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Respirocytes are hypothetical, artificial red blood cells, capable of carrying extra oxygen and releasing it into the body and absorbing carbon dioxide and transporting it out. This could make it possible to hold your breath for several hours or to survive life-threatening events such as heart attacks by increasing the minimum response time needed before life functions must be restored.

Respirocytes – [kurzweil.net]

An artificial nanomedical erythrocyte, or “respirocyte” — intended to duplicate all of the important functions of the red blood cell — could serve as a universal blood substitute, preserve living tissue, eliminate “the bends,” allow for new sports records, and provide treatment for anemia, choking, lung diseases, asphyxia, and other respiratory problems.


The artificial respirocyte is a hollow, spherical nanomedical device 1 micron in diameter. The respirocyte is built of 18 billion precisely arranged structural atoms, and holds an additional 9 billion molecules when it is fully loaded. Each main storage tank – one for oxygen (up to ~1.5 billion molecules), another for carbon dioxide (up to ~1.5 billion molecules), and a third for ballast water (up to ~6 billion molecules) – is constructed of diamondoid honeycomb or a geodesic grid skeletal framework for maximum strength. Thick diamond bulkheads separate internal tankage volumes, and a universal “bar code” is embossed on either side of the device.

Respirocytes – A Mechanical Artificial Red Cell: Exploratory Design in Medical Nanotechnology – [foresight.org]

Abstract: Molecular manufacturing promises precise control of matter at the atomic and molecular level, allowing the construction of micron-scale machines comprised of nanometer-scale components. Medical nanomachines will be among the earliest applications. The artificial red blood cell or “respirocyte” proposed here is a bloodborne spherical 1-micron diamondoid 1000-atm pressure vessel with active pumping powered by endogenous serum glucose, able to deliver 236 times more oxygen to the tissues per unit volume than natural red cells and to manage carbonic acidity. An onboard nanocomputer and numerous chemical and pressure sensors enable complex device behaviors remotely reprogrammable by the physician via externally applied acoustic signals. Primary applications will include transfusable blood substitution; partial treatment for anemia, perinatal/neonatal and lung disorders; enhancement of cardiovascular/neurovascular procedures, tumor therapies and diagnostics; prevention of asphyxia; artificial breathing; and a variety of sports, veterinary, battlefield and other uses.

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