Questions for ‘Nano medicines take aim at big diseases’


Porous nanoscale wafers like these (yellow) could hold vaccines or cancer medicines, somewhat like a sponge holds water in its pores.

I. Meraz, J. Gu, and R. Serda./ NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology


Before reading:

  1. What does “nanoparticle” mean to you?
  2. What are some of the ways doctors can deliver medicines to where your body needs them?

During reading:

  1. If something has a name that starts with “nano,” approximately how big is it?
  2. What can nanomedicines do that bigger molecules in medicine can’t?
  3. What is unusual about the physics of nanoparticles?
  4. Define “free radical.”
  5. What is Parkinson’s disease?
  6. How might nanoparticles help treat Parkinson’s?
  7. Name five different shapes that nanoparticles can be made into.
  8. Why did researchers in Korea add a polymer coating to spherical nanoparticles?
  9. Why could some nanomedicines have harmful side effects?
  10.  What happened when scientists added nanoparticles to the tubing of a bypass machine?

After reading:

  1. Describe some of the ways nanomedicines could help doctors and patients. Now think about a disease that is important to you. How could you imagine nanomedicines improving its diagnosis or treatment?
  2. What are some of the challenges facing the scientists who are trying to develop nanomedicines?