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Nanomedicine and Cryonics


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Nanomedicine and Cryonics

  1. 1. Nanomedicine and Cryonics Ralph C. Merkle Distinguished Professor of Computing Georgia Tech College of Computing
  2. 2. Health, wealth and atoms
  3. 3. Arranging atoms <ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Precision </li></ul><ul><li>Cost </li></ul>
  4. 4. Ultimate limits <ul><li>Arrange atoms in most of the ways permitted by physical law </li></ul><ul><li>Get almost every atom in the right place </li></ul><ul><li>Achieve manufacturing costs not much greater than the cost of the raw materials and energy </li></ul>Nanotechnology
  5. 5. Molecular machines
  6. 6. <ul><li>Disease and ill health are caused largely by damage at the molecular and cellular level </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s surgical tools are huge and imprecise in comparison </li></ul>Impact Nanomedicine
  7. 7. <ul><li>In the future, we will have fleets of surgical tools that are molecular both in size and precision. </li></ul><ul><li>We will also have computers much smaller than a single cell to guide those tools. </li></ul>Impact Nanomedicine
  8. 8. Impact Mitochondrion ~1-2 by 0.1-0.5 microns Size of a robotic arm ~100 nanometers 8-bit computer
  9. 9. Impact “ Typical” cell: ~20 microns Mitochondrion Size of a robotic arm ~100 nanometers
  10. 10. Mitochondrion Molecular computer + peripherals “ Typical” cell
  11. 11. Correcting DNA
  12. 12. Respirocytes
  13. 13. <ul><li>Nanosensors, nanoscale scanning </li></ul><ul><li>Power (fuel cells, other methods) </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Navigation (location within the body) </li></ul><ul><li>Manipulation and locomotion </li></ul><ul><li>Computation </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Nanomedicine Volume I
  14. 14. <ul><li>Today’s surgery: intelligent guidance, crude tools </li></ul><ul><li>Drugs: no intelligence, molecularly precise tools </li></ul><ul><li>Cell repair systems: intelligent guidance, molecularly precise </li></ul>Types of medical treatment
  15. 15. <ul><li>Today, loss of cell function results in cellular deterioration: </li></ul><ul><li>function must be preserved </li></ul><ul><li>With future cell repair systems, passive structures can be repaired. Cell function can be restored provided cell structure can be inferred: </li></ul><ul><li>structure must be preserved </li></ul>A revolution in medicine
  16. 16. 98.6 º F -320 º F Cool Revive Time Temperature (Decades) Cryonics 98.6 º F
  17. 17. <ul><li>Select N subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Vitrify them </li></ul><ul><li>Wait 100 years </li></ul><ul><li>See if the medical technology of 2100 can indeed revive them </li></ul><ul><li>But what do we tell those who don’t expect to live long enough to see the results? </li></ul>Clinical trials
  18. 18. It works It doesn’t work Sign Up Do Nothing Live Die Die Lose life insurance Die The choice
  19. 19. Mammalian Organs and Organized Tissues Successfully Preserved by Slow Cooling to  60 Degrees Centigrade. * Partial success only; pancreases supported life. Adapted from Analysis of “Solution Effects” Injury: Rabbit Renal Cortex Frozen in the Presence of Dimethyl Sulfoxide , by Gregory M. Fahy, Cryobiology 17, 371-388 (1980) Adrenal cortex Anterior pituitary Arterial smooth muscle Atrial fragments Bone marrow Cartillage Cerebral cortex (fetal) Corneas Embryos Epididymus Fallopian tube Hearts (fetal) Heart valves Intestine & intestinal smooth muscle strips Kidney tissue Legs (in vivo) Livers* Microvasculature* Ovarian tissue Pancreases (adult* & fetal) Parathyroid tissue Prostate tissue Seminal vesicles Skin Spleens* & splenic tissue Superior cervical ganglia Testicular tissue Thymus glands Thyroid tissue Tooth germs Trachea (fetal) Ureters Uteri and uterine horns* Veins (jugular) Ventricular tissue Cryopreservation
  20. 20. The choice
  21. 21. <ul><li>“Don’t leave him in the hands of 20th Century medicine!” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dr. Leonard McCoy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>of the Starship Enterprise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Circa 2185 </li></ul></ul></ul>The future perspective
  22. 22. <ul><li>END OF TALK </li></ul>End
  23. 23. <ul><li>Future descendants of SPMs could rapidly scan the surface of cryofixed tissue with molecular precision </li></ul><ul><li>Electrostatic </li></ul><ul><li>Van der Waals </li></ul><ul><li>Conductivity </li></ul><ul><li>Many others </li></ul>Surface scan
  24. 24. Surface scan EM image of metal replica of the surface
  25. 25. Frozen Kidney Vitrified Kidney -130°C
  26. 26. <ul><li>A “sticky” probe could remove individual surface molecules </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Carbene </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Boron </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Metals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul></ul></ul>Surface scan
  27. 27. SURFACE PROBE STICKY Surface scan
  28. 28. SURFACE PROBE STICKY Surface scan
  29. 29. SURFACE PROBE STICKY Surface scan
  30. 30. SURFACE PROBE Surface scan
  31. 31. Surface scan
  32. 32. <ul><li>Volume of the brain: 1350 cc </li></ul><ul><li>Repair devices: 3 x 10 15 </li></ul><ul><li>Repair time 10 8 seconds (~three years) </li></ul><ul><li>Proteins in brain: 1.2 x 10 21 </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>250 seconds/protein </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Atoms in brain: 10 26 </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>0.003 seconds/atom </li></ul></ul></ul>Volume scan
  33. 33. Microbivore Eats Bacterium
  34. 34. <ul><li>Medical Hypotheses Vol. 39, 1992; 6-16 </li></ul><ul><li>One of six articles on “cryonics” in PubMed </li></ul><ul><li>The only article assessing feasibility </li></ul><ul><li>Simple “brute force” approach: scan everything, repair as needed </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Published articles The Technical Feasibility of Cryonics
  35. 35. <ul><li>“ ...having a very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence, I should prefer to an ordinary death, being immersed with a few friends in a cask of Madeira, until that time, then to be recalled to life by the solar warmth of my dear country!” </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Benjamin Franklin 1773 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>A visionary
  36. 36. <ul><li>Cryobiologists are often asked how long cells can remain viable at -196 degrees C, the temperature of boiling liquid nitrogen (which is the usual cryogenic fluid). The answer is clear — more than 1000 years. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Peter Mazur Stopping Biological Time: the Freezing of Living Cells. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 541: 514-531, 1988. </li></ul></ul></ul>Cryopreservation
  37. 37. <ul><li>Although several aspects of synaptic structure appear to change with experience, the most consistent potential substrate for memory storage during behavioral modification is an alteration in the number and/or pattern of synaptic connections. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The anatomy of a memory: convergence of results across a diversity of tests </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>William T. Greenough and Craig H. Bailey, Trends in Neuroscience , 1988, Vol. 11, No. 4, pages 142-147. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Memory
  38. 38. <ul><li>As Hardy et al. stated, it is apparent that both human and rat brain tissue frozen to -70 degrees C with almost no cryoprotection has synapses &quot;closely comparable to [those from]... fresh tissue.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The cryobiological case for cryonics, citing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hardy, J.A., P.R. Dodd, A.E. Oakley, R.H. Ferry, J.A. Edwardson, and A.M. Kidd, Metabolically active synaptosomes can be prepared from frozen rat and human brain, J Neurochem, 40, 608-614 (1983). </li></ul></ul></ul>Preservation of synapses
  39. 39. <ul><li>The scientific literature allows no conclusion other than that brain structure and even many brain functions are likely to be reasonably well preserved by freezing in the presence of cryoprotective agents, especially glycerol in high concentrations. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The cryobiological case for cryonics </li></ul></ul></ul>Preservation of brain structure
  40. 40. Web pages
  41. 41. <ul><li>“ Everyone who has died and told me about it has said it’s terrific!” </li></ul>Shirley MacLaine