Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Controllable protein gates deliver on-demand permeability in artificial nanovesicles

09.10.2015

Researchers at the University of Basel have succeeded in building protein gates for artificial nano-vesicles that become transparent only under specific conditions. The gate responds to certain pH values, triggering a reaction and releasing active agents at the desired location. This is demonstrated in a study published in the journal Nano Letters.

Tiny nanovesicles can protect active agents until they arrive in specific environments, such as at the target site in the body. In order to trigger a chemical reaction and release the contents at that location, the outer casing of the synthetically produced vesicles must become permeable at the correct point in time.


Nanocompartment with closed protein gates (red).

University of Basel

Working under Prof. Cornelia Palivan, researchers from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute have now developed a membrane gate that opens on demand. This means that the enzymes inside a nanocapsule become active under exactly the right conditions and act on the diseased tissue directly.

Reacting to changes in pH

The gate is made up of the chemically modified membrane protein OmpF, which responds to certain pH values. At neutral pH in the human body, the membrane is impermeable – but if it encounters a region with acidic pH, the protein gate opens and substances from the surrounding area can enter the nanocapsule.

In the resulting enzymatic reaction, the capsule’s contents act on the incoming substrate and the product of this reaction is released. This method could be applied, for example, to inflamed or cancerous tissue, which often exhibits a slightly acidic pH value.

Until now, permeability in nanovesicles has been achieved using natural proteins that operate as pores in the protective membrane, allowing both the substrate to enter and the product of the enzymatic reaction to escape.

However, fields such as medicine or controlled catalysis call for more precise distribution in order to achieve the greatest possible efficiency of the active agent. In collaboration with Prof. Wolfgang Meier’s team, the chemists working under Prof. Palivan were able for the first time to integrate a modified membrane protein into an artificially produced nanocapsule, which opened only if it encountered corresponding pH values.

The experiments performed at the university are part of the National Center of Competence in Research Molecular Systems Engineering (NCCR MSE), and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (SNI).

Originalbeitrag
T. Einfalt, R. Goers, I.A. Dinu, A. Najer, M. Spulber, O. Onaca-Fischer, C. G. Palivan
Stimuli-triggered activity of nanoreactors by biomimetic engineering polymer membranes
Nano Letters ¦ doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b03386

Further information
Tomaz Einfalt, University of Basel, Department of Chemistry, Swiss Nanoscience Institute, tel. +41 61 26 7 38 37 email: tomaz.einfalt@unibas.ch

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.unibas.ch/en/News-Events/News/Uni-Research/Steuerbare-Proteinschleus...

Reto Caluori | Universität Basel

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht More genes are active in high-performance maize
19.01.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht How plants see light
19.01.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>