Monday, February 16, 2004

Do no harm: Don't forget Freitas

Hello, Howard,

I'm Robert Freitas, author of the Nanomedicine book series (along with many other works relevant to molecular nanotechnology).

FreitasI think you do a great job with your "NanoBot" column, which I check out regularly. But I was wondering why you hadn't ever mentioned either of my nanomedicine books? I see that you DO mention technical books from time to time.

My recent book "Nanomedicine, Vol. IIA: Biocompatibility" (

) is the first technical book ever written on the subject of the biocompatibility of nanomaterials and nanostructures in the human body. This scholarly work includes over 6,000 literature citations.

Admittedly, the focus is primarily on the biocompatibility of diamondoid materials such as might be employed in medical nanorobots (e.g., diamond, graphene, fluorocarbon, sapphire, etc.), and on various other de novo issues related to a future medical nanorobotics technology (that nobody has ever thought about before) such as motile particle mechanocompatibility.

But I also included in the book several sections on the biocompatibility of more conventional materials such as carbon nanotubes, dendrimers, DNA (such as might be used in devices built by Nad Seeman), along with discussions of more conventional biocompatibility issues.

nanomedicineBy the way, my first book in the Nanomedicine series -- "Nanomedicine, Vol. I: Basic Capabilities" or "NMI" (

) -- which came out in October 1999, was the first technical book on medical nanorobotics ever written or published.

It is still in print, available for purchase at, but only in softcover because the hardcover edition sold out its entire printing quickly, a couple of years ago.

Please note: NMI is also freely available online in its entirety at my Website (which I own). I don't think you'll find any other nanotech technical books online. My book, and my publisher, are unique in this regard. I want to encourage dissemination and discussion of my vision of the future of medicine.

In case your reviewer copy of NMIIA has somehow gotten lost, you can check out the entire Table of Contents of the book at, and I anticipate the entire book will be up online (just like NMI) sometime in the next two months or so (just as soon as I can get to it).

For future reference, later this year (probably around late summer or early fall), my next book, co-authored with Ralph Merkle and also published by Landes Bioscience, will hit the streets. The title is "Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines" (KSRM). (It will probably be online at my Website by year's end, if all goes as expected.) This book is the first general survey (and including new analysis) ever written of the theoretical and experimental progress to date in designing, building, and operating machines that are able to physically replicate themselves, updating the famous 1980 NASA study of self-replicating lunar factories, which I edited.

As usual, in KSRM I provide literally thousands of relevant literature citations.

Best wishes,

Robert A. Freitas Jr.
Author, Nanomedicine


I'm very glad you wrote to me. I know you by your work and reputation. It's actually a reflection of how successful the site has become when a major researcher writes to me!

Unfortunately, I write this blog in my spare time and have to place priority on the work that pays me a salary -- otherwise, I would be blogging a lot more often. I've been sticking with sources with whom I've had conversations, so I would very much like to speak with you to get your perspective on nanotech issues.

There are a number of doctors in my family, by the way, and they all ask me about the medical applications to nanotechnology (I had to be the black sheep and go into journalism). I'd love to be able to give them an informed run-down without a lot of hemming and hawing.

Howard Lovy

Related Posts
Nanotubes and the tale of the rats
'Old school' medicine meets the modern
Playing God with Monsters


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