There is no better moment than now, as we approach the start of the year 2023, to review some noteworthy and exciting developments from the year 2022 that helped improve the life sciences field. Innovative technology has altered the world here and now, compelling the biotech/pharmaceutical and medical device industries to modify how they do business.
The life science consulting firm in Boston states that the evolution of better, more efficient, and higher-quality processes is a constant process in the future and its inventions. Companies were compelled to invest in digital technologies, drastically altering their current business procedures. The industry took a while to realize that it could move swiftly by incorporating high-technology applications while maintaining quality standards and lowering costs before COVID-19.
Biotechnologies are playing a bigger role in our daily lives as the 21st century progresses, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. This discipline has seen notable advancements due to the R&D sector’s exceptional contributions. The creation of vaccines, genome sequencing, and a host of other breakthroughs have all been made possible by biotechnology, which has advanced and greatly improved our lives.
Breakthroughs In 2022
Synthetic DNA was specifically used in the genomic analysis of the virus that causes COVID-19. It also made it easier to monitor the progress of the infection and the viral evolution. Through ongoing scientific cooperation, several automated chemical production techniques are being used to increase the efficiency of the manufacture of synthetic DNA.
Chemical molecules can now be produced using automated techniques that are mechanized and integrated into the DNA synthesis apparatus, doing away with manual synthesis, which could take up to 12 hours.
Development of Vaccines
Developing a new vaccine is extremely difficult, especially when an outbreak arises and seriously jeopardizes public health. To quickly find a remedy to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the biotech industry formed a collaboration in response to this problem. The manufacture of a vaccine, typically taking 15 years, was finished in 18 months because of this exceptional partnership.
In biotech and pharma, using messenger RNA (mRNA) has created numerous more vaccines to treat various illnesses and disorders. This was made possible through high-tech tools and cooperation between the production and R&D sectors.
By changing other molecules and proteins that are the building blocks of mRNA, the COVID-19 vaccine significantly contributed to the development of safer vaccinations for pathogenic agents. The change of these molecules was maintained due to Dr. Katalin Kariko’s diligent work on this procedure, increasing the vaccine’s 95% efficacy against COVID-19 in clinical trials.
Tissue Engineering And 4D Printing
Based on a hydrogel that resembles gelatin and changes shape in response to water, 4D materials are created. It is the best substitute for improved tissue engineering because it is also recyclable and compatible with cells.
Additionally, these hydrogels maintain a high cell density, which makes the process of cell seeding easier. This has made it possible to incorporate bone marrow stem cells into the hydrogel at a very high density without killing them, which is a big achievement in bioengineering.
The ability to interact synchronously with the changes occurring in nearby developing or healing tissues is where the 3D approach differentiates from the 4D approach. Amazingly, the 4D method can dynamically alter its structure in relation to those surrounding tissues.
With this application, it will be possible to grow new skin to treat skin cancer, regenerate heart tissue, and produce tissues and organs such as a nose for face reconstruction.
Gene editing is also referred to as genome editing, edits the genetic material of living things to enhance our knowledge of how genes work and discover new applications for treating hereditary or acquired disorders.
Almost any DNA sequence can be changed, added, or removed via genome editing in various cells and creatures. Even though methods to modify DNA have been around for a while, new approaches have made genome editing quicker, less expensive, and more effective.
Researchers have been able to view “the impossible” thanks to the development of the quantum microscope. The quantum microscope offers 35% clarity without harming cells and contributes to improved sensing, taking away the final jigsaw piece. It was a significant accomplishment for the quantum microscope to overcome the “hard barrier” in traditional light-based microscopy.
Despite using two laser light sources, the quantum microscope only uses one after passing one of the beams through a specially made crystal that “squeezes” the light. It accomplishes this by adding quantum correlations to the photons, the light particles that make up the laser beam. This remarkable development will lead to countless advancements in biotechnology.
The methods used in medical diagnosis and health monitoring have benefited from the use of biosensors in 2021. For instance, scientists integrated cutting-edge bioelectronics technology, materials science engineering, and synthetic biology protein design to speed up and enhance COVID-19 testing. As a result, the test was completed in about 15 minutes and had the potential to produce reliable results.
The medical industry can now identify viruses rapidly and with great precision, which was previously only possible with slower genetic techniques, thanks to the combination of electrochemical biosensors and tailored protein structures.
The entire system might be able to work with raw blood at the point of care, doing away with the requirement for labor-intensive sample collection. Blood and human saliva treated with small amounts of the protein from the coronaviruses that cause MERS and COVID-19 were used to fine-tune the test.
Protecting our planet’s resources, fostering a robust economy, and improving people’s lives are all made possible by biotechnology, life sciences, and biopharma.