Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alzheimer's research: Researchers watch amyloid plaques form

Date:
October 8, 2011
Source:
University of Toronto Scarborough
Summary:
Researchers use optical trapping to take a detailed look at the early minutes of amyloid aggregate formation, a process important in Alzheimer's disease. The technique could be used for new drug design.

Researchers at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) and Osaka University applied a new approach to take a close look at amyloid plaque formation, a process that plays important roles in Alzheimer's disease. The technique would greatly aid the development and screening for novel therapeutics that can manipulate the formation of the toxic amyloid aggregates.

Anthony Veloso, Prof. Kagan Kerman's PhD student in Chemistry, used a laser to trap amyloid-beta peptides and examined them under a fluorescence microscope as they aggregate, giving them an exceptionally detailed view of the process. The work appears on the cover of the current issue of Analyst, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

"This technique could accelerate the drug discovery process. It gives us a new way to examine the early phase of plaque formation, when the most toxic species of oligomers are formed," says Prof. Kerman, a faculty with the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at UTSC and the corresponding author on the paper.

Amyloid plaques are protein deposits that form around neurons and interfere with their function. The major constituent of these deposits are amyloid-beta, a peptide that clumps together to form harmful plaques in Alzheimer's patients, but is otherwise harmless in normal individuals.

To get a look at the early stages of the process, the Canadian researchers and their Japanese collaborators used a technique called optical trapping. A laser is focused into a very thin beam and aimed at solution containing amyloid-beta particles. The beam creates a small magnetic field, which attracts and holds the particles in place. Amyloid aggregates stained by a dye then glows under the laser light, and the image can be captured by fluorescence microscope.

By using this technique, A. Veloso and Prof. Kerman hope to explore how the aggregates are formed, and to eventually discover the role of amyloid aggregates in Alzheimer's disease. Utilizing the versatility of this technique, Prof. Kerman's research team can extend their studies to understand aggregate formation in other neurodegenerative diseases.

The technique will also become a novel strategy to test therapeutic compounds that could halt the formation of plaques. Prof. Kerman and A. Veloso are working towards the automation of the technique, allowing for many compounds to be tested efficiently.

This collaborative work is the fruitful outcome by researchers from UTSC (A. Veloso, X. R. Cheng, and Prof. K. Kerman) and Osaka University (Prof. H. Yoshikawa and Prof. E. Tamiya in the Department of Applied Physics).


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Anthony J. Veloso, Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, Xin R. Cheng, Eiichi Tamiya, Kagan Kerman. Optical trapping for the characterization of amyloid-beta aggregation kinetics. The Analyst, 2011; 136 (20): 4164 DOI: 10.1039/C1AN15480J

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto Scarborough. "Alzheimer's research: Researchers watch amyloid plaques form." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003132403.htm>.
University of Toronto Scarborough. (2011, October 8). Alzheimer's research: Researchers watch amyloid plaques form. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003132403.htm
University of Toronto Scarborough. "Alzheimer's research: Researchers watch amyloid plaques form." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003132403.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
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