Biotechnology is one of the most superior technologies in the healthcare sector. It has remarkable influence in meeting the needs of patients that includes drug and diagnostic inventions using the biotechnological process.
Not only is this technology lordly for patients, but other living beings too as the drugs, diagnostic products, and vaccines developed via a biotechnological process help, cure, and prevent fatal and non-fatal diseases.
All the biotechnological developments in the healthcare industry are a product of living organisms or can be concocted via recombinant technology that is a progression of procedures of laboratory-produced DNA molecules that would otherwise not be found in the genome.
THE EVOLUTION OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
The evolution of biotechnology can be trailed back to the mid-1970s, but the fruition as know today originated in the 1980s with the development of some first few biotech products.
The products developed during the 1980s concentrated primarily on the endocrine system and blood syndromes. At that time, five companies manufactured 12 biotech products tackling 12 medical indications.
Earlier, the process was used by the Egyptians where they would create raw products with a living organism and use them to make bread and cheese, which was later transformed into classical biotechnology from ancient biotechnology.
After the ancient period, the process was further advanced with recombinant DNA technology, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines for commercialization purposes. After developing these biotech products, 1982 was the first time recombinant proteins were expended to treat hindering diseases like diabetes, hepatitis, anemia, etc.
Insulin, in 1982, was the first biotech product that was syndicated using recombinant human protein to be given FDA approval.
EXCITING ADVANCES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY
This widely used innovation has various applications in the healthcare sector, and a few from its exciting inventions include:
Stem cell research
The marching of biotechnology in stem cell research begins when researchers manipulate stem cells to discriminate into specific types of cells. These stem cells can replace spoiled cells that cannot heal themselves and work with maturity for them.
For instance, to cure type 1 diabetes, stem cells could be used to re-form the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
Another great example includes treating spinal diseases. For instance, if a person has a degenerative spinal disorder, it is possible to restore the condition with stem cell research. Again, this is where biotechnology will come in. With the support of stem cell research, we can grow stem cells and implant them back to the disturbed area that would improve the quality of life of the affected person.
This practice would refurbish cerebral acuteness, eyesight, and other physical features of the affected.
These lab-grown molecules are conceived to repair, enhance, and imitate an immune system retort, mainly in cancer cells. The antibodies function in many ways, from recognizing the cancer cells to supplying radiation to the distressed areas.
Fabrication of monoclonal antibodies was one the most notable practices of biotechnology in the last quarter of the 20th century.
This advancement certainly is less expensive than many other innovations and has potent results in destroying the tormented cells. For instance, when used for cancer treatment, monoclonal antibodies block the receptor and let the immune system identify the cancer cell and destroy them.
3D visualization and augmented reality (AR) for surgeries
Advancements in biotechnology such as MRI and CT scans now allow doctors to view a 3D image inside a patient’s body. This technology lets the specialist view each organ thoroughly to make effective decisions so they can make a targeted opening to extract out the bodily trauma.
Also, using augmented reality to perform surgeries is a breakthrough technology. The tools collaborate virtually during the procedure and display navigation information about the relevant body parts.
BENEFITS OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN HEALTHCARE
Improvements in biotechnology are mounting a debate. Following are the advantages biotechnology has on the healthcare sector.
1) Prevents cancers and cardiovascular diseases
Healthcare organizations have come up with biotechnology-employed therapies that can lessen cholesterol levels and prevent heart diseases. In addition, they have uncovered a number of laboratory-made enzymes that can be pursued to propose the better safety of the heart.
To be precise, PCSK9 is the gene that inhibits the minimization of cholesterol from the blood and can surge the risk of cardiovascular disease. To rescue, biotech drugs are being made to hinder PCKS9 and lower the risk of heart diseases.
Organizations are working on one-time therapies for heart patients, so they don’t have to take lifetime therapies and can live, avoid, and survive.
2) Drug discovery
The employment of biotechnology is playing a very crucial role in drug discovery. After the clarification of how the illness is caused, the process is staged to different questions like:
- How did the person catch the disease?
- Which cells are distressed?
- Is the condition a genetic factor? What genes are spoiled on and off in the infected cell?
- Comparison between the deceased and healthy cell
- If the disease is infectious, how does the infection organism interact with the body?
After the answers are gauged, the next goal is selecting a target where the medicine will affect it. These targets can either be a deficit or excessive, for instance, antibiotics. These drugs target enzymes that are in a minimum quantity but essential to the existence of bacteria. And if the proteins are present in excess, then the goal is to block their activity.
When the target is selected, drug selection is made. Next, scientists test thousands of composites to check which ones snoop with target activity, and the lead compound is observed to become a drug.
Next comes the final step of the drug discovery process. After the potential compound is identified, it goes through an extensive process before reaching humans. Finally, if the drug has no health issues, it can go through clinical trials and come for commercialization.
3) Vaccine development
Biotechnology has made vaccine development a lot safer today. As a result, they are more and innovative than ever before and with better accuracy.
The emergence of biotechnology in healthcare has bought new techniques and holds promising importance for patients, paramedics, and families by preventing harmful and curing fatal diseases, such as the COVID-19 vaccines.
4) Genetic diseases
Gene therapies using biotechnology are one of the best advancements in the healthcare sector. These treatments cure genetic disorders by incorporating the correct gene to replace disturbed or inactive genes.
This insertion is usually done with the help of courses like adenovirus, herpes simplex virus, and retrovirus. In the process, the normal genes replace the defective ones and carry out the proper functions. If the therapy is introduced in the early stages of life, there is a shallow risk of disorders taking a worse turn.
Today, more than 400 biotech drugs and shots are under testing process and being experimented with for 100+ diseases. More than 200 among those medicines are to cure cancers, 50 to combat infectious diseases, and 40+ to take care of autoimmune illness.