The research helps explain naturally occurring nano-material within cells and could one day lead to engineered bio-composites for drug delivery, artificial tissue, bio-sensing, or cancer diagnosis.
Results of this study, “Bionanocomposites: Differential Effects of Cellulose Nanocrystals on Protein Diblock Copolymers,” were recently published in the American Chemical Society’s BioMacromolecules. The findings were the result of a collaborative research project from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) Montclare Lab for Protein Engineering and Molecular Design under the direction of Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Jin K. Montclare.
Bionanocomposites provide a singular area of research that incorporates biology, chemistry, materials science, engineering, and nanotechnology. Medical researchers believe they hold particular promise because—unlike the materials that build today’s medical implants, for example—they are biodegradable and biocompatible, not subject to rejection by the body’s immune defenses. As biocomposites rarely exist isolated from other substances in nature, scientists do not yet understand how they interact with other materials such as lipids, nucleic acids, or other organic materials and on a molecular level. This study, which explored the ways in which protein polymers interact with another biopolymer, cellulose, provides the key to better understanding how biocomposite materials would interact with the human body for medical applications.
The materials analyzed were composed of bioengineered protein polymers and cellulose nanocrystals and hold promise for medical applications including non-toxic, targeted drug delivery systems. Such bionanocomposites could also be used as scaffolding for tissue growth, synthetic biomaterials, or an environmentally friendly replacement for petroleum-derived polymers currently in use.
Lead author of the paper is Jennifer S. Haghpanah, at the time a doctoral candidate at NYU-Poly and now at Columbia University. Collaborators in addition to Haghpanah and Montclare include Raymond Tu, City College of New York Department of Chemical Engineering; Sandra Da Silva, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Biomaterials and Biosystems Division; Deng Yan, NYU Langone School of Medicine Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, Microscopy Core Facilities; Silvana Mueller, Christoph Weder, and E. Johan Foster, all of the University of Fribourg Adolphe Merkle Institute; and Iulia Sacui and Jeffery W. Gilman, NIST Materials Science and Engineering Division.
Research in the Montclare Lab explores engineering macromolecules that will assist in applications such as tissue engineering, drug-delivery, imaging, and energy, with the long-term goal of being able to predictably design or engineer artificial therapeutics, biocatalysts, scaffolds, and cells.
This research was funded in part by the National Science Foundation, the Society of Plastics Engineers, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and the Adolphe-Merkle Foundation.
Kathleen Hamilton | EurekAlert!
Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University
Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University
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.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
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...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences