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Feb 29, 2012Science and Technology
New technique for creating protein nanofibers promises to greatly improve medicine

Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University have developed a new method for creating nanofibers out of proteins. These nanofibers can be used in a variety of ways including as a drug delivery method for devastating conditions including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disorders and could aid in tissue, bone and cartilage regeneration. The emergence of this new technique for creating the nanofibers happened by chance. When conducting an experiment involving a certain kind of cylinder-shaped protein, Susheel K. Gunasekar, doctoral student at NYU-Poly and author of the study, observed that in high concentrations the alpha helical coiled-coil proteins came together and assembled themselves into nanofibers. "We were really excited,” recalled Gunasekar. “So we decided to do a series of experiments to see if we could control the fiber formation, and also control its binding to small molecules, which would be housed within the protein's cylinder."

Relevant Locations: Polytechnic Institute of NYU, 6 MetroTech Center, Brooklyn, NY 11201-3840, USA
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