How Close Are We to the Mantua Device from "Style Engineers Worldwide"?

 Image ©Global Tinker

Image ©Global Tinker

 Image ©Global Tinker

Image ©Global Tinker

A device called "Mantua" is at the center of Style Engineers Worldwide Volume One:  Doctor Tailor. It appears in two forms, early as a dress, and later as a crown worn around the head. The device deploys nanobots, microscopic robots which enter the body and repair tissue. In the graphic novel, the device was created by Charlotte Tailor in order to help save her friend's daughter from a mysterious, and seemingly incurable, disease. Because of its nature as an untested medical device, Mantua is unpredictable. While it potentially has the power to heal, it also the power to kill. As Tilly theorizes, it may even have the power to bring people back from the dead by bringing cells back to life.

So, could Mantua exist IRL? The answer is…yes, potentially, but probably not the bringing-people-back-to-life part. However, nanobots are certainly very real right now, and there is a lot of research going on regarding their uses in medicine.

 Image/University of Florida

Image/University of Florida

 Image/Jason Drees, Arizona State University

Image/Jason Drees, Arizona State University

In theory, depending on their capabilities and their programming, nanobots can perform any number of healing tasks from delivering medicine to repairing tissue. Scientists have tested nanobots in the treatment of Hepatitis C, and researchers at Arizona State University and China's National Center for Nanoscience and Technology recently used nanobots to decrease the size of cancerous tumors in mice. The leap from mice to humans might take some time, but this is a very hopeful development!

So, for now, Mantua remains firmly in the science-fiction arena. However, as more and more advancements are made in biotechnology, we will likely see nanobots taking on diseases in the not so distant future.