About this Research Topic
Diagnosis and therapy are two discrete, but interdependent, entities in the process of disease resolution. Both diagnostics and therapeutic strategies are now evolving with a common goal to develop patient-centric pipelines for early diagnosis matched with targeted therapies (personalized/precision medicine). Often, diagnosis and therapies are required to be utilized in a cyclic manner to improve disease prognosis. In the past decade, a completely new field called theranostics has emerged unifying both diagnosis and therapeutics. Advancements in nanotechnology have made an immense contribution to the field of theranostics. Targeted delivery, drug tracking, and early and sensitive diagnostics are a few of the most important contributions from nanotheranostics, an interdisciplinary field, set to revolutionize both personalized medicine and preclinical drug discovery fields alike. Naturally, emphasizing the cutting-edge viewpoint of researchers and clinicians that set the pace and direction of the applications of ongoing research in this exciting field is crucial on an ongoing basis.
Previous to the development and application of such nanotechnologies, radiolabelled isotopes were the only option to either image/diagnose or to study the distribution and kinetics of therapeutic molecules. Later, the arrival of nanoparticles and nano tubes, quantum dots etc., have promised new horizons as nanotheranostic tools. However, metal toxicity of these nano-probes has become one of the major road blockers. With advancements in chemical synthesis and optical technology, biodegradable nanoparticles and nano-clusters, and various other less toxic nanotheranostic probes have further increased hope for diagnostic/therapeutic applications. A current example is the synthesis of molecules that can aggregate/self-assemble as nanoparticles (aggregated induced emission) with reduced toxicity, emerging from advances in supramolecular-chemistry.
However, though results continue to be promising, toxicity profiles of these new materials have yet to equal radiolabelled isotope probes. Therefore the main goal of the Research Topic is to give a current view from researchers and clinicians focusing on recent developments and applications of nano-theranostics. In particular, with emphasis on the critical factor of toxicity of various current and frontier approaches and the better understanding of their toxicity-profiles and applications as the means to more effectively integrate these approaches with pharmacological developments in cancer, neurodegeneration, and other significant diseases. In this context, this issue will be focusing not only on various drug-delivery systems (less toxic/biodegradable) and probes for guided delivery to specific cells or sites but also on development of different alternative platforms of radiolabelled isotopes, new imaging agents or probes compatible to diagnose disease, single molecule tracing and quantification/nanotheranostics for drug distribution and kinetics, and new potential aggregated induced emission (AIE) molecules and their applications in nanotheranostics.
Keywords: Cancer imaging, nano drug delivery, fluorophores, quantum dot, bio-distribution, aggregation induced emission
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