MolMapNet: AI tool to predict drug properties
AI and deep learning have been a part of the world for a while now, but more recently, the medical industry has been using this technology. One such area is pharmaceutical drugs, and this is the reason MolMapNet was developed.
What Is MolMapNet?
Originally created through the combined work of researchers from Zheijang University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University’s School of Pharmacy, and the National University of Singapore, MolMapNet is unique. It’s an AI tool developed to analyze the molecular makeups of drugs and predict the pharmaceutical properties of the drugs. This is made possible through access to a massive database of existing molecular knowledge.
AI is usually used for other purposes, such as scanning images and recognizing visual changes. Teaching the AI to learn molecular characters was a challenge, but one that the researchers overcame. They used human knowledge to teach the AI, which was more difficult for the machine. It had to learn things like volume and other parameters for the molecules that were part of human knowledge but not easily absorbed or processed by the AI system.
The reason this type of unordered data is difficult to teach AI is that the computer cannot analyze the information as easily. It’s a flaw in the AI construct, but one that these researchers overcame in an unconventional manner. The group of researchers mapped the information into images to make it simpler for the AI system to understand and process everything.
This unique AI system requires no fine-tuning of parameters, so anyone can make use of it.
How It Works
MolMapNet uses a three-step method to determine the molecular properties of certain drugs. These steps are:
Step One: Molecular property models from more than 8 million molecules are fed into the system. Broad relationships are linked to pharmaceutical or healing properties. This is a big job in and of itself, which means the links and relationships must be determined before going any further.
Step Two: The new information is mapped into 2D images, with pixels placed to map the intrinsic relationships between the properties. Each pixel indicates a pharmaceutical property that may be used to help educate the deep learning project.
Step Three: Finally, the AI is taught to look at the 2D images and then use them to determine what the pharmaceutical properties are and what can be reasonably expected from the creation of certain drugs. Since the AI learns best with images, giving it an image-based method of determining which types of medication will be best used for certain types of issues.
Why does all this information matter? Not only will it help pharmacists and researchers figure out a specific characteristic that they require, it can also be used in biomedical research. There are many uses for this sort of medication predictor. It allows scientists to figure out ahead of time which medications may be useful in certain situations. The AI will also predict just how effective the medication will be for your particular situation. The amount of time this could save researchers is incredible.
Who Needs MolMapNet?
MolMapNet is a system that does not require special training to use. For instance, non-experts who are trying to figure out what a specific medication does can use it.
The primary purpose of MolMapNet is to map molecular properties and predict which future properties might come from specific drugs. These pharmaceutical drugs aren’t always obvious in their uses, so having a machine learn more about them and predict future uses can speed up the process of checking drugs against diseases.
Those researchers working on a cure for something will often spend a lot of time trying to determine which medications to use. They mix and test until they finally reach the optimal dosage and results. With deep learning, the entire process just goes faster and is more accurate. Instead of trying dozens of options, researchers can pinpoint which area should receive their attention.
The Pros and Cons of MolMapNet
As far as artificial intelligence goes, this system offers more than most. It does have a lot of great information and is often updated with more information as it is collected. Other upsides to the AI system include:
- Usable by non-experts.
- Has great potential for finding new uses for medications.
- Faster and more accurate than humans.
Cons of MolMapNet include:
- Long process to teach the AI molecular properties.
- New technology and not yet ready for market.
- Not much else is known about MolMapNet.
Deep learning has some pretty major advantages, but with a brand-new technology, we have yet to see all the possibilities for this AI system.
Alternatives to MolMapNet
At this point in time, there is nothing else available like MolMapNet. You’ll find lists of pharmaceutical drugs that may be compared and organized, but these don’t offer the same insights that the AI does. Though AI is certainly being used more often in the world of pharmaceuticals, it’s mainly to ensure there are no interactions between patient medications and to check for possible alternatives to medications. There are very few other uses for it at this point.
This is one reason MolMapNet is so widely admired. The AI system is unique and stands out from everything else currently on the market. The fact that it could be used to find brand-new treatments for diseases that scientists have yet to understand means there may be many more breakthroughs in medicine in the near future, once this AI is released to the public.
At this point, no one truly knows enough about this brand-new deep learning system to predict all the ways it will change the future of pharmaceutical drugs. The possibilities are great, and it will be interesting to see where scientists go with the new technology and whether they use it to its maximum potential.