Academic lecture | Pharmaceutical nanotechnology: a science-based design and formulation of tomorrow´s nanomedicines
The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tartu celebrates its 388th anniversary on October 15th-16th. On October 16, Jyrki Tapio Heinämäki, Professor of Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology at the Institute of Pharmacy, will give an academic lecture on pharmaceutical nanotechnology. You can take part of the academic lecture via www.uttv.ee.
Drug is not a medicine. Pharmaceutical nanotechnology (PNT) is an emerging area of science that combines nanotechnology with pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences and focuses on improved medicines through the design, formulation and characterisation of nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems (DDS).
Today, there are several types of advanced nanocarrier systems being developed for therapeutic, diagnostic and imaging applications. Such systems include, e.g. (but are not limited to) polymeric nanoparticles, solid lipid nanoparticles, liposomes, nanocrystals, nanofibers, polymersomes, exosomes, nanomicelles, dendrimers, quantum dots, and carbon nanotubes.
These nanocarriers are intended for a wide range of indications and delivery applications e.g., cancer therapy & diagnosis, brain & CNS delivery, gene delivery, vaccine delivery, topical skin (wound) & transdermal delivery, medical imaging and theranostics applications. Since nanomedicines are extremely small and complex systems, the major challenge in PNT is to increase scientific knowledge on their unique chemistry, formulation (nanofabrication) and characterization (nanometrics), and to gain further understanding of their behavior in vitro and in vivo.
In this lecture, a short history review of the milestones and key scientific innovations of the PNT will be made. The lecture outlines the recent advancements in PNT with a special emphasis on the nanoformulation of poorly water-soluble drugs, multifunctional targeted drug delivery (theranostics DDSs) and 3D-printed nanomedicines.
The lecture presents also the integration of PNT with herbal drugs in developing modern DDSs for traditional herbal medicines. Special attention is paid to the recent advancements of PNT in the formulation of nanofibrous therapeutic systems for chronic wound therapy and tissue engineering. In the final part of the lecture, a novel ultrasound-enhanced electrospinning technique (USES) designed in the Institute of Pharmacy, University of Tartu will be described.
The USES method is currently used for fabricating nanofibers and nanofibrous mats for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications. The USES technology allows the production of nanotechnology constructs with better spatial control over anisotropic properties to control drug release profile or to modify the mechanical or topological properties of the nanofibers for tissue engineering purposes. Such constructs could be the basis for tomorrow’s active wound dressings and tissue engineering scaffolds.