Quantum discovery made in Murcia that will revolutionize medicine

Quantum discovery made in Murcia that will revolutionize medicinejuan carlos caval

In second World War An arms race began to achieve the first nuclear fission. all for the purpose of creation a nuclear bomb To demonstrate technical strength over the rest. Ultimately it was the United States, led by the physicist robert oppenheimerWho achieved this position.

Today, several decades later, the technological race is marked by another area: the quantum world. Once again the United States is one of the countries leading the way in findings China, european countries like Germany He has also made a place for himself. In fact, the total amount of investment worldwide is850,000 million euros, spain Till now it was not ahead in this field, but from now the future of the country can change.

It was in a laboratory at the University of Murcia where a milestone occurred that could change the technological future of the country. research Group quantum technologiesLed by physicist and teacher xavier priorAfter three years of hard work, one managed to control a quantum platform that could have promising applications, to say the least.

This is an innovation that has so far only been developed primarily in the United States and Germany. The discovery of new diseases, earlier detection of cancer, as well as the development of new treatments for all types of diseases, including old age, which some experts have recently considered to be the case, may be some of the consequences of this discovery.

Early detection of pathology opens up a world of possibilities for treatment development

The research of the group is currently going on on the lines of medicine. Three projects he is conducting at Dance will allow him to study clinical samples in his quantum sensor. Pryor explains that the procedure to follow is as follows: A clinical sample of cells is passed a nanometer sized channel (A nanometer is one billionth of a meter) located in diamond, In this way, researchers will be able to see and analyze the molecules in detail, and detect with a precision never seen before which of them present a very early stage of a certain disease.

The research group is composed of eleven people, five of whom are hired and several student collaborators.

close up of the cell

This sensor will be able to detect first symptoms of a diseaseMonitoring in real time what is happening inside the cell, “since it has a sensitivity and precision not yet seen in any instrument that Spanish medicine has.”

To do this, the physicist explains, “What we do is take our quantum sensors, implant them in nanodiamonds And these, in turn, we introduce into the cell. This, he says, leads to early detection of the disease, which “opens up the possibility of preventing disease progression.”

Furthermore, “Understanding more precisely how the disease begins to develop, how and at what places in the cell, opens the door to the creation of new treatments, because it can be precisely known.” could which part of the cell should be acted upon,


the milestone that belongs to the group UMU ResearchCurrently composed of eleven people (five hired and several students collaborating), it has “a unique platform from a quantum sensor point of view.” In this way, they have a detector capable of “sensing” the smallest magnetic and electric fields imaginable.

The aim is to create a device that would allow this technology to be used in hospitals.

Starting from this base, thanks to these new sensors, it is possible to develop geolocators that are not based on GPS,

15 million euros

The Quantum Technologies project began to take shape about three years ago, based on a patent that Xavier Prior obtained with some German colleagues. Since that moment, the research group has received, in recent years, more than one and a half million euros from three European projects and two national projects, with which they have managed to launch for the first time Quantum Technology LaboratoryBased on one of the most promising quantum platforms existing today: nitrogen atoms are implanted inside diamonds, allowing them to be considered a sensor.

lack of system

Xavier Prior says that, several years ago, he held separate meetings with representatives of the community start a company The technical basis for developing some patents was developed in Germany.

German researchers agreed to transfer the technology to a base company in Spain. However, UMU researcher hits an obstacle: “The region does not have the mechanisms to develop a company with these characteristics.” At the same time, in Germany, a technology of similar magnitude was developed on the basis of magnetic resonators, which, as a result, has today become a multinational company with a turnover worth millions of euros.

future of the project

Despite everything, Pryor has not lost hope and believes that it is possible to continue developing different applications of the project from a commercial point of view in the field. The researcher’s idea is to create a startup by collaborating with other companies, One is located in AustraliaAnother German and another Israeli, linked to researchers with whom he has worked in recent years.

He The ultimate goal The aim is to build a device that allows the use of this quantum technology in hospitals. In short, a tool that allows the detection of new diseases through a much more precise analysis than those seen so far, which will revolutionize Spanish medicine.

“This field could be a leader in the development of quantum computers”

The ability to control the quantum state of a sensor developed by Quantum Technologies at room temperature also opens the door to construction of new Quantum computers based on this platform.

Today very few countries have this technology. USA (Google, Amazon, IBM, etc.) and China monopolizes most of the achievements in this regard. Australia, Germany, France, India, United Kingdom, Russia, Canada, Japan and South Korea are the other countries that invest the most in projects of this nature.

As far as Spain is concerned, to date has invested only 23 million euros For the launch of a future quantum computer in Barcelona, ​​but “not as powerful as the ones that can be developed with our technology,” Pryor says.

This is because, he explains, it will be based on superconductor chips Such as the one Google uses on its computers, which “do not have enough processors to solve very complex quantum problems.”

The Murcia region could be a pioneer in developing one of the first quantum computers based on sensors worldwide NV Center -which have been developed by the UMU group-“, Pryor emphasizes. The advantage of these types of computers compared to normal computers is that “they are able to perform many calculations at the same time.”


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