The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Nanotechnology Approaches

The topic of this month’s newsletter from Drug Discovery Today is “Nanotechnology Approaches”.

Judging from the number of proposals for articles that I receive, the field of nanotechnology in the Pharmaceutical industry is showing exponential growth, to the extent that we have featured 2 special issues and at least as many newsletters covering the topic. In such a rapidly-moving field, it is difficult to know where current trends will lead us and which great ideas will prove to be the BetaMax™s of the generation and which the VHS™. I’m not a futurist and I don’t attempt to predict winners, so, until further notice, I’ll continue to highlight a broad range of those technological approaches that appear to be interesting and have potential to enhance the ability to deliver or produce drugs. I hope that you agree with me that the articles I have highlighted in this newsletter fall into this category.

The first article, “Solid nanoparticles for oral delivery of antimicrobials: A review.” is by Aun Raza, Fekade Bruck Sime, Peter J. Cabot, Faheem Maqbool, Jason A. Roberts and James Robert Falconer from Brisbane, Australia. The authors highlight that infectious disease, including infections by bacteria, virus, protozoa, fungi and algae are very common and represent a high proportion of total global disease. They also indicate that although most can be treated with existing compounds, there is a large and growing health problem as a result of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Their article identifies one of the major approaches in addressing the problems of AMR via improvement in oral delivery. Using solid nanoparticles, it is possible to improve drug stability, hence allowing enhanced drug targeting and sustained release in the GI tract. This has been viewed by many as a useful strategy to ameliorate the current problem of AMR.
Following on from this is the article “Design strategies for chemical-stimuli-responsive programmable nanotherapeutics”, by Muhammad Gulfam, Fitsum Feleke Sahle and Tao L. Lowe of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, USA. This review systematically addresses up-to-date technology, design strategies and challenges for chemical-stimuli-responsive nanotherapeutics for controlled drug delivery, diagnostics and other biomedical applications.These are particularly interesting approaches in the fields of drug delivery and disease diagnosis. The nanotherapeutics will respond to specific changes in their environment such as pH, ionic strength, redox, glucose, enzymes, ATP and variations in the oxygen tension of the micromilieu. The article covers approaches and challenges to developing such useful and complex materials that can sense and respond to local changes.
Last, but not least, is the article from Cong Song, Wenjie Sun, Yunchao Xiao and Xiangyang Shi, scientists Donghua University, Shanghai, China, entitled: “Ultrasmall iron oxide nanoparticles: synthesis, surface modification, assembly and biomedical applications”. They review progress in the synthesis and surface modification and other properties of such nanoparticles. The article points out how  such materials can be of great use in cancer diagnosis and treatment, in imaging technologies and delivery and theranostic applications.
Steve Carney was born in Liverpool, England and studied Biochemistry at Liverpool University, obtaining a BSc.(Hons) and then read for a PhD on the Biochemistry and Pathology of Connective Tissue Diseases in Manchester University, in the Departments of Medical Biochemistry and Histopathology. On completion of his PhD he moved to the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, London, where he worked with Professor Helen Muir FRS and Professor Tim Hardingham, on the biochemistry of experimental Osteoarthritis. He joined Eli Lilly and Co. and held a number of positions in Biology R&D, initially in the Connective Tissue Department, but latterly in the Neuroscience Department. He left Lilly to take up his present position as Managing Editor, Drug Discovery Today, at Elsevier. Currently, he also holds an honorary lectureship in Drug Discovery at the University of Surrey, UK. He has authored over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, written several book chapters and has held a number of patents.

Share this article

More services


This article is featured in:
The View From Here


Comment on this article

You must be registered and logged in to leave a comment about this article.