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


4.9.6 Other Macrosensing

We have only scratched the surface of the potential for nanorobot macrosensing. Medical nanodevices can quantitatively monitor variables not normally accessible to human consciousness, such as:

1. hormone and neurotransmitter levels;

2. gastroelectric oscillations and skin conductivity;

3. pupil dilations;

4. drug and alcohol (and breakdown product) concentrations in the blood;

5. internal organ damage or malfunction;

6. digital real-time performance data on vital organs or limbs (e.g., continuous kidney volume throughput, pancreatic insulin output, cholesterol metabolism in the liver, or lactic acid production in specific muscles during exercise); and

7. continuous mapping of thermoregulatory isotherms from which the temperature and heat capacity of the external medium (e.g., swimming pool water, cool night air) and the presence of sunlight or shade on the skin (via dermal thermal differentials) may be inferred (Section

Various chemical substances cyclically increase and decrease in serum concentration with time of day, permitting crude temporal macrosensing (Section 10.1.1). Other substances (e.g., aldosterone; Appendix B) significantly vary in serum concentration depending upon whether the patient is supine or standing, thus permitting limited biochemical postural macrosensing.

If nanorobots can leave and re-enter the body (Section 8.6; Chapter 16), then macrosensing may include direct sampling of the external environment upon demand and the possibilities for remote data acquisition become virtually limitless.


Last updated on 17 February 2003