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?
- The Five Stages Of A Dying Theory
- Order Patterned With Chaos - How Climate Is Predicted For Decades - With Exact Forecasts Only For Days
- Something is wrong in the Arctic
- Is The X(5568) A True Resonance ?
- Anomaly! Book Presentation At CERN On November 29
- Chess is Smart and Sexy! The Mysterious Psychology of Chess Intelligence 1/3
- Vector Boson Scattering: ATLAS Tests SM Unitarity
- "So you can guarantee to me that this is not real yeah thats all i want for this not to be real..."
- "No you don't. It's not real, it's a hoax, any astronomer would just LOL at the idea. These are..."
- "Do I need to do any of that then Mr walker just want the truth are me and my children in any danger..."
- "Oh, don't do any of that. Who has told you to do that? Are they people you would trust with your..."
- "Hey Robert, Have you heard of a website called godlike productions, does that fall under the Bullshit..."
- Pfizer's Centrum Silver Multivitamins Contain Pesticide, Paint, and Glass
- Fly me to the Moon, but hold the altitude sickness
- What's in an Egg? Demystifying the Labels
- Paper Scandal at Science? Microbeads Lying In the Weeds. With A Stolen Computer.
- Honey, Please Pass The High Fructose Corn Syrup
- A stolen computer and the scandal of a high profile paper