Nov 19, 2015

This week in Nano (Week 47 Nov 16th-22nd)

Nanotechnology and James Bond: Love it or hate it the new offering from Ian Fleming 'Spectre' has hit the screens and 007 is at it again! The globe-trotting, Martini drinking, misogynist spy is the topic of this blog - why? Well in Spectre, Q has a new trick up his sleeve, all thanks to the wonders of nanotechnology!!

At the start of the movie, Q injects James Bond with nanoparticles. Apparently these particles (Q refers to them as 'Smart Blood') allows Q to track Bonds every move indefinitely(!!) via a computer device. This happens at the start of the movie, so 007 has to deal with MI6 knowing his every whereabouts as he fights his way around the planet. But how likely is this scenario??

Well, it is not such a crazy suggestion! Injectables involving nanomaterials (NMs) are very interesting to researchers, and there are a host of researchers working on injectable NMs particularly in the medical diagnostics/device field. Companies such as MagForce have European regulatory approval for its Nano-Cancer® therapy. They offer therapies that directly inject NMs into brain tumours to allow for tumour destruction.  Others companies such as Blaze Bioscience have drugs in trial that can be injected into the body and once circulating can “light up” cancer cells thus indicating them for destruction.

Researchers focus on: the types of NMs that are biocompatible or rendering nanocomposites biocompatible, using NMs as sensors (nanobiosensors), targeted drug delivery using NMs themselves or using the NMs as trojan horse style devices, nanomedical devices such as nanobots, chips or implants as well of course as researching nanotoxicology or nano remediation, which focuses on toxicity evaluations of NMs. 

Given the degree to which we are using NMs in the medical field and the promising development of this area, how long is it until we can have a nano RFID style tags/bots circulating in the body? Although smart blood may not be a reality (would we even want that?) science is not that far behind Q when it comes to injectable nanomaterials!

Now, what is the science behind shaken not stirred- that is a whole other debate.