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Living Water
August 2, 2010   
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A Polish nanotechnology company has invented a new kind of water that freezes
in temperatures below 60 degrees Celsius, boils at over 180 degrees, and dissolves substances such as oil.

The company, based in the southwestern town of Bolesławiec, is called Nantes-Systemy Nanotechnologii, and the researchers refer to this special kind of water as “nanowater.”

The innovative technology, the only of its kind in the world, won the Gold Medal at last year’s 58th Brussels Innova World Exhibition of Innovation, Scientific Research and New Technology. An international panel of judges praised the technology and its commercial application for the production of “nanocosmetics.”

The inventors of the method, Prof. Wiesław Stręk and Nantes-Systemy Nanotechnologii CEO Zbigniew Oszczęda, say that, apart from making cosmetics, nanowater can be used for the production of heavy-duty concrete and yogurts with high bacteria content, for example. According to Stręk, nanowater offers enormous opportunities for medicine and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

From small molecules big things grow

In a nutshell, the nanowater technology developed by Nantes-Systemy Nanotechnologii can be described as breaking down normally sized groups of water molecules (H2O) into much smaller ones, experts say.

“Under normal conditions, water molecules form clusters of up to 1,000,” says Stręk. “Using electrical discharges, for example, the clusters can be broken down into small, neatly arranged groups, or nanoclusters, and the resulting substance has different properties.”

A single H2O molecule is 1 nanometer in diameter, hence the term nanowater. Water assumes similar properties when it reaches the supercritical state in high pressures and at high temperatures, but the Polish researchers have successfully obtained this kind of water in normal temperature and pressure. The process involves subjection of normal water to electrical discharges or a magnetic field. It is not a time-consuming process and can be conducted continuously, even on flowing water, according to experts. The researchers are now working on a technology to process water into nanowater with cold plasma.

When the clusters are broken down, the resulting nanowater is a better and more efficient carrier of nutrients than ordinary water, hence the idea to use it in cosmetics.

The Nantes laboratory was the first company in Poland to take advantage of the special properties of nanowater to produce cosmetics. Thanks to nanowater, the company’s cosmetics contain less water than ordinary cosmetics, but owing to the specific effect of nanowater, nutrients and active substances contained in the cosmetics are fully absorbed, Nantes executives say.

“Nanowater is a much better solvent than normal water, raising the solubility of gases and salts by 50 percent,” says Stręk. “Declusterized water also has a lower pH. Nanowater looks and tastes the same as normal water and it is recommended as drinking water. People used to collect similar water after rainstorms, calling it ‘living water.’ We can now produce ‘living water’ in a lab.”

The world in a vacuum

Nantes-Systemy Technologii was established in February 2007 on the basis of Polish capital and Belarusian research expertise. The company set out to study processes taking place in a vacuum, a type of research that had been abandoned in Poland in the 1990s. This kind of research continues to be pursued in countries such as the United States, Germany, Russia and Belarus, according to the researchers.

In 1987, the Kama WT laboratory in Mogilev, Belarus, started investigating the effect of a low-temperature plasma on various kinds of materials. The research involved scientists from Belarus, Russia, the United States, Turkey, Germany, Britain and Sweden. When materials were treated in a Low-Temperature Plasma Reactor, it turned out that, bombarded with ionizing radiation with an energy of 0.5-5 KeV, many types of materials inside the reactor changed their properties into more desirable ones, becoming more durable, flexible and resistant to deformation and corrosion. Some of the test results instantly found practical application. For example, synthetic diamonds subjected to the treatment became even harder and free from microcracks and so they were later used to manufacture cutting tools.

The Nantes-Systemy Nanotechnologii laboratory was opened as a joint project with the Mogilev laboratory. “We started researching and implementing technological processes in order to start using our expertise on an industrial scale,” says Oszczęda. “Having discovered all the phenomena produced by the Low-Temperature Plasma Reactor, we can model and alter the structure of practically any material, improving its properties and parameters.”

The researchers were particularly intrigued by what happened when water had its structure altered. Using resonance triggered by plasma irradiation, they managed to optimize the structure of water both inside and outside biological systems. The research is hoped to result in new diagnostic methods and treatments and help scientists better understand the progress of various diseases, including cancer.

Nanowater—new hope for medicine?

According to the researchers, clusters are essentially recordings of information about any changes that molecules in a given cluster have gone through. The greater the defect of cluster molecules, the larger and more asymmetrical the cluster is. The researchers hypothesize that gigaclusters are the main cause of anomalies in living organisms, such as premature aging, diseases and mutation.

Water treated in the Low-Temperature Plasma Reactor boils at 187 degrees Celsius, freezes at minus 67 degrees, and has a zero coefficient of thermal expansion at freezing, the researchers say. Such water dissolves 35-40 percent more substances than normal water, making it possible to obtain highly concentrated solutions. The water also displays unique electrophysical properties.

The researchers’ findings have been used in studies on the effect of nanowater on living organisms. The first experiments performed on S. cerevisiae, or baker’s yeast, showed that growth media based on nanowater altered the metabolism of the cells three to four times faster than in the control group, according to the researchers. Unlike in the control group, the yeast did not die when the medium ran out of nutrients, but turned into anabiotic states, or spores, the researchers say. Further experiments performed on blood preparations showed that radiation from the Low-Temperature Plasma Reactor not only stimulated, but also normalized the structure and functioning of lymphocytes and leukocytes. This especially applied to preparations made from the blood of cancer patients. After radiation treatment, the spectral fluorescence of immunocytes in cancer patients started resembling that of healthy people. The Nantes laboratory performed different treatments on the cells, which resulted in a large number of observations and confirmed the beneficial influence of the radiation on various blood parameters, according to the researchers.

“Having analyzed the data from control tests and experiments, we believe we have discovered an effect whereby radiation from the Low-Temperature Plasma Reactor modulates the activity of cells of the immune system of living organisms, including humans,” said Oszczęda. After water is treated in the Low-Temperature Plasma Reactor and then introduced into a living organism in its pure form or with nutrients dissolved in it, it helps eliminate anomalies and stimulates the regeneration of anomalous tissues and organs, according to Oszczęda.

In the past several years, the Polish researchers have been working in different countries and laboratories, researching blood preparations and trying to figure out how diseases, cancer in particular, develop. These studies have led them to the conclusion that many such diseases can be treated with methods similar to homeopathy by stimulating the body’s immune system.

Nantes has been recently searching for a partner to help conduct clinical trials and other tests necessary to secure permission for the method to be used in medicine. According to the researchers, the method could help people suffering from leukemia, diabetes and thyroid diseases.

Praise and plans

For the time being, Nantes is only using nanowater for the production of cosmetics. It has developed a line of “nanocosmetics” and opened a health and beauty clinic in Wrocław, the largest city in the southwestern Lower Silesia region. The staff at the clinic include experts on cosmetic medicine and dermatosurgery, dermatologists, dentists, beauticians and physiotherapists.

Nantes-Systemy Nanotechnologii has received an award from the science minister for its use of nanowater for the production of cosmetics. The award was presented at an innovation fair in Warsaw in March.

In a related project, Nantes is working on a method to obtain and apply hydroxylapatite with an admixture of nano-sized silver ions. In the near future, Nantes plans to launch production of a toothpaste with hydroxylapatite nanoparticles. The project will be co-financed by the European Union as part of the European Regional Development Fund and by the Polish government as part of the Regional Operational Program for Lower Silesia Province.

Ewa Dereń
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