Nanosurgical Tools

Nanoshells, which are gold shell nanoparticles surrounded by a semiconductor, which can be heated resulting in irradiation of the target cell have been recently used to eradicate transmissible venreal tumours in mice (15). It is widely anticipated that nanoshells will be of widespread use in many urological cancers in the future.

Although further applications of nanotechnology in urology are less well advanced, arguably, they have potentially significant implications. Surgical tools, such as nanotweezers are already in development, and it is anticipated that their everyday use in microsurgical procedures such as vasectomy reversal and varicocoele repair are only a few years away. In addition, nanoprobes aiding diagnostic procedures, for example "nanourobots" being used for cystoscopy, ureteroscopy and fulguration of tumours, as well as searching the inferior vena cava and renal vein to detect venous involvement of renal cell cancer, may be just round the corner.

Recently, a human nephron filter has been introduced, utilizing nanotechnology, that would eventually make possible a continuously functioning, wearable or implantable artificial kidney.

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