Nanoparticles: Ushering A New Era In The Medical Domain


There’s news from the medical world. Researchers from the Mario Negri Institute For Pharmacological Research in collaboration with the Polytechnic University Of Milan – have developed a drug that when encapsulated in nanoparticles, may prevent paralysis from a spinal cord injury. Before that, another research revealed that drug-packed nanoparticle injections can relieve arthritis pain. Though both these revelations are at a nascent stage, they do show the promising future of nanotechnology. 

This post will inform you about the basics of nanoparticles, their structure, and how they have revolutionized the field of medicine. Let us inform you of the specifics – 

What are nanoparticles? 

For those who are just asking what is nanoparticles and why it has become the ‘next big medical issue’ – the answer is here. As the name suggests, nanoparticles are particulate materials whose size ranges from 1-100 nanometers(nm). They have gained massive importance in the medical field based on their changeable biological and physical properties. These can be synthesized for both commercial and research purposes and cover a range of experimental areas. 

At a basic level, these tiny particles are divided into carbon-based, organic, and inorganic components. Also, they can be synthesized by multiple methods. In recent times, the prowess of these tiny particles has been harnessed at multiple domains – from medical to industrial and even environmental levels. 

In terms of medical usage, this is associated with the construction and repair of artificial enzymes, cells, and genes in protein synthesis. 

But how are they formed? Also, how does their structure ensure a better potential for them in the future? We will discuss it all.  

How are nanoparticles formed? 

In simple terms, nanoparticles are formed by human or natural mediated corrosion of bigger structures. It may also be created by – a controlled assembly procedure. 

In rural areas, this is formed by chemical reactions that involve emitting certain compounds; in the case of urban areas – the key sources are cars or even diesel engines that have cold or faulty catalytic converters. 

What are the features of nanoparticles? 

As of now, you have a fair idea about the definition of nanoparticles and their formation. It is now time to check out their structure – 

  • For starters, they have a complex structure, with double to triple layers. If you have a triple-layered nanoparticle, you will be able to figure out its – surface or preliminary layer (packed with molecules), shell layer, and finally, the core material. 
  • They come with a high surface area that enables them to assemble the materials quickly. 
  • Depending on the type of nanoparticle, the structure changes. While some have polymers as a base, others have carbon, metal and its oxides, graphene, and nanopowders. 

As of now, developments concerning its structure are still underway. 

What are the advantages of nanoparticles? 

In this section, you will get clarity about the benefits that nanoparticles entail – 

  1. Coming in submicron sizes, they act as better carrier systems. Therapeutic agents are encapsulated in these nanoparticles, which makes extravasations easier. 
  2. Polymeric nanoparticles increase protein stability and can control the release properties. 
  3. If you want to alter the biodistribution of the drugs, then the nanoparticle surface can be modified accordingly. This provides maximum efficacy of drug distribution. 
  4. One may use magnetic guidance and attach targeting ligands to the surface of the particles for better transportation. 
  5. With enhanced surface area, the absorption rate is higher and leads to improved dissolution of the agent. 
  6. This offers increased bioavailability and manages the dose proportionately to avert toxicity. 

What are the applications of nanoparticles in medicine? 

Now that you have read about the benefits of nanoparticles and their outreach, the immediate query that one has is – how has the nanomedicine revolution changed the medical domain? We will give you an insight into that – 

  1. It has highly contributed to the domain of drug delivery and medical imagery. This has proven its outreach in terms of dealing with specific lung infections, intestinal issues, and skin infections. Further research is underway. 
  2. Have you heard of gold nanoparticles? They are promising new carriers acting as drug delivery agents, partaking in cancer therapies, and acting as radiosensitizers. 
  3. Advanced biodegradable polymers are now used in the nanomedicine domain, which increases delivery efficiency and minimizes side effects. 

These are some of the preliminary medical benefits that nanoparticles have brought forth to the current domain. Further research on the same is underway. 

Conclusive thoughts 

With the recent surge in nanoparticle-related exploration and the benefits that it entailed – without a doubt, the surge will continue. Also, as of now, apart from the medical domain, there are a host of other arenas wherein people are experimenting with nanoparticles. Therefore, one can assuredly state that the future is bright in this domain. However, this newly developed medical field does have its share of challenges. The polymer-based intracellular systems can be a bit dicey. 

Yet, taking all of this into account, as an individual, you too must be aware of its potential positives and the latest issues related to this domain. You can keep checking this website for the latest updates in this newly developed and ever-changing field of nanotechnology.