News Column

New Data from California Institute of Technology Illuminate Findings in Membrane Proteins

May 6, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Research findings on Membrane Proteins are discussed in a new report. According to news reporting from Pasadena, California, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Membrane proteins embedded in bilayer lipids of cell membrane have unique functions including inter-cell communication and ionic/molecular transport. To understand the structure and function of the membrane protein embedded in a native biological bilayer lipid environment is a major research area in biology."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the California Institute of Technology, "A reconstitution/crystallisation process of membrane proteins and lipids can form virus-like nanoparticles, and have important potential applications in drug design and drug delivery. Earlier studies used a standard dialysis process that is inherently low-throughput, time consuming (days to weeks) and costly in protein materials. In this reported work a new microfluidic device is demonstrated to rapidly form membrane protein lipid nanoparticles in an extremely short period (seconds). The reconstitution process occurs using a continuous flow dominated by convection-diffusion phenomena in the microfluidic channel, which can form protein/lipid nanoparticles using only nanolitres or picolitres of protein sample. Moreover, a controllable syringe pump is used to test a combination of conditions, rather than using inefficient hand pipetting."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "Therefore this novel microfluidic device has an ability to rapidly form uniform membrane protein/lipid nanoparticles, and the authors believe that this new method will make a transformative impact on commercial applications in a variety of areas from biology to pharmacology."

For more information on this research see: Microfluidic device for super-fast evaluation of membrane protein nanoparticle formation. Micro & Nano Letters, 2013;8(10):672-675. Micro & Nano Letters can be contacted at: Inst Engineering Technology-Iet, Michael Faraday House Six Hills Way Stevenage, Hertford SG1 2AY, England (see also Membrane Proteins).

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting H.J. Wu, California Institute of Technology, Div Chem & Chem Engn, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States. Additional authors for this research include T. Basta, M. Morphew, D.C. Rees, M.H.B. Stowell and Y.C. Lee.

Keywords for this news article include: Pasadena, California, United States, Nanotechnology, Membrane Proteins, Emerging Technologies, Protein Nanoparticles, North and Central America

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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