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4/26/11

Nanotechnology Applications in Medicine

Nanotechnology has a great and significant impact in the field of medicine. It is used for diagnosis, tissue engineering, drug delivery, creation of smart drug and many other innumerable applications. One of the biggest advantage of nanotechnology is the fast surgical recovery and tissue re engineering. The researchers of biological and medical field have exploited the unique properties of nanomaterials for various applications. They have added functionalities to nanomaterials by interfacing them with biological molecules or structures because the size is similar. Nanomaterials can be useful for both in vivo and in vitro biomedical research and applications. The integration of nanomaterials with biology has led to the development of diagnostic devices, contrast agents, analytical tools, physical therapy applications, and drug delivery vehicles.
Diagnosis
Nanotech chip can easily detect the disease in early stages and it can tell what exact stage of fatal disease like cancer is going on by scanning the human body cells. Its atomic functioning makes it more reliable than other technologies in the market.Using nanotechnology-on-a-chip technology biological tests for measuring the presence or activity of selected substances become quicker, more sensitive and more flexible when certain nanoscale particles are put to work as tags or labels. To label specific molecules, structures or microorganisms magnetic nanoparticles bound to a suitable antibody are used. Gold nanoparticles tagged with short segments of DNA can be used for detection of genetic sequence in a sample. Quantum dots of different size can be embedded into polymeric micro beads for the multicolor optical coding for biological assays. Nanopore technology can be used to convert strings of nucleotides directly into electronic signatures in the analysis of nucleic acids.
Tissue engineering
Nanotechnology also helps the surgeons and doctors for reproducing and repairing the damaged tissues. Tissue engineering makes use of artificially developed cell, which is then fertilized and powered by blood to produce new tissues or to repair existing ones. Use of nanotechnology to reproduce or to repair damaged tissue called “tissue engineering” makes use of artificially stimulated cell proliferation by using suitable nanomaterial-based scaffolds and growth factors. Tissue engineering might replace today’s conventional treatments like organ transplants or artificial implants. For example, there is no clinical therapy available for the repair of damaged heart muscle but there exist tremendous opportunities for the creation of novel nanotechnology based therapies. Since carbon nanotubes are electrically conductive, there is a huge potential for the manipulation of mesenchymal stem cells differentiation pathways to create electro active cells such as those found in the heart. In particular, specific applications could result in novel mesenchymal stem cells based cell therapies for electro active tissue repair; novel biomolecule delivery vehicle for manipulation of mesenchymal stem cells differentiation pathways; and electro active CNT scaffolds for damaged electro active tissues. The nanotubes are used as delivery vehicles for a range of different biomolecules for the manipulation of mesenchymal stem cells differentiation pathways towards a range of different cell types.
Smart drug
Smart drug is a nano-scale device designed to perform a particular medical task such as destroying cancer cells, cleaning out clogged arteries or to construct needed proteins or mimicking anti-bodies.
Drug delivery
Transfer of drug to the specific cells of human body suing nanoparticles is another dynamic application of nanotechnology. Different parts of body can be treated individually by transmitting drug molecules to that part only. Accurate quantity of live saving drugs can be selected by viewing the reactions of the combined molecules with the help of nanotech machines. The overall drug consumption and side-effects can be lowered significantly by depositing the active agent in the morbid region only and in no higher dose than needed. This highly selective approach reduces costs and human suffering. An example can be found in dendrimers and nanoporous materials which can hold small drug molecules and transport them to the desired location of human body. Similarly small electromechanical systems called NEMS can be used for the active release of drugs. Other potentially important applications include cancer treatment with iron nanoparticles or gold shells. Nanotechnology is also opening up new opportunities in implantable delivery systems, which are often preferable to the use of inject able drugs, because the latter frequently display first-order kinetics (the blood concentration goes up rapidly, but drops exponentially over time). This rapid rise may cause difficulties with toxicity, and drug efficacy can diminish as the drug concentration falls below the targeted range.
Researchers have discovered anti-tumor drugs to kill cancer cells by tiny drug-delivery particles using nanomedicine. It is generally assumed that polymeric micelles, upon administration into the blood stream, carry drug molecules until they are taken up into cells followed by intracellular release. During administration of polymeric micelles to tumor cells core-loaded probes were found to release to the cell membrane before internalization. Result show that the hydrophobic probes in the core are released from micelles in the extra cellular space. The synthetic "polymer micelles" are drug-delivery spheres 60-100 nanometers in diameter, or roughly 100 times smaller than a red blood cell. The spheres harbor drugs in their inner core and contain an outer shell made of a material called polyethylene glycol.Results indicate a membrane-mediated pathway for cellular uptake of hydrophobic molecules preloaded in polymeric micelles and the plasma membrane provides a temporal residence for micelle-released hydrophobic molecules before their delivery to target.
Synthetic bone
Nanoparticulate-based synthetic bone called "Human bone” is made of a calcium and phosphate composite called Hydroxyapatite. It is made by the manipulation of calcium and phosphate at the molecular level that is identical in structure and composition to natural bone. This novel synthetic bone can be used in cases where natural bone is damaged or removed, such as in the in the treatment of fractures and soft tissue injuries.
Biostructures
These structures are designed to “mimic” some type of biological process which can also interact with a biological mechanism. One of the main focuses of this research is in the area of human repair and idea of self-assembly. This is also called “tissue engineering”. The biostructures will be inserted into the body to form a template to assist the body. Using the bone example again, the biostructure will form an outer shell around the area that needs to be repaired. The natural bone can then grow around the structure like a rose grows over a trellis. So now we don’t have to replace the bone we can simply, repair the damage easily. Tissue engineering might replace today’s conventional treatments like organ transplants or artificial implants.
Dressing
Antimicrobial dressing covered with nanocrystalline coating of silver rapidly kills a broad spectrum of bacteria in a very short time.
Bleeding arrester
First-aid treatment to stops bleeding featuring seven different product delivery systems - sprays, nasal plugs, patches, powder, plasters, dressings and blotters each designed for specific usage occasions and all containing the stops-bleeding has been developed.
Medical implants
Current medical implants, such as orthopedic implants and heart valves, are made of titanium and stainless steel alloys, primarily because they are biocompatible. Unfortunately, in some cases these metal alloys may wear out within the lifetime of the patient. Nanocrystalline zirconium oxide (zirconia) is hard, wear resistant, bio-corrosion resistant and bio-compatible. It therefore presents an attractive alternative material for implants. It and other nanoceramics can also be made as strong, light aero gels by sol–gel techniques. Nanocrystalline silicon carbide is a candidate material for artificial heart valves primarily because of its low weight, high strength and inertness.

1 Responses to “Nanotechnology Applications in Medicine”

hcgcancercure said...
July 5, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Over the years oncologists have been treating the malignant neoplastic disease with conventional methods like blasting the tumor with chemotherapy or zap it with radiation. Nanotechnology that deals with minimizing the size of a device seems promising in curing Cancer. Nanotechnology has done a great deal in the artificial pacemaker for cardiovascular diseases and its role could be vital in treating cancer! Thanks for the share.
best Cancer Care Hospital in India


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