An artificial immune system (antipathogenic nano system) falls under the category of nanomedicine. Presumably, this system would consist of a network of nanocytes that act as a secondary, intelligent immune system. It would require a sophisticated method (or methods) of pathogen detection; possibilities include monitoring the bloodstream and fatty tissues for levels of certain pollutants (e.g., the presence of white blood cell remnants might indicated the presence of HIV or some other immune system disease), or for advanced detection, continual surveys of the topology of cells and microbes. Either of these possibilities requires access to a considerable amount of information; it may possible to construct a nanobotic "data server" within the body that would act as a network hub and detection database for the antipathogenic system.
It is important to note that this proposed system would be enormously complex and, and least in early stages of development, require constant medical surveillance and maintenance. In the near future, it is unlikely that nanotechnology developments will allow the destruction of pathogens from the moment they enter the body; the proposed network-oriented model would experience some latency, as surveys of foreign microbes are returned to the central data server and analyzed before a nanocytic immune response is properly triggered. Consequently, depending on this latency, the number of pathogens present in the body, and the method of destruction of these pathogens, the resulting remnants of destroyed microbes may prove toxic or otherwise alter homeostasis to a worrisome, or even dangerous, degree. More worrisome is the possibility of an incorrect or damaged response from the antipathogenic network; failure of the network hub, or programming flaws, or inaccurate or damaged data, could lead to the attack of healthy cells, possibly destroying one or more bodily systems (a sort of "nano-leukemia"). It is conceivable, in an extreme instance, that an antipathogenic system gone haywire could actually devour the body in short order.
- Microbivores: Artificial Mechanical Phagocytesusing Digest and Discharge Protocol, Robert A. Freitas Jr.