Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Safe nanomotors propelled by sugar

06.10.2015

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and their collaborators have made a breakthrough in nanomotors for future applications in medicine by developing the first ever fully biocompatible self-propelling particles that are powered by enzymes that consume biological fuels, such as glucose.

In a study published today in Nanoletters, Max Planck research group leader and ICREA research professor Samuel Sánchez and his collaborators at the University of Tübingen and the MPI for Solid State Research, Germany, describe their fabrication of the world’s first enzyme-powered synthetic nanomotors that overcome the disadvantages of current systems by being both biocompatible and powered by biologically benign fuels.


An enzyme-powered nanomotor

Dr. Samuel Sánchez

The new bio-friendly mini motors, which are made from hollow mesoporous silica proven to be harmless to cells and tissues, will be able to be used in biomedical applications, as their self-propulsion is powered by the biocatalytic reactions of three different naturally occurring enzymes: catalase, urease, and glucose oxidase. The enzymatic reactions power the Janus nanoparticles – special types whose surfaces have two or more distinct physical properties – by occurring asymmetrically on only one surface, propelling them in the opposite direction. Not only that, but the researchers based in Tübingen also broke new ground during this study by measuring, for the first time, the propulsion force of nanomotors using optical tweezers, leading to a better understanding of how self-propelled nanoparticles behave.

“To be safe for use in applications in medicine in the body, nanoparticles need to be made out of biocompatible and biodegradable materials, as well as being capable of both autonomous motion using biologically benign fuels and cargo delivery – such as drug delivery – at small scales,” says Samuel, who heads what has been described as ‘one of the leading groups in the field’ of nanomotor research, the Smart Nano-Bio-Devices group, with locations at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart and at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) in Barcelona. “We’ve tackled all these issues with our new particles. For their architecture, we used a material which offers a high drug-loading capacity owing to its hollow structure; and for propulsion, we based our methods on the quite recent discovery that enzymes by themselves can act as self-propelled nanomotors as well as being anchored to larger artificial objects, such as carbon nanotubes, to provide a propulsion force using catalytic reactions.”

Such biocatalytic reactions triggered by enzymes consume non-toxic ‘fuel’, as they are naturally present in a biological environment.Different enzyme/fuel combinations can also be used, such as catalase and hydrogen peroxide or glucose and glucose oxidase, meaning the method is very versatile with the potential to be extended to further enzymes.

Previous active micro-and nanosystems developed for potential biomedical uses – as carriers of drug molecules to targeted sites, for example – were limited when it came to real applications because their usual methods of propulsion, such as the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide and platinum, were short-lived and harsh; others were simply passive nanosystems, unable to move autonomously. Additionally, these nanomotors are for first time made up of non-metallic components but only made of silica and enzymes, which assures their biocompatibility and potential biodegradation .

The next steps for the researchers will be to explore how to increase the effective driving force and guide their bio-friendly nanomotors by external manipulation methods, such as chemotaxis, magnetic control or ultrasound, leading to directional movement for active drug delivery to specific locations.

The Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems with locations in Stuttgart and Tübingen emerged in 2011 from the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart. In eight departments, scientists conduct research in the fields of materials science, computer science and biology.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.is.mpg.de/sanchez

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b03100

Annette Stumpf | Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>