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The future of the microcosm
A young scientist from Vladivostok has offered the country and the world unique developments based on natural minerals
Professor of the Far Eastern Federal University Kirill Golokhvast recently turned thirty-six. And he has already defended two dissertations: candidate and doctoral dissertations, 200 scientific articles, 4 monographs, 3 textbooks, 17 patents of the Russian Federation, the position of deputy director for development of the School of Natural Sciences, professor and director of the REC of nanotechnology at the FEFU School of Engineering. When someone asked him where all this came from, he answered shortly: "From the dust ...".
- You could say that. According to various estimates, in the atmosphere of planet Earth, in the air we breathe, from 20 million to 1,5 billion tons (!) Of mineral substances are dispersed. They are represented by particles that may differ in size from each other like a ten-story house from a grain of sand, but are equally invisible to our eyes. And the degree of harmfulness of the impact depends both on the chemical essence of the particle itself and on its size.
For example, a relatively large particle, hitting a person's nose, will soon fly out of there as soon as he sneezes. If there are a lot of them (increased concentration), then some will remain and can subsequently enter the lungs. And if we are talking about nanoparticles, for example, systematically formed around some metallurgical or chemical production, then, once they enter the human body, they will most likely remain in it and will have a very negative effect on cells. In particular, damage them with their sharp edges. And one particle of radioactive uranium or plutonium is quite enough to bring a person to the grave in several years, because it will simultaneously irradiate a whole group of cells for a long time.
My colleagues from the Scientific and Educational Center "Nanotechnology" of the FEFU School of Engineering and the scientists of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences are carefully studying the process of biomineralization - the formation of crystals inside living organisms. This is the area of fundamental research, their results can be applied in different areas, in medicine, for example.
My doctoral dissertation is devoted to the monitoring of micro- and nanoparticle pollution of the atmosphere of cities and the influence of these suspensions on bioorganisms. I will not bore you with a detailed description of the research methodology, but its essence boils down to the following: using various quantitative and qualitative methods, we took numerous samples of air suspension (dust, if you like) in different cities in the south of the Far East, analyzed its composition, then reproduced it in the form of a model (observing all the proportions of the concentration of substances) and exposed these particles to experimental animals.
- And what conclusion did you come to?
- The degree of technogenic air pollution in the south of the Far East is not critical for human health. For now, anyway. But most importantly, an original methodology (including a whole range of quantitative and qualitative methods, as I said above) was developed and patented in the Russian Federation for assessing atmospheric pollution in a particular region. Using this methodology, we are now investigating the targeted environmental situation in the Primorsky Territory, the Amur Region and the Arctic regions of Russia. Further we will distribute it to all of Russia, the world ...
By the way, in the course of the work already carried out, the conclusions made earlier by a number of scientists were confirmed - about the beneficial properties of minerals from the group of zeolites (porous aluminosilicate compounds with high sorption properties). At certain sizes (from 1 to 50 microns), microparticles of zeolites, entering the body of animals and humans, for example, absorb harmful toxins introduced during breathing or eating. This leads to the fact that, for example, cancer patients can improve the quality of life (due to the sorption properties of toxins) through the intake of zeolite preparations.
You know, the following example speaks about the miraculous properties of zeolites. Together with colleagues from the Research Institute of Clinical and Experimental Lymphology (Novosibirsk), we carried out experiments on rats: radioactive cesium-137 was added to their food, which caused a violation of the development of the gastrointestinal tract, including a violation of the maturation of lymphoid follicles. And then zeolite was mixed into the food, after which the morphological parameters in the rats almost returned to normal. This mineral takes in all the poisons, toxins, and in return gives everything that it has useful - these are various trace elements necessary for the normal course of bioprocesses in the cells of the body.
- Another area of your scientific interests is connected with zeolites - accelerated healing dressings ... Did you invent them?
- I am by no means the only author of this idea. I constantly say - in the world, only the lazy is not engaged in dressings. It so happened that after moving from Blagoveshchensk to Vladivostok in 2006, I joined two scientists who also studied the medicinal properties of zeolites - professors Alexander Gulkov and Alexander Panichev. These highly respected people today are my colleagues at the FEFU School of Engineering.
At the beginning
- Do you need to grind zeolites for more convenient application to the surface of wounds?
- Quite right. I found that crushing minerals with ultrasound in water is more effective in terms of result and economical in terms of the process - using a special laboratory installation with a capacity of 400 watts (originally, by the way, not intended for these purposes). Since there is water inside the zeolites, when exposed to ultrasound, it boils and literally breaks the mineral into small particles. The fineness depends on the exposure time. Experimentally, I came to the conclusion that the most optimal is crushing to scale
In order for the crushed zeolite to be conveniently applied to the wound, it is appropriate to use it in combination with algae polysaccharides. The result is a mushy mass - “stone dressing” or Stone Patch gel, which, after being applied to the wound, quickly hardens and promotes accelerated (twice as fast as traditional medical ointments and patches) healing of burns, purulent and other complex wounds. For a more reliable fixation, the "stone bandage" can be wrapped on top with a regular bandage.
- But in the pharmacies of the country and the world, Stone Patch is not yet sold, although you already have a patent for it ...
- It takes time. To bring this project to mind, I received two personal grants from the Foundation for Assistance to the Development of Small Forms of Entrepreneurship in the Scientific and Technical Sphere: “UMNIK” and “START” (Bortnik Foundation). My colleagues from FEFU, friends, graduate students help me. We already have acts of clinical trials from the clinical hospital of the Pacific Fleet, from the Primorsky Regional Burn Center, from the Novosibirsk Research Institute of Clinical and Experimental Lymphology. All of them prove the effectiveness of a product that will be cheaper than synthetic ointments and, in fact, eternal in terms of shelf life.
But it is still necessary to obtain a license from the Ministry of Health of Russia, in fact it is a permit for the sale of a pharmaceutical product. But in order to obtain this document, it is necessary that the tool undergoes preclinical tests in specialized centers under the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, and then clinical trials. All this will take at least another two years ...
- Did you have any desire to sell the patent to foreign companies and go to work abroad? It is possible that all implementation stages there will pass much faster ...
- You know, I trained at the universities of Japan and Israel. I have many friends and acquaintances among foreign scientists. And I can say that the degree of bureaucratization of sciences in other countries is in no way weaker than in ours. And those of our scientists who emigrate there in search of a better life, if they achieve some status heights, are by no means transcendental. And more often they occupy very modest positions like assistant professor.
As for me, I decided long ago for myself - I will work in Russia. As the saying goes: where he was born, there he fit ...
- And with such a high scientific and administrative employment, there is time for students?
Also for graduate students (laughs) ... Yes - it remains. Probably because in my lectures I tell them about the scientific work I am doing at the present time. And, of course, I show you how to do it.
Kirill Sergeevich Golokhvast was born in Belogorsk, Amur Region in 1980. In 2003, he graduated from the Amur State Medical Academy, specializing in General Medicine. In 2006 he defended his thesis for the degree of candidate of biological sciences (specialty - physiology) at the Far Eastern State Agrarian University. IN