Photo of María Cristina Soraires

Biotechnology & medicine

María Cristina Soraires

Biotech start-up using nanotechnology to improve drug treatments.

Year Honored


Latin America

Hails From

The pharmaceutical industry employs five and a half million people worldwide, and in 2020 alone globally invested nearly US$200 billion in research and development and filed more than 10,700 patents, according to data from the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations. One example of the fruits of biomedical science's labor is the messenger RNA vaccines that helped quell the COVID-19 pandemic, and which are already being studied for application in the treatment of other diseases. Recently, the work of researchers Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman was recognized with the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their decisive role in the development of this technology.

This new type of vaccine on the market would not have been possible without nanotechnology (vaccines such as Pfizer's and Moderna's use lipid nanoparticles that envelop and protect the mRNA). Nanomedicine - the application of nanotechnology to the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of disease - holds significant potential to improve people's lives, but much of its promise has yet to be realized. With the aim of ending this impasse, Argentine pharmacist and lawyer María Cristina Soraires (33) founded PLAMIC, a biotech start-up that enables the cost-effective and scalable production of nanomedicines.

Thanks to this initiative, Soraires has become one of MIT Technology Review's Innovators Under 35 Latin America 2023 in Spanish. The young woman aspires to improve existing therapeutic alternatives, facilitate the production of nanomedicines, and break the current bottleneck in the manufacture of drugs developed with nanotechnology. Through microfluidics, the science that studies the movement of small quantities of liquids through very narrow channels, PLAMIC optimizes the manufacturing process, reduces costs, and ensures the reproducibility of the method. In this way, more patients will be able to access personalized and targeted treatments for complex diseases such as cancer and autoimmune diseases, notes Soraires.

"Our platform can improve the delivery of nanomedicines through precise fluid mixing," explains the innovator. "These products are more effective and have fewer side effects than conventional drugs, as they are more localized." For Soraires, the lack of availability and the high cost of nanomedicines are the obstacles that have prevented progress in this pharmaceutical field: "With our microfluidic technology, we will be able to bring more drugs to market at a lower final price." Democratizing access to this technology, he says, will improve patients' quality of life.

PLAMIC has already created a prototype to develop nanomedicines against cancer. Its founder aspires to reach mass production so that more and better nanomedicines will be available, thus popularizing the use of nanotechnology in treatments and having a positive impact on healthcare systems around the world.