Taught course

Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine

National and Kapodistrian University of Athens · National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Entry requirements

This e-learning programme is or an open to suitably qualified Greek and International graduates, holding at least a Degree in Medicine Biological, Biomedical or Biochemical subject, Pharmacy, Chemistry, or in a related field.

Months of entry

September, February

Course content

Approaches for targeted drug delivery and advanced nanotherapeutics.

The programme “Nanotechnology approaches for targeted drug delivery and advanced nanotherapeutics”, aims to introduce nanotechnology approaches of targeted drug delivery and advanced nanotherapeutics, as in vivo applications of nanotechnologies in biomedicine. The field is exciting to students and there is worldwide demand for training in this area.

Nanomedicine, the application of nanotechnology to medicine, has opened up a new, previously unimaginable world in disease diagnosis and therapy. Today new multifunctional nanoplatforms can be constructed that have capabilities for specific disease targeting and therapy, using moieties such as antibodies, and that contain therapeutic payloads that can be released at the disease site. The vision of combining diagnostics and therapeutics, now being referred to as theranostics, was considered futuristic only a few years ago, but is now clearly achievable – the future is almost now!

Currently, the main use of nanoparticle medicinal products (NMP) is their conjugation or/and encapsulation with several active biomolecules for therapeutic or/and diagnostic purposes, since they can be used as drug carriers for chemotherapeutics to deliver medication directly to the tumor while sparing healthy tissue. Corresponding products already marketed, are Doxil™ (a chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin, is encapsulated in a liposome) and more recently Abraxane™ (Protein-bound paclitaxel is an injectable formulation of paclitaxel, a drug used to treat breast cancer, lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, by preventing the normal breakdown of microtubules during cell division and thus minimizing the spread of cancer cells in the body. In this formulation, paclitaxel is bonded to albumin as a delivery vehicle). At the same time, researches are now focused on the construction of advanced nanotherapeutic approaches, such as DNA nanostructure carriers, nanovaccines and gene nanotherapy.

In this programme critical issues of nano-based targeted drug delivery and therapy are going to be discussed. The course is also focusing in several interesting regulatory and ethical aspects of the use of nanothechnology in every day clinical practice.

Programme Description

Lesson 1
Targeting strategies in drug delivery

Section 1.1.Targeting strategies
1.1.1.Passive targeting
1.1.2.Active targeting
Section 1.2. Approaches for in vivo nanoparticle delivery
1.2.1. Non-specific, localized use of nanoparticles
1.2.2. Specific nanoparticle targeting
Section 1.3. Targeting agents in drug delivery
1.3.1. Antibodies
1.3.2. Aptamers
1.3.3. Peptides
1.3.4. Nucleic Acids

Lesson 2
Strategies for controlled drug delivery

Section 2.1. Thermo-responsive release
Section 2.2. Enzyme responsive release
Section 2.3. pH responsive release

Lesson 3
Challenges in the use of nanoformulations for drug delivery

Section 3.1. Barriers
Section 3.2. Opportunities
Section 3.3. Nanoformulations in current clinical practice

Lesson 4
Nanoparticulates and their applications in drug delivery

Section 4.1. Short Introduction and Basic principles on Nanotechnology
Section 4.2.Nanoparticulate systems in therapeutics
4.2.1. Lipidic nanosystems ( Lipidic drug carriers, Liposomes)
4.2.2 Polymeric nanosystems (Polymerosomes, Dendrimers)
4.2.3 Mixed nanosystems (Hybridic nanosystems, Chimeric nanosystems)

Lesson 5
Nanosystems characteristics

Section 5.1 Biophysical principles of nanosystems
Section 5.2 Stability of nanosystems

Lesson 6
Nanosimilars and Regulatory aspects

Section 6.1 Nanosimilars
6.1.1 Regulatory aspects
Section 6.2. Regulatory issues of nanomedicines
6.2.1 U S Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
6.2.2 European Medicine Agency (EMA)

Lesson 7
Polymeric systems for Drug and Gene delivery

Section 7.1. Polymeric Hydrogels for Drug and Gene delivery of Anticancer Agents
Section 7.2. Polymeric Nanogels for Drug and Gene delivery of Anticancer Agents
Section 7.3. Polymeric cysts for Drug and Gene delivery of Anticancer Agents

Lesson 8
Nanotechnology-based advanced therapeutics

Section 8.1. Photothermal therapy
Section 8.2. Ultrasound-mediated therapy
Section 8.3. Acoustic cavitation therapy
Section 8.4. DNA delivery for gene therapy
Section 8.5. Vaccines delivery

Lesson 9
Nanotechnology-based Theranostics

Section 9.1. Theranostics
9.1.1. Nanotechnology for personalized disease management
9.1.2. Theranostic Nanopaticles
Section 9.2. Combinational Delivery approaches
9.2.1. Simultaneous delivery of chemotherapeutic agents
9.2.2. Combinational chemotherapy/antiangiogenesis
9.2.3. Combinational chemotherapy/si-RNA therapy
9.2.4. Combinational chemotherapy/gene therapy
Section 9.3. Multifunctional theranostic systems: the future of theranostics

Lesson 10
Discussion of ethical issues and future perspectives

Section 10.1. Nano-Toxicity
10.1.1.Nanoparticles and Cellular interaction
10.1.2. Organs nanoparticles uptake
10.1.3. Future perspectives
Section 10.2. Nano-ethics
10.2.1. Privacy and Control
10.2.2. Toxicology and human health
10.2.3. Longevity

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
3 months

Course contact details

Admissions Office