Molecular Recognition

Basic science urological research has undoubtedly benefited from the advantages of nanotechnology, and in the future it is expected that not only will ongoing pre-clinical work be accelerated, but meaningful clinical studies using nanotechnology devices will

Delivery systems for drug and gene therapy are particularly attractive targets in urological practice.

Recently, Harisinghani et al. have demonstrated that highly lymphotropic super-paramagnetic nanoparticles, which gain access to lymph nodes by means of interstitial lymphatic fluid transport, allow the high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging imaging of clinically occult lymph node metastases in patients with prostate cancer, which previously have not been detectable by any other non-invasive approach.

be performed rapidly, with results and outcomes useful for clinical practice available as early as the next decade. Particular tools available for performing research include nanowires and nanotubes. Nanowires are sensing wires that can be coated with molecules to bind to proteins of interest and transmit their information through electrodes to computers, whereas nanotubes are cylinder-like assemblies of carbon atoms, with cross sectional dimensions in the nanometre range, and lengths that can extend over a thousand times their diameter. Using such devices, several thousand sensors can be placed on a single chip, offering even greater multiplexing advantages. A variety of novel devices are emerging, such as microarrays with their high precision patterning of biological molecules useful for molecular diagnostics, genotyping and biomarker guided therapeutic targeting (14).

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