Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale, about 1 to 100 nm (nanometer). When we say something is Nano, we mean it was small. The size of one nanometre is 1 billionth of a meter, about 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Making new things at this incredibly small scale is called nanotechnology and it’s one of the most exciting and fast-moving areas of science today.
Some Nanomaterials are naturally occurring; you can find them everywhere: volcanic ash, ocean spray, fine sand, and dust. Naturally occurring nanostructures are also present in plants and animals. For example nanostructure in insects ensures an anti-reflection and water-repelling effect so they can fly safely.
Nowadays, scientists can create nanostructures themselves by rearranging the atoms of an object, they can make new Nanomaterial with new properties. For example, they are stronger, lighter, and different in color. Properties change also according to their size and this is the real magic of the technology. Physicist Richard Feynman is called the father of Nanotechnology.
Why Nanotechnology is Important?
It is assumed that nanotechnology will deliver a valuable set of research tools and medically helpful devices in the upcoming future. Its utmost application will be in the field of medicine. It is hoped that nanotechnology will help in new commercial applications to be developed in the pharmaceutical industry including advanced Drug Delivery systems, new therapies, etc.
In the upcoming future, It may help in current imaging methods to detect cancer cells and it will also be able to encounter it with the help of nanobots. Since we all know that in the fight against cancer winning the half battle is based on early detection of affected cells. This will definitely help in enabling earlier and most accurate diagnosis and treatment monitoring.
How does Nanotechnology work?
Nanotechnology involves manipulating and controlling nanomaterials in a useful way. Some of the naturally occurring nanomaterials are already present like hemoglobin, smoke from the fire, volcanic ash, etc.
Working at nanoscale gives scientists the opportunity to use the unique physical, chemical, mechanical, and optical properties of a material. Materials at the nanoscale have unique specifications in each aspect.
Nanotechnology in Medicine
The main and the most important use of Nanotechnology is in the field of medicine, clinically it can solve numerous problems.
Nanobots or Nanostars
Very small robot sizes about 1-100 nanometers are called Nanobot. In the race for technology, humans had been successful in transforming electronic devices smaller and smaller. From robot to the size of an insect all the way down to robot smaller than a single-celled paramecium, this robot is anything but a small fly.
The Robo Bee was built by researchers at the Harvard macrobiotics lab. India has been developing for a decade, the tethered version of this micro robot is about the size of a quarter. The Robot Bee is made of carbon fiber and weighs just a fraction of a gram. These small robots are called nanobots.
These nanobots are capable of carrying a tiny camera, researchers see the Robo Bee being used to monitor environmental hazards and for use in Search and rescue missions.
Researchers found a way to implement the same for pulling off some incremental changes in drug delivery systems internally by recognizing the huge implications of nanobots upon living bodies.
The bots are artificially intelligent to detect the concerning germs and subsequently supply the required drugs in-house without any time-lapse. However, unlike others, this technology is in the testing phase and needs a lot more confidence to implement on a mass scale.
Nanofibers are so tiny that you never see one with the naked eye, what you see is only a reflection of light; their true image can only be seen using an electron microscope. Nanofiber is parts of the Nanoworld where sizes are measured around one billionth of a metre.
Nanofibers are already changing our life, giving new properties and things around us. A small drop of polymer solution is the starting wind in making nanofiber. The Drop is electrically charged in a high voltage electric field to give birth to nanofiber. The fibers are laid over each other resulting in a nanofiber mat.
You can think about the size of nanofiber such that even the bacteria are unable to penetrate through nanofiber as pore size is much smaller than bacteria.
Nanotechnology in Vaccination
Today, World has witnessed various vaccination drives including recent ones including Polio and CoronaVirus. Among which Inactivated vaccines, mRNA vaccine, and Viral Vector vaccines are special mentions with their long effectiveness track record.
However, With the help of nanobots, researchers can make data and the effectiveness of any medication or vaccination at a very fast speed. After the intake of drugs where it is acting and which cells it is targeting can be estimated, Nanobots is not hard. So all these calculations help the researchers to make effective drugs or vaccines.
Applications in Medical
Medical Science is the best field where Nanotechnology has found its best applications. Some of them are mentioned below.
Usually, the nanoparticulate Drug Delivery System is selectively accumulated in the required organ or tissue and at the same time, it targets the affected cell and delivers the drug. With the help of nanobots, we are able to repair and replace the affected cell with ease. Since the nanobots are accurate about the mission.
A drug delivery system (DDS) should be monthly functional and possess the ability to switch on and off according to the necessities. And with the help of nanobots, it will be multifunctional.
Nanoparticles and nanodevices have a wide application in medical diagnosis and disease treatment. Nanodevices like cantilever have been used in the highly sensitive disease maker diagnosis detector and devices. It has been trusted for a very long span of time and it is very accurate in displaying reliable performance.
We all are aware that the size of Nanobots is nearly half that of the usual size of bacteria. If some parts of the body are attacked by the disease-causing bacteria, nanobots can reduce your pain, increase the rate of recovery, and protect the cell from damage.
Nanobots will instantly act upon it and defeat them. They can be the worst enemies of the bacteria and warriors of your body. So nanotechnology has very much to do with antibacterial treatment in the upcoming days. If this happens then very few diseases and bacteria can harm our body.
Nanotechnology can help in wound treatment by engineering the wound healing capabilities of organic nanoparticle hybrids. Working with inexpensive materials that can be produced at scale. The approach differs completely from current solutions that are based on complex biological products or processes.
They have developed nanoparticles consisting of purely inorganic components that not only stick strongly to tissues and stop bleeding but additionally have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and tissue regenerative properties.
The potential of nano glue technology for skin transplantation has been demonstrated in vivo and in a wide variety of ex vivo experiments.
Nanotechnology in Agriculture
Apart from Medical Science, Agriculture is another for the research for nanotechnology. With time, researchers have come forward with various indigenous components in mind.
Implementation of nanotechnology in the field of agriculture is the step of humanity towards sustainable development. Some of the best use cases and applications are listed below under the field of nanotechnology and agriculture integrated.
Nanobiosensors are devices built for real-time analysis and data of various biochemical or biological events within an organic item (the main candidate is plants). Biosensors are confined to deliver much-curated data for various data and plant growth pathways with the current technology.
Nanobiosensors bind themselves with the target cell within the body i.e. DNA or RNA for tracking and investigation. To date, researchers have successfully embedded electrical, optical, and magnetic technologies within a highly compact probe for a nano biosensor.
One of the major concerns for better agriculture and planting habits is Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE) that clearly depicts the ability to take nutrients from the soil. NUE directly depends upon Nitrogen fixation. Over usage of these fertilizers can degrade the plant and the soil otherwise in various ways.
Applications of Nano fertilizers can work as a replacement for traditional chemical fertilizers. Nano fertilizers are proven to increase the abiotic tolerance of a plant with the slower and gradual release of nutrients and potents.
Since the nanostructures release nutrients gradually and as per needs, this decreases wastage. In some cases, the process is found to be super useful in improving crop yield and quality with a reduced cost of production.
Unlike Nano fertilizers that were used to efficiently boost plant growth, Nanopesticides are the nanostructures mentioned to be used for plant protection. However the technology being in its very early stages according to researchers, the proposed structure might be emulsions or polymers.
In simple words, Nanopesticides are planned to provide better, efficient, and durable benefits with comparatively lesser ingredients than traditional chemical pesticides. Unlike chemical pesticides, Nanopesticides with increasing demands might pose some serious threats to the Earth. However, the proof or evidence to the preceding context is yet to be submitted.
Insects or weeds are one of the major concerns for a farmer in the late-crop production phase. However, Science has come up with one innovative way to prevent the same through Nano Insecticides. Among the other insecticidal properties of the nanostructured insecticide, Nanostructured alumina (NSA) is a special mention.
Insects are bound to a strong electrical charge where NSA being positive (made from metal) and insects being negatively charged. Rather than the preceding step, NSA dehydrates the insects by strong sorptive action of the particles leading to the death of the insect.
Nanotechnology based products
As discussed earlier, nanotechnology is a technology from the future being in its very initial and early phases. Despite this fact, it has subsequently shown various advantages based on current research and commercially available products.
We all have experienced the traditional method of medication orally. These results have resulted in time elapsing between intake and actually working start. Researchers have found an alternative to the same through nanotechnology under the name Transdermal Patch.
These are adhesive-type substances placed on the desired spot of injection into the blood. Nanoparticles are then injected directly into the blood without any time elapsed. Henceforth, delivering a better and efficient drug delivery into the target spot.
The system was released to the public in the 1970s in US markets. However, due to a limited application, these have not yet been supported by most of the drugs. In short, these are used to treat any tissue locally without engaging the whole body into it.
Medical, the field or domain mostly influenced or predicted to be highly influenced by the applications of nanotechnology. Amongst the other researches, Nanotechnology Bandages is a bit newer with better benefits.
Nanotech Bandages improve the reformation or healing of epithelial tissue (tissues that line skin) or internal organs or body cavity, in case of emergency. On the one hand, other bandages take weeks to heal, nanotechnology bandages have previously proved to heal within days. Apart from the above, these bandages stop or minimize dead cells or proteins.
SoCs, the modern solutions to the processors used in every smartphone or smartwatch, or other IoTs. It all started a decade back from a date with a rugged 90+ nm process. However, today we have reached a processing technology of almost 4 nm.
The concerned concept is expected to develop further and enhance previous versions of the same with the coming years. Applications of such, ranging from really small to comparatively bigger Internet-connected appliances operating on nano processors.
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