Blood Brothers: Particles Form Strong Bonds in Blood Vessels (w/ Video)

Sep 16, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Functionalized nano- and microscale particle systems have become a key component in biomedical applications, from drug delivery to prosthetics. Their small size and potential for modification and functionalization make them ideal for performing specific tasks within the human body.

But can these materials be controlled at the structural level, to create capable of complex interactions with biological systems? Professor Joerg Lahann and his team at the University of Michigan believe that they can. They have developed a microscale fluid manipulation system—which they call electrohydrodynamic co-jetting—based on electrospinning, a process in which thin fibrous strands are drawn from a liquid using a high voltage.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

In their latest work, reported in the materials science journal Advanced Materials, Professor Lahann and co-workers utilize this system to synthesize dual-compartment, biologically compatible polymer particles with the ability to selectively self-associate with human endothelial cells, found in the lining of . When the particles were incubated with these cells, they displayed a strongly specific binding pattern—one hemisphere exhibited strong affinity to the cell surface, while the other had almost none. The explanation? One of the compartments had been modified with the protein streptavidin, which interacts strongly within biological systems. This selective functionalization resulted in spatial control at the cellular level; as only one side of each particle was attracted to the cells, they formed into layers, just one particle thick, on the cell surface.

With the fundamental concept demonstrated, the Lahann group identifies future work in more sophisticated multi-compartmented building blocks, suitable for use in more complex bio-hybrid designs. More fine control over the particle architecture, which will allow for the creation of different particle morphologies and functionalities, will be key to the design of novel, complex systems for use in areas such as regenerative medicine, medical imaging and diagnostics, and microscale energy production and storage.

More information: M. Yoshida et al., Adv. Mater. 2009, DOI: 10.1002/adma.200901971

Provided by Wiley (news : web)

Explore further: Artificial muscles get graphene boost

Related Stories

Two Robot Chefs Make Omelets

Dec 04, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- No "house of the future" is complete without a household robot to do the cooking and cleaning. Although today´s robots still have a ways to go before substituting for a real live-in maid, ...

Recommended for you

Artificial muscles get graphene boost

2 hours ago

Researchers in South Korea have developed an electrode consisting of a single-atom-thick layer of carbon to help make more durable artificial muscles.

How to make continuous rolls of graphene

May 21, 2015

Graphene is a material with a host of potential applications, including in flexible light sources, solar panels that could be integrated into windows, and membranes to desalinate and purify water. But all ...

Carbon nanothreads from compressed benzene

May 20, 2015

A new carbon nanomaterial – the thinnest possible one-dimensional thread that still retains a diamond-like structure – was created by the controlled, slow compression and decompression of benzene. The ...

Printing 3-D graphene structures for tissue engineering

May 19, 2015

Ever since single-layer graphene burst onto the science scene in 2004, the possibilities for the promising material have seemed nearly endless. With its high electrical conductivity, ability to store energy, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.