Nanotechnology is engineering and manufacturing at the molecular scale, and the application of nanotechnology to medicine is called nanomedicine. Nanomedicine subsumes three mutually overlapping and progressively more powerful molecular technologies. First, nanoscale-structured materials and devices that can be fabricated today hold great promise for advanced diagnostics and biosensors, targeted drug delivery and smart drugs, and immunoisolation therapies. Second, biotechnology offers the benefits of molecular medicine via genomics, proteomics, and artificial engineered microbes. Third, in the longer term, molecular machine systems and medical nanorobots will allow instant pathogen diagnosis and extermination, chromosome replacement and individual cell surgery in vivo, and the efficient augmentation and improvement of natural physiological function. Current research is exploring the fabrication of designed nanostructures, nanoactuators and nanomotors, microscopic energy sources, and nanocomputers at the molecular scale, along with the means to assemble them into larger systems, economically and in great numbers.
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