Monday, November 13, 2006

US Patent 7133725 - Medical Diagnostic Nanorobot

Nanotechnology is often associated with the idea of "nanorobots" based on speculative science and science fiction writings. So far the patent literature has been somewhat more practical with regards to nanotechnology and has focused on inventions with nearer term enablement. However, this patent seems to propose a nanorobot type system for medical diagnosis or treatment. I'm not exactly sure how enabling the disclosure is but what disturbs me is that no non-patent literature was cited and I'm sure that there are a lot of pertinent prior art scientific articles which would at least have been useful to determine the enablement of the disclosed approach. Claim 7 reads:

7. A medical method comprising: providing an implantable microscopic medical device including a nanostructure provided with a ligand; inserting said medical device into a patient; effectively attaching said nanostructure via said ligand to an instance of a predetermined type of target structure inside the patient; and after the attaching of said nanostructure to said instance of said target structure, utilizing said nanostructure to perform a preselected medical diagnostic or therapeutic function, the utilizing of said nanostructure includes activating said nanostructure, said medical device including a battery, the activating of said nanostructure including using a body fluid to enable ion migration under a potential generated by said battery.