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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Theragnostic nanomotors: Successes and upcoming challenges

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Abstract The idea of “fantastic voyagers” carrying out medical tasks within the human body has existed as part of popular culture for many decades. The concept revolved around a miniaturized robot that can travel inside the human body and perform complicated functions such as surgery, navigation of otherwise inaccessible biological environments, and delivery of therapeutics. Since the last decade, significant developments have occurred in this arena that are yet to enter mainstream biomedical practises. Here, we define the challenges to make this fiction into reality. We begin by chalking the journey from pills, nanoparticles, and then to micro‐nanomotors. The review describes the principles, physicochemical contexts, and advantages that micro‐nanomotors provide. The article then describes micro‐nanomotors' obstacles such as maneuverability, in vivo imaging, toxicity, and biodistribution. This article is categorized under: Diagnostic Tools > In Vivo Nanodiagnostics and Imaging Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology
Timeline showing significant developments in drug delivery systems, from the well‐established tablets and emulsions in the 1950s to the nascent micro‐nanomotors in the past decade
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Factors that influence maneuverability of nanomotors inside a human body. The figure depicts different parts of the body where micro‐nanomotors have been already tested and those which hold potential for future applications. Each of these present distinct physical, chemical and biological opposition to movement
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Micro‐nanomotors and their propulsion mechanisms. (right panel) factors affecting maneuverability of nanomotors in a biological environment, different therapeutics modalities offered by nanomotors, potential techniques for clinical imaging, and various challenges for clinical applications
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Various types of nanoparticles used in medicine. Distinct stages in their timeline are the initial preclinical stage consisting of fabrication, in vitro, in cellulo and in vivo analysis and the final stage consisting of clinical trials (phase 1, 2 and 3). Each of these stages face distinct tests, optimizations and challenges
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Nanotechnology Approaches to Biology > Nanoscale Systems in Biology
Diagnostic Tools > In Vivo Nanodiagnostics and Imaging

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