Originally Published MPMN
SPECIAL FEATURE: EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES
Software Provides Peek into the Body—and the Future
Actual in-body nanorobots for the purposes of diagnosing and
treating harmful conditions on the cellular level are years away. For
now, scientists can only imagine. Nanorobot prototyping software,
however, may allow researchers to use their imaginations in more
The nanorobot control design (NCD) software is a system designed to
serve as a test bed for nanorobot 3-D prototyping. The findings were
first published in the January issue of Nanotechnology by a group of
Australian and American researchers.
The NCD platform combines 3-D modeling and virtual reality to enable
the design, simulation, and testing of nanorobots. In a real-time
simulation demonstration, virtual nanorobots were assigned the task of
searching for proteins in a dynamic environment, and bringing those
proteins to a specific organ inlet for drug delivery.
Simulation using 3-D modeling can provide interactive tools for
analyzing nanorobot design choices, including decisions related to
sensors, architectural design, manufacturing, and control methodology.
Specifically, NCD lets nanorobots operate inside of a virtual human
body in order to compare control techniques.
Eventually, designers will be able to use the NCD platform for
actual nanorobot design prototyping for specific applications, says
Adriano Cavalcanti, CEO of the Center for Automation in Nanobiotech
(Melbourne, Australia), a private company that focuses on developing
systems and prototypes related to nanotechnology in the medical device
“The numerical and advanced simulations provided a better
understanding of how nanorobots should interact and be controlled
inside the human body; hence, based on such information, we have
proposed innovative hardware architecture with a nanorobot model for
use in common medical applications,” Cavalcanti says. “The proposed
platform should enable virtual patient pervasive monitoring, as well as
precise diagnosis and smart drug delivery for cancer therapy.”
“In the same way microelectronics provided new medical devices in
the 1980s, now miniaturization through nanotechnology is enabling the
manufacture of nanobiosensors and actuators to improve cell biology
interfaces and biomolecular manipulation.” Fully operational nanorobots
for biomedical instrumentation should be achieved as a result of
nanobioelectronics and proteomics integration, Cavalcanti says.
Cavalcanti says achieving the goal of functional, feasible
nanorobots will be a three-step process. First, model manufacturing
with carbon nanotube-CMOS biochip integration will have to occur,
followed by in vivo tests, and, finally, commercialization.
Center for Automation in Nanobiotech (CAN), Melbourne, Australia
Copyright ©2008 Medical Product Manufacturing News