Archive for the ‘nanotechnology’ category: Page 4

May 8, 2019

Quercetin conjugated with superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles improves learning and memory better than free quercetin via interacting with proteins involved in LTP

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology, neuroscience

Biomedical application of quercetin (QT) as an effective flavonoid has limitations due to its low bioavailability. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPION) is a novel drug delivery system that enhances the bioavailability of quercetin. The effect of short time usage of quercetin on learning and memory function and its signaling pathways in the healthy rat is not well understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of free quercetin and in conjugation with SPION on learning and memory in healthy rats and to find quercetin target proteins involved in learning and memory using Morris water maze (MWM) and computational methods respectively. Results of MWM show an improvement in learning and memory of rats treated with either quercetin or QT-SPION. Better learning and memory functions using QT-SPION reveal increased bioavailability of quercetin. Comparative molecular docking studies show the better binding affinity of quercetin to RSK2, MSK1, CytC, Cdc42, Apaf1, FADD, CRK proteins. Quercetin in comparison to specific inhibitors of each protein also demonstrates a better QT binding affinity. This suggests that quercetin binds to proteins leading to prevent neural cell apoptosis and improves learning and memory. Therefore, SPIONs could increase the bioavailability of quercetin and by this way improve learning and memory.

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May 8, 2019

Researchers create ‘impossible’ nano-sized protein cages with the help of gold

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology

Researchers from an international collaboration have succeeded in creating a “protein cage”—a nanoscale structure that could be used to deliver drugs to specific places of the body, and which can be readily assembled and disassembled, but also withstands boiling and other extreme conditions. They did this by exploring geometries not found in nature reminiscent of “paradoxical geometries” found in Islamic art.

Role-playing gamers—at least those who played before the digital age—are aware that there are restrictions governing the shape of dice; try to make a six-sided die by replacing the square faces with triangles, and you will be left with something horribly distorted and certainly not fair. This is because there are strict geometrical rules governing the assembly of these so-called isohedra. In nature, isohedral structures are found at the nano level. Usually made from many and having a hollow interior, these protein cages carry out many important tasks. The most famous examples are viruses that use protein cages as a carrier of viral genetic material into host cells.

Synthetic biologists, for their part, are interested in making artificial protein cages in the hope of imparting them with useful and novel properties. There are two challenges to achieving this goal. The first is the geometry problem—some candidate proteins may have great potential utility, but are automatically ruled out because they have the wrong shape to assemble into cages. The second problem is complexity—most are mediated via complex networks of weak chemical bonds that are very difficult to engineer from scratch.

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May 7, 2019

Bacterial toxin research could improve pesticides and help treat cancer

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Research into an intricate toxin delivery system found in bacteria could overcome the problem of pesticide resistance in insects, and might even lead to new cancer treatments.

An international team led by Dr. Michael Landsberg at The University of Queensland has revealed the detailed inner workings of the newest member of a family of naturally occurring insecticidal toxins.

“This , known as YenTc, is a highly effective toxin-delivering nanomachine,” Dr. Landsberg said.

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May 7, 2019

Space experiment looks to slow the aging process using nanoparticles

Posted by in categories: life extension, nanotechnology, space travel

The latest SpaceX Dragon cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) included an experiment that could help to combat the ravages of time here on Earth. The European experiment will test how ceramic nanoparticles interact with cells to act as an anti-aging supplement that not only holds promise for alleviating the effects of growing old, but also for combatting chronic illness and space-related stresses for astronauts on prolonged space missions.

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May 6, 2019

Filming how our immune system kill bacteria

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

To kill bacteria in the blood, our immune system relies on nanomachines that can open deadly holes in their targets. UCL scientists have now filmed these nanomachines in action, discovering a key bottleneck in the process which helps to protect our own cells.

The research, published in Nature Communications, provides us with a better understanding of how the kills bacteria and why our own cells remain intact. This may guide the development of new therapies that harness the immune system against bacterial infections, and strategies that repurpose the immune system to act against other rogue cells in the body.

In earlier research, the scientists imaged the hallmarks of attack in live bacteria, showing that the immune system response results in ‘bullet holes’ spread across the cell envelopes of bacteria. The holes are incredibly small with a diameter of just 10 nanometres.

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May 4, 2019

A novel technique that uses quantum light to measure temperature at the nanoscale

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Being able to measure, and monitor, temperatures and temperature changes at miniscule scales—inside a cell or in micro and nano-electronic components—has the potential to impact many areas of research from disease detection to a major challenge of modern computation and communication technologies, how to measure scalability and performance in electronic components.

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Apr 30, 2019

DNA folds into a smart nanocapsule for drug delivery

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

Researchers from University of Jyväskylä and Aalto University in Finland have developed a customized DNA nanostructure that can perform a predefined task in human body-like conditions. To do so, the team built a capsule-like carrier that opens and closes according to the pH level of the surrounding solution. The nanocapsule can be loaded—or packed—with a variety of cargo, closed for delivery and opened again through a subtle pH increase.

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Apr 26, 2019

Unprecedented insight into two-dimensional magnets using diamond quantum sensors

Posted by in categories: nanotechnology, particle physics, quantum physics

For the first time, physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in measuring the magnetic properties of atomically thin van der Waals materials on the nanoscale. They used diamond quantum sensors to determine the strength of the magnetization of individual atomic layers of the material chromium triiodide. In addition, they found a long-sought explanation for the unusual magnetic properties of the material. The journal Science has published the findings.

The use of atomically thin, two-dimensional van der Waals promises innovations in numerous fields in science and technology. Scientists around the world are constantly exploring new ways to stack different single atomic layers and thus engineer new materials with unique, emerging properties.

These super-thin composite materials are held together by van der Waals forces and often behave differently to bulk crystals of the same material. Atomically thin van der Waals materials include insulators, semiconductors, superconductors and a few materials with magnetic properties. Their use in spintronics or ultra-compact magnetic memory media is highly promising.

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Apr 25, 2019

New nanomedicine slips through the cracks

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, nanotechnology, neuroscience

In a recent study in mice, researchers found a way to deliver specific drugs to parts of the body that are exceptionally difficult to access. Their Y-shaped block catiomer (YBC) binds with certain therapeutic materials forming a package 18 nanometers wide. The package is less than one-fifth the size of those produced in previous studies, so it can pass through much smaller gaps. This allows YBCs to slip through tight barriers in cancers of the brain or pancreas.

The fight against cancer is fought on many fronts. One promising field is gene therapy, which targets genetic causes of diseases to reduce their effect. The idea is to inject a nucleic acid-based drug into the bloodstream—typically small interfering RNA (siRNA)—which binds to a specific problem-causing gene and deactivates it. However, siRNA is very fragile and needs to be protected within a nanoparticle or it breaks down before reaching its target.

“siRNA can switch off specific gene expressions that may cause harm. They are the next generation of biopharmaceuticals that could treat various intractable diseases, including cancer,” explained Associate Professor Kanjiro Miyata of the University of Tokyo, who jointly supervised the study. “However, siRNA is easily eliminated from the body by enzymatic degradation or excretion. Clearly a new delivery method was called for.”

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Apr 25, 2019

DNA as you’ve never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, nanotechnology

You are probably familiar with graphics depicting the double helix structure of DNA. But have you ever seen a single DNA molecule standing straight?

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