Nanotechnology in Medicine: Moving from the Bench to the Bedside


  • Patrick R. Hunziker
  • Martin Stolz
  • Ueli Aebi



Arthroscopy, Atomic force microscopy, Biochemical testing, Drug targeting, Medical implants, Medicine, Nanoscience


While living matter is composed of a large number of biological nanomachines, it has been recognized early in the history of nanotechnology that medicine could be a prime field for application. Now that nanotechnology has gone beyond its infancy, its mature arsenal of tools, methods and materials is ready for applications outside physics. While true clinical applications of nanotechnology are still practically non-existent at the current time, a significant number of promising medical projects is at an advanced experimental stage. Tools based on the atomic force microscope will not only allow improved imaging of living matter but can also serve as functional probes and will even serve as sensitive sensors for a broad range of molecules of medical interest. New immunological tests based on microcontact printing and microfluidics will significantly improve medical laboratory diagnosis. New materials, including nanotubes and fullerenes, nanocontainers and other self-assembled structures may improve mechanical properties and biocompatibility of implants and will allow new approaches in drug targeting.




How to Cite

P. R. Hunziker, M. Stolz, U. Aebi, Chimia 2002, 56, 520, DOI: 10.2533/000942902777680234.