MRI-Guided Nanorobotic Systems for Drug Delivery

Authored by: Panagiotis Vartholomeos , Matthieu Fruchard , Antoine Ferreira , Constantinos Mavroidis

Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420075465
eBook ISBN: 9781420075496
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter focuses on the state of the art in the emerging field of nanorobotic drug delivery systems guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices. Such systems employ the latest nanotechnology breakthroughs and are used to perform optimized drug delivery in the human body, and exhibit substantially increased rates of therapeutic and diagnostic success compared to conventional drug delivery methods. This application lies in the realm of nanomedicine, which according to Freitas can be defined “as the process of diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease and traumatic injury, of relieving pain, and of preserving and improving human health, using molecular tools and molecular knowledge of human body.” The great potential of this emerging nanomedicine tool stems from the capabilities offered by nanotechnology, i.e., the capabilities to conduct engineering activities at a nanometer scale, i.e., at the level of atoms and molecules. The size-related challenge is the ability to measure, manipulate, and assemble matter with features on the scale of 1–100 nm. The tools required to accomplish such tasks at that scale are the nanorobots, which are defined as controllable machines at the nanometer scale that are composed of nanoscale components and algorithmically respond to input forces and information (Ummat et al. 2006). The field of nanorobotics studies the design, manufacturing, programming, and control of the nanoscale robots.

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