The Ashes

Technology, Science and other news
April 10, 2009

Nanotechnology – A Boon For Medical Science

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Filed under : General

Nanotechnology, or more affectionately nicknamed as nanotech, is a field of research that deals with controlling matter on an atomic or molecular level. This has multiple applications that range anywhere from electronics, to energy production, to engineering, to physics, and even to medicine. In the field of medicine alone, nanotech is giving rise to tools and possible applications that are now being streamlined to focus on finding and eradicating cancer cells. This is a particularly timely issue because cancer is now the foremost killing disease of the modern times. As humankind evolves into the new millennia, it seems that cancer cells are evolving as well. As such, there are still no known medicines or medical procedures that can prevent or cure the occurrence of any type of cancer.

The Role Of Nanotechnology In Medicine

A man named Cancer, or any disease for that matter, begins and ends with the tiniest life force within the human body. These are the living cells that carry out the multiple complex functions necessary for life. Unfortunately, with today’s tools for diagnosis and surgical procedures, there is always the possibility that: damaged, infected and disease-carrying cells are overlooked (and thereby not eradicated by the treatment); and that the surgical procedure might actually do more damage as opposed to letting the disease run its course. It is not uncommon for cancer cells to metastasize to other organs in the body after removing the cancer afflicted part – even with aggressive chemotherapy. It is also not uncommon to hear patients dying from the surgical procedures or surgery patients suffering from the complications of the post operative treatments.

With nanotech, medicine has a fighting chance against cancer cells by producing diagnostic tools that can pinpoint the occurrence of cancerous growths as they happen; and by removing these in the cellular level that the afflicted body does not even have to be surgically opened. Nanotech has paved the way for various possibilities in diagnosis, cure and prevention of all possible diseases. Most of these are still a few technology tweaks along the way. However, the point is: the potential is now here and what may have been sheer impossibilities a good 50 years back are now becoming real by the minute. Right now, all eyes are focused on cancer research.

Cancer research with nanotech is particularly useful when it comes to the development and construction of smaller but more efficient cancer detection gadgets that can be easily replicated with the right technology. This means that formerly expensive diagnostic tools for cancer detection can now be made at more economical rates. Complex molecular machines can also be started on and developed further to help with correct and early disease diagnosis. One possibility that a lot of nanotech researchers are trying to develop are the molecular computers that not only works as a diagnostic tool but can be used as a search-and-destroy “operative” that can eradicate cancer cells on a cellular level. This is a proposed alternative to the various cocktails of medications and the series of medical procedures that one cancer patient has to endure just to slow down the process of cancer growth.

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