Nanotechnology: emerging tools for biology and medicine.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Genes Dev, Volume 27, Issue 22, p.2397-408 (2013)


Humans, Medicine, Nanotechnology


Historically, biomedical research has been based on two paradigms. First, measurements of biological behaviors have been based on bulk assays that average over large populations. Second, these behaviors have then been crudely perturbed by systemic administration of therapeutic treatments. Nanotechnology has the potential to transform these paradigms by enabling exquisite structures comparable in size with biomolecules as well as unprecedented chemical and physical functionality at small length scales. Here, we review nanotechnology-based approaches for precisely measuring and perturbing living systems. Remarkably, nanotechnology can be used to characterize single molecules or cells at extraordinarily high throughput and deliver therapeutic payloads to specific locations as well as exhibit dynamic biomimetic behavior. These advances enable multimodal interfaces that may yield unexpected insights into systems biology as well as new therapeutic strategies for personalized medicine.