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High-tech solution for tackling brain disease [Print to PDF] [Print to RTF]

How can pressure cells contribute to help tackling the rapidly growing problem of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer? This is one of the issues a new project funded by NMI3 will seek to address.

Under the project, the German-based Julich Centre for Neutron Science (JCN...
High-tech solution for tackling brain disease
How can pressure cells contribute to help tackling the rapidly growing problem of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer? This is one of the issues a new project funded by NMI3 will seek to address.

Under the project, the German-based Julich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) hope to develop a new pressure cell for research possibilities in several scientific fields.

They are valuable tools for neutron scattering because they make it possible to analyse samples under preselected pressure conditions where they are more stable.

The new research, which is being funder under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme, will be led by Henrich Frielinghaus, leader of the task kinetic/dynamic measurements at the centre, and Marie-Sousai Appavou, also from the JCNS.

Both will be in charge of developing a non-magnetic pressure cell which is able to accept a large incoming beam cross section and large exit angles.

Appavou, who is an instrument scientist at the centre near Munich, explained the importance of these tools.

He said that pressure cells are already contributing to advance a range of scientific fields. For instance, diseases like Alzheimer are caused by misfolded proteins.

Thanks to research with pressure cells, it is possible to sterilise sea food in Japan, fruit juice and smoothies in France and the U.S.A., and other products in an increasing number of countries. Another possibility for the future would be to conduct pressures studies to find new ways to clean the sea water after an oil spill.

'Thanks to pressure studies, researchers may find new folding pathways, and with this kind of knowledge they might be able to delay diseases like Alzheimer in the future.'

'When we set up the programme, we quickly learned there is a huge demand in the field of soft matter research,' Henrich Frielinghaus added. 'The biggest challenge is likely to be the physical limits of constructing a pressure cell. All known materials have a natural stress limit so, here, a huge amount of know-how and discussions are needed.'

JCNS develops and operates neutron scattering instruments at some of the best neutron sources worldwide. In-house research focuses on 'correlated electron systems and nanomagnetism' as well as 'soft matter and biophysics'. In these areas of expertise, it offers expert support on world-class instruments with a specialized sample environment and ancillary laboratory access to external users.

NMI3, which supports the new project, is a European consortium of 18 partner organisations from 12 countries, including all major facilities in the fields of neutron scattering and muon spectroscopy.
Source: Julich Centre for Neutron Science

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Countries

  • Germany
Record Number: 36508 / Last updated on: 2014-04-01
Category: Project
Provider: EC