This article analyzes the state-of-the-art technology of Medical Nanorobots. And how this technology is applied in modern era of medical applications. This paper describes therapeutic and diagnostic applications and provides a possible approach to control some medical conditions. Doctors and other experts in the medical field have gained much interest in the field of medical nanorobots over the past few years. The motive is to generate a nanorobot that is able to both chemically and physically within the human body. Eventhough there are some biomedical procedures and instruments used by physicians to explore tissues and cells, the physicians show some new field of interest towards exploring the human body with nanorobots. These nanorobots must pass through a person's body and causes excessive bruising, itching, and other disturbances. The successfull study in this field is finding a way nanorobots can perform the maximum amount of biomedical with the less amount of irritation and other illnesses to the patient. This paper intends to discuss the following: An introduction about nanorobots which describes its physical size and structures and how they can perform tasks in medical and industrial field heading towards science fiction, The several approaches of nanorobotics, Applications in Dentistry, Gene therapy, Surgery, Diagnosis and Testing. This article also includes an important conversation between Nano VIP and Calvancalti which shows how nanorobots are applied in the field of Diagnosis and treatment of Diabetes. Apart from the advantages of medical nanorobotics, will also be discussing certain disadvantages.
Nanorobots are the therotical microscopic devices which is measured on the scale of Nanometers(nm). 1nm is equal to 1 millionth of 1 milimeter. Nanomedicine is termed as the medical application of nanotechnology. Its approaches lies between the use of nanomaterials to nanoelectric biocensors. And even possible applications of molecular nanotechnology. Nanomedicine's nanorobots can easily traverse into the human body because they are very tiny in size. After realizing them from the hypothetical stage, they can work in atomic, molecular and cellular levels. And they can perform tasks in medical and industrial field heading towards science fiction.
The exterior of nanorobots is in diamondoid structure and it is constructed of carbon atoms. Nanorobot implants into the human body, like other elements that are implanted into the human, must be studied for any and all side effects that it will have on a particular patient. This has focused the study of nanorobots on mechanocompatibility. The term mechanocompatibility refers to the mechanical ability of a nanorobot to react to human body so as not to disturb other biological functions of the body.
When nanorobots with super smooth surfaces are injected, they may affect the human immune system, so glucose and blood sugar might be used a source of propulsion for the nanorobots. When nanorobots performs some duties around the body, there may be some reasons that the nanorobots may results in irritation around various areas of the body. Itching is the one of the rritation that the nanorobot could cause. This may happen in the areas like ears and mouth. This itching sensation caused by the nanorobot could happen internally, which could cause interruption into the nerves of the body as well as the activity in other functions of the body which might give off certain unwanted impulses. Robert Freitas stated that to avoid chemical irritation by a nanorobot, “Nanorobots should be designed with chemically nonpruitic (non-itching) external surfaces”. With nanorobots traveling possibly throughout the body, it may cause some side effectes to the human body because certain chemicals are hazardous to certain people.
To perform microscopic and macroscopic tasks, there comes a necessary for very large number of nanorobots to work together since it is very small in size.
To enable the manufacturing technology towards nanorobots for some common medical applications like surgical instrumentation, diagnosis and drug delivery, the joint use of nanoelectronics, photolithography and new identified biomaterials can be considered. This feasible approaches in manufacturing nanorobots is a methedology which is used from the electronic industries. Thus nanorobots should be integrated practically as nanoelectronic devices which will in turn allows advanced capabilities for medical instrumentation.
Nucleic acid robots are abbrevated as nubots and they are synthetic robotics devices at the nanoscale. Ned Seeman's group at NYU, Niles Pierce's group at Caltech, John Reif's group at Duke University, Chengde Mao's group at Purdue, and Andrew Turberfield's group at the University of Oxford reported that the representative nubots may include the several DNA walkers.
2.3 POSITIONAL NANOASSEMBLY
Robert Frietas and Ralph Merkle in 2000 found Nanofactory collaboration which is a focused ongoing effort and it consists of ten organizations from four countries with 23 researchers. This collaboration is developing a practical research agenda which is pointed at developing diamond mechanosynthesis which is positionally controlled and a diamondoid structured nanofactory which is capable of building diamondoid medical nanorobots.
2.4 USAGE OF BACTERIA
The model uses biological micro-organisms like E coli bacteria's flagellum for propulsion purposes. To control the motion of this biological integrated device electromagnetic fields are normally used.
3. POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS:
3.1 NANOROBOTICS IN DENTISTRY
The future of dental applications of nanotechnology is now a new field called Nanodentistry. The Nanorobots induce Desensitize tooth, oral analgesia, re-align and straighten irregular set of teeth and to improve the durability of teeth. Nanodental techniques involve many tissue engineering procedures for major tooth repair. The complete dentition replacement therapy is done by manufacturing and installation of whole replacement tooth which is biologically autologous. It also includes both mineral and cellular components.
The nanostructured composite material, sapphire which is given by the nanodentistry increases tooth durability and appearance. The covalently bonded artificial material such as sapphire replaces the upper enamel layers. Sapphire is also susceptible to acid corrosion like enamel. And it has 100 to 200 times hardness and failure strength than ceramic. Sapphire has cosmetic alternative and best standard whitening sealant. To increase tooth durability new restorative nanomaterial is used and it is called nanocomposites.Nanocomposites are manufactured by nanoagglomerated discrete nanoparticles. It is homogeneously distributed in resins or coatings to produce those nanocomposites.Nanofillers are superior to conventional composites and blend with the natural tooth structure.The nanofiller include an aluminosilicate powder having a mean particle size of about 80nm and a 1:4ratio of alumina to silica. The nanofiller has a refractive index of 1.503, it has superior hardness, modulous of elasticity, translucency, esthetic appeal, excellent color density, high polish and 50% reduction in filling shrinkage.
Impression material is available with nanotechnology application. Nanofiller are integrated in the vinylpolysiloxanes, producing aunique addition siloxane impression material. The main advantage of material is it has better flow, improved hydrophilic properties hence fewer voidsat margin and better model pouring, enhanced detail precision.
3.2 NANOROBOTICS IN SURGERY
Surgical nanorobots can be introduced into te human body through the vascular systems and other cavities. Surgical nanorobots could act as a semiautonomous on-site surgion inside the human body when its is programmed or guided by a human surgeon. This programmed surgical nanorobot could perform some functions like searching for pathology and then diagnosing and correcting lesions by nanomanipulation, coordinated by an on-board computer while maintaining contact with the supervising surgeon through coded ultrasound
signals. Today the earlier forms of cellular nanosurgery are explored. Say for example, a micropipette with rapidly vibrating at 100 Hz micropipette with a less than 1 micron tip diameter has been used to cut dendrites from single neurons. But the process sholud not damage the cell viability. Femtosecond laser surgery performs axotomy of roundworm neurons, and as a result after axons are functionally regenerated.
3.3 DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING
Diagnosing, testing and monitoring functions in both tissues and in the blood stream can be vitally performed by medical nanorobots. These nanorobots can record and report the vital signs of temperature, chemical composition, pressure and immnume system activity from all different parts of the body continuously. When these devices swallowed by a patient for diagnostic purposes, it approaches the surface of the stomach for searching signs of infection.
3.4 NANOROBOTS IN GENE THERAPY
Genetic diseases can be treated by medical nanorobots by comparing the molecular structures of both DNA and protiens in the cell. Then irregularities can be corrected and modificatons could be done. The chromosomal replacement therapy is more efficient than in cytorepair. An assembly built repair vessel perform some genetic maintenance by floating inside the nucleus of the cell. Supercoil of DNA when stretched within its lower pair of robot arms, the nanomachine generally pulls the strand which is unwounded for analysis, meanwhile the upper arms detach regulatory protiens from the chain. After that it places them in an intake port. The information which is stored in the large nanocomputer's database is positioned outside the nucleus is compared with the molecular structures of both DNA and protiens, and they are connected through communication link to the cell repair ship. Abnormals found in the structures are corrected and protiens reattached to the DNA chain, which then recoils into its original form. The repair vessel are generally smaller than most bacteria and viruses with the diameter of only 50 nanometers, and they are capable of therapies and cures much ahead of the present-day physicians.
3.5 NANOROBOTS IN THE DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF DIABETES
For the human metabolism maintenance, glucose must be carried through the blood stream and its correct level is the important issue in diagnosis of diabetes and even in the treatment of diabetes. Related to the glucose molecules, a protein called hSGLT3 has some huge power for the maintenance of the gastrointestinal cholinergic nerve. Additionally the protien also maintains the skeletal muscle function activities. The protien maintain the both for regulating the concentration of extracellular glucose. The protien molecule could be used to the diabetes patients to define their glucose level and it also serves as a sensor to glucose identification. The Complementary Metal Oxide semiconductor (CMOS) nanobioelectronics is embedded in simulated nanorobot prototype model. It features a size of 2 micronmeter(approximately), which allows it to operate inside the body without any interference. The nanorobot has no interference in detecting the glucose level in the blood stream wheather it may visible or invisible with respect to the immune reactions. With the immune system reaction inside the human body, the device is not disturbed or attacked by the white blood corpuscles due biocompatability. For monitoring the glucose level the nanorobot uses chemosensor which is embedded that involves the hSGLT3 protein modulation glucosensor activity. The nanorobot can thus able to determine if the diabetes patient has to be injected with insulin or take any other further action, such as any clinically prescribed medication through its onboard chemical sensor. The image of the NCD simulator workspace generically shows the inner view of a venule blood vessel in the format grid texture, red blood cells (RBCs) and nanorobots. They can detect the glucose levels by flowing with the red blood cells through the bloodstream . As a limitatation to the Blood Glucose Levels the device try to keep the them around 130 mg/dl . A variation of 30mg/dl can be adopted as a displacement range, eventhough this could be altered with respect to the medical prescriptions. Again in the architecture of medical nanorobot , the data measured can be automatically transferred through the Radio Frequency signals to the mobile phone that is carried by the patient. If the glucose reaches critical levels, the nanorobot gives out an alarm through the mobile phone.
The detailed work describing the medical nanorobot hardware architecture for diabetes is published by Adriano Calvancati in february 2007. It is published in the journals recent called Patents on nanotechnology (Bentham science). It addresses on how nanorobots are emergingly used as the device which monitors to help in the therapy of diabetes patients. Nano VIP interiewed Calvancanti about his current and future projects about how nanorobotics could help in the treatment of diabetes, its future usage and about its limitations. Some of the interview questions and answers from Nano VIP and calvancati is as follows respectively.
3.5.1 HOW NANOROBOTS MAY HELP PATIENTS WITH DIABETES?
The nanorobots monitors the blood glucose level and for every two hours it transmit the information through RF signal to mobile phones which is carried with patients. The nanorobots use embedded nanobiosensors for doing the above mentioned action. If the glucose is not in the actual levels, the nanorobots will initiate a pre-programmed alert in the cellular phone which then inform the patients to take the necessary actions regarding the control of diabetes with prescribed medicaments.
3.5.2 WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE ON NANOROBOTS FOR DIABETES?
To control their glucose levels patients with diabetes nowadays are forced to take some small blood samples number times in a day. These procedures are not very comfortable and extremely inconvenient. So constant glucose monitoring using medical nanorobots may solve this problem by observing the level of sugar in the body. This important data may help the doctors to advise and improve the patient medication. This process of using the nanorobots for data collection and patient monitoring is very safe and more convenient. This technology may avoid some infections which may happen to collect blood samples when they have a cut to do it. The technology also avoids the patients forgetting their glucose sampling and even avoid possible loss of data.
3.5.3 HOW DO YOU EXPECT TO ACHIEVE NANOROBOTS MANUFACTURING?
Latest developments on nanobioelectronics literally shows the method of integrating cellular phones and system devices in order to achieve a good level of glucose in the blood for patients with diabetes.Nanometers in terms of VLSI circuits have demonstrated feasible devices with nanometer scales. Through the exact manufacturing technique these devices could help in integrating nanorobots and actuators to order to build molecular machines. But the integration is done when the nanorobots are with the embedded sensors. They are together accelerating the electronics manufacturing possibilities. Genomics investgation is the one which gathers the biologists, doctors and even engineers for giving some comprehension in an interdisciplinary manner about protien based mechanism for the metabolism process of the human body. This kind of information has become crucial and perceptive for the investigation and development of applied electrical devices as nanodevices for biomedical problems.
3.5.4 WHAT IS NEW ABOUT NANOROBOTS IN THIS WORK?
The work describes a system and the architecture of hardware with a wireless communication technique which is used to address the interface, data trasmission and teleoperation of nanorobots for diabetes. The hardware architecture description may support and hence advances towards manufacturing development of nanorobots. This approach may allow the practical use of nanorobots for continously monitoring the patients who are in a pervasive manner. This can be useful for early diagnosis of complex diseases and equally useful for elder people who needs constant monitoring. The same kind of architecture which is presented in terms of hardware and also system integration can also be used for several applications in the field of medicine.
3.5.5 BEYOND DIABETES, WHAT KINDS OF OTHER BIOMEDICAL APPLICATIONS CAN FIT FROM THIS ARCHITECTURE?
The nanorobot with the same concept is used earlier for the diagnosis of cancer. The disease cancer can be treated with various stages of technologies and medical therapy tools. But how can we find a patient suffering from cancer can survive or not is by putting the following questions such as how early it was diagnosied; how the possible symptoms of cancer should be detected atleast before the metastastis has began. As the property of a nonorobot is to navigate with the flow of the blood as bloodborne devices, they can help in the process of early diagnosis. Therefore this integrated architecture accompanies molecular machines development to advance new therapies in medicine.
· The initial design cost is huge.
· The design of the nanorbot is a very complicated one.
· Electrical systems can create abandoned fields which activate
molecular recognition systems which is bioelectric based in biology.
· Electrical nanorobots are easily impressed to electrical interference from external sources such as RF or electric fields and EMP pulses.
· Hard to Interface, Customize and Design, Complex
· Nanorobots can cause a brutal risk in the field of terrorism. The terrorism and anti
groups can make use of nanorobots as a new form of torturing the communities as
nanotechnology also has the capability of destructing the human body at the molecular level.
· Privacy is the other potential risk involved with Nanorobots. As Nanorobots deals with the designing of compact and minute devices, there are chances for more eavesdropping than that already exists.
The nanotechnology as a tool to diagnosing and treating patients with diabetes and cancer shows how development in new technologies provides innovative works that helps nanorobots employment and its property most effectively for treating problems in medical field. Nanorobot applied to medicine promises from destroying diseases to reversing the aging process and conditions related to age can be treated at the cellular level. Nanorobots and its technology are widely used in industrial applications. They provide personalised treatments with improved efficiency and reduced side effects. Combined actions like imaging agents acting as drugs, drugs marketed with diagnostic, surgery with instant diagnostic feedback are provided by nanorobots. The most awaited molecular technology enlarge the effectiveness,speed and comfort enormously which are required for future medical treatments but at the same instant reducing their cost, risk and invasiveness. The theory of Nanorobotics has strong potential to revolutionize healthcare, to treat disease in future. It will also change human life and health care more profoundly than other medical developments. Simultaneously it will change the shape of the industry, enhancing the product development and marketing interaction between pharma, biotech, diagnostic and healthcare industries. Future healthcare will make use of sensitive new diagnostics for an improvedpersonal risk assessment. Highest impact can be expected if those major diseases are addressed first, which impose the highest burden on the aging population: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, musculoskeletal conditions, neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases, diabetes, and viral infections. Nanomedicine holds the promise to lead to an earlier diagnosis, better therapy and improved follow up care, making the health care more effective and affordable. Nanomedicine will also allow a more personalised treatment for many diseases, exploiting the in-depth understanding of diseases on a molecular level.