November 02, 2010

Robert Freitas and Tad Hogg have a nanomedicine paper about powering microscopic robots

(c) 2010 Tad Hogg and Robert A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved

Robert Freitas has a new nanomedicine paper that he has written with Tad Hogg. This is the first detailed theoretical study of the actual power limitations of oxygen/glucose-powered in vivo medical nanorobots in human tissue capillaries. We look at nanorobots that are positioned in single or multiple circumferential rings along the interior surface of capillary blood vessels.

Tad Hogg, Robert A. Freitas Jr., “Chemical Power for Microscopic Robots in Capillaries,” Nanomedicine: Nanotech. Biol. Med. 6(April 2010):298-317.



(c) 2010 Tad Hogg and Robert A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved

Oxygen concentration in the tissue and plasma within the vessel. Each diagram shows a cross section through the vessel and surrounding tissue of
length 30 μm. Typically, this length of vessel contains about four cells. The left plots (A, C) are for the vessel without robots. The right plots (B, D) include the
10-μm ringset with pumps, which occupies the circumferential volume indicated by the white rectangles next to the vessel wall. The top and bottom plots are for
the low- and high-demand scenarios of Table 2, respectively. Fluid in the vessel flows from left to right. Distances along the sides of each plot are indicated in
micrometers, and concentrations on the color bars are in units of 1022 molecule/m3. The horizontal black lines are the vessel walls, and the gray curves inside the
vessel are fluid flow streamlines.


Robert Freitas personal web page is at http://www.rfreitas.com.

Tad's web page is at http://www.imm.org/about/hogg/.

Other books and papers on medical nanorobot design can be found at http://www.nanomedicine.com and http://www.rfreitas.com/NanoPubls.htm.

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ABSTRACT. The power available to microscopic robots (nanorobots) that oxidize bloodstream glucose while aggregated in circumferential rings on capillary walls is evaluated with a numerical model using axial symmetry and time-averaged release of oxygen from passing red blood cells. Robots about 1 µm in size can produce up to several tens of picowatts, in steady state, if they fully use oxygen reaching their surface from the blood plasma. Robots with pumps and tanks for onboard oxygen storage could collect oxygen to support burst power demands two to three orders of magnitude larger. We evaluate effects of oxygen depletion and local heating on surrounding tissue. These results give the power constraints when robots rely entirely on ambient available oxygen and identify aspects of the robot design significantly affecting available power. More generally, our numerical model provides an approach to evaluating robot design choices for nanomedicine treatments in and near capillaries.

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