The term nano is meant by 10-9 and an evolving technology based on this to overcome all the difficulties of the conventional technology is called nanotechnology. This nanotechnology will pave the way for the future requirements. This is primarily concerned with minimization of the product size under research. This technology could be implemented in all the fields of research, such as, medicines, space research, communication, war, crime investigation, etc. This technology is a boon for mankind. This technology has given the idea for the manufacture of sophisticated and portable instruments in future for a comfortable life. Presently for example, microprocessors are used all over the world containing about millions of transistors fabricated to it.
The nanotechnology could be used to make a nanoprocessor, which may contain about millions of microcomputers in future. This paper introduces a concept under research in the field of nanotechnology called nanorobots. These nanorobots find applications on various fields. These robots could be used to access the places and organs of the body, which are practically very difficult for any surgeon to reach with his/her skilled medical instruments. The brain tumor could be eliminated with a high degree of accuracy using the nanorobots. In this paper we look about an important application of nanotechnology that is in the medical field.
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A basic definition is: engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. In its original sense, 'nanotechnology' refers to the projected ability to construct items from the bottom up, using techniques and tools being developed today to make complete, high performance products.
This plays a very important role is many fields. The most important one is medical field. It has many application in this field like the medical nanorobots of the future could designed an artificial red blood cell called a "respirocyte," a spherical nanorobot about the size of a bacterium which could store and transport 200 times more gas per unit volume.
Thus a large dose of respirocytes could have remarkable benefits: It could keep a patient tissues safely oxygenated for four hours after a heart attack caused the heart to stop beating. Similarly, it could enable a healthy person to sit at the bottom of a swimming pool for four hours, or to sprint at top speed for at least fifteen minutes without taking a breath.
Also these nanorobots could cure the brain tumors. Lets see how those cure the brain tumor in detail.
WHAT IS BRAIN TUMOR?
A tumor is any abnormal mass that results when cells multiply uncontrollably in the brain.
Some of the general symptoms of brain tumor are as follows:
Visual disturbance (double vision).
Nausea & vomiting.
TYPES OF BRAIN TUMOR
Benign brain tumor:
It consists of slow-growing cells, has distinct borders, and rarely spreads to other locations. Benign tumors can place pressure on sensitive tissues and impair mental and physical functions, and also may cause death. In some cases, benign tumors may recur or become malignant.
Malignant brain tumors:
It often grows quickly and can be life threatening as they invade normal brain tissue and create pressure within the skull. Treatment may cause the tumor to go into remission.
HOW ARE BRAIN TUMORS TREATED?
Surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy used individually or in combination are the three most common treatments for brain tumors.
Chemotherapy is treatment with drugs. It may be just one drug
or several drugs depending on the type of tumor .A covering called the blood brain barrier surrounds the brain. This barrier can stop some drugs from reaching the brain tumor. This limits the number of drugs that can be used.
Often, to increase the effectiveness of the chemotherapy, a combination of drugs is used.
Chemotherapy may have side effects such as, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, a rash or possibly some dizziness.
Radiotherapy is an effective treatment for many brain tumors. It can stop a
tumor growing and may cause it to shrink or in some cases disappear completely. Radiotherapy is the use of high energy x-rays to destroy tumor cells. Radiotherapy is given in a course of daily treatments called 'fractions'. It is given at different intervals; daily, twice daily or every few days. The number of fractions or daily treatments will depend on your tumor type and fitness.
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The side effects depend on how much of your brain is being treated or if the spinal canal has to be treated as well. Most side effects are quiet mild and all efforts are made to minimize them. However, some are inevitable.
Surgery is not a permanent relief for the tumor patient, because the surgeon may not be that much efficient to find and kill all the tumor cells as brain is composed of number of nerves and blood vessels. The surgery could only extend the lifetime of the patient to 2 or 3 years.
DISADVANTAGES OF THE CONVENTIONAL TREATMENTS
The treatments have side effects.
Gives only temporary relief.
Excess of exposure to radiations will damage normal cells.
Since the conventional methods are not satisfactory, we should search for an alternate method for the permanent cure of this brain tumor. This alternate method is provided by the nanotechnology. Here, we make use of nanomachines in order to find the tumor in the brain by injecting them inside the blood vessels and eliminating them completely. The nano machines here used are the nano robots.
WHAT IS NANO ROBOT?
A robot, which is of few nanometers in size capable of doing some work, as programmed earlier is called the NANOROBOT. Carbon will likely be the principal element comprising the bulk of a medical nanorobot, probably in the form of diamond largely because of the tremendous strength and chemical inertness.
MANUFACTURING OF THE NANOROBOTS
Manufacture of the nanorobot is done by manipulations under atomic
level, i.e.The atoms are combined individually with one another forming a complex molecule, which is the prototype of the structure of the nanorobot that is to be manufactured.
The assembly of the atoms is done using a device called Scanning Probe Microscope.
SCANNING PROBE MICROSCOPE
A scanning probe microscope is a device, which has the component part as microscope, manufactured at nano level. This SPM is used for locating the atoms and gathering and assembling them. In short, it is used as a robotic arm for assembling the atoms.
For the assembly of the atoms in a particular array to gather the shape, the atoms and molecules should be placed in a worktable (at nano level). This worktable is called the substrate.
How to get millions of nanorobots in order to face the needs?
By implementing a technique called Massive Parallelism.
This is a technique used for the simultaneous manufacture of number of nanorobots with the help of source nanorobot, by programming it to process a series of instructions. These instructions are coded and fabricated in the form of a minute nano chip.
The set of instructions contain all the specifications for the manufacture of
other nanorobots. Thus the SPM assembled nanorobot is sintered with the nano chip and is programmed to make its own replica with the help of available atoms and molecules. The replicated nanorobots have the same properties as the parent nanorobot and it in turn manufactures more number of nanorobots. This process continues until a certain level of population is reached for facing the need.
HOW MUCH NANOROBOTS ARE REQUIRED?
In most cases a human patient who is undergoing a nanomedical treatment is going to look just like anyone else who is sick. The typical nanomedical treatment will consist of an injection of perhaps a few nanorobots suspended in blood fluid. Depending on the tumor in the patientââ‚¬â„¢s brain, a few billion or trillion nanorobots will be injected.
If, Number of nanorobots = X
Then, X = (size of the tumor in the brain) / (Size of a single tumor cell)
Using this formula, the approximate number of nanorobots to be injected could be found out.
The block diagram shows the working of the technique Massive Parallelism.
Each block represents a nanorobot
For example, if a nanorobot is programmed to manufacture three more nanorobots, then this will be the process
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The process of manufacturing of the nanorobot continues until ââ‚¬Ëœnââ‚¬â„¢ numbers are reached.
WHAT WOULD A TYPICAL NANOROBOT LOOK LIKE?
No actual working nanorobot has yet been built. Many theoretical designs
have been proposed, but these preliminary designs could change significantly after the necessary research, development and testing has been completed.
One such theoretical design of the nanorobot navigating through the blood vessels is shown.
COMPONENT PARTS OF NANOROBOTS
The major parts are as follows:
Drillers and arm
PROPELLER: It is an electric motor, which is used for navigation of the robot inside the blood vessel.
SENSORS: The sensors are primarily used for locating the tumor inside the brain.
DRILLER AND ARM: The driller is used to drill a small part of the tumor and break it apart. The arm is used to grab away the tumor cell.
POWER SYSTEMS: The working of the robot requires power for its navigation and this could be provided by two means.
By absorbing the heat of the body
By holding nanocells to supply power
The nanorobots are injected into the blood vessels by the injection technique. Numerous amount of the nanorobot can be injected into the body through various sites of the body.
The nanorobots take the injection point in the body as its reference point
and begins its navigation so that they can return to the same spot after the mission. Once the nanorobots are injected inside, they navigate through the blood vessels with the help of the propellers.
The tumor location inside the brain is found out by the sensors, which are
the integrated part of the nanorobots. The sensor senses whether any block is found in its path and if found so, the movement of the nanorobot is stopped.
Now the driller is activated and starts drilling the tumor cell in that
location and break it away from other cells. The Arm is activated and the drilled tumor cell is held by it. Again the propeller is activated and the nanorobots navigates through the same path, which it followed and reaches the reference point where it commenced. The nanorobots are taken out from the body.
The sensors in the nanorobots send signals to the outstation in order to
identify the current position of the nanorobots.
The signals generated are of specific pattern of ultrasonic waves, which
could be of pulsed form or of continuous form.
Simple Block Diagram
Driller and Arm
Control system of the nanorobot
PROGRAMMING OF THE NANOROBOTS
The nanorobots are to be programmed before it undergoes the process of working as tumor eliminators. For doing this, they make use of nanocontrollers or nanoprocessors. The nanoprcocessors are programmed to control the activation and deactivation of the peripheral devices. Engineers program these nanorobots efficiently using corresponding operational codes and trials are made to test the nanorobots efficiency. The simple programming logic for the nanorobot to perform the required operation inside the body is shown.
(The nanorobots are injected inside the blood vessels)
Set the current spot as the reference point.
Activate the sensors.
Activate the propeller.
Navigate through the blood vessels.
If the arm is free and if found any inactive nanorobot, grab it and go to reference point.
If an obstacle (tumor) is found stop the navigation.
Activate the driller.
Perform drilling operation.
Deactivate after drilling a portion.
Activate the arm.
Grab the tumor cell.
Start navigating to the reference point.
Thus the programming is done for the robots in a specific pattern with the help of the programming languages like LISP, C, C ++ paving the way for operation of the nanorobots.
Thus the nanotechnology gives the way for the complete cure of the brain
tumors. This technology not only finds a cure for brain tumors, but also for any other unwanted elements in the body like, kidney stones, cancer cells etc. Apart from medicine, it can also be well established in other fields of research and could also be used further for the better life of the people, not only in the field of medicine, but also in all other aspects.