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Clin Chem. 2007 Nov;53(11):2002-9. Epub 2007 Sep 21.

Applications of nanobiotechnology in clinical diagnostics.

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Jain PharmaBiotech, Basel, Switzerland.



Nanobiotechnologies are being applied to molecular diagnostics and several technologies are in development.


This review describes nanobiotechnologies that are already incorporated in molecular diagnostics or have potential applications in clinical diagnosis. Selected promising technologies from published literature as well as some technologies that are in commercial development but have not been reported are included.


Nanotechnologies enable diagnosis at the single-cell and molecule levels, and some can be incorporated in current molecular diagnostic methods, such as biochips. Nanoparticles, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots, are the most widely used, but various other nanotechnological devices for manipulation at the nanoscale as well as nanobiosensors are also promising for potential clinical applications.


Nanotechnologies will extend the limits of current molecular diagnostics and enable point-of-care diagnostics, integration of diagnostics with therapeutics, and development of personalized medicine. Although the potential diagnostic applications are unlimited, the most important current applications are foreseen in the areas of biomarker discovery, cancer diagnosis, and detection of infectious microorganisms. Safety studies are needed for in vivo use. Because of its close interrelationships with other technologies, nanobiotechnology in clinical diagnosis will play an important role in the development of nanomedicine in the future.

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