Nanofiber made of Protein as cure of Alzheimer’s disease
Creating nanofibers made of proteins is a new method developed by researchers at NYU-Poly (Polytechnic Institute of New York University). This breakthrough promises to greatly improve drug delivery methods for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, different types of cancer, and heart disorders. This can also aid in the regeneration of the bone, cartilage, and human tissue.
This discovery can be a solution to create a more powerful and tinier microprocessors for future generation consumer electronic products, computers, and other electronic gadgets that uses such.
The details of this breakthrough can be read an article titled “Effects of Divalent Metals on Nanoscopic Fiber Formation and Small Molecule Recognition of Helical Proteins,” which appears online in Advanced Functional Materials.
Susheel K. Gunasekar is lead researcher of this innovation. She’s a doctoral student in NYU-Poly’s Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences, where the underlying research was primarily conducted. Also involved were co-authors Professor Hiroshi Matsui and Luona Anjia, both of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Hunter College, where secondary research was conducted.
During an experiment that involved studying certain cylinder-shaped proteins derived from cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, Gunasekar observed that in high concentrations, these alpha helical coiled-coil proteins spontaneously came together and self-assembled into nanofibers.
Montclare says that it was a surprising outcome, because COMP was not known to form fibers at all. As a result, they decided to do a series of experiments to see if they could control the fiber formation, and also control its binding to small molecules, which would be housed within the protein’s cylinder.
They experimented wit the molecules of curcumin, it’s an ingredient in dietary supplements used to cure Alzheimer’s disease, heart disorders, and cancer.
The NYU-Poly team succeeded by adding a set of metal-recognizing amino acids to the coiled-coil protein. Finding that the nanofibers alter their shapes upon addition of metals such as zinc and nickel to the protein.
The addition of zinc fortified the nanofibers, letting them to hold more curcumin, while the addition of nickel coverted the fibers into clumped mats, triggering the dispensation of the drug molecule.
The researchers plan to experiment with creating scaffolds of nanofibers that can be used to induce the regeneration of bone and cartilage or human stem cells.
In the world of computers and consumer electronics, it wil be possible to apply this organic, protein-based method for creating nanofibers, Montclare added. Producing nanoscale threads for use as circuits in computer chips by first creating the nanofibers will be possible.
NYU-Poly research funding was provided by the the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the U.S. Army Research Office, .