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  • Writer's pictureSaurabh Saxena

Nano Sensor for Vitamin D

'Internet of Things' + 'Nanotechnology'. Have you ever thought what can happen if we combine these two?

Here presenting a glimpse of the idea we submitted to 'Technion Israel Institute of Technology'.

Current lifestyle forces billions of youth, who are working in any company, to confine in company space continuously working from morning till evening, depriving them of natural sunlight and thus making them Vitamin-D deficient. Being biologically advanced, most of us are aware about this factor. Thus, we go for sunbathing and supplements that may provide Vitamin-D. But, we do not have any such thing that can monitor the requirement and fulfilment of Vitamin-D while having sunbath.

We can create a biosensor to monitor how much more of Vitamin-D we need for the time and when we should get up after sunbathing, so that we don't suffer from excess tanning or sun baths.

The sun’s energy turns a chemical in your skin into vitamin D3, which is carried to your liver and then your kidneys to transform it to active vitamin D. The first stop is in the liver, where vitamin D picks up extra oxygen and hydrogen molecules to become 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D. This is the chemical that doctors should measure to diagnose vitamin D deficiencies. But although 25(OH)D is used for diagnosis, it can’t function until it travels to the kidney. There it acquires a final pair of oxygen and hydrogen molecules to become 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D; scientists know this active form of the vitamin as 1,25(OH)2D, or calcitriol, but for ordinary folks the name vitamin D is accurate enough.

Sunlight contains two forms of radiant energy, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). UVB provides the energy your skin needs to make vitamin D, but that energy can burn the skin and increase the cell damage that leads to cancer. UVA also contributes to skin damage and premature aging.

Referring to the article: This article explains how a ‘nano lipo-spheric capsule’ has already been made for supplying Vitamin-C to target specific organs. Similar philosophy can be followed to supply a nano-capsule to liver. With a sensor inside the nano capsule, it can detect the amount of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D required for the body.

The capsule would collect data via some sensors, which can measure 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. The capsule's microprocessor sends the data to a transmitter, which then relays it to a receiver in your mobile phone. It can then send this data to one’s phone after some time intervals.

Taking an example, a person takes the capsule when he/she starts sunbathing, after every 15 minutes the capsule would calculate and if the required amount of 25-hydroxyvitamin D has been made by sunbath, it would send info to his/her phone, so as the person can stop sunbathing and can be saved from sunburns or tanning.

This technology would attract people who believe in natural body maintenance rather than going for supplements or pills, but at the same time, who don’t want to have skin problems due to sharp sun’s rays.

However, the same capsule can be used to supply Vitamin D too as the article does with Vitamin-C.

Some of the special properties of nano particles that nutritional scientists have found beneficial include:

1. The benefits of nutrients are amplified because more of the surface area of the molecule is exposed to the cell, which means that less of the nutrient is needed to produce the intended benefit.

2. The nano capsule can be designed to take a more direct route to its target tissue, which means that its effects occur more quickly than with traditional tablets or capsules

3. Since the nano particles shield and protect the nutrients as they pass through your body, less of the nutrient is excreted as waste.

The data obtained can be used in various ways, for personal use as well as for further research in health and medicine industry. This data can also help one’s doctor to treat patient in a better way and suggest best treatment possible.


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