Nanotechnology in medicine
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28-12-2010, 12:11 PM
Nanotechnology, over recent years, has seen a surge in research activity, with great potential in a wide range of applications including drug delivery, diagnostics, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The development of tools like the scanning tunneling microscope and the atomic force microscope has enabled researchers to observe structures on the nanoscale, where materials may exhibit different properties due to their size.
Also, the development of new materials like carbon nanotubes and buckyballs, along with the improved understanding of the molecular processes linked to diseases has provided novel approaches in improving current therapeutic and diagnostic tools.
The majority of current commercial applications of nanotechnology to medicine are geared towards drug delivery to enable new modes of action, as well as better targeting and bioavailability of existing medicinal substances.
The aim of this paper is to present the various aspects, the benefits and disadvantages of nanotechnology in the field of medicine, considering drug delivery as a major aspect.
In drug delivery, nanotechnology is just beginning to make an impact. Many of the current “nano” drug delivery systems, however, are remnants of conventional drug delivery systems that happen to be in the nanometer range, such as liposome, polymeric micelles, nanoparticles, dendrimers, and nanocrystals.
The importance of nanotechnology in drug delivery is in the concept and ability to manipulate molecules and supramolecular structures for producing devices with programmed functions. The nanoparticles used for drug delivery present a mechanism to overcome the challenges posed by other drug delivery systems.
Finally, nanotechnology has a great potential in revolutionizing the drug delivery field, but realizing such a potential requires harmonized efforts among scientists in different disciplines and continued support by funding agencies.
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01-03-2011, 11:44 AM
NANOTECHNOLOGY IN MEDICINE.docx (Size: 52.22 KB / Downloads: 127)
NANOTECHNOLOGY IN MEDICINE
Nanotechnology in medicine has a wider application. Nanotechnology, as most of the people know has provided a strong base in advancing the world in all the key areas that can be thought of. Nanotechnology, in the field of medicine too, has made its debut and has greatly increased the possibilities and enhancements that the world has thought ‘impossible’ so far. With the introduction of Nanotechnology in medicine, medical scientists and researchers were able to make remarkable achievements.
The first accomplishment that Nanotechnology has found its application in medicine can be in the area of treating the cancer. Treatment of cancer was never so easy before the introduction of technology in medicine. But after the entry of nanotechnology in medicine, there have been wider researches and enhancements in the treatments of cancer and treating the cancer is no more a tedious and risky job now days.
The initiative programs of Nanotechnology in medicine are quickly gaining competence worldwide and are effectively developing methods of administering various diseased in a safe positive manner. Nanotechnology in medicine has potentially made an alternative to the morphine based treatments and medications.
Currently there are rapid researches and studies going on evaluating the possibilities of nanotechnology in medicine. These studies have already declared that nanotechnology in medicine has made tremendous explorations and the researches and studies are sure going to explore the newer possibilities resulting in experiencing the medical world in much safer and smoother way. The nanotechnology is currently being engineered so as to sophisticate and well control the molecular machines at the molecular level.
ROLE OF NT IN MDCN
In the field of medicine alone, nanotech is giving rise to tools and possible applications that are now being streamlined to focus on finding and eradicating cancer cells. This is a particularly timely issue because cancer is now the foremost killing disease of the modern times. As humankind evolves into the new millennia, it seems that cancer cells are evolving as well. As such, there are still no known medicines or medical procedures that can prevent or cure the occurrence of any type of cancer.
The Role Of Nanotechnology In Medicine
Cancer, or any disease for that matter, begins and ends with the tiniest life force within the human body. These are the living cells that carry out the multiple complex functions necessary for life. Unfortunately, with today’s tools for diagnosis and surgical procedures, there is always the possibility that: damaged, infected and disease-carrying cells are overlooked (and thereby not eradicated by the treatment); and that the surgical procedure might actually do more damage as opposed to letting the disease run its course. It is not uncommon for cancer cells to metastasize to other organs in the body after removing the cancer afflicted part – even with aggressive chemotherapy. It is also not uncommon to hear patients dying from the surgical procedures or surgery patients suffering from the complications of the post operative treatments.
With nanotech, medicine has a fighting chance against cancer cells by producing diagnostic tools that can pinpoint the occurrence of cancerous growths as they happen; and by removing these in the cellular level that the afflicted body does not even have to be surgically opened. Nanotech has paved the way for various possibilities in diagnosis, cure and prevention of all possible diseases. Most of these are still a few technology tweaks along the way. However, the point is: the potential is now here and what may have been sheer impossibilities a good 50 years back are now becoming real by the minute. Right now, all eyes are focused on cancer research.
Cancer research with nanotech is particularly useful when it comes to the development and construction of smaller but more efficient cancer detection gadgets that can be easily replicated with the right technology. This means that formerly expensive diagnostic tools for cancer detection can now be made at more economical rates. Complex molecular machines can also be started on and developed further to help with correct and early disease diagnosis. One possibility that a lot of nanotech researchers are trying to develop are the molecular computers that not only works as a diagnostic tool but can be used as a search-and-destroy “operative” that can eradicate cancer cells on a cellular level. This is a proposed alternative to the various cocktails of medications and the series of medical procedures that one cancer patient has to endure just to slow down the process of cancer growth.
3. Nanotechnology in the area of Medicine
Applying nanotechnology for treatment, diagnosis, monitoring, and control of diseases has
been referred to as “nano medicine”. Although the application of nanotechnology to medicine
appears to be a relatively recent trend, the basic nanotechnology approaches for medical
application date back several decades. The first example of lipid vesicles which later became
known as liposomes were described in 1965 ; the first controlled release polymer system of
macromolecules was described in 1976 ; the first long circulating stealth polymeric
nano particle was described in 1994 ; the first quantum dot bio conjugate was described in
1998 [38, 39]; and the first nanowire nanosenser dates back to 2001 . Recent Studies on new
targeted nano particle contrast agents for early characterization of atherosclerosis and
cardiovascular pathology at the cellular and molecular levels that might represent the next frontier
for combining imaging and rational drug delivery to facilitate personalized medicine .
Nanotechnology-based highly efficient markers and precise, quantitative detection devices for
early diagnosis and for therapy monitoring will have a wide influence in patient management, in
improving patient’s quality of life and in lowering mortality rates, in diseases like cancer and
• Multi-functional nanoparticles for cancer therapy
Biodegradable chitosan nanoparticles encapsulating quantum dots were prepared by D. K.
Chatterjee and Y. Zhang, with suitable surface modification to immobilize both tumor targeting
agent and chemokine on their surfaces. The interactions between immune cells and tumor cells
were visualized using optical microscope. Use of Quantum dots in the treatment of cancer is a
great advancement in this area. Quantum dots glow when exposed to UV light. When injected they
seep into cancer tumour. The surgeon can see the glowing tumour. Nanotechnology could be very
helpful in regenerating the injured nerves. During the last decade, however, developments in the
areas of surface microscopy, silicon fabrication, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and
computational engineering have converged to provide remarkable capabilities for understanding,
fabricating and manipulating structures at the atomic level. The rapid evolution of this new science
and the opportunities for its application promise that nanotechnology will become one of the
dominant technologies of the 21st century.
• Nanoscience enables early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease
Brain represents one of the most complex systems in biomedicine. With an improved
understanding of brain functioning, better diagnosis and treatment for neurodegenerative diseases
like Alzheimer’s is offered by nanotechnology . Presently, the prevailing problem is early
detection for effective treatment of the disease. An ideal diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s disease
(AD) must have specificity & sensitivity more than 80% for its early diagnosis & excluding other
causes. Since the neurodegeneration process begins well before AD becomes symptomatic the
potential for early detection is another important characteristic of an ideal diagnostic tool.
Nanotechnology can be the basis of new tools for very early detection of AD. Nanotechnology in
the diagnosis of AD came into light after two articles were published in February 2005. The two
detection approaches proposed in those papers were the Bio-barcode assay (BCA) & Localized
surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) technology [43-44].
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11-03-2011, 04:29 PM
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Nanotechnology in medicine
Nanomedicine is the medical application of Nanotechnology.
Nanomaterials to nanoelectronic biosensers,molecular nanotechnology.
The issues of toxicity, environmental impacts of nanoscale materials.
Fund from US National Institute of Health.
In 2005 – 5 year plan to set up four Nanomedicine centers.
In April 2006 the journal Nanomaterials estimated 130 nanotech based drugs, delivery systems developed worldwide.
Seeks clinically useful devices in near future.
New commercial application in Pharmaceutical industry include drug delivery system, new therapies, vivo imaging.
Another goal Neuro-electronic interfaces,nanoelectronic based sensors.
Speculative field of molecular technology-Cell repair machines.
Sales reaching 6.8 billion dollars in 2004.
With over 200 companies,38 products worldwide.
Minimum 3.8 billion dollars in nanotechnology R&D invested every year.
Medical use of nanomaterials
Approaches –developing nanoscale particles to improve drug bioavailability.
Bioavailability-Presence of drug molecules, where they are needed in the body, where they will do the most good.
Maximizing the bioavailability specific places in the body over a period of time.
Targeting the molecules and delivering drugs with cell precision.
More than $65 billion are wasted each year due to poor bioavailability.
New method-treating illness, diseases such as cancer.
Self assembled biocompatible nanodevices-detect,evaluate,treat,report to the clinical doctor automatically.
Lipid or Polymer based nanoparticles,improve the Pharmacological, Therapeutic properties of drug.
Strength-ability alter Pharmacokinetics,biodistribution of drug.
Ability to get drugs through cell membranes and into cell cytoplasm.
Triggered response-drug molecules to used more efficiently.
Drugs are placed in the body and only activate on encountering a particular signal.
Drug may cause tissue damage but with drug delivery, regulated drug release can eliminate the problem.
Protein and peptide delivery
These exert multiple biological actions.
Treatment of various diseases and disorders.
Macromolecules are called Biopharmaceuticals.
Targeted / controlled delivery of these using nanoparticles and dendrimer.
Field is called Nanobiopharmaceutics,
Products are called Nanobiopharmaceuticals.
Nanoparticle properties are useful in Oncology,imaginig.
Quantum dots conjunction with MRI produce exceptional images of humor sites.
Use of fluorescent quantum dots produce higher contrast image, lower cost than today’s organic dyes used as contrast media.
Made up of quite toxic elements.
Seek out and bind to certain tumor cells.
Kanzius RF therapy-”cooks” the tumors with radio waves that heat only the nanoparticles at the adjacent cells.
Sensor test chip containing 1000’s of nanowires able to detect proteins and other biomarkers left behind by cancer cells
Enable the detection and diagnosis of cancer from a few drop of patients blood.
Rice university-prof.jennifer west demonstrated 120nm diameter nanoshells coated with gold to kill cancer tumors in mice.
Targeted to bond to cancerous cells by conjugating antibodies or peptides to the nanoshell surface.
Infrared laser passes through the flesh without heating it, gold is heated sufficiently to cause death to the cancer cells.
Cadmium selenide glow by UV light injected seep into cancer tumors, surgeon guide for more accurate tumor removal.
Photodynamic-therapy metal particle placed into the body-light illuminated-energy is heated the particle and tissue.
Light produce high energy oxygen molecules chemically react and destroy most organic molecules(tumours).
At rice university a flesh welder is used to fuse two pieces of chicken meat into a single piece.
Two pieces touching-greenish liquid containing gold coated nanoshells is dribbled along the seam.
Infrared laser is traced along the seam causing two sides weld together.
Solve blood leaks, avoid restitch and weld the artery perfectly.
Tracking movement help how the drugs are distributed or how substances are metabolized.
Difficult to track small group of cells, so we use dye the cells.
Dyes are excited by light of a certain wavelength,
Different color dyes absorb different frequencies of light.
A around this problem is with luminescent tags.
Tags are quantum dots attached to proteins that penetrate cell membranes.
Nanoparticles are tools for drug delivery, medical imaging,diagonestic sensors.
Biodistribution of nanoparticles unknown due to difficult to target specific organs in the body.
Current research in the excretory systems of mice,
Ability of gold composites selectively target certain organs based on their size and charge.
Composites are encapsulated by dendrimer.
Positively charged gold Nanoparticle enter in the kidney,
Negatively charged-remained in the liver and spleen.
Positive charge decreases the rate of osponization of nanoparticles in the liver thus affecting the excretory pathway.
Small size of 5nm particles compartmentalized in the peripheral tissues accumulate in the body overtime.
Targeting and distribution can be augmented by nanoparticles.
Dangers of nanotoxicity important step to understanding of their medical uses.
Goal-construction of nanodevices with computer linked to the nervous system.
Building of molecular structure permit control detection of nerve impulses by external computer.
Computer able to interpret,register,respond to signals the body gives off when it feel sensations.
Many injuries and accidents may impair the nervous system result in dysfunctional system and paraplegia.
Two considerations made when selecting the power source.
REFUELABLE-energy is refilled continuously or periodically with external sonic,chemical,tethered,magnetic,or electrical sources.
NON-FUELABLE-all power drawn from internal energy source which would stop when all energy is drained.
Limitations-electromagnetic pulses cause electrical interference is a possibility.
Thick insulators are required to prevent electron leakage.
High conductivity occurs sudden power loss and “shorting out”.
Structures are sense ionic current and be able to cause currents to flow backward.
Medical application of molecular nanotechnology
Speculative subfield of nanotechnology regarding the possibility of engineering molecular assemblers.
Reorder matter at a molecular or atomic scale.
Seeking to anticipate, to propose an agenda for future inquiry.
Proposed elements-molecular assemblers,nanorobots are far beyond current capabilities.
Using nanorobots in medicine is totally change the world of medicine once it is realized.
Nanorobots(computational genes) introduce into the body to repair or detect damages and infections.
Robert freitas-Institute for molecular manufacturing-a typical blood borne medical nanorobots-size 0.5-3 micrometer,
Maximum size is possible due to capillary passage requirement.
Carbon-primary element-due to inherent strength.
Fabricated in desktop nanofactories specialized for this purpose.
Nanodevice observe the work inside the body using MRI.
Components are manufactured using mostly 13C atom which has a non-zero nuclear magnetic moment.
Nanodevice injected into the human body then go to work in a specific organ or tissue mass.
Doctor monitor the progress got correct target treatment region.
Nanodevice maintained neatly around their target, so the procedure was successful.
Cell repair machines
Direct repair system.
Access to cells is possible because biologists can stick needles into cells without killing them.
Molecular system entering the cell and recognize, build or rebuild every molecule in a cell and can dissemble damaged molecules.
System sense differences from healthy ones and make modification to the structure.
Programmed with more abilities(DNA damage,enzyme deficiency) with the help of advanced AT system.
Nano computers guide these machines,
Rebuild damaged molecular structures.
Repair whole cells by working structure by structure, cell by cell, tissue by tissue and finally organ by organ.
So the health is restored in the body.
Cells damaged to the point of inactivity can be repaired because of the ability of molecular machines to build cells from scratch.
Free medicine from reliance on self repair alone.
Branch of Nanomedicine and nanotechnology.
Deals with,1)study of kidney protein structures at the atomic level.
2)nano-imaging approaches to study cellular processes in kidney cells.
3)nanomedical treatments that utilize nanoparticles and to treat various kidney diseases.
Diagnosis and therapy of renal diseases are part of nanonephrology.
Play a role in the management of patients with kidney disease in the future.
Nano-scale information involved in normal kidney processes and pathological states.
Novel therapeutic approaches designed to combat major renal diseases.
Nano-scale artificial kidney is a goal that many physicians dreams of.
Advances of programmable and controllable nano-scale robots to execute curative and reconstructive procedure in the kidney at the cellular and molecular levels.
Design is compatible with kidney cells, safely operate in vivo is also a future goal.
Cellular-nano level has the potential improving the lives of patients with kidney diseases.
The nanotechnology in medical field is briefly explained.
It has more and more advantageous.
It is in further research process.
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15-03-2011, 03:58 PM
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EARLY DETECTION OF HEART DISEASE USING NANOTECHNOLOGY
A miniature Ultrasound Machine that can detect whether you may be at risk for heart disease was released on the markets this last week.
This nifty little gadget weighs less than 2 pounds and can take an image of the neck arteries and show if they are clogged with plaque or thickened. It's suggested that if they are clogged, then the chances are pretty high that the heart arteries are as well. Too thick arteries are a sign of higher risk for heart attack so doctors can send patients for further testing and put them on preventative treatments such as cholesterol lowering drugs.
Many doctors feel that this mini ultrasound device meets the need to identify people who have no symptoms of heart problems but have risk of heart disease. Recent medical journals and publications paid for by drug manufacturers like Pfizer (who sell Lipitor) contain articles encouraging wider heart disease screening. They say that early detection and treatment could save lives.
Of course cholesterol drug manufacturers are heavily promoting this quick and easy "peace of mind" test because the more people who are informed that they are at risk for future heart disease, the more cholesterol lowering pills will be sold. Once again a classic example of how screening and treatment has overtaken prevention in the medical field. Statin drugs (cholesterol lowering) are the fastest growing prescription drugs but the health risks of the side effects are rather alarming.
Hidden Heart Disease Revealed By Small Ultrasound Scanners!
the first symptom of one-third of heart disease sufferers is dropping dead of a heart attack.Therefore, there is a great need to find a non-invasive and safe way to identify early and treat these people, especially those who do not have signs but have risk of heart disease.
During Oct 2007, pocket-sized ultrasound machines weighing less than 1 kilogram hit the market. Some of these devices can make images of neck arteries, which are linked to heart arteries that cannot be seen easily. Clogging in the neck vessels is probably a good indication that those around the heart probably are clogged as well. This would signal doctors to carry out treatment or do more testing.
The test may be especially good for women, who often have few or none of the traditional signs. For example, with the help of ultrasound machines, an athletic mother having normal cholesterol and blood pressure but a troubling family history of heart attacks was found to have a big clog in the main artery from her heart to her head. Her doctor immediately put her on medications to lower her risk of a heart attack or stroke.
The ultrasound screening involves checking for plaque and measuring the thickness of the wall of the main neck artery. Normal thickness does vary by age, race and sex, and charts do give doctors detailed guidance. When the because there is still a lack of evidence of benefit.
In the United States, fewer than 1 in 10 heart defects in children are detected before birth. If pregnant women were tested by ultrasound later in their pregnancy than the first trimester, the odds of finding such a defect would improve greatly, as would the survival chances of a baby with a congenital heart problem, says Mary Jo Rice, a cardiologist at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. Rice spoke at a seminar and presentation in Portland sponsored by the American Heart Association in July.
First-trimester ultrasound examinations are typically done to predict birth date and to check overall development of the fetus, but they cannot get clear images of its tiny heart. Rice estimates that one-third of pregnant women in the United States do not get an ultrasound at all.
Heart defects occur in 8 of every 1,000 babies. Before birth, the baby receives oxygenated blood from its mother, but once the baby is born, its heart takes on this task. A structural defect can be fatal at this point. Prenatal detection would allow a mother to give birth at a cardiac center, where a team of heart specialists could be ready should an operation on the newborn prove necessary, Rice says. Early detection could also help prepare the family for the emotional strain, expense, and logistical problems of surgery on the newborn. "We need to optimize delivery to maximize survival," says Rice.
Some heart problems could even be treated prenatally. In cases of fast heartbeats, for example, doctors can give medicine to the mother or the fetus directly through the umbilical vein. Rice advocates training ultrasound technicians to check images for cardiac irregularities.
Although some families--those with a history of heart disease or diabetes, for example--are at greater risk than others, 60 to 70 percent of babies born with heart defects had no risk factors, Rice says. The only way to find out whether such babies have a defect is through ultrasound screening.
In Great Britain, where ultrasound is routine at 18 to 20 weeks, 80 to 85 percent of heart defects are detected before birth. The detection rate in the United States is only 8 to 10 percent, Rice says.
The point is to pick a time in gestation, at 18 to 20 weeks, when we can get good pictures of the heart," says Henry Sondheimer, a cardiologist at Children's Hospital at the University of Colorado at Denver.
It is almost impossible to think of a medical institution without being equipped with an ultrasound machine. The detailed results this type of technology has brought to the table of the medical scene has revolutionized diagnoses and treatments at large. The most gratifying aspect of ultrasound machines is the fact that the risk with previous methods and tools used to diagnose an array of medical conditions has declined tremendously.
Various techniques are applied, all depending on the condition to be treated or the organ that needs to be examined and the physical state of the patient. One of the major benefits of the use of ultrasound machines are that you do not need a lot of time to prepare a patient for an ultrasound scan.
The first thing that comes to one’s mind when mentioning the use of an ultrasound machine is an expecting mother. One would be surprised to learn that the use of obstetrics ultrasound might be the most general use for ultrasound machines, but their versatility and use reaches far beyond just pregnancies and determining the health and gender of a fetus! However, the uterus is the organ most commonly viewed by making use of an ultrasound machine.
One of the most common life saving uses of an ultrasound machine during pregnancy is to detect congenital heart disease. This allows doctors or cardiologists to make high priority treatment decisions at once.
While on the subject of the heart and saving lives, a specialized portable ultrasound machine is used to perform an echocardiography. This type of ultrasound machine is used to view the functioning and present state the heart is in. With the use of ultrasound, serious malfunctioning of the heart, heart valves and blood vessels can be detected soon enough and with accuracy, which resulted in saving plenty of patient’s life. Echocardiography is an extremely useful method to discover blood clots in heart chambers, damage to the heart muscle, detecting aneurysms, congenital heart disease, large blood vessel complications etc.
Ultrasound Machine Tags: Medical Equipment, portable ultrasound machines, ultrasound machine, Ultrasound Machines
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Gold Nanotechnology in Medicine.docx (Size: 24.57 KB / Downloads: 43)
Gold Nanotechnology in Medicine
Nanomaterials are at the leading edge of the rapidly developing field of nanotechnology. Their unique size-dependent properties make these materials superior and indispensable in many areas of human activity.
The current work is on how nanomaterials make themselves useful in the field of medicine and surgery, with particular emphasis laid on those made of gold.
1) Aims/Objectives of the paper
Analyze broadly, all the applications of nanotechnology in day-to-day life
Analyze specifically, the applications of nanotechnology in the field of medical science
Analyze the dangerous side-effects of the current cancer treatment methods like chemotherapy, bone-marrow transplantation, etc. on human body
Study how nanotechnological ways of treating can are far more safe
Analyze how gold nanotechnology is the safest compared to other nanotechnological methods, to treat cancer
2) Introduction to nanotechnology
Nanotechnology may be defined as the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. Generally it deals with structures sized between 1 and 100nm.
Nanotechnology may be able to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in medicine, electronics, biomaterials and energy production. On the other hand, nanotechnology raises many of the same issues as any new technology, including concerns about the toxicity and environmental impact of nanomaterials and their potential effects on global economics, as well as speculation about various doomsday scenarios. These concerns have led to a debate among advocacy groups and governments on whether special regulation of nanotechnology is warranted.
The first use of the concepts found in 'nano-technology' was in "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom", a talk given by physicist Richard Feynman at an American Physical Society meeting at California Institute of Technology on December 29, 1959.
In the 1980s the basic idea of this definition was explored in much more depth by Dr. K. Eric Drexler, who promoted the technological significance of nano-scale phenomena and devices through speeches and the books Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology (1986) and Nanosystems: Molecular Machinery, Manufacturing, and Computation, and so the term acquired its current sense.
There are two approaches in nanotechnology
Bottom-up approach- materials and devices are built from molecular components which assemble themselves chemically by principles of molecular recognition.
Top-down approach- nano objects are constructed from larger entities without atomic-level control.
a) Chemistry and environment: In these fields, nanotechnology finds a lot of applications in catalysis (due to very large values of surface to volume ratios) and filtration (nano porous membranes of very small pore size 10nm).
b) Energy: Through nanotechnology, reduction of energy consumption is often possible. It can also improve combustion in IC engines using specific catalysts with maximized surface area.
c) Communication and information: In the modern communication technology traditional analog electrical devices are increasingly replaced by optical or optoelectronic devices due to their enormous bandwidth and capacity, respectively. Two promising examples are photonic crystals and quantum dots. The production of displays with very low power consumption can be accomplished through carbon nanotubes.
d) Heavy industries: Nanomaterials also find wide applications in aerospace and construction.
e) Medicine: The biological and medical research communities have exploited the unique properties of nanomaterials for various applications (e.g., contrast agents for cell imaging and therapeutics for treating cancer). Terms such as biomedical nanotechnology, nanobiotechnology, and nanomedicine are used to describe this hybrid field. Functionalities can be added to nanomaterials by interfacing them with biological molecules or structures.
The applications of nanomaterials in the medical field include diagnostics, drug delivery and tissue engineering.
4) Gold Nanotechnology in medicine
Synthesis of gold nanoparticles
a) Add 20 mL of 1.0 mM HAuCl4 to a 50 mL beaker or Erlenmeyer flask on a stirring hot plate. Add a magnetic stir bar and bring the solution to a rolling boil.
b) To the rapidly-stirred boiling solution, quickly add 2 mL of a 1% solution of trisodium citrate dihydrate, Na3C6H5O7.2H2O. The gold sol gradually forms as the citrate reduces the gold(III). Remove from heat when the solution has turned deep red or 10 minutes has elapsed.
c) The presence of a colloidal suspension can be detected by the reflection of a laser beam from the particles. Because a laser pointer emits polarized light, the pointer can be oriented such that the beam appears to disappear. When the beam from the laser is visible in one view, it is invisible in the view perpendicular to the first.
Medical field applications of nanoparticles
Drug delivery: One application of nanotechnology in medicine currently being developed involves employing nanoparticles to deliver drugs, heat, light or other substances to specific types of cells (such as cancer cells). Particles are engineered so that they are attracted to diseased cells, which allow direct treatment of those cells. This technique reduces damage to healthy cells in the body and allows for earlier detection of disease.
Therapy techniques: They may be used to trap free radicals generated during an allergic reaction and block the inflammation that results from an allergic reaction. Nanoparticles, when activated by x-rays that generate electrons that cause the destruction of cancer cells to which they have attached themselves. Nanoparticles may be used, when inhaled, to stimulate an immune response to fight respiratory viruses.
Diagnostic and imaging techniques: Quantum Dots (qdots) may be used in the future for locating cancer tumors in patients and in the near term for performing diagnostic tests in samples.
Why gold ?
A large number of chemical substances, organic and inorganic, have been made into nano sizes and have been found to exhibit excellent properties, paving way to their usage in a commercial way.
Even in medical field, a lot of metals, metal complexes and organic compounds in nano form have been tested successfully. But, gold being one of the most non-toxic substance among other metals created absolutely no side-effects.
Gold nanoparticles have been used to demonstrate multiphoton absorption induced luminescence (MAIL), in which tissues or cells are fluorescently labeled using special stains that enable them to be studied. Gold nanoparticles can emit light so strongly that it is readily possible single nanoparticles at laser intensities lower than those commonly used for MAIL sub-100-fs pulses of 790nm of light.
Moreover, gold nanoparticles do not blink or burn-out, even after hours of observation.
In addition, the laser light used to visualize the particles is a wavelength that causes only minimal damage to most biological tissues. This technology could enable us tracking of a single molecule of a drug in a cell or other biological samples.
Treatment of cancer
Nanoparticles, during drug delivery have the advantages that, they are:
large enough that they don’t pass through the body; and
Small enough that they don’t accumulate in vital organs and create toxicity problems.
Bottom-up approach is used more frequently when gold nanoparticles are used as medicines. Most animal cells are 10-20nm in diameter. Nanoparticles smaller than 100nm can enter the cells and organelles where they could interact with DNA and proteins. This could assist with the detection of disease in very small cell or tissue samples.
Currently used methods for cancer detection are physical examination or imaging techniques. Early molecular changes may not be detected by these methods. Nanoparticles solve this problem as they are highly sensitive and detect changes in even small percent of cells.
Adverse effects of chemotherapy
Due to the fact that chemotherapeutic drugs cannot selectively kill only the cancer cells, it has the following adverse effects on the health of patients:
Depression of the immune system, which can result in potentially fatal infections.
Fatigue: The treatment can be physically exhausting for the patient.
Tendency to bleed easily: Medications that kill rapidly dividing cells are likely to reduce the number of platelets in the blood, which results in bleeding.
Hair loss results due to the very same reason.
Cardio-toxicity and hepatotoxicity can happen in some patients.
Unlike chemotherapy, nanotechnology allows treatments that target only cancer cells without harming nearby healthy cells.
Nanotechnology also allows the creation of therapeutic drugs that have a controlled, time-release strategy for delivering toxins.
Toxicity has been observed even while using gold nanoparticles at high concentrations. Studies using 2nm core gold nanoparticles have shown that cationic particles are moderately toxic, anionic particles are quite non-toxic.
If these problems are taken into account seriously, gold nanotechnology may become one of the most widely used methods to treat cancer in future.
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