Nanotechnology which deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers, esp. the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules, is touching various industries today, healthcare is no different.
USA is the largest market for healthcare nanotechnology. According to some estimates the total US market for healthcare nanotechnology products will grow to USD 75 bn by 2014. Nanomedicine is expected to be the largest contributor with estimated size of USD 59 bn followed by nano-diagnostic products at USD 11 bn. US market is followed by Europe and Asia.
Healthcare nanotechnology has uses across the healthcare value chain but in most promising are:
- Development of better and precise medical devices
Development of advance drug formulations not possible otherwise because of issues such as solubility, labile moiety stability and transport across biological barriers
- Development of precise drug delivery / release
- Diagnostic advancements
Key nanotech product categories for healthcare market:
- Delivery using nanoparticles
- Nanoencapsulation, etc.
- Advance formulation systems
- Nanoporous materials
- Nanotubes, etc.
Nanotechnology driven tools to assist in healthcare
- Advance Mass spectrometry
Key opportunities in Healthcare Nanotechnology
- Nano-medicine: Key growth opportunities in nano-medicine lie in area of heart disease, cancer, viral infections, neurological disorders. In the long run nano-medicine are expected to impact all major formulations.
- Nano-diagnostic: Quality and performance of medical diagnostic product is expected to significantly improve by the use of nanotechnology. This is already happening, for example, Nanosized monoclonal antibody labels and DNA probes are already improving the speed, accuracy, capabilities and cost-effectiveness of in vitro diagnostic testing, drug discovery and medical research procedures. Future opportunities exists in development of systems to detect tumors, plaque, genetic defects and other disease states at much earlier stages and with lower, safer concentrations of injected compounds.