Guidolin K & Zheng G
ACS Nano, 2019

Nanomedicines have historically struggled to find clinical relevance and to achieve translation successfully. In this Perspective, we discuss possible reasons for this difficulty and highlight several key features of nanomedicines that are often overlooked by biomedical engineers. We present the notion of clinical multifunctionality as distinct from multifunctionality as it is traditionally described at the nanoscale and emphasize its importance through examples of nanomedicines that have demonstrated emergent clinical multifunctionality once translated. We also describe a phenomenon in which clinical multifunctionality results in diagonal translation after a nanomedicine is adopted by clinicians to serve as a solution for a clinical problem that it was not designed to solve. Biomedical engineers can take advantage of these phenomena to assist in achieving clinical translation of new nanomedicines.