Rawan Omar: PhD researcher in the field of nanoscience and technology at The Technion Institute of Applied Engineering in Haifa.
Our world is changing at a rapid and unprecedented rate, accompanied by the emergence of new diseases and pandemics, in addition to the worsening of the current incurable and chronic diseases to become more complex, leading to an increase in the spread of diseases and deaths around the world, for example: viruses such as Corona virus, heart diseases including sudden clots and others.
As a result, technology today must evolve to keep up with this rapid change and contribute to finding and developing innovative solutions to prevent our health from deteriorating.
One of the modern and modern technologies that science is harnessing to find such solutions is nanotechnology and science.
What is nano?
Nanoscience, or nanoparticles, is a science that deals with the processing and creation of materials down to a molecular or atomic size. A unit of measurement equal to one billionth of a meter (ie 9-10 metres), What we cannot see with the naked eye, and to more clearly imagine its small size, one nano is smaller than the diameter of a human hair, and even smaller than the size of the virus.
This enables us to develop and innovate modern technologies and produce materials with new and more advanced properties that will contribute in various scientific and technological fields such as: biology, chemistry, medicine, engineering and others.
One of the areas in which nanoscience contributes is: the field of sensors or nanosensors.
What is the sensor?
A sensor is a sensor that helps us detect and measure various physical, chemical or biological variables, for example: heart rate, pressure and temperature.
The development of sensors using nanotechnology, enabling the development of smart devices for medical purposes, nanorobots, computer chips and much more.
Based on this, one of the researches we are developing at the Technion in Haifa (Research Group of Professor Hossam Hayek) his:
Wearable devices consisting of smart nanosensors, and one of the technologies we have recently developed is “a wearable device consisting of a flexible adhesive, foldable, and containing smart sensors consisting of small and micro-needles. The patient can place this patch on his arm, and the small needles in turn penetrate the upper and thin layer of the skin and measure many important medical variables from within the intercellular fluid (between cells), without reach the blood and nerves, and therefore they do not cause bleeding or pain.
– Among the variables that the device measures: sugar, acidity, hormones and salts such as sodium salt, and later the sensors analyze the data and send it directly and continuously to the smartphone of the doctor and patient, thus contributing to the monitoring of the health status of the person, and then to alert the doctor or For the patient, if the percentage of the variables is outside the normal healthy percentage, for example, if very low levels of sodium are measured, then this will be an indication of ‘ a lack of sodium in the body, and indicates a lack of vital functions. Sodium plays a vital and essential role in the body, including:
Balancing and regulating the amount of fluid in and around the cells of the body.
Maintain blood pressure.
And the support of the performance of muscles and nerves, since the acute and chronic deficiency of the amounts of sodium will be an indication of other health problems in the body, including kidney, liver and heart problems (heart failure), kidney failure and liver failure.
The same applies to the measurement of blood sugar and other vital indicators.
Today there are portable devices on the market that are similar to a special device to measure the level of sugar in the body, but these devices are usually specialized to measure one variable, which is sugar health of the user of the device.
How does this technology help us?
The methods used today to measure health variables and early detection of diseases are mostly traditional methods, and lack speed and convenience, such as traditional blood tests, the use of heavy and complex equipment, and the reliance on experts to carry out investigations feed. For example: traditional blood tests, which require an appointment, then physically go to the patient’s clinic, and a painful needle is used to draw blood, and then send the samples to special laboratories to determine the percentage of health variables in the patient, wait until the results are released.
– In particular, during the period of the spread of the Corona virus, there was difficulty for the elderly and people suffering from chronic diseases to go to hospitals and patient clinics, due to the pressure caused by the pandemic, as well as for fear of catching the virus and infection with it, which has led to the deterioration of their health condition. This is in addition to children who are usually afraid of going to hospitals and fear the doctor’s needle because it causes them pain. Many parents have the difficulty of doing health examinations or even routine blood tests for their children.
With the technology we have developed, it is possible
Wear the patch, using nano-sensors.
It is possible to monitor the health status and health status by measuring a set of health variables in an appropriate manner
Fast, direct and painlessWithout the need to leave home to visit the doctor, this technology will benefit the elderly and all those suffering from chronic diseases, and the category of children and young people.
By using nanotechnology, we are therefore able to provide solutions that have a significant impact and make an important contribution to the field of medicine and health.
Editing: Sawsan Ghattas, a parenting website sponsored by Arab 48