New research shows its advances and impact on human health issues
China’s active research based on nanotechnology has resulted in several new breakthroughs with wide applications. Nanosensors that have recently been developed can be used to detect toxic environmental pollutants such as chromium; new medical technologies can be used to enable point-of-care testing for clinical diagnosis and drug analysis, and they can even provide sustained, controlled release of drugs.
Consequently, these new technologies should usher in a new era of better health care at the levels of prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Nanotechnology research has found applications in a wide range of fields, including medicine and drug development, as well as aeronautics and automobiles. A recent series of studies published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Analysis by Chinese researchers has advanced nanotechnology research.
Carbon nanopoints of Poria mushrooms:
Researchers at Anhui University of Chinese Medicine set out to solve the problems caused by environmental contamination with chromium, which is carcinogenic. They created carbon nanodots with natural polysaccharides from Poria mushrooms, which have no pharmacological activity. These nanodots functioned as an “on-off” fluorescent probe capable of detecting environmental chromium.
In terms of applications, the researchers specify“These nanodots, with their low-cost source material, allow rapid and cost-effective detection of chromium, and their effectiveness has been demonstrated using real water samples. They also represent a new avenue for the application not pharmacology of traditional Chinese medicines, which could help prevent serious health problems.
Researchers from Chongqing Medical University and Chongqing Normal University found a way to regulate the peroxidase activity of molybdenum-based quantum dots that acted like “nanozymes” in another study published in the journal ( small artificial enzymes). In the presence of a specific drug, these enzymes caused a color change and the intensity of the color change reflected the concentration of the drug.
According to the researchers, “Depending on the intensity of the color change, these nanosensors could be used to detect drug concentrations. As a result, they could be used to create robust pharmaceutical sensing platforms, facilitating drug assays and diagnosis and thus improving healthcare standards.
Researchers at Lanzhou University used nanotechnology to develop better drug formulations in the final study, which was posted online March 9, 2021 and published in Volume 12 Issue February 1, 2022 of the journal. Controlled drug release helps target tumors and cancer more effectively, but there are few approaches that allow controlled drug release into the intracellular microenvironment of a tumor. As a result, researchers created a high-drug mixed drug self-delivery system (DSDS) containing two forms of the chemotherapeutic drug doxorubicin. This system provided pH-triggered drug release that could be tuned by adjusting the ratio of the two drug forms.
Surprisingly, lab tests revealed that the slow-release mixed DSDS nanoparticles were extremely effective in killing cancer cells. “As a result, this platform could serve as a suitable treatment system in the future, providing better patient outcomes.“, conclude the researchers.