Nanotechnology is used in many ways that you may have never thought of. Nanoparticles are so small yet so effective. They are used to tackle large issues that affect us all, from early cancer detection to fighting climate change. In fact, you may already be using nanotechnology at home, even though you are not aware of it!
According to Veri Nano’s lead engineer Kanny Chang,“Nanoparticles are too small to see or feel because they’re a thousand times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, but they have the ability to do things that larger particles cannot do. In short, they’re small but powerful!”
Nanotechnology and Cancer Detection
A team of researchers at Rutgers University has used nanotechnology to track the progression of cancer. One of the largest issues in cancer treatment is that MRI’s, mammograms and other cancer surveillance devices are often unable to capture early tumors. The nanoparticles can follow cancer cells as they spread through the body so that no tumors can get away undetected. This use of nanotechnology is revolutionary and will save so many lives.
Nanotechnology and Skincare
Remember when athletes and lifeguards used to have dense white liquid on their faces to protect against sunburns? They were using zinc oxide to avoid looking like a lobster after spending hours in the sun! Today, scientists have developed sunscreens using small nanoparticles, allowing us to avoid walking around with white faces all summer. These particles are very reflective and help prevent solar radiation from penetrating your skin.
Nanotechnology and the Environment
Marino Morikawa, a Peruvian-Japanese environmental scientist, created The Micro-Nano Bubbling System using nanotechnology to help save a wetland that he used to fish in as a child. He set out to restore the wetlands, bring the biodiversity back, and allow the next generation to enjoy the wetlands as much as he had growing up. Morikawa’s technology creates micro-nano bubbles with an electromagnetic field that works like a magnet: while the bubble moves from the bottom of the water to the top, it attracts viruses and bacteria and brings them right to the top. The good species are able to escape while the bad ones get removed with the viruses and bacteria, leaving the water body decontaminated.
Nanotechnology and your home
An invisible film of silver nanoparticles is commonly used on floors, benchtops, cutlery, fridges and more! Nanoparticles offer many benefits as they can:
- Make a surface water-repelling, to avoid staining and make materials self-cleaning
- Make a surface heat-resistant, to avoid melting
- Have antimicrobial properties, to kill algae, bacteria, and microorganisms
- Absorb UV light, to avoid degradation of paint colors
These are just a few of the ways in which nanotechnology is helping society, the world and us.