Biotech Updates

DNA Nanodevice to Map Potassium and Sodium in Cell Organelles

October 11, 2023

Two studies conducted by scientists at the University of Chicago developed a DNA nanodevice to look into the inner workings of cells and track the flow of ions, particularly potassium and sodium, inside cell organelles.

Ions, like potassium and sodium, are required for many functions of the cell. However, there hasn't been an effective tool to measure ions inside individual parts of the cell. Hence, the researchers developed a sensor made out of DNA to reach a specific kind of organelle inside particular cells. These sensors react with nearby ions, causing them to light up and create signals that can be seen through the microscope.

Currently, the drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease generally target ion channels within the plasma membrane. The findings of the study pose great implications for the development of pharmaceutical drugs that target ion channels in cell organelles. With the promising results, the activity inside the organelles may present a better understanding and treatment for various diseases and disorders.

For more information on mapping potassium and sodium in cell organelles, read the abstracts from Nature Biotechnology.

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