I am very excited about new discoveries and innovations. One of these areas of rapid innovation is nanotechnology – technology at the nano scale (the size of individual atoms). You can find a timeline of nanotechnology (all the way back to the fourth century!) here but it wasn’t until the last 30 years that things really took off for the science!
The semiconductor industry pioneered many of the nanotechnologies that we enjoy today (your smart phones decreasing exponentially in size is thanks to nanotechnology and Moore’s Law). But what does this have to do with biotechnology? Nanotechnology has many different applications in addition to electronics including fuel cells, solar cells, batteries, food and medicine. There is no denying that medicine will advance in pace with technology (think Electronic Medical Records and real-time monitoring of organs including the heart). With nanotechnology scientists can do super cool things like deliver drugs to the exact spot where they are needed, think a tumor, as oppose to systemic drug delivery (large doses of drugs, as in chemotherapy).
A cool example of targeted drug delivery is a new nanotechnology device made of organic electrically conductive polymers (think fibers that conduct charges). Why is this so cool? Because when these devices (made of these polymer fibers) have an electromagentic field applied to it they release the drug that is loaded on them (when the EM field is turned off the release of the drug also stops). Targeted, time-released drug delivery! Cool, eh?
Another new frontier in medicine thanks to advances in technology! Cool stuff is happening all the time and you can get involved.
Learn more about nanotechnology and drug delivery here.
Learn more about careers in nanotechnology here.
Now go do something cool and share it with us on our facebook page.
Until next time,
Director of Programming