Afraid of nanobots rising up and taking over the world? Don’t be, that only happens in movies. In the real world, there are types of robots that save the human race, nanorobots to be exact. Experts and professionals are continuously doing extensive research and advanced development in nanotechnology. Research in finding the best uses of nanorobots and nanomachines into the medical industry.
In the field of medicine, there’s only a tiny room for error. To be more precise, everything has to be perfect. Of course, professional doctors are highly skilled and knowledgeable to do various surgeries and other treatments to patients. But there are some procedures that require extreme precision that even world-class doctors aren’t capable of doing.
Imagine a doctor pinpointing cancer cells, or a doctor eliminating the defected parts in someone’s DNA structure. Those are tasks that are almost impossible to do. But lucky for us, nanorobots and nanomachines exist in our world today. What it does is a guarantee to provide patients with the treatment they need. Hence, giving them a chance to live their lives better and longer.
In this article, we’ll take a deeper look and have a further understanding of what nanobots truly are. We analyze thoroughly from its components, types, to their uses in the medical industry.
What Are Nanobots?
Nanorobotics falls under the field of nanotechnology. They deal with the design and development of devices at an atomic, molecular or cellular level. These hypothetical nanorobots are superbly tiny, ranging from 0.1-10 micrometers, capable of traveling inside the human blood. In general, almost all nanorobots have specialized sensors that are able to target molecules. Therefore, it can be programmed to determine and treat targeted diseases.
A nanorobot, also known as nanobot, nanomachines or nanomites, can be made out of different mechanical components. It can be gears or motors using a variety of elements like hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, nitrogen, silicon and such. On the other hand, the exterior of a nanobot can be created using a diamondoid element due to its dormant characteristics, high thermal conductivity, and durability. They feature extremely smooth surfaces, lessening the possibilities of triggering the body’s immune system.
While an excellent property that nanorobots have is the ability to correlate to each other. Hence, developing a structure with decentralization. Another point is nanobots can do a self-replication process. In which they will create duplicates of themselves and replacing all the non-working units at the same time.
If you’re wondering if it’s possible to communicate with nanorobots, the answer is, yes. All it needs is by encoding messages to acoustic signals at a wave frequency ranging from 1-100 MHz. When the task is completed, these nanorobots can be retrieved through the usual human excretory channels or active scavenger systems can be used.
Components and Substructures of Nanorobots
In constructing nanorobots, there are two main approaches. They are the ‘Positional assembly’ and the ‘Self-assembly.’
In the self-assembly, the nanomachine’s robotic arm that’s used to pick and assemble the molecules are controlled manually by an operator while on the positional assembly, billion of molecules are put together and the nanobots can automatically assemble them into their natural configuration.
Also, nanobots are provided with swarm intelligence for decentralization activity, a technique that was inspired by the behaviors of social animals like ants, bees, etc that can work collaboratively naturally. But in order for the nanobots to function perfectly, they must have these specific components and substructures:
Components of Nanorobots:
- Power Supply
- Fuel Buffer Tank
- Onboard Computers
- Pressure Tanks
- Structural Support
Substructures of Nanorobots:
The section where the nanobot holds and releases a small dose of drug/medicine.
The nanorobot may include a miniature camera. The operator can steer the nanorobot when navigating through the body manually
The electrode mounted on the nanorobot could form the battery using the electrolytes in the blood.
These lasers could burn the harmful material like arterial plaque, blood clots or cancer cells.
Ultrasonic signal generators
Use when the nanorobots target and destroy kidney stones.
The nanorobot will need a means of propulsion to get into the body as they travel against the flow of blood in the body.
Types of Nanobots In The Medical Industry
According to Robert A. Freitas Jr., who has pioneered the study and communication of the benefits to be obtained from advanced nanorobotics and biotechnology, classified nanorobots into three types; Respirocytes, Microbivores, and Clottocytes. He is also responsible for the term “Nanomedicine” that is commonly used in the field of science today. Let’s check out how these three nanobots differ from one another.
Next on our list is the Microbivores. Unlike the Respirocytes, it is an artificial white blood cell that is also known as Nanorobotic Phagocytes.
Microbivores are the nanorobot. It functions as artificial white blood cells and also known as nanorobotic phagocytes. However, this particular nanobot is a spheroid device that consists of a diamond and sapphire. The Microbivers measures 3.4 micrometers in diameter along its major axis and 2.0 micrometers diameter along the minor axis. There are 610 billion of arranged structural atoms are inside the nanobot.
What it does is it traps in the pathogens existing in the bloodstream then breaks down into smaller molecules. While the Microbivore’s main purpose is to absorb and digest the pathogens in the bloodstream by using the process of phagocytosis. There are four fundamental components of microbivore:
- An array of reversible binding sites
- An array of telescoping grapples
- Morcellation chamber
- Digestion chamber
For only 30 seconds, an entire cycle of microbivore’s phagocytosis will complete. There are no possibilities of septic shock since it has internalized bacterial elements. Also, it digested into non-antigenic biomolecules. The microbivore is 1000 times quicker than antibiotic aided white blood cells. The pathogen also stands no chance of multiple drug resistance.
Taking the third and final spot on our list is the Clottocytes. These nanorobots described as artificial mechanical platelet, designed for Hemostasis. What’s Hemostasis, you say? Let us explain, Hemostasis is the process of blood clotting when there’s damage to the endothelium cells of blood vessels by platelets. These platelets will activate by the collision of exposed collagen from damaged blood vessels to the platelets. It will take around 2-5 minutes for the whole process of natural blood clotting.
Clottocytes, on the other hand, can complete the whole process in 1 second approximately. This nanorobot in spherical form is powered by serum-exyglucose. It is about 2 micrometers in diameter and it contains a fiber mesh that’s neatly folded inside. When released, the fiber mesh would be biodegradable, a film-like layer of the mesh would disappear in contact with the plasma to reveal the sticky mesh. When compared to the natural hemostatic system, Clottocytes are 100 times if not, 1000 times faster than natural healing.
Uses of Nanobots in The Medical Industry
Nanomites are specifically designed for drug transport called Pharmacytes. The dosage of the drug will load into the payload of the Pharmacyte. And they can precisely transport and target the drug to specific cellular points.
By using nanobots, the patient’s vitals can be continuously monitored. However, it will lead to a quantum leap in diagnostics.
Dentifrobots are nanorobots that intend for dental treatment. These types of nanomachines can induce oral analgesia, desensitize teeth, manipulate the tissues. Besides, it also uses to realign and straighten irregular sets of teeth.
Nanobot is a program to be self-sufficient onsite surgeons inside the body. Plus, they can do multiple functions. These functions include detecting pathology, diagnosing, correcting lesions. Function coordinated By nano-manipulation by an on-board computer.
Cancer detection and treatment
Nanorobots are made with a mixture of a polymer. Its transferrin is capable of detecting tumor cells. They feature embedded chemical biosensors, primarily used for detecting tumors
Diagnosis and treatment of diabetes
Nanobots carry out glucose molecules into the bloodstream. In order to maintain human metabolism. They use a Chemosensor in which they can modulate the hSGLT3 protein glucose-sensor activity.
Due to the fact that nanorobots can provide better access to the required area, thus it performs micro-surgeries. Moreover, it has extreme precision, they can perform certain surgeries that doctors are not capable of doing.
By medical nanomites, it can treat genetic diseases. Besides, this is by analyzing the molecular composition of DNA and proteins found in the cell. The best part, by using Chromallocytes it can perform Chromosome replacement therapy too.
If nanorobots are really the future of medicine, we are all ready for it. Their precise and efficient performance is definitely something we can rely on. The successful development of Nanobots can unveil new approaches to medical treatment. Hence, resulting in revolutionizing traditional medical treatment that is faster, concise & error-free treatment.
With the constant development and innovation of nanotechnology and nanomedicine, inevitably, more and more of these micrometer nanomachines be developed. Hence, treating more diseases and doing more surgeries, saving more patients in the years to come.