Tiny Things with Enormous Impact: Nanotechnology in the Fight Against Infectious Disease

Stephanie L. Mitchell, Erin E. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Nanoparticles have exceptional properties that make them outstanding candidates for improving diagnostics and the treatment of infectious disease. Their small size, distinctive intrinsic properties, and ability to be decorated with a variety of complex functionalities make them uniquely capable of detection and targeting of certain diseases. Nanotechnology has the ability to increase the sensitivity of detection methods, the potency and ease of treatment, and the effectiveness of vaccinations. However, major challenges remain to their application in low-resource settings due in large part to the sensitivity of these particles to their local environment, a property that makes them both exceptional for detection and prone to complications or failure during synthesis and utilization. These challenges are likely to be solved only by continued and enhanced communication across scientific disciplines, for example, medical doctors and diagnosticians providing information about what is needed in new technologies. This information will enable materials scientists and engineers to rapidly address the corresponding technical challenges, such as the scalable and reproducible generation of nontoxic and stable, yet responsible nanoparticles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1432-1435
Number of pages4
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 12 2018

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