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Nanotechnology Technological Advances

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Write a paper discussing some of the basic scientific and technical concepts of nanotechnology. Do the following in your paper:
• Discuss current or future applications of nanotechnology in fields such as medicine, engineering, space exploration, fuel cell development, air and water purification, and agriculture.
• Provide at least three examples of real-world applications in use or in development with reliable references.

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Here is a source that addresses the use of nanotechnology in medicine as it pertains to drug delivery and cancer research (http://www.understandingnano.com/medicine.html)

One application of nanotechnology in medicine currently being developed involves employing nanoparticles to deliver drugs, heat, light or other substances to specific types of cells (such as cancer cells). Particles are engineered so that they are attracted to diseased cells, which allows direct treatment of those cells. This technique reduces damage to healthy cells in the body and allows for earlier detection of disease.

nanoparticles that deliver chemotherapy drugs directly to cancer cells are under development. Tests are in progress for targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs and their final approval for their use with cancer patients is pending. One company, CytImmune has published the results of a Phase 1 Clinical Trial of their first targeted chemotherapy drug and another company, BIND Biosciences, has published preliminary results of a Phase 1 Clinical Trial for their first targeted chemotherapy drug and is proceeding with a Phase 2 Clinical Trial.

Researchers at the Wyss Institute are testing nanoparticles that release drugs when subjected to sheer force, such as occurs when passing through a section of artery that is mostly blocked by a clot. Lab tests on animals have shown that this method is effective in delivering drugs used to dissolve clots.The Read more about their study here.

Researchers at the Houston Methodist Research Institute have demonstrated a targeted drug delivery method in mice using silicon nanoparticles that degrade inside a tumor, releasing polymer strands that form a nanoparticle containing the drug to be delivered. This polymer nanoparticle dissolves inside the cancer cell, delivering the drug to the cancer cell.

Researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated that gelatin nanoparticles can be used to deliver drugs to damaged brain tissue more efficiently than standard methods. This has been demonstrated in the lab, the researchers hope that this method will result in more effective drug delivery for brain injuries.

Researchers at MIT are investigating the use of nanoparticles to deliver vaccine.The nanoparticles protect the vaccine, allowing the vaccine time to trigger a stronger immune response as shown in lab tests with mice. Additional work needs to be done to adapt the technique to human patients.

Nanotechnology use in Engineering: (Mechanical Engineering)

Nanotechnology is a dynamic and expanding research area in the School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University. The research activities are built upon traditional mechanical engineering disciplines, but extended into the nanoscale science and technology with the use of modern experimental and computational tools. Current research activities include nanoscale heat transfer, fluidics, manufacturing, optics, nano- and mciro-scale electro-mechanical devices (NEMS and MEMS), with Most of the research is conducted at the newly established Birck Nanotechnology Center. A number of research laboratories provide state-of-the-art facilities ...

Solution Summary

There are many technological advances taking place in medicine, space, agriculture, engineering, fuel cell development and air and water purification. Nanotechnology allows for micro-research like never before that results in technical advancements to make our lives on this planet and beyond more palatable and pleasant. Nanotechnology has allowed advances in matters such as cancer drug delivery, lightweight space suits, less air and water pollutants and more nutritious foods, and the list goes on and on and on.