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Nano Clinical Challenges: Policy options

C. Power
University of Alberta, CA

Keywords:
clinic chip nanotechnology physician

Abstract:
Nanotechnology has been utilized to embellish and accelerate genetic testing via technologies like the “lab-on-a-chip. The incremental shift from micro to nano will be indicative of the direction of development with many of these innovations. A variety of forms of nanotechnology diagnostics allowing for increased sensitivity and accuracy will pave the way for extraordinary advances in medical care. For instance, nano-enabled technologies aim to instantaneously present multiple & comprehensive results. One application of nanotechnology is being utilized at the University of Alberta in the form of a chip that will eventually allow multiple tests per chip, giving instantaneous, standardized results. As such, the combination of nanotechnology and genetics will create monumental change in our society. In order to demonstrate the unique and decided affect that this technology and other nano-enabled technologies will have, it is essential to consider the applicable ethical, economic, environmental, legal and social issues. One important point for us to consider is what policy challenges such diagnostics create in the clinical setting. The potential challenges encountered could arguably affect the process of commercialization. In describing the technology and relevant NE3LS issues, legal issues such as informed consent & confidentiality are discussed. The analysis demonstrates how these issues will be affected and amplified by the unique aspects of genetic testing performed via these new technologies.

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