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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 behind his shoulders is already the defense of two dissertations: Ph.D. and Doctoral, 200 scientific articles, 4 monographs, 3 study guides, 17 patents of the Russian Federation, Deputy Director for Development of the School of Natural Sciences, Professor and Director of the Nanotechnology Center of the Engineering School of FEFU. When someone asked him where all this came from, he replied shortly: "Out of the dust ...".

The future of the microcosm
- Cyril, it turns out that the dust around us is not a homogeneous substance at all, but quadrillions of particles invisible to the eye, some of whom are enemies, and others are friends?

- It is possible and so to say. According to various estimates in the atmosphere of the planet Earth, in the air that we breathe - is scattered from 20 million to 1,5 billion tons (!) Of minerals. They are represented by particles that can differ in size as a ten-story house from a grain of sand, but for our eye are equally invisible. And the degree of harmfulness of the impact depends both on the chemical nature of the particle itself and on its size.

For example, a relatively large particle, hitting a person’s nose, will soon fly out of it as soon as he sneezes. If there are a lot of them (increased concentration), then some will remain and may subsequently get into the lungs. And if we are talking about nanoparticles, for example, which are systematically formed around some kind of metallurgical or chemical production, then, once in the human body, they will probably remain in it and will have a very negative effect on the cells. In particular - to damage them with their sharp edges. And one particle of radioactive uranium or plutonium is enough to bring a person to the grave for several years, because it will irradiate for a long time at the same time a whole group of cells.

My colleagues with the Nanotechnology Scientific-Educational Center of the FEFU School of Engineering and the scientists of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences are carefully studying the process of biomineralization - the formation of crystals inside living organisms. This is a field of fundamental research, their results can be applied in various fields, in medicine for example.

My doctoral thesis is precisely devoted to monitoring the pollution of micro- and nanoparticles in 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 will) in different cities in the south of the Far East, analyzed its composition, then reproduced it in the form of a model (with observance of all proportions of the concentration of substances) and acted on these particles on experimental animals.

- And what conclusion did you come to?

- The degree of technogenic pollution of the air in the south of the Far East for human health is not critical. So far, anyway. But most importantly, the original methodology (including a whole range of quantitative and qualitative methods, as I said above) was developed and patented in the Russian Federation to assess the air pollution of a particular region. By this method, we are now exploring the environmental situation in Primorsky Krai, the Amur Region and the Arctic regions of Russia. Next, we will distribute it to the whole of Russia, the world ...

By the way, in the course of the work already carried out, the conclusions made by a number of scientists about the beneficial properties of minerals from the group of zeolites (porous aluminosilicate compounds with high sorption properties) were confirmed. At certain sizes (from 1 to 50 microns), zeolite microparticles, entering the body of animals and humans, for example, absorb harmful toxins, brought in during the process of 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 use of zeolite preparations.

You know, about the miraculous properties of zeolites says such an example. We, together with colleagues from the Research Institute of Clinical and Experimental Lymphology (Novosibirsk), conducted experiments on rats: they added radioactive cesium-137 to the food, which caused a disorder in the development of the gastrointestinal tract, including the maturation of lymphoid follicles. And then zeolite was mixed into the feed, after which the morphological indicators in rats almost returned to normal. This mineral takes up all the poisons, toxins, and in return gives all that it has useful - these are various trace elements necessary for the normal flow of bioprocesses in the cells of the body.

- There is another area of ​​your scientific interests related to zeolites - accelerated healing bandages ... Have you invented them?

- I am by no means the only author of this idea. I constantly say that only lazy people are not involved in dressing. It so happened that after moving from Blagoveshchensk to Vladivostok in 2006 I joined two scientists who also studied the healing properties of zeolites - to professors Alexander Gulkov and Alexander Panichev. These people, who are deeply respected by me today, are my colleagues at the FEFU Engineering School.

Early 2000-x they conducted experiments on the effect of zeolites on the mammals. My doctoral dissertation was devoted to the same question. We worked together for a while, but then our paths diverged. I focused on finding a new way to crush zeolites. Instead of the traditional mechanical (energy-intensive and labor-intensive) suggested ultrasound.

- Do you need to grind zeolites for more convenient application to the surface of wounds?

- That's right. I found that more efficient and economical in the process is the crushing of minerals by ultrasound in water - using a special laboratory installation with the power of 400 watts (initially, by the way, not designed for this purpose). Since there is water inside the zeolites, then when exposed to ultrasound, it boils and literally breaks the mineral into small particles. The degree of grinding depends on the time of exposure. Experimentally, I came to the conclusion that the most optimal is the crushing to scale 5-50 micron. The particles are rounded, which excludes their biting effect on the delicate surface of the wound. More fine fractions are obtained with sharp, ragged edges.

In order for the ground zeolite to be conveniently applied to the wound, it is appropriate to use it in combination with polysaccharides from algae. As a result, a mushy mass is obtained - a "stone bandage" or a Stone Patch gel, which, after application to the wound, quickly solidifies and promotes the healing of burn, purulent and other complex wounds (twice as fast as traditional medical ointments and linings). For more reliable fixation, the "stone bandage" can be wrapped around the top with a normal bandage.

- But in the drugstores of the country and the world, Stone Patch is not yet sold, although you already have a patent for it ...

“It takes time.” For bringing to mind this project, I received two personal grants in the Foundation for the Promotion of Small Business Development in the Scientific and Technical Sphere: UMNIK and START (Bortnik Fund). My FEFU colleagues, friends, and graduate students help me. We already have clinical trial reports from the clinical hospital of the Pacific Fleet, from the Primorsky regional burn center, from the Novosibirsk Scientific Research Institute of Clinical and Experimental Lymphology. All of them prove the effectiveness of the tool, which will be cheaper than synthetic ointments and, in fact, perpetual in terms of storage.

But it is also necessary to obtain a license from the Ministry of Health of Russia, in fact, it represents a permit to sell the pharmaceutical. But to obtain this document, it is necessary that the tool passed 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 ...

- And there was no desire to sell the patent to foreign companies and go to work abroad? It is possible that there all the implementation stages will pass much faster ...

- You know, I have interned at universities in Japan and Israel. I have many friends and acquaintances among foreign scientists. And I can say that the degree of bureaucratization of science in other countries is no less than in ours. And those of our scientists that emigrate there in search of a better life, if they achieve some status heights, they are by no means transcendental. And more often they occupy very modest posts like assistant professors.

As for me, I decided for a long time that I will work in Russia. As the saying goes: where was born, there and fit ...

- And with such high scientific and administrative employment for students, is there any time left?

More and for graduate students (laughs) ... Yes - it remains. Probably because I lecture them on the scientific work I'm currently doing. And, of course, I show how it should be done.


Kirill Sergeevich Golokhvast was born in Belogorsk in the Amur Region in 1980. In 2003 he graduated from the Amur State Medical Academy, specializing in "Medicine". In 2006 he defended his thesis for the degree of Candidate of Biological Sciences (specialty - physiology) at the Far Eastern State Agrarian University. AT 2010-m graduated from the Far Eastern State Technical University with a degree in "Teacher of Higher Education". In 2014 he defended his thesis for a Doctor of Biological Sciences (specialty - ecology) at Tomsk State University, and in 2015 he passed a professional retraining at the Moscow School of Management "Skolkovo" under the program "Management of University Development Projects". With 2012, the chairman of the Council of Young Scientists of the FEFU. Member of the Russian Union of Journalists, Editor-in-Chief of Achievements in the Life Sciences (Elsevier), member of the editorial board of the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (Elsevier). He is married. He is growing a son.
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