Nanotechnology and picotechnology: A new arena for translational medicine
Published in Nanomedicine, Picotechnology.
During recent decades, nanotechnology has captured a great attention in materials science, medicine and biomedical engineering. Nanomedicine as one of the sub-disciplines of nanotechnology usually defines as “science, engineering, and technology conducted at the nanoscale”. Among different aspects of nanomedicine, tissue engineering mostly evolved from the field of biomaterials development and refers to the practice of combining scaffolds, cells, and biologically active molecules into functional tissues. In fact, assembly of functional constructs that can restore, maintain, or improve damaged tissues or whole organs is the main goal of tissue engineering. On the other hand, regenerative medicine is defined as medicine that replaces or regenerates human cells, tissue or organs to restore or reestablish normal function where the body uses its own systems, sometimes with the help of foreign biological materials. Indeed, emergence of nanotechnology has set high expectations in biological science and translational medicine, which is possibly due to the fact that the sizes of functional elements in biology are in the nanometer range and therefore promote the interaction between nanomaterials and biological systems. For instance, in the realm of utilizing biomaterials for regenerative medicine, promising biomaterials must simultaneously boost tissue regeneration while minimizing immune responses and preventing infection. On top of that, a newly developing technology field termed “pico-technology,” may be able to further take advantage of pico-scale elements of biological systems. Pico-technology as an approach to manipulate materials at the atomic and sub-atomic level provides a better tool for scientists to advance many fields such as biological systems, medicine, imaging and materials synthesis by designing of more personalized and accurate treatments.