, many fundamental regulatory issues are only now being addressed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These include defining what constitutes a nanotechnology product, establishing regulatory authority over various types of products, adopting labeling requirements, and calculating the health and environmental impact of emerging applications.
One rapidly developing area of nanotechnology research is nanomedicine, the process of “using molecular tools and molecular knowledge of the human body” for the purpose of diagnosing and treating illness. (Freitas, R., Nanomedicine,