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International Research Centre «Piezo- and Magnetoelectric Materials»

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Name of the project: Piezo- and magnetoelectric biocompatible materials to meet the challenges of modern biology and medicine

Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development Priority Level: в

Goals and objectives

The goal of the scientific research is the creation of new biocompatible piezo- and magnetoelectric materials, including composites, that can be used for controlled impact on cell phenotype, tissue regeneration, local cell growth inhibition, and controlled drug delivery to cells and tissues. In this regard, we will conduct a large-scale inter-disciplinary study with a prospect of commercialisation in the medium term in the following domains:

  • the development of new prospective lead-free technologies for the production of efficient biocompatible piezo- and magnetoelectric hybrid nano-particles, films and scaffolds for biomedical applications;
  • the modelling of the surface potential and the induced charge of piezo- and magnetoelectric materials under the impact of external stimuli (for example, a magnetic field, mechanical stress, ultra-sound);
  • the testing of the developed materials in vitro on human stem, somatic, and oncologically transformed cells, the research of the impact of materials and physical effects induced in them on the adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of cells. A detailed research of the results of physical impacts by gene expression profiling via NGS sequencing for the detailed description of the produced effects and the biological mechanisms mediating them;
  • the testing of the developed materials and structures as means for the dose-controlled, targeted delivery of therapeutic agents.
The practical value of the study

As a result of the implementation of the project, we expect to achieve breakthrough research results determining a significant scientific groundwork for the Russian researchers in the field of the development of unique materials that, by virtue of direct physical impacts or their combination or a combination of those with targeted drug delivery, can be used for the control of the growth and differentiation of various types of cells;

The obtained fundamental knowledge will, at the next stage, allow to use these effects for the treatment of diseases that require the recovery of nervous and smooth muscle tissue and the inhibition of tumour development.

As a result, we will produce new hybrid piezoactive materials with enhance electrophysical and physico-mechanical characteristics for stem cell differentiation control and/or somatic cell transdifferentiation (for instance, into nerve or soft muscle cells) using physical effects (piezoelectric charge, ultrasound impact, temperature) generated by developed materials.

The impact of an external magnetic field on piezoelectric hybrid materials in the form of nano-particles and scaffolds will be studied. We will also identify the laws of the impact of the surface charge and polarity on cell differentiation and the delivery of medications to cells in in vitro experiments;

We will conduct a genome-wide study of the influence of physical impact on the gene expression profile, which will allow not only to describe the effects observed in biochemical systems in detail but also to determine the mechanisms of those effects.

We will propose new types of materials and structures for targeted drug delivery to cells, organs, and tissues of the organism as well as for controlled dosage drug delivery.

It is expected that the laboratory will patent the developed technologies as well as register know-hows not only for the methods of their production but also for means of targeted drug delivery and controlled release of pharmaceuticals with parameters exceeding the known counterparts.

The creation of the laboratory will aid the formation of a cluster that is currently non-existent in the Siberian Federal District whose main objective is conducting world-class studies in the domain of the development of piezo- and magnetoelectric materials for biomedical applications.

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