Examples of medical nanotechnology include an antimicrobial dressing covered with nanocrystalline silver to kill a broad range of bacteria within 30 minutes and man-made molecules that are coupled with toxic chemicals or radioactive particles to deliver drugs or radiation to cancer tumors. It is easy to imagine drug delivery using nanotubes as the next step, says WebMD.
As of 2015, nanowalkers are being developed to crawl over, around or through the body to image and diagnose diseases that are not detected using conventional scanning techniques, according to WebMD. Nanotechnology promises sensitive and very accurate tools for diagnostics. The objective is to enable physicians to identify diseases as early as possible. Medical nanotechnology is expected to make diagnosis possible at both cellular and subcellular levels.
Researchers believe that medical nanotechnology can help end the suffering caused by disease and injury. Most of the current commercial applications of medical nanotechnology center around drug delivery and better targeting and bioavailability of existing medicinal substances. Nanoparticles make it possible for physicians to target drugs at the source of the disease, which minimizes side effects and increases efficiency, states Nanowerk.
Medical nanotechnology has the potential to change medical science significantly, and also open a new field of human enhancements set to raise complex ethical questions for health care professionals, notes Nanowerk.