Neurosurgery in the realm of 10-9, part 2: Applications of nanotechnology to neurosurgery - Present and future: Commentary
Neurosurgery in the future will witness an increasing influx of novel technologies, many of which will be based on developments in the emerging science of nanotechnology. Additionally, the continued trend in medicine toward minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical techniques will be aided by incorporation of applications of nanotechnology. Neurosurgeons of the future must facilitate the development of nanotechnology and nanomedicine in their clinical practice and research efforts to optimize patient benefit and facilitate scientific advancement. The fields of nanotechnology and nanomedicine remain in their infancy. Recently, however, the literature regarding nanoscience has rapidly expanded. This article is the second of two and provides a review of recent nanotechnology research relevant to clinical neurosurgery and neurology. The first article reviewed recent developments and issues in nanotechnology with a particular focus on applications to the neurosciences. This article also discusses current developments in nanotechnology and nanomedicine that may yield applications in neurosurgery in the future. Additional attention is given to other emerging technologies that are not truly nanotechnology, such as microelectromechanical systems, which will influence the future of medicine and neurosurgery. The goal is to provide the reader with a brief outline and description of some of the new developments in nanotechnology that may affect the clinical practice or operative experience of neurosurgeons. Continued innovation in nanotechnology presents novel opportunities for translation to the clinical arena. Neuroscience, neurology, and neurosurgery will be greatly affected by the influx of nanoscience and its applications. Through continued collaboration, physicians, scientists, and engineers will shape the futures of nanomedicine and nanoneurosurgery.