Lasers, smart light and technology for space

Medicine and housing and communal services, agriculture and space industry – the developments of Belarusian scientists find application in various fields. Today the National Academy of Sciences is a research and production corporation that closely cooperates with various departments and enterprises. More than 150 production facilities of various sizes operate on the basis of NAS organizations: laboratories, pilot sites and full-fledged factories. More than 250 innovations are introduced by scientists annually. NAS representatives spoke about promising projects that will benefit the Belarusian economy.

Smart light

LEDs are often associated only with energy efficient lighting. But these complex systems can find applications in a wide variety of industries. Director of the Center for LED and Optoelectronic Technologies of the National Academy of Sciences Yuri Trofimov noted that the volume of LED production in the world is about $ 15 billion per year. “They help to solve various problems. For example, it is necessary to illuminate plants with artificial light. But some prefer to grow in the shade, some like the sun, some prefer highlands, where there is more ultraviolet spectrum,” he said.

Belarusian scientists have developed a technology that allows you to create LEDs with specified spectral characteristics of radiation (smart light), including the so-called sun-like ones. The technology is based on our own know-how in the field of phosphors. The technology is distinguished by novelty, simplicity, low cost and high efficiency. It is successfully used in the production of greenhouse irradiators for both industrial and home use, in solving other problems. “Somehow botanists come to us and say:“ Make an artificial sun, we need to grow roses. ”I want to say that 40% of success depends on the correct spectrum. We began to create lamps and increased the number of buds, the length of the stem, transferred flowers to another price category. Considering which spectrum is better absorbed by plants, you can get the maximum result “, – said Yuri Trofimov.

Lighting has a great impact on a person’s well-being. “In the morning, the cold spectrum energizes, and you need to fall asleep in warm light. Moreover, the spectral ranges also depend on genes. Arabs who live in hot climates love cold light, while Scandinavians love warm light. By the way, we made lighting for aircraft cabins: from it also depends on how the passengers will feel during the flight, “the director of the center said.

Space technologies

The Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences develops lasers for various purposes. “Now we are working on domestic laser systems for processing materials, 3D printing. Another interesting development is a laser-plasma engine for correcting the orbit of small satellites. We will be able to create pulses that will allow us to make even minimal adjustments, to tune to a certain point. consumes little energy, its weight can be several tens of grams. This direction is being developed according to the program of the Union State, the implementation of which ends this year. Then the development will be tested “, – said the director of the Institute of Physics named after B.I. Stepanov NAS Maxim Bogdanovich.

The Institute of Powder Metallurgy of the National Academy of Sciences has developed a lightweight prefabricated mirror substrate made of silicon carbide ceramics with glass coating. It is intended for use in space. As the scientists note, stringent requirements are imposed on the optical mirrors of space telescopes both in terms of characteristics and operating conditions. The properties of silicon carbide ceramics make it possible to design mirrors with a high degree of lightness, while having high dimensional stability and a low coefficient of thermal deformation. A technology has been developed that makes it possible to obtain large-sized substrates from individual elements by soldering, as well as a technology for applying a glass coating to a prefabricated substrate to give the mirror the necessary optical properties.

Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences works with the Ministry of Health not only in the field of creating new pharmaceuticals, developing genetic technologies, using stem cells, but also in building e-health. It is the National Academy of Sciences that is the developer of an electronic prescription, a unified computerized system for medical personnel.

The COVID-19 pandemic is in the spotlight this year. Around the world, many specialists have joined in the search for methods to combat the spread of coronavirus, ways to help patients. Belarusian scientists could not stand aside either. A republican interagency working group has been created to overcome COVID-19. She considers not only the problem of creating a drug against COVID-19, but also other issues of combating this disease. Using supercomputers, Belarusian bioinformatics have found certain structures that can become a prototype of a drug that could block certain coronavirus proteins, its receptor surfaces. Funding for further research is being addressed.

A special need during a pandemic arose in protection systems, filtering materials. “One of our developments is a fabric metallized with silver and copper ions. Not only masks, but also gowns for the protection of doctors can be made from it. A system for influencing blood using optical light has been developed to combat microbial, bacterial and viral effects on We have tested it on other types of diseases, but we believe that it can be effective against COVID-19 as well, “said Sergei Chizhik, First Deputy Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences.

A group of scientists has been created in Belarus to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. “The Institute of Physiology is the head organization today. The SN Vyshelessky Institute of Experimental Veterinary Medicine, the Institute of Biophysics and Cell Engineering, the Institute of Genetics and Cytology are also involved in this problem. The BSU and the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology are actively involved. The main task is to create a serious school, so that if in the future we have to face a similar problem again, we have ready-made specialists to develop vaccines in a short time, ”stressed Margarita Dosina, scientific secretary of the Institute of Physiology of the National Academy of Sciences.

Belarusian scientists have also developed a gas heating system to clear the respiratory tract from COVID-19. “A gas cylinder is connected to this system, filled with an oxygen-helium mixture, which is heated to 70 degrees, and with the help of a mask is supplied to the patient so that he breathes it for a certain time. Helium is a unique gas with fluidity, it penetrates deep enough. Inhaling this gas , the patient kills the coronavirus in his respiratory tract. This method of prevention will be useful for doctors who leave the high risk zone. The system will also be useful for patients who have just got sick in a mild form. So far, this is an experimental sample, we are now conducting research to optimize it. I think prototypes will be ready by the middle of next year, “the scientific secretary said.

Scientists also pay attention to other diseases. The Brain Center has been operating at the Institute of Physiology of the National Academy of Sciences since 2018. “We simulate various types of pathologies and try to find solutions. One of the interesting developments is a biochip for studying neural networks, brain functions and subsequently creating new approaches to treating and restoring brain structures. The uniqueness of this biochip is that it can not only register electrical indicators (brain cells are electrically excitable tissues, that is, transmit electricity), but also teach stem cells. That is, we can pre-differentiate stem cells in a neurogenic direction and get nerve cells and tissues, “said Margarita Dosina.

She drew attention to the fact that today the whole world is trying to minimize the number of experiments on animals, to create models that will allow the transition from in vivo to in vitro. At the Institute of Physiology of the National Academy of Sciences, a bioprinter has been developed on which pieces of tissue, including certain parts of the brain, can be printed. “For example, if we need to conduct experiments related to epilepsy, we can put such a piece of the brain on a biochip and use this model to study the effectiveness of different drugs,” added the scientific secretary.

Materials (edit)

“Materials science is the basis of our movement forward. New technology, new effects can be obtained due to materials with desired properties. Polymer composites, ceramics, metals – Belarusian scientists pay attention to a variety of areas. For example, there is a task to master the production of plastic skis in Belarus. Thanks to the developed our scientists managed to surpass the material even of the Austrian skis in sliding. Moreover, ours are much lighter, “noted Sergei Chizhik.

NAS monitors world trends in the field of materials science. For example, graphene is now considered a promising material all over the world that can largely replace silicon. Belarusian scientists managed to obtain a graphene-like material. On its basis, work is underway on new types of energy storage devices.

Clean water and smart food

Of course, water is the most important resource for humans. Belarus has large reserves of fresh groundwater. Nevertheless, the issue of cleaning remains relevant, especially in Minsk, where a significant part of the population receives water from surface sources. “The Republican Center” Pure Water “has been created at the National Academy of Sciences. It unites a number of organizations that perform a full cycle from the idea to the release of finished materials, water purification devices. small organic molecules-toxicants. Today we are talking about the development of membrane technologies. Our institutes have already developed polymer ultra- and nanofiltration membranes, which allow water purification at the molecular level, “- said the chief scientific secretary of the NAS Andrey Ivanets.

In connection with the launch of the nuclear power plant, Belarusian chemists have developed technologies for the complex processing of liquid radioactive waste. They are based on the use of both sorption materials, which allow the selective extraction of long-lived radionuclides, and catalytic, membrane ones.

Particular attention is paid to smart nutrition that meets the needs of a particular person. Belarusian scientists have developed functional and specialized products for nutrition of children of early, preschool and school age, people suffering from diabetes mellitus, phenylketonuria and celiac disease and a number of other diseases, as well as leading an active lifestyle. Among the novelties of recent years are canned food for pregnant women and nursing mothers, marshmallows with biological anti-crystallizers, instant cookies, gluten-free marmalade, sugar-free chocolate, instant isotonic drinks for athletes.

Valeria GAVRILOVA,

PHOTO Ramil NASIBULIN

A source: belta.by

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