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What is Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is an emerging scientific field creating materials, devices and systems at the molecular level. By being able to work at the ultra-small scale, given a nano is one billionth of a metre, nanotechnology is being used to deliver innovations in sectors including health.
What is NanoMedicine
NanoMedicine is the application of nanotechnology to achieve breakthroughs in healthcare. It exploits the improved and often novel physical, chemical and biological properties of materials at the nano scale, and offers the potential to enable early detection, prevention, improved diagnosis and imaging, treatment and follow-up of diseases. NanoMedicine embraces a wide field including in vivo and in vitro diagnostics to therapy including targeted delivery and regenerative medicine; it interfaces nanomaterials (surfaces, particles, etc) or analytical instruments with "living" human material (cells, tissue, body fluids).

Diseases such as cancer, diabetics, cardiovascular diseases, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease and inflammatory and/or infectious diseases not only impact on individual patients and their family. The societal and economic impact is immense and requires constant review, examination and assessment on easing both the direct and indirect burden.

Key areas of NanoMedicine examined by ACN
As scientists continue to examine the body at the molecular level, our understanding of how the body functions will unveil new possibilities and hope for patients as well as in terms of preventative medicine. NanoMedicine is already having success in Targeted Drug Delivery, Diagnosis and Imaging, and Regenerative Medicine

In terms of targeted drug delivery, Researchers continue researching new methods where targeted drug delivery seeks to concentrate medicine to diseased cells/tissues/organ. This is in contrast to current drug delivery trends were a medication is generally administered through the blood supply resulting in only a small amount of the drug reaching the affected area.

Through diagnostic and imaging, NanoMedicine researchers seek to identify and cure life-threatening diseases at the earliest stage. Researchers are exploring ways for nanotechnology and imaging instruments to better analysis disease, while offering less painful and evasive methods to patients; and more cost effective techniques that allow access of new technologies by clinical labs.

Developments in regenerative medicine offer hope especially for patients suffering organ failure or other injuries. While developments have been made, including by Australian researchers like former Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Wood with her spray on skin, other research continues on regeneration of bone and cartilage.

There has been much discussion not only in Australia but also internationally on the possible risks associated with nanotechnology, and this is especially so in the NanoMedicine area. In Australia, the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial and Research Organisation (CSIRO) is undertaking research on nanosafety, which through this website and the ACN newsletter, we will report on.