"Пятерка будущего": Инновации, которые мы увидим в ближайшем будущем

Деймс Ласкарис, всемирно известный аналитик по инновационным проектам, назвал невероятным проект российской лаборатории по биотехнологическим исследованиям 3D Bioprinting Solutions по распечатке о органного конструкта щитовидной железы мыши, а также назвал 5 инновационных технологий, которые появятся в ближайшие годы или даже месяцы.

Just a few years ago, minimally invasive surgery to treat serious conditions such as stroke and heart valve defects was unimaginable. But technology has brought us to the point where such patients can be treated quickly and safely through intravenous microsurgery, often walking around within hours and leaving the hospital in just a few days.

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Today’s medical technology is on the brink of several innovations that are nothing short of breathtaking. New smaller and smarter technologies that offer the allure of both incredible costs savings and tremendous advances in patient treatment are rapidly being developed.

Historically, emerging technologies that provide new therapies and diagnostic tools have been the hallmark of leading-edge facilities. But with the focus on quality and value, cost-saving technologies have been a new area of interest for mainstream providers.

Some of these technologies might even see commercialization in 2017, and widespread use just a few years from now.

James Laskaris, emerging technology analyst at MD Buyline, the leading provider of healthcare strategic sourcing, points out five innovations that might be just months or a few years away.

Wideband Medical Radar

Painful mammograms requiring the patient to stand while her breast is compressed in an x-ray machine might soon be a thing of the past.

Current mammography techniques are not only painful but expensive, and may expose the patient and clinicians to harmful ionizing radiation.

But medical radar is now being developed for imaging breast cancers, using radio waves instead of sound or radiation. Medical radar uses electromagnetics similar to a microwave oven or cell phone, but at extremely low power.

It is also a fast and easy-to-use technology. The process takes less than a minute, and both breasts can be scanned while the patient lies comfortably on a table.

The system is designed to use multiple antennae, which scan the breast at frequencies of 4GHz to 10GHz. Initial designs allow the patient to lie flat on a table as opposed to standing. The resulting 3D image, similar to current breast tomosynthesis, gives doctors a highly detailed view of the breast.

Medical radar is also suitable for imaging dense breasts. As opposed to ultrasound, it has the ability to penetrate deeply within the body and is not obstructed by bone or other barriers such as air pockets.

Micrima Ltd., an Italian firm, was founded to develop microwave radar breast-imaging technology initially pioneered at the University of Bristol in the UK. The company's MARIA system received European regulatory approval in 2015 and is currently deployed in clinical trials based at several breast cancer imaging centers throughout the UK.

Conventional equipment for digital breast x-rays might cost close to a quarter of a million dollars, whereas a medical radar unit will cost one tenth as much. Screenings would be less expensive and far more widely available.

3-D Bioprinting of Human Tissue: It’s Here Today

The promise of 3-D bioprinting of human tissue is almost too much to imagine. A fully functioning kidney created from the patient’s own cells might be decades away, but the first steps in that direction are already being taken.

The process is based on liquefying cells from either the patient or a donor in order to provide oxygen and nutrients. The cells are then deposited on a scaffold, layer by layer, based on a predetermined configuration customized to the patient. Then the bioprinted structure is incubated until it becomes viable tissue.

Several universities have created their own bioprinters, and manufacturers such as the Swiss-based regenHU Ltd. and German Envision TEC are selling 3D bioprinting equipment and materials.

California-based Organovo and other companies are currently providing functional human tissue for pharmaceutical testing, and in December 2016 Organovo presented the first data showing survival and sustained functionality of its 3D bioprinted human liver tissue when implanted into animal models. Organovo aims to submit such therapeutic liver tissue to the FDA in as soon as three years.

Even more incredible is the progress of Russian 3D Bioprinting Solutions, which printed a functioning thyroid in a mouse model and claims to be ready to do the same in humans.