The Royal Society and The Royal Academy of Engineering define:

NanoScience as “the study of phenomena and manipulation of materials at atomic, molecular and macromolecular scales, where properties differ significantly from those at larger scale.”

NanoTechnology as “the design, characterisation, production and applications of structures, devices and systems by controlling shape and size at the nanometre scale.”

NanoMedicine as “the application of nanotechnology to healthcare. It has potential impact on the early and reliable diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of diseases.”

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) provides the following definition:

“Nanotechnology is the use of tiny structures - less than 1,000 nanometres across - that are designed to have specific properties. Nanotechnology is an emerging field in science that is used in a wide range of applications, from consumer goods to health products.”

To date 10 nanomedicines have been granted Orphan Drug status in Europe and in the US,there are 70 ongoing cancer trials assessing nanomedicines.  From 2010 to 2016 the nanomedicine market is on target to more than double with an expected value of around $130.9 billion.

Nanotechnology is expected to have a great impact on many areas of Medical Technology, for example:

  • Cancer diagnosis
  • Tissue engineering
  • Drug delivery
  • Biosensors
  • Molecular imaging
  • Surgical implants
  • Translational medicine


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