A cybernetic future for health: precision nanomedicine, implants, and telling biomarkers

By Ali Green

28 June 2017

What if you only had to send your non-invasive health diagnostics to the cloud to be notified of any abnormalities?

When was the last time you had your gut health assessed? With colorectal cancer now the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, and incidence of coeliac disease and inflammatory bowel disease also on the rise, quick action on gut health is more important than ever.

What if you had a safety net that detected abnormalities between required traditional tests? Wouldn’t it be great to have a non-invasive way of identifying your individual gut health issues early, a way to test the impacts of various interventions to maintain a healthy gut and avoid these diseases? How about using saliva as a non-invasive way to self-test for biomarkers that might indicate early signs of age-related conditions like cancer, cardiovascular or degenerative diseases? Or a system to rapidly and accurately measure and identify biomarkers for metastatic diseases like tumours using non-invasive and automated nanoneedle technology?

Research is on a constant path towards overcoming the human body’s frailties. It’s an endeavour that’s seen global life expectancy more than double from an average of 31-years-old in 1900 to 71-years-old in 2015. And technologies like those referred to above, technologies that marry greater life expectancy with better life quality will not only revolutionise life as we know it, but will also be a major economic driver of the future.

And at the forefront of this exciting revolution is Probing Biosystems, a Future Science Platform (FSP) representing the future of healthcare in the 21st century.

Probing Biosystems is one of six Future Science Platforms. Its vision is to develop wearable or embedded biological sensors that can continuously extract meaningful information about our health, allowing more timely intervention.

Imagine a device that painlessly and autonomously probes interstitial fluids (those fluids found between cells) for specific cancer biomarkers to ensure early detection of cancer and metastatic disease. Or a biosensor-laden cranial implant that measures, in real time, the temperature, cranial pressure and brain activity of patients recovering from traumatic brain injury, to better monitor their physiological recovery so doctors can target precise drug delivery.

Not only will the Probing Biosystems team develop devices that capitalise on our enormous appetite for health information (as demonstrated by FitBits), but they will go a step further by creating technologies that track information about animals, plants, and even cells. The possibilities are endless and will revolutionise healthcare and biosecurity around the world.

Novel research within the Probing Bioscience platform will investigate breakthrough solutions in the areas of:

Sounds exciting, huh? If you want to partner with us to make this incredible science become a reality, get in touch! To find out more head to our Probing Biosystems launch page.

Probing Biosystems is a multi-year investment between CSIRO and our partners to improve biosecurity and healthcare. We are developing innovative platforms that enable real-time interrogation of living biological systems in order to extract meaningful and actionable information about their health and well-being. CSIRO’s Future Science Platforms are turning Australia’s future challenges into opportunities and creating a better life for us all.

Save