So today was the first lecture I had at this nanolab program, and from the beginning learned that there is a difference between nano-science and nano-tech. The latter is when the nano science is used to solve a problem.
Nanotechnology has to do a lot with finding what building blocks to use for the different categories of nanotech including bottom-up and top-down.
One is able to visualize the bottom-up technique by thinking of constructing a building out of bricks.
To understand the top-down technique, one can refer to carving a statue out of a larger slab of marble.
During the lecture, the idea of creating nano-motors caught my attention after having learned about proton synthase in plants in my biology class. I never thought about using the same method, which organisms use to create energy by creating proton gradients, to harvest energy for other applications. By being able to utilize this technique, we would be able to create probes that could power themselves by creating proton gradients in which we could use to attack cancer cells that metastasized, or something simpler like transporting some proteins to places they need to go.
Additionally, the applications of nanotechnology could have an immense advance in the environment. Water filtration systems could be further advanced to filter out chemicals and toxic waste from medicine that can’t be done with the current technology we have. Although there are hazards which nanotechnology could bring, the benefits outweigh the costs by far in my opinion, and caution should always be used while progressing further in the field.
Water filtration using nano technology: http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2004/10/65287
Periodical on top down approach:
How to build nanotech motors: