Nanotechnology in Disease Detection and Treatment


Srivastava, S.,
Pothur, S.

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Nanotechnology is defined as the fabrication of functional materials, devices and systems through control of matter at the scale of 1 to 100 nanometers and exploitation of novel properties and phenomena at the same scale. The potential application highlighted in this publication is the detection of emerging diseases towards early detection and prevention for which nanotechnology could offer sensitive tools. Current topics covered in this publication are the use of lasers to measure optical deformability in cancer cells, detection, sensing and therapeutics through the use of nanopores and nanomaterials, molecular combing to detect genomic instability, molecular nanomechanics for detection of biomolecular interactions, dendrimers, nanodevices and nanotechnology platforms for sensing, delivery and therapeutic applications. It is evident that nanotechnology has the potential to contribute to prevention and detection in addition to diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Nanotechnology offers important new tools for detection where existing and more conventional technologies may be reaching their limits. Another advantage of nanotechnology is that nano-sized tools are relatively small to the size of a cell and hold great promise for developing effective techniques to work within cells or even at a sub-cellular level. The present obstacle to early detection of cancer lies in the inability of existing tools to detect these molecular level changes directly during early phases in the genesis of a cancer. Nanotechnology is a potential tool that could help detect the molecular changes and assist in focusing on preventive efforts. This publication of Disease Markers describes some of the potential nanotools and their application in disease detection.