Jena scientists from different disciplines founded a new network in order to utilize so-called nanocontainers for applications in the biomedical field ("NanoConSens"). The research collaboration is now being funded by the State of Thuringia for the next 3 years with EUR 1.25 million within the framework of the "ProExzellenz Initiative".
"We aim at building up and optimizing various nanocontainers in such way that they - as intelligent transport vehicles - release active agents in the right dose at the right time at the right place in the human body", Prof. Dr. Ulrich S. Schubert from the University in Jena describes the direction of the project. "With that, high-impact medicine which is not blood soluble", explains the initiative's coordinator, "can be selectively transported to its destination without side effects. We are striving to enclose, for instance, antibiotics or even complex molecules like siRNA."
Such different substances require transport vehicles that are individually tailored to the special type of molecule. Moreover, they have to be provided with molecules navigating on their surface, like for example sugars or peptides. The new collaboration is, among other things, using combinations of novel concepts for building up star-shaped polymers, employing cationic polymers, varying the size of the nanocontainers and utilizing state-of-the-art methods of synthesis (like the so-called "click chemistry"). Furthermore, modified nanocontainers can be employed as sensors for the investigation of living cells - for example to determine ionic concentration, temperature or pH value.
The eight funded interdisciplinary subprojects unite partners from such disciplines as chemistry, pharmacy, medicine and biology from the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - "Hans-Knöll-Institute" (HKI). The entire project helps strengthen the research profile of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and its research focus on "Innovative Materials and Technologies" (www.materials.uni-jena.de).Contact:
Axel Burchardt | idw
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The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
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Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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