91241 - Nanomedicine

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Luca Prodi
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: CHIM/03
  • Language: English
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Photochemistry and Molecular Materials (cod. 9074)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will be able to understand the strategies for the design of contrast agents for the most common imaging techniques and of possible drug delivery systems, with a critical approach for the field of nanomedicine

Course contents

Introduction to the world of nanotechnology and its applications to medicine. The most common nanostructures used in nanomedicine. Nanostructures vs molecular systems: the advantages offered by nanomedicine. The problems related to targeting and toxicity.

Nanomedicine and diagnostics.

In vivo diagnostics and the most common imaging techniques:

  • X-Ray Computed Tomography (X-Ray CT)
  • Single Photon Emission CT (SPECT)
  • Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasound Imaging (US)
  • Optical Imaging (OI)

The main strategies based on nanotechnology for the design of new contrast agents. The new scenario offered by multimodal imaging.

The use of nanostructures as in vivo probes for chemical species of biological interest.

In vitro diagnostics: which improvements can be expected from nanotechnologies.

Nanomedicine and therapy

Potentialities and problems related to the use of nanostructures for the drug delivery: state of the art and possible trends.

Nanomedicine and photodynamic and photothermal therapies.

The long term goal of nanomedicine: the design of theranostic agents.


Slides can be downloaded at:


In the slides there are also references to the most updated articles on the subject.

Some texts, which can be found in the library and can be used for further study, are:

Paras N. Prasad, “Introduction to Nanomedicine and Nanobioengineering”, Wiley, 2012

“Nanomedicine - Principles and Perspectives”, Editors: Ge, Y., Li, S., Wang, S., Moore, R. Springer,

Teaching methods

Together with the presentation of the different topics, the students will be invited to critical discussions on articles published in the principal scientific journals.

Assessment methods

The assessment takes place through the final exam only, which ensures the acquisition of the knowledge and skills expected by taking an oral test.

The first question involves the critical discussion of a scientific article (original research, not review) chosen, at least a week before, by the student. The next two or three questions are chosen by the teacher on all the topics presented in class. The final mark represents an average of the assessments of the individual questions.

Teaching tools

Slides can be downloaded at:


Office hours

See the website of Luca Prodi


Good health and well-being Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.