Nanotechnology has started revolutionizing the entire field of medicine and treatment. Diseases which were earlier very hard to detect using conventional methods can now be detected even in their small concentrations using nanobots. Surgeries which earlier took several hours can now be completed within minutes and in a non-invasive way, all because of nanotechnology. In this module, we’ll be discussing the ways nanotechnology will be changing the drug delivery in the near future.
Nanotechnology has paved the way for the development of nano-spheres, which can roam freely inside our bloodstream. These particles have unique magnetic, electrical, chemical, and biological properties. These particles can be used as delivery agents in which therapeutic drugs, probes, or proteins can be encapsulated and injected into our body for highly-precise targeted drug release. In targeted delivery, the nano-spheres can be used to target specific cells, instead of the entire tissue. This will help in the reduction of side-effects considerably.
Micro/nanoelectromechanical devices are now being used for drug delivery. In this method, implantable nano-sized chips containing drug-reservoirs are used to deliver drugs in a controlled manner, for a longer duration of time. Further advancements are being made to develop smart-drug chipsets, which will remain inside our bloodstream and will analyze our body for potential threats and then release the concerned drug as per needs, without any human intervention.
Nanoliposomes are nothing but nano-sized bilayered phospholipid membrane-based vesicle, which are used for the delivery of drugs having low-molecular weights, proteins, peptides, imaging agents, nucleic acids, etc. They play an efficient in the delivery of both active as well as passive drug targeting. Unlike liposomes, they are not cleared and degraded by the Kupffer cells (liver macrophages), and hence can be used to administer the drug into the body in a controlled fashion, for a long duration of time.