The role of the infinitely small in nature is infinitely great.
– Louis Pasteur
If you've read the news about nanotechnology and especially nanomedicine, you would have probably noticed that every discovery sounds like it's going to produce a cure for cancer, help us live past 100, or cure the common flu. Given the flood of medical breakthrough articles, it is hard to figure out what is really happening.
The truth is nanomedical research is already changing how diseases are prevented, detected, diagnosed, treated, and cured. Nanoinnovations are helping to enable medical breakthroughs in every area of medicine. Thanks to nanotechnology, medical science can now diagnose virtually any disease, from new forms of influenza to rare forms of cancer. Medical laboratories use automated labs-on-a-chip. DNA analysis uses biochips that incorporate nanofluidics. Molecular biomarkers are used to target and deliver chemical bullets to individual tumor cells. The first gene therapies are working. New antiviral approaches could prevent or treat up to 90% of all viral diseases. Scientists are using stem cells to grow human tissues and organs. Foods with health and medical benefits are being nanosized and formulated in a new generation of nutraceuticals. Therapies and diagnostics are converging in a variety of innovations called theranostics.
In this chapter, you'll learn about some of the most creative and ingenious achievements occurring ...