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Home > Introduction > NanoMedicine Glossary

NANOMEDICINE GLOSSARY

Last Updated: Saturday, 27-Jun-2009 22:35:48 PDT

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This set of Nanomedicine terms are provided with permission from and courtesy of: Robert A. Freitas Jr.

And are from his technical book "Nanomedicine, Volume I", published in late 1999. (The entire text of which is online, including the entire Glossary). Words that he did NOT coin are marked with a double asterisk. Words he probably did not coin are marked with a single asterisk. Words that appeared for the first time in his book are unasterisked.

Nanite names:

Respirocytes  "Artificial Mechanical Red Cell"

Clottocytes  "Artificial Mechanical Platelets" (artificial platelets)

Microbivores  "Artificial Mechanical Phagocytes" (artificial white cells) Summary article

*Aerobots (aerobotics) -- aerial (flying) robots.

Autogenous control -- in medical nanorobotics, the conscious control of in vivo nanorobotic systems by the human user or patient; in biochemistry, the action of a gene product that either inhibits (negative autogenous control) or activates (positive autogenous control) expression of the gene coding for it.

Baronatation -- in medical nanorobotics, locomotion through a frozen fluid by applying mechanical pressure along the path travelled to induce melting ahead, followed by regelation (refreezing) behind.

**Cell engineering -- deliberate artificial modifications to biological cellular systems on a cell-by-cell basis.

**Cell surgery -- in medical nanorobotics, modifying cellular structures using medical nanomachines.

Chemotactic nanosensor -- in medical nanorobotics, a nanosensor used to determine the chemical characteristics of surfaces, possibly configured as a pad coated with an array of reversible, perhaps reconfigurable, artificial molecular receptors.

Chronocyte -- in medical nanorobotics, a theorized mobile, mass-storage (nanorobotic) device, similar to a communicyte, that may be used as a mobile source of precisely synchronized universal time inside the human body.

Communicyte -- in medical nanorobotics, a theorized mobile, mass-storage (nanorobotic) device that can be used for information transport throughout the human body.

Conjugation -- in medical nanorobotics, the docking of two or more nanorobots for the purpose of exchanging information, energy or materials, or to establish a larger multirobotic structure; in biology, the union of two unicellular organisms accompanied by an interchange of nuclear material, as in Paramecium.

Crystallescence -- in medical nanorobotics, the crystallization of solid solute that is offloaded by nanorobot sorting rotors at a concentration that exceeds the solvation capacity of the surrounding solvent.

Cytocarriage -- in medical nanorobotics, the commandeering of a natural motile cell, by a medical nanorobot, for the purposes of in vivo transport (of the nanorobot), or to perform a herding function (of the affected cell), or for other purposes.

*Cytocide -- the killing of living cells.

*Cytography -- a physical description (and mapping) of the living cell.

Cytoidentification -- identification of cell type.

*Cytometrics -- the quantitative measurement of cell sizes, shapes, structures, and numbers.

Cytonatation -- in medical nanorobotics, swimming around inside a living cell.

Cytonavigation -- in medical nanorobotics, navigation inside the cell; cellular navigation.

Cytopenetration -- in medical nanorobotics, entry into cells by penetrating the plasma membrane.

Cytoskeletolysis -- in medical nanorobotics, purposeful destruction of the cellular cytoskeleton by a nanorobot, for cytocidal purposes.

*Cytotomography -- tomographic imaging of an individual cell.

Cytovehicle -- in medical nanorobotics, a living cell that has been commandeered by a medical nanorobot for use during cytocarriage.

Demarcation -- in medical nanorobotics, a crude form of functional navigation in which artificial conditions detectable by in vivo medical nanorobots are created at or near the target treatment site, such as warm or cold spots, pressure spots, or injected chemical plumes.

Dermal Zippers -- see zippocytes.

**Diamondoid -- structures that resemble diamond in a broad sense; strong, stiff structures containing dense, three-dimensional networks of covalent bonds, formed chiefly from first and second row atoms with a valence of three or more. Many of the most useful diamondoid structures will be rich in tetrahedrally coordinated carbon.

Diamondophagy -- eating diamond.

**Disassembler -- in molecular nanotechnology, a nanomachine or system of nanomachines able to take an object apart while at each step recording the structure and composition of that object at the molecular level.

Disequilibration -- in medical nanorobotics, maintenance or inducement of a state of perpetual ionic, chemical, or energetic disequilibrium in a living cell by a medical nanorobot, usually for the purpose of inducing cytocide.

Effervescence -- in medical nanorobotics, bubble formation by a gaseous solute that is offloaded by nanorobot sorting rotors at a concentration that exceeds the solvation capacity of the surrounding solvent.

Engulf formation -- in medical nanorobotics, a configuration that may be adopted by a metamorphic nanorobot, in which the nanorobot reshapes itself to create an interior cavity capable of trapping a living cell, virion, or other biological particle.

**Exploratory engineering -- design and analysis of systems that are theoretically possible but cannot be built yet, owing to the limitations of currently available tools.

Functional navigation -- in medical nanorobotics, a form of nanorobotic navigation in which nanodevices seek to detect subtle variations in their environment, comparing sensor readings with target tissue/cell profiles and then congregating wherever a precisely defined set of preconditions exists.

Histonatation -- in medical nanorobotics, locomotion (swimming) through tissues by a nanorobot.

Histonavigation -- in medical nanorobotics, navigation through tissues by a nanorobot.

*Hypsithermal limit -- the maximum amount of energy that may be released at Earth's surface, as a result of human technological activities, without significantly altering the natural global energy balance; estimated as 10^13-10^15 watts.

In cyto -- within a biological cell.

Inmessaging -- in medical nanorobotics, conveyance of information from a source external to the human body, or external to working nanodevices, to a receiver located inside the human body.

In nucleo -- within the nucleus of a cell.

In sanguo -- within the bloodstream.

Macrosensing -- in medical nanorobotics, the detection of global somatic states (inside the human body) and extrasomatic states (sensory data originating outside of the human body) by in vivo nanorobots.

Massometer -- in medical nanorobotics, a nanosensor device for measuring the mass of individual molecules or small physical objects to single-proton resolution.

*Messenger molecule -- a chemically recognizable molecule which can convey information after it is received and decoded by an appropriate chemical sensor.

Metamorphic -- in medical nanorobotics, capable of adopting multiple physical configurations via smooth changes from one configuration to another.

Microbiotagraphics -- mapping the microbiotic populations present in the human body.

**Molecular assembler -- a general-purpose device for molecular manufacturing, able to guide chemical reactions by positioning individual molecules to atomic accuracy (e.g. mechanosynthesis) and to construct a wide range of useful and stable molecular structures according to precise specifications.

**Molecular manufacturing -- manufacturing using molecular machinery, giving molecule-by-molecule control of products via positional chemical synthesis, to produce complex molecular structures manufactured to precise specifications.

**Molecular medicine -- a variety of pharmaceutical techniques and gene therapies that address specific molecular diseases or molecular defects in biological systems.

**Molecular nanotechnology -- thorough, inexpensive control of the structure of matter based on molecule-by-molecule control of products and byproducts; the products and processes of molecular manufacturing, including molecular machinery; a technology based on the ability to build structures to complex, atomic specifications by mechanosynthesis or other means; most broadly, the engineering of all complex mechanical systems constructed from the molecular level.

**Molecular sorting rotor -- a class of nanomechanical device capable of selectively binding (or releasing) molecules from (or to) solution, and of transporting these bound molecules against significant concentration gradients.

**Molecular surgery (molecular repair) -- in medical nanorobotics, the analysis and physical correction of molecular structures in the body using medical nanomachines.

Monkeywrenching -- in medical nanorobotics, the mechanical or chemical jamming of cellular equilibrium processes, with a cytocidal objective. See also disequilibration.

Nanapheresis -- in medical nanorobotics, the removal of bloodborne medical nanorobots from the body using aphersis-like processes.

Nanocentrifuge -- in medical nanorobotics, a proposed nanodevice that can spin materials at very high speed, imparting rotational accelerations of up to one trillion gravities (g's), thus permitting rapid sortation.

Nanochronometer -- in medical nanorobotics, a proposed clock or timing mechanism constructed of nanoscale components.

Nanocrit (Nct) -- in medical nanorobotics, volume-fraction or bloodstream concentration of medical nanorobots, expressed as a percentage.

*Nanomedicine -- (1) the comprehensive monitoring, control, construction, repair, defense, and improvement of all human biological systems, working from the molecular level, using engineered nanodevices and nanostructures; (2) the science and technology 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 the human body; (3) the employment of molecular machine systems to address medical problems, using molecular knowledge to maintain and improve human health at the molecular scale.

*Nanorobot -- a computer-controlled robotic device constructed of nanometer-scale components to molecular precision, usually microscopic in size (often abbreviated as "nanobot").

*Nanosensor -- a chemical or physical sensor constructed using nanoscale components, usually microscopic or submicroscopic in size.

Nanosieving -- in medical nanorobotics, a nanodevice that can sort molecules or other nanoscale objects by physical sieving.

Naturophilia -- an exclusive love of Nature, disdaining everything that is artificial or technological.

Navicyte -- in medical nanorobotics, a mobile, mass-storage (nanorobotic) device, similar to a communicyte, that may be used to establish a navigational network inside the human body.

Outmessaging -- in medical nanorobotics, conveyance of information from a transmitter located inside the human body, especially from working nanodevices, to the patient or to a recipient external to the human body.

Pharmacyte -- in medical nanorobotics, a theorized (nanorobotic) device capable of delivering precise doses of biologically active chemicals to individually-addressed human body tissue cells (e.g. cell-by-cell drug delivery).

Positional navigation -- in medical nanorobotics, a form of nanorobotic navigation in which nanodevices know their exact location inside the human body to ~micron accuracy continuously at all times.

Presentation semaphore -- in medical nanorobotics, a mechanical device used to display specific antigens, chemical ligands, or other molecular objects to the external environment, with the purpose of selectively modifying the chemical or other surface characteristics of a nanorobot exterior.

**Replicator -- any system that can build copies of itself when provided with the appropriate raw materials and energy.

Respirocrit -- in medical nanorobotics, the volume-fraction or bloodstream concentration of respirocyte nanorobots, expressed as a percentage. /2/

Respirocyte -- in medical nanorobotics, a theorized bloodborne spherical 1-micron (nanorobotic) device having a 1000-atm pressure vessel with active pumping powered by endogenous serum glucose, that serves as a mechanical artificial red blood cell. /2/

Sanguinatation -- in medical nanorobotics, locomotion (especially swimming by a nanorobot) through the bloodstream.

Sapphirophagy -- eating sapphire (corundum).

Thermogenic limit -- in medical nanorobotics, the maximum amount of waste heat that may safely be released by a population of in vivo medical nanorobots that are operating within a given tissue volume.

*Transtegumental -- crossing or passing through the skin or covering of a body.

Vasculocyte -- in medical nanorobotics, a theorized (nanorobotic) device capable of performing repairs of an injured vascular luminal surface. /1/

Vasculoid: is a single, complex, multisegmented nanotechnological medical robotic system capable of duplicating all essential thermal and biochemical transport functions of the blood, including circulation of respiratory gases, glucose, hormones, cytokines, waste products, and cellular components. See Vasculoid: A Personal Nanomedical Appliance to Replace Human Blood Robert A. Freitas Jr. & Christopher J. Phoenix. April 2002

Vasculography -- a physical description (and mapping) of the human vascular system.

*Vitamins (engineering) -- in machine replication theory, vitamin parts are components of a self-replicating machine which the machine is incapable of producing itself, therefore these vital parts must be supplied from an external source. /3/

Volitional normative model of disease -- in medical nanorobotics, disease is said to be present in a human being upon either (1) the failure of optimal physical (e.g. biological) functioning, or (2) the failure of desired (by the patient) functioning.

Zippocytes -- in medical nanorobotics, a theorized medical nanorobot that can rapidly perform incision-wound repairs to the dermis and epidermis; dermal zippers.



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