University of Southern California, USA
Title: Status and modeling of nanomedicine
Biography: Mary M Eshaghian-Wilner
Continuing development in the field of nanomedicine—and in particular, nanorobotics—promises new medical solutions through the direct treatment of cells. While much of the work being done in nanorobotics remains theoretical, the creation of a multifunctional, medicinal nanorobot capable of diagnosing and treating diseases such as cancer appears feasible. Nanorobots are especially exciting because their scale gives them certain advantages not available to larger robots. These advantages have the potential to vastly improve therapies. For example, nanorobots’ ability to target and treat a single tissue area or cell could make therapies perform more efficiently and cause fewer side effects. Experimentation is currently being done on organic, inorganic and hybrid nanorobots, with inorganic nanorobots thought to be the most likely to succeed in performing the complex, precise tasks required of medical nanorobots. Biocompatibility is an important requirement for nanorobots and will present challenges for researchers in the coming years. Without the ability to physically produce robots on the nanoscale, researchers can use computer modeling to determine how various components will function once introduced into the body. Our research team at the University of Southern California has developed a system that models nanoscale drug delivery through the bloodstream. As interest in nanomedicine and nanotechnology builds, research institutions around the world are receiving increasing amounts of funding to explore and innovate in these areas.