Health - Overview - Patents - Text Web Content


This section looks at the patenting activity in the field of nanotechnology and health from 2017-2020. Granted patents and patent applications focused on health and nanotechnology were extracted from the general collection of nanotechnology patents from 2017-2020 developed by the study team for the database. The patents were collected from Espacenet database maintained by the European Patent Office. The dataset of patents on health and nanotechnology was developed by extracting the granted patents and patent applications that contained the CPC classes and sub-classes dedicated to health in their bibliographic information. It should be noted that most nanotechnology patents contain multiple classes in their subject descriptions. In CPC health is covered under A61 class (Medical and veterinary science; hygiene) together with veterinary science and hygiene and in nanotechnology sub-class B82Y5/00 (Nanobiotechnology or nanomedicine, e.g. protein engineering or drug delivery). Only classes that referred to human health were considered for identifying health patents and patent applications.

Table AVI-4: Health in the Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC)1,2
Class Title
A61B Diagnosis; surgery; identification
A61C Dentistry; apparatus or methods for oral or dental hygiene
A61F Filters implantable into blood vessels; prostheses; devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents; orthopaedic, nursing or contraceptive devices; fomentation; treatment or protection of eyes or ears; bandages, dressings or absorbent pads; first-aid kits
A61G Transport, personal conveyances, or accommodation specially adapted for patients or disabled persons; operating tables or chairs; chairs for dentistry; funeral devices
A61H Physical therapy apparatus, e.g. devices for locating or stimulating reflex points in the body; artificial respiration; massage; bathing devices for special therapeutic or hygienic purposes or specific parts of the body
A61J Containers specially adapted for medical or pharmaceutical purposes; devices or methods specially adapted for bringing pharmaceutical products into particular physical or administering forms; devices for administering food or medicines orally; baby comforters; devices for receiving spittle
A61K Preparations for medical, dental, or toilet purposes
A61L Methods or apparatus for sterilising materials or objects in general; disinfection, sterilisation, or deodorisation of air; chemical aspects of bandages, dressings, absorbent pads, or surgical articles; materials for bandages, dressings, absorbent pads, or surgical articles
A61M Devices for introducing media into, or onto, the body; devices for transducing body media or for taking media from the body; devices for producing or ending sleep or stupor
A61N Electrotherapy; magnetotherapy; radiation therapy; ultrasound therapy
A61P Specific therapeutic activity of chemical compounds or medicinal preparations
B82Y5/00 Nanobiotechnology or nanomedicine, e.g., protein engineering or drug delivery


Health in nanotechnology patents

As a result of patent collection mining, 3,180 patent applications and granted patents published between 2017-2020 were identified. The number of patents and patent applications containing health classifications steadily increased each year.


Most patents (2139, 67%) were published in the national patent offices, while the rest were in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO, 963, 30%) and the European Patent Office (78, 3%). China (1209 applications, 38%) prevailed among the countries where most patent applications were published. Other countries, such as the USA, Russian Federation, South Korea and Australia were in the top five by the number of published applications significantly lagged behind China.

Table AVI-5: Top five countries by filed patents/applications in health and nanotechnology in 2017-2020
Country No. of patents/patent applications, %
China 1209, 38%
USA 357, 11%
Russian Federation 179, 6%
South Korea 155, 5%
Australia 90, 3%


Patent applications and granted patents contained eleven CPC sub-classes referring to health. One patent application usually combined several health-related CPC sub-classes. The overwhelming majority of patents and applications focused on preparations for medical, dental or toilet purposes (A61K, 2,358 applications and patents, 86%), nanobiotechnology and nanomedicine (2,253, 71%) and on specific therapeutic activity of chemical compounds or medicinal preparations (A61P, 1,191 applications and patents, 44%).


A61K sub-class covers drug or other biological compositions used for treatment, maintenance or diagnostic purposed and body treating compositions for personal care purposes, including dental filling.3 

Table AVI-6: Examples of patents and applications focused on A61K and BY825/00 sub-classes
Bibliographic information Abstract
Alani, A. W. G. (2018). Nanocarrier drug delivery platform. Patent no. US10016422B2. Available here. (Granted patent) Disclosed herein are embodiments of a composition comprising a drug in a polymer nanoparticle. The nanoparticles may have a size and/or a surface potential selected to facilitate lymph node uptake and/or dissemination throughout the lymphatic system. The nanoparticle may be a polyethyleneglycol-block-poly(ε-caprolactone) (PEG-PCL) nanoparticle. Also disclosed are embodiments of a method of using the composition. The composition may be administered subcutaneously. The drug-loaded nanoparticles are useful for treating certain cancers and/or decreasing the number of melanocytes in lymph nodes that are proximal to, distal to or both proximal and distal to a site of administration.

Chen, Q. et al. (2019). Preparation method of dental restoration modified nano-hydroxyapatite composite material. Patent no. CN109437138A. Available here. (Patent application)

The invention discloses a preparation method of a dental restoration modified nano-hydroxyapatite composite material and belongs to the field of biomedical materials. The dental restoration modified nano-hydroxyapatite composite material is prepared by taking soluble calcium salt and soluble phosphate salt as raw materials and compound amino acids and/or graphene oxide as a modification means through a hydrothermal method. The dental restoration modified nano-hydroxyapatite composite material is structurally characterized in an enamel-like nanorod structure with a particle diameter of 3-30 nm and a particle length of 50-300 nm and is low in degree of crystallinity. The dental restoration modified nano-hydroxyapatite composite material has the advantages of being good in biosecurity and high in biocompatibility, achieving good restoration effects on surface decalcification and deep decalcification of enamel or dentin and forming new remineralized restoration layers by nucleation on the surface of decalcified enamel or dentin, thereby improving the surface hardness and the antibacterial performance of teeth and providing new possibility for clinical tooth remineralization restoration.


A61P sub-class focuses on chemical compounds or medicinal preparations for therapeutic activities, in simple words, on drugs used for the treatment of different conditions.4 

Table AVI-7: Examples of patents and applications focused on A61P and B82Y5/00 sub-classes
Bibliographic information Abstract
Baumhof, P. et al. (2018). Lipid Nanoparticle Mrna Vaccines. Patent no. WO 2018/078053 A1. Available here. (Patent application) The invention relates to mRNA comprising lipid nanoparticles and their medical uses. The lipid nanoparticles of the present invention comprise a cationic lipid according to formula (I), (II) or (III) and/or a PEG lipid according to formula (IV), as well as an mRNA compound comprising an mRNA sequence encoding an antigenic peptide or protein. The invention further relates to the use of said lipid nanoparticles as vaccines or medicaments, in particular with respect to influenza or rabies vaccination.
Cummings, J. et al. (2020). Antibodies specifically binding to MASP-3 for the treatment of various diseases and disorders. Patent no. US10639369B2. Available here. (Granted patent) The present invention relates to MASP-3 inhibitory antibodies and compositions comprising such antibodies for use in inhibiting the adverse effects of MASP-3 dependent complement activation.


Health innovation breakthroughs in patents

Innovation breakthroughs is a particular type of innovation that has a profound effect on subsequent inventions, products and services. Three indicators of patents were studied to identify innovation breakthroughs – number of forward citations, number of citing organisations and number of citing countries.

In the analysis of patents and patent applications published from2017-2020, two patent applications out of 48 breakthrough patents addressed health issues. The application by Veneziano et al. (2017) was prepared by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA). The application received 15 citations from thirteen organisations located in five countries.

The patent application by Zhang et al. (2017) was prepared by the University of California (USA). It received eleven citations from six organisations located in four countries.

Table AVI-8: Breakthrough patent applications in health
Bibliographic information Abstract
Veneziano, R. et al. (2017) Stable Nanoscale Nucleic Acid Assemblies and Methods Thereof. No. WO189870 A1. Available here. Methods for the top-down design of nucleic acid nanostructures of arbitrary geometry based on target shape of spherical or non-spherical topology are described. The methods facilitate 3D molecular programming of lipids, proteins, sugars, and RNAs based on a DNA scaffold of arbitrary 2D or 3D shape. Geometric objects are rendered as node-edge networks of parallel nucleic acid duplexes, and a nucleic acid scaffold routed throughout the network using a spanning tree formula. Nucleic acid nanostructures produced according to top-down design methods are also described. In some embodiments, the nanostructures include single-stranded nucleic acid scaffold, DX crossovers, and staple strands. In other embodiments, the nanostructures include single-stranded nucleic acid scaffold, PX crossovers and no staples. Modified nanostructures include chemically modified nucleotides and conjugated to other molecules are described.
Zhang, J. et al. (2017). Co-doped core/shell nanocrystals for visible light emission. No. WO2017019789A1. Available here. In various embodiments the present disclosure provides a core/shell nanocrystal comprising a core and a shell formed on the core, wherein the core/shell nanocrystal is co-doped with at least one metal dopant and at least one trivalent cation. In some embodiments, the trivalent cation is a Group 13 element. Methods of making and using the core/shell nanocrystal are also described.



European Patent Office. (2022). Cooperative Patent Classification, A: Preparations for medical, dental or toilet purposes. Available at:

United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). (2021). CPC definition – Subclass B82Y. Available at:

European Patent Office. (2022). Cooperative patent classification, A: Human necessities health, amusement, preparations for medical, dental or toilet purposes. Available at:

European Patent Office. (2022). Cooperative patent classification, A: Human necessities health, amusement, specific therapeutic activity of chemical compounds of medicinal preparations.