Invitation for Submissions
2024 Special Issue on “State-of-the-art Nanomaterials Revolutionize Food and Pharmaceutical Sector”
Submission Deadline: February 29, 2024
Special Issue Editors:
Chih-Ching Huang, Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan Yang-Wei Lin, Department of Chemistry, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan Amit Nain, Department of Material Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, India
Nanotechnology holds immense potential to revolutionize the food and pharmaceutical sector. Nanomaterials can deeply impact edible products and medicines by enhancing their safety, shelf life, quality, and therapeutic efficacy. However, addressing the potential adverse effects on human health and the environment is vital. Ensuring the biosafety and quality of a product while improving their therapeutic benefits is a crucial challenge that the medical and healthcare community must address. This special issue will focus on the myriad applications of nanomaterials in the advancement of food and pharmaceutical sciences, including monitoring, functionality, applicability, regulations, and risk/safety assessment. The special issue accepts (but is not limited to) research and review articles in the following areas:
- Food Packaging and Processing: More and more nanotechnology-based products are employed in packaging materials due to their mechanical strength and antifouling properties. Nano-clays, metal nanoparticles, and nanocomposites can prolong the shelf life of products while maintaining their quality.
- Security and Nutrition: Nanotechnology can improve food safety by detecting pathogens through the development of rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective sensors. These sensors are based on nanoparticles or nanocomposites and can detect foodborne pathogens or contaminants even at low concentrations (nano/femto-level). Furthermore, nano-formulations can boost the nutritional value of foods by delivering essential nutrients more efficiently, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Preservation of Active Ingredients: Nano-encapsulation can protect senstive active ingredients in food products and medicines from degradation. Nanocarriers, such as liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, and nanogels, can provide controlled release, improved stability, and enhance the aqueous solubility of active ingredients.
- Augmenting Bioavailability: Nanotechnology can enhance the bioavailability of nutrients and drugs by improving their biosorption and targeted delivery. Nano-formulations can facilitate the transport of active ingredients across biological barriers, such as the intestinal wall or the blood-brain barrier, to improve therapeutic efficacy.
- Pathogen Detection and Inhibition: Nanoparticles with antimicrobial properties, such as silver, copper, or zinc oxide, can be used to kill pathogens in food and pharmaceutical products. These materials can be incorporated into packaging or directly applied to food surfaces to reduce the risk of contamination.
- Analysis of Active Components: Advanced nanoscale analytical techniques, such as SERS, LC-MS, etc., can characterize and quantify active components in food and pharmaceutical products. These methods can reveal the presence, distribution, and concentration of compounds, providing valuable information for quality control and product development.
- Field Testing for Drug Abuse: Nanotechnology-based sensors can be employed for rapid, sensitive, and cost-effective detection of drugs in various biological samples. These sensors could be used for the development of on-site testing or point-of-care devices, facilitating timely intervention and treatment.
- Nanoparticle-Aided Metabolomics Profiling: Nanoparticles can be employed as analytical tools for metabolomics profiling, which involves the comprehensive analysis of small molecules in biological samples. This approach can provide valuable insights into the mechanisms of action of drugs, as well as their metabolism and potential toxic effects.
- Nanomaterial-Based Drug Development: Nanotechnology offers new opportunities for drug discovery and development. It enables the design of novel drug delivery systems and synthesizing nanostructured materials with unique properties. These advances can lead to more effective and targeted therapies, reducing side effects and improving patient outcomes.
- Regulations and Risk Assessment: With the massive growth in the field of nanotechnology, regulatory agencies face the challenge of developing and implementing safety guidelines for products that involve nanomaterials. Comprehensive risk assessments are essential to determine the potential toxicity and environmental impact of these materials to ensure the safety and efficacy of nanotechnology-based products.
- Public Perception and Education: It is crucial to educate consumers and other stakeholders about the benefits and risks of nanotechnology in the food and pharmaceutical sector. Transparency and open communication can help build trust and facilitate the responsible development and adoption of these technologies.