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Laser-controlled molecular switch turns blood clotting on, off on command

Date:
July 24, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Researchers have designed tiny, light-controlled gold particles that can release DNA controls to switch blood clotting off and on.

DNA-controlled nanoparticles work as a two-way switch for blood clotting.
Credit: Helena de Puig

Researchers have designed tiny, light-controlled gold particles that can release DNA controls to switch blood clotting off and on.

The results are reported July 24 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli and colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The two-way switch for blood clotting relies on the ability of two gold nanoparticles to selectively release different DNA molecules from their surface under different wavelengths of laser excitation. When stimulated by one wavelength, one nanorod releases a piece of DNA that binds the blood protein thrombin and blocks clot formation. When the complementary DNA piece is released from the other nanorod, it acts as an antidote and releases thrombin, restoring clotting activity.

Natural blood clotting is precisely synchronized to occur at the right time and place. Wound healing, surgery and other conditions require manipulation of this process, typically through the use of anticoagulants like heparin or warfarin. However, these drugs are inherently one-sided as they can only block clotting, and reversing their effects depends on removing them from the bloodstream. The methods described in this research open up new possibilities for more precise, selective control of the blood clotting process during therapy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Helena de Puig, Anna Cifuentes Rius, Dorma Flemister, Salmaan H. Baxamusa, Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli. Selective Light-Triggered Release of DNA from Gold Nanorods Switches Blood Clotting On and Off. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (7): e68511 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068511

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Laser-controlled molecular switch turns blood clotting on, off on command." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130724200416.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, July 24). Laser-controlled molecular switch turns blood clotting on, off on command. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130724200416.htm
Public Library of Science. "Laser-controlled molecular switch turns blood clotting on, off on command." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130724200416.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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