Impact of nano drug delivery – Prospects and consequences of nano-entities in medicine

Impact of nano drug delivery – Prospects and consequences of nano-entities in medicine
Nanotechnology has been described as the manipulation, precision placement, measurement, modelling or manufacture of matter in the sub-100 nm range. According to the National Institute of Health, applications of nanotechnology for the treatment, diagnosis, monitoring and control of biological systems is known as “nanomedicine”. Nanomedicines can also be described as colloidal drug delivery carriers having the size of 10 to 1,000 nm. Nanomedicine is a large subject area and includes nanoparticles that act as biological mimetics (e.g. functionalised carbon nanotubes), nanomachines (e.g. those made of interchangeable DNA parts and DNA scaffolds, such as octahedron and stick cube), nanofibres and polymeric as well as lipid nanomedicines.

There are several challenges being faced by the patients to use the conventional large size drug materials, some of which are poor bio-availability, in vivo stability, poor solubility, sustained and targeted delivery to the site of action, poor therapeutic effectiveness due to subtherapeutic level, generalised side effects and toxicity as a result of excessive dose or dose dumping of conventional sustained/controlled formulations and plasma fluctuations of drugs. Another challenge is the difficulty of delivering the accurate dose of an active agent to a specific site. Generally, for fulfilling the requirement therapeutics action high amount of drug is administered, which results in toxicity. Due to this drawback of traditional drug delivery system, the new concept of targeted drug delivery system or site specific drug delivery system has arisen.

Nanomedicines have a lot of potentials to rectify this problem associated with traditional drug delivery system and offer the targeting of active agents to the specific site. Thus, nanomedicines are capable of reducing the toxic effect and increasing the patient compliance. The flow in nanomedicines research during the past few decades is now translating into considerable commercialisation efforts around the globe, with many products on the market and a growing number in the pipeline. Currently, nanomedicine is being dominated by drug delivery systems, accounting more than 75% of the total sales. In the present scenario, the nanomedicines enlarge the economic life of the proprietary drugs; thus, significantly affecting the commercialisation of different drugs. However, there are a number of challenges arising in the commercialisation of nanomedicines. These challenges include the legal aspects, safety, environmental conditions, ethical issues, regulatory boundaries and overlapping patent claims. Therefore, in future, the focus should be given to these challenges for resolving them.

Various studies have shown that, the nanomedicine formulations have several advantages in comparison to other classic formulations, such as:
  • Improved solubility and dissolution rate and hence bio-availbility
  • Enhanced dose proportionality
  • Reduced adverse effect
  • Improved systemic as well as relative bio-availability
  • Better targeting capability at the target site
  • Direct release of the loaded drug into blood and to the specific individual cell
  • Suitable to administer by different routes
  • Shows good stability against enzymatic-cellular, thermal and photo-degradation
  • High bio-compatibility
  • Easy sterilisation by filtration due to particle size
  • Prevents enzymatic degradation and denaturation

  • The toxicity of nanomedicines is a big challenge in the present scenario faced by the researchers. The small size and large surface area can lead to particle aggregation making physical handling of nanoparticles difficult in liquid and dry forms. In addition, small particle size and large surface area readily result in limited drug loading and burst release. These practical problems need to be surpassed before the nanoparticles are used clinically or made commercially available.

    On the basis of these facts, we can say that nanomedicines offer bright opportunities to reformulate the active agents whose earlier formulations did not show a proper response in the form of traditional injectables or oral delivery or another route of drug administration. Thus, nanomedicines are capable of reducing the toxic effect and increasing the patient compliance.
    How to cite this article:
    Mohd Yasir . Impact of nano drug delivery – Prospects and consequences of nano-entities in medicine. BioLim O-Media. 30 March, 2016. 4(3).
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