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Toward the emergence of nanoneurosurgery: part II--nanomedicine: diagnostics and imaging at the nanoscale level.

Leary SP, Liu CY, Apuzzo ML.

Neurosurgery. 2006 May;58(5):805-23; discussion 805-23. Review.

Department of Neurological Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.

THE NOTION OF nanotechnology has evolved since its inception as a fantastic conceptual idea to its current position as a mainstream research initiative with broad applications among all divisions of science. In the first part of this series, we reviewed the structures and principles that comprise the main body of knowledge of nanoscience and nanotechnology (58). This article reviews and discusses the applications of nanotechnology to biological systems that will undoubtedly transform the foundations of disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention in the future. Specific attention is given to developments in diagnostics and imaging at the nanoscale level. The use of nanoparticles and nanomaterials as biodetection agents for deoxyribonucleic acid and proteins is presented. In addition, nanodevices, such as nanowires, nanotubes, and nanocantilevers, can be combined with nanoarrays and nanofluidics to create integrated and automated nanodetection platforms. Molecular imaging modalities based on quantum dots and magnetic nanoparticles are also discussed. This technology has been extended to the imaging of intracranial neoplasms. Further innovation within these disciplines will form the basis for the development of mature nanomedicine. The final article of the series will focus on additional advancements in nanomedicine, namely nanotherapy and nanosurgery, and will cover the innovations that will lead to the eventual realization of nanoneurosurgery.