Ways to Accelerate Nanotechnologies Implementation in the Health Care System
Petrov Sergey1, Valyaev Alexandr2, Valiaev Aleksey3 and Aleksanyan Gurgen4*
1Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow
2Nuclear Safety Institute RAS, Moscow
3Oklahoma State University, USA
4Yerevan State University, Armenia
Submission: September 20, 2019; Published: September 26, 2019
*Corresponding author: Aleksanyan Gurgen, Yerevan State University, Armenia
How to cite this article: Petrov Sergey, Valyaev Alexandr, Valiaev Aleksey, Aleksanyan Gurgen. Ways to Accelerate Nanotechnologies Implementation in the Health Care System. J Gynecol Women’s Health. 2019: 16(4): 555945. DOI: 10.19080/JGWH.2019.16.555945
Commercialization of nanotechnologies in Russian Health Care System (RHCS) requires detailed analysis of existing obstacles to technology translation. Here we will discuss three key innovations (i) Prof. Ilizarov’s apparatus, (ii) ‘Perftorun’, known as ‘blue blood’ therapy of Russian prof. Beloyartsev, (iii) ‘Litar’ and artificial bone technology invented by Prof. Krasnov which is used to replace bones defects. We will consider challenges of Russian bio nanotechnology clusters and education of scientists concerning the principles of technology transfer. Prof. Petrov, a coauthor of this paper, has extensive experience in implementation of novel technologies for health protection and safety. Historic data and case studies suggest that Russia’s technology innovations require 30-40 years before it is successfully commercialization compared to 5 to 10 years in the United States. Substantial investment capital significant and high probability of technology failure in preclinical or clinical trials hinder commercialization of biomedical and health technologies in developed countries. Stringent regulatory approval process further increases the time and cost of moving the technology from laboratory into commercialization. Patent protection of new inventions is a key strategy for attracting substantial investment required for early stage transition of biomedical technologies into commercial products. Following the discussion of the three innovations mentioned above, our paper will suggest approaches of how to enhance commercial translation.
Keywords: Technology translation; Biomedical innovation; Commercialization; Russian Health Care System; Nanotechnologies
Nanotechnology is science, engineering, and technology conducted at nanoscale of 1-100 nanometers. Nanoscale devices and systems are actively researched around the world and many have been commercialized. Nevertheless, the use of nanotechnology has not yet reached its full potential in medicine. Accelerating innovation in Russia’s health care system would require detailed analysis of a wide range of challenges that hindered commercialization over the past several decades. Possible solutions to existing obstacles have to be explored and evaluated based on complex interplay of health policy and technology development as well as financial, corporate and legal system. To authors’ knowledge, existing practices and solutions don’t take into account significant issues that are detrimental to successful commercialization of biomedical innovation. Because obstacles to commercialization are not timely identified many important medical technology developments are either slowed or become terminated [1,2].
In 2008, the Russian Government adopted “The Nanoindustry Development Program in the Russian Federation (RF) until 2015,” the program led by Rosnano which by 2015 aimed to generate more than 900 billion Rubles from manufacturing of nanotechnology products. The Rosnano Supervisory Council approved the financing of 93 projects with the total budget of 300 billion rubles. The projects were developed across 6 technology clusters: energy saving; nanostructured materials; medicine and biotechnology; optoelectronics, nanoelectronics and others. The wide research and translation of nanotechnologies in medicine began in the following areas:
a) membrane plasmapheresis apparatus production
b) micro-sources and microspheres for brachytherapy
c) vaccines based on viral nanoparticles
d) antibiotics extracted from bacteria and microalgae
e) the use of cellular stress nanomodulators for the treatment
of multiple sclerosis, infectious diseases and cancer
f) nanofilm bioactivated small-size biosensors
g) restoration of lost bones, teeth, cartilage and liver
Many new educational and research disciplines were opened
in Russia’s universities. However, the increase in number of
graduates of these new programs did not appear to improve
the quality or suitability of these graduates to high-technology
industries. Unfortunately, significant investment allocated
by Rosnano led to only very few successful technology developments.
Many Rosnano projects were closed and substantial
funding was used inappropriately as evidenced by many prior
mow/5571-rosnano-dlya-korrupcii.html Here we attempt to
explain some reasons which may have led to high failure rate
and inefficient capital investment into Russia’s nanotechnology
projects. We will briefly consider existing obstacles that hinder
technology transfer and commercialization, particularly in
RHCS. With the aim to describe issues that impede development
of new technologies we present several examples of typical problems
Developed in 1950 at an Institute of the Russia’s Kurgan
city, Professor Gavriil Ilizarov’s apparatus has been used in
treatment of open and fragmentation fractures. The peculiar
fact is that Prof. Ilizarov was appointed as the head of a laboratory
which implemented the proposed method only in 1966
i.e., more than 15 years after his invention. A significant clinical
milestone occurred in 1968, when Ilizarov’s apparatus was successfully
used to heal multiple leg fractures of Olympic’s jumping
champion Valery Brumel. His book describes details of his miracle
recovery following the use of Ilizarov’s apparatus. Although
“Nanotechnologies” are never mentioned in this book, there is
opportunity for combining nanotechnologies with the Ilizarov’s
apparatus to enhance fracture healing process. Medical Plastik,
an Italian company, greatly contributed to the rapid expansion of
Ilizarov’s method across the world. As a result, patients in other
countries had benefited from this technology before Russia’s
health officials recognized the potential of Ilizarov’s apparatus.
Many lives and our country’s prestige were lost from country’s
lack of support to this breakthrough medical technology. Only
after 30 years from the time of Ilizarov’s first experiment, the
Kurgan Institute was recognized as the major scientific center
and opened its branches in 10 other USRR cities. Ultimately Ilizarov
had overcame all the bureaucratic barriers, but died of heart
failure in 1992, the time when he was making fast progress in his
technology’s commercialization .
The drug Perftorun (“blue blood”) which was invented by
USSR’s professor Felix Beloyartsev (1941-1985) at the Institute
of Biological Physics of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The
drug successfully addressed the blood saving problems during
numerous surgical procedures in military medicine and in the
treatment of injured miners. Although this certified technology
was recognized with the many awards, it did not receive support
from USSR’s health officials. Those who are interested in learning
more about Perftorun’s history can find additional information
in the Internet. Failing to receive support, in 1985, professor
Beloyartsev committed a suicide. Dr. Henrik Ivanitsky continued
this work .
The hard burden stemming from total suspicion and searching
for enemies brought many negative consequences to the
USSR society and science. Prof. Andrei Sakharov was turned
from a homeland patriot and the USSR Hero of Labor into a dissident.
Our homeland officials could not accept Sakharov’s wellthought
proposals that he made and put before these officials.
The history of the breakdown of outdated government’s apparatus
was described by our famous writers including Nikolai Gogol,
Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Bulgakov, Valdimir Mayakovsky, Eugenie
Yevtushenko. The USSR’s officials’ incompetence in the field of
science has led to immigration of our scientists and ideas to foreign
The weakening of Russia’s scientific potential acquired increasingly
sophisticated forms of brains drain through mandatory
publications in the world international journals that is beneficial
for our competitors. This is because publications of new
technologies in scientific literature without proper intellectual
protection result in lost opportunities for commercialization.
Invented by professors Alexander Krasnov and Sergei Litvinov
from Russia’s Samara city, the “artificial bone” is the technology
to replace bones and other tissues. This technology, known
as LitAr, has a 30-year history of development and translation
with the past ten years being part of the International Academy
of Ecology and Security associated with the Department of Public
Information of the United Nations and ECOSOC http://maneb.
org/en/cont.php For Example3 we present data http://cvot.
The invention resulted in the creation of LitAr implantable
material that can inhibit or prevent bone resorption and reduce
scarring from surgical procedures. The material looks like a
loose cardboard or a piece of dry flat cake (Figure 1).
To impart porosity and nanoscale dimensions to the implantable
particles, Dr. Sergey Litvinov produced a special biopolymer
grid (alginate or collagen) attached to ordered nanocrystal
chains of the biocompatible and water-insoluble substance,
which served as a feed for cells that provide natural bone repair
and regeneration. It is well-known that a human body does not
accept many foreign substances because they cause perturbation
at the cellular level. However, the effect from macrophages,
whose role is to envelope foreign objects, ceases when implanted
particles have nanoscale dimensions. The implantable material
containing nanocrystal chains is thus well tolerated by the body.
The LiTar material is an mixture of collagen (or calcium alginate
polysaccharide protein) and 43-45 nm calcium hydroxo-phosphate
crystals (hydroxylapatite). Dr. Litvinov successfully
achieved uniform distribution of the salt component between
biopolymer fibers and determined optimum fiber/salt ratio.
The unique feature of the LitAr material is the stimulation
of slightly differentiated stem cells in-vivo which, at the time
of LitAr’s material development, was not attained by anyone in
the world. www.Lit-Ar.ru presents details of key differences between
LitAr and its foreign analogs. Clinical testing which validated
utility of Dr. Litvinov’s technology were carried out by
Prof. Vladimir Belokonev, Dr. Alexander Kosulin, a cranioplasty
surgeon and Dr. Oleg Nikiforov, a thoracic surgeon. In 1994, the
first operation was successfully conducted by Dr. Michail Babkov,
assistant professor under the Prof. Alexander Krasnov direction.
Figure 2 demonstrates the Litar application in the restored bone
tissue. Another consequence of this fracture, such as Concussion
or Stroke are not under consideration here.
The first operations confirmed that LitAr provided regeneration
of the lost part of the tissue in accordance with the normal
anatomical structure in this part of the body. The Litar implementation
is possible by two primary methods
a. a surgery where a piece of material is inserted into patient’s
b. injection when the LitAr material is administered as a
suspension in a physiological solution.
As an example, the osteoplastic and collagen-apatite composite
based on LitAr technology was successfully applied in
treating of a patient with a large forehead fracture (Figures 3 &
In 1995, Dr. Alexander Kosulin (1962-2003) performed the
scull cranioplasty by using this new material. 20 years ago, in
October 1998 the material was successfully used in surgical dentistry
to fill the cavity of the mandibular cyst (Dr. V.V. Berezhnov).
In 2001, the LitAr material was used for the first time to be inserted
into the thoracoabdominal fistula (Dr. Alexander Kulikov,
Russia’s Togliatti city). More recently, the LitAr material provided
regeneration of not only bone, but also kidneys and liver tissues.
The LitAr composite implementation against heart attacks
have already become possible, however cardiac surgeons have
little knowledge of the technology
Today Samara city has all necessary conditions for establishing
of the International Medical Center on the model similar to
the Ilizarov’s Center in Kurgan city. LitAr material has obtained
all of the required regulatory certification documents. Significant
clinical benefit following the use of Litar material has been
demonstrated. However, Russia’s medical officials took the position
of indifferent observers. On behalf of the International
Academy of Sciences on Informational Safety, authors addressed
the former Samara region authorities with a proposal that can
accelerate commercialization of the LitAr material. But we only
received very limited interest from government officials. This
provides an example of extremely slow translation of biomedical
technology which has already shown clinical benefits. Recently,
health authorities in France’s Montpellier city conducted
research on the cartilage regeneration by LitAr material. There
is likelihood that LitAr innovation will become commercialization
abroad sooner that in Russia. If this is to happen, Russia’s
patients and the government will be paying a premium for the
technology that its scientists invented.
Aleksey Valyaev is a co-author of a research which investigated
that use of stimulus-responsive molecules grafted onto surfaces
for biological sensing applications . Results demonstrated
proof of principle for using microcantilevers coated with stimulus-
responsive molecules for bio- detection of changes in solution
pH, temperature, and ionic strength in microliter volumes
 With additional development, this biosensing technology can
be potentially used in medical diagnostic applications e.g., where
microfluidic devices developed for sampling of biological fluids
can be actuated by local changes in solution pH or temperature.
However, commercial translation of this technology would require
significant financing and experienced management. He is
also an inventor of an eye apparatus for use by people with dry
eye disease. The apparatus enables combining several treatment
modalities including the use of microparticle spray to improve
therapeutic benefit for dry eye patients. Dry eye disease (DED)
is a highly prevalent disorder resulting in hyperosmolarity of the
tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface. According to
the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than three million
women older than 50 suffer from dry eye syndrome in the
United States. DED cause disruption of daily activities, reduction
of work productivity due to recurrent blurred vision and ocular
discomfort, and the overall burden of the disease for the US
healthcare system is estimated at 4 billion. Because of relatively
low regulatory constraints and significant market potential, with
additional support the invented apparatus can be potentially
commercialized in less than 5 years.
We would also like to note here some achievements of Russian
dentists. In State Medical University in Tver city, under Prof.
Valery Strelnikov direction the long-term systematic researches
are conducted on the use of biochemical markers of ostaclenogenesis
in dental implantation and directional bone regeneration
Currently, indications for the study of markers of bone metabolism
are the following diseases: postmenopausal and senile
osteoporosis; glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis; diseases
with a local increase in resorptive activity; monitoring of osteoprotegerin
therapy; arthritis; oncological diseases. This purpose
was to study the serum osteoprotegerin and s-rank levels in dental
patients with different results of bone implant integration using bone grafts of xenogenic origin. 63 patients were examined:
41 women and 22 men aged 40 to 67 years. The general condition
of the body was assessed on the basis of the collection of
anamnesis of life, the conclusion of the therapist and blood test
Osteoprotegerin and s rank-l osteoclastogenesis markers
were studied in all patients, who were selected for the study
with their voluntary consent. It is necessary to note the presence
of common diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes mellitus,
impaired immune system, in some patients. All of the above
diseases are established by the thematic specialists and are not
absolute contraindications to dental implantation. Thus, thanks
to the present study, it is possible to expand the spectrum of absolute
contraindications to dental implantation.
The above demonstrated examples suggest that biomedical
innovators in Russia need much longer time to successfully
commercialize new technologies than innovators in the US and
Europe. The technology commercialization examples presented
here suggest the following typical reasons that may inhibit commercialization
of biomedical innovations in Russia:
a) The system of government and private support towards
commercialization of biomedical and health-related innovation
is not sufficiently established.
b) The Russia’s largest scientific centers are weakly connected
with manufacturing companies and hospital system.
c) Highly productive innovators are rarely appointed to
managerial roles or decision-making positions.
Bureaucracy hinders those changes to our education system
that are required by constantly evolving innovation industry.
The unification of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the
Academies of Medical and Agricultural Sciences has significantly
complicated and confused the situation with decision making in
Russia’s innovation ecosystem. Because of the bureaucracy in the
Russian Academy of Sciences many talented people are forced to
leave their research positions in order to advance professionally.
Many young innovators in Russia are not promoted due to protectionism
by long-serving scientific authorities. To circumvent
the issue some scientists have recently proposed to hold re-election
and rotation of academics every 4 years, taking into account
their actual scientific achievements for each reporting period.
Slow reforms and misjudged decisions in regards to managing
Rusia’s science and technology transfer. The establishment of
the Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations (FASO) along with
the unification of the Russian Academy of Sciences with the Russian
Academy of Medical Sciences and the Academy of Agricultural
Sciences have significantly complicated a number of issues
and caused additional expenses of the state budget towards newly
elected academicians. The confrontation between the Russian
Academy of Sciences and the FASO has significantly inhibited the
development of scientific breakthroughs and technology translation.
In one example, FASO has introduced the controversial
plan concerning the number of articles that have to be prepared
by RAS staff for years to come. Some of the existing issues are
analyzed and substantiated by Academician Sergei Stishov in
his article They Want to Turn Scientists into Non-Stop Machines
that Produce Unnecessary Articles http://www.ras.ru/news/
shownews.aspx?id=b63b3e12-fff2-42ff-a11a- 0bd68d604363 #
content. To mitigate consequences from past mistakes and overcome
existing innovation challenges, Russia needs science and
technology translation programs that are not influenced by slowly
moving bureaucratic processes.
We propose several alternative concerning measures and
system-forming elements to accelerate technology development
and translation. These include the following:
a) Perform fast and objective certification of scientific
personnel without long-term clearance procedure to get
b) Objectively and continuously evaluate performance
and productivity of scientists;
c) Take active measures to remove bureaucratic obstacles
that inhibit scientific innovation and translation;
d) Industry participation in commercialization should
prevail over misguided decisions of administrative or government
e) Establish mechanisms that reward prolific inventors.
Make progress in technological innovation and commercialization
as part of evaluation of regional leaders and officials.
f) Nobel laureate Andrei Geim said that money alone cannot
solve scientific problems. Yet each dollar invested in a
successfully operating laboratory will be paid off faster and
give a better result than substantial capital injections into
large innovation centers like Skolkovo and Rosnano, that did
not have their own established scientific schools.
g) Strengthening Russia’s system of intellectual property
protection that would encourage more scientists to disclose
and protect their inventions;
h) Because successful commercialization of bio and nanotechnologies
requires wide ranging support and participation,
we need to develop a comprehensive plan which
includes inputs from scientific community, industry and government
i) The using of numerous examples on LitAr successful
application, presented in  and in according to Prof. Sergey
Petrov opinion, it is most preferable to create a specialized
center for the integration of 3 above mentioned RF technologies
in treating severe injuries most preferably in the Samara region with real active help from Prof. Sergey Litvinov, constantly
living in Samara.
Therefore, it would be logical to combine such technologies
in those operating medical centers, hospitals and clinics, that
have already successfully applied them. With RHCS financial support
it would be advisable to create the thematic departments in
all RF major operating surgical centers with the thematic training
courses, based on Samara clinics. This is the essence of the
implementation problem with creating financial support. It is
especially difficult to organize for the Russian provincial doctors
and the thematic scientists.
The problems analysis presented by us is a necessary step.
We hope that the scientific community efforts will help to change
the attitude to innovations for the better in the interests of the
Litvinov S, Ershov Y, Krasnov AF (1994) Biotransformation of Synthetic Implants in the Course of Making Bone Tissue Prosthetic. Canadian Journal of Phisiology and Pharmacology. Montreal, pp. 297.
Litvinov S, Krasnov A, Ershov YA (1995) Specific Features of Bone Tissue Regeneration after Replacement of the defect with a Synthetic Implant. Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine 119(4): 422-425.
Ershov I, Litvinov S (1995) The Rate of Solution of Hydroxyapatite Reinforced with Collagen as the Criterion of Polymer Implant Materials Quality. International Journal of Polymaric Materials 28(1-4): 83-89.
Strelnikov VN (2014) Changes in indicators of osteocalcin, the bone isoenzyme of alkaline phosphatase and cathepsin K, in the serum of dental patients with comorbidities” (in Russian) Periodontology 70: 20-23.
Strelnikov VN (2014) Prediction of the results of orthopedic treatment of patients with loss of teeth on artificial supports” (in Russian) The dissertation of the doctor of medical. Sciences p. 231.