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The microbivore, an artificial white cell, floats along in the bloodstream until it encounters a pathogen. In this still-theoretical medical nanorobot scenario, a rod-shaped bacterium has been trapped by binding site disks on the microbivore hull and then transported by tiny manipulator arms to the ingestion port, whereupon the microbe is digested inside the device. The microbivore is about 3 microns in diameter, and the binding site arrays appear as multicolored circular dapples on the blue sapphire-colored surface. In this image, the mouth of the nanorobot is open. A few of the telescoping grapple arms are extending from the surface of the device and feeding the rod-shaped bacterium into the microbivore’s mouth.
© Copyright 2001 by Zyvex Corp. For reprint permission, please contact Katharine Green, Director of Corporate Communications, Zyvex Corp., 1321 North Plano Road, Richardson, TX 75081, Tel. 972-235-7881. The microbivore was conceived and designed by Robert A. Freitas Jr., whose permission is also required.