I am working on a story that involves the main character being one of a few magical beings on the planet, who are born human but awaken to their powers at age 14. If killed the cycle repeats, and they are reborn, and all of their prior knowledge is gained when their powers awaken. The power here, in question, being extreme technological knowledge beyond standard human comprehension. He uses this knowledge to create weapons (melee style preferred) for protecting the planet.

In this case, the main character has died and is resurrecting. Due to circumstances during the resurrection period and the first 14 years of life, small areas of the planet have been taken over by some sort of Alien Force.

My character wants to help drive the forces off of the planet, but now in a new body, no where near as strong or battle hardened as his previous form, he fears even if he can move some of the heavier weapons(think large power gauntlets), he will simply be more of a hindrance than of any help.

He comes to the idea of enhancing himself with nano-technology.

What I am unsure of, however, comes down to whether nano-machines could be capable of the kind of strength increase wanted, or if this is outside of realm of even someone thousands of years ahead of humanity.

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    $\begingroup$ Oxygen-carrying nanomachines in blood to enhance muscle power and endurance. Painkillers. Stimulants. $\endgroup$ – Liquid Same Jul 28 '17 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ nano machines are basically just magic for sci-fi, they can do anything. $\endgroup$ – A. C. A. C. Jul 28 '17 at 15:54

We're dealing with a work of fiction wherein exists magic. So, ignoring the fact that so long as you have a reasonable foundation (call it a "justification") for explaining the existence of something pretty much anything is possible...

Generally speaking, no, nanites could not increase strength.

1) Bones are the levers and pillars of the body. They must be strengthened to withstand the added stress. You could coat them with adamantium, increase their density, etc. but the number of nanites required to do this seems rediculous.

2) Strength means muscle. Ninites could work with the blood-to-muscle system to deliver and more efficienty use oxygen, proteins, etc. But they couldn't replace muscles, increase muscle mass, or increase muscle density.

Again, generally speaking, the problems with artificially increasing strength become more obvious when you consider what we must do today: exo-skeletons with hydraulics and pressure-sensitive controls to activate it. Nanites basically represent a miniturization path --- but how much of this can you miniturize?

However, don't let me deter you from using nanites as the justification for telling the story you want to tell! Remember The Postman by David Brin and the characters of Nathan Holn and his nemisis among the Umpqua (I can't remember his name right now and the book is in a box someplace...). Both had artifical strength, the leader of the Umpqua required a lot of oxygen to activate his strength. There isn't a lot of background about how this strength works ... just enough to let us believe the idea and enjoy the story.


If nanites are enhancing muscle strength, there is a relatively unknown problem that could be a real problem. The muscle cells, like other animal cells, have cell walls formed from lipids (fats). There are definite limits on the shear stress these cell walls can sustain, and muscle cells are surprisingly close to this limit in normal operation.

You must not just enhance bones, joints, and tendons for super-strength, but need a redesigned muscle cell as well. Be sure not to defeat the normal biological requirements for cell walls when you add nanites to the mix.

I am not having much luck finding a supporting article online that confirms this, I know I read about this however.


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