Nanotechnology is a subject which has been well known within the scientific and technology industries for a long time. It is currently with the consistently developing progression in innovation that nanotechnology is grabbing the pace and has many individuals talking.
Presently, engineers are studying ways that it can be made valuable to the environment. This has been marked as 'green nanotechnology' since it centers around challenges inside the nanoscale that should be overcome to guarantee eco-friendly processes and products. The targets of nanotechnology are to create eco-friendly designs with nanotechnology and utilize it to reduce health and environmental hazards by looking for strategies to supplant give applications green nanotechnology products.
Green nanotechnology involves the following:
• Use of less energy during manufacture
• Ability to recycle after use
• Using eco-friendly materials.
Nanotechnologies will not just initiate the next industrial revolution, it will also offer technological solutions.
Molecular Nanotechnology (MNT) is nanotechnology utilizing "molecular manufacturing", an anticipated technology based on positionally-controlled mechanosynthesis guided by molecular machine systems. It includes combining physical principles demonstrated by chemistry, other nanotechnologies, and the molecular machinery of life with the systems engineering principles found in modern macroscale factories.
The approach to nanotechnology is supramolecular self-assembly, where molecular systems are designed to attract each other in a particular orientation to form larger systems. Hollow spheres large enough to be visible in a standard light microscope have been created this way using self-assembling lipids. Biological systems can do most of what molecular nanotechnology strives to accomplish -- atomically precise products, active materials, reproduction, etc. However, biological systems are extremely complex and molecular nanotechnology seeks simpler systems to understand, control and manufacture. Also, biological systems usually work at fairly mild temperature and pressure conditions in solution conditions that are not found in most aerospace environments. Nanotechnology could therefore offer much cleaner manufacturing processes than today's bulk technology offers.
Solar power is looking increasingly appealing, as other power generation methods for example, petroleum products and atomic power go under expanding examination. The power which could potentially be harvested from sunlight is far beyond our requirements. However, the high cost of manufacture associated with solar panels, coupled with relatively low efficiency, means that it still takes a long time to recover the investment, whether installing solar panels on the roof of a house or building a megawatt-scale solar farm.
Nanostructures can also access efficient solar cells to be manufactured from cheaper, more conventional materials, like silicon and titanium dioxide. Although there will be cost barriers involved in developing mass production techniques for nano-enhanced PV cells, the use of cheaper raw materials will allow the cost of commercial solar cells to continue to decrease.
Nanotechnology may hold the key to making space flight more practical. Advancements in nanomaterials make lightweight solar sails and a cable for the space elevator possible. By significantly reducing the amount of rocket fuel required, these advances could lower the cost of reaching orbit and traveling in space. In addition, new materials combined with nanosensors and nanorobots could improve the performance of spaceships, spacesuits, and the equipment used to explore planets and moons, making nanotechnology an important part of the ‘final frontier’.
Bionanotechnology and nanobiotechnology are terms that refer to the intersection of nanotechnology and biology. These two terms are often used interchangeably. When a distinction is intended, though, it is based on whether the focus is on applying biological ideas or on studying biology with nanotechnology. Bionanotechnology generally refers to the study of how the goals of nanotechnology can be guided by studying how biological "machines" work and adapting these biological motifs into improving existing nanotechnologies or creating new ones.
Nanobiotechnology, on the other hand, refers to the ways that nanotechnology is used to create devices to study biological systems. In other words, bionanotechnology is essentially miniaturized biotechnology, whereas nanobiotechnology is a specific application of nanotechnology. For example, DNA nanotechnology or cellular engineering would be classified as bionanotechnology because they involve working with biomolecules on the nanoscale. Conversely, many new medical technologies involving nanoparticles as delivery systems or as sensors would be examples of nanobiotechnology since they involve using nanotechnology to advance the goals of biology.
Nanotechnologies make use of very small objects or artefacts. Nanomaterials are an increasingly important product of nanotechnologies. They contain nanoparticles, smaller than 100 nanometres in at least one dimension.
Nanomaterials are coming into use in healthcare, electronics, cosmetics and other areas. Their physical and chemical properties often differ from those of bulk materials, so they call for specialised risk assessment. This needs to cover health risks to workers and consumers, and potential risks to the environment.
Existing risk assessment methods are generally applicable to nanomaterials but specific aspects related to nanomaterials need more development. They include methods for both estimating exposure and identifying hazards. The highest potential risks come from free, insoluble nanoparticles either dispersed in a liquid or as dust.
Nanomedicine is a branch of medicine that applies the knowledge and tools of nanotechnology to the prevention and treatment of disease. Nanomedicine involves the use of nanoscale materials, such as biocompatible nanoparticles and nanorobots, for diagnosis, delivery, sensing or actuation purposes in a living organism.
Nanoparticles used for drug delivery are usually in the 20 to 100 nanometre range, although this can vary depending on the design of the nanoparticle. Nanoparticles can be engineered and designed to package and transport drugs directly to where they’re needed. This targeted approach means the drugs cause most harm in the particular, and intended, area of the tumour they are delivered to. This minimises collateral damage to surrounding healthy tissues, and therefore the side effects.
Nanotoxicology is a new area of study that deals with the toxicological profiles of nanomaterials (NMs). Compared with the larger counterparts, the quantum size effects and large surface area to volume ratio brings NMs their unique properties that may or may not be toxic to living things. Thus, nanotoxicology deals with elucidating how different NMs affect living systems. Inert elements like gold become active at nanoscale dimensions. Nanotoxicity studies are intended to determine whether and to what extent the properties of gold and other materials in the nanoscale dimensions may pose a threat to the environment and to living things.
The nanotechnology industry has shown an industrial revolution over the last few years, a trend which is more than likely to continue into the future. Unfortunately, the exponential progress in nanotechnology has exceeded the advances of research on the impact of NMs on living systems especially on human health.
Nanodevices are the critical enablers that will allow mankind to exploit the ultimate technological capabilities of electronic, magnetic, mechanical, and biological systems. While the best examples of nanodevices at present are clearly associated with the information technology industry, the potential for such devices is much broader. Nanodevices will ultimately have an enormous impact on our ability to enhance energy conversion, control pollution, produce food, and improve human health and longevity.
Nanosensors are chemical or mechanical sensors that can be used to detect the presence of chemical species and nanoparticles, or monitor physical parameters such as temperature, on the nanoscale. They also find use in medical diagnostic applications.
Nanotechnology has potential to remarkably affect the diagnostic and therapeutic approach for a disease. The unparallel sensitivity and performance, enhanced durability and flexibility, unique physicchemical properties of nano-materials, have been exploited in medical diagnosis for early detection of diseases, in target approached clinical therapy and in regenerative medicine for reconstruction of damaged tissues.
On other hand, many nano-devices and nano-biosensors have been innovated to monitor the bio- molecules, at a very low concentration resulting in detection of disease at an early stage. They can be a novel and powerful tool for cancer detection system. The traditional diagnostic modalities are unable to detect tumors in their initial stage and more imprecise in differentiating benign from malignant stage. Compared to the conventional methods, novel nanoparticles (NPs) are capable of yielding selective imaging of affected areas.
The use of nanotechnology in cancer treatment offers some exciting possibilities, including the possibility of destroying cancer tumors with minimal damage to healthy tissue and organs, as well as the detection and elimination of cancer cells before they form tumors.
Most efforts to improve cancer treatment through nanotechnology are at the research or development stage. However the effort to make these treatments a reality is highly focused. For example, The Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, established by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, is fostering innovation and collaboration among researchers to resolve some of the major challenges in the application of nanotechnology to cancer. In addition, there are many universities and companies worldwide working in this area. It is possible that these efforts will result in cancer becoming being nearly eliminated in a decade or so, in the same way that vaccines nearly eliminated smallpox in the last century.
One of the most interesting things about nanotechnology is that the properties of many materials change when the size scale of their dimensions approaches nanometers. Materials scientists work to understand those property changes and utilize them in the processing and manufacture of materials at the nano-scale. The field of materials science covers the discovery, characterization, properties, and end-use of nano-scale materials.
Most other engineering major work with nanotechnology, but materials science and engineering is at the heart of it across all disciplines. Advanced materials, renewable energy solutions, and nanotechnology are areas of focus in both industry and research today.
The consumer world is exploding with “nanotechnology enhanced” products. Consumer products is an area where the experts are saying the most immediate nanotechnology impacts will be made and recognized by the majority of people in the world. Currently there are numerous products on the market that are the result of nanotechnology.
For the sporting enthusiast, we have tennis balls that last longer, tennis rackets that are stronger, golf balls that fly straighter, nano ski wax that is easier to apply and more effective than standard wax, and bowling balls that are harder; and these products are just scratching the surface. These products all use nanostructured materials to give them enhanced performance.
Speaking of scratching the surface, we also have nano car wax that fills in those tiny cracks more effectively and gives you a shinier vehicle. There are also nano products available to keep your eyewear and other optical devices cleaner, dryer, and more durable.
Nanotechnology is rapidly gaining traction across a range of industries, from agriculture to water treatment to energy storage. While nanotechnology was first developed in 1959 as a way of manipulating matter at the atomic and molecular level, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that it really began to flourish. Today, nanotechnology is one of the most innovative, cutting-edge areas of scientific study and it continues to advance at staggering rates.
From scientists at technology-focused companies and institutions like NASA or Lockheed Martin, to students pursuing a nanotechnology degree, leaders in nanotechnology are creating the latest breakthroughs in the field. These breakthroughs are primed for significant worldwide impact.
Nanotechnology has a vast future ahead of it and we are constantly making breakthroughs in this industry every day. In this article, we will go over several of the most important features of nanotechnology that will impact our lives but we will also talk about what nanotechnology itself will be like in the future. Nanotechnology will play a big role on all of our lives in the very near future in everything ranging from clothes to medicine.
From converting sunlight into power, to targeting a drug to a single malignant cell, from creating sensors in the form of biochip to the ability to produce garments which can act as a chemical shield, possibilities are immense in this domain.
Nanotechnology itself will evolve beyond what we can even imagine right now. Some say that one day, nanotechnology will be able to become self-replicating, in that it collects extremely small particles of metal that are as tiny as dust and engineer that metal into more nanites.
The nanotechnology initiative set up in 2000, by the US federal government played a crucial role in providing seed funding for long-term research in the area. It has also caught up well in Europe. India was one of the early entrants in the domain, thanks to the pioneering work of Professor CNR Rao, Linus Pauling Research Professor at JNCASR.
The best place to pursue a nanotechnology Master’s is USA, since the nano initiative of 2000 has resulted in five world class centers being set up at Harvard, Cornell, Northwestern, Columbia and Renesseller. Each centre focuses on one special area. Germany too offers some good institutions like the centre at Dresden to work on nanoscience. But the best place in UK would be either the Imperial College, which offers a Master’s degree by research, or the University College of London, which offers an MSc in nanotechnology.
Nanobiotechnology is a vibrant area, though its economic impact pales when compared to nanomaterials. Some of the areas wherein research is currently happening are nanomedicines, non-invasive surgery, sutureless surgical applications, targeted surface medical applications, nanoprobes and the application possibilities are endless.