Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

New Geometries: Researchers Create New Shapes of Artificial Microcompartments

13.12.2012
As in nature, various shapes could be more efficient for specific functions

In nature, biological functions are often carried out in tiny protective shells known as microcompartments, structures that provide home to enzymes that convert carbon dioxide into energy in plant cells and to viruses that replicate once they enter the cell.

Most of these shells buckle into an icosahedron shape, forming 20 sides that allow for high interface with their surroundings. But some shells — such as those found in the single-celled Archaea or simple, salt-loving organisms called halophiles —break into triangles, squares, or non-symmetrical geometries. While these alternate geometries may seem simple, they can be incredibly useful in biology, where low symmetry can translate to higher functionality.

Researchers at Northwestern University have recently developed a method to recreate these shapes in artificial microcompartments created in the lab: by altering the acidity of their surroundings. The findings could lead to designed microreactors that mimic the functions of these cell containers or deliver therapeutic materials to cells at specific targeted locations.
“If you want to design a very clever capsule, you don’t make a sphere. But perhaps you shouldn’t make an icosahedron, either,” said Monica Olvera de la Cruz, Lawyer Taylor Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, and (by courtesy) Chemical and Biological Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and one of the paper’s authors. “What we are beginning to realize is maybe these lower symmetries are smarter.”

To create the new shell geometries, the researchers co-assembled oppositely charged lipids with variable degrees of ionization and externally modified the surrounding electrolyte. The resulting geometries include fully faceted regular and irregular polyhedral, such as square and triangular shapes, and mixed Janus-like vesicles with faceted and curved domains that resembled cellular shapes and shapes of halophilic organisms.
The research was conducted by three McCormick faculty members: Olvera de la Cruz, Lawyer Taylor Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Professor of Chemistry, and (by courtesy) Chemical and Biological Engineering; Michael J. Bedzyk, professor of materials science and engineering and (by courtesy) physics and astronomy; and Samuel I. Stupp, Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, and Medicine.

A paper about the research, “Molecular Crystallization Controlled by pH Regulates Mesoscopic Membrane Morphology,” was published November 27 in the journal ACS Nano.

Other authors of the paper include lead co-authors Cheuk-Yui Leung, Liam C. Palmer, and Bao Fu Qiao; Sumit Kewalramani, Rastko Sknepnek, Christina J. Newcomb, and Megan A. Greenfield, all of Northwestern; and Graziano Vernizzi of Siena College.

Megan Fellman | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires
07.12.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Lange Speicherung photonischer Quantenbits für globale Teleportation

Wissenschaftler am Max-Planck-Institut für Quantenoptik erreichen mit neuer Speichertechnik für photonische Quantenbits Kohärenzzeiten, welche die weltweite...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Neue Einblicke in die Materie: Hochdruckforschung in Kombination mit NMR-Spektroskopie

Forschern der Universität Bayreuth und des Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) ist es erstmals gelungen, die magnetische Kernresonanzspektroskopie (NMR) in Experimenten anzuwenden, bei denen Materialproben unter sehr hohen Drücken – ähnlich denen im unteren Erdmantel – analysiert werden. Das in der Zeitschrift Science Advances vorgestellte Verfahren verspricht neue Erkenntnisse über Elementarteilchen, die sich unter hohen Drücken oft anders verhalten als unter Normalbedingungen. Es wird voraussichtlich technologische Innovationen fördern, aber auch neue Einblicke in das Erdinnere und die Erdgeschichte, insbesondere die Bedingungen für die Entstehung von Leben, ermöglichen.

Diamanten setzen Materie unter Hochdruck

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Materialinnovationen 2018 – Werkstoff- und Materialforschungskonferenz des BMBF

13.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Innovativer Wasserbau im 21. Jahrhundert

13.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Innovative Strategien zur Bekämpfung von parasitären Würmern

08.12.2017 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Rest-Spannung trotz Megabeben

13.12.2017 | Geowissenschaften

Computermodell weist den Weg zu effektiven Kombinationstherapien bei Darmkrebs

13.12.2017 | Medizin Gesundheit

Winzige Weltenbummler: In Arktis und Antarktis leben die gleichen Bakterien

13.12.2017 | Geowissenschaften