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Treating Alzheimer's disease with nanomaterials

Edit: Ccdanni 2020-02-24 Mobile

  Alzheimer's disease (Alzheimer's disease) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by cognitive decline. It is estimated that there are more than 35 million patients worldwide. China is a region with a high incidence of Alzheimer's disease and currently has the largest number of patients in the world.

  Scientists have discovered that a protein called "Aβ" in the human body is very important for Alzheimer's disease. Aβ (β-amyloid), consisting of 39-43 amino acids, is the main component of senile plaques in the cerebral cortex. Previous studies have suggested that clearing Aβ may be an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease.


  Recently, researcher Wang Hao, researcher Wang Lei of the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Professor Zhang Jingping of Northeast Normal University have prepared a "nano scavenger" material to remove and degrade Aβ with good experimental results. This "nano scavenger" material is expected to become an effective method for treating Alzheimer's disease.

  "Nano scavenger" is actually a peptide-polymer nano material, which has the function of capturing and removing Aβ. Scientists delivered "nano scavengers" to the lesion site by intravenous injection. After the "nano scavenger" arrived, it formed a co-assembly with Aβ through hydrophobic and hydrogen bonding, and captured Aβ. Then, a large number of "nano scavengers" carrying Aβ entered the cell and activated the cell autophagy mechanism, using the cell to degrade Aβ, thereby effectively eliminating Aβ and reducing neurotoxicity.

  How Nano Scavengers Work. Nano scavengers capture Aβ by co-assembly and carry it into cells, which in turn activates cell autophagy to effectively degrade Aβ.

  In a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, scientists found that Aβ plaques in the brains of rats were significantly reduced, and the results of the water maze experiment showed that the rats' memory was effectively restored. This shows that "nano scavenger" is expected to become an effective method for treating Alzheimer's disease.

  This "nano scavenger" is an excellent achievement in the field of assembling nanomaterials. In recent years, due to its unique structure and biological effects, the assembly of nanomaterials has attracted widespread attention and recognition in the field of biomedicine. In order to achieve more demanding "precision medicine", nanomaterial scientists have been working hard to precisely regulate the assembly of nanomaterials to develop "smart" nanomaterials.

  In recent years, Wang Hao's group at the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology has been working on developing in situ self-assembly strategies for living organisms, and preparing new biological nanomaterials, and has made a series of progress.


  They have developed a series of assembly modules for peptides and fluorescent molecules, and use special assembly light-emitting molecular modules to achieve real-time "observation" of assembly regulation. Assisted by electron microscopy, a systematic study was conducted on the assembly of nanoparticles to control the formation of fibers. It was found that hydrogen bonding is the internal driving force for conversion. The assembly can be precisely regulated through the hydrophilic-hydrophobic balance and the interaction with the receptor.

  They use the micro-acid environment of the tumor to achieve assembly and regulation at the tumor site to build the "main body" of drug delivery, and complete the "two-step" drug delivery with high efficiency and low toxicity. At the same time, they used living organisms' biological regulation mechanisms to transform spherical nanoparticles around tumors into fibrous structures that function similarly to the extracellular matrix. The artificial extracellular matrix becomes a barrier to prevent tumor metastasis and can effectively inhibit tumor infiltration and metastasis.

  These achievements are the theoretical research and some applications of Wang Hao's group in the field of intelligent biological nanomaterials. Scientists continue to carry out in-depth exploration and research, such as how these bio-nanomaterials are really applied in the clinic, and which diseases can be "precision treatment" and so on. Scientists have been working hard, and we are looking forward to more results.

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