Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > 'Molecular Velcro' may lead to cost-effective alternatives to natural antibodies: Berkeley Lab researchers take cues from nature in designing a programmable nanomaterial for biosensing

Long organic molecules called peptoids self-assemble into a molecular film on the surface of a water solution. As this film gets folded into a nanosheet, segments of the peptoid get pushed out into loops, which eventually decorate the surface of the nanosheet.

Credit: Berkeley Lab
Long organic molecules called peptoids self-assemble into a molecular film on the surface of a water solution. As this film gets folded into a nanosheet, segments of the peptoid get pushed out into loops, which eventually decorate the surface of the nanosheet.

Credit: Berkeley Lab

Abstract:
Taking inspiration from the human immune system, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have created a new material that can be programmed to identify an endless variety of molecules. The new material resembles tiny sheets of Velcro, each just one-hundred nanometers across. But instead of securing your sneakers, this molecular Velcro mimics the way natural antibodies recognize viruses and toxins, and could lead to a new class of biosensors.

'Molecular Velcro' may lead to cost-effective alternatives to natural antibodies: Berkeley Lab researchers take cues from nature in designing a programmable nanomaterial for biosensing

Berkeley, CA | Posted on October 30th, 2013

"Antibodies have a really effective architectural design: a structural scaffold that pretty much stays the same, whether it's for snake venom or the common cold, and endlessly variable functional loops that bind foreign invaders," says Ron Zuckermann, a senior scientist at Berkeley Lab's Molecular Foundry. "We've mimicked that here, with a two-dimensional nanosheet scaffold covered with little functional loops like Velcro."

Zuckermann, Director of the Molecular Foundry's Biological Nanostructures Facility, is corresponding author on a paper reporting these results in ACS Nano, titled "Antibody-Mimetic Peptoid Nanosheets for Molecular Recognition." Coauthoring the paper are Gloria K. Olivier, Andrew Cho, Babak Sanii, Michael D. Connolly, and Helen Tran.

Zuckermann's nanosheet scaffolds are self-assembled from peptoids - synthetic, bio-inspired polymers capable of folding into protein-like architectures. Like beads on a string, each peptoid molecule is a long chain of small molecular units arranged in a specific pattern. In earlier work, Zuckermann showed how certain simple peptoids can fold themselves into nanosheets just a few nanometers thick but up to one-hundred micrometers across - dimensions equivalent to a one-millimeter-thick plastic sheet the size of a football field.

"The reason that nanosheets form is because there's a code for it programmed directly into the peptoids," says Zuckermann. "In this case it's admittedly a pretty rudimentary program, but it shows how if you bring in just a little bit of sequence information: Boom! You can make a nanosheet."

To create functional loops on the nanosheets, the researchers insert short molecular segments into nanosheet-forming peptoid polymers. As the peptoids knit themselves together into sheets, the inserted segments are excluded from the fold, pushed out instead into loops upon the nanosheet surface. The functional loops can be programmed to selectively bind certain enzymes or inorganic materials, which makes the new material promising for chemical sensing and catalysis.

"The advantage here is that we're able to make these materials in very high yield," says Gloria Olivier, a postdoctoral researcher and lead author on the paper. "We're borrowing this idea of stringing together a particular sequence of monomers, which Nature uses to build 3D protein structures, and applying it to the world of non-natural materials, to create a really useful material that can assemble itself."

The researchers demonstrated the flexibility of their method by creating nanosheets with loops of varying composition, length, and density; they made nanosheets that can pick specific enzymes out of a solution, causing chemical changes that can be detected with standard techniques, and others that bind selectively to gold metal, seeding the growth of gold nanoparticles and films.

"Peptoids can withstand much harsher conditions than peptides, their counterpart in nature," says Olivier. "So if you wanted to build a diagnostic device that can be taken outside of a laboratory, or a device that can screen for biomarkers in the presence of a mixture of proteins like proteases, peptoids are an excellent choice."

Looking beyond the exciting applications, Zuckermann points out that this work represents an important step toward extending the rules of protein folding to the world of synthetic materials.

Says Zuckermann, "That's kind of what my whole research program here is about: learning from the richness of chemical sequence information found in biology to create new types of advanced synthetic materials. We're really just starting to scratch the surface."

###

This research was funded by the DOE Office of Science and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The work was conducted at the Molecular Foundry with support from the Advanced Light Source, and at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory.

####

About DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. For more, visit www.lbl.gov.

The Molecular Foundry is one of five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs), national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale, supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE's Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge and Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit science.energy.gov

The DOE Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Alison Hatt

510-486-7154

Copyright © DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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 Links

Download article - "Antibody-Mimetic Peptoid Nanosheets for Molecular Recognition." Gloria K. Olivier, Andrew Cho, Babak Sanii, Michael D. Connolly, Helen Tran, and Ronald N. Zuckermann. ACS Nano, 7, 9276-9386, (2013):

For more about this research, listen to Episode 75 of the ACS Nano podcast:

For more about Ron Zuckermann's research and the Molecular Foundry, visit:

Related News Press

News and information

The Hiden EQP Plasma Diagnostic with on-board MCA July 22nd, 2014

Bruker Awarded Fourth PeakForce Tapping Patent: AFM Mode Uniquely Combines Highest Resolution Imaging and Material Property Mapping July 22nd, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Laboratories

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Sono-Tek Corporation Announces New Clean Room Rated Laboratory Facility in China July 18th, 2014

Ribosome Research in Atomic Detail Offers Potential Insights into Cancer, Anemia, Alzheimer’s: New movement during decoding occurs in humans, not in bacteria July 3rd, 2014

Synthetic Biology

Artificial cilia: Scientists from Kiel University develop nano-structured transportation system July 4th, 2014

Artificial enzyme mimics the natural detoxification mechanism in liver cells: Molybdenum oxide particles can assume the function of the endogenous enzyme sulfite oxidase / Basis for new therapeutic application June 30th, 2014

'Life Redesigned: The Emergence of Synthetic Biology' Lecture at Brookhaven Lab on Wednesday, April 30: Biomedical Engineer James Collins to Speak for BSA Distinguished Lecture Series April 16th, 2014

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution: Solution-based inorganic process could drive more efficient electronics and solar devices July 21st, 2014

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014

Sensors

Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity July 19th, 2014

Iranian Scientists Use Nanosensors to Achieve Best Limit for Early Cancer Diagnosis July 19th, 2014

Rice nanophotonics experts create powerful molecular sensor: Sensor amplifies optical signature of single molecules about 100 billion times July 15th, 2014

University of Illinois researchers demonstrate novel, tunable nanoantennas July 14th, 2014

Discoveries

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution: Solution-based inorganic process could drive more efficient electronics and solar devices July 21st, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Steam from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam July 21st, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Announcements

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014

Bruker Awarded Fourth PeakForce Tapping Patent: AFM Mode Uniquely Combines Highest Resolution Imaging and Material Property Mapping July 22nd, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

More than glitter: Scientists explain how gold nanoparticles easily penetrate cells, making them useful for delivering drugs July 21st, 2014

Military

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity July 19th, 2014

Future Electronics May Depend on Lasers, Not Quartz July 17th, 2014

Rice nanophotonics experts create powerful molecular sensor: Sensor amplifies optical signature of single molecules about 100 billion times July 15th, 2014

Nanobiotechnology

Production of Non-Virus Nanocarriers with Highest Amount of Gene Delivery July 17th, 2014

Physicists Use Computer Models to Reveal Quantum Effects in Biological Oxygen Transport: The team solved a long-standing question by explaining why oxygen – and not deadly carbon monoxide – preferably binds to the proteins that transport it around the body. July 17th, 2014

Tiny DNA pyramids enter bacteria easily -- and deliver a deadly payload July 9th, 2014

Artificial cilia: Scientists from Kiel University develop nano-structured transportation system July 4th, 2014

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







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE