Nanotechnology deals with the study of smaller particles that range in size from 0.1 nm to 100 nm. It covers various fields including biophysics, bioengineering, biology, and subfields of medicines like cardiology, oncology, immunology, etc.
In the pharmaceutical industry, companies like Scorpion Biological Services apply the principle of nanosciences to the pharmacy to develop new drug delivery systems. The nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems can overcome the shortcomings of traditional drug delivery systems.
Applications in Pharmaceutics:
Nanotechnology has emerged to be indispensable in the field of pharma. Let’s look at some of the applications of nanotechnology.
Nanosuspensions contain poorly water-soluble drugs without any matrix material suspended in dispersion. Nanosusensions enhance the bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs by increasing their solubility.
Nanosuspensions increase drug bioavailability via oral routes. For example, the Nanocrystalline suspension of drug itraconazole prepared by the pearl milling method was found promising for oral delivery.
Parenteral nanosuspensions are made for prolonging the action of drugs or targeting them to a particular site. Long-acting nanosuspensions of antiretroviral drugs are developed by GlaxoSmithKline.
Ocular Drug Delivery:
These suspensions are developed to prevent premature precorneal elimination of the drug or drainage by gravity. Ocular delivery systems also enhance the permeation of drugs through the cornea and reduce the frequency of elimination by forming controlled dosage releases. Pilocarpine nanosuspension for ocular delivery is frequently used.
Pulmonary Drug Delivery:
Nano suspensions for the pulmonary system are developed to target the lung directly. Fluticasone and budesonide nano suspensions show deep lung deposition and fast delivery to the target.
Nanoemulsions are small droplet sized and are kinetically stable colloidal systems.
Nanoemulsions are used via oral delivery systems to increase stability in GIT, increase bioavailability and achieve sustained release. Nanoemulsions of drug ramipril are made with minimum surfactant concentration which improves its solubility and stability.
Nanoemulsions are also used transdermally or percutaneously for delivering a hydrophobic drug to systemic circulation. Nanoemulsions can penetrate the skin pores to reach the vessels. Nanoemulsions are more stable and have better application properties than creams and ointments. Nanoemulsions are nontoxic so they are better than chemical enhancers and organic solvents. Many hypertensive drugs are used in the form of nanoemulsions.
To bypass the first-pass effect of the liver, nanoemulsions can be given transnasally. Nitrendipine is a potent hypertensive that was formulated in the form of nanoemulsion that could be administered transnasally. The nasal route has also been researched for directly targeting the brain and administering vaccines. Nasal nanoemulsions for influenza vaccines were also evaluated.
Nanomicelles are used for targeted drug delivery. Doxorubicin is an anticancer drug that was formulated as nano micelles on a vehicle of PV7. magnetic nano micelles have also been explored for dual-targeted delivery in cancer patients. Nano micelles improve drug bioavailability via enhancing the solubility of the drug in the body alpha mangostin solid dispersions were formulated to improve the aqueous solubility through self-assembly of nano micelles in the systemic circulation.