N-Dx is a futures project based on cutting edge emerging technology in medical nano technology. In-vivo nano technology is still generally regarded as controversial – both in the medical sector and in society. New and promising nano-based materials need to gain public acceptance as they can save millions of lives as excellent diagnostic tools.
We combined two different nano technologies for N-Dx, they were colour changing particles and particles which were resistant to passing through cell walls and becoming stuck. Currently nanoparticles exist which can show colour change if mixed with HIV, this is only possible under lab conditions but we speculated that in the future this could be possible in the body. We also speculated that with future developments that the nanoparticles would be able to change into a spectrum of colours depending on what had been detected.
From now to the future
To make the advancements in nanotechnology and biosensing socially acceptable it has to be introduced gradually through familiar consumer healthcare products. N-Dx is a roadmap for introducing nano technologies to general healthcare. The introductions to products are likely to follow a generation from child to adult as personalised health check-ups. By 2050, nanotechnology consumer healthcare could quite possibly be a reality.
Horizon 2 - 20 years
N-Patch: Nanoparticles can now detect 3 distinct health issues giving a check-up for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Allowing for the most common causes of death to be caught early and prevent expensive treatment.
Horizon 1 - 10 years
N-Pop: Visual colour change diagnosis for bacterial/viral infection in children. Commonly misdiagnosed, creating unnecessary prescriptions of antibiotics causing widespread bacterial resistance.
Horizon 3 - 30+ years
N-Dx smart patch: Technology has now progressed such that it is possible to perform a holistic health check. After having the patch on for a day, you can scan the colour change with your mobile phone and receive an accurate diagnosis.
In collaboration with: Sabina Weiss, Reto Togni, Maya Seetharaman