Jean-Pierre Sauvage, James Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa work in France, the United States and the Netherlands.
The Dutch chemist said it's difficult to predict exactly where his innovations will lead. One application might be tiny medical robots that can travel through the bloodstream to search out a cancer cell or deliver medicine to a precise spot.
Asked whether he had any “nightmares” about the ways his work might be applied, Feringa demurred.
“I’m not so worried about it because once we are able to design these nanorobots, we will also have the opportunity to build in all kinds of safety devices if we need them,” he said