NCI official envisions medical nanotechnology

from the The-vision-thing dept.
The medical applications of nanotechnology will change the shape of medicine, said Dr. Carol Dahl, director of the Office of Technology and Industrial Relations at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, according to a report from United Press International ("Nanomedicine: The new frontier", by K. Samson, 23 July 2001). Dahl spoke during a special briefing, titled ìThe Promise of Nanotechnology: The Coming Revolution in Medicine,î presented at the National Health Council on 23 July 2001.

Read more for details and links to additional coverage of the event. Speaking to about 70 congressional aides, health agency officials and others, Dahl described future potential for the medical applications of nanotechnology, where tiny devices and products work inside the body to diagnose and treat a range of illnesses and diseases. "Imagine if we could manipulate each individual atom of an object," Dahl said. "That's the basic idea of nanotechnology and many scientists believe that we are only a few decades away from achieving it. There are already a number of micro devices in use, but we want to get smaller — much smaller."

Also speaking at the forum was David LaVan, from the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT, who said the groundwork for nanotech medical devices already is being laid by research efforts at a number of institutions. He also envisioned a future where medicine will deliver "stealth" immunity against disease by providing accurate diagnostic media that will be interpreted by "nanomonitors" and treated by reservoirs of drugs built into the tiny devices.

A summary of Dr. Dahl's remarks will be posted on the National Health Council website.

An article on the SmallTimes website (îNanotechnology enables medical discovery, health official tells congressional staffersî, by J. Karoub, 24 July 2001) provides additional coverage, focusing on Dahl's remarks on NCI programs and a collaboration with NASA to develop nanoscale sensors and biomonitors.

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