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SHORT COMMUNICATION Table of Contents   
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 32-33
Nanotechnology: The future medicine

1 Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, Rural Dental College - Loni, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Rural Dental College - Loni, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Prosthodontics, Rural Dental College - Loni, Maharashtra, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication15-May-2010


Nanotechnology is an exciting new area in science, with many possible applications in medicine. This article seeks to outline the role of different areas such as diagnosis of diseases, drug delivery, imaging, and so on.

Keywords: Future, medicine, nanotechnology

How to cite this article:
Saini R, Saini S, Sharma S. Nanotechnology: The future medicine. J Cutan Aesthet Surg 2010;3:32-3

How to cite this URL:
Saini R, Saini S, Sharma S. Nanotechnology: The future medicine. J Cutan Aesthet Surg [serial online] 2010 [cited 2022 Aug 16];3:32-3. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Nanotechnology can be defined as the science and engineering involved in the design, synthesis, characterization, and application of materials and devices whose smallest functional organization, in at least one dimension, is on the nanometer scale or one billionth of a meter. At these scales, consideration of individual molecules and interacting groups of molecules in relation to the bulk macroscopic properties of the material or device becomes important, as it has a control over the fundamental molecular structure, which allows control over the macroscopic chemical and physical properties. [1] Nanotechnology has found many applications in medicine and this articles outlines some such applications.

   Possible Mechanisms of Nanotechnology in Relation to Medicine Top

These materials and devices can be designed to interact with cells and tissues at a molecular (i.e., subcellular) level, for applications in medicine and physiology, with a high degree of functional specificity, thus allowing a degree of integration between technology and biological systems not previously attainable. It should be appreciated that nanotechnology is not in itself a single emerging scientific discipline, but rather, a meeting of different traditional sciences, such as, chemistry, physics, materials science and biology, to bring together the required collective expertise needed to develop these novel technologies. [1] The promise that nanotechnology brings is multifaceted, offering not only improvements to the current techniques, but also providing entirely new tools and capabilities.

By manipulating drugs and other materials at the nanometer scale, the fundamental properties and bioactivity of the materials can be altered. These tools can permit a control over the different characteristics of drugs or agents such as: [2]

  1. alteration in solubility and blood pool retention time
  2. controlled release over short or long durations
  3. environmentally triggered controlled release or highly specific site-targeted delivery

   Applications of Nanomaterials in Medicine Top

These applications include fluorescent biological labels, drug and gene delivery, bio-detection of pathogens, detection of protein, probing of DNA structure, tissue engineering, tumor detection, separation and purification of biological molecules and cells, MRI contrast enhancement and phagokinetic studies. [3] The long-term goal of nanomedicine research is to characterize the quantitative molecular-scale components known as nanomachinery. Precise control and manipulation of nanomachinery in cells can lead to better understanding of the cellular mechanisms in living cells, and to the development of advanced technologies, for the early diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. The significance of this research lies in the development of a platform technology that will influence nanoscale imaging approaches designed to probe molecular mechanisms in living cells. [4] Molecular imaging has emerged as a powerful tool to visualize molecular events of an underlying disease, sometimes prior to its downstream manifestation. The merging of nanotechnology with molecular imaging provides a versatile platform for the novel design of nanoprobes that will have tremendous potential to enhance the sensitivity, specificity and signalling capabilities of various biomarkers in human diseases. [5]

Nanoparticle probes can endow imaging techniques with enhanced signal sensitivity, better spatial resolution and the ability to relay information on biological systems at molecular and cellular levels. Simple magnetic nanoparticles can function as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast enhancement probes. These magnetic nanoparticles can then serve as a core platform for the addition of other functional moieties including fluorescence tags, radionuclides and other biomolecules, for multimodal imaging, gene delivery and cellular trafficking. An (MRI) with hybrid probes of magnetic nanoparticles and adenovirus can detect target cells and monitor gene delivery and expression of green fluorescent proteins optically. [6] Nuclear techniques such as positron-emission tomography (PET) potentially provide detection sensitivities of higher magnitude, enabling the use of nanoparticles at lower concentrations than permitted by routine MRI. Furthermore, a combination of the high sensitivity of PET with the anatomical detail provided by computed tomography (CT) in hybrid imaging, has the potential to map signals to atherosclerotic vascular territories. [7] Molecular imaging always requires accumulation of the contrast agent in the target site, and this can be achieved more efficiently by steering nanoparticles containing the contrast agent into the target. This entails accessing target molecules hidden behind tissue barriers, necessitating the use of targeting groups. For imaging modalities with low sensitivity, nanoparticles bearing multiple contrast groups provide signal amplification. The same nanoparticles can, in principle, deliver both the contrast medium and the drug, allowing monitoring of the bio-distribution and therapeutic activity simultaneously (referred to as theranostics). [8] Such nanofiber-based scaffolds are available in a wide range of pore size distribution, high porosity and high surface area-to-volume ratio. Such a wide range of parameters are favourable for cell attachment, growth and proliferation, and also provide a basis for the future optimization of an electrospun nanofibrous scaffold in a tissue-engineering application.

   Conclusions Top

Thus, it is concluded that, nanotechnology or systems / device manufacture at the molecular level, is a multidisciplinary scientific field undergoing explosive development. The genesis of nanotechnology can be traced to the promise of revolutionary advances across medicine, communications, genomics and robotics.

   References Top

1.Silva GA. Introduction to nanotechnology and its applications to medicine. Surg Neurol 2004;61:216-20.  Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
2.Caruthers SD, Wickline SA, Lanza GM. Nanotechnological applications in medicine. Curr Opin Biotechnol 2007;18:26-30.  Back to cited text no. 2  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
3.OV Salta. Applications of nanoparticles in biology and medicine. J Nanobiotech 2004;2:3.  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Logothetidis S. Nanotechnology in medicine: The medicine of tomorrow and nanomedicine. Hippokratia 2006;10:7-21.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Jones. Nanoprobes for medical diagnosis: Current status of nanotechnology in molecular imaging. Curr Nanosci 2008;4:17-29.  Back to cited text no. 5      
6.Cheon J, Lee JH. Synergistically integrated nanoparticles as multimodal probes for nanobiotechnology. Acc Chem Res 2008;41:1630-40.  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
7.Nahrendorf M, Zhang H, Hembrador S, Panizzi P, Sosnovik DE, Aikawa E, et al. Nanoparticle PET-CT imaging of macrophages in inflammatory atherosclerosis. Circulation 2008;117:379-87.  Back to cited text no. 7  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  
8.Debbage P, Jaschke W. Molecular imaging with nanoparticles: Giant roles for dwarf actors. Histochem Cell Biol 2008;130:845-75.  Back to cited text no. 8  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  

Correspondence Address:
Rajiv Saini
Department of Periodontology and Oral Implantology, Rural Dental College - Loni, Rahata Tehsil, Ahmednagar District, Maharashtra 413 736
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2077.63301

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