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Nanotechnology in Biomedical Sciences

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Targeted Drug Delivery

Targeted drug delivery has improved cancer therapy drastically over the decade. There has been successful development in cost-effective anticancer drugs mostly based on liposomes and polymers.

Targeted drug delivery is an important biomedical application that aims to deliver anticancer drugs to the specific site of the tumour and avoid damage to surrounding healthy cells. Currently, Iron oxide nanoparticles are the main source of magnetic materials used for the delivery of anticancer drugs to target specific areas.

Chemotherapy depends on the circulatory system to transport anticancer drugs to the tumour. There are negative side effects of this treatment such as non-specificity and toxicity of the drug, whereby the drugs attack healthy cells and organs as well as the cancerous cells. Therefore, targeted drug delivery is being developed as one alternative to chemotherapy treatment. The aim of targeted drug delivery is to direct the drug to the specific area where the tumour is located and thereby increasing the amount of drug delivered at the tumour site and reducing the side effects.

Generally, the magnetic nanoparticles are coated with a biocompatible layer, such as gold or polymers, this is done to functionalise the nanoparticles so that the anticancer drug can either be conjugated to the surface or encapsulated in the nanoparticle.The drug is released by enzyme activity or by changes in pH,temperature or osmolality.

Biosensors

A biosensor is an analytical device that is used for analysing biological samples. It converts a chemical, biological or biochemical response into an electrical signal. A biosensor contains three essential components

  • The bioelement/bioreceptor are made up of enzymes, nucleic acids, antibodies, cells or tissues
  • the transducer which can be electrochemical, optical, electronic, piezoelectric,pyroelectric or gravimetric and
  • the electronic unit which contains the amplifier,processor and display.

Nanoparticles can also be used as bioreceptors after they are coated with a bioresponsive shell. Biosensors are utilised in many different areas including environmental, bio/pharmaceutical, food and medical industries. A typical biosensor is composed of three main parts the electronic system, which contains the signal amplifier, processor and display unit, the transducer, which converts the reaction of the sample analyte and bioreceptor into an electrical signal and a bioreceptor, which is composed of a biological substance which targets and or binds to a specific compound. The transducer used in the biosensor depends on the reaction that is generated between the sample and the bioreceptor.detect changes in light adsorption or photometric which detect changes in photon output. Piezoelectric sensors can detect changes in mass.Working principle of biosensors: is the signal transduction. The different components of a biosensor include a bio-recognition component, a biotransducer and an electronic system for the display , processor and amplifier. ... The transducer measures this interaction and outputs a signal.

Bioimaging

There are different bioimaging techniques such as MRI, computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasound that are used for the detection and diagnosis of diseases. These techniques are non-invasive and some can produce high-resolution images of internal organs.

In cell biology, bioimaging is used to follow cellular functions, quantify ion or metabolite levels and measure interactions of molecules where they happen. Appropriate tracers, e.g., specific fluorochromes, and advanced microscopic instruments as e.g. confocal laser scanning microscopes (CLSM) are a prerequisite for most applications.

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One of the great advantages of imaging is its intuitive information content; much can be learned from just a glance at the data. On the other hand, these data generally contain a very large amount of untapped information. For example, characterization of spatial phenotype heterogeneity in cells on a tissue scaffold is a critical question in tissue engineering, histopathology, and basic systems biology. However, there is currently no way to obtain such information short of using destructive and very labor intensive approaches.

Advances in Bone Tissue Engineering

Nanotechnology also has a promising role in tissue engineering.. In particular, skeletal reconstruction following bone fracture is of interest due to the increasing number of elderly people and bone fractures require bone tissue for various bone defects, ring reconstruction with tissue transplants. Bone has the capacity for regeneration, complications such as excessive bone loss impede healing, necessitating the use of bone grafts.

The invention of tissue engineering, where the main goal is to generate functional tissue, has raised the possibility of engineering bone in vitro. Over the past few researches , a wealth of progress in bone tissue engineering has been successfully achieved particularly in cell sources, developing biocompatible and biodegradable scaffolds. Designing bioreactors to improve in vitro osteogenic priming, and to identify the growth factors that can induce or promote endogenous bone and vascular development.

Nanoparticles can be combined with scaffolds to facilitate application in bone. Osteoblasts and osteoclasts have a complex interaction and their respective activity is key to bone homeostasis.Bone formation by osteoblasts can be supported by nanoparticle-based drug/growth factor delivery while osteoclast remodeling activity can be modulated by nanoparticles locally releasing specific inhibitors.

Damaged bone can also be fixed using the coral/ marine sponges due to similarity between the two. For the large-sized tissues and origins with different shapes,it is important to design a temporary support for providing spaces for cell proliferation, differentiation and growth.

NANOTECHNOLOGY FOR GENETIC ENGINEERING AND STEM CELL THERAPIES

Stem cells make them suitable for tissue engineering and organ regeneration, it is necessary to genetically engineer (or manipulate or reprogram) them. This is done with a view to generate patient-specific stem cells, make them pluripotent, for differentiation, proliferation, transdifferentiation or dedifferentiation, induce expression of signaling factors, produce transgenic animals as models of diseases, upregulate or downregulate receptor molecules on surface, amongst others.

A variety of nanovectors has been constructed which help gene transfection with their properties to be selectively internalized into target cells and high efficiencies. Nanovectors can be used both for in vivo and in vitro gene transfection are of two types- Viral vectors and non-viral vectors. Differentiated stem cells are being used to test the safety and effectiveness of new medications. Also testing drugs on human stem cells eliminates the need to test them on animals, thus reducing animal abuse.

Conclusion for stem cells research:stem cell research based on nanotechnology has obtained a lot of achievement in the field of regenerative medicine of orthopedic surgery, showing good prospects in clinical applications. But nanotechnology applied to stem cell research is still in its early stages, and there are a number of key issues to be solved.

Conclusion

Nanotechnology is a promising area of research with potential benefits in patients suffering various illnesses. Although nanoparticles are extensively studied for drug delivery and are proving to be effective in drug delivery and the diagnostic field, at least in animal models, further research is needed to prove these benefits in humans. we can conclude that:

  • the advancement in nanotechnology and bioengineering is supporting tremendous efforts in improving the methods for research,
  • a successful translational method of approach is making it possible to increase the number of biomarkers useful in neuro-oncology.
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Nanotechnology in Biomedical Sciences. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 1, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/nanotechnology-in-biomedical-sciences/
“Nanotechnology in Biomedical Sciences.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/nanotechnology-in-biomedical-sciences/
Nanotechnology in Biomedical Sciences. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/nanotechnology-in-biomedical-sciences/> [Accessed 1 Mar. 2024].
Nanotechnology in Biomedical Sciences [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2024 Mar 1]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/nanotechnology-in-biomedical-sciences/
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