Sunday, May 22, 2016

NanoTech + Art

Nanotechnology is a topic that is attractive to both scientists and artists, as it explores a new field not yet touched in history.  It can be defined as a science that is concerned with control of matter at the smallest scale imaginable- atoms and molecules.  It has the ability to create new innovation and technology for a variety of fields such as electronics, medicine, and even art.   As we have so much room to learn at the nano level, this type of science could have the ability to transform the world.

Nanotechnology is also applicable to everyday life. For example, the Lotus Leaf Effect explains the phenomena in which droplets of water appear to be spherical because water doesn’t “like” the lotus lead surface.  This technology can be seen in the self-cleaning glass on BMW’s so dirt does not stick to the window.  As soon as a dirt particle lodges onto the window, sunlight will react with the nanoparticles and clean the window itself.  This technology can also be transferred to fabrics, concrete, etc. 
In this lecture, however, I found the use of nanotechnology in medicine to be the most interesting.  Nanoshells can recognize cancer cells and apply near infrared light in order to kill of cancerous tumors.  This is revolutionizing the future of cancer treatment, as it may reduce the effects of chemotherapy, which are often severe.  For example, Abraxane is a nanodrug that can be used to treat breast cancer. I hope that the use of this technology will aid in transforming the medical scene in a way that past drugs and treatments are not able to. 
Before this lecture, I was ignorant on the massive impact nanotechnology is playing in our everyday lives.  I believe that a major aspect of art is to describe the world or a portion of life that is difficult to comprehend.  Nanotechnology reveals a complete field that is not viewable by the naked eye, and thus a mystery to the majority of the population.  By merely describing and showing what is not viewable without a microscope, such as a scanning tunneling microscope, nanotechnology is an art form. 

“Art in the Age of Nanotechnology.” Artabase. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May. 2016. <>.

Gimzewski, Jim. Lecture. “Nanotech for Artists (Part 1).” 21 May 2012. 

Gimzewski, Jim. Lecture. “Nanotech for Artists (Part 3).” 21 May 2012.

Vespa, Victoria, and Jim Gimzewski. "The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science." UCLA (n.d.): n. pag. Web. <>.

"What Is Nanotechnology?" Nano., n.d. Web.  22 May. 2016. <>.

Digital Image. Web. Lotus Effect. May 22 2016. <>

Digital Image. Web. Nanotechnology in Medicine. May 22 2016. <>

Digital Image. Web. Scanning tunneling Microscope. Stock image. May 22 2016. 

1 comment:

  1. I really liked how you touched a little bit on biomimicry, such as the lotus leaf effect application to self-cleaning windows. One of the things I wrote about in my blog was somewhat of a combination between biomimicry and nanotechnology in medicine. Researchers at Kansai University studied the tip of a mosquito's mouth to create a "painless needle," and the results were flawless. Pretty amazing if you ask me!