11 July 2008


Nanotechnology (nanometer = 10-9 meters) is a new field of science and technology that is still in its infancy. Her methods are just coming out of the laboratories, and most of them still exist only in the form of projects. Especially a lot of nanomedical research is carried out in the field of oncology.

Nanospheres and nanotubes no larger than a few hundred nanometers are made from inert substances that the immune system does not react to (the most common of them is pure carbon), metals and their oxides, as well as from nucleic acids or biodegradable polymers. Nanoparticles coated with antibodies that identify molecules characteristic of cancer cells and filled with a fluorescent substance allow you to accurately localize the position of the tumor. Nanoparticles filled with the drug deliver it exactly to the target without damaging healthy cells, unlike traditional chemotherapy. The tumor can also be burned out – for example, by heating the gold nanospheres concentrated in the tumor with a weak beam of a red laser penetrating deep into the tissues. The "magnetic liquid" – a colloidal solution of nanoparticles with ferromagnetic properties – can be delivered to the tumor using permanent magnets, and the action of an alternating magnetic field can be heated to a temperature at which cancer cells die and the surrounding tissues are not damaged.

Nanoparticles can be used to deliver therapeutic genes or short interfering RNAs to cells, and for many other purposes.

Most experts believe that nanotechnology methods will be widely used in medicine of the XXI century.

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