Nanomedicine: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Part of a series of articles on
Nanomedicine

Nanotoxicology
Nanosensor
Nanoshell
Nanorobotics

See also
Nanotechnology

Part of a series of articles on

Nanotechnology

History
Implications
Applications
Regulation
Organizations
Popular culture
List of topics

Nanomaterials

Fullerene
Carbon Nanotubes
Nanoparticles

Nanomedicine

Nanotoxicology
Nanosensor

Molecular self-assembly

Self-assembled monolayer
Supramolecular assembly
DNA nanotechnology

Nanoelectronics

Molecular electronics
Nanolithography

Scanning probe microscopy

Atomic force microscope
Scanning tunneling microscope

Molecular nanotechnology

Molecular assembler
Nanorobotics
Mechanosynthesis

Nanotechnology Portal
  

Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology.[1] The approaches to nanomedicine range from the medical use of nanomaterials, to nanoelectronic biosensors, and even possible future applications of molecular nanotechnology. Current problems for nanomedicine involve understanding the issues related to toxicity and environmental impact of nanoscale materials.

Nanomedicine research is receiving funding from the US National Institute of Health. Of note is the funding in 2005 of a five-year plan to set up four nanomedicine centers. In April 2006, the journal Nature Materials estimated that 130 nanotech-based drugs and delivery systems were being developed worldwide.[2]

Contents

Overview

Nanomedicine seeks to deliver a valuable set of research tools and clinically helpful devices in the near future.[3][4] The National Nanotechnology Initiative expects new commercial applications in the pharmaceutical industry that may include advanced drug delivery systems, new therapies, and in vivo imaging.[5] Neuro-electronic interfaces and other nanoelectronics-based sensors are another active goal of research. Further down the line, the speculative field of molecular nanotechnology believes that cell repair machines could revolutionize medicine and the medical field.

Nanomedicine is a large industry, with nanomedicine sales reaching 6.8 billion dollars in 2004, and with over 200 companies and 38 products worldwide, a minimum of 3.8 billion dollars in nanotechnology R&D is being invested every year.[6] As the nanomedicine industry continues to grow, it is expected to have a significant impact on the economy.

Medical use of nanomaterials

Advertisements

Drug delivery

Nanomedical approaches to drug delivery center on developing nanoscale particles or molecules to improve the bioavailability of a drug. Bioavailability refers to the presence of drug molecules where they are needed in the body and where they will do the most good. Drug delivery focuses on maximizing bioavailability both at specific places in the body and over a period of time. This will be achieved by molecular targeting by nanoengineered devices.[7][8] It is all about targeting the molecules and delivering drugs with cell precision. More than $65 billion are wasted each year due to poor bioavailability. In vivo imaging is another area where tools and devices are being developed. Using nanoparticle contrast agents, images such as ultrasound and MRI have a favorable distribution and improved contrast. The new methods of nanoengineered materials that are being developed might be effective in treating illnesses and diseases such as cancer. What nanoscientists will be able to achieve in the future is beyond current imagination. This will be accomplished by self assembled biocompatible nanodevices that will detect, evaluate, treat and report to the clinical doctor automatically.

Drug delivery systems, lipid- or polymer-based nanoparticles[9], can be designed to improve the pharmacological and therapeutic properties of drugs.[10] The strength of drug delivery systems is their ability to alter the pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of the drug. Nanoparticles have unusual properties that can be used to improve drug delivery. Where larger particles would have been cleared from the body, cells take up these nanoparticles because of their size. Complex drug delivery mechanisms are being developed, including the ability to get drugs through cell membranes and into cell cytoplasm. Efficiency is important because many diseases depend upon processes within the cell and can only be impeded by drugs that make their way into the cell. Triggered response is one way for drug molecules to be used more efficiently. Drugs are placed in the body and only activate on encountering a particular signal. For example, a drug with poor solubility will be replaced by a drug delivery system where both hydrophilic and hydrophobic environments exist, improving the solubility. Also, a drug may cause tissue damage, but with drug delivery, regulated drug release can eliminate the problem. If a drug is cleared too quickly from the body, this could force a patient to use high doses, but with drug delivery systems clearance can be reduced by altering the pharmacokinetics of the drug. Poor biodistribution is a problem that can affect normal tissues through widespread distribution, but the particulates from drug delivery systems lower the volume of distribution and reduce the effect on non-target tissue. Potential nanodrugs will work by very specific and well-understood mechanisms; one of the major impacts of nanotechnology and nanoscience will be in leading development of completely new drugs with more useful behavior and less side effects.

Protein and peptide delivery

Protein and peptides exert multiple biological actions in human body and they have been identified as showing great promise for treatment of various diseases and disorders. These macromolecules are called biopharmaceuticals. Targeted and/or controlled delivery of these biopharmaceuticals using nanomaterials like nanoparticles and Dendrimers is an emerging field called nanobiopharmaceutics, and these products are called nanobiopharmaceuticals.

Cancer

A schematic illustration showing how nanoparticles or other cancer drugs might be used to treat cancer.

The small size of nanoparticles endows them with properties that can be very useful in oncology, particularly in imaging. Quantum dots (nanoparticles with quantum confinement properties, such as size-tunable light emission), when used in conjunction with MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), can produce exceptional images of tumor sites. These nanoparticles are much brighter than organic dyes and only need one light source for excitation. This means that the use of fluorescent quantum dots could produce a higher contrast image and at a lower cost than today's organic dyes used as contrast media. The downside, however, is that quantum dots are usually made of quite toxic elements.

Another nanoproperty, high surface area to volume ratio, allows many functional groups to be attached to a nanoparticle, which can seek out and bind to certain tumor cells. Additionally, the small size of nanoparticles (10 to 100 nanometers), allows them to preferentially accumulate at tumor sites (because tumors lack an effective lymphatic drainage system). A very exciting research question is how to make these imaging nanoparticles do more things for cancer. For instance, is it possible to manufacture multifunctional nanoparticles that would detect, image, and then proceed to treat a tumor? This question is under vigorous investigation; the answer to which could shape the future of cancer treatment.[11] A promising new cancer treatment that may one day replace radiation and chemotherapy is edging closer to human trials. Kanzius RF therapy attaches microscopic nanoparticles to cancer cells and then "cooks" tumors inside the body with radio waves that heat only the nanoparticles and the adjacent (cancerous) cells.

Sensor test chips containing thousands of nanowires, able to detect proteins and other biomarkers left behind by cancer cells, could enable the detection and diagnosis of cancer in the early stages from a few drops of a patient's blood.[12]

The basic point to use drug delivery is based upon three facts: a) efficient encapsulation of the drugs, b) successful delivery of said drugs to the targeted region of the body, and c) successful release of that drug there.

Researchers at Rice University under Prof. Jennifer West, have demonstrated the use of 120 nm diameter nanoshells coated with gold to kill cancer tumors in mice. The nanoshells can be targeted to bond to cancerous cells by conjugating antibodies or peptides to the nanoshell surface. By irradiating the area of the tumor with an infrared laser, which passes through flesh without heating it, the gold is heated sufficiently to cause death to the cancer cells.[13]

Additionally, John Kanzius has invented a radio machine which uses a combination of radio waves and carbon or gold nanoparticles to destroy cancer cells.

Nanoparticles of cadmium selenide (quantum dots) glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. When injected, they seep into cancer tumors. The surgeon can see the glowing tumor, and use it as a guide for more accurate tumor removal.

One scientist, University of Michigan’s James Baker, believes he has discovered a highly efficient and successful way of delivering cancer-treatment drugs that is less harmful to the surrounding body. Baker has developed a nanotechnology that can locate and then eliminate cancerous cells. He looks at a molecule called a dendrimer. This molecule has over one hundred hooks on it that allow it to attach to cells in the body for a variety of purposes. Baker then attaches folic-acid to a few of the hooks (folic-acid, being a vitamin, is received by cells in the body). Cancer cells have more vitamin receptors than normal cells, so Baker's vitamin-laden dendrimer will be absorbed by the cancer cell. To the rest of the hooks on the dendrimer, Baker places anti-cancer drugs that will be absorbed with the dendrimer into the cancer cell, thereby delivering the cancer drug to the cancer cell and nowhere else (Bullis 2006).[14]

In photodynamic therapy, a particle is placed within the body and is illuminated with light from the outside. The light gets absorbed by the particle and if the particle is metal, energy from the light will heat the particle and surrounding tissue. Light may also be used to produce high energy oxygen molecules which will chemically react with and destroy most organic molecules that are next to them (like tumors). This therapy is appealing for many reasons. It does not leave a “toxic trail” of reactive molecules throughout the body (chemotherapy) because it is directed where only the light is shined and the particles exist. Photodynamic therapy has potential for a noninvasive procedure for dealing with diseases, growths, and tumors.

Surgery

At Rice University, a flesh welder is used to fuse two pieces of chicken meat into a single piece. The two pieces of chicken are placed together touching. A greenish liquid containing gold-coated nanoshells is dribbled along the seam. An infrared laser is traced along the seam, causing the two sides to weld together. This could solve the difficulties and blood leaks caused when the surgeon tries to restitch the arteries s/he has cut during a kidney or heart transplant. The flesh welder could weld the artery perfectly.

Visualization

Tracking movement can help determine how well drugs are being distributed or how substances are metabolized. It is difficult to track a small group of cells throughout the body, so scientists used to dye the cells. These dyes needed to be excited by light of a certain wavelength in order for them to light up. While different color dyes absorb different frequencies of light, there was a need for as many light sources as cells. A way around this problem is with luminescent tags. These tags are quantum dots attached to proteins that penetrate cell membranes. The dots can be random in size, can be made of bio-inert material, and they demonstrate the nanoscale property that color is size-dependent. As a result, sizes are selected so that the frequency of light used to make a group of quantum dots fluoresce is an even multiple of the frequency required to make another group incandesce. Then both groups can be lit with a single light source.

Nanoparticle targeting

It is greatly observed that nanoparticles are promising tools for the advancement of drug delivery, medical imaging, and as diagnostic sensors. However, the biodistribution of these nanoparticles is mostly unknown due to the difficulty in targeting specific organs in the body. Current research in the excretory systems of mice, however, shows the ability of gold composites to selectively target certain organs based on their size and charge. These composites are encapsulated by a dendrimer and assigned a specific charge and size. Positively-charged gold nanoparticles were found to enter the kidneys while negatively-charged gold nanoparticles remained in the liver and spleen. It is suggested that the positive surface charge of the nanoparticle decreases the rate of osponization of nanoparticles in the liver, thus affecting the excretory pathway. Even at a relatively small size of 5 nm , though, these particles can become compartmentalized in the peripheral tissues, and will therefore accumulate in the body over time. While advancement of research proves that targeting and distribution can be augmented by nanoparticles, the dangers of nanotoxicity become an important next step in further understanding of their medical uses.[15]

Neuro-electronic interfaces

Neuro-electronic interfacing is a visionary goal dealing with the construction of nanodevices that will permit computers to be joined and linked to the nervous system. This idea requires the building of a molecular structure that will permit control and detection of nerve impulses by an external computer. The computers will be able to interpret, register, and respond to signals the body gives off when it feels sensations. The demand for such structures is huge because many diseases involve the decay of the nervous system (ALS and multiple sclerosis). Also, many injuries and accidents may impair the nervous system resulting in dysfunctional systems and paraplegia. If computers could control the nervous system through neuro-electronic interface, problems that impair the system could be controlled so that effects of diseases and injuries could be overcome. Two considerations must be made when selecting the power source for such applications. They are refuelable and nonrefuelable strategies. A refuelable strategy implies energy is refilled continuously or periodically with external sonic, chemical, tethered, magnetic, or electrical sources. A nonrefuelable strategy implies that all power is drawn from internal energy storage which would stop when all energy is drained.

One limitation to this innovation is the fact that electrical interference is a possibility. Electric fields, electromagnetic pulses (EMP), and stray fields from other in vivo electrical devices can all cause interference. Also, thick insulators are required to prevent electron leakage, and if high conductivity of the in vivo medium occurs there is a risk of sudden power loss and “shorting out.” Finally, thick wires are also needed to conduct substantial power levels without overheating. Little practical progress has been made even though research is happening. The wiring of the structure is extremely difficult because they must be positioned precisely in the nervous system so that it is able to monitor and respond to nervous signals. The structures that will provide the interface must also be compatible with the body’s immune system so that they will remain unaffected in the body for a long time.[16] In addition, the structures must also sense ionic currents and be able to cause currents to flow backward. While the potential for these structures is amazing, there is no timetable for when they will be available.

Medical applications of molecular nanotechnology

Molecular nanotechnology is a speculative subfield of nanotechnology regarding the possibility of engineering molecular assemblers, machines which could re-order matter at a molecular or atomic scale. Molecular nanotechnology is highly theoretical, seeking to anticipate what inventions nanotechnology might yield and to propose an agenda for future inquiry. The proposed elements of molecular nanotechnology, such as molecular assemblers and nanorobots are far beyond current capabilities.

Nanorobots

The somewhat speculative claims about the possibility of using nanorobots[17] in medicine, advocates say, would totally change the world of medicine once it is realized. Nanomedicine[1][16] would make use of these nanorobots (e.g., Computational Genes), introduced into the body, to repair or detect damages and infections. According to Robert Freitas of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, a typical blood borne medical nanorobot would be between 0.5-3 micrometres in size, because that is the maximum size possible due to capillary passage requirement. Carbon could be the primary element used to build these nanorobots due to the inherent strength and other characteristics of some forms of carbon (diamond/fullerene composites), and nanorobots would be fabricated in desktop nanofactories [18] specialized for this purpose.

Nanodevices could be observed at work inside the body using MRI, especially if their components were manufactured using mostly 13C atoms rather than the natural 12C isotope of carbon, since 13C has a nonzero nuclear magnetic moment. Medical nanodevices would first be injected into a human body, and would then go to work in a specific organ or tissue mass. The doctor will monitor the progress, and make certain that the nanodevices have gotten to the correct target treatment region. The doctor will also be able to scan a section of the body, and actually see the nanodevices congregated neatly around their target (a tumor mass, etc.) so that he or she can be sure that the procedure was successful.

Cell repair machines

Using drugs and surgery, doctors can only encourage tissues to repair themselves. With molecular machines, there will be more direct repairs.[19] Cell repair will utilize the same tasks that living systems already prove possible. Access to cells is possible because biologists can stick needles into cells without killing them. Thus, molecular machines are capable of entering the cell. Also, all specific biochemical interactions show that molecular systems can recognize other molecules by touch, build or rebuild every molecule in a cell, and can disassemble damaged molecules. Finally, cells that replicate prove that molecular systems can assemble every system found in a cell. Therefore, since nature has demonstrated the basic operations needed to perform molecular-level cell repair, in the future, nanomachine based systems will be built that are able to enter cells, sense differences from healthy ones and make modifications to the structure.

The possibilities of these cell repair machines are impressive. Comparable to the size of viruses or bacteria, their compact parts would allow them to be more complex. The early machines will be specialized. As they open and close cell membranes or travel through tissue and enter cells and viruses, machines will only be able to correct a single molecular disorder like DNA damage or enzyme deficiency. Later, cell repair machines will be programmed with more abilities with the help of advanced AI systems.

Nanocomputers will be needed to guide these machines. These computers will direct machines to examine, take apart, and rebuild damaged molecular structures. Repair machines will be able to repair whole cells by working structure by structure. Then by working cell by cell and tissue by tissue, whole organs can be repaired. Finally, by working organ by organ, health is restored to the body. Cells damaged to the point of inactivity can be repaired because of the ability of molecular machines to build cells from scratch. Therefore, cell repair machines will free medicine from reliance on self repair alone.

Nanonephrology

Nanonephrology is a branch of nanomedicine and nanotechnology that deals with 1) the study of kidney protein structures at the atomic level; 2) nano-imaging approaches to study cellular processes in kidney cells; and 3) nano medical treatments that utilize nanoparticles and to treat various kidney diseases. The creation and use of materials and devices at the molecular and atomic levels that can be used for the diagnosis and therapy of renal diseases is also a part of Nanonephrology that will play a role in the management of patients with kidney disease in the future. Advances in Nanonephrology will be based on discoveries in the above areas that can provide nano-scale information on the cellular molecular machinery involved in normal kidney processes and in pathological states. By understanding the physical and chemical properties of proteins and other macromolecules at the atomic level in various cells in the kidney, novel therapeutic approaches can be designed to combat major renal diseases. The nano-scale artificial kidney is a goal that many physicians dream of. Nano-scale engineering advances will permit programmable and controllable nano-scale robots to execute curative and reconstructive procedures in the human kidney at the cellular and molecular levels. Designing nanostructures compatible with the kidney cells and that can safely operate in vivo is also a future goal. The ability to direct events in a controlled fashion at the cellular nano-level has the potential of significantly improving the lives of patients with kidney diseases.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities, by Robert A. Freitas Jr. 1999, ISBN 157059645X
  2. ^ Editorial. (2006). "Nanomedicine: A matter of rhetoric?". Nat Materials. 5 (4): 243. doi:10.1038/nmat1625. 
  3. ^ Wagner V, Dullaart A, Bock AK, Zweck A. (2006). "The emerging nanomedicine landscape". Nat Biotechnol. 24 (10): 1211–1217. doi:10.1038/nbt1006-1211. PMID 17033654. 
  4. ^ Freitas RA Jr. (2005). "What is Nanomedicine?". Nanomedicine: Nanotech. Biol. Med. 1 (1): 2–9. 
  5. ^ Nanotechnology in Medicine and the Biosciences, by Coombs RRH, Robinson DW. 1996, ISBN 2884490809
  6. ^ Nanotechnology: A Gentle Introduction to the Next Big Idea, by MA Ratner, D Ratner. 2002, ISBN 0131014005
  7. ^ LaVan DA, McGuire T, Langer R. (2003). "Small-scale systems for in vivo drug delivery". Nat Biotechnol. 21 (10): 1184–1191. doi:10.1038/nbt876. PMID 14520404. 
  8. ^ Cavalcanti A, Shirinzadeh B, Freitas RA Jr, Hogg T. (2008). "Nanorobot architecture for medical target identification". Nanotechnology 19 (1): 015103(15pp). doi:10.1088/0957-4484/19/01/015103. 
  9. ^ University of Waterloo, Nanotechnology in Targeted Cancer Therapy, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBjWwlnq3cA 15 January 2010
  10. ^ Allen TM, Cullis PR. (2004). "Drug Delivery Systems: Entering the Mainstream". Science. 303 (5665): 1818–1822. doi:10.1126/science.1095833. PMID 15031496. 
  11. ^ Nie, Shuming, Yun Xing, Gloria J. Kim, and Jonathan W. Simmons (2007). "Nanotechnology Applications in Cancer". Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering 9: 257. doi:10.1146/annurev.bioeng.9.060906.152025. PMID 17439359. 
  12. ^ Zheng G, Patolsky F, Cui Y, Wang WU, Lieber CM. (2005). "Multiplexed electrical detection of cancer markers with nanowire sensor arrays". Nat Biotechnol. 23 (10): 1294–1301. doi:10.1038/nbt1138. PMID 16170313. 
  13. ^ Loo C, Lin A, Hirsch L, Lee MH, Barton J, Halas N, West J, Drezek R. (2004). "Nanoshell-enabled photonics-based imaging and therapy of cancer". Technol Cancer Res Treat. 3 (1): 33–40. PMID 14750891. 
  14. ^ Shi X, Wang S, Meshinchi S, Van Antwerp ME, Bi X, Lee I, Baker JR Jr. (2007). "Dendrimer-entrapped gold nanoparticles as a platform for cancer-cell targeting and imaging". Small 3 (7): 1245–1252. doi:10.1002/smll.200700054. PMID 17523182. 
  15. ^ Minchin, Rod (2008). "Sizing up targets with nanoparticles". Nature nanotechnology 3 (1): 12–13. doi:10.1038/nnano.2007.433. PMID 18654442. 
  16. ^ a b Nanomedicine, Volume IIA: Biocompatibility, by Robert A. Freitas Jr. 2003, ISBN 1570597006
  17. ^ Freitas, Robert A., Jr. (2005). "Current Status of Nanomedicine and Medical Nanorobotics". Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience 2: 1–25. doi:10.1166/jctn.2005.001. 
  18. ^ Nanofactory Collaboration
  19. ^ Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology, by K.Eric Drexler. 1986, ISBN 0385199732

References

External links

Journals


Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

Dr SHOEB MUSTAFA, DEPT. OF MICROBIOLOGY, J.N.MEDICAL COLLEGE AND HOSPITAL,A.M.U, ALIGARH E MAIL:SHOEBMUSTAFA82@INDIATIMES.COM

• Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology. It covers areas such as nanoparticle drug delivery and possible future applications of molecular nanotechnology (MNT) and nanovaccinology. • The most important innovations are taking place in drug delivery which involves developing nanoscale particles or molecules to improve bioavailability. • In vivo imaging is another area where tools and devices are being developed. Using nanoparticle contrast agents, images such as ultrasound and MRI have a favorable distribution and improved contrast. • The new therapies and surgeries that are being developed might be effective in treating illnesses and diseases such as cancer.

Contents

PHARMACOLOGICAL POTENTIAL

Nanopharmocology is the use of nanotechnology for pharmacology applications such as: the formation of novel nanoscopic entities (1), exploring and matching specific compounds to particular patients for maximum effectiveness; and advanced pharmaceutical delivery systems and discovery of new pharmacological molecular entities; selection of pharmaceuticals for specific individuals to maximize effectiveness and minimize side effects (2), and delivery of pharmaceuticals to targeted locations or tissues within the body. Nanoparticles can render targeted and sustained delivery of biological compounds to specific tissues with a minimum of systemic side effects.

Nanoparticles have unusual properties that can be used to improve drug delivery. • Whereas larger particles would have been cleared from the body, cells take up these nanoparticles because of their size. • The particulates from drug delivery systems lower the volume of distribution and reduce the effect on non-target tissue. • Development of completely new drugs with more useful behavior and less side effects.

Some applications of nanopharmacology

• Diagnose conditions and perceive pathogens. • Identify optimal drug agents to treat the condition or pathogens. • Fuel high-yield production of matched pharmaceuticals. • Locate, attach or enter target tissue, configurations or pathogens. • Dispense the ideal mass of matched biological compound to the target locations.

TARGETTED DRUG DELIVERY-ROLE OF NANOCAPSULES

• Nanocapsule, means sandy nanoparticle that consists of a shell and a space, in which desired substances may be placed. Drug-filled nanocapsules can be covered with antibodies or cell-surface receptors that bind to cancer or various cells and release their biological compound on contact with that tissue. Nanocapsules have been made using molecules called phospholipids, which are hydrophobic (water-repellant) on one end and hydrophilic (water-loving) on the other. When such molecules are placed in an aqueous environment, they can spontaneously form capsules in which the hydrophobic portions are inside (3), protecting them from contact with water.The walls of our cells are in fact made up of a double layer of such molecules. Inside the cells, similar capsules, called liposomes (literally, fat bodies), are used to transport material.

BIOSENSOR CHIPS

• Nanotechnology chips with biosensors can find genes, guide drug discovery, monitor body functioning, and identify biologic and chemical pathogens. As nanotechnology and genetics advance, medibots and engineered beneficial microorganisms may be integrated into nanomedibots. Nanomedibots will be used to diagnosis and treat healing conditions that resist diagnosis and curing by current biomedical research. Medibots are robots or robotic systems that provide physicians with greater flexibility, precision of motion, and/or remote procedure capability in the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Concerning macro-scale medibots (4), improvements in the conveyance of visual and directional information with sophisticated consoles and remote-controlled hardware are already enabling surgeons to conduct an increasing array of surgical procedures in a minimally invasive manner.

ONCOLOGY

1. Nanoparticles of cadmium selenide (quantum dots) glow when exposed to ultraviolet light. When injected, they seep into cancer tumors. The surgeon can see the glowing tumor, and use it as a guide for more accurate tumor removal. 2. Sensor test chips containing thousands of nanowires, able to detect proteins and other biomarkers left behind by cancer cells, could enable the detection and diagnosis of cancer in the early stages from a few drops of a patient's blood. [5] 3. Researchers at Rice University have demonstrated the use of 120nm diameter nanoshells coated with gold to kill cancer tumors in mice. The nanoshells can be targeted to bond to cancerous cells by conjugating antibodies or peptides to the nanoshell surface. By irradiating the area of the tumor with an infrared laser, which passes through flesh without heating it, the gold is heated sufficiently to cause death to the cancer cells [6]. 4. Dendrimer molecule has over a hundred hooks on it that allow it to attach to cells in the body for a variety of purposes. These molecules have also shown potential for targeted chemotherapy against tumor cells.

SURGERY

• At Rice University, a flesh welder is used to fuse two pieces of chicken meat into a single piece. The two pieces of chicken are placed together touching. A greenish liquid containing gold-coated nanoshells is dribbled along the seam. An infrared laser is traced along the seam, causing the two sides to weld together. • This could solve the difficulties and blood leaks caused when the surgeon tries to restitch the arteries he/she has cut during a kidney or heart transplant. The flesh welder could meld the artery into a perfect seal.

ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY (Arthrobotics)

· Arthrobotics is the application of robotic technology to help orthopedic surgeons in the healing, repair, and replacement of joint-related conditions. Current applications of arthrobotics involve arthroscopic automation and place enhancements, such as automated motion of the arthroscope, position sensors to guide it, and force sensors for tissue proximity control. Future arthrobotic usages might incorporate complete joint replacement with bionic bionics and neuro-computer interfaces for limb control from neural impulses in the brain.

RADIOLOGY (DIAGNOSTIC AND INTERVENTIONAL) AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE

• Nanodevices could be observed at work inside the body using MRI, using mostly 13C atoms rather than the natural 12C isotope of carbon, since 13C has a nonzero nuclear magnetic moment. • Medical nanodevices would first be injected into a human body, and would then go to work in a specific organ or tissue mass. • The doctor will monitor the progress, and make certain that the nanodevices have gotten to the correct target treatment region. • The doctor can actually see the nanodevices congregate around their target (a tumor mass, etc.). • Tracking movement can help determine how well drugs are being distributed or how substances are metabolized.

NANOROBOTS

• There are somewhat speculative claims that using nanorobots [7] [8] in medicine, would totally change the world of medicine once it is realized. • Nanomedicine [9] [10] would make use of these nanorobots, introduced into the body, to repair or detect damages and infections. • According to Robert Freitas of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, a typical blood borne medical nanorobot would be between 0.5-3 micrometres in size, because that is the maximum size possible due to capillary passage requirement. • Carbon would be the primary element used to build these nanorobots due to the inherent strength and other characteristics of some forms of carbon (diamond/fullerene composites), and nanorobots would be fabricated in desktop nanofactories [11] specialized for this purpose. • Nanorobots could counter the problem of identifying and isolating cancer cells as they could be introduced into the bloodstream. These nanorobots would search out cancer affected cells using certain molecular markers. Medical nanorobots would then destroy these cells, and only these cells. • Nanomedicines could be a very helpful and hopeful therapy for patients, since current treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy often end up destroying more healthy cells than cancerous ones. • Nanorobots could also be useful in precision tissue- and cell-targeted drug delivery [12] [13], in performing nanosurgery [14], and in treatments for hypoxemia and respiratory illness[15] [16], dentistry [17] [18], bacteremic infections[19], physical trauma [20], gene therapy via chromosome replacement therapy [21] [22], and even biological aging [23]. •

RESPIROCYTE

One very simple nanorobot that was designed a few years ago is, the artificial mechanical red cell, a "respirocyte." (24) that can deliver 236 times more oxygen per unit volume than a natural red cell.

Some possible applications using nanorobots are as follows: • To cure skin diseases, a cream containing nanorobots may be used. • A mouthwash full of smart nanomachines could identify and destroy pathogenic bacteria while allowing normal commensals to grow. • Medical nanodevices could augment the immune system by finding and disabling unwanted bacteria and viruses just like leucocyte. • Devices working in the bloodstream could nibble away at arteriosclerosis deposits, widening the affected blood vessels. • Cell herding devices could restore artery walls and artery linings to prevent most heart attacks.

NEURO-ELECTRONIC INTERFACES (NEUROLOGICAL APPLICATIONS)

• Neuro-electronic interfaces are a visionary goal dealing with the construction of nanodevices that will permit computers to be joined and linked to the nervous system. • The computers will be able to interpret, register, and respond to signals the body gives off when it feels sensations. • The demand for such structures is huge because many diseases involve the decay of the nervous system (ALS and multiple sclerosis). Also, many injuries and accidents may impair the nervous system resulting in dysfunctional systems and paraplegia. • If computers could control the nervous system through neuro-electronic interface, problems that impair the system could be controlled so that effects of diseases and injuries could be overcome. • PROSPECTS: • Treatment of paraplegia, hemiplegia and spondylosis following accidental injuries, vascular and due to other causes.

CELL REPAIR MACHINES (REGENERATIVE MEDICINE)

• Using drugs and surgery, doctors can only encourage tissues to repair themselves. With molecular machines, there will be more direct repairs. • The possibilities of these cell repair machines are impressive. Comparable to the size of viruses or bacteria, their compact parts will allow them to be more complex. • As they open and close cell membranes or travel through tissue and enter cells and viruses, machines will only be able to correct a single molecular disorder like DNA damage or enzyme deficiency. • Nanocomputers will be needed to guide these machines. These computers will direct machines to examine, take apart, and rebuild damaged molecular structures.

ENDOCRINOLOGY

• An example of the state of the nanobiotechnological art is Tejal Desai's(Boston University) artificial pancreas. Dr. Desai has encased her mouse pancreatic cells in a membrane studded with "nanopores" a mere seven nanometres across. As glucose from the blood washes in through the nanopores (25), the enclosed islet cells respond by releasing insulin. At 7 nanometres, the pores are big enough to allow the passage of glucose and insulin,but antibodies, which are significantly larger, cannot squeeze through, and so cannot damage the islet cells.

CARBON NANOTUBE MUSCLE

Artificial muscles have been made from millions of carbon nanotubes. Like natural muscles, providing an electrical charge causes the individual fibres to expand and the whole structure to move (26). An artificial muscle with strength and speed equal to that of a human muscle may soon be possible. A new wave of technology and medicine is being created and its impact on the world is going to be monumental. From the possible applications such as drug delivery and in vivo imaging to the potential machines of the future, advancements in nanomedicine are being made every day.

REFERENCES

1.http://www.nanopharmacology.com/ 2.http://www.nanopharmaceutix.com/ 3.http://www.ajetudes.club.fr/ nano/nanocapsules.htm 4.http://medibots.info/ 5 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/_note-0 6 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/_note-1 7. Freitas, Robert A. Current Status of Nanomedicine and Medical Nanorobotics Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience, Volume 2, Number 1, March 2005 , pp. 1-25(25) 8. Robert A.Freitas,Jr. Current Status of Nanomedicine andMedical NanoroboticsJournal of computational and Theoretical Nanoscience,Vol.2,1 .25,2005 9.Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities,1999 Robert A. Freitas Jr. 10 Nanomedicine, Volume IIA: Biocompatibility, 2003Robert A. Freitas Jr. 11 http://www.molecularassembler.com/Nanofactory/ 12Freitas RA. Pharmacytes: an ideal vehicle for targeted drug delivery. J Nanosci Nanotechnol. 2006 Sep-Oct;6(9-10):2769-75. 13. Pharmacytes:An Ideal Vehicle for Targeted Drug Delivery Robert A.Freitas,Jr. Journal of Nanoscience and NanotechnologyVol.6,2769-2775 2006 14.International Journal of Surgery (2005) - , - e -www.int-journal-surgery.com 15Freitas RA.Exploratory design in medical nanotechnology: a mechanical artificial red cell. Artif Cells Blood Substit Immobil Biotechnol. 1998 Jul;26(4):411-30. PMID: 9663339 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 16.http://www.foresight.org/Nanomedicine/Respirocytes. 17 Nanodentistry.Freitas RA.Zyvex Corp., Richardson, Texas 75081, USA J Am Dent Assoc. 2000 Nov;131(11):1559-65. 18 Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Nanodentistry,” J. Amer. Dent. Assoc. 131(November 2000):1559-1566. (Cover story) 19 Robert A. Freitas Jr., Journal of Evolution and Technology - Vol. 14 - April 2005 http://jetpress.org/volume14/freitas.html 20 IMM Report Number 18: Nanomedicine In conjunction with Foresight Update 41 Clottocytes: Artificial Mechanical Platelets ByRobertA.Freitas Jr. Research Scientist, Zyvex LLC 21 The future of nanofabrication and molecular scale devices in nanomedicine.Freitas RA. Zyvex Corp, Richardson, Texas, USA Stud Health Technol Inform. 2002;80:45-59 22 The Future of Nanofabrication and Molecular Scale Devices in Nanomedicine Robert A. Freitas Jr.,Research Scientist, Zyvex Corp.published July 2002 http://www.rfreitas.com/Nano/FutureNanofabNMed.htm 23 Death Is An Outrage Robert A. Freitas Jr. Lecture delivered by the author at the Fifth Alcor Conference on Extreme Life Extension, 16 November 2002, Newport Beach, CA, http://www.rfreitas.com/Nano/DeathIsAnOutrage. 24. Robert F. Jr. Nanotechnology Magazine 2 (1996) 8. Robert F. Jr. Artificial Cells 26 (1998) 411. 25. http://www.pnl.gov/energyscience/06-01/ws.htm 26. http://www.mondolithic.com


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message