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New technique yields troves of information from nanoscale bone samples
Date:6/22/2011

Troy, N.Y. A new technique developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute allows researchers to collect large amounts of biochemical information from nanoscale bone samples.

Along with adding important new insights into the fight against osteoporosis, this innovation opens up an entirely new proteomics-based approach to analyzing bone quality. It could even aid the archeological and forensic study of human skeletons.

"We're able to take very small, nanoscale-sized bone samples, and determine the protein signatures of the bone," said Deepak Vashishth, head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer, who led the study. "This is a relatively quick, easy way for us to determine the history of the bone how and when it formed as well as the quality of the bone, and its likelihood to fracture."

Results of the study, titled "Biochemical Characterization of Major Bone-Matrix Proteins Using Nanoscale-Size Bone Samples and Proteomics Methodology," were released online in late May by the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. The journal, published by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, will also feature the paper in an upcoming print edition. The study may be viewed online at: http://bit.ly/lAfSfI.

The research, funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, was conducted in the laboratories of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at Rensselaer.

Bones are primarily composed of mineral, with the remaining amount comprised of organic material. The vast majority of the organic material is collagen. The remaining non-collagenous organic material is a mixture of other proteins, which form an interlinked matrix. The quality of this matrix varies greatly with age, nutrition, and disease. Vashishth and his research group investigate this bone matrix to determine how the interaction and modification of individual protei
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Contact: Michael Mullaney
mullam@rpi.edu
518-276-6161
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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