The medical nanorobotics Essay


This article describes and analyzes the state-of-the-art engineering that could take to fresh medical applications and how they can better results for patients with medical conditions. Some of the issues to see include the diagnostic and curative applications and a possible theoretical account used in commanding medical conditions, such as diabetes. Merely as biotechnology extends the scope and efficaciousness of intervention options available from nanomaterials, the coming of molecular nanotechnology will once more spread out tremendously the effectivity, comfort and velocity of future medical interventions while at the same clip significantly cut downing their hazard, cost and invasiveness. This will assist the ability to plan, concept and deploy big Numberss of microscopic medical nanorobots.


Nanotechnology is the survey of the control of affair on an atomic and molecular graduated table [ 3 ] . Harmonizing to Bhushan, B. , ( 2006, pg 1 ) . nanotechnology “ encompasses the production and application of physical, chemical, and biological systems at graduated tables runing from single atoms or molecules to submicron dimensions, every bit good as the integrating of the ensuing nanostructures into larger systems ” [ 1 ] . Nanotechnology by and large deals with constructions of the size 100 nanometres or smaller in at least one dimension, and involves developing stuffs or devices within that size.

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Molecular nanotechnology ( MNT ) otherwise known as nanorobotics is the “ engineering of making machines or automatons at or shut to the microscopic graduated table of a nanometre ( 10^9 metres ) [ 12 ] . Medical nanorobotics refers to the still mostly theoretical nanotechnology technology subject of planing and constructing nanorobots. This article presents an advanced nanorobot architecture based on nanobioelectronics for medical conditions, such as diabetes. “ The progressive development towards the curative usage of nanorobots must be observed as the natural consequences from some ongoing and future accomplishments in biomedical instrumentality, wireless communicating, power transmittal, new stuffs technology, nanoelectronics, chemical science, proteomics, and photonics ” [ 2 ] .

Illustration about the nanorobots built-in circuit architecture and layout described here with a computational attack with the application of medical nanorobotics for diabetes is simulated utilizing clinical informations. Integrated simulation can supply synergistic tools for turn toing nanorobot picks on feeling hardware design specification, fabricating analysis and methodological analysis for control probe. A doctor can assist a patient to avoid hyperglycaemia by agencies of a handheld device, like cell phone, enclosed with cloth which is used as a smart portable device to pass on with nanorobots. Therefore, this type of engineering provides a suited pick to set up a practical medical nanorobotics platform for in vivo wellness monitoring.

Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine

Harmonizing to Vogel ( 1999, p.3 ) , “ the beginning of a gold haste into the ‘nano ‘ by which the universe of the really little is presently discovered, will certainly besides lead to splendid new entrepreneurial chances ” [ 11 ] .

With the promotion of nanotechnology applications, such as nanorobotics, advancement impacting on human wellness has come much faster than expected. Peoples now associate nanomedicine with engineered nanoparticles in the context of drug bringing devices or advanced medical applications. Therefore, it is now of import to incorporate multiple undertakings into drug bringing device, from aiming specific tissues to let go ofing drugs in contrast with their environment.

“ Nanomedicine is the application of nanotechnology to medicate. It is the saving and betterment of human wellness, utilizing molecular tools and molecular cognition of the human organic structure ” [ 4 ] . The 3rd major development of nanomedicine is molecular nanotechnology ( MNT ) , or merely nanorobotics. Merely as biotechnology extends the scope and efficaciousness of intervention options available from nanomaterials, the coming of molecular nanotechnology will once more spread out tremendously the effectivity, comfort and velocity of future medical interventions while at the same clip significantly cut downing their hazards, cost and invasiveness. This will assist the ability to plan, concept and deploy big Numberss of microscopic medical nanorobots.

Medical Microrobotics

There are now series of efforts by research workers to construct microrobots for in vivo medical usage. In 2002, some research workers, Ishimaya et Al. developed bantam magnetically driven whirling prison guards at Tohoku University. These prison guards were intended to swim along venas and carry drugs to infected tissues or even to tunnel into tumours and kill them with heat [ 4 ] . Besides in 2003, the “ MR-Sub ” undertaking of Martel ‘s group at the NanoRobotics Laboratory of Ecole Politechnique in Montreal tested utilizing variable MRI magnetic Fieldss to bring forth forces on an untethered microrobot incorporating ferromagnetic atoms, developing sufficient propulsive power to direct the little device through the human organic structure.

Manufacturing Medical Nanorobots

Harmonizing to Freitas ( 2005 ) “ the greatest power of nanomedicine will emerge, possibly in the 2020s, when we can plan and build complete unreal nanorobots utilizing stiff diamondoid nanometer-scale parts like molecular cogwheels and bearings ” ( see Figure 2 ) [ 4 ] . These nanorobots will hold complete independent subsystems which include onboard detectors, motors, operators, power supplies, and molecular computing machines. Geting all these constituents together in the right sequence will turn out progressively hard as machine structures become more and more complex. Building complex nanorobotic systems requires fabricating techniques that can construct a molecular construction by what is called “ positional assembly ” . This procedure will affect picking and puting molecular parts one by one, traveling them along controlled waies like the automaton weaponries that manufacture autos on car assembly lines. The procedure is repeated over and over with all the different parts until the concluding merchandise, such as nanorobot is to the full assembled.

Molecular Planetary Gear

A molecular planetal cogwheel is a mechanical constituent that might be found inside a medical nanorobot [ 4 ] . The gear converts shaft power from one angular frequence to another. The instance unit of ammunition it is made up of labored Si shell with sulfur expiration, with each of the nine planet cogwheels attached to the planet bearer by a C to carbon individual bond. The planetal cogwheel shown in figure 2 has non been built as a consequence of an experiment, but has been modeled computationally. [ Copyright 1995. Institute for Molecular Manufacturing ( IMM ) .

Microbivores and Respirocytes

The ability to piece complex diamondoid medical nanorobots to molecular preciseness, and so to construct them stingily plenty in big Numberss for them to be utile therapeutically, will affect the pattern of medical specialty and surgery. Nanorobotic unreal scavenger cells called “ microbivores ” [ see figure 3 ] could travel round the blood stream, looking for and digesting unwanted pathogens including bacteriums, viruses, or fungi [ 4 ] . Microbivores would accomplish complete clearance of even the most terrible infections in hours or less. This is much better than the hebdomads or months of antibiotic-assisted natural phagocytic defences.

It is stated in an article written by Martinac, K and Metelko, Z that Freitas, R. A. has designed an unreal ruddy blood cell called ‘respirocyte ‘ , a spherical nanorobot of about the bacteria size. The respirocyte would be made up of 18 billion atoms, exactly arranged in a crystalline construction to organize a illumination force per unit area armored combat vehicle [ 8 ] . Harmonizing to research, the armored combat vehicle would keep every bit many as nine billion O and C dioxide molecules. When respirocytes are injected to a patient ‘s blood stream, detectors on the surface would observe O and C dioxide degrees in the person ‘s blood.

When it is clip to lade O and unload C dioxide, or frailty versa, the detectors would signal. Respirocytes could hive away and reassign conveyance 200 times more gas than ruddy blood cells [ 8 ] .

Surgical Nanorobotics

Surgical nanorobots could be introduced to the organic structure through the vascular system or at the terminals of catheters into assorted vass and other pits in human organic structure [ 4 ] . A surgical nanorobot could execute several maps, such as seeking for pathology and so naming and rectifying any unnatural tissues or cells by nanomanipulation on a computing machine while keeping contact with the oversing sawbones via coded ultrasound signals.

Nanorobots equipped with operating instruments and mobility will in future be able to execute precise and refined intracellular surgeries which will be beyond the capablenesss of direct use by human manus. Microsurgery was a considerable polish over rough macrosurgery, and it opened up the possibility of utilizing processs that were non carried out antecedently or were associated with high mortality and morbidity [ 5 ] . By opening up the universe beyond microscale, nanotechnologies will hold a similar impact on medical specialty and surgery.

Medical Nanorobotics

Like a regular automaton, a nanorobot may be made of many parts, such as cogwheels and bearings [ see Figure 2 ] composed of strong diamond-like stuff [ 5 ] . A nanorobot will hold motors to do things move and likely weaponries and legs for motion. It will hold a power supply for energy, detectors to steer its actions, and an on-board computing machine to command its behaviour. Nanorobot is said to be really little in comparing to a regular automaton. A nanorobot that would go through the blood stream must be bantam plenty to squash through the human organic structure.

Research workers working on medical nanorobotics are making engineerings that could take to fresh health-care applications, such as new ways of accessing countries of the human organic structure that would otherwise be unapproachable without invasive surgery ( Kroeker, 2009 ) . In a drama in 1920, Karel Capek was the first individual to utilize the word ‘robot ‘ [ 7 ] . Since so, different types of electromechanical systems have emerged from research research labs. These systems are now doing their manner onto production lines for industrial undertakings, being delivered into many plaything shops for amusement, and even into different places to be used in executing family occupations.

Early Ideas in Medical Nanorobotics

One of the first early minds of medical nanorobotics is the celebrated scientist, late physicist Richard P. Feynman. Feynman worked on the Manhattan undertaking at Los Alamos during the 2nd universe war, he subsequently taught at Caltech for most of his callings. Feynman wanted a medical application for his new engineering ; he so discussed his thought with a co-worker and offered the first known proposal for a nanomedical process to bring around bosom disease.

In his prescient ‘1959 ‘ talk “ There is plentifulness of room at the Bottom ” , Feynman proposed using machine tools to do smaller machine tools, these smaller machines can be used in bend to do smaller machine tools and so on all the manner to the atomic degree. Feynman was clearly cognizant of the possible medical applications of the new engineering he was suggesting. He said in his proposal “ although it is a really wild thought, it would be interesting in surgery if you could get down the sawbones ” [ 3 ] . He besides said “ you will hold to set the mechanical sawbones inside the blood vas and it goes into the bosom and looks about. It will so happen out which valve is the faulty one and take a small knife and pieces it out. Other little machines might be for good incorporated in the organic structure to help some inadequately functioning organ ” [ 3 ] .

During his historic talk in 1959, Feynman urged people to see the possibility, in connexion with biological cells, “ that we can fabricate an object that manoeuvres at that degree! ” [ 3 ] . Two decennaries subsequently, the vision of Feynman ‘s comments became a serious country of enquiry when K. Eric Drexler, while still a graduate pupil at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, published a proficient paper proposing that it might be impossible to build, from biological parts, nanodevices that could inspect the cells of a life human being and carry on fixs within them. This was followed a decennary subsequently by Drexler ‘s seminar proficient book puting the foundations for molecular machine systems and nanorobotics and later by Freitas ‘s proficient books ( 6, 8 ) on medical nanorobotics.

Role of Nanotechnology in Medicine

As we can see in this article, the chief aim of nano-scientists is to virtually imitate nature. Scientists are seeking to build objects out of their most basic constituents, atom by atom, the manner that nature does it. This procedure offers an unprecedented grade of preciseness and control over the concluding merchandise. With this in head, we can see nanotechnology as enabling engineering ; it will let us to make extremist new things in virtually every technological and scientific sphere.

Nanoscale structured stuffs are parts of nanomedicine with a rapid development, because of the impact of pharmaceutical industry [ 8 ] . Pharmaceutical companies are now seeking to develop targeted drug bringing utilizing nanotechnology and drugs that already exist. The truth of the affair is that we do hold utile drugs, but the job we are sing is how to present drugs right where we need it. As a signifier of declaration, scientists are contemplating the possibility of utilizing magnetic nanoparticles incorporating drugs to be delivered to specific parts of the organic structure by agencies of magnetic field.

Drugs can besides be attached to nano-ligand, the function of which would be to present the drug merely to aim tissue while at the same clip cut downing its side effects [ 8 ] .

Medical Conditionss and Nanomedicine

Many scientists have recently focused their research on nanomedicine and nanodiagnostics for many diseases, like diabetes, malignant neoplastic disease, spinal cord hurt, kidney, bosom jobs etc. For the scientists, to bring forth refined and complex nanomedicine ( hypoglycaemic drugs ) for all types of diseases, particularly diabetes is on the precedence to cut down the cost and hurting of the patients. It has been discovered that people with diabetes mellitus are more at hazard holding bosom disease than people without diabetes. More than 60 % of people with end-stage nephritic disease are people with diabetes [ 9 ] . Nanomedicine has possible impact on the bar, early and dependable diagnosing and intervention of disease. The World Health Organization ( WHO ) recognizes three chief types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and type 3 which is besides known as “ gestational diabetes ” which occurs during gestation [ 9 ] .

Apart from ague glucose abnormalcies, the chief hazards to wellness are the long-run complications involved, like cardiovascular disease, chronic nephritic failure, retinal harm ( which can take to blindness ) , nerve harm, and hapless mending which can take to necrose and even amputation. Nanotechnology has now achieved the position as one of the critical research enterprises of the early twenty-first century, as scientists continue in their research to construct the alone belongingss of atomic and molecular construction known as “ positional assembly ” built at the nanometer graduated table.

Role of Nanomaterials in Diabetes

Harmonizing to research carried out by Mishra et Al ( 2008 ) “ about 150 million people suffer from diabetes in the universe and it has been predicted that this figure will be doubled within the following 15 old ages. Research workers province that type 2 diabetes histories for approximately 85 % of all instances with diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is considered a paradigm for a multifactorial polygenic disease where common fluctuations in several cistrons interact to do the disease when exposed to an enriched environment of excessively much nutrient and really small exercising [ 9 ] .

Diagnostic and Curative Applications ( Diabetes Control )

Although the scientific discipline of nanomedicine is still in its babyhood, it has major possible applications in commanding medical conditions such as diabetes. These include work outing non-invasive glucose monitoring utilizing deep-rooted nanosensors, with cardinal techniques being fluorescence resonance energy transportation ( FRET ) and fluorescence life-time detection, every bit good as new nanoencapsulation engineerings for detectors, such as layer-by-layer ( LBL ) films [ 10 ] . Other applications of nanomedicine include targeted molecular imagination in vivo ( e.g. tissue complications ) utilizing quantum points ( QDs ) or gold nanoparticles, and single-molecule sensing for the survey of molecular diverseness in diabetes pathology.

Nanomedicine, which is the application of nanotechnology to medicate, has already offered some new solutions, and many pharmaceutical companies are seeking to develop targeted drug bringing utilizing nanotechnology and bing drugs. Scientists have offered some solutions in handling diabetes ; these solutions include boxes with nanopores that protect transplanted beta cells from the immune system onslaught, unreal pancreas and unreal beta cell alternatively of pancreas organ transplant, nanospheres as biodegradable polymeric bearers for unwritten bringing of insulin. The abilities of nanomedicine are immense, and nanotechnology could give medicate an wholly new mentality [ 8 ]

Pancreatic Beta Cells

Mauro Ferrari from Ohio State University and Tejal Desai from Boston have created what could be considered one of the earliest therapeutically utile nanomedical devices [ 8 ] . The scientists have created a bantam Si box that contains pancreatic beta cells taken from animate beings. The box is surrounded by a stuff with a really specific nanopore size ( about 20 nanometres in diameter ) [ 8 ] . These boxes can be implanted under the tegument of diabetes patients and could temporarily reconstruct the organic structure ‘s delicate glucose without the demand of powerful immunosuppressant that can go forth the patient with a hazard of serious infection.

Artificial Pancreas

Another possible lasting solution for diabetic patients is unreal pancreas. The thought of this solution is to make a detector electrode that would repeatedly mensurate the degree of blood glucose ; this information feeds into a little computing machine that energizes an extract pump, and the needed units of insulin enter the blood watercourse from a little reservoir.

Nanorobotic Delivery of Insulin

Research workers are besides seeking to make a nanorobot which would hold insulin departed in interior Chamberss, and glucose-level detectors on the surface. When blood glucose degrees addition, the detectors on the surface would enter it and insulin would be released. This type of nano-artificial pancreas is still a theory, but scientists are working to develop them [ 8 ] .


This article describes and analyzes the state-of-the-art engineering that could take to fresh medical applications. It besides discusses the diagnostic and curative applications with a theoretical account to command medical conditions, such as diabetes. Harmonizing to Freitas ( 2009 ) , medical nanorobots are merely theory at the minute. To really construct them, scientists will necessitate to make a new engineering called molecular fabrication. Molecular fabrication is the production of complex atomically precise constructions [ see Figure 2 ] utilizing positional controlled fiction and assembly of nanoparts inside a nanofactory.

There is besides a critical analysis of different types of nanomaterials which could hold impact on the bar, early and dependable diagnosing and intervention of diseases, such as diabetes. Nanomedicine is defined as the application of nanotechnology to medicate. It takes advantage of the improved and fresh physical, chemical and biological belongingss of stuffs at the nanometric graduated table.

The aim of developing nanomedicine is to aim selected cells or receptors within the organic structure. This technique is driven by the demand to increase patient acceptableness and cut down health care costs, and on the other manus to present new category of pharmaceuticals that can non be delivered efficaciously by conventional methods.


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  2. Calvalcanti, A. , Shirinzadeh, B and Kretly, Luiz ( 2008 ) “ Medical nanorobotics for diabetes control ” Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine Vol. 4, Issue 2, pp 127-138. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 08 February 2010 )
  3. Freitas, R. A. Jr. ( 2005 ) “ Progress in Nanomedicine and Medical Nanorobotics ” , Handbook of Theoretical and computational Nanotechnology Chapter 32 pp 1-39. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 08 February 2010 )
  4. Freitas, R. A. Jr. ( 2005 ) “ Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine and Nanosurgery ” International Journal of Surgery pp 1-4. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 08 February 2010 )
  5. Freitas, R. A. Jr. ( 2009 ) “ Nanotechnology and Radically Extended Life Span ” Life Extension Magazine. [ Online ] Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 12 February 2010 )
  6. Jain, K. K. , ( 2008 ) .The Handbook of Nanomedicine. Switzerland: Humana Press
  7. Kroeker, K. L. ( 2009 ) . “ Medical Nanobot ” [ Online ] . COMMUNICATIONS ACM. Vol. 52 ( 9 ) , pp.18-19. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 08 February 2010 )
  8. Martinac, K. and Meteiko, Z. ( 2005 ) “ Nanotechnology and Diabetes ” Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases. Vol.34 ( 4a ) , pp.105-108. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 01 March 2010 )
  9. Mishra, M. , Kumar, H. , Singh, R. K. and Tripathi, K. ( 2008 ) “ Diabetes and Nanomaterials ” Digest Journal of Nanomaterials and Biostructures Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 109-113. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 01 March 2010 )
  10. Pickup, J. C. , Zhi, Z. , Khan, F. , Saxl, T. , Birch, D. J. S ( 2008 ) . “ Nanomedicine and its possible in diabetes research and pattern ” . Wiley InterScience Vol. 24 ( 8 ) , pp 604-610. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 12 February 2010 )
  11. Vogel, V. , ( 2009 ) Nanotechnology: Nanomedicine, Vol. 5 pp 3-5. Zurich: Wiley-VCH
  12. Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia, 2008. “ Nanorobotics ” Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Accessed: 08 February 2010 )

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