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November 28th, 2007
The efficacy of any drug depends strongly on its bioavailability — referring to the presence of the drug in the part of the body where it is needed.
Drug delivery mechanisms focus on increasing bioavailability and the residence time.
Nanoparticles do both. Generally they assist in diagnosis (as contrast agents in ultrasonography, MRI imaging), delivery (by residing for a long time), treatment (by penetrating through cell walls and into cytoplasm inside the nucleus of the cell), accessing areas (crossing blood-brain barrier) and stimulating the body's innate repair mechanism. Quantum dots are nanoparticles that glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. They shine longer and brighter than today's fluorescent dyes, and are used, both in vitro and in vivo, as luminescent tags to track proteins.
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