Nanobots are the future of medicine

Introduction

Nanobots first came to light when a physicist, Richard Feynman, mentioned it in his popular show, “There is plenty room at the bottom.” He stated how nanotips and nanobots could cure heart diseases.

Illustration of Nanobots / Image from www.dummies.com

Nanobots

A scientist named Eric Drexler took inspiration from Richard Feynman’s talk. Then he published the book “Engine of creations.” The book describes how molecular machines are the future technology of cellular biology. Robert Freitas carried out the first research related to nanobots. This relates to respirocytes resembling red blood cells (Medical nanobots). Nanobot is a type of controllable nanoscale machine made up of a sensor and a motor that can carry out specific tasks.

These machines aren’t like drones; instead, they’re more like sophisticated pieces of fabric. According to Robert Wood, they can recognize friends or enemies when they detect an attacker. They undergo a conformational shift, triggering the release of a material that can act against it. Nanobots help to administer drugs, operate on interior ailments, and even fight cancer in the medical industry.

Nanobots are hundreds of times smaller than a human cell. They’re often on the micrometer scale (which corresponds to one-millionth of one meter). Its scale of production prevents most conventional robotic assembly procedures. Thus, the bio-based machinery provided by nature itself for nanorobots has inspired many researchers and engineers. In many ways, we already have billions of organic nanobots running around in our bodies. They direct the various operations of the cells that give us life.

Primary products for Nanobots.

Nanobots are made of both organic and inorganic materials. Such materials include proteins, diamonds, metals, polynucleotides, etc. But specifically, nanobots made with diamond are known for their durability and high performance.

Metals might have double aims, e.g., silver. It has the potential to be the foundation of a nanobot and to have antimicrobial properties. They can operate like a virus in some situations, causing irreparable cell damage. Their surface characteristics primarily determine the mobility and interactivity of nanobots with other macromolecules or cell surfaces. The mobility increased synthesis, and reactivity of nanobots are all affected by their size and form.

How do nanobots work?  

1) Switch

Nanorobotic switches work by changing from an “off” state to an “on” state. This is achieved through conformational changes in the system, similar to how our hands open and close a book.

2) Motor

Nanomotor is more complicated than a nanorobotic switch. This is because a nanometer utilizes the energy generated by the conformational change, causing physical movement in its molecules.

3) Shuttle

A nanorobotic shuttle is a machine that transfers pharmaceuticals or substances to a precise location. Scientists are experimenting with combining these with nanomotors to produce more control over their movement around their environment.

4) Car

The nanorobotic car resembles a regular car but is much smaller.

They have four wheels and can move on their own with the help of light or chemicals. The trick is steering them once they’re moving. Researchers are still working out how to manage nanomotors. They recently discovered new techniques to control their propulsion using light.

The ultimate goal of these nanorobotic components is to develop collective nanomachines that would collaborate to achieve macro-scale goals.

Collective nanomachines would execute tasks well beyond the capability of even the most complicated components we have now. So they do that much like an ant colony can move things that would be difficult for a single bug.

Nanobots in medicine

A living organism is a closed system with some predictability. Scientists have been able to predict how compounds will behave once put into the body for the most part. They have used this knowledge to create minuscule devices that perform specialized jobs at a level invisible to the eye.

DNA origami

DNA origami is one of the most extensively used nanotechnology types. Thus, most nanorobotics breakthroughs have been in the medical industry.

It is a construction method that involves heating templates containing hundreds of DNA strands to modify them into precise two- and three-dimensional structures. One of the finest illustrations of how this works is the work of Chinese roboticists. The scientist developed cancer-fighting nanobots in mid-2018. The roboticists utilized DNA origami to make nanobots. They then loaded it with a blood-clotting medication to cut off the cancer cell’s blood supply after injecting mice with human cancer cells. There is still no sure way to manage nanobots once they’ve entered a living organism. And they’re too small to be detected by traditional X-ray techniques.

Conclusion:

So Nanobots are no longer just a concept on paper; scientists are developing them currently. Propulsion, sensors, and navigation systems are the parts. Nanomotors, a critical component of propulsion, is presently the subject of research. Nanomotors that are chemically, magnetically, or acoustically driven have been developed and used. The field of nanomedicine utilized them mainly. However, Scientists should put significant effort into fuel-free and biocompatible technologies in medicine. There is research work going on. However, it will take more to build functional nanobots that can perform valuable tasks for humans. But they are still unable to perform tasks such as surface alterations, structures, and components. But in the future, we can expect more.

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