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


2.3 Bottom-Up Pathways to Molecular Manufacturing

To manufacture machines of any kind generally requires two primary capabilities -- fabrication of parts, and assembly of parts. As will be shown below, by 1998 at least a primitive parts fabrication and parts assembly capability had been demonstrated at the molecular level using three different enabling technologies:2889 biotechnology (Section 2.3.1), supramolecular chemistry (Section 2.3.2), and scanning probes (Section 2.3.3). This Section reviews the most preliminary steps and basic approaches to molecular manufacturing. Consideration of more complex nanoscale components and assemblies is deferred to Section 2.4. The primary focus here is on bridging technologies that may lie between what can already be done and what is desired to be done -- specifically, the manufacture of mechanical nanorobots. The reader is again cautioned that in 1998 this field was experiencing an explosion of interest and pathbreaking research efforts, so the current literature should be consulted for the latest results.


Last updated on 6 February 2003