Submicroscopic robots designed to perform medical functions within the bloodstream of a living organism. Such functions might include intracellular surgery, elimination of individual disease cells, or removing clotted material from a blood vessel. Manufactured in Dakar, Senegal, these devices possessed gigabytes of mechanical computer memory. They were designed to operate only while inside cellular nuclei, and were generally kept in a nonfunctional state when not in use. In 2366, Wesley Crusher conducted experiments in nanite interaction. These studies went awry, resulting in the creation of self-replicating, sentient nanites. The nanites interfered with Enterpise-D on-board sytems and nearly jeopardized a landmark astrophysics experiment conducted by Dr. Paul Stubbs before the nanites were recognized to be sentient life-forms. The nanites were later granted colonization rights on planet Kavis Alpha IV. Nanites were briefly considered by Enterprise-D personnel as a possible defense against the Borg during the Borg offensive of 2367. The plan was abandoned because it was believed it would take two or three weeks for the nanites to have an effect, far too long to save Earth from the Borg. In 2372, Voyager's Emergency Medical Hologram used nanites to retrieve foreign DNA from murder victim Frank Darwin, leading to the discovery of his killer's identity. nanites

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