Role of nanotechnology in the medical field.
Nanotechnology is that area of science and engineering which takes place at dimensions in the nanometre scale (1-100 nm) for creating designs, characterisation, production and application of materials, devices and systems.
Nanotechnology, also known as nano-tech, is involved with the change in different fields, such as manufacturing, agriculture, engineering and medicine. Its involvement in the medical field brought a progressive change in related areas such as medicine, treatment and surgery. For example, nanobots are sent to the patient’s arteries to clear away blockages in them. Nanobots produce or tailor medicines at the molecular level to increase their efficiency and reduce side effects.
Let us look into the different roles of nanotechnology in the medical field.
Nanogenerators are self-powering implantable medical devices or sensors that convert energy from mechanical/thermal to electricity. This electricity releases semiconducting zinc oxide nanowires, which allow portable devices to get powered. Therefore, nanogenerators opened up the possibilities for self-powering medical devices. Nanogenerators are of three types- triboelectric (source: friction), piezoelectric (source: vibrations/shake) and pyroelectric/thermoelectric (source: temperature gradients).
Surgical Nanorobots are introduced inside a human body through the vascular systems/cavities by making a small incision. Later, they are programmed and guided by human surgeons to perform an on-site surgery. These nanorobots are capable of performing various functions inside the human body. Today, minimally invasive surgery is widely suggested by doctors because it reduces the risk of infections, involves less amount of blood loss and boosts speedy recovery.
Nano-dentistry is one of the unique inventions to maintain oral health and hygiene. It includes dental nanorobotics, nanomaterials, biotechnology and tissue engineering techniques. Nano-dentistry has the potential to treat a patient with dental issues. It is programmed to inject local anaesthesia, cure hypersensitivity and treat other oral health-related issues. Dentists may issue strategic instructions by transmitting orders via acoustic signals or other techniques.
Nanomedicines are one of the recent developments in the field of nanotechnology. It involves nanoparticles that deliver drugs, heat, light or other particles to the targeted cells (as for cancer cells). The nanomedicine particles are such programmed that it gets attracted to the diseased cells for allowing immediate treatment. It is a helpful technique because it allows early detection of the disease and reduces the damage of healthy cells. A research team from the United States are working to develop a method by which cardiac stem cells gets delivered to the damaged heart tissues.
These are few applications of nanotechnology in the medical field.