Cancer Nanomedicine Learn how nanotechnology is being used to fight cancer

By: Gareth Hughes | October 29, 2014

Long before gold nanorods, carbon nanotubes, and magnetic nanoparticles were first made in the lab, nanoscale structures made from biological materials were being, and continue to be, constructed in living organisms. Life wouldn’t exist without nanostructures. Proteins that help build our muscles, antibodies that fend off disease and infection, membranes that keep unwanted materials out of our cells, even the fundamental building block of life … DNA, all exist at the nanoscale. What makes nanotechnology for medical applications such a compelling field is the fact that biology already operates at the nanoscale. Why make a diagnostic tool or medical device the size of a cell phone when you can make one the size of a cell membrane?


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Tags: DNA 

By: Gareth Hughes | October 28, 2014

The Wyss Institute at Harvard University

The field of nanomedicine is inherently multidisciplinary requiring the involvement of those with knowledge of engineering, physics, chemistry, biology as well as medicine. The commercialization of nanomedicine adds further complexity and requires additional participation from those with experience in manufacturing, intellectual property, regulatory issues, strategic partnering, and raising investment. Suffice it to say, getting a nanomedicine to the clinic is a tremendous challenge. Given that nanomedicine is still a fairly nascent area, most nanomedicines are currently being developed in academia.

Collaborative, Multidisciplinary Efforts

By: Gareth Hughes | October 28, 2014

With the continual need to fill their therapeutic pipelines, major biopharma companies are constantly on the lookout to forge key strategic partnerships with smaller biotech companies that have promising alternative therapeutic options in development. A relatively recent trend is the partnering of biopharma companies with nanomedicine startups. As more nanotechnology-related drugs are transitioning from the lab to the clinic, interest in nanomedicine and it’s potential to treat cancer is growing. Some of the major biopharma companies who have recently shown interest in nanomedicine include AstraZeneca, Amgen, Pfizer, Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline. Here I will briefly discuss some of the partnerships that these companies have forged.


By: Gareth Hughes | October 28, 2014

One of the most unique nanomaterials is the   carbon nanotube , a hollow structure made of carbon atoms linked together and rolled up like chicken wire. Carbon nanotubes, or CNTs, have an amazing set of properties. They are the strongest known materials by weight (100 times stronger than steel). Through different processing techniques, CNTs can have high electrical conductivity or can be semi-conductive, generating interest with   computer chip manufacturers . CNTs also have unique   optical properties . They absorb almost any form of light from far-ultraviolet to far-infrared. They exhibit   photoluminescence , meaning they emit a different wavelength of light back from the light to which they are exposed. ...

By: Gareth Hughes | October 28, 2014

Many types of materials are being used in the development of nanomedicines and advancements continue to be made in the methods used to fabricate nanoscale objects. These fabrication methods are enabling the scaling down of structures, devices, and systems using almost any material. The common classes of materials used in nanomedicine are:

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Tags: nanomaterials