3 Mar '16
Scientists at the School of Biomedicine, a department of the Vladivostok-based Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), are pushing a number of potentially disruptive biotechnologies, including neuroprotective drugs and strong pain relievers, biocompatible materials, and artificial biotech analogs of the nervous tissue for regenerative therapy after central nervous system injuries.
Developing biocompatible implant materials for convalescence after central nervous system injuries, including vertebral traumas, has been a focus at FEFU for a few years already. According to Vadim Kumeiko, director for development at the School of Biomedicine, theoretical studies and experiments have led to developing a bioengineered material that is said to help nerve cells regenerate; it’s nerve cells that are most damaged in vertebral traumas. FEFU is reported to have come up with several modified samples of the material which are currently being tested at university labs both in vitro (test tube experiments) and in vivo (animal tests).
Another area that may bring about cutting-edge results is research into ways of developing a medicinal pain reliever, “potentially the strongest of all that are available today,” the project owners claim. Researchers at the School of Biomedicine and the School of Life Sciences, another FEFU department, are said to have found in sea-born worms a bacterium that is believed to effectively produce tetrodotoxin, a potent neurotoxin found in pufferfish, porcupinefish, ocean sunfish, triggerfish, blue-ringed octopus and some other sea fish and animals. Mr. Kumeiko claimed that the FEFU scientists are the first to ever succeed in laying the foundation for biotech production of bacteria-derived tetrodotoxin for pain relievers, as they have realized where and in what conditions the bacteria generate the toxin, and what is required to ‘goad’ the germs to step up the production of the toxin in lab conditions.