Heavy Hydrogen: Replacing Hydrogen Atom Improves Detection Ability

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Heavy Hydrogen: Replacing Hydrogen Atom Improves Detection Abili

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Associate professor Niren Murthy, postdoctoral fellows Seungjun Lee and Kousik Kundu, all of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, display confocal fluorescence images showing that the deuterium version of DHE was more effective than its hydrogen counterpart at detecting small amounts of reactive oxygen species.

By swapping out one specific hydrogen atom for an isotope twice as heavy, researchers have increased the shelf life and detection ability of fluorescent probes that are essential to studying a variety of inflammatory diseases, including cancer and atherosclerosis. The probes detect and measure reactive oxygen species, which play an important role in disease processes.

Associate professor Niren Murthy and postdoctoral fellow Kousik Kundu, both of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, have increased the shelf life and detection ability of fluorescent probes that are essential to studying a variety of inflammatory diseases, including cancer and atherosclerosis.

"By replacing a hydrogen atom with a deuterium atom during the synthesis of several fluorescent probes, we increased the stability and shelf life of the dyes, and also improved their ability to detect smaller concentrations of reactive oxygen species," said Niren Murthy, associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University.

Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen that has a single proton and single neutron in its nucleus. Its atomic weight is therefore twice that of the much more common hydrogen atom, which lacks a neutron.

When Murthy and Coulter Department postdoctoral fellow Kousik Kundu designed and synthesized various fluorescent probes with deuterium instead of hydrogen, the dyes were not as susceptible to spontaneous degradation by air and light as their hydrogen counterparts, which made them significantly more accurate at detecting reactive oxygen species in cells and animals. The researchers studied probes that included dihydroethidium (DHE) - the current "gold standard" for imaging reactive oxygen species - and hydrocyanines.

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Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience (IBB)

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Institute and Campus, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Student and Faculty, Engineering, Nanotechnology and Nanoscience, Research, Physics and Physical Sciences
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Keywords
BME, Hydrogen Atom, IBB, Niren Murthy
Status
  • Created By: Floyd Wood
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jul 25, 2010 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:07pm