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IMM Report Number 15

In conjunction with Foresight Update 40

Announcing the Opening of the Nanomedicine Art Gallery

By Robert A. Freitas Jr.
Research Scientist, Zyvex LLC

Robert A. Freitas  Jr.
Robert A. Freitas Jr.

Welcome, one and all, to the grand opening of the Nanomedicine Art Gallery! The Gallery is now up and running at, or you can get there by clicking on the Gallery listing at the Nanomedicine Page.

At the Nanomedicine Art Gallery, you’ll find a small but growing collection of visual artwork that describes many different views of how medical nanorobots and other nanomedical devices and systems might appear. Some of these works have been borrowed with permission from already-published print-media or electronic media works. Other contributions are original graphics created by the named individual artists especially for this Gallery exhibition, for your additional enjoyment.

The 47 images currently on exhibit at the Nanomedicine Art Gallery are organized into three nonexclusive conceptual groupings, for easy browsing.

The first grouping of images is by “Nanorobot Species.” Currently represented are: historical and general medical nanorobots, respirocytes, endotheliocytes, biological based nanorobots, and a few additional nanorobot species such as utility foglets that will be useful in medicine, in addition to their other applications.

The second grouping of Gallery images is by “Medical Challenge.” The 11 categories currently represented include aging, arteriosclerosis, artificial blood and respiration, bacterial infection, cancer, diagnosis and testing, emergency care and trauma, gene therapy, neurological damage, thrombosis, and viral infection. Right now our coverage here is somewhat thin, but we hope the situation will improve as more medical nanorobot designs become available in the months and years ahead, and as fresh exhibits from new artists arrive at the Gallery.

The third grouping is by “Individual Artist.” The work of 15 different artists is now on exhibit at the Nanomedicine Art Gallery. Most of these artists are professional illustrators with considerable experience in their various areas of expertise, and we are very fortunate to have access to their work. By clicking on an artist’s name, you can immediately learn more about them, and obtain a complete listing of their exhibits at the Gallery.

If you’re in a hurry, you can simply skip to our complete roster of all currently exhibited artwork. This roster includes a brief title and a thumbnail version of each exhibit. The thumbnails were a key part of the Gallery design. I sometimes grow impatient when visiting other online galleries because I’m forced to wait through seemingly interminable download times to receive lots of full-scale images that I may or may not actually want to view. No such problem here. I think you’ll find the Gallery very conveniently organized and easy to navigate. Of course, suggestions for improvement are always welcome.

Some of the artwork in this Gallery has been drawn from now-classic early books or articles in the history of medical nanotechnology. Other images have been generated by individual artists whom I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting and getting to know, sometimes entirely by email, over the last several years during the research and writing of Nanomedicine, Volume I. These artists very generously gave of their time, their professional skills, and their imaginations to produce new images that are original and unique to the Nanomedicine Art Gallery. I would strongly urge everyone to visit the websites of these fine artists, whom I hope and expect will soon find themselves busy with new opportunities as the development of medical nanotechnology continues to unfold.

Gallery artwork should be appreciated as an expression of each artist’s special creative impulses and insights. Some works may be highly interpretive or impressionistic, while others may attempt to achieve photographic realism or the precise rendering of a technical engineering illustration. Some images are in the nature of rough drafts or quick sketches. Others are more elaborate finished pieces. All styles are welcome at the Nanomedicine Art Gallery. And these images are presented with the understanding that they are “artist’s conceptions” which may or may not entirely reflect the technical nanodevice designer’s original intent — or the ultimate engineering reality!

All works at the Nanomedicine Art Gallery are copyrighted. Permission to use these works for any purpose other than viewing on this site *must* be obtained from the person or organization listed as the copyright holder. If you want to see more art exhibited here in the future, *please* respect the artists’ copyright.

In addition to the images on display at the Gallery, I’ve provided 40 links to other sites with nanotechnology-related images, including still-image and animation collections currently located at Zyvex, IMM, CalTech, Rice University, NASA, IBM, ORNL, EMBL Heidelberg, University of North Carolina, Florida State University, Purdue, Lucent Technologies, and elsewhere. These collections include the Fullerene Gallery and the Buckyball Homepage, various excellent molecular chemistry collections, SPM image collections such as the Digital Instruments NanoTheater, and many other sites offering images of familiar nanomechanical bearings, gears, and motors along with some less-well-known images of more complex proposed mechanical diamondoid devices.

Then there are 37 links to other sites with microbiology-related images such as the RasMol and Molecular Visualization Galleries, the 1994 and 1998 Molecular Graphics Art Shows, various SPM and electron micrograph image collections of biomolecular and biological specimens, the Picture Book of Viruses, the Microbe Zoo and the Microbe Portrait Gallery, the Sperm Gallery and the Mite Gallery, and much much more. Most of these sites include many additional images and links to more biological gallery sites.

There are also 13 links to other nanomedicine-related sites where online artwork is available. These include links to fun stuff such as a short comic strip, a 64-robot demo video, a photo tour of the Alcor cryonics facilities, and some interesting transhumanist offerings, most amusingly Natasha Vita-More’s provocative body redesign project which has an audio clip that lets you hear her engines rev.

My hope is that this Gallery will continue to grow, so please come back and visit it from time to time to see what’s new. We’re looking for additional nanomedical artwork to display. We seek new artists whose work can be showcased here. If you know of any nanomedicine-related artwork that is not on exhibit at the Nanomedicine Art Gallery, which you can provide or believe might be appropriate, please let us know. If you’re an artist who has produced work with a nanomedical theme, I urge you please to submit your image(s) for exhibit at the Gallery. Each artist gets their own personal display page, where he or she is free to post their email address, URLs to their own online gallery, or other information that can help communicate to visitors the artist’s personality, interests, experience, and professionalism.

In the future, we’d like to add animations, music or relevant audio clips, or other artistic expressions that may help increase public understanding of the emerging field of nanomedicine. We’d also like to add a children’s section to the Gallery. If anyone has access to a source of good material, or is interested in sponsoring a contest or public event of some kind in order to make this happen, please let us know.

Visitors to the Nanomedicine Art Gallery are indebted to Foresight Webmaster James B. Lewis, who used my materials and my proposed Gallery architecture to craft this beautiful new exhibit site, with seamless links and an aesthetically pleasing consistency of presentation. Jim is to be applauded for his major assistance in the design of this Gallery, conversion of all materials to HTML format, reformatting of graphic images, general site maintenance, and an all-around great job. Thanks, Jim! I also thank the Foresight Institute for graciously allowing its website to be used for this project.

Most importantly, I must again thank the many artists and organizations represented at the Nanomedicine Art Gallery, without whose creative efforts and generous permissions the Gallery would not have been possible.

I hope everyone will enjoy visiting the Nanomedicine Art Gallery as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together. I’m sure you’ll find, as I have, that it’s possible to spend many happy hours wandering through the Gallery and its numerous links without ever coming close to exhausting its many possibilities. Enjoy!