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


10.4 Cytocide and Virucide

The objective of nanomedical treatment is often cell repair or replacement (Chapter 21). However, it will frequently be necessary for medical nanorobots to destroy foreign viruses and pathogenic bacteria, protozoa, or metazoan parasites. It may also become necessary to eliminate native human tissue cells that have grown too numerous in a local region, cells that have adopted or developed major pathological, teratological or other undesirable patterns, or which have been too severely traumatized to permit efficient repair.

There are at least two classes of nanomedical cytocidal instrumentalities that may be employed to rid the human body of unwanted cells. The first may be termed the biochemical approach (Section 10.4.1), including methods which may take up to hours or days to proceed to completion with acceptable reliability. Biochemical methods can require relatively modest technological sophistication to implement -- an important consideration in the early years of nanomedical device development. The second method may be termed the mechanical approach (Section 10.4.2), which may require only seconds or minutes to proceed to completion with very high reliability, but which involves more sophisticated nanomechanisms that might only be available in a mature nanomedical technology environment.


Last updated on 24 February 2003