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Nanomedicine and its potential in diabetes research and practice

Pickup, J.C. and Zhi, Z.L. and Khan, F. and Saxl, T. and Birch, D.J.S. (2008) Nanomedicine and its potential in diabetes research and practice. Diabetes-Metabolism Research and Reviews, 24 (8). pp. 604-610. ISSN 1520-7552

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Nanomedicine involves measurement and therapy at the level of 1-100 nm. Although the science is still in its infancy, it has major potential applications in diabetes. These include solving needs such as non-invasive glucose monitoring using implanted nanosensors, with key techniques being fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and fluorescence lifetime sensing, as well as new nano-encapsulation technologies for sensors such as layer-by-layer (LBL) films. The latter might also achieve better insulin delivery in diabetes by both improved islet encapsulation and oral insulin formulations. An artificial nanopancreas could be an alternative closed-loop insulin delivery system. Other applications of nanomedicine include targeted molecular imaging in vivo (e.g. tissue complications) using quantum dots (QDs) or gold nanoparticles, and single-molecule detection for the study of molecular diversity in diabetes pathology