Look what researchers in nanomedicine have created!
Okay, maybe not quite to this degree… or anywhere near this.
But don’t let that dismiss the fact that there is currently an arms race emerging within the nanotechnology field revolving around creating the first, functional nanorobot. And as of December 2013, researchers in South Korea are winning by creating a small nanorobot capable of detecting and treating cancer.
Yes, you read that correctly – a nanorobot that treats cancer.
Here’s the video I showed in my seminar for those of you who wish to see the climactic ending!
This short film was made by moving individual carbon monoxide atoms around while looking through a scanning tunnelling microscope. The researchers would then take a picture, move an atom, take a picture (and so on) to create this stop motion piece.
The molecules are placed on a super smooth copper substrate. They stay in place due to bond formation between the carbon and the copper, given low temperature (~5K). It is the oxygen atoms that show up as a dot. What you’re seeing here is about 100 000 000x magnification; if that is a size you can even fathom.
The versatility of nanoparticles strikes again; researchers at the UCLA School of Dentistry have harnessed the ability of using nanodiamond-embedded contact lenses to trigger drug release as a method for treating ocular disease. Wait, School of Dentistry? Who would have saw that coming? Too cornea– I mean, corny? Eye couldn’t resist…
Ok, I’m done.
Within the last decade, nanoparticles have been used in many fields of medicine. Nanodiamonds in particular have played an active role in tissue engineering, biomedical imaging, and cancer research. For example, hybrid-parylene nanodiamond based microfilms have been developed for cancer treatments. The film is both flexible and robust, while allowing slow drug release. It can be incorporated into implants or it can stand alone as a tumour patch. Thus, biomedical application of nanodiamonds is not new, but the use of this material as a treatment for eye disease is. If that hasn’t peaked your interest yet, it should. Continue reading
If you’re ever looking to procrastinate while studying (because who isn’t), visit Joe Hanson’s blog to learn about science… and other interestingness. I promise you’ll be entertained for hours.
“What motivates me talk about science?
Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.
Explain to a man how the fish evolved from an ancient single-celled organism that was the product of dispersed stellar dust that happened to become a rocky planet at a certain distance from an average star that would one day be covered in liquid water and have an atmosphere filled with oxygen, morphed by primordial chaos and natural selection into a complete reproductive metabolic multicellular system that a group of naked apes would someday call a “fish” … and you cause his brain to melt out his ear.
I’m trying to do the last thing.” – Joe Hanson.