Nanomedicine is a subfield of nanotechnology. It is often defined as the repair,
construction and control of human biological systems using devices
built upon nanotechnology standards. Basically, nanomedicine is the
medical application of nanotechnology. Nanostructured materials,
engineered enzymes and many other products of biotechnology will be
very useful in the future. Of course, the full potential of
nanomedicine is unlikely to arrive until after complex,
high-sofisticated, medically programmable nanomachines and nanorobots
are developed. When that happens, every medical doctor’s dream will
become reality. Having robots fabricated to nanometer precision (1
nanometer = 1 bilionth of a meter) will allow medical doctors to
approach the human body at the cellular and molecular levels.
Interventions such as repairing damaged tissues (bone, muscle, nerve)
will be possible.
We all know that the mankind is still fighting against many complex
illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular diseases,
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, diabetes as well as some
inflammatory or infectious diseases (i.e. HIV). Nanotechnology raises
hopes and expectations for millions of patients that suffer from those
diseases. For example, it is expected that doctors will be able to
destroy the very first cancer cells and so stop the disease from
Nanomedicine is a huge industry. Sales reached 6.8 billion dollars in 2004.
Significant amounts of money are being invested in research – USA and
European Union are investing billions of dollars and plan to invest
more in the future.
NIH established eight nanomedicine development centers which are staffed by
multidisciplinary research teams including biologists, physicians,
mathematicians, engineers and computer scientists. The intial phase of
their program is directed towards gathering extensive information about
the properties of nanoscale biological elements. This is very important
and will help scientists to correct defects in unhealthy cells. The
second phase has been approved recently and is directed towards
applying the knowledge from the first phase in treating diseases.
European Technology Platform is a platforum formed by 53 European stakeholders.
Their first task the group had was to write a vision document on
nanotechnology in which experts describe the extrapolation of needs
There are three key priorities in the future: nanotechnology-based
diagnostics and imaging, targeted drug delivery and release and
According to the journal „Nature Materials“, there are over 130 nanotech-based
drugs and delivery systems developed worldwide. Nanomedicine industry
is expected continue to grow and have a significant impact on the