Happy Day of Chemistry! The role of Chemistry in a sustainable research in health
Today, November 15 is a day of celebration for us, the Day of the Chemistry in Spain!
Chemistry is the science that studies matter, how it is composed, its properties and how its structures are transformed and, as matter is everything, including living beings and ourselves, we can say that chemistry is omnipresent and transversal in all areas surrounding us. Chemistry is everywhere, we ourselves are chemistry and our health and our life is chemistry.
“Everything around us is chemistry in the environment, foods, what we use and what we touch every day. Our own body is a sophisticated complex factory with an infinite number of chemical processes taking place on a perfect and synchronized manner”- points Pilar Marco, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS) from CIBER-BBN at IQAC-CSIC.
The crucial role of chemistry in everyday life is also evidence in the development of current technology and the economy. According the VCI Prognos Study, the Global growth forecast for Industrial Sectors, places the chemical industry in the fist position. As far as national picture, the INE Statistics on R+D Activities 2020 -last publish report-, chemical and pharmaceutical industry employs the 22,2 % of research staff recruited and the investment and expenditure on the chemical and pharmaceutical industry represents the 23,6% R+D and Innovation -above the motor vehicles industry.
Thanks to chemical and pharmaceutical research,
medicines, vaccines and health products have made great strides in fighting diseases and improving quality of life. Thanks to chemical and pharmaceutical medicine research, in few years, it will be possible, for example, to count on smart implants delivering personalised drugs only where cancer or infections are detected or biosensors circulating in our body to find diseases only one week after infection.
At the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia, four NANBIOSIS units of CIBER-BBN use chemistry to deliver new therapeutic and diagnostic approaches that improve the quality of life of the society.
One of the research lines of the Nb4D group-U2 CabS at IQAC-CSIC (led by Pilar Marco and Nuria Pascual) focuses on the chemical signals that bacteria emit to communicate with each other and thus develop virulence mechanisms. Their knowledge will allow the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies to mitigate the serious problem of antimicrobial resistance.
NANBIOSIS U3 Synthesis of Peptides Unit– MS4N group, led by Miriam Royo, explores the use of diverse types of chemical multivalent platforms (oligomers, dendrimers, polymers, micelles and lipid nanovesicles) for the development of drug delivery systems for cancer treatment, protein delivery systems for the treatment of lysosomal diseases and macromolecular compounds that have intrinsically therapeutic properties with application to central nervous system diseases.
Chemistry plays an essential role in helping society achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
In 2015 the United Nations created a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. This framework, comprising 17 aspirational goals known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Chemistry is key to achieve the SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being with the development of new technologies that will provide a deeper understaunding of human health, making posible better, cheeper and faster medical diagnosis and treatmens.
In this sense, Carlos Rodriguez Abreu, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS Unit for the characterization of nanostructured liquids (U12) explains: “The goals of sustainable development are producing a shift towards surfactants not based on petroleum derivatives, but derived from other raw materials that are more biocompatible and that allow a circular economy that is less aggressive with the environment. Quality control is necessary with regard to the properties of the products that contain surfactants, such as the droplet size in emulsions, the particle size in suspensions, their colloidal stability over time, among others. Additionally, products must be precisely formulated to optimize the use of raw materials and obtain the desired properties. In this context, the NANBIOSIS U12, acredited with ISO 9001:2015 by AENOR, offers a wide range of advanced analysis techniques for the determination of different colloidal properties such as droplet size and particle size, colloidal stability, viscosity, surface tension, pore size distribution, and determination of phase behavior and structure for the tailor-made formulation of surfactant and colloid systems for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications.
The Nucleic Acid Chemistry group at IQAC-CSIC – NANBIOSIS U29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) is developing new compounds based in DNA and RNA to detect and treat diseases participating in several projects with several research and industrial partners such as La Marato de TV3 (Covid), Oligofastx, Caminan2, Osteoatx. These new drugs use the natural mechanisms for gene regulation to treat undruggable diseases such Muscular dystrophy and others. Importantly special attention is made to design novel synthetic protocols to produce less organic waste what contributes to the sustainable development.
We wish to all the family of chemistry professionals new projects and inspiration to achive humans Good Health & Well-Being and keep the world moving!
And Happy Chemistry Day, too, for all the chemistry enthusiasts!