Improving Healthcare with Nanomedicine

Posted on: 15 October 2015

Nanomedicine’s role in improving healthcare was under the spotlight at Trinity College Dublin at the 10th anniversary of the European Technology Platform for Nanomedicine (ETPN).

The three-day event aimed to provide the European nanomedicine community with best practices and new services. It also aimed to define a strategy to enable nanomedicine technologies for healthcare, with a special focus on improving healthy aging and securing industrial development and growth in Europe.

Patients will directly benefit from a host of new “nano” products provided by the medical technology industry. Examples include dental fillers, sensors for diagnostic monitoring, point-of-care devices for remote monitoring, injectable drugs for cancer diagnostic and treatment, embedded nanomaterials to strengthen biomaterials, and improved surface coatings that will enhance biocompatibility and performance.

Provost of Trinity, Dr Patrick Prendergast, said:  “It’s in an honour to host ETPN, and to showcase the excellent work carried out at Trinity in the translational areas of clinical research and biomedical sciences. The strategic work carried out by our School of Medicine, and flagship institutes,  CRANN and AMBER, is placing innovation at the forefront of advanced materials in the biomedical area.”

Many new products are currently under advanced clinical trials and, as a result, a major theme of ETPN was how to expedite the translation of research innovation into commercial products. These aspects will be discussed under the Enabling Nanomedicine Translation (ENATRANS) umbrella.

Growing interest in the medical application of nanotechnology by academic and industrial researchers worldwide has led to the development of novel nanomedical platforms and nanodrugs, along with a substantial increase in government funding and venture-capital investment.

Nanotechnology is a key enabling technology, and because its applications in medical settings can range from diagnostics to therapeutics to medical devices, it has the potential to provide major health benefits for all.

Senior Research Fellow from the School of Medicine and Amber in Trinity, Dr Adriele Prina-Mello, said: “The nanomedicine market has grown from a small range of products in the early 2000’s to more than 250 in 2014.  There is significant work taking place here in Trinity that will see these numbers increase in  years to come. As these cutting-edge ideas are shared and expanded among project partners operating in many different fields, many global health benefits of nanomedicine will be realised.”

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