Artificial Intelligence and nanotechnology revolutionize the biomolecular universe.

Artificial Intelligence and nanotechnology revolutionize the biomolecular universe.
Artificial Intelligence and nanotechnology revolutionize the biomolecular universe. Gertrūda Valasevičiūtė on Unsplash

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) have created a new type of artificial intelligence-based nanosensor. They will allow for the observation and analysis of various biomolecules without interfering with their activity. These studies will allow for the development of new treatments for a variety of pathologies and diseases.

The tiny world of biomolecules is as fascinating as it is rich: it includes the activity of proteins, lipid complexes, DNA, and carbohydrates, among other elements that comprise complex vital structures. The interactions between biomolecules that enable this symphony of life, on the other hand, are extremely difficult to define.

A new biosensor will now allow scientists to observe the major classes of biomolecules in the nanoworld without disturbing them. Its novel approach combines nanotechnology, metasurfaces, infrared light, and artificial intelligence. It has the potential to have a wide range of applications in the field of health, particularly in pharmacological and medical research, as well as to promote new approaches in the field of biotechnology.

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According to the experts, every tiny detail in the biomolecular universe can cause an abrupt change in its organization. When everything is in tune and there is harmony, the marvelous music of the vital orchestra produces physiological marvels such as sight and taste. Dissonances in this biological machinery, on the other hand, can result in processes such as cancer or neurodegenerative diseases.

JOURNEY TO A SMALL WORLD

In light of this, it is critical to be able to accurately study this tiny world to fully comprehend it and generate solid scientific alternatives in the search for new therapies and treatments. Hatice Altug, one of the study's authors, stated that "tuning into this world and being able to differentiate between proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and carbohydrates without altering their interactions is of fundamental importance for understanding life processes and disease mechanisms."

How does the new technology function? It is well understood that molecules are made up of atoms bonded together, and that depending on their mass and how they are linked, they generate vibrations at a specific frequency, much like the strings of a musical instrument. These resonance frequencies are unique to a molecule and allow it to be distinguished, manifesting primarily in the range of the electromagnetic spectrum's so-called infrared frequencies.

Taking advantage of this feature, the Swiss researchers' biosensor employs infrared light as the axis or core of its operation. Because the infrared range is not visible to humans, metasurfaces and artificial intelligence innovations were used to optimize the new technology.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND METASURFACES

On the one hand, artificial materials with exceptional light manipulation capabilities at the nanoscale enabled the development of functions that went far beyond what the human eye could see. Metasurfaces, in other words, allow us to "see" the infrared light that characterizes and identifies each molecule.

Finally, Artificial Intelligence allows faster and more efficient discovery of patterns and schemes in biomolecules. Organizing the information obtained and providing it with the necessary value to enable concrete, advances in the medical and pharmacological fields.

The discovery of the "music" that distinguishes each molecule and its constituents will pave the way for the development of novel therapies and treatments for all types of diseases. As a result, it appears clear that the use of nanotechnology in biological research will have a greater impact in the coming decades.

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