Photo Credit: goo.gl/dzeLaE
Nanotechnology is the branch of engineering which deals with the manipulation of matter at the atomic level, it’s area of research is rapidly expanding. It has great potential in several sectors ranging from healthcare to electronics. In the medical field, the areas of gene therapy and drug delivery are revolutionized.
“nano” in ancient Greek means “dwarf”. In scientific terms, nanometer means one billionth of a meter. In medicine, to manipulate structures in nanoscale level is like you are working in a microscopic lab where you can work with cellular parts, viruses, DNA particles, robots and tubes.
To treat diseases, therapies which involve individual genes manipulation are increasingly being used. Treatments related to the genetic make-up of patients are highly used. For this, there is a need for tools that will help scientists to develop such therapies. The application of nanotechnology in medicine are huge.
As for example, let us stretch out a section of DNA, so that it can be operated or we can build nanorobots which will work and do repair inside human cells, nanotechnology is making this to reality.
The Science of Nanobots And Nanostars:
New York University chemists have created a nanoscale robot walking on two legs of its own. The legs measure just 10nm long. The nanobots have psoralen molecules attached to their feets. They are called “nanowalkers”.
Researchers are trying to make a production line of molecular level where a molecule is moved along the production line till at a specific location, a nanobot does some repair on it. Researchers are also trying to make a biochip computer.
What researchers are trying to do comes under “biomimetics” where they can manipulate the DNA behavior, to create new methods and improve them.
These nanobots are nowadays targeting cancer cells. Researchers at Harvard Medical School nowadays are trying to make nanobots which can carry molecular nanotechnology payload.
Nanobots made of different materials are trying to be developed nowadays. As for example, Northwestern University scientists had made “nanostars” from gold. These are star shaped nanoparticles. These nanobots can deliver drugs directly to the nuclei of cells. These nanobots carry drugs and behave in a crazy way. The human cancer cells have such proteins which attracts these nanostars. These nanobots are trained to deposit their payloads directly to the nuclei of cells.
The star shape of nanostars is widely helping in drug release. The star shape used to concentrate the light pulses used for drugs release.
Concept of Nanofactories:
Scientists have found out that protein based drugs can deliver specific signals to cells. But the body used to break them before they reach the destined cells. But, can the drugs be developed at the target site? There are “nanofactories” which can make the desired protein compounds at the target sites.
Researchers are trying to cure metastatic tumors. These tumors evolve from cancer cells which have expanded from the origin to other parts of body. Metastatic cancer is the main reason for maximum number of cancer deaths. Researchers are working on nanoparticles which can synthesize cancer drugs.
Reference:Tag(s) : nanotechnology, nanofactories, DNA manipulation, nanostars, nanobots, medicine, medical science,