Rev.Adv.Mater.Sci. (RAMS)
No 3, Vol. 44, 2016, pages 286-296


Sukhwinder K. Bhullar, Harsharan Pal Singh, Ginpreet Kaur and Harpal S. Buttar


The applications of nanotechnology materials are rapidly advancing and will leave no field untouched by their ground breaking innovations. Nanoparticles are molecules with a diameter ranging from 10-100 nm and are available in different types such as spheres, rods, shells, cages and SERS particles which vary in shape, size and physical properties. The potential applications of nanomaterials include targeted drug and gene delivery, cancer diagnosis and therapy, determination of biological molecules and microorganisms, molecular probes for diagnosis of?disease, immunoassay, and enzyme immobilization. Four types of stent devices include balloon angioplasty, bare metal stents, drug-eluting stents, and bioresorbable stents. Devices manufactured using nanotechnology materials have promising biomedical applications, and most noteworthy among them are the implantable non-woven nanofibrous stents for opening up narrowed blood vessels. The drug-eluting smart stents serve as reservoirs for delivery of medicines that prevent artery closure. The basic characteristics of a well-designed stent are that it must fit snugly in the blocked artery wall and form a scaffold to enhance blood flow without getting dislodged and/or drag-along further in the implanted blood vessel. In addition, the elastic and mechanical behaviour of a stent must match with the native tissue. Nano-robots constitute another important application of nanotechnology in health sciences. These devices may not only help to monitor and record detailed biomechanical and histopathological information of different tissues and organs in both humans and animal models, but also reduce the invasiveness risk and diagnostic cost of human diseases. Due to their specificity and site targeting properties, the nanomaterials may be a real boon for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. However, several safety and regulatory questions remain to be addressed regarding the usefulness of conventional in vitro and in vivo methods employed for assessing short- and long-term consequences of nanoparticles and nanomaterials in humans, marine and wild animals as well as acute and chronic levels of exposure to environment.

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