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'.

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 September 30, 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 September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

Argentina's Tax Evaders Detected, Hunted Down by Drones

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Argentina doesn't only have Lionel Messi the footballer, it has now also acquired "Mesi" the drone system which monitors undeclared mansions, swimming pools and soy fields to curb tax evasion in the country. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

CERN Celebrates 60 Years of Science

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 29, 2014) — CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, celebrates 60 years of bringing nations together through science. As Joanna Partridge reports from inside the famous science centre it's also planning to turn the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator back on after an upgrade. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

This 'Invisibility Cloak' Is Simpler Than Most

Newsy (Sep. 28, 2014) — Researchers from the University of Rochester have created a type of invisibility cloak with simple focal lenses. Video provided by Newsy
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