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An area of focus of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and its associated agencies is the establishment of nanotechnology research and education centers. Several of these centers are focused on the use of nanotechnology to provide healthcare and fight disease.

There are several interesting examples of the synergies among organizations working on clinical applications of nanotechnology. For example, progress in the fight against cancer often requires the sharing of ideas and tools.

The National Cancer Institute, in association with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has established a Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory in Maryland. The mission of this facility is to perform preclinical efficacy and toxicity testing of nanoparticles to accelerate the transition of nanoparticles into clinical applications.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer is another collection of organizations working to eradicate cancer using nanotechnology tools and techniques. This alliance consists of eight Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence located at various universities focused on using nanotechnology to fight cancer where and when it begins.

The National Cancer Institute Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.
The National Cancer Institute Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.

Many other healthcare-focused organizations are working on curing heart disease, diabetes, and other life-threatening conditions using nanotechnology.

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