nanorobotics

Nanorobotics: Molecular ‘Robots’ Explore Cellular Landscapes

Side Note: In the coming weeks we will finally be venturing into the world of robotics from both the scientific and scifi perspectives as promised. Despite many peoples fears against robots and what the outcome of their creation may be, robots are here to stay. They are here to help us in our quest to make a better world, they can aid us in cleaning our environments, our bodies, our atmosphere and much more. They can even aid victims of physically damaging accidents as well as the elderly get on with their daily lives. So what better way to start feeding the robots tag of this blog with nanorobotics!

Molecular “robots” have been developed by chemists to explore the unmapped chemical environments of living cells and transmit back the results.

Image: Artist representation of a Nanobot

The new molecules encrypt measurements of two different chemical features of cell membranes into light signals to be decoded by the British and Japanese chemists that built them. One measurement is encoded in the light’s intensity, and the other in its wavelength, or colour.

Being able to map the variables they measure could help biochemists probe the mechanisms by which cells generate energy, or how signals travel through nerve cells.

"Concepts of nanorobotic vehicles and of mapping out nanospaces have emerged from science fiction into experimental science for the first time," lead researcher A. Prasanna de Silva at Queen’s University, Belfast, UK, told New Scientist.

Phone home

de Silva’s “robots” are molecules sensitive to two features of their chemical environment. The first variable is proton - hydrogen ion - concentration. Mapping it is important because cells use gradients of proton concentration to store and generate energy.

The second variable is polarity, the degree to which electrons in an area are shared out evenly, or held in negatively charged clumps by some molecules. Polarity is used in cells to shape the structure of membranes, and to bring molecules together or keep them apart.

The new molecular probes are made from a proton-sensitive section linked to a polarity-sensitive fluorescent region. When the proton receptor detects a hydrogen ion, it releases energy that makes the fluorescent section emit light. The more protons there are around, the more light is emitted.

But because the glowing fluorescent section is sensitive to changes in polarity, the wavelength of light emitted encodes the polarity around the molecule. The more polarised the environment, the longer the wavelength of light.

Proton maps

de Silva and colleagues developed 18 different versions of these molecular probes and tested them on artificial cell-like membrane capsules made using soap-like chemicals and water. The different versions varied in how hydrophobic (water-hating) or hydrophilic (water-loving) they were, which meant that they naturally travelled to various different positions around the membrane structures.

By monitoring the intensity and wavelength of the emitted light, de Silva and colleagues could create detailed maps of the electrochemical environments around the membranes.

"This is the first time that the proton distribution near a membrane has been mapped in such detail," says de Silva. "This is also the first time that a family of sensor molecules have delivered two separate kinds of information simultaneously from a series of locations."

This work represents “significant progress in the design of molecular sensors”, says Luigi Fabbrizzi, a molecular chemist at the University of Pavia, Italy.

Journal Reference: Angewandte Chemie (DOI: 10.1002/anie.200801516)

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Viral Membrane Protects Medical Nanorobots From Immune System

Scientists say they have developed a cloaking device to spirit medical nanorobots of the future past immune systems into diseased cells. Their innovation comes from stealing a powerful weapon viruses wield to infect their hosts.

Some viruses wrap themselves in a protective membrane to avoid detection by their host’s immune system and enter cells they are trying to infect. A team at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have been able to construct their own version of a viral membrane.

Keep reading

Baby steps towards molecular robots

A walking molecule, so small that it cannot be observed directly with a microscope, has been recorded taking its first nanometre-sized steps.

It’s the first time that anyone has shown in real time that such a tiny object – termed a ‘small molecule walker' – has taken a series of steps. The breakthrough, made by Oxford University chemists, is a significant milestone on the long road towards developing 'nanorobots’.

'In the future we can imagine tiny machines that could fetch and carry cargo the size of individual molecules, which can be used as building blocks of more complicated molecular machines; imagine tiny tweezers operating inside cells,' said Dr Gokce Su Pulcu of Oxford University's Department of Chemistry. 'The ultimate goal is to use molecular walkers to form nanotransport networks,' she says.

Solve This X: How Google Plans its Moonshots for Way Out Science

Solve for X is Google’s advanced research arm, planning ‘moonshot’ advances for science in everything from computing to the environment

Delving into Google’s less well known projects the other week turned up the rather odd sounding ‘Solve for X‘.It turns out that ‘X’ projects are part of the ‘out there’ research arm of Google involved with creating tomorrow’s technologies today. On show are a…

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Nanobot micromotors deliver medical payload in living creature for the first time

Nanobot micromotors deliver medical payload in living creature for the first time #Nanobotmicromotors #nanobot #micromotors

via internetmedicine.com

The very first self-propelled, nanoparticle delivering nanobots ever

Researchers working at the University of California, San Diegohave claimed a world first in proving that artificial, microscopic machines can travel inside a living creature and deliver their medicinal load without any detrimental effects. Using micro-motor powered nanobots propelled by gas bubbles made…

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Nanorobot Race

In the same ways that technology development had the space race and nuclear arms race, a race for nanorobots is occurring. There is plenty of ground allowing nanorobots to be included among the emerging technologies.Some of the reasons are that large corporations, such as General Electric, Hewlett-Packard and Northrop Grumman have been recently working in the development and research of nanorobots; surgeons are getting involved and starting to propose ways to apply nanorobots for common medical procedures; universities and research institutes were granted funds by government agencies exceeding $2 billion towards research developing nanodevices for medicine; bankers are also strategically investing with the intent to acquire beforehand rights and royalties on future nanorobots commercialization. Some aspects of nanorobot litigation and related issues linked to monopoly have already arisen. A large number of patents has been granted recently on nanorobots, done mostly for patent agents, companies specialized solely on building patent portfolio, and lawyers. After a long series of patents and eventually litigations, see for example the Invention of Radio or about the War of Currents, emerging fields of technology tend to become a monopoly, which normally is dominated by large corporations.

DNA nanobots deliver drugs in living cockroaches

DNA nanobots deliver drugs in living cockroaches


It’s a computer – inside a cockroach. Nano-sized entities made of DNA that are able to perform the same kind of logic operations as a silicon-based computer have been introduced into a living animal.

The DNA computers – known as origami robots because they work by folding and unfolding strands of DNA – travel around the insect’s body and interact with each other, as well as the insect’s…

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DNA nanobots deliver drugs in living cockroaches

DNA nanobots deliver drugs in living cockroaches


It’s a computer – inside a cockroach. Nano-sized entities made of DNA that are able to perform the same kind of logic operations as a silicon-based computer have been introduced into a living animal.

The DNA computers – known as origami robots because they work by folding and unfolding strands of DNA – travel around the insect’s body and interact with each other, as well as the insect’s…

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Smart DNA nanorobots

Smart DNA nanorobots #SmartDNAnanorobots #nanorobots #DNAnanorobots

Smart DNA nanorobots that could use logic to diagnose cancer earlier and more accurately than doctors can today; target drugs to tumors, or even manufacture drugs on the spot to cripple cancer

It’s a familiar trope in science fiction: In enemy territory, activate your cloaking device. And real-world viruses use similar tactics to make themselves invisible to the immune system. Now scientists at…

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Invention #103 - Micro-Tool Assembly Unit (Fantastic Four vol.1  #67)

When Alicia Masters is kidnapped and taken to the mysterious Citadel of Science, Reed is able to reconstruct a control bracelet to the citadel transfer grid.  To do this, he must use his Micro-Tool Assembly Unit in order to assemble the microscopic components.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanorobotics

10 objets connectés qui s'intègrent au corps humain


Les innovations en matière d’Internet des objets sont de plus en plus étonnantes : pancréas bionique, tatouages intelligents, nanorobots, carte d’identité implantée… 

On connaissait déjà la “wearable technology”, la “technologie qui se porte”, dont le principe est d’intégrer de l’électronique à des bracelets ou des vêtements. Aujourd’hui, “l’implantable technology” consiste à implanter des puces à l’intérieur de notre corps. 

Dès 2004, la Food and Drug Administration (FDA) avait approuvé l’implantation sous-cutanée de puces munies de radio-marqueurs à des fins médicales. Aujourd’hui, des cyberpillules munies de microprocesseurs sont capables, après avoir été ingérées, de mesurer des paramètres biophysiques et d’envoyer ces informations au médecin. Elles peuvent aussi délivrer à des patients leurs doses quotidiennes de médicaments. Des patchs dotés de circuits électroniques souples se collent désormais sur la peau et surveillent la santé de l’utilisateur, via son smartphone.

Le “pancréas bionique bihormonal”, lui, est composé de 2 boîtiers, pilotés par un smartphone, capables de mesurer le taux de glycémie dans le sang avant d’envoyer une hormone hyperglycémiante. Des chercheurs européens développent un nanorobot dont les 15 modules sont avalés par le patient avant de s’assembler dans l’intestin et d’effectuer des opérations chirurgicales très complexes. La Fondation Gates et le MIT espèrent commercialiser dès 2018 un implant contraceptif que l’on pourra commander à distance.

Quant à la carte d’identité contenue dans une puce implantée sous la peau, c’est peut-être pour demain…


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Another useful application of nanorobots is assisting in the repair of tissue cells alongside white blood cells.