Although the formation mechanism of amyloid fibrils in bodies is still debated, it has recently been reported how amyloid fibrils can be formed in vitro. Accordingly, we have gained a better understanding of the self-assembly mechanism and intrinsic properties of amyloid fibrils. Because the structure of amyloid fibrils consists of nanoscaled insoluble strands (a few nanometers in diameter and micrometers long), a special tool is needed to study amyloid fibrils at length. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is supposed to be a versatile toolkit to probe such a tiny biomolecule. The physical/chemical properties of amyloid fibrils have been explored by AFM. In particular, AFM enables the visualization of amyloid fibrillation with different incubation times as well as the concentrations of the formed amyloid fibrils as affected by fibril diameters and lengths. Very recently, the minute structural changes and/or electrical properties of amyloid fibrils have been made by using advanced AFM techniques including dynamic liquid AFM, PeakForce QNM (quantitative nanomechanical mapping), and Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM). Herein, we summarize the biophysical properties of amyloid fibrils that are newly discovered with the help of those advanced AFM techniques and suggest our perspectives and future directions for the study of amyloid fibrils.
Part of the book: Exploring New Findings on Amyloidosis
Red cells are full of unique biological properties such as immune evasion and molecular-specific permeability. These properties originate from various membrane proteins on the surface of the cell membrane. For this reason, red cell membrane is coated on nanomaterials or sensors to bestow the functionalities of the membrane proteins. In this chapter, various types of membrane proteins of red cell and its functions are described. Also, the following two experimental procedures are summarized: (I) the extraction of red cell membrane containing membrane proteins and (II) coating of the extracted cell membrane onto the nanoparticles and solid surface of sensors. Finally, the applications of red cell membrane in drug delivery system and biosensor are discussed.
Part of the book: Erythrocyte