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Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology - Applications of Nanotechnology in Pharmaceutics

Pratibha Muntha*

Department of Pharmaceutics, Vignan Institute of pharmaceutical Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru technological University, Deshmukhi, Nalgonda, Telangana, India

*Corresponding Author:
Pratibha Muntha
Department of Pharmaceutics, Vignan Institute of pharmaceutical Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru technological University, Deshmukhi, Nalgonda Telangana, India

Received date: 02/08/2016; Accepted date: 05/08/2016; Published date: 12/08/2016

Visit for more related articles at Research & Reviews: Journal of Pharmaceutics and Nanotechnology


Nanotechnology deals with the study of smaller structures with a size range between 0.1 to 100 nm. It covers various areas like biophysics, molecular biology, and bioengineering and sub specialties of medicine such as cardiology, ophthalmology, endocrinology, oncology, immunology etc... Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology applies the methods and principles of Nano science and nano medicine to pharmacy to develop new drug delivery systems which can overcome the drawbacks of conventional drug delivery systems.


Nanotechnology, Drug development, Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical nanotechnology


Nanotechnology is the study of very small structures. Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology deals with the formation and development of small structures like atoms, molecules or compounds of size 0.1 to 100 nm into structures which can be further developed into special devices with desired characteristics and properties [1].

Application of nanotechnology into pharmaceutics helps in the formulation of more advanced drug delivery systems and so it is an important and powerful tool as an alternative to conventional dosage form. Pharmaceutical nanotechnology is a specialized field which will change the fate of the pharmaceutical industry in near future. Pharmaceutical nanotechnology helps to fight against several diseases by detecting the antigen associated with diseases and also by detecting the microorganisms and viruses causing the diseases [2-5].

Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology has played a very key role to overcome several drawbacks of conventional dosage forms for like tablets, capsules etc. The conventional forms suffered with drawbacks like low bioavailability, poor patient compliance, damage to healthy cells etc. which were rectified using pharmaceutical nanotechnology [6-10].

Pharmaceutical Nano Systems

a) Polymeric Nanoparticles: They have a size range of 10-1000 nm and are Biocompatible and biodegradable providing complete drug protection. Polymeric nanoparticles are used as carriers for controlled and sustained delivery of drugs [11,12].

b) Dendrimers: Dendrimers have a size of <10 nm and are produced by controlled polymerization. These are highly branched mono disperse polymeric systems. Dendrimers are used for controlled delivery of drugs and for targeted delivery of drugs to macrophages and liver [13-15].

c) Metallic nanoparticles: Metallic nanoparticles are gold and silver colloids having a size of <100 nm. They are very small in size resulting in more surface area and have more bioavailability and stability which is ideal characterizes of a drug. These are used for drug and gene delivery and are used in sensitive diagnostic assays, thermal ablation and radiotherapy enhancement [16-20].

d) Polymeric micelles: They have a size range of 10-100 nm with high drug entrapment nature and bio stability. These are of high diagnostic vatu and are used for active and passive targeted drug delivery [21].

e) Liposomes: These are phospholipid vesicles with a size range of 50-100 nm with features of good biocompatibility and entrapment efficiency. These are used for passive and active delivery of gene, protein and peptides [22-45].

The various systems under nanotechnology are shown in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Different systems in nanotechnology.

The various dimensions of particles in Nanotechnology are shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Particles and their dimensions in nanotechnology.

Pharmaceutical Nano Materials

The various materials which play an important role in pharmaceutical nanotechnology are:

Nano materials: These are the biomaterials which are used for surface modifications or coatings helping in enhancing the biocompatibility and bioavailability of various other materials [46-70].

Nano crystalline materials: These are manufactured to act as substitutes for the materials which have poor characteristics like bioavailability, solubility, etc [71-85].

Nanostructured materials: These are the processed forms with special shapes and functionality some of which include nano- and micro-electromechanical systems, microfluidics and microarrays [86-100].

Applications Of Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology

a) Drug delivery systems: Conventional drug delivery systems have various limitations of lack of specificity, greater rate of drug metabolism, cytotoxicity, high dose requirement, poor patient compliance etc…and these can be overcome by drug delivery systems formulated using the principles in pharmaceutical nanotechnology

b) Diagnosis: Molecular imaging is the science of characterizing, and quantifying biological processes in organisms which include gene expression, protein-protein interaction, signal transduction, cellular metabolism and both intracellular and intercellular trafficking.

c) Drug discovery: Pharmaceutical nanotechnology plays an important role in drug discovery and development as it helps in the improving the characteristics such as solubility, bioavailability, etc…of the potent drugs and excipients etc.


Pharmaceutical nanotechnology has a new scope of study with better opportunities in different areas of diagnosis and treatment. Pharmaceutical nanotechnology has developed as a new area of interest having a great potential as carrier for many potent drugs and diagnostics. It is well-established as a specialized area for drug delivery, diagnostics, prognostic and treatment of diseases through its nano engineered tools. It provides opportunity to improve materials, medical devices and help to develop new technologies and overcome the limitations of conventional techniques.