The term Nanotechnology was formed by Norio Taniguichi in 1974. He defined Nanotechnology as the processing of separation, consolidation, and deformation of materials by one atom or one molecule.
It is an engineering branch which deals with the design and manufacturing of extremely small electronic circuits and mechanical devices built at the molecular level of matter. Because nanotechnology is essentially a set of techniques that allow – manipulation of properties at a very small scale, it can have many applications and as such, it has opened up a world of possibilities in a variety of industries and scientific endeavors.
Some Nanotechnology Applications
Targeted Drug delivery: This days, some of the most harmful side effects in the medical treatment of cancer such as chemotherapy come about due to the drug delivery methods used.
It became imperative to develop a method that would pinpoint the intended target cells accurately. Researchers at Harvard and MIT recently had a breakthrough by treating cancer patients using nanoparticles which produces less harmful side effects than those produced by conventional chemotherapy.
Researchers at Harvard and MIT recently had a breakthrough by treating cancer patients using nanoparticles which produces less harmful side effects than those produced by conventional chemotherapy.
Increases Tensile Strength of Materials: Nano-sized particles of carbon are extremely strong. These substances are composed of only carbon and their strength comes from the special bonds between carbon atoms.
An example of an application that best illustrates the strength of nano-sized particles of carbon is the t-shirt weight bullet proof vests which are made out of carbon nanotubes.
Molecular Manufacturing: Researchers are working on developing a method called molecular manufacturing. This is a futuristic innovation; this device would use tiny manipulators to position atoms and molecules to build an object as complex as a desktop computer – this innovation would be called a molecular fabricator. Experts believe that raw materials can be used to reproduce almost any inanimate object via this method.
Realistically speaking, the revolutionary nanotech products, materials and applications, such as nano-robotics which we all expect to see are years in the future. What we consider as “nanotechnology” now are mostly still in the research and development phase happening in laboratories all over the world.
Nanotechnology promises good results in the quest for super-effective computers and communications devices. But the most fascinating (and potentially dangerous) applications are in medical science. We are all excited to see what the future holds for this technology.