Nanoinformatics: a new area of research in nanomedicine
Victor Maojo,1 Martin Fritts,2,3 Diana de la Iglesia,1 Raul E Cachau,4 Miguel Garcia-Remesal,1 Joyce A Mitchell,5 Casimir Kulikowski6
1Biomedical Informatics Group, Departamento de Inteligencia Artificial, Facultad de Informática, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain; 2SAIC-Frederick Inc, National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Frederick, Maryland, 3National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 4Advanced Biomedical Computing Center, National Cancer Institute, SAIC-Frederick Inc, Frederick, Maryland, 5Department of Biomedical Informatics, University of Utah, Utah, 6Department of Computer Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Jersey, USA
Abstract: Over a decade ago, nanotechnologists began research on applications of nanomaterials for medicine. This research has revealed a wide range of different challenges, as well as many opportunities. Some of these challenges are strongly related to informatics issues, dealing, for instance, with the management and integration of heterogeneous information, defining nomenclatures, taxonomies and classifications for various types of nanomaterials, and research on new modeling and simulation techniques for nanoparticles. Nanoinformatics has recently emerged in the USA and Europe to address these issues. In this paper, we present a review of nanoinformatics, describing its origins, the problems it addresses, areas of interest, and examples of current research initiatives and informatics resources. We suggest that nanoinformatics could accelerate research and development in nanomedicine, as has occurred in the past in other fields. For instance, biomedical informatics served as a fundamental catalyst for the Human Genome Project, and other genomic and –omics projects, as well as the translational efforts that link resulting molecular-level research to clinical problems and findings.
Keywords: biomedical informatics, nanomedicine, nanotoxicology, ontologies, electronic health records
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