Given their name, it should come as no surprise to learn that nanobots are supposed to be small robots, so much so that none of them can be seen with the naked eye. After all, each one is supposed to be on the scale of the nanometer, which is one billionth of a meter in length. As a result, building successful nanobots has proven to be a bigger challenge than expected, though their potential applications in a wide range of fields means that there is no shortage of institutions interested in taking on that challenge.
Here are 10 examples of how nanobots are expected to change the future once they come into true existence:
1. Build More Nanobots
One of the reasons that building nanobots has turned out to be so complicated is the scale. As a result, one of the most interesting uses for nanobots will be building more nanobots, which in turn, will reduce the reliance on more complicated and thus more expensive methods of productions. Of course, building nanobots that can build more nanobots is even more complicated than building nanobots in the first place, but their potential is more than enough to ensure no shortage of interest.
2. Detect Bacteria
A lot of nanobots' speculated uses relate to medicine in some manner. For example, it is believed that nanobots will be able to detect the presence of bacteria and other microbes in the human body, which in turn, means that they will be able to detect whether someone has been infected or not as well as what kind of response should be mounted based on the kind of infection.
3. Detect Cancer
The earlier that cancer is caught, the better the chances of a successful treatment. It is believed that nanobots will be able to act as an early warning system, which will pick up changes in the human body that signal the mutation of healthy cells into cancer cells. By doing so, they will enable the implementation of solutions in a timely manner.
4. Gauge the Effectiveness of Drugs
One of the biggest challenges in medicine is figuring out the effect that a particular medicine is having on the patient so that the medical practitioner can combat the problem while minimizing side effects at the same time. Furthermore, gauging the effectiveness of medicine is also important because it lets the medical practitioner know how to treat the patient as soon as possible, which is critical for their chances of a full recovery. Both of these tasks are things that nanobots will be able to help with.
5. Detect Particular Chemicals
On a related note, it is believed that nanobots will be able to detect the presence of particular chemicals in the human body as well, which will provide invaluable information to medical practitioners about the condition of the patient so that it can be used to ensure more efficient and more effective treatment.
6. Deliver Cancer-Fighting Drugs
Chemotherapy can be brutal on a cancer patient because it can kill cancer cells as well as the healthy cells surrounding cancer cells. There has been some progress made regarding the use of nanobots to make sure that the cancer-fighting chemicals are delivered right to the cancer cells, thus limiting collateral damage. Better still, this means that nanobots can be used to target harder-to-reach portions of cancerous tumors, which in turn, means a potentially significant increase in the chances of successful chemotherapy as well.
7. Clear Blocked Blood Vessels
Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common killers, meaning that there is a lot of interest in coming up with potential solutions as well as potential preventatives. Theoretically, nanobots can be used to clear blockages in blood vessels, which are responsible for both strokes and heart attacks. Should they prove practical, they will be able to reduce someone's chances of dying from either one of those conditions, which will be an incredible improvement even if their use will not be able to wholly solve the problem.
8. Serve As Antibodies
For people with weak immune systems that cannot handle all of the bacteria and other microbes that they can expect to encounter, nanobots might be able to supplement their existing antibodies. Perhaps, this will consist of the nanobots actually being used to destroy potentially dangerous foreign substances in the human body. Alternatively, this could consist of the nanobots directing existing immune processes at sources of danger.
9. Clean Up Pollution
One day, it might be possible to use nanobots to clean up pollution, thus restoring polluted environments to a clean and pristine condition. Considering the impact that pollution can have on human health as well as the health of entire ecosystems, this would be an enormous boon, particularly since nanobots would be deployable in toxic sites in need of clean-up as well, thus reducing the risk to their human counterparts.
10. Repair Damage
It might be the stuff of science fiction, but a lot of people are interested in using nanobots to keep physical assets in the excellent condition needed to ensure optimal performance. Chances are good that nanobots will not be able to be used to actually build sizable things anytime soon, if ever, but if they can be used to patch up minor damage, that would result in important reductions in the need for care and maintenance.
It is important to remember that predicting the future is a complicated business even for those who specialize in the task. As a result, the examples listed here may or may not turn out to be true. For that matter, even if they turn out to be true, there is no telling when the predictions will come true. In effect, this means that people who are interested in the potential of nanobots should not let themselves become too enthused by the prospect, though considering the extent of the progress that has been made as well as the pace of the progress that is being made, there is sure to be more than enough to occupy their minds for years and years to come.
Written by Garrett Parker
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