Nanotechnology evolves more and more in medical applications – in diagnosis and therapy for delivering drugs, and in other biological and non-biological substances to specific types of tissues or cells. Being smaller than around 100 nm, the particles are tailored and functionalized for being able to attach to, or enter in, diseased cells, and may even cross membranes like the blood-brain-barrier. These techniques are used for mag- net resonance imaging as contrast agent or for targeted therapy using e.g. highly toxic cancer therapeutic drugs to enter tumor cells. Both applications may improve the way of diagnosing and treating diseases.
Although scientists and clinicians have been active in this field for more than 20 years, the development of methods and standards required for testing especially inorganic nanoparticles and their impact on human cells and tissues is still ongoing and not satisfying. Tests measuring the influence of particle size, form, charge, and protein absorption to the surrounding tissue, the influence of the uptake by the lymphatic or the blood system, etc., are not standardized and may be challenging for the translation of research to marketable products.
This workshop provided a forum for experts from nanoparticle research, nanotoxicology and pharmaceutics as well as clinicians and the state of the art of methods in nanomedicine today and the requirements for improving tests describing the nanoparticles and their biomedical behavior were discussed.
The outcome of the workshop will be documented as brochure and recommendations will be made.