Thursday, February 25, 2010

Collaboration on dementia research

Thermo Fisher Scientific is collaborating with the BrainMet (Bioimaging of Metals in Brain and Metallomics) Centre at Forschungszentrum, Jülich, (D) to advance dementia research by studying the effects of metals and metalloproteins in ageing and in the origin of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and Wilson’s syndrome.

From L-R: Prof Harald Bolt, Project member of the Analytical
BrainMet Centre, Dr. habil. J. Sabine Becker, head of the Analytical
BrainMet Centre and Juergen Srega, vice president global products,
scientific instruments, Thermo Fisher Scientific
To carry out the challenging research in the BrainMet laboratory, a Thermo Scientific XSERIES 2 inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) was installed, combining third-generation collision cell and protective ion extraction technologies with an ergonomic, compact design. Led by Dr. habil. Sabine Becker, the BrainMet Centre was officially opened in collaboration with Thermo Fisher by Juergen Srega, vice president global products, scientific instruments, Thermo Fisher Scientific in December 2009 to investigate new and powerful technologies for dementia research.

In most neurodegenerative diseases, abnormal accumulations of metals are observed in the brain, leading to the destruction of the neural network and subsequent cell death. Analysts at the BrainMet Centre are researching the quantitative distribution of essential and toxic metals in thin native tissue sections on the brain. When combining the studies on the bioimaging of metals to metallomics it is possible to explore the relationship between metal ions and metalloproteins in brain tissue and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease. The resulting data from these studies are successfully combined by BrainMet with neuro-scientific imaging procedures (MRI, PET, auto-radiography, histochemical and optical imaging techniques) to enable high-tech biomedical research.

Dr. habil. J. Sabine Becker, head of the Analytical BrainMet Centre, comments: “We are delighted to have entered into this exciting collaboration with Thermo Fisher. The state-of-the-art XSERIES 2 has been extremely efficient for quantitative bioimaging of metals of healthy and diseased samples of brain tissue and also for investigating the growth of brain tumors and strokes. Our ultimate goal is to advance dementia research and help the pharmaceutical industry introduce new therapies. The XSERIES 2 is very reliable and easy to use while providing the high signal to background ratio and excellent sensitivity that is required for our research.”

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