First ‘self-propelled’ nanobots successfully tested in animals


Nanotechnology is one of the most hyped scientific endeavors of all time. From miraculous metamaterials with crazy properties nowhere to be seen in nature to nanobots which could potentially grant us immortality, this is a technology which could change the world. But will it?

One of the leading researchers in the field of nanomedicine believes we’ll pass from the threshold of clinical human trials and into the first market for cancer-fighting nanobots by 2018 – and he believes his estimates are conservative. Listen to him speak about the opportunities that nanomedicine might provide our society here:

Although Dr. Omid Farokhzad would love to say that we’re venturing into a cancer-free world, he doesn’t quite know for certain. He does, however, assert his optimism that cancer will soon lose its place as a top killer, being reduced in stature to a chronic disease instead.

What is nanomedicine like today?

At the University of California, San Diego, researchers have successfully delivered a medical payload into a living organism. By the time the creature had died and these scientists were able to dissect its remains, it had been determined there were no detrimental effects from the payload of medicine.

These particular nanobots were deployed into the body of a mouse. They used a series of natural processes to propel themselves toward the lining of the stomach, where they then embedded themselves and slowly dissolved over 12 hours, releasing a nanoparticle compound into the surrounding tissue.

These nanobots weren’t the first to be used in trials involving living organisms. But they were the first “self-propelled” nanobots to be successfully used in animal trials, and this represents a big step in the field of nanomedicine. Other trials before it used a series of external forces to reach their target destination.

What do you think about nanomedicine? Is it scary, or will we soon be living much longer lives, free from the currently grave threat of cancer?

About Author

Jeff is a self-proclaimed pragmatic futurist; that is, he has high hopes for absurd life-altering technologies which sound too good to be true, and probably are. Although he writes on a variety of subjects, his real passion is for technological innovation and the people who make it happen. By day, he enjoys fuzzy bunnies, kittens, puppies, roller coasters and a sardonic written word or two. By night, he's busy running, replaying a random Final Fantasy game, or pretending to be Batman. He currently resides in Upstate NY.



    For me it is not scary, it is incredible and the future way to treat deseases, I I’m looking forward to having my body full of nanobots capable of repairing any damage in it, I am not sure if I will have the opportunity to see it but I want to believe in Ray Kurzweil predictions and think that it will be possible in the near future.

    • Me too! I don’t think it’s as crazy as most people think it is. The stuff which we’re going to do in just the next three or four years alone is absolutely incredible.