Sumary of Metal-based molecule inhibits the build-up of Alzheimer’s peptides in lab tests:
- In lab tests, Imperial researchers have created a metal-based molecule that inhibits the build-up of a peptide associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
- The team demonstrated that with the aid of ultrasound, their molecule can cross the blood-brain barrier in mice, targeting the part of the brain where the damaging peptide most often accumulates.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting approximately 50 million people worldwide.
- However, these are often toxic to cells, or are unable to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) – a semi-permeable protective barrier that carefully regulates the passage of substances that enter and exit the brain.
- Now, a team from the Departments of Chemistry and Bioengineering at Imperial College London have designed a metal-based molecule that is highly effective at preventing the build-up of amyloid-β in lab-based studies.
- They also showed that the molecule is non-toxic to human brain-like cells, and that it can cross the blood-brain barrier in mice with the help of a technique using microbubbles and focused ultrasound.
- Very few metal-based molecules have been investigated as potential inhibitors of amyloid-β build-up because of toxicity issues and difficulty crossing the blood brain barrier.
- The molecule we have designed is able to interfere with amyloid-β and seems non-toxic, and it can be delivered across the blood brain barrier using ultrasound, which means you don’t need an invasive procedure.” Tiffany Chan, First Author, Departments of Chemistry and Bioengineering, Imperial College London Related Stories The molecule is centred around the metal cobalt, surrounded by organic molecules that form a complex, which binds to amyloid-β peptides, preventing them from binding to each other and building up.