Nanomedicine: Big news on a microscopic scale

Nanomedicine : Nouvelles marquantes sur une échelle microscopique

par Sruthi Valluri, DOTmed News | June 24, 2011
From the June 2011 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


A little problem
Dave Peralta, NanoBio’s chief operating and financial officer, agrees that the size of nanodroplets make them an ideal solution for the pharmaceutical industry. But Peralta also points out that nanotechnology’s strength might also be its weakness.

In the spring of 2004, researchers reported brain damage in largemouth bass that had been exposed to buckyballs, a commonly used carbon-based nanoparticle. Later reports found that nanoparticles could accumulate in the environment. The findings ignited what continues to be a lingering concern regarding nanoparticles.

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“There’s been more scrutiny for very small nanoparticles,” says Peralta. “There are concerns about toxicity, and about their ability to get into the bloodstream and into distant organs.”

But these concerns are specific to the smallest of nanoparticles, those smaller than 10 nanometers, Peralta points out. “In nanomedicine, there’s a wide range within which people operate,” he says. “Because concerns are raised regarding those specifics, the whole nano space gets painted with broad strokes.”

Despite these concerns, the FDA decided in 2007 not to require any additional safety trials for nanomedical initiatives. Grodzinski sees the FDA’s decision as a vote of confidence for the relatively new field.

“It’s the nature of medicine and medical sciences to be cautious,” says Grodzinski. “There is also some hesitation to adopt new concepts. This perception will be a major barrier, but there is a strong body of knowledge that nanoparticles will make a difference.”

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