Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Programmable nests for cells

20.01.2020

KIT researchers develop novel composites of DNA, silica particles, and carbon nanotubes -- Properties can be tailored to various applications

Using DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) developed novel programmable materials. These nanocomposites can be tailored to various applications and programmed to degrade quickly and gently.


Bacteria cells (red) on a programmable composite of silica nanoparticles (yellow) and carbon nanotubes (blue).

Photo: Niemeyer-Lab, KIT

For medical applications, they can create environments in which human stem cells can settle down and develop further. Additionally, they are suited for the setup of biohybrid systems to produce power, for instance. The results are presented in Nature Communications and on the bioRxiv platform.

Stem cells are cultivated for fundamental research and development of effective therapies against severe diseases, i.e. to replace damaged tissue, for instance. However, stem cells will only form healthy tissue in an adequate environment.

For the formation of three-dimensional tissue structures, materials are needed, which support cell functions by perfect elasticity. New programmable materials suited for use as substrates in biomedical applications have now been developed by the group of Professor Christof M. Niemeyer of the Institute for Biological Interfaces 1 - Biomolecular Micro- and Nanostructures (IBG 1) of KIT, together with colleagues from the Institute of Mechanical Process Engineering and Mechanics, the Zoological Institute, and the Institute of Functional Interfaces of KIT.

These materials can be used among others to create environments, in which human stem cells can settle down and further develop.

As reported by the researchers in Nature Communications, the new materials consist of DNA, smallest silica particles, and carbon nanotubes.

"These composites are produced by a biochemical reaction and their properties can be adjusted by varying the amounts of the individual constituents," Christof M. Niemeyer explains. In addition, the nanocomposites can be programmed for rapid and gentle degradation and release of the cells grown inside, which can then be used for further experiments.

New Materials for Biohybrid Systems

According to another publication by the IBG 1 team on the bioRxiv bioscience platform, the new nanocomposites can also be used for construction of programmable biohybrid systems. "Use of living microorganisms integrated within electrochemical devices is an expanding field of research," says Professor Johannes Gescher from the Institute for Applied Biosciences (IAB) of KIT, who was involved in this study.

"It is possible to produce microbial fuel cells, microbial biosensors, or microbial bioreactors in this way." The biohybrid system constructed by KIT researchers contains the bacterium Shewanella oneidensis. It is exoelectrogenic, which means that when organic substance is degraded under the lack of oxygen, an electric current is produced.

When Shewanella oneidensis is cultivated in the nanocomposites developed by KIT, it populates the matrix of the composite, whereas the non-exoelectrogenic Escherichia coli bacterium remains on its surface. The Shewanella-containing composite remains stable for several days. Future work will be aimed at opening up new bioengineering applications of the new materials.

###

Original publications:

Yong Hu, Carmen M. Domínguez, Jens Bauer, Simone Weigel, Alessa Schipperges, Claude Oelschlaeger, Norbert Willenbacher, Stephan Keppler, Martin Bastmeyer, Stefan Heißler, Christof Wöll, Tim Scharnweber, Kersten S. Rabe, & Christof M. Niemeyer: Carbon-nanotube reinforcement of DNA-silica nanocomposites yields programmable and cell-instructive biocoatings. Nature Communications, 2019. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-13381-1 (Open Access)

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-13381-1 External Link

Yong Hu, David Rehnlund, Edina Klein, Johannes Gescher, & Christof M. Niemeyer: Cultivation of Exoelectrogenic Bacteria in Conductive DNA Nanocomposite Hydrogels Yields a Programmable Biohybrid Materials System. bioRxiv, 2019. DOI: 10.1101/864967 (Open Access)

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/864967v1?rss=1 External Link

Being "The Research University in the Helmholtz Association", KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 24,400 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

Media Contact

Monika Landgraf
presse@kit.edu
49-721-608-21150

 @KITKarlsruhe

http://www.kit.edu/index.php 

Monika Landgraf | EurekAlert!
Further information:
https://www.kit.edu/kit/english/pi_2019_161_programmable-nests-for-cells.php

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers at the University of Freiburg use new method to investigate neural oscillations
14.02.2020 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Dragonflies move to the city
14.02.2020 | Technische Universität Braunschweig

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Skyrmions like it hot: Spin structures are controllable even at high temperatures

Investigation of the temperature dependence of the skyrmion Hall effect reveals further insights into possible new data storage devices

The joint research project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that had previously demonstrated...

Im Focus: Making the internet more energy efficient through systemic optimization

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently completed a 5-year research project looking at how to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Among their proposals are smart, error-correcting data chip circuits, which they refined to be 10 times less energy consumptive. The project has yielded several scientific articles, in publications including Nature Communications.

Streaming films and music, scrolling through social media, and using cloud-based storage services are everyday activities now.

Im Focus: New synthesis methods enhance 3D chemical space for drug discovery

After helping develop a new approach for organic synthesis -- carbon-hydrogen functionalization -- scientists at Emory University are now showing how this approach may apply to drug discovery. Nature Catalysis published their most recent work -- a streamlined process for making a three-dimensional scaffold of keen interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

"Our tools open up whole new chemical space for potential drug targets," says Huw Davies, Emory professor of organic chemistry and senior author of the paper.

Im Focus: Quantum fluctuations sustain the record superconductor

Superconductivity approaching room temperature may be possible in hydrogen-rich compounds at much lower pressures than previously expected

Reaching room-temperature superconductivity is one of the biggest dreams in physics. Its discovery would bring a technological revolution by providing...

Im Focus: New coronavirus module in SORMAS

HZI-developed app for disease control is expanded to stop the spread of the pathogen

At the end of December 2019, the first cases of pneumonia caused by a novel coronavirus were reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan. Since then, infections...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electric solid propellant -- can it take the heat?

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Pitt study uncovers new electronic state of matter

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers observe quantum interferences in real-time using a new extreme ultra-violet light spectroscopy technique

14.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>