Nanotechnology has seen an extensive new use in certain fields of medicine especially in the areas of disease diagnosis and monitoring through imaging, tissue repair, curbing the evolution of disease agents, and the delivery of drugs to specific cells. This technology use has ushered in a novel era in assistive medicine and has emerged from the success of nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems and the advances made in nanotechnology and biotechnology over the past twenty years. Additionally, the creation of new nanodevices called nanobots that have features of auto replication and total autonomy have the ability to revolutionize entire industries owing to their innumerable applications. Nanotechnology, however, presents numerous methodological challenges in its applications due to the inadequacy of information on how best to utilize it. Nanotechnology development and use pose diverse political and economic challenges. Economically, they are very complex and expensive to make, put too much demand on energy, and have high operational costs. There are also numerous ethical issues regarding its application and debates on how the excretion and disposal of nanoparticles will impact on the environment.
While research on nanotechnology is limited, the following studies provide some detail on nanotechnology use:
Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2008). Principles of Biomedical Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Freitas, R. Jr. Nanotechnology, nanomedicine and nanosurgery. International Journal of Surgery:London. Vol. 3. No. 4. pp. 243-246. 2005.
Gonzalez, C. A. (2009). Nanomedicine in Cancer. In C. Alexandre, Biomedical Engineering (pp. 387-399). Rijeka: InTech. Retrieved from http://www.intechopen.com/books/biomedicalengineering/nanomedicine-in-cancer
Huang, X., Jain, P. K., El-Sayed, I. H., & El-Sayed, M. A. (2007). Gold nanoparticles: interesting optical properties and recent applications in cancer diagnostics and therapy. nanomedicine, 2(5), 681-693. doi:10.2217/174358184.108.40.2061
Mnyusiwalla, A., Daar, A. S., & Singer, P. A. (2003). ‘Mind the gap’: science and ethics in nanotechnology. Nanotechnology, 14(3), R9.
These references have all been peer-reviewed, meaning that they have been examined by experts in the field for accuracy and quality, and can thus be said to be reliable. These references offer a lot of information on the topic regarding what nanotechnology is, some of the nanotechnology being developed, and their various uses in fields such as surgery and cancer monitoring and treatment. In addition, the references assess the economic, political, and ethical issues facing the novel technology and analyze ways of mitigating these adverse effects.
Utilizing secondary data in research has the advantages of saving time and money, its high accessibility, its ability to generate novel insights through reanalyzing data, as well as the feasibility of both longitudinal and international comparative studies. It, however, has numerous disadvantages such as the lack of control over data quality, the inappropriateness of data, and its subjective nature of such data. Thus, there are challenges of assessing whether the data is objective, of high quality and whether it relates to the topic at hand. Given the choice between primary and secondary data, therefore, I would prefer utilizing primary data due to its original and unbiased nature and its ability to establish direct contact with the information sources.
During the research on nanomedicine, I encountered numerous challenges. Firstly, due to the relatively new nature of the technology, very few studies have been carried out hence it was difficult finding reliable sources for data. Sieving through the data for relevance also proved a daunting task, as only a small fraction of the data was related to the issues I wanted to address. Finding time to conduct the research also proved challenging. I, however, overcame these challenges by being patient and meticulous in the way I carried out the research.
From the research, I have learned numerous things about nanotechnology and its applications. I have cognized that nanotechnology has diverse uses in numerous fields, but it is of particular importance in medicine due to its various uses in monitoring, tissue repair, curbing the evolution of disease agents, and the delivery of drugs to specific cells. I have also learned that there are numerous challenges as well as ethical issues surrounding the technology that need to be addressed.
I have cognized that conducting research is hard and requires a lot of resources and energy, but there is a certain fulfillment that comes with the research. One also encounters a lot of barriers and challenges both in conducting the research and in analyzing the data. These challenges enable one acquire essential analytical and research skills. If I were to do the project again, I would take the time first to familiarize myself with the topic before delving into research. Lastly, I have learned that in research, patience is key, and would thus take my time to go through the various steps sequentially.