The biomimetic approach to medicine

The greatness of biomimetic science lies in its horizontality, which allows us to apply the vital and natural patterns to many fields of human expertise. One of them, vital to the development and welfare of people, is medicine. Thanks to bringing a biomimetical vision to health studies, new avenues for treating illnesses are opening up. It is possible, therefore, to unravel the current state of some lines of research and develop solutions that are much more effective and respectful with our own nature.

Although, in a first glance, biological designs may not seem as optimal as inspiration for the medical field and, according to some hegemonic speeches, the human species is presented as a postnatural species (that is to say, above the nature, which has found the way to overcome it), decades of research have shown that biological solutions are highly tolerant against damage and very flexible to adapt to new situations and uses. It can not be ignored that people still have a lot to learn from nature.

 

Biological solutions are highly tolerant of damage and highly adaptable.

 

An example of this biomimetic approach in the field of medicine comes from Bionure, a company that has decided to attract this biomimetic knowledge to its research processes to develop new therapies that can treat brain diseases. This organ, which is one of the most sensitive structures to damage due to its enormous complexity and the path that evolution has chosen for its development, has some natural answers that it uses when it comes to dealing with the damage. The company, by activating these responses, awakens the necessary repair mechanisms to deal with and protect against specific problems and illnesses. This is what is called the neuroprotective approach, an approach to systems that highlights the opportunities that genes, molecules, and brain cells provide for the development of neuroprotective therapies.

This line of research, therefore, focuses on understanding how damages affect the brain and the natural mechanisms of protection and repair. Analyzing all this spectrum of systems involved in the processes, one can develop a knowledge able to promote new neuroprotective therapies. For example, to combat neurodegenerative diseases, through the treatments, the natural body's response can be activated in order to make the axons of the neurons -responsible for the conduction of the nerve impulse- diminish their deterioration and regenerate their protective pod of myelin to return to its normal state.

This biomimetic approach promotes the creation of a new generation of drugs for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis and Optic Neuropathy with results that are far superior to those that can be obtained with the current medicine. In the middle of the postnatural age of Homo Deus, this shows that betting on natural inspiration opens up new and hopeful phats that can radically change the treatments in which many people's lifes depends on.

 

Abel Cobos
Biomimetics Sciences Institute