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 Orientational Macrosensing

Since nanopendular sensors can reliably determine the direction of the local gravity field vector to within ~2 milliradians in ~10-4 sec (Section, the navigational network can poll its members and arrive at an accurate consensus on which direction is up. Nanodevices affixed to relatively stable hard body parts will exhibit more consistent orientational readings. Measurement of the gravity vector allows the vertical orientation of the rest of the body to be precisely fixed in space, especially useful for gymnasts, trapeze artists, underwater divers in murky lakes, and vestibular-impaired individuals, to whom this information may be outmessaged directly (Section 7.4).

The gravitational vector may also be indirectly measured, albeit more slowly and less accurately, by monitoring the body's natural reactions to changes in the axis of gravitational loading. For instance, the variation in head-to-toe hydrostatic pressure for a 1.7 m tall, 70 kg human standing in a 1-g gravity field is ~0.17 atm; the ability to measure a systematic cross-body differential of 10-6 atm allows the detection of a ~10-5 g change along the lengthwise aspect, or ~10-4 g change along the transverse aspect. Thus a continuously updated whole-body barostatic map allows the human body to serve as a three-dimensional gravity/orientation sensor.


Last updated on 17 February 2003