Proteins are molecules which play a central role in biological processes, and form the basis of all living tissues. When a foreign material, such as a medical implant, is put into a living organism, then a layer of protein molecules will start to attach and grow on it. By using experiments and theories which have been developed to understand this growth, the researchers have identified the key steps which are important for proteins to form this layer.
The research shows that proteins first stick to a surface then they slide around until they meet each other and join together to form clusters. These clusters are also able to slide around, although not as quickly, and can then stick together to create even bigger clusters. This movement results in a surface which is covered in isolated islands of protein molecules separated by large areas of bare surface.
For medical and dental implants, knowledge about the arrangement of protein molecules on a surface is important, because it is these molecules which interact directly with the surrounding tissue. The way in which proteins initially attach to a surface influences how cells then grow and this has implications for the integration or rejection of any implanted material. If proteins were fixed at the first point of attachment, then this would create a very different surface distribution with different properties.
Dr Roger Bennett, from the Departments of Chemistry and Physics, said “Our work into the ways in which proteins attach and cluster on solid surfaces will help to develop better biocompatible materials for use in implants. In contrast to previous ideas, which were based on simple models, our experiments and modelling show the actual behaviour of proteins. Our research has investigated how proteins attach to surfaces by mimicking the immersion of artificial materials, such as medical and dental implants, in biological solutions, for example blood or saliva, then visualising the results by using a technique known as Atomic Force Microscopy.”
Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy
24.03.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core
24.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
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...
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