Nanotechnology for Biomedical Use
Nanotechnology has been slowly treading into the field of biomedicine for almost a decade now. Owing to the fact that nanotechnology for biomedical usage is still a relatively newer technology surrounded by many ethical debates,
its footsteps are a little slow and careful. So what is nanotechnology? As the name would suggest, it is the putting of nanotechnology to medicinal usage.
You can put about a thousand nano-particles side by side in the cross-section of a singular hair and disseminate them into the bloodstream to be in motion with the same fluidity as a red blood cell. Many biomedical scientists and researchers have managed to apply nanotechnology productively. In 2016, a DNA nanorobot was created for targeted drug delivery in cancerous cells. The National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing, China recently created a bactericidal nanoparticle that carried an antibiotic and successfully suppressed a bacterial infection in mice.
However, the most remarkable innovation in this field was in 2017, when biomedical engineers designed and created small-scale locomotive robots mimicking the structure, mobility, and durability of red-blood cells. These nanobots exhibit the ability to swim, climb, roll, walk, jump over and crawl in between the liquid or solid terrains inside the human body. Scientists expect that with the creation of these nanobots, they will be able to freely circulate around the body, diagnose malfunctions, deliver drugs to the disease, and report back by lighting up while performing their drug delivery.
As amazing as that may sound, many find it equally as invasive; hence the ethical debates surrounding nanomedicine. However, taking a completely neutral stance, we will try to give the readers a brief overview of what nanotechnology for biomedical usage is all about, what strides it has made and where it stands currently.
NanoTechnology for Biomedical Usage Methods
Owing to these characteristics, nano-particles have found their effective uses in the medicinal field. Some of these nanotechnology for biomedical usage methods include the following:
- Targeted drug delivery and consequentially minimal side-effects of treatments.
- Tissue regeneration and replacement, for example, implanting coatings, regenerating tissue scaffolds, repairing bones via structural implantation
- Implanting diagnostic and assessment devices, nano-imaging, nano-pores, artificial binding sites, quantum dots etc.
- Implanting aid like retina or cochlear implants
- Non-invasive surgical nano-bots
This involves nano-particles that are constructed of immune-system-friendly materials, implanted with drugs and sent to the targeted areas of the body. Owing to their small size, they can effectively target only the areas that are disease-ridden; dysfunctional parts of the cells as opposed to the entire cells, or whole organs. This essentially means minimal side-effects because it lowers healthy cell damage.
This can be demonstrated by the example of NCNST creating nano-robots that carried a blood-coagulating enzyme called Thrombin. These thrombin-carrying nano-particles were then sent to tumor cells, essentially cutting off tumor blood supply. Another example of drug delivery using nanoparticles is of CytImmune, a leading diagnostic company that used nanotechnology for precision-based delivery of chemotherapy drugs – it published the results of their first clinical trials, while the second one is underway. Many such methods of drug delivery are being used for cancer, heart diseases, mental diseases and even aging.
Regenerative NanoTechnology for Biomedical Usage
As per the National Institutes of Health, the procedure encompassing regenerative involves “creating live, practicable tissues to repair or replace tissues or organ functions lost because of a slew of reasons, which may be chronic disease, increasing age or congenital defects.”
Just as nano-bots mimic the structure of red blood cells, they can mimic the function of auto-immune cells and antibodies in order to aid the natural healing process. Because the natural cellular interaction takes place at a micro-scale level, nanotechnology can make its uses known in multiple different ways. Some of these include regeneration of bone, skin, teeth, eye-tissue, nerve cells and cartilages.
You can read about the nanotechnology for biomedical usage based cell repair by in the following article; The Ideal Gene Delivery Vector: Chromalloytes, Cell Repair Nanorobots for Chromosome Repair Therapy. While such a powerful and innovative technology has its innumerable advantages in the medical field, it must be used within certain ethical perimeters for long-term applicability. Nano-technology brings with it many risks that need to be kept in mind by researchers. If you need help to identify and recruit senior executives or functional leaders in advanced medical devices, electronic health records, biopharma, or biomedical technology, consider the experienced team at NextGen Global Executive Search.
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