Nanotechnology Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases Prevalent in Developing Countries

Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Advanced drug delivery reviews (Impact Factor: 15.04). 11/2009; 62(4-5):438-48. DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2009.11.015
Source: PubMed


Infectious diseases are prevalent in the developing world and are one of the developing world's major sources of morbidity and mortality. While infectious diseases can initiate in a localized region, they can spread rapidly at any moment due to the ease of traveling from one part of the world to the next. This could lead to a global pandemic. One key to preventing this spread is the development of diagnostics that can quickly identify the infectious agent so that one can properly treat or in some severe cases, quarantine a patient. There have been major advances in diagnostic technologies but infectious disease diagnostics are still based on 50-year technologies that are limited by speed of analysis, need for skilled workers, poor detection threshold and inability to detect multiple strains of infectious agents. Here, we describe advances in nanotechnology and microtechnology diagnostics for infectious diseases. In these diagnostic schemes, the nanomaterials are used as labels or barcodes while microfluidic systems are used to automate the sample preparation and the assays. We describe the current state of the field and the challenges.

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    • "Despite advancements in the development of diagnostics and antibiotics, infectious diseases are increasingly caused by the bacterial resistance, a consequence of relatively higher dose of antibiotics and longer treatment time. Such diseases are also the major cause of morbidity and mortality [1] [2] [3]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) nanoparticles (NPs) were asymmetrically distributed in carbon nanofibers (CNFs) grown on an activated carbon fiber (ACF) substrate by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The CVD conditions were chosen such that the Cu NPs moved along with the CNFs during tip-growth, while the Zn NPs remained adhered at the ACF. The bimetal-ACF/CNF composite material was characterized by the metal NP release profiles, in-vitro hemolytic and antibacterial activities, and bacterial cellular disruption and adhesion assay. The synergetic effects of the bimetal NPs distributed in the ACFs/CNFs resulted from the relatively slower release of the Cu NPs located at the tip of the CNFs and faster release of the Zn NPs dispersed in the ACF. The Cu/Zn-grown ACFs/CNFs inhibited the growth of the Gram negative Escherichia coli, Gram positive Staphylococcus aureus, and Methicillin resistance Staphylococcus aureus bacterial strains, with superior efficiency (instant and prolonged inhibition) than the Cu or Zn single metal-grown ACFs/CNFs. The prepared bimetal-carbon composite material in this study has potential to be used in different biomedical applications such as wound healing and antibiotic wound dressing.
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    • "The use of nano-carriers can also improve the brain delivery of Anti-Retro Viral Drugs (ARVs) by increasing the availability of ARVs to the CNS-compartment and it is possible to reduce their doses and shorten the length of therapy[3]. The development of nanotechnology-based molecular diagnostic platforms helps in diagnosing infectious disease such as AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria, which utilizes gold/silver nanoparticles as contrast agents in various laboratory assays[4]. In addition, solubility enhancement is one of the major areas of drug delivery application of nanotechnology, wherein, improved safety and efficacy can be achieved by reducing dose of the drug. "

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    • "In the latter, hybridisation of Au-nanoprobes to the target sequence will prevent the non-cross-linking aggregation induced by increasing ionic strength (Figure 1; Sato et al., 2003; Baptista et al., 2005). Thus, modulation of AuNP or Au-nanoprobe inter-particle distance allows control over their corresponding aggregation and dispersion levels providing visual detection for a wide range of biological entities (Hauck et al., 2010; Ngo et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The increasing levels of drug resistance are one of biggest threats to overcome microbial infection. The ability to rapidly and accurately detect a given pathogen and its drug resistance profile is essential for the appropriate treatment of patients and for preventing further spread of drug-resistant strains. The predictive and informative value of these molecular markers needs to be translated into robust surveillance tools that correlate to the target and extent of resistance, monitor multiresistance and provide real time assessment at point-of-need. Rapid molecular assays for the detection of drug-resistance signatures in clinical specimens are based on the detection of specific nucleotide sequences and/or mutations within pre-selected biomarkers in the genome, indicative of the presence of the pathogen and/or associated with drug resistance. DNA and/or RNA based assays offer advantages over phenotypic assays, such as specificity and time from collection to result. Nanotechnology has provided new and robust tools for the detection of pathogens and more crucially to the fast and sensitive characterisation of molecular signatures of drug resistance. Amongst the plethora of nanotechnology based approaches, gold nanoparticles have prompt for the development of new strategies and platforms capable to provide valuable data at point-of-need with increased versatility but reduced costs. Gold nanoparticles, due to their unique spectral, optical and electrochemical properties, are one of the most widely used nanotechnology systems for molecular diagnostics. This review will focus on the use of gold nanoparticles for screening molecular signatures of drug resistance that have been reported thus far, and provide a critical evaluation of current and future developments of these technologies assisting pathogen identification and characterisation.
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