Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein Fibrils as Alternative Plastics?

29.05.2008
Amyloids are not just pathological agents, they are interesting nanomaterials

Amyloid deposits in tissues and organs are linked to a number of diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, type II diabetes, and prion diseases such as BSE. However, amyloids are not just pathological substances; they have potential as a nanomaterials.

“The potential applications of these supramolecular assemblies exceed those of synthetic polymers,” state Ehud Gazit and co-author Izhack Cherny in the journal Angewandte Chemie, “since the building blocks may introduce biological function in addition to mechanical properties.”

Even in nature, amyloids are not merely abnormal, incorrectly folded proteins; they are physiological components of organisms. For example, they are an important protective material in the egg envelopes of insects and fish. They are also involved in the formation of the biofilms of many bacteria, a coating on the surface of the bacterial cells that protects them from antimicrobial substances and facilitates their attachment to surfaces.

... more about:
»Amyloid »Protein »properties

Amyloid fibrils are bundles of highly ordered protein filaments made of ladder-like strands and can be several micrometers long. In cross-section, amyloids appear as hollow cylinders or ribbons. Although amyloid fibrils are proteins, they more closely resemble synthetic polymers (plastics) than the usual globular proteins. Amyloids can display amazing mechanical properties similar to spider silk. Spider silk is, by weight, significantly stronger than steel and can be stretched to many times its original length without tearing— properties that have not been reproducible with synthetic fibers.

“The self-assembly properties of amyloids, together with their observed plasticity, makes them attractive natural building blocks for the design of new nanostructures and nanomaterials,” according to the authors from the University of Tel Aviv (Israel). “These building blocks can be broadly varied by means of simple molecular biological techniques.” Surfaces could be given tailored and biocompatible coatings, for example, in analytical flow devices for medical technology or bioanalysis. Other ideas include amyloid hydrogels for the encapsulation and controlled release of drugs and for scaffolds for three-dimensional cell cultures and tissue engineering. Functional proteins such as enzymes could be bound to amyloid-forming sequences to mimic biological processes.

Amyloid fibrils are also suitable as matrices for nanostructures. For example, it has been possible to produce a conducting nanoscale coaxial cable by filling amyloid nanotubes with sliver and externally coating them with gold.

Author: Ehud Gazit, Tel Aviv University (Israel), http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/biotech/members/gazit/gazit.html

Title: Amyloids: Not Only Pathological Agents but Also Ordered Nanomaterials

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2008, 47, No. 22, 4062–4069, doi: 10.1002/anie.200703133

Ehud Gazit | Angewandte Chemie
Further information:
http://pressroom.angewandte.org
http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/departments/biotech/members/gazit/gazit.html

Further reports about: Amyloid Protein properties

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

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 the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>