Nano-medicine: The Future of Chronic Disease Treatment
By Ajay Patel
Nanotechnology. Many people will instinctively picture some version of microscopic robots. Although it does involve these robots, nanotech is emerging as a prospective medical tool that can image, diagnose, and treat diseases.
Medicinal nanotechnology is centered around two main concepts: dry and wet. Dry nanotech utilizes inorganic paraphernalia in order to manufacture the necessary body structures. Although it used to be heavily studied, dry nanotech has taken a back seat to its counterpart: wet nanotech. Wet nanotechnology primarily focuses on the body’s biological makeup including its tissues and its cells. With this, patients can avoid lengthy organ transplant waitlists as it can create artificial tissue to replace organs.
Despite their differences, all medicinal nanotech have a common, vital purpose: targeted drug delivery for disease treatment. In coincidence with oncological knowledge, nanobots are used for image application that allow the appropriate medicines to be administered in the body for treatment of chronic illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease. Modern studies show that nanotechnological treatment can fare better than methods like traditional chemotherapy for cancer treatment, as most new potential solutions have defective biopharmaceutical properties. Traditional cancer treatments have components that the human body rejects because of factors like abysmal environments. With the use of targeted drug delivery, nanobots survive such environments and reach their destinations successfully. Moreover, as oncologists discover new factors of rejection with traditional cancer treatment, nano-medicine is being modified to avoid or counter those negatives. Although traditional chemo can be slightly tweaked, the modification of nanoparticles can be altered with increased precision and magnitude.
By implementing interdisciplinary research consisting of sciences like chemistry, physics, biology, and medicine, nanotech engineers incorporate nanoparticles that are able to aim for and detect cancer cells, and complete drug delivery. A commonly utilized nanoparticle is a quantum dot (QD): a nanotechnological semiconductor that “labels” cells and analyzes their movement in the body. QDs can expose tumors to ultraviolet light, inherently allowing medical professionals to determine their precise location. They are more resilient drug carriers than modern treatments due to their adaptive makeup.
Additionally, geneticists use nano-diagnostics systems, which allow for quick yet sensitive identification and assessment of diseases in the body. They have major potential in detecting chronic diseases like cancer before they can harm a patient’s health. These platforms have proven successful in developing methods of classification and location for DNA/RNA. When applied in conjunction with QDs and other nanoparticles, the process can possibly diagnose illnesses at its earliest stages, allowing patients to begin their potential treatment process earlier and minimize their adverse health effects. Along with early detection, it can also allow geneticists to form predictions about the future of a disease in a patient’s body with greater accuracy than now.
Although many are skeptical about the use of advanced nanotechnology, it shows great promise in the medical field. However, some are more troubled by the possibility that medical professionals may not be able to manage nanotechnological medicine. Scientists counter this point by arguing that all new medicinal concepts must be fully learned in order to be implemented by doctors, and nanomedicine is no different.
After its development, the cost of nanotech is also significantly less than current diagnosis methods like computerized tomography, while also performing at a higher level of efficiency and dependability. However, nanomedicine’s most appealing benefit is its personalization properties. Each patient can receive treatments that are catered specifically toward their needs, rather than receiving a generalized treatment method like traditional chemotherapy. Consequently, the idea of implementing nanomedicine for disease treatment is materializing among geneticists and patients as more research is conducted.
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