Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Silver nanoparticles mitigate the cell damage caused by ethanol, study suggests

Date:
June 7, 2010
Source:
Universidad de Barcelona
Summary:
In a new study, researchers in Spain describe how nanoparticles formed by very small numbers of silver atoms can protect against the cell damage caused by ethanol.

The top left image shows the actin cytoskeleton of the control astrocytes; on the right, cells exposed to ethanol, showing alterations to both the cell morphology and the actin cytoskeleton. The bottom images show the effects of applying silver nanoparticles; on the right, the ethanol causes no alteration of the actin cytoskeleton.
Credit: Image courtesy of Universidad de Barcelona

A new article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) describes how nanoparticles formed by very small numbers of silver atoms can protect against the cell damage caused by ethanol.

The study was led by researchers from the University of Barcelona and conducted in conjunction with the Magnetism and Nanotechnology laboratory of the University of Santiago de Compostela.

"The results of the study show that these clusters of small numbers of silver atoms catalyze ethanol oxidation at similar concentrations to those found in the blood of alcoholics and at values of membrane potential and pH that are compatible with those exhibited by mammalian cells," explains Gustavo Egea, a professor with the Department of Cell Biology, Immunology and Neurosciences of the Faculty of Medicine at the UB and an affiliated researcher for the Institute of Nanosciences and Nanotechnology (IN2UB) and the August Pi i Sunyer Miomedical Research Institute (IDIBAPS).

Researchers applied the silver nanoparticles to astrocytes exposed to ethanol. These types of cells accompany neurons and are widely used as models for studying the physiopathological mechanisms of alcohol in foetal alcohol syndrome, a disease that develops in some unborn babies when the mother consumes excessive levels of alcohol and which leads to a range of severe neurological disorders.

Alcohol has particularly harmful effects on nerve cells, and in the specific case of astrocytes it induces programmed cell-death and an alteration of the actin cytoskeleton. Following application of the silver nanoparticles to ethanol-exposed cells, the actin cytoskeleton shows marked improvements and cell-death does not occur. "So, the harmful effect of ethanol on astrocytes is mitigated by the silver nanoparticles, which act as a cytoprotective agent," explains Javier Selva, a lecturer with the Department of Cell Biology, Immunology and Neuroscience and first author of the paper.

The study combines analysis of the electrocatalytic properties of silver nanoparticles with examination of their potential biological applications. "This is a promising field in electrochemistry applied to cell biology, which harnesses the different properties of nanoparticles formed by very small numbers of atoms, referred to generically as atomic clusters," explains Gustavo Egea.

The authors have also found that the nanoparticles prevent alterations induced by other primary alcohols such as methanol and butanol, although not those induced by other toxins such as hydrogen peroxide.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Javier Selva et al. Silver Sub-nanoclusters Electrocatalyze Ethanol Oxidation and Provide Protection against Ethanol Toxicity in Cultured Mammalian Cells. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2010; 132 (20): 6947 DOI: 10.1021/ja907988s

Cite This Page:

Universidad de Barcelona. "Silver nanoparticles mitigate the cell damage caused by ethanol, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526093606.htm>.
Universidad de Barcelona. (2010, June 7). Silver nanoparticles mitigate the cell damage caused by ethanol, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526093606.htm
Universidad de Barcelona. "Silver nanoparticles mitigate the cell damage caused by ethanol, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100526093606.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. 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