Applications of nanotechnology in the biomedical field

Applications of nanotechnology in the biomedical field

by Kaveendri Jayasinghe

Nanotechnology, what is it exactly? For starters, nanotechnology is the utilisation of phenomena that occur in the nanoscale (1-100 nanometre) in the development of neoteric technologies in a broad range of fields. This calls to produce devices, structures, and systems that contain one or more superlative nano-characteristics. (Philip, 2009) This article covers how novel nanotechnologies are currently implemented in the biomedical industry.

Nanotechnology-based biochips, also known as nanofluidic microarrays or “lab on a chip,” that, despite its minimality, is manufactured to detect and interact with cellular constituents with an elevated level of accuracy. It consists of microfluidic channels that allow biomolecules to reach biosensors; these biosensors are micro-structured to anatomize DNA of nano-litre dimensions. As such, it has the capability to examine DNA from their consisting solutions, create a mixture of these solutions, break down the DNA and eventually distinguish and detect the products (Jain, 2003). By having this functionality and staying true to its name, “lab on a chip” can be used to analyse small volume and low concentration samples for complex lab knowledge and understanding in biomedical applications (Bahadorimehr, Yunas and Yeop Majlis, 2010).

In current times, clinical tests have sought to reveal the presence of a molecule or a disease-causing organism via the detection of a particular antibody in the specified target. Conventionally, these tests are being executed by coalescing the antibodies with fluorescent dyes (either organic or inorganic) and observing the signals inside the sample through fluorescent microscopy. This method is not highly distinct or practical in its detection (Ferrari and Bergquist, 2007), thus, the introduction of nanobiotechnology offers a solution to this issue by implementing semiconductor nanocrystals also known as Quantum dots. They are nanometre sized semiconductors that have unique characteristics such as higher stability and intensity in its fluorescence, resistance to photobleaching and distinctly sensitive detection due to their propensity to emit and absorb light effectively (Malik, Gulia and Kakkar, 2013). Quantum dots may eventually replace dyes in the detection of diseases such as cancer, TB and more.

The field of biomedicine has undergone a revolution thanks to the creation of novel nanomaterials. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are one such material. CNTs are crucial in tissue engineering material for cell tracking and scaffolding for integrating with the host’s body. Carbon nanotubes could be employed as optical, magnetic resonance, and radiotracer contrast agents to evaluate tissue development more accurately. Additionally, monitoring and modifying intracellular and intercellular processes might be beneficial for the creation of better-engineered tissues. Additionally, scaffolds can be enhanced with carbon nanotubes to give structural support and special qualities like electrical conductivity that may aid direct cell growth. Finally, carbon nanotubes might be an essential part of an innovative biomaterial used to make and keep track of synthetic tissues (Harrison and Atala, 2007).

Future developments in dentistry will make use of nanotechnology. Better dental health will be ensured by the application of nano dentistry with nanomaterials (Applications of nanotechnology to biotechnology: Commentary, 2000), biotechnology (Sims, M. R. (2017)), and nanorobotics. Such a significant development in the field of dental health will help millions of people who are now receiving subpar dental treatment (Ure and Harris, 2003). Nano dental procedures for extensive tooth repair may also advance (Priyadarsini, Mukherjee and Mishra, 2018) while reconstructive dental nanorobots could be utilized in minutes to occlude certain tubules selectively and precisely, facilitating a speedy and lasting recovery (Fakruddin, Hossain and Afroz, 2012). Nano dentistry may potentially offer benefits for maintaining healthy natural teeth, moreover, to improve the aesthetics and durability of teeth, upper enamel layer replacements made of covalently bonded artificial materials, such as sapphire, may also be used (Fartash et al., 1996).

In conclusion, advancements in nanotechnology may lead to daily use in the biomedical industry and the above-mentioned examples are only the genesis of it. More nanotechnologies currently under research will undoubtedly surface in the coming years and prove to the world the undeniable potential of nanotechnology.


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