Nanotechnology paves the way into the future
Nanotechnology will soon provide solid objects invisible to naked eye, allow sweat to be used as a power source, or make objects stick to any surface using reversible adhesion – said Dr. Michelle Dickinson, senior lecturer at University of Auckland, during her session at Microsoft’s TechEd 2014 on nanotechnology.
September 10, 2014
Dr. Dickinson explained nanotechnology as a process of making object work at a tiny scale, and showed the audience some of the objects that only nanotechnology can produce today. In her presentation, she alluded to superhydrophysicity, a device coating that prevents surfaces to accumulate humidity, bio-batteries, and reversible adhesion.
When providing details about reversible adhesion, Dr. Dickinson said “I worked on reversible adhesion by watching geckos and imitating the nano hairs that they have on their limbs. These nano hairs enable devices to be attached to any number of surfaces and you can take them off again. Think about that. You don’t need tape anymore. You can attach whatever device you want to anything you want.”
Bio-batteries use human sweat to extract energy, store it, and power other devices having a visual aspect reminding of skin tattoos. Dr. Dickinson said: "Bio-batteries are also possible. Much like temporary tattoos attach to your skin, your sweat can be used to power devices. Imagine what that can mean for the likes of pacemakers. They can be powered with your body for as long as you need.”
As for the future of nanotechnology, Dr. Dickinson mentioned her significant inroads into understanding how brain cells communicate and what hinders communication at cell level. When the mechanism is understood, nanotechnology will help by hunting,removing, or even fixing the damaged components.
When asked whether nanobots will take over the world one day, Dr. Dickinson reassured everyone: “Yes. But they don’t exist today. All we have currently are inanimate nanotechnology.”