Navigation Links
With magnetic nanoparticles, scientists remotely control neurons and animal behavior

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Clusters of heated, magnetic nanoparticles targeted to cell membranes can remotely control ion channels, neurons and even animal behavior, according to a paper published by University at Buffalo physicists in Nature Nanotechnology.

The research could have broad application, potentially resulting in innovative cancer treatments that remotely manipulate selected proteins or cells in specific tissues, or improved diabetes therapies that remotely stimulate pancreatic cells to release insulin.

The work also could be applied to the development of new therapies for some neurological disorders, which result from insufficient neuro-stimulation.

"By developing a method that allows us to use magnetic fields to stimulate cells both in vitro and in vivo, this research will help us unravel the signaling networks that control animal behavior," says Arnd Pralle, PhD, assistant professor of physics in the UB College of Arts and Sciences and senior/corresponding author on the paper.

The UB researchers demonstrated that their method could open calcium ion channels, activate neurons in cell culture and even manipulate the movements of the tiny nematode, C. elegans.

"We targeted the nanoparticles near what is the 'mouth' of the worms, called the amphid," explains Pralle. "You can see in the video that the worms are crawling around; once we turn on the magnetic field, which heats up the nanoparticles to 34 degrees Celsius, most of the worms reverse course. We could use this method to make them go back and forth. Now we need to find out which other behaviors can be controlled this way." [The video is available by clicking on the "watch video" link above.]

The worms reversed course once their temperature reached 34 degrees Celsius, Pralle says, the same threshold that in nature provokes an avoidance response. That's evidence, he says, that the approach could be adapted to whole-animal studies on innovative new pharmaceuticals.

The method the UB team developed involves heating nanoparticles in a cell membrane by exposing them to a radiofrequency magnetic field; the heat then results in stimulating the cell.

"We have developed a tool to heat nanoparticles and then measure their temperature," says Pralle, noting that not much is known about heat conduction in tissue at the nanoscale.

"Our method is important because it allows us to only heat up the cell membrane. We didn't want to kill the cell," he said. "While the membrane outside the cell heats up, there is no temperature change in the cell."

Measuring just six nanometers, the particles can easily diffuse between cells. The magnetic field is comparable to what is employed in magnetic resonance imaging. And the method's ability to activate cells uniformly across a large area indicates that it also will be feasible to use it in in vivo whole body applications, the scientists report.

In the same paper, the UB scientists also report their development of a fluorescent probe to measure that the nanoparticles were heated to 34 degrees Celsius.

"The fluorescence intensity indicates the change in temperature," says Pralle, "it's kind of a nanoscale thermometer and could allow scientists to more easily measure temperature changes at the nanoscale."


Contact: Ellen Goldbaum
University at Buffalo

Related medicine news :

1. Magnetic field measurements of the human heart at room temperature
2. Electromagnetic pulses provide pain relief for osteoarthritis
3. Electromagnetic Pulses May Stem Arthritic Knee Pain
4. Spinfinity™ Magnetic Stirring Bars From Bel-Art Products Deliver Up to Three Times Wear Resistance
5. Texas Childrens Cancer Center first in Texas to magnetically lengthen 9-year-olds leg as she grows
6. Magnetic Fields Concentrate Drug Delivery
7. Analyzing food and beverages with magnetic levitation
8. Scientists ID a protein that splices and dices genes
9. Breakthrough by Danish scientists in preventing maternal malaria
10. NIH scientists identify maternal and fetal genes that increase preterm birth risk
11. UM School of Medicine scientists find new malaria vaccine is safe and protective in children
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
With magnetic nanoparticles, scientists remotely control neurons and animal behavior
(Date:11/29/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Effective immediately, every single IguanaMed scrub style will be available ... is offering a “Buy One Scrub Set, Get the 2nd Scrub Set 50% Off” ... at a discounted price. , IguanaMed’s mission is to outfit every healer ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Beginning November 30th at 6:00 a.m. EST until 11:59 p.m. ... , With possible savings of up to 20% off orders $80 or more to free ... website every few hours. , As a competitive e-commerce website for skin care and cosmetic ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... According to an article published November 15th by ... handling security in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, other cities are ... an attack from reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special events that may be high-profile ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a ... customers 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will ... to a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Intellitec Solutions announced today ... Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for end users of Dynamics SL ... users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ membership status demonstrates their ongoing ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... addition of the "2016 Future Horizons ... of Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Country ... report to their offering. --> ... the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ... Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> ) has announced ... Horizons and Growth Strategies in the German ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , Nov. 26, 2015 Research ... of the "Advanced Wound Care Market by Type ... Ulcers), End User (In-Patient Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography ... offering. --> --> ... the description, definition and forecast of the global advanced ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: