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
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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