What is nanotechnology?
1. the branch of technology that deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometres, especially the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules.
How long has it been about?
It has been about for it started on December 29, 1959
What products already exploit nanotechnology?
Nanotechnology is a powerful tool for answering some of our most difficult questions.
Scientists say we cannot afford to ignore the new medical, agricultural and environmental technologies it could provide as we search for solutions to an expanding global population.
Consumers will face different risks than the workers who manufacture these products, as they are the ones exposed to high doses. Various agencies are involved in making sure protection measures are adequate for both groups.
The first use of nanomedicine was approved back in 1995 to treat cancer; since then researchers have continued to find new ways for nanotechnology to combat diseases.
Nanosilver, if overused in consumer products that have a short lifespan, might cause harm to the environment.
How could it be used in the future? Today, many of our products are improved by nanomaterials. In the future, however, nanotechnology aims to use these nanomaterials to construct tiny nanoengineered machines, computers and medicines.
Nanotechnology in the future
What areas are people working on to use nanotechnology?
• More powerful and versatile mobile electronic devices
• Safe, high performance imaging and screening systems for security and healthcare
• Stronger, lighter and ‘intelligent’ materials
• New treatments for chronic and degenerative diseases
• Implants and prosthetics that resemble natural tissue
• Alternative energy sources and sustainable manufacturing
• Filters for water and air purification
• Catalysts in car engines
• Antiageing creams and other enhanced cosmetics products
How can it be used in medicine?
Nanotechnology is already being used as the basis for new, more effective drug delivery systems and is in early stage development as scaffolding in nerve regeneration research.
Moreover, the National Cancer Institute has created the Alliance for Nanotechnology in
Cancer in the hope that investments in this branch of nanomedicine could lead to breakthroughs in terms of detecting, diagnosing, and treating various forms of cancer.
Or in defence?
Kevlar is already the material of choice for protection against bullets and other ballistics and nanotechnology is being applied to further increase its functionality. Testing is underway on a shock-resistant material five times stronger than steel and more than twice as strong as any other impact-resistant material currently in use.
Protection from chemical and biological agents is