The discoveries and advances being made in the field of nanotechnology are as vast as they are tiny. We explore how this technology will change our approach to monitoring and treating disease, growing crops and tracking manufactured goods, and so much more.
A Truly Fantastic Voyage
In 1966, science fiction fans were talking about the imminent release of an American film about a submarine crew who are shrunk to microscopic size and who venture into the body of an injured scientist to repair damage to his brain. Although we have yet to crack the code of how to miniaturize people, great leaps are being made in the field of nanotechnology.
The Tiniest of Robots
Called OWICs, these miniature optical wireless integrated circuits are so small that you can now fit a million of them on a 4 inch wafer chip, at the cost of less than a penny each.
Harvard and M.I.T. have developed nontoxic nano-probes that can detect tumours, by way of your bloodstream, in your lungs and gut. Meanwhile MSU and SU have invented a nanoparticle that eats away portions of plaque that can cause heart attacks, in a non-surgical way.
Potential Uses and Concerns
From smarter security tags, to invisible IoT sensors, to live monitoring of crop disease - new applications are being evaluated by most industry sectors. Might an abundance of nanoparticles inevitably become a concern if they accumulate in our waters and in the air that we breathe?