The Development And Application Of Nanomaterials Has Allowed

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The development and application of nanomaterials has allowed society and the environment to benefit in many ways. Nanomaterials are three-dimensional objects that have one of their dimensions in the range of 1-100nm. They can exist in nature or be created from pre-existing materials. Their exceptionally small size means that nanomaterials possess unique physical, chemical and mechanical characteristics that might otherwise not exist with the same materials on a larger scale. In some cases, nanomaterials have enhanced properties of the original material. Research and development into nanotechnology has given rise to a whole new variety of scientific applications, rendering previously impossible tasks possible. The engineering of…show more content…
The development of nanosponges has created a new way of neutralising and removing toxins from the body. Toxins include pore-forming toxins, which destroy healthy cells by creating holes in their membranes. Nanosponges are biocompatible polymers of nanoparticles, which are coated with a membrane similar to a red blood cell’s to travel undetected through the body. This synthetic membrane attracts toxins and inhibits them from damaging cell membranes. Upon reaching the liver, the toxin and the nanosponge are eliminated from the body. Unlike other highly specific anti-toxin platforms, nanosponges can absorb a wide variety of toxins, regardless of molecular structures (Zhang et al, 2013). This broadens the treatment options for many pathogen-related infections. Experimental results show that pre-inoculation with nanosponges allowed 89% of lab mice to survive lethal doses of toxins, while administering nanosponges after the lethal doses allowed 44% of lab mice to survive. It was observed that a single nanosponge could absorb up to 850 toxins, depending on the type of toxin (Zhang et al, 2013). According to post-doctoral researcher Che-Ming Jack Hu, one of the first applications of nanosponges will be an anti-virulence treatment for MRSA, which is a bacterium that is resistant to many antibiotics. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the National
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