Dragoș Gudovan, Paul Cătălin Balaure, Dan Eduard Mihăiescu, Adrian Fudulu, Bogdan Purcăreanu and Mihai Radu Pages 6038 - 6054 ( 17 )
Functionalized magnetic nanoparticles followed two main directions in the field of biomedical applications: one direction is as image enhancing agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the other is as drugdelivery devices for various biologically-active substances. A third field which just emerges in nanomedicine is the field of the so-called theranostic devices which combines in the same delivery vehicle both the therapeutic agent and the contrast substance. The advantages of using nanoparticles instead of larger carriers for delivery of both drug and image contrast enhancing agents will be highlighted throughout this review article. Despite the ever increasing number of articles reporting both in vitro and in vivo studies carried out on functionalized magnetic nanoparticles and envisaging their potential biomedical applications, only few formulations reached the phase of clinical trials and even fewer became marketed products. The perspectives in the field are open, since new drugs require new delivery devices and possibly new means of functionalization. At the same time, the field of nanomedicine also provides the opportunity to better exploit drugs that are already in clinical use by improving their bioavailability through appropriate nanoformulations.
Magnetic nanoparticles, drug delivery, MRI, triggered release.