Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Coal could yield treatment for traumatic injuries: Rice, Texas A&M, UTHealth scientists discover coal-derived ‘dots’ are effective antioxidant

Coal-derived graphene quantum dots as seen under an electron microscope. Rice University scientists have modified the dots to serve as antioxidants. (Credit: Tour Group/Rice University)
Coal-derived graphene quantum dots as seen under an electron microscope. Rice University scientists have modified the dots to serve as antioxidants. (Credit: Tour Group/Rice University)

Abstract:
Graphene quantum dots drawn from common coal may be the basis for an effective antioxidant for people who suffer traumatic brain injuries, strokes or heart attacks.

Coal could yield treatment for traumatic injuries: Rice, Texas A&M, UTHealth scientists discover coal-derived ‘dots’ are effective antioxidant

Houston, TX | Posted on April 25th, 2019

Their ability to quench oxidative stress after such injuries is the subject of a study by scientists at Rice University, the Texas A&M Health Science Center and the McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

Quantum dots are semiconducting materials small enough to exhibit quantum mechanical properties that only appear at the nanoscale.

Rice chemist James Tour, A&M neurologist Thomas Kent and UTHealth biochemist Ah-Lim Tsai and their teams found the biocompatible dots, when modified with a common polymer, are effective mimics of the body's own superoxide dismutase, one of many natural enzymes that keep oxidative stress in check.

But because natural antioxidants can be overwhelmed by the rapid production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that race to heal an injury, the team has been working for years to see if a quick injection of reactive nanomaterials can limit the collateral damage these free radicals can cause to healthy cells.

An earlier study by the trio showed that hydrophilic clusters modified with polyethylene glycol (PEG) to improve their solubility and biological stability are effective at quenching oxidative stress, as a single nanoparticle had the ability to neutralize thousands of ROS molecules.

"Replacing our earlier nanoparticles with coal-derived quantum dots makes it much simpler and less expensive to produce these potentially therapeutic materials," Tour said. "It opens the door to more readily accessible therapies."

Tests on cell lines showed a mix of PEG and graphene quantum dots from common coal is just as effective at halting damage from superoxide and hydrogen peroxides as the earlier materials, but the dots themselves are more disclike than the ribbonlike clusters.

The results appear in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

The Tour lab first extracted quantum dots from coal in 2013 and reported on their potential for medical imaging, sensing, electronic and photovoltaic applications. A subsequent study showed how they can be engineered for specific semiconducting properties.

In the new study, the researchers evaluated the dots' electrochemical, chemical and biological activity. The Rice lab chemically extracted quantum dots from inexpensive bituminous and anthracite coal, modified them with the polymer and tested their abilities on live cells from rodents.

The results showed that quantum dot doses in various concentrations were highly effective at protecting cells from oxidation, even if the doses were delayed by 15 minutes after the researchers added damaging hydrogen peroxide to the cell culture dishes.

The disclike, 3-5-nanometer bituminous quantum dots are smaller than the 10-20-nanometer anthracite dots. The researchers found the level of protection was dose-dependent for both types of particles, but that the larger anthracite-derived dots protected more cells at lower concentrations.

"Although they both work in cells, in vivo, the smaller ones are more effective," Tour said. "The larger ones likely have trouble accessing the brain as well."

Rice graduate students Lizanne Nilewski and Kimberly Mendoza, also an intern at Baylor College of Medicine, and postdoctoral researcher Almaz Jalilov are lead authors of the paper. Co-authors are UTHealth research scientist Vladimir Berka and hematology instructor Gang Wu; Rice graduate students William Sikkema, Andrew Metzger, Ruquan Ye, Rui Zhang, Duy Xuan Luong, Tuo Wang and Emily McHugh; Paul Derry, an assistant professor at Texas A&M, and Rice alumnus Errol Loïc Samuel, group leader of biophysical chemistry at Baylor.

Tour is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry as well as a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice. Kent is the Robert A. Welch Chair Professor in the Institute of Biosciences and Technology at Texas A&M-Houston Campus and an adjunct professor at Houston Methodist Hospital. Tsai is a professor of hematology at UTHealth.

The Alliance for NanoHealth, the National Institutes of Health, the Dunn Foundation, the National Defense Science Engineering Graduate Fellowship and the Welch Foundation supported the research.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth
713-348-6327


Mike Williams
713-348-6728

Copyright © Rice University

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

Read the abstract at:

Coal yields graphene quantum dots:

Rice fine-tunes quantum dots from coal:

Tour Group:

Rice Department of Chemistry:

Wiess School of Natural Sciences:

Related News Press

News and information

Resistance is utile: Magnetite nanowires with sharp insulating transition: Osaka University-led researchers make ultra-thin nanowires of Fe3O4, with a remarkable 'Verwey transition' from metal to insulator at low temperature -- a highly sought-after property for nanoelectronics July 19th, 2019

Tiny vibration-powered robots are the size of the world's smallest ant July 19th, 2019

A graphene superconductor that plays more than one tune: Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a tiny toolkit for scientists to study exotic quantum physics July 19th, 2019

Electronic chip mimics the brain to make memories in a flash: Engineers have mimicked the human brain with an electronic chip that uses light to create and modify memories. July 19th, 2019

The interlayers help perovskite crystallisation for high-performance light-emitting diodes: Unveiling the synergistic effect of precursor stoichiometry and interfacial reactions for perovskite light-emitting diodes July 19th, 2019

Graphene/ Graphite

A graphene superconductor that plays more than one tune: Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a tiny toolkit for scientists to study exotic quantum physics July 19th, 2019

Nanometrics and Rudolph Technologies to Jointly Participate in the 11th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2019 June 27th, 2019

Research Reveals Exotic Quantum States in Double-Layer Graphene: Findings shed new light on the nature of electron interactions in quantum systems and establish a potential new platform for future quantum computers June 26th, 2019

Chemistry

Caught in the act: Images capture molecular motions in real time July 15th, 2019

What happens when you explode a chemical bond? Attosecond laser technique yields movies of chemical bond dissociation July 12th, 2019

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Limitation exposed in promising quantum computing material: Metallic surfaces no longer protected as topological insulators become thinner July 19th, 2019

Tiny vibration-powered robots are the size of the world's smallest ant July 19th, 2019

A graphene superconductor that plays more than one tune: Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a tiny toolkit for scientists to study exotic quantum physics July 19th, 2019

The interlayers help perovskite crystallisation for high-performance light-emitting diodes: Unveiling the synergistic effect of precursor stoichiometry and interfacial reactions for perovskite light-emitting diodes July 19th, 2019

Possible Futures

Limitation exposed in promising quantum computing material: Metallic surfaces no longer protected as topological insulators become thinner July 19th, 2019

Resistance is utile: Magnetite nanowires with sharp insulating transition: Osaka University-led researchers make ultra-thin nanowires of Fe3O4, with a remarkable 'Verwey transition' from metal to insulator at low temperature -- a highly sought-after property for nanoelectronics July 19th, 2019

Tiny vibration-powered robots are the size of the world's smallest ant July 19th, 2019

Electronic chip mimics the brain to make memories in a flash: Engineers have mimicked the human brain with an electronic chip that uses light to create and modify memories. July 19th, 2019

Nanomedicine

An 'EpiPen' for spinal cord injuries July 12th, 2019

Nanotechnology delivers hepatitis B vaccine: X-ray imaging shows that nanostructured silica acts as a protective vehicle to deliver intact antigen to the intestine so that it can trigger an immune response. The material can give rise to a polyvaccine against six diseases July 12th, 2019

Sheaths drive powerful new artificial muscles July 11th, 2019

Nanotechnology pioneer Chad Mirkin wins Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine: Molly Stevens of Imperial College London receives Kabiller Young Investigator Award July 11th, 2019

Discoveries

Resistance is utile: Magnetite nanowires with sharp insulating transition: Osaka University-led researchers make ultra-thin nanowires of Fe3O4, with a remarkable 'Verwey transition' from metal to insulator at low temperature -- a highly sought-after property for nanoelectronics July 19th, 2019

Tiny vibration-powered robots are the size of the world's smallest ant July 19th, 2019

A graphene superconductor that plays more than one tune: Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a tiny toolkit for scientists to study exotic quantum physics July 19th, 2019

Electronic chip mimics the brain to make memories in a flash: Engineers have mimicked the human brain with an electronic chip that uses light to create and modify memories. July 19th, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

Resistance is utile: Magnetite nanowires with sharp insulating transition: Osaka University-led researchers make ultra-thin nanowires of Fe3O4, with a remarkable 'Verwey transition' from metal to insulator at low temperature -- a highly sought-after property for nanoelectronics July 19th, 2019

Breakthrough material could lead to cheaper, more widespread solar panels and electronics July 16th, 2019

NUS ‘smart’ textiles boost connectivity between wearable sensors by 1,000 times: Metamaterials are incorporated into conventional clothing to dramatically improve signal strength between electronic devices, allowing for new applications July 15th, 2019

Strange warping geometry helps to push scientific boundaries July 12th, 2019

Announcements

Resistance is utile: Magnetite nanowires with sharp insulating transition: Osaka University-led researchers make ultra-thin nanowires of Fe3O4, with a remarkable 'Verwey transition' from metal to insulator at low temperature -- a highly sought-after property for nanoelectronics July 19th, 2019

Tiny vibration-powered robots are the size of the world's smallest ant July 19th, 2019

A graphene superconductor that plays more than one tune: Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a tiny toolkit for scientists to study exotic quantum physics July 19th, 2019

Electronic chip mimics the brain to make memories in a flash: Engineers have mimicked the human brain with an electronic chip that uses light to create and modify memories. July 19th, 2019

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

Resistance is utile: Magnetite nanowires with sharp insulating transition: Osaka University-led researchers make ultra-thin nanowires of Fe3O4, with a remarkable 'Verwey transition' from metal to insulator at low temperature -- a highly sought-after property for nanoelectronics July 19th, 2019

Tiny vibration-powered robots are the size of the world's smallest ant July 19th, 2019

A graphene superconductor that plays more than one tune: Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a tiny toolkit for scientists to study exotic quantum physics July 19th, 2019

Electronic chip mimics the brain to make memories in a flash: Engineers have mimicked the human brain with an electronic chip that uses light to create and modify memories. July 19th, 2019

Military

Caught in the act: Images capture molecular motions in real time July 15th, 2019

What happens when you explode a chemical bond? Attosecond laser technique yields movies of chemical bond dissociation July 12th, 2019

Sheaths drive powerful new artificial muscles July 11th, 2019

'Hot spots' increase efficiency of solar desalination: Rice University engineers boost output of solar desalination system by 50% June 19th, 2019

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Limitation exposed in promising quantum computing material: Metallic surfaces no longer protected as topological insulators become thinner July 19th, 2019

The interlayers help perovskite crystallisation for high-performance light-emitting diodes: Unveiling the synergistic effect of precursor stoichiometry and interfacial reactions for perovskite light-emitting diodes July 19th, 2019

Sheaths drive powerful new artificial muscles July 11th, 2019

Nanotechnology pioneer Chad Mirkin wins Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine: Molly Stevens of Imperial College London receives Kabiller Young Investigator Award July 11th, 2019

Quantum Dots/Rods

Engineers revolutionize molecular microscopy: Single molecules measure electrical potentials July 12th, 2019

Quantum rebar: Quantum dots enhance stability of solar-harvesting perovskite crystals: Researchers demonstrate that perovskite crystals and quantum dots working together can increase stability of solar materials May 24th, 2019

2D gold quantum dots are atomically tunable with nanotubes April 11th, 2019

Tracking pollen with quantum dots: A pollination biologist from Stellenbosch University in South Africa is using quantum dots to track the fate of individual pollen grains. This is breaking new ground in a field of research that has been hampered by the lack of a universal method February 17th, 2019

Nanobiotechnology

An 'EpiPen' for spinal cord injuries July 12th, 2019

Nanotechnology delivers hepatitis B vaccine: X-ray imaging shows that nanostructured silica acts as a protective vehicle to deliver intact antigen to the intestine so that it can trigger an immune response. The material can give rise to a polyvaccine against six diseases July 12th, 2019

Nanotechnology pioneer Chad Mirkin wins Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine: Molly Stevens of Imperial College London receives Kabiller Young Investigator Award July 11th, 2019

Imprinted spheres fight breast cancer: Inhibition of HER2 on tumor cells by molecularly imprinted nanoparticles July 9th, 2019

Research partnerships

A graphene superconductor that plays more than one tune: Researchers at Berkeley Lab have developed a tiny toolkit for scientists to study exotic quantum physics July 19th, 2019

The interlayers help perovskite crystallisation for high-performance light-emitting diodes: Unveiling the synergistic effect of precursor stoichiometry and interfacial reactions for perovskite light-emitting diodes July 19th, 2019

The best of both worlds: how to solve real problems on modern quantum computers July 12th, 2019

Sheaths drive powerful new artificial muscles July 11th, 2019

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project