- Nanotechnology, the term derived from Greek, translating literally as’ dwarf Technology‘ is, as the origin of its name suggests Engineering at the atomic level.
- Scientists work with particles of substances known as nanoparticles which name measure no more than 1 NM or earn billionth of a meter. That’s around 14000 times smaller than the walls of the average human hair.
- some of these substances derived from carbon compounds are manufactured others such as metals are naturally occurring or arise as a byproduct of another natural process example volcanic Ash or smoke from wood burning.
- The property which makes the substance of such scientific interest is that there minute size facilities Medical and technological process that would otherwise be impossible.
The beginning of Nanotechnology
It may be something of a Revelation for many of us to learn that nanotechnology or its concept is far from cutting-edge science. In fact, nanotechnology as an idea was first referred to in an influential lecture by American physicist Richard Feynman as far back in 1969. During the lecture entitled there’s plenty of room at the bottom,’ Feynman outlined the basic concept of nanotechnology. Individual atoms and molecules he claimed could in the future be created, as by a physical process. Such a process he envisioned would involve the building of a set of precise tools to build and operate another proportionally smaller set. The building of increasingly minute rules at the microscopic level would, in turn, produce ultramicroscopic materials latter to become known as nanoparticles.
if you like this you may read my other blog on ” The truth behind driverless cars”.
How the technology has got its name (Nanotechnology)
Strangely what should have a spark a; scientific revolution was then Virtually forgotten about for the next 15 years in 1974 Japanese scientist Norio Taniguchi of the Tokyo University of Science he introduced cinnamons theory and put on its name to an old concept referring to the Science as nanotechnology. However, it wasn’t until nearly a decade later in the 1980s that the way was kept for nanotechnology to leave the ‘religion’ of theoretical science and become reality to measure scientific development within a relatively short-period were to enable practical application of Nanotechnology. The invention of the scanning tunnelling microscope STM combined with the discovery of nanosized particles termed ‘fullerenes; where to go for a turning point in nanotechnology.
The first application of nanotechnology
Fullerenes are derived from carbon molecules and in common with other nanoparticles process chemical and physical properties that are of Huge scientific interest. The potential value of fullerene for medical science was first raised in 2003 and 2005, then the scientific magazine “Chemistry and Biology” an article describing the use of you fullerenes as light-activated antimicrobial agents. Their cylinders have been used for civil biochemical application ranging from x-ray image into treating cancer by targeting cancer cells.
In addition, these nanoparticles have been used in the manufacture of commercial products, from screens to cosmetic and some food products. Furthermore, nanoparticles of metals like gold and silver have been used in the Environmental cleanup of oil slicks and other forms of pollution. The remarkable properties of nanoparticles are down to too many factors- their greater surface to weight ratio, compared to larger particles which promote the attachment of substance to their surface and their minute site, which allows them to penetrate cell membranes. These properties are of great benefit for example- in medicine as drugs to fight ‘cancer’ or it can be attached to nanoparticles to reach their target cell in the human body.
The challenges which Nanotechnology is facing, currently
However despite the amazing properties attributed to nanoparticles such as you learn. Nanotechnology has yet to win. why the universal acceptance and scientific circles for the very properties that make the nanoparticles so valuable to technology and medical science are also the ones that make them potentially so toxic. Such properties are potentially ‘Lethal’ if toxic substance attaches themselves to the same nanoparticles thereby delivering fatal toxin through the cell membranes into the cells themselves the toxic effect of these compounds is further increased. Since their size permits them to enter the bloodstream and hence the body’s major organs. Furthermore, the nanoparticles in themselves are essentially a foreign element being introduced to the body. Unlike foreign elements, such as bacteria the body has no natural immune system to deal with this ultramicroscopic particles scientists have yet to convince the nanotechnology sceptics that the potential side effect of nanoparticles is more than compensated for by the advantage that they confirm. It may be however that opposition to this technology is no more than a General district of scientific innovation insect organizing from the ‘University of Tubingen’ has been quoted as saying many of the risk associated with nanotechnology have at least been encountered in part in other Technology as well. He also believes that regulation can be put in place to minimize such a risk.