Here’s the contents of portions of the third link, Nanorobot Hardware Architecture, in the latest article just above by Joseph P. Farrell.
Nanorobot Hardware Architecture for Medical Defense
by Adriano Cavalcanti 1,2,5, Bijan Shirinzadeh 2, Mingjun Zhang 3 and Luiz C. Kretly 4
1 CAN Center for Automation in Nanobiotech, Melbourne, VIC 3168 Australia
2 Robotics and Mechatronics Research Lab., Dept. of Mechanical Eng., Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, VIC 3800 Australia
3 Dept. of Mechanical, Aerospace & Biomedical Eng., The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 USA
4 Dept. of Microwave and Optics, Electrical & Comp. Eng., University of Campinas, Campinas, SP 13083 Brazil
5 Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2008, 8(5), 2932-2958; https://doi.org/10.3390/s8052932
Received: 28 January 2008 / Accepted: 29 April 2008 / Published: 6 May 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Probing in Micro World Using Electrochemical Microsensors, Progress and Challenge)
This work presents a new approach with details on the integrated platform and hardware architecture for nanorobots application in epidemic control, which should enable real time in vivo prognosis of biohazard infection. The recent developments in the field of nanoelectronics, with transducers progressively shrinking down to smaller sizes through nanotechnology and carbon nanotubes, are expected to result in innovative biomedical instrumentation possibilities, with new therapies and efficient diagnosis methodologies. The use of integrated systems, smart biosensors, and programmable nanodevices are advancing nanoelectronics, enabling the progressive research and development of molecular machines. It should provide high precision pervasive biomedical monitoring with real time data transmission. The use of nanobioelectronics as embedded systems is the natural pathway towards manufacturing methodology to achieve nanorobot applications out of laboratories sooner as possible. To demonstrate the practical application of medical nanorobotics, a 3D simulation based on clinical data addresses how to integrate communication with nanorobots using RFID, mobile phones, and satellites, applied to long distance ubiquitous surveillance and health monitoring for troops in conflict zones. Therefore, the current model can also be used to prevent and save a population against the case of some targeted epidemic disease.
Keywords: Architecture; biohazard defense system; CMOS integrated circuits; device prototyping; hardware; medical nanorobotics; nanobioelectronics; nanobiosensor; proteomics.
The development of nanorobots is a technological breakthrough that can enable real time in vivo prognosis for application in a variety of biomedical problems . Particularly interesting is the fact that medical nanorobots should also provide an effective tool for defense against biohazard contaminants [2-4]. This paper presents the use of nanorobots with embedded protein based nanobiosensors , providing a practical molecular machine for medical defense technology.
Normally, for areas in public calamity or conflict zones, the absence of drinking water, any sort of fuel, electricity, and the lack of towers for network communication, including cable and wireless telephony, is a constant . In such a situation, the available infrastructure is far from ideal to enable a large scale medical laboratory with precise and fast analysis. For such aspect, nanorobots integrated with nanobiosensors can help to transmit real time information, using international mobile phones for wireless data transmission through satellite communication [5,7,8]. In fact, nanorobots should mean an efficient and powerful clinical device to provide precious biomedical monitoring , both for soldiers as for civilian population. Therefore, the architecture presented in this work can help to address the development of just in time accurate information, protecting lives in urban areas against biohazard materials.
The proposed hardware architecture aims the use of medical nanorobots as an integrated platform to control contagious epidemic diseases [1,10]. Details on communication required for surveillance assistance, and the integration platform to interface long distance monitoring with nanorobots are also given through the paper. Thus, the present model serves to help monitoring contagious diseases , which in practical ways should protect personnel on patrol across conflict areas or during humanitarian missions. Furthermore, an important and interesting aspect in the proposed architecture is the fact that the same technique can be useful for other situations, like natural catastrophes or possible biohazard contamination , helping against pandemic outbreaks , when time and fast information is a key factor for public management [14,15].
To visualize how stages of the actual and in development technologies can be used to biohazard defense, the nanorobots are applied to detect influenza inside body based on blood flow patterns and protein signals [16,17]. The nanorobot architecture and integrated system are described [1,5,18], and the nanobiosensor is simulated based on electrochemical properties for digital-analog sensor activation. Therefore, the work developed is also useful as a practical methodology for control and equipment design analyses.
2. Nanorobot Development for Defense
The defense industry should remarkably benefit from achievements and trends on current nanobiotechnology systems integration. Such trends on technology have also resulted in a recent growing interest from the international scientific community, including medical and pharmaceutical sectors, towards the research and development of molecular machines.
2.1. Medical Nanorobots
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2.3. Prevention and Control
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3. Influenza Characteristics
Time for incubation of pandemic syndromes may vary from one contagious plague to another, and first symptoms can be predicted given clinical information and previous historic occurrences, using statistical models. The size of an outbreak is directly correlated and influenced by the delay for recognition about the contaminated area. The incubation period of disease is the time from exposure to the infectious agent to the onset of disease, and depending on the infection dose of influenza, it can vary about 2 to 5 days . For influenza, the contamination can happens through inhalation, ingestion, or direct contact through hand shaking and conversation. Influenza can live in ducks, chickens, wild birds, horses, pigs and humans.
The influenza virus invades cell (Fig. 1), and after the cell invasion, it makes use of enzymes to decrease intracellular pH, slightly increasing ∼1°C intracellular temperature, which is used to accelerate virus cell fusion activity [52-54]. Before a person shows symptomatic reactions, short after being infected by influenza, the bloodstream begins to receive a higher concentration of alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (alpha-NAGA), which is secreted from the invaded cells . The protein hemagglutinin serves as virus envelope for influenza, promoting alpha-NAGA signals. Alpha-NAGA is a protein identified through the genome mapping, which belongs to chromosome 22 . The lack of macrophage, incurred from the alpha-NAGA enzyme secreted through the infected cells, leads to immunosuppression and helps the virus to spread easily through the body.
Thus, this change of chemical concentration, with overexpression of alpha-NAGA in the bloodstream, is used to trigger the nanorobot prognostic behavior, which sends electromagnetic backpropagated signals to the mobile phone carried with the person. As an integrated biohazard defense system, once the nanorobot activated the cell phone, this information is retransmitted for the satellites utilized as feasible telecommunication system. Whenever the central is alarmed about the case zero, the administration takes the necessary action, automatically sending SMS (short message service) for the near troop members, inside an area with a radius of approximately 20KMs, informing identification and the current position of the person who is contaminated. Technically, the case zero is the first occurrence of someone contaminated by the influenza in certain area, which means that a pandemic is running anywhere else close to that location.
Current developments in nanoelectronics  and nanobiotechnology  are providing feasible development pathways to enable molecular machine manufacturing, including embedded and integrated devices, which can comprise the main sensing, actuation, data transmission, remote control uploading, and coupling power supply subsystems, addressing the basics for operation of medical nanorobots.
A recent actuator with biologically-based components has been proposed . This actuator has a mobile member that moves substantially linearly as a result of a biomolecular interaction between biologically-based components within the actuator. Such actuators can be utilized in nanoscale mechanical devices to pump fluids, open and close valves, or to provide translational movement.
To help control nanorobot position, a system for tracking an object in space can comprise a transponder device connectable to the object. The transponder device has one or several transponder antennas through which a transponder circuit receives an RF (radio frequency) signal. The transponder device adds a known delay to the RF signal, thereby producing RF response for transmitting through the transponder antenna . A series of several transmitters and antennas allow a position calculator, associated with the transmitters and receivers, to calculate the position of the object as a function of the known delay, and the time period between the emission of the RF signal and the reception of the RF response from the first, second and third antennas.
Nanotechnology is moving fast towards nanoelectronics fabrication. Chemically assembled electronic nanotechnology provides an alternative to using complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) for constructing circuits with feature sizes in the tens of nanometers . A CMOS component can be configured in a semiconductor substrate as part of the circuit assembly . An insulating layer is configured on the semiconductor substrate, which covers the CMOS component. A nanoelectronic component can be configured above an insulating layer. If several nanoelectronic components are provided, they are preferably grouped in nanocircuit blocks .
Biosensors are currently used to incorporate living components, including tissues or cells which are electrically excitable or are capable of differentiating into electrically excitable cells, and which can be used to monitor the presence or level of a molecule in a physiological fluid . CNTs (carbon nanotubes) and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) are recent candidates for new forms of nanoelectronics . These are combined to create new genetically programmed self-assembling materials for facilitating the selective placement of CNTs on a substrate by functionalizing CNTs with DNA. Through recombinant DNA technology, targets labeled with distinct detectable biomarkers can be defined, such as fluorescent labels, enzyme labels, or radioactive patterns, and employed as suitable protein transducers .
5. Integrated System Platform
The proposed model uses electromagnetic radio waves to command and detect the current status of nanorobots inside the body. Therefore, the cell phone is applied for medical nanorobotics platform [7,64,65]. This occurs as the cell phone emits a magnetic signature to the passive CMOS sensors embedded in the nanorobot, which enables sending and receiving data through electromagnetic fields . From the last set of events recorded in pattern arrays, information can be reflected back by wave resonance .
The nanorobot model includes embedded IC (integrated circuit) nanoelectronics , and the architecture involves the use of satellites and mobile phones for data transmission and coupling energy [68,69]. The nanorobot is programmed for sensing and to detect concentration of alpha-NAGA in the bloodstream [7,16,70]. The nanorobot architecture uses an RFID (radio frequency identification device) CMOS transponder system for in vivo positioning , adopting well established communication protocols, which allow track information about the nanorobot position [5,7].
The ability to manufacture nanorobots should result from current trends and new methodologies in fabrication, computation, transducers and nanomanipulation. Depending on the case, different gradients on temperature, concentration of chemicals in the bloodstream, and electromagnetic signature are some of relevant aspects when monitoring in vivo biochemical parameters. CMOS VLSI (very-large-scale integration) design using deep ultraviolet lithography provides high precision and a commercial way for manufacturing early nanodevices and nanoelectronics systems. Innovative CMOSFET (complementary metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor) and some hybrid techniques should successfully drive the pathway for the assembly processes needed to manufacture nanorobots, where the joint use of nanophotonics and CNTs can even accelerate further the actual levels of resolution ranging from 248nm to 157nm devices . To validate designs and to achieve a successful implementation, the use of VHDL (very high speed integrated circuit hardware description language) has become the most common methodology utilized in the integrated circuit manufacturing industry .
6. Nanorobot Architecture
The medical nanorobot for biohazard defense should comprise a set of integrated circuit block as an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit). The architecture has to address functionality for common medical applications , providing asynchronous interface for antenna, sensor, and a logic nanoprocessor, which is able to deliberate actuator and ultrasound communication activation when appropriate (Fig. 2). The main parameters used for the nanorobot architecture and its control activation, as well as the required technology background that can advance manufacturing hardware for molecular machines, are described next. As a practical rule, the number of nanodevices to integrate a nanorobot should keep the hardware sizes in regard to inside body operation applicability.
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7. System Implementation
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8. Physical Parameters
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9. Target Identification
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10. Nanorobot Simulation and Results
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11. Molecular Machine Manufacturing
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12. Conclusions and Outlook
This work used a 3D approach to show how nanorobots can effectively improve health care and medical defense. Nanorobots should enable innovative real time protection against pandemic outbreaks. The use of nanomechatronics techniques and computational nanotechnology can help in the process of transducers investigation and in defining strategies to integrate nanorobot capabilities. A better comprehension about the requirements a nanorobot should address, in order to be successfully used for in vivo instrumentation, is a key issue for the fast development of medical nanorobotics. Details on current advances on nanobioelectronics were used to highlight pathways to achieve nanorobots as an integrated molecular machine for nanomedicine. Moreover, based on achievements and trends in nanotechnology, new materials, photonics, and proteomics, a new investigation methodology, using clinical data, numerical analysis and 3D simulation, has provided a nanorobot hardware architecture with real time integrated platform for practical long distance medical monitoring. This model can enable nanorobots as innovative biohazard defense technology.
In the 3D simulation, the nanorobots were able to efficiently detect alpha-NAGA signals in the bloodstream, with the integrated system retrieving information about a person infected with influenza. The model provided details on design for manufacturability, major control interface requirements, and inside body biomolecular sensing for practical development and application of nanorobots in medical prognosis.
The use of nanorobots for in vivo monitoring chemical parameters should significantly increase fast strategic decisions. Thus, nanorobot for medical defense means an effective way to avoid an aggressive pandemic disease to spread into an outbreak. As a direct impact, it should also help public health sectors to save lives and decrease high medical costs, enabling a real time quarantine action. An important and interesting aspect in the current development is the fact that, the similar architecture presented in terms of hardware and platform integration, can also be used to detect most types of biohazard contaminants. The research and development of nanorobots for common application in fields such as medicine and defense technology should lead us for a safer and healthier future.
The authors thank Bill Nace, Declan Murphy, Lior Rosen, Robert A. Freitas Jr., Tad Hogg, Toshio Fukuda, and Warren W. Wood, for helpful comments provided during the development of this project. This project was partially supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC).
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© 2008 by the authors; licensee Molecular Diversity Preservation International, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).