Pros And Cons Of Nanotechnology

1656 Words 7 Pages
Nanotechnology and Cancer: A Look into Better Options

Since the beginning of time, human beings have been felled by disease and one of the most common killers of humans and animals as well. Until recently cancer has gone uninterrupted in its mass killing spree. Methods of treatment began to arise such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Now technology has advanced enough to allow nanotechnology to arise. Nano allows access to treatment and detection options that neither radiotherapy nor chemotherapy have access. The use of quantum dots to highlight cells allows for more accurate detection than typical optical detection methods. Use of particular nanoshells, paramagnetic nanoparticles and carbon nanotubes allow for improved treatment of a cell
…show more content…
In the past decade or so, there have been different nanoparticles that have been developed using different materials such as carbon, silica oxides, nanocrystals, polymers and quantum dots (Archarya 2016). With this in mind who’s to say there won’t be more materials developed that are safer and more effective? That’s the glory of nanotechnology. Although nanotechnology is in the early developmental period and still undergoing animal trials, the possibility is there and within reach. A huge reason to this being the case is the toxicity issues associated with current nanotherapy. One such issues are with quantum dots which assist in the detection of cancerous areas using semiconductor nanocrystals that emit fluorescent light when their electrons are excited (Cuenca et al. 2006). Dr. Alex Cuenca and his colleagues are among some of those involved in early development of cancer treatments using nanotechnology. “Because of their composition of heavy metals and previous reports of cytotoxicity, the potential use of quantum dots in humans may be limited. Uncoated or nonpolymer-protected quantum dots are unstable when exposed to ultraviolet radiation and have been shown to release toxic cadmium (Cuenca et al. 2006).” This is one of the dangers of using nanotechnology in its current state. Materials that are used in most nano processes have found to be toxic to most living organisms. However there are other options besides these quantum …show more content…
All along that journey, it may be attacked by the body’s immune system and reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. Not only that, but cancer is widely known as an adaptive disease. The more that is thrown at it, the more it will develop a response and resist the treatment. If a carbon nanotube can be coated with a benign substance known to not trigger immune reactions, possibly plasma cells, the nanotubes can make their way through the body safely and reach their target where the cancer cells will devour the plasma and along with it the drug nestled inside. Once the plasma is eaten away, the drug will be exposed and being killing the cancer cells from the inside out. Of course this is all in theory. A similar theory has been under testing by Dr. Xu Wang and his team. Wang has taken drug resistance into consideration and presented a solution using nanotechnology. “Noncellular drug resistance can be due to physiological barriers with protects the cancerous cells from drug-induced cytotoxicity (Wang et al. 2008)” Wang and his team started big and attempted to permeate the blood-brain barrier which is one of the best working barriers in an organism. Tumor cells defend themselves with a similar system which consists of microvessel endothelial cells which contain a highly effective active efflux pump system that removes a large volume of undesirables from the brain to the

Related Documents

Related Topics