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    Thursday, 29 August 2013 14:36

    Nanosensors can help in the production of drugs

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    Experts in the field of engineering, chemical compounds from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, USA) showed that the matrix consisting of billions of nanoscale sensors have unique properties that can enhance the safety and efficiency of various drugs, particularly drugs, based on antibodies.

    With these sensors, the scientists were able to characterize the different types of interactions of drugs based on antibodies, which in the long run will help in the development of effective treatments for cancer and other diseases. The sensors can be used to assess the structure of antibody molecules and determining their content of sugar chains that prevent their functioning.

    "Pharmacological method can help companies identify the reason for a certain technology of preparation of medicines work better than others, which will increase the efficiency of production", - says Michael Strano (Michael Strano), a professor of chemical engineering at MIT, one of the authors of the Nanoscale sensors, recently published in the journal ACS Nano.

    According to Strano, the research team also demonstrated how nanosensor matrix can be used to determine the most productive and preferred cells in a population of genetically modified cells that synthesize drugs.

    Evaluating the effectiveness of drugs

    nano-teratoma-teratoma-service-ipscThe results of previous studies conducted by countries and other scientists have shown that the use of the finest nanoscale sensors, such as carbon nanotubes, is an effective method to determine the chemical compounds present in the solution in small amounts. Carbon nanotubes are 50 thousand times thinner than a human hair. They are able to join the proteins recognize specific Targeted molecule. If the solution contains Targeted molecule fluorescent signal produced by the carbon nanotube varies and it can be detected.

    For the simultaneous determination of a large number of different targets in solution, some scientists are trying to use a large array of nanosensors, in particular, carbon nanotubes or semiconductor nanowires, each of which focuses on a specific targeted molecule. In the new study, Strano and his colleagues studied the unique properties of large sensors that detect the same chemical.

    The first property, scientists detected nanosensors - is that the matrix consisting of equally spaced sensors can measure the force distribution compounds arising in complex proteins such as antibodies.

    Antibodies - the body naturally synthesized molecules that play a key role in the immune response. In recent years, scientists have developed antibodies to treat various diseases, including cancer. The addition of these antibodies to surface proteins of cancer cells stimulates an immune response to the tumor.

    To drugs based on antibodies to be effective, they must be specifically attached to its target. However, the process of antibody production , which is dependent on engineering cells does not always lead to the production of consistently and uniformly acceding parties antibodies.

    Currently, for testing batches of drugs in order to confirm their compliance with the performance standards used by pharmaceutical companies for long time and expensive analytical processes. The new sensor, developed by scientists from MIT, can greatly speed up the process, allowing scientists not only to more effectively monitor and control the process of production of drugs, but also to fine-tune their production. This will result in a more uniform product synthesized.

    Measurements of weak interactions

    Another nice feature of sensors is their ability to measure the weak binding interactions that can also help in the production of drugs based on antibodies.

    Normally, this process of protein glycosylation antibodies surface is covered with long chains of carbohydrates which provide drug efficacy. But sugar chain is extremely difficult to detect, since they interact with weak bonds with other molecules. Organisms that produce antibodies are programmed in such a way as to connect the chain of sugars. However, this process is difficult to control, and it largely depends on the environment surrounding the cells, including the temperature and acidity.

    If an antibody is introduced into the patient will not be glycosylated proteins, they can cause the development of an unwanted immune response or be destroyed by the patient's own cells, making them useless.

    According to Strano, drug companies and scientists who have tried to identify glycosylated proteins by recognizing the hydrocarbon chains, experienced difficulties. "Nanosensor matrix can greatly increase the possibility of determining the rare events of joining molecules. You will be able to measure something that is not able to estimate with a large sensor with the same sensitivity, "- says the country.

    The new method could help scientists determine the optimal conditions for adjusting the degree of glycosylation of proteins that facilitate the production of equally effective drugs.

    The definition of the product obtained

    The third property of nanoscale sensors, studied by scientists - is the ability to detect the synthesis of a molecule of interest. According to Strano, professionals want to be able to identify specific strains of microorganisms that synthesize the necessary medicines. "There are many ways to do this, but none of them is not easy," - says the country.

    The research team from MIT found that culturing the cells on the surface coated with a matrix of nanoscale sensors that can help identify the location of the majority of synthesizing cells. In the new study, the researchers studied the antibodies are synthesized artificially synthesized human embryonic kidney cells. However, established engine also can be individually configured to proteins and other organisms.

    According to Strano, immediately after the detection of the most productive cells, scientists are studying the genes that distinguish these cells from other cells that have a lower efficiency in the production of medicines. As a result, they create a new strain having increased ability to synthesize the desired chemical compounds.

    Scientists have created a prototype of a portable sensor, which they plan to test in the pharmaceutical company Novartis. The study will be funded by Novartis and the National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation, USA).

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