Nanotechnology is a buzzword in the scientific area nowadays. Everyone is familiar with this word as dealing with the synthesis and development of a variety of Nanoparticles (NPs).
The term NP is used to describe particles that vary in size from 1-100nm. It is a very diverse and highly interdisciplinary field, involving the science and engineering fields. This field has found its way into various areas such as health care, cosmetics, biomedical research, food and feed, environment, drugs, and gene delivery systems.
Similarly, the domains like photochemistry, electronics, and energy sciences, etc. have also benefited from nanotechnology. By looking to this multifarious, applications scientists and engineers developed many materials at the nanoscale level to enhance the properties of a particular thing. In some reports, a scientist called it as future technology because due to its dynamic physical and chemical properties.
Scientists and engineers believe that nanotechnology can be used to benefit human health now and in the future through applications such as better filters for improving water purification, more effective methods of delivering drugs in medicine and new ways of repairing damaged tissues and organs, according to a report.
The microelectronics industry has been manufacturing products with nanoscale structures for decades a market currently valued at approximately $500 billion annually. The researchers say there is still plenty of room for major improvements, including many opportunities in the creative design of devices for data processing and information storage.
The scientist is trying to build nanoparticle sensors that can tell not only whether a person has cancer, but which kind of cancer should it be i.e. lung, breast, prostate or colon. The benefit of such a system is its early-warning capability. Doctors could administer a simple breath test, and be able to tell whether a patient has the beginning stages of cancer or not.
Scientists are recently working on sunscreen coating NPs which will be highly reflective and can prevent harmful solar radiation from penetrating your skin. The scientist is working to develop nanomaterials as a pesticide or as a fertilizer which will not harm the plants nor affect the food supply.
Carbon nanotubes are used nowadays to make faster, powerful and long-lasting batteries. Nanotechnology helps to improve vehicle fuel efficiency. The vehicle parts which are made from nanocomposite materials are lighter, stronger, and more chemically resistant comparing to metal. Carbon nanotubes are also used to make our sports equipment stronger and the weight of it lighter.
Many drink bottles are made from plastics containing nanoclays, which increase resistance to permeation by oxygen, carbon dioxide, and moisture. This helps retain carbonation and pressure and increases shelf life by several months. Scientists and engineers achieves new thing in the field of nanotechnology every day.
Nanotechnology has the huge potential to transform people’s lives for the better. We start using cheap, lightweight solar plastics, which makes solar energy widely available. Nanoparticles can clean up toxic chemical spills, as well as air-borne pollutants. Specialists claim that nanomaterials may be used in space exploration.
Besides this, it is a new field and we do not know about its long-term effects of influencing nanoparticles into the environment. The companies should label the products which contain NPs. Most importantly we should educate our generation regarding this technology application and what will be its negative effects on health.
PhD Candidate (Polymer Materials) at Zhejiang University, China