A guest lecture ‘Good News in Nanotechnology’ from Dr. Nagib A. Elmarzugi, PhD, Alfateh University, Tripoli, Libya

On Tuesday, June 1st 2010, School of Pharmacy ITB held a guest lecture from Dr. Nagib A. Elmarzugi,PhD, Lecturer, Faculty of Pharmacy, Alfateh University, Researcher, Biotechnology Research Centre, Tripoli, Libya. The given topic of the guest lecture was ‘Good News in Nanotechnology’.

In pharmaceutics, 90% of all medicines, the active ingredient is in the form of solid particles. With the development in nanotechnology, it is now possible to produce drug nanoparticles that can be utilized in a variety of innovative ways. New drug delivery pathways can now be used that can increase drug efficacy and reduce side effects.

There are two ways to produce nanoparticle; bottom-up and top-down. Bottom-up method is the method that involves building structures atom by atom or molecule by molecule. This can be done in three ways; chemical synthesis, self-assembly and positional assembly. In top-down method, it starts with larger materials and etching, milling or machining a nanostructure from it by removing material.

Nanoparticles hold tremendous potential as an effective drug delivery system. To overcome the problems of gene and drug delivery, nanotechnology has gained interest in recent years. Nanosystems with different compositions and biological properties have been extensively investigated for drug and gene delivery applications. To achieve efficient drug delivery it is important to understand the interactions of nanomaterials with the biological environment, targeting cell-surface receptors, drug release, multiple drug administration, stability of therapeutic agents and molecular mechanisms of cell signalling involved in pathobiology of the disease under consideration.

Products of nanotechnology are expected to revolutionize modern medicine, as evidenced by recent scientific advances and global initiatives to support nanotechnology and nanomedicine research. The field of drug delivery is a direct beneficiary of these advancements. Due to their versatility in targeting tissues, accessing deep molecular targets, and controlling drug release, nanoparticles are helping address challenges to face the delivery of modern, as well as conventional drugs.

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