August 15, 2020

by Matt Merical

The current use of conventional medications is generally a precise process. From the initial stages of drug development to final population-based medication usage, anything that can possibly be done to provide effective medications is accomplished. Dosage forms can be produced to make the medication readily available for the body to use; identified combinations products can provide a better result than either alone; doses can be made smaller by producing medications that provide more potency, and so on. But conventional medication have their limitations. For one, these medications usually spread throughout the whole body, causing side effects completely unrelated to how the drug works to treat a particular disease or condition. There are also certain molecular targets that typical drugs may not be able to affect.

To realize the dream of precision medicine for every patient, new technologies such as biologic agents, gene therapy, and nanomedicine offer promise. So what is nanomedicine, and how does this science improve the precision of medication therapy?

If the entirety of conventional medicine were imagined as a hammer, nanomedicine is an alternative in the form of a scalpel.

An Alternative to Conventional Medicine

If the entirety of conventional medicine were imagined as a hammer, nanomedicine is an alternative in the form of a scalpel. With sub-surgical, molecular precision, we can further bend the positive effects of medications onto target cells, potentially removing concerning side effects. For example, medications used for cancer treatment could be bound up and chauffeured by a peptide-capsule to individual cell targets, where they are then released onto specific cells for precise medication bioavailability.

Integrating the Sciences

Nanomedicine is a perfect example of the integration of physics, engineering, mathematics, and health sciences for the purpose of better medication production. With it, we can manipulate the natural phenomenons of the human body to better patient care, enhance medication development, and make medications more productive for our own use.

Dr. Mohan Pereira, assistant professor of physics at Cedarville University, has worked with this very thing. With his background in nanomedicine, he is the perfect candidate to explain the science behind using nanotechnology for the design of novel drug delivery systems. In the next episode of Disrupt: A podcast of the Cedarville University Center for Pharmacy Innovation, Dr. Pereira will further explain the science of nanomedicine and its potential application to patient care.

Matt Merical is a third-year pharmacy student and a student innovator in the Center for Pharmacy Innovation.

The Cedarville University School of Pharmacy is equipping its Doctor of Pharmacy students to be on the leading edge of healthcare innovation. Cedarville’s Pharm.D. students are fully prepared to begin a rewarding career as a pharmacist and to use their calling to make a difference for Christ as they serve with excellence and compassion.

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