Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities

© 1999 Robert A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Robert A. Freitas Jr., Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 1999 Sequester and Transport (ST)

Nanorobots may extend chemosensory pads (Section 4.2.8) which will selectively and reversibly adhere to the capsid coat of a nonenveloped viral target. For enveloped viruses, the nanorobot must carefully pick over the camouflage lipid membrane to find viral-specific antigens. R. Bradbury suggests that such lipid-coated viruses might also be distinguishable from host cells by measuring their membrane curvature (viruses are much smaller than eukaryotic cells) or local ion concentrations (viruses emit no metabolic effluents).

Once the virus is bound to the pad, the nanorobot packs the whole virus particle into an internal storage cannister. When the cannister is full, the nanorobot ceases operations and either delivers its cargo to a dedicated biodisposal organ or other in vivo facility, or eliminates itself from the body (Chapter 16). A nanorobot with a 1.8 micron3 cannister can warehouse up to ~10,000 compacted adenovirus particles. With viral infections reaching ~1010 particles/cm3 localized in the upper respiratory mucosal tissues, mean distance between free-floating particles is of order ~5 microns, or ~100 millisec travel time at ~100 micron/sec, probably dominating the exclusive antigenic identification time of ~2 millisec (Section As part of a nanomedical treatment for viral infection3233 (Chapter 23), a minimum therapeutic dosage of ~108 nanorobots/cm3 can extract and sequester the entire adenovirus population from infected human tissue in ~1000 sec (~17 minutes); larger doses can clear the tissues even faster, and may also assist in the cytoplasmic and nucleoplasmic clearance of viral DNA.


Last updated on 24 February 2003