Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nano-forests to reveal secrets of cells

Date:
September 2, 2014
Source:
Lund University
Summary:
Vertical nanowires could be used for detailed studies of what happens on the surface of cells. The findings are important for pharmaceuticals research, among other applications. A group of researchers have now managed to make artificial cell membranes form across a large number of vertical nanowires, known as a 'nano-forest'.

Nano-forest.
Credit: Aleksandra Dabkowska

Vertical nanowires could be used for detailed studies of what happens on the surface of cells. The findings are important for pharmaceuticals research, among other applications. A group of researchers from Lund University in Sweden have managed to make artificial cell membranes form across a large number of vertical nanowires, known as a 'nano-forest'.

Related Articles


All communication between the interior of a cell and its surroundings takes place through the cell membrane. The membrane is a surface layer that holds the cell together and that largely comprises lipids, built of fatty acids. Inside the cell there are also various types of membrane, all with their own specific role.

Studies of cell membranes using nanotechnology have up to now mainly involved studying artificial membranes on flat surfaces, but because many membranes in the body have a curved shape, a different type of nano-surface is needed. In a new scientific study, researchers from Lund University have used vertical nanowires to create more varied surfaces on which artificial membranes can form. The Lund researchers have built an entire forest of upright nanowires on a one millimetre squared surface, on which they have succeeded in forming artificial membranes that are curved in the same way as many natural cell membranes.

"Our research demonstrates that artificial membranes can follow the curved surface formed by the nanowires, which creates unique opportunities to study membranes in a curved state," said Aleksandra Dabkowska from the Department of Chemistry at Lund University.

The nanowires also act as fine feelers that can measure how the membrane works. For instance, the vertical nanowires can be used to study different proteins that are active in the body's cell membranes. Because of their barrier function on the surface of the cell, these proteins are the target of a range of different drugs. The nano-forest could therefore be of great importance for pharmaceutical research, as well as for basic cell research, partly because the nano-surfaces are very precisely controlled as regards the length, thickness and spacing of the nanowires, and partly because the nano-forest multiplies the total study surface compared with a flat nano-landscape.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Aleksandra P. Dabkowska, Cassandra S. Niman, Gaλlle Piret, Henrik Persson, Hanna P. Wacklin, Heiner Linke, Christelle N. Prinz, Tommy Nylander. Fluid and Highly Curved Model Membranes on Vertical Nanowire Arrays. Nano Letters, 2014; 14 (8): 4286 DOI: 10.1021/nl500926y

Cite This Page:

Lund University. "Nano-forests to reveal secrets of cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902094204.htm>.
Lund University. (2014, September 2). Nano-forests to reveal secrets of cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902094204.htm
Lund University. "Nano-forests to reveal secrets of cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/09/140902094204.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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