Biomedical Nanotechnology: Why “Nano”?

Biomedical Nanotechnology: Why “Nano”?

Pınar Çakır Hatır (Istanbul Arel University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 36
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0326-3.ch003

Abstract

This chapter aims to provide an overview of recent studies in the field of biomedical nanotechnology, which is described as the combination of biology and nanotechnology. The field includes innovations such as the improvement of biological processes at the nanoscale, the development of specific biomaterials, and the design of accurate measurement devices. Biomedical nanotechnology also serves areas like the development of intelligent drug delivery systems and controlled release systems, tissue engineering, nanorobotics (nanomachines), lab-on-a-chip, point of care, and nanobiosensor development. This chapter will mainly cover the biomedical applications of nanotechnology under the following titles: the importance of nanotechnology, the history of nanotechnology, classification of nanostructures, inorganic, polymer and composite nanostructures, fabrication of nanomaterials, applications of nanostructures, the designs of intelligent drug delivery systems and controlled release systems, bioimaging, bioseparation, nano-biomolecules, lab-on-a-chip, point of care, nanobiosensor development, tissue engineering and the future of biomedical nanotechnology.
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Biomedical Nanotechnology

Biomedical nanotechnology, which is defined as the combination of biology and nanotechnology, includes innovations like the improvement of biological processes in nanoscale, the development of specific biomaterials, and the design of accurate measurement devices. The design of intelligent drug delivery systems and controlled release systems, tissue engineering, nanorobotics (nanomachines), lab-on-a-chip (LOC), point of care and nanobiosensor development are areas that are focused on the field of biomedical nanotechnology (Gazit, 2013).

How Small is Nano?

The word “nano” comes from the Greek word “nanos” which means “dwarf”. A nanometer (nm) refers to one billionth of a meter. To understand the nanoworld better, the units of measure have been defined in Table 1 (Jones, 2005). Size comparisons between very small objects and various examples have been given to clarify the nanoscale (Table 2). For example, a water molecule is about 0.2 nm, DNA is about 2 nm in diameter, proteins are about 1-10 nm, viruses are 10-100 nm, red blood cells are 6000-8000 nm, and a hair is about 100.000 nm.

Table 1.
Units of measurements
UnitSymbolExplanation
Meterm-
Millimetermm1 m = 1,000 mm
Micrometerµm1 m = 1,000,000 µm
Nanometernm1 m = 1,000,000,000 nm
Picometerpm1 m = 1,000,000,000,000 pm
Table 2.
Size of objects
ObjectApproximate average size
Tennis ball100,000,000 nm
Ant5,000,000 nm
Pencil tip1,000,000 nm
Beach sand500,000 nm
Human hair100,000 nm
A sheet of paper75,000 nm
A red blood cell7,000 nm
Bacteria5,000 nm
Viruses50 nm
Proteins4 nm
The diameter of the DNA helix2 nm
A glucose molecule1 nm
A water molecule0.3 nm
The atomic radius of carbon0.077 nm
The atomic radius of hydrogen0.032 nm

Key Terms in this Chapter

Core-Shell Nanostructures: Nanostructures composed of an inner core and an outer shell made of at least two different materials.

Nanotechnology: Manipulation of matter at nanoscale.

Top-Down Approach: The method for fabrication of micro- or nanostructures in which large particles are broken up or milled

Nanobiosensor: Nanostructured devices that measure a biological event using optical, electronic and magnetic technology.

Liposome: A spherical vesicle consisting of at least one lipid bilayer.

Quantum Dots: They are small semiconductor particles of a few nanometers in size with different optical and electronic properties than large materials.

Polymer: Long chain molecules formed by the addition of relatively small molecules called monomers to each other.

Lab-on-a-Chip: Micro/nanochips on which one or more laboratory processes are performed simultaneously.

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