Blockchain’s various use-cases have always surprised us and have taken us to newer developments as a society. Recently, Japan’s Gifu University has initiated an interesting step that involves the blockchain technology and dental industry.
The ‘ShizuiNet traceability’ project-
The Associate Professor Kenichi Tezuka, along with his colleagues at the University has started to explore NEM (New Economy Movement) blockchain. They are intending to develop solutions to trace the supply chain in the dental pulp stem cell (DPSC) research. This project is called- the ‘ShizuiNet traceability’ project. It is the first of its kind in the country’s medical sector. The Gifu Research & Development Foundation and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology are providing their full support for this project.
The NEM log, on this topic, said that the NEM blockchain would offer-
[…] kind of a distribution system that fully records manufacturing, distribution, and consumption in an open form which has never been seen before.
The controversial topic- ‘stem cell research’-
There have always been debates around the topic of stem cells research. For instance, the embryonic stem cells research and the related projects, despite their potential, fall under scrutiny and debates.
The dental pulp stem cell (DPSC) is different-
Yet the dental pulp stem cell (DPSC), to an extent, is sheltered from such debates because it can be obtained directly from teeth. The removal of the teeth is a normal dental procedure and is considered as ‘medical waste when discarded.
The dental pulp stem cell (DPSC) is looking forward to extracting the stem cells from the soft living tissues that are found in teeth. This soft living tissue is called- ‘dental pulp.’ The objective of this research is to extract the regenerative cells from the dental pulp, which can be further used in various medical practices. The research is although at a tender stage of development, so it is currently, a wait and watches the game.
The probable critical challenges-
The theory of this research sounds very promising. Yet it faces several medical changes that can flip the game altogether. For instance, during any medical procedures that are therapeutic in nature, it takes a long time to be successfully completed, and also, it is exposed to many environmental factors that include- ‘oxidative stress, temperature fluctuations and exposure to chemical components,’ and so on. In such a situation, it becomes highly critical to trace elements such as-
- The cell production,
- The safety and protection of the genetic information, and
- The ability of the genetic data to be verified.
It will be a great achievement if the researches are able to nail the challenge. It will prove to be a great gift to the human race.
NEM- the reliable blockchain platform for traceability and security-
By far, the track record of NEM has been successful and promising. For instance, in the food industry, NEM has been able to support critical needs, such as traceability and security. It has been able to offer tamper-proof storage of information. It has been also used in the Country’s food supply chain. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if NEM can also prove itself to be a successful platform for the mentioned dental pulp medical research too.
What can NEM blockchain offer to the dental pulp stem cell (DPSC)?
As per sources, in every test tube barcodes will be used to record the stem cell information which will correspond to the data stored on the ‘time-stamped’ NEM blockchain. Further, there will be provisions of multi-signature and notary security to ensure the transparency and security of the project.
Further, the President of the NEM Foundation- Alex Tinsman said-
The ShizuiNet project is a great example of leveraging NEM’s versatility and plug-and-play platform. Additionally, becoming a node host on our network does not require the same level of hardware as on others. Projects like ShizuiNet that require data to be stored for many years can, therefore, count on our blockchain being active. […] Blockchain-based systems like NEM are driving collaboration with the scientific community and furthering advancements. The future is going to bring contributions to the fields of AI, blockchain, and deep learning.