Nanotechnology and Medicine

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NANOTECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
Eucario Bakale Angue Oyana
ME 584 Introduction to Nanotechnology
Instructor: Dr. Zhaoyang Wang
December 03, 2007

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Catholic University of America
Washington, DC

Table of Contents

1.Introduction……………………………………………………………………………1

2.Medicine Today…………………………………………………………….................2 2.1.Crude Methods……………………………………………………………………2 2.2.Limited Abilities………………………………………………………………….3

3.Nanotechnology in Medicine………………………………………………………….3 3.1.Current Applications……………………………………………………………...3 3.1.1.Nanocrystalline Silver……………………………………………………..4 3.2.Applications under Development………………………………………………...5 3.2.1.Quantum Dots……………………………………………………………..5 3.2.2.Nanoparticles……………………………………………………………...7 3.2.3.Nanoshells…………………………………………………………………8 3.2.4.Nanotubes…………………………………………………………………9

4.The Future of Nanomedicine and Technical Challenges……………………………..9

References……………………………………………………………………………10
1.Introduction
Nanotechnology can be defined as the science and engineering involved in the design, synthesis, characterization, and application of materials and devices whose smallest functional organization in at least one dimension is on the nanometer scale or one billionth of a meter. At these scales, consideration of individual molecules and interacting groups of molecules in relation to the bulk macroscopic properties of the material or device becomes important, since it is control over the fundamental molecular structure that allows control over the macroscopic chemical and physical properties. Applications to medicine and physiology imply materials and devices designed to interact with the body at subcellular (i.e., molecular) scales with a high degree of specificity. This can potentially translate into targeted cellular and tissue specific clinical applications designed to achieve maximal therapeutic affects with minimal side effects

Disease and ill health are caused largely by damage at the molecular and cellular level. Today's surgical tools are, at this scale, large and crude. From the viewpoint of a cell, even a fine scalpel is a blunt instrument more suited to tear and injure than heal and cure. Modern surgery works only because cells have a remarkable ability to regroup, bury their dead and heal over the injury.

Nanotechnology, "the manufacturing technology of the 21st century," should let us economically build a broad range of complex molecular. It will let us build fleets of computer controlled molecular tools much smaller than a human cell and built with the accuracy and precision of drug molecules. Such tools will let medicine, for the first time, intervene in a sophisticated and controlled way at the cellular and molecular level. They could remove obstructions in the circulatory system, kill cancer cells, or take over the function of subcellular organelles. Just as today we have the artificial heart, so in the future we could have the artificial mitochondrion.

A new field called Nanomedicine is born when medicine and nanotechnology are combined. Nanomedicine has been defined as “the medical use of molecular-sized particles to deliver drugs, heat, light or other substances to specific cells in the human body. Engineering particles to be used in this way allows detection and/or treatment of diseases or injuries within the targeted cells, thereby minimizing the damage to healthy cells in the body.”

This paper will analyze the current research in nano-medicine, giving an overview of the current nanotechnologies applications in use today in the field of medicine, the nano-medicine applications under development and what should be expected in the near future.

2.Medicine Today
To understand what nanotechnology can do for the field of medicine, we need a picture of the body from a molecular perspective. The human body can be seen as a work yard,...
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