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Nanotechnology is changing the world of medicine and health

Nanotechnology is changing the world of medicine and health

As nanotechnology advances and new discoveries are made, here are three worth noting articles we found that highlight the accomplishments and progress.

1. Breakthrough in cancer research: Legions of nanorobots target tumours with precision

As research into fighting cancer continues, there has been a recent promising breakthrough in the field of nanotechnology and medical research. Researchers have developed new nanorobotic agents capable of navigating through the bloodstream to administer a drug with precision by specifically targeting the active cancerous cells of tumours.

cancer nanorobots

The researchers from Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University, achieved this great feat and have published their research in the prestigious journal Nature Nanotechnology in an article titled “Magneto-aerotactic bacteria deliver drug-containing nanoliposomes to tumour hypoxic regions.”

This method of injecting medication secures the optimal targeting of a tumour and avoids harming organs and surrounding healthy tissues.

In the article, Professor Sylvain Martel, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Medical Nanorobotics and Director of the Polytechnique Montréal Nanorobotics Laboratory, who heads the research team’s work explains, “These legions of nanorobotic agents were actually composed of more than 100 million flagellated bacteria – and therefore self-propelled – and loaded with drugs that moved by taking the most direct path between the drug’s injection point and the area of the body to cure. The drug’s propelling force was enough to travel efficiently and enter deep inside the tumours.”

However, gaining access to tumours by taking paths as minuscule as a red blood cell and crossing complex physiological micro-environments comes with challenges. So Professor Martel and his team used nanotechnology to do it.

To read the full article, click here.

2. Brazilian researchers use nanofiber to fight Alzheimer’s

alzheimers

A research into fighting Alzheimers disease has led doctoral student Geisa Salles and professor Anderson Lobo, coordinator of Vale do Paraiba University’s Research and Development Institute in Sao Jose dos Campos, to improve the delivery of a medication by using nanofibre to regulate the compound’s release, allowing long-term treatment.

In the article, Salles told EFE, “We developed this nanomaterial that contains the drug for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and we already tested it in vitro with cells mimicking the disease’s behaviour. The results have been quite promising, and we believe we could make a great contribution in the treatment of this chronic pathology.”

This nanotreatment process uses a combination of polymers and proteins in nanomaterials to make a fibre that can be implanted under the skin, and release the medication in the blood stream continuously for lasting absorption.

To read the full article, click here.

3. This tiny black rectangle disinfects water in minutes

stanford_water_disinfect_device

One of the challenges that exist in parts of the world today is access to clean drinking water. One way of disinfecting water is by using UV rays, but since UV rays carry only about 4% of the sun’s energy, which could take up to 48 hours to treat water, Stanford University and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory decided there had be a faster way.

The researchers came up with a nanostructured device that can harness all of the visible part of the solar spectrum, to disinfect water in 20 minutes and eliminate 99.99% of bacteria present.

In the article, Chong Liu, who is the lead author of the report published in Nature Nanotechnology said, “Our device looks like a little rectangle of black glass. We just dropped it into the water and put everything under the sun, and the sun did all the work.”

When sunlight hits the device, it forms hydrogen peroxide and other bacteria-killing chemicals. After disinfecting the water within 20minutes, the chemicals dissipate and leave pure water behind.

To read the full article, click here.

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