Written by: Dr. Amit Mishra
Nanotechnology to Green Nanotechnology: Hope and Hype
The transition of the 21st-century technology, Nanotechnology to Eco-friendly Green Nanotechnology has led the introduction of new Nano-products that are more eco-friendly throughout their lifecycle. In recent years, Nanotechnology has shown highly promising prospects for turning fundamental research into successful innovations and has laid the best grounds for Nano Start-up business. For a successful start-up business in Nanotechnology, a brilliant idea (to solve a problem of the real-world issues), strong zeal, and initial capital, that’s all that is required. Recent data of 15, 667 start-ups recognized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in India till January 2019 confirms the uprising start-up industry in India. Between 2018-2025, the Nanotechnology market is anticipated to have growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 16.5% percent as depicted in the latest research study of ‘Global Nanotechnology Market Outlook 2024’. This article discusses in detail about the Nanotechnology, its transformed form Green Nanotechnology, its strategies, and future prospectives.
What is Nanotechnology?
“Nano” Greek Prefix which means “dwarf” i.e. one billionth (=0.000000001)
Nanotechnology definition as such is the research and technology advancement at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels, in the length scale of approximately 1-100 nanometre (10-9m). It is the method of creating and using structures, devices, and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their small and /or intermediate size. It is the skill to control or manipulate on the atomic scale.
What is Green Nanotechnology?
Green Nanotechnology signifies the application of Nanotechnology and Nano products to improve environmental sustainability (Economic Development, Environmental protection, and Social Development). It is defined as the development of clean technologies by which the potential environmental and human health risks related to the manufacture and application of Nanotechnology products are minimized.
Scope of Nanotechnology
In the last 20 years, Nanotechnology has made a remarkable impact in cell phones (Carbon Nanotube vacuum tubes) and computers (Carbon Nanotubes) industries but is facing the major challenge of its use in medical and solar energy fields. Along with enhancing competitiveness in market Nanotechnology market has created new products that are going to make a positive impact in our lives, be it in medicine, environment, electronics or any other field. Nanoscience’s and Nanotechnologies have the great potential to open up new avenues of research and lead to new, useful, and sometimes wonderful applications.
Recent advances in nanoscale materials holds the potential to control stem cell fate[multimodal imaging; MR, optical, ultrasound, photoacoustic, multifunctional NMs (Nanomaterials)] , improve DNA or RNA and drug delivery, modulate the immune response to implanted cells, and create advanced scaffolds (tissue engineering scaffolds within regenerative medicine, e. g. graphene Quantum dots) for the treatment of various diseases like heart failures, brain and spinal cord injuries, diseases of the retina (eye), liver failure, kidney dysfunction, lower limb ischemia, breast cancer.
Nanotechnology in India is a highly fast growing industry and have demands in sectors like healthcare markets, electronics, and other industrial products. There are many exciting new fields that have opened up for Nanotechnology experts. These fields include Health industry, Engineering, Robotics, Research and consulting, Pharmaceutical, Agriculture, Food and beverage, Fuel cells, Environment industries (Better Air Quality, Cleaner Water), Solar cells, Space, Biotechnology industry, Chemical Sensors, Sporting goods, Fabric, etc.
Myths and Realities of Nanotechnology
- Is Nanotechnology a Novel Technology?
Some of the ancient examples include – The application of Nanoparticle metals in therapeutics has been a regular practice in Ayurveda (Atharva Veda, 5000 yrs. ago) in the form of Bhasma, Nanotechnology used to make weapons and long lasting cave paintings around 2000 yrs. ago by Indian craftsmen and artisans, the existence of carbon nanoparticles in the famous Ajanta paintings. The term “Nanotechnology” was first used by Norio Taniguchi, the University of Tokyo in 1974 to describe the ability to engineer materials at the nanoscale.
- Is Nanotechnology an Economical Technology?
Nanotechnology is a fast emerging economical technology which is extensively expected to provide technical solutions and economically successful products in multiple fields of its application.
- Is Nanotechnology Beneficial and Safe?
Due to the wide spectrum of Nanotechnology applications, it has numerous benefits in both developed and developing countries like improvement on transport systems, cheaper and clean energy, clean drinking water due to Nano filters that can entrap organisms and toxins, improved healthcare system by fabrication of biotech & medical devices and drug delivery systems for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of scaring diseases (Cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Tuberculosis), clean environment by removal of pollutants through remediation, creation of new products and improvement of existing products at nanoscale etc. which has paved the way of the industrial revolution that may change every aspect of human life. Green Nanotechnology has made it safe.
Over the next coming years, Entrepreneurs in nearly every sphere will soon be reckoning with Nanotechnology. It is predicted that Nanotechnology is going to evolve and expand in different fields of health sciences and engineering and its achievements being applied in Telecommunication & Information technology, Computers, Medicine like diagnostics, Cosmetics, Tissue engineering & Patient improvement, Chemical & biological technologies and Agriculture is going to improve the quality of human life.