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Abstract

Disease and ill health are caused largely by damage at the molecular and cellular level.
Today's surgical tools are, at this scale, large and crude. From the viewpoint of a cell,
even a fine scalpel is a blunt instrument more suited to tear and injure than heal and cure.
Modern surgery works only because cells have a remarkable ability to regroup, bury their
dead and heal over the injury. Nanotechnology, "the manufacturing technology of the
21st century," should let us economically build a broad range of complex molecular
machines (including, not incidentally, molecular computers). It will let us build fleets of
computer controlled molecular tools much smaller than a human cell and built with the
accuracy and precision of drug molecules. Such tools will let medicine, for the first time,
intervene in a sophisticated and controlled way at the cellular and molecular level. They
could remove obstructions in the circulatory system, kill cancer cells, or take over the
function of subcellular organelles. Just as today we have the artifical heart, so in the
future we could have the artificial mitochondrion.
Equally dramatic, nanotechnology will give us new instruments to examine tissue in
unprecedented detail. Sensors smaller than a cell would give us an inside and exquisitely
precise look at ongoing function. Tissue that was either chemically fixed or flash frozen
could be analyzed literally down to the molecular level, giving a completely detailed
"snapshot" of cellular, subcellular and molecular activities.

Nanotechnology in medicine is where the term nanomedicine originated. By enhancing


the human body’s performance, protecting the body from diseases and helping it to better
maintain homeostasis is where nanotechnology gets involve in medicine. Identifying a
problem is always the first step in problem solving, in medicine a disease might be the
problem . Before attempting to treat the disease, a diagnostic must be performed to
determine how that disease should be treated. Nanoprobes can do precisely that.
Nanoprobes are miniature machines capable of attaching themselves to particles in the
body and producing a magnetic field. Doing this tracking the core of the disease is easy.
With nanotechnology, delivering medication to the exact locations is simple, avoiding
side effects and a number of other factors including death or disorders.

Nanotechnology may also be used to eradicate cancer cells, a very dangerous


disease to a problem of the past, by not damaging neighboring cells. When these tools
are developed there will be new hope for the future. Researchers are to develop
therapeutic agents to target unhealthy cells and deliver toxin in a controlled, time-release
manner. The preeminent ambition of these studies are nanoparticles that will repair the
body. Then observing the effectiveness of its intervention.

Researchers are currently working day by day on a number of nanoparticles that


will be in charge of drug delivery. These includes Dendrimers which are capable of
linking treatment with diagnosis taken. Another recent invention are the Nanoshells,
which are miniscule breads coated with gold. Nanoshell can be manipulated in various
ways including thickness. There is great hope for successful function of this tool. The
National Cancer Institute have collaborated with scientists of the University of
Massachusetts by funding the development of a possible nanomolecular “smart bomb.”
This machine should be able to detect cancer in its earliest form and extinguishing it.

Given that these tools are in various stages of development. Experts believe that these
tool will be available for clinical use in five to fifteen years. Therapeutical agents are
expected to be available within a similar time frame. Devices that integrate detection and
therapy could be use clinically in about fifteen to twenty years.