Navigation Links
Physics provides new insights on cataract formation

Using the tools and techniques of soft condensed matter physics, a research team in Switzerland has demonstrated that a finely tuned balance of attractions between proteins keeps the lens of the eye transparent, and that even a small change in this balance can cause proteins to aggregate and de-mix. This leads to cataract formation, the worlds leading cause of blindness. This work could shed light on other protein aggregation diseases (such as Alzheimers disease), and may one day lead to methods for stabilizing protein interactions and thus preventing these problematic aggregations from occurring.

The eye lens is made up of densely packed crystallin proteins, arranged in such a way that light in the visible wavelength range can pass through. But for a variety of reasons including UV radiation exposure and age, the proteins sometimes change their behavior and clump together. As a result, light is scattered once it enters the lens, resulting in cloudy vision or blindness. There is currently no known way to reverse the protein aggregation process once it has begun. Nearly 5 million people every year undergo cataract surgery in which their lenses are removed and replaced with artificial ones.

Previous research has shown that the interactions between the three major crystallin proteins that make up the concentrated eye lens protein solution are key to cataract formation. A team of scientists from the University of Fribourg, EPFL and the Rochester Institute of Technology (USA) studied the interactions between two of these proteins, at concentrations similar to those found in the eye lens, using a combination of neutron scattering experiments and molecular dynamics computer simulations. They found that a finely tuned combination of attraction and repulsion between the two proteins resulted in an arrangement that was transparent to visible light. By combining experiments and simulations it became possible to quantify that there had to be a weak attraction between the proteins in order for the eye lens to be transparent, explains EPFL postdoctoral researcher Giuseppe Foffi, a member of the Institut Romand de Recherche Numerique en Physique des Materiaux (IRRMA). Our results indicate that cataracts may form if this balance of attractions is disrupted, and this opens a new direction for research into cataract formation.

Lots of studies have been done on individual proteins in the lens, adds University of Fribourg physicist and lead author Anna Stradner, But none on their mixtures at concentrations typically found in the eye. We modeled these proteins as colloidal particles, and found there was a very narrow window in which the protein solution remained stable, and this was a necessary condition for lens transparency.

In addition to unveiling important new information about the interactions of the proteins in the eye lens, this benchmark study provides a framework for further study into the molecular properties and interactions of proteins. The results suggest that these properties could perhaps be manipulated to prevent aggregation or reverse the aggregation process once it has begun.


Contact: Mary Parlange
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne  

Related medicine news :

1. SNM/Nihon Medi-Physics sponsor new fellowship program for Japanese physicians
2. Study provides hope that some transplant patients could live free of antirejection drugs
3. Study provides hope that some transplant patients could live free of anti-rejection drugs
4. USAID Provides Additional Wildfire Assistance to Greece
5. LifeMasters Provides Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Blood Cholesterol Level
6. New knock-out gene model provides molecular clues to breast cancer
7. PreMD Provides Update on 510(k) Application for PREVU(x) POC
8. SIV infection of natural hosts provides new insights into HIV disease complexity
9. Microarray provides 3 genomic guides to breast cancer treatment decisions
10. Access Innovations Provides Support Services for Agis Network
11. Crdentias VP of Marketing, Christina Hogan, Provides Exclusive Interview on Marketing Strategy
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Physics provides new insights on cataract formation
(Date:11/24/2015)... Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... planning and monitoring. Their Care Plan software creates an agreement between the ... patient care plan, including financial, scheduling, monitoring, notification, and projections. Click ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Eric C. Seidel, DMD and Stephanie ... the revolutionary BIOLASE WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system. This advanced laser technology uses light ... dentist in Gettysburg, PA . From routine visits to cosmetic treatments, laser ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Dr. Todd S. Afferica, a noted general dentist in Norcross, GA ... Afferica now uses the BIOLASE WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ in many of his dental procedures. ... traditional cutting tools, such as the scalpel and high-speed drill, which can both cause ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Mississauga, ON (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Deborah Williams without a referral for dental implants at her Mississauga, ON ... qualified and experienced in the placement of dental implants. , Missing teeth can ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Young patients with a wide variety ... Wolfman and Dr. Kedar S. Lele, who are pediatric dentists in Tucson, AZ ... the WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system causes minimal discomfort and bleeding to the patient during ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... - Global Forecast to 2020" report to their ... for 37.21% of the total market share in 2014. ... region is projected to growth at the highest CAGR ... primarily to the fast growing water, industrial gas treatment, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 --> ... sie eine Lizenz für das Patent über eine neue ... und ENS-Lyon innehaben, an Enyo Pharma vergeben haben. ... ins Leben gerufenen und von Edelris gemeinsam mit seinen ... ein Behandlungsziel für HBV identifiziert, und es wurden neue ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... November 25, 2015 ... addition of the  "Global Drug Device ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "Global Drug Device Combination ... their offering.  --> Research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: