In recent years, nanotechnology has shown significant potential in revolutionizing the health industry. With its application in diverse fields, ranging from medical treatment to technology, it has attracted a lot of positive attention.
Here are some of the vital applications of nanotechnology in the health sector.
Nanotechnology in medical imaging
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) is a technology which uses the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei to create medical images through Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). MRI is frequently used to obtain images of different organs in the body.
Medical imaging through nanotechnology is increasingly being used to track transplanted stem cells. Not only is this but Nanotechnology also being employed for non-invasive diagnostic imaging of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Nanotechnology in drug delivery
In situations like diabetes, where insulin needs to be injected several times a day, or a cancer patient going through debilitating side effects from the treatment, usage of nanotechnology is witnessing an upward trend. Delivering nanoparticles to cancer cells is one of the most publicized techniques which is being employed at a quick pace. It aims at preventing healthy cells from being harmed through heavy medication.
Other than this, Nanobiotechnology is also finding its way through delivering cardiac stem cells to damaged heart tissues. They attach nanovesicles that get attracted to an injury, to the stem cells to enhance the number of stem cells needed to be delivered to a damaged cell.
Nanotechnology is disease diagnostics
Nanotechnology-based disease diagnostic techniques aim at providing two major benefits. Firstly, rapid testing in a doctor’s office helps in a comprehensive diagnostic in a single sitting and begin early treatment of the disease. In the diagnosis of chronic diseases like cancer, this can bring a revolutionary change.
Secondly, identification of a disease at an earlier stage allows preventing it from causing potential damage to the patient, and in some instances, even prevent lives from being lost. Therefore, the technique is increasingly being used for diagnostic purposes, especially in cases of tumor and cancer.
Nanotechnology and gene therapy
Increasingly several labs have started using genes to treat diseases. However, viruses tend to cause problems as they might initiate inflammation, or the genes can be expressed for too long or too high a level.
Thus, nanoparticles provide an alternative by allowing the delivery of therapeutic genes without using a virus. Once the particles reach the target cell, the genes are expressed only for a limited period of time. In addition to this, the nanoparticles are also capable of carrying a biosensor DNA that allows the genes to expressed only when needed.
Nanotechnology in cancer treatment
Around 8 million lives are lost to cancer every year across the world. Currently, a triad of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation supplemented by targeted and biological therapy is used to treat the disease. However, recent advancements in the nanotechnology have allowed tremendous progress, especially in the field of cancer treatment.
Nanoparticles attached to cancer markers targeted antibodies can detect cancer at its early stages of development, resulting in better treatment and results. Today, nanotechnology is being welcomed as a method to redefine cancer treatments for society.