Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Alzheimer substance may be the nanomaterial of tomorrow

Date:
December 16, 2013
Source:
Chalmers University of Technology
Summary:
Amyloid protein causes diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. But amyloid also carries unique characteristics that may lead to the development of new composite materials for the nano processors and data storage of tomorrow, and even make objects invisible.

Using multiphoton absorption, amyloid fibrils could be templated with synthetic nanomolecules to create novel composite materials for different applications.
Credit: Piotr Hanczyc

Amyloid protein causes diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. But amyloid also carries unique characteristics that may lead to the development of new composite materials for the nano processors and data storage of tomorrow, and even make objects invisible.

Related Articles


Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology recently unveiled an unexpected discovery about amyloid in an article published in the Nature Photonics journal. Amyloids are misfolded variants of proteins that occur naturally in the body. The researchers have now shown that the misfolded variants react to multiphoton irradiation, a type of laser effect, whereas the healthy proteins do not.

The discovery could be useful in a variety of fields. Not only can it lead to new methods to detect and treat the brain diseases that amyloid causes, amyloid may also be used as a building block for future nanomaterials.

"It is possible to create these protein aggregates artificially in a laboratory," says Piotr Hanczyc, one of the researchers who made the discovery. "By combining them with other molecules, one could create materials with unique characteristics."

The amyloid aggregates are as hard and rigid as steel. The difference is that steel is much heavier and has defined material properties, whereas amyloids can be tuned for specific purposes. By attaching a material's molecules to the dense amyloid, its characteristics change.

"This was already known, but what has not been known is that the amyloids react to multiphoton irradiation," says Piotr Hanczyc. "This opens up new possibilities to also change the nature of the material attached to the amyloids."

The amyloids are shaped like discs, densely piled upon each other. When a material gets merged with these discs, its molecules end up so densely and regularly placed that they can communicate and exchange information. This means completely new possibilities to change a material's characteristics.

Piotr Hanczyc now sees opportunities for collaboration with the material science researchers at Chalmers, for example on solar cell technology.

And although it may still be science fiction, he also believes that one day scientists may use the material properties of amyloid fibrils in research on invisible meta materials.

"An object's ability to reflect light could be altered so that what's behind it gets reflected instead of the object itself, in principle changing the index of light refraction. Kind of like when light hits the surface of water."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Piotr Hanczyc, Marek Samoc, Bengt Norden. Multiphoton absorption in amyloid protein fibres. Nature Photonics, 2013; 7 (12): 969 DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2013.282

Cite This Page:

Chalmers University of Technology. "Alzheimer substance may be the nanomaterial of tomorrow." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216080137.htm>.
Chalmers University of Technology. (2013, December 16). Alzheimer substance may be the nanomaterial of tomorrow. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216080137.htm
Chalmers University of Technology. "Alzheimer substance may be the nanomaterial of tomorrow." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216080137.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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