Editorial Feature

Progressing Biomedicine with Nanoinformatics

Within biomedicine, nanoinformatics can be described as using informatics techniques to analyze and process the information on the structure and physicochemical characteristics of nanoparticles and nanomaterials. This also includes their interaction with the environment and applications for nanomedicine.

Progressing Biomedicine with Nanoinformatics

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This innovative approach to advancing the field of biomedicine can be through providing information on current research on nanotechnology and nanomaterials and its characterization, which can then progress studies on diagnostic and therapeutic applications. The use of nanoinformatics for advancing the field of biomedicine will be evaluated in this article.

The term ‘nanoinformatics’ was officially recognized in 2007. With the use of computers being incorporated into the field of biomedicine, starting in the 1950s, has pioneered the use of scientific computer programs for modeling diagnostic processes. This was then used for answering scientific problems at a molecular level and progressed medical informatics, with artificial intelligence being used for medical diagnosis and information systems in healthcare.

With nanomaterials having physical characteristics that require comprehensive measurement to evaluate their chemical structure and content, along with nanoparticle formulations being non-uniform, with complex property distributions, scientific and computation characterization is necessary to advance the field of nanotechnology.

Nanoinformatics hold the key to combining information on various areas such as health, security, wellbeing, and advancements in nanotechnology.

Background on Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology includes materials on the nanoscale, which consists of 1 and 100 nm and this unique range enables particles to demonstrate novel and variable properties as a result of quantum effects. These particles have a high surface area to volume ratio and are able to have a natural interaction with biological systems, with innovative applications that depend on their ability to transport in and through these systems.

These interesting characteristics enable nanoparticles to be used for advanced applications within drug delivery, targeted therapy, cancer therapeutics, and many other applications.

As well as being non-toxic, the surface functionalization is also important for nanomaterials as it enables these nano-scale products to be further enhanced for their therapeutic targets.

The development of nanotechnology would require computerized simulations and modeling to gauge how materials within the nanoscale can be used to advance biomedicine; however, this approach can hold some challenging obstacles.

Challenges

The use of nanoinformatics allows for the collection, storing and processing, and sharing of nanomedical data. This can comprise using various systems; researchers have proposed these systems, such as a Nanomaterial Registry web-based system that can be used to share data and analysis.

While sharing this information can aid in developing the field and the knowledge of nanomaterials worldwide through these systems, current research is not always documented in these dedicated nanoinformatics resources, such as web platforms including nanoinfo.org, within the US, or eNanoMapper, in the EU.

The lack of documented information to researchers about published research can disadvantage the field as researchers and practitioners in other fields of nanotechnology may not be able to access the most recent resources and tools provided by nanoinformatics.

Additionally, the complexities of nanotechnology and its associated nanomaterials that have polymorphic and polydisperse nature, can also be challenging for nanoinformatics and require novel strategies for integrating knowledge of the nanoscale.

State-of-the-art nanoinformatics can provide focus on the latest related developments or applications for environmental health and biomedicine. However, if obstacles in this field are not overcome with innovative approaches that target the intricate dimensions of the nanoscale, and the reactive impact of these materials can have, this can prevent the advancements of biomedical developments that aim to produce innovative diagnostics and therapeutics using nanotechnology.

Future Outlook: Translational Nanoinformatics

Nanoinformatics that lead to translation, such as translational informatics, aim to translate nano- or atomic-level measurements and computational data into novel research and knowledge that would hopefully result in quality diagnostic approaches and therapies for therapies enhanced patient care.

This versatile information system can provide computing applications that assess molecular dynamics and disease information which are essential for developing translational research into potentially novel therapeutic targets.

The revolutionary nature of nanoinformatics can be used for a diverse range of applications to advance the field of biomedicine. With this branch combining informational systems and analysis with nanotechnology, it can assist with computational models and predict patterns based on biomedical research using innovative nanomaterial approaches.

Once the obstacles for this emerging field have been overcome, it could provide biomedical research with promising strategies that utilize nanotechnology for future therapies to address challenging diseases and disorders.

Continue reading: Utilizing Nanoinformatics in Agriculture

Further Reading and References

Liu, R. and Cohen, Y., (2015) Nanoinformatics for environmental health and biomedicine. Beilstein Journal of Nanotechnology, 6, pp.2449-2451. Available at: https://www.beilstein-journals.org/bjnano/articles/6/253

Liu, X. and Webster, T., (2013). Nanoinformatics for biomedicine: emerging approaches and applications. International Journal of Nanomedicine, p.1. https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S41253

Maojo, V., Fritts, de la Iglesia, D., Cachau, Garcia-Remesal, Mitchell and Kulikowski, (2012) Nanoinformatics: a new area of research in nanomedicine. International Journal of Nanomedicine, p.3867. Available at: https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S24582

Panneerselvam, S. and Choi, S., (2014). Nanoinformatics: Emerging Databases and Available Tools. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15(5), pp.7158-7182. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms15057158

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Marzia Khan

Written by

Marzia Khan

Marzia Khan is a lover of scientific research and innovation. She immerses herself in literature and novel therapeutics which she does through her position on the Royal Free Ethical Review Board. Marzia has a MSc in Nanotechnology and Regenerative Medicine as well as a BSc in Biomedical Sciences. She is currently working in the NHS and is engaging in a scientific innovation program.

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