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Nanorobotics. Contents :. Introduction to Nanorobotics Applications of Nanorobotics (Medicinal) Navigation of nanorobots inside the body Powering a nanorobot Propelling a nanorobot Hardware carried by a nanorobot Benefits and Limitations Conclusion. Introduction to Nanorobotics.

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Contents :

Introduction to Nanorobotics

Applications of Nanorobotics (Medicinal)

Navigation of nanorobots inside the body

Powering a nanorobot

Propelling a nanorobot

Hardware carried by a nanorobot

Benefits and Limitations



Introduction to Nanorobotics

  • Nanorobotics deals with the controlled manipulation of objects with nanometer-scale dimensions. As an atom has a diameter of a few Angstroms' (1 Å = 0.1 nm = 10-10 m), and a molecule´s size is a few nanometers.
  • Nanorobots are nanodevices that will be used primarily for the purpose of maintaining and protecting the human body against pathogens. 
  • Basically, we may observe two distinct kind of nanorobot utilization. One is nanorobots for the surgery intervention, and the other is nanorobot to monitor patients' body.
  • Nanorobot is designed to be able to interact with the 3-Dimensional human body environment, in order to fulfill programmed tasks.
  • The major challenges faced by scientists regarding
  • nanorobot fabrication and control are power supply,
  • propulsion, navigation and communication.
  •  Nanotechnology is expected to find application (in concert
  • with genetics and robotics) in medical diagnostics, aging
  • extension, engineered organ (even cellular/sub cellular
  • organelle) replacements, disease treatments, advanced
  • pharmacology and many other areas. 

Applications of Nanorobotics

Treating arteriosclerosis: Arteriosclerosis refers to a

condition where plaque builds along the walls of

arteries. Nanorobots could conceivably treat the condition

by cutting away the plaque, which would then enter the


Fighting cancer: Doctors hope to use nanorobots to treat cancer patients. The robots could either attack tumors directly using lasers, microwaves or ultrasonic signals or they could be part of a chemotherapy treatment, delivering medication directly to the cancer site. Doctors believe that by delivering small but precise doses of medication to the patient, side effects will be minimized without a loss in the medication's effectiveness.

Helping the body clot: One particular kind of nanorobot is the clottocyte, or artificial platelet. The clottocyte carries a small mesh net that dissolves into a sticky membrane upon contact with blood plasma. According to Robert A. Freitas, Jr., the man who designed the clottocyte, clotting could be up to 1,000 times faster than the body's natural clotting mechanism. Doctors could use clottocytes to treat hemophiliacs or patients with serious open wounds.


Breaking up kidney stones: Kidney stones can be

intensely painful -- the larger the stone the more

difficult it is to pass. Doctors break up large kidney

stones using ultrasonic frequencies, but it's not always

effective. A nanorobot could break up a kidney stones

using a small laser.

Gout: Gout is a condition where the kidneys lose the

ability to remove waste from the breakdown of fats 

from the bloodstream. This waste sometimes

crystallizes at points near joints like the knees and

ankles. People who suffer from gout experience

intense pain at these joints. A nanorobot could break

up the crystalline structures at the joints, providing

relief from the symptoms, though it wouldn't be able

to reverse the condition permanently.

Breaking up blood clots: Blood clots can cause complications ranging from muscle death to a stroke. Nanorobots could travel to a clot and break it up. This application is one of the most dangerous uses for nanorobots -- the robot must be able to remove the blockage without losing small pieces in the bloodstream, which could then travel elsewhere in the body and cause more problems. The robot must also be small enough so that it doesn't block the flow of blood itself.


Navigation of nanorobots inside the body

MRI : Using a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) device,

doctors could locate and track a nanorobot by detecting

its magnetic field. Detection, tracking and control of a nano-

robot using MRI has been successfully carried out by scientists.

Because many hospitals have MRI machines, this might

become the industry standard -- hospitals won't have to

invest in expensive, unproven technologies. 

Radioactive Dye : Doctors might also track nanorobots by injecting a radioactive dye into the patient's bloodstream. They would then use a fluoroscope or similar device to detect the radioactive dye as it moves through the circulatory system. Complex three-dimensional images would indicate where the nanorobot is located. Alternatively, the nanorobot could emit the radioactive dye, creating a pathway behind it as it moves through the body.

TV footage : Nanorobots might include a miniature television camera. An operator at a console will be able to steer the device while watching a live video feed, navigating it through the body manually. Camera systems are fairly complex, so it might be a few years before nanotechnologists can create a reliable system that can fit inside a tiny robot.


Powering a nanorobot

Using Chemical reactions with blood : Nanorobots could get power directly from the bloodstream.

A nanorobot with mounted electrodes could form a battery using the electrolytes found in blood. Another option is to create chemical reactions with blood to burn it for energy. The nanorobot

would hold a small supply of chemicals that would become a fuel source when combined with blood.

Using Capacitors : Considering the fact that capacitors have relatively large power to weight ratio, as compared to batteries, engineers are devising nano scale capacitors that are both reliable and economically feasible.

Tethered Power sources : Tethered systems would need a wire

between the nanorobot and the power source. The wire would

need to be strong, but it would also need to move effortlessly

through the human body without causing damage. A physical

tether could supply power either by electricity or optically.

Non-Tethered Power sources :  Magnetic fields, Ultrasonic signals fall under this category. A nanorobot with a piezoelectric membrane could pick up ultrasonic signals and convert them into electricity. Systems using magnetic fields, can either manipulate the nanorobot directly or induce an electrical current in a closed conducting loop in the robot.


Propelling a nanorobot

Propelling a nanorobot is a very complex process. As it may have to travel against the flow of blood, the propulsion system has to be relatively strong for its size. Another important consideration is the safety of the patient -- the system must be able to move the nanorobot around without causing damage to the host.

Vi-rob : The Vi-rob is a robot that is a few millimeters in length,

which uses small appendages to grip and crawl through blood

vessels. The scientists manipulate the arms by creating magnetic

 fields outside the patient's body. The magnetic fields cause the

robot’s arms to vibrate, pushing it further through the blood vessels.

Vibrating Membrane :  Another potential way nanorobots could move around is by using a vibrating membrane. By alternately tightening and relaxing tension on a membrane, a nanorobot could generate small amounts of thrust. On the nanoscale, this thrust could be significant enough to act as a viable source of motion.

Electromagnetic and jet pumps : Capacitors can be used to generate magnetic fields that would pull conductive fluids through one end of an electromagneticpump and shoot it out the back end. The nanorobot would move around like a jet airplane. Miniaturized jet pumps could even use blood plasma to push the nanorobot forward, though, unlike the electromagnetic pump, there would need to be moving parts.


Hardware carried by a nanorobot

Medicine cavity -- a hollow section inside the nanorobot might hold small doses of medicine or chemicals. The robot could release medication directly to the site of injury or infection. Nanorobots could also carry the chemicals used in chemotherapy to treat cancer directly at the site. Although the amount of medication is relatively miniscule, applying it directly to the cancerous tissue may be more effective than traditional chemotherapy, which relies on the body's circulatory system to carry the chemicals throughout the patient's body.

Probes, knives and chisels -- to remove blockages and plaque, a nanorobot will need something to grab and break down material. They might also need a device to crush clots into very small pieces. If a partial clot breaks free and enters the bloodstream, it may cause more problems further down the circulatory system.

Microwave emitters and ultrasonic signal generators -- to destroy cancerous cells,doctors need methods that will kill a cell without rupturing it. By using fine-tuned microwaves or ultrasonic signals, a nanorobot could break the chemical bonds in the cancerous cell, killing it without breaking the cell wall. Alternatively, the robot could emit microwaves or ultrasonic signals in order to heat the cancerous cell enough to destroy it.

Electrodes -- two electrodes protruding from the nanorobot could kill cancer cells by generating an electric current, heating the cell up until it dies.

Lasers -- tiny, powerful lasers could burn away harmful material like arterial plaque, cancerous cells or blood clots. The lasers would literally vaporize the tissue.


Benefits and Limitations

Benefits :

In medical field, we will have these nano robots floating through our bloodstreams fighting against cancer cells, genetic disorders, skin diseases, and maybe even ageing.

Nano robots will be extremely precise in drug delivery and ailing. In a conventional type syringe injection of doses, only a diluted concentration of dose reaches the particular part of the body.

Nanorobots could also help improve resistance in fighting diseases and increase strength and intelligence.

When the task of the nanorobots is completed, they can be retrieved by allowing them to effuse themselves via the usual human excretory channels.

Other benefits of nanorobots can be in Super computers, military technology and some commercial applications like cosmetics, etc.

Limitations :

The major limitation when considering the development of nano robotics is that, nanorobotics is still a research field and applying all this theory into feasible produce may take at least another 25 years.



All of these current developments in technology directs humans a step closer to nanorobots and simple, operating nanorobots is the near future. Nanorobots can theoretically destroy all common diseases of the 2lst century thereby ending much of the pain and suffering. It can also have alternative, practical uses such as improved mouthwash and cosmetic creams that can expand the commercial market in biomedical engineering. People can envision a future where people can self-diagnose their ‘own ailments with the help of nanorobot monitors in their bloodstream. Simple everyday illnesses can be cured without ever visiting the physician. Invasive surgery will be replaced by an operation carried out by nano-surgical robots. Although research into nanorobots is in its preliminary stages, the promise of such technology is endless.