Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine | E-Learning University of Athens

Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine

Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine
Approaches for targeted drug delivery and advanced nanotherapeutics

Nanomedicine is a combination of nanotechnology and medicine. It provides new direction in medical diagnosis, monitoring and treatment at the level of single molecules or molecular assemblies at the “nano” scale. Additionally, continuing improvement in the pharmacological and therapeutic properties of drugs is driving the revolution in novel drug delivery systems.

This unique and innovating online course platform focuses mainly on the applications of nanotechnology to drug delivery and highlight several areas of opportunity where current and emerging nanotechnologies could enable novel classes of therapeutics. The course provides with an easy and effective way, the challenges and general trends in pharmaceutical nanotechnology, and also explores new strategies to overcome limitations in drug delivery. This online course teaches effectively, the recent developments in the use of nanoparticles as drug delivery systems, to treat a wide variety of diseases.

An additional benefit is that students can participate from anywhere in the world: this gives the course a global perspective and students gain valuable information about the state of nanotechnology internationally. The course is fully supported by expert tutors who are experienced in both nanotechnology and online teaching. All of the above will be analyzed further and in detail in this online course part of the Nanotechnology-Nanomedicine category. After successfully completing the lessons, the participant will receive a training certificate.

Professor of Medical and Radiation Physics
Associate Professor of Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

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

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. 


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

Students' assessment will be performed through exercises in each Unit. The exercises will consist of several exercise types like List-matching, Upload, Pick-one, Boolean and Fill the blanks. The validation procedure will ensure the knowledge increase of the students throughout the whole programme.    

Online and distance learning at National and Kapodistrian University of Athens offers a new way of combining innovative learning and teaching techniques with interaction with your tutor and fellow students from around the world.

The e-learning programme is implemented via a user-friendly educational platform adjusted to the Distance Learning Principles. Programmes are structured as weekly online meetings; interaction with the programme tutor and other students takes place in a virtual learning environment. The programmes are designed to fit around your schedule; you access the programme whenever it is convenient for you.

The whole world becomes your classroom as e-learning can be done on laptops, tablets and phones – it is a very mobile method. 

The educational platform is a portal that offers access to electronic classrooms based on modern distance learning technologies. The computer based nature of training means new technology is being introduced all the time to help students engage and learn in a tailored way that will meet their needs. Each e-classroom is similar to a traditional teaching classroom. Students have access to e-classrooms with their personal code number in order to browse  the teaching material, to being informed about the latest news/updates and interact with their instructors. Moreover, through own personal e-mail account through which they can contact directly their mentors or the administration office of the programme and share any concerns or anxieties related to the programme and make the most form their experience.

In each programme, learners submit the corresponding tests, within the deadline given by their instructors. Final mark fluctuates from 0 to 100%. The overall grade in each programme is calculated based on the student's marks on assessment exercises that follow each unit  while their instructor might also assign them with a final assessment at the end of the programme. Finally, if the total score on one or more lessons of the programme does not exceed 50%, students can ask for reassessment.

During the programme students will be attending lectures and group seminars presented by academics and speakers from the National University of Athens as well as from other Universities, Research Institutes and Cultural organizations around Greece. In addition, when you study with us, you have online access to first-class resources relevant to your programme – plus you can browse material in other subject areas.

Every week e-learners are provided with the relevant material , either  video-lectures or  typed notes and relevant resources or a combination of both.

Interactivity, lower costs and our long experience guarantees that studying with us will offer a successful and rewarding experience. Finally, the access to a large variety of material and online resources available in each unit aims to excite your curiosity and guide you in studying further on your favourite topic will the online material which can be downloaded will give you the opportunity to quickly refresh your memory after the completion of the programme.

When will I receive the Certificate?

The Certificate will be sent to you electronically 30 working days upon completion, if you have no remaining academic or financial obligations. The Certificate will be also sent to you through traditional post services. Upon request the Certificate can be sent with the use of courier services. In this case, the relative cost should be covered by your side.