One-third of all our proteins have the cell membrane as their natural environment, where they perform several of the most basic life-preserving biological processes. Approximately half of the most common drugs today are directed at membrane receptor proteins. Understanding membrane proteins is therefore vital in modern drug development.
The new biosensor is based on nanostructures which comprise holes in thin metal films where different types of membrane with membrane proteins can be formed. This makes it possible to analyse the features of the proteins, which are normally sensitive and unstable outside their natural environment. On Friday, December 12, Andreas Dahlin will defend his thesis.
"All processes which are being developed are spontaneous under the right conditions and take place 'by themselves'. The thesis also shows how biochemical reactions that take place in the membrane can be studied by measuring the colours on the nanostructured surface," he states.
The colour changes can be attributed to the local chemical environment on the nanostructured metal surface and provide information about different processes in which the proteins being studied are involved.
"Greater knowledge of the reactions in membrane proteins will lead to a greater understanding of how a drug functions, which will ultimately contribute to our ability to develop several drugs more rapidly," says Andreas Dahlin.
The colour phenomenon arises due to what are known as plasmons - heat wave movement that arises when light induces electrons to move in a fixed rhythm on a metal surface. The strong colours generated by plasmons have been utilised by people for thousands of years.
The first alchemists in China made elixir containing gold nanoparticles with a clear red colour and it was claimed that they had life-prolonging features. This type of alternative medicine exists even today. Another common example of plasmons is the clear colours found in mediaeval church windows.
A great deal of the work was carried out at the Department of Solid State Physics at Lund University. There has also been collaboration with the Department of Clinical Chemistry at Sahlgrenska University Hospital and with Duke University in Durham, USA. The results have been highlighted in the international research field and are often referred to in international journals.Contact
Sofie Hebrand | idw
When fat cells change their colour
28.10.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Aquaculture: Clear Water Thanks to Cork
28.10.2016 | Technologie Lizenz-Büro (TLB) der Baden-Württembergischen Hochschulen GmbH
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences