June 9, 2016


Nanobots are waiting in the wings to cure cancer and clean up ocean pollution (JURICA DUJMOVIC, 6/09/16, MaRKET wATCH)

Nanobots fight cancer

A team of scientists from Israel's Bar-Ilan University started human trials including drug-delivering nanobots in early 2016. The bots are made of the specially folded DNA that serves as a vessel for cancer-treating drugs. Unlike chemotherapy and radiation therapy, which cause damage to healthy and cancerous cells alike, DNA nanobots attack selectively and precisely.

Only when they encounter a cancerous cell (and they can recognize 12 types) do they open up and release their payload, maximizing efficiency, while greatly reducing the damaging effect of the drug on the surrounding tissue.

To repair the cancer-induced tissue damage, nanobots can connect, forming physical bridges from one end of the damaged tissue to the other, guiding the regeneration process across enlarged area. This feature could be used expedite the healing of muscle tissue, as well as the possible reparation of the spinal cord.

Red blood cells 2.0

These nanorobots, dubbed "respirocytes" by theorist Robert Freitas, could beat your regular blood cells at their own game. Within their spherical shell, they would hold 236 times more of the pressurized oxygen and carbon dioxide, transferring them from lungs to tissue, and vice versa. If red blood cells would be replaced by respirocytes, you'd become almost superhuman.

How so? On a single breath, you could dive for hours or run at top speed for 15 minutes. A heart-attack victim could survive for hours, enabling him to reach the hospital in time for treatment.

These artificial red blood cells are still very much in the realm of theory. It will take quite some time before we can see the first prototypes.

Microrobots help during eye surgery

Using a complex electromagnetic system called "OctoMag," scientists at ETH Zurich have been able to steer a microrobot with five degrees of freedom. Guided by nonuniform magnetic fields, the microrobot is capable of traversing the intraocular space and performing delicate retinal procedures with minimum damage caused to the surrounding tissue.

Posted by at June 9, 2016 7:00 PM