Nanotechnology plays an increasingly important role not only in our everyday life (with all its benefits and dangers) but also in medicine. Nanoparticles are to date the most intriguing option to deliver high concentrations of agents specifically and directly to cancer cells; therefore, a wide variety of these nanomaterials has been developed and explored. These span the range from simple nanoagents to sophisticated smart devices for drug delivery or imaging. Nanomaterials usually provide a large surface area, allowing for decoration with a large amount of moieties on the surface for either additional functionalities or targeting. Besides using particles solely for imaging purposes, they can also carry as a payload a therapeutic agent. If both are combined within the same particle, a theranostic agent is created. The sophistication of highly developed nanotechnology targeting approaches provides a promising means for many clinical implementations and can provide improved applications for otherwise suboptimal formulations. In this review we will explore nanotechnology both for imaging and therapy to provide a general overview of the field and its impact on cancer imaging and therapy.
- Drug delivery
- Targeted therapeutics