Nanotechnology is the study that deals with the nano meter size objects in range between 1nm to 100nm. It is a part of science and technology about the manipulation of matter on atomic and molecular size over nanoscale. It is an advance field that introduce nano materials.
Nanotechnology is an idea that we can create devices and machines all the way down to the Nanometer scale, which is a billionth of a meter, about half the width of a human DNA molecule.Paul McEuen
Nanotechnology is a combination of two words, ie. Nano and Technology. The word nano means very small in size. But how much small? 1 Nanometer is equals to 1×10^-9. Can you imagine how small it is? It is much smaller like a virus or DNA and to understand it’s actual fraction scientists say that, it take about 100 nanometer particles aligned side by side to match the width of a human hair. Nanometer is represented as nm. Meanwhile, Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes on big scale.
Only through the use of powerful microscopes, scientists manipulate and work with nano particles. These nano particles can be synthetic particles made in laboratories or some are natural. Nanotechnology is the design, characterization, production and application of structure, devices and systems by controlling shape and size at a nanometer scale.
A Physicist, Richard Feynman on December 29, 1959 suggested an idea to make machines at nano scale. This produces a wave of study in nanotechnology. According to Feynman, original idea of nano machines was given by his friend Albert R. Hibbs. A mathematician, Hibbs was consider as a founder to suggest idea of nano machines for medical uses.
The term nanotechnology was coined in 1974 by a professor, Norio Taniguichi of Tokyo Science University. According to him,
” Nanotechnology is processing, separation, consolidation and deformation of materials by one atom or one molecule “.Norio Taniguichi
Dr. Eric. K. Drexler, in 1980’s promoted nanoscale phenomenon through books. He was the first person to present PhD in Nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology in medical field
Nanotechnology has its application in various fields like- medicine, electronics, space science, energy and environment. It offers various possibilities of treatment and diagnosis in the medical field. It deals with nano particles. Application of nanotechnology in medical field are:-
- Surgery – With the help of nano-cameras and nano-surgical instruments like robots, surgery can be processed of a particular internal damaged part of a body. This helps to avoid extra damage to body with hand surgery. These instruments are precise and accurate to perform function, which are under control through computers. This type of surgery performed via nanotechnology application is known as microsurgery. This technique is mostly used in heart related problems.
- Drug Delivery – Using nano particles, certain site specific drug are delivered. Required drug dose is site at a morbid region only to avoid any side effects. These nano particles are site specific and reduce chances of getting negative effects in any other part of a body. Nano-electromechanical system are used to active release of drug to exact location. This treatment is proving very effective for patients with cancer.
- Cancer – Nano particles have high surface area to volume ratio. This helps to bind many functional groups to nano particles which then bind to tumor cells. This is helpful in treatment of tumor cells and destroy them at desired site.
- Diagnostic use – Nano particles are used as contrast agent with invasive medical imaging tools. Quantum dots nano crystal (nano-cadmium & nano-zinc) are used as tag to biological molecules. When UV rays fall on these particles they produce sequence in different colors, which is used in drug screening and medical diagnosis.
- Diagnostic tools – Nano particles are used as a tool for diagnosis in various ways, as- colloidal gold particles due to their stability are used for rapid test of pregnancy, ovulation and HIV. Magnetic nano particles aare used for cell sorting. Super paramagnetic iron oxide nano particle used for MRI.
- Medical instruments – For more efficient treatment, nano-instruments are developed in medical field. Carbon nanotubes are used in place of glass pipette for delivery into cells. It is used as drug delivery agent. Nano-silver is used as a coating agent in catheter and other medical devices, as it has anti-microbial properties. Nano-robots are injected in the body to read out exact problem which are monitored by a computer. They are useful in repairing specific cells in a body. Dendrimers are tree like nano particle used to diagnose cancer cells and as drug delivery tool. Nano shells are silica coated outer layer linked with antibodies to recognise tumor cells and destroy them after nano shells are exposed to IR rays.
- Nanomedicine – It is the branch of medicine that deals with the knowledge and tools of nanotechnology. It is an innovative version of medicine with nanotechnology. It uses nano sized tools to diagnose, treat and prevent a disease type. It is proved to be useful in finding reasons for disease causing agents and it’s appropriate treatment.
Importance of Nanotechnology in medical use
Nanotechnology improves the way of treatment of human cells. Its various application approved the effective way of diagnosis without causing other harm to patient. It’s nano particles are exactly focused on targets and reduce chances of side effects.
“Nanotechnology improves existing industrial, medical, material processes and application by scaling them down to thr nanoscale in order to ultimately fully exploit the unique quantum and surface phenomena that matters exhibit at the nanoscale.”nanowork
Nanotechnology in India
- IIM Mumbai- Premier organization in the field of nanotechnology.
- NSTI- Nano Science and Technology Initiative, launched by Indian Government in 2001.
- Nano science and Technology Mission launched in 2007,for researches and study in nanotechnology.