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Recent developments and applications of smart nanoparticles in biomedicine


Over the last decades, nanotechnology applied in medicine (nanomedicine) has sparked great interest from the scientific community, thanks to the possibility to engineer nanostructured materials, including nanoparticles (NPs), for a specific application. Their small size confers them unique properties because they are subject to physical laws in the middle between classical and quantum physics. This review is proposed to explain better how to design a specific NP and clarify the relationship between the type, size, and shape of NPs and the specific medical applications. NPs are classified into inorganic (metallic NPs, quantum dots, carbon-based nanostructures, mesoporous silica NPs) and organic (liposomes and micelles, dendrimers, and polymer NPs). Here, we report an accurate description of the potential of each NPs type focusing on their multiple areas of application, including theranostics drug delivery, imaging, tissue engineering, antimicrobial techniques, and nanovaccines. All these features make NPs a promise to revolutionize the new era of nanomedicine.