The second task of the National Research Programme 'Healthy Ageing' – to develop methods for the early detection and forecasting of the progress of diseases which shorten a healthy and productive life through the use of biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, information and communications technologies. Three measures have been envisaged with respect to the second task under the Programme:
Measure 1 – to search and study the molecular factors inhibiting or suppressing the ageing of human cells, as well as differentiation and disorders of the regenerative potential, and study the diagnostic and applied value of such factors.
For the purpose of studying the biological processes of ageing it is important to engage highly efficient study technologies, studies of comparative genomics and genetic associative studies, bioinformation and system biology methods. The application of technologies for the determination of second generation nucleic acid sequences, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, interactome, metagenome and bioinformation analysis, and integrated analysis methods, by combining multiple technologies enabling the analysis of biological analysis of different classes and/or their interactions will provide abundant information about the ageing processes at the molecular, genetic and epigenetic levels, as well as about the new relevant biomarkers of ageing.
It is necessary to study the molecular and functional characteristics of stem cells, differentiation and migration peculiarities. This would create the preconditions for using stem cells for an efficient regeneration of tissues, and would contribute to the creation and application of the treatment methods of circulatory system, cancer, neurodegenerative and other diseases in clinical practice;
Measure 2 – to consider new molecular markers and based on those develop new generation methods for diagnosing and forecasting diseases shortening the duration of a healthy and productive life through biotechnologies, postgenomic and bioinformation technologies.
It is important to establish (develop) sensitive, effective and economically substantiated methods for the early detection of degenerative diseases and other cancer-related diseases of the elderly (breast, cervical or colorectal cancer) by implementing diagnostics and prognostic measures based on molecular markers. It is necessary to further develop methods for the diagnostics of chronic and acute syndromes and the modern treatment of ischaemic heart disease. An identification of the molecular and cellular factors of valve degeneration disease pathogenesis would facilitate the creation of new treatment methods; such factors would be instrumental in stratifying the patient risk and development of patient-specific measures for the prevention of the progression of diseases.
Measure 3 – to develop new tools and measures for diagnosing diseases shortening a healthy and productive life, the planning of diagnostic procedures and the passing of clinical diagnostic solutions through the use of imaging, info-tele- and nano-technologies.
It is important to develop organism-saving and little invasive diagnostic and theranostic tools on the basis of multi-functional imaging markers. The diagnostic imaging capacities of modern imaging systems – computer tomographs, organism imaging devices developed on the basis of nuclear magnetic resonance, x-rays, gama-rays, and ultrasound all depend on contrast agents and the incorporation of imaging biomarkers into the cycle of the image formation to a large extent. A task of special importance is the development of new contrast imaging agents, radiopharmaceutical preparations, nano-particles and diagnostic and theranostic nanoplatforms instrumental in imaging the functional and metabolic processes caused by a disease, or highlighting disease damaged locations.
Sensitive and informative early diagnostic methods using optical technologies, optoacoustic synergies and non-invasive implementation technologies would facilitate the creation of new optical biopsy, non-invasive ultrasound transcranial sonography methods for the active diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, address the issue of the sonography resolution and would create suitable preconditions for the preparation and development of nanotechnology, biophone and laser application methodologies suitable to be used for diagnostics.
The diagnostic tools developed on the basis of nanotechnologies and cell technologies are expected to be more sensitive, accurate and more reliable, able to apply simultaneously the different measurement systems or several integrated analytical systems – from regular diagnostics or the imaging of the disease source to the management of a sophisticated diagnostic mechanism.
Models of medical signals and images based on information communication technologies, concepts of enhancement of resolution and informative and parametrisation methods realised by means of software, the search for segmentation, classifications, and internal patterns, knowledge obtaining methods adapted for clinical research would facilitate the creation of new signal, image and data flow processing methods, and software modules designed for stationary and embedded systems.
By engaging methods for the processing, merging and parametrisation of medical 2D and 3D images, multimodal synchronous signals and data flows, for computation of the parameters relevant for diagnostics and therapy, as well as knowledge of engineering and cloud computing, new computerised workstations could be created for doctors which would enable the intense processing of images and signals, parametrisation, the obtaining of the required information, the planning of diagnostic procedures, and the passing of well-reasoned clinical diagnostic decisions.