The big picture on nanomedicine: The state of investigational and approved nanomedicine products

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Developments in nanomedicine are expected to provide solutions to many of modern medicine's unsolved problems, so it is no surprise that the literature contains many articles discussing the subject. However, existing reviews tend to focus on specific sectors of nanomedicine or to take a very forward-looking stance and fail to provide a complete perspective on the current landscape. This article provides a more comprehensive and contemporary inventory of nanomedicine products. A keyword search of literature, clinical trial registries, and the Web yielded 247 nanomedicine products that are approved or in various stages of clinical study. Specific information on each was gathered, so the overall field could be described based on various dimensions, including FDA classification, approval status, nanoscale size, treated condition, nanostructure, and others. In addition to documenting the many nanomedicine products already in use in humans, this study indentifies several interesting trends forecasting the future of nanomedicine. From the Clinical Editor: In this one of a kind review, the state of nanomedicine commercialization is discussed, concentrating only on nanomedicine-based developments and products that are either in clinical trials or have already been approved for use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We used a structured sequence of Internet searches to identify nanomedicine applications and products. Targeted searches on, Google, and Google Scholar, and a number of clinical trial registries produced a range of resources, including journal articles, consumer websites, commercial websites, clinical trial summaries, manufacturer documents, conference proceedings, and patents. All of those were used to identify potential nanomedicine applications and products. Information was gathered on each of the identified applications and products through additional searches, and the results were recorded and sorted in several Microsoft Excel databases. All searches were performed by Michael Etheridge under the supervision of Jeff McCullough (Co-Investigator), with input and feedback from Susan Wolf (Principal Investigator) and the full project working group funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) (#1-RC1-HG005338-01). Although these research methods used a broad range of keywords to conduct the most comprehensive search possible, product literature without mention of nano-related terminology will not be identified through this approach.

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) grant #1-RC1-HG005338-01 (S. M. Wolf, PI; J. McCullough, R. Hall, and J. Kahn, Co-Is), through the University of Minnesota's Consortium on Law and Values in Health, Environment & the Life Sciences.


  • Biomedical nanotechnology
  • Clinical trials
  • Human subjects research
  • Nanobiotechnology
  • Nanomedicine


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