As discussed in other chapters of this book, nanotechnology offers the research community the potential to significantly transform cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. Our ability to manipulate the biological and physicochemical properties of nanomaterial allows for more efficient drug targeting and delivery, resulting in greater potency and specificity, and decreased adverse side effects. The combinatorial possibilities of these multifunctional platforms have been the focus of considerable research and funding, but realization of their use in clinical trials is highly dependent on rigorous preclinical characterization to meet regulatory provisions and elucidated structure-activity relationships (SARs). A rational characterization strategy for biomedical nanoparticles contains three essential components (see Figure 7.1): physicochemical characterization, in vitro assays, and in vivo studies.

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