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Find out how Israeli scientists are manipulating the tiniest parts of matter to make life better for millions.
Think of a tiny robot transporting drugs to a cancer cell in your body. An artificial retina to restore lost sight. Self-cleaning windows and bullet-proof fabrics.
It’s all possible today with nanotechnology from Israel.
Tune into ISRAEL21c’s TLV1 radio show for a fascinating discussion of how Israeli scientists are turning science fiction into fact. Guests include Nava Swersky Sofer, founder and co-chair of NanoIsrael; Prof. Uriel Levy, head of the Nanotechnology Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and Prof. Uri Sivan, one of the Technion’s leading nanotechnology experts……….http://www.israel21c.org/israeli-scientists-turn-science-fiction-into-fact-audio/
About the INNI mission
The mission of INNI — the Israel National Nanotechnology Initiative is to make nanotechnology the next wave of successful industry in Israel by creating an engine for global leadership.
- Establishing a national policy of resources for nanotechnology, with the aim of faster commercialization.
- Long-range nanotechnology programs for scientific research and technology development in academia and industry, and promoting development of world-class infrastructure in Israel to support them.
- Leading in the creation of projects that promote agreed national priorities; allocate their budgets and review development progress.
- Actively seeking funding resources from public and private sources in order to implement the selected projects.
- Promoting development of innovative local nanotechnology industries which will strongly impact Israeli economic growth and benefit investors.
- Encouraging Academia and Industry cooperation with public access to a national database of Israel’s nanotechnology researchers and industry. Effective access to information about Israel’s researchers and companies accelerates cooperation on R&D projects and on innovative new products. Israel’s nanotechnology National Database may be accessed here or from the link in the INNI website upper navigation menu.
Sivan Uri .
Room 611, Lidow Building
Nano Area: Nano Electronics, Nano Materials & Nano Particles, Nanobiotechnology & Nanomedicine
Ph.D.: Tel Aviv University 1988
M.Sc.: Physics, Tel Aviv University 1984
B.Sc.: Physics and Mathematics, Tel Aviv University 1982
Main Nano Field:
Selection of antibodies and peptides against electronic materials, electrical control over bioreactions, bioassembly of electronic devices.
Bertoldo Badler Chair in Physics
Former director of the Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
Head of Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics by Biotechnology
Prof. Uriel Levy of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has received the Hebrew University President’s Prize as the Outstanding Young Researcher for 2010-11. The prize is awarded in memory of Prof. Yoram Ben-Porath, former president and rector of the Hebrew University.Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson said that the prize was being awarded to Prof. Levy “for his impressive list of scientific articles, for his creativity, and for his groundbreaking innovations.”
Prof. Levy is a member of the applied physics department at the Benin School of Computer Science and Engineering and is a renowned researcher in nanophotonics He is a member of the Harvey M. Kruger Family Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at the Hebrew University.
A graduate of the Technion in physics and materials engineering, he subsequently earned a Ph.D. in electro-optics at Tel Aviv University in 2002. He then was awarded a Rothschild Fellowship for post-doctoral work at the University of California, San Diego, which he completed in 2006.
Prof. Levy has published until now 55 scientific articles and has had a number of his research discoveries patented.
Downloadable File: PresidentsPrize2010.doc
The NanoOpto group is affiliated with the Applied Physics Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. Our research is mainly focused on Silicon Photonics, Polarization Optics, Plasmonics and Opto-Fluidics.
Our group host SPP7 in Jerusalem from 31 of may till the 5 of June 2015:
|In this work we study the optimization of interleaved Mach-Zehnder silicon carrier depletion electro-optic modulator. Following the simulation results we demonstrate a phase shifter with the lowest figure of merit (modulation efficiency multiplied by the loss per unit length) 6.7V-dB. This result was achieved by reducing the junction width to 200 nm along the phase-shifter and optimizing the doping levels of the PN junction for operation in nearly fully depleted mode. The demonstrated low FOM is the result of both low VπL of ~0.78 Vcm (at reverse bias of 1V), and low free carrier loss (~6.6 dB/cm for zero bias). Our simulation results indicate that additional improvement in performance may be achieved by further reducing the junction width followed by increasing the doping levels. (read more)|
Light vapor interactions on a chip
|Alkali vapours, such as rubidium, are being used extensively in many important fields of research. Recently, there is a growing effort towards miniaturizing traditional centimetre-size vapour cells. Owing to the significant reduction in device dimensions, light– matter interactions are greatly enhanced, enabling new functionalities due to the low power threshold needed for nonlinear interactions. Here, we construct an efficient and flexible platform for tailored light–vapour interactions on a chip, and demonstrate efficient interaction of the electromagnetic guided mode with absorption saturation at powers in the nanowatt regime. (read more)|
Active Silicon Plasmonics
|In this work, we experimentally demonstrate an on-chip nanoscale silicon surface-plasmon Schottky photodetector based on internal photoemission process and operating at telecom wavelengths. The responsivity of the nanodetector to be 0.25 and 13.3mA/W for incident optical wavelengths of 1.55 and 1.31 μm, respectively. The presented device can be integrated with other nanophotonic and nanoplasmonic structures for the realization of monolithic opto-electronic circuitry on-chip. (read more)|
|Planar plasmonic devices are becoming attractive for myriad applications. Mitigating the challenges of using plasmonics in on-chip configurations requires precise control over the properties of plasmonic modes, in particular their shape and size. Here we achieve this goal by demonstrating a planar plasmonic graded index lens focusing surface plasmons propagating along the device. Focusing and divergence of surface plasmons is demonstrated experimentally. The demonstrated approach can be used for manipulating the propagation of surface plasmons, e.g. for beam steering, splitting, cloaking, mode matching and beam shaping applications (read more)|
|The interaction of an incident plane wave with a metamaterial periodic structure consisting of alternating layers of positive and negative refractive index with average zero refractive index is studied. We show that the existence of very narrow resonance peaks for which giant absorption – 50% at layer thickness of 1% of the incident wavelength – is exhibited. Maximum absorption is obtained at a speciﬁc layer thickness satisfying the critical coupling condition. This phenomenon is explained by the Rayleigh anomaly and excitation of Fabry Perot modes. (read more)|
|Great hopes rest on surface plasmon polaritons’ (SPPs) potential to bring new functionalities and applications into various branches of optics. In this work, we demonstrate a pin cushion structure capable of coupling light from free space into SPPs, split them based on the polarization content of the illuminating beam of light, and focus them into small spots. We also show that for a circularly or randomly polarized light, four focal spots will be generated at the center of each quarter circle comprising the pin cushion device. Furthermore, following the relation between the relative intensity of the obtained four focal spots and the relative position of the illuminating beam with respect to the structure, we propose and demonstrate the potential use of our structure as a miniaturized plasmonic version of the well-known four quadrant detector. (read more)|
|We demonstrate a nanoscale mode selector supporting the propagation of the first antisymmetric mode of a silicon waveguide. The mode selector is based on embedding a short section of PhC into the waveguide. On the basis of the difference in k-vector distribution between orthogonal waveguide modes, the PhC can be designed to have a band gap for the fundamental mode, while allowing the transmission of the first antisymmetric mode. The device was tested by directly measuring the modal content before and after the PhC section using a near field scanning optical microscope. Extinction ratio was estimated to be ~23 dB. Finally, we provide numerical simulations demonstrating strong coupling of the antisymmetric mode to metallic nanotips. On the basis of the results, we believe that the mode selector may become an important building block in the realization of on chip nanofocusing devices. (read more)|
|We experimentally demonstrate the focusing of surface plasmon polaritons by a plasmonic lens illuminated with radially polarized light . The field distribution is characterized by near-field scanning optical microscope. A sharp focal spot corresponding to a zero-order Bessel function is observed. For comparison, the plasmonic lens is also measured with linearly polarized light illumination, resulting in two separated lobes. Finally, we verify that the focal spot maintains its width along the optical axis of the plasmonic lens. The results demonstrate the advantage of using radially polarized light for nanofocusing applications involving surface plasmon polaritons. (read more)|
Nanoscience is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. This covers both current work and concepts that are more advanced. In its original sense, nanotechnology refers to the projected ability to construct items from the bottom up, using techniques and tools being developed today to make complete, high performance products. Some researches and findings in the field of Nanoscience are selected and expended here: “Fabrication of Novel Poly (ethylene terephthalate)/TiO2 Nanofibers by Electrospinning and their Photocatalytic Activity” reports on functional nanocomposites PET/TiO2 nanofibers membranes prepared via simple electrospinning and hydrothermal processing, involving preparation of titania precursor sol solution, electrospinning the homogeneous mixture of PET solution and sol solution, and in-situ growth of nanoscale TiO2 within PET nanofibers in hot water.
“Oxidation of glyoxal to glyoxalic acid by Prepared Nano-Au/C catalysts” describes that Nano-Au/C catalysts were obtained by loading the gold nanoparticles which were prepared by photochemical reduction method to the activated carbon, and were used for the catalytic oxidation reaction of glyoxal into glyoxylic acid.
“Preparation of the Al-CNT (Carbon Nanotubes) Compound Material by High Energy Milling” using high energy ball milling (HEM), researched the technology of preparation of Al-CNT compound material.
“Theoretical Prediction of Tensile Behavior of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes” establishes a link between molecular and continuum mechanics based on the Morse potential function.
In the paper “Research on the stress-relaxation characteristics of cancer cells based on Atomic Force Microscope”, the AFM indentation experiments are carried out on two different transferring characteristic cancer cells (Anip-937 and AGZY-83a) under physiological conditions using the expansion of atomic force microscope (AFM) indentation and the improvement of Hertz model.
“Application of Nanoscale Zero-valent Iron (nZVI) to Enhance Microbial Reductive Dechlorination of TCE: A Feasibility Study” evaluates the feasibility of nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) application to enhance microbial reductive dechlorination of trichloroethylene (TCE).
“Hydrothermal Processing-Assisted Synthesis of Nanocrystalline YFeO3 and its Visible-Light Photocatalytic Activity” finds that the single phase YFeO3 can be obtained through the calcination of hydrothermally processed YFeO3 precursors at 800°C, and the resulting product has a spherical shape and uniform size distribution.
“Preparation and exothermic characterization of HTPB-coated aluminum nano-powders prepared by laser-induction hybrid heating” calculates the temperature distribution of aluminum with the heating time and the distance from the crucible centre based on the ANSYS software.
“Application Thinking of Nanotechnology in Acupuncture” discusses the application of nanotechnology methods for the researches on meridians of Chinese medicine, acupoint catgut embedding therapy (ACET) and therapeutic mechanism in acupuncture field.
“The Research of Conjunction Calculated Relationships between Proteins with Gold Nanoparticles” researches the conjunction calculated relationship between proteins and gold nanoparticles.
“Engineered nanoparticles as precise drug delivery systems”- Nanoparticles, an evolvement of nanotechnology, are increasingly considered as a potential candidate to carry therapeutic agents safely into a targeted compartment in an organ, particular tissue or cell.
“Dendrimers: emerging polymers for drug-delivery systems”, the unique properties associated with these dendrimers such as uniform size, high degree of branching, water solubility, multivalency, welldefined molecular weight and available internal cavities make them attractive for biological and drug-delivery applications.
“Strategies for in vivo siRNA delivery in cancer”- As a research tool, siRNA has proven to be highly effective in silencing specific genes and modulating intracellular signaling pathways.
“Rapid delivery of drug carriers propelled and navigated by catalytic nanoshuttles”- nanoshuttles’ navigation ability is illustrated by the transport of the drug carriers through a microchannel from the pick-up to the release microwell. Such ability of nanomotors to rapidly deliver drug-loaded polymeric particles and liposomes to their target destination represents a novel approach towards transporting drug carriers in a target-specific manner.
“Multigram-scale fabrication of monodisperse conducting polymer and magnetic carbon nanoparticles” is an emerging tool for cutting edge nanotechnology approach.
Cutting Edge of Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology
Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Department of Pharmaceutics
Khodasinghi, Berhampur-760 010 (Ganjam)
Roland Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmaceutics, IndiaCitation: Swain S (2012) Cutting Edge of Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology. Pharmaceut Reg Affairs 1:e110. doi: 10.4172/2167-7689.1000e110
/////////////Cutting Edge, Pharmaceutical Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the use of tiny structures – less than 1,000 nanometres across – that are designed to have specific properties. Nanotechnology is an emerging field in science that is used in a wide range of applications, from consumer goods to health products.
In medicine, nanotechnology has only partially been exploited. It is being investigated as a way to improve the properties of medicines, such as their solubility or stability, and to develop medicines that may provide new ways to:
- deliver medicines to the body;
- target medicines in the body more accurately;
- diagnose and treat diseases;
- support the regeneration of cells and tissues.
Activities at the European Medicines Agency
The European Medicines Agency follows the latest developments in nanotechnology that are relevant to the development of medicines. Recommendations from the Agency’sCommittee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) have already led to the approval of a number of medicines based on nanotechnology. These include medicines containing:
- liposomes (microscopic fatty structures containing the active substance), such asCaelyx (doxorubicin), Mepact (mifamurtide) and Myocet (doxorubicin);
- nano-scale particles of the active substance, such as Abraxane (paclitaxel), Emend(aprepitant) and Rapamune (sirolimus).
The development of medicines using newer, innovative nanotechnology techniques may raise new challenges for the Agency in the future. These include discussions on whether the current regulatory framework is appropriate for these medicines and whether existing guidelines and requirements on the way the medicines are assessed and monitored are adequate.
The Agency also needs to consider the acceptability of new testing methods and the availability of experts to guide the Agency’s opinion-making.
An overview of the initiatives taken by European Union (EU) regulators in relation to the development and evaluation of nanomedicines and nanosimilars was published in the scientific journal Nanomedicines. The article describes the regulatory challenges and perspectives in this field:
- Next-generation nanomedicines and nanosimilars: EU regulators’ initiatives relating to the development and evaluation of nanomedicines
Ad hoc expert group on nanomedicines
In 2009, the CHMP established an ad hoc expert group on nanomedicines.
This group includes selected experts from academia and the European regulatory network, who support the Agency’s activities by providing specialist input on new scientific knowledge and who help with the review of guidelines on nanomedicines. The group also helps the Agency’s discussions with international partners on issues concerning nanomedicines.
The group held the first ad hoc expert group meeting on nanomedicines on 29 April 2009.
Reflection papers on nanomedicines
In 2011, the CHMP began to develop in 2011 a series of four reflection papers on nanomedicines to provide guidance to sponsors developing nanomedicines.
These documents cover the development both of new nanomedicines and of nanosimilars (nanomedicines that are claimed to be similar to a reference nanomedicine), since the first generation of nanomedicines, including liposomal formulations, iron-based preparations and nanocrystal-based medicines, have started to come off patent:
- joint Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare / European Medicines Agency reflection paper on the development of block-copolymer-micelle medicinal products, published for a six-month public consultation in January 2013;
- reflection paper on the data requirements for intravenous liposomal products developed with reference to an innovator liposomal product, published in February 2013;
- reflection paper on surface coatings: general issues for consideration regarding parenteral administration of coated nanomedicine products, published in August 2013.
The fourth document, a draft reflection paper on the data requirements for intravenous iron-based nanocolloidal products developed with reference to an innovator medicine, will be released for a six-month public consultation in 2013.
International workshops on nanomedicines
The Agency organises workshops on nanomedicines to explore the scientific aspects of nanomedicines and enable the sharing of experience at an international level, in order to assist future developments in the field:
- First international workshop on nanomedicines (02-03/09/2010)
REFLECTION PAPER ON NANOTECHNOLOGY-BASED MEDICINAL PRODUCTS FOR
Nanomagnets clean blood
Nanoparticles latch onto toxins in blood but are magnetically trapped before they can enter the body
The group used their extracorporeal circuit to remove lead and the drug digoxin from the blood of rats. Target compounds in blood adhered to the nanoparticles as they collided within the circuit. The nanoparticles were then collected by magnetic separation with the toxin immobilised on the particle surface before blood could re-enter the body.
Nanotechnology can be defined as a technology which deals with manipulation, study, and designing and developing particles, bio-molecules of the size more than 1 nm and less than 100 nanometer, with the intention of modification enhancement or lowering a particular property of a molecule or a particle, which can be used in developing a device or molecule
.Nanotechnology involves developing materials or devices in the size range of 1 nm to 100 nanometer. At this scale quantum mechanical effects have very important implications in the quantum realm; nanotechnology controls the properties of material on an atomic level.
A serious cause of concern about nanotechnology is its safety and hazardous effects on environment and health, nanomaterial is required to be handled with special care and requires special methods for its disposal.
Drugs that use nanotechnology are also required to qualify for its effectiveness and safety, safety studies are very important factors as so far there is not enough data of drugs developed using nanotechnology and tested for safety.
In pharmaceuticals nanotechnology has wide applications some of which are given below.
1. Targeting a drug to a particular tissue, to, enhancing absorption of a drug molecule in a particular tissue
2. To reduce degradation of a drug and enhance bioavailability and reduce untoward toxic effect of a drug molecule.
3. To enhance the microbial stability of a product
4. In cosmetics zinc oxide nanoparticles are used to increase its antimicrobial properties , and titanium dioxide nano particles effectively block UV rays in both cases concentrations required are very low compared to conventional use.
5. Nanoemulsions for increasing the absorption of a drug molecules.
6. To develop molecules as tracer marker compound to identify the toxic and untoward effects or spilage
Antineoplastic drugs bring about their anticancer action by inhibiting cancerour cells growth by virtue of alkylation of nucleotides in cancerous cells or by inhibition of folic acid uptake by cancerous cells or by inhibiting cell division by binding with tubulin and microtubulin in a cancerous cells, it is likely that these drug are also absorbed in to normal tissues, leading to untoward serious cytotoxic effects , like kidney damage and nerve damage in chemotherapy with cisplatin, a drug of choice in most of anticancer chemotherapies.
A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted study. They stored an prodrug of cisplatin (which is used in most of cancer chemotherapies) within nanoparticles which they developed to target a specific protein in cancerous cells in prostate gland.
After these prodrug loaded nanoparticles were absorbed by cancerous cells the prodrug was released in to the cancerous cells and was converted in to an active form . The team demonstrated that these prodrug carrying nanoparticles were able to kill cancer cells in culture more efficiently than the drug alone.
Study was conducted by researchers, led by Dr. Omid Farokhzad and Dr. Stephen Lippard, to study nanoparticle drug delivery system for an effective and safer option for chemotherapy in living animals. Their research work is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in Jan 2011 issue of the journal, the study was funded in part by NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).
By applying this drug delivery by nanoparticles they were able to shrink tumors in mice with smaller doses of the drug to reduce harmful side effects. Only 30% of the dose of prodrug of cisplatin was required to diminish the tumor by using the drug carrying nanoparticles, than that of standard dose of cisplatin as such.
Researchers initially studied different doses of nanoparticle bound drug in rats and mice, both the types of animals maintained their body weight and survived at higher doses of the drug when drug was delivered using nanoparticles than when injected without nanoparticles. It was also found that the kidney damage was less in rats which received the nanoparticle bound drug.
Also it was found that binding nanoparticles provided greater stability of cisplatin prodrug in blood stream than that of injected alone , after one hour about 77 % of prodrug was found in blood stream when it was delivered using nanoparticles compared to only 16% available drug in case of drug delivered without nanoparticles, cispaltin is very unstable drug and remains in blood for very short time , which calls for more dose to get the desired effect.
Transdermal drug delivery system new requirements for quality and for regulatory submissions
US FDA issued new guidelines for Transdermal drug delivery system and related drug delivery systems.
US FDA stated in its new guidelines on transdermal drug delivery system and related drug delivery systems that the initial drug load concentration has tremendous potential for impacting quality of product its safety and efficacy and it has great potential for drug abuse.
There are many advantages and disadvantages of transdermal drug delivery system TDDS , like a drug can be administered without pain to patient, patients to like the dosage form greatly as they wont feel as they are on medication, and a constant plasma drug concentration can be easily achieved for a drug for a longer period of time without giving the untoward effect of initial higher plasma level of a drug as in case of conventional dosage forms, also drug escape the first pass metabolism through transdermal drug delivery , some a critical drugs which are known to save life are also administered as Transdermal patches for example nitroglycerin in congestive cardiac diseases.
There are some serious effects observed in resent time, like accidental high dose of a drug up on accidental sticking on handling or accidental contact with skin which has lead individual serious and to fatal conditions some times a life threatening one.
The fatal untoward effects are also seen in health care providers which accidentally handled the patches and got drug dose from remaining drug load from the used transdermal drug delivery patch.
The important factor.
The drug concentration which is required to be loaded on to a Transdermal drug delivery or related drug delivery systems is very high than that of the actual drug being absorbed and required to be achieved in to plasma of a patient.
Nanotechnology cancer treatments would use gold particles to carry anticancer drugs straight to the cancer. Learn about nanotechnology cancer treatments.
US FDA guidelines for Transdermal drug delivery patches and related drug delivery systems
In order to finally achieve consistent low residual drug with the desired quality of the Transdermal drug delivery systems ,
1. US FDA requires a drug manufacturers to submit the initial loaded drug concentration in the transdermal drug delivery patch and related drug delivery systems , be provided in the application for investigational new drug applications (INDs), new drug applications (NDAs), abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs), and supplemental new drug applications (sNDAs) for TDDS, TMDS, and topical patch products.
2.US FDA now requires that the all justifications for initial drug load or concentration should be included in the application.
3.It also states that a proper scientific risk based approach must be taken to minimize the drug residue in the system so that a lowest possible concentration remains in the system.
4.The amount of residual drug in the transdemanl drug delivery system must not exceed than those already approved by FDA .
5. US FDA also requires that the information of product and process development and how the final formulation is justified should be given in the common technical document (CTD) formatted application in section for Pharmaceutical Development.
US FDA has put emphasis on following points
1.) Quality By Design Concept
2.) Minimizing Residual Drug
The transdermal drug delivery patches and related products , be developed with the intention of giving efficacy and safety as well,
The quality by design concept basically requires a formulator to plan for a desired quality, quality of a drug can be best achieved when it is planed than when it monitored.
Planing of quality of a drug product through logical application of past findings and research data and chemistry of drug molecule and exceipients being used, to achieve minimum drug load and this can lead to achieve minimum residual drug in transdermal drug delivery systems after use. Which will ensure that the abuse potential of the transdermal drug delivery systems are taken care of.
Nanotechnology and Cancer
Nanotechnology is one of the most popular areas of scientific research, especially with regard to medical applications. We’ve already discussed some of the new detection methods that should bring about cheaper, faster and less invasive cancer diagnoses. But once the diagnosis occurs, there’s still the prospect of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment to destroy the cancer. Unfortunately, these treatments can carry serious side effects. Chemotherapy can cause a variety of ailments, including hair loss, digestive problems, nausea, lack of energy and mouth ulcers.
But nanotechnologists think they have an answer for treatment as well, and it comes in the form of targeted drug therapies. If scientists can load their cancer-detecting gold nanoparticles with anticancer drugs, they could attack the cancer exactly where it lives. Such a treatment means fewer side effects and less medication used. Nanoparticles also carry the potential for targeted and time-release drugs. A potent dose of drugs could be delivered to a specific area but engineered to release over a planned period to ensure maximum effectiveness and the patient’s safety.
These treatments aim to take advantage of the power of nanotechnology and the voracious tendencies of cancer cells, which feast on everything in sight, including drug-laden nanoparticles. One experiment of this type used modified bacteria cells that were 20 percent the size of normal cells. These cells were equipped with antibodies that latched onto cancer cells before releasing the anticancer drugs they contained.
Another used nanoparticles as a companion to other treatments. These particles were sucked up by cancer cells and the cells were then heated with a magnetic field to weaken them. The weakened cancer cells were then much more susceptible to chemotherapy.
It may sound odd, but the dye in your blue jeans or your ballpoint pen has also been paired with gold nanoparticles to fight cancer. This dye, known as phthalocyanine, reacts with light. The nanoparticles take the dye directly to cancer cells while normal cells reject the dye. Once the particles are inside, scientists “activate” them with light to destroy the cancer. Similar therapies have existed to treat skin cancers with light-activated dye, but scientists are now working to use nanoparticles and dye to treat tumors deep in the body.
From manufacturing to medicine to many types of scientific research, nanoparticles are now rather common, but some scientists have voiced concerns about their negative health effects. Nanoparticles’ small size allows them to infiltrate almost anywhere. That’s great for cancer treatment but potentially harmful to healthy cells and DNA. There are also questions about how to dispose of nanoparticles used in manufacturing or other processes. Special disposal techniques are needed to prevent harmful particles from ending up in the water supply or in the general environment, where they’d be impossible to track.
Gold nanoparticles are a popular choice for medical research, diagnostic testing and cancer treatment, but there are numerous types of nanoparticles in use and in development. Bill Hammack, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Illinois, warned that nanoparticles are “technologically sweet” [Source: Marketplace]. In other words, scientists are so wrapped up in what they can do, they’re not asking if they should do it. The Food and Drug Administration has a task force on nanotechnology, but as of yet, the government has exerted little oversight or regulation.
A mechanical white blood cell attacks bacteria. The bacteria cannot develop immunity to mechanical devices as it would towards a drug
Nanotechnology, perhaps, has been most popularly recognized for it’s applications in robotics. Nano-robotics, although having many applications in other areas (such as particle manipulation and, has the most useful and variety of uses in medical fields.
Drugs have been shown to be effective during treatment and so has surgery. However, both are only temporary. We do not have much control over the drugs that have entered our body. As mentioned in the “Applications in Drugs and Therapeutics” page, nanotechnology can play an important role by being used for designing drug delivery systems.
Nanorobots, once fully developed, will be more effective than drugs. This is because nanobots cab always be present in the body, fighting off pathogens such as viruses and tumors. Nanorobots will not require any additional treatment and will become relatively cheap after development.
Some of the potential applications for nano-robotics in medicine include early diagnosis and targeted drug delivery for cancer, biomedical instrumentation, surgery, pharmacokinetics, monitoring of diabetes, and health care. Medical nanotechnology in the future will use nanorobots injected into the patient to perform treatments at cellular levels
Some other possible applications using medical nanorobots are as follows:
· To cure skin diseases, a cream containing nanorobots may be used. This cream would remove the right amounts of dead skin cells, remove excess oils which may cause oily skin, insert missing oils, apply the specifically right amounts of natural moisturizing compounds. Dermatological problems would thus be avoided or removed.
· A mouthwash full of water and smart nanorobots could identify and destroy pathogenic bacteria, particles of food, plaque, or tartar, while allowing the harmless flora of the mouth to flourish. Being suspended in liquid and able to swim about, devices would be able to reach surfaces beyond reach of toothbrush bristles or the floss fibers. As short-lifetime medical nano-devices, the bots could be built to last only a few minutes in the body before falling apart into materials of the sort found in foods (such as fibers and other organic compounds). This would not cause any toxic harmful effects in the body, and there would be no need for toothbrushes.
· Medical nanodevices could augment the immune system by finding and disabling unwanted bacteria and viruses. When an invader is identified, it can be punctured, letting its contents spill out and ending its effectiveness. If the contents were known to be hazardous by themselves, then the immune machine could hold on to it long enough to dismantle it more completely. With even more innovation, pathogens could be broken down into simple substances such as oxygen and extra cellular material which can be used for benefit of the body!
· Devices working in the bloodstream could nibble away at arteriosclerotic deposits, widening the affected blood vessels. Various nano-devices could restore the strength of the arteries and veins. With such applications, many heart attacks would be prevented.
More Background on Nanotechnology:
|Nanotechnology Basics – For students and other learners|
|Managing Magic – A brief overview of the challenges posed by advanced nanotechnology|
|Nanotechnology on an Upward Slope – An online PowerPoint presentation|
|Turn on the Nanotech High Beams – An essay published by Future Brief|
|Nano Simulation – A way to visualize what is meant by molecular manufacturing|
|Debating the Future of Nanotechnology – Perspective from the Foresight Institute|
|Safe Utilization of Advanced Nanotechnology – One of the founding papers of CRN|
|5-Minute Nanosystems– A quick summary of Eric Drexler’s foundational work on nanotechnology|
|Nanotechnology Press Kit – Compiled and published by Nanotechnology Now|