Nanomedicines: Redefining traditional medicine

Biomed Pharmacother. 2021 Feb;134:111103. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.111103. Epub 2020 Dec 15.


Nanomedicines offer nanoscale drug delivery system. They offer ways of promising drug transportation, and address the issues of lack of targeting and permeability of traditional drugs. The physical and chemical properties in the domain of nanomedicine applications in vivo have not been sufficiently delivered. What's more, the metabolic of nanomedicines is not clear enough. Those factors which mentioned above determine that many nanomedicines have not yet realized clinical application due to their safety problems and in vivo efficacy. For example, they may cause immune response and cytotoxicity, as well as the ability to clear organs in vivo, the penetration ability of them and the lack of targeting ability may also cause poor efficacy of drugs in vivo. In this review, the new progresses of different kinds of nanomedicines (including gold nanoparticles, nanorobots, black phosphorus nanoparticles, brain diseases, gene editing and immunotherapy etc.) in anti-tumor, antibacterial, ocular diseases and arteriosclerosis in recent years were summarized. Their shortcomings were pointed out, and the new methods to improve the biosafety and efficacy were summarized.

Keywords: Cancer; Nanoparticles; Nanotechnology; Review; Targeting therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arteriosclerosis / drug therapy
  • Brain Diseases / drug therapy
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Eye Diseases / drug therapy
  • Gold / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Medicine, Traditional / methods
  • Metal Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanomedicine / methods*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanotechnology / methods
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Phosphorus / chemistry


  • Phosphorus
  • Gold