by Marina MALYGINA, journalist
A new plant for production of membrane filters based on nanotechnologies was founded in the territory of the Dubna technical and special economic zone near Moscow in July 2010. Within 2.5 years a modern Beta complex will be constructed here for mass output of a product unparalleled in the world, namely, 1.5 mln instruments for cascade plasmapheresis (blood purification) annually.
This equipment can provide nanofiltration of blood plasma components right up to individual protein molecules and is designed, first of all, for treatment of atherosclerosis, ischemic disease, stenocardia and cardiac failure. About 1.5 mln people suffering from such diseases die in Russia annually, and approximately 12 mln patients need therapy by means of plasmapheresis.
It should be noted that in Japan, Germany, Italy and other highly developed countries, this procedure has for long become routine though not cheap, as the instruments necessary for it are based on expensive hollow-fiber technology. But Russian scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and the Institute of Crystallography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) have developed a new method of segregation of blood components using flat track membranes. The latter are produced by bombardment of a thin lavsan film by inert gas ions driven at high speed by an accelerator*. In the places "penetrated" by the ion, peculiar channels of radiation damage without a through opening are formed–the so-called tracks. The following procedures, i.e. ultraviolet treatment and chemical etching, form through pores from them, invisible to the eye–up to 70 mln per 1 sq. cm. By changing temperature, concentration or time of treatment by chemicals, we can assign a necessary size to them varying the diameter within a range of several orders. It is just such lavsan film 10 µm thick that serves as a base for national membrane plasmofilters.
The film was first used in Dubna ... Читать далее