Up to perhaps many thousands, or tens of thousands of VCSN nanodevices might be introduced into the patient intravenously, via ingestion as a pill, through inhalation, transdermally using a patch, or migrate in vivo utilizing a topical gel. Once within the patient their purpose would be to rapidly scan the entire human vasculature down to the smallest capillary lumen (~3 microns in diameter) in ultrahigh-resolution (sub-micron) three-dimensional (3D) digitized format. At all times they would be under the complete control of the surgeon or physician via “outbody” computer commands. Some of the capabilities of the VCSN are listed below:
Capable of generating a very high-resolution (under 1 micron) 3D rendering of the complete human vasculature down to the smallest capillaries. It may also be applied to the imaging of the lymphatic system, and in a simplified form, the gastrointestinal tract, using a Gastrointestinal Micro Scanning Device (GMSD), (see description below).
Ability to distinguish vascular and neurological plaque deposits and lesions with high accuracy.
Capacity to determine vascular wall thicknesses, along with the identification and highlighting of any “hot spot” sites within the vasculature, such as imminent blockages or aneurysms that are at risk of rupturing.
Surgeon and physicians would be able to “fly-through” all scanned areas via a joystick and computer display for the highly detailed inspection of any desired site within the system. The acquired spatial data from the VCSN may also enable holographic rendering and virtual travel through all imaged systems.
Ability to facilitate the targeting of tumors by revealing sites of angiogenesis in close proximity to tumor growth sites.
A number of advantages of the VCSN include:
High compactness and portability as its operation will require a relatively small footprint. This would enable a simple and quick setup and power-up procedures, which will be a boon for applications in developing countries and remote terrestrial environments.In aerospace, it might be utilized as an element of an on board medical diagnostics suite on military and medical aircraft.
For space travel, it may be reconfigured for integration into spacesuits and spacecraft, and provide a compact yet very powerful medical imaging capability for future Moon and Mars habitats.
Frugal energy consumption.
Inexpensive administration and operation
Rapid scanning time (~5 minutes).
Ultrahigh resolution digital imagery and inherent flexibility for display across several formats and ease of file transmission to medical personnel globally via secure telecommunications connectivity
Potential for enabling the significant reduction or elimination of long waiting queues for critical imaging technologies.
Gastrointestinal Micro Scanning Device (GMSD)
he Gastrointestinal Micro Scanning Device (GMSD) (Figure 2) will serve as far less complex precursor to the VCSN as it will not have the capacity for propulsion or navigation. It might, however, employ nascent forms of quantum computing, nanoelectronics, spatial data acquisition, and Pixel Matrix (see below) technologies that are envisaged for the VCSN. Hence, in addition to serving as formative in vivo spatial data acquisition device, the GMSD may also have utility as a test bed of sorts that is employed to identify and resolve technical, integrative, and functional issues toward the development of the VCSN.