Introduction <ul><li>Nanotechnology is the creation of functional materials, devices and systems through control of matter on the nanometer scale, and the exploitation of novel properties and phenomena developed at that scale. </li></ul><ul><li>The future of technology at times becomes easier to predict. Computers will compute faster, materials will becomes stronger and medicine will cure more diseases. </li></ul><ul><li>Nanotechnology, “the manufacturing technology of the 21st century," should let use economically build a broad range of complex molecular machines (including, not incidentally, molecular computers). </li></ul>
Definitions <ul><li>Nanotechnology is a hybrid science combining engineering, chemistry and to a certain extent biology. </li></ul><ul><li>The word "Nanotechnology" has become very popular and is used to describe many types of research where the characteristic dimensions are less than about 1,000 nanometers. </li></ul><ul><li>Advantage of nanotechnology on medicine is that we can make surgical instrument of such precision and deftness that they could operate on the cells and molecules from which we are made--something well beyond today’s medical technology. </li></ul>
Sizes of Devices A molecular "robotic arm" less than 100 nanometers long should be quite feasible, as well as molecular binding sites 10 nanometers in size or less. A single red blood cell is about 8 microns in diameter, devices of the size range suggested above (~0.1 microns) would easily fit in the circulatory system and would even be able to enter individual cells.
Application – Oxygen Supplier A second application would be to provide metabolic support in the event of impaired circulation. Poor blood flow, caused by a variety of conditions, can result in serious tissue damage. A major cause of tissue damage is inadequate oxygen. A simple method of improving the levels of available oxygen despite reduced blood flow would be to provide an "artificial red blood cell."
How Long ? The abilities discussed here might well take years or decades to develop. It is worth noting that if progress in computer hardware continues as the trend lines of the last 50 years suggest, we should have some form of molecular manufacturing in the 2010 to 2020 time frame. After this, the medical applications will require some additional time to develop.
Further Possibilities It is clear that this approach should be able to reverse substantially greater damage than can be dealt with today. A primary reason for this is that autonomous molecular machines using externally provided power would be able to continue operating even when the tissue itself was no longer functional. We would finally have an ability to heal injured cells, instead of simply helping injured cells to heal themselves.
Flip Side Nanotechnology could also lead to serious environmental problems. It is largely unknown how nanostructured materials, nanoparticles and other related nanotechnologies would interact with other entities already present in the environment. As the use of nanotechnology is scaled up, emissions to the environment may also increase, and perhaps a whole new class of toxins or other environmental problems may be created.
Conclusion Nanotechnology, with all its challenges and opportunities is an unavoidable part of our future. The possibilities with nanotechnology are immense and numerous. The researchers are filled with optimism, and products based on this technology are beginning to make their mark. The extent to which nanotechnology will impact our lives only depends on human ingenuinity. It can be rightly said that nanotechnology is slowly but steadily ushering in the next industrial revolution.