Navigation Links
Clemson scientists shed light on molecules in living cells
Date:8/20/2007

CLEMSON, S.C. Clemson University chemists have developed a method to dramatically improve the longevity of fluorescent nanoparticles that may someday help researchers track the motion of a single molecule as it travels through a living cell.

The chemists are exploiting a process called resonance energy transfer, which occurs when fluorescent dye molecules are added to the nanoparticles. Their findings will be reported at the 234th annual national American Chemical Society meeting Aug.19-24 in Boston.

If scientists could track the motion of a single molecule within a living cell it could reveal a world of information. Among other things, scientists could determine how viruses invade a cell or how proteins operate in the body. Such technology also could help doctors pinpoint the exact location of cancer cells in order to better focus treatment and minimize damage to healthy tissue. Outside the body, the technology could help speed up detection of such toxins as anthrax.

The key to developing single-molecule tracking technology may be the development of better fluorescent nanoparticles.

Fluorescent nanoparticles are thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair and are similar in size to protein molecules, to which they can be attached. When illuminated by a laser beam inside a light microscope equipped with a sensitive digital camera, the nanoparticle attached to a protein will light up, allowing scientists to get a precise fix on the position of the protein and monitor its motion inside a cell.

Until now, nanoparticles have been too dim to detect inside cells, but Clemson chemists have developed a novel type of nanoparticles containing materials called conjugated polymers that light up and stay lit long enough for scientists to string together thousands of images, as in a movie.

Conjugated polymers share many properties with semiconductors like silicon but have the flexibility of plastic. While initial efforts at preparing nanoparticles out of conjugated polymers resulted in particles that were very bright, their brightness quickly faded under the bright glare of a laser beam.

When a conjugated polymer is in a high energy state, it is vulnerable to attack by oxygen, says principal investigator and chemist Jason McNeill. The dye efficiently removes the energy from the molecule and re-emits the energy as light, which greatly improves the brightness and longevity of the nanoparticles.

McNeill says other possible targets of investigation include the formation of plaques and fibrils in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease and mad cow disease. Graduate students Changfeng Wu, Craig Szymanski, Jennifer Grimland and Yueli Zheng contributed to the study, which the National Science Foundation funded.

Clemson University chemists are presenting 40 papers on a wide range of subjects at the society meeting. Other topics include detection and quantification of uranium in groundwater, conversion of lipid feedstocks such as poultry fat to biodiesel and a new mechanism for antioxidants that fight DNA damage.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Polowczuk
spolowc@clemson.edu
864-656-2063
Clemson University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Wisconsin scientists grow critical nerve cells
2. Scientists ID molecular switch in liver that triggers harmful effects of saturated and trans fats
3. UCSB scientists probe sea floor venting to gain understanding of early life on Earth
4. UAB scientists discover the origin of a mysterious physical force
5. Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists identify immune-system mutation
6. Scientists Replicate Hepatitis C Virus in Laboratory
7. Scientists detect probable genetic cause of some Parkinsons disease cases
8. Scientists find missing enzyme for tuberculosis iron scavenging pathway
9. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
10. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
11. Scientists collaborate to assess health of global environment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/22/2016)... --  MedNet Solutions , an innovative SaaS-based eClinical technology ... is pleased to announce that the company has been ... Awards as "Most Outstanding in eClinical Solutions" for ... recognition and growth for MedNet, which has effectively supported ... iMedNet ™ , MedNet,s flagship eClinical technology ...
(Date:11/19/2016)... -- Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil and ... and monitoring, announced today that it has offered a ... independent technology judge determine who has the largest and ... calling platform, and the best customer service. ... what we do – which clearly is not the ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... that it has just released a new white paper authored by Zettar that covers ... data transfer storage solutions. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161116/440463 ... ... ... Setting up a high performance computing or HPC system can be a complicated ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- The Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Life ... only pure life sciences investment firm, today announced ... plan developed by the Nominating and Governance Committee over ... F. Jordan is selected to serve as President ... , who is elected to the position of Executive ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... PUNE, India , December 8, 2016 ... is a comprehensive analysis, titled Global Amyloglucosidase Industry 2016 Market ... definition, classification, application, and industry chain overview are all covered ... project SWOT analysis, and investment return analysis of the Amyloglucosidase ... , , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Opal Kelly, a ... device-to-computer interconnect using USB or PCI Express, announced the FOMD-ACV-A4, the company's first ... a small, thin, SODIMM-style module that fits a standard 204-pin SODIMM socket for ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... their exceptionally efficient human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (hMSC) expansion medium. This ... products engineered to radically streamline culture processes, minimize processing time, significantly decrease ...
Breaking Biology Technology: