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Medical Technology. Pharmaceuticals Chemical substances that are used in the treatment, cure, prevention & diagnoses of disease Pharmacology : study of drugs Pharmacogenomics : study of effect of genetic variation (whole genome) on patient’s response to drugs

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  • Chemical substances that are used in the treatment, cure, prevention & diagnoses of disease
    • Pharmacology: study of drugs
    • Pharmacogenomics: study of effect of genetic variation (whole genome) on patient’s response to drugs
    • Pharmacogenetics: study of effect of specific genes on patient’s response to drugs
  • Analgesics: pain relieving drugs
    • Non-opioid: mild to moderate pain, over the counter. E.g. paracetamol, aspirin
    • Opioid: severe pain, generally prescription needed. E.g. codine, morphine, oxycodone

Anti-inflammatories: reduce inflammation

    • Inflammation: response to injury / disease  pain, swelling, redness, heat
    • Corticosteroids: steroids which bind to cortisol receptors, preventing cortisol (damage repair hormone) release.
    • Prolonged use may be detrimental (e.g. osteoporosis)
    • Used to treat: asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, eczema.
    • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID): inhibit COX enzyme (cyclo-oxygenase), which means body can’t make prostaglandins. (hormone like substance which causes inflammation)
    • Prolonged use may be detrimental (e.g. stomach disorders)
    • e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen, indomethacin and naproxen.

Statins: lower bad cholesterol levels (low density lipoprotein)

    • Prescribed, people with CV disease,
    • Inhibit enzyme produced in liver  blocking metabolic pathway
    • May cause liver damage and muscle pain
  • Antibiotics: fight bacterial infections

Alzheimer’s disease

    • Form of dementia, generally for people over 65.
    • Memory los, confusion, mood swings, aggression, general withdrawal
    • No cure but limited treatment acetylcholinesterase inhibitors ( Reminyl & Aricept) result in more of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine  reduces symptoms
  • Parkinson’s disease
    • Shaking, slow movements, muscle stiffness, stooped posture, impaired speech
    • Deficiency in neurotransmitter, dopamine.
    • Treatments includes dopamine or drugs which reduce acetylcholine which needs to be in balance with dopamine.
  • Drug delivery
    • Injections
    • Tablets / capsules
    • Ointments / creams
    • Suppositories (capsules inserted into rectum, vagina or urethra)
    • Inhalation (nasal spray, inhaler)
    • Skin patches
    • Implanted slow release capsules
    • Slow release pumps


  • Tissue regeneration
    • Regenerative medicine: tissue engineering. Growth of certain tissue types in a lab
    • Requires: tissue type cells, matrix to support cells, substances that act as cell communicators (initiate division and growth)
    • E.g 2D - skin, bone, cartilage. 3D – tendons, knee cartilage
  • Spray-on-skin
    • Production of skin cells in 5 days (rather than 21)
    • Used to treat burns or other skin trauma (fast response reduces scarring)
    • Produced by Dr Fiona Wood (from WA)
  • Stem cells
    • Undifferentiated, can divided repeatedly, can differentiate into different types of cells
    • Aldultvs embryonic stem cells
      • Totipotent: potential to create any/all cell types. (found in zygote – 1st five days)
      • Pluripotent: Potential to create foetal cell types (but not embryonic membranes) (found in ICM)
      • Multipotent: Potential to create cell types which are linked by a particular function. (blood stem cell RBC, WBC etc)


    • Heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas
    • Bone marrow, heart valves, skin, cornea
    • Taken from the recently deceased
  • Grafts
    • Transplant of only part of an organ
    • Skin, tendon, bone, nerves