Nanoparticles are atoms or molecules bonded with each other in sizes that range from 1 to 100 nm. Their size enables them to possess different physical and chemical properties than their bulk counterparts. This is mainly due to their very high surface area to volume ratio.
They are very important in the medical field and have a wide range of applications for drug delivery, antibacterial coatings, biomedical devices, and wound dressings. They also have unique electrical, thermal, and optical properties that make them an exciting addition to research and development in a variety of fields, including photovoltaics, chemical sensors, and biological applications.
In the pharmaceutical industry, they are used in gene editing, rapid vaccine development, and immuno-oncology. They can overcome the major barrier of genetic medicines – inefficient nucleic acid delivery – to produce more effective therapeutic agents that combat disease.
Moreover, they can protect against oxidative DNA damage and help fight cancer by scavenging free radicals in different cell environments. This is done through the interception and aggregation of oxygen atoms inside nanoparticles to form stable agglomerates that are more likely to enter cells than smaller, individual particles.
Nanoparticles can be used to deliver drugs directly to cancerous growths or to target damaged arteries in order to fight cardiovascular disease. They are also being tested for use in antibacterial treatments. Magnetic nanoparticles, for example, can be heated and injected directly into tumors to kill them.