David E. Reisner, Samuel Brauer, Wenwei Zheng, Chris Vulpe, Raj Bawa, Jose Alvelo, Mariekie Gericke
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0122-2.ch010
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Bionanotechnology is multidisciplinary knowledge gained at the intersection of biology and nanotechnology. Certainly, biology operates in the nanoscale regime, using natural processes that occur in the nanoscale, by convention, under 100 nm in dimension. Therefore, bionanotechnology relates to those subtopics in the biological life sciences that exploit the analytical and experimental tools of nanotechnology. This chapter makes no pretense of acting as a comprehensive treatise, but rather selects a mix of timely topics that span over a wide set of tools and applications. It is addressed to practitioners, researchers, faculty, and university/college students within the field of bioengineering/biomedical engineering; it is also addressed to other closely-related governmental, non-governmental, and industrial entities.
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10.2. Introduction

Innovations at the intersection of engineering, biotechnology, medicine, physical sciences and information technology are spurring new directions in research, education, commercialization and technology transfer. It is at this intersection where nanotechnology operates. Anticipating a robust market, there is enormous excitement and expectation surrounding this multidisciplinary phenomenon. In fact, the future of nanotechnology is likely to continue along this path, as significant technologic advances across multiple scientific disciplines will continue to be proposed, validated, patented and commercialized.

One of the greatest impacts of nanotechnology is taking place in the context of biology, biotechnology and medicine. This arena of nanotechnology is generally referred to as bionanotechnology, with an evolving emphasis on nanomedicine.

Commercial bionanotechnology, although at a nascent stage of development, is already a reality. However, most agree that its full potential is years or decades away. Obviously, development is progressing more rapidly in certain sectors; the most active areas of product development are drug delivery, nanoelectronics, nanocoatings, and in vivo imaging.

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