Amyloid fibrils are insoluble fibrillar deposits consisting of beta sheet proteins that accumulate in various tissues. The pathogenesis of some forms of amyloidosis is closely related to amyloid fibrils. For example, amyloid beta protein fibrils are mainly found as extracellular deposits in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, which lead to neuronal cell death. Therefore, reducing the fibrils is a major target for treating amyloidosis. Currently, there are no effective drugs for amyloidosis, yet treatments have been explored using other biomedical approaches. In addition to biomedical approaches, engineering techniques have also been applied to this problem. Among them, recent papers have suggested a Free- Electron Laser (FEL) with a wavelength set in the midinfrared region could dissociate protein aggregates. The FEL is effective for dissociating aggregates rich in α-helix and β-sheet structures. This approach might lead to novel therapies for amyloidosis.
Takayasu Kawasaki, Kazuhiro Nakamura