1-s2.0-S0925838813X00337-cov150hOne of the most interesting definitions of nanotechnology is offered by Encyclopedia Britannica’s Merriam-Webster Dictionary. It is also one of the easiest to understand. It defines nanotechnology as “the science of manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale especially to build microscopic devices (as robots).”

Not to be confused with the controversial “nanomaterials” that are used in products such as invisible sunscreens and stain-resistant coatings for clothes, the types of nanomaterials or ‘smart’ materials produced using nanotechnology (and used in the world of materials science and cancer research) are being studied with a focus on their potential ability to kill cancer cells without harming surrounding healthy cells.

Not only has this emerging science shown promising potential in the treatment of everything from brain cancer to mesothelioma, a number of medical studies are now underway to determine if it will play a significant role in the {better} detection of aggressive cancers such as mesothelioma.

A group of scientists hailing from Brazil, Denmark, Germany, and the UK published early results from their work in the Journal of Alloys and Compounds. According to the results, Science X Network’s Phys.org reports:

The team of scientists has been using the POLARIS instrument at ISIS to develop a new bio-nanocomposite that they hope will ultimately lead to earlier detection, and more successful treatment, of breast cancer.

The new material takes advantage of the fact that cancer cells attract a molecule called hydroxyapatite, which is a component of bones. The team is developing magnetic nanoparticles coated with a biocompatible polymer that includes hydroxyapatite nanocrystals. When introduced into the body, these nanoparticles should make their way to cancer cells – and once they do they make it much easier to detect the tumor on an MRI scan.

Not only do the nanoparticles help to detect cancers, but they may also help to stop them spreading to other parts of the body, as hydroxyapatite is known to inhibit that aspect of tumor activity.

While it’s true that today many mesothelioma patients are diagnosed in the later stages of the disease, thanks to advances in detection, the number of patients being diagnosed in earlier stages is on the rise. This is when mesothelioma is most treatable, which leads to a significant improvement in the life expectancy of survivors.

If you or someone you know worked in an asbestos-related industry such as mining, automotive, shipbuilding, the railroad industry, gas mask manufacturing, construction, in a factory, as an insulation manufacturer or installer, or even the military before 1973 and as late as 1990, asbestos exposure may have occurred.

Symptoms of mesothelioma include abdominal bloating and pain, chest pain (especially when taking a deep breath), cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, and/or weight loss.

If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of mesothelioma, contact a doctor immediately to get tested. It’s also best to contact an attorney at a mesothelioma law firm such as MRHFM to discuss your case. MRHFM is the largest firm exclusively devoted to helping mesothelioma victims and their families.

For more information about mesothelioma, request a free copy of 100 Questions & Answers About Mesothelioma here or contact the legal team at MRHFM directly by calling 866-373-5000.


Encyclopedia Britannica, Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Hispanic Business Magazine

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


Science Daily

Science X Network

U.S. National Library of Medicine, PubMed Health