Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nano-tech makes medicine greener

04.11.2011
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen are behind the development of a new method that will make it possible to develop drugs faster and greener. This will lead to cheaper medicine for consumers.

Over the last 5 years the Bionano Group at the Nano-Science Center and the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen has been working hard to characterise and test how molecules react, combine together and form larger molecules, which can be used in the development of new medicine.

The researchers' breakthrough, as published in the prestigious journal Nature Nanotechnology, is that they are able to work with reactions that take place in very small volumes, namely 10-19 liters. This is a billion times smaller than anyone has managed to work with before. Even more intriguing is the ability to do so in parallel for millions of samples on a single chip.

"We are the first in the world to demonstrate that it is possible to mix and work with such small amounts of material. When we reach such unprecedented small volumes we can test many more reactions in parallel and that is the basis for the development of new drugs. In addition, we have reduced our use of materials considerably and that is beneficial to both the environment and the pocketbook," says professor Dimitrios Stamou, who predicts that the method will be of interest to industry because it makes it possible to investigate drugs faster, cheaper and greener.

The technique makes production greener

The team of professor Stamou reached such small scales because they are working with self-assembling systems. Self-assembling systems, such as molecules, are biological systems that organise themselves without outside control.

This occurs because some molecules fit with certain other molecules so well that they assemble together into a common structure. Self-assembly is a fundamental principle in nature and occurs at all the different size scales, ranging from the formation of solar systems to the folding of DNA.

"By using nanotechnology we have been able to observe how specific self-assembling systems, such as biomolecules, react to different substances and have used this knowledge to develop the method. The self-assembling systems consist entirely of biological materials such as fat and as a result do not impact the environment, in contrast to the materials commonly used in industry today (e.g. plastics, silicon and metals). This and the dramatic reduction in the amount of used materials makes the technique more environment friendly, ‘greener'," explains Dimitrios Stamou, who is part of the Synthetic Biology Center and director of the Lundbeck Center Biomembranes in Nanomedicine.

Dimitrios Stamou | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.sund.ku.dk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Novel anti-cancer nanomedicine for efficient chemotherapy
17.09.2019 | University of Helsinki

nachricht Researchers have identified areas of the retina that change in mild Alzheimer's disease
16.09.2019 | Universidad Complutense de Madrid

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Happy hour for time-resolved crystallography

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.

The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.

Im Focus: Modular OLED light strips

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

Im Focus: The working of a molecular string phone

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Potsdam (both in Germany) and the University of Toronto (Canada) have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water-network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a ‘breathing’ motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein.

This time-lapse sequence of structures reveals dynamic motions as a fundamental element in the molecular foundations of biology.

Im Focus: Milestones on the Way to the Nuclear Clock

Two research teams have succeeded simultaneously in measuring the long-sought Thorium nuclear transition, which enables extremely precise nuclear clocks. TU Wien (Vienna) is part of both teams.

If you want to build the most accurate clock in the world, you need something that "ticks" very fast and extremely precise. In an atomic clock, electrons are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

AI for Laser Technology Conference: optimizing the use of lasers with artificial intelligence

29.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stroke patients relearning how to walk with peculiar shoe

18.09.2019 | Innovative Products

Statistical inference to mimic the operating manner of highly-experienced crystallographer

18.09.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists' design discovery doubles conductivity of indium oxide transparent coatings

18.09.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>