Application of Nanotechnology in Veterinary Medicine

Literature Review, 2022

17 Pages




2.1. Application of Nanotechnology in disease diagnosis
2.2. Application of Nanotechnology in drug delivery system and Treatments
2.3. Antimicrobials Nanoparticles in veterinary medicine
2.4. Nano vaccine and vaccine adjuvant
2.5. Application of nanotechnology in animal breeding
2.6. Application of nanotechnology in animal and chicken product




Nanotechnology is research and technology development at the atomic, molecular and macromolecular levels at the scale of approximately 1 - 100 nanometer range, to provide a fundamental understanding of phenomena and materials at the nano scale and to create and use structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their small and/or intermediate size. Nanotechnology has the potential to solve many more puzzles related to animal health, products and breeding. The applications of nanotechnology become the proving ground for untried and more controversial techniques from Nano capsule vaccines to sex selection in breeding. There are numerous applications of nanotechnology in veterinary medicine including disease diagnosis, treatment, drug delivery, animal breeding and improving and boosting animal origin food product. It is swiftly changing the diagnosis and treatment patterns at faster and low cost in less time duration. In general, the application with nanotechnology in the field of veterinary medicine was very broad and further investigations are very quartile for effective utilization of the technology in the practical life in making sustainable demand and supply system with human need in advancing world.

Keywords : Diagnosis, nanomaterials, nanotechnology, treatment.


Nanotechnology is an exciting and rapidly emerging technology allowing us to work at the molecular level, often atom by atom, to create and manipulate tools, materials and functional structures that have nanometer dimensions. Nature has been performing ‘Nano technological feats’ for millions of years. Through the arrangement of atoms and molecules, biological systems combine wet chemistry and electro-chemistry in a single living system. It used within the body, within the cells for diagnosing and treatment of diseases. It has the potential to have greats impact on diagnosis and treatment of animals. Unique size dependent properties of nanoparticles have numerous diagnostic applications such as diagnostic biosensors, imaging nanoprobes for magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents (Prabaharan et al., 2010). Using nanotechnology multifunctional nanomaterial’s can be designed to image a specific organ, target tissue, access deep molecular targets and provide drugs at controlled release. Great advances have been and are being made in nanobiochip materials, nanoscale biomimetic materials, nanomotors, nanocomposite materials, interface biomaterials and nanobiosensors with enormous prospect in veterinary medicine application (Tiwari etal. 2011).

It is a research and development aimed at understanding and working with seeing, measuring and manipulating at the atomic, molecular and supramolecular levels. This correlates to length scales of roughly 1 to 100 nanometers. At this scale, the physical, chemical and biological properties of materials differ fundamentally and often unexpectedly integrated sensing, monitoring and controlling system could detect the presence of disease and notify the farmer and veterinarian to activate a targeted treatment delivery system This is possible with nanotechnology and could permit a wide range of advances in the field of agriculture, animal and veterinary sciences such as conversion of agricultural and food wastes to energy and other useful by-products through enzymatic nanobioprocessing, development in reproductive sciences, breeding managements, disease prevention and treatment in animals and public health (Patil et al.,2004). Applications of nanotechnology and nanoparticles in food, animal breeding and animal productivity such as in meat production, milk production are emerging rapidly. It used to create materials and change structure, enhanced quality and texture of foodstuffs at the molecular level. This technology has a major impact on production, processing, transportation, storage, traceability, safety and security of food (Otles and Yalcin, 2008).

Therefore, the objective of this seminar paper is to review the application of nanotechnology on smart drug delivery system, in animal disease treatment and diagnosis, animal breeding and reproduction and also chicken product.


The term “Nanotechnology”was frist applied in 1970s and was used to production technology at ultrafine dimensions, hence the use of the Greek word ‘’nano’’-meaning Dwarf. According to the published document of International Organization for Standardization (IOS), nanotechnology is defined as a scientific knowledge application for matter’s manipulation and control in Nano metric scale (Troncarelli et al., 2008).

The most widely use definition of nanotechnology is provided by the United States Government's National Nanotechnology Initiative. According to the researchers, nanotechnology is defined as: "Research and technology development at the atomic, molecular and macromolecular levels at the scale of approximately 1 - 100 nanometer range, to provide a fundamental understanding of phenomena and materials at the nanoscale and to create and use structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their small and/or intermediate size (Feneque, 2003).

The generic term of 'nano-object' as defined by the European union Commission recommendation on a code of conduct for responsible nanosciences and nanotechnologies research will include all nanomaterial’s, nanostructured materials, nanoparticles and their aggregation at the nanoscale, nano-systems, and nanoproducts (Brussels, 2008).

2.1. Application of Nanotechnology in disease diagnosis

Nanotechnology has the potential to provide cheaper, fast and precise diagnostic tools. These days, nanomaterials are playing a key role in imaging and monitoring and hence earlier detection of disease. Better diagnosis has a positive effect in the cost of animal health care. Bio nanomaterial based research has emerged as a new exciting field and DNA, RNA and peptides are considered as important bionanomaterials for the fundamental development in life sciences. The nanomaterial’s such as quantum dots, nano shells, carbon nanotubes can be synthesized and functionalized which may couple with the imaging sources and accompany the molecule with ultrasound, magnetic resonance, X-rays techniques to diagnose the targeted organ effectively (Loukanov et al., 2012).

2.1.1. Nano chips

Earlier and rapid detection of diseases causing pathogens was done by wide range of assays like enzyme immunosorbent assay, western blot assay, polymerase chain reaction, neutralization, agar-gel immunodiffusion (Hirsch et al., 2003).

Nano chips have diverse range of applications ranging from recognizing genes, guiding drug delivery to monitoring body functions and perceive life science and chemical pathogens. Nanochips are also applied for identification of certain diseases like cystic fibrosis and scanning of DNA for signs of predispositions of other ailments (Wei et al., 2010).

Nanochips have been employed to detect gene mutations responsible for monogenic disorders that help to determine etiology of complex diseases including heart disease, diabetes and neuro psychiatric traits. Recently, researchers developed silver sputtered nanochip that mimic the connectivity between neurons in the brain (Chang et al., 2010).

2.1.2. Nano sensors

Nano sensors are miniature devices that can diagnose samples which use biological material or tissue based on bio recognition element which is immobilized on the surface of physicochemical transducer. Applications of nanosensors open great prospectives ranging from whole body monitoring to diagnosing various diseases due to their unprecedented sensitivity. Majorly, nano sensors are based on two detection principles catalytic and affinity sensing. Catalytic sensors utilize enzymes, cells, tissues and microorganisms as the recognition agent. Affinity sensors are those which utilize whole antibodies, antibody fragments, nucleic acid, receptors, lectins, phages, novel engineered scaffold derived bonding proteins, molecular imprinted polymers, plastic antibodies and synthetic protein binding agents as the recognition agent (Akkoyun et al., 2000).

Nanosensors have major role in veterinary sciences, they use very small amount of a chemical contaminant, virus or bacteria which is helpful for agriculture and food systems that in return improves the feedstock (Scott, 2005).

2.1.3. Liposomes

Vesicles composed of a lipid bilayer surrounding a hollow core; they can be composed of natural phospholipids or other surfactants and Drugs or other molecules can be loaded for delivery to tumors or other disease sites; Liposome’s can carry both hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs and molecules to a target site (Mcmillan etal., 2011). The major types of liposomes are the multilamellar vesicle, the small unilamellar and large unilamellar vesicles, and the cochleate vesicle. Owing to the diversity of their structures and compositions, liposomes have become versatile tools in clinical applications in cancer treatment (imaging and therapy)(Wang etal., 2008). Flexibility of liposome construction allows incorporation of imaging agents into either the bilayer or interior, making them effective carriers for intensification of contrast in magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography ( Zheng etal., 2006).

Liposomes are small artificial vesicles of spherical shape composed of single or multiple concentric bilayers, size ranging from 50-500 nm. Liposomes play a key role in diagnosis as they can be used as carriers for radioisotopes and contrast agents. Liposome can be used in blood pool or perfusion and lymphatic imaging based on contrast enhancement. The potential of paramagnetic liposome in blood pool, lymphatic and perfusion imaging was proven by various ex vivo and in vivo animal studies (Suga et al., 2001).

2.1.4. Quantum dots

Quantum dots are semiconductor nanocrystals having unique properties like high level of photostablility, tunable optical properties, single-wavelength excitation and size-tunable emission. Due to their extremely small size (around 10 nm in diameter), they are used as fluorescent probes for bio molecular and cellular imaging (Azzay et al., 2006). ). A quantum dot enables high sensitive detection of analytes at low concentrations due to their similar quantum efficiencies. Diseases involving large number of genes and proteins can be detected by multicolor quantum dot probe that helps in imaging and tracking multiple molecular targets simultaneously (Samia et al., 2003). Quantum dots offer a multipurpose nanoscale framework for defining and constructing versatile nanoparticles that can be utilized to carry out both functions, in imaging and treatment (Misra etal., 2010) . Quantum dots offer major advantages over radioactive tags or fluorospheres like fluorescin or cyanine dyes in terms of longevity due to their stability and resistance to photo bleaching(Cuenca etal., 2006).

2.1.5. Magnetic nanoparticles

Magnetic nanoparticles are finding increasing applications in the areas of diagnostic and therapeutic because of the advantageous properties associated with the lesser dipoledipole interactions, lower sedimentation rates, facilitation in tissue diffusion, high magnetization so as to be controlled by external magnetic fields and to reach the targeted pathologic tissue and their small size that make them available for circulation through the capillary systems of organs and tissues (Sobik et al.,2011). Magnetic nanoparticles have been widely used in the early diagnosis of diseases. They are especially important for some fatal diseases such as cancer. Some magnetic nanoparticles like iron oxide nanoparticles have been used in perfusion imaging for in-vivo characterization of tumors (Strijkers et al., 2005). Magnetic nanoparticles show effective results in animal body as they can easily move in liquid medium and thus can be excited magnetically or detected inside nonmagnetic tissue (Zhao etal., 2011).

2.2. Application of Nanotechnology in drug delivery system and Treatments

2.2.1. Application of Nanotechnology in drug delivery systems

Considering the Pharmacology area, nanotechnology allows the development of new products and also the possibility to rework conventional substances in order to obtain better efficacy results, by loading drugs into nanoparticles through physical encapsulation, adsorption, or chemical conjugation, the pharmacokinetics and therapeutic index of the drugs can be significantly improved in contrast to the free drug counterparts. Drug-loaded nanoparticles can enter host cells through endocytosis and then release drug payloads to treat microbes-induced intracellular infections (Zhang et al., 2010).

Nanoparticle-based drug delivery provides many advantages, such as enhancing drug-therapeutic efficiency and pharmacological characteristics. The utility of nanoparticles in improving pharmacokinetics, reducing unwanted side effects, and improving delivery to disease sites has been demonstrated for a number of nanodrug delivery systems (Suh et al., 2009). For example, nanoparticles improve the solubility of poorly water-soluble drugs, modify pharmacokinetics, increase drug half-life by reducing immunogenicity, increase specificity towards the target cell or tissue (therefore Reducing side effects), improve bioavailability, diminish drug metabolism and enable a more controllable release of therapeutic compounds and the delivery of two or more drugs simultaneously for combination therapy (Allen and Cullis, 2004).

Generally, the practical consequences of a pharmaceutical nanostructure substance are providing a rational use of the active ingredient, considering that both the number of doses and the concentration of the drug may be reduced during the treatment and “Renewing” of old pharmaceutical bases which were continued used and also prolonging the systemic circulation lifetime of drug. Releasing drugs at a sustained and controlled manner, preferentially delivering drugs to the tissues and cells of interest, delivering multiple therapeutic agents to the same cells for combination therapy (Peer et al., 2007). Providing new perspectives of administration routes for medicines and vaccines and also reducing stress and toxicity for drug administration, collateral effects of conventional pharmaceutical actives. Providing the use of new molecules and actives in animal therapeutic and producing low (or none) residues in animal products, resulting in no withdrawal needed (Zhag et al., 2008).

2.2.2. Application of Nanotechnology in Treatment of disease

The effective delivery of therapeutic molecules has been a major barrier to obtain targeted response against the disease agent. Many drugs are effective in treating diseases but most of them also have certain limitations with regard to toxicity, poor aqueous solubility and cell impermeability. The drawbacks discussed above can be solved by Nanomedicine. Nano medicine has the potential to solve unique biological challenges. New drugs and new delivery systems both come under "Nanomedicine" umbrella. Therapeutic and diagnostic agents are at the forefront projects of Nanomedicine and research is focused on rational delivery and targeting of pharmaceuticals in animals (Desai et al., 1997).

Nano pharmaceuticals, the most promising and productive area of nanotechnology application in animal treatment involves nanoparticles and hence they are available for broad range of biological targets owing to their small size and higher mobility. Nano pharmaceuticals engross encapsulating the material to generate nanoparticle which thereby improves solubility, diffusion and degradation characteristics of the encapsulated material and, nanomaterials that can carry drugs to the targeted site (Si et al., 2007).

2.2.3. Polymeric Nanoparticles

Strategies for controlled drug-delivery have made a considerable progress in the field of veterinary medicine where polymeric nanoparticles play a key role. They deliver drugs for long periods, increasing the drug efficacy, maximizing the patient compliance thereby enhancing the ability to use highly toxic, poorly soluble or relatively unstable drugs. They are used for the development of highly selective and efficient therapeutic and diagnostic modalities (Frietas, 1998). Polymeric nanoparticles can circulate freely in the body and penetrate tissues by means of mechanisms such as endocytosis(Gao etal., 2004). Polymeric nanoparticles are structurally stable and can be synthesized with a sharper size distribution. Polymeric nanoparticles are usually coated with nonionic surfactants in order to reduce immunological interactions as well as intermolecular interactions between the surface of chemical group polymeric nanoparticles ( Agnieszka etal., 2012).

2.2.4. Carbon nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes have potential therapeutic applications in the field of drug delivery. They can be functionalized by various biomolecules such as bioactive peptides, proteins, nucleic acids and drugs, and are used to deliver their cargos to cells and organs (Tiwari and Dhakate, 2009). Though the mechanism of cell penetration is not fully understood, it is suggested that their needle-like shape enables them to penetrate cellular membranes and enter into intracellular content without significant damage to the cell(Cai etal., 2005).

2.2.5. Nanoshells

Nanoshells are concentric particles in which one material is coated with a thin layer of another material by various synthesis methods. Nanoshells are currently being used in cancer chemotherapy and still more applications are conceived in the treatment of diseases . Gold nanoshells destroy the cancer completely. They can also be used to immobilize cells or viruses, to trap and embed small and macromolecules on surfaces (Kumar, 2007).

2.2.6. Dendrimers

Dendrimers have a range of applications from drug delivery to drug diagnosis. It considered as potential drug carriers for treatment of diseases with the capability to provide a sustained release along with reduced side effect and rapid pharmacological response with improved efficacy. Dendrimers are effectively used in drug delivery as they deliver a drug at controlled rate by chemically modifying them either by fine tuning of hydrolytic release conditions and the selective leakage of drug molecules on the basis of their size or shape or by pH-sensitive materials (Jansen et al., 1995). Dendrimers are defined as highly ordered and regularly branched globular macromolecules produced by stepwise iterative approaches (Svenson and Tomalia, 2006). The drug may be encapsulated in the internal structure of dendrimers or it can be chemically attached or physically adsorbed on dendrimers surface (Menjoge et al.,2010).

2.3. Antimicrobials Nanoparticles in veterinary medicine

The field of veterinarian sciences stands to gain with nanotechnology diagnostic tools (nanoprobes) that can be used in vitro and on living animals,targeted delivery of medications, therapeutic nanomaterial’s, vaccine antigen vectors, in vivo imagery, or traceability of products of animal origin. An important increase of scientific researches for nanostructured products development in the last years has been verified in Veterinary Medicine, especially using antimicrobials actives. Conventional synthetic and natural antimicrobial substances are being tested, and have shown excellent results against multi-resistant microorganisms and bacteria strains that are normally hard to eliminate by using the conventional treatment, like Brucella abortus, Mycobacterium bovis, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Ehrlichia, Ana plasma; Rhodococcus equi, etc. (Mcmillan et al., 2011).

2.3.1. Invitro studies –conventional antimicrobials

Nanostructured streptomycin and doxycyclin e were tested against Brucella melitensis strains, and the efficacy results of nanoparticles were better than the conventional antimicrobials (Seleem etal., 2009). This specific pathogen usually stays inside animal’s macrophages, and its pharmacological control is very hard. In this in vitro study, both antimicrobial actives were encapsulated in anfihilicpolymer’s, allowing the nanoparticles to reach the interior of murine macrophages. When tested in vivo (in infected marine’s), the nanostructured formulation determined reduction of the number of colony-forming unities and also with a better efficacy compared to the conventional formulation. Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhi bacteria are two common pollutants and they are developing resistance to the most used bactericide. New biocide materials are being tested. Thus, gold nanoparticles are proposed to inhibit the growth of these two microorganisms. Gold nanoparticles dispersed on zeolites eliminate Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhi colonies at short time (Lima et al., 2013).

2.3.2. Invitro studies with Ag nanoparticles

The antimicrobial effects of silver ion or salts are well known, and the silver nanoparticles show efficient antimicrobial property compared to other salts. The Ag nanostructures are most effective on E. coli, yeast S. aureus, Klebsiella and Pseudomonas. These nanoparticles preferably attack the respiratory chain and cell division, finally leading to cell death. Ag nanoparticles can be used as effective growth inhibitors in various microorganisms, making them applicable to diverse medical devices and antimicrobial control systems. The scanning transmission electron microscopy confirms the presence of silver in the cell membrane and inside bacteria (Rajasokkapan, 2013).


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Application of Nanotechnology in Veterinary Medicine
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Isayas Asefa (Author), 2022, Application of Nanotechnology in Veterinary Medicine, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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