You may also like

problem icon

Air Nets

Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.

problem icon

Carbon Footprints

Is it really greener to go on the bus, or to buy local?

problem icon

stemNRICH - Technology

This is the technology section of stemNRICH - Core.

Robot Camera

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

 
 
Nanotechnology is the technology of objects whose dimensions are in the range $0.1$ to $100$ nanometre (nm), ie. $0.1\times 10^{-9}$ to $100\times 10^{-9}$ metres. Try these preliminary questions to help you get some idea just how small that is and how it relates to other units of length:


  1. An average human hair has a diameter of about 50 microns. How many nanometres is this?
  2. Measure the height of a new pack of printer paper. Packs come in reams which contain 500 sheets of paper: estimate the thickness of one piece of paper. What is this in nanometres? What is it in microns?

Do you think that it will be possible in principle to make a robot camera using nanotechnology which could be injected into a person's arteries in order to see if they are becoming blocked? You will need to consider what size a robot would need to be to move along an artery in the blood stream.

Here is some information to get you started:
 

  • the interior diameter of the coronary arteries is about 1-2 mm
  • blood contains red and white blood cells and platelets
  • red blood cells (erythrocytes) are about 6-8 microns in diameter
  • white blood cells (leukocytes) are about 15 microns in diameter
  • platelets (thrombocytes) are about 2-3 microns in diameter

Here is an image of blood components taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Red_White_Blood_cells.jpg

 
 Blood components