Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New method for infectious diseases research developed at Umeå University

03.03.2011
Infectious diseases researchers at Umeå University in Sweden are studying the surface properties of bacteria together with materials scientists.

Studies of the outermost parts of the cell walls of bacteria yield new information about the chemical composition of structures that are important for the capacity of bacteria to infect organisms. The findings are now being reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

When bacteria infect a host organism, they usually attach to tissue cells. Infectious diseases scientists at Umeå University are studying structural details of the outermost layer of bacterial cells in order to find new substances that can prevent bacterial infections. In collaboration with materials researchers at the Department of Chemistry, they describe new methods that facilitate and speed up their studies.

Chemist Madeleine Ramstedt is pursuing research on a material with new properties that prevent bacteria from attaching to its surface. The new material would be optimal for equipment in health care, where biofilms of bacteria can be a source of infection. In her research, Madeleine Ramstedt uses spectroscopic methods, among others, that she is now making available to her colleagues in the research consortium Umeå Centre for Microbial Research, UCMR.

Microbiologists Sun Nyunt Wai, Ryoma Nakao, and Bernt Eric Uhlin, together with chemists Jean-François Boily and Madeleine Ramstedt, were investigating whether new physiochemical analysis methods could also be used for microbial studies. The scientists combined so-called cryo-x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy with multivariate analysis. This analysis yields specific patterns of intensity curves depending on the chemical composition of the surface of the material being studied.

“We’ve succeeded also in analyzing the cell surfaces of bacteria with our x-ray spectroscopy. We found strong patterns that we could clearly relate to different compositions in lipids, sugar, protein, and the polymer peptidoglycan in the cell wall of the bacterium that can affect the capacity of a bacterium to infect an organism,” explains Madeleine Ramstedt.

“The method makes it possible to analyze the outermost layer, about 10 nanometers from the surface.”

“Our method is relatively simple in comparison with other methods in which the extraction of various cell components is needed. This means that with our method the surface of the bacteria can be examined under more natural conditions in an intact bacterial cell.”

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy has previously been used to study bacteria, but only to a limited extent. The Umeå scientists have managed to optimize the method.

“We shock freeze the bacteria and keep them frozen throughout the analysis. This allows us to assume that they do not change during the examination. Now it’s possible to compare the cell walls in similar bacteria that have been treated in different ways or that have changed, for example by developing resistance. With our method we can now compare structures in cell walls in pathogenic bacteria with those of non-pathogenic bacteria, all on a larger scale. Hopefully this new method of analysis will yield more rapid results and provide infectious diseases researchers with new clues for finding new antibiotics,” says Madeleine Ramstedt.

UCMR is one of Umeå University’s strong research environments. The centre is an interdisciplinary research consortium that brings together a number of research teams in microbial research with participation from chemistry, medical and clinical microbiology, molecular biology, physics, and bioinformatics.

Contact: Dr. Madeleine Ramstedt, Department of Chemistry, Umeå University
Tel: +46 (0)90- 7866328; e-mail: madeleine.ramstedt@chem.umu.se
Original publication:
Madeleine Ramstedt, Ryoma Nakao, Sun Nyunt Wai, Bernt Eric Uhlin, Jean-François Boily: Monitoring surface chemical changes in the bacterial cell wall – multivariate analysis of cryo-x-ray photoelectronspectroscopy data. The Journal of Biological Chemistry (On-line 17 February 2011).

Karin Wikman | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Could this protein protect people against coronary artery disease?
17.11.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

nachricht Microbial resident enables beetles to feed on a leafy diet
17.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>