Medical Nanobots are tiny robots being used for medical purposes. With their implimentation, medical science would be revolutionized, and millions of people would be saved every day.
The human body’s bloodstream is a vast and intricate system that is able to reach every single cell in our body. However, today we are limited by how effectively we can make use of this network. Surgeon’s catheters cannot reach the tiniest capillaries, and the drugs that can do not know where the medication should go. Nanobots on the other-hand are capable of reaching even the tiniest capillaries, and they are able to give concentrated doses of medication exactly where they are needed. When concentrated doses of medication are given to the right areas, the effectiveness of that drug increases exponentially (Mick). Even more promising is the prospect that nanobots could eventually float neutrally in our bloodstream and monitor our body’s constantly. Aristides Requicha, director of the molecular robotics laboratory at the University of Southern California, is working hard at changing today’s treatment model to a prevention model with the use of nanobots (Kroeker). These nanobots would detect and fight any disease or problem with the body’s immune system before the patient even begins to show any symptoms. When nanobot technology reaches this stage, it will be hailed as the “holy grail” of medicine, as the normal process of symptoms then treatment will be replaced with simply prevention. As they roam freely in the bloodstream, nanobots will also be able to repair any harm that the body has already encountered. Today, there are many organs in the body that we are unable to access fully. These include the brain, eyes, liver, heart, clogged arteries, and other fluid-filled parts. Scientists at Micro/Nanophysics Research Laboratory at Australia’s Monash University are developing a tiny nanobot that is capable of swimming through your bloodstream (Mick). They are soon hoping to finish final touches on their design and test it on humans themselves.
However, these small robots create some major problems. First of all, due to the fact that they are unbelievably tiny, gravity is not the problem for these machines but viscosity is. That means that standard, electromagnetic rotors will not work. This is because the viscosity of the fluids in our bodies requires a torque output that is too great for the miniscule rotor to handle (Irvine). This fact calls for a radical change in rotor design. For that, scientists are beginning to look toward bacteria for help. Metin Sitti, the director of the nanorobotics laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University, is using bacteria to propel his nanobot (Kroeker). They are harnessing the chemical energy from the bacteria for propulsion, and they have used optical and magnetic stimuli to control the bacteria’s movement as well. Dr. James Friend from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Monash University in Australia is developing a tiny rotor motor that measures about five-millionths of a meter in diameter (Irvine). Because ordinary rotors do not work, Friend is using a special flagellated rotor that mimics the swimming behavior of E. Coli bacteria. Using bacteria for these designs is appropriate because bacteria have been evolving for millions of years, and they have perfected the process of moving through viscous fluids like those in our bodies.