Nanomedicine was initially brought to the world’s attention by Dr. Robert Freitas Jr. through his visionary and exquisitely comprehensive Nanomedicine book series. Freitas was the first to conceptualize, describe, and conduct thoroughly detailed analyses of a diverse range of advanced autonomous nanomedical devices comprised of diamondoid materials, including his conceptual Respirocyte , which is a nanomedical artificial red blood cell, the Chromallocyte, which would facilitate total chromosome replacement, and various other cellrepair nanodevices. He continues to break new ground with further sophisticated nanomedical devices and systems, as well as in depth investigations of diamond Mechanosynthetic molecular manufacturing.
Nanomedicine comprises one of the most potent applications of nanotechnology, which holds great promise for the initiation of positive paradigm shifts across multiple medical domains. There is a powerful and rapidly increasing trend toward the emergence of more compact, minimally invasive, smarter, more precise, and efficacious medical technologies. Nanomedical diagnostics and therapeutics operate at the cellular, organellar, and molecular levels; precisely where many disease processes have their genesis, and from which they emanate. Hence, nanomedicine holds strong potential for the highly accurate preemptive diagnoses and efficacious treatment of many diseases, prior to their having the opportunity to proliferate.
Currently, the sophisticated autonomous medical nanorobots that are conceptualized in Frank’s book do not exist; however, they are anticipated to arrive with the emergence of molecular manufacturing (MM), which will enable the atomically precise assembly of specific atoms and molecules according to predetermined computer programs/designs to fabricate sophisticated nanomedical components and completely self-contained autonomous nanomedical devices. The prerequisites for nanomedical device autonomy encompass a number of critically important nanoscale components including nanoelectronics, quantum computation, nanometric photonic devices (e.g., lasers to facilitate certain cell repair operations), communications, propulsion, and navigation, to name a few.
The most advanced, albeit relatively still formative nanomedical systems of today comprise various classes of single and multifunctional, solid or hollow (for drug molecule loading) nanoparticles that are typically “decorated” with targeting agents such as monoclonal antibodies, oligonucleotides, peptides, streptavidin and the like, to locate and connect with their targets (e.g., cancer cells, plaque deposits, etc.) in vivo within the patient. These rudimentary nanoparticles; however, are devoid of intelligence and robotic agility; hence, they do not qualify as the highly advanced autonomous nanorobots that are anticipated to perform in the body in ways that will revolutionize medicine.