Stories tagged peptides

Some semiconductor materials, such as gallium oxides, are toxic and hence are not in widespread use for biomedical implants. However, it has been found that gallium nitride (GaN), which has been used for military electronics applications (e.g. Active Electronically Scanned Arrays), solar cells, and light-emitting diodes, now holds promise for many implantable technologies. Such applications could be transistors used to monitor blood chemistry, or electrodes in therapy for Alzheimer's Disease.

Researchers from North Carolina State University and Purdue University have recently discovered that gallium nitride is non-toxic, minimizing risk to both the patient and the environment. The researchers bonded peptides (the building blocks that make up proteins) to the GaN, and then placed peptide-coated GaN and uncoated GaN into cell cultures to see how the material and the cells interacted.

The peptide-coated GaN was found to bond more effectively with the cells. By showing that it's possible to coat GaN with peptides that attract and bond with cells, it suggests that it might be possible to coat GaN with peptides that would help prevent cell growth. In other words, help keep the implant clean, which is especially important for sensors.

Press Release: Research Finds Gallium Nitride is Non-Toxic, Biocompatible – Holds Promise For Biomedical Implants

Apr
08
2008

Don't touch my blood buddy: Alligator blood has been found to be high in certain peptides that are great at killing viruses, including HIV.
Don't touch my blood buddy: Alligator blood has been found to be high in certain peptides that are great at killing viruses, including HIV.Courtesy Bill Swindaman
Have you ever wondered why you never see alligators in the waiting room at the clinic?

For one thing, alligators have really bad medical insurance. But the bigger reason they stay so healthy is in their blood. New research has shown that alligator blood can kill off 23 different strains of bacteria. In effect, the gators have antibiotics in their blood.

Researchers started looking into alligator blood after noticing that the creatures rarely get infections despite all the wounds they suffer in their violent lives.

Why does any of this matter to us? The discovery could have huge impacts for our health. For one thing, experiments have shown the alligator blood is able to destroy much of HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS.

More specifically, alligator blood (and the blood of many other reptiles) is high in peptides, which are fragments of proteins). Learning more about these peptides could lead to the creation of medicines we’d be able to use to fight off strong viruses like HIV.

The full details are available at this link.

Don’t worry. You won’t be getting any transfusions of alligator blood the next time you’re at the hospital. Researchers estimate that pills or creams with the peptides that are also present in alligator blood might be ready for the human marketplace within the next seven years.