Nanobots or nanorobots are are used by scientists to perform specific functions. One such function being drug delivery. The current drug delivery systems deliver the drugs to the entire body before targeting the specific effected area. Using nanobots , the medicine can be targeted to a specific area of concern and only diseased cells are effected. With this technology side effects on normal cells are minimized to almost nil.
The drug carriers are approximately 50-100nm wide. Once they enter the body, on detecting the signs of diseased cells the thin wires on the wlls of the nanobots emit electrical signals that cause the walls to dissolve and drug to be released. This is a targeted drug delivery system that holds a promising future in curing life threatening diseases such as cancers.
Nanomedicine is the future of pharmaceutical industry . Without doubt this technology holds the key to cure many diseases with its advantage of targeted drug delivery system.
Elan Pharmaceuticals has already started using this technology in their drugs Merck’s Emend and Wyeth’s Rapamune .
Nanobots or nanotechnology robots are nanoelectrochemical systems which hold potential applications in the field of environmental monitoring and medicine.
NANOBOTS IN MEDICINE
Nanobots act as payloads to deliver drug to specific sites, they can also play a a vital role in killing and shrinking tumors at specific sites by blocking blood supply. The current studies are concentrated on self propelled nanobots and other biodegradable nano devices made of bio-nano components, which carry cargo to the target sites, i.e. deliver drugs to diseased cells. This active motor based system promises a efficient and effective drug delivery system.
Example, cell like nanobots that clear bacteria and toxin from the blood. Researchers have built these nanorobots by coating gold nanowires with a hybrid of platelet and red blood cell membranes. This hybrid cell membrane coating allows the nanorobots to perform the tasks of two different cells at once—platelets, which bind pathogens like MRSA bacteria (an antibiotic-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus), and red blood cells, which absorb and neutralize the toxins produced by these bacteria.
Researchers from the Arizona State University and the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences injected nanobots made from a folded sheet of DNA into the bloodstream of mice. Targeting the blood cells around the cancerous tumors the researchers where successful in cutting off the blood supply to the tumors by injecting blood clotting factors at the specific tumor sites. This resulted in recovery of the mice as the tumor either died or shrank visibly.
NANOBOTS IN EARLY CANCER DIAGNOSIS
Early diagnosis of cancer is always helpful as it can ensure complete recovery of the patient with minimal side effects. Nanobots with chemical sensors can help in early diagnosis of cancer.Proposed designs currently includes the employment of integrated communication technology, where a two-way signaling is produced. This means that nanobots will respond to acoustic signals and receive programming instructions via external sound waves along with transmitting data they have accumulated.
NANOBOTS IN BIOHAZARD DEFENCE
Nanobots with protein based biosensors can be used in real time monitoring of biohazards. It can help in stopping certain epidemic diseases as we would have an early report of the disease with the help of nanobots. For example,In the event of an influenza epidemic, increased concentrations of alpha-NAGA enzyme in the blood stream could be used as a biomarker for the influenza infection. The increased concentration would trigger the nanorobot prognostic protocol which sends electromagnetic back propagated signals to portable technology such as a mobile phone. The information would then be retransmitted via the telecommunication system providing information on the location of the infected person, increasing the speed of contamination quarantine.
Science is progressing to a future that is seems to be more safe and promising. For now, it seems science is ahead in its race with death, but for how long I don’t know.
Nanobots has yet to used in humans , I hope this technology succeeds in all that it promises on a theoretical or experimental level.