Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers.
Humanity has dabbled with nano technology, but the Guardians’ achievements far surpassed our own. The material panels and relics found at Guardian sites incorporate nanobot technology which activates when in proximity to a foreign body. This explains the faint glow given off by many Guardian materials and structures.
Mineral Extractors - found in the commodity markets of many Industrial systems - use 'grey-goo' components, which are another name for Nanotechnology. These micro devices are injected into minerals to separate specific constituents from mixed ores along grain boundaries.