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Scavenging amyloid oligomers from neurons with silica nanobowls: Implications for amyloid diseases


Amyloid-β (Aβ) oligomers are toxic species implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD). The prevailing hypothesis implicates a major role of membrane-associated amyloid oligomers in AD pathology. Our silica nanobowls (NB) coated with lipid-polymer have submicromolar affinity for Aβ binding. We demonstrate that NB scavenges distinct fractions of Aβs in a time-resolved manner from amyloid precursor protein-null neuronal cells after incubation with Aβ. At short incubation times in cell culture, NB-Aβ seeds have aggregation kinetics resembling that of extracellular fraction of Aβ, whereas at longer incubation times, NB-Aβ seeds scavenge membrane-associated Aβ. Aβ aggregates can be eluted from NB surfaces by mechanical agitation and appear to retain their aggregation driving domains as seen in seeding aggregation experiments. These results demonstrate that the NB system can be used for time-resolved separation of toxic Aβ species from biological samples for characterization and in diagnostics. Scavenging membrane-associated amyloids using lipid-functionalized NB without chemical manipulation has wide applications in the diagnosis and therapy of AD and other neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, and cardiovascular conditions.

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