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Molecular nanorobots 2010-May-19 at 03:00 PDT

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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Spiders at the nanoscale: Molecules that behave like robots, 12-May-2010

Shrinking robots down to the molecular scale would provide, for molecular processes, the same kinds of benefits that classical robotics and automation provide at the macroscopic scale. Molecular robots, in theory, could be programmed to sense their environment (say, the presence of disease markers on a cell), make a decision (that the cell is cancerous and needs to be neutralized), and act on that decision (deliver a cargo of cancer-killing drugs).

Another thing we need to get to cellular-level medicine is some form of nanobot… something tiny – around the size of a blood cell – and with some intelligence to it.

This isn’t it yet… but we’re right on time with this kind of discovery to see the ultimate results (to go along with those nanopumps) in a couple of decades.

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Delivering drugs to individual cells 2010-May-18 at 05:05 PDT

Posted by Scott Arbeit in Blog.
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Glass electrodes used in nanoscale pump, by Lin Edwards, 17-May-2010

A team of engineers from the U.S. and South Korea has developed what is believed to be the smallest man-made pump ever built, powered by a glass electrode. The pump is about the same size as a red blood corpuscle.

It could be used for applications such as delivering drugs to an individual cell or for taking fluid samples from single cells. The glass electrodes could also be integrated into other nanoscale devices.

The next major frontier in medicine will be cellular-level treatments that are able to go into the body and target individual cells for help, or for destruction (think cancer).  There are many different technologies required to get us there… this is one of them.  Widespread access to this kind of medicine is probably about two decades away.

What’s next after cellular-level?  Why, molecular of course.  Imagine literally rewriting the DNA in your cells… coming in about three decades to a body near you.