Scientists develop Nanomachines to Diagnose Illness


A nanomachine is a mechanical or electromechanical device whose dimensions are measured in nanometers. They are also called a nanite. Nanomachines are largely in the research and development phase. Many of them are have been tested also.

Recently, Scientists at Iowa State University, Henderson and Divita Mathur, have studied how to build nanomachines. Both are postdoctoral research lecturer at the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. This nanomachine may have real- world medical applications and also capable of identifying a mockup of the Ebola virus. These nanomachines, built from DNA, essentially would encapsulate the medication and guide it to its target.

Haderson, a professor of genetics, development and cell biology at Iowa State University said, “Such a machine would prove valuable in the developing world, where access to diagnostic medical equipment can be rare.This nanotechnology could be manufactured cheaply and disposed of easily. Used in conjunction with a smartphone app, nearly anyone could use the technology to detect Ebola or any number of other diseases and pathogens without the need for traditional medical facilities.”

This technology could be used by anyone through a combination of a smartphone app to identify Ebola or other diseases and pathogens. Any traditional medical facilities don’t require it.

He said, ” It’s the magic of how DNA works. The trick lies in understanding the rules that govern how DNA works. It’s possible to get that rule set in a way that creates advantages for medicine and biotechnology.”

The classical double-helix structure of DNA is those adaptable strands find each other automatically, like a castle that builds itself.

Henderson binds those same principles for his nanomachines. First, the equipment is added to water. After that they got heated and cooled, find each other and assemble correctly without any additional extension from the differently disposing of the machines.

How was this nanomachine made?

Henderson said about 40 billion different machines fit in a single drop of water.

The machines mimic as an analytical tool that identifies specific disease at the genetic level. Henderson and Mathur designed the machines to detect symptoms of Ebola. However, the test in the study used an artificial version of the viral genome and not the real thing. Henderson occupied a fixed photonic system, which detects molecules that are to be targeted. The photonic system flashes a light if the machines found what they’re looking for. This is also can be detected by a machine called a fluorometer.

According to Henderson, ” This kind of technology can be altered to find specific types of molecules or pathogens. It implicitly allows anyone to run diagnostic tests anywhere without access to medical facilities.

He also anticipates a time when similar nanoscale architectures were used to deliver medication toughly where it needs to go at precisely the right time.

Henderson said, “Such advances aren’t that far beyond the reach of modern medicine. It just requires scientists in the field to think small. Really small, in this case.”


See stories of the future in your inbox each morning.