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What is Nanotechnology? – History and More


Nanotechnology is manipulating and making materials and artifacts at an atomic or molecular scale, that is, nanometric. It is a massive field of research and applications still in consolidation.

Nanotechnology involves subatomic matter and the specific knowledge of scientific disciplines such as organic chemistry, molecular biology, semiconductors, microfabrication, and surface science, among others.

Simply put, nanotechnology is based on the idea of ​​building microscopic machines that produce novel materials with a unique and particular molecular configuration.

History of Nanotechnology

In 1959, the possibility of nanotechnology and nanoscience was first discussed. The first to rise to it was the Nobel Prize in Physics (1965). The American Richard Feynman (1918-1988), during his speech at Caltech (California, USA), in which he spoke of the synthesis by direct manipulation of theorized atoms.

However, the word “nanotechnology” was coined in 1974 by the Japanese Norio Taniguchi (1912-1999). Since then, many have visualized or theorized about the possibility of these types of advanced machines and materials.

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What is Nanotechnology for?

In basic terms, nanotechnology is materials engineering at the atomic or molecular scale. It means that it allows matter to be manipulated on an infinitesimally small scale. Between 1 and 100 nanometers, that is, more or less between the size of a DNA molecule (2 nm) and a bacterium of the Mycoplasma genus (200 nm).

Therefore, the uses of nanotechnology are virtually infinite from intervening in the chemical composition of living beings, thus allowing the DNA of microscopic living beings to be modified and “programmed” to carry out specific biochemical tasks, to the manufacture of novel materials. and unique properties, called nanomaterials.

Nanotechnology Applications

Some of the Current Applications of Nanotechnology Have to do with:

  • Textile industry. The creation of smart fabrics capable of pre-programmed behavior in chips or other electronic instruments, thus being able to be self-cleaning, stain-repellent, or change color and temperature.
  • Agricultural design. Development of controlled biochemical pesticides, pesticides, and fertilizers that allow the improvement of soils, as well as nanosensors for detecting groundwater, nutrient concentration, etc.
  • Livestock support. Manufacture through nanoparticles of vaccines and drugs to take care of the health of livestock, or nanosensors capable of alerting about the presence of diseases, parasites, etc.
  • Food industry. In this area, food sensors are being develop, that is, elements that can check the viability of food, to nanocontainers for it, specially designed to slow down the natural process of food decomposition.
  • It is the first group of pharmacological products design with nanosystems. Capable of efficiently and specifically distributing the active compounds of medicines, obtaining better and faster results, and reducing collateral harm.

On the Other Hand, The Business Sees the Following as Future Fields of Research:

  • The design of computerized systems of enormous power and speed through nanosystems.
  • Application of nanomachines to regulate local temperature efficiently and quickly.
  • That they could well be efficient, safe, and with a low environmental impact as a solution to the energy crisis with which the 21st century begins.
  • Environmental solutions. As nanotechnological systems for the disposal of hazardous waste or garbage disposal.

Examples of Nanotechnology

Here are some examples of the present application of nanotechnology to human problems:

Bactericidal Black Silicone

Australian and Spanish scientists have said the creation of a material called black silicon. The molecular composition of which, without the need for additional products. Prevents the multiplication of many types of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and reduces the effectiveness of some types of endospores.

Nano surgery with a Robot

Swiss lab ETH Zurich is preparing to test its first magnetically guided micro-robot, known as the OctoMag, which it hopes will be able to perform microsurgery without opening the patient, simply by injecting it into the body through a small needle. . Similar models of micropumps have also been test in the United States, delivering treatment to the eye on demand.

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