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Sunday, July 19, 2020

An Essay on nanotechnology and drug delivery

July 19, 2020 0
An Essay on nanotechnology and drug delivery


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An Essay on nanotechnology and drug delivery

What is Nano?

The word 'nano' derived from the Latin word nanus means 'dwarf' means tiny or little or very small. However, this is the general meaning but as we move from general to science, the word 'nano' means one-billionth of a meter and this was accepted as a prefix in 1960 by The General Conference on Weights and Measures[1].

What is nanotechnology?

The field of science, engineering, or technology where the size of particles ranging from 1 to 100 nm is applied or used for the materials, reactions, or in a particular field, such branch of technology is referred to as Nanotechnology[2]. In 1974 the Japanese Scientist NorioTaniguchi first ever used the word 'Nanotechnology' in the paper published on production technology[3].

An Essay on nanotechnology and drug delivery

In the late '90s, nanotechnology was picked as the new and emerging branch which revolutionized the world up to 2010. And now it is the core of science & technology due to its high impact and serviceability. 

Where it Started?

Nanotechnology is a vast area of research for the last six decades. The famous quote from the physicist Richard P. Feynman, "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom: An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics" was a lecture given at the annual meeting of American Chemical Society (ACS) at CalTech on December 29, 1959. He was the man who had opened up the potential of the word 'Nano'[4]

Why is it important?

The size of the materials as begin to reduce, the enormous changes can be noticed in the properties of nanoparticles as compared to their bulk parts. The primary properties are optical, electrical, thermal, mechanical, and Physico-chemical due to which the materials demonstrate vividity in the applications.

Most highlighted applications of nanotechnology are medicines-biomedicines, diagnosis, treatment, and drug delivery, electronics, sensing, energy, transportation, automobiles, food, environment, computing, photography, chemistry, biology, physics, mechanical, civil engineering, and still counting.

A brief summary of funding for nanotechnology and its development:

Since the 'Nano1' report indicates the $254 billion were spent on the nanotechnology products and the mission was set to be $3 trillion in the world. These numbers reflect the pace with which the nanoproducts have emerged and stand as valuable and beneficial ones[5].

According to UNESCO data of 2016, the articles written on nanoscience and nanotechnology fields, per million population were 198 articles written in Switzerland in 2013, in this sequence Republic of Korea, Germany, France, USA, Japan were Joined. Per 100 articles the USA was topped with 44 patents with the Republic of Korea, Germany, Switzerland, and France with 30, 27, 22, and 17 respectively. BRICS countries also are modest contributors to become nanotechnology nerve centers[6].

Drug delivery and its importance:

Nanomedicine is a promising and rising science which include the biosensing, biotechnology, microfluidics, drug delivery, tissue engineering, etc. Here, we are focusing on how nanotechnology influenced drug delivery science?

What is drug delivery?

The result-oriented and maximum output of any drug can be achieved in the body when the drug delivered to the point, means it reaches where it has to be. For example, the liver is under treatment then the drug should be delivered perfectly to the liver cells. This is the goal and importance of drug delivery mechanism[7].

The drug delivery to the targeted site with less hazard, a more convenient and simple way is the demand of the science community because it reduces the side effects, increases the therapeutic efficiency of drug molecules. These drug molecules are encapsulated or bound to the nanoparticles and delivered to the intended site in the human body[8].

Nanostructure and drug delivery:

Normally, the low bioavailability of new drug molecules makes them spurned materials for industries, to guard them against degradation, therefore carrier systems have been drafted. For the said purpose the Nanoparticles are taken due to their properties such as high bioavailability, high surface to volume ratio, and tiny size[9].

Application of Nanotechnology as Drug delivery Carrier


Chronic disease and nano-drug delivery:

In the treatments of chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma, pulmonary tuberculosis, cancer, Perkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, etc. the nanostructures are used as carriers for drugs[10].

Properties of Nanostructures that helps in drug delivery:

Nanoparticles have specific features like bind, attract, adsorb, and transporting compounds like drug molecules, proteins, etc. Nanoparticles with size greater or equals the 100 nm with biodegradable characteristics are used as carriers. The drugs are carried by the nanoparticles via non-covalent interaction and brought to the targeted cells where drugs release and initiate the cell repairing[11].

The drug molecule associates with nanostructures via self-assembly and attached by either physical or chemical means. In recent advances, it has been observed that self-delivered nano drugs are formulated with the properties of the advanced course of action.

Several factors such as light, enzyme, pH, temperature, biological and chemical reagents are also to be checked for nanoparticles to be appropriated as carriers. Particularly pH differentiates between a normal cell (pH = 7.4) and tumor cell (pH= 5.0 - 7.0). This is the one example, there are so many as such[10].

The nanoparticles used for the drug delivery, persist for a long duration in the human system with the precise dose and the controlled release of the drug at the target. Sparingly soluble drug molecules are hinged with nanomaterials such as dendrimers, micelles, liposomes, etc which are metallic, organic, inorganic, and polymers in class. Amongst them, inorganic nanoparticles have extensively used in biomedical.

Apart from these, a large number of nanostructures are used such as peptides based, Nucleic acid- DNA & RNA Based, Carbon-based - Graphene, Fullerene, Carbon Nano Tubes[12].


Though much of the above information is the only a well in the ocean. Here it is tried to summaries both term in a lucid manner. 

Nanotechnology is the biggest hope mankind can have in the 21st century. When these two distinct fields of science meet, the new science born and it can be named as nano-drug delivery. 

Much of improvements still needed as the nano-based drug delivery requires less costing, less hazard and it has to be explored about the full mechanism of action. Also, it is worth noting down here is that preclinical trials have been successfully passed but clinical trials must be passed with major positive outcomes. But, small initiatives can be reached to total, that's all it is.


[5] M.C. Roco, C.A. Mirkin, M.C. Hersam, J Nanopart Res 13 (2011) 897–919.
[7] G. Tiwari, R. Tiwari, B. Sriwastawa, L. Bhati, S. Pandey, P. Pandey, S.K. Bannerjee, Int J Pharm Investig 2 (2012) 2–11.
[9]K. Patra, G. Das, L.F. Fraceto, E.V.R. Campos, M. del P. Rodriguez-Torres, L.S. Acosta-Torres, L.A. Diaz-Torres, R. Grillo, M.K. Swamy, S. Sharma, S. Habtemariam, H.-S. Shin, J Nanobiotechnol 16 (2018) 71.
[10] A.P. Singh, A. Biswas, A. Shukla, P. Maiti, Sig Transduct Target Ther 4 (2019) 33.
[11] W.H. De Jong, P.J.A. Borm, Int J Nanomedicine 3 (2008) 133–149.
[12] D. Lombardo, M.A. Kiselev, M.T. Caccamo, Journal of Nanomaterials 2019 (2019) 1–26.