By: Anthony D.
I want you to think of an item that you use daily. What does it do for you? How is it useful?
Personally, the first item that comes to my mind is my phone. Having to use it everyday, my phone has became an essential asset for me to function. There are dozens of apps that keep me organized, entertained, and occupied. So, I ask you again, think of an item that you use frequently. Whatever it may be, its function is determined by its atoms. In summary, atoms are the smallest unit of matter. Moreover, a collection of atoms that are within 100 nanometers are termed nanostructures.
Fortunately, advancement in technology have given researchers the opportunity to rearrange these atoms into new nanostructures. Unfortunately, working with structures that range between 1nm to 100nm is extremely difficult. Therefore, scientists require nanotechnology to manipulate these structures.
Caltech physicist Richard Feynman founded nanotechnology in 1952 through experiments and inquiries. Compared to other topics, nanotech is a relatively new frontier in science. With research in medicine, engineering, and ecology; nanotechnology is one of the most versatile fields to study. For example, researchers are developing nanotech that will diagnose diseases by detecting chemical changes in the bloodstream. The nanotech will be coated with antibodies that can bind to harmful cells and trap it for analysis.
In another study, nanotech is being used to improve stem cell therapy. These stem cells can be used to “restore function to failing organ(s) or tissue systems.” By organizing stem cells with micropatterns, scientists are aiming to “turn stem cells into any type of cell on command” (i.e. bone cells). Not limiting itself to medicine, the University of Alberta is inventing nanotechnology that can filter water supplies. These nanocomposites will sift any toxic substances such as lead to leave the remaining water clean and refined.
Why Should You Care?
In a world filled with solvable problems, advancements in nanotechnology are essential. With a global investment of an estimated $250,000,000,000, nanotechnology continues to expand. Soon nanotech will target cancer cells, purify water, and deliver antibiotics through your bloodstream. Soon, it will become a greater part of our everyday life and change our current lifestyles. So, if this interests you, I encourage you to take a look at it during your spare time – you will have to learn about it sooner or later.