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Nanotechnology And Pharmaceuticals
The advancement of nanotechnology in pharmaceuticals for targeted and special drug delivery systems such as those of nanocrystals, liposomes, metallic nanoparticles, polymeric micelles, dendrimers, of sizes from 0.1 to 100 micron are going to replace the present conventional system of dosage forms having many drawbacks like poor bioavailability, poor patient compliance and undesirable side effects particularly on healthy tissues and sites, etc.
Nanotechnology in the Future of Medicine
A new wave of nanotech-based therapies is on the horizon, and is ready to change the world of medicine. Of course, there’s a long way to go & we aren’t even close but progress continues in surprising and useful ways. One of the biggest issues thus far, is our inability to correctly target interventions. Nanotechnology offers a way to direct interventions in the human body, potentially on a level of individual cells, using smart operating elements that are so small that they do not physically interfere with normal body function. Machines smaller than the finest capillary in the body can go everywhere that blood goes and can judiciously choose where & how to intervene In psychoactive medicine: What doctors really want to do is to stimulate some brain regions and suppress others to selectively solve whatever problem the patient has. Medications in all the myriad of ways change the brain and body, and can have a lot of undesired effects. If we can put wires into peoples’ brains and selectively stimulate specific regions in a safe way, the mental health field could avoid the side effects of traditional psychoactive drugs. In Cancer: Likewise, for cancer what we really want in oncology is to kill tumour cells. Chemotherapy, we know has the unfortunate side effect of also killing regular cells & can also make patients very sick. DNA Nano robots could potentially carry out complex programs that could one day be used to diagnose or treat diseases with unprecedented sophistication, for example releasing chemotherapy only when they bump into protein markers specifically associated with tumor tissue thus allowing the application of directed chemotherapy while minimizing or eliminating side effects. This will also allow the deployment of chemotherapies which are more effective than existing therapies, but can’t currently be used due to their serious side effects. A similar approach is to use tiny nanoparticles made of silica and gold that bind to tumor tissue and saturate the tumor, the heat with near-infrared lasers can be used to cause the gold nanoparticles to heat up & incinerate cancer tissues very selectively. In Diagnostics: For medical data collection, it is possible to distribute Nano-scale diagnostic devices throughout the body that detect chemical changes as they happen. This may allow closer real-time tracking of a patient’s health and status in ways that aren’t otherwise possible. Outside the body, it can be used to speed up gene sequencing and chemical analysis by using quantum dots attached to either partial DNA sequences or proteins that bond to other materials doctors are interested in. In Neuroscience: It may be possible to use Nano-scale diamond particles which light up in response to the brain’s electrical activity to convert brain activity into frequencies of light that could escape the skull and be registered by external sensors. This sort of therapy could also be used to create tighter interfaces with prosthetic devices and provide more communication options to ‘locked-in’ patients. Nanotechnology, as it advances, will have a profound impact on the human condition, allowing us to repair cellular damage and treat a variety of human afflictions in new and better ways, and brings with it a need for greater understanding of the body systems that we’re tampering with, as well as an appreciation of the ethics that go along with that.