STANFORD (CBS13) – In the 1966 film “Fantastic Voyage,” a submarine, full of scientists, is shrunk to microscopic size and injected into the bloodstream of a seriously wounded diplomat.

Forty-six years later, the idea sounds less far fetched. In a Stanford lab, engineers are perfecting their fantastic voyage.

“And then, we can make it smaller,” said electrical engineer Professor Ada Poon, Ph.D.

Poon says smaller is the name of the game.

“We have been in this project for more than four years. So we encounter a lot of obstacles along the way and then we solve them one by one, said Poon.

Instead of a battery, which takes up lots of space, the device that will be used for travel is powered wirelessly with electromagnetic radio waves.

“The prototype we built is 3mm by 4mm. You can see here that we have a 2mm by 2mm receiving antennae,” said Dan Pivonka, PhD.

The result is a new class of medical devices that are so small they can travel through the bloodstream.

“Right now we could go to the arteries. The midsize could go through the arteries, but we want it to even go through some smaller bloodstreams,” said Poon.

These tiny devices may one day change how we perform diagnostic tests, deliver medications, and even do surgical procedures.

“We are pretty excited about it, but this is only the first step. We still have a long way to go in order to realize this fantastic voyage,” said Poon.

Comments (78)
  1. Dummies says:

    Hey instead of inventing yet another probing devices, why don’t you egg heads figure out how to feed the planet.

    Create a pill to fill them with nutrition.

    1. Parmashaun says:

      The planet can already be fed. It’s called remove dictatorial regimes and instill capitalism around the world. Dummy.

    2. anon says:

      seriously? do you not understand anything?

    3. squiggy9000 says:

      “Create a pill to fill them with nutrition”.

      Or even easier, stop making us put our food in our gas tanks.

    4. TheRealKingMax says:

      Charleton Heston already did this.

      Solent Green. It’s whats for dinner…

    5. Moe Faux says:

      Tell that to North Korea’s Cho Kim Now. Happy Passover.

    6. stan atkinson says:

      Dummies: why don’t you disappear?

  2. The Collective says:

    Sounds like a prelude to Borg nanoprodes. You will all be assimilated. Resistance is Futile.

  3. Parmashaun says:

    I like the idea of creating small devices that can go in and hunt down viruses. They find them, grab ahold of them, and maybe fry them with a jolt of electricity. Unlike a white blood cell, they cannot be attached and taken over. You create an impervious immune system.

    1. bribozo19 says:

      Can we make them travel through Pennsylvania Avenue and clean up all the illness and diseases that are prevalent throughout the place??

    2. TheRealKingMax says:

      I don’t mind – make a ship with people inside, shrink it & send it into my bloodstream…

      Just get it out of me before it returns to normal size, and I want to nail Raquel Welch for post-op therapy.

      She STILL is hot!

  4. Frank Serpico says:

    I think youre confused about capitalism, and its parallax gap. Just like in the United States, for ever extremely wealthy individual you have is opposing poor counterpart. For every “great deal, too good to be true” you get at walmart, there is a sweat shop creating these goods. Youre also speaking of capitalism that has ushered in companies like Monsanto, which now have almost completed their entire annihiliation of free seed farming. Think of the economy that Capitalism brings as if it were a cookie jar (we all understand inflation) This cookie jar has 10 cookies in it, take out 9 1/2 and give it to the top 1%. Take that last half of a cookie and break it up between the remaining 99%. If money was an everflow you’d be right, but this isn’t wonderland. saying “everyone should be capitalist” is fine and dandy when youre mental compacity doesn’t exceed childhood. But truthfully this could never happen. Otherwise it wouldn’t be capitalism, it would be communism. Milton Friedman says greed is good. To agree with capitalism you must follow suit. Make sure you also throw away all of your children’s books… because they all have the same basic moral premise “sharing is caring”

    1. squiggy9000 says:

      Whose cookies are they anyway? What person put his hard work into making cookies only to have them stolen and given away? And why are you taking their cookies and giving them to someone else anyway? How do you know he’s not a poor person trying to get ahead in life (only to have his dreams stolen by self-styled do-gooders who think it’s good to steal his ambition, lest he hurt someone else’s feelings). Seems to me YOU are the one whose “mental capacity doesn’t exceed childhood”.

      I’m sorry, but you are incoherent. If the “top 1%” own 95% of everything, how do the “99%” survive? I guess we owe the “1%” our very lives!

    2. Sensible One says:

      Totally wrong and full of hooey. First, and economy is not a cookie jar with finite wealth in a capitalist society. I t is more like a magic cookie jar where when you give a cookie to the 1% they make 50 cookies for every one else.
      Monsanto is feeding the planet with their innovations, in spite of idiots who want to take food resources to make fuel when there is PLENTY of oil to make fuel with.

      1. s says:

        OMG… I have never seen a post that was completely wrong on EVERY single point they made until now…

    3. There You Go says:

      I agree that sweat shops should go. Other than that, your reply is pretty naive and displays a lack of perception and a basic understanding of economics. First, your Monsanto example is an excellent case study in what happen with a LACK of capitalism in a given market, not the other way around. Your cookie jar metaphor is frankly absurd. You have obviously never spent a significant amount of time abroad. Travel to countries which have no capitalism to speak of and you will see a real gap between the poor and the wealthy. The poorest Americans would be considered upper-middle class in many other countries. It’s true that capitalism rewards big winners with insane amounts of money but those people only get rich by providing competitive goods and services to the populace as a whole which increases everyone’s quality of life. Contrast that with socialism/communism and you still have the “haves” and “have nots,” but the main difference is that there is no chance for upward mobility in the latter systems.

      1. Frank Serpico says:

        poor derelect northern europe 😦

      2. Parker says:


        Northern Europe gets HUGE income for small populations from a gigantic North Sea oil industry.

        We could afford a lot more “free” stuff for the people if Green fascists would stop banning access to our natural resources.

    4. Ian says:

      This is called the Zero-Sum Fallacy. If Wealth was fixed then we would all starve, but somehow there is more of everything. Capitalism incentivise creating wealth. (or in your example, cookies)

    5. hebramleigh says:

      Your entire belief system is based entirely on envy and personal greed. You assume that if someone does well, then it is because they force someone else into poverty. You assume that there are only 10 cookies in the cookie jar, and it is a finite number that must be “shared.”

      You have absolutely no grasp of economics or how the real world works. People become wealthy because they work hard, save, and make wise decisions. They take NOTHING from anyone. They earn it. People can create wealth independent of any arbitrary number you might put in your “cookie jar.” Your hatred of the rich is based upon your own personal greed; if you can’t have something, then those who do must have stolen it.

      Put down Karl Marx’s book (which has all the accuracy of a Grouchy Marx biography) and get out in the real world. Take care of your own family instead of insisting that others do it. Make your success a personal responsibility. But most of all, save your condescending preaching of a failed ideology and stop trying to push a form of government that spreads murder and misery everywhere it has been tried.

  5. HOGSLOP says:

    think this gadget can find Oblamer’s real birth certificate???

  6. dpbisme says:

    Frank Serpico ias an idiot and know nothing about how China was before they started using Commy-Capitalism;;;, thre is actually food to eat now and the people are leaving the Peasantry in droves(this means they learn to read, write, and all in all their lives are better… ALSO: Capitalism is responsible for the things we enjpy today that were once sole controlled by the RICH,,, The because toof Capitaism and freedom the %99 percent have lives that can be amazing,, you can travel the world, eat honey, chocolate, own a phone, a car, a plane, a boat, a house, go to college, all what were once things only a RICH PERSON COULD DO… I am a %99 and I live well,,, true I have to work unlike the 1% but mankind has always had to work to eat..

    1. Dan says:

      Even the 1% had to work to get there.

      Well, except for the Kennedy’s and John Kerry.

  7. MaD_dOG says:

    This was done successfully in 1987. Old News.

  8. Jedi Joe says:

    Serpico you’re an idiot. Capitalism isn’t a zero sum game – there doesn’t have to be a “loser” – well – except for you…

  9. Ranger01 says:

    From the Picture – What is on his finger will not travel through the bloodstream. the device will have to be many thousands of times smaller. We are talking NanoMeter in size. If the device is larger than a blod cell it will raise havok. Iif it is not extremely pliable, it will get stuck in tissue.

  10. Possom497 says:

    So… When are we going to get coverage on RFID chips?
    You know, those things that are supposively going to be mandatory for USAmericans next year?
    Those little chips that let the government know where we are at every moment and may or may not have cyanide in them to dispose of “terrorists” if need be.
    Just wondering.

  11. Andy Taylor says:

    I’m one of the 99%, and my life and my family’s life are VERY good. I live in a modest house, drive a used car (always paid for), have cable TV, and send my kids to community college. And I don’t take 1 dime of direct government money. Life is GOOD in a capitalistic society.

  12. Frank Serpico says:

    This is a plutocracy, the reason why it has turned that way is because our capitalism is set up for people to cheat. The laws are set up to protect these people who cheat. And every one else thinks theyre going to hit the lotto.
    This so called hard earned money should sit in someones bank account? How does that help the economy? The wealthier someone is, evidentally the more money they horde. I don’t get how hording money is patriotic, when it actually hinders the economy. But i mean you people back the Officials who iinstalled great american bills such as the Free trade agreement. Moving companies factories such as GMC overseas. Awesome Logic

  13. Frank Serpico says:

    it might just be my childhood mental compacity, because this is where i learned it. In Grade school ” United we stand” “we the people” . Just like in the military youre squad is judged by the slowest one. Instead of showing how fast you are, and swimming in your personal money, why not help the weakest link? Do you not understand why this is done in a military setting?

  14. Rick O'Shea says:

    There is probably a button on the control box that says “Press in case of none payment of bill.” They then expand out and stop all blood flow. Oops, I forgot with Obamacare everything will be free.

  15. Hehe Poon says:

    His name is Poon.

  16. Joe Lucido says:

    No matter how small they make these devices, they will never be able to fix the disease of stupidity. Stupid is a disease of the left, Stupid is unfixable, when you are stupid you run for office on the democratic ticket.

    John Wayne said life is tough, it is even tougher when you are stupid. We have a whole lot of stupid people in this country running things. Even science will not be able to find the cure, no matter how small the devices become. It’s a shame because this is the disease they should be working on.

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