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Nanobots: The Future Of Medical Surgery

2538 words - 11 pages

Nanoscale materials have been used for over a millennium such as in Medival Europe where nanoscale gold was used in stained glass and in Damacus where nanotubes were found in blades of swords (National Nanotechnology Initiative, n.d). However, Richard Feynman (Figure 1) of the California Institute of Technology gave what is considered to be the very first lecture, “There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom" on technology and engineering at the atomic scale, at an American Physical Society meeting at Caltech (n.d). Feyman stated in his speech that “When we get to the very, very small world – say circuits of seven atoms – we have a lot of new things that would happen that represent completely new opportunities for design” (Grandall and Lewis, 1992). Later in 1974, the term “nanotechnology” was given to describe precision machining of materials to within atomic-scale dimensions by Professor Norio Taniguchi from Tokyo Science University (National Nanotechnology Initiative, n.d). Moreover, the idea of a medical use for Feynman's theoretical micromachines was suggested to him by one of his doctoral students, Albert Hibbs. Hibbs suggested that certain repair machines might one day be reduced in size to the point that it would be theoretically possible to "swallow the doctor"(Discovery, n.d.)
Since the 1980’s, medicine has experienced an exciting transfer towards the use of minimally invasive procedures because of the numerous advantages of nanobot technology. The idea of nanorobotics has been explored in Nanomedicine by Robert Freitas (Figure 2) where topics such as sensing, power communication, navigation, maninpulation, locomotion and onboard computation are discussed thoroughly (Freitas, 2003)
The aim of nanobots is to overcome today’s medical drawbacks such as incisions, which harms tissue layers and takes a longer period to heal. As well as to minimize pain because anesthetics used today to limit pain are only functional affective for a short amount of time. Moreover, today’s medical procedures lie in the hands(use some other words) of the surgeons and do not have a 100% success rates. Hence, upcoming medical procedures will be performed in a sophisticated and controlled way at the cellular and molecular level. The procedures will be extremely targeted, localized and highly precised as they are performed by untethered microrobots (Nelson, n.d). Furthermore, these new surgical bots will be capable of entering the human body through natural orifices or minimal incisions without having to physically cut open and observe the subject as in yesteryears. The typical nanomedical treatment will consist of an injection of perhaps a few cubic centimeters of micron-sized nanorobots suspended in fluid (Freitas, 1999). The typical therapeutic dose may include up to 1-10 trillion individual nanorobots, although in some cases treatment may only require a few million or a few billion individual devices to be injected ( 1999)....

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