In the program "Science in a Creative Society" participated Dr. José Miguel García-Martín (Madrid, Spain) – PhD, Scientific Researcher at the Institute of Micro and Nanotechnology of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid and participants of ALLATRA International Public Movement: Vladimir Oksenenko (Kiev, Ukraine) – the lead and soft developer; Ana (Moscow, Russia)– international journalist; Andrew (Toronto, Canada) – software architect.
The subject of the program is The use of nanomaterials in biomedicine.
Dr. José Miguel García-Martín is the Head of the Department of Fabrication and Characterization of Nanostructures. Dr. José Miguel lead the projects entitled 'Large area advanced materials based on nanopillars and nanoparticles' and 'Nanoimplant', which won the IDEA² Madrid Award (a partnership of the Madrid Government and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT, USA)
Dr. J.M. García-Martín had been a Fulbright Scholar at Northeastern University (Boston, USA), and led the project 'Evaluation of nanostructured coatings for implants.' The scientist co-authored 74 articles and has given 22 invited conferences.
In the program Dr. José Miguel García-Martín shared with people his latest developments in physics.
The scientist gave an overview of nanostructures and their use in medicine.
He said that nanomaterials use physical methods. Dr. José Miguel started his introduction with an explanation of what nanometers are. For example, the size of bacteria is 1 micrometer or 1000 nanometers (nm) and the size of the virus is 100 nanometers. In nature we have nanometer scale and we can fabricate nanomaterials to interact with these things in nature.
In particular, in his work Dr. J.M. García-Martín is interested in the most important issues for our healthcare, for our health and also for the market of the healthcare system. In his opinion, there are two of them — bacterial infections and cancer.
The scientist explained how nanomaterials are used in biomedicine.
In his presentation about the bacteria, Dr. José Miguel said that we all are overusing antibiotics and as a result bacteria are developing resistance against the standard drugs that we use to fight against infection. So if this resistance continues it is expected that in the age of 2050 we will have more deaths due to bacterial infections than to all types of cancer. In his opinion, it is important to fight with the bacterial infection and we need to have new ways to fight against bacteria because they are developing this resistance to standard rocks.
In his research, he uses nanomaterials such as Titanium (Ti) and Tellurium (Te), where Te is increasing ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) and Ti is just preventing the addition.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in our world.
To fight cancer is the leading issue in our healthcare, and the standard treatments that we use nowadays to fight it, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, cause important side effects and what is even worse is that some cancer cells are also developing resistance against the standard drugs using chemotherapy. So nanomaterials, according to Dr. José Miguel, can provide a new route to fight against cancer. He said that they are working on it and using things extracted from nature. To produce nanomaterials they use green synthesis, extracts from plants and waste materials. For example, they are extracting the juice of citruses like oranges or lemons, or limes combined with the salt of the metal (Tellurium Salt). It's a low cost technique using which they can obtain nanomaterials.
AllatRa TV viewers also participated in a live broadcast and asked Dr. José Miguel García-Martín how quickly nanotechnologists take root in medicine. How can this process be accelerated?
Dr. José Miguel answered that the most difficult part is that they have to follow all the regulatory rules established by the different agencies in Europe or in the United States. It's mandatory, because they have to be sure that nanomaterials are not going to have side effects. All these processes take several years.
He added that nowadays one treatment already approved to use nanomaterial in biomedicine to treat cancer, and this is for some tumors in the brain that cannot be treated with the surgery because it's very dangerous for the brain. In this case it is good to use magnetic nanoparticles and we can use a phenomenon that is called magnetic hyperthermia.
The scientist also told us that now, with this pandemic that we are facing nowadays, the European Union has been quite fast and they have already some open calls trying to find solutions against the virus. And the way to do it is just to create a consortium of people with different backgrounds and make a proposal. Because there is no way that one person could have all the knowledge needed to deal with such a big problem. That's why we need teams and nanotechnology is a good example of multidisciplinary research — they are combining physicists, chemists, physicians, biologists etc.
In this live conversation with Dr. José Miguel, we have also talked about popularization of science in society, especially among young people, what is important and how we can attract young scientists to be interested and to participate in projects, what methods for this Dr. José Miguel uses. What creative society is, and how he imagines a society he would like to live in and feel happy, how science would look like in such a society, what issues it would solve and what inventions people would see.
We kindly invite experts in the field of natural sciences to participate in the program "Science in a Creative Society". Contact email address: [email protected]
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