Zone in with Zon–Oligonucleotide Therapeutics & Nanomedicine–Feel the Heat!

Dr. Gerald Zon’s latest “Zone in with Zon” blog post, dated September 29, 2014, focuses on nanomedicine and was triggered by consideration of the upcoming Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society (OTS) annual meeting on October 12-15, 2014 in San Diego, Californiaq and an intriguing scheduled presentation by Professor Weihong Tan—an extraordinarily prolific researcher at the University of Florida—entitled “DNA-based molecular medicine and nanomedicine.” First, Dr. Zon attempts to define nanomedicine, but runs into the problem that multiple different definitions exist in the literature. After considerable research, he comes up with a relevant list of key nanomedicine comments provided in an editorial in the International Journal of Nanomedicine (IJM): (a) “Although defining a term such as nanomedicine may sound simple, by comparing several main funding agencies from around the world, one quickly realizes that a uniform international definition of nanomedicine does not currently exist. This is typical of a new field, but can be problematic to those trying to understand the field, make significant contributions to it, and especially in how the public views nanomedicine.” (b) “[In NIH’s 2006] Roadmap for Medical Research in Nanomedicine, [it] is defined as ‘an offshoot of nanotechnology [that] refers to highly specific medical interventions at the molecular scale for curing disease or repairing damaged tissues, such as bone, muscle, or nerve.’” (c) “[N]anomedicine emerged from nanotechnology which is generally defined by the creation and use of materials at the level of molecules and atoms (sometimes specifically less than 100 nm, other times this dimension is more diffuse and confusing).” Dr. Zon seizes upon this last point, a size-based definition, as being particularly pertinent. Dr.
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