Nanotechnology is the engineering of molecularly precise structures and, ultimately, molecular machines, basically conducted at the nanoscale, which is about 1 to 100 nanometers. The prefix “nano-” refers to the scale of these constructions, meaning one billionth in science. Nanomedicine is the application of nanotechnology to medicine. The ultimate tool of nanomedicine is the medical nanorobot—a robot the size of a bacterium, composed of molecule-size parts somewhat resembling macro scale gears, bearings, and ratchets. Medical nanorobotics holds the greatest promise for curing disease and extending life span.
A nanorobot will have motors to make things move, and perhaps manipulator arms or mechanical legs for mobility. It will have a power supply for energy, sensors to guide its actions, and an onboard computer to control its behavior. A nanorobot that would travel through the bloodstream must be tiny enough to squeeze through even the narrowest capillaries in the human body. Such machines must be smaller than the red cells in our blood. However, medical nanorobots are just theory. To actually build them, we need a new technology so called molecular manufacturing.
For nanomedicine, Nanotechnology is already being used as the basis for new, more effective drug delivery systems to deliver drugs to specific cells using nanoparticles. The technology is in early stage development as scaffolding in nerve regeneration research. In addition to this, the National Cancer Institute, in the United States has created the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer hoping that the investments in this branch of nanomedicine could lead to breakthroughs regarding detection, diagnosis, and treatment of various forms of cancer. Moreover, nanotechnology has been started to be used for visualizations such as ultrasound, MRI etc, blood purification, tissue engineering and much more.
A conceptual design of Nano-robots
Nanotechnology medical developments over the coming years are supposed to have a wide variety of uses and save a great number of lives potentially. Nanotechnology is already moving from being used in passive structures to active structures, through more targeted drug therapies or “smart drugs.” These new drug therapies have already been shown to cause fewer side effects and be more effective than traditional therapies.
With the development of nanomedicine, nano-robots will be able to increase the human lifespan by fixing the cells damaged from aging and building new mechanical ones nearly identical to the originals. In the future, nanotechnology shall aid to form molecular systems that may be strikingly similar to living systems. These molecular structures could be the basis to regenerate or replace various body parts that are currently lost to infection, accident, or disease. In fact, each and every damaged cell may be fixed up in upcoming future with the nanomedicine.
Although there are various arguments about nano-robots supposed to help us with everlasting life, these robots cannot promise an immortal life. These limitations consists constraints on their mobility, energy availability, mechanical and geometric limits, and biocompatibility requirements. However, nano- robots are much more effective, easier to control, and superior in comparison to biotechnology.
To sum up, nanomedicine and the development of nano-robots will not only affect human aging, but will also improve the quality of life of human beings, reduce the economic costs associated with healthcare as medical treatments and procedures will be less frequent and necessary with the capabilities of the nano-robots, offer early detection of medical conditions, reduce the side effects involved with therapy and treatments, and finally improve a human’s medical outcome, increment of the lifespan of human much more compared to today.
Author: Ashma Neupane
Ashma Neupane is a B.Sc 4th year student (Major: Chemistry) at Tri-Chandra Multiple Campus, Ghantaghar. Her interest lies with medicinal advancements, particularly with Nano-Medicines. She was wants to pursue a career in Nano-Medicines, with an aim to contribute something to Science and Humanity.
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