'Nano tech a solution for medical therapy'

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | Visakhapatnam, January 5: | Updated: Jan 6 2008, 01:13am hrs
Nanoscience holds great prospects for augmenting medical therapy, particularly in drugs delivery at the critical targeted points, said the Nobel Laureate Robert Curl. And that too the delivery would be safe.

Speaking at a plenary session in 95th Indian Science Congress, Curl said that non particles which would act as a capsules carrying drugs would be biodegradable and safe and would not cause any harm to the human body. Among other aspects where nanoscience can help was the creation of enzymes synthesing molecules which would produce enzymes at the rate required by the human body. This process of producing enzymes would be possible in the near future, he said and added that at present enzymes were produced "artificially without any controls."

"Take for example the problem of drugs delivery to the retinal cell layers of the eye. The fluid eye ball throws out the medicine. The nano capsule can directly delivery it directly to the retinal cell layers," said Jamboor K Viswanath, associate dean in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Texas. He said the US Food and Drugs Administration has approved Poly DL Lactide C-glyolide (PLGA) as an effective, sustainable, stable and biodegradable vehicle for drugs delivery. The PLGA has very little cytotoxin effect, he said.

Viswanath said that nanoscience can be deployed to deal with prostrate cancer and cellular mitigation. The second generation of nano particles to be developed would be targetted nano therapeutics like antibodies and peptides. Nano tech platform for applied drugs can be both viral and non-viral constructs, he said.

Speaking about the miracles of ancient civilisations, Curl said, Many items like the Persian Khanjar and the Damascus steel were made by unconsciously applying nano technology. The iron ore was procured from India and processed in traditional way at requisite temperatures to produce these wonderful items. While examining these ancient products we find the existance of carbon nano tubes in them." He also said that the colouring on ancient Czech glass was also found to contain nano particles

He said that nano technology can be used ensure environmental protection by depolying it in the stages of manufacturing, disposal, transportation and exposure.

G Sundarajan of the Hyderabad-based Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Material said nano steels would have a good global market in the near future and so also nano devices, tools and structures. He said that nano silver-based water filter would be in the market within six months. He also said about the prospects of nano structured (copper -alumina) cold spray coating and alumina-based ceramic nano composite for cutting tools.