Nanorobotics in the Field of Medicine

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine, Nanorobotics
  • Pages : 5 (1460 words )
  • Download(s) : 73
  • Published : January 8, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview

Nanorobotics is the technology of creating machines or robots at or close to the microscopic scale of a nanometer (10−9 meters). More specifically, nanorobotics refers to the still largely hypothetical nanotechnology engineering discipline of designing and building nanorobots, devices ranging in size from 0.1-10 micrometers and constructed of nanoscale or molecular components. As no artificial non-biological Nanorobots have yet been created, they remain a hypothetical concept. The names nanobots, nanoids, nanites or nanomites have also been used to describe these hypothetical devices.


There are pressing needs in biological research today: the cost of getting new drugs to market is estimated to be 1$ billion by 2015, time to market has increased and failure rates remain shockingly high. Illnesses such as cancer,neurodegenerative diseases and cardiovascular diseases continue to ravage people around the world. The broad field of nanomedicine seeks to address many of these needs in biology, creating the not so quite as broad discipline of nanobiotechnology. In the last decade, progress in developing nano sized hybrid therapeutics and drug delivery systems has been remarkable. These nanoscale and often multicomponent constructs can be seen as the first nanomedicines, already bringing clinical benefits. A good flow of related technologies is also in development. But are these ‘Nanomedicines’ really new? The educated answer is ‘not really’. The concepts of antibody-conjugates, liposomes and polymer-conjugates stem from the 1970s. At first, they were seen as competing technologies; only one would emerge as a ‘magic bullet’ for all drugtargeting applications. But each has advantages and disadvantages. Antibodies have exquisite potential for selective targeting but, even as humanized proteins, can be immunogenic. Liposomes have high drug-carrying capacity, but can either release drug too quickly or entrap it too strongly and are prone to capture by the reticuloendothelial system (RES), even when polymer coated. Similarly, it is hard to steer nanoparticles away from the RES after intravenous injection. The ideal delivery system often merges benefits of two or more technologies. As we mark the birth of nanomedicine, it is worth reflecting on the revolution it could bring to healthcare. It is essential that benefits of genomics and proteomics research and advances in drug delivery, are quickly harnessed to realize improvements in diagnosis and therapy. Nanotechnology is already making a key contribution, but this is just the start. There are opportunities to design nanosized, bioresponsive systems able to diagnose and then deliver drugs (theranostics), and systems able to promote tissue regeneration and repair (in disease, trauma and ageing), circumventing chemotherapy. These ideas may seem like science fiction, but to dismiss them would be foolish. Risks and benefits must be addressed carefully to yield useful and safe\ technologies. An interdisciplinary approach will ensure that the exciting potential of nano medicine's many facets will be a practical reality in the foreseeable future. The tightly-integrated interdisciplinary team of medical researchers, pharmaceutical scientists, physicists, chemists, and chemical engineers, has an extensive range of expertise to facilitate research on nanomedicine.The long term goal is the development of novel and revolutionary bio molecular machine components that can be assembled and form multi-degree-offreedom nanodevices that will apply forces and manipulate objects in the nanoworld, transfer information from the nano to the macro world, and travel in the nanoenvironment. These machines are expected to be highly efficient, controllable, economical in mass production, and fully operational with minimal supervision. These ultraminiature robotic systems and nano-mechanical devices will be the biomolecular electro-mechanical hardware of...
tracking img