Nanotechnology generally refers to the engineering of functional systems at molecular scale. This engineering covers current works as well as concepts that are a more advanced stage. Materials that are used in nanotechnology enhanced trigger a reduction in the weight accompanied closely by subsequent increase in stability which in the end leads to an improvement in the functionality. Nanotechnology is subdivided into numerous classes that entail Bio-nanotechnology, Bio-medical Nanotechnology as well as Nano-medicine. These are some of the terminologies used when describing the hybrid field of nanotechnology. ‘Nano’ was coined to represent a billion of something. When put in the metric scale of measurement, a nanometer refers to one billion parts of a meter. In present-day systems, nanotechnology is used to describe the creation of new subjects with a dimension ranging from anywhere between 1.0 and 100.0 nm.
In typical cases, functionalities are added and included to nanomaterials by interfusing them with biological structures and molecules. Most biological structures have almost the same size as nanomaterials meaning these materials can be used for both vivo and vitro applications in biomedical studies and inventions. After the concept of integrating nanomaterials with biological ideas, many inventions have since come up with the development of diagnostic devices underlining them all (Sarikaya et al., 2003). The nanotechnology concept has also opened doors for the invention of injectable drugs that flow through the blood stream using the concept of first order kinetics (Farokhzad & Langer, 2009). Nanotechnology can as well be used in the repair of tissues that have been damaged. Tissue-engineering has in the recent past been gaining some sufficient ground and there is a high possibility that in future it will replace some of the conventional forms of treatment.
Nanotechnology primarily refers to the scientific alteration of molecules as well as atoms to yield small devices or even bigger systems. Since man understood the concept inventing, focus has been to start with big things to create small things. However, nanotechnology seems to be defying this principle and focusing more on beginning with small things which in this case are atoms and molecules. Nanotechnology has proved to be a challenging subjecting and thus far, many scholars are trying hard to come up with inventions in this sector.
Real-life applications of nanotechnology
- Body armor
- Space suits
- Manufacture of plastics with enhanced properties
- Manufacture of enhanced semiconductors
- Manufacture of high-strength composites
- Modifying transparent zinc oxide popularly known as sunscreen
- Manufacturing multifunctional materials
- The nanotechnology is also crucial in sport whereby sporting items such as golf clubs, basketball bats, footballs and tennis rackets among other accessories are manufactured using lightweight and high-strength plastic composites.
Disadvantages of using nanotechnology in general
- A recent analysis done by researchers has shown that nano particles can be harmful. The analysis involved the silver nano particles used in the manufacture of socks to fight foot odor. If this element is released in water, it can affect the purity of water. These particles are known to be bacteriostatic whereby they limit the growth of bacteria. Eventually, these bacteriostatic properties lead to the destruction of bacteria that could have helped in the breakdown of organic matter which is a vital part of water treatment.
- Further studies have also showed that certain forms of carbon nanotubes can be harmful when inhaled in large quantities. These substances can also lead to severe complications such as the mesothelioma.
- Manufacturing nanomaterials involves complex processes with a lot of wastes produced. Unfortunately, these waste float in the air and will in some cases find their way into animal and plant cells.
- Normally, nanoparticles have a large surface. This increased surfaced elevates the chances of these particles getting absorbed in the animal body. This absorption will in the end alter the normal biological systems which will end up compromising life.
- At the same time, nanotechnology possess serious threat that can easily lead to complications in the body (Sotropa, 2018). Products produced through nanotechnology have a probability of replacing existing natural substances. In the end, factory workers and farmers who depend on the natural substance will face a hard time since they will be rendered out of business. Massive loss of jobs will be reported and nations will experience increased poverty since their source of revenue will have been replaced.
- Farokhzad, O. C., & Langer, R. (2009). Impact of nanotechnology on drug delivery. ACS nano, 3(1), 16-20.
- Kumar, N., & Singh, S. (2014). Cryonics: current status and future possibilities. Int J Engg Res Sci Tech, 2014.
- Pison, U., Giersig, M., & Schaefer, A. (2014). U.S. Patent No. 8,846,580. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
- Sarikaya, M., Tamerler, C., Jen, A. K. Y., Schulten, K., & Baneyx, F. (2003). Molecular biomimetics: nanotechnology through biology. Nature materials, 2(9), 577-585.
- Sotropa¹, R. M. B. (2018). The Advantages and Disadvantages of Nanotechnology. Romanian Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 10(2).
- Yang, Y., Chawla, A., Zhang, J., Esa, A., Jang, H. L., & Khademhosseini, A. (2019). Applications of nanotechnology for regenerative medicine; healing tissues at the nanoscale. In Principles of Regenerative Medicine (pp. 485-504). Academic Press.