The Future of Healthcare Materials

by Niveen M. Khashab, Frank Caruso
Year: 2023 DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.3c00053


Chem. Mater. 2023, 35, 2, 364–365


In recent years, applying nanotechnology in the medical field has been under heavy scrutiny, largely due to challenges in the effective translation of designed materials from the bench to the clinic. However, the mRNA vaccines that were successfully used during the current COVID-19 pandemic have underpinned renewed interest in nanotechnology-enabled materials for healthcare nanoparticle drug delivery studies over the past decades and, coupled with advances in cell biology and genetic engineering, have paved the way for the next generation of biologics delivery that we see today. This observation is in accordance with the latest editorial published by one of MODERNA’s founders and one of the pioneers of drug delivery, Robert Langer, and his colleagues Jeffrey Karp, Nitin Joshi, and Jingjing Gao entitled “The Future of Drug Delivery”. (1) The authors are optimistic about the future, noting that “Looking forward, the future of drug delivery is bright”. In their editorial, they highlight key challenges in the field, which include limited targetability, low loading capacity, and the very high cost of production. In this special collection, we highlight how innovative research is addressing these challenges.