Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary field that brings together diverse fields of research and development such as engineering, biology, physics and chemistry. Formal definitions of nanotechnology refer to man-made devices, components and structures in the 1 – 100 nm range in at least one dimension. Advances in nanoscience are having a significant impact on many scientific fields, boosting the development of a variety of important technologies. Nanotechnology offers an unprecedented opportunity to interact with cancer cells in real time at the molecular and cellular scale. Because of their small size, nanoscale devices can readily interact with biomolecules on both the surface of cells and inside of cells. The concerted development of nanoscale devices, structures and components have provided essential breakthroughs in monitoring and fighting cancer at the earliest stages of the cancer process. Nanotechnology offers a wealth of tools that may provide researchers with new and innovative ways to diagnose and treat cancer - new imaging agents; systems for real-time assessments of therapeutic and surgical efficacy; multifunctional, targeted devices capable of bypassing biological barriers to deliver multiple therapeutic agents directly to cancer cells and tissues that play a critical role in cancer growth and metastasis; agents that can monitor predictive molecular changes allowing for preventive action against precancerous cells becoming malignant; minimizing costs for multiplex analysis. Nanotechnology, if properly integrated with conventional cancer research, may provide extraordinary prospects towards better diagnosis and effective therapy.
Keywords: Nanotechnology, cancer, cancer therapy, cancer imaging, cancer molecular diagnostics, nanoparticles, nanosensors
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