Nanotechnology May Make the Daily Dose Obsolete - dummies

Nanotechnology May Make the Daily Dose Obsolete

By Earl Boysen, Nancy C. Muir, Desiree Dudley, Christine Peterson

Various nanotechnology researchers are developing nanoporous drug delivery particles. These nanopores are filled with therapeutic drugs that can be released over a period of months or years.

You know those little pill holders that you see more mature citizens carting around with them? In our healthcare conscious world, it’s hard to avoid being on some medication or preventive nutritional supplement at some point in your life. Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could take a pill once every year instead of every single day? That scenario just might be possible.

For example, a company called pSivida Limited offers a drug delivery product called BioSilicon, a silicon particle riddled with nano-sized pores. The drug is loaded into the pores. As the silicon particle dissolves, the particle releases the drug. pSivida can customize the size and porosity of silicon particles to control the time it takes them to dissolve.

BioSilicon may be used in implants under the skin that could release a drug over days, weeks, or months.

Researchers are also developing implantable drug delivery products using other types of nanomaterials, such as nanoporous silicon dioxide or titanium dioxide nanotubes. Researchers are investigating various applications for these materials.

For example, one study shows that a time-release material injected into the eye can supply therapeutic drugs to help combat blindness in diabetic patients. Another study on lab animals has shown that time-release therapeutic material injected into the brain can help to reduce the severity of seizures in epileptics.