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How does Nanotechnology or Drugs in General find specific Target Areas?

I’m wondering, for example, you take medicine for a painful kidney (this is just for instance). How does the medicine know exactly where to go? Let’s take this a step further and pretend we are dealing with nanotechnology. How would the nanos (basically, really small particles) know where to deposit the drugs to the kidney? Is there some sort of chemical reaction going on, and if so, how and what? Thanks, and please tell me the source. :)

There are certain biological formations that can help deliver drugs or genetic materials to cells–liposomes, for instance, have medicine or genetic material encapsulated in them, and they can either be absorbed into a cell or join with the cell membrane to release their cargo. Also, dendrimers are tree-like protein polymer structures that form "pockets" within them, and the medicine or genetic material is deposited into the pockets and delivered directly to the tumor or organ that needs them. These treatments are specifically targeted at the necessary cells, similar to radiation or chemotherapy in cancer treatment. They would be injected or delivered directly to the site. I would say that a source to start with would be the book we used as our beginning textbook in my nano program. It includes many other sources for continuing research into the subject.

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  1. Mapleaf11 says:

    There are certain biological formations that can help deliver drugs or genetic materials to cells–liposomes, for instance, have medicine or genetic material encapsulated in them, and they can either be absorbed into a cell or join with the cell membrane to release their cargo. Also, dendrimers are tree-like protein polymer structures that form "pockets" within them, and the medicine or genetic material is deposited into the pockets and delivered directly to the tumor or organ that needs them. These treatments are specifically targeted at the necessary cells, similar to radiation or chemotherapy in cancer treatment. They would be injected or delivered directly to the site. I would say that a source to start with would be the book we used as our beginning textbook in my nano program. It includes many other sources for continuing research into the subject.
    References :
    Nanotechnology for Dummies, Richard D. Booker and Earl Boysen.

    Also try the textbooks by Tuan Vo-Dinh, though these books on nanobiotechnology tend to be very pricey. Gabriel Silva’s book "Nanotechnology for Biology and Medicine" will be good but does not come out until October.

    For more info on dendrimers: http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Research-Review/Magazine/2001/Fall/features/02Dendrimers.html

    On liposomes:
    http://www.unizh.ch/onkwww/lipos.htm

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