Critical Review of Alcohol, Alcoholism and the Withdrawal Symptoms-III. An Introduction to Nanoparticles and their Applications in Alcoholism Treatment
Alcoholism is a complex heterogeneous disease with many contributing factors that may vary from person to person, and are known to have a major impact on treatment outcome. Thus, a single treatment strategy may not work for everyone, stressing an urgent need to develop personalized treatments based on the person's genetic and environmental factors. Recent advancements in nanotechnology have allowed construction of unique Nanoparticles (NPs) having potentials for personalized treatments by: (i) Delivering Therapeutic Drugs (TDs) to specific sites, (ii) Releasing TDs on-demand by internal or external cues, and (iii) Serving as vectors for transfection of cDNA-plasmids into the host's gene to increase the gene expression and/or siRNA to inhibit the gene expression.
There are substantial, but not compelling evidence for application of Engineered NPs (ENPs) on screening and treatment of alcoholism. The key factor that confers the ENPs their unique therapeutic potency is that, irrespective of differences in their composition, ENPs exhibit some common unique physicochemical properties (such as high surface area to volume ratio, high surface reactivity that is inversely related to the size, and unique electronic, optical and magnetic properties) not found in bulk particles. The therapeutic potency/toxicity ratio of an ENP may determine its therapeutic index, possibly because the physicochemical characteristics that confer the ENPs their unique properties are also responsible for their toxicity. Therefor