Gallium Nanoparticles as Novel Inhibitors of Crucial Alzheimer’s Peptide

SEM images of the synthesized GaN NPs. From the cited paper.

Alzheimer’s disease as we know it today is a horrible and currently incurable neurodegenerative disorder characterized by neuronal loss, memory impairment, and cognitive decline. Ongoing research is always looking for ways to combat or slow down this disorder, and one such area of interest is the related formation of senile amyloid plaques mainly composed of amyloid β (Aβ) peptides, whose aggregation is thought to be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease pathology. Researchers are implementing gallium nitride nanoparticles as a means to inhibit the formation of the Aβ40 amyloid peptides.

Gallium nanoparticles inhibit amyloid β peptide formation

LifeTein supplied the scientists with the Aβ40 peptide necessary for this research, where they would synthesize their nanoparticle with gallium nitrate and observe its inhibition on the peptide in vitro. Gallium nitrate in particular is of interest due to its biocompatibility and aqueous stability, allowing the substance to be useful in numerous biological applications.

After observing their interactions together using the likes of ThT fluorescence, CR absorbance, turbidity, and SEM imaging, the group concluded that the nanoparticle did in fact inhibit the crucial oligomeric nucleus formation of the amyloid β peptide. The group believes a key factor in this is the polarization characteristic of the nanoparticle, where even more polarization could mean more interaction between the nanoparticle and the peptide, and thus less intermolecular interactions among the Aβ40 peptide monomers to form amyloids. Hopefully the future sees more studies on these gallium nitrate nanoparticles, and how further modifications could benefit the fight against Alzheimer’s through these critical Aβ40 peptides.

Torres, K. M., Delgado, A. S., Serrano, E. R., Falcón-Cruz, N. V., Meléndez, A., Ramos, I., Du, D., & Oyola, R. (2021). Gallium nanoparticles as novel inhibitors of Aβ40 aggregation. In Materials Advances (Vol. 2, Issue 16, pp. 5471–5478). Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

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