Navigation Links
Brandeis lab's artificial cilia spur new thinking in nanotechnology
Date:7/29/2011

Cilia, tiny hair-like structures that perform feats such as clearing microscopic debris from the lungs and determining the correct location of organs during development, move in mysterious ways. Their beating motions are synchronized to produce metachronal waves, similar in appearance to "the wave" created in large arenas when audience members use their hands to produce a pattern of movement around the entire stadium.

Due to the importance of ciliary functions for health, there is great interest in understanding the mechanism that controls the cilias' beating patterns. But learning exactly how cilia movement is coordinated has been challenging.

That may be beginning to change as a result of the creation, by a team of Brandeis researchers, of artificial cilia-like structures that dramatically offers a new approach for cilia study.

In a recent paper published in the journal Science, Associate Professor of Physics Zvonimir Dogic and colleagues present the first example of a simple microscopic system that self-organizes to produce cilia-like beating patterns.

"We've shown that there is a new approach toward studying the beating," says Dogic. "Instead of deconstructing the fully functioning structure, we can start building complexity from the ground up."

The complexity of these structures presents a major challenge as each cilium contains more than 600 different proteins. For this reason, most previous studies of cilia have employed a top-down approach, attempting to study the beating mechanism by deconstructing the fully functioning structures through the systematic elimination of individual components.

The interdisciplinary team consisted of physics graduate student Timothy Sanchez and biochemistry graduate student David Welch who worked with biologist Daniela Nicastro and Dogic. Their experimental system was comprised of three main components: microtubule filaments tiny hollow cylinders found in both animal and plant cells, motor proteins called kinesin, which consume chemical fuel to move along microtubules and a bundling agent that induces assembly of filaments into bundles.

Sanchez and colleagues found that under a particular set of conditions these very simple components spontaneously organize into active bundles that beat in a periodic manner.

In addition to observing the beating of isolated bundles, the researchers were also able to assemble a dense field of bundles that spontaneously synchronized their beating patterns into traveling waves.

Self-organizing processes of many kinds have recently become a focus of the physics community. These processes range in scale from microscopic cellular functions and swarms of bacteria to macroscopic phenomena such as flocking of birds and traffic jams. Since controllable experiments with birds, crowds at football stadiums and traffic are virtually impossible to conduct, the experiments described by Sanchez and colleagues could serve as a model for testing a broad range of theoretical predictions.

In addition, the reproduction of such an essential biological functionality in a simple system will be of great interest to the fields of cellular and evolutionary biology, Dogic says. The findings also open a door for the development of one of the major goals of nanotechnology to design an object that's capable of swimming independently.

The Dogic lab is currently planning refinements to the system to study these topics in greater depth.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Chaityn Lebovits
lebovits@brandeis.edu
781-736-4027
Brandeis University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Hooper Holmes Heritage Labs Division Launches New Home Diabetes Test
2. GeoVax Labs, Inc. Announces Six Month Financial Results and Provides Operational Update
3. Interleukin Genetics Licenses its PST(R) Genetic Test to OralDNA Labs
4. Association of Clinical Research Organizations (ACRO) Welcomes Clinilabs and RPS as New Members
5. Oridion Expands its OEM Partnerships - New Agreement with Spacelabs Healthcare
6. Preliminary Report of American Biotech Labs HIV Study Featured in Inaugural Issue of Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes
7. Concentric Named Professional Agency of Record for Discovery Labs SURFAXIN(R)
8. DFB Sells Coria Labs to Valeant Pharmaceuticals
9. GeoVax Labs, Inc. Information To Be Available Through Standard & Poors Market Access Program
10. Nikon Instruments Appoints LABSCO its Clinical Distributor in Six States
11. GlaxoSmithKline to Acquire Genelabs Technologies to Increase Focus on Novel Small Molecule Therapies for Hepatitis C
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Delpor, Inc. (Delpor), a biotechnology company focused on drug delivery, ... Health (NIMH) for the further advancement of the company’s 3-month olanzapine product ( DLP-119 ... to deliver therapeutic levels of olanzapine for a period of 3 months., “We are ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 24, 2017 Symic Bio, a ... a new category of therapeutics, announced today the completion ... in peripheral artery disease. The trial will evaluate the ... therapeutic, in the reduction of restenosis following angioplasty. ... development milestone for SB-030," said Nathan Bachtell , ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 23, 2017 China Biologic Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO) ... biopharmaceutical company in China, today announced its financial results for ... Fourth Quarter 2016 Financial Highlights ... 21.7% in RMB terms, or increased by 13.6% in USD ... quarter of 2015. Gross profit increased by ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017 ... per share data, unaudited)Three Months Ended December 31,Twelve Months ... $         ...   89026%Aldurazyme Net Product Revenue ... Net Product Revenue  756025%297303(2)%Vimizim Net ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:2/8/2017)... -- Report Highlights The global biosurgery market ... in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) ... - An overview of the global market for biosurgery. ... 2015 and 2016, and projections of compound annual growth ... on the basis of product type, source, application, and ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ... at the LEERINK Partners 6th Annual Global Healthcare Conference ... February 15, 2017 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. ... be accessed at http://wsw.com/webcast/leerink28/zbh .  The webcast will ... Biomet,s Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com . ...
(Date:2/6/2017)... Feb. 6, 2017 According to Acuity ... driving border authorities to continue to embrace biometric ... are 2143 Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates and ... at more than 163 ports of entry across ... 2016 achieving a combined CAGR of 37%. APC ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):