The Linked between Cancer and Nanotechnology

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Nanotechnology is the study and formation of structures at a molecular level; the engineering of complicated machines at the level of molecules, which can only be measured in nanometers, one nanometer being around a billionth of one meter.  To show, the size of one strand of human hair is between 50,000 and 100,000 nanometers.

Research in the field of nanotechnology has been rising by leaps and bounds over the past few years, while the technology is still only in its embryonic stage. It has found usage in every possible field that includes electronics, power generation and biomedical devices.  Some possible applications of nanoscale devices in the field of medicine are astounding and make one wonder if they are caught in the middle of a science fiction movie.  Let’s explore the possibilities brought in by nanotechnology in one particular aspect of the vast field of medicine, namely, the diagnosis and cure of cancer.
Why Nanotechnology in Cancer?
As discussed earlier, nanoscale devices can only be measured at the form of the molecular level; they are in fact, between a hundred to ten thousand times smaller compared to an average cell in the human body. Their size can be compared to naturally happening molecules such as enzymes, which are known as biomolecules. To illustrate, the size of hemoglobin, the molecule that has the task of delivering oxygen to the red blood cells in our body, is about 5 nm in diameter.

Nanoscale devices measuring less than 50 nm are small enough that it could enter most of the cells in the human body, whereas those smaller than 20 nm can move in and out of blood vessels. Due to their extremely small size that allows them to move in and out of countless areas of the human body, nanoscale devices are capable of fluently interacting with various biomolecules existing on the surface of, as well as inside the cells. And, given that all biological processes, most importantly those that have been discovered to lead to various types of cancer, takes place inside cells at a nanoscale level, nanotechnology is equipping cancer researchers with hard to believe new ways in detecting and deliver treatment for cancer that were unthinkable just a few years ago.

The Possibilities 
Nanotechnology aids the development of various nanoscale devices, which can help bring a radical alteration in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It helps in the development in the imaging agents and other diagnostic tools that can help accurately locate the development of cancer at the original possible stage.  It can lead to the development of nano-agents that are able to scrutinize changes in the molecular level and help in the anticipation of malignancy of pre-cancerous cells.