Scientists developed remote control enzymes

Scientists have developed a new method to improve the activity of enzymes using radiofrequency.

The method requires a specific complex of enzymes and magnetic nanoparticles. The particles can absorb the radio-broadcast and convert it into heat, resulting in an acceleration of enzymatic processes by more than four times.

The method can be used to create radio controlled biochemical systems and to adapt metabolism to living organisms. The results of the study were published in ACS Biomaterials Science & Engineering.

Enzymes are involved in a variety of reactions in living organisms and their efficacy depends on various factors and conditions. Although enzyme activity is usually chemically controlled, researchers at ITMO University have found that this can be done remotely using natural methods such as radio frequencies.

To make radio-controlled enzymes, scientists synthesize a specific complex in which an enzyme is enclosed in a rigid porcelain magnetic nanoparticle frame.

Whenever the radio frequency field is applied, the nanoparticles adsorb the radio frequency radiation and are heated, resulting in additional energy to the enzyme and consequently in accelerating the enzymatic reaction.

An experiment conducted in a quantum carbonic anhydrase-type enzyme model demonstrated that the reaction rate can be increased more than four times.

Andrey Drozdov, a member of the SCAMT Lab at the University of ITMO, said: “There are very few studies exploring the handling of enzymes via radio frequencies and radio waves, we were the first to increase the activity of a non-thermostable enzyme.

Typically, these enzymes change their configuration at high temperatures and then stop working. The rigid framework of nanoparticles stabilizes the enzyme from structural rearrangements as nanoparticles mechanically restrict the mobility of enzymes. “

There are two basic parameters among the benefits of radio broadcasting used in the work. Such radio waves can easily pass through the tissues and are essentially harmless.

Thus, using the radio frequency domain, researchers can control enzyme activity in the body and adapt cell metabolism. In the near future, scientists are planning to test this method on other enzymes in an attempt to influence the vital activity of bacteria or cells.

Since this issue has many potential, further work will focus on using the technique with other enzymes, as well as on living cells.