Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsWelcome to the course Nanotechnology for Health. But what has nanotechnology to do with health? Well, this is precisely the question we want to explore somewhat further in this course. Let's start with nanotechnology. The original idea of nanotechnology dates back to the end of the 1950s. It was not until the 1980s and 1990s when nanotechnology really took off and scientists succeeded in seeing and manipulating matter on the nanometer length scale. You most probably have encountered the term nanotechnology in your daily life. New devices and commercial products that contain nanomaterials or are fabricated using nanotechnology are sometimes advertised with the label "nano" or "nanotechnology."

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsThousands of scientists and engineers around the world work on a wide range of fundamental questions and the development of products that use nanotechnology. One of these application fields is medicine and health care. As humans grow older, health and health care becomes ever more important. We all do want to stay healthy, but how does nanotechnology fit into this? To understand this better, it is important to realize that all processes within the human body are the result of interaction between molecules, which themselves are nano-sized objects. Nanotechnology and its analysis tools make it possible to visualize these molecules, as well as the larger aggregates they form, such as the living cells in our body.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 secondsThis leads to a better understanding of how the human body works but also provides key insights in case of a disease. This is still about seeing and measuring. In the following step, nanotechnology provides us with means to control these interactions more precisely. This might lead to curing these diseases. This is the field of nanomedicine. Aging of the population and the increasing possibilities for medical treatments presents us with a financial problem. The scientific community is challenged to come up with technological solutions that may reduce these health care costs. This is a significant driver for many nanotechnology programs. All right. Let's talk about this course now.

Skip to 2 minutes and 20 secondsWe will show how nanotechnology inspires us to create new devices that can be used to diagnose a disease or monitor a medical treatment. Within our university, this topic is explored in a fruitful cooperation between the institutes MESA+ and MIRA. But it's not only about developing a technology. Many new technologies and applications raise new ethical dilemmas and societal discussion. We will discuss the type of questions that may arise and how to deal with these. Finally, we will also look into questions related to a successful commercial introduction of these new technologies. The structure of this course is as follows. This week, we start off giving you an introduction to nanotechnology and the connection it has with medical diagnosis.

Skip to 3 minutes and 9 secondsIn the following weeks, we describe three examples of new devices for medical diagnosis that use nanotechnology. Furthermore, we also sketch the possible ethical, societal, and business problems. So let's start.

Welcome to this course

In this introduction lead educator Martin Bennink explains what you can expect from this course. We will introduce the rest of our team in step 1.16. We cover both nanotechnology and its implications on society: High Tech, Human Touch. We sincerely hope you will learn along with us!

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Nanotechnology for Health: Innovative Designs for Medical Diagnosis

University of Twente