Nano-robots – The Promise of New Feats in Medicine
Understanding human body has always held mysteries, because for a long time period what lies inside was unknown. From dissected cadavers, people drew diagrams. Then with technology like X-rays, it became possible to understand and see through living bodies. Today, technologies like X-rays, ultrasound, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) develop images of the interior of the body, granting us the power to detect impaired health.
Today, growing interest in medical applications of nanotechnology is accelerating the emergence of a new field called nanomedicine. There is enough positivity that nanotechnology applied to medicine will bring significant results in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases.
In 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen for the first time took an X-ray of his wife’s hand. Today, X-rays enable doctors to see through living skin and muscles and to diagnose impaired bones and ligaments. Another technique of scanning such as MRI helps doctors to aid diagnosis by seeing through soft body tissue (brain and spinal cord), building three-dimensional images of the interior of the body. Today, we can take a look with sound; the cryptic world of the womb is made visible through ultrasound imaging which forms images using ultrasonic waves. These waves are also used to examine internal organs.
New skin can be made artificially by placing skin cells in a nutrient-rich gel. Instead of replacing damaged bones with artificial parts, bone can be regenerated by implanting mother-of-pearl shell mixed with bone or blood cells; it stimulates the growth of new bone. The notion of engineering on infinitesimal scale was discussed in 1950s and today, it is becoming concrete. By use of high-powered electron microscopes, scientists can see things at an atomic level and now they are developing nano-robots.
Many scientists believe that in the near future, the notion of scientific devices on minuscule scale, that is tiny dwarfed dust mites, would one day be capable of producing grand medical miracles. Yes, nano-robots are micro machines which will be small enough to travel through the bloodstream using their swimming tails. These are the current challenging creatures who will have to navigate through the complex network of bloodstreams in a human being, repairing or removing the impaired tissue at molecular level, carry doses, and make their way out of this complex system. This world is not far off from seeing doctors giving their patients a shot and implanting pint-sized robots into their blood vessels.
White blood cells will not attack nano-robots because they will be made from a neutral material. Nano-robots will attack a blood clot, infected areas or systems and its spinning blades would destroy a tumor or provide proper medications. These nano-robots will not affect healthy cells. When doctors gain access to medical robots, they will be able to quickly cure the most lethal diseases which are responsible for the mortality rate and will rapidly repair most physical injuries our bodies can suffer from.
The Nano-medicine Apparatus:
Minute hollow cavities that might contain drugs for medications to be released at infected sites. Scalpels and blades to chip away tumors and plaques. Lasers to burn away disturbing depositions. Following are some examples:
1. NANO-ROBOTIC MICROBIVORES – Artificial phagocytes called microbivores could patrol the bloodstream, engulfing pathogens.
2. NANO-DENTISTRY- For maintaining the oral health, by using nano materials into the tissues.
3. INDUCING ANESTHESIA – To make oral anesthesia which is one of the most common procedures in dental practice. Active analgesic micron-sized dental nano-robot will proceed under the control of the on board nano-computer as directed by the dentist.
4. MAKING NON-INVASIVE EYE SURGERIES SAFER- This creature, here, contains no source of locomotion, it is frankly a cylindrical rod of metal with only a needle. However, it moves exclusively with the help of magnetic powers. Focusing magnets (electromagnets) all around one’s head and precisely controlling this needle-bot.
5. BREAKING UP KIDNEY STONES- By using very tiny laser nano-bots could break up large painful renal stones.
6. BREAKING UP GOUTY TOPHUS – Providing relief from symptoms of gout.
7. CLEANING DEBRIS – Preventing infections.
8. BREAKING UP TUMORS- By implanting these miniatures at the site of cancers, side effects will be reduced without loss in effectiveness of treatment.
9. FIGHTING PLAQUES- This will be the most complex application of nano-robots, as they must be tiny enough so that they do not obstruct the blood flow. In addition, they must also be able to remove the plaque without dropping tiny pieces in blood vessels, which could then cause more severe diseases.
Concisely, once nanomechanics are available, the ultimate dream of every physician throughout recorded history would at last become a reality. The miraculous development taking place in the world of medicine will dramatically affect our lives. Molecular sciences are blooming at its peak. If research regarding robotics is successful, we will have to share our planet of medicine with intelligent machines. Wherever or whatever it is like, the truth is, it is your future, so discover it, take part in it, and enjoy it!
About the Author: Tooba Irshad is a 2nd year MBBS student at Sindh Medical College, Pakistan. She can be reached at [email protected]
About this article: This article is competing for the JPMS International Medical Writing Contest 2013
To learn more about the contest and to participate in it, follow this link: http://blogs.jpmsonline.com/writing-contest/
To support the author win this contest, share and like this article at different social media platform using the social icons given in this page. Please note the rules and regulations for this contest for details.
Join JPMS Medical Blogs Team as Editor or Contributor, email your cover letter and resume to [email protected]
We welcome Guest posts. Submit online via: http://blogs.jpmsonline.com/submit/
Disclaimer: JPMS Medical Blogs are published by the same publisher of Journal of Pakistan Medical Students (JPMS). This article does not reflect the policies of JPMS or its Staff or Editorial nor it intends to provide legal, financial or medical advice. Refer to Disclaimer and Policies section for more details.
Advertisement: Call for Papers for Journal of Pakistan Medical Students (www.jpmsonline.com): Submit Original Article, Review Article, Case Report, Letter to the Editor, News Article, Clinical Images, Perspectives or Elective Report to JPMS. We also publish Conference Proceedings and Conference Abstracts as Supplement. No paper submission or publication charges. Submit your articles online (click here) or send it as an Email to: [email protected] and Causes