Clinical neurology and neurosurgery are two fields that face some of the most challenging and exciting problems remaining in medicine. Brain tumors, paralysis after trauma or stroke, and neurodegerative diseases are some of the many disorders for which effective therapies remain elusive. Nanotechnology seems poised to offer promising new solutions to some of these difficult problems. The latest advances in materials engineered at the nanoscale for applications relevant to the clinical neurosciences, such as medical imaging, nanotherapies for neurologic disease, nerve tissue engineering, and nanotechnological contributions to neuroelectrodes and brain-machine interface technology are reviewed. The primary classes of materials discussed include superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, liposomes, carbon fullerenes, and carbon nanotubes. The potential of the field and the challenges that must be overcome for the current technology to become available clinically are highlighted.