The term Nanotechnology refers to the domain of science and engineering that is applied to structures and materials that measure only a few billionths of a meter. The term was coined by Japanese scientist Norio Taniguchi almost 40 years ago, and then popularised by Eric Drexler in his “Engines of Creation: The Coming Era of Nanotechnology” in 1986. Over the next 20 years the convergence of experimental advances in manipulation of materials no bigger than the width of a DNA molecule facilitated the development of this field from the closed confines of leading research labs into the world of applications for the general public. At the beginning of this century President Clinton put a political seal of approval on the sector by announcing the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI).
It is hard to believe the technology is almost 40 years old as it is only in the last 5-10 years that Nanotechnology has found favour in commercially viable products. Among areas where it is having the most significant impact is medicine.