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Applications of nanoparticles in biology and medicine

BioMed Central
Publication Date
  • Review
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Medicine
  • Physics

Abstract ral ss BioMed CentJournal of Nanobiotechnology Open AcceReview Applications of nanoparticles in biology and medicine OV Salata* Address: Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK Email: OV Salata* - [email protected] * Corresponding author nanotechnologynanomaterialsnanoparticlesquantum dotsnanotubesmedicinebiologyapplications Abstract Nanomaterials are at the leading edge of the rapidly developing field of nanotechnology. Their unique size-dependent properties make these materials superior and indispensable in many areas of human activity. This brief review tries to summarise the most recent developments in the field of applied nanomaterials, in particular their application in biology and medicine, and discusses their commercialisation prospects. Introduction Nanotechnology [1] is enabling technology that deals with nano-meter sized objects. It is expected that nanote- chnology will be developed at several levels: materials, devices and systems. The nanomaterials level is the most advanced at present, both in scientific knowledge and in commercial applications. A decade ago, nanoparticles were studied because of their size-dependent physical and chemical properties [2]. Now they have entered a com- mercial exploration period [3,4]. Living organisms are built of cells that are typically 10 µm across. However, the cell parts are much smaller and are in the sub-micron size domain. Even smaller are the pro- teins with a typical size of just 5 nm, which is comparable with the dimensions of smallest manmade nanoparticles. This simple size comparison gives an idea of using nano- particles as very small probes that would allow us to spy at the cellular machinery without introducing too much interference [5]. Understanding of biological processes on the nanoscale level is a strong driving force behind devel- Out of plethora of size-dependant physical properties available to someone who is intere

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