Navigation Links
In the brain, 'ORMOSIL' nanoparticles hold promise as a potential vehicle for drug delivery
Date:1/9/2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In the images of fruit flies, clusters of neurons are all lit up, forming a brightly glowing network of highways within the brain.

It's exactly what University at Buffalo researcher Shermali Gunawardena was hoping to see: It meant that ORMOSIL, a novel class of nanoparticles, had successfully penetrated the insects' brains. And even after long-term exposure, the cells and the flies themselves remained unharmed.

The particles, which are tagged with fluorescent proteins, hold promise as a potential vehicle for drug delivery.

Each particle is a vessel, containing cavities that scientists could potentially fill with helpful chemical compounds or gene therapies to send to different parts of the human body. Gunawardena is particularly interested in using ORMOSIL -- organically modified silica -- to target problems within neurons that may be related to neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease.

The recent study on fruit flies is a step toward making this happen, demonstrating that long-term exposure to ORMOSIL, through breathing and feeding, did not injure the animals.

The research appeared in the journal PLoS ONE on Jan. 3.

"We saw that after feeding these nanoparticles in the fruit fly larvae, the ORMOSIL was going mainly into the guts and skin. But over time, in adult flies, you could see it in the brain. These results are really fascinating because these particles do not show any toxic effects on the whole organism or the neuronal cells," said Gunawardena, an assistant professor of biological sciences and a researcher in UB's Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics.

The ORMOSIL particles she is investigating are a unique variety crafted by a research group led by Paras N. Prasad, the UB institute's executive director. Each particle contains cavities that can hold drugs, which can be released when the particles are exposed to light.

Besides Gunawardena and Prasad, co-authors on the study include Farda Barandeh, Phuong-Lan Nguyen, Rajiv Kumar, Gary J. Iacobucci, Michelle L. Kuznicki, Andrew Kosterman and Earl J. Bergey, all from UB.

Gunawardena is an expert in axonal transport. This involves the movement of motor proteins along neurons' thread-like axon. These molecular motors, called kinesins and dyneins, carry "cargo" including vital proteins to and from the synapse and cell body of neurons.

In this neuronal highway system, one problem that can occur is an axonal blockage, which resembles a traffic jam in neurons. Proteins aggregate in a clump along the axon. (For videos showing both a normal axonal pathway and a blocked pathway, visit http://biology.buffalo.edu/Faculty/Gunawardena/gunawardena_lab/research.html.)

Researchers don't know whether these obstructions contribute to disorders such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's diseases, which are characterized by unusual build-ups of proteins called amyloids and Lewy bodies.

But the amyloid precursor protein involved in Alzheimer's disease has been shown to have a role in axonal transport, and if axonal obstructions do turn out to be an early indicator for neurodegeneration seen in Alzheimer's disease, eliminating blockages could help prevent or delay the onset of disease.

That's where ORMOSIL comes in: Gunawardena hopes to use these nanoparticles to target drugs to protein jams along axons, breaking up the accumulations.

Success, if possible, is still a long way off. But the potential benefit is great. Gunawardena calls the research a "high-risk, high-rewards" endeavor.

The next step is for her team to see if they can find a way to force the ORMOSIL to latch onto motor proteins. (The nanoparticles, on their own, do not move along axons.)


'/>"/>

Contact: Charlotte Hsu
chsu22@buffalo.edu
716-645-4655
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Gestures or Words? To the Brain, Its the Same
2. Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
3. Glaucoma Begins in Mid-Brain, Not in Eye, Research Shows
4. Alzheimers memory problems originate with protein clumps floating in the brain, not amyloid plaques
5. Type 2 Diabetes Might Harm Young Brain, Study Suggests
6. US Department of Defense supports study of brain, eye injuries in military personnel
7. Cell Phones Affect Areas of the Brain, Study Shows
8. Scripps Research study points to liver, not brain, as origin of Alzheimers plaques
9. Autism changes molecular structure of the brain, UCLA study finds
10. Regular Exercise Boosts the Brain, Too
11. Obesity Counseling Should Stress Brain, Not Willpower: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... AssureVest Insurance Group, a locally owned insurance firm ... that will raise funds earmarked to purchase computers and software for Mrs. Harrison’s 2nd ... school is in a low-income area and has more than 60 2nd and 3rd ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Vail knee specialist Robert LaPrade, MD, ... in 2016 . The list consists of physicians establishing, leading and partnering with ambulatory ... , An Ambulatory Surgery Center, also known as an ASC, is a modern ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... Pittsburgh metro area, celebrates the beginning of the latest charity campaign in their ... skills through art. Donations to this worthy cause are currently being accepted at: ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... Miami Dental Specialists is ... to their Miami dental office. Beginning in January, Miami Dental Specialists will offer the ... Specialists are the first office to be chosen by the dental implant manufacturer, Straumann, ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Land, TX (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 ... ... families of southwest Houston and surrounding communities by continuing it’s commitment to act ... Bend Family Promise. The organization works closely with area homeless families to fulfill ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... Feb. 12, 2016 Hypermarcas S.A. ("Hypermarcas") ... tender offer (the "Tender Offer") to purchase any ... principal amount of its 6.500% Senior Notes due ... US44915JAA88/ USP5246AAF05) (the "Notes"). In connection with the ... Solicitation") consents (the "Consents") of the holders of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... FRAMINGHAM, Mass. , Feb. 12, 2016   ... scheduled a conference call and webcast to discuss its ... December 31, 2015, on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at ... financial results prior to the conference call and webcast.  ... the company,s financial results, highlights from the fourth quarter ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016 On Thursday, ... Robotic Surgery at St. David,s North Austin Medical Center ... Vinci ® Xi ® Surgical System with ... 7000dV. Thiru Lakshman , M.D., colorectal surgeon ... total proctocolectomy utilizing Integrated Table Motion technology, which seamlessly ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: