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Three Skoltech researchers won awards for young scientists from the Moscow Government

Research Scientist Arkady Abdurashitov from the Neuro Center and PhD student of the Materials Science and Engineering program Pavel Proshin received recognition in the “Pharmaceuticals, Medical Equipment and Materials” nomination. Assistant Professor Dmitry Krasnikov from the Photonics Center became one of the winners in the “Chemistry and Materials Sciences” nomination. The awardees will receive a financial prize.

Arkady and Pavel work in the field of additive technologies. In the competition, the young scientists won with their research titled “Additive manufacturing technique of biopolymer coatings containing drugs for preventing postoperative complications during prosthetics.”

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Image 1. Thin polymer film containing a medicinal layer. The thickness and shape of the medicinal layer is set programmatically, providing the desired dosage of the active substance. Credit: Arkady Abdurashitov.

“Our work seeks to adapt and apply additive technologies to create thin and flexible polymer films containing the drug and capable of its release. The main advantage of this approach is that it allows making films of complex geometry layer by layer. Just as a tailor taking measurements from a model and cutting out flat pieces of complex shape from a cloth flap, which then turn into clothes and perfectly fit, we create polymer coatings of a certain shape using additive technologies, which are ideally suited for certain areas of a prosthesis or other medical device and may contain various medicinal substances. As almost any drugs or their combinations can be included in the film, this technology can be used in personalized medicine for the treatment and prevention of postoperative complications, and the locality of drug release significantly reduces the risk of systemic side effects,” the scientists explained.

The team shared that they were very excited to learn about the results: “When discussing new ideas, we received an email. Since submitting the application, we have been aware that the award is prestigious and very competitive, so we express our gratitude to its founders and the board of experts for choosing our research.”

Dmitry submitted a paper, which combined a large cycle of research — about 20 articles — carried out in the Photonics Center’s Laboratory of Nanomaterials at Skoltech: “A family of carbon nanomaterials covers a wide range of different properties, and for each application we need to optimize them for a specific case. For more than 20 years, scientists around the world have been trying to solve this task, and we have made our own contribution. Our strategy was to divide all these complex processes into simpler ones and work with them separately. For example, we were able to identify the stages of catalyst activation and deactivation during production of nanotubes. Similarly, we made a reactor conveyor: instead of one system, we presented a chain of two or three reactors. At each stage, additional modification takes place in order to enrich carbon nanotubes with a semiconductor fraction or, conversely, to make nanotubes with a more metallic conductivity. We used all the accumulated experience to create a smart reactor based on our experience and machine learning. Thus, the separation of tandem systems (or the conveyor approach) and machine learning allowed us to create materials with high performance characteristics. The findings establish a strong foundation for the creation of various devices that are based on carbon nanomaterials.”

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Image 2. Dmitry Krasnikov is working on research at the Skoltech Nanomaterials Laboratory. Credit: Timur Sabirov.

The researcher thanked colleagues and stressed that receiving the award indirectly proves the importance of the work: “Modern science is a team game. Of course, I would like to highlight the great contribution of both more experienced colleagues and students who have done a significant part of the work under our guidance.”

This year, young scientists were awarded 50 prizes by the Moscow Government — two million rubles each — for fundamental and applied scientific research. When considering candidates, the board took into account the scientific significance of the results, their relevance and novelty, the originality of the proposed solutions, and the innovative potential of the results.