Nanotechnology is one of the most hyped scientific endeavors of all time. From miraculous metamaterials with crazy properties nowhere to be seen in nature to nanobots which could potentially grant us immortality, this is a technology which could change the world. But will it?
One of the leading researchers in the field of nanomedicine believes we’ll pass from the threshold of clinical human trials and into the first market for cancer-fighting nanobots by 2018 – and he believes his estimates are conservative. Listen to him speak about the opportunities that nanomedicine might provide our society here:
Although Dr. Omid Farokhzad would love to say that we’re venturing into a cancer-free world, he doesn’t quite know for certain. He does, however, assert his optimism that cancer will soon lose its place as a top killer, being reduced in stature to a chronic disease instead.
What is nanomedicine like today?
At the University of California, San Diego, researchers have successfully delivered a medical payload into a living organism. By the time the creature had died and these scientists were able to dissect its remains, it had been determined there were no detrimental effects from the payload of medicine.
These particular nanobots were deployed into the body of a mouse. They used a series of natural processes to propel themselves toward the lining of the stomach, where they then embedded themselves and slowly dissolved over 12 hours, releasing a nanoparticle compound into the surrounding tissue.
These nanobots weren’t the first to be used in trials involving living organisms. But they were the first “self-propelled” nanobots to be successfully used in animal trials, and this represents a big step in the field of nanomedicine. Other trials before it used a series of external forces to reach their target destination.
What do you think about nanomedicine? Is it scary, or will we soon be living much longer lives, free from the currently grave threat of cancer?