Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Three-Tier Biomarker Discovery Platform for Ageing Frailty

Alfredo Franco-Obregon, PhD, and Santhosh Kumar Seetharaman, M.B.B.S, MRCP, FRCP | National University of Singapore; and Ivan Goh Jiewen, M.S. | QuantumTx Pte Ltd
Competition Sponsor: Ministry of Health and National Research Foundation of Singapore
Awardee Year: 2020

Two principal factors predominantly determine the onset of age-related frailty and morbidity, mitochondrial and muscular function. Muscle is our largest tissue mass and greatest single source of mitochondria. Stimulating muscle energy production, as during exercise, improves overall health and promotes longevity. The homeostatic role of muscle over systemic metabolism and health extends from its evolutionarily-designed capacity to synthesize and release a collection of trophic and metabolic factors, known as myokines, into the systemic circulation. Accordingly, mitochondrial activation induces myokine function. We have developed a non-invasive and efficient method to activate muscle mitochondrial respiration that is capable of promoting in vitro and in vivo myogenesis as well as improve mitochondrial function, downstream survival adaptations and secretome activation with as little as 10 minutes of treatment applied once or weekly, respectively. Our intervention consists of a very low energy magnetic signature that acts on the quantum biological level to stimulate mitochondrial energy metabolism. Our magnetic fields are non-disruptive, being only ~15-times greater than the Earth’s standing field. Indeed, we have shown that normal development depends upon environmental magnetism, as shielding cells from all ambient magnetic fields arrests their growth and differentiation. Magnetism is thus an authentic developmental force of underexploited clinical potential. We have demonstrated our magnetic intervention to produce: 1) mitochondriogenesis (Sirt1, PGC-1, Nrf2 transcriptional upregulation); 2) mitochondrial survival adaptations (telomere lengthening and reduced apoptosis); 3) improved metabolism (increased mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, adipose browning, microbiome shifts towards metabolic enhancement, reduced serum ceramide levels, reduced serum insulin and inflammatory markers levels); 4) improved muscle functioning in animals (increased physical performance and reduced fatigue); and 5) enhanced myokine release. In essence, our magnetic fields emulate the mitochondrial effects of exercise, yet without the damaging mechanical stress associated with exercise, having profound clinical implications for the elderly frail.

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View this project poster, first displayed at the 2021 Global Innovator Summit.

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