HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Prions offer nanotech building tool

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The same characteristics that make misfolded proteins known as prions such a pernicious medical threat in neurodegenerative diseases may offer a construction toolkit for manufacturing nanoscale electrical circuits, researchers report this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists working at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the University of Chicago write that they have used the durable, self-assembling fibers formed by prions as a template on which to deposit electricity-bearing gold and silver, creating electrical wire much thinner than it is possible to make by current mechanical processes.

"Most of the people working on nanocircuits are trying to build them using 'top-down' fabrication techniques" used in conventional electrical engineering, explained Whitehead Institute Director Susan Lindquist, a co-author of the study. "We thought we'd try a 'bottom-up' approach, and let molecular self-assembly do the hard work for us."

Construction of nanoscale microcircuits and machines is one of the highly prized goals of nanotechnology. Manufacturing is very tricky at this scale a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter; a nanometer is to a meter what a small grape would be to the entire Earth. Moreover, these devices depend on nanowires to conduct electricity. So far, the mass production of these tiny wires has stymied researchers. Making very small computers and optical switches, or even biomedical devices that could be inserted into the body, could open up whole new fields of computation and medicine.

Lindquist and her colleagues took a different approach. Rather than building the metal wire itself, they let prions build a very thin fibrous template and then coaxed gold and silver to bond to the protein fibers. By themselves, the fibers are insulators; they can't conduct electricity. But when coated with gold and silver particles, they became re
'"/>

Contact: Rick Borchelt or Kelli Whitlock
newsroom@wi.mit.edu
617-258-5183
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
31-Mar-2003


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Prions act as stepping stones in evolution
2. Prions may play crucial role in evolution.
3. Prions are modular
4. New Evidence On How Prions Turn Fatal
5. University Of California-San Francisco Researchers Report Test That Detects Prion Diseases, Illuminates Novel Findings About Infectious Prions
6. Lake research offers clues to managing crayfish invasions
7. Comparing primate genomes offers insight into human evolution
8. UW study: Migrating birds offer insight into sleep
9. Only 21 states offer newborn screening tests recommended by March of Dimes
10. Study of proteins offers insights into organization of biological networks
11. Susceptibility of mice to mousepox offers promise of smallpox protection

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:12/5/2018)... ... December 04, 2018 , ... Urological Associates ... a UroLift® Center of Excellence. The designation recognizes that Dr. Choi has achieved ... a commitment to exemplary care for men suffering from symptoms associated with Benign ...
(Date:11/29/2018)... , ... November 29, 2018 , ... ... excited to collaborate with the new NSF Engineering Research Center for Cell ... collaborators brought together to develop transformative tools and technologies for the consistent, scalable ...
(Date:11/27/2018)... ... November 26, 2018 , ... PulseEd™ uses researched technology, ... high-frequency sound waves to stimulate blood flow to the penis. Regular and unimpeded blood ... age, is necessary for good erectile function. The recorded results of SWT (sound wave ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/13/2018)... ... November 13, 2018 , ... Sharon Kleyne, founder ... in Grants Pass, Oregon believes in the power of talk radio education Power ... Science® sponsors the Power of Water® on talk radio every week with the ...
(Date:11/9/2018)... N.H. and PHILADELPHIA (PRWEB) , ... November 08, ... ... 25-year-old control system integrator of custom industrial automation and IT solutions with 140 ... be exhibiting at Automation Fair®, taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on ...
(Date:11/5/2018)... ... November 05, 2018 , ... Frederick National ... to increase access to science research and education in the Frederick County area. ... aims to provide access to STEM-based undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... November 01, 2018 , ... Come to Princeton Nov. ... Senior Advisor, Division of Clinical Compliance Evaluation, CDER, FDA will be presenting on ... , What should clinical research industry stakeholders keep in mind when implementing and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: