The Applications and Research in Developing Nanorobots Nanorobots are devices of the nanoscale that are used for effectively sustaining and defending the human body against pathogens. The possibility of nanorobots was first proposed by Richard Feynman in his talk “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” in 1959, who stated that machines could make smaller machines, and those smaller machines could make smaller machines up to a point where the machines would be in the molecular scale (Freitas 29).
Feynman’s theory of nanorobots became a hot topic in the last two decades when dramatic development in technology made the ideas of nanorobots feasible. The enormous potential in the biomedical capabilities of nanorobots and the imprecision and side effects of medical treatments today make nanorobots very desirable. Medical treatment today involves the use of surgery and drug therapy. Surgery is a direct, manual approach to fixing the body. However, no matter how highly trained the specialists may be, surgery can still be dangerous since anesthetics, infections, organ rejection, and missed cancer cells can all cause failure.
Surgeons lack fine-scale control. From the perspective of a cell, a fine surgical scalpel is as crude as a blunt tool. Invasive surgery wounds peripheral tissue and causes unnecessary harm to the patient. Drug therapy affects the body at the molecular level. Drug molecules are dumped into the body where they are transported by the circulatory system. They may come into contact with un-targeted parts of the body and lead to unwanted side effects.
Nanomedical robots, however, will have no difficulty identifying cancer cells and will ultimately be able to track them down and destroy them wherever they may be growing. This is why the medical profession is looking towards the use of biomedical, nanotechnological engineering to refine the treatment of diseases. Nanorobots will typically be .5 to 3 microns large with 1-100 nm parts. Three microns is the upper limit of any nanorobot because nanorobots of larger size will block capillary flow(Freitas 26). The nanorobot’s structure will have two spaces that will consist of an interior and exterior.
The exterior of the nanorobot will be subjected to the various chemical liquids in our bodies but the interior of the nanorobot will be a closed, vacuum environment into which liquids from the outside cannot normally enter unless it is needed for chemical analysis. A nanorobot will prevent itself from being attacked by the immune system by having a passive, diamond exterior. The diamond exterior will have to be smooth and flawless because past experiments have shown that this prevents leukocytes activities since the exterior is chemically inert and have low bioactivity(Freitas 26).
Nanorobots will communicate with the doctor by encoding messages to acoustic signals at carrier wave frequencies of 1-100 MHz(Freitas 27). When the doctor gives a command to the nanorobots, the nanorobots can receive the message from the acoustic sensors on the nanorobotsand implement the doctor’s orders. Replication is a crucial basic capability for molecular manufacturing. However, in the case of nanorobots, we should restrict manufacturing to in vitro (in laboratory) replication. Replication in the body (in vivo) is dangerous because it might go out of control. If even replicating bacteria can give humans so many diseases, the thought of replicating nanorobots can present unimaginable dangers to the human body.
When the nanorobots are finished with their jobs, they will be disposed from the body to prevent them from breaking down and malfunctioning(Freitas 27). One example of a possible nanorobot will be Robert Freita’s artificial red blood cell, the respirocyte. The respirocyte is used in the event of impaired circulation, where there is a need for extra metabolic support to provide emergency supplies of oxygen for survival. Its exterior will be made of flawless diamond to maintain chemical inertness and to withstand great pressure in the body.
The spherical respirocyte will mechanically retrieve all the oxygen into its pressure vessel. It will be filled with high-pressure oxygen at approximately 1,000 atmospheres and oxygen should be able to trickle out of the sphere at a constant rate by using nanomechanical propellers (Freitas 412). By driving the rotor at the right speed, oxygen can be released from the internal reservoir into the external environment at the desired rate. A respirocyte can hold 236 times more oxygen per unit volume than a natural red blood cell (Freitas 413). In layman terms, a one-liter dose of respirocytes will enable a normal human being to survive after being strangled for four hours.
He can run as fast as he can for fifteen minutes nonstop without taking a single breath. Some other possible uses of nanorobots include cosmetic creams that can be packed with nanorobots to do a better job of cleaning than any product can today. It can remove the right amount of dead skin cells, excess oils, add missing nutrients, apply the right amount of natural emollients, and even achieve the goal of deep pore cleansing by reaching deep into the pores and cleaning them thoroughly (Bhargava).
A mouthwash full of smart nanomachines can do all the brushing and flossing for people. This mouthwash will identify and destroy disease-causing bacteria and allow the harmless bacteria in the mouth to live. The devices will recognize food particles, plaque or tartar, and get rid of them effectively. Since the nanomachines have short life spans, they will naturally decay into biodegradable molecules that can be removed easily by the body (Bhargava).