It seems peculiar that nanoparticles that are so minute may have certain scientific applications too. As per a research conducted by University of Michigan, nanoparticles like cadmium of the right size and shape may help prohibit neuron degeneration and other symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
According to scientists of the research, nanotechnology is apparently capable of getting hold of the long fibrils that are known to form plaque associated with neurodegenerative diseases. A tetrahedral nanoparticle having similar structure and size as a developing fibril may destroy the geometry of the plaque that tends to bond with them. This alteration of shape prevents further fibrillation.
“Both amyloid peptides and nanoparticles exhibit a strong ability to self-assemble into fibrils. We were open to any possible effect of nanoparticles on the amyloid fibrillation. We were very pleased to see amazing inhibitory effect on amyloids fibrillation which opens the door for new approaches to the development of drugs to prevent Alzheimer’s disease,” specified University of Michigan chemical engineering professor Nicholas Kotov.
The most common Alzheimer’s drugs may bond with amyloid peptides in 1:1 ratio which is considered to be inefficient. On the other hand, nanoparticles may prohibit the fibrillation of amyloid peptide with greater effectiveness. One nanoparticle seems to capture above 100 amyloid peptides. This capability of fibril prohibition looks similar to the proteins in the human body that are utilized to protect against the development of Alzheimer’s.
The research implies that if a particle that supports the human body is introduced, then it would lead to clearing of the weakening plaque. Cadmium is believed to be poisonous for humans but this research brings to fore that it could help in overcoming disorders like Alzheimer’s. The research is being progressed for better programming of nanoparticles and to gain knowledge of their working.
The paper is called ‘Mechanism of Fibrillation Inhibition of Amyloid Peptides by Inorganic Nanoparticles Reveals Functional Similarities with Proteins’ and is published in the current journal Angewandte Chemie.