Besides 'bulk' structural and functional ceramic, a third interesting group of inorganic or ceramic materials exists: particles used for medical applications like contrast agent as building blocks for photonic crystals, as thin or thick layers with controlled porosity or grain sizes showing interesting thermal or electrical behaviour or finally nanostructured ceramic with novel optical and mechanical properties. As high-tech ceramic this type of ceramic needs very well synthesised powders of high purity, defined sizes for the use of quantum effects and small size distributions. Very often, complex powders like core-shell particles with nanometer thin layers are needed to fulfil physical as well as biological demands. Additionally, powder processing is one of the key factors to reach outstanding structural and functional properties. Especially the stability of colloidal Suspensions and the drying step during the film manufacturing are objects of the research because nanosized particles cause particular problems normally not observed with micron- or submicron-sized powders. Application of nanosized superparamagnetic iron oxide particles for molecular imaging and cancer treatment and results regarding the manufacturing of thin nanostructured layers for interesting physical (thermal conductivity) and medical (drug delivery) will be presented. (C) 2008 Published by Elsevier Ltd.