Nanodiagnostics as a field makes use of fundamental advances in nanobiotechnology to diagnose, characterize and manage disease at the molecular scale. As these strategies move closer to routine clinical use, a proper understanding of different imaging modalities, relevant biological systems and physical properties governing nanoscale interactions is necessary to rationally engineer next-generation bionanomaterials. In this Review, we analyse the background physics of several clinically relevant imaging modalities and their associated sensitivity and specificity, provide an overview of the materials currently used for in vivo nanodiagnostics, and assess the progress made towards clinical translation. This work provides a framework for understanding both the impressive progress made thus far in the nanodiagnostics field as well as presenting challenges that must be overcome to obtain widespread clinical adoption.
Keywords: Physical sciences / Engineering / Biomedical engineering [URI /639/166/985]; Physical sciences / Materials science / Nanoscale materials [URI /639/301/357]; Physical sciences / Nanoscience and technology / Nanomedicine [URI /639/925/352]; Physical sciences / Nanoscience and technology / Nanoscale materials [URI /639/925/357].