ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: Titan University Biomedical Journal
AUTHOR: Abascal, Javier
RETRANSMITTED BY: IntelliWeb
COST: J$5 w. IntelliWeb subscription
REQUESTED BY: Mendel, Ivo
PrimeCare, Star Care, Auragen, Vocalin, and Meditek all share one thing in common with the Kartikeya Industries BattleSurgeon, and that is the use of the respirocyte. What exactly is this oddly named little device? Why, dear reader, the respirocyte is a short-lived blood borne nanite. A mechanical replacement for a red blood cell, capable of everything a red blood cell can do and so much more.
Function. Respirocytes are what make the BattleSurgeon possible. While many lesser forms of in-combat medical care rely merely on adrenaline, blood transfusion, platelete release, and other mundane forms of medicine, the BattleSurgeon actually has all of these and more. Whether its boosting neuro-response time with myelin enhancers or actually closing wounds as they occur, the BattleSurgeon relies on one simple tool for delivery. PrimeCare and Auragen have both been developing their own hospital grade of this mysterious device, which was perfected by Meditek eight years ago. That is, the respirocyte.
The function of a respirocyte is to deliver clotting factor, skinweave, and myelin enhancers directly to the site of damage. These nanomachines can act from within the body and reach anywhere that blood or cerebrospinal fluid is capable of reaching. Damaged areas can be walled off while new organs or lobes are repaired. The only limit to the nanomachines are their power supply, their essentially electrical nature, and the supply of raw organics for reconstruction.
Respirocyte organics, mostly supplied by the Prime One LSI, come in the form of living protocellular matter. These undifferentiated cells (stem-cells) can be given instructions by the respirocyte to mimic any form of cell in the subject's body. This means fast-repairing wounds even while new ones are being sustained. A person with respirocytes in their bloodstream would be able to repair damage even from depleted uranium rounds almost as fast as it could be dished out. Of course, under a sustained hail of fire even someone with respirocytes in their blood will go down.
Fuel. Apart form biomass, respirocytes require power. This is one of their limitations. They must be outfitted with microcells. These cells are only good for a short period, and respirocytes are notorious energy hogs. They must communicate with the BattleSurgeon (though autonomous mesh-computing respirocytes have been possible for some time, I've yet to see them on the market) and constantly relay a stream of data to the central system for direction.
Electricity. Their reliance on power cells and electrical energy for motivation makes respirocytes prone to EMP pulse. Though they are outfitted with a thin biological skin to cause white blood cells to ignore them, this skin is unable to properly replicate the antigen forms when the power is off. Therefore, any sustained EMP pulse will not only disable the respirocytes, but severely weaken the subject's immune system as their white blood cells fight the disabled nanites.
A note on myelin enhancement. This obviously requires the respirocyte to cross the blood-brain barrier. In order for this feature to be enabled, the BattleSurgeon needs a cerebro-spinal plug, which risks infection as well as dangerous feedback if the Surgeon is damaged or removed. However, Kartikeya believes the enhancements provided are well worth the risk. Increased reaction time, attentiveness, and improved decision-making allow subjects with BattleSurgeon Spinejacks to move as fast as mechanically possible. With the introduction of bioweave muscle enhancements, this can be very very fast indeed.