According to a noted UK media outlet, the nanomedicine market will see unprecedented growth by 2027, with the numbers hitting an all-time high at – $487.69 billion globally.
The emergence of nanomedicine has stood out as a pivotal trend, given that it offers a variety of safe treatment pathways – wherein biocompatible alloys and biodegradable products are used. In this way, there are minimal side effects and almost next to negligible accumulation within the body. Also, with over 50 million dementia-affected individuals and 28.4 million expected cancer cases, this demand for nano-backed therapeutics is set to surge.
However, a large section of individuals are skeptical about nanomedicine and its set of advantages in the long run. Are you one of those? Your search ends here! This post will give you a brief outline of its positives and also highlight its future impact on the health industry.
What is the concept of nanomedicine?
Speaking in simple terminology – nanomedicine is a developing medication field that utilizes nanotechnology (usage of nanometer-sized particles) to detect, analyze, treat, and foretell a range of health conditions. Clinical trials and evolving medical applications have propelled the growth of this field.
For the unversed, this medication field is commonly utilized – to enhance the action of a drug by either employing nanoparticles or by releasing them directly.
For example, professionals may use iron oxide nanoparticles as the contrast agent for MRI. At the same time, they also use gold nanoparticles as specified contrast agents for studies on imaging.
Now that you have a fair idea of the concept let us give you a preview of the challenges currently facing the medical domain and outline how nanomedicine can bridge this gap.
What are the current challenges of the health industry?
Quickly noting the challenges –
- Lack of early diagnosis for certain critical diseases. This leads to a higher fatality rate for these (cardiovascular issues, cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and more).
- Issues regarding targeted therapy. In more than a singular case, it has been found that the associated tissues get harmed when targeting a single cell/tissue. Nanomedicine can resolve that.
- Treating degenerative diseases is a hectic issue. This is another key area where nanomedicine can assist.
Apart from that, the financial and time-strain that any disease brings forth are the innate challenges that nanomedicine can potentially solve.
What are the advantages of nanomedicine?
They are –
- Early diagnosis and detection of the biomarker
The primary benefit of nanomedicine is – the detection of a biomarker, even in samples with low concentrations. Rather than scanning the body, professionals can inject nanoparticles and determine the ‘chemical indicating the disease,’ thereby reducing the chances of failure of the concerned drug.
- Specific and precise drug delivery system
There are 3 key areas that nanomedicine can target – enhancing the solubility of the drug and improving its stability and bioavailability. What happens in hindsight is that one can use a smaller quantity of medicine and hence reduce the chances of toxic backfires.
- The introduction of nanodiagnostics
The core of this feature is the use of nanomedicine to develop devices that could work within the human body. The potential is endless, from identifying toxic molecules to quantifying them and finding ways to diminish them medically.
- Combining it with therapy
One of the crucial benefits that nanomedicine brings to the forefront is – its ability to merge with therapy. Medically known as nano theranostics, this allows both active and passive accumulation of actions at the same ‘site’ at the same ‘time.’ This is specifically useful for treating cancer.
- Playing a crucial role in regenerative medicine
This is another multidisciplinary field that is emerging conspicuously for the improvement and maintenance of cells. Simply speaking, this involves cell therapy and the engineering of tissues. Using nanomedicine, you can precisely target the ‘affected’ cell and change its essential constituency and proliferation. Thus, the adverse effects (if any) are restricted to the concerned cell only in the long run.
What are the future prospects of nanomedicine?
Assuming you have been reading this article, you do have a fair idea about the benefits of nanomedicine and the areas wherein one may harness its powers. The anticipated expansion in the market that this experimental medicine branch has seen can be viewed as a direct response to the prevalence of chronic diseases (which are increasing with every passing day).
Therefore, one may state that – if one uses this to look into the unmet health challenges of the day, the prognosis and diagnosis of diseases, drug delivery format, medical imaging, and other vital areas, the global health economy would be in a much better place.
Though its knowledge is limited and has particular ethical concerns surrounding it, that in no way diminishes the power of ‘change’ that this field can bring.
In tune with other breakthrough medical technologies, nanomedicine has its share of positives and concerns. Yet, taking into account its potential for the future, one needs to outweigh its negatives against the benefits that it brings forth. Standing today, one can only state that this field, as it continues to refine its edges, is bound to grow by leaps and bounds, giving individuals a new horizon regarding future forecasts of any critical health condition.
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