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Nano in medicine

Nanomedicine - a 'Fantastic Voyage'?

Many of us will remember the miniature submarine in which Rachel Welch travelled through the human body to zap a bloodclot in the film Fantastic Voyage. Some will be disappointed to know that this is not going to be possible and will never happen. But the good news is that nanotechnology may be able to help do the job of targeting and zapping diseases in our body much better than the Proteus ever could, and without the risk of becoming submarine-sized halfway to finishing the job!

Social and ethical issues

Some of the more exciting developments which may be enabled, or made cheaper and more accessible by nano may also give rise to some social and ethical issues. How much do we really want to know now about what diseases we may get in the future? What are the implications of enhancing our minds or bodies to make us smarter or live longer?

Go to our Social and Ethical section and explore some more

Healing nano

Nanotechnologies may have the greatest impact in the medical and healthcare fields. There are some nano-enabled uses at the moment, with others not so far away. However many of the much talked about applications - creating artificial body parts or remotely diagnosing and delivering drugs may be a long way off, or may not even be possible.

The most notable changes will come from improvements in diagnosing illnesses more easily and treating them by better targeting of drugs. It will also make existing medical applications much cheaper and easier to use in different settings like GP surgeries and homes.

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