Nanoinformatics and DNA-based computing: catalyzing nanomedicine.
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Translational Medical Research
Five decades of research and practical application of computers in biomedicine has given rise to the discipline of medical informatics, which has made many advances in genomic and translational medicine possible. Developments in nanotechnology are opening up the prospects for nanomedicine and regenerative medicine where informatics and DNA computing can become the catalysts enabling health care applications at sub-molecular or atomic scales. Although nanomedicine promises a new exciting frontier for clinical practice and biomedical research, issues involving cost-effectiveness studies, clinical trials and toxicity assays, drug delivery methods, and the implementation of new personalized therapies still remain challenging. Nanoinformatics can accelerate the introduction of nano-related research and applications into clinical practice, leading to an area that could be called "translational nanoinformatics." At the same time, DNA and RNA computing presents an entirely novel paradigm for computation. Nanoinformatics and DNA-based computing are together likely to completely change the way we model and process information in biomedicine and impact the emerging field of nanomedicine most strongly. In this article, we review work in nanoinformatics and DNA (and RNA)-based computing, including applications in nanopediatrics. We analyze their scientific foundations, current research and projects, envisioned applications and potential problems that might arise from them.