Where fantasy meets reality

Toni’s first task was to record a commentary of the classic sci-fi film ‘Fantastic Voyage’ for a DVD being produced by the centre. The film, which came out in 1966, is about a group of researchers who are shrunk to microscopic size in order to be injected into another scientist’s bloodstream to remove a blood clot.

Against the backdrop of the movie, Toni talked about the science behind the science fiction and discussed the aspects which, on its release, were pure fantasy, such as the physical and biological feasibility of shrinking a human body to such a size. However, he also pointed out that the medical idea behind the plot is not so far from being a reality nowadays, thanks to huge advances in nanotechnology that allow us to target cells quite specifically with very small drug containers or nanocapsules. He also gave examples of other “not so small” machines such as endoscopy-substitution pills at the centimetre scale that can combine and take advantage of elements from the micro and nano worlds while interacting with external devices, such as computers, at the macro scale.

The DVD will be the next in a series of such commentaries on classic science-based films by Barcelona-based investigators, which have included a paleoanthropologist talking about ‘Total Recall’, a geneticist commenting on ‘Gattaca’ and an anatomist discussing ‘Frankenstein’. Toni’s commentary will be made available online with the others at, and the DVD will also be available for rent at Barcelona’s public libraries.

Following the recording session, Toni stayed to give a talk, ‘Nanotecnologia: què és i on es pot aplicar?’ for a general audience. The lecture was part of a season of events ‘Pessics de ciència’, aimed at presenting hot scientific topics to the general public in an accessible and engaging way.