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  • At the Gates Foundation, the newly established Women’s Health Innovations team supports the research, development and increased access to innovative products, devices and platforms aimed at improving women’s health. Importantly, women should have a central role in the women’s health innovation ecosystem, leading research, shaping strategies and making funding decisions.

    • Ru-fong Joanne Cheng
    • Mark A. Barone
  • Insect-derived proteins and fats present viable food constituents. They can be bioengineered and fermented to improve their nutritional value and functionality to promote food security and the development of new superfoods. Nonetheless, scale-up production and translation of insect-derived proteins and fats remain difficult.

    • Seyed Mohammad Taghi Gharibzahedi
    • Zeynep Altintas
  • The versatility of three-dimensional printed pharmaceuticals, relative to traditionally manufactured ones, could be leveraged for personalized treatment at the point of care, as well as being integrated into mass-manufacturing pipelines. Improvements in quality control and collaboration with regulatory bodies will pave the way to large-scale clinical translation.

    • Liam Krueger
    • Atheer Awad
    • Amirali Popat
  • The Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative (CTTI) provides recommendations to unlock the full potential of digital health trials, including tools to develop digital biomarkers or endpoints, apply remote technology and interact with health authorities.

    • Joerg Goldhahn
    • Noé Brasier
    • Lindsay Kehoe
  • Many scientific breakthroughs occur when researchers with different expertise come together to work collaboratively, an effort welcomed by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). This Comment provides the perspective of two program officers from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to help researchers with collaborative projects apply for NIH funding.

    • Lisa M. Spain
    • Albert J. Hwa
  • New insights into active versus passive nanoparticle tumour entry and exit mechanisms are enriching the understanding of tumour-targeted drug delivery. Here we align the principles of enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) and active transport and retention (ATR), and outline how their mechanistic features can be employed to improve the performance and clinical impact of cancer nanomedicines.

    • Anshuman Dasgupta
    • Alexandros Marios Sofias
    • Twan Lammers
  • Postdoctoral researchers (postdocs), vital contributors to academia, often face vulnerability and uncertainty. Here is a wish list from a fellow postdoc, outlining key measures to improve postdoctoral life — from employment stability and fair compensation to better work-life balance and mentorship.

    • Siphesihle R. Nxele
  • Organoid intelligence towards biocomputing may provide insights into the neuroscience of learning and memory, and offer a biohybrid form of information processing. Advances in brain region-specific organoid engineering, sensors and signal-processing tools, integration of artificial intelligence, and miniaturization will pave the way for organoid intelligence to make an impact in biomedicine and beyond.

    • Lena Smirnova
  • Viruses can be engineered to deliver nucleic acids, peptides and proteins for plant trait reprogramming. Building on market approvals and sales of recombinant virus-based biopharmaceuticals for veterinary and human medicine, similar innovations may be applied to agriculture for transient or heritable biodesign of crops with improved performance and sustainable production.

    • Fabio Pasin
    • Mireia Uranga
    • Choon-Tak Kwon
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) is finding its way into healthcare. Therefore, medical students need to be trained to be ‘bilingual’ in both medical and computational terminology and concepts to allow them to understand, implement and evaluate AI-related research.

    • Yosra Magdi Mekki
    • Susu M. Zughaier
  • Wound healing mechanisms differ depending on the sex, particularly in chronic wounds. Therefore, sex should be considered in the design of nanomedicine- and biomaterials-based wound healing therapies, both in preclinical and clinical testing.

    • Negar Mahmoudi
    • David R. Nisbet
    • Morteza Mahmoudi
  • Neuromodulation and brain–computer interfaces are rapidly evolving fields with distinct origins but with the shared goal of improving the lives of people with neurological and psychiatric disorders or injuries. Their increasing technological overlap provides new opportunities for collaborative work and rapid progress in neurotechnology.

    • Jeffrey Herron
    • Vaclav Kremen
    • David Borton
  • The clinical translation of therapeutics on the basis of human gut microorganisms is hampered by our limited knowledge of how microbes survive and adapt to fluctuating conditions in the gut. The systematic exploration of gut microbiome survival strategies and trade-offs will thus enable the design of more efficient microbiome-based interventions.

    • Bin Liu
    • Daniel Rios Garza
    • Karoline Faust
  • What does global health equity mean? In bioengineering, ‘equity’ is often interpreted as global ‘access’ to technologies, thereby neglecting wider structural inequalities. Here we suggest that concepts of equity need to be expanded to incorporate principles of equitable representation and recognition within the innovation ecosystem.

    • Alice Street
    • Maïwenn Kersaudy Kerhoas
    • Zibusiso Ndlovu
  • Micro- and nanorobots present a promising approach for navigating within the body and eliminating biofilm infections. Their motion can be remotely controlled by external fields and tracked by clinical imaging. They can mechanically disrupt the biofilm matrix and kill the dormant bacterial cells synergistically, thereby improving the effectiveness of biofilm eradication.

    • Bonan Sun
    • Staffan Kjelleberg
    • Li Zhang
  • The cryopreservation of biological samples is hindered by ice formation and the need to maintain samples under cryogenic conditions during storage and transportation. Silicification offers a simple method for preserving life within refractory, amorphous silicon dioxide, which is analogous to vitreous ice but does not melt and thereby avoids cold-chain issues.

    • Sishi Guo
    • C. Jeffrey Brinker
    • Wei Zhu
  • Harnessing the potential of microbiota analysis creates new opportunities in diagnosing diseases, improving treatment efficacy, reducing treatment complications and preventing disease recurrence. However, microbiota analysis has not yet been integrated into clinical management workflows. Here, we discuss crucial characteristics of microbiota analysis systems for clinical translation.

    • Jyong-Huei Lee
    • Siew Mei Chin
    • Pak Kin Wong
  • Open-source design of medical devices, following the concept of frugal engineering, provides unrestricted descriptions of technical details, allowing the low-cost and local fabrication of devices to reduce global inequities in healthcare.

    • Jorge Otero
    • Joshua M. Pearce
    • Ramon Farré
  • The current drug development pipeline is time-consuming, costly and inefficient. To better model interactions between pharmaceuticals and human physiology and, thus, increase the likelihood of drug success in clinical trials, the effect of pharmacokinetic drug profiles on cellular behaviour should be tested early in drug development.

    • Catherine S. Leasure
    • Gregor Neuert
  • Antimicrobial peptides have the potential to combat the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance; however, their clinical translation remains challenging. Here, we discuss molecular farming as a sustainable approach to antimicrobial peptide production, outlining different platforms to produce antimicrobial peptides using plants and viral vectors.

    • Shahid Chaudhary
    • Magdy M. Mahfouz