Bionanotechnology Uses: Nanotherapeutics, Gene therapy, Immunotherapy

Bionanotechnology and its applications

Applications of Bionanotechnology


Bionanotechnology is a division of nanotechnology which uses biological starting materials, and it keeps exciting opportunities to bring high-impact advances in the field of bioengineering and medicine.

Currently one of the two progressive areas are the biotechnology and nanotechnology, and these two progressive fields combination will form an interesting new field coined as ‘Bionanotechnology’.

Bionanotechnology has become a fantastic field of research and an area of technology development. It offers at the nanoscale (100,000 times smaller than the diameter of the average human hair) the ability to provide insight into the structural features of biological systems such as cell or tissue as well as to develop nanobiomaterials/ medical units for diagnostics, therapeutics and tissue regeneration.

Ongoing work on bionanotechnology includes the development of nanoprobes that can characterize the nanoscale structure and function of cells. This article information is all about the current status of bionanotechnology and its applications.



Bionanotechnology is just a rapidly developing area of scientific and technological opportunity that applies the tools. It is worried about molecular scale properties and application of biological nanostructures.

It is also regarded as the area of study where nanotechnology has applications in the field of biology and medical sciences. It became one of the booming and exciting research fields throughout the globe. Nevertheless, in the past few years, there also have been some great discoveries and inventions had occurred in these type of studies.



Bio-nanotechnology promises a vast array of commercial and medical applications. Nevertheless, this is often split into therapeutic applications and diagnostic applications. 



Nanotherapeutics is an application of bionanotechnology in which the diseases can be treated by the use of various techniques at a molecular level. Nanotherapeutics may be categorized into three main areas of study and development

  • Gene therapy
  • Immunotherapy 


Gene therapy

Gene therapy is the use of genes as medicine. It requires the transfer of a therapeutic or working gene copy into specific cells of an individual in order to fix a flawed gene copy. It is also an experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease. As time goes on, this process may allow health practitioners to treat a disorder by inserting a gene into a patient’s cells instead of using medications or surgery.

William W. Hauswirth, and Alfred S. Lewin, researchers from the University of Florida recently i.e., on 23 January 2012 created the new gene therapy method for treating of a common form of blindness that strikes both youngsters and adults. The process is used by them is the replacing a deteriorating gene in the eye with a normal working copy that supplies a protein necessary for light-sensitive cells in the eye to function.

The transfer of an operating gene copy into specific cells of an individual is done by using the ‘vectors’ (Example: Adenovirus vector) like

  • Harmless Viruses
  • Stem cells


Harmless viruses

These are the vectors which are widely used for the genes delivery into the target cells. Some of the viruses are well studied by scientists and they can be easily and quickly altered with the desired genes. These viruses are even capable of inserting the gene into the genetic makeup of the cell.

After the gene is moved into to the target cell it will start functioning by issue the instructions necessary for the cell to make the protein that was previously missing or altered.


Stem cells

Stem cells are the second type of vectors that are used by the scientists. Stem cells have the capability to separate or develop into cells with different functions.

In this technique, stem cells are manipulated in the lab to facilitate the acceptance of new genes, and this technique could make the previously missed or altered genes which are effective in chemotherapy.



Immunotherapy is defined as the treating the disease by inducing, enhancing, or suppressing an immune response. It is a therapy that uses certain parts of the immune system to fight diseases.

This can be done in two ways

  • Stimulating our own immune system to function harder or better (Active immunotherapy)
  • Providing you immune system components, such as man-made immune system proteins (Passive immunotherapy)

Now a day’s Monoclonal antibodies (MAb) are generally useful tools for immunotherapy. Monoclonal antibody therapy uses antibodies which are made in the lab rather than by a person's own immune system. After the antibodies are given, they can then recruit other parts of the immune system to destroy the disease-causing cells.



MAb name Trade name  Approved year
Ofatumumab Arzerra 2009
Denosumab Xgeva 2010
Ipilimumab Yervoy 2011
Brentuximab Vedotin Adcetris 2011



Bionanotechnology has become a reality. It uses biological starting material to formulate devices. The major aim of bionanotechnology is to create tools that may study living molecules and help diagnose and cure disease. This is really possible due to the sheer potential of this technology and nanotechnology as a whole.

The technology itself has created excitement in the industry and people are reporting new discoveries each day. As time goes on with advancement in this technology, one can see that computer chips can be inserted in living cells to cure diseases.

By 2015, the global nanotechnology market is expected to achieve $1 trillion of which bionanotechnology is set to become an important component. Though still in its research and development stage, bionanotechnology is poised to earn high revenues with several commercially viable products in the pipeline.

Bionanotechnology is a subject that will gain constant attention as people realize the R&D benefits for the betterment of mankind.



[1] Shivani Choudhary, Eliezer Geisler, Nilmini Wickramasinghe, The Current State of Bionanotechnology, Available from -


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