Anti-HIV using Nanorobots

By | April 21, 2015

There is no specific technology for the treatment of AIDS. Some drugs of specific composition are given to the patients which are able to increase the life time to a few years only. To make the treatment more specific we use the new technology called Nanotechnology which has bio-medical application. The size of nanorobots is about 100 times lesser than the size of an animal cell and hence it can easily monitor the behavior of cell inside the body. Nanorobots use nano sensors to sense the AIDS infected WBCs and convert them back into original WBCs. It operates at specific sites and has no side effects. Thus the AIDS patient is provided with the immune system so that he can defend himself from AIDS.


A. Nanorobots

Nanorobotics is the technology of creating machines or robots at or close to the microscopic scale of nanometers (10-9 meters).  Nanorobots would be typically devices ranging in size from 0.1-10 micrometers, they could work at atomic, molecular and cellular level. Nanorobots are to likely be constructed of carbon atoms, generally in diamond structure because of inert properties and strength, glucose (or) natural body sugars and oxygen might be source at propulsion, Nanorobots will respond to acoustic signals.


HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Like all viruses, HIV cannot grow or reproduce on its own. In order to make new copies of itself it must infect the cells of a living organism. HIV belongs to a special class of viruses called retroviruses. Within this class, HIV is placed in the subgroup of lent viruses. Outside of a human cell, HIV exists as roughly spherical particles (sometimes called virions). The surface of each particle is studded with lots of little spikes. An HIV particle is around 100-150 billionths of a meter in diameter. That’s about the same as: 0.1 microns, one twentieth of the length of an E. coli bacterium, one seventieth of the diameter of a human CD4+ white blood cell. Unlike most bacteria, HIV particles are much too small to be seen through an ordinary microscope. However they can be seen clearly with an electron microscope as shown in (Fig.1).

Anatomy of AIDS virus

Fig.1 -Anatomy of AIDS virus


Zidovudine is the latest known drug that is used for treatment of aids. This drug has an affinity to the HIV genome (RNA molecule) and they binds to it before reverse transcriptase starts working and as a result DNA cannot be synthesized. But any time this drug can lose its efficiency as mutation at the codon no. 67,70 and 215 will change the conformation which will result in the reduction of affinity of Zidovudine towards viral genome and as a result RT will start its action and viral genome will be replicated and integrate with host genome.


Zidovudine can be used to resist the HIV but the virus cannot be destroyed. Destruction of viral genome is possible by using nanorobots. This type of nanorobots will consists of a nano-biosensor developed by nanoelectronics engineers, a data converter, and a container containing high concentration (say 20 u/microlitre) of DNase and RNase enzyme.


Most animal cells are 10,000 to 20,000 nanometers in diameter. This means that nanoscale devices (having at least one dimension less than 100 nanometers) can enter cells and the organelles inside them to interact with DNA and proteins. Tools developed through nanotechnology may be able to detect disease in a very small amount of cells or tissue. They may also be able to enter and monitor cells within a living body.  Nanotechnology could make it possible to run many diagnostic tests simultaneously as well as with more sensitivity. In general, nanotechnology may offer a faster and more efficient means for us to do much of what we do now.


A. Nanobiosensor

The Ab for the Ag gp41 & gp120 will be tagged on its surface. So whenever it will come in contact of an infected cell the Ab will react with that by an immunochemical reaction and will identify this.

B. Nanochip

Its a chip which will receive the signal from nanobiosensor and will perform its job.

C. Nanotube

Its a tube in nanoscale. On receiving +ve signal the nanotube will be injected into the nucleus of the cell by nanochip.

D. Nanocontainer

A nanocontainer will contain highly concentrated DNase and RNase enzyme which will be delivered into the infected cell and will cleave the whole genomic DNA into single nucleotides.


The function of the biosensor is to identify a particular compound. In this case the biosensor will contain a particular antibody. The gp41 and gp120 are two unique HIV envelope protein which is found in the cell membrane of the infected cell. The antigen (gp41 and gp120 protein) and antibody reaction will give the proper signal. In case of infected cell only this reaction will take place as those viral proteins are found in the cell membrane of the infected cell only. Getting the +ve signal the nanorobot will inject its nanotube into the nucleus of the infected cell and release the DNase as well as RNase enzyme into the cell. The DNase enzyme is not sequence specific and as a result it will cleave the whole genomic DNA containing the viral genome into single nucleotides. Once the viral genome loses its sequence it loses its viral effect and after the digestion of the whole genomic DNA the cell undergoes normal programmed cell death called apoptosis. Thus the infected cell of the diseased body can be destroyed to finish off the viral genome in the body as shown in (Fig.2).

Nanorobot  performing operations on blood cells

Fig. 2- Nanorobot  performing operations on blood cells


  • More than million people in this world are affected by this dreaded disease. Currently there is no
  • Permanent vaccine or medicine is available to cure the disease. The currently available drugs can
  • Increase the patients life to a few years only, so the invention of this nanorobot will make the patients to get rid of the disease.
  • As the nanorobot do not generate any harmful activities there is no side effect. It operates at specific site only.
  • The initial cost of development is only high but the manufacturing by batch processing reduces the
  • Cost.


  • The nanorobot should be very accurate, otherwise harmful effects may occur.
  • The initial design cost is very high.
  • The design of this nanorobot is a very complicated one.


The paper is just a theoretical justification. But the recent advancement in the field of Nanotechnology gives the hope of the effective use of this technology in medical field. This is the beginning of nano era and we could expect further improvements such as a medicine to AIDS using nanotechnology.

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