Nanotechnology can be used to fight disease
Nanotechnology is a hot topic in the world of science at the moment, with keen interest in the application from the food industry, waste industry, and medical industry.
By definition, nanotechnology is technology that deals with dimensions of less than 100 nanometres – 10,000,000.00 nanometres is the equivalent to one centimetre.
The technology is essentially the manipulation of atoms to help a specific cause, such as fighting cancer.
It can also be used by the food industry to modify the composition of the products and to help create stronger packagings.
Nanotechnology is the manipulation of atoms
However, there are dangers associated with nanotechnology, which has prompted calls for more regulation.
Andrew Maynard, science advisor for the Woodrow Wilson International Center which has been calling for increased studies into the potential toxicity of nanoparticles, outlined the potential dangers.
Nanotechnology can be used to alter structures
In an interview with Technology Review, Mr Maynard said: “Individual experiments have indicated that if you develop materials with a nanostructure, they do behave differently in the body and in the environment.
“We know from animal studies that very, very fine particles, particles with high surface area, lead to a greater inflammatory response than the same amount of larger particles.
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Nanotechnology can help fight disease
“We also know that they can enter the lining of the lungs and get through to the blood and enter other organs.
“There is some evidence that nanoparticles can move into the brain along the olfactory nerve, so this is completely circumventing the blood-brain barrier.”
When asked if there was a need for more research, Mr Maynard responded: “Clearly there is joint responsibility between government and industry.
“There’s a fairly strong argument for governments around the world to invest in research on the basics: what makes these harmful, what makes them safe?”