Documenting the Coming Singularity

Monday, May 07, 2007

Nanomedicine: Drug Delivery & Diagnostics Get a Boost

Nanotech is the key to some new methods of precision drug-delivery and diagnostics. Two spinoff companies in Austalia have announced some new products under development promise "to provide better health outcomes with reduced costs to the community." The specific projects currently in the pipeline at Interstitial NS are nanostructured medicines for diabetes and asthma whose nanoscale manufacture makes possible otherwise impractical delivery methods.
The Interstitial NS transdermal delivery patch for insulin has already been tested on animals by the Victorian College of Pharmacy and is expected to begin pre-clinical trials in September. Interstitial NS is working with Melbourne-based company Catapult to produce a portable prototype device to enable self administration. The patches are manufactured by the Victorian company MiniFAB, while the nanostructured drugs are formulated by Eiffel Technology.

Interstitial NS will also commercialize a device for pulmonary delivery of nanoparticulate drugs. The portable personal inhaler uses Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology, with Melbourne-based Charlwood Design designing the prototype pump. Pre-clinical trials are anticipated to start in January 2008. The transdermal delivery technology used by Interstitial NS has already been recognized as "prime technological innovation" by analysts Frost & Sullivan.
At Quintain NanoSystems a rapid diagnostic test for the detection of meningitis is the initial focus.
The test uses nanoparticle technology to provide a rapid color-based readout, avoiding lengthy bacterial culturing for identifying the bacteria. Also in development are a number of other diagnostic tools. Nanoparticle-based imaging reagents will enable early detection of disease states in humans. Nanoarray biochips will offer a cost effective method of detection for both salmonella and bovine mastitis, and enzyme biosensor probes are under development for the measurement of sulfite in food and beverages.
These products represent only the first wavelets lapping at the shore of human disease and aging, foreshadowing a coming tsunami of healing and radical life-extension at the hands of nanotechnology. Otherwise known as the Singularity. Stay tuned.

(Source: Nanowerk)

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