Nanobiotechnology and How It Is Used
At its core, nanobiotechnology is just a smaller offshoot of the already burgeoning nanotechnology scene with a heavier focus on a different aspect of its possible applications. With an emphasis on the life sciences and biology, nanobiotechnology uses tools and innovation in the nanotechnology world for things such as particle probes and delivery systems for biomolecules in the cellular environment. This may be a slightly vague definition; however, it is much easier to explain in practice. For instance, in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19, there is a practical application of nanobiotechnology that can be easily observed.
Both of these vaccines are not quite traditional in the sense of how they work and provide immunity. Instead of injecting a dead or weakened version of the virus into somebody, the two vaccines work instead through the use of mRNA. The vaccines essentially work by providing biological information and genetic codes, which gives immune systems the tools to identify the spike protein on the surface of the COVID-19 virus to combat it quicker and easier than without it. This is where nanobiotechnology comes into play. Basically, in order to deliver that genetic code to the body and immune system, the vaccines must rely on packaging it inside of a nanoscale delivery device. While neither vaccine will be the first to implement nanoscale delivery devices into a medical treatment, this would easily be the most resonant and important step the technology has ever taken, with possibly billions of people receiving doses. Beyond this, it would certainly open up the door for more vaccines to use mRNA as a major component as opposed to previous, traditional methods. This would make the use of nanobiotechnology in mainstream medicine more common. As important as Pfizer and Moderna are to the advancement of the industry, they are not the only major companies using this medical technology.
The Future of Nanobiotechnology and Major Companies in the Market
Considering the major use of nanobiotechnology in perhaps the two most important developments in modern medicine, the entire field of study and application is set to grow tremendously, especially between the years 2024 and 2029. This will be on the backs of companies like T2 Biosystems and Keystone Nano. T2 systems works heavily on in vitro diagnostic tools and panels including the T2SARS-CoV-2 Panel, which has gained emergency approval from the FDA. The company’s T2MR technology is the first ever to detect and identify molecular targets in samples without the need to purify or extract those molecules. Keystone Nano on the other hand is more focused on developing nanoscale therapies to help fight and treat cancer in patients. Their two biggest developments since the advent of the company are their NanoJackets and NanoLiposomes. NanoJackets can be filled with different medical therapies to help more effectively treat specific areas and organs where cancer is. NanoLiposomes on the other hand are being tested in clinics across the nation as a new cancer treatment. There has been serious evidence that NanoLiposomes are effective in treating liver cancer, certain leukemias, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer — all of which are notably poorly dealt with under current traditional methods.
The nanobiotechnology field is moving with serious momentum as of 2020. With growth accelerated by COVID-19 and its two most progressed vaccines both utilizing nanotechnology, the field looks to have growing potential. Especially with companies completely dedicated to advancing it, and using nanobiotechnology to create new tools and treatments in the medical field, there should be strong expectations for the continued expansion of nanobiotechnology.
About the Author
Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.