Nanotechnology is a term that may still sound futuristic or sci-fi for the general public, but the truth is, it is more present than ever in plenty of fields. In medicine, this technology is already being used inside the operation rooms and to treat cancer patients, and even though it is still researched and funded privately, it certainly makes us wonder about its potential to improve our lives in the health, technological and everyday aspects of our lives. In this episode, Dr. Rosie Sendher and Dr. Erica Fisk sit down with Dr. Fred Lam to chat about the possibilities that nanotechnology has to offer the human race. 

Dr. Fred Lam is a surgeon scientist in the Division of Neurosurgery in McMaster University. He is a passionate student of the use of nanotechnology and precision medicine approaches for the treatment of brain tumors, and is excited about the integration of disruptive technologies in his field of practice. 

Hollywood is not exaggerating in the slightest when it represents nanotechnology in the big screen. From treating cancer to the theoretical possibility of treating COVID-19 as well, this science has limitless applications. Listen now to learn everything about the fascinating world of nanotechnology and its ethical ramifications. In the end, will you be excited or afraid of it?

In this episode we chat about:

  • (04:17) – Nanotechnology, the science of building at an unimaginable scale —  “Developing nanotechnology is using the properties of the way atoms can assemble into functional units.”
  • (09:05) – Outsmarting the body to treat cancer through a Trojan horse — “One theoretical advantage of using nanoparticles is that you can deliver targeted therapy and in a stealth matter avoid causing toxicity to the rest of the body.”
  • (18:52) – Is nanotechnology getting us closer to a cure for cancer? — “I think we’re too early to call it cure.” 
  • (21:28) – How nanobots have stopped being a sci-fi concept — “For something to catch the attention of the UN General Assembly, you know that this is not too far into our believable future.”
  • (27:07) – The limitations of nanomaterials production and accessibility to the public — “The fabrication, that’s one of the limitations, and when we scale it to treat humans, that scale of manufacturing process is not simple.”
  • (32:15) – On nanotechnology’s selective research and funding for specific diseases — “The applications of nanotechnology are theoretically endless.”
  • (40:29) – The exciting integration of disruptive technology in the neurosurgery field — “In the operating room we can use these microscopes that can see this fluorescence in the tumor surgery. What the naked eye cannot see, this tumor paint can show.”

Resources

There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom by Richard P. Feynman

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