Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Special Nanotubes May Be Used As A Vehicle For Treating Neurodegenerative Disorders

Date:
January 21, 2009
Source:
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Summary:
Electrical engineering researchers have demonstrated that magnetic nanotubes combined with nerve growth factor can enable specific cells to differentiate into neurons. The results from in vitro studies show that magnetic nanotubes may be exploited to treat neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease because they can be used as a delivery vehicle for nerve growth factor.

Image showing growth cone sending filopodia toward magnetic nanotubes and making contact with them.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Electrical engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have demonstrated that magnetic nanotubes combined with nerve growth factor can enable specific cells to differentiate into neurons. The results from in vitro studies show that magnetic nanotubes may be exploited to treat neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease because they can be used as a delivery vehicle for nerve growth factor.

“Due to their structure and properties, magnetic nanotubes are among the most promising candidates of multifunctional nanomaterials for clinical diagnostic and therapeutic applications,” said Jining Xie, research assistant professor and lead author of the study. “We’re excited about these results specifically and the overall promise of functionalized nanotubes to treat patients with these debilitating conditions.”

Xie, Linfeng Chen, senior research associate in the Center for Wireless Nano-, Bio- and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems, and researchers from Arkansas State University worked with rat pheochromocytoma, otherwise known as PC12 cells. PC12 cells were chosen because they require nerve growth factor – a small, secreted protein that helps nerve cells survive – to differentiate into neurons.

The researchers knew that any sign of nerve growth would indicate interactions between the PC12 cells and the nanotubes. They observed neurite growth, specifically filopodia – slender projections that extend from the leading edge of migrating cells – extruding from neurite growth cones toward the nanotubes incorporated with nerve growth factor.

“Microscopic observations showed filopodia extending from the growth cones were in close proximity to the nanotubes, at time appearing to reach out toward or into them,” Xie said.

The results did not show any abnormal toxicity from the nanotubes.

The human nervous system depends upon a complex network of neurons, or nerve cells, tied to each other by synapses. The synaptic connections occur through neurites, which are immature or developing neurons. When these connections fail, the nervous system does not function properly, eventually leading to injury or disease. As Xie mentioned, the researchers hope that functionalized nanotubes can help restore or repair damaged nerve cells.

Xie collaborates with Vijay Varadan, distinguished professor of electrical engineering and director of the Center for Wireless Nano-, Bio- and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems, which is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. Another collaborator was Malathi Srivatsan, associate professor of biology at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark.

Varadan holds the College of Engineering’s Twenty-First Century Endowed Chair in Nano- and Bio-Technologies and Medicine and the college’s Chair in Microelectronics and High Density Electronics. In addition to his position as director of the above center, he directs the university’s High Density Electronics Center. Varadan is also a professor of neurosurgery in the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Ark.

The researchers’ findings were published in Nanotechnology, an Institute of Physics Publishing journal.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "Special Nanotubes May Be Used As A Vehicle For Treating Neurodegenerative Disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114212227.htm>.
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. (2009, January 21). Special Nanotubes May Be Used As A Vehicle For Treating Neurodegenerative Disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114212227.htm
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. "Special Nanotubes May Be Used As A Vehicle For Treating Neurodegenerative Disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090114212227.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins