Many used/conventional clinical tests reveal the presence of a disease causing organism by detecting the binding of a specific antibody to the disease-related target. Nano biotechnology offers a solution by using semiconductor nanocrystals (also referred to as “quantum dots”). These minuscule probes can withstand significantly more cycles of excitation and light emissions than typical organic molecules, which more readily decompose.
2. Individual target probes
3. Drug Testing
Nanoparticles as therapeutics can be delivered to targeted sites, including locations that cannot be easily reached by standard drugs. Drugs are designed to carry a therapeutic payload (radiation, chemotherapy or gene therapy) as well as for imaging applications . Many agents, which cannot be administered orally due to their poor bioavailability, will now have scope of use in therapy with the help of nanotechnology. Nano-formulations offer protection for agents vulnerable to degradation or denaturation when exposed to extreme pH, and also prolong half-life of a drug by expanding retention of the formulation through bioadhesion. Another broad application of nanotechnology is the delivery of antigens for vaccination. Recent advances in encapsulation and development of suitable animal models have demonstrated that microparticles and nanoparticles are capable of enhancing immunization .
4. Diagonsis of Disease
Optimally, diseases should be diagnosed and cured before symptoms even manifest themselves. Nucleic acid diagnostics will play a crucial role in that process, as they allow the detection of pathogens and diseases/diseased cells at such an early symptomless stage of disease progression that effective treatment is more feasible. Current technology, such as- polymerase chain reaction (PCR) leads toward such tests and devices, but nanotechnology is expanding the options currently available, which will result in greater sensitivity and far better efficiency and economy.
5. Protein chips
6. Sparse cell detection
Sparse cells are physiologically distinct from their surrounding cells in normal physiological conditions. They are significant in the detection and diagnosis of various genetic defects. However, it is a challenge to identify and isolate these sparse cells. Nanobiotechnology presents new opportunities for advancement in this area. Scientists developed nanosystems capable of effectively sorting sparse cells from blood and other tissues. This technology takes advantage of/exploits the unique properties of sparse cells manifested in differences in deformation, surface charges and affinity for specific receptors and/or ligands.
7. Biomolecular Engineering
The use of solid substrate usually means less waste and the ability to manipulate the biomolecule far more precisely. EngeneOS (Waltham, Massachusetts) pioneered the field of biomolecular engineering. The company developed the engineered genomic operating systems that create programmable biomolecular machines employing natural and artificial building blocks. These biomolecule machines have broad range of commercial applications-as biosensors, in chemical synthesis and processing, as bioelectronic devices and materials, in nanotechnology, in functional genomics and in drug discovery.
There are lot of the complicated interactions between molecules and surfaces. Nanofabrication unravels the complexity of these interactions by modifying surface characteristics with nanoscale resolutions, which can lead to hybrid biological systems. This hybrid material can be used to screen drugs, as sensors, or as medical devices and implants. Nanosystems, owned by the Irish drug company Elan, developed a polymer coating capable of changing the surface of drugs that have poor water solubility.
9. Tool in imaging
Intracellular imaging can be made possible through labelling of target molecules with quantum dots (QDs) or synthetic chomophores, such as fluorescent proteins that will facilitate direct investigation of intracellular signalling complex by optical techniques, i. e. confocal fluorescence microscopy or correlation imaging.