During the July 14, 2011 Senate hearing re NNI reauthorization, noted here in a prior July 14 blog, a Senator asked the panel for examples of leading nanotechnology "blockbusters." Examples included diagnostics and even oil/gas mud drilling fluid!
One nanotech result seems to be gaining more press as a potential blockbuster. The last Technology Review (August 2011, p. 84) features research from IBM and other organizations on nanostructured copolymers which can destroy microbial membranes. The trick is that (hopefully) bacteria will not be able to develop resistance in this approach, because the approach is physical and not chemical. At least one patent filing has published which appears to relate to the technology. This patent publication was not classified as a 977 nanotech patent, which would seem to be a problem. Interesting, however, to see a computer company like IBM leading the nanomedicine charge including international collaborations with Singapore and Chinese groups! Other press about this development is attached.