Access ways play an essential role in a wide variety of purposes, including in biology. There are specific pathways that connect the interior of cells to the exterior, but some of them remain a puzzle. A prime example is the case of lipid rafts, specific areas in the membrane of a cell where lipids accumulate.
Lipids are used for signal transmission in cells, and these platforms in the shape of rafts can traverse the cell membrane like boats floating on water. The lipid rafts also allow other molecules to enter or leave the cell at will.
There are also possible downsides as scientists have reason to believe that lipid rafts can facilitate the evolution of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson, or HIV since the pathogens can infiltrate cells via the lipid raft. By understanding more about the complicated mechanism, it may be possible to hamper the development in some cases.
A New Model To Allow Researchers To Explore Lipids Rafts
It is worth pointing out that no one has managed to fully classify lipid rafts found across living cells, as their size and lifetime expectancy continues to spark heated debates among the scientific community. Model membranes have offered valuable information about lipid rafts, but they far from being practical when compared to real cells.
During previous experiments, researchers observed lipid rafts in the micrometer range. However, the real process takes place at a nanometer level, which is considerably smaller. The lifetime was also significantly shorter by up to one million times in comparison to that of real lipid rafts.
A new experiment that is currently in development will adjust the size and temporal scale to levels that are considerably closer to the natural variants. During preliminary tests, the researchers observed that cholesterol concentrations have a decisive function as they can block or allow access through the membrane of the cell. Further research will take place, and an article has been published in a scientific journal.