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

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research-Ben-Gurion U. June 21st, 2017

Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes June 21st, 2017

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Academic/Education

Oxford Instruments congratulates Lancaster University for inaugurating the IsoLab, built for studying quantum systems June 20th, 2017

The 2017 Winners for Generation Nano June 8th, 2017

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

Nanomedicine

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Learning with light: New system allows optical “deep learning”: Neural networks could be implemented more quickly using new photonic technology June 12th, 2017

Mussels add muscle to biocompatible fibers: Rice University chemists develop hydrogel strings using compound found in sea creatures June 9th, 2017

Making vessels leaky on demand could aid drug delivery:Rice University scientists use magnets and nanoparticles to open, close gaps in blood vessels June 8th, 2017

Discoveries

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research-Ben-Gurion U. June 21st, 2017

Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes June 21st, 2017

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Announcements

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam June 22nd, 2017

Tiny bubbles provide tremendous propulsion in new microparticles research-Ben-Gurion U. June 21st, 2017

Enhanced photocatalytic activity by Cu2O nanoparticles integrated H2Ti3O7 nanotubes June 21st, 2017

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Nanobiotechnology

Researchers developed nanoparticle based contrast agent for dual modal imaging of cancer June 21st, 2017

Mussels add muscle to biocompatible fibers: Rice University chemists develop hydrogel strings using compound found in sea creatures June 9th, 2017

Making vessels leaky on demand could aid drug delivery:Rice University scientists use magnets and nanoparticles to open, close gaps in blood vessels June 8th, 2017

Nanobiotix's promising data from Phase I/II head and neck cancer trial presented at ASCO June 5th, 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