General care

Nanotechnology and nanomedicine course online

10 January 2006

The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) has launched its first online course, "Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine: Applications for Vision".

The course was presented at ARVO’s 2005 Annual Meeting and was sponsored by a grant from the US National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The course is available for viewing free of charge at

This online course, organized by Drs. Paul Sieving and Richard Fisher of the NEI, features streaming video of the course speakers with their corresponding PowerPoint presentation slides. In addition, a transcript of the course is available online. The seven-presentation course runs approximately three hours. Each presentation can be viewed separately and ranges from seven to 35 minutes in length.

This online course introduces fundamental concepts, including changes in the properties of materials at the nanoscale, and the potential of nanotechnology and its application to biomedical sciences. The underlying physical sciences, conveyed by renowned experts in nanoscience, are emphasized and the course includes examples of NEI-funded studies of either applied or fundamental nanoscience in vision research.

The course’s speakers are Mark Grinstaff, Boston University; Milan Mrksich, University of Chicago; Chris Murphy, University of Wisconsin; Mark Ratner, Northwestern University; Paul Sieving, National Eye Institute; Samuel Stupp, Northwestern University; and Karen Wooley, Washington University.

Nanotechnology is a broad scientific field that involves the creation and use of materials and devices at the level of molecules and atoms. Nanomedicine is an emerging field that is expected to yield highly specific medical treatments for damaged or diseased tissue at the level of single molecules or molecular assemblies within living cells, i.e., at the "nano" scale of about 100 nanometres or less.

Dr. Sieving, director of the NEI, said, “This course provides an excellent introduction to the scientific basis of nanotechnology and nanomedicine and conveys a sense of the exciting potential of these new fields for preventing disease and improving health.”

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