Hippokratia 2006, 10(1):7-21
Physics Dpt, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Lab for Thin Films – Nanosystems & Nanometrology, Thessaloniki, Greece
Nanotechnology is an emerging technology with enormous potential in information and communication technology, biology and biotechnology, medicine and medical technology. Novel nano- and bio-materials, and nanodevices are fabricated and controlled by nanotechnology tools and techniques, which investigate and tune the properties, re-sponses and functions of living and non-living matter, at sizes below 100 nm. The current advances of nanotechnology in modern medicine are presented and discussed. The potential medical applications are predominantly in detection, diagnostics (disease diagnosis and imaging), monitoring, and therapeutics. The availability of more durable and better prosthetics, and new drug-delivery systems are of great scientific interest and give hope for cancer treatment and minimum invasive treatments for heart disease, diabetes and other diseases. Many novel nanoparticles and nanodevices are expected to be used, with an enormous positive impact on human health. The vision is to improve health by enhancing the efficacy and safety of nanosystems and nanodevices. Products based on nanotechnology in medicine and medical technology are reaching the market, with an anticipated enormous positive impact on human health, in the coming years. The development of specific guidance documents at a European level for the safety evaluation of nanotechnology products in medicine is strongly recommended and the need for further research in nanotoxicology, is identified. Ethical and moral concerns also need to be addressed in parallel with the new developments.