How can nanotechnology be used to manage pandemics with these problems?


This activity highlights the development of paper diagnostics—diagnostic tools that are inexpensive to make and simple to use. These devices are based on the widely expanding field of micro or nano-electromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS).

Microfluidic devices move fluid through channels and include inkjet printer heads, needles, and Lab-on-a-chip technologies. These devices are created using millimeter and nanometer components and are an important component of many nanotechnology and biotechnology research facilities.


Laurie Garrett: Our failing global health system (21 minutes)
George Whitesides: A lab the size of a postage stamp (17 minutes)
Small Fixes: Paper Diagnostics

Next, familiarize yourself with the following terms and their definitions:

Paper Diagnostics: is a versatile, disposable test that can diagnose a tiny amount of urine or blood for evidence of infectious diseases or chronic conditions, designed to be made of paper.
Microfluidics: is a multidisciplinary field intersecting engineering, physics, micro/nanotechnology, and biotechnology, with practical applications to the design of systems in which small volumes of fluids will be used (milliliters and nanoliters). Microfluidics emerged in the beginning of the 1980s and is used in the development of inkjet print heads, DNA chips, lab-on-a-chip technology, micro-propulsion, and micro-thermal technologies.
Ethics/Social Responsibility: Strive to promote social good and prevent or mitigate social harms through research, public education, and advocacy. This is an important principle of scientific and engineering research.
Lab on a chip: A lab on a chip is a device that integrates one or several laboratory functions on a single chip of only millimeters to a few square centimeters in size.
Pandemic: A pandemic is an epidemic of infectious disease that is spreading through human populations across a large region—for instance, a continent or even worldwide.
Capillary action or wicking: The movement of liquids through thin tubes or the flow of liquids through a porous media, such as the follow of water through soil.

Finally, post to the discussion board your answers to the following questions:

What are some of the problems (for example, societal, political, technological, and economic) with treating pandemics in the developing world? For the purposes of this activity, the developing world includes Africa, Central and South America, Eastern Europe and parts of Asia. How can nanotechnology be used to manage pandemics with these problems?

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