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Nanotechnology will one day revolutionize the field it biotechnology by providing smaller, efficient, and biocompatible biomaterials for use within the body. The field of biomaterials has already been ongoing for quite some time. However, most of the challenge lies in finding ways to create them efficiently. The main goals of biotechnology are to replicate bones, tissues, and organs. Additional goals include hearing and vision implants that could restore lost senses. In all of these respects, nanotechnology has something to offer.
In the field of tissue engineering, nanotechnology promises to improve the efficiency of skin production and regeneration. The quality of artificial skin should also experience a significant increase due to the precision of nanotechnology methods. In the long run, it's expected that nanotechnology will allow entire organs to regenerate or replaced with grown organs. While this seems a little far-fetched right now, it could very well be a reality within a decade.
One exciting prospect is the possibility of cell engineering. The average cell is still in the micrometer regime. If we could tailor individual cells with a network of 'scaffolds' on the nanometer scale on its exterior, we may well be able to significantly enhance tissue properties. An instance of research in this area is a method of regenerating damaged arteries.
Implants are a huge emphasis in biotechnology. The cochlear implant has restored hearing for many people who have ear damage. It's hoped that nanotechnology could further reduce the size and cumbersome nature of today's modern hearing implants.
No implant exists yet for restoring vision. Some researchers have successfully created small micrometer scale implants that have stimulated the retina of test animals. It's hoped one day that a dense network of nanoscale photoreceptors will be able to replace a large percentage of a blind person's sight. Though no human subjects have ever been tested, it's only a matter of time before they move to human trials.
The last kind of biotechnology that nanotechnology will effect is bone engineering. It's hoped that with nanotechnology that the complex structure of bone and tooth can be better replicated with some substitute.
Much of the hope for biomaterials and biotechnology lies in the possibility of one day creating a nanobot that could do most of the work directly in the body. Keep reading for more information on that.