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:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws ... a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula ... , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was ... his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” ... He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and ... that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then ... will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dehaier Medical Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: DHRM ) ... medical devices and wearable sleep respiratory products in ... with Hongyuan Supply Chain Management Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred ... to develop Dehaier,s new Internet medical technology business. ... Hongyuan Supply Chain,s sales platform to reach Dehaier,s dealers ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher to ... Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was also ... and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member of ... expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in connection ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, ... (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast to 2021" ... The global pharmaceutical excipients market is ... a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period 2016 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: