The potential use of zeolite hollow microspheres in biological studies was illustrated in the study of formation of neuromuscular junction (NMJ). The hollow zeolite microspheres carry and locally deliver signalling molecules, thus mimicking the in vivo signalling process between neurons and muscle bundle that lead to the formation of neuromuscular junction. The zeolite hollow microspheres were loaded with sodium pervanadate (i.e., Na-orthovanadate + H2O2), a known inhibitor of tyrosine phosphatase (PTPase) that regulates the MuSK activation needed to initiate the AChR clustering that prelude the formation of the neuromuscular junction. The zeolite microspheres were applied on Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) as shown in Figure 2. The marker used to assess the action of the pervanadate PTPase inhibitor was anti-phosphotyrosine antibody. This indicated that the kinase activity is elevated at the microsphere-cell contact (Fig. 2). An understanding of the signalling process and post-synaptic formation of NMJ is critical to combating many serious diseases such as NMJ disorder, muscular dystrophy and Myasthenia Gravis. It may also provide insights in curing botulism and snakebite that act on NMJ.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 2, Technical Proceedings of the 2005 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 2
Published: May 8, 2005
Pages: 277 - 280
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Sensors, MEMS, Electronics