Goals and Definitions

As in any new and quickly developing field, the exact definitions of nanobiotechnology and bionanotechnology have yet to be formalized. In broad terms, the difference between these two related fields is in the primary direction for the transfer of knowledge and innovations. Nanobiotechnology aims to exploit advances in nanotechnology for improving biotechnology. Conversely, bionanotechnology takes advantage of natural or biomimetic systems and designs to produce unique nanoscale structures.

Suggested Reading

The following books provide introductions to the basic concepts of nanobiotechnology and bionanotechnology.

Nanobiotechnology: Concepts, Applications and Perspectives
by Christof M. Niemeyer and Chad A. Mirkin
Wiley-VCH, 2004
ISBN 3527306587, 9783527306589
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The first of two volumes covers:

Nanobiotechnology II: More Concepts and Applications
by Chad A. Mirkin and Christof M. Niemeyer
Wiley-VCH, 2007
ISBN 3527316736, 9783527316731
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Complementing the first volume, the second one covers:

Following the above classification, nanoanalytics has a strong nanobiotechnology component of using nanoscale objects to analyze biological samples, but also includes using biologically-derived components for detection of inorganic analytes. Some of the self-assembled nanostructures used for nanoanalytics are based on DNA or proteins, thus offering a good example of bionanotechnology. The same types of nanostructures are also considered for use in nanomedicine, illustrating how closely intertwined developments in nanobio and bionano can promote advances in both fields.

Bionanotechnology: Lessons from Nature
by David S. Goodsell
Wiley-Liss, 2004
ISBN 047141719X, 9780471417194
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This introduction to bionanotechnology includes the following topics: