Physicists investigating tubular biological microstructures that showed unexpected luminescence after heating. Bioinspired peptides, like the ones investigated, could be useful for applications in optical fibers, biolasers and future quantum computers.
The luminous peptide microstructures self-assemble in a water environment. After heating them with a laser, they showed luminescence in the green range of the optical spectrum.
Sergey Semin from Radboud University explains, "The optical activity in the green range was a surprise for us. According to our theories, the molecular structure of our molecules forbids them to be luminescent in that spectral range. We expect that interactions between the peptide and the water molecules might be the cause for our unexpected finding. They form a kind of ‘super cell’ together, which we hypothesize emits light after heating.
After heating the tubular microstructures (a and c) with a laser at the location of the red circle, energy propagates in the direction of the arrow. Post-heating luminescence occurs (b and d) at both ends of the microstructure (circled red and blue). In picture b, the blue rectangle zooms in on the right hand end of the microstructure. Credit: Sergey Semin
"In general, it’s very interesting that biological structures like the ones we studied show physical properties like luminescence," says Semin.
Understanding the underlying mechanisms can give new insight in the optical properties of peptides and short organic molecules. That could lead to applications like optical fibers for data transfer, biolasers or applications in future quantum computers.
Recognizing brain plaques
Another interesting application might be in the biomedical field, since the microstructures are the core recognition motif of β-amyloid fibrils that form plaques in the human brain and lead to Alzheimer’s and some other brain diseases.
The recognition structures can be excited and made visible by heating them, but clinical applications are still far away. "The more we know about such structures, the more we can do for diagnosis and treatment," says Semin.
Citation: S. Semin, A. van Etteger, L. Cattaneo, N. Amdursky, L. Kulyuk, S. Lavrov, A. Sigov, E. Mishina, G. Rosenman and Th. Rasing, 'Strong Thermo-Induced Single And Two-Photon Green Luminescence In Self-Organized Peptide Microtubes', Small July 29 2014 DOI: 10.1002/smll.201401602
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Bang !! 13 TeV - The Highest Energy Ever Achieved By Mankind ?!
- Mystery Of Morgellons - Disease Or Delusion - Scientific Hypothesis Of Connection With Lyme Disease
- WISE J224607.57-052635.0, The Most Luminous Galaxy In The Universe
- Highest Energy Collisions ? Not In My Book
- Blue Buffalo Admits Its Pet Food Contains The Poultry Byproduct It Ridicules In Competitors
- Tanzania's Disappearing Serengeti
- NaSt1 - One-Of-A-Kind 'Nasty' Star
- "Okay for what she says about BDD, see her paper here: Association of spirochetal infection..."
- "Bovine Digital Dermatitis was connected to morgellons disease because of wart-like and hair-like..."
- "FINALLY, a supportive article that reviews the facts and is not afraid to put it out in a positive..."
- "Thank you for your wonderful article. It is refreshing to see someone write about this disease..."
- "Dear all,thank you for your thoughts. As it often happens, the global common knowledge of a pool..."
- Vaccines developed for H5N1, H7N9 avian influenza strains
- European Medicines Agency recommends full approval of ibrutinib to treat Waldenstrom's Macroglobulinemia
- In Northern Ireland, sectarianism has become sextarianism
- RegeneRx Phase II Dry Eye Trial results
- How schizophrenia risk gene DISC1 affects the brain