If there is one industry in which the use of nanotechnology has been considered more advantageous than harmful, it is the medical industry. The use of nanotechnology in medicine is very recent and offers some exciting opportunities to doctors and medical researchers alike. Some techniques are only imagined, while others are at various stages of development and testing, or actually being utilized in the field today. Nanotechnology in medicine involves the applications of various nanoparticles that are currently being developed, as well as long term research that involves the use of robots manufactured on a microscopic scale to make repairs at the cellular level. The use of nanotechnology in the field of medicine could potentially revolutionize the way that we detect and treat damage to the human body and disease in the years to come, and many techniques only imagined a few years ago are making remarkable progress towards becoming realized.

One application of nanotechnology in medicine that is currently being developed involves the use of nanoparticles to deliver drugs, heat, light or other substances to a specific typeof cell (such as cancer cells). These nano-particles are engineered in such a way that they are attracted only to diseased cells, which allows targeted treatment of those cells. This technique reduces damage to healthy cells in the body and allows for earlier detection and treatment of disease ridden cells.

Researchers have now started using nanoparticles to deliver vaccines of various sorts. The nanoparticles serve the purpose of protecting the vaccine, allowing the vaccine time to trigger a stronger immune response than possible through the conventional method of delivery. Targeted heat therapy is being developed to destroy breast cancer tumors. This method involves using antibodies that are strongly attracted to proteins produced by one type of breast cancer cell, which are attached to nanotubes, causing the nanotubes to accumulate at the tumor. Infrared light from a laser is absorbed by the nanotubes producing heat which incinerates the cancerous cells.



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