The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded for research on cryo electron microscopy (CEM), enabling realtime observation of nanometer-sized objects without the need to crystalize them thanks to the extremely low temperature setting, as the phrase cryo implies.
From the start, observing/manipulating nano-sized objects had to deal with handling difficulties so inorganic material was focused on during the early stage. But the situation has changed.
With advanced research & development at the nanometer level blurring the boundary between the inorganic and the organic, new technology was found to better see what matter is doing at real time, as exemplified by CEM.
In terms of nanotech, there are activities like attempts now to put into practical application cell sheet cultures, backed by studies into workings of the intelligent surface
Spurred by such moves, there are novel moves afoot to find more effective means of using substances beyond the molecular size, whether water under various pressure conditions, calcium treated at extremely high temperatures and ionized matter.
Indeed, the resultant materials whether smart or not (cellulose nanofiber, a biotech application example of latter, still being revolutionary due to its sheer physical properties) is leading to another paradigm shift for humanity.
Further advances in nanotechnology can be spotted at the three-day Nanotech 2018 international confab at Tokyo Big Sight international convention center in Japan, opening on February 14 under the theme of 'Realizing Smart Society.'