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Technique patented that opens the door to the development of new drugs against osteoporosis

Date:
March 6, 2014
Source:
University of Granada
Summary:
Scientists have developed a methodology that allows phosphate ions to be measured -- in real time and non-invasively -- in the interior of osteoblasts, the precursors of bone cells. Thanks to this methodology, specialists can avoid techniques based on radioactive treatments, which were the only ones that measured the phosphate concentration inside osteoblasts, but which have many drawbacks.

Scientists from the University of Granada (UGR) have opened the door to the development of new drugs against osteoporosis, one of the most common chronic illnesses in the world, especially among women 65 or over.

The researchers, from the University of Granada's Department of Physio-Chemistry, have patented a new methodology that allows specialists to measure -- non-invasively and in real time -- the concentration of phosphate ions inside living cells. The scientific importance of measuring phosphate ions is based precisely on the fact that it can be applied in evaluating the bio-availability of drugs used in certain illnesses, among which is osteoporosis.

Currently, there are only invasive treatments to calculate phosphate concentration within osteoblasts, which are the precursors to bone cells. To do this, radioactive phosphorus is used, which has serious drawbacks.

Fluorescence Microscopy

The methodology is based on using a substance that gives out fluorescence, generated via prior agitation using a pulse laser. The time the fluorescence lasts is a signal of the phosphate concentration within the cellular cytoplasm. To measure this time period, a special fluorescence microscope is needed.

Following this important scientific breakthrough, patented via the University of Granada's Research Results Transference Office (OTRI), the researchers are looking for pharmaceutical companies that are currently working on the development of drugs to measure the bio-availability of phosphate.

The main author of this work, University of Granada professor, Jose Maria Alvarez Pez, points out that "our methodology is the only one that uses a technique that, in real time and non-invasively, allows the detection of phosphate ions inside living cells. We believe that this technique will help to develop new drugs to combat illnesses such as osteoporosis."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Jose M. Paredes, Maria D. Giron, Maria J. Ruedas-Rama, Angel Orte, Luis Crovetto, Eva M. Talavera, Rafael Salto, Jose M. Alvarez-Pez. Real-Time Phosphate Sensing in Living Cells using Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM). The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 2013; 117 (27): 8143 DOI: 10.1021/jp405041c

Cite This Page:

University of Granada. "Technique patented that opens the door to the development of new drugs against osteoporosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306093909.htm>.
University of Granada. (2014, March 6). Technique patented that opens the door to the development of new drugs against osteoporosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306093909.htm
University of Granada. "Technique patented that opens the door to the development of new drugs against osteoporosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140306093909.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

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