Introducing nanotechnologies in the treatment of the chronic diseases

Nanotechnology is one of the relatively new scientific branches in medicine, and the implementation of developments in this field allows to radically change the approach to the treatment of different diseases, such as diabetes or chronic diseases treatment.

Harvard University researchers reported on the joint development of nanoparticles that could be programmed in such a way that they transport attached drugs exclusively to the pancreas. This treatment is designed to help patients with type 1 diabetes.

Initially, nanoparticles were developed for the treatment of oncological diseases since they are able to relatively easily penetrate into the tumor through its defective newly formed vessels. It was previously impossible to use such a principle of delivery for organs with normal vessels. However, researchers have managed to solve this problem by attaching a specific peptide to the nanoparticles, which is able to recognize the capillary vessels of the islets of Langerhans, the sections of the pancreas responsible for insulin secretion.

The scientists noted that the use of the aforementioned nanoparticles makes it possible to preserve the integrity of the drug and deliver it to its destination in full. One of the important areas of research in nanobiotechnologies is the use of nanoparticles as a substance for the creation of new medicines. Nanoparticles can also act as drug carriers. In addition, a new direction of nanopharmacology is the development of nanomedicines with the formation of a complex between known drugs and nanoparticles, nanocapsules, which will contribute to deeper penetration of such drugs into the pathological process, leading to effective pharmacotherapy of the disease.

Nanomedicines for diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease treatment

Since the consequences of diabetes mellitus affect the quality of life of patients and also entail high costs, nanoparticles are seen as a promising secure treatment method. The ability to program the route of nanoparticles will provide effective assistance to patients with this pathology. They may serve as an alternative to systemic drug use since by increasing the concentration of the drug in the pancreas, they can be used at lower doses, which means reducing the number of adverse reactions from the prescribed therapy.

Nanoparticles can be applied not only for diabetes treatment. ​​The use of nanoparticles for the treatment for chronic diseases and neurodegenerative disorders (such as Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease treatment) can help improve drug delivery and improve the pharmacokinetic properties of therapeutic agents. Effective, timely diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders can significantly contribute to the advanced treatment process.

Future with nanomedicines

The joint efforts of doctors, chemists, physicists, and biologists are focused on the creation of nanomedicines capable of improving the therapeutic efficiency of drugs and the diagnostic potential of imaging techniques in terms of specificity of action, sensitivity, and limitation of effects. These new treatments have been specifically designed to promote the transport of nanoparticles across biological barriers, to selectively reach specific targets, to mediate molecular interactions and respond to local or external stimuli, and, finally, to identify specific biomolecules. Some of these nanomaterials are currently used in clinical protocols, others are still in preclinical and clinical phase studies, and many others are still the subject of experimental research.

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