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Tuesday, 10 December 2013 11:49

Chemists have created synthetic antibodies for strengthening immunity

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o 855039-cells-rat-knock-out-stem-cell-characterization-teratoma-formation-embryoidResearchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Hanyang (Hanyang University) created a "synthetic antibodies". As a basis chemists have used carbon nanotubes, which fluoresce under laser irradiation.

Previously, this phenomenon has been used by other investigators, the carbon nanotubes are coated with the natural antibodies. When meeting with certain molecules such structures either light or dimmed, so you can use them as a sort of sensors. However, such sensors are destroyed in the living cell, which significantly limits their period of operation.

To solve this problem MIT chemists replaced by antibodies specifically synthesized amphiphilic polymers. These macromolecules contain regions that interact with water (hydrophilic) or push it (hydrophobic).

Polymers synthesized so that their hydrophobic portions fixed firmly on the surface nanotubok as armature, and constitute a hydrophilic "loops", which form a kind of crown around the particle. Loops arranged strictly along the tube, and the distance between anchors determines which target molecule can hook into the loop and change the nanotube fluorescence.

The uniqueness of this new approach is that before the polymer is attached to the nanotube is impossible to predict the possibility of molecular recognition, looking at the structure of the target and the polymer. That is, the polymer itself can not selectively detect a particular molecule.

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In his article, published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, researchers publish a description of molecular sensors, specific for riboflavin (vitamin B2), estradiol (female sex hormone) and L-thyroxine (thyroid hormone).

Currently, scientists are actively developing on certain neurotransmitters, carbohydrates and proteins. Another important challenge for the research team is to understand exactly what is happening with the polymer and nanoparticle throughout the whole capture specific target molecule.

The researchers believe that their current and future developments in the field of molecular recognition will open huge opportunities for monitoring of diseases such as cancer, multiple inflammations, diabetes and many others in any living organism.

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