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Biotic Bots

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									 BIOTIC BOTS
                           SHOVEN MOHAPATRA
                           If tiny robots crawling along the inside of a blood vessel
                           sounds like something from a sci-fi thriller, think again.
                           Blood bots, along with other amazing medical
                           technologies, are in development now and provide
                           promise for early diagnosis and treatment of a variety of
                           medical conditions. In the not-too-distant future, you or a
                           family member may benefit from the medical advances on
                 PRAXIS
                           the horizon.
 Praxis Business School,
                 Kolkata

           08017128127

shoven.mohapatra@gmail
                  .com

              11/7/2010
            Praxis Business School


                   White Paper on



                 BIOTIC BOTS




                       A report

                     Submitted to

               Dr. Prithwis Mukherjee



In partial fulfillment of the requirements of the course

           Business Information Studies

                    On 07/11/2010

                          By

                Shoven Mohapatra.
                                            ABSTRACT
 Biotic bots are small robots that are inserted into human blood stream for cure of various cancer and
blood-related diseases. If tiny robots crawling along the inside of a blood vessel sounds like something
   from a sci-fi thriller, think again. Blood bots, along with other amazing medical technologies, are in
    development now and provide promise for early diagnosis and treatment of a variety of medical
conditions. In the not-too-distant future, you or a family member may benefit from the medical advances
on the horizon. In fact doctors all over the world predict that, within next 10-15 years this technology will
         become a common phenomenon in the field of medicine and it will save many a lives.
                                        INTRODUCTION

 The nanobots are coming! Scientists have found that nanotech robots, once the stuff of science fiction,
can travel through the blood and turn off cancer genes in tumors — effectively providing all the benefits of
    chemotherapy without the nasty side effects. The therapy was recently tested for the first time on
                                                  humans.


According to a study led by Mark Davis at the California Institute of Technology, nanotech robots can use
 a method called RNA interference to find proteins associated with cancer growth and turn them off. In a
study of three patients with melanoma, small polymer robots covered with transferrin (a protein) were able
  to get inside tumor cells. No word on if the nanobot injections were able to shrink the tumors, but it is
                encouraging to see that the ‗bots can at least find their way to the cancer.


And then there are, of course, the potential safety issues. What do you think–would you allow researchers
  to inject tiny robots into your blood? It‘s an imperfect science, to say the least, and one that has been
                        speculated about by fearful science fiction buffs for years.
                                   THE REAL CONCEPT
 U.S. researchers have developed tiny nano-particle robots that can travel through a patient's blood and
into tumors where they deliver a therapy that turns off an important cancer gene. The finding, reported in
 the journal Nature on Sunday, offers early proof that a new treatment approach called RNA interference
or RNAi might work in people. RNA stands for ribonucleic acid -- a chemical messenger that is emerging
    as a key player in the disease process. Dozens of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies
 including Alnylam, Merck, Pfizer, Novartis and Roche are looking for ways to manipulate RNA to block
    genes that make disease-causing proteins involved in cancer, blindness or AIDS. But getting the
                   treatment to the right target in the body has presented a challenge.

A team at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena used nanotechnology -- the science of really
  small objects -- to create tiny polymer robots covered with a protein called transferrin that seek out a
receptor or molecular doorway on many different types of tumors. "This is the first study to be able to go
     in there and show it's doing its mechanism of action," said Mark Davis, a professor of chemical
engineering, who led the study. "We're excited about it because there is a lot of skepticism whenever any
new technology comes in," said Davis, a consultant to privately held Calando Pharmaceuticals Inc, which
  is developing the therapy. Other teams are using fats or lipids to deliver the therapy to the treatment
 target. Pfizer last week announced a deal with Canadian biotech Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corp for this
                  type of delivery vehicle for its RNAi drugs, joining Roche and Alnylam.

In the approach used by Davis and colleagues, once the particles find the cancer cell and get inside, they
 break down, releasing small interfering RNAs or siRNAs that block a gene that makes a cancer growth
protein called ribonucleotide reductase. "In the particle itself, we've built what we call a chemical sensor,"
Davis said in a telephone interview. "When it recognizes that it's gone inside the cell, it says OK, now it's
                                time to disassemble and give off the RNA."

  In a phase 1 clinical trial in patients with various types of tumors, the team gave doses of the targeted
 nano-particles four times over 21 days in a 30-minute intravenous infusion. Tumor samples taken from
  three people with melanoma showed the nano-particles found their way inside tumor cells. And they
found evidence that the therapy had disabled ribonucleotide reductase, suggesting the RNA had done its
job. Davis could not say whether the therapy helped shrink tumors in the patients, but one patient did get
a second cycle of treatment, suggesting it might be. Nor could he say if there were any safety concerns.
Davis said that part of the study will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in
                                                    June.

According to me, this is remarkable science. This will be good for people who are infected with Hepatitis
  B. They can use this to go into hepatocytes and deliver a drug to neutralized or enzymatically digest
CCCDNA left by the HEP B virus and thereby declared cure. At this point, there is no known cure. It is a
breakthrough on the nano level (physical size) and we are talking about a particle that can be controlled
                                           like a tiny ―robot.‖




                          DEVELOPING THE NANOBOT
The 1966 science-fiction movie Fantastic Voyage famously imagined using a tiny ship to combat disease
inside the body. With the advent of nanotechnology, researchers are inching closer to creating something
almost as fantastic. A microscopic device that could swim through the bloodstream and directly target the
site of disease, such as a tumor, could offer radical new treatments. To get to a tumor, however, such a
  device would have to be small and agile enough to navigate through a labyrinth of tiny blood vessels,
                                  some far thinner than a human hair.
     Researchers at the École Polytechnique de Montréal, in Canada, led by professor of computer
engineering Sylvain Martel, have coupled live, swimming bacteria to microscopic beads to develop a self-
    propelling device, dubbed a nanobot. While other scientists have previously attached bacteria to
  microscopic particles to take advantage of their natural propelling motion, Martel's team is the first to
   show that such hybrids can be steered through the body using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


 To do this, Martel used bacteria that naturally contain magnetic particles. In nature, these particles help
 the bacteria navigate toward deeper water, away from oxygen. "Those nanoparticles form a chain a bit
 like a magnetic compass needle," says Martel. But by changing the surrounding magnetic field using an
 extended set-up coupled to an MRI machine, Martel and his colleagues were able to make the bacteria
                             propel themselves in any direction they wanted.


The bacteria swim using tiny cork-screw like tails, or flagella, and these particular bacteria are faster and
stronger than most, says Martel. What's more, they are just two microns in diameter--small enough to fit
through the smallest blood vessels in the human body. The team treated the polymer beads roughly 150
nanometers in size with antibodies so that the bacteria would attach to them. Ultimately, the researchers
                      plan to modify the beads so that they also carry cancer-killing.


   "I think nature has provided an excellent solution to how to make small things swim," says Bradley
 Nelson, a professor at ETH Zurich, who has researched the use of artificial flagella. "What's interesting
       about Sylvain's work is that he's actually using nature to do it and not just learning from it."


 Last year, Martel and his group published research in the journal Applied Physics Letters detailing how
they used an MRI machine to maneuver a 1.5-millimeter magnetic bead with a bacteria propeller through
the carotid artery of a living pig at 10 centimeters per second. The researchers' latest work, presented at
 the IEEE 2008 Biorobotics Conference last week, shows that they can track and steer microbeads and
bacteria or bacteria alone through a replica of human blood vessels using the same approach. The group
               has carried out similar experiments in rats and rabbits, according to Martel.


The bacteria bots wouldn't be able to make it in larger blood vessels on their own, however. The current
 would be too strong for them to swim against. So the researchers envisage using a larger, magnetically
   steerable micro vehicle to carry the bots close to a tumor. "The vehicle will be a type of polymer, or
possibly another type of material," says Martel. "We have a way to release the bacteria while the vehicle
                                        stays there and dissolves."


Martel's vehicle contains magnetic nanoparticles and can be moved at about 200 microns per second. He
says that he and his team correct the micro vehicle‘s course approximately 30 times a second. While they
   have developed the micro vehicle and bacterial microbots independently, they are now working to
       combine the two technologies. "We think in two years we'll be able to do that," says Martel.


"This work is promising but, as with any transformative idea, there are a lot of challenges that need to be
addressed," says Bahareh Behkam, an assistant professor at Virgina Polytechnic Institute, who has also
used bacteria to propel microbeads. She suggests that it could be difficult to maintain normal blood flow
          and to retrieve the magnetic particles from the body after the procedure is complete.


 Some researchers also question whether the body's immune system would attack the bacteria before
they could reach a tumor, but Martel defends the approach. "We are very confident from our preliminary
tests that this [scenario] will not be an issue," he says. Because the immune system has not encountered
 these bacteria before, he says, it would not have time to wipe out the microbots before they reach their
                                                  target.
                                 TYPES OF NANOBOTS
Most medical robots or ―medibots‖ today require human assistance. They are tools that human doctors
 can use for remote surgery and minimally invasive surgery, offering greater precision, miniaturization,
smaller incisions, decreased blood loss, less pain, and quicker healing time. Not limited by human joints,
   their articulation extends beyond normal manipulation and they can be used for 3D magnification.



The da Vinci System – provides surgeons with an alternative to both traditional open surgery and
conventional laparoscopy, putting a surgeon‘s hands at the controls of a state-of-the-art robotic platform.
Surgeons can perform even the most complex and delicate procedures through very small incisions with
                                          unmatched precision.
The Heart Lander – is a miniature mobile robot that delivers minimally invasive therapy to the surface
of a beating heart. Using keyhole incisions and the 20-millimeter-long Heart Lander bot, a surgeon guides
the caterpillar-like device using a joystick. When this bot becomes commercially available, a surgeon will
  create a small incision on the patient's chest and use a pair of forceps to place the robot directly on a
 beating heart. Using the joystick, she then guides the bot to deliver medicine directly to affected areas.
The bot can also be used to attach pacemaker electrodes or assist with specialized techniques for curing
  arrhythmia. This worm-like robot moves using an ingenious mechanism driven by miniature ultrasonic
     piezoelectric motors. Here‘s a video of a Heart Lander bot crawling around a living pig‘s heart:

Developed by The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, this bot is still a proof-of-concept. The
research team is resolving a number of issues that include the development of the bot‘s wireless remote
   control mechanism so that it doesn‘t rely on a stiff tether that causes problems with locomotion. The
  tether currently supplies energy to the Heart Lander, although the researchers expect the production
                                    version to use an on-board battery.
 ViRob – is a tiny ―millibot‖ (a scale of 10-3 meters), 1 millimeter in diameter and 5 millimeters long. A
magnetic field makes its legs move inside a human body where it can deliver drugs to hard-to-reach spots
and take small tissue samples for testing. Ultimately, the ViRob may be used inside blood vessels, but so
                        far, it is unable to handle the turbulence of coursing blood.

In addition to taking tissue samples, ViRob's developers at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in
 Haifa are investigating several other applications. These include delivering cancer drugs and getting a
  camera to hard-to-reach areas -- for example, deep within the lungs. Miniature cameras are currently
about 1.5 millimeters in diameter -- slightly too large -- but ―cameras are getting smaller every year,‖ says
   project engineer Moshe Shoham. Here‘s a video of a ViRob crawling along a small piece of tubing:

  Another possible application is the insertion of cochlear implants – small electrodes placed within the
                       ear‘s spiral-shaped cochlea to stimulate the auditory nerve.




  Ophthalmic Robot – is another millibot, slightly smaller than ViRob – 0.9 by 0.3 millimeters. Like
  ViRob, it is pulled around by electromagnets outside the body and does not have on-board propulsion
  and steering mechanisms. It is being developed for delicate surgery on blood vessels so small they‘re
  difficult to impossible to see without magnification. According to New Scientist, one application for the
  ophthalmic robot is to measure oxygen levels at the surface of the retina –- an indication of its blood
supply. Its shell is coated with a photo luminescent chemical, the brightness of which depends on oxygen
                                               concentration.
 The ophthalmic robot can be used to treat retinal vein occlusion, which occurs when a blood clot blocks
 the major vein at the back of the eye. The current surgical procedure involves inserting a needle into a
hollow cylinder known as a trocar on the surface of the eye and injecting a drug into a vein, a difficult feat
                                at best because of hair-thin blood vessels.




   Nanobots – are likely to be the next generation of medibots (see the h+ article ―Nanobots in the
  Bloodstream‖ in Resources). At a scale of 10-9 meters, advanced nanobots ―will be able to sense and
  adapt to environmental stimuli such as heat, light, sounds, surface textures, and chemicals; perform
complex calculations; move, communicate, and work together; conduct molecular assembly; and, to some
extent, repair or even replicate themselves.‖ Propulsion and guidance problems have yet to be resolved.
          Here‘s an animated video showing how a nanobot might go about replacing neurons:
  Today‘s surgical bots have come a long ways since George Lucas first visualized the medical droids
 of Star Wars. In May 2006, the first ―AI doctor‖ conducted unassisted surgery on a 34-year old-male to
correct heart arrhythmia and the results were rated as better than an above average human surgeon. The
  machine had a database of 10,000 similar operations and – in the words of its designers – was "more
                                 than qualified to operate on any patient."
 Blood bots - A robot barely visible to the eye may make scalpels a thing of the past for biopsies and
blood-vessel repairs. Surgeons first inject these mechanical critters into a patient's vein. Once the device
 is inside the bloodstream, operators use a magnetic field to guide the tiny robot—it's just 1 millimeter in
 diameter—to its destination. There the bot can clean plaque-filled vessels like a Roto-Rooter and can
    even slice off tissue for biopsies. Because the bot, also called the "ViRob," makes deep incisions
 unnecessary, it reduces recovery time for the patient. It's also possible that physicians may be able to
direct the bot from a remote location to operate on patients in the comfort of their own home in the future.
   Oded Salomon, an engineer at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, and the
        developer of the bot, has said he believes it will be in use by specialists within five years.
We've seen our fair share of scary robots in these parts, and we're not going to mince words here: there
is no way we are going anywhere near one that's armed with a hypodermic needle -- and we sure as hell
 aren't going to sit still and let it draw blood! Currently being developed by a team at Imperial College in
London, the Bloodbot is designed to probe your arm for the presence of a vein, stick you with the needle,
puncture the vein, and then stop short of rupture. The system, which has thus far only been tested on one
 patient (sounds like we're not the only ones with reservations regarding the device) has been accurate
 about 78 percent of the time, meaning it only resulted in screaming fits 22 percent of the time -- unlike
 your friendly neighborhood nurse or medical technician, who is accurate nearly 100 percent of the time
                      (and still inspires the occasional fit, but that's another story).
                            PROBLEMS FOR BIOTIC BOTS
There have been so many promising near break-through treatments for cancer that it is difficult to get too
                              excited about nanotechnology in ―curing‖ cancer.

 The problem with nanotechnology is nanoparticles present the same problem as asbestos of tiny fibers
that get into lung tissue and cause cancerous lesions. Nanotechnology can be iatrogenic – doctor created
disease (cancer). Also there is a problem of how to eliminate these nanotubes from the body. Either they
   have to be infinitesimally small or able to dissolve. But elimination depends on the immune system
              responding to the nano particles and, thus, possibly rendering them ineffective.

 Also there is the question of acceptance, as to why anybody would undergo the process to inject a foreign particle
                                                  into the body?

But even these questions have answers to them. Large organic molecules, such as the smart drug (which
is NOT a ―nanotech robot‖) composed of a natural protein (transferrin) and RNA (for RNAi) do not present
problems from a therapeutic standpoint. It largely sharp, non-biodegradable molecules such as asbestos
 fibers or silica dust or perhaps carbon nanotubes (which can punc ture cell membranes and/or promote
                                     inflammation) which are problematic.

  Also cancer is much more than you think. A person who undergoes chemotherapy has 30% survival
  chance in next 5 years but nanobots give it a chance of 70% in the next 10 years. A person dying of
cancer will do anything to stay alive. Rather than prolonging his life with modern medicines available one
                                       would definitely go for nanobots.
                                              SUMMARY

   Immortality has always captivated people‘s mind for eternity. Hence medicine and cure for various
  diseases and ailments have always been given utmost importance by mankind since the start of life.
 People have always wanted to prolong their life for power and fame. This has also provoked mankind to
come up with new discoveries and inventions in the field of medicines. But unfortunately, mankind has not
 conquered the final frontier yet. A lot of diseases like AIDS, cancers etc. have not been eliminated yet.
Most of these diseases are blood-related diseases. Scientists and Doctors around the world are working
  round the clock, 24*7, to come up with new improved methods to fight diseases and save lives. Biotic
bots is one such leap towards curing the incurable. Scientists predict that this technology will be available
  in the next 10-15 years. If it happens so, it will be the biggest achievement in the field of medicine. 15
years or more, people will surely be waiting for such technology to reach them and will be eagerly waiting
for it. The amount of lives it will save or the no. of smiles it will spread on face of every cancer patient and
  his family is millions. So let‘s keep our fingers crossed that scientists and doctors come up with these
                   technologies as soon as possible and a the world sees a new dawn.
REFERENCES

1 - www.imdb.com

2 - aftermathnews.wordpress.com

3 - health.msn.com

4 - www.reuters.com

5 - www.engadget.com

6 - www.lowtek.com

								
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