Medical Nanotechnology. Nanotechnology has been strongly connected in areas of research involving biophysics relating to repairing damage to the nervous system. Where nanotechnology may be of invaluable assistance in the future is in the repair of spinal cord damage as well as providing an effective method for repairing cells in the brain that have been damaged.
The particular facet of nanotechnology that will deal with repairing injuries to the human body will be the production of nanomachines. This form of the technology represents the development of miniature devices or their components that can perform sensory acts within the most sensitive areas of the human body and their actuation.
The human body has carried out certain acts of self repair through the chemical or biological actuation. One example is the molecular motors, for example kinesin, that serve both as an actuator as well as carrying vital threads of information through the nervous system to the brain. Researchers in the subject are enthusiastic in the thought that man made nanomachines will be capable of repairing
Although there are no manmade nanomachines to perform tasks that impact our daily life, non man-made nanomachines already exist in the form of biological cells and the chemical processes within those cells. For example, molecular motors, such as modifying DNA to produce new functionality where cells have been damaged and to interact with human biological systems as well as other artificial nanotechnology applications.
In the long term it is hoped that that capability will exist to extend nanomachines to a level that will allow them to carry out the most complex of tasks. It is feasibility possible, scientists feel, to implant miniscule nanomachines inside the human nervous systems that can communicate with each other and cooperate in the operation of certain functions within the body that had been irreparably damaged.
The development of communication technology at the nano-scale and the utilization of the available biological molecules will allow microscopic lithography of the human body, at levels previously unimaginable.
As well as repairing some of the most vital functional aspects of the human body that have been damaged in accidents or in wars Nanotechnology is widely expected to herald a breakthrough in the treatment of cancer.
Currently the miniaturization of equipment involved in the accurate diagnosis of the presence and extent of cancer in some of the more sensitive areas of the human body has become fairly commonplace in the Western World. This has led to the reduction of the need for considerably invasive forms of diagnostical treatment. As well as the treatment of cancer in forms where it is still localized.
Sadly, if the cancer has spread, then the patient has to face surgery in its most invasive forms, invariably followed by a course in chemotherapy or radiation therapy bringing with them all the well known and unpleasant side effects. Nanotechnology is expected to put an end to this highly unwelcome phenomenon, through the injection of targeted drugs into the areas affected by cancerous cells.
Researchers foresee the loading of gold nanoparticles that are cancer detecting into the human body in the areas where the cancer cells are specifically located. This treatment will attack only the cancerous cells whilst leaving the healthy cells totally intact, an option not available with either chemotherapy or radiotherapy.