The research of nanotechnology in medicine is an ongoing process. We have seen many inventions which are in use at present and some ideas are still on experimenting phase. Hopefully in future we are going to welcome an era where nanotechnology applications will dominate the medical sector for the betterment of living beings.
Nanotechnology not only involves making Nanomedicine but the overall repairing of cells and intricate structure inside a body. It uses tiny tools or nanorobots to carry on the implementation of the applications.
Nanotechnology applications in medicine:
Drug delivery- The most common application that is being worked on is the drug delivery system. With the help of this application of nanotechnology in medicine, drugs, light or heat can be delivered to specific cells that requires attention, for example, cancer cells. The nanoparticles are designed in such way that they are able to detect the affected cells and treat them on the spot. This process will leave the other healthy cells unaffected.
Researchers are in the process of experimenting with delivery of chemotherapy drugs to cure cancer cells. Gelatin nanoparticles can be used to reach brain tissues. Nanoparticles are engineered to deliver vaccines or insulin through drug delivery system. Oral nanocapsules are also being made which can be consumed orally and let the nanoparticles release the drug at the spot of disease.
Therapy techniques- Another impressive invention of nanotechnology in medicine is the therapy techniques. Researchers have made nanosponges which tends to attract toxins present in the blood stream. These nanosponges are made of polymer nanoparticles with a coating of red cell membranes, which when flow freely in the blood stream attract any loose toxin present in it.
Another therapy includes of converting laser light into sound waves which will help to blast the tumor cells, without affecting other healthy cells. A lens is used coated with carbon nanotubes which helps in the conversion of energy from light to sound.
A certain kind of protein is produced in breast cancer cells, nanotubes are made to attach with antibodies that attract the protein produced in the cells. Infrared light is then passed from the outside which the nanotubes absorb to produce heat to destroy the tumor.
Diagnostic techniques-Nanotechnology in medicine has given rise to new ways of diagnosing diseases. Researchers have made a sensor using carbon nanotubes included in a gel like material that can be injected into the skin to monitor levels of nitric oxide. Keeping an eye on the levels of nitric oxide in the blood stream is important as one can detect any rise in inflammation, thus giving source of any inflammatory diseases.
The sensor is also capable of detecting cancer cells even in one milliliter blood sample. Sheets are made of nanoparticle named grapheme oxide, which includes molecules containing antibodies. These antibodies attach to the cancer cells turning them fluorescent in color so that they are easily detected under microscopic vision.
Early detection of kidney damage is also made possible with the help of gold nanorods. A damaged kidney produces a type of protein which changes the colour of the nanorod sending message of the kidney condition. It is a quick and inexpensive way of early detection of kidney problem.
Antimicrobial techniques- Use of nano materials can be traced back in ancient times. At present researchers are using various nanoparticles to kill microorganisms using nanotechnology in medicine. Creams containing nano agents include nitric oxide gas which is effective in killing any bacteria.
Burn dressing are coated with nanocapsules including antibodies. If any infection occurs in the wounds the nanocapsules releases the antibody which helps to stop the infection from spreading.
With the help of nanotechnology applications bacteria can be eliminated from any wound within a very short time. It will shorten the time of treatment which is otherwise carried over for a longer period of time.
Future prospects of nanotechnology in medicine
Nanotechnology in medicine is a fast progressing stream of science. Besides making revolutionary applications such as drug delivery and advanced diagnostics, nanotechnology is working on more advanced technologies to fight life threatening diseases.
It is the part of medicine which deals with repairing, maintaining and developing cells, tissues or other organs of the body. The process is carried on with the help of advanced technologies such as cell engineering or tissue therapy. With the implementation of nanotechnology in medicine, it is now possible to manipulate with cell components using advanced tools.
Structured nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes and dendrimers are used as agents to target cancer cells, and destroy any viral eruptions. The future may see, the emergence of nanorobots and other nanodevices to carry on the work in a more effective way. Materials like diamonds will be in use for a better output.
Phagocytes protect the body from any bacteria or infections. With the help of nanotechnology, artificial phagocytes called as microbivores are produced which are released in the body to watch the blood streams closely. It will detect and digest any unwanted elements such as bacteria, fungi or virus. These microbivores would clear any sign of infection and also help in removing the infection in a very short time. Using this nano technique would cause no harm at all as they are totally dissolved in natural sugar and amino acid present in the body.
Another fascinating idea of nanotechnology in medicine is the surgical nanorobots which are preprogrammed robots guided by a human surgeon. They work as the on-site surgeon who work on the spot where the surgery needs to be done. The nanorobots are inserted in the body through the vascular system or cavities. This device could be very helpful as it will carry on works at cellular levels, which is not possible for a human surgeon. For example, searching for pathogens, diagnosing problems, correcting them by doing manipulations at cellular levels. The nanorobots are connected via computer, the human surgeon supervises from the outside via ultra sound signals.
Benefits of nanotechnology in medicine
Availability of cheap and useful surgical devices and diagnostic devices
More efficient research with the help of nanotechnology
Minor medical issues will be sorted out or can be avoided totally
Any emergence of new disease will be detected instantly and cured eventually
Automated treatment devices to cure infection or diseases
Life span of people will be longer than usual as life threatening diseases can be eliminated easily
Organ replacement will no more be a problem
DNA and genetic diseases will
Extensive research and studies will let nanotechnology in medicine to flourish in the near future. A number of applications and technology is about to make the treatment and cure of diseases very easy and quick.Tag(s) : nano medicine, nanotechnology in medicine, advantages and disadvantages of nanomedicine,