Inauguration of Analytical BrainMet Centre at Forschungszentrum Jülich
The new analytical BrainMet Centre at Forschungszentrum Jülich, established in cooperation with Thermo Scientific, was officially opened at a colloquium on 9 December 2009. BrainMet (BrainMet - Bioimaging of Metals in Brain and Metallomics) was inaugurated as an innovative and powerful technology for dementia research. The significance of the new analytical technique and its wide range of applications was highlighted in overviews given by Dr. habil. J. Sabine Becker on "BrainMet - Innovative Technology for Dementia Research", by Jürgen Srega (Vice President Thermo Fisher Scientific) on "Thermo - Your Scientific Partner", by Dr. Norbert Jakubowski (Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), Berlin) on "Elemental Mass Spectrometry and Metallomics as a Challenge for the Life Sciences" and by Prof. Dr. A. Bauer (Forschungszentrum Jülich) on "Molecular Imaging and Future Applications of BrainMet in Dementia Research". In the new BrainMet laboratory, analysts will be able to make precise investigations of the distribution of metals in brain tissue. This new imaging distribution analysis will be combined with studies on the binding of metals to biomolecules (metallomics). We already know today that, for example, cooper and zinc ions play a decisive part in the formation of Alzheimer's plaques. These elements migrate from the neurons to the spaces between the cells where they combine with the precursor molecule of the amyloid beta protein and thus form indissoluble metalloproteins, which lead to the formation of Alzheimer's plaques.
BrainMet is making a new and powerful technology available for dementia research at Jülich. It is now possible to explore the relations between metal ions and metalloproteins in brain tissue and neurodegenerative diseases.
Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) is used in the BrainMet laboratory as a spatially resolved elemental mass spectrometric technique. Thermo Scientific has placed at BrainMet's disposal a highly sensitive XSeries 2 inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) for scientific research work in the laboratory. This very sensitive analytical method can be used to quantitatively analyse both essential and toxic metals in tissue sections. In addition, it is also possible to obtain distribution images of selected non-metals in tissue. These element distribution images have been successfully combined with neuroscientific imaging procedures (MRI, PET, autoradiography, histochemical and optical techniques) for high-tech biomedical research.
To carry out the research in the Brainmet laboratory, a Thermo Scientific Xseries 2 inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS) was installed, ...