Navigation Links
A 24-karat gold key to unlock the immune system
Date:3/26/2012

Developing a drug or vaccine requires a delicate balancing act with the immune system. On one hand, medications need to escape detection by the immune system in order to perform their function. But vaccinations de-activated versions of a disease or virus need to do the reverse. They prompt the immune system to create protective antibodies. But scientists are still stumped by how the immune system recognizes different particles, and how it chooses whether or not to react against them.

Using nanoparticles made of pure gold, Dr. Dan Peer, head of Tel Aviv University's Laboratory of Nanomedicine at the Department of Cell Research and Immunology and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, with a team including Drs. Meir Goldsmith and Dalit Landesman-Milo and in collaboration with Prof. Vincent Rotello and Dr. Daniel Moyano from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has developed a new method of introducing chemical residues into the immune system, allowing them to note the properties that incur the wrath of immune cells. Because the gold flecks are too small to be detected by the immune system, the immune system only responds when they are coated with different chemical residues.

This breakthrough could lead to an increased understanding of the properties of viruses and bacteria, better drug delivery systems, and more effective medications and vaccinations. Their study was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

A tool for exploration

To begin probing the immune system, researchers used particles of gold, approximately two nanometers in diameter, and covered them with various chemical residues. Only when water-resistant residues were introduced did the immune system respond to their presence. That established a demonstrable link between hydrophobicity the degree to which a molecule repels water and the reaction of the immune system.

This idea has a basis in the normal functioning of the immune system, Dr. Peer explains. During cell death, the hydrophobic areas of the cell membrane become exposed. The immune system then realizes that damage has occurred and begins to alert neighboring cells.

The researchers discovered that the same principle held true for the chemicals added to the gold particles' surface. The more "water-hating" the particle is, the more actively the immune system will mobilize against it, he says.

Dr. Peer observes that this is only the first step in a long line of experiments. "We are using these gold particles to tackle the question of how the immune system recognizes different particles, which might include features such as geometry, charge, curvature, and so much more. Now that we know the tool works, we can build on it," he says.

Testing the "Danger Model"

Until now, scientists have developed theories about how the immune system functions, but have lacked the machinery to test these ideas. One such theory is the "Danger Model" by Prof. Polly Matzinger, which hypothesizes that cellular damage interacts with immune cells at the membrane level. Once they identify the foreign molecule as a "danger," the immune cells send signals throughout the immune system. Their initial experiment with hydrophobicity was designed to generate a toolbox for probing this theory, says Dr. Peer, whose investigations included both in vitro and in vivo experiments using mouse immune cells.

In the future, researchers will study various bacterial, viral, or damaged cells and to make the gold nanoparticles even more similar, thereby discovering which elements of dangerous particles are calling the body's immune system to arms. "We now have the capability of using nanomaterials to probe the immune system in a very accurate manner," says Dr. Peer, a breakthrough that could revolutionize the way we understand the immune system.


'/>"/>
Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Scientist, Dr Staninger, Unlocks the Mystery of Morgellons Disease
2. What if all software was open source? A code to unlock the desktop
3. Genetics of childrens brain tumor unlocked
4. Trikz Streetball Basketball iTunes App Promotion: Only $.99 to Unlock All Content for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
5. Unlocking the Immune System's Response to Infection and Injury
6. As Science Unlocks Secrets, Cancer Rates Fall
7. Unlocking the secret of beauty: Scientists discover the complexities of attractive female bodies
8. UNC researchers inch closer to unlocking potential of synthetic blood
9. Victor Chang scientists unlock the gates on sudden cardiac death
10. Sandia Labs unlocks secrets of plague with stunning new imaging techniques
11. Scientists unlock potential of frog skin to treat cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A 24-karat gold key to unlock the immune system
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... Rijuven Corp launches rejiva ( http://www.rejiva.com ), a unique wearable technology that measures ... on the market can deliver all that rejiva can. , “Rejiva promotes relaxation and ... than the usual heart rate and steps taken”, adds Evens Augustin, CEO of Rijuven. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... "Pro3rd Accents Volume 2 is a ... versatile lower third titles with just a few clicks of the mouse," said Christina ... 30 lower third animations. Choose from various styles with accented animations, rigid boxes, simplistic ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... needy individuals and families from eight different sites throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. ... 1,000 volunteers worked very hard on Thanksgiving morning by putting together individual meals ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Date aired: ... of Type 2 Diabetes: The Owner’s Manual, http://realtimepressrelease.com/press-releases-tagged-with/daryl-wein , Sharon ... of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health radio program syndicated on Voice ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... that we have been designated as a Cigna Infertility Center of Excellence. The ... performance standards. , “It’s an honor to be designated a Cigna Infertility ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... 1, 2016  Today, Simpson Healthcare Executives, a global ... being selected as winners of multiple awards at the ... at the PLATINUM level, Blue Zones Menu at the ... GOLD Level, and our proprietary 3ConneX Platform at the ... Executives, we are excited to showcase our new Platinum ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Dec. 2, 2016  UCB is pleased to announce that 12 ... upcoming 70 th American Epilepsy Society (AES) Annual Meeting, ... TX , USA. 1-12 Data ... profile of VIMPAT ® (lacosamide) CV and BRIVIACT ® ... on the current state of the union of epilepsy care ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN ... on its previously announced Accelerated Share Repurchase (ASR) Program. ... ... As previously announced, the Company entered into a variable ... Company will repurchase $10 billion of its ordinary shares. Approximately ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: