Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Surprise: Biological microstructures light up after heating

Date:
July 31, 2014
Source:
Radboud University Nijmegen
Summary:
Physicists have investigated tubular biological microstructures that showed unexpected luminescence after heating. Optical properties of bioinspired peptides, like the ones investigated, could be useful for applications in optical fibers, biolasers and future quantum computers.

After heating the tubular microstructures (a and c) with a laser at the location of the red circle, energy propagates in the direction of the arrow. Post-heating luminescence occurs (b and d) at both ends of the microstructure (circled red and blue). In picture b, the blue rectangle zooms in on the right hand end of the microstructure.
Credit: Sergey Semin

Physicists from Radboud University investigated tubular biological microstructures that showed unexpected luminescence after heating. Their findings were published in Small on July 29. Optical properties of bioinspired peptides, like the ones investigated, could be useful for applications in optical fibers, biolasers and future quantum computers.

The luminous peptide microstructures self-assemble in a water environment. After heating them with a laser, they showed luminescence in the green range of the optical spectrum.

Surprising luminescence

Physicist Sergey Semin from Radboud University explains: 'The optical activity in the green range was a surprise for us. According to our theories, the molecular structure of our molecules forbids them to be luminescent in that spectral range. We expect that interactions between the peptide and the water molecules might be the cause for our unexpected finding. They form a kind of 'super cell' together, which we hypothesize emits light after heating.'

Biological structures with physical properties

'In general, it's very interesting that biological structures like the ones we studied show physical properties like luminescence', says Semin. Understanding the underlying mechanisms can give new insight in the optical properties of peptides and short organic molecules. That could lead to applications like optical fibers for data transfer, biolasers or applications in future quantum computers.

Recognizing brain plaques

Another interesting application might be in the biomedical field, since the microstructures are the core recognition motif of β-amyloid fibrils that form plaques in the human brain and lead to Alzheimer's and some other brain diseases. The recognition structures can be excited and made visible by heating them, but clinical applications are still far away. Semin: 'The more we know about such structures, the more we can do for diagnosis and treatment.'

Semin works at the Spectroscopy of solids and interfaces department, in the research group of prof. Theo Rasing.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Semin, A. van Etteger, L. Cattaneo, N. Amdursky, L. Kulyuk, S. Lavrov, A. Sigov, E. Mishina, G. Rosenman, Th. Rasing. Strong Thermo-Induced Single And Two-Photon Green Luminescence In Self-Organized Peptide Microtubes. Small, 2014; DOI: 10.1002/smll.201401602

Cite This Page:

Radboud University Nijmegen. "Surprise: Biological microstructures light up after heating." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731102508.htm>.
Radboud University Nijmegen. (2014, July 31). Surprise: Biological microstructures light up after heating. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731102508.htm
Radboud University Nijmegen. "Surprise: Biological microstructures light up after heating." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140731102508.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple's new operating system, iOS 8, comes with Apple's killswitch feature already activated, unlike all the models before it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
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