Selective cell targeting with light-absorbing microparticles and nanoparticles. (1/401)

We describe a new method for selective cell targeting based on the use of light-absorbing microparticles and nanoparticles that are heated by short laser pulses to create highly localized cell damage. The method is closely related to chromophore-assisted laser inactivation and photodynamic therapy, but is driven solely by light absorption, without the need for photochemical intermediates (particularly singlet oxygen). The mechanism of light-particle interaction was investigated by nanosecond time-resolved microscopy and by thermal modeling. The extent of light-induced damage was investigated by cell lethality, by cell membrane permeability, and by protein inactivation. Strong particle size dependence was found for these interactions. A technique based on light to target endogenous particles is already being exploited to treat pigmented cells in dermatology and ophthalmology. With exogenous particles, phamacokinetics and biodistribution studies are needed before the method can be evaluated against photodynamic therapy for cancer treatment. However, particles are unique, unlike photosensitizers, in that they can remain stable and inert in cells for extended periods. Thus they may be particularly useful for prelabeling cells in engineered tissue before implantation. Subsequent irradiation with laser pulses will allow control of the implanted cells (inactivation or modulation) in a noninvasive manner.  (+info)

Self-assembly of single integral membrane proteins into soluble nanoscale phospholipid bilayers. (2/401)

One of the biggest challenges in pharmaceutical research is obtaining integral membrane proteins in a functional, solubilized, and monodisperse state that provides a native-like environment that maintains the spectrum of in vivo activities. Many of these integral membrane proteins are receptors, enzymes, or other macromolecular assemblies that are important drug targets. An example is the general class of proteins composed of seven-transmembrane segments (7-TM) as exemplified by the G-protein-coupled receptors. In this article, we describe a simple system for self-assembling bacteriorhodopsin, as a model protein containing 7-TM helices, with phospholipids to form a nanometer-scale soluble bilayer structure encircled by a 200 amino acid scaffold protein. The result is the single molecule incorporation of an integral membrane protein target into a soluble and monodisperse structure that allows the structural and functional tools of solution biochemistry to be applied.  (+info)

DNA nanotubes self-assembled from triple-crossover tiles as templates for conductive nanowires. (3/401)

DNA-based nanotechnology is currently being developed as a general assembly method for nanopatterned materials that may find use in electronics, sensors, medicine, and many other fields. Here we present results on the construction and characterization of DNA nanotubes, a self-assembling superstructure composed of DNA tiles. Triple-crossover tiles modified with thiol-containing double-stranded DNA stems projected out of the tile plane were used as the basic building blocks. Triple-crossover nanotubes display a constant diameter of approximately 25 nm and have been observed with lengths up to 20 microm. We present high-resolution images of the constructs, experimental evidence of their tube-like nature as well as data on metallization of the nanotubes to form nanowires, and electrical conductivity measurements through the nanowires. DNA nanotubes represent a potential breakthrough in the self-assembly of nanometer-scale circuits for electronics layout because they can be targeted to connect at specific locations on larger-scale structures and can subsequently be metallized to form nanometer-scale wires. The dimensions of these nanotubes are also perfectly suited for applications involving interconnection of molecular-scale devices with macroscale components fabricated by conventional photolithographic methods.  (+info)

Self-association process of a peptide in solution: from beta-sheet filaments to large embedded nanotubes. (4/401)

Lanreotide is a synthetic octapeptide used in the therapy against acromegaly. When mixed with pure water at 10% (w/w), Lanreotide (acetate salt) forms liquid crystalline and monodisperse nanotubes with a radius of 120 A. The molecular and supramolecular organization of these structures has been determined in a previous work as relying on the lateral association of 26 beta-sheet filaments made of peptide noncovalent dimers, the basic building blocks. The work presented here has been devoted to the corresponding self-association mechanisms, through the characterization of the Lanreotide structures formed in water, as a function of peptide (acetate salt) concentration (from 2% to 70% (w/w)) and temperature (from 15 degrees C to 70 degrees C). The corresponding states of water were also identified and quantified from the thermal behavior of water in the Lanreotide mixtures. At room temperature and below 3% (w/w) Lanreotide acetate in water, soluble aggregates were detected. From 3% to 20% (w/w) long individual and monodisperse nanotubes crystallized in a hexagonal lattice were evidenced. Their molecular and supramolecular organizations are identical to the ones characterized for the 10% (w/w) sample. Heating induces the dissolution of the nanotubes into soluble aggregates of the same structural characteristics as the room temperature ones. The solubilization temperature increases from 20 degrees C to 70 degrees C with the peptide concentration and reaches a plateau between 15% and 25% (w/w) in peptide. These aggregates are proposed to be the beta-sheet filaments that self-associate to build the walls of the nanotubes. Above 20% (w/w) of Lanreotide acetate in water, polydisperse embedded nanotubes are formed and the hexagonal lattice is lost. These embedded nanotubes exhibit the same molecular and supramolecular organizations as the individual monodisperse nanotubes formed at lower peptide concentration. The embedded nanotubes do not melt in the range of temperature studied indicating a higher thermodynamic stability than individual nanotubes. In parallel, the thermal behaviors of water in mixtures containing 2-80% (w/w) in peptide have been studied by differential scanning calorimetry, and three different types of water were characterized: 1), bulk water melting at 0 degrees C, 2), nonfreezing water, and 3), interfacial water melting below 0 degrees C. The domains of existence and coexistence of these different water states are related to the different Lanreotide supramolecular structures. All these results were compiled into a binary Lanreotide-water phase diagram and allowed to propose a self-association mechanism of Lanreotide filaments into monodisperse individual nanotubes and embedded nanotubes.  (+info)

RNA-mediated metal-metal bond formation in the synthesis of hexagonal palladium nanoparticles. (5/401)

RNA sequences have been discovered that mediate the growth of hexagonal palladium nanoparticles. In vitro selection techniques were used to evolve an initial library of approximately 10(14) unique RNA sequences through eight cycles of selection to yield several active sequence families. Of the five families, all representative members could form crystalline hexagonal palladium platelets. The palladium particle growth occurred in aqueous solution at ambient temperature, without any endogenous reducing agent, and at low concentrations of metal precursor (100 micromolar). Relative to metal precursor, the RNA concentration was significantly lower (1 micromolar), yet micrometer-size crystalline hexagonal palladium particles were formed rapidly (7.5 to 1 minutes).  (+info)

Tracking the recruitment of diabetogenic CD8+ T-cells to the pancreas in real time. (6/401)

Development of autoimmune diabetes in both humans and mice is preceded by a prolonged period of inflammation of pancreatic islets by autoreactive T-cells. Noninvasive imaging techniques, including positron-emission tomography and optical or magnetic resonance imaging, have been used to track the recruitment of lymphocytes to sites of inflammation. These techniques, however, rely on labeling strategies that are non-antigen specific and do not allow specific tracking of the recruitment of autoreactive lymphocytes. Here we describe an antigen-specific magnetic label to selectively target a prevalent population of diabetogenic CD8(+) T-cells that contribute to the progression of insulitis to overt diabetes in NOD mice. Superparamagnetic nanoparticles coated with multiple copies of a high-avidity peptide/major histocompatibility complex ligand of these T-cells (NRP-V7/K(d)) are endocytosed by CD8(+) T-cells in an antigen-specific manner. Using these T-cells as probes, we show that inflammation of pancreatic islets by autoreactive T-cells can be detected in real time by magnetic resonance imaging. This study demonstrates the feasibility of visualizing the presence of ongoing autoimmune responses noninvasively.  (+info)

Preparation of DNA-modified nanoparticles and preliminary study for colorimetric SNP analysis using their selective aggregations. (7/401)

DNA-modified nanospheres were prepared by anchoring amino-terminated oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs) with carboxylates onto a colored polystyrene sphere surface through amido bonds. About 220 ODN molecules were immobilized onto a nanosphere 40 nm in diameter. Preliminary studies using the microspheres with 1 microm diameter reveal that the specificity of hybridization was retained after modification. Three kinds of differently colored (RGB, red/green/blue) nanospheres bearing unique ODNs on their surface were prepared for detecting the p53 gene. Each ODN is complementary to a different part in the 45mer sample that is a part of a conservative region of the p53 gene containing one of the hot spots. In a binary system using spheres R and G, the wild-type 45mer made the aggregates with yellow emission as the result of mixing both colors. The mutant 45mer containing one nucleotide displacement did not give such aggregates with distinct colors. The study of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) showed that spheres R and G directly contact each other in the aggregates with the wild type. The RGB ternary system gave aggregates with specific colors corresponding to the added ODN samples, wild type or mutant. In addition, in the presence of both samples, all of the spheres formed aggregates with white emission as a consequence of mixing three primary colors of light. This means that the present technique should allow us to conduct an allele analysis.  (+info)

Energetic clues to pathways to biomineralization: precursors, clusters, and nanoparticles. (8/401)

Nanoparticle and nanocluster precursors may play a major role in biomineralization. The small differences in enthalpy and free energy among metastable nanoscale phases offer controlled thermodynamic and mechanistic pathways. Clusters and nanoparticles offer concentration and controlled transport of reactants. Control of polymorphism, surface energy, and surface charge on nanoparticles can lead to morphological control and appropriate growth rates of biominerals. Rather than conventional nucleation and growth, assembly of nanoparticles may provide alternative mechanisms for crystal growth. The Ostwald step rule, based on a thermodynamic view of nucleation and growth, is supported by the observation that more metastable phases tend to have lower surface energies. Examples from nonbiological systems, stressing the interplay of thermodynamic and kinetic factors, illustrate features potentially important to biomineralization.  (+info)