Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Early phase of atherosclerosis imaged

Nico Sommerdijk. Photo: Bart van Overbeeke.
Nico Sommerdijk. Photo: Bart van Overbeeke.

Abstract:
Atherosclerosis is characterized by hardening and thickening of artery walls, with serious health consequences. Researchers at TU/e have imaged the stages in the calcification at a nanometer scale. The growth of hardening follows almost the same process as bone or tooth formation. The results will be published in Nature Materials.

Early phase of atherosclerosis imaged

The Netherlands | Posted on November 21st, 2010

The images made by researcher Nico Sommerdijk (Laboratory of Materials and Interface Chemistry, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry) and his team resolve a long-standing dispute. As long ago as 1965, Aaron S. Posner suggested in the journal Nature how the calcification - the formation of calcium phosphate - in a biological environment takes place, although this met with considerable resistance at the time, Sommerdijk explains.

However, his observations now confirm Posner's 45-year-old idea. Calcium and phosphate ions dissolved in the blood are not deposited directly as crystalline material on the artery wall, but first pass through an intermediate phase. In this phase they first form prenucleation clusters, followed by amorphous nanoparticles measuring approximately 50 nanometers (1 nanometer is a millionth of a millimeter). Only then does crystallization occur, causing hardening of the artery wall. The researchers hope that this understanding will be used to develop new forms of treatment for atherosclerosis.

Serum

Because atherosclerosis cannot be observed at a nanometer scale in living persons, the researchers used imitation serum - a fluid containing exactly the same substances as those found in the blood itself, except for the organic materials. The researchers placed this serum in contact with a membrane with the same characteristics as the artery wall, on which the process of calcification then began. They imaged the various steps of this process using a special electron microscope, the cryoTitan. This microscope allows researchers to observe very rapidly frozen samples at the level of individual atoms, so that a process can be arrested and viewed step-by-step.

All living beings

Sommerdijk has already showed that the process of shell growth and bone formation takes place in the same way as atherosclerosis. "It seems that all mineralization systems in living beings take place in the same way. And there are increasing indications that it works similarly everywhere", says Sommerdijk.

Three articles in Nature Materials

The publication will appear in the December edition of the leading scientific journal Nature Materials, which also contains another article by Nico Sommerdijk. This deals with understanding the mechanisms of bone growth; a related research project. According to the editors of Nature Materials it is rare for two publications by the same researcher to appear in the same edition of the journal. "It happens maybe once a year", says Alison Stoddart of Nature Materials. "Only five to ten per cent of the articles submitted are actually selected for publication. So if two are published at the same time it's quite a rare event." As well as the articles themselves, the journal is also publishing a two-page editorial in which an external specialist presents his own view of Sommerdijk's research findings.

The role of prenucleation clusters in surface-induced calcium phosphate crystallization. Archan Dey, Paul H.H. Bomans, Frank A. Müller, Julia Will, Peter M. Frederik, Gijsbertus de With and Nico A.J.M. Sommerdijk. The article has already been published in the online edition of Nature Materials on 14 November 2010.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

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

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Chengdu Partner to Expand FD-SOI Ecosystem in China: More than $100M investment to establish a center of excellence for FDXTM FD-SOI design May 23rd, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Leti Will Demo World’s-first WVGA 10-µm Pitch GaN Microdisplays for Augmented Reality Video at Display Week in Los Angles: Invited Paper also Will Present Leti’s Success with New Augmented Reality Technology That Reduces Pixel Pitch to Less than 5 Microns May 22nd, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Academic/Education

MIT Energy Initiative awards 10 seed fund grants for early-stage energy research May 4th, 2017

Bar-Ilan University to set up quantum research center May 1st, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announces Total of 172 Teams Selected to Compete in Solar in Your Community Challenge: Teams from 40 states, plus Washington, DC, 2 Territories, and 4 American Indian Reservations, Will Deploy Solar in Underserved Communities April 20th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 2017

Discoveries

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Plasmon-powered upconversion nanocrystals for enhanced bioimaging and polarized emission: Plasmonic gold nanorods brighten lanthanide-doped upconversion superdots for improved multiphoton bioimaging contrast and enable polarization-selective nonlinear emissions for novel nanoscal May 19th, 2017

Announcements

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Chengdu Partner to Expand FD-SOI Ecosystem in China: More than $100M investment to establish a center of excellence for FDXTM FD-SOI design May 23rd, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Leti Will Demo World’s-first WVGA 10-µm Pitch GaN Microdisplays for Augmented Reality Video at Display Week in Los Angles: Invited Paper also Will Present Leti’s Success with New Augmented Reality Technology That Reduces Pixel Pitch to Less than 5 Microns May 22nd, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials May 17th, 2017

The brighter side of twisted polymers: Conjugated polymers designed with a twist produce tiny, brightly fluorescent particles with broad applications May 16th, 2017

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