Over the past decade, diagnostics and therapeutics have changed gradually towards the use of more specific and targeted approaches. The most profound impact has been in the nanotechnology sectors, where an explosion in directing biomolecules to specific biomarkers has illustrated great potentials not only in detection but also in targeted therapy. Increased knowledge of the diseases at the molecular level catalyzed a shift towards identifying new biological indicators. In particular, carbohydrate-mediated molecular recognitions using nano-vehicles are likely to increasingly affect medicine opening a new area of biomedical applications. This article provides an overview of the recent progress made in recruiting the “sugar code” functionalized on various nano-platforms to decipher cellular information for both in vitro and in vivo applications. Todays glyco-technologies are enabling better detection with great therapeutic potentials. Tomorrow they are likely to bring a full understanding of the “cell-glyconanomaterial bio-conversation” where major biomedical problems will be overcome translating insights from the “glyco-nanoworld” into clinical practice.
Keywords: Magnetic glyconanoparticles, magnetic resonance imaging, gold glyconanoparticles, glyco-quantum dots, glyco-carbon nanotubes, glyco-nanomaterials, glyco-dendrimers, sugar code, biomarkers
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