Nano Technology Innovation
The future of Nano Technology includes advances in circuitry and medical technology. Below are some innovations currently being sought using nano-technology. The video has a few additional items as well.
Nanotubes are hollow cylinders made of carbon atoms. Doctors could someday use them as miniscule syringes for injecting cells with drugs from within the body, or as nanoscale diagnostic probes the patient would never feel. They can also be filled and sealed, forming test tubes or potential drug delivery devices. Here, an array of nanotubes engage in what their creators at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory call “impalefection,” the capturing of genetic materials by impaling cells (a hamster’s ovary cells in this case). In the future, nanotubes could help identify DNA mutations associated with a risk of cancer.
This glowing silica nanowire is wrapped around human hair. It looks delicate—it is about five times smaller than a virus—but it is several times stronger than spider silk. Researchers have developed coated nanowires that bind to certain proteins that can indicate the presence of prostate cancer before conventional tests can. Other potential applications for nanowires include the early sensing of breast and ovarian malignancies. Nanowires are so small that doctors could one day implant them into the body as permanent health detectives that continuously monitor molecular levels.
Nanoshells are hollow silica spheres covered with gold. Scientists can attach antibodies to their surfaces, enabling the shells to target certain cells such as cancer cells. In mouse tests, Naomi Halas's research team at Rice University directed infrared radiation through tissue and onto the shells, causing the gold to superheat and destroy tumor cells while leaving healthy ones intact. Technicians can control the amount of heat with the thickness of the gold (three different thicknesses are seen here) and the kind of laser. Nanoshells could one day also be filled with drug-containing polymers. Heating them would cause the polymers to release a controlled amount of the drug. Human trials using gold nanoshells are slated to begin in a couple of years.
Nano technology is expected to provide many advances in the medical and electronics fields. Here are some of those predictions!