Nanoparticles in Healthcare
Nanotechnology is enabling the development of new treatments, diagnostics and analytics methods in healthcare. Nanoparticles are used for targeted drug delivery, enhance systemic treatments, to enhance imaging and diagnostics for MRI and PET and for anti-microbial coatings for implants. Nanoporous materials are used for sensor array development and novel electrode manufacturing for bio-electronics. VSPARTICLE enables innovators in healthcare technology.
Nanoparticles are small enough to pass cell membranes, making them ideal carriers of drugs or enhance standard treatment. This is mainly due to their physical properties such as (super-para) magnetism, high catalytic activity and their ability to accumulate in tumor tissue. Particles below 20nm also could potentially pass the blood brain barrier, making them useful for new ways of treatment in the brain.
All particles below 5nm are highly active and anti-microbial, hence these coatings are used for implants and medical devices.
Nanoparticles possess a significantly higher surface to volume ratio than bigger particles. This enables a greater response from the sensor on a smaller footprint, or higher output for an electrode in bioelectronics. The higher sensitivity can open up the possibility to detect smaller amounts of biomarkers in blood.
Together with the Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam (AMC) and students from the Karel Keizer College in Amsterdam, VSPARTICLE researched the potential of various metal nanoparticles in enhancing hyperthermia treatment of cervical cancer. In-vitro research and fluorescence microscopy shows a significant increase in cell apoptosis with sub 20nm iron nanoparticles. The hypothesis is that the iron nanoparticles penetrate deep into the tumour cells and locally heat up the core during treatment, damaging the affected DNA. Iron nanoparticle enhanced hyperthermia treatment kills the tumour cell more effectively than hyperthermia treatment alone.
Making flexible sensors and electrodes is challenging enough, but how to guarantee their longevity and performance in the human body? With our aerosol manufacturing tools, we can deposit pure bio-compatible metals on flexible materials using additive manufacturing technology, without harmful contaminations. Our process in reproducible and ISO 19601 compliant.
People want to live longer and stay healthy. Affordable and accessible healthcare is a global need. These demands put a lot of pressure on healthcare systems worldwide. “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages” is nr. 3 of the 17 sustainable development goals of the UN. To realize this endeavour, innovators need to think out of the box. Material science plays a big role in finding new solutions.
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