Alumni Impumelelo 4

“THIS WILL ALSO IMPROVE THE RATE OF SURVIVAL OF CANCER PATIENTS, NOT FOR JUST THOSE LIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA BUT GLOBALLY AS THE OUTCOME OF THIS RESEARCH WILL LEAD TO EFFECTIVE INTERVENTION IN MEDICAL CARE CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT. Furthermore, this research will provide alternate clinical treatment for cancer to the present chemotherapy, which, when developed into clinical treatment, will advance the economy. Thus, the long-time success of this work will have greater chances of attracting international funding as well as collaborations with pharmaceutical companies,” he said. Prof Oluwafemi highlighted that the developed superhydrophobic membrane will be used for the desalination and treatment of wastewater via membrane distillation with the aim of going beyond the laboratory experimental work, to calculate energy and cost required for the treatment of various wastewaters such as industrial effluents, home and municipal wastewater in order to increase the commercial acceptance of this technology.

climate change are their serious consequences. Water scarcity especially has become a key challenge in developing countries like South Africa and India due to industrialisation and an increasing population. The expected gap in global water supply and demand by 2050 is 40%. Though the Fourth Industrial Revolution could exacerbate existing threats, there is also an opportunity to harness this revolution to address these problems. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence combined with advanced sensors can be deployed into water bodies to analyse the quality of water and share the information. This will allow us to see where and how the waterways are contaminated, for instance if they are near to industries that discharge contaminants. Advanced nanomaterials such as quantum dot-composites which can detect the contaminant quickly will open new possibilities for smart sensors and water treatment. For example, a new polymer nanocomposite membrane, combined with AI software, can analyse data from flow and pressure sensors to determine the best water treatment. New types of graphene- based membranes and new technologies such as membrane distillation could revolutionise the desalination market, which has grown steadily over the past several years.”

“The world has gone through various industrial revolutions since the 18th century. We are now in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. According to the World Economic Forum, the Fourth Industrial Revolution belongs to “cyber- physical systems” which can merge the capabilities of both human and machine. This is the era where artificial intelligence, genome editing, renewable energy, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, big data and the Internet of Things can combine the physical, digital and biological worlds.” He stressed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have a greater impact on the evolution of global healthcare in the decades to come and nanotechnology would be a major contributor to this. “Unlike the current therapies which attack the whole body, nanodrugs can be directed to the tumour in a patient’s body and can be activated upon reaching the target. These nanorobots or nanites carrying nanodrugs will be small enough to enter the human blood stream to perform a wide array of functions such as targeting the cells, delivering the drugs, cleaning arteries, killing viruses and potentially conducting surgery from the inside.” Prof Oluwafemi concluded: “While previous industrial revolutions modernised the world, we must not forget that our current

environmental problems such as pollution, water crisis, and



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