Nanotechnology, especially the use of nanoparticles, has been used in studies of medicine in recent years. Nanoparticles are particles whose size can range from 1-to 100 nanometers (nm). They consist of any type of material that has been reduced in size, typically by a few nanometers. Some nanoparticles also have unusual properties, such as optical and magnetic properties.
What are Nanoparticles?
Nanoparticles are an exciting development in medicine, and they will be widely utilized in medical treatment. The treatment of various diseases will likely depend on what new medical uses for nanotechnology become available in the future.
Nanoparticles will likely play a role in treating blood disorders, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease; it is expected that nano agents will be able to reduce the suffering of diseases like diabetes. Nanoparticle treatment will be more efficient than current treatment methodologies and will also be less painful. The application of nanotechnology in regards to the treatment of cancerous tumors can lead to better outcomes and less pain with current treatments.
Nanoparticles in medicine may lower the risk of drug resistance in cancerous or infectious diseases. This is because nanoparticles have unique properties that make them an effective potential delivery system for drugs. Nanoparticles are able to deliver drugs directly to the site of action because of their small size. This reduces the number of drugs needed to treat diseases, which lowers the risk for drug resistance.
Medication delivery in the form of nanoparticles can be used to treat infections and allergies effectively. Nanoparticles will not only be applied to deliver medication but also serve as a diagnostic tool. It will also help diagnose bacterial or viral pathogens by tagging infected cells with TA (tetramethylrhodamine) molecules that will glow when activated by light in an MRI machine, making it easier to detect these cells and treat them before they spread throughout the body.
Nanotechnology, especially the use of nanoparticles, is being researched for medical applications from the fields of materials science, biology, and drug delivery to DNA sequencing and therapeutics, to name a few. Nanoparticles have a wide range of potential medical applications, but the most common use area is drug delivery.
Nano agents have been used in medical treatments to fight against cancerous and infectious diseases and reduce pain due to inflammation or injury. Nano agents can be delivered through intravenous injection, IV therapy, or dermal patches for local treatment. Inhalation of nano agents has also been used for treatment purposes.
Inhalation and injection are preferred medical treatments over oral ingestion because IV therapy or injection is able to reach the bloodstream quicker than oral ingestion. Inhalation allows for faster onset of action, although the effects don’t last as long as IV therapy or injection does. However, inhalation is the fastest way of getting medications into the body, so it is commonly used to treat asthma symptoms or if there isn’t enough time to administer an IV drip.
How are nanomaterials used in medicine?
Nano agents can be used for a variety of medical treatments; it is important to note that the FDA has approved the use of nano agents in medical uses. However, many clinical trials are being conducted to evaluate if agents are safe and effective. Nano agents can also make treatments more efficient and less painful.
There is a wide variety of studies on nanoparticles, the most common being studies that are directed toward drug delivery. This is because nano agents can improve the rate of delivery for drugs since it takes very little time for them to reach their intended targets when delivered in a nanoparticle form. For example, the use of nano aluminum has aided in alleviating severe tooth pain caused by dental caries or root canal failure by reaching the target tissue rapidly in contact with blood vessels that supply the tooth structure with blood.
The main things that make nanomaterials good drug delivery vehicles are their large surface area and their ability to get into cells. The large surface area means that a lot of drug molecules can be carried in a small space, so you don’t need as much of the drug to deliver a useful dose. It also helps prevent clotting because proteins tend not to stick as easily to nanoparticles as they do on larger surfaces, so less protein is needed for the same effect.
For example, when you want to deliver a drug to a cancer cell inside the body, one way to do this would be by using proteins in the bloodstream which will bind to and kill cancer cells. Unfortunately, these proteins can cause damage to healthy cells in the body if they are not tightly controlled. Nanomaterials have been used to deliver proteins with specifically chosen effects that can help control the amount of protein outside the body.
Many different types of drug molecules have been tested with nanotechnology by attaching them to different types of nanoparticles before injecting them into human test subjects. Both of these can affect how the drugs work. For example, some types of nanoparticles will only bind to certain types of cells and not others.
By carefully choosing the type of nanoparticle, it is possible for scientists to deliver drugs straight to those cells without affecting other parts of the body. The most common types of drug molecules used with nanotechnology in medicine are peptides (short chains of amino acids that can be folded up into various shapes) and antibodies (proteins that can recognize specific molecules on cell surfaces.)
Nano-sized particles have been able to increase the rate at which some drugs get into cells. This can either be by making them smaller or by making them bigger. If they are smaller, they can get in through the tiny pores in cell membranes or into very small spaces in the cell. If they are bigger, they can easily push their way through these spaces.
Applications of nanoparticles in medicine
There are four major applications in medicine with these tiny structures: medical imaging, drug delivery systems, biosensors, and regenerative medicine. In each case, engineers design something that can interact with cells or other biomolecules to perform a specific task. Some are already being used today; others are still being developed at universities and large corporations around the world.
Medical imaging using nanotechnology has been going on for quite some time but is just now allowing us to see things that we could not before. Cancer is a particular area of interest that these devices are being used in.
Imaging is the process of obtaining information about the inside of the body (or other items) without having to cut it open or otherwise physically penetrate it. One imaging technique that uses nanotechnology is X-ray computed tomography (CT). CT scans are very common in hospitals and are normally used to produce 2-D images. Now with the help of nanotechnology, 3-D images can be produced with far less radiation exposure.
A CT scanner has three main parts: the X-ray generator, the rotary table, and the detector. The X-ray generator produces X-rays which are projected through the object being scanned. Different body structures then absorb the X-ray beam, and different amounts of radiation energy are returned to the detector. This is used to create an image of the internal structure of an object.
A new technique that has been developed recently uses nanotechnology in a process known as “nanosizing” (particle size reduction). This technique makes it possible to produce 3D images with far less radiation exposure than other systems. One example is a nanoparticle called lanthanum bromide (LaBr). The LaBr nanoparticles are made using a common material called polystyrene.
This material is melted, formed into a shape of nanoparticles, then injected into the body, and binds to a substance known as thrombin that can potentially accumulate in cancerous cells. When the polymer molecules bind to thrombin, it creates a stain. A nanosizing CT scanner using LaBr nanoparticles can increase the resolution by more than 500 percent.
Another example of this technology is the use of carbon nanotubes for medical imaging uses. Carbon nanotubes are cylindrical in shape and have unique electronic properties that can be controlled. This means they can be used as an X-ray absorbing contrast agent, which allows the imaging system to image different tissue types.
A version of the traditional drug delivery systems or medicine capsules is also being made with nanotechnology. They are known as “nano-cargo.” These capsules consist of the outer layer, a middle layer, and a core section. The outer layer is designed to protect it from harsh environments that it encounters on its trip through the body until it reaches its target. The middle layer is made of a material that will make the active components of the medicine available to the drug target. The core section is made of a hydrogel that will help the medicine pass through capillaries and other similar structures.
There are two main types of nano cargo: passive nano cargo and active nano cargo. Passive nanocarriers work passively by being carried into the body by enzymes in blood plasma, while active nanocarriers are carried into the body by enzymes in blood cells. There are many kinds of active agents, such as peptides and proteins, drugs, nucleic acids, etc.