Navigation Links
Scientists overcome nanotech hurdle
Date:8/13/2008

When you make a new material on a nano scale how can you see what you have made? A team lead by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences research Council (BBSRC) fellow has made a significant step toward overcoming this major challenge faced by nanotechnology scientists. With new research published today (13 August) in ChemBioChem, the team from the University of Liverpool, The School of Pharmacy (University of London) and the University of Leeds, show that they have developed a technique to examine tiny protein molecules called peptides on the surface of a gold nanoparticle. This is the first time scientists have been able to build a detailed picture of self-assembled peptides on a nanoparticle and it offers the promise of new ways to design and manufacture novel materials on the tiniest scale - one of the key aims of nanoscience.

Engineering new materials through assembly of complex, but tiny, components is difficult for scientists. However, nature has become adept at engineering nanoscale building blocks, e.g. proteins and RNA. These are able to form dynamic and efficient nanomachines such as the cell's protein assembly machine (the ribosome) and minute motors used for swimming by bacteria. The BBSRC-funded team, led by Dr Raphal Lvy, has borrowed from nature, developing a way of constructing complex nanoscale building blocks through initiating self-assembly of peptides on the surface of a metal nanoparticle. Whilst this approach can provide a massive number and diversity of new materials relatively easily, the challenge is to be able to examine the structure of the material.

Using a chemistry-based approach and computer modelling, Dr Lvy has been able to measure the distance between the peptides where they sit assembled on the gold nanoparticle. The technique exploits the ability to distinguish between two types of connection or 'cross-link' - one that joins different parts of the same molecule (intramolecular), and another that joins together two separate molecules (intermolecular). As two peptides get closer together there is a transition between the two different types of connection. Computer simulations allow the scientists to measure the distance at which this transition occurs, and therefore to apply it as a sort of molecular ruler. Information obtained through this combination of chemistry and computer molecular dynamics shows that the interactions between peptides leads to a nanoparticle that is relatively organized, but not uniform. This is the first time it has been possible to measure distances between peptides on a nanoparticle and the first time computer simulations have been used to model a single layer of self-assembled peptides.

Dr Lvy said: "As nanotechnology scientists we face a challenge similar to the one faced by structural biologists half a century ago: determining the structure with atomic scale precision of a whole range of nanoscale materials. By using a combination of chemistry and computer simulation we have been able to demonstrate a method by which we can start to see what is going on at the nanoscale.

"If we can understand how peptides self-assemble at the surface of a nanoparticle, we can open up a route towards the design and synthesis of nanoparticles that have complex surfaces. These particles could find applications in the biomedical sciences, for example to deliver drugs to a particular target in the body, or to design sensitive diagnostic tests. In the longer term, these particles could also find applications in new generations of electronic components."

Professor Nigel Brown, BBSRC Director of Science and Technology, said: "Bionanotechnology holds great promise for the future. We may be able to create stronger, lighter and more durable materials, or new medical applications. Basic science and techniques for working at the nanoscale are providing the understanding that will permit future such applications of bionanotechnology."


'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy Mendoza
press.office@bbsrc.ac.uk
44-017-934-13355
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Strange molecule in the sky cleans acid rain, scientists discover
2. Scientists team up in Houston to tackle global challenges
3. Scientists find elephant memories may hold key to survival
4. Scientists to assess Beijing Olympics air pollution control efforts
5. Scripps scientists will assess Beijing Olympics air pollution control efforts
6. Midge-hunting scientists tackle spread of devastating bluetongue virus
7. Scientists a step closer to producing fuel from bacteria
8. Water is designer fluid that helps proteins change shape, scientists say
9. The drivers of tropical deforestation are changing, say scientists
10. Caltech scientists awarded $20 million to Power the Planet
11. Syracuse University scientists discover how some bacteria may steal iron from their human hosts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/19/2017)... PUNE, India , January 19, 2017 ... Sensor Market, Opportunities and Forecast, 2014 - 2022," the global biometric sensor ... of 9.6% from 2016 to 2022. In 2015, Asia-Pacific ... for both public and private sectors. Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... , Jan. 13, 2017 Sandata ... solutions for the homecare industry, including Electronic Visit ... industry expert, Justin Jugs, as Senior Vice President ... than 15 years of homecare experience to Sandata, ... developing strategic plans to align Sandata,s suite of ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... Iowa , Jan. 11, 2017 Intoxalock, ... first with the release of its patent-pending calibration device. ... and reliably perform calibrations, securely upload data logs and ... for the customer. "Fighting drunk driving through ... for the public at large, but also for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... 18, 2017 Acupath Laboratories, Inc., a leading ... of an Executive Committee that will guide the company,s ... John Cucci , a 15-year veteran of the ... Business Development to Chief Sales Officer .  Prior ... in senior sales leadership roles at several leading lab ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , January 18, 2017 According to a new market ... Neuroscience, Cytology, Infectious Disease), & End User (Molecular Diagnostic Laboratories, Academic and Research ... to reach USD 739.9 Million by 2021 from USD 557.1 Million in 2016, ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017   Parent Project ... fight to end Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) , ... the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Talem ... exploration of robotic technology to assist people living ... incorporate NJIT,s technology – an embedded computer, software, a ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... Whitehouse, NJ (PRWEB) , ... January 18, 2017 ... ... access to more and more E&L expertise. Within Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (AMRI), ... doubled in the past year and is planned for further growth in 2017. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: