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      Drug delivery and nanoparticles: Applications and hazards

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          Abstract

          The use of nanotechnology in medicine and more specifically drug delivery is set to spread rapidly. Currently many substances are under investigation for drug delivery and more specifically for cancer therapy. Interestingly pharmaceutical sciences are using nanoparticles to reduce toxicity and side effects of drugs and up to recently did not realize that carrier systems themselves may impose risks to the patient. The kind of hazards that are introduced by using nanoparticles for drug delivery are beyond that posed by conventional hazards imposed by chemicals in classical delivery matrices. For nanoparticles the knowledge on particle toxicity as obtained in inhalation toxicity shows the way how to investigate the potential hazards of nanoparticles. The toxicology of particulate matter differs from toxicology of substances as the composing chemical(s) may or may not be soluble in biological matrices, thus influencing greatly the potential exposure of various internal organs. This may vary from a rather high local exposure in the lungs and a low or neglectable exposure for other organ systems after inhalation. However, absorbed species may also influence the potential toxicity of the inhaled particles. For nanoparticles the situation is different as their size opens the potential for crossing the various biological barriers within the body. From a positive viewpoint, especially the potential to cross the blood brain barrier may open new ways for drug delivery into the brain. In addition, the nanosize also allows for access into the cell and various cellular compartments including the nucleus. A multitude of substances are currently under investigation for the preparation of nanoparticles for drug delivery, varying from biological substances like albumin, gelatine and phospholipids for liposomes, and more substances of a chemical nature like various polymers and solid metal containing nanoparticles. It is obvious that the potential interaction with tissues and cells, and the potential toxicity, greatly depends on the actual composition of the nanoparticle formulation. This paper provides an overview on some of the currently used systems for drug delivery. Besides the potential beneficial use also attention is drawn to the questions how we should proceed with the safety evaluation of the nanoparticle formulations for drug delivery. For such testing the lessons learned from particle toxicity as applied in inhalation toxicology may be of use. Although for pharmaceutical use the current requirements seem to be adequate to detect most of the adverse effects of nanoparticle formulations, it can not be expected that all aspects of nanoparticle toxicology will be detected. So, probably additional more specific testing would be needed.

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          Most cited references 142

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          Nanoshell-mediated near-infrared thermal therapy of tumors under magnetic resonance guidance.

          Metal nanoshells are a class of nanoparticles with tunable optical resonances. In this article, an application of this technology to thermal ablative therapy for cancer is described. By tuning the nanoshells to strongly absorb light in the near infrared, where optical transmission through tissue is optimal, a distribution of nanoshells at depth in tissue can be used to deliver a therapeutic dose of heat by using moderately low exposures of extracorporeally applied near-infrared (NIR) light. Human breast carcinoma cells incubated with nanoshells in vitro were found to have undergone photothermally induced morbidity on exposure to NIR light (820 nm, 35 W/cm2), as determined by using a fluorescent viability stain. Cells without nanoshells displayed no loss in viability after the same periods and conditions of NIR illumination. Likewise, in vivo studies under magnetic resonance guidance revealed that exposure to low doses of NIR light (820 nm, 4 W/cm2) in solid tumors treated with metal nanoshells reached average maximum temperatures capable of inducing irreversible tissue damage (DeltaT = 37.4 +/- 6.6 degrees C) within 4-6 min. Controls treated without nanoshells demonstrated significantly lower average temperatures on exposure to NIR light (DeltaT < 10 degrees C). These findings demonstrated good correlation with histological findings. Tissues heated above the thermal damage threshold displayed coagulation, cell shrinkage, and loss of nuclear staining, which are indicators of irreversible thermal damage. Control tissues appeared undamaged.
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            Cardiovascular mortality and long-term exposure to particulate air pollution: epidemiological evidence of general pathophysiological pathways of disease.

            Epidemiologic studies have linked long-term exposure to fine particulate matter air pollution (PM) to broad cause-of-death mortality. Associations with specific cardiopulmonary diseases might be useful in exploring potential mechanistic pathways linking exposure and mortality. General pathophysiological pathways linking long-term PM exposure with mortality and expected patterns of PM mortality with specific causes of death were proposed a priori. Vital status, risk factor, and cause-of-death data, collected by the American Cancer Society as part of the Cancer Prevention II study, were linked with air pollution data from United States metropolitan areas. Cox Proportional Hazard regression models were used to estimate PM-mortality associations with specific causes of death. Long-term PM exposures were most strongly associated with mortality attributable to ischemic heart disease, dysrhythmias, heart failure, and cardiac arrest. For these cardiovascular causes of death, a 10-microg/m3 elevation in fine PM was associated with 8% to 18% increases in mortality risk, with comparable or larger risks being observed for smokers relative to nonsmokers. Mortality attributable to respiratory disease had relatively weak associations. Fine particulate air pollution is a risk factor for cause-specific cardiovascular disease mortality via mechanisms that likely include pulmonary and systemic inflammation, accelerated atherosclerosis, and altered cardiac autonomic function. Although smoking is a much larger risk factor for cardiovascular disease mortality, exposure to fine PM imposes additional effects that seem to be at least additive to if not synergistic with smoking.
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              The dawning era of polymer therapeutics.

               Ruth Duncan (2003)
              As we enter the twenty-first century, research at the interface of polymer chemistry and the biomedical sciences has given rise to the first nano-sized (5-100 nm) polymer-based pharmaceuticals, the 'polymer therapeutics'. Polymer therapeutics include rationally designed macromolecular drugs, polymer-drug and polymer-protein conjugates, polymeric micelles containing covalently bound drug, and polyplexes for DNA delivery. The successful clinical application of polymer-protein conjugates, and promising clinical results arising from trials with polymer-anticancer-drug conjugates, bode well for the future design and development of the ever more sophisticated bio-nanotechnologies that are needed to realize the full potential of the post-genomic age.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Nanomedicine
                International Journal of Nanomedicine
                International Journal of Nanomedicine
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-9114
                1178-2013
                June 2008
                June 2008
                : 3
                : 2
                : 133-149
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Laboratory for Toxicology, Pathology and Genetics, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) Bilthoven, The Netherlands
                [2 ]Zuyd University, Centre of Expertise in Life Sciences Heerlen, The Netherlands
                [3 ]Magnamedics GmbH Aachen, Germany
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Wim H De Jong Laboratory for Toxicology, Pathology and Genetics, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands Tel + 31 30 274 2311 Fax + 31 30 274 4446 Email wim.de.jong@ 123456rivm.nl
                Article
                2527668
                18686775
                © 2008 Dove Medical Press Limited. All rights reserved
                Categories
                Review

                Molecular medicine

                nanoparticles, toxicology, drug delivery, pharmaceuticals, cancer therapy

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