Case Studies

Pharmacology & Biotechnology

In the Pharmacology and Biotechnology fields, neutrons can be used to investigate e.g.:

  • Design of active substances, solubility and stability issues
  • Macroscopic properties investigated at the microscopic level: molecules for drug delivery, surfactant, colloid solutions, etc.
  • Identification of drug-molecule binding sites
  • Study of membranes
  • Study of liquid/liquid or liquid/solid, liquid/air interfaces
  • Morphology of surfaces and thin-films

Please see a number of case studies below and download the PDF files to know more. For applications of neutrons in other industrial fields, please click here .

New vistas in anti-retroviral HIV drug design

New vistas in anti-retroviral HIV drug design

New vistas in anti-retroviral HIV drug design

HIV-1 protease is an enzyme which is essential for the replication of HIV, the retrovirus that causes AIDS. The enzyme is a key drug target for HIV/AIDS therapy; understanding its structure and function at the atomic level, including the location and movement of hydrogen atoms, is vital for understanding drug resistance and guiding rational drug design.

Researchers used neutron crystallography to probe the structure of HIV-1 protease in complex with the clinical inhibitor darunavir, allowing details of the hydrogen-bonding interactions in the active site to be determined and revealing ways to enhance drug-binding and reduce drug-resistance. The group was also able to shed light on the sensitivity to pH of the enzyme’s catalytic activity. These details will help in the design of new more effective antiretroviral therapy drugs.

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Stress Analysis of Hydroxyapatite Coatings for Orthopaedic Implants

Stress Analysis of Hydroxyapatite Coatings for Orthopaedic Implants

Stress Analysis of Hydroxyapatite Coatings for Orthopaedic Implants

This study used neutron diffraction analysis, a non-destructive technique, for through-thickness strain measurements.

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Emulsions, Foams, Gels, Surfactants, Colloids, Micelles… and neutrons !

Emulsions, Foams, Gels, Surfactants, Colloids, Micelles… and neutrons !

Emulsions, Foams, Gels, Surfactants, Colloids, Micelles… and neutrons !

For investigations into liquids or gels composed of particles (e.g. micelles, colloids) within a solvent neutron characterisation techniques can:

  • - see what happens to the particles, at the level of the core or the shell, or both, under various conditions (temperature, shear, concentration);
  • - investigate the interaction of the particles with other substances (pollutants, polymers, etc.), to understand their macroscopic properties.

Download the PDF file.