A Surgeon's Perspective on Medical Nanotechnology

From h+ Magazine: "A [trend] towards nanotechnology is evident in the miniaturization of surgical tools. Experimental microrobots are already available, and being tested in live tissues ... It seems likely that in one or two decades, microrobots will be in common use in surgery, before their eventual replacement by nanorobots. Microrobots will resemble minute machines from the macroscale. But what will nanorobots look like? They won't be akin to artistic representations of miniature submarines placed beside erythrocytes. Most likely, they will bear some resemblance to the body's existing nanomachines, such as mitochondria. ... Nanorobots will be scavengers for atherosclerotic plaque, just like artistic representations you may find online, but not with exactly the same mechanics. We will witness a gradual transition from surgical repair, to prevention. Atherosclerosis, which is in fact the gradual stenosis of the arteries due to plaque formation, will be solved at the genomic and proteomic level, and this will lead to a great enhancement of the human life span. Minimally invasive microrobots will be used instead of stents inside arteries, for repairs that are currently being performed laparoscopically. ... Last but not least, one of the greatest achievements of nanotechnology in surgery will be what we call the 'ideal graft'; that is, biocompatible and durable 'repairs' of parts of the body like arteries, joints or even organs. At first, these repairs will be used for healing, but soon afterwards, they will be used for transcendence: to enhance current human abilities."

Link: http://hplusmagazine.com/2011/02/28/nanotechnology-and-surgery-a-surgeons-perspective/

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