Friday, March 8, 2013
Nano tech midterm post two
For my second midterm project post I want to highlight some of the ways that nanotechnology is being applied in the field of medicine. I have found a few articles that show nano tech being used to improve the health of people in many different circumstances.
This first link has to do with regrowing human organs, specifically the skin. This article shows how scientists using nano technology have been fabricating synthetic polymeric structures on which they can grow organs. I found this particularly interesting because I have always thought that stem cell research was a fascinating, yet confusing subject.
I understood that stem cells copy surrounding cells, but I had never understood how this translated into the creation of an organ with a definite structure and shape.
It seems that through creating nano structures with this polymer, scientists are able to guide stem cells not only into becoming say a heart cell, but also into the shape and structure of a heart. Currently, they have been most successful with skin, but since new developments have made their equipment five times more accurate they have hopes of progressing even farther soon.
The above page shows a model of a nano tech cell designed by MIT to fight cancer. Cancer is a terrible disease for many reasons and one of those is that treatments for cancer (like chemo) can damage cancerous and healthy parts of the body at the same time. Well this article shows that people are working on ways to stop that.
Researchers at MIT are working on a nano tech based delivery system for a cancer treating drug that will minimize damage to healthy organs. The other benefit of this treatment is that the drug stays in the body longer, which means patients may spend less time in the hospital.
I hope you enjoyed these uses of nano tech and if there are any comments I would love to hear your opinions.