Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Sewing machine' idea gives insight into origins of Alzheimer's

Date:
April 1, 2014
Source:
Lancaster University
Summary:
A new imaging tool inspired by the humble sewing machine has been invented, providing fresh insight into the origins of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. These diseases are caused by tiny toxic proteins too small to be studied with traditional optical microscopy.

Researchers at Lancaster University have invented a new imaging tool inspired by the humble sewing machine which is providing fresh insight into the origins of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Related Articles


These diseases are caused by tiny toxic proteins too small to be studied with traditional optical microscopy. Previously it was thought that Alzheimer's was caused by the accumulation of long 'amyloid' fibres at the centre of senile plaques in the brain, due to improper folding of a protein called amyloid-β.

But new research suggests that these fibres and plaques are actually the body's protective response to the presence of even smaller, more toxic structures made from amyloid-β called 'oligomers'.

Existing techniques are not sufficient to get a good look at these proteins; optical microscopy does not provide enough resolution at this scale, and electron microscopy gives the resolution but not the contrast.

To solve the problem, Physicist Dr Oleg Kolosov and his team at Lancaster have developed a new imaging technique -- Ultrasonic Force Microscopy (UFM) -- inspired by the motion of a sewing machine. Their work has been published in Scientific Reports.

Dr Kolosov said: "By using a vibrating scanner, which moves quickly up and down like the foot of a sewing machine needle, the friction between the sample and the scanner was reduced -- resulting in a better quality, and high contrast nanometre scale resolution image."

It is one of a new generation of tools being developed worldwide to bring the oligomers into focus, enabling medical researchers to understand how they behave.

At Lancaster, Claire Tinker used UFM to image these oligomers. To help see them more clearly she needed to increase the contrast of the image and used poly-L-lysine (PLL) which kept the proteins stuck to the slides as the vibrating scanner was passed over them.

Lancaster University Biomedical Scientist Professor David Allsop said: "These high quality images are vitally important if we are to understand the pathways involved in formation of these oligomers, and this new technique will now be used to test the effects of inhibitors of oligomer formation that we are developing as a possible new treatment for Alzheimer's disease."

The technique worked so well that the team now hopes to develop it so that oligomer formation can be monitored as they are made in real time.

This would give researchers a clearer understanding of the early phases of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and could potentially be one way of developing a future test for these diseases.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Claire Tinker-Mill, Jennifer Mayes, David Allsop, Oleg V. Kolosov. Ultrasonic force microscopy for nanomechanical characterization of early and late-stage amyloid-β peptide aggregation. Scientific Reports, 2014; 4 DOI: 10.1038/srep04004

Cite This Page:

Lancaster University. "'Sewing machine' idea gives insight into origins of Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401122336.htm>.
Lancaster University. (2014, April 1). 'Sewing machine' idea gives insight into origins of Alzheimer's. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401122336.htm
Lancaster University. "'Sewing machine' idea gives insight into origins of Alzheimer's." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401122336.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) — Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com
One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

One Dose, Then Surgery to Test Tumor Drugs Fast

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) — A Phoenix hospital is experimenting with a faster way to test much needed medications for deadly brain tumors. Patients get a single dose of a potential drug, and hours later have their tumor removed to see if the drug had any affect. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

The Best Bedtime Rituals For a Good Night's Sleep

Buzz60 (Jan. 22, 2015) — What you do before bed can effect how well you sleep. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has bedtime rituals to induce the best night&apos;s sleep. Video provided by Buzz60
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