Nanorobots that 'Eat' Harmful Bacteria in the Body
Science & Tech / /
It seems like there are no limits to nanomedicine. The newest project is a nanorobot fed with harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi from the blood, which can replace the chromosomes from affected cells with a new chromosomes produced outside the patient's body.
Nanorobotics is an field of nanotechnology that deals with design and construction of devices at an atomic, molecular or cellular level. Those hypothetical medical nanorobots are expected to be extremely small, at the size of bacteria, even smaller than our red blood cells, will be composed of thousands of molecule-sized mechanical parts made of strong material, and would transverse inside the human blood. In order to move, nanorobot will need motors, mechanical legs, a power supply, sensors to guide it, and a computer to control its movements.
As it was written by the researchers from the Department of Biotechnology at the Sapthagiri College of Engineering in Indie, these nanorobots would have special sensors to detect the target molecules, it can be programmed to diagnosis and treat various vital diseases.
The nanorobots are designed to act as artificial substitutes of blood. They are designed to mimic all the important functions of red blood cells and also used in treatment of anaemia, heart attack or lung diseases.
“A patient might be injected with a dose of about 100bn of these microbivores. A targeted germ would stick to the nanorobot's surface like a fly caught on flypaper. After being gathered into the microbivore's "mouth", the germ would be minced up and digested into harmless molecules in just minutes,” the scientists explained.
A complete process of this kind might last just a few hours, which is far faster than the days or weeks needed for antibiotics to do their job. Another advantage is that no bacteria would evolve resistance to these machines in such a short time as it is a case with antibiotics. As soon as the treatment is finished, using an ultrasound signal the nanorobots could be direct to the kidneys where they would be painlessly expelled through the urine.
Similar technology could be applied to quickly recognize and ‘eat’ even the tiniest clusters of young cancer cells, before they had a chance to spread throughout the body.
Nanorobots are still on a level of theoretical project, that has not seen the light of the day yet. The Nanofactory Collaboration, community found in 2000, is co-ordinating a research and development programme to design and build the first working nanofactory that could create medical nanorobots, but it is not expected to be in the next 20 years.