Nanotechnology could cure cancer, using nanobots?
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Nanotechnology is defined in a way “in which molecule-size nanostructures are used to create tiny machines for holding data or preforming task, Nano meaning one-billionth.” (Williams, 2011). Nanotechnology is used in many fields and is basically constructing matter on a (x10) -9 scale. Nanotechnology is applied in many fields because the subject is very broad and can be applied in many different ways. Nanotechnology in the medical field can be explained by its history, application, and future applications.
Nanotechnology was first conceptualized with the ideas of Feynman, professor Taniguchi, and Dr. K Eric Drexler. In 1959, Feynman had ideas about atoms and molecules being designed to create instruments, which later lead to many nanotech instruments used in the medical field everyday. Taniguchi discussed separating atoms or molecules, in which later can be applied to the idea of being able to build molecules atom by atom allowing Nano robots to be build precisely for a particular job and bio-recognition. Lastly, Dr. K Eric Drexler wrote a book in 1986 called “Engine of Creation and Nano systems”, in 1986 (Turner, 2012). This book opened eyes to the many possibilities of nanotechnology, and shortly there after started the booming application of nanotechnology. Overall, nanotechnology has been a progressive process, however interests in the subject really took off in the 1980s (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, 2012). My personal experience with nanotechnology is much like the rest of the population…with the use of cellular devices. Cell phones continue to get smaller and have the ability to harbor more information, which explains the fundamentals of nanotechnology. In the medical field nanotechnology is called “Medical nanotechnology” or “Nano medicine”, which is the medical aspect or application of nanotechnology. Particularly using different approaches such as Nano electronic biosensors, nanomaterial, and a very futuristic but underdeveloped molecular nanotechnology that includes molecular manufacturing” (nadya, 2010)
Because there are many different ways in which nanotechnology is applied to the medical field, only some examples will be explained. EnSeal Laparoscopic Vessel Fusion System, TiMESH, and Activoat are just a few of the many Nanotechnologically based inventions. Enseal Laparoscopic Vessel Fusion system uses the ability to seal small things such as arteries, veins, and other small microscopic areas using a nanotech instrument. This kind of surgery was very hard and insufficient; with nanotechnology the precision is astronomically better. Surgeons are using an electrode that is made of nanoparticles with heat conducting properties therefore; we are easily and capable to seal smaller things. (woodrow wilson international center for scholars, 2012). The TiMESH tool is “Cutting-edge nanotechnology” and has “surgical mesh properties, including biocompatibility, resistance to infection and the ability to be recognized by the body as a solid titanium implant.” (woodrow wilson international center for scholars, 2012). TiMESH is an example of how nanotechnology allows us to understand the human body on a molecular level and add any implant that will be biologically accepted by the body. TiMesh is made possible because each molecule or atom is put together in order to be biocompatible with a smaller error margin. Now, surgeons only have to make small incisions in which protect the body from possible infection and also allows faster recovery time. (nadya, 2010). Lastly Acticoat is a dressing for wounds reaching from open cuts to burn victims. This dressing has an antimicrobial barrier because the barrier has Nano- sized crystals with many layers to stop bacteria from getting into the body, and proves to be much more effective to wounds. (woodrow wilson international center for scholars, 2012).
The future of nanotech in the medical fields has narrowed down to a very interesting thought or idea of Nano-materials or Nano robots. The idea is building small molecules to destroy viruses or bacteria (Turner, 2012). This part interest me the most because the idea of a virus killer build atom by atom with the ability to kill bad cells could definitely be a potential cure for cancer. The problems with chemotherapy is that it kills all your cells, good or bad, therefore if one could program a Nano robot to kill only bad cells the answer for curing cancer could be closer then we thought (Turner, 2012). Biosensors are also an idea for the future. Basically sensors would be inserted into ones body; therefore when something is wrong in the body, the sensor could pick up on the problem and help physicians with an accurate diagnosis. This would make diagnosis more efficient as well as catching diseases at their earliest stages, which sometimes is half the battle (Nadya, 2010).
At the end of my research I found that nanotechnology and technology in itself is very important to the medical field. Nanotechnology is making the medical field better by using safer and smaller instruments, lowering the risk of surgery, and making medical supplies more affordable. As for the future…we will just have to see.
Nadya. “Introduction to Nanotechnology.” Learn the Basics of Medical Nanotechnology. WordPress, 22 Apr. 2010. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. <http://nanogloss.com/nanotechnology/basics-of-medical-nanotechnology/>.
“Nanotechnology.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanotechnology>.
Turner, Bambi. “Curiosity.” Discovery Channel. Discovery, 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. <http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/5-advances-molecular-nanotechnology.htm>.
“Who Invented Nanotechnology?” Who Invented It. Memebridge, 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. <http://www.whoinventedit.net/who-invented-nanotechnology.html>.
Williams, Brian K., and Stacey C. Sawyer. Using Information Technology. 9th ed. NewYork: McGrawHill Companies,Inc, 2011. 22-23. Print.
Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars, PEW Charitable Trust, and Processwire. “Nanotechnology Project.” Nanotechnology and Medicine / Nanotechnology Medical Applications. The Project on Emerging Nanotechnology, 2012. Web. 27 Oct. 2012. <http://www.nanotechproject.org/inventories/medicine/>.