Scientists have barely begun to scratch the surface on ways in which Nanoscience and Nanotechnology can be used to revolutionize medicine, electronics, and consumer products. The amazing discoveries to date have improved the ways we live and the products we buy. Emerging technology is poised to continue to do so in powerful ways. Who knew that something so small could change the world in such a huge way? In this post we are reflecting on some of the more recent discoveries and advancements in Nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology & Medicine:
- Would You Like Nanotechnology With That?: Polymers are excellent carriers to deliver cancer-fighting drugs in the body and target treatment. With specific delivery systems, doctors hope to deliver the right drug to the right cell and guarantee a clean and targeted treatment. With recent research on micropolymer techniques, treatment can be taken by patients in the form of food. One ideal vehicle for cancer-fighting antibodies is green tea.
- Carbon Nanotube-Polymer Composite May Help Knock Out Cancer: Studies suggest carbon nanotubes are of killing growing tumors by enhancing the immune response and boosting the production of white blood cells in the body. When the immune system is low, tumors grow without being repressed, but when you multiply the white blood cells they infiltrate the tumor and kill its cells.
- Smart Polymer Nanofibers for Drug Delivery: Thermally responsive nanofibers have been created for drug delivery as they uncoil and release medicine into the body as temperatures decrease. Using biocompatible and biodegradable polymers, they are versatile and easy to prepare.
Nanotechnology & Consumer Products
- Polymer + Carbon Nanotubes—a Tag Team of Innovation: Scientists have invented new ways to harness power in a smaller design space. Carbon coated nanotubes can retain energy from the sun, and also help camouflage medicine from a body’s immune system.
- The Magic of Self-Assembly at the Nanoscale: Nanotechnology uses self-assembly (as used in replication or transcription) to build large nanostructures. In these structures, polymers are used as glue to hold the structures together. Advances in this field could open ways to manipulate nanoscale cargo in the body.
- Scientists Take on the Future of Fabric: A type of fabric that controls temperature and reduces energy use has been recently invented. In this fabric there is no use of chemical or electrical heat, however, they rely on polymers that react to skin temperature to expand and contract to maintain skin temperature to be around 93 degrees.
Education & Nanotechnology:
Next Generation of Nanoscientists: Living up to their slogan “Invent the Future”, Virginia Tech created a new undergraduate degree in Nanoscience, which is one of two programs nanotechnology undergraduate programs in the country. This interdisciplinary degree explores Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering, and Environmental Science on a nanometer scale. This major is expected to rapidly expand within the years to come produce the next generation of nanoscientists.