29 February 2012

Nanotechnology and Cancer

Nanotechnology is the study and creation of structures at the molecular level, the engineering complex machines at the molecular level, which can not be measured in nanometers, a nanometer is about one billionth of a meter. To illustrate, the size of a human hair is between 50,000 and 100,000 nanometers.

Research in the field of nanotechnology has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, although technology is still in its infancy. It has found use in all possible areas, including electronics, power generation and biomedical devices. Possible applications of nanoscale devices in the field of medicine are amazing and make it a wonder if they are caught in the middle of a science fiction movie. Let us explore the potential of nanotechnology in a particular aspect of the vast field of medicine, namely diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Why Nanotechnology in Cancer?
As mentioned above, nanoscale devices can be measured at the molecular level, they are actually a few hundred to ten thousand times smaller than the average cell in the human body. Their size can be compared to naturally occurring molecules such as enzymes, which are known biomolecules. To illustrate, the size of hemoglobin, the molecule that is responsible for supplying oxygen to red blood cells in our body, is about 5 nm in diameter.

Devices that nanoparticles are less than 50 nm are small enough to fit most of the cells in the human body, while smaller than 20 nm can move in and out of blood vessels. Because of their very small size which allows them to move in and out of different areas of the human body, nanoscale devices are able to easily interact with various biomolecules that exist on the surface and inside cells. And since all biological processes, the most important of which were found to carry various types of cancer, occur inside cells at the nanoscale, nanotechnology is to equip researchers with cancer of incredible new ways to detect and provide treatment for cancer that were unimaginable just a few years ago.

Nanotechnology is helping the development of various nanoscale devices that can help bring a radical change in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It helps develop imaging agents and other diagnostic tools that can help pinpoint cancer development stage as soon as possible. It can lead to the development of nano-agents who are able to examine the evolution of the molecular level and contribute to the prevention of malignant pre-cancerous cells.

Nano systems that can provide real-time evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment procedures such as surgery, thus ensuring rapid and accurate clinical translation are also being researched on. Another hot area of ​​nanotechnology research is the development of multifunctional nano devices that are able to overcome biological barriers and go directly to cancer cells and surrounding tissues that aid in the development of cancer to deliver multiple therapeutic agents for the effective and targeted treatment. Research is also to develop appropriate techniques nano that will help in managing negative symptoms of cancer.