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					                                    Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 56 (2004) 1527 – 1528
                                                                                                          www.elsevier.com/locate/addr

                                                              Editorial

            Nanotechnology: challenging the limit of creativity in
                          targeted drug delivery



    Nanotechnology is a rare phenomenon in recent                          systems are functionally behaving like specialized
history that has galvanized practically every sector of                    living cells. Professor Zachary Hilt has provided a
the research, engineering and business community. The                      panoramic view of the range of creativity in
ability to characterize, manipulate and organize matter                    engineering nanosystems in his Commentary of the
systematically at the nanometer scale is spurring a                        present issue edited by Professor Nicholas Peppas. In
revolution in science, engineering, technology and                         his Preface, Professor Peppas has articulated his
inevitably drug delivery and therapeutics. Nanotech-                       conceptual framework for organizing this cohesive,
nology offers self-perpetuating opportunities for the                      thought-provoking theme issue on bIntelligent Ther-
creation and utilization of materials, devices and                         apeutics: Biomimetic Systems and Nanotechnology
systems that promise to fuel fresh opportunities for                       in Drug DeliveryQ.
scientific and technological breakthroughs. Conse-                             The subject of the present theme issue is certainly
quently, we are much closer than ever in reaching the                      an example of those topics in b. . .promising emerging
long cherished goal of precise delivery of drugs to a                      research that challenges the limit of creativityQ, one of
specific compartment in the target cell with a temporal                    the three categories of topics featured in Advanced
pattern consistent with the underlying pathology.                          Drug Delivery Reviews (ADDR). As the field matures,
    Advances in nanotechnology go hand-in-hand                             theme issues will undoubtedly be commissioned in
with the emergence of tools such as laser-based                            the other two categories of topics, as noted in my
optical traps, atomic force microscopes and fluores-                       editorial published in the first issue in 2004 [55/1].
cence resonance energy transfer techniques for                             The two categories are: b(a) the topic must be at the
gathering information from individual molecules                            cutting-edge of science and technology, and must hold
rather than ensemble averages. Clearly, nanotechnol-                       great promise in broadening the scientific foundation
ogy is not simply a miniaturized version of the well-                      upon which future advanced drug delivery platforms
characterized colloidal drug delivery systems such as                      will be built; and (b) the topic must lend itself to
emulsions, suspensions and liposomes. Rather, nano-                        showcase the central importance of a multidisciplinary
sized systems are predisposed to being transformed                         approach in advancing effective drug delivery strat-
into a more sophisticated system associated with its                       egies for the ultimate benefit of disease treatmentQ.
physical dimension of less than 100 nm. Nano-                                  The first ADDR issue with QnanotechnologyQ in its
technology promises to generate a library of sophis-                       title is the one co-edited by Grainger and Okano in
ticated drug delivery systems that integrate molecular                     2003 [55/3] entitled, bBiomedical Micro- and Nano-
recognition, diagnostic and feedback. In short, these                      technologyQ. The earliest ADDR issue on the subject

0169-409X/$ - see front matter D 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.addr.2004.07.003
1528                                                    Editorial

is, however, a theme issue on nanoparticulate systems           Sorting of MacromoleculesQ, co-edited by Hamm-
for drug delivery, co-edited by Crommelin and Storm             Alvarez and Okamoto [55/11]. Theme issues devoted
in 1990. Torchilin revisited the subject, in part, in the       to biosensing are bBiosensor and Their Pharmaceut-
theme issue on long-circulating drug delivery systems           ical ApplicationsQ, by Meadows in 1996 [21/3] and
he edited in 1995 [16/2–3]. The most recent update              bBiosensing and Drug Delivery at the MicroscaleQ,
on the subject is the theme issue on bNanoparticulate           by Siegel and Ziaie [56/2] in 2004. A theme issue on
Systems for Improved Drug DeliveryQ, edited by                  imaging is forthcoming and several others on
Kawashima in 2003 [47/1]. The primary focus of the              applications driven by nanotechnology have been
aforementioned theme issues, except for the one co-             planned for ADDR.
edited by Granger and Okano [55/3], was on the role                 The story on nanotechnology is unfolding at an
of nanoparticles in passive drug targeting at the               astonishingly rapid pace. Already nanotechnology has
organ/tissue levels by virtue of particle size. Yet, the        dramatically altered the landscape of electronics (e.g.,
ultimate utility of nanotechnology is to harness the            computing) towards smaller and smaller chips with
unique interaction of the associated systems with               extraordinary processing power. In the therapeutic
cells to trigger a cascade of events, with the goal of          arena, nanotechnology promises to expand the reper-
achieving flawless drug targeting at the cellular and           toire of innovative systems, thereby revolutionizing
subcellular levels with the precision of a laser beam.          health care delivery. At the same time, it is challeng-
Polymeric micelles, an example of the second                    ing the relevance of the existing business model of
generation of nanosystems, were covered in a theme              drug discovery, development, manufacture and regu-
issue on targetable drug carriers edited by Okano in            latory scrutiny held sacred by the pharmaceutical
1996 [21/2], and was examined more comprehen-                   sector. The framework for realizing a revolutionary
sively in a subsequent theme issue on bBlock                    paradigm shift is in place. It is conceivable that the
Copolymer Micelles as DDSQ, edited by Kwon in                   nanotechnology products of tomorrow will have the
2002 [54/2]. Towards that end, a thorough under-                same impact on our daily lives as the invention of the
standing of the elaborate transport machinery of the            USB port, which has extended in its utility beyond the
target cells would be essential. At least two theme             initial impetus for its invention.
issues of ADDR are devoted to this topic: bReceptor-
Mediated Processes/Macromolecular Drug DeliveryQ,                                                    Vincent H.L. Lee
edited by Shen in 1998 [29/3] and bEndocytosis and                                                     Editor-in-Chief

				
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