Nanotechnology is one of the most expected future technologies which have the most advanced applications in medicine, electronics and energy production. The research in nanotechnology is now in a fully fledged stage by which in the mere future the powerful applications of it will become inevitable; the funding for its research has grown rapidly from the past years to now by spending loads and loads of money by every country. It has wide range of applications of which its medical applications is one of the most important which will change the present medical technology upside down. However the implementation of the practical application in medicine is expected to take place in the next decade.
What is NANOTECHNOLOGY?
Nanotechnology is the study of the controlling of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. it deals with structures of the size 100 nanometres or smaller in at least one dimension, and involves developing materials or devices within that size. it is very diverse having a multidisciplinary field that covers various array of devices derived from engineering, physics, chemistry, and biology. It extends the conventional device physics to completely new approaches based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale so that we can directly control matter on the atomic scale. Nanotechnology is relatively new, and although the full scope of contributions of these technological advances in the field of human health care remains unexplored, recent advances suggest that nanotechnology will have a profound impact on disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
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Nanomedicine is one step further to nanotechnology, which may be defined as the monitoring, construction, repair and control of human biological systems at the molecular level, by engineered nanodevices and nanostructures. It can also be regarded as another implementation of nanotechnology in the field of medical sciences and diagnostics. One of the most important issues
is the proper distribution of drugs that is the drug delivery which is the fundamental part of the drug development and other therapeutic agents within the patient's body .
Nanorobotics is the technology of creating nanorobots. Nanorobots are machines or robots which sizes in microscopic scale of a nanometre (10−9 meters). Basically, nanorobotics refers to the largely present hypothetical nanotechnology engineering discipline of designing and building nanorobots, devices ranging in size from 0.1 to10 micrometers which are constructed of nanoscale or molecular components. Since there is no artificial nanorobots have yet been created, they still remain a hypothetical concept. As the nanorobots are microscopic in size, it is necessary for a very large numbers of nanomachines to work together to perform microscopic and macroscopic functions. It has promising futuristic applications such as nanorobots that assemble other machines or travel inside the body to deliver drugs or to do microsurgery.
APPLICATIONS OF MEDICAL NANOROBOTICS
Nanorobotics has vast and diverse applications in the medicinal field such as applications for diagnosis, therapeutic applications. In this paper we are going to discuss about the various applications which under hypothetical concept these would be of tremendous use. Applications of nanotechnologies in medicine are very promising particularly in areas such as disease diagnosis and drug delivery targeted at specific sites in the body, and molecular Imaging are being intensively investigated and some products undergoing clinical trials.
5.1 DRUG DELIVERY
Over the past years researchers of the development of pharmaceuticals have suggested that the fundamental part of drug development is the drug delivery. The basic functions to use drug delivery is based upon three facts
1. Efficient encapsulation of the drugs
2. Successful delivery of the drugs to the targeted region of the body,
3. Successful release of that drug at the target.
As a result a wide range of drug delivery systems has thus been designed. All these systems would improve the stability, absorption, and therapeutic concentration of the drug within the target tissue, also it permits reproducible and long-term release of the drug at the target site. In addition to reducing the frequency of drug administration and thus improving patient comfort, novel drug delivery systems would offer protection and improve the pharmacokinetics of easily degradable peptides and
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Proteins. The final approach of pharmaceutical research is the delivery of the drug at the right time in a reproducible and safe manner to a specific target at the required level. The present generation of drugs is based mainly on small molecules having a mass of 1000 Da or less that circulate systemically. Common deleterious consequences of systemic bio distribution include toxicity to non target tissues, difficulty in maintaining drug concentrations within therapeutic windows metabolism and excretion of drugs all of which can reduce efficacy. Drug solubility and cell permeability issues are also common with tiny molecules and bio active compounds. Nanotechnology based delivery systems could overcome these problems by combining tissue- or organ-specific targeting with therapeutic action. Multifunctional nanodelivery systems could combine targeting as well as diagnostic and therapeutic actions. Here are some cases where the drug delivery plays vital role. Consider a drug with poor solubility could be replaced by a drug delivery system where both hydrophobic and hydrophilic conditions are present, thus improving the solubility. In some cases a drug may cause tissue damage, this problem can be eliminated by a regulated drug release with drug delivery. If a drug is cleared immediately after dosing from the body, this will lead to use high doses to the patient, but with drug delivery it could be reduced by changing the pharmacokinetics of the drug.
Over the past years Non-invasive imaging techniques have had a major impact in medicine. The present drive in developing techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging is to enhance contrast agents and spatial resolution. Nanotechnology could transform the field of medicine, since it offers novel opportunities for identifying clinically relevant markers, tools for therapeutic intervention and molecular disease imaging. Nanotechnologies already offered the possibility of intracellular imaging through joining of quantum dots (QDs) or synthetic chromophores to the selected molecules. QDs are semi conductor nanocrystals that have unique optical and electrical properties. the most valuable properties is their fluorescence spectrum, which makes them to render optimal fluorophores
for biomedical imaging. Due to their quantum confinement of charge carriers in tiny spaces, QDs
show fascinating optimal properties, such as they are characterized as sharp and symmetrical emission spectra, high quantum yield, broad absorption spectra, good chemical and photo stability, and size-dependent emission wavelength tenability. Quantom Dots have also been used successfully as new fluorescent tags in many biological and biomedical fields and shows promising results as a new tool in biomedical studies, drug delivery, clinical diagnostics, and photodynamic therapy.
Nanotechnology has latest advances which includes nanosensors based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer that has a potential of detecting low concentrations of DNA in a separation-free format. It uses quantum dots linked to DNA probes for capturing DNA targets. Basically in this system, a fluorescence resonance energy transfer donor-acceptor group forms as a result of the fastening of the target strand to a dye labelled reporter strand. on top of that, the quantum drops also functions as
a concentrator that amplifies the target signal by confining multiple targets in a nanoscale field. Although fluorescent quantum drops has a great potential for molecular imaging in vivo the usability of present quantum drops is limited since they need excitation to fluorescence from an external illumination sources .thus resulting in a strong auto fluorescence background and also a paucity of exciting light at non superficial locations. The above shown drawbacks can be eliminated by the self-illuminating quantom drop conjugates.
Nanotechnology can also be used to detect and diagnose cancer. This is done by injecting the nanorobots inside the body through the blood stream, once in enters the blood stream it spreads throughout the body evenly. Since they are molecular objects these tends to move from high concentrated region to lower concentration region according to a nano property thus they bind to the tumor cells since the tumor cells lack an lymphatic drainage system which makes the nanorobot to accumulate on the tumor cells then with an MRI a definite image of the tumor can be diagnosed.
5.3 CARDIAC THERAPY
The major cause for death and disability at present are the cardiac diseases such as atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, ischemic heart disease, and restenosis. Systemic and oral administration of drugs proved to be effective, but it never provide appropriate therapeutic drug levels in the target arteries for sufficient periods of time. Already biomedical engineers have already succeeded in developing micro scale instruments to open blocked arteries and to treat other cardiac diseases but these tools are found to be bulky, infection prone, and caused other disorders. Presently nanotechnology provides a vast room in the field of cardiovascular science by making tools to explore the barriers of cardiac science at the cellular level, these tools could be used effectively for treating cardiac diseases. Nanotechnology tools that are the nanorobots can be used in the fields of diagnosis, tissue engineering and imaging. Nanorobots sensors such as QDs, nanobarcodes and nanocrystals can sense and monitor biological signals like proteins or antibodies in response to inflammatory and cardiac events. Nanotechnology also helps in revealing the mechanisms which takes place in various cardiac diseases. And it also helps in designing molecular-scale machines by copying or incorporating bio systems at the atomic level. These newly designed nanorobots can have a paradigm-shifting effect in the treatment of the dreaded cardiac diseases. Nanorobots have three key elements dealt for sensing, decision making, and carrying out the intended purpose. Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is another nanorobot used for cardiac therapy. It is produced by recombinant DNA technology using an mammalian cell line (Chinese hamster ovary cells). Unlike rt-PA, it differs by three sets of substitution mutations which decrease its plasma clearance rate which is used to dissolve blood clots formed in the blood vessels of the heart which lessen the flow of blood in the heart. Another major problem is Restenosis, the obstruction of an artery after interventional procedures like balloon angioplasty, in which 30% to 50% of the patients develop reclusion, with 20% of them requiring additional intervention. Systemic administration of therapeutic agents was found ineffective in preventing restenosis. The inefficiency of such an approach in the clinical field of therapeutic drug levels in the target tissue for a sustained period of time is the main reason for the failure of the drugs. Thus the researchers believe that nanotechnology-based localized drug therapy using the sustained-release drug delivery systems by nanotechnology could be more efficient, since it could provide higher and sustained drug levels inside the target tissues without causing any systemic toxicity. Thus, nanotechnology could be an effective treatment for cardiac therapy for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
5.4 MEDICAL NANOROBOTICS FOR DIABETES CONTROL
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Adriano Cavalcanti, PhD, et al proposed a possible model for monitoring the diabetes using medical nanotechnology. Recent developments in nanoelectronics, information technology and bio chemistry
are providing possible development ways to allow the creation of nanorobots. Nanorobot manufacturing should include integrated and embedded devices, which can satisfy the main sensing, data transmission, actuation, coupling power supply subsystems are the basics to biomedical instrumentation. The application of micro devices in patient monitoring and surgery is the main reason that has brought several improvements for clinical procedures till now. For instance, catheterization methodology is the most used method for many cardiology procedures and aneurysm surgery.
And if we see implanted devices are presently to develop the health condition of patients with several medical problems. Similarly as the development of micro technology has led to new tools for surgery in the 1980s, in the same way the upcoming nanotechnologies would permit further improvement rendering much better diagnosis and it would have various applications to cure many diseases. Currently health sector considers nanorobot is a new possibility to Develop medical instruments, diagnosis, and therapeutic applications. Real-time 3D prototyping and simulation are the two significant tools in nanotechnology improvement. Techniques such as this have consistently helped the semiconductor industry to get faster very large scale integration technology. It will have same direct impact on the implementation of device manufacturing as well as on nanoelectronics development. in order to consider it in an actual nanotechnology process can be used in medicine, computational nanotechnology are used to illustrate the proposed nanorobotic functions with the bloodstream, using a three dimensional vessel as test bed for controlling diabetes. By this way the simulator shows an advance methodology in the manufacturing process.
Consider a diabetic Patient; the patient should check small blood samples Several times a day to monitor the glucose levels. These methods are inconvenient and uncomfortable. To overcome this
type of problems, the glucose level in the body will be observed through constant glucose monitoring by medical nanorobotics . The information thus obtained automatically can help physician to give a real-time health care, by monitoring the glucose level. This way of glucose level monitoring using nanorobots is painless and also it provides the information to the diabetes patient It provides a easy way to develop the awareness amongst the patient regarding their daily intake of calories and proteins. On top of everything it greatly reduces patient's time spent suffering from diabetes.
Consumption of large numbers of nanorobots can provide various advantages over the application of a single blood contacting implant. A large number of blood-borne nanorobots must allow glucose level monitoring in the body not only at a single site but in various different locations at the same time throughout the body, which provides the doctor a whole-body map of serum glucose concentrations.
Observations of time series data's from various location allows accurate readings of the rate of change of concentration of the glucose in the blood which passes through specific tissues, specific vessels, capillary bed and organs. By using this utility excessive glucose uptake rates can be detected, that can help in determining which one of the tissues have diabetes related damage as well as to what extent it has been damaged. There is a problem by doing this, what will happen to the patients with diabetes and also high blood pressure. Considering this by adding one more application through which it can also measure the relevant observations like blood pressure or changes in local metabolism, early signs of tissue gangrene by onboard sensors. Therefore the nanorobots inside the body not only measure the glucose level but also other measurements such as blood pressure through which the doctor can monitor both glucose and blood pressure of the patient simultaneously as well as non-invasive treatment. The nanorobots are made to cope up with proteins in a virtual environment, giving the inside-body parameters required to simulate into vivo diabetes diagnosis.
5.5 FUTURE OF MEDICAL NANOROBOTICS
The earliest molecular sized machine systems and nanorobots may join the medical field approximately 10-20 years from today, hopefully providing medical practitioners the most valued tools expected the most to overrule human diseases and aging. The most powerful technology in the future would be diamondoid nanorobots, which is expected the most strong and aggressive objective which will require both parallelism in molecular fabrication and also programmable assembly which includes atomically accurate manufactures of structures of diamond by molecular feedstock. Diamondoid materials are the strongest substance known which is more reliable and it will have high performance. Once these diamond based nanomachines are built it will be the most powerful type of medical nanorobots.