It is a characteristic belief of Project Gilgamesh that the preparation of molecular repair nanotechnology may find a solid foundation in a technology which combines refined molecular recognition, molecular biomimetics and intelligent procedures (such as DNA computing). The present technology which best encapsulates this doctrine is the targeted drug delivery system.
Targeted drug delivery aims primarily to reduce the side effects and improve the efficacy of pharmaceuticals by targeting drug packages to localized sites via the specificity of ligand-ligand interactions (the drug packages may be coated with proteins that bind specifically with a single receptor or a small class of receptors). This fulfills the refined molecular recognition requirement (which can be achieved through protein design).
The biomimetic requirement is naturally met by the high premium placed by pharmacology on the biocompatibility of drug delivery systems and the present emphasis on drug delivery vehicles inspired by biochemistry – polymeric micelles, liposomes, dendrimers and artificial DNA nanostructures. The rationale for biomimetics will be fully expressed in The Policy of Minimal Interference.
A targeted drug delivery system premised on augmented molecular recognition and biomimetics is compatible with a high level of efficacy. Nevertheless, the exigencies of further reduction of side-effects and improved efficacy – especially in the context of cancer treatment – calls for a body intelligence more sophisticated than that inherent in augmented molecular recognition. The targeted drug delivery system, imbued with a secondary intelligence (in the form of DNA computing etc.), thus becomes the prototype for molecular repair nanotechnology. The modalities of these secondary intelligences shall be considered in the next post, Cancer Nanomedicine as a Foundation for Molecular Repair Nanotechnology.