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J Pharm Sci. 2013 Feb;102(2):305-10. doi: 10.1002/jps.23377. Epub 2012 Nov 22.

Nanomedicines and nanodiagnostics come of age.

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UCL School of Pharmacy, London WC1N 1AX, UK.


Although the employment of biomedical colloids is not new, modern biomedical colloids, termed nanomedicines and nanodiagnostics, have enhanced functionality, in that the drug compound/diagnostic probe entrapped within the nanoparticle takes on the properties of the encapsulating nanoparticle. The nanoparticle's properties are specifically dictated by its size, shape, and surface chemistry; the net result in the case of medicines is an alteration of the drug's intrinsic pharmacokinetics and eventual drug targeting to the areas of pathology. The first nanomedicines, which really altered the pharmacokinetics of a drug molecule, were licensed in the early-to-mid 1990s. Since this time, these pioneering nanomedicines: liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil) and liposomal amphotericin B (Ambisome), have been followed by medicines such as albumin-stabilised paclitaxel (Abraxane) and biomedical sentinel lymph node nanodiagnostics such as Sienna+. The clinical trials database is heavily populated with nanosystem trials--an indication that these agents are growing in stature and will be utilised in an expanding list of clinical situations. Although the intravenous route is the route of choice for the current nanoparticles, new administration routes such as the pulmonary route are already in clinical testing, and researchers are working on the preclinical development of oral nanomedicines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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