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Surgical Innovation
December 2015

Applications of Nanotechnology in the Management of Cancer: Miniature Technology, Great Potential

Author Affiliations
  • 1HPB Surgical Unit, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital Campus, London, England
  • 2Department of Materials and London Centre for Nanotechnology, Imperial College, London, England
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(12):1184-1185. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2015.2654

Nanotechnology refers to the applications of science at the nanoscale between 1 and 100 nm. To put it into context, if you have printed this article, 1 nm is 1/100 000 of the thickness of the sheet of paper you are holding. The ability to produce and investigate materials at this scale has provided applications in most scientific fields including engineering, chemistry, and materials science. The concept was first described by physicist Richard Feynman in a talk entitled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” at the California Institute of Technology in 1959. He envisioned the creation of objects so small that they could be controlled at the cellular level. Over the last few years, there have been a surge of applications arising from nanotechnology for therapeutic and diagnostic use in cancer.

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