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Nanotechnology Applications in Medicine, Food Industry and Agriculture

BY: Amna Adnan | Category: Nanotechnology | Submitted: 2010-08-09 06:51:14
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Article Summary: "Nanotechnology is the new emerging field of science which has its applications in food industry, medicine and agriculture. Nanotechnology has allowed the scientists to use nanoparticles for the biological and medical research purposes because nanoparticles have unique properties..."

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What is nanotechnology:-
Nanotechnology is the branch of science which deals with the particles or things 100 nanometers in size. It is associated with the development of materials which are very small in size and it also discusses their properties and functions. The properties of nanoparticles are unique; they are not similar to the compounds made through different chemical processes. With biological point of view, nanotechnology deals with the particles at molecular level.

Nanotechnology has its applications in various fields of science like medicine, agriculture, and food industry.

Nanotechnology has allowed the scientists to use nanoparticles for the biological and medical research purposes because nanoparticles have unique properties. They are very small in size and are easy to handle. Due to this reason, they can be used as therapeutic agents for the treatment of cancer and also used in cell imaging. Biomedical nanotechnology and nanomedicine are given the names to nanotechnology for this purpose. Nanotechnology has made it easy to use nanoparticles along with the biological molecules to use them in research. As nanoparticles have the size similar to molecules therefore they can be used in both conditions that is in vivo as well as in vitro when doing research. This combination of nanomaterials and biological molecules has enabled the scientists to use them in making of analytical tools, diagnostic devices, drug delivery vehicles and therapeutic application.

Tissue Engineering:-
Tissue engineering is the new emerging field of science which makes use of nanotechnology to repair the damaged tissues. The cells can be artificially reproduced by using suitable nanomaterials scaffolds and other growth factors. This field is growing rapidly and there are chances that it will take the place of traditional methods for organ transplantation and other treatments. Tissue engineering is helpful for those patients whose organs are near failure and whose body does not contain the healthy cells which can be used for transplantation. For this purpose, scientists use pluripotent stem cells which are the ordinary cells of the human body. These cells are programmed in this way that they can be converted to the pluripotent level. The advantage of using patient's own body cells is that these cells cannot be rejected by the immune system.

Diagnostic Applications:-
The use of nanomaterials to diagnose different diseases is the most important achievement of medical field. Nanoparticles are attached to the antibody or they can be attached to the molecules to label or to see the structures of proteins in any organism. Scientists have developed gold nanoparticles which can be used as tags attached with small sequence of DNA to see or detect the genetic sequence in a sample. Similarly for the analysis of nucleic acids there is a technology of nanopore which converts nucleic acids directly into electronic signatures.

Drug Delivery Applications:-
Nanoparticles are of vital importance in the medical field because they are used to deliver drugs to the specific cells. By using nanotechnology, the side effects of any drug and their consumption can be decreased because nanoparticles reach their target efficiently. One more advantage is that they are not harmful for the human body.

Nanotechnology and Food:-
Food industry is also making use of the field of nanotechnology. It enables the scientists to identify bacteria, check the quality of food by using special biosensors and the bioactivation of food compounds can be done by nanoencapsulation. It can also be applied in the food industry to produce process and pack the food and it also makes the food safe from harmful microorganisms by placing on the surface of the food the antimicrobial agents. Now a day, new kinds of foods are being placed in the market in which there are certain nanoparticles which make the food safe. In other words, these foods are called as nano-foods.

Nanotechnology and Agriculture:-
Nanotechnology is beneficial for the agriculture also as it provides new ways for the production of crops provides methods for the food preservation and conservation processes are also changed and are in the favor of crops. Nanotechnology provides the ways to make use of barren land. In other words, it can be said that use of nanotechnology in any other field can be beneficial for both humans and animals.

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