Application surgery. The report will focus specifically

Application of Nanotechnology to Reconstructive Surgery


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is the application of biotechnology to the production of minute components of
chemical substances for use in a variety of fields. This means that the minute
components are easily availed to sections of the cells and tissues that are not
easily reached by normal components. Since
the popularisation of the concept of nanotechnology as used in medicine, a
variety of research studies has been conducted on the topic. Researchers have
extensively focused on the nature and the application of nanoparticles in
different areas of medicine. Quite specific is the increased use of the
particles in the reconstruction and repair of tissues in reconstructive
surgery. There are different types of nanoparticles that are important in this
process. Although most of them are metallic-based, others such as the hydrogen-based and polymer-based nanoparticles
are also being used. The available research is quite progressive in that there
are already different known nanoparticles that are currently being used or
tested for use in specific areas of medicine and particularly in tissues repair
and regeneration. This report explores the use of these particles in
reconstructive surgery. The report will
focus specifically on metal-based nanoparticles as they are used in tissue repair and reconstruction. The report will be
founded on the available data from a variety of articles and reports
previously prepared.


Among the most progressive fields in the current era of
science and technology is the field of medicine. From the beginning,
human-based science and technology have sought to understand the human body and
provide avenues that would make life more
comfortable. These efforts have for a long time targeted human health and
related concepts such as aging and death. Nanotechnology has come up lately as
one of the most significant progressions into the future of medicine (Erba, Ogawa, Vyas,
& Orgill, 2010). From his lecture “Plenty of room at the Bottom” in
1959, Richard Feynman the father of Nanotechnology describes the use of an
atom-atom combination as a possibility of the future. This has recently come to pass with the molecular manufacturing
that has been made possible by the technological splitting of atoms. The
application of this technology in different fields is enabled by the atomic level exposure that produces particles
that can perform targeted anatomical, biochemical and even physiological
functions in restricted spaces based on
their sizes and functional properties. Nanotechnology has been applied in medicine on different fronts (Lloyd-Hughes, Shiatis,
and Pabari, 2015). First, the technology has been effective in
enhancing the efficacy of medication by providing an effective drug delivery modality that has enhanced treatment of disease such as cancers.

Other applications that
have become relatively popular today include the use of the nanotechnology in
cell and tissue repair as well as the detoxification effects of nanosponges and
the antimicrobial activity of nanoparticles (Mandal et al., 2013). These applications have been considered as the future of medicine due to the possibility of
them being the solution to some of the most crucial challenges affecting
medicine today (Melo, Guedes, Xu,
& Rodrigues, 2013). The purpose of this
review will be to make an informed exploration of this new progression
in medicine and to predict the future trends on the same. The paper also
purposes to explore in depth the different opinions and perspectives on
nanotechnology as presented by scholars and experts.

This report seeks to shed more light on
the new concept of nanotechnology and its application in reconstructive
surgery. The story will explore the types
and nature of nanoparticles from the perspective of literature.

Nanoparticles: Nature, Application, and

Nanoparticles creation
alludes to having a suspension of nanoscaled particles in a base liquid. The
nanoparticles utilized as a part of nanofluids are
ordinarily made of metals, oxides, carbides, or carbon nanotubes. Water,
ethylene glycol and oil are ordinarily utilized
as base liquids. Size of nanoparticles is
regularly changed from 20nm to 100 nanometers (Stark, 2011). The littlest nanoparticles of a couple of nanometers of breadth may contain a
thousand particles. The properties that the nanoparticles can have are
altogether not the same as their parent materials, and nanoscale particles may communicate distinctively inside their
sub-atomic security with the base liquids than the microparticles and react
diversely for mass-vitality exchange applications (Lloyd-Hughes, Shiatis,
and Pabari, 2015). The thermo-physical properties, for example warm
conductivity, convective warmth exchange coefficients, warm diffusivity, and
thickness have been discovered to become enhanced in nanofluids when contrasted
with base liquids like oil or water. This change in thermo-physical showed awesome potential applications in many fields (Varghese, 2016).

The way things are at present, the greater
part of business nanoparticle applications in solution is outfitted towards sedate conveyance. In biosciences,
nanoparticles are supplanting natural colors in the applications that require
high photograph solidness and also high multiplexing capacities. There are a
few advancements in coordinating and remotely controlling the elements of
nano-particles s, for instance driving attractive nanoparticles to a tumor and
after that making them either to discharge the medication stack or simply warming them to decimate the
encompassing tissue (Tan et al., 2016). The major trend in the future progressive
development of these particles focuses on making them multipurpose and remotely
controllable through the production of robotics and nano gadgets (Melo
et al., 2013).

Recently, these materials
have developed as vital players in present day pharmaceutical, with clinical
applications going from differentiating
specialists in imaging to bearers for medication and quality conveyance into
tumors. Surely, there are a few cases
where nanoparticles empower investigations and treatments that just can’t be performed otherwise. Be that as it may,
nanoparticles additionally carry with them one of a kind ecological and
societal difficulties, especially as to
harmfulness (Rosson et al., n.d.).

Advantages of using nanoparticles

There are the various
advantages of using nanoparticles in various
fields. These include;

·      Nanoparticles have significantly high
surface area and low volumes which makes the heat transfer between the
particles effective (Parveen, Banse, & Ledwani, 2016).

·      The energy being transferred in
nanoparticles is quite specific an enhances the thermal conductivity which then
increases the ability of the particles to reach remotest areas of tissues and
cells (Liu & Welch, 2012).

·      With the lightweight of
nanoparticles, the energy required to transfer them throughout the body to
their target areas is quite lessened, and this intensifies the healing process
in reconstructive surgery (Welch, Hawker, and Wooley, 2009).

Nanoparticles Commonly Used in Medicine

The application of
nanotechnology and nanoparticles in medicine is
based on the concept of the ability of the particles as manufactured to
reach to the most remote areas of the body such as the bloodstream and
delivering energy or other forms of interventions to the body (Kawai et al., 2011). This can
revolutionize how medicine detects, treats and even monitors the progression of
a disease (Oxford University,
2005). Due to the minute size of the
nanoparticles, it is possible for them to deliver drugs and energy across
different parts of the body since they can cross in-between the body cells and
tissues. It has, therefore, become possible for drugs to be delivered to
specific areas of the body, for example, the delivery of chemotherapy agents to
specific cancer cells. According to
recent research on nanoparticles, the silicon-based nanoparticles have been
found to be quite effective in the
management of cancer as it delivers the drugs to target cells, degrades inside
the cells and releases the intended drug without causing any undue harm to the
cells (Kushibiki &
Tabata, 2005). For the reconstructive surgery, nanoparticles have been used as cell-repair robots. They are
externally programmed to target specific cells within the body and provide
repair-specific energy and support similar to the natural activity of the
antibodies in a healthy individual (Lee et al., 2012).

use of nanoparticles in reconstructive surgery is quite extensive. The Table
below summarises these applications as obtained from the available
literature.  The studies presented in the
table were selected from credible
databases including Pubmed, Cochrane,
Medscape and Google scholars. From the initial search using the keywords
“nanotechnology”; “nanoparticles”; “nanoparticles in medicine”; “nanoparticles
in reconstructive surgery”; “nanoparticles application.” From this search, a total of 342 research articles were identified. The randomization process
eliminated articles that were more than
15 years old and those that were not published.

However, the nature of this report required exploration of the general
information on the concepts of nanotechnology in medicine. Therefore, generic reports from credible sources and by credible institutions were also included in the review. The final list of 20 papers duly
selected as credible and relevant was reviewed, and
their summary is as shown in the table below.

Table 1: Summary of Papers Used

Author name and Year

Nanoparticle type

Use in Reconstructive Surgery

Research Appraisal

Galili, 2015


wound healing

primary research. Based on available clinical evidence and trials

(Kawai et al., 2011)


Tissue, Skin and wound healing

Primary research building on the
literature available.

(Losi et al., 2013)


healing and reconstruction in diabetic wounds.

research. Experimental and based on clinical trials.

(Nowacki et al.,


Chemotherapy and tissue repair
after drug severing.

Credible sources used in a
systematic review. Peer-reviewed

(Azevedo et al.,


of biofilms to coat damaged tissues and accelerate wound repair.

research based on literature data and focused on
real clinical trials.

(Oxford University, 2005)


Enhanced tissue repair and

A report based on unpublished experiments by the authoritative institution. Very analytical.

(Hill et al., 2016)


repair and tissue contrasting to improve surgical precision.

research whose subjects are different contrast media. Credibly presented

(Hill et al., 2015)


Image-guided surgery to improve precision

Primary research. Credible sources
and subjects and well-presented data.

(Strobel et al.,


osteogenic proliferation and bone marrow repair.

research. Clear purpose and methodology and efficiently presented data and

(Gibbs et al., 2016)

Clay-based gels

Induction of bone proliferation and repair.

Credible primary data founded on
a comprehensive research review.

(Fakhari, 2012)


tissue repair and healing.

objective and evidence-based.

(Chang et al., 2015)

Aminolevulinic acid

Healing of hypertrophic scars

Credible primary data collected
and well analyzed.

(Rosson et al., n.d.)


Various uses

Faculty report

(Tan et al., 2016)


Plastic surgery

Generic report based on credible
literature and experiments

(Melo et al., 2013)


of dental caries

paper based on reports and credible literature.

(Varghese, 2016)


General use in reconstructive

A systematic
review of literature based on credible

(Wang & Thanou,

forms of nanoparticles

cancer cells to destroy and regenerate normal

and professional paper based on literature evidence.

(Stark, 2011)

Various forms of nanoparticles

General biological uses including
drug delivery and healing

Generic report.

(Erba et al., 2010)


surgery and enhanced reconstruction of tissues

The article is
reviewing the changes in reconstructive surgery.

(Sato & Webster,

Various metallic based

Orthopaedic surgery and bone

Primary research based on clear
primary data.


Nanoparticles used in Reconstructive

Most of the nanoparticles
used in medicine are metallic based. For instance, the Silver nanoparticles
have expansive range antimicrobial
properties against an extensive variety of microbes and growths, making them
perfect for limiting biofouling. By controlling the size, shape, surface, and
agglomeration condition of the nanoparticles, particular particle discharge profiles
can be created for any given application (Azevedo et al., 2014).

to Lee et al., (2009), the silver-based
nanoparticles have been extensively used in antifungal therapy (Lee, J., Kim, K-J.,
Sung, W.S., Kim, J. G. & Lee, 2009). This has been
crucial in the prevention of fungal infection that results from the fungus that
is quite resistant to the conventionally
applied antibiotics especially in the post-surgical
situation. The application of nanoparticles in this situation has been termed as bio-nanotechnology
as it is a comprehensive integration of nanotechnology in biosynthesis, a
concept that is also very critical in the reconstructive surgery (Galili, 2015). The authors of different articles on nanotechnology
indicate that the impetus already gained by the application of nanoparticles in
medicine is a direct result of the integration which hastens biosynthesis and
ensures safety against infections. A different author has recently indicated
that the silver-containing compounds have more than one function in the healing
process (Losi et al., 2013). Besides their direct involvement in the healing
purposes, the compounds are essential for the hygienic purposes as they offer
bactericidal and general antimicrobial activity. Nanoparticles, originating
from silver are therefore useful in the reconstructive surgery from their
ability to prevent infection and to bring about enhanced healing in the wounds (Ishida et al., 2014).

In nerve regeneration and
repair, nanoparticles have been successful in restoration of neurons and mature
nerves. This is a very significant
improvement which has made the nanotechnology concept a major breakthrough in medicine since nerves and neurons are known
not to replicate. With the use of silver, lead and hyaluronic acid-based nanoparticles, it is possible to
achieve repair of small nerve injuries (Kelkar, Hill, Marini,
& Mohs, 2016). According to the research, the success of this repair by nanoparticles is based on the biotech principle of microstructure which entails the suturing of the affected nerves
and nerve endings and the autologous nerve grafting. In recent studies, the
procedure has been found to have a profound
impact on the nerve repair in rats and other test animals (Nowacki et al., 2017). Therefore, although the experiments are yet to be extended to human subjects, there is very significant potential that the
procedures will still be successful. This kind
of reconstructive surgery is also supported by other authors. Kawai et al. (2011) present
the application of calcium-based nanoparticles in the acceleration of wound
healing (Kawai et al., 2011). In their research, the nanoparticles were
manufactured and introduced to the wounds, and
the growth or healing process monitored. The results of this monitoring
indicated that calcium nanoparticles, when introduced
intravenously, increased the rate of wound healing and seemed to be localized
around the wound site. Further, Azevedo et al. (2014) have also identified that
Polyethyleneimine and polyethyleneimine-based nanoparticles are adequately effective in the bacterial and yeast
inhibition. Their research focused on the biofilms as used in the wound healing
and tissue repair. The findings from the research
were quite clear, the nanoparticles
originating from polyethyleneimine are quite important
in the reduction of bacterial and yeast infection on the surgical wounds (Azevedo et al., 2014).

Further reports indicate that
for reconstructive surgery to be successful, there must be an efficient and
conducive environment set by the body to ensure cell-induced regeneration. In
most cases, however, the body does not set the required environment for this
purpose, or the process that sets the environment
is likely to take a long time if allowed to occur naturally. Nanotechnology has thus been used to functionally combine
biomaterial, genes, and proteins to hasten the development of the necessary
environment for cell-regeneration.

The ability of the
nanoparticles thus produced to enter into the remotest regions of the cells, and the tissues make
this process possible (Kushibiki & Tabata, 2005). One of the specific nanoparticles that has been found to be very efficient in this, according to recent research is the hydrogel-based
nanoparticle. According to the research
by Oxford University, the nanomaterial has been very effective in overcoming the limitations associated with the
previously used silicon balloons in soft tissue repair and reconstruction.

Instead of using the bulky and uncomfortable silicon balloons, the hydrogels
are anisotropic and very light. This
makes it more comfortable for the patients and also improves the healing
process (Noorbakhsh, Rezaie, and
Shahverdi, 2011).

Besides the use of
nanoparticles in the direct acceleration of the tissue regeneration in
reconstructive surgery, the technology has also been used to increase the
accessibility of the surgical sites. According to Hill et al. (2016), infra-red
fluorescent nanoparticles that have been derived
from hyaluronic acid helps to increase the
visibility and accessibility of tumors during surgery. In an image-guided surgical operation, the
nanoparticles are imperative in contrasting
the target cells and the neighboring
tissues clear (Hill et al., 2016). This has made
it possible to achieve tumor removal with minimal impact on the surrounding
tissues. This is being studied for possible application in reconstructive surgery
through improving the precision in the surgical procedures.


In conclusion, therefore, the
use of nanoparticles in medicine has been popularized and widely studied over
the years. Most of the studies already present indicate that nanoparticles and
nanotechnology, in general, will revolutionize
the medical field as the efficacy of the particles in various uses has been documented. In reconstructive surgery,
wound healing, tissue repair and other modalities of action of nanoparticles enhance the positive results of the surgery.