This includes enhanced plasticity, change in thermal properties, enhanced reactivity and catalysis, negative refractivity, faster ion/electron transport and novel quantum mechanical properties (Vaddiraju, Tomazos, Burgess, Jain, & Papadimitrakopoulos, 2010).
The novel properties of matter at nanoscale has been explained by the presence of quantum effect, increase in surface area to volume ratio and alterations in atomic configurations (Wickson et al., 2010).
The applications of nanotechnology are as a result of investigating and utilizing these properties (Wickson et al., 2010).
There are a host of substances utilised in nanotechnology, the most researched ones are carbon, silicon dioxide and titanium dioxide (Robinson, 2010).
It is one of the most active areas of nanotechnology due it promises of novel therapeutic applications in crucial areas such as cancer therapy, drug delivery, imaging, biosensors and diagnosis.
Nanoparticles have been cited as having great potential in vivo imaging applications (Solomon & D’Souza, 2011).
Data by Dang and fellow researchers (2010) shows that patent application for nanotechnology inventions in developed countries increased from zero percent in 1991 to about 27 % in 2008 and that this growth is set to continue for the better part of this century.
Spurred by huge funding from government and commercial players, nanotechnology projects continue to release more and more potential innovations into the market.
As nanotechnology gains widespread application in various disciplines, it is imperative to understand its potential effects.
This is important for its long terms sustainability.