7 ways nanoscience will improve health in the next decade

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Nanoscience research, which involves molecules only one one-hundreth the size of cancer cells, is on path to profoundly improve health and medical treatments in the coming decade, according to nine prominent nanoscience experts who examined the field's potential future contributions to health in the journal ACS Nano.

Paul Weiss, PhD, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA, said, "The field is poised to make contributions far beyond the nanoscale worlds that we have explored so far. This is the age of discovery for nanoscience and nanotechnology."

Here are seven ways nanoscience may improve health in the next ten years.

1. Nanomaterials could be designed to deliver potent antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs that target and fight off bacterial and viral infections.

2. Nanoscience research may result in more effective treatments of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.

3. Nanoscience could play a significant role in the further development of immune-oncology with nanomaterials designed to activate the body's immune system to attack tumor cells.

4. Nanotechnology is likely to capture, convert and store energy with greater efficiency in the coming decade. Such advancement will facilitate production of sustainable and efficient large-scale energy to meet the increasing global demand, thereby improving global health.

5. Nanotechnology principles are being used in water purification, which could make major contributions to supplying clean water globally.

6. Sensor technologies designed to detect disease-causing pathogens may lead to advances in food safety and reductions in food contamination.

7. Improvements in data storage and the proliferation of "nano-enabled smart devices" in areas like telecommunications and information technology could improve access to health information and services.

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