Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has made tennis history by winning a record 23rd Grand Slam tournament at the French Open in Paris. The controversial star is well-known for promoting wellness fads and pseudoscience and was spotted wearing a ‘nanotechnology patch’ throughout the tournament in Paris. Djokovic claimed that it was the “biggest secret of his career” and without the device, he would not have achieved what he has professionally.
What on earth is that? You may well ask.
Here is the answer to that question from the manufacturer of the device:
Taopatch uses nanotechnology material. Nanotechnology it is the study and application of exceedingly small things, in the range of 1 to 100 nanometers. It has become important in many fields: chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, medicine, and others. Taopatch® is a small disk, 1 cm in diameters and less than 1 mm thick, containing nanoparticles called “quantum dots” with a hypoallergenic coating. These quantum dots “pick up” infrared radiation from the body and emit another radiation in the range of visible light, like that used by the low-level and ultra-low-level laser therapy (Scoppa et al., 2016) plus far Infrared, near Infrared and nourishing UV light. These photons exert a favorable effect when applied to sensitive points of the human body (acupuncture points). These devices have been certified by an independent laboratory to be free of any substances having a pharmacological action that may be released and absorbed by subjects who place the devices on the skin.
SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND BENEFITS
Balance, posture, movement, and sports
The upright posture marks a great achievement in its evolutionary path, allowing it to integrate itself more efficiently with the environment. Balance, movement efficiency, and muscle coordination are important for human activity. Electromagnetic fields interact with biological structures and may improve these functions of the organism, as is demonstrated in the following studies. The effect of the Taopatch® on the posture control of 45 healthy subjects and two multiple sclerosis patients was studied by Genua et al. (2015/2016). The purpose of posture is the maintenance of balance. Thus, 15 healthy subjects were given the Taopatch®, 15 a placebo, and 15 were control subjects. The researchers demonstrated an improvement of the relationship between balance and energy expenditure for the subjects using the device relative to placebo and control subjects. These results further suggested the application of nanotechnology devices to rehabilitation protocols and sports. This research is being continued on the use of the devices by multiple sclerosis patients.
A careful analysis of the effect of quantum dot devices (referred to as “H. I. T. postural devices”) was done by Di Summa et al., 2018. The devices were applied to 20 subjects with no equilibrium disorders. The subjects, aged between 25 and 35 years old, underwent standard stabilometric examinations (the study of body sway during quiet standing). The tests showed a statistically significant improvement in posture, meaning an increased accuracy for voluntary movements. The researchers concluded that the electromagnetic devices interact with the human electromagnetic fields, acting on the postural control system’s components.
Malchiodi Albedi et al. (2017) studied the effect of Taopatch® devices on the postural control of a set of 30 female, healthy subjects. As in the previously mentioned study, stabilometric tests were performed. Active patches were applied to 15 subjects, and sham patches to other 15 subjects in a double-blind protocol. The comparison of active patches vs. sham patches (placebos) showed an evident decrease in the sway path for the active patches, strong evidence of improved posture control.
Carbonari et al. (2020) evaluated the effect of occlusal splints and Taopatch® devices on athletes’ muscular performance, balance, and posture. A set of tests were completed: surface electromyography (sEMG), kinesiography, the squat jump and counter movement jump, and the handgrip test. The results demonstrated that the occlusal splint and Taopatch® applied alone or together immediately improved strength and balance.
Help for patients with multiple sclerosis
Lomeo et al. (2019) evaluated the use of nanotechnological devices for posture control, range of motion of the joints, and general well-being on patients affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Two Taopatch® devices were applied to 28 patients. This research showed that this technology improves movement, proprioception, balance, and general well-being.
The protocols included the self-evaluation test SF-36 Health Survey (a questionnaire to indicate the health status), the international index EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale, a method of quantifying disability in multiple sclerosis and monitoring changes over time), and several accelerometer tests (lower limbs, lumbar flexion, and head movements).
The SF-36 and EDSS tests clearly indicated an improvement in the well-being of the patients. In particular, the SF-36 test demonstrated ameliorations in physical activity, pain, general health, vitality, social activities, emotional and mental health. The improvements were maintained after one year.
The accelerometer tests showed significant improvements in the left hip, right hip, and lumbar inflections. It is important to note that the improvements appear at three months and are also maintained after one year.
Help for dental care of handicapped subjects
Patients with motor, psychomotor, sensory, or intellectual handicaps may present problems for dental care administration. A group of seven patients with light-moderate handicaps (2 with autism, 2 unable to walk due to a stroke, 1 with Parkinson, 1 with Martin-Bell syndrome, 1 with 21 trisomy) were treated with and without the application of Taopatch® (Sedran et al., 2017). The device permitted better management of the procedure, with less fatigue for the patients and more comfort for the operator.
Improvement of antioxidative defense of cells and cell proliferation in biological models
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are significant environmental contaminants. At high ROS concentrations, damage to cellular components occurs, such as proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. The activity of patches containing nanocrystals in the presence of ROS was studied for two biological models, Saccaromyces cerevisiae colonies and Pisum sativum plants. (Benedetti et al., 2018). The patches were exposed to the radiation of specific routers. The treated colonies showed an active defense against reactive oxygen species, and the plant cells increased proliferation. Thus, the results reported in this research suggest extending the application of this technology to fight the effects of various contaminants and reducing the use `of biological and chemical materials for environmental defense.
Benedetti, S., Degrassi C., De Martino A., Beninati S., Cappello F., Bonivento P. (2018). Improvement of Antioxidative Defense of Cells Exposed to Radio Frequencies by a Nanotechnology Device. Journal of Biomaterials, 2(1), 20-23. doi:10.11648/j.jb.20180201.15
Carbonari, B., Balducci, F., Cesaretti, G., Cesanelli, L., Botticelli, D., Messina, G. (2020). Performance, balance and posture variations with Occlusal Splint and Taopatch® devices. A retrospettive cross-over study. J Sports Med Phys Fitness, epub Jul. 30. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11053-3.
Di Summa, F., Capobianco, F.S., Shevchenko, A., De Martino, A., Beninati, S., Baldoni, E., Lumbau, A.M.I., Chessa, G.I. (2018). Improvement of Postural Reprogramming by a Nanotechnology Device. International Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. 6(3), 57-61. doi: 10.11648/j.ijbmr.20180603.11.
Genua, D., Bruno, F., Caldarera, G., Nanotecnologie e Postura. Master’s Thesis. (Italian). UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI PALERMO, SCUOLA DELLE SCIENZE UMANE E DEL PATRIMONIO CULTURALE, MASTER IN POSTUROLOGIA E BIOMECCANICA (2015/2016).
Lomeo, A., Cacciaguerra, C., Garsia, D., Scolaro, A. (2019). The use of nanotechnological devices in degenerative cerebral pathologies: Perspective study on 28 patients with multiple sclerosis (French). Hegel, 9(2), 114-121.
Malchiodi Albedi, G., 1, Corna, S., Aspesi, A., Clerici, D., Parisio, C., Seitanidis, J., Cau, N., Brugliera, L., Capodaglio, P. (2017). Effects of nanotechnology-based devices on postural control in healthy subjects. J Sports Med Phys Fitness, epub Sep 5. Doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07530-2.
Scoppa, F., Gallamini, M., Belloni, G. (2016). Treating Balance Disorders with Ulllt Acupuncture Stimulation: A Further Pilot Study on Normal Subjects Confirms Clinical Applicability of Treatment. J Nov Physiother, 6(285). doi:10.4172/2165-7025.1000285.
Sedran, A., Rizzi R., Sindici, E., Sedran, A. Use of TAOPATCH nanotechnology for dental care on HCP subjects (2017). SIOH Meeting, Milan, 5-6-7 October. University of Turing, Department of Surgical Sciences, Dental School.
What Novak Djokovic has yet again demonstrated, in my view, is the fact that expectation can influence physical outcomes (and that you don’t need many critical thinking skills to become a tennis star).