Nanoparticles may help inhibit Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders

Jun 14, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Nanoparticles of the right dimensions and shape may be the key in combating the plaque that destroys neurons and leads to symptoms associated with Alzheimer's disease, a new report shows.

University of Michigan chemical engineering professor Nicholas Kotov says the nanotechnology means can attract and capture the longer that are known to form plaque related to neurodegenerative disorders.

"Both amyloid and exhibit a strong ability to self-assemble into fibrils," Kotov said. "We were open to any possible effect of nanoparticles on the amyloid fibrillation. We were very pleased to see amazing on amyloids fibrillation which opens the door for new approaches to the development of drugs to prevent Alzheimer's disease."

By introducing tetrahedral nanoparticle that were comparable in size with growing fibrils, he discovered that the dangerous plaque readily bonded to them, and their geometry was strongly distorted. Such drastic change in shape results in complete inhibition of their further fibrillation.

Typical Alzheimer drugs bond to amyloid peptides in 1:1 ratio. This is known to be inefficient. The nanoparticles can inhibit the amyloid peptide fibrillation in minute quantities with much greater efficiency. One nanoparticle can capture more than 100 amyloid peptides. This high efficiency of fibrillation inhibition makes nanoparticles similar to some proteins that human body uses to protect itself against the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

The implication here is that if a likely human compatible particle, for example, were introduced then the effect could help clear, or at least contain, the growth of the debilitating plaque. is toxic to humans, but the revelations from this work indicate a big step forward in combating diseases like Alzheimer's. Kotov's laboratory is working toward engineering of such nanoparticles and better understanding their metabolism.

The paper is called "Mechanism of Fibrillation Inhibition of Peptides by Inorganic Nanoparticles Reveals Functional Similarities with Proteins" and is published in the current journal Angewandte Chemie: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201102689/abstract

Explore further: Atom-width graphene sensors could provide unprecedented insights into brain structure and function

Related Stories

Researchers find new piece in Alzheimer's puzzle

Feb 25, 2009

Yale researchers have filled in a missing gap on the molecular road map of Alzheimer's disease. In the Feb. 26 issue of the journal Nature, the Yale team reports that cellular prion proteins trigger the process by which ...

New research aims to make proteins 'behave badly'

Mar 15, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology are trying to get proteins to create the sticky plaque often associated with neurological diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

FastEddy
not rated yet Jun 16, 2011
" ... Inorganic Nanoparticles Reveals Functional Similarities with Proteins". A bit disingenuous to call Carbon based particles "inorganic", but the point is: if it works, if it fixes it, if it stays fixed without long term defects ... Go for it! and call it anything you want.
Dancer
not rated yet Jun 20, 2011
FastEddy - "Cadmium is toxic to humans, but the revelations from this work ..."
Cadmium is inorganic.