Nanotechnology and Body

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  • Topic: Nanotechnology, Disability, Carbon nanotube
  • Pages : 6 (1916 words )
  • Download(s) : 238
  • Published : August 16, 2008
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Nanotechnology and the world of tomorrow
Nanotechnology is one of the most advance and intricate fields of physics today. Although most developments are still in the theoretical or experimental stages and still possibly decades away from use, nanotechnology is becoming less of a future and more of a reality. The possibilities of nanotechnology are endless, and the world of tomorrow will be one full of advance nanotechnologies that help improve the quality of life for all human. All these future innovations that will change human life for the better require more government funding if they want to achieve the potentials of nanotechnology within the next couple of decades (Krazit).More funding is needed for nanotechnology as nanotechnology can integrate the disabled into everyday society, enhance the quality of health in people, and advance the ways in which people communicate. Disable people have a hard time achieving individualism in life. They require the assistance of people for task that we take for granted such as putting on clothes, eating, and getting around. Carbon nanotubes may hold the ability to restore functions that have been lost in disabled people. Wearable device will allow those who are deaf or blind to travel through environments with relative ease. Brain-Computer-Interfaces will allow for motor disabled people to use electronics and machines.

Research done has proven that carbon nanotubes can greatly help disabled people. Carbon nanotubes could replace connections between nerves that have been damaged. This renewed connection means that neurons could travel to nerves that have been damaged in any spinal cord injury, and mobility in those who were once paralyzed could eventually be restored. Also, these nanotubes could replace any damaged nerve in the body to possibly restore sight and sound. A study at the University of Texas, published by MIT’s “Technology Review”, has proven that nanotubes are able to be implanted in mice and send electrical signals over these tubes (Bourzac 1). However, some researchers believe that carbon nanotubes will not be accepted into the body. Recent studies published in “Scientific American” have shown that nanotubes did not cause any problems in mice, which means that they will most likely also be accepted into humans (Yam and Soares). Carbon nanotubes provide the means necessary to facilitate the revival of neuron travel through the body allowing disabled people to use of bodily functions that were by some reason impaired.

Another way of helping the disable is by wearable devices that would allow for them to move through the world in a way that they could understand and “see”. Something such as a headset could be worn that would help a blind walk around the streets and be able to identify signs and obstacle in their path. This would happen because all the signs and obstacles would have nano sensors that when a blind person walks by would notify the receptors and inform the person of what is around them (NSF 240). These new capabilities would enable the disable to integrate with society more effectively and make them not feel hindered by their disabilities.

Brain-computer-interfaces (BCI’s) connect motor disabled with electronic devices that they could not normally use. A BCI works by sensing when neurons fire in the brain and translating these signals into computer readable language (Mason, Bashashati, Fatourechi, Navarro and Birch 137-169). Therefore, a person who is paralyzed from the waist down will be able to use their thoughts to use electronics such a computer or a power wheel chair. One such visionary project is called BrainGatewhich uses an implanted device to connect people to electronics (Cyberkinetics). This device provides the freedom that is not seem by wearable device that have to be put on and off, as BrainGate is always ready to connect one to the electronic devices at hand. Another BCI has been tested on humans and shown that someone who is motor...
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