Nanotechnology is a relatively new branch of science that deals with scales the size of 100 nanometers or less. Basically, it’s engineering at the level of individual atoms or molecules. Currently, nanotechnologies are mostly used to enhance existing materials like carbon nanotubes and other nanocomposites. Scientists claim that eventually, nanotechnologies will have a considerable impact on our lives. Here are a few different fields that are going to be transformed due to the emergence of nanotechnologies.
1. The medical and pharmaceutical industries: In the pharmaceutical industry, the use of nanoparticles has already improved the way that the drugs are delivered, making it easier for the body to absorb them. Furthermore, the use of nanoparticles helps chemotherapy treatment to target cancer cells more easily. Nanotechnology provides medical diagnosis equipment with more efficient and accurate results. Also, implants that are coated with a nanomaterial surface are more resistant to infections and deterioration. In the future, we will possibly have nanorobots that when injected in the bloodstream could perform various tasks like kill viruses, repair broken bones and damaged tissues, or even slow down the aging process in our cells.
2. The computer industry: In the computer industry, nanotechnology means smaller, more efficient and energy consumption reduction. By using carbon nanotubes to make circuits at the molecular scale, nanocircuits will give future computers incredible computing power. Perhaps, one day, we will have at home the equivalent of the NASA supercomputer that would fit on your desk.
3. The military industry: Nanotechnologies are already being used in the military industry. Some of those technologies include new types of body armor, nano-enhanced sensor, and miniature high-performance cameras. In addition, stealth coatings and adaptive camouflage are being developed. Other ideas have been introduced like self-repair materials and nanomachines that would replicate the movement of muscle for exoskeleton technologies.
4. Everyday consumer use: Everyday we use a multitude of products and a lot of them are being improved by nanotechnologies. Nanoparticles that efficiently absorb light are added to sunscreen for better protection. Also, nanofibers are used to make fabrics and give them better resistance to wear and stain. Even sports pieces of equipment are being manufactured with carbon nanotubes to make them more resistant and lighter. Another interesting product would be nanomaterial surfacing which would repel viruses and microbes.
It is undeniable that nanotechnologies are improving our lives by enabling us to build better products, enhancing our medical capability and making our computers faster. But that is only the tip of the iceberg because there is much more to come.