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West Jerusalem, Israel

Marx G.,MX Biotech Ltd. | Gilon C.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
ACS Chemical Neuroscience | Year: 2012

We propose a tripartite biochemical mechanism for memory. Three physiologic components are involved, namely, the neuron (individual and circuit), the surrounding neural extracellular matrix, and the various trace metals distributed within the matrix. The binding of a metal cation affects a corresponding nanostructure (shrinking, twisting, expansion) and dielectric sensibility of the chelating node (address) within the matrix lattice, sensed by the neuron. The neural extracellular matrix serves as an electro-elastic lattice, wherein neurons manipulate multiple trace metals (n > 10) to encode, store, and decode coginive information. The proposed mechanism explains brains low energy requirements and high rates of storage capacity described in multiples of Avogadro number (NA = 6 × 1023). Supportive evidence correlates memory loss to trace metal toxicity or deficiency, or breakdown in the delivery/transport of metals to the matrix, or its degradation. Inherited diseases revolving around dysfunctional trace metal metabolism and memory dysfunction, include Alzheimer's disease (Al, Zn, Fe), Wilson's disease (Cu), thalassemia (Fe), and autism (metallothionein). The tripartite mechanism points to the electro-elastic interactions of neurons with trace metals distributed within the neural extracellular matrix, as the molecular underpinning of "synaptic plasticity" affecting short-term memory, long-term memory, and forgetting. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source

Marx G.,MX Biotech Ltd. | Gilon C.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Many neurons of all animals that exhibit memory (snails, worms, flies, vertebrae) present arborized shapes with many varicosities and boutons. These neurons, release neurotransmitters and contain ionotropic receptors that produce and sense electrical signals (ephaptic transmission). The extended shapes maximize neural contact with the surrounding neutrix [defined as: neural extracellular matrix (nECM) + diffusible (neurometals and neurotransmitters)] as well as with other neurons. We propose a tripartite mechanism of animal memory based on the dynamic interactions of splayed neurons with the "neutrix." Their interactions form cognitive units of information (cuinfo), metal-centered complexes within the nECM around the neuron. Emotive content is provided by NTs, which embody molecular links between physiologic (body) responses and psychic feelings. We propose that neurotransmitters form mixed complexes with cuinfo used for tagging emotive memory. Thus, NTs provide encoding option not available to a Turing, binary-based, device. The neurons employ combinatorially diverse options, with >10 NMs and >90 NTs for encoding ("flavoring") cuinfo with emotive tags. The neural network efficiently encodes, decodes and consolidates related (entangled) sets of cuinfo into a coherent pattern, the basis for emotionally imbued memory, critical for determining a behavioral choice aimed at survival. The tripartite mechanism with tagging of NTs permits of a causal connection between physiology and psychology. © 2014 Marx and Gilon. Source

Marx G.,MX Biotech Ltd. | Gilon C.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
ACS Chemical Neuroscience | Year: 2013

We propose a tripartite mechanism to describe the processing of cognitive information (cog-info), comprising the (1) neuron, (2) surrounding neural extracellular matrix (nECM), and (3) numerous "trace" metals distributed therein. The neuron is encased in a polyanionic nECM lattice doped with metals (>10), wherein it processes (computes) and stores cog-info. Each [nECM:metal] complex is the molecular correlate of a cognitive unit of information (cuinfo), similar to a computer "bit". These are induced/sensed by the neuron via surface iontophoretic and electroelastic (piezoelectric) sensors. The generic cuinfo are used by neurons to biochemically encode and store cog-info in a rapid, energy efficient, but computationally expansive manner. Here, we describe chemical reactions involved in various processes that underline the tripartite mechanism. In addition, we present novel iconographic representations of various types of cuinfo resulting from"tagging" and cross-linking reactions, essential for the indexing cuinfo for organized retrieval and storage of memory. © 2013 American Chemical Society. Source

Fahham D.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Merquiol E.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Gilon T.,Jerusalem College of Engineering | Marx G.,MX Biotech Ltd. | Blum G.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Biomedical Materials (Bristol) | Year: 2015

Fibrinogen has the potential of being used as a material to harvest and grow normal mesenchymal cells (fibroblasts, endothelial cells) or to trap cancer cells from a suspension with blood as a potential circulatory trap. Insoluble fibrinogen particles (iFP) were prepared from commercial Cohn fraction I paste (source: Kedrion). The sized iFP (∼60-180 μm) were not soluble in physiologic buffers, exhibited a density of 1.2 ± 0.02, and did not aggregate or clump when mixed with whole blood or thrombin, but were degraded in lytic solutions. Cell culture studies indicated that the iFP could be used to harvest, expand and transfer normal, mammalian, attachment-dependent cells, notably fibroblasts and stem cells from bone marrow, as well as numerous cancer lines. Cells attached to iFP underwent logarithmic growth kinetics and could be transferred without trypsinization. Transplanted cancer cells-on-iFP generated characteristic tumors and retained their surface marker (by Western immuno-blot). An iFP 'cell-affinity' batch column was shown to trap MCF-7 cancer cells in the presence of red blood cells (RBCs) or serum. The scalable process for fabricating iFP retained the cell attachment properties of native fibrinogen. The results indicate that iFP has the potential to be used as a 3D cell culture matrix, and possibly to trap cancer cells from blood. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

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