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October 26th, 2006

The famous five

As drug discovery has reached micro levels (ie at the cellular level), a requirement has come forth for drugs which can travel into the cells. This task is made possible by advances made in the area of nanotechnology. By the virtue of their size, nanoparticles possess properties that give them special abilities. They have more atoms at the surface than in the bulk. Hence, surface properties dominate the bulk properties allowing nanoparticles to reach where no other particles can. And when they do, they carry with them significant value. "All sorts of drugs, including those that have a very low toxic threshold, can be advantageously delivered by using nanoparticles. They can be delivered specifically to parts where conventionally it has been difficult to reach, like the posterior chamber of the eye," says Prof Jayesh Bellare, Department of Chemical Engineering at School of Biosciences and Bioengineering, IIT Bombay.


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