Table 1 Examples of nanotechnology-related projects in the Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative

From: Nanotechnology, equity and global health

Healthcare approach Examples
Prevention Condoms made of natural rubber latex/graphene composites or coated with super-hydrophilic nanoparticles to improve durability, safety and appeal33.
Lipid-based nanoparticles containing iron, folic acid and iodine, integrated into cosmetic pastes such as mehendi or kohl, commonly used by rural women in LMICs, to deliver micronutrients transdermally to expectant mothers to improve foetal health34.
Chitosan nanoparticles as carriers for gene-silencing small RNAs that, after ingestion by larvae of malarial vectors, can kill them35.
Vaccination Nasally administered aerosol hepatitis B vaccine based on dry powder or poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA)/polyethylene glycol (PEG) nanoparticles containing recombinant hepatitis B surface antigen36.
Intranasally administered sub-unit nanovaccine against brucellosis37.
Dermal nanopatches with microscopic silicon projections coated with a malaria vaccine in dry form that target immunologically sensitive cells within the skin’s outer layers38.
Pollen-mimicking nanoparticles that penetrate the skin through hair follicles and release vaccines upon contact with human sweat, targeting dendritic cells that surround hair follicles39.
Anti-diarrhoeal biocompatible oral vaccine based on antigen-containing nanoparticles generated by a genetically engineered common gut bacterium40.
Diagnostics and monitoring Point-of-care, ultraportable, hand-held, robust, multiplex diagnostic systems that detect different pathogens simultaneously using a single biological sample, and are capable of delivering results rapidly as simple visual readouts41,42,43,44.
Ultraportable, battery-powered, handheld diagnostic nanodevices that couple magnetic nanotechnology with an array of magnetically responsive nanosensors for rapid, multiplex molecular diagnostic tests45.
Tuberculosis detection systems that use a sensing plaster containing non-toxic nanomaterial-based sensors that detect volatile biomarkers46,47.
Wearable, self-healing, self-powered nanodevices for the non-invasive detection of physiologic markers for continuous health monitoring48.
Treatment High-density lipoprotein nanocarriers for short-interfering RNAs (siRNA) for the treatment of preeclampsia49,50.
Photo-thermosensitive liposome-based nanocarriers that can release medications transdermally via microneedles upon exposure to sunlight or light-emitting diodes, eliminating toxic side effects and the need for multiple administrations51.
Amphiphilic polyanhydride (AmPa) nanoparticles for single-dose delivery and slow-release of medications that target filarial nematodes and their endosymbiont bacteria Wolbachia52.
Multilayered skin patches with amoxicillin encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles for continued transdermal release in children with pneumonia in low- and middle-income countries53.