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Application of Nanotechnology in Medicine

BY: Amna Adnan | Category: Nanotechnology | Submitted: 2010-07-06 07:43:42
 

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Nanotechnology is the branch of science which deals with the study of matter at the atomic and molecular level. Nanotechnology has diversity of applications for example it is used in the device physics as well as medicine. Medicine is one field which has made use of nanotechnology in its various applications. Though some of the techniques of nanotechnology in medicine are only just in the minds of the scientists, some techniques are under the development process and some are in the market successfully being used.

Some researchers refer nanotechnology as nanomedicine because nanoparticles are under development for medical purposes and some researchers use the term nanomedicine to make such nanorobots which can repair the damaged cells in the human body. But it is a fact that nanomedicine is playing an important role in detecting the diseases in the human body and is developing cures for them.

Nanotechnology and Drug Delivery:-
One of the most important applications of nanotechnology in medicine is the drug delivery. This application is still under development. It will help the doctors to inject the drug in the patient's body in the form of nanoparticles. The nanoparticles would also be used to heat or light the diseased cells such as cancer cells. The benefit of these particles is that they can target only those cells which are damaged and this way these cells can be treated without creating damage to the healthy human cells. Nanoparticles also make the earlier detection of the disease and doctors can find cure against the disease efficiently and rapidly.

Chemotherapy is the technique used to kill cancerous cells from the body. Now nanoparticles will deliver the drug of chemotherapy. Such drugs are under development and will be in the market soon. People who hate injections, there is a good news for them that now the drug will be encapsulated in the nanoparticles. This way the drug will easily pass from stomach into the bloodstream because of its smaller size. The techniques are being developed which will make drugs using nanoparticles and those drugs would be taken orally.

Nanotechnology and Diagnostic and Imaging Techniques:-
There is one more positive point about nanotechnology is that the quantum dots are now being used to detect tumors of cancers in the human body and are helpful in diagnosis tests. Though this technique is still in the experimental stages but it will be an efficient approach to treat cancer. Other nanoparticles like iron oxide are being used to do MRI of the cancer patients. The mechanism of treatment is that iron oxide is bound with a peptide. When they are released in the body, they bind to the cancer cells. Iron oxide contains the magnetic property and when it binds to the tumor, it shows images from the Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan.

There are other applications of nanoparticles also that they can bind to the proteins or other molecules and help in the detection if the disease. But this method is still at the experimental level and will definitely provide efficient means of treating the diseases.

Nanotechnology and therapy techniques:-
Therapy techniques are also applying nanotechnology to improve their mechanisms. Buckyballs are the nano-substances which help to reduce the inflammation produced during an allergic reaction and have the ability to trap the free radicals which are produced during any allergic reactions. Similarly nanoshells are the substances which help destroy the cancerous cells from the body when the cells are heated by infrared light. They also avoid the damage to the surrounding healthy cells. One other use of nanoparticles is that they can be used to produce electrons which destroy the cancerous cells from the body and there are very less chances that the healthy cells will be affected. Nanoparticles can be applied in place of radiation therapy avoiding destruction of healthy cells.

The use of aluminosilicate nanoparticles in the trauma patients is very helpful because they have the ability to reduce bleeding by absorbing water. It results in the quick clot of blood because when the water will be absorbed from the blood, the blood will become dry.

Nanotechnology and Antimicrobial technique:-
Nanotechnology is also helpful in killing the microbes. Nanocrystalline silver is a nanoparticle which kills the microbes from the wound. Some nanoparticles are used to treat infections as they kill bacteria because of the presence of nitric oxide gas in them. When the cream is applied on the infection, nanoparticles release nitric oxide gas which kills the bacteria.

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