Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Switchable bio-adhesion

Abstract:
Researchers have developed a new type of property-changing polymer: It is water-repellent at 37░C, which makes it an ideal culture substrate for biological cells. At room temperature it attracts water, allowing the cells to be detached easily from the substrate.

Switchable bio-adhesion

Germany | Posted on September 1st, 2008



What effects do new drugs have on the human body - particularly at cellular level? Can doctors administer them without risk, or do they have toxic side effects? Pharmaceutical companies carry out a variety of toxicity tests on new drugs in order to answer such questions. Cell cultures form the basis for these tests: The researchers place isolated cells in small plastic dishes, add a nutrient solution and place the dishes in an incubator heated to 37 degrees Celsius. To provide an ideal breeding ground for the cells, the dishes are made of insulating polystyrene. Once the cells have multiplied to the required number, the drug is added. However, to examine the cells' reaction to the drug, the researchers then have to remove the cultured cells from the dish. The problem is that the cells often adhere so firmly to the surface of the dish that an enzyme has to be introduced to detach them. "The cells employed in toxicity tests are particularly sensitive, and can be damaged by the added enzyme. This makes it difficult to interpret the test results. It cannot be established without doubt whether the cells' reaction to the drug has been influenced by damage caused by the method used to extract them from the dish" says Dr. Claus Duschl, department head at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT in Potsdam-Golm.

A possible solution is the stimuli-responsive polymer developed by a team led by Dr. Jean-Franšois Lutz of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP, assisted by colleagues at the IBMT and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces. "At 37 degrees Celsius, the usual incubation temperature for cell cultures, this material is water-repellent (hydrophobic) - the cells feel at ease in this environment and respond by multiplying rapidly. If the substrate is cooled to 25 degrees, equivalent to room temperature, the material becomes hydrophilic (attracts water): The cells try to avoid contact with the substrate by reducing their surface area, curling up into almost spherical shapes. This enables them to be rinsed off easily, so there is no longer any need to add an enzyme," explains Lutz.

This is not the first thermoresponsive polymer. The big difference is that it is based on polyethylene glycol (PEG), which unlike other materials of this type is biocompatible. It is thus an ideal substrate for cell cultures. The new material has the added advantage of being water-soluble and non-toxic. Lutz estimates that it will be possible to mass-produce Petri dishes coated with the new property-changing polymer in about two or three years' time.

####

About Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft undertakes applied research of direct utility to private and public enterprise and of wide benefit to society.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr. Jean-Francois Lutz
Phone: +49 331 568-1127
Send an e-mail
Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research
IAP
Geiselbergstra▀e 69
14476 Potsdam-Golm

Copyright © Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Self-assembling biomaterial forms nanostructure templates for human tissue formation April 27th, 2015

International research team discovers new mechanism behind malaria progression: Findings provide a new avenue for research in malaria treatment April 27th, 2015

More is less in novel electronic material: Adding electrons actually shrinks the system April 27th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Nanomedicine

Self-assembling biomaterial forms nanostructure templates for human tissue formation April 27th, 2015

International research team discovers new mechanism behind malaria progression: Findings provide a new avenue for research in malaria treatment April 27th, 2015

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

Northwestern scientists develop first liquid nanolaser: Technology could lead to new way of doing 'lab on a chip' medical diagnostics April 25th, 2015

Discoveries

More is less in novel electronic material: Adding electrons actually shrinks the system April 27th, 2015

Two-dimensional semiconductor comes clean April 27th, 2015

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Materials/Metamaterials

More is less in novel electronic material: Adding electrons actually shrinks the system April 27th, 2015

The 16th Trends in Nanotechnology International Conference (TNT 2015) unveils 25 Keynote Speakers: Call for abstracts open April 27th, 2015

Graphenea celebrates fifth anniversary April 27th, 2015

Surface matters: Huge reduction of heat conduction observed in flat silicon channels April 23rd, 2015

Announcements

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

The 16th Trends in Nanotechnology International Conference (TNT 2015) unveils 25 Keynote Speakers: Call for abstracts open April 27th, 2015

Graphenea celebrates fifth anniversary April 27th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project