The Czech nanotechnology company IQS nano brought its presentation of the latest nano technologies at the World EXPO exhibition in Dubai to a close. Visitors to the exhibition were for example able to admire the smallest model of the largest mosque in the world, painless needles, as well as the latest solutions in the field of tissue engineering and controlled drug delivery.
IQS Nano (part of the IQS Group) presented solutions and products using cutting-edge nanotechnology as part of the rotating exhibition “Nanoworld” which ran until 14 January 2022 in the Czech pavilion at the EXPO 2020 World Exhibition in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
One of the interesting exhibits was a gold-plated 3D nano-model of the largest mosque in the world, Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, created using 3D nano-printing based on two-photon lithography.
“The size of the 3D micro model is 820 µm x 643 µm x 135 µm and corresponds to the thickness of a needle. The model was printed using micro-stereolithography with a resolution of 250 nm at a scale of 1:600 000 to the actual Great Mosque of Mecca. This achievement has been entered in the Czech Book of Records by the Good Day Agency in Pelhřimov,” said the Director of IQS Nano, Milan Matějka.
Use of 3D nano technology applications is also very important in the field of medicine. Thanks to this, the Czechs are once again moving to the forefront of global leaders in this field. IQS Nano presented a concept for painless drug delivery here using chips with microneedles. A large number of drugs still require injection of the active substance because there is no alternative, for example in the form of a pill.
“Imagine that in the near future, this technology will make it as easy to administer medicines to patients as it is to apply a plaster to a skin injury. The microneedles are so thin and short that they don’t reach all the way to the nerve endings in the skin, and application should therefore be painless”, said Milan Matějka.
Another of the presented concepts introduced the possibilities of using so-called 3D bio-scaffolds. Put simply, a 3D bio-scaffold can be imagined as a porous material where the pore size is in the region of 0.1 mm. The internal structure of this material can for example mimic the porous structure inside bone, the internal structure of lung or liver tissue. If three-dimensional “scaffolding” like this is populated with cells which gradually multiply, they can eventually form a whole piece of tissue.
The advantage of nano-resolution 3D printing is that if the anatomy and structure of the tissue we want to mimic is known, we can mimic it very faithfully and simulate an environment for the cell cultures which is their own.
“We also plan to use our technology in the field of organ-on-chip, where it would be possible to perform more appropriate testing of new drugs on such an artificially “created” organ. Another interesting application could be targeted treatment of cancers, where a therapeutic drug/procedure is first tested on the patient’s cells “grown” in a 3D “nano-scaffold”. Our vision for the future is to also use this technology in the field of regenerative medicine, such as the creation of implants of organ parts, grafts enabling the treatment of serious bone injuries or implants with artificially created nerve tissue enabling treatment of serious spinal cord injuries,” explained Petr Franc, Managing Director of IQS Group.
At EXPO Dubai, IQ Structures (part of the IQS Group) also presented use of nanotechnology in holographic protection of securities. This Czech company is one of the world leaders in this field! Using electron and UV lithography, laser interferometry or 3D nano-printing, the company is able to create holographic nanostructures which rank among the most difficult to counterfeit in the world. Holograms by IQ Structures can be used to protect not only paper documents, passports or banknotes, but also investment medals made from precious metals.