Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Transport Mechanisms Gain Access To Brain

19.02.2016

Three-year key project receives 560,000 euros in funding

Researchers at the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology of Heidelberg University are exploring new approaches to the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system such as Alzheimer's and brain tumours. In collaboration with a research team from the USA, Prof. Dr. Gert Fricker in the field of pharmaceutical technology and neurobiologist Prof. Dr. Ulrike Müller are developing transport systems that can penetrate the blood-brain barrier to "ferry" certain agents into the brain. The Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation is funding the three-year key project with approximately 560,000 euros. Research work is scheduled to begin in April 2016.


The blood-brain barrier, which separates the central nervous system from circulating blood, is formed by the vascular walls of the cerebral capillaries and allows the free passage of only a few nutrients. The barrier is virtually impermeable especially to macromolecules like proteins, DNA and RNA. Yet it is precisely these molecules, known as biologicals, that Prof. Fricker indicates are highly interesting for treating Alzheimer's and aggressive brain tumours, the glioblastomas.

His working group has now developed special polymer nanoparticles with a modified surface that enables them to specifically dock onto and permeate the blood-brain barrier, after which they dissolve in the brain. Prof. Fricker explains that these particles can be loaded with low molecular agents, i.e., substances of low molecular weight. The particles then transport the otherwise disallowed substances into the central nervous system, where they reach the therapeutically necessary concentrations.

The underlying concept is now being applied to biologicals provided by Prof. Müller and her colleague Prof. Dr. Olivia Merkel of Wayne State University Detroit (USA). Ulrike Müller specialises in Alzheimer’s research. The Heidelberg neurobiologists and her working group supply the peptide APPsα, which protects the nerve cells and acts as an antagonist to the toxic ß amyloid. The ß amyloid deposits are thought to be one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Olivia Merkel and her research team are supplying the so-called small interfering RNA molecules. These short molecules of ribonucleic acid help turn off the expression of certain genes in brain tumours.

The charitable Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation promotes the advancement of medical research. The foundation supports key projects with the potential to make fundamental and groundbreaking discoveries that could impact an entire field of research.

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Gert Fricker and Prof. Dr. Ulrike Müller
Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology
Phone: +49 6221 54-8336 (Fricker) and -6717 (Müller)
gert.fricker@uni-hd.de, u.mueller@urz.uni-hd.de

Communications and Marketing
Press Office, phone: +49 6221 54-2311
presse@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.ipmb.uni-heidelberg.de/phazt/abteilung
http://www.ipmb.uni-heidelberg.de/bioinfo-fkt_gen/mueller

Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>