WorldWideScience

Sample records for actin contact sensor

  1. Contact stress sensor

    Kotovsky, Jack

    2012-02-07

    A contact stress sensor includes one or more MEMS fabricated sensor elements, where each sensor element of includes a thin non-recessed portion, a recessed portion and a pressure sensitive element adjacent to the recessed portion. An electric circuit is connected to the pressure sensitive element. The circuit includes a thermal compensator and a pressure signal circuit element configured to provide a signal upon movement of the pressure sensitive element.

  2. Crane-Load Contact Sensor

    Youngquist, Robert; Mata, Carlos; Cox, Robert

    2005-01-01

    An electronic instrument has been developed as a prototype of a portable crane-load contact sensor. Such a sensor could be helpful in an application in which the load rests on a base in a horizontal position determined by vertical alignment pins (see Figure 1). If the crane is not positioned to lift the load precisely vertically, then the load can be expected to swing once it has been lifted clear of the pins. If the load is especially heavy, large, and/or fragile, it could hurt workers and/or damage itself and nearby objects. By indicating whether the load remains in contact with the pins when it has been lifted a fraction of the length of the pins, the crane-load contact sensor helps the crane operator determine whether it is safe to lift the load clear of the pins: If there is contact, then the load is resting against the sides of the pins and, hence, it may not be safe to lift; if contact is occasionally broken, then the load is probably not resting against the pins, so it should be safe to lift. It is assumed that the load and base, or at least the pins and the surfaces of the alignment holes in the load, are electrically conductive, so the instrument can use electrical contact to indicate mechanical contact. However, DC resistance cannot be used as an indicator of contact for the following reasons: The load and the base are both electrically grounded through cables (the load is grounded through the lifting cable of the crane) to prevent discharge of static electricity. In other words, the DC resistance between the load and the pins is always low, as though they were always in direct contact. Therefore, instead of DC resistance, the instrument utilizes the AC electrical impedance between the pins and the load. The signal frequency used in the measurement is high enough (.1 MHz) that the impedance contributed by the cables and the electrical ground network of the building in which the crane and the base are situated is significantly greater than the contact

  3. Contact lens sensors in ocular diagnostics.

    Farandos, Nicholas M; Yetisen, Ali K; Monteiro, Michael J; Lowe, Christopher R; Yun, Seok Hyun

    2015-04-22

    Contact lenses as a minimally invasive platform for diagnostics and drug delivery have emerged in recent years. Contact lens sensors have been developed for analyzing the glucose composition of tears as a surrogate for blood glucose monitoring and for the diagnosis of glaucoma by measuring intraocular pressure. However, the eye offers a wider diagnostic potential as a sensing site and therefore contact lens sensors have the potential to improve the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases and conditions. With advances in polymer synthesis, electronics and micro/nanofabrication, contact lens sensors can be produced to quantify the concentrations of many biomolecules in ocular fluids. Non- or minimally invasive contact lens sensors can be used directly in a clinical or point-of-care setting to monitor a disease state continuously. This article reviews the state-of-the-art in contact lens sensor fabrication, their detection, wireless powering, and readout mechanisms, and integration with mobile devices and smartphones. High-volume manufacturing considerations of contact lenses are also covered and a case study of an intraocular pressure contact lens sensor is provided as an example of a successful product. This Review further analyzes the contact lens market and the FDA regulatory requirements for commercialization of contact lens sensors. PMID:25400274

  4. Microelectromechanical systems contact stress sensor

    Kotovsky, Jack

    2007-12-25

    A microelectromechanical systems stress sensor comprising a microelectromechanical systems silicon body. A recess is formed in the silicon body. A silicon element extends into the recess. The silicon element has limited freedom of movement within the recess. An electrical circuit in the silicon element includes a piezoresistor material that allows for sensing changes in resistance that is proportional to bending of the silicon element.

  5. Position sensor without any mechanical contact

    The invention concerns a system for detecting, without any mechanical contact, the position of a mobile element according to a pre-determined path. The sensor includes a primary winding fed by an AC source and a secondary winding inductively coupled with the primary winding and subdivided into elementary coils, spaced out along this path and electrically inter-connected in couples. The mobile element has a magnetic part capable of modifying the inductive coupling between the windings, a secondary coil couple delivering a differential signal of zero values for all positions of the mobile element generating the same inductive coupling of each coil of the couple to the said primary winding. The main patent describes a system making it possible to detect the position of the rods in a nuclear reactor. The need was felt to improved the measuring accuracy of the sensor and to have a rigid front signal for easy electronic processing. The purpose of this invention is to improve the standard sensor to this end and it is characterised by the fact that the primary winding is subdivided into the same number of elementary coils as the secondary winding and that a primary coil is associated to each secondary coil, the two associated coils being coiled one on the other. The saving in space enables the coils to be brought closer together and affords an increase in measurement accuracy. A magnetic screen isolates each pair of coils and channels the leakage flux, the screen sharing in the localisation of the magnetic field under each pair of coils to achieve a sudden variation and a rigid front of the signal during the displacement of the mobile element

  6. Mammalian Fat1 cadherin regulates actin dynamics and cell–cell contact

    Tanoue, Takuji; Takeichi, Masatoshi

    2004-01-01

    Fat cadherins form a distinct subfamily of the cadherin gene superfamily, and are featured by their unusually large extracellular domain. In this work, we investigated the function of a mammalian Fat cadherin. Fat1 was localized at filopodial tips, lamellipodial edges, and cell–cell boundaries, overlapping with dynamic actin structures. RNA interference–mediated knockdown of Fat1 resulted in disorganization of cell junction–associated F-actin and other actin fibers/cables, disturbance of cell...

  7. Flexible textile-based strain sensor induced by contacts

    In this paper, the contact effects are used as the key sensing element to develop flexible textile-structured strain sensors. The structures of the contact are analyzed theoretically and the contact resistances are investigated experimentally. The electromechanical properties of the textiles are investigated to find the key factors which determine the sensitivity, repeatability, and linearity of the sensor. The sensing mechanism is based on the change of contact resistance induced by the change of the configuration of the textiles. In order to improve the performance of the textile strain sensor, the contact resistance is designed based on the electromechanical properties of the fabric. It can be seen from the results that the performance of the sensor is largely affected by the structure of the contacts, which are determined by the morphology of fiber surface and the structures of the yarn and fabric. (paper)

  8. Flexible textile-based strain sensor induced by contacts

    Zhang, Hui

    2015-10-01

    In this paper, the contact effects are used as the key sensing element to develop flexible textile-structured strain sensors. The structures of the contact are analyzed theoretically and the contact resistances are investigated experimentally. The electromechanical properties of the textiles are investigated to find the key factors which determine the sensitivity, repeatability, and linearity of the sensor. The sensing mechanism is based on the change of contact resistance induced by the change of the configuration of the textiles. In order to improve the performance of the textile strain sensor, the contact resistance is designed based on the electromechanical properties of the fabric. It can be seen from the results that the performance of the sensor is largely affected by the structure of the contacts, which are determined by the morphology of fiber surface and the structures of the yarn and fabric.

  9. Non-contact optical Liquid Level Sensors

    Kiseleva, L. L.; Tevelev, L. V.; Shaimukhametov, R. R.

    2016-06-01

    Information about characteristics of the optical liquid level sensor are present. Sensors are used to control of the light level limit fluid - water, kerosene, alcohol, solutions, etc. Intrinsically safe, reliable and easy to use. The operating principle of the level sensor is an optoelectronic infrared device.

  10. Inductive Non-Contact Position Sensor

    Youngquist, Robert; Garcia, Alyssa; Simmons, Stephen

    2010-01-01

    Optical hardware has been developed to measure the depth of defects in the Space Shuttle Orbiter's windows. In this hardware, a mirror is translated such that its position corresponds to the defect's depth, so the depth measurement problem is transferred to a mirror-position measurement problem. This is preferable because the mirror is internal to the optical system and thus accessible. Based on requirements supplied by the window inspectors, the depth of the defects needs to be measured over a range of 200 microns with a resolution of about 100 nm and an accuracy of about 400 nm. These same requirements then apply to measuring the position of the mirror, and in addition, since this is a scanning system, a response time of about 10 ms is needed. A market search was conducted and no sensor that met these requirements that also fit into the available housing volume (less than one cubic inch) was found, so a novel sensor configuration was constructed to meet the requirements. This new sensor generates a nearly linearly varying magnetic field over a small region of space, which can easily be sampled, resulting in a voltage proportional to position. Experiments were done with a range of inductor values, drive voltages, drive frequencies, and inductor shapes. A rough mathematical model was developed for the device that, in most aspects, describes how it operates and what electrical parameters should be chosen for best performance. The final configuration met all the requirements, yielding a small rugged sensor that was easy to use and had nanometer resolution over more than the 200-micron range required. The inductive position sensor is a compact device (potentially as small as 2 cubic centimeters), which offers nanometer-position resolution over a demonstrated range of nearly 1 mm. One of its advantages is the simplicity of its electrical design. Also, the sensor resolution is nearly uniform across its operational range, which is in contrast to eddy current and

  11. Supersensitive, Fast-Response Nanowire Sensors by Using Schottky Contacts

    Hu, Youfan

    2010-05-31

    A Schottky barrier can be formed at the interface between a metal electrode and a semiconductor. The current passing through the metal-semiconductor contact is mainly controlled by the barrier height and barrier width. In conventional nanodevices, Schottky contacts are usually avoided in order to enhance the contribution made by the nanowires or nanotubes to the detected signal. We present a key idea of using the Schottky contact to achieve supersensitive and fast response nanowire-based nanosensors. We have illustrated this idea on several platforms: UV sensors, biosensors, and gas sensors. The gigantic enhancement in sensitivity of up to 5 orders of magnitude shows that an effective usage of the Schottky contact can be very beneficial to the sensitivity of nanosensors. © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Non-Contact Detection of Breathing Using a Microwave Sensor

    Massimo Marsili

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper the use of a continuous-wave microwave sensor as a non-contact tool for quantitative measurement of respiratory tidal volume has been evaluated by experimentation in seventeen healthy volunteers. The sensor working principle is reported and several causes that can affect its response are analyzed. A suitable data processing has been devised able to reject the majority of breath measurements taken under non suitable conditions. Furthermore, a relationship between microwave sensor measurements and volume inspired and expired at quiet breathing (tidal volume has been found.

  13. Non-contact biopotential sensor for remote human detection

    This paper describes a new low-cost, low-noise displacement current sensor developed for non-contact measurements of human biopotentials and well suited for detection of human presence applications. The sensor employs a simple, improvised transimpedance amplifier that eliminates the need for ultra high values resistors normally needed in current amplifiers required for this type of measurements. The sensor provides an operational bandwidth of 0.5 - 250 Hz, and a noise level of 7.8μV√Hz at 1 Hz down to 30nV/√Hz at 1 kHz. Reported experimental results demonstrate the sensor's capability in measuring heart related biopotentials within 0.5m off-body distance, and muscle related biopotentials within 10m no obstacles off-body distance, and 5m off-body distance with a concrete wall in between.

  14. Tactile Robotic Topographical Mapping Without Force or Contact Sensors

    Burke, Kevin; Melko, Joseph; Krajewski, Joel; Cady, Ian

    2008-01-01

    A method of topographical mapping of a local solid surface within the range of motion of a robot arm is based on detection of contact between the surface and the end effector (the fixture or tool at the tip of the robot arm). The method was conceived to enable mapping of local terrain by an exploratory robot on a remote planet, without need to incorporate delicate contact switches, force sensors, a vision system, or other additional, costly hardware. The method could also be used on Earth for determining the size and shape of an unknown surface in the vicinity of a robot, perhaps in an unanticipated situation in which other means of mapping (e.g., stereoscopic imaging or laser scanning with triangulation) are not available. The method uses control software modified to utilize the inherent capability of the robotic control system to measure the joint positions, the rates of change of the joint positions, and the electrical current demanded by the robotic arm joint actuators. The system utilizes these coordinate data and the known robot-arm kinematics to compute the position and velocity of the end effector, move the end effector along a specified trajectory, place the end effector at a specified location, and measure the electrical currents in the joint actuators. Since the joint actuator current is approximately proportional to the actuator forces and torques, a sudden rise in joint current, combined with a slowing of the joint, is a possible indication of actuator stall and surface contact. Hence, even though the robotic arm is not equipped with contact sensors, it is possible to sense contact (albeit with reduced sensitivity) as the end effector becomes stalled against a surface that one seeks to measure.

  15. [Intraocular Pressure Sensor Based on a Contact Lens].

    Guo, Xuhong; Pet, Weihua; Yao, Zhaolin; Chen, Yuanfang; Hu, Xiaohui; Chen, Hongda; Zhu, Jingyuan; Wu, Huijuan

    2016-02-01

    Intraocular pressure detection has a great significance for understanding the status of eye health, prevention and treatment of diseases such as glaucoma. Traditional intraocular pressure detection needs to be held in the hospital. It is not only time-consuming to doctors and patients, but also difficult to achieve 24 hour-continuous detection. Microminiaturization of the intraocular pressure sensor and wearing it as a contact lens, which is convenient, comfortable and noninvasive, can solve this problem because the soft contact lens with an embedded micro fabricated strain gauge allows the measurement of changes in corneal curvature to correlate to variations of intraocular pressure. We fabricated a strain gauge using micro-electron mechanical systems, and integrated with the contact lens made of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) using injection molding. The experimental results showed that the sensitivity was 100. 7 µV/µm. When attached to the corneal surface, the average sensitivity of sensor response of intraocular pressure can be 125.8 µV/mm Hg under the ideal condition. PMID:27382734

  16. Cantilever based mass sensor with hard contact readout

    Dohn, Søren; Hansen, Ole; Boisen, Anja

    2006-01-01

    We present a method for microcantilever resonant frequency detection. We measure the direct current from an intermittent contact once every vibration cycle between the conducting cantilever and a counterelectrode at a low bias voltage with respect to the cantilever, while the excitation frequency...... and amplitude are varied. The result is an almost "digital" detection of the resonant frequency. A relative frequency resolution Delta f/f of 1/80 000 with high signal to noise ratio in ambient conditions is demonstrated. The detection method can be applied to portable sensor systems with very high...

  17. Polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) vibration sensor for stethoscope and contact microphones

    Toda, Minoru; Thompson, Mitchell

    2005-09-01

    This paper describes a new type of contact vibration sensor made by bonding piezoelectric PVDF film to a curved frame structure. The concave surface of the film is bonded to a rubber piece having a front contact face. Vibration is transmitted from this face through the rubber to the surface of the PVDF film. Pressure normal to the surface of the film is converted to circumferential strain, and an electric field is induced by the piezoelectric effect. The frequency response of the device was measured using an accelerometer mounted between the rubber face and a rigid vibration exciter plate. Sensitivity (voltage per unit displacement) was deduced from the device output and measured acceleration. The sensitivity was flat from 16 Hz to 3 kHz, peaking at 6 kHz due to a structural resonance. Calculations predicting performance against human tissue (stethoscope or contact microphone) show results similar to data measured against the metal vibrator. This implies that an accelerometer can be used for calibrating a stethoscope or contact microphone. The observed arterial pulse waveform showed more low-frequency content than a conventional electronic stethoscope.

  18. Contact patterns in a high school: a comparison between data collected using wearable sensors, contact diaries and friendship surveys

    Mastrandrea, Rossana; Barrat, Alain

    2015-01-01

    Given their importance in shaping social networks and determining how information or diseases propagate in a population, human interactions are the subject of many data collection efforts. To this aim, different methods are commonly used, from diaries and surveys to wearable sensors. These methods show advantages and limitations but are rarely compared in a given setting. As surveys targeting friendship relations might suffer less from memory biases than contact diaries, it is also interesting to explore how daily contact patterns compare with friendship relations and with online social links. Here we make progresses in these directions by leveraging data from a French high school: face-to-face contacts measured by two concurrent methods, sensors and diaries; self-reported friendship surveys; Facebook links. We compare the data sets and find that most short contacts are not reported in diaries while long contacts have larger reporting probability, with a general tendency to overestimate durations. Measured co...

  19. A contact lens with embedded sensor for monitoring tear glucose level

    Yao, Huanfen; Shum, Angela J.; Cowan, Melissa; Lähdesmäki, Ilkka; Parviz, Babak A.

    2010-01-01

    We report the design, construction, and testing of a contact lens with an integrated amperometric glucose sensor, proposing the possibility of in situ human health monitoring simply by wearing a contact lens. The glucose sensor was constructed by creating microstructures on a polymer substrate, which was subsequently shaped into a contact lens. Titania sol-gel film was applied to immobilize glucose oxidase, and Nafion® was used to decrease several potential interferences (ascorbic acid, lacta...

  20. The 46/50 kDa phosphoprotein VASP purified from human platelets is a novel protein associated with actin filaments and focal contacts.

    Reinhard, M; Halbrügge, M; Scheer, U; Wiegand, C; Jockusch, B M; Walter, U

    1992-01-01

    Vasoactive agents which elevate either cGMP or cAMP inhibit platelet activation by pathways sharing at least one component, the 46/50 kDa vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP). VASP is stoichiometrically phosphorylated by both cGMP-dependent and cAMP-dependent protein kinases in intact human platelets, and its phosphorylation correlates very well with platelet inhibition caused by cGMP- and cAMP-elevating agents. Here we report that in human platelets spread on glass, VASP is associated predominantly with the distal parts of radial microfilament bundles and with microfilaments outlining the periphery, whereas less VASP is associated with a central microfilamentous ring. VASP is also detectable in a variety of different cell types including fibroblasts and epithelial cells. In fibroblasts, VASP is concentrated at focal contact areas, along microfilament bundles (stress fibres) in a punctate pattern, in the periphery of protruding lamellae, and is phosphorylated by cGMP- and cAMP-dependent protein kinases in response to appropriate stimuli. Evidence for the direct binding of VASP to F-actin is also presented. The data demonstrate that VASP is a novel phosphoprotein associated with actin filaments and focal contact areas, i.e. transmembrane junctions between microfilaments and the extracellular matrix. Images PMID:1318192

  1. Contact Patterns in a High School: A Comparison between Data Collected Using Wearable Sensors, Contact Diaries and Friendship Surveys.

    Rossana Mastrandrea

    Full Text Available Given their importance in shaping social networks and determining how information or transmissible diseases propagate in a population, interactions between individuals are the subject of many data collection efforts. To this aim, different methods are commonly used, ranging from diaries and surveys to decentralised infrastructures based on wearable sensors. These methods have each advantages and limitations but are rarely compared in a given setting. Moreover, as surveys targeting friendship relations might suffer less from memory biases than contact diaries, it is interesting to explore how actual contact patterns occurring in day-to-day life compare with friendship relations and with online social links. Here we make progresses in these directions by leveraging data collected in a French high school and concerning (i face-to-face contacts measured by two concurrent methods, namely wearable sensors and contact diaries, (ii self-reported friendship surveys, and (iii online social links. We compare the resulting data sets and find that most short contacts are not reported in diaries while long contacts have a large reporting probability, and that the durations of contacts tend to be overestimated in the diaries. Moreover, measured contacts corresponding to reported friendship can have durations of any length but all long contacts do correspond to a reported friendship. On the contrary, online links that are not also reported in the friendship survey correspond to short face-to-face contacts, highlighting the difference of nature between reported friendships and online links. Diaries and surveys suffer moreover from a low sampling rate, as many students did not fill them, showing that the sensor-based platform had a higher acceptability. We also show that, despite the biases of diaries and surveys, the overall structure of the contact network, as quantified by the mixing patterns between classes, is correctly captured by both networks of self

  2. Deep-Hole Inner Diameter Measuring System Based on Non-contact Capacitance Sensor

    于永新; 张恒; 王宗超; 常以哲

    2010-01-01

    A precise aperture measuring system of small deep holes with capacitance sensors is presented. Based on the working principle of non-contact capacitance sensors, influence of the edge effect of gauge head is studied, and one capacitance sensor for measuring the aperture of the small blind holes or through holes is introduced. The system is composed of one positioning device, one aperture measuring capacitance sensor, one measuring circuit, and software. This system employs visual CCD and two-dimensional mic...

  3. Contact Region Estimation Based on a Vision-Based Tactile Sensor Using a Deformable Touchpad

    Yuji Ito

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available A new method is proposed to estimate the contact region between a sensor and an object using a deformable tactile sensor. The sensor consists of a charge-coupled device (CCD camera, light-emitting diode (LED lights and a deformable touchpad. The sensor can obtain a variety of tactile information, such as the contact region, multi-axis contact force, slippage, shape, position and orientation of an object in contact with the touchpad. The proposed method is based on the movements of dots printed on the surface of the touchpad and classifies the contact state of dots into three types—A non-contacting dot, a sticking dot and a slipping dot. Considering the movements of the dots with noise and errors, equations are formulated to discriminate between the contacting dots and the non-contacting dots. A set of the contacting dots discriminated by the formulated equations can construct the contact region. Next, a method is developed to detect the dots in images of the surface of the touchpad captured by the CCD camera. A method to assign numbers to dots for calculating the displacements of the dots is also proposed. Finally, the proposed methods are validated by experimental results.

  4. A comparative study of piezoelectric unimorph and multilayer actuators as stiffness sensors via contact resonance

    Fu, Ji; Li, Fa-Xin

    2016-08-01

    Piezoelectric bar-shaped resonators were proposed to act as hardness sensors in the 1960s and stiffness sensors in the 1990s based on the contact impedance method. In this work, we point out that both multilayer and unimorph (or bimorph) piezoelectric actuators could act as stiffness/modulus sensors based on the principle of mechanical contact resonance. First, the practical design and the performance of a piezoelectric unimorph actuator-based stiffness sensor were presented. Then the working principle of piezoelectric multilayer actuator-based stiffness sensors was given and verified by numerical investigation. It was found that for these two types of resonance-based sensors, the shift of the resonance frequency due to contact is always positive, which is different from that of the contact impedance method. Further comparative sensitivity study indicated that the unimorph actuator-based stiffness sensor is very suitable for measurement on soft materials, whereas the multilayer actuator-based sensor is more suitable for hard materials.

  5. Actinic Cheilitis

    ... actinic cheilitis. Overview Actinic cheilitis, sometimes known as "farmer's lip" or "sailor's lip," is a precancerous condition ... Last Updated: 22 Dec 2008 Information for other ages: Table of Contents: Overview Who's At Risk Signs ...

  6. Estimates of Social Contact in a Middle School Based on Self-Report and Wireless Sensor Data.

    Leecaster, Molly; Toth, Damon J A; Pettey, Warren B P; Rainey, Jeanette J; Gao, Hongjiang; Uzicanin, Amra; Samore, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Estimates of contact among children, used for infectious disease transmission models and understanding social patterns, historically rely on self-report logs. Recently, wireless sensor technology has enabled objective measurement of proximal contact and comparison of data from the two methods. These are mostly small-scale studies, and knowledge gaps remain in understanding contact and mixing patterns and also in the advantages and disadvantages of data collection methods. We collected contact data from a middle school, with 7th and 8th grades, for one day using self-report contact logs and wireless sensors. The data were linked for students with unique initials, gender, and grade within the school. This paper presents the results of a comparison of two approaches to characterize school contact networks, wireless proximity sensors and self-report logs. Accounting for incomplete capture and lack of participation, we estimate that "sensor-detectable", proximal contacts longer than 20 seconds during lunch and class-time occurred at 2 fold higher frequency than "self-reportable" talk/touch contacts. Overall, 55% of estimated talk-touch contacts were also sensor-detectable whereas only 15% of estimated sensor-detectable contacts were also talk-touch. Contacts detected by sensors and also in self-report logs had longer mean duration than contacts detected only by sensors (6.3 vs 2.4 minutes). During both lunch and class-time, sensor-detectable contacts demonstrated substantially less gender and grade assortativity than talk-touch contacts. Hallway contacts, which were ascertainable only by proximity sensors, were characterized by extremely high degree and short duration. We conclude that the use of wireless sensors and self-report logs provide complementary insight on in-school mixing patterns and contact frequency. PMID:27100090

  7. Skin-contact sensor for automatic fall detection.

    Narasimhan, Ravi

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes an adhesive sensor system worn on the skin that automatically detects human falls. The sensor, which consists of a tri-axial accelerometer, a microcon-troller and a Bluetooth Low Energy transceiver, can be worn anywhere on a subject's torso and in any orientation. In order to distinguish easily between falls and activities of daily living (ADL), a possible fall is detected only if an impact is detected and if the subject is horizontal shortly afterwards. As an additional criterion to reduce false positives, a fall is confirmed if the user activity level several seconds after a possible fall is below a threshold. Intentional falls onto a gymnastics mat were performed by 10 volunteers (total of 297 falls); ADL were performed by 15 elderly volunteers (total of 315 ADL). The fall detection algorithm provided a sensitivity of 99% and a specificity of 100%. PMID:23366814

  8. An innovative non-contact ECG sensor for monitoring heart disease

    Sun, Ye; Yu, Xiong (Bill); Berilla, Jim

    2011-06-01

    This paper describes the development of a non-contact sensing platform to monitor the ECG signals. The non-contact sensing will be based on capacitive coupling the bioelectricity produced by cardiovascular activities around the heart. High sensitivity sensor and electronics are designed to amplify the signals. Our preliminary study has pointed to the promise of this sensing concept. A sensor prototype was able to clearly detect the ECG signals from 10 cm away from the body. Research tasks continue improving the sensor design to detect the polarization in the ECG signals. The final goal is a non-contact sensing platform for ECG signals and for real time diagnostics of the mental distress and cardiovascular diseases.

  9. A contact lens with integrated telecommunication circuit and sensors for wireless and continuous tear glucose monitoring

    We present an integrated functional contact lens, composed of a differential glucose sensor module, metal interconnects, sensor read-out circuit, antenna and telecommunication circuit, to monitor tear glucose levels wirelessly, continuously and non-invasively. The electrochemical differential sensor module is based on immobilization of activated and de-activated glucose oxidase. We characterized the sensor on a model polymer eye and determined that it showed good repeatability, molecular interference rejection and linearity in the range of 0–2 mM glucose, covering normal tear glucose concentrations (0.1–0.6 mM). We also report the temperature, ageing and protein-fouling sensitivity of the sensor. We report the design and implementation of a low-power (3 µW) sensor read-out and telecommunication circuit to deliver wireless power and transmit data for the sensor module. Using this small chip (0.36 mm2), we produced an integrated contact lens with sensors and demonstrated wireless operation of the system and glucose read-out over the distance of several centimeters. (paper)

  10. A contact lens with integrated telecommunication circuit and sensors for wireless and continuous tear glucose monitoring

    Yao, H.; Liao, Y.; Lingley, A. R.; Afanasiev, A.; Lähdesmäki, I.; Otis, B. P.; Parviz, B. A.

    2012-07-01

    We present an integrated functional contact lens, composed of a differential glucose sensor module, metal interconnects, sensor read-out circuit, antenna and telecommunication circuit, to monitor tear glucose levels wirelessly, continuously and non-invasively. The electrochemical differential sensor module is based on immobilization of activated and de-activated glucose oxidase. We characterized the sensor on a model polymer eye and determined that it showed good repeatability, molecular interference rejection and linearity in the range of 0-2 mM glucose, covering normal tear glucose concentrations (0.1-0.6 mM). We also report the temperature, ageing and protein-fouling sensitivity of the sensor. We report the design and implementation of a low-power (3 µW) sensor read-out and telecommunication circuit to deliver wireless power and transmit data for the sensor module. Using this small chip (0.36 mm2), we produced an integrated contact lens with sensors and demonstrated wireless operation of the system and glucose read-out over the distance of several centimeters.

  11. A Novel Cell Force Sensor for Quantification of Traction during Cell Spreading and Contact Guidance

    Tymchenko, N.; Wallentin, J.; Petronis, S.; Bjursten, L.M.; Kasemo, B.; Gold, J.

    2007-01-01

    In this work, we present a ridged, microfabricated, force sensor that can be used to investigate mechanical interactions between cells exhibiting contact guidance and the underlying cell culture substrate, and a proof-of-function evaluation of the force sensor performance. The substrates contain arrays of vertical pillars between solid ridges that were microfabricated in silicon wafers using photolithography and deep reactive ion etching. The spring constant of the pillars was measured by ato...

  12. A capacitor-based sensor and a contact lens sensing system for intraocular pressure monitoring

    Chiou, Jin-Chern; Huang, Yu-Chieh; Yeh, Guan-Ting

    2016-01-01

    This study proposes a capacitor-based sensor on a soft contact lens for the measurement of intraocular pressure (IOP). The sensor was designed and fabricated via microelectromechanical system fabrication technologies. The soft contact lens is designed to be worn on a cornea such that the curvature of the contact lens corresponds substantially to that of the cornea. In addition, the contact lens was fabricated via a cast-molding method using poly-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate to achieve a lens with high oxygen permeability, which can be worn comfortably for a long time. An IOP sensor prototype was implemented, which exhibited 1.2239 pF mmHg-1 (13,171 ppm mmHg-1) sensitivity during measurements of an artificial anterior chamber at pressures between 18 and 30 mmHg. The results indicate that the developed capacitor-based IOP sensor exhibited high stability and reproducibility in a series of measurements performed under various pressures. The capacitance of the proposed IOP sensor can successfully be converted into a digital value via a capacitor-to-digital converter and be transmitted via a commercial wireless telemetry system in this study.

  13. Actinic keratosis

    Solar keratosis; Sun-induced skin changes - keratosis; Keratosis - actinic (solar) ... laser treatment called photodynamic therapy Chemical peels Skin creams such as 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and imiquimod

  14. Contact-free measurement of respiratory rate using infrared and vibration sensors

    Erden, Fatih; Alkar, Ali Ziya; Cetin, Ahmet Enis

    2015-11-01

    Respiratory rate is an essential parameter in many practical applications such as apnea detection, patient monitoring, and elderly people monitoring. In this paper, we describe a novel method and a contact-free multi-modal system which is capable of detecting human breathing activity. The multimodal system, which uses both differential pyro-electric infrared (PIR) and vibration sensors, can also estimate the respiratory rate. Vibration sensors pick up small vibrations due to the breathing activity. Similarly, PIR sensors pick up the thoracic movements. Sensor signals are sampled using a microprocessor board and analyzed on a laptop computer. Sensor signals are processed using wavelet analysis and empirical mode decomposition (EMD). Since breathing is almost periodic, a new multi-modal average magnitude difference function (AMDF) is used to detect the periodicity and the period in the processed signals. By fusing the data of two different types of sensors we achieve a more robust and reliable contact-free human breathing activity detection system compared to systems using only one specific type of sensors.

  15. Non-contact wafer thickness measurement of capacitance sensor circuit based on CAV424

    Yan You Jun

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Non-contact wafer thickness measurement with the CAV424 capacitance sensor special integrated circuit and arc pole plate capacitor sensor has good stability and linearity under low capacity of the bottom of sensor and low&entity; C condition. This method has a high technical advantages and practical value. Two capacitance sensors Cb, Ca measurement spacing 4mm install at the same axis which constitutes the size condition for measuring thickness. The static capacity of Ca and Cb is a constant value. The capacity of Cb and Ca will change when the silicon wafer is involved. This change is checked by the CAV424 capacitive sensor which has better linearity and higher thickness resolution.

  16. Non-Contact Plant Growth Measurement Method and System Based on Ubiquitous Sensor Network Technologies

    Intae Ryoo

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a non-contact plant growth measurement system using infrared sensors based on the ubiquitous sensor network (USN technology. The proposed system measures plant growth parameters such as the stem radius of plants using real-time non-contact methods, and generates diameter, cross-sectional area and thickening form of plant stems using this measured data. Non-contact sensors have been used not to cause any damage to plants during measurement of the growth parameters. Once the growth parameters are measured, they are transmitted to a remote server using the sensor network technology and analyzed in the application program server. The analyzed data are then provided for administrators and a group of interested users. The proposed plant growth measurement system has been designed and implemented using fixed-type and rotary-type infrared sensor based measurement methods and devices. Finally, the system performance is compared and verified with the measurement data that have been obtained by practical field experiments.

  17. A contact lens with embedded sensor for monitoring tear glucose level

    Yao, Huanfen; Shum, Angela J.; Cowan, Melissa; Lähdesmäki, Ilkka; Parviz, Babak A.

    2011-01-01

    We report the design, construction, and testing of a contact lens with an integrated amperometric glucose sensor, proposing the possibility of in situ human health monitoring simply by wearing a contact lens. The glucose sensor was constructed by creating microstructures on a polymer substrate, which was subsequently shaped into a contact lens. Titania sol-gel film was applied to immobilize glucose oxidase, and Nafion® was used to decrease several potential interferences (ascorbic acid, lactate, and urea) present in the tear film. The sensor exhibits a fast response (20 sec), a high sensitivity (240 µAcm−2mM−1) and a good reproducibility after testing a number of sensors. It shows good linearity for the typical range of glucose concentrations in the tear film (0.1–0.6 mM), and acceptable accuracy in the presence of interfering agents. The sensor can attain a minimum detection of less than 0.01 mM glucose. PMID:21257302

  18. A contact lens with embedded sensor for monitoring tear glucose level.

    Yao, Huanfen; Shum, Angela J; Cowan, Melissa; Lähdesmäki, Ilkka; Parviz, Babak A

    2011-03-15

    We report the design, construction, and testing of a contact lens with an integrated amperometric glucose sensor, proposing the possibility of in situ human health monitoring simply by wearing a contact lens. The glucose sensor was constructed by creating microstructures on a polymer substrate, which was subsequently shaped into a contact lens. Titania sol-gel film was applied to immobilize glucose oxidase, and Nafion® was used to decrease several potential interferences (ascorbic acid, lactate, and urea) present in the tear film. The sensor exhibits a fast response (20s), a high sensitivity (240 μA cm(-2) mM(-1)) and a good reproducibility after testing a number of sensors. It shows good linearity for the typical range of glucose concentrations in the tear film (0.1-0.6 mM), and acceptable accuracy in the presence of interfering agents. The sensor can attain a minimum detection of less than 0.01 mM glucose. PMID:21257302

  19. Design of a Lightweight, Cost Effective Thimble-Like Sensor for Haptic Applications Based on Contact Force Sensors

    Ignacio Galiana

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the design and calibration of a thimble that measures the forces applied by a user during manipulation of virtual and real objects. Haptic devices benefit from force measurement capabilities at their end-point. However, the heavy weight and cost of force sensors prevent their widespread incorporation in these applications. The design of a lightweight, user-adaptable, and cost-effective thimble with four contact force sensors is described in this paper. The sensors are calibrated before being placed in the thimble to provide normal and tangential forces. Normal forces are exerted directly by the fingertip and thus can be properly measured. Tangential forces are estimated by sensors strategically placed in the thimble sides. Two applications are provided in order to facilitate an evaluation of sensorized thimble performance. These applications focus on: (i force signal edge detection, which determines task segmentation of virtual object manipulation, and (ii the development of complex object manipulation models, wherein the mechanical features of a real object are obtained and these features are then reproduced for training by means of virtual object manipulation.

  20. An optical sensor for detecting the contact location of a gas-liquid interface on a body

    Belden, Jesse; Jandron, Michael

    2014-08-01

    An optical sensor for detecting the dynamic contact location of a gas-liquid interface along the length of a body is described. The sensor is developed in the context of applications to supercavitating bodies requiring measurement of the dynamic cavity contact location; however, the sensing method is extendable to other applications as well. The optical principle of total internal reflection is exploited to detect changes in refractive index of the medium contacting the body at discrete locations along its length. The derived theoretical operation of the sensor predicts a signal attenuation of 18 dB when a sensed location changes from air-contacting to water-contacting. Theory also shows that spatial resolution (d) scales linearly with sensor length (Ls) and a resolution of 0.01Ls can be achieved. A prototype sensor is constructed from simple components and response characteristics are quantified for different ambient light conditions as well as partial wetting states. Three methods of sensor calibration are described and a signal processing framework is developed that allows for robust detection of the gas-liquid contact location. In a tank draining experiment, the prototype sensor resolves the water level with accuracy limited only by the spatial resolution, which is constrained by the experimental setup. A more representative experiment is performed in which the prototype sensor accurately measures the dynamic contact location of a gas cavity on a water tunnel wall.

  1. Hall effect enhanced low-field sensitivity in a three-contact extraordinary magnetoresistance sensor

    Sun, Jian

    2012-06-06

    An extraordinary magnetoresistance (EMR) device with a 3-contact geometry has been fabricated and characterized. A large enhancement of the output sensitivity at low magnetic fields compared to the conventional EMR device has been found, which can be attributed to an additional influence coming from the Hall effect. Output sensitivities of 0.19 mV/T at zero-field and 0.2 mV/T at 0.01 T have been measured in the device, which is equivalent to the ones of the conventional EMR sensors with a bias of ∼0.04 T. The exceptional performance of EMR sensors in the high field region is maintained in the 3-contact device.

  2. Ultrahigh-resolution and non-contact diameter measurement of metallic wire using eddy current sensor

    Li, Wei; Wang, Hongbo; Feng, Zhihua

    2014-08-01

    This paper proposes a new method using eddy current sensor (ECS) for online non-contact diameter measurement of metallic wires with ultrahigh resolution. A prototype sensor was designed, fabricated, and tested for copper wires with diameters ranging from 1.12 mm to 1.30 mm. A solenoid coil with dimensions of 16 mm long and 2.1 mm in diameter is used as sensing element with a working frequency of 1.3 MHz. With a well-designed bridge, the sensing coil's inductance variation can be detected and the wire's diameter can be calculated. The ECS system demonstrated a dynamic resolution better than 2.2 μm and a static resolution better than 0.42 nm for a wire with a diameter of 1.3 mm. This non-contact method has competitive advantages over other methods in many aspects, especially in terms of measurement resolution.

  3. A highly sensitive flexible strain sensor based on the contact resistance change of carbon nanotube bundles

    Song, Youngsup; Lee, Jae-Ik; Pyo, Soonjae; Eun, Youngkee; Choi, Jungwook; Kim, Jongbaeg

    2016-05-01

    A novel carbon nanotube (CNT)-based flexible strain sensor with the highest gauge factor of 4739 is presented. CNT-to-CNT contacts are fabricated on a pair of silicon electrodes fixed on a PDMS specimen for both flexibility and electrical connection. The strain is detected by the resistance change between facing CNT bundles. The proposed approach could be applied for diverse applications with a high gauge factor.

  4. Staurosporine augments EGF-mediated EMT in PMC42-LA cells through actin depolymerisation, focal contact size reduction and Snail1 induction – A model for cross-modulation

    Thompson Erik W

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A feature of epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT relevant to tumour dissemination is the reorganization of actin cytoskeleton/focal contacts, influencing cellular ECM adherence and motility. This is coupled with the transcriptional repression of E-cadherin, often mediated by Snail1, Snail2 and Zeb1/δEF1. These genes, overexpressed in breast carcinomas, are known targets of growth factor-initiated pathways, however it is less clear how alterations in ECM attachment cross-modulate to regulate these pathways. EGF induces EMT in the breast cancer cell line PMC42-LA and the kinase inhibitor staurosporine (ST induces EMT in embryonic neural epithelial cells, with F-actin de-bundling and disruption of cell-cell adhesion, via inhibition of aPKC. Methods PMC42-LA cells were treated for 72 h with 10 ng/ml EGF, 40 nM ST, or both, and assessed for expression of E-cadherin repressor genes (Snail1, Snail2, Zeb1/δEF1 and EMT-related genes by QRT-PCR, multiplex tandem PCR (MT-PCR and immunofluorescence +/- cycloheximide. Actin and focal contacts (paxillin were visualized by confocal microscopy. A public database of human breast cancers was assessed for expression of Snail1 and Snail2 in relation to outcome. Results When PMC42-LA were treated with EGF, Snail2 was the principal E-cadherin repressor induced. With ST or ST+EGF this shifted to Snail1, with more extreme EMT and Zeb1/δEF1 induction seen with ST+EGF. ST reduced stress fibres and focal contact size rapidly and independently of gene transcription. Gene expression analysis by MT-PCR indicated that ST repressed many genes which were induced by EGF (EGFR, CAV1, CTGF, CYR61, CD44, S100A4 and induced genes which alter the actin cytoskeleton (NLF1, NLF2, EPHB4. Examination of the public database of breast cancers revealed tumours exhibiting higher Snail1 expression have an increased risk of disease-recurrence. This was not seen for Snail2, and Zeb1/δEF1 showed a reverse

  5. Estimates of Social Contact in a Middle School Based on Self-Report and Wireless Sensor Data

    Leecaster, Molly; Toth, Damon J. A.; Pettey, Warren B. P.; Rainey, Jeanette J.; Gao, Hongjiang; Uzicanin, Amra; Samore, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Estimates of contact among children, used for infectious disease transmission models and understanding social patterns, historically rely on self-report logs. Recently, wireless sensor technology has enabled objective measurement of proximal contact and comparison of data from the two methods. These are mostly small-scale studies, and knowledge gaps remain in understanding contact and mixing patterns and also in the advantages and disadvantages of data collection methods. We collected contact...

  6. Study and Experiment on Non-Contact Voltage Sensor Suitable for Three-Phase Transmission Line.

    Zhou, Qiang; He, Wei; Xiao, Dongping; Li, Songnong; Zhou, Kongjun

    2015-01-01

    A voltage transformer, as voltage signal detection equipment, plays an important role in a power system. Presently, more and more electric power systems are adopting potential transformer and capacitance voltage transformers. Transformers are often large in volume and heavyweight, their insulation design is difficult, and an iron core or multi-grade capacitance voltage division structure is generally adopted. As a result, the detection accuracy of transformer is reduced, a huge phase difference exists between detection signal and voltage signal to be measured, and the detection signal cannot accurately and timely reflect the change of conductor voltage signal to be measured. By aiming at the current problems of electric transformation, based on electrostatic induction principle, this paper designed a non-contact voltage sensor and gained detection signal of the sensor through electrostatic coupling for the electric field generated by electric charges of the conductor to be measured. The insulation structure design of the sensor is simple and its volume is small; phase difference of sensor measurement is effectively reduced through optimization design of the electrode; and voltage division ratio and measurement accuracy are increased. The voltage sensor was tested on the experimental platform of simulating three-phase transmission line. According to the result, the designed non-contact voltage sensor can realize accurate and real-time measurement for the conductor voltage. It can be applied to online monitoring for the voltage of three-phase transmission line or three-phase distribution network line, which is in accordance with the development direction of the smart grid. PMID:26729119

  7. Observation of actin filaments in Leydig cells with a contact-type soft x-ray microscope with laser plasma x-ray source

    Actin filaments in Laydig cells from mouse testes have been observed with a contract-type soft x-ray microscope with laser plasma x-ray source. The Leydig cells were fixed with paraformaldehyde, stained with Phalloidin, and observed with a confocal laser microscope prior to the observation with x-ray microscope. Obtained images by both of the confocal laser microscopy and the x-ray microscopy were directly compared and revealed that not only position of actin filaments but also the shapes can be identified each other. The actin filaments in the x-ray images were clearly recognized and their structures were obtained in more detail compared to those in the confocal laser microscope images. (author)

  8. Fabrication of robot head module using contact resistance force sensor for human robot interaction and its evaluation

    This paper presents a design of a robot head module with touch sensing algorithms that can simultaneously detect contact force and location. The module is constructed with a hemisphere and three sensor units that are fabricated using contact resistance force sensors. The surface part is designed with the hemisphere that measures 300 mm in diameter and 150 mm in height. Placed at the bottom of the robot head module are three sensor units fabricated using a simple screen printing technique. The contact force and the location of the model are evaluated through the calibration setup. The experiment showed that the calculated contact positions almost coincided with the applied load points as the contact location changed with a location error of about ±8.67 mm. The force responses of the module were evaluated at two points under loading and unloading conditions from 0 N to 5 N. The robot head module showed almost the same force responses at the two points

  9. A radiation-hard, non-contact fluid sensor for radioisotope production applications

    It is often necessary to be able to detect the presence, or absence of fluids in tubing located in high gamma-ray or neutron flux areas. Non-contact methods are essential because direct electrode contact with the fluid has the potential for generating impurities. Optical sensing utilizing a light source and a photodetector is probably the most prevalent method used for non-contact fluid measurement. However, this method is not always suitable for use in a high radiation flux area because the phototransistor or photodiode used for light detection can be susceptible to radiation damage. The sensor described here detects changes in capacitance between two electrodes located on the outside of a length of non-conductive tubing. The sensing head consists of an AC bridge circuit constructed from miniature passive devices, thus making it immune to the effects of a high radiation environment. The readout electronics consist of a transformer coupled, 5 Khz oscillator that provides the excitation voltage, a differential amplifier followed by a band-pass filter to measure the bridge output, an active rectifier circuit to convert the bridge output to a DC voltage, and a comparator circuit that drives an LED indicator. The readout electronics can be remotely located away from the high radiation area. This sensor can be used for remote indication of target filling operations, as well as for fluid level and flow sensing in automated radiopharaceutical synthesis systems

  10. Feasibility study on the concept of thermal contact sensor for nanometre-level defect inspections on smooth surfaces

    This paper presents a feasibility study on the concept of a thermal contact sensor that detects nanometre-scale defects on smoothly finished surfaces such as bare silicon wafers, magnetic disks and so on. The contact sensor has a thermal element, which is composed of thin-film structures with a thermally sensitive area of several tens of µm2 on its tip surface. In the proposed concept, the thermal element detects the existence of asperity-type defects on smooth surfaces by capturing frictional heats due to slight contacts between the thermal element surface and defects. During the defect detection, a gap between the thermal element surface and the smooth surface being rotated by a precision spindle would be maintained. By monitoring deviation of the electrical resistance of the thermal element while scanning the contact sensor across the rotating surface, defects on the target surface can be detected. In this paper, a fabrication process for the thermal element has been designed based on the photolithography process, and the first prototype of the thermal element has been fabricated. Results of laser exposure tests have revealed that the fabricated thermal element can detect a rate of heat supply of 10 µW, which is the same order as the rate of heat supply assumed to be generated at defect detection by the contact sensor. In addition, results of contact detection tests have confirmed the feasibility of the fabricated thermal element as a contact detection sensor. (paper)

  11. A Solid-Contact Indium(III) Sensor based on a Thiosulfinate Ionophore Derived from Omeprazole

    Abbas, Mohammad Nooredeen; Hend Samy Amer [National Research Centre, Cairo (Egypt)

    2013-04-15

    A novel solid-contact indium(III)-selective sensor based on bis-(1H-benzimidazole-5-methoxy-2-[(4-methoxy-3, 5-dimethyl-1-pyridinyl) 2-methyl]) thiosulfinate, known as an omeprazole dimer (OD) and a neutral ionophore, was constructed, and its performance characteristics were evaluated. The sensor was prepared by applying a membrane cocktail containing the ionophore to a graphite rod pre-coated with polyethylene dioxythiophene (PEDOT) conducting polymer as the ion-to-electron transducer. The membrane contained 3.6% OD, 2.3% oleic acid (OA) and 62% dioctyl phthalate (DOP) as the solvent mediator in PVC and produced a good potentiometric response to indium(III) ions with a Nernstian slope of 19.09 mV/decade. The constructed sensor possessed a linear concentration range from 3 Χ 10{sup -7} to 1 Χ 10{sup -2} M and a lower detection limit (LDL) of 1 Χ 10{sup -7} M indium(III) over a pH range of 4.0-7.0. It also displayed a fast response time and good selectivity for indium(III) over several other ions. The sensor can be used for longer than three months without any considerable divergence in potential. The sensor was utilized for direct and flow injection potentiometric (FIP) determination of indium(III) in alloys. The parameters that control the flow injection method were optimized. Indium(III) was quantitatively recovered, and the results agreed with those obtained using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, as confirmed by the f and t values. The sensor was also utilized as an indicator electrode for the potentiometric titration of fluoride in the presence of chloride, bromide, iodide and thiocyanate ions using indium(III) nitrate as the titrant.

  12. Modeling and Performance of Contact-Free Discharge Systems for Space Inertial Sensors

    Ziegler, Tobias; Hechenblaikner, Gerald; Brandt, Nico; Fichter, Walter

    2012-01-01

    This article presents a detailed overview and assessment of contact-free UV light discharge systems (UVDS) needed to control the variable electric charge level of free-flying test masses which are part of high precision inertial sensors in space. A comprehensive numerical analysis approach on the basis of experimental data is detailed. This includes UV light ray tracing, the computation of time variant electric fields inside the complex inertial sensor geometry, and the simulation of individual photo-electron trajectories. Subsequent data analysis allows to determine key parameters to set up an analytical discharge model. Such a model is an essential system engineering tool needed for requirement breakdown and subsystem specification, performance budgeting, on-board charge control software development, and instrument modeling within spacecraft end-to-end performance simulators. Different types of UVDS design concepts are presented and assessed regarding their robustness and performance. Critical hardware aspe...

  13. A Hygroscopic Sensor Electrode for Fast Stabilized Non-Contact ECG Signal Acquisition.

    Fong, Ee-May; Chung, Wan-Young

    2015-01-01

    A capacitive electrocardiography (cECG) technique using a non-invasive ECG measuring technology that does not require direct contact between the sensor and the skin has attracted much interest. The system encounters several challenges when the sensor electrode and subject's skin are weakly coupled. Because there is no direct physical contact between the subject and any grounding point, there is no discharge path for the built-up electrostatic charge. Subsequently, the electrostatic charge build-up can temporarily contaminate the ECG signal from being clearly visible; a stabilization period (3-15 min) is required for the measurement of a clean, stable ECG signal at low humidity levels (below 55% relative humidity). Therefore, to obtain a clear ECG signal without noise and to reduce the ECG signal stabilization time to within 2 min in a dry ambient environment, we have developed a fabric electrode with embedded polymer (FEEP). The designed hygroscopic FEEP has an embedded superabsorbent polymer layer. The principle of FEEP as a conductive electrode is to provide humidity to the capacitive coupling to ensure strong coupling and to allow for the measurement of a stable, clear biomedical signal. The evaluation results show that hygroscopic FEEP is capable of rapidly measuring high-accuracy ECG signals with a higher SNR ratio. PMID:26251913

  14. Multichannel microchip electrophoresis device fabricated in polycarbonate with an integrated contact conductivity sensor array.

    Shadpour, Hamed; Hupert, Mateusz L; Patterson, Donald; Liu, Changgeng; Galloway, Michelle; Stryjewski, Wieslaw; Goettert, Jost; Soper, Steven A

    2007-02-01

    A 16-channel microfluidic chip with an integrated contact conductivity sensor array is presented. The microfluidic network consisted of 16 separation channels that were hot-embossed into polycarbonate (PC) using a high-precision micromilled metal master. All channels were 40 microm deep and 60 microm wide with an effective separation length of 40 mm. A gold (Au) sensor array was lithographically patterned onto a PC cover plate and assembled to the fluidic chip via thermal bonding in such a way that a pair of Au microelectrodes (60 microm wide with a 5 microm spacing) was incorporated into each of the 16 channels and served as independent contact conductivity detectors. The spacing between the corresponding fluidic reservoirs for each separation channel was set to 9 mm, which allowed for loading samples and buffers to all 40 reservoirs situated on the microchip in only five pipetting steps using an 8-channel pipettor. A printed circuit board (PCB) with platinum (Pt) wires was used to distribute the electrophoresis high-voltage to all reservoirs situated on the fluidic chip. Another PCB was used for collecting the conductivity signals from the patterned Au microelectrodes. The device performance was evaluated using microchip capillary zone electrophoresis (mu-CZE) of amino acid, peptide, and protein mixtures as well as oligonucleotides that were separated via microchip capillary electrochromatography (mu-CEC). The separations were performed with an electric field (E) of 90 V/cm and were completed in less than 4 min in all cases. The conductivity detection was carried out using a bipolar pulse voltage waveform with a pulse amplitude of +/-0.6 V and a frequency of 6.0 kHz. The conductivity sensor array concentration limit of detection (SNR = 3) was determined to be 7.1 microM for alanine. The separation efficiency was found to be 6.4 x 10(4), 2.0 x 10(3), 4.8 x 10(3), and 3.4 x 10(2) plates for the mu-CEC of the oligonucleotides and mu-CZE of the amino acids, peptides

  15. Contact-less magneto-elastic torsional sensor based on phase-shift measurements

    We report on the development of a contact-less measurement technique for torsional shear stress τ in ferromagnetic axles or hollow shafts, based on the magneto-elastic effect. In general, two different measuring principles for ferromagnetic materials can be realized, based on: the evaluation of the change of magnetic polarization influenced by shear stress ΔJ(τ) or the change of the magnetic susceptibility ΔχA(τ). The comprehension of the magnetic polarization or the magnetic susceptibility in a sensor concept requires an external magnetic field. Alternating magnetic fields were used as shear stress can disturb not only the amplitude but also the phase distribution of the applied magnetic field. As a result of a torsional moment acting on an axle or hollow shaft, an angle of twist η appears, which is constant over the length of the twisted object. This angle of twist can be understood as a shift of infinitesimal thin cross-sections in which the whole length of the axle is separated. Besides the macroscopic deformation effect, shear forces also affect the Weiss-domains in the micro-scale of the ferromagnetic material. The effects in the micro-scale are the base of the magneto-elastic effect. The combination of the deformation effect in the macro-scale and the deformation of the Weiss-domains in the micro-scale leads to a sophisticated measurement principle for torsional stress in axles or hollow shafts. Magneto-sensitive detectors along or around the measurement object open up the possibility for a contact-less detection of torsional stress in ferromagnetic materials. Besides a strong measuring signal, free from electromagnetic interference, the introduced contact-less measurement principle offers different advantages, like independence from compression strength, nominal tensile stress, impact load, ferromagnetic hysteresis effects and independence of the temperature-dependent electrical conductivity of the axle or hollow shaft. The characteristics of such a

  16. Form, figure, and thickness measurement of freeform and conformal optics with non-contact sensors

    DeFisher, Scott; Fess, Edward; Matthews, Greg

    2014-05-01

    Advancements in optical manufacturing technology allow optical designers to implement freeform and conformal shapes in their systems. Metrology of the shapes has traditionally been difficult, especially at the sub-micron level. Contact measuring systems typically lack the accuracy required for optical qualification and can damage the surface. Interferometric systems are unable to handle high spherical departures and may require complicated lateral calibration to generate feedback for deterministic grinding and polishing. OptiPro has developed UltraSurf, a noncontact coordinate measuring machine to determine the form, figure, and thickness of freeform and conformal optics. We integrated several non-contact sensors that acquire surface information through different optical principles. Each probe has strength and weaknesses relative to an optic's material properties, surface finish, and figure error. The measuring probe is scanned over the optical surface while maintaining perpendicularity and a constant focal offset. Measurements of freeform and conformal shapes will be presented. The scanning method of UltraSurf and the non-contact probes will also be shown. The form, figure, and thickness data will highlight the capabilities of UltraSurf to measure freeform surfaces. Comparisons between accuracy and measureable surface departure will be made with current metrology systems such as coordinate measuring machines, interferometers, and profilometers. Additionally, methods for defining a freeform or conformal surface for metrology analysis and manufacturing will be discussed.

  17. Fabrication of four-point biped robot foot module based on contact-resistance force sensor and its evaluation

    Kwon, Hyun Joon; Kim, Jong Ho; Kim, Dong Ki [Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Kwon, Young Ha [Kyung Hee University, Yongin (Korea, Republic of)

    2011-02-15

    This paper presents the design of robot foot module of four-point biped walking robot and its fabrication. The foot module has four sensor units based on contact-resistance force sensor. The thin-film-type force sensor is fabricated by coating resistive ink on thin polyimide film using silk screening technique. The simple structure is devised and fabricated to assemble the thin force sensor rigidly. The unit force sensor module is evaluated by the calibration setup to obtain the characteristics of repeatability and hysteresis. The sensor module presents hysteresis error of about 5% and repeatability error of about 0.37%. The calculated zero moment point (ZMP) of the foot module is also compared with the measured position using static load of 50 N. The maximum location error of ZMP is less than 10%. The robot foot module shows the possibility of applying it to humanoid walking.

  18. Fabrication of four-point biped robot foot module based on contact-resistance force sensor and its evaluation

    This paper presents the design of robot foot module of four-point biped walking robot and its fabrication. The foot module has four sensor units based on contact-resistance force sensor. The thin-film-type force sensor is fabricated by coating resistive ink on thin polyimide film using silk screening technique. The simple structure is devised and fabricated to assemble the thin force sensor rigidly. The unit force sensor module is evaluated by the calibration setup to obtain the characteristics of repeatability and hysteresis. The sensor module presents hysteresis error of about 5% and repeatability error of about 0.37%. The calculated zero moment point (ZMP) of the foot module is also compared with the measured position using static load of 50 N. The maximum location error of ZMP is less than 10%. The robot foot module shows the possibility of applying it to humanoid walking

  19. A non-contact and online ink thickness sensor for printing machines using the photoacoustic effect

    We have developed an ink thickness sensor by employing a photoacoustic technique in order to enable the online measurement of ink thickness for printing machines such as a sheet-fed press. This sensor enables the online measurement of black ink thickness, which was impossible using the conventional methods. In order to detect the photoacoustic signals from the ink on a rotating ink roller using a non-contact technique, the halogen light chopping frequency was made to coincide with the pipe acoustical resonance frequency of the photoacoustic cell. With this method, even though the photoacoustic cell is an open cell, the sensitivity of the photoacoustic cell could be improved as compared to the conventional non-resonant closed cell. Further, it was clarified both experimentally and theoretically that the photoacoustic signal strength of black ink corresponds to an ink film thickness when the optimum halogen light chopping frequency is selected. In addition, a study is made on the characteristics of the photoacoustic signal strength variation for the clearance between the resonance tube and the ink roller

  20. Sensor Prototype to Evaluate the Contact Force in Measuring with Coordinate Measuring Arms

    Eduardo Cuesta

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes the design, development and evaluation tests of an integrated force sensor prototype for portable Coordinate Measuring Arms (CMAs or AACMMs. The development is based on the use of strain gauges located on the surface of the CMAs’ hard probe. The strain gauges as well as their cables and connectors have been protected with a custom case, made by Additive Manufacturing techniques (Polyjet 3D. The same method has been selected to manufacture an ergonomic handle that includes trigger mechanics and the electronic components required for synchronizing the trigger signal when probing occurs. The paper also describes the monitoring software that reads the signals in real time, the calibration procedure of the prototype and the validation tests oriented towards increasing knowledge of the forces employed in manual probing. Several experiments read and record the force in real time comparing different ways of probing (discontinuous and continuous contact and measuring different types of geometric features, from single planes to exterior cylinders, cones, or spheres, through interior features. The probing force is separated into two components allowing the influence of these strategies in probe deformation to be known. The final goal of this research is to improve the probing technique, for example by using an operator training programme, allowing extra-force peaks and bad contacts to be minimized or just to avoid bad measurements.

  1. Contact Patterns in a High School: A Comparison between Data Collected Using Wearable Sensors, Contact Diaries and Friendship Surveys

    Mastrandrea, Rossana; Fournet, Julie; Barrat, Alain

    2015-01-01

    Given their importance in shaping social networks and determining how information or transmissible diseases propagate in a population, interactions between individuals are the subject of many data collection efforts. To this aim, different methods are commonly used, ranging from diaries and surveys to decentralised infrastructures based on wearable sensors. These methods have each advantages and limitations but are rarely compared in a given setting. Moreover, as surveys targeting friendship ...

  2. The Application of a Contact Lens Sensor in Detecting 24-Hour Intraocular Pressure-Related Patterns

    2016-01-01

    Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. Recent studies suggest that intraocular pressure (IOP) fluctuations, peaks, and rhythm are important factors in disease advancement. Yet, current glaucoma management remains hinged on single IOP measurements during clinic hours. To overcome this limitation, 24-hour IOP monitoring devices have been employed and include self-tonometry, permanent IOP, and temporary IOP monitoring. This review discusses each IOP measuring strategy and focuses on the recently FDA-approved contact lens sensor (CLS). The CLS records IOP-related ocular patterns for 24 hours continuously. Using the CLS, IOP-related parameters have been found to be associated with the rate of visual field progression in primary open-angle glaucoma, disease progression in primary angle-closure glaucoma, and various clinical variables in ocular hypertension. The CLS has been used to quantify blink rate and limbal strain and measure the circadian rhythm in a variety of disease states including normal-tension glaucoma and thyroid eye disease. The effects of various IOP-lowering interventions were also characterized using the CLS. CLS provides a unique, safe, and well-tolerated way to study IOP-related patterns in a wide range of disease states. IOP-related patterns may help identify patients most at risk for disease progression and assist with the development of tailored treatments. PMID:27525110

  3. Non-contact laser speckle sensor for measuring one- and two-dimensional angular displacement

    Rose, Bjarke; Imam, H.; Hanson, Steen Grüner

    1998-01-01

    target is linearly mapped onto an array image sensor placed in the Fourier plane. Measuring this displacement facilitates the determination of the angular displacement. It is demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally that the angular displacement sensor is insensitive to object shape, target...... distance and any longitudinal or transverse movement of the target, if the image sensor is placed in the Fourier plane. A straightforward procedure to place the image sensor in the Fourier plane is presented here. Theoretically and experimentally, it is shown that the method has a resolution of 0.3 mdeg...

  4. A new sensor for the evaluation of contact stress by inverse analysis during steel strip rolling

    WEISZ-PATRAULT, Daniel; Ehrlacher, Alain

    2011-01-01

    Knowledge of the contact stress between roll and strip becomes a critical factor in modern, high-speed rolling mills. In this paper, an inverse analytical method is developed to determine the contact stress in the roll gap by measuring the stress tensor with fibre optics at only one point inside the roll. Unlike many inverse methods, no matrix inversion is needed because the very small contact length would lead to ill-conditioned matrices. Iterative methods are also not studied because short ...

  5. Infrared Non-Contact Head Sensor for Control of Wheelchair Movements

    Christensen, Henrik Vie; Garcia, Juan Carlos

    This paper presents a new human-machine interface for controlling a wheelchair by head movements. The position of the head is determined by use of infrared sensors, with no parts attached to the head of the user. The placement of the infrared sensors are behind the head of the user, so that the...

  6. Non-contact current and voltage sensor having detachable housing incorporating multiple ferrite cylinder portions

    Carpenter, Gary D.; El-Essawy, Wael; Ferreira, Alexandre Peixoto; Keller, Thomas Walter; Rubio, Juan C.; Schappert, Michael A.

    2016-04-26

    A detachable current and voltage sensor provides an isolated and convenient device to measure current passing through a conductor such as an AC branch circuit wire, as well as providing an indication of an electrostatic potential on the wire, which can be used to indicate the phase of the voltage on the wire, and optionally a magnitude of the voltage. The device includes a housing formed from two portions that mechanically close around the wire and that contain the current and voltage sensors. The current sensor is a ferrite cylinder formed from at least three portions that form the cylinder when the sensor is closed around the wire with a hall effect sensor disposed in a gap between two of the ferrite portions along the circumference to measure current. A capacitive plate or wire is disposed adjacent to, or within, the ferrite cylinder to provide the indication of the voltage.

  7. Finite element analysis on the influence of contact resistivity in an extraordinary magnetoresistance magnetic field micro sensor

    Sun, Jian

    2011-08-06

    In this paper, an extraordinary magnetoresistance (EMR) device made of an InSb/Au hybrid structure was investigated. Those devices have a large potential in becoming a new generation of highly sensitive and cheap magnetic micro sensors. A crucial factor for the performance is the interface between the InSb and Au, which suffers from a certain contact resistivity. The Finite Element Method (FEM) was employed to simulate the current redistribution in the device, under an applied magnetic field. Specifically, the influence of the contact resistivity between the InSb bulk and Au shunt was studied. In a device with optimized geometry and without contact resistivity between the layers of InSb and Au, the EMR effect and the sensitivity show values of 1.89 × 104% and 0.02%/(10-4 T), respectively, at 1 Tesla. For values of contact resistivity up to 10-8cm2 the EMR effect is almost constant, while for higher values the EMR effect decreases exponentially. However, the sensitivity of the device does not decrease until 5 × 10-6 cm2 of contact resistivity. Only beyond this value the sensitivity, which in most cases is associated with the performance of the device, will deteriorate. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.

  8. An analogue contact probe using a compact 3D optical sensor for micro/nano coordinate measuring machines

    This paper presents a new analogue contact probe based on a compact 3D optical sensor with high precision. The sensor comprises an autocollimator and a polarizing Michelson interferometer, which can detect two angles and one displacement of the plane mirror at the same time. In this probe system, a tungsten stylus with a ruby tip-ball is attached to a floating plate, which is supported by four V-shape leaf springs fixed to the outer case. When a contact force is applied to the tip, the leaf springs will experience elastic deformation and the plane mirror mounted on the floating plate will be displaced. The force–motion characteristics of this probe were investigated and optimum parameters were obtained with the constraint of allowable physical size of the probe. Simulation results show that the probe is uniform in 3D and its contacting force gradient is within 1 mN µm − 1. Experimental results indicate that the probe has 1 nm resolution,  ± 10 µm measuring range in X − Y plane, 10 µm measuring range in Z direction and within 30 nm measuring standard deviation. The feasibility of the probe has been preliminarily verified by testing the flatness and step height of high precision gauge blocks. (paper)

  9. Lab-on-a-Chip Magneto-Immunoassays: How to Ensure Contact between Superparamagnetic Beads and the Sensor Surface

    Andreas Hütten

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Lab-on-a-chip immuno assays utilizing superparamagnetic beads as labels suffer from the fact that the majority of beads pass the sensing area without contacting the sensor surface. Different solutions, employing magnetic forces, ultrasonic standing waves, or hydrodynamic effects have been found over the past decades. The first category uses magnetic forces, created by on-chip conducting lines to attract beads towards the sensor surface. Modifications of the magnetic landscape allow for additional transport and separation of different bead species. The hydrodynamic approach uses changes in the channel geometry to enhance the capture volume. In acoustofluidics, ultrasonic standing waves force µm-sized particles onto a surface through radiation forces. As these approaches have their disadvantages, a new sensor concept that circumvents these problems is suggested. This concept is based on the granular giant magnetoresistance (GMR effect that can be found in gels containing magnetic nanoparticles. The proposed design could be realized in the shape of paper-based test strips printed with gel-based GMR sensors.

  10. Effect of gamma irradiation on Schottky-contacted vertically aligned ZnO nanorod-based hydrogen sensor

    Ranwa, Sapana; Singh Barala, Surendra; Fanetti, Mattia; Kumar, Mahesh

    2016-08-01

    We report the impact of gamma irradiation on the performance of a gold Schottky-contacted ZnO nanorod-based hydrogen sensor. RF-sputtered vertically aligned highly c-axis-oriented ZnO NRs were grown on Si(100) substrate. X-ray diffraction shows no significant change in crystal structure at low gamma doses from 1 to 5 kGy. As gamma irradiation doses increase to 10 kGy, the single crystalline ZnO structure converts to polycrystalline. The photoluminescence spectra also shows suppression of the near-band emission peak and the huge wide-band spectrum indicates the generation of structural defects at high gamma doses. At 1 kGy, the hydrogen sensor response was enhanced from 67% to 77% for 1% hydrogen in pure argon at a 150 °C operating temperature. However, at 10 kGy, the relative response decreases to 33.5%. High gamma irradiation causes displacement damage and defects in ZnO NRs, and as a result, degrades the sensor’s performance as a result. Low gamma irradiation doses activate the ZnO NR surface through ionization, which enhances the sensor performance. The relative response of the hydrogen sensor was enhanced by ∼14.9% with respect to pristine ZnO using 1 kGy gamma ray treatment.

  11. Non-Invasive monitoring of diaphragmatic timing by means of surface contact sensors: An experimental study in dogs

    Galdiz Batxi

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Non-invasive monitoring of respiratory muscle function is an area of increasing research interest, resulting in the appearance of new monitoring devices, one of these being piezoelectric contact sensors. The present study was designed to test whether the use of piezoelectric contact (non-invasive sensors could be useful in respiratory monitoring, in particular in measuring the timing of diaphragmatic contraction. Methods Experiments were performed in an animal model: three pentobarbital anesthetized mongrel dogs. The motion of the thoracic cage was acquired by means of a piezoelectric contact sensor placed on the costal wall. This signal is compared with direct measurements of the diaphragmatic muscle length, made by sonomicrometry. Furthermore, to assess the diaphragmatic function other respiratory signals were acquired: respiratory airflow and transdiaphragmatic pressure. Diaphragm contraction time was estimated with these four signals. Using diaphragm length signal as reference, contraction times estimated with the other three signals were compared with the contraction time estimated with diaphragm length signal. Results The contraction time estimated with the TM signal tends to give a reading 0.06 seconds lower than the measure made with the DL signal (-0.21 and 0.00 for FL and DP signals, respectively, with a standard deviation of 0.05 seconds (0.08 and 0.06 for FL and DP signals, respectively. Correlation coefficients indicated a close link between time contraction estimated with TM signal and contraction time estimated with DL signal (a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.98, a reliability coefficient of 0.95, a slope of 1.01 and a Spearman's rank-order coefficient of 0.98. In general, correlation coefficients and mean and standard deviation of the difference were better in the inspiratory load respiratory test than in spontaneous ventilation tests. Conclusion The technique presented in this work provides a non

  12. Enhanced responsivity of photo-induced-emf laser ultrasound sensors using asymmetric interdigitated contacts

    Pepper, D. M.; Dunning, G. J.; Nolte, D. D.; Coy, J.; Klein, M. B.; Bacher, G. D.; Pouet, B.

    2000-05-01

    An ongoing challenge for laser-based ultrasound sensors is to improve the sensitivity of adaptive photodetectors. This class of sensor is compact, robust, and simple to implement. Moreover, it can optically detect the desired ultrasound information and compensate for background industrial noise in real-time, including static and dynamic optical phase distortions, arising from relative platform motion, workpiece wobble and speckle, multimode fiber dispersion, and in-factory turbulence. A vision of this sensor is to approach the sensitivity of a shot-noise limited ideal interferometer, as well as to form large numbers of these compact detectors into small monolithic arrays, for single-shot ultrasonic image detection in opaque materials, with enhanced buried feature extraction capability. One class of adaptive photodetector is the photo-emf sensor, which combines the desired ultrasound detection and real-time noise compensation into a single semiconductor crystal. This sensor does not require any computational or electrical tracking, or quadrature-maintaining servo-loop control. All the compensation and tracking is accomplished optically, using only the spatial and temporal information present in the probe laser beam itself, to form dynamic space-charge fields in the crystal, with the desired output photocurrent. We have fabricated a sensor with a novel 32-element interdigitated electrode configuration for enhanced performance. This sensor has a responsivity greater by a factor of 32 over that of a basic single-element photo-emf sensor, in agreement with theoretical scaling laws. Our electrode structure facilitates a major improvement in the performance of the detector, by reducing the ratio of the carrier transit time to carrier lifetime. The enhancement is realized by collecting the desired ultrasonically induced photocurrents at multiple locations along the surface of a GaAs crystal, in phase, while suppressing out-of-phase contributions. We describe a set of

  13. Accuracy of PARTwear Inertial Sensor and Optojump Optical Measurement System for Measuring Ground Contact Time During Running.

    Ammann, Rahel; Taube, Wolfgang; Wyss, Thomas

    2016-07-01

    Ammann, R, Taube, W, and Wyss, T. Accuracy of PARTwear inertial sensor and Optojump optical measurement system for measuring ground contact time during running. J Strength Cond Res 30(7): 2057-2063, 2016-The aim of this study was to validate the detection of ground contact time (GCT) during running in 2 differently working systems: a small inertial measurement sensor, PARTwear (PW), worn on the shoe laces, and the optical measurement system, Optojump (OJ), placed on the track. Twelve well-trained subjects performed 12 runs each on an indoor track at speeds ranging from 3.0 to 9.0 m·s. GCT of one step per run (total 144) was simultaneously obtained by the PW, the OJ, and a high-speed video camera (HSC), whereby the latter served as reference system. The sampling rate was 1,000 Hz for all methods. Compared with the HSC, the PW and the OJ systems underestimated GCT by -1.3 ± 6.1% and -16.5 ± 6.7% (p-values ≤ 0.05), respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficients between PW and HSC and between OJ and HSC were 0.984 and 0.853 (p-values field applications. In contrast, data on GCT obtained by OJ during running must be treated with caution, specifically when running speed changes or when comparisons are made with GCT data collected by other measurement systems. PMID:26677827

  14. Performance of a Diamond X-ray Sensor Fabricated with Metal-less Graphitic Contacts

    Sellin, P.J.; Galbiati, A

    2005-01-01

    We report the x-ray photocurrent response of a coplanar chemical vapor deposition diamond detector fabricated using a metal-less graphitic ohmic contact. Ion implantation of 70 keV boron ions to a dose of 2x10(16) cm(-2) was performed through a patterned photoresist to produce a coplanar graphitic contact structure. The device photocurrent showed a fast response to pulsed x-ray irradiation, and showed no evidence of photocurrent persistence that is observed in devices fabricated using metal S...

  15. Non-contact liquid level measurement with electromagnetic–acoustic resonator sensors

    Electromagnetic–acoustic transduction represents an alternative to piezoelectric transduction with unique properties and advantages for resonator sensors. We have shown that such devices are suitable as mass microbalances similar to quartz crystal resonators, and as liquid density and viscosity sensors by exciting a suitable in-plane mode featuring dominant shear vibration. Generating out-of-plane vibrations we have applied these devices also as liquid level sensors. In contrast to classic time-of-flight ultrasonic liquid level sensors, the resolution is not limited by the wavelength, since small frequency changes due to interference effects with a standing acoustic wave are evaluated. For this contribution we have extensively evaluated this liquid level sensing and will present and compare new measurement and modeling results. The model comprises electromagnetic–acoustic interaction with a lossy transmission line representing the acoustic wave in the liquid. In impedance measurements with standard lab equipment a resolution as low as 3 µm at a liquid level of 10 mm and an operating frequency of 275 kHz has been achieved

  16. Sensor prototype to evaluate the contact force in measuring with coordinate measuring arms

    Eduardo Cuesta; Alejandro Telenti; Hector Patiño; Daniel González-Madruga; Susana Martínez-Pellitero

    2015-01-01

    This paper describes the design, development and evaluation tests of an integrated force sensor prototype for portable Coordinate Measuring Arms (CMAs or AACMMs). The development is based on the use of strain gauges located on the surface of the CMAs’ hard probe. The strain gauges as well as their cables and connectors have been protected with a custom case, made by Additive Manufacturing techniques (Polyjet 3D). The same method has been selected to manufacture an ergonomic handle that includ...

  17. Mechanism of Actin Filament Bundling by Fascin

    Jansen, Silvia; Collins, Agnieszka; Yang, Changsong; Rebowski, Grzegorz; Svitkina, Tatyana; Dominguez, Roberto (UPENN); (UPENN-MED)

    2013-03-07

    Fascin is the main actin filament bundling protein in filopodia. Because of the important role filopodia play in cell migration, fascin is emerging as a major target for cancer drug discovery. However, an understanding of the mechanism of bundle formation by fascin is critically lacking. Fascin consists of four {beta}-trefoil domains. Here, we show that fascin contains two major actin-binding sites, coinciding with regions of high sequence conservation in {beta}-trefoil domains 1 and 3. The site in {beta}-trefoil-1 is located near the binding site of the fascin inhibitor macroketone and comprises residue Ser-39, whose phosphorylation by protein kinase C down-regulates actin bundling and formation of filopodia. The site in {beta}-trefoil-3 is related by pseudo-2-fold symmetry to that in {beta}-trefoil-1. The two sites are {approx}5 nm apart, resulting in a distance between actin filaments in the bundle of {approx}8.1 nm. Residue mutations in both sites disrupt bundle formation in vitro as assessed by co-sedimentation with actin and electron microscopy and severely impair formation of filopodia in cells as determined by rescue experiments in fascin-depleted cells. Mutations of other areas of the fascin surface also affect actin bundling and formation of filopodia albeit to a lesser extent, suggesting that, in addition to the two major actin-binding sites, fascin makes secondary contacts with other filaments in the bundle. In a high resolution crystal structure of fascin, molecules of glycerol and polyethylene glycol are bound in pockets located within the two major actin-binding sites. These molecules could guide the rational design of new anticancer fascin inhibitors.

  18. Wind energy harvesting and self-powered flow rate sensor enabled by contact electrification

    Su, Yuanjie; Xie, Guangzhong; Xie, Tao; Zhang, Hulin; Ye, Zongbiao; Jing, Qingshen; Tai, Huiling; Du, Xiaosong; Jiang, Yadong

    2016-06-01

    We have developed a free-standing-mode based triboelectric nanogenerator (F-TENG) that consists of indium tin oxide (ITO) foils and a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) thin film. By utilizing the wind-induced resonance vibration of a PTFE film between two ITO electrodes, the F-TENG delivers an open-circuit voltage up to 37 V and a short-circuit current of 6.2 μA, which can be used as a sustainable power source to simultaneously and continuously light up tens of light emitting diodes (LEDs) and charge capacitors. Moreover, uniform division of the electrode into several parallel units efficiently suppresses the inner counteracting effect of undulating film and leads to an enhancement of output current by 95%. The F-TENG holds prominent durability and an excellent linear relationship between output current and flow rate, revealing its feasibility as a self-powered sensor for detecting wind speed. This work demonstrates potential applications of the triboelectric generator in gas flow harvesters, self-powered air navigation, self-powered gas sensors and wind vector sensors.

  19. Thermally Stable Ohmic Contacts on Silicon Carbide Developed for High- Temperature Sensors and Electronics

    Okojie, Robert S.

    2001-01-01

    The NASA aerospace program, in particular, requires breakthrough instrumentation inside the combustion chambers of engines for the purpose of, among other things, improving computational fluid dynamics code validation and active engine behavioral control (combustion, flow, stall, and noise). This environment can be as high as 600 degrees Celsius, which is beyond the capability of silicon and gallium arsenide devices. Silicon-carbide- (SiC-) based devices appear to be the most technologically mature among wide-bandgap semiconductors with the proven capability to function at temperatures above 500 degrees Celsius. However, the contact metalization of SiC degrades severely beyond this temperature because of factors such as the interdiffusion between layers, oxidation of the contact, and compositional and microstructural changes at the metal/semiconductor interface. These mechanisms have been proven to be device killers. Very costly and weight-adding packaging schemes that include vacuum sealing are sometimes adopted as a solution.

  20. A top-contacted extraordinary magnetoresistance sensor fabricated with an unpatterned semiconductor epilayer

    Sun, Jian

    2013-04-01

    An extraordinary magnetoresistance device is developed from an unpatterned semiconductor epilayer onto which the metal contacts are fabricated. Compared with conventionally fabricated devices, for which semiconductor patterning and precise alignment are required, this design is not only easier from a technological point of view, but it also has the potential to reduce damage introduced to the semiconductor during fabrication. The device shows a similar magnetoresistance ratio as a conventional one but it has a lower sensitivity. Because of the reduced resistance, and hence less noise, high magnetic field resolution is maintained. © 1980-2012 IEEE.

  1. New sensor and non-contact geometrical survey for the vibrating wire technique

    Geraldes, Renan; Junqueira Leão, Rodrigo; Cernicchiaro, Geraldo; Terenzi Neuenschwander, Regis; Citadini, James Francisco; Droher Rodrigues, Antônio Ricardo

    2016-03-01

    The tolerances for the alignment of the magnets in the girders of the next machine of the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS), Sirius, are as small as 40 μm for translations and 0.2 mrad for rotations. Therefore, a novel approach to the well-known vibrating wire technique has been developed and tested for the precise fiducialization of magnets. The alignment bench consists of four commercial linear stages, a stretched wire, a commercial lock-in amplifier working with phase-locked loop (PLL), a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) and a vibration sensor for the wire. This novel sensor has been designed for a larger linear region of operation. For the mechanical metrology step of the fiducialization of quadrupoles an innovative technique, using the vision system of the CMM, is presented. While the work with pitch and yaw orientations is still ongoing with promising partial results, the system already presents an uncertainty level below 10 μm for translational alignment.

  2. Biomedical soft contact-lens sensor for in situ ocular biomonitoring of tear contents.

    Chu, MingXing; Shirai, Takayuki; Takahashi, Daishi; Arakawa, Takahiro; Kudo, Hiroyuki; Sano, Kenji; Sawada, Shin-ichi; Yano, Kazuyoshi; Iwasaki, Yasuhiko; Akiyoshi, Kazunari; Mochizuki, Manabu; Mitsubayashi, Kohji

    2011-08-01

    A soft contact-lens biosensor (SCL-biosensor) for novel non-invasive biomonitoring of tear fluids was fabricated and tested. Wearing a biosensor on eye enabled the in situ monitoring of tear contents. The biosensor has an enzyme immobilized electrode on the surface of a polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) contact lens. The SCL-biosensor was fabricated using microfabrication techniques for functional polymers (PDMS and 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) polymer). In investigation of in vitro characterization, the SCL-biosensor showed excellent relationship between the output current and glucose concentration from 0.03 to 5.0 mmol·L(-1), with a correlation coefficient of 0.994. The calibration range covered the reported tear glucose concentrations (0.14 mmol·L(-1)). Based on the result, ocular biomonitoring with the SCL-biosensor was carried out. The SCL-biosensor well worked both in the static state and the dynamic state. The tear glucose level of rabbit was estimated to 0.12 mmol·L(-1) at first and then the tear turnover was successfully calculated to be 29.6 ± 8.42% min(-1). The result indicated that SCL-biosensor is useful for advanced biomonitoring on eye. PMID:21475940

  3. All-solid-state potentiometric sensors for ascorbic acid by using a screen-printed compatible solid contact

    Veltsistas, Panayotis G.; Prodromidis, Mamas I.; Efstathiou, Constantinos

    2004-01-23

    The development of all-solid-state potentiometric ion selective electrodes for monitoring of ascorbic acid, by using a screen-printed compatible solid contact is described. The applied methodology is based on the use of PVC membrane modified with some firstly-tested ionophores (triphenyltin(IV)chloride, triphenyltin(IV)hydroxide and palmitoyl-L-ascorbic acid) and a novel one synthesized in our laboratory (dibutyltin(IV) diascorbate). Synthesis protocol and some preliminary identification studies are given. A conductive graphite-based polymer thick film ink was used as an internal solid contact between the graphite electrode and the PVC membrane. The presence and the nature of the solid contact (plain or doped with lanthanum 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol (DCPI)) seem to enhance the analytical performance of the electrodes in terms of sensitivity, dynamic range, and response time. The analytical performance of the constructed electrodes was evaluated with potentiometry, constant-current chronopotentiometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The interference effect of various compounds was also tested. The potential response of the optimized Ph{sub 3}SnCl-based electrode was linear against ascorbic acid concentration range 0.005-5.0 mM. The applicability of the proposed sensors in real samples was also tested. The detection limit was 0.002 mM ascorbic acid (50 mM phosphate, pH 5 in 50 mM KCl). The slope of the electrodes was super-Nernstian and pH dependent, indicating a mechanism involving a combination of charge transfer and ion exchange processes. Fabrication of screen-printed ascorbate ISEs has also been demonstrated.

  4. All-solid-state potentiometric sensors for ascorbic acid by using a screen-printed compatible solid contact

    The development of all-solid-state potentiometric ion selective electrodes for monitoring of ascorbic acid, by using a screen-printed compatible solid contact is described. The applied methodology is based on the use of PVC membrane modified with some firstly-tested ionophores (triphenyltin(IV)chloride, triphenyltin(IV)hydroxide and palmitoyl-L-ascorbic acid) and a novel one synthesized in our laboratory (dibutyltin(IV) diascorbate). Synthesis protocol and some preliminary identification studies are given. A conductive graphite-based polymer thick film ink was used as an internal solid contact between the graphite electrode and the PVC membrane. The presence and the nature of the solid contact (plain or doped with lanthanum 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol (DCPI)) seem to enhance the analytical performance of the electrodes in terms of sensitivity, dynamic range, and response time. The analytical performance of the constructed electrodes was evaluated with potentiometry, constant-current chronopotentiometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The interference effect of various compounds was also tested. The potential response of the optimized Ph3SnCl-based electrode was linear against ascorbic acid concentration range 0.005-5.0 mM. The applicability of the proposed sensors in real samples was also tested. The detection limit was 0.002 mM ascorbic acid (50 mM phosphate, pH 5 in 50 mM KCl). The slope of the electrodes was super-Nernstian and pH dependent, indicating a mechanism involving a combination of charge transfer and ion exchange processes. Fabrication of screen-printed ascorbate ISEs has also been demonstrated

  5. A high-resolution non-contact fluorescence-based temperature sensor for neonatal care

    To date, thermistors are used to continuously monitor the body temperature of newborn babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. The thermistor probe is attached to the body with a strong adhesive tape to ensure that the probe stays in place. However, these strong adhesives are shown to increase microbial growth and cause serious skin injuries via epidermal stripping. The latter compromises the skin's ability to serve as a protective barrier leading to increase in water loss and further microbial infections. In this paper, a new approach is introduced that eliminates the need for an adhesive. Instead, two kinds of fluorophores are entrapped in a skin-friendly chitosan gel that can be easily wiped on and off of the skin, and has antimicrobial properties as well. A CCD camera is used to detect the temperature-dependent fluorescence of the fluorophore, tris(1,10-phenthroline)ruthenium(II) while 8-aminopyrene-1,3,6-trisulfonic acid serves as the reference. This temperature sensor was found to have a resolution of at least 0.13 °C. (paper)

  6. Pre-Processing of Point-Data from Contact and Optical 3D Digitization Sensors

    Mirko Soković

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary 3D digitization systems employed by reverse engineering (RE feature ever-growing scanning speeds with the ability to generate large quantity of points in a unit of time. Although advantageous for the quality and efficiency of RE modelling, the huge number of point datas can turn into a serious practical problem, later on, when the CAD model is generated. In addition, 3D digitization processes are very often plagued by measuring errors, which can be attributed to the very nature of measuring systems, various characteristics of the digitized objects and subjective errors by the operator, which also contribute to problems in the CAD model generation process. This paper presents an integral system for the pre-processing of point data, i.e., filtering, smoothing and reduction, based on a cross-sectional RE approach. In the course of the proposed system development, major emphasis was placed on the module for point data reduction, which was designed according to a novel approach with integrated deviation analysis and fuzzy logic reasoning. The developed system was verified through its application on three case studies, on point data from objects of versatile geometries obtained by contact and laser 3D digitization systems. The obtained results demonstrate the effectiveness of the system.

  7. Light-addressable amperometric electrodes for enzyme sensors based on direct quantum dot-electrode contacts

    Riedel, M.; Göbel, G.; Parak, W. J.; Lisdat, F.

    2014-03-01

    Quantum dots allow the generation of charge carriers upon illumination. When these particles are attached to an electrode a photocurrent can be generated. This allows their use as a light-switchable layer on the surface. The QDs can not only exchange electronics with the electrode, but can also interact with donor or acceptor compounds in solution providing access to the construction of signal chains starting from an analytic molecule. The magnitude and the direction of the photocurrent depend on several factors such as electrode polarization, solution pH and composition. These defined dependencies have been evaluated with respect to the combination of QD-electrodes with enzyme reactions for sensorial purpose. CdSe/ZnS-QD-modified electrodes can be used to follow enzymatic reactions in solution based on the oxygen sensitivity. In order to develop a photoelectrochemical biosensor, e.g. glucose oxidase is immobilized on the CdSe/ZnS-electrode. One immobilization strategy applies the layer-by-layer-technique of GOD and a polyelectrolyte. Photocurrent measurements of such a sensor show a clear concentration dependent behavior. The principle of combing QD oxidase. The sensitivity of quantum dot electrodes can be influenced by additional nanoparticles, but also by multiple layers of the QDs. In another direction of research it can be influenced by additional nanoparticles, but also by multiple layers of the QDs. In another direction of research it can be demonstrated that direct electron transfer from excited quantum dots can be achieved with the redox protein cytochrome c. This allows the detection of the protein, but also interaction partners such as a enzymes or superoxide.

  8. Sensitivity of contact-free fiber Bragg grating sensor to ultrasonic Lamb wave

    Wee, Junghyun; Hackney, Drew; Peters, Kara; Wells, Brian; Bradford, Philip

    2016-04-01

    Networks of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensors can serve as structural health monitoring (SHM) systems for large-scale structures based on the collection of ultrasonic waves. The demodulation of structural Lamb waves requires a high signal-to-noise ratio because Lamb waves have a low amplitude. This paper investigates the signal transfer between Lamb waves propagating in an aluminum plate collected by an optical fiber containing a FBG. The fiber is bonded to the plate at locations away from the FBG. The Lamb waves are converted into longitudinal and flexural traveling waves propagating along the optical fiber, which are then transmitted to the Bragg grating. The signal wave amplitude is measured for different distances between the bond location and the Bragg grating. Bonding the optical fiber away from the FBG location and closer to the signal source produces a significant increase in signal amplitude, here measured to be 5.1 times that of bonding the Bragg grating itself. The arrival time of the different measured wave coupling paths are also calculated theoretically, verifying the source of the measured signals. The effect of the bond length to Lamb wavelength ratio is investigated, showing a peak response as the bond length is reduced compared to the wavelength. This study demonstrates that coupling Lamb waves into guided traveling waves in an optical fiber away from the FBG increases the signal-to-noise ratio of Lamb wave detection, as compared to direct transfer of the Lamb wave to the optical fiber at the location of the FBG.

  9. A flexible proximity sensor formed by duplex screen/screen-offset printing and its application to non-contact detection of human breathing

    Nomura, Ken-Ichi; Kaji, Ryosaku; Iwata, Shiro; Otao, Shinobu; Imawaka, Naoto; Yoshino, Katsumi; Mitsui, Ryosuke; Sato, Junya; Takahashi, Seiya; Nakajima, Shin-Ichiro; Ushijima, Hirobumi

    2016-01-01

    We describe a flexible capacitance-type sensor that can detect an approaching human without contact, fabricated by developing and applying duplex conductive-ink printing to a film substrate. The results of our calculations show that the difference in size between the top and bottom electrodes of the sensor allows for the spatial extension of the electric field distribution over the electrodes. Hence, such a component functions as a proximity sensor. This thin and light device with a large form factor can be arranged at various places, including curved surfaces and the back of objects such that it is unnoticeable. In our experiment, we attached it to the back of a bed, and found that our device successfully detected the breathing of a subject on the bed without contacting his body. This should contribute to reducing the physical and psychological discomfort among patients during medical checks, or when their condition is being monitored.

  10. Micromachined lead zirconium titanate thin-film-cantilever-based acoustic emission sensor with poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) actuator for increasing contact pressure

    Feng, Guo-Hua; Chen, Wei-Ming

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents an innovative acousticemission (AE) sensor with a cantilever sensing structure. A hydrothermal lead zirconium titanate (PZT) film was deposited on the cantilever for AE sensing, and an SU8 micropillar at the free end of the cantilever served as an AE wave coupler; in addition, a poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-based thermoresponsive actuator was integrated with the cantilever to increase the contact pressure exerted on the target. The AE sensor showed higher performance compared with an existing commercial AE sensor. Micromachining technology was used to fabricate AE sensors, and an array of four sensors was fabricated on a 50 μm thick titanium substrate of dimensions 15 mm × 15 mm. The piezoelectric properties of the hydrothermal PZT film were verified by electrically driving the cantilever and measuring the displacement; the piezoelectric constant d 31 of the cantilever was 2.43 pC N‑1. The output force of the sensing cantilever generated by activating the thermoresponsive actuator was determined. For an electrical power input of 2.5 W, the maximum force output at the SU8 micropillar was 1 N. This force corresponded to the application of a pressure of 1.4 MPa on the target. Pencil lead break tests were conducted to determine and compare the performance of the proposed AE sensor with commercial sensors. Here, experimental and theoretical discussions on the effect of the activation of the thermoresponsive actuator of the proposed AE sensor on AE detection are presented.

  11. Development of coaxial speaker-like non-contact electrostatic sensor for aviation engine exhaust electrostatic character research

    Du Zhaoheng; Hu Xiaofeng; Wei Ming; Wang Lei

    2015-01-01

    Electrostatic sensor is the most important equipment in aero-engine exhaust electrostatic character research. By comparing a variety of sensor test programs, the coaxial speaker-like noncontact electrostatic sensor program is proposed. Numerical simulation analysis indicates the electric field distribution of electrostatic sensor, the influence principle of gap width, outer diameter, center diameter, angle and other factors on the sensor capacitance values which identify the key indicators of...

  12. G-actin guides p53 nuclear transport: potential contribution of monomeric actin in altered localization of mutant p53

    Saha, Taniya; Guha, Deblina; Manna, Argha; Panda, Abir Kumar; Bhat, Jyotsna; Chatterjee, Subhrangsu; Sa, Gaurisankar

    2016-01-01

    p53 preserves genomic integrity by restricting anomaly at the gene level. Till date, limited information is available for cytosol to nuclear shuttling of p53; except microtubule-based trafficking route, which utilizes minus-end directed motor dynein. The present study suggests that monomeric actin (G-actin) guides p53 traffic towards the nucleus. Histidine-tag pull-down assay using purified p53(1–393)-His and G-actin confirms direct physical association between p53 and monomeric G-actin. Co-immunoprecipitation data supports the same. Confocal imaging explores intense perinuclear colocalization between p53 and G-actin. To address atomistic details of the complex, constraint-based docked model of p53:G-actin complex was generated based on crystal structures. MD simulation reveals that p53 DNA-binding domain arrests very well the G-actin protein. Docking benchmark studies have been carried out for a known crystal structure, 1YCS (complex between p53DBD and BP2), which validates the docking protocol we adopted. Co-immunoprecipitation study using “hot-spot” p53 mutants suggested reduced G-actin association with cancer-associated p53 conformational mutants (R175H and R249S). Considering these findings, we hypothesized that point mutation in p53 structure, which diminishes p53:G-actin complexation results in mutant p53 altered subcellular localization. Our model suggests p53Arg249 form polar-contact with Arg357 of G-actin, which upon mutation, destabilizes p53:G-actin interaction and results in cytoplasmic retention of p53R249S. PMID:27601274

  13. G-actin guides p53 nuclear transport: potential contribution of monomeric actin in altered localization of mutant p53.

    Saha, Taniya; Guha, Deblina; Manna, Argha; Panda, Abir Kumar; Bhat, Jyotsna; Chatterjee, Subhrangsu; Sa, Gaurisankar

    2016-01-01

    p53 preserves genomic integrity by restricting anomaly at the gene level. Till date, limited information is available for cytosol to nuclear shuttling of p53; except microtubule-based trafficking route, which utilizes minus-end directed motor dynein. The present study suggests that monomeric actin (G-actin) guides p53 traffic towards the nucleus. Histidine-tag pull-down assay using purified p53(1-393)-His and G-actin confirms direct physical association between p53 and monomeric G-actin. Co-immunoprecipitation data supports the same. Confocal imaging explores intense perinuclear colocalization between p53 and G-actin. To address atomistic details of the complex, constraint-based docked model of p53:G-actin complex was generated based on crystal structures. MD simulation reveals that p53 DNA-binding domain arrests very well the G-actin protein. Docking benchmark studies have been carried out for a known crystal structure, 1YCS (complex between p53DBD and BP2), which validates the docking protocol we adopted. Co-immunoprecipitation study using "hot-spot" p53 mutants suggested reduced G-actin association with cancer-associated p53 conformational mutants (R175H and R249S). Considering these findings, we hypothesized that point mutation in p53 structure, which diminishes p53:G-actin complexation results in mutant p53 altered subcellular localization. Our model suggests p53Arg249 form polar-contact with Arg357 of G-actin, which upon mutation, destabilizes p53:G-actin interaction and results in cytoplasmic retention of p53R249S. PMID:27601274

  14. Fabrication and performance test of contact-type liquid level sensor for measuring thickness variation of liquid lithium jet in the IFMIF/EVEDA lithium test loop

    Highlights: • We have fabricated a new sensor for measuring a liquid lithium jet thickness. • The design requirement is to position a probe with a high precision of 0.01 mm. • The performance test result showed the sensor satisfied the design requirement. • It was found the precision of probe position calibration was high enough (44 μm). -- Abstract: In the engineering validation and engineering design activities (EVEDA) on the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF), hydraulic stability of a liquid Li jet simulating the IFMIF Li target is to be validated in the EVEDA Li test loop (ELTL). This paper presents the fabrication and performance test results of a new contact-type liquid level sensor designed for use in ELTL. The sensor is to be utilized to measure variation of jet thickness in the validation test on hydraulic stability of the Li jet, which is one of the major key tests to be performed in ELTL. A fundamental requirement for the engineering specification of the sensor is to ensure the positioning precision of the measurement probe against the pressure load of approx. 0.1 MPa between the inside and the outside of the test chamber. The positioning resolution of 0.1 mm and precision of 0.01 mm with respect to the fluid-depth direction are the most important design requirement. The sensor was successfully fabricated as designed. The performance tests performed after fabrication shows that the sensor satisfies the design specification

  15. Detection of the position, direction and speed of sliding contact with a multi-layer compliant tactile sensor fabricated using direct-print technology

    A multi-layer resistance based compliant tactile sensor was fabricated using direct-print (DP) and soft molding processes. The sensor consists of two layers of embedded stretchable sensing elements sandwiched by three layers of a polyurethane rubber material. The sensing elements were created by the DP process using a photopolymer filled with multi-wall carbon nanotubes, which exhibit the property of piezoresistivity. The printed sensing elements were fully cured using ultraviolet light. The sensing elements within each layer of the sensor structure change in electrical resistance when external forces are applied. By processing the measured sensor signals, the fabricated sensor was able to detect the position of contact forces with a 3 mm spatial resolution, as well as their two-dimensional translation directions and speeds. Based on the results, it is concluded that the fabricated sensors are promising in robotic applications and the developed process and material can be a reliable and robust way to build highly stretchable tactile sensors. (paper)

  16. Development of coaxial speaker-like non-contact electrostatic sensor for aviation engine exhaust electrostatic character research

    Du Zhaoheng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Electrostatic sensor is the most important equipment in aero-engine exhaust electrostatic character research. By comparing a variety of sensor test programs, the coaxial speaker-like noncontact electrostatic sensor program is proposed. Numerical simulation analysis indicates the electric field distribution of electrostatic sensor, the influence principle of gap width, outer diameter, center diameter, angle and other factors on the sensor capacitance values which identify the key indicators of electrostatic sensor. The experiment test shows that the simulation analysis is in good agreement with the experimental results.

  17. Control of actin-based motility through localized actin binding

    A wide variety of cell biological and biomimetic systems use actin polymerization to drive motility. It has been suggested that an object such as a bacterium can propel itself by self-assembling a high concentration of actin behind it, if it is repelled by actin. However, it is also known that it is essential for the moving object to bind actin. Therefore, a key question is how the actin tail can propel an object when it both binds and repels the object. We present a physically consistent Brownian dynamics model for actin-based motility that includes the minimal components of the dendritic nucleation model and allows for both attractive and repulsive interactions between actin and a moveable disc. We find that the concentration gradient of filamentous actin generated by polymerization is sufficient to propel the object, even with moderately strong binding interactions. Additionally, actin binding can act as a biophysical cap, and may directly control motility through modulation of network growth. Overall, this mechanism is robust in that it can drive motility against a load up to a stall pressure that depends on the Young’s modulus of the actin network and can explain several aspects of actin-based motility. (paper)

  18. Evaluation and optimization of quartz resonant-frequency retuned fork force sensors with high Q factors, and the associated electric circuits, for non-contact atomic force microscopy

    Ooe, Hiroaki; Fujii, Mikihiro; Tomitori, Masahiko; Arai, Toyoko

    2016-02-01

    High-Q factor retuned fork (RTF) force sensors made from quartz tuning forks, and the electric circuits for the sensors, were evaluated and optimized to improve the performance of non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM) performed under ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) conditions. To exploit the high Q factor of the RTF sensor, the oscillation of the RTF sensor was excited at its resonant frequency, using a stray capacitance compensation circuit to cancel the excitation signal leaked through the stray capacitor of the sensor. To improve the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio in the detected signal, a small capacitor was inserted before the input of an operational (OP) amplifier placed in an UHV chamber, which reduced the output noise from the amplifier. A low-noise, wideband OP amplifier produced a superior S/N ratio, compared with a precision OP amplifier. The thermal vibrational density spectra of the RTF sensors were evaluated using the circuit. The RTF sensor with an effective spring constant value as low as 1000 N/m provided a lower minimum detection limit for force differentiation. A nc-AFM image of a Si(111)-7 × 7 surface was produced with atomic resolution using the RTF sensor in a constant frequency shift mode; tunneling current and energy dissipation images with atomic resolution were also simultaneously produced. The high-Q factor RTF sensor showed potential for the high sensitivity of energy dissipation as small as 1 meV/cycle and the high-resolution analysis of non-conservative force interactions.

  19. Non-contact laser speckle sensor for measuring one- and two-dimensional angular displacement Capteur non-contact de laser speckle pour mesurer le déplacement angulaire à une ou deux dimensions

    Rose, Bjarke; Imam, Husain; Hanson, Steen G.

    1998-06-01

    A novel method for measurement of angular displacement in one or two dimensions for arbitrarily shaped objects is presented. The method is based on Fourier transforming the scattered field from a single laser beam that illuminates the target. The angular distribution of the light field at the target is linearly mapped onto an array image sensor placed in the Fourier plane. Measuring this displacement facilitates the determination of the angular displacement. It is demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally that the angular displacement sensor is insensitive to object shape, target distance and any longitudinal or transverse movement of the target, if the image sensor is placed in the Fourier plane. A straightforward procedure to place the image sensor in the Fourier plane is presented here. Theoretically and experimentally, it is shown that the method has a resolution of 0.3 mdeg for small angular displacements, and methods for further improvement in resolution are discussed. No special surface treatment is required for surfaces having irregularities of the order of or larger than the wavelength of the incident light. It is shown that this is the case for most surfaces of practical interest. Furthermore, it is shown that robust, non-contact optical systems for industrial applications can be produced.

  20. Sensors

    Jensen, H. [PBI-Dansensor A/S (Denmark); Toft Soerensen, O. [Risoe National Lab., Materials Research Dept. (Denmark)

    1999-10-01

    A new type of ceramic oxygen sensors based on semiconducting oxides was developed in this project. The advantage of these sensors compared to standard ZrO{sub 2} sensors is that they do not require a reference gas and that they can be produced in small sizes. The sensor design and the techniques developed for production of these sensors are judged suitable by the participating industry for a niche production of a new generation of oxygen sensors. Materials research on new oxygen ion conducting conductors both for applications in oxygen sensors and in fuel was also performed in this project and finally a new process was developed for fabrication of ceramic tubes by dip-coating. (EHS)

  1. Sensors

    Pigorsch, Enrico

    1997-01-01

    This is the 5th edition of the Metra Martech Directory "EUROPEAN CENTRES OF EXPERTISE - SENSORS." The entries represent a survey of European sensors development. The new edition contains 425 detailed profiles of companies and research institutions in 22 countries. This is reflected in the diversity of sensors development programmes described, from sensors for physical parameters to biosensors and intelligent sensor systems. We do not claim that all European organisations developing sensors are included, but this is a good cross section from an invited list of participants. If you see gaps or omissions, or would like your organisation to be included, please send details. The data base invites the formation of effective joint ventures by identifying and providing access to specific areas in which organisations offer collaboration. This issue is recognised to be of great importance and most entrants include details of collaboration offered and sought. We hope the directory on Sensors will help you to find the ri...

  2. On-machine non-contact dimension-measurement system with laser displacement sensor for vane-tip machining of RFQs

    We have developed a new on-machine non-contact dimension-measurement system using a laser displacement sensor (LDS) for machining the vane tips of RFQs. The LDS was attached to a milling machine, and the dimensions of a test piece (TP) with a modulated vane tip were measured to evaluate the performance of the system. A longitudinal profile was measured with the LDS and it was compared with the profile measured with a coordinate measuring machine (CMM). A transverse profile was also measured. The required accuracy of dimension measurement was achieved using our system.

  3. Segmented wind energy harvester based on contact-electrification and as a self-powered flow rate sensor

    Su, Yuanjie; Xie, Guangzhong; Xie, Fabiao; Xie, Tao; Zhang, Qiuping; Zhang, Hulin; Du, Hongfei; Du, Xiaosong; Jiang, Yadong

    2016-06-01

    A single-electrode-based segmented triboelectric nanogenerator (S-TENG) was developed. By utilizing the wind-induced vibration of a fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) film between two copper electrodes, the S-TENG delivers an open-circuit voltage up to 36 V and a short-circuit current of 11.8 μA, which can simultaneously light up 20 LEDs and charge capacitors. Moreover, the S-TENG holds linearity between output current and flow rate, revealing its feasibility as a self-powered wind speed sensor. This work demonstrates potential applications of S-TENG in wind energy harvester, self-powered gas sensor, high altitude air navigation.

  4. Progresses in studies of nuclear actin

    ZHU Xiaojuan; ZENG Xianlu; SONG Zhaoxia; HAO Shui

    2004-01-01

    Actin is a protein abundant in cells. Recently, it has been proved to be universally existent in the nuclei of many cell types. Actin and actin-binding proteins, as well as actin-related proteins, are necessary for the mediation of the conformation and function of nuclear actin, including the transformation of actin between unpolymerized and polymerized, chroinatin remodeling, regulation of gene expression and RNA processing as well as RNA transportation. In this paper, we summarized the progresses in the research of nu clear actin.

  5. Hippocampal Dendritic Spines Are Segregated Depending on Their Actin Polymerization.

    Domínguez-Iturza, Nuria; Calvo, María; Benoist, Marion; Esteban, José Antonio; Morales, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Dendritic spines are mushroom-shaped protrusions of the postsynaptic membrane. Spines receive the majority of glutamatergic synaptic inputs. Their morphology, dynamics, and density have been related to synaptic plasticity and learning. The main determinant of spine shape is filamentous actin. Using FRAP, we have reexamined the actin dynamics of individual spines from pyramidal hippocampal neurons, both in cultures and in hippocampal organotypic slices. Our results indicate that, in cultures, the actin mobile fraction is independently regulated at the individual spine level, and mobile fraction values do not correlate with either age or distance from the soma. The most significant factor regulating actin mobile fraction was the presence of astrocytes in the culture substrate. Spines from neurons growing in the virtual absence of astrocytes have a more stable actin cytoskeleton, while spines from neurons growing in close contact with astrocytes show a more dynamic cytoskeleton. According to their recovery time, spines were distributed into two populations with slower and faster recovery times, while spines from slice cultures were grouped into one population. Finally, employing fast lineal acquisition protocols, we confirmed the existence of loci with high polymerization rates within the spine. PMID:26881098

  6. The Actin Binding Protein Adseverin Regulates Osteoclastogenesis

    Hassanpour, Siavash; Jiang, Hongwei; Wang, Yongqiang; Kuiper, Johannes W. P.; Glogauer, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Adseverin (Ads), a member of the Gelsolin superfamily of actin binding proteins, regulates the actin cytoskeleton architecture by severing and capping existing filamentous actin (F-actin) strands and nucleating the assembly of new F-actin filaments. Ads has been implicated in cellular secretion, exocytosis and has also been shown to regulate chondrogenesis and megakaryoblastic leukemia cell differentiation. Here we report for the first time that Ads is involved in regulating osteoclastogenesi...

  7. Effect of nanoscale surface texture on the contact-pressure-dependent conduction characteristics of a carbon-nanotube thin-film tactile pressure sensor

    We report on a novel tactile pressure sensor structure that transfers the vertical pressure applied to the sample's surface to lateral strain in the carbon-nanotube thin film embedded in an elastomer by using a 'wavy' structured substrate contact surface. When pressure was applied to the poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) surface, it was transferred to a carbon-nanotube thin film (CNTF) underneath, where it stretched to conform to the wavy substrate surface. This resulted in an elongation, or lateral strain, in the CNTF layer, their reducing its conductance. The measurements showed that with an applied vertical pressure of 30 kPa, a 15% reduction in conductance was achieved with only a 500-nm deflection in the CNTF, and repeatedly applied pressures for 3,600 cycles (12 hours) resulted in only a 2% reduction in sensitivity, demonstrating the their film's high sensitivity and reliability. The mechanical stability and high sensitivity of the CNTF/PDMS hybrid with wavy substrate structures may make possible applications to future tactile pressure sensors.

  8. Effect of nanoscale surface texture on the contact-pressure-dependent conduction characteristics of a carbon-nanotube thin-film tactile pressure sensor

    Lim, Chaehyun; Lee, Kunhak; Choi, Eunsuk; Kim, Ahsung; Kim, Jinoh; Lee, Seungbeck [Hanyang University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2011-01-15

    We report on a novel tactile pressure sensor structure that transfers the vertical pressure applied to the sample's surface to lateral strain in the carbon-nanotube thin film embedded in an elastomer by using a 'wavy' structured substrate contact surface. When pressure was applied to the poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) surface, it was transferred to a carbon-nanotube thin film (CNTF) underneath, where it stretched to conform to the wavy substrate surface. This resulted in an elongation, or lateral strain, in the CNTF layer, their reducing its conductance. The measurements showed that with an applied vertical pressure of 30 kPa, a 15% reduction in conductance was achieved with only a 500-nm deflection in the CNTF, and repeatedly applied pressures for 3,600 cycles (12 hours) resulted in only a 2% reduction in sensitivity, demonstrating the their film's high sensitivity and reliability. The mechanical stability and high sensitivity of the CNTF/PDMS hybrid with wavy substrate structures may make possible applications to future tactile pressure sensors.

  9. Regulation of water flow by actin-binding protein-induced actin gelatin.

    Ito, T.; Suzuki, A.; Stossel, T. P.

    1992-01-01

    Actin filaments inhibit osmotically driven water flow (Ito, T., K.S. Zaner, and T.P. Stossel. 1987. Biophys. J. 51: 745-753). Here we show that the actin gelation protein, actin-binding protein (ABP), impedes both osmotic shrinkage and swelling of an actin filament solution and reduces markedly the concentration of actin filaments required for this inhibition. These effects depend on actin filament immobilization, because the ABP concentration that causes initial impairment of water flow by a...

  10. Boolean gates on actin filaments

    Siccardi, Stefano; Tuszynski, Jack A.; Adamatzky, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a globular protein which forms long polar filaments in the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. Actin networks play a key role in cell mechanics and cell motility. They have also been implicated in information transmission and processing, memory and learning in neuronal cells. The actin filaments have been shown to support propagation of voltage pulses. Here we apply a coupled nonlinear transmission line model of actin filaments to study interactions between voltage pulses. To represent digital information we assign a logical TRUTH value to the presence of a voltage pulse in a given location of the actin filament, and FALSE to the pulse's absence, so that information flows along the filament with pulse transmission. When two pulses, representing Boolean values of input variables, interact, then they can facilitate or inhibit further propagation of each other. We explore this phenomenon to construct Boolean logical gates and a one-bit half-adder with interacting voltage pulses. We discuss implications of these findings on cellular process and technological applications.

  11. Technical advance: identification of plant actin-binding proteins by F-actin affinity chromatography

    Hu, S.; Brady, S. R.; Kovar, D. R.; Staiger, C. J.; Clark, G. B.; Roux, S. J.; Muday, G. K.

    2000-01-01

    Proteins that interact with the actin cytoskeleton often modulate the dynamics or organization of the cytoskeleton or use the cytoskeleton to control their localization. In plants, very few actin-binding proteins have been identified and most are thought to modulate cytoskeleton function. To identify actin-binding proteins that are unique to plants, the development of new biochemical procedures will be critical. Affinity columns using actin monomers (globular actin, G-actin) or actin filaments (filamentous actin, F-actin) have been used to identify actin-binding proteins from a wide variety of organisms. Monomeric actin from zucchini (Cucurbita pepo L.) hypocotyl tissue was purified to electrophoretic homogeneity and shown to be native and competent for polymerization to actin filaments. G-actin, F-actin and bovine serum albumin affinity columns were prepared and used to separate samples enriched in either soluble or membrane-associated actin-binding proteins. Extracts of soluble actin-binding proteins yield distinct patterns when eluted from the G-actin and F-actin columns, respectively, leading to the identification of a putative F-actin-binding protein of approximately 40 kDa. When plasma membrane-associated proteins were applied to these columns, two abundant polypeptides eluted selectively from the F-actin column and cross-reacted with antiserum against pea annexins. Additionally, a protein that binds auxin transport inhibitors, the naphthylphthalamic acid binding protein, which has been previously suggested to associate with the actin cytoskeleton, was eluted in a single peak from the F-actin column. These experiments provide a new approach that may help to identify novel actin-binding proteins from plants.

  12. Contact dermatitis

    Dermatitis - contact; Allergic dermatitis; Dermatitis - allergic; Irritant contact dermatitis; Skin rash - contact dermatitis ... There are 2 types of contact dermatitis. Irritant dermatitis: This ... can be by contact with acids, alkaline materials such as soaps ...

  13. A pilot study of the nocturnal respiration rates in COPD patients in the home environment using a non-contact biomotion sensor

    Nocturnal respiration rate parameters were collected from 20 COPD subjects over an 8 week period, to determine if changes in respiration rate were associated with exacerbations of COPD. These subjects were primarily GOLD Class 2 to 4, and had been recently discharged from hospital following a recent exacerbation. The respiration rates were collected using a non-contact radio-frequency biomotion sensor which senses respiratory effort and body movement using a short-range radio-frequency sensor. An adaptive notch filter was applied to the measured signal to determine respiratory rate over rolling 15 s segments. The accuracy of the algorithm was initially verified using ten manually-scored 15 min segments of respiration extracted from overnight polysomnograms. The calculated respiration rates were within 1 breath min−1 for >98% of the estimates. For the 20 subjects monitored, 11 experienced one or more subsequent exacerbation of COPD (ECOPD) events during the 8 week monitoring period (19 events total). Analysis of the data revealed a significant increase in nocturnal respiration rate (e.g. >2 breath min−1) prior to many ECOPD events. Using a simple classifier of a change of 1 breath min−1 in the mode of the nocturnal respiration rate, a predictive rule showed a sensitivity of 63% and specificity of 85% for predicting an exacerbation within a 5 d window. We conclude that it is possible to collect respiration rates reliably in the home environment, and that the respiration rate may be a potential indicator of change in clinical status. (paper)

  14. Steady-state nuclear actin levels are determined by export competent actin pool.

    Skarp, Kari-Pekka; Huet, Guillaume; Vartiainen, Maria K

    2013-10-01

    A number of studies in the last decade have irrevocably promoted actin into a fully fledged member of the nuclear compartment, where it, among other crucial tasks, facilitates transcription and chromatin remodeling. Changes in nuclear actin levels have been linked to different cellular processes: decreased nuclear actin to quiescence and increased nuclear actin to differentiation. Importin 9 and exportin 6 transport factors are responsible for the continuous nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of actin, but the mechanisms, which result in modulated actin levels, have not been characterized. We find that in cells growing under normal growth conditions, the levels of nuclear actin vary considerably from cell to cell. To understand the basis for this, we have extensively quantified several cellular parameters while at the same time recording the import and export rates of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged actin. Surprisingly, our dataset shows that the ratio of nuclear to cytoplasmic fluorescence intensity, but not nuclear shape, size, cytoplasm size, or their ratio, correlates negatively with both import and export rate of actin. This suggests that high-nuclear actin content is maintained by both diminished import and export. The high nuclear actin containing cells still show high mobility of actin, but it is not export competent, suggesting increased binding of actin to nuclear complexes. Creation of such export incompetent actin pool would ensure enough actin is retained in the nucleus and make it available for the various nuclear functions described for actin. PMID:23749625

  15. Self-calibrated non-contact fibre-optic Fabry–Perot interferometric vibration displacement sensor system using laser emission frequency modulated phase generated carrier demodulation scheme

    In this paper, the principle of a self-calibrated non-contact fibre-optic Fabry–Perot interferometric vibration displacement sensor (FOFPIVDS) system is described and experimentally demonstrated. According to the principle, the Fabry–Perot cavity, constituted by placing the end face of a gradient-index lens in parallel with the measured vibration surface, is used to translate the vibration displacement of the measured vibration surface into phase shifts in the interference signal output from the FOFPIVDS, and the laser emission frequency modulated phase generated carrier (FMPGC) demodulation scheme based on the arctangent (Arctan) algorithm is adapted to demodulate the phase shifts. After eliminating the optical power modulation in the laser emission frequency modulation, the sensing model for the FOFPIVDS system using the FMPGC–Arctan demodulation scheme is established. On these bases, the FOFPIVDS is designed and fabricated, and the prototyping FOFPIVDS system is built and experimentally tested. The research results indicate that the fabricated FOFPIVDS system possesses the characteristics as follows: (1) the sensitivity is only determined by the laser wavelength and the vibration displacement measurement is self-calibrated, (2) the nonlinearity is 0.29% and (3) the resolution is less than 2.06 nm. (paper)

  16. Actinic Keratoses: A Comprehensive Update

    Ibrahim, Sherrif F.; Brown, Marc D.

    2009-01-01

    Actinic keratoses are common intra-epidermal neoplasms that lie on a continuum with squamous cell carcinoma. Tightly linked to ultraviolet irradiation, they occur in areas of chronic sun exposure, and early treatment of these lesions may prevent their progression to invasive disease. A large variety of effective treatment modalities exist, and the optimal therapeutic choice is dependent on a variety of patient- and physician-associated variables. Many established and more recent approaches ar...

  17. Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced actin glutathionylation controls actin dynamics in neutrophils

    Sakai, Jiro; Li, Jingyu; Subramanian, Kulandayan K.; Mondal, Subhanjan; Bajrami, Besnik; Hattori, Hidenori; Jia, Yonghui; Dickinson, Bryan C.; Zhong, Jia; Ye, Keqiang; Chang, Christopher J; Ho, Ye-Shih; Zhou, Jun; Luo, Hongbo R.

    2012-01-01

    Summary The regulation of actin dynamics is pivotal for cellular processes such as cell adhesion, migration, and phagocytosis, and thus is crucial for neutrophils to fulfill their roles in innate immunity. Many factors have been implicated in signal-induced actin polymerization, however the essential nature of the potential negative modulators are still poorly understood. Here we report that NADPH oxidase-dependent physiologically generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) negatively regulate actin polymerization in stimulated neutrophils via driving reversible actin glutathionylation. Disruption of glutaredoxin 1 (Grx1), an enzyme that catalyzes actin deglutathionylation, increased actin glutathionylation, attenuated actin polymerization, and consequently impaired neutrophil polarization, chemotaxis, adhesion, and phagocytosis. Consistently, Grx1-deficient murine neutrophils showed impaired in vivo recruitment to sites of inflammation and reduced bactericidal capability. Together, these results present a physiological role for glutaredoxin and ROS- induced reversible actin glutathionylation in regulation of actin dynamics in neutrophils. PMID:23159440

  18. Actin Remodeling and Polymerization Forces Control Dendritic Spine Morphology

    Miermans, Karsten; Storm, Cornelis; Hoogenraad, Casper

    2015-01-01

    Dendritic spines are small membranous structures that protrude from the neuronal dendrite. Each spine contains a synaptic contact site that may connect its parent dendrite to the axons of neighboring neurons. Dendritic spines are markedly distinct in shape and size, and certain types of stimulation prompt spines to evolve, in fairly predictable fashion, from thin nascent morphologies to the mushroom-like shapes associated with mature spines. This striking progression is coincident with the (re)configuration of the neuronal network during early development, learning and memory formation, and has been conjectured to be part of the machinery that encodes these processes at the scale of individual neuronal connections. It is well established that the structural plasticity of spines is strongly dependent upon the actin cytoskeleton inside the spine. A general framework that details the precise role of actin in directing the transitions between the various spine shapes is lacking. We address this issue, and present...

  19. Functional modular contact lens

    Shum, Angela J.; Cowan, Melissa; Lähdesmäki, Ilkka; Lingley, Andrew; Otis, Brian; Parviz, Babak A.

    2009-08-01

    Tear fluid offers a potential route for non-invasive sensing of physiological parameters. Utilization of this potential depends on the ability to manufacture sensors that can be placed on the surface of the eye. A contact lens makes a natural platform for such sensors, but contact lens polymers present a challenge for sensor fabrication. This paper describes a microfabrication process for constructing sensors that can be integrated into the structure of a functional contact lens in the future. To demonstrate the capabilities of the process, an amperometric glucose sensor was fabricated on a polymer substrate. The sensor consists of platinum working and counter electrodes, as well as a region of indium-tin oxide (ITO) for glucose oxidase immobilization. An external silver-silver chloride electrode was used as the reference electrode during the characterization experiments. Sensor operation was validated by hydrogen peroxide measurements in the 10- 20 μM range and glucose measurements in the 0.125-20 mM range.

  20. Cytosolic pressure provides a propulsive force comparable to actin polymerization during lamellipod protrusion

    Manoussaki, Daphne; Shin, William D.; Waterman, Clare M.; Chadwick, Richard S.

    2015-07-01

    Does cytosolic pressure facilitate f-actin polymerization to push the leading edge of a cell forward during self-propelled motion? AFM force-distance (f-d) curves obtained from lamellipodia of live cells often exhibit a signal from which the tension, bending modulus, elastic modulus and thickness in the membrane-cortex complex can be estimated close to the contact point. These measurements permit an estimate of the cytosolic pressure via the canonical Laplace force balance. The deeper portion of the f-d curve allows estimation of the bulk modulus of the cytoskeleton after removal of the bottom effect artifact. These estimates of tension, pressure, cortex thickness and elastic moduli imply that cytosolic pressure both pushes the membrane forward and compresses the actin cortex rearward to facilitate f-actin polymerization. We also estimate that cytosolic pressure fluctuations, most likely induced by myosin, provide a propulsive force comparable to that provided by f-actin polymerization in a lamellipod.

  1. Mesoscopic model of actin-based propulsion.

    Jie Zhu

    Full Text Available Two theoretical models dominate current understanding of actin-based propulsion: microscopic polymerization ratchet model predicts that growing and writhing actin filaments generate forces and movements, while macroscopic elastic propulsion model suggests that deformation and stress of growing actin gel are responsible for the propulsion. We examine both experimentally and computationally the 2D movement of ellipsoidal beads propelled by actin tails and show that neither of the two models can explain the observed bistability of the orientation of the beads. To explain the data, we develop a 2D hybrid mesoscopic model by reconciling these two models such that individual actin filaments undergoing nucleation, elongation, attachment, detachment and capping are embedded into the boundary of a node-spring viscoelastic network representing the macroscopic actin gel. Stochastic simulations of this 'in silico' actin network show that the combined effects of the macroscopic elastic deformation and microscopic ratchets can explain the observed bistable orientation of the actin-propelled ellipsoidal beads. To test the theory further, we analyze observed distribution of the curvatures of the trajectories and show that the hybrid model's predictions fit the data. Finally, we demonstrate that the model can explain both concave-up and concave-down force-velocity relations for growing actin networks depending on the characteristic time scale and network recoil. To summarize, we propose that both microscopic polymerization ratchets and macroscopic stresses of the deformable actin network are responsible for the force and movement generation.

  2. From pollen actin to crop male sterility

    2000-01-01

    Actin plays an important role in the life activity of animal and plant cells. Pollen cells have plenty of actin whose structure and characteristics are very similar to the animal actin. The nucleotide sequence and amino acid sequence of plant actin gene are very similar to those of the animal gene. The content of pollen actin from male sterile plants is much more lower than that from its maintainer plants. The expression of actin gene is organ-specific during the plant development. The expression quantity of actin gene in pollen is much more higher than those from root, stem and leaf. The expression plasmid of the anti-sense actin gene was constructed, transferred to the protoplasts of wheat and tomato to inhibit the expression of actin gene in pollen and thus the male sterile plants of wheat and tomato were obtained. The actin in pollens from the transgenic plants was reduced significantly, whereas the pistil was not affected. This study might pave a new way to breeding male sterile lines for the application of hybrid vigor of wheat and tomato.

  3. Mechanosensitive kinetic preference of actin-binding protein to actin filament

    Inoue, Yasuhiro; Adachi, Taiji

    2016-04-01

    The kinetic preference of actin-binding proteins to actin filaments is altered by external forces on the filament. Such an altered kinetic preference is largely responsible for remodeling the actin cytoskeletal structure in response to intracellular forces. During remodeling, actin-binding proteins and actin filaments interact under isothermal conditions, because the cells are homeostatic. In such a temperature homeostatic state, we can rigorously and thermodynamically link the chemical potential of actin-binding proteins to stresses on the actin filaments. From this relationship, we can construct a physical model that explains the force-dependent kinetic preference of actin-binding proteins to actin filaments. To confirm the model, we have analyzed the mechanosensitive alternation of the kinetic preference of Arp2/3 and cofilin to actin filaments. We show that this model captures the qualitative responses of these actin-binding proteins to the forces, as observed experimentally. Moreover, our theoretical results demonstrate that, depending on the structural parameters of the binding region, actin-binding proteins can show different kinetic responses even to the same mechanical signal tension, in which the double-helix nature of the actin filament also plays a critical role in a stretch-twist coupling of the filament.

  4. Actin gene family in Branchiostoma belched

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a highly conserved cytoskeletal protein that is found in essentially all eukaryotic cells,which plays a paramount role in several basic functions of the organism, such as the maintenance of cellshape, cell division, cell mobility and muscle contraction. However, little is known about actin gene family inChinese amphioxus (Branchiostoma belcheri). Here we systemically analyzed the actin genes family inBranchiostoma belched and found that amphioxus contains 33 actin genes. These genes have undergoneextensive expansion through tandem duplications by phylogenetic analysis. In addition, we also providedevidence indicating that actin genes have divergent functions by specializing their EST data in both Bran-chiostoma belched and Branchiostoma florida. Our results provided an alternative explanation for the evolu-tion of actin genes, and gave new insights into their functional roles.

  5. Rho, nuclear actin, and actin-binding proteins in the regulation of transcription and gene expression.

    Rajakylä, Eeva Kaisa; Vartiainen, Maria K

    2014-01-01

    Actin cytoskeleton is one of the main targets of Rho GTPases, which act as molecular switches on many signaling pathways. During the past decade, actin has emerged as an important regulator of gene expression. Nuclear actin plays a key role in transcription, chromatin remodeling, and pre-mRNA processing. In addition, the "status" of the actin cytoskeleton is used as a signaling intermediate by at least the MKL1-SRF and Hippo-pathways, which culminate in the transcriptional regulation of cytoskeletal and growth-promoting genes, respectively. Rho GTPases may therefore regulate gene expression by controlling either cytoplasmic or nuclear actin dynamics. Although the regulation of nuclear actin polymerization is still poorly understood, many actin-binding proteins, which are downstream effectors of Rho, are found in the nuclear compartment. In this review, we discuss the possible mechanisms and key proteins that may mediate the transcriptional regulation by Rho GTPases through actin. PMID:24603113

  6. Packaging of actin into Ebola virus VLPs

    Harty Ronald N

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The actin cytoskeleton has been implicated in playing an important role assembly and budding of several RNA virus families including retroviruses and paramyxoviruses. In this report, we sought to determine whether actin is incorporated into Ebola VLPs, and thus may play a role in assembly and/or budding of Ebola virus. Our results indicated that actin and Ebola virus VP40 strongly co-localized in transfected cells as determined by confocal microscopy. In addition, actin was packaged into budding VP40 VLPs as determined by a functional budding assay and protease protection assay. Co-expression of a membrane-anchored form of Ebola virus GP enhanced the release of both VP40 and actin in VLPs. Lastly, disruption of the actin cytoskeleton with latrunculin-A suggests that actin may play a functional role in budding of VP40/GP VLPs. These data suggest that VP40 may interact with cellular actin, and that actin may play a role in assembly and/or budding of Ebola VLPs.

  7. Architecture and Connectivity Govern Actin Network Contractility.

    Ennomani, Hajer; Letort, Gaëlle; Guérin, Christophe; Martiel, Jean-Louis; Cao, Wenxiang; Nédélec, François; De La Cruz, Enrique M; Théry, Manuel; Blanchoin, Laurent

    2016-03-01

    Actomyosin contractility plays a central role in a wide range of cellular processes, including the establishment of cell polarity, cell migration, tissue integrity, and morphogenesis during development. The contractile response is variable and depends on actomyosin network architecture and biochemical composition. To determine how this coupling regulates actomyosin-driven contraction, we used a micropatterning method that enables the spatial control of actin assembly. We generated a variety of actin templates and measured how defined actin structures respond to myosin-induced forces. We found that the same actin filament crosslinkers either enhance or inhibit the contractility of a network, depending on the organization of actin within the network. Numerical simulations unified the roles of actin filament branching and crosslinking during actomyosin contraction. Specifically, we introduce the concept of "network connectivity" and show that the contractions of distinct actin architectures are described by the same master curve when considering their degree of connectivity. This makes it possible to predict the dynamic response of defined actin structures to transient changes in connectivity. We propose that, depending on the connectivity and the architecture, network contraction is dominated by either sarcomeric-like or buckling mechanisms. More generally, this study reveals how actin network contractility depends on its architecture under a defined set of biochemical conditions. PMID:26898468

  8. Effects of F/G-actin ratio and actin turn-over rate on NADPH oxidase activity in microglia

    Rasmussen, Izabela; Pedersen, Line Hjortshøj; Byg, Luise;

    2010-01-01

    Most in vivo studies that have addressed the role of actin dynamics in NADPH oxidase function in phagocytes have used toxins to modulate the polymerization state of actin and mostly effects on actin has been evaluated by end point measurements of filamentous actin, which says little about actin d...

  9. Effects of F/G-actin ratio and actin turn-over rate on NADPH oxidase activity in microglia

    Rasmussen Izabela

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most in vivo studies that have addressed the role of actin dynamics in NADPH oxidase function in phagocytes have used toxins to modulate the polymerization state of actin and mostly effects on actin has been evaluated by end point measurements of filamentous actin, which says little about actin dynamics, and without consideration for the subcellular distribution of the perturbed actin cytoskeleton. Results Here, we in addition to toxins use conditional expression of the major actin regulatory protein LIM kinase-1 (LIMK1, and shRNA knock-down of cofilin to modulate the cellular F/G-actin ratio in the Ra2 microglia cell line, and we use Fluorescence Recovery after Photobleaching (FRAP in β-actin-YFP-transduced cells to obtain a dynamic measure of actin recovery rates (actin turn-over rates in different F/G-actin states of the actin cytoskeleton. Our data demonstrate that stimulated NADPH oxidase function was severely impaired only at extreme actin recovery rates and F/G-actin ratios, and surprisingly, that any moderate changes of these parameters of the actin cytoskeleton invariably resulted in an increased NADPH oxidase activity. Conclusion moderate actin polymerization and depolymerization both increase the FMLP and PMA-stimulated NADPH oxidase activity of microglia, which is directly correlated with neither actin recovery rate nor F/G- actin ratio. Our results indicate that NADPH oxidase functions in an enhanced state of activity in stimulated phagocytes despite widely different states of the actin cytoskeleton.

  10. Dynamics of active actin networks

    Koehler, Simone

    2014-03-01

    Local mechanical and structural properties of a eukaryotic cell are determined by its cytoskeleton. To adapt to their environment, cells rely on constant self-organized rearrangement processes of their actin cytoskeleton. To shed light on the principles underlying these dynamic self-organization processes we investigate a minimal reconstituted active system consisting of actin filaments, crosslinking molecules and molecular motor filaments. Using quantitative fluorescence microscopy and image analysis, we show, that these minimal model systems exhibit a generic structure formation mechanism. The competition between force generation by molecular motors and the stabilization of the network by crosslinking proteins results in a highly dynamic reorganization process which is characterized by anomalous transport dynamics with a superdiffusive behavior also found in intracellular dynamics. In vitro, these dynamics are governed by chemical and physical parameters that alter the balance of motor and crosslinking proteins, such as pH. These findings can be expected to have broad implications in our understanding of cytoskeletal regulation in vivo.

  11. Force of an actin spring

    Shin, Jennifer; Mahadevan, L.; Matsudaira, Paul

    2003-03-01

    The acrosomal process of the horseshoe crab sperm is a novel mechanochemical molecular spring that converts its elastic stain energy to mechanical work upon the chemical activation by Ca2+. Twisted and bent, the initial state of the acrosomal bundle features a high degree of complexity in its structure and the energy is believed to be stored in the highly strained actin filaments as an elastic potential energy. When activated, the bundle relaxes from the coil of the highly twisted and bent filaments to its straight conformation at a mean velocity of 15um/s. The mean extension velocity increases dramatically from 3um/s to 27um/s when temperature of the medium is changed from 9.6C to 32C (respective viscosities of 1.25-0.75cp), yet it exhibits a very weak dependence on changes in the medium viscosity (1cp-33cp). These experiments suggest that the uncoiling of the actin spring should be limited not by the viscosity of the medium but by the unlatching events of involved proteins at a molecular level. Unlike the viscosity-limited processes, where force is directly related to the rate of the reaction, a direct measurement is required to obtain the spring force of the acrosomal process. The extending acrosomal bundle is forced to push against a barrier and its elastic buckling response is analyzed to measure the force generated during the uncoiling.

  12. A radioimmunoassay for determination of anti-actin antibodies

    The reaction of spontaneously occurring human anti-actin antibodies and experimentally produced rabbit anti-actin antibodies was investigated in a solid-phase radioimmunoassay (RIA). Three structurally different in vitro forms of actin, monomeric G-actin, filamentous F-actin and aggregated denatured actin were used as antigens. Human anti-actin antibodies reacted with F- and G-actin but not with aggregated actin, while rabbit anti-actin antibodies gave a strong reaction with all 3 forms of actin indicating differences in antibody specificities. The results of the anti-actin RIA were compared with those obtained by indirect immunofluorescence (IFL) on cryostat sections of rat stomach. The anti-actin RIA discriminated between patients' sera and control sera in most cases, although the indirect IFL test gave more conclusive results. The seemingly low sensitivity of the anti-actin RIA compared with that of indirect IFL test for detection of human anti-actin antibodies is probably due to favourable antigen distribution in tissue, not available in the solid phase. The anti-actin RIA was able to detect anti-actin antibodies in 8 out of 8 immunized rabbits although only two produced antibodies detectable by indirect IFL. The differences in reactivity between the two methods may depend on the presence of aggregated denatured actin in the antigen preparation used for immunization and exposure of the corresponding antigenic determinants of actin on the solid phase. (Auth.)

  13. The structural basis for the intrinsic disorder of the actin filament: the "lateral slipping" model

    1991-01-01

    Three-dimensional (3-D) helical reconstructions computed from electron micrographs of negatively stained dispersed F-actin filaments invariably revealed two uninterrupted columns of mass forming the "backbone" of the double-helical filament. The contact between neighboring subunits along the thus defined two long-pitch helical strands was spatially conserved and of high mass density, while the intersubunit contact between them was of lower mass density and varied among reconstructions. In con...

  14. The structural basis for the intrinsic disorder of the actin filament: the "lateral slipping" model.

    Bremer, A; Millonig, R C; Sütterlin, R; Engel, A; Pollard, T D; Aebi, U

    1991-11-01

    Three-dimensional (3-D) helical reconstructions computed from electron micrographs of negatively stained dispersed F-actin filaments invariably revealed two uninterrupted columns of mass forming the "backbone" of the double-helical filament. The contact between neighboring subunits along the thus defined two long-pitch helical strands was spatially conserved and of high mass density, while the intersubunit contact between them was of lower mass density and varied among reconstructions. In contrast, phalloidinstabilized F-actin filaments displayed higher and spatially more conserved mass density between the two long-pitch helical strands, suggesting that this bicyclic hepta-peptide toxin strengthens the intersubunit contact between the two strands. Consistent with this distinct intersubunit bonding pattern, the two long-pitch helical strands of unstabilized filaments were sometimes observed separated from each other over a distance of two to six subunits, suggesting that the intrastrand intersubunit contact is also physically stronger than the interstrand contact. The resolution of the filament reconstructions, extending to 2.5 nm axially and radially, enabled us to reproducibly "cut out" the F-actin subunit which measured 5.5 nm axially by 6.0 nm tangentially by 3.2 nm radially. The subunit is distinctly polar with a massive "base" pointing towards the "barbed" end of the filament, and a slender "tip" defining its "pointed" end (i.e., relative to the "arrowhead" pattern revealed after stoichiometric decoration of the filaments with myosin subfragment 1). Concavities running approximately parallel to the filament axis both on the inner and outer face of the subunit define a distinct cleft separating the subunit into two domains of similar size: an inner domain confined to radii less than or equal to 2.5-nm forms the uninterrupted backbone of the two long-pitch helical strands, and an outer domain placed at radii of 2-5-nm protrudes radially and thus predominantly

  15. Fiber optic geophysical sensors

    Homuth, Emil F.

    1991-01-01

    A fiber optic geophysical sensor in which laser light is passed through a sensor interferometer in contact with a geophysical event, and a reference interferometer not in contact with the geophysical event but in the same general environment as the sensor interferometer. In one embodiment, a single tunable laser provides the laser light. In another embodiment, separate tunable lasers are used for the sensor and reference interferometers. The invention can find such uses as monitoring for earthquakes, and the weighing of objects.

  16. Electron tomography of cryofixed, isometrically contracting insect flight muscle reveals novel actin-myosin interactions.

    Shenping Wu

    Full Text Available Isometric muscle contraction, where force is generated without muscle shortening, is a molecular traffic jam in which the number of actin-attached motors is maximized and all states of motor action are trapped with consequently high heterogeneity. This heterogeneity is a major limitation to deciphering myosin conformational changes in situ.We used multivariate data analysis to group repeat segments in electron tomograms of isometrically contracting insect flight muscle, mechanically monitored, rapidly frozen, freeze substituted, and thin sectioned. Improved resolution reveals the helical arrangement of F-actin subunits in the thin filament enabling an atomic model to be built into the thin filament density independent of the myosin. Actin-myosin attachments can now be assigned as weak or strong by their motor domain orientation relative to actin. Myosin attachments were quantified everywhere along the thin filament including troponin. Strong binding myosin attachments are found on only four F-actin subunits, the "target zone", situated exactly midway between successive troponin complexes. They show an axial lever arm range of 77°/12.9 nm. The lever arm azimuthal range of strong binding attachments has a highly skewed, 127° range compared with X-ray crystallographic structures. Two types of weak actin attachments are described. One type, found exclusively in the target zone, appears to represent pre-working-stroke intermediates. The other, which contacts tropomyosin rather than actin, is positioned M-ward of the target zone, i.e. the position toward which thin filaments slide during shortening.We present a model for the weak to strong transition in the myosin ATPase cycle that incorporates azimuthal movements of the motor domain on actin. Stress/strain in the S2 domain may explain azimuthal lever arm changes in the strong binding attachments. The results support previous conclusions that the weak attachments preceding force generation are very

  17. Dynamics of an actin spring

    Riera, Christophe; Mahadevan, L.; Shin, Jennifer; Matsudaira, Paul

    2003-03-01

    The acrosome of the sperm of the horseshoe crab (Limulus Polyphemus) is an unusual actin based system that shows a spectacular dynamical transition in the presence of Ca++ that is present in abundance in the neighborhood of the egg. During this process, the bundle, which is initially bent and twisted uncoils and becomes straight in a matter of a few seconds. Based on microstructural data, we propose a model for the dynamics of uncoiling that is best represented by a triple-well potential corresponding to the different structural arrangements of the supertwisted filaments. Each of the false, true and coiled states corresponds to a local minimum of the energy, with the true state being the one with the lowest energy. Using an evolution equation derived by balancing torques, we investigate the nucleation and propagation of the phase transition and compare the results with those of experiments. Our model quantifies the hypothesis that the acrosomal bundle behaves like a mechano-chemical spring.

  18. Effects of F/G-actin ratio and actin turn-over rate on NADPH oxidase activity in microglia

    Rasmussen Izabela; Pedersen Line H; Byg Luise; Suzuki Kazuhiro; Sumimoto Hideki; Vilhardt Frederik

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background Most in vivo studies that have addressed the role of actin dynamics in NADPH oxidase function in phagocytes have used toxins to modulate the polymerization state of actin and mostly effects on actin has been evaluated by end point measurements of filamentous actin, which says little about actin dynamics, and without consideration for the subcellular distribution of the perturbed actin cytoskeleton. Results Here, we in addition to toxins use conditional expression of the ma...

  19. Erbium laser resurfacing for actinic cheilitis.

    Cohen, Joel L

    2013-11-01

    Actinic cheilitis is a precancerous condition characterized by grayish-whitish area(s) of discoloration on the mucosal lip, often blunting the demarcation between mucosa and cutaneous lip. Actinic cheilitis is considered to be an early part of the spectrum of squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma specifically of the lip has a high rate of recurrence and metastasis through the oral cavity leading to a poor overall survival. Risk factors for the development of actinic cheilitis include chronic solar irradiation, increasing age, male gender, light skin complexion, immunosuppression, and possibly tobacco and alcohol consumption. Treatment options include topical pharmacotherapy (eg, fluorouracil, imiquimod) or procedural interventions (eg, cryotherapy, electrosurgery, surgical vermillionectomy, laser resurfacing), each with their known advantages and disadvantages. There is little consensus as to which treatment options offer the most clinical utility given the paucity of comparative clinical data. In my practice, laser resurfacing has become an important tool for the treatment of actinic cheilitis owing to its ease of use and overall safety, tolerability, and cosmetic acceptability. Herein the use of erbium laser resurfacing is described for three actinic cheilitis presentations for which I find it particularly useful: clinically prominent actinic cheilitis, biopsy-proven actinic cheilitis, and treatment of the entire lip following complete tumor excision of squamous cell carcinoma. All patients were treated with a 2940-nm erbium laser (Sciton Profile Contour Tunable Resurfacing Laser [TRL], Sciton, Inc., Palo Alto, CA). PMID:24196339

  20. Actinic Granuloma with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis

    Ruedee Phasukthaworn

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Actinic granuloma is an uncommon granulomatous disease, characterized by annular erythematous plaque with central clearing predominately located on sun-damaged skin. The pathogenesis is not well understood, ultraviolet radiation is recognized as precipitating factor. We report a case of a 52-year-old woman who presented with asymptomatic annular erythematous plaques on the forehead and both cheeks persisting for 2 years. The clinical presentation and histopathologic findings support the diagnosis of actinic granuloma. During that period of time, she also developed focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. The association between actinic granuloma and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis needs to be clarified by further studies.

  1. Live cell tracking of symmetry break in actin cytoskeleton triggered by abrupt changes in micromechanical environments.

    Inoue, S; Frank, V; Hörning, M; Kaufmann, S; Yoshikawa, H Y; Madsen, J P; Lewis, A L; Armes, S P; Tanaka, M

    2015-12-01

    With the aid of stimulus-responsive hydrogel substrates composed of ABA triblock copolymer micelles, we monitored the morphological dynamics of myoblast (C2C12) cells in response to an abrupt change in the substrate elasticity by live cell imaging. The remodeling of actin cytoskeletons could be monitored by means of transient transfection with LifeAct-GFP. Dynamic changes in the orientational order of actin filaments were characterized by an order parameter, which enables one to generalize the mechanically induced actin cytoskeletons as a break of symmetry. The critical role that acto-myosin complexes play in the morphological transition was verified by the treatment of cells with myosin II inhibitor (blebbistatin) and the fluorescence localization of focal adhesion contacts. Such dynamically tunable hydrogels can be utilized as in vitro cellular micro-environments that can exert time-dependent stimuli to mechanically regulate target cells. PMID:26347909

  2. Reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced actin glutathionylation controls actin dynamics in neutrophils

    Sakai, Jiro; Li, Jingyu; Subramanian, Kulandayan K.; Mondal, Subhanjan; Bajrami, Besnik; Hattori, Hidenori; Jia, Yonghui; Dickinson, Bryan C; Zhong, Jia; Ye, Keqiang; Chang, Christopher J.; Ho, Ye-Shih; Zhou, Jun; Luo, Hongbo R.

    2012-01-01

    The regulation of actin dynamics is pivotal for cellular processes such as cell adhesion, migration, and phagocytosis, and thus is crucial for neutrophils to fulfill their roles in innate immunity. Many factors have been implicated in signal-induced actin polymerization, however the essential nature of the potential negative modulators are still poorly understood. Here we report that NADPH oxidase-dependent physiologically generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) negatively regulate actin poly...

  3. Nuclear actin levels as an important transcriptional switch

    Huet, Guillaume; Skarp, Kari-Pekka; Vartiainen, Maria K.

    2012-01-01

    Nuclear actin levels have recently been linked to different cellular fates, suggesting that actin could act as a switch between altered transcriptional states. Here we discuss our latest results on the mechanisms by which nuclear actin levels are regulated and their implications to the functional significance of nuclear actin.

  4. Nuclear actin levels as an important transcriptional switch

    Huet, Guillaume; Skarp, Kari-Pekka; Vartiainen, Maria K.

    2012-01-01

    Nuclear actin levels have recently been linked to different cellular fates, suggesting that actin could act as a switch between altered transcriptional states. Here we discuss our latest results on the mechanisms by which nuclear actin levels are regulated and their implications to the functional significance of nuclear actin. PMID:22771994

  5. Actin expression in trypanosomatids (Euglenozoa: Kinetoplastea).

    Souza, Ligia Cristina Kalb; Pinho, Rosana Elisa Gonçalves Gonçalves; Lima, Carla Vanessa de Paula; Fragoso, Stênio Perdigão; Soares, Maurilio José

    2013-08-01

    Heteroxenic and monoxenic trypanosomatids were screened for the presence of actin using a mouse polyclonal antibody produced against the entire sequence of the Trypanosoma cruzi actin gene, encoding a 41.9 kDa protein. Western blot analysis showed that this antibody reacted with a polypeptide of approximately 42 kDa in the whole-cell lysates of parasites targeting mammals (T. cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania major), insects (Angomonas deanei, Crithidia fasciculata, Herpetomonas samuelpessoai and Strigomonas culicis) and plants (Phytomonas serpens). A single polypeptide of approximately 42 kDa was detected in the whole-cell lysates of T. cruzi cultured epimastigotes, metacyclic trypomastigotes and amastigotes at similar protein expression levels. Confocal microscopy showed that actin was expressed throughout the cytoplasm of all the tested trypanosomatids. These data demonstrate that actin expression is widespread in trypanosomatids. PMID:23903980

  6. Actin expression in trypanosomatids (Euglenozoa: Kinetoplastea

    Ligia Cristina Kalb Souza

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Heteroxenic and monoxenic trypanosomatids were screened for the presence of actin using a mouse polyclonal antibody produced against the entire sequence of the Trypanosoma cruzi actin gene, encoding a 41.9 kDa protein. Western blot analysis showed that this antibody reacted with a polypeptide of approximately 42 kDa in the whole-cell lysates of parasites targeting mammals (T. cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania major, insects (Angomonas deanei, Crithidia fasciculata, Herpetomonas samuelpessoai and Strigomonas culicis and plants (Phytomonas serpens. A single polypeptide of approximately 42 kDa was detected in the whole-cell lysates of T. cruzi cultured epimastigotes, metacyclic trypomastigotes and amastigotes at similar protein expression levels. Confocal microscopy showed that actin was expressed throughout the cytoplasm of all the tested trypanosomatids. These data demonstrate that actin expression is widespread in trypanosomatids.

  7. Chronic actinic damage of facial skin.

    Bilaç, Cemal; Şahin, Mustafa Turhan; Öztürkcan, Serap

    2014-01-01

    Chronic actinic damage of the skin manifests itself as extrinsic skin aging (photoaging) and photocarcinogenesis. During the last decade, substantial progress has been made in understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms of photoaging. DNA photodamage and ultraviolet-generated reactive oxygen species are the initial events that lead to most of the typical histologic and clinical manifestations of chronic photodamage of the skin. Chronic actinic damage affects all layers of the skin. Keratinocytes, melanocytes, fibroblasts, and endothelial cells are altered by ultraviolet radiation and can result in numerous changes in human skin, particularly the skin of fair-skinned individuals. These changes include actinic keratosis, thickening and wrinkling, elastosis, telengiectasia, solar comedones, diffuse or mottled hyperpigmentation, and skin cancers. There are many options in the treatment of changes caused by chronic actinic damage. The most effective measure of prevention of the photoaging and photocarcinogenesis is sun protection. PMID:25441468

  8. Telocyte's contacts.

    Faussone-Pellegrini, Maria-Simonetta; Gherghiceanu, Mihaela

    2016-07-01

    Telocytes (TC) are an interstitial cell type located in the connective tissue of many organs of humans and laboratory mammals. By means of homocellular contacts, TC build a scaffold whose meshes integrity and continuity are guaranteed by those contacts having a mechanical function; those contacts acting as sites of intercellular communication allow exchanging information and spreading signals. Heterocellular contacts between TC and a great variety of cell types give origin to mixed networks. TC, by means of all these types of contacts, their interaction with the extracellular matrix and their vicinity to nerve endings, are part of an integrated system playing tissue/organ-specific roles. PMID:26826524

  9. Actinic review of EUV masks

    Feldmann, Heiko; Ruoff, Johannes; Harnisch, Wolfgang; Kaiser, Winfried

    2010-04-01

    Management of mask defects is a major challenge for the introduction of EUV for HVM production. Once a defect has been detected, its printing impact needs to be predicted. Potentially the defect requires some repair, the success of which needs to be proven. This defect review has to be done with an actinic inspection system that matches the imaging conditions of an EUV scanner. During recent years, several concepts for such an aerial image metrology system (AIMS™) have been proposed. However, until now no commercial solution exists for EUV. Today, advances in EUV optics technology allow envisioning a solution that has been discarded before as unrealistic. We present this concept and its technical cornerstones.While the power requirement for the EUV source is less demanding than for HVM lithography tools, radiance, floor space, and stability are the main criteria for source selection. The requirement to emulate several generations of EUV scanners demands a large flexibility for the ilumination and imaging systems. New critical specifications to the EUV mirrors in the projection microscope can be satisfied using our expertise from lithographic mirrors. In summary, an EUV AIMS™ meeting production requirements seems to be feasible.

  10. Stimulation of Actin Polymerization by Filament Severing

    Carlsson, A E

    2005-01-01

    The extent and dynamics of actin polymerization in solution are calculated as functions of the filament severing rate, using a simple model of in vitro polymerization. The model is solved by both analytic theory and stochastic-growth simulation. The results show that severing essentially always enhances actin polymerization by freeing up barbed ends, if barbed-end cappers are present. Severing has much weaker effects if only pointed-end cappers are present. In the early stages of polymerizati...

  11. Flaw Inspection of Aluminum Pipes by Non-Contact Visualization of Circumferential Guided Waves using Laser Ultrasound Generation and an Air-Coupled Sensor

    Our group had previously proposed a generation laser scanning system for visualizing ultrasound propagation on an object as an animate image, which provided visible and quick flaw inspection. Recently, we improved this system to make it completely non-contact by employing an air-coupled ultrasound transducer as a receiver instead of a contact transducer, and demonstrated the successful visualization of Lamb waves propagating on aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced plastic plates, as well as the detection of flaws. In this research, we applied this system to the non-contact visualization of circumferential guided waves on aluminum pipes. It was shown that circumferential guided waves propagating in opposite directions could be visualized separately, and that a flaw such as a slit or thinning on the inside surface of the pipe could be successfully detected even when it existed outside the scanning area

  12. Sensor for automatic welding; Sensor ga yosetsu jidoka wo kirihiraku

    Sugitani, Y. [NKK Corp., Tokyo (Japan)

    1998-05-01

    This paper explains sensors in welding automating systems, and introduces examples of sensor technologies. Roles of sensors in the automating systems include stabilization of welding phenomena, in-process control of welding processes, remote surveillance for quality assurance, complementing of robot teaching operation, and remote surveillance for operating conditions to control production. Types of sensors that are used most frequently are arc sensors, electrode contact sensors, and probe contact sensors, followed by photo-sensors and electromagnetic sensors. The arc sensor uses welding arc itself as a sensor, being incorporated in most of arc welding robots. A laser sensor irradiates laser light onto an object, and detects reflected light by using a light receiving element to recognize position and shape of the object. For vision sensors, a technology is advancing, which utilizes a CCD camera to detect root gap, molten pond shapes, electrode tip shapes, and arc shapes. 5 refs., 13 figs.

  13. Sarcomeric pattern formation by actin cluster coalescence.

    Benjamin M Friedrich

    Full Text Available Contractile function of striated muscle cells depends crucially on the almost crystalline order of actin and myosin filaments in myofibrils, but the physical mechanisms that lead to myofibril assembly remains ill-defined. Passive diffusive sorting of actin filaments into sarcomeric order is kinetically impossible, suggesting a pivotal role of active processes in sarcomeric pattern formation. Using a one-dimensional computational model of an initially unstriated actin bundle, we show that actin filament treadmilling in the presence of processive plus-end crosslinking provides a simple and robust mechanism for the polarity sorting of actin filaments as well as for the correct localization of myosin filaments. We propose that the coalescence of crosslinked actin clusters could be key for sarcomeric pattern formation. In our simulations, sarcomere spacing is set by filament length prompting tight length control already at early stages of pattern formation. The proposed mechanism could be generic and apply both to premyofibrils and nascent myofibrils in developing muscle cells as well as possibly to striated stress-fibers in non-muscle cells.

  14. Actin marker lines in grapevine reveal a gatekeeper function of guard cells.

    Guan, Xin; Buchholz, Günther; Nick, Peter

    2014-08-15

    Resistance to abiotic and biotic stress is a central topic for sustainable agriculture, especially in grapevine, one of the field crops with the highest economic output per acreage. As early cellular factors for plant defense, actin microfilaments (AF) are of high relevance. We therefore generated a transgenic actin marker line for grapevine by expressing a fusion protein between green fluorescent protein and the second actin-binding domain of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) fimbrin, AtFIM1. Based on this first cytoskeletal-marker line in grapevine, the response of AFs to phytopathogenic microorganisms could be followed in vivo. Upon inoculation with fluorescently labeled strains of phytopathogenic bacteria, actin responses were confined to the guard cells. In contrast, upon contact with zoospores of Plasmopara viticola, not only the guard cells, but also epidermal pavement cells, where no zoospores had attached responded with the formation of a perinuclear actin basket. Our data support the hypothesis that guard cells act as pacemakers of defense, dominating the responses of the remaining epidermal cells. PMID:24973589

  15. Spontaneous polarization in an interfacial growth model for actin filament networks with a rigorous mechanochemical coupling.

    John, Karin; Caillerie, Denis; Misbah, Chaouqi

    2014-11-01

    Many processes in eukaryotic cells, including cell motility, rely on the growth of branched actin networks from surfaces. Despite its central role the mechanochemical coupling mechanisms that guide the growth process are poorly understood, and a general continuum description combining growth and mechanics is lacking. We develop a theory that bridges the gap between mesoscale and continuum limit and propose a general framework providing the evolution law of actin networks growing under stress. This formulation opens an area for the systematic study of actin dynamics in arbitrary geometries. Our framework predicts a morphological instability of actin growth on a rigid sphere, leading to a spontaneous polarization of the network with a mode selection corresponding to a comet, as reported experimentally. We show that the mechanics of the contact between the network and the surface plays a crucial role, in that it determines directly the existence of the instability. We extract scaling laws relating growth dynamics and network properties offering basic perspectives for new experiments on growing actin networks. PMID:25493815

  16. Cofilin-induced cooperative conformational changes of actin subunits revealed using cofilin-actin fusion protein

    Umeki, Nobuhisa; Hirose, Keiko; Uyeda, Taro Q. P.

    2016-01-01

    To investigate cooperative conformational changes of actin filaments induced by cofilin binding, we engineered a fusion protein made of Dictyostelium cofilin and actin. The filaments of the fusion protein were functionally similar to actin filaments bound with cofilin in that they did not bind rhodamine-phalloidin, had quenched fluorescence of pyrene attached to Cys374 and showed enhanced susceptibility of the DNase loop to cleavage by subtilisin. Quantitative analyses of copolymers made of different ratios of the fusion protein and control actin further demonstrated that the fusion protein affects the structure of multiple neighboring actin subunits in copolymers. Based on these and other recent related studies, we propose a mechanism by which conformational changes induced by cofilin binding is propagated unidirectionally to the pointed ends of the filaments, and cofilin clusters grow unidirectionally to the pointed ends following this path. Interestingly, the fusion protein was unable to copolymerize with control actin at pH 6.5 and low ionic strength, suggesting that the structural difference between the actin moiety in the fusion protein and control actin is pH-sensitive. PMID:26842224

  17. Characterization of CdTe Sensors with Schottky Contacts Coupled to Charge-Integrating Pixel Array Detectors for X-Ray Science

    Becker, Julian; Shanks, Katherine S; Philipp, Hugh T; Weiss, Joel T; Purohit, Prafull; Chamberlain, Darol; Ruff, Jacob P C; Gruner, Sol M

    2016-01-01

    Pixel Array Detectors (PADs) consist of an x-ray sensor layer bonded pixel-by-pixel to an underlying readout chip. This approach allows both the sensor and the custom pixel electronics to be tailored independently to best match the x-ray imaging requirements. Here we present characterizations of CdTe sensors hybridized with two different charge-integrating readout chips, the Keck PAD and the Mixed-Mode PAD (MM-PAD), both developed previously in our laboratory. The charge-integrating architecture of each of these PADs extends the instantaneous counting rate by many orders of magnitude beyond that obtainable with photon counting architectures. The Keck PAD chip consists of rapid, 8-frame, in-pixel storage elements with framing periods $<$150 ns. The second detector, the MM-PAD, has an extended dynamic range by utilizing an in-pixel overflow counter coupled with charge removal circuitry activated at each overflow. This allows the recording of signals from the single-photon level to tens of millions of x-rays/...

  18. Chronic actinic dermatitis - A study of clinical features

    Somani Vijay

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Chronic actinic dermatitis (CAD, one of the immune mediated photo-dermatoses, comprises a spectrum of conditions including persistent light reactivity, photosensitive eczema and actinic reticuloid. Diagnostic criteria were laid down about 20 years back, but clinical features are the mainstay in diagnosis. In addition to extreme sensitivity to UVB, UVA and/or visible light, about three quarters of patients exhibit contact sensitivity to several allergens, which may contribute to the etiopathogenesis of CAD. This study was undertaken to examine the clinical features of CAD in India and to evaluate the relevance of patch testing and photo-aggravation testing in the diagnosis of CAD. Methods: The clinical data of nine patients with CAD were analyzed. Histopathology, patch testing and photo-aggravation testing were also performed. Results: All the patients were males. The average age of onset was 57 years. The first episode was usually noticed in the beginning of summer. Later the disease gradually tended to be perennial, without any seasonal variations. The areas affected were mainly the photo-exposed areas in all patients, and the back in three patients. Erythroderma was the presenting feature in two patients. The palms and soles were involved in five patients. Patch testing was positive in seven of nine patients. Conclusions: The diagnosis of CAD mainly depended upon the history and clinical features. The incidence of erythroderma and palmoplantar eczema was high in our series. Occupation seems to play a role in the etiopathogenesis of CAD.

  19. Chronologic and actinically induced aging in human facial skin

    Clinical and histologic stigmata of aging are much more prominent in habitually sun-exposed skin than in sun-protected skin, but other possible manifestations of actinically induced aging are almost unexplored. We have examined the interrelation of chronologic and actinic aging using paired preauricular (sun-exposed) and postauricular (sun-protected) skin specimens. Keratinocyte cultures derived from sun-exposed skin consistently had a shorter in vitro lifespan but increased plating efficiency compared with cultures derived from adjacent sun-protected skin of the same individual, confirming a previous study of different paired body sites. Electron microscopic histologic sections revealed focal abnormalities of keratinocyte proliferation and alignment in vitro especially in those cultures derived from sun-exposed skin and decreased intercellular contact in stratified colonies at late passage, regardless of donor site. One-micron histologic sections of the original biopsy specimens revealed no striking site-related keratinocyte alterations, but sun-exposed specimens had fewer epidermal Langerhans cells (p less than 0.001), averaging approximately 50 percent the number in sun-protected skin, a possible exaggeration of the previously reported age-associated decrease in this cell population. These data suggest that sun exposure indeed accelerates aging by several criteria and that, regardless of mechanism, environmental factors may adversely affect the appearance and function of aging skin in ways amenable to experimental quantitation

  20. Structural Basis of Actin Filament Nucleation by Tandem W Domains

    Xiaorui Chen

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Spontaneous nucleation of actin is very inefficient in cells. To overcome this barrier, cells have evolved a set of actin filament nucleators to promote rapid nucleation and polymerization in response to specific stimuli. However, the molecular mechanism of actin nucleation remains poorly understood. This is hindered largely by the fact that actin nucleus, once formed, rapidly polymerizes into filament, thus making it impossible to capture stable multisubunit actin nucleus. Here, we report an effective double-mutant strategy to stabilize actin nucleus by preventing further polymerization. Employing this strategy, we solved the crystal structure of AMPPNP-actin in complex with the first two tandem W domains of Cordon-bleu (Cobl, a potent actin filament nucleator. Further sequence comparison and functional studies suggest that the nucleation mechanism of Cobl is probably shared by the p53 cofactor JMY, but not Spire. Moreover, the double-mutant strategy opens the way for atomic mechanistic study of actin nucleation and polymerization.

  1. Glutamyl phosphate is an activated intermediate in actin crosslinking by actin crosslinking domain (ACD toxin.

    Elena Kudryashova

    Full Text Available Actin Crosslinking Domain (ACD is produced by several life-threatening Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria as part of larger toxins and delivered into the cytoplasm of eukaryotic host cells via Type I or Type VI secretion systems. Upon delivery, ACD disrupts the actin cytoskeleton by catalyzing intermolecular amide bond formation between E270 and K50 residues of actin, leading to the formation of polymerization-deficient actin oligomers. Ultimately, accumulation of the crosslinked oligomers results in structural and functional failure of the actin cytoskeleton in affected cells. In the present work, we advanced in our understanding of the ACD catalytic mechanism by discovering that the enzyme transfers the gamma-phosphoryl group of ATP to the E270 actin residue, resulting in the formation of an activated acyl phosphate intermediate. This intermediate is further hydrolyzed and the energy of hydrolysis is utilized for the formation of the amide bond between actin subunits. We also determined the pH optimum for the reaction and the kinetic parameters of ACD catalysis for its substrates, ATP and actin. ACD showed sigmoidal, non-Michaelis-Menten kinetics for actin (K(0.5 = 30 µM reflecting involvement of two actin molecules in a single crosslinking event. We established that ACD can also utilize Mg(2+-GTP to support crosslinking, but the kinetic parameters (K(M = 8 µM and 50 µM for ATP and GTP, respectively suggest that ATP is the primary substrate of ACD in vivo. The optimal pH for ACD activity was in the range of 7.0-9.0. The elucidated kinetic mechanism of ACD toxicity adds to understanding of complex network of host-pathogen interactions.

  2. Incorporation of mammalian actin into microfilaments in plant cell nucleus

    Paves Heiti

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Actin is an ancient molecule that shows more than 90% amino acid homology between mammalian and plant actins. The regions of the actin molecule that are involved in F-actin assembly are largely conserved, and it is likely that mammalian actin is able to incorporate into microfilaments in plant cells but there is no experimental evidence until now. Results Visualization of microfilaments in onion bulb scale epidermis cells by different techniques revealed that rhodamine-phalloidin stained F-actin besides cytoplasm also in the nuclei whereas GFP-mouse talin hybrid protein did not enter the nuclei. Microinjection of fluorescently labeled actin was applied to study the presence of nuclear microfilaments in plant cells. Ratio imaging of injected fluorescent rabbit skeletal muscle actin and phalloidin staining of the microinjected cells showed that mammalian actin was able to incorporate into plant F-actin. The incorporation occurred preferentially in the nucleus and in the perinuclear region of plant cells whereas part of plant microfilaments, mostly in the periphery of cytoplasm, did not incorporate mammalian actin. Conclusions Microinjected mammalian actin is able to enter plant cell's nucleus, whereas incorporation of mammalian actin into plant F-actin occurs preferentially in the nucleus and perinuclear area.

  3. Actin-dependent mechanisms in AMPA receptor trafficking

    Jonathan G Hanley

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The precise regulation of AMPA receptor (AMPAR number and subtype at the synapse is crucial for the regulation of excitatory neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity and the consequent formation of appropriate neural circuits during learning and memory. AMPAR trafficking involves the dynamic processes of exocytosis, endocytosis and endosomal recycling, all of which involve the actin cytoskeleton. The actin cytoskeleton is highly dynamic and highly regulated by an abundance of actin-binding proteins and upstream signalling pathways that modulate actin polymerization and depolymerisation. Actin dynamics generate forces that manipulate membranes in the process of vesicle biogenesis, and also for propelling vesicles through the cytoplasm to reach their destination. In addition, trafficking mechanisms exploit more stable aspects of the actin cytoskeleton by using actin-based motor proteins to traffic vesicular cargo along actin filaments. Numerous studies have shown that actin dynamics are critical for AMPAR localization and function. The identification of actin-binding proteins that physically interact with AMPAR subunits, and research into their mode of action is starting to shed light on the mechanisms involved. Such proteins either regulate actin dynamics to modulate mechanical forces exerted on AMPAR-containing membranes, or associate with actin filaments to target or transport AMPAR-containing vesicles to specific subcellular regions. In addition, actin-regulatory proteins that do not physically interact with AMPARs may influence AMPAR trafficking by regulating the local actin environment in the dendritic spine.

  4. Multiple CaMKII Binding Modes to the Actin Cytoskeleton Revealed by Single-Molecule Imaging.

    Khan, Shahid; Conte, Ianina; Carter, Tom; Bayer, K Ulrich; Molloy, Justin E

    2016-07-26

    Localization of the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) to dendritic spine synapses is determined in part by the actin cytoskeleton. We determined binding of GFP-tagged CaMKII to tag-RFP-labeled actin cytoskeleton within live cells using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and single-molecule tracking. Stepwise photobleaching showed that CaMKII formed oligomeric complexes. Photoactivation experiments demonstrated that diffusion out of the evanescent field determined the track lifetimes. Latrunculin treatment triggered a coupled loss of actin stress fibers and the colocalized, long-lived CaMKII tracks. The CaMKIIα (α) isoform, which was previously thought to lack F-actin interactions, also showed binding, but this was threefold weaker than that observed for CaMKIIβ (β). The βE' splice variant bound more weakly than α, showing that binding by β depends critically on the interdomain linker. The mutations βT287D and αT286D, which mimic autophosphorylation states, also abolished F-actin binding. Autophosphorylation triggers autonomous CaMKII activity, but does not impair GluN2B binding, another important synaptic protein interaction of CaMKII. The CaMKII inhibitor tatCN21 or CaMKII mutations that inhibit GluN2B association by blocking binding of ATP (βK43R and αK42M) or Ca(2+)/calmodulin (βA303R) had no effect on the interaction with F-actin. These results provide the first rationale for the reduced synaptic spine localization of the αT286D mutant, indicating that transient F-actin binding contributes to the synaptic localization of the CaMKIIα isoform. The track lifetime distributions had a stretched exponential form consistent with a heterogeneously diffusing population. This heterogeneity suggests that CaMKII adopts different F-actin binding modes, which is most easily rationalized by multiple subunit contacts between the CaMKII dodecamer and the F-actin cytoskeleton that stabilize the initial weak (micromolar

  5. Chemotactic peptide modulation of actin assembly and locomotion in neutrophils

    1984-01-01

    To determine the relationship between the state of actin polymerization in neutrophils and the formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP)- induced changes in the locomotive behavior of neutrophils, the mean rate of locomotion (mROL), the percent G-actin, and the relative F- actin content of neutrophils were determined. The mROL was quantified by analysis of the locomotion of individual cells; the percentage of total actin as G-actin was measured by DNase I inhibition; and the F- actin was d...

  6. The interaction between actin and FA fragment of diphtheria toxin

    Ünlü, A.; Bektaş, M.; Şener, S.; Nurten, R.

    2012-01-01

    Actin protein has many other cellular functions such as movement, chemotaxis, secretion and cytodiaresis. Besides, it have structural function. Actin is a motor protein that it has an important role in the movement process of toxin in the cell. It is known that F-actin gives carriage support during the endosomal process. Actin is found in globular (G) and filamentous (F) structure in the cell. The helix of actin occurs as a result of polymerisation of monomeric G-actin molecules through seque...

  7. Soluble axoplasm enriched from injured CNS axons reveals the early modulation of the actin cytoskeleton.

    Patrick Garland

    Full Text Available Axon injury and degeneration is a common consequence of diverse neurological conditions including multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. The molecular events underlying axon degeneration are poorly understood. We have developed a novel method to enrich for axoplasm from rodent optic nerve and characterised the early events in Wallerian degeneration using an unbiased proteomics screen. Our detergent-free method draws axoplasm into a dehydrated hydrogel of the polymer poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, which is then recovered using centrifugation. This technique is able to recover axonal proteins and significantly deplete glial contamination as confirmed by immunoblotting. We have used iTRAQ to compare axoplasm-enriched samples from naïve vs injured optic nerves, which has revealed a pronounced modulation of proteins associated with the actin cytoskeleton. To confirm the modulation of the actin cytoskeleton in injured axons we focused on the RhoA pathway. Western blotting revealed an augmentation of RhoA and phosphorylated cofilin in axoplasm-enriched samples from injured optic nerve. To investigate the localisation of these components of the RhoA pathway in injured axons we transected axons of primary hippocampal neurons in vitro. We observed an early modulation of filamentous actin with a concomitant redistribution of phosphorylated cofilin in injured axons. At later time-points, RhoA is found to accumulate in axonal swellings and also colocalises with filamentous actin. The actin cytoskeleton is a known sensor of cell viability across multiple eukaryotes, and our results suggest a similar role for the actin cytoskeleton following axon injury. In agreement with other reports, our data also highlights the role of the RhoA pathway in axon degeneration. These findings highlight a previously unexplored area of axon biology, which may open novel avenues to prevent axon degeneration. Our method for isolating CNS axoplasm

  8. Spontaneous actin dynamics in contractile rings

    Kruse, Karsten; Wollrab, Viktoria; Thiagarajan, Raghavan; Wald, Anne; Riveline, Daniel

    Networks of polymerizing actin filaments are known to be capable to self-organize into a variety of structures. For example, spontaneous actin polymerization waves have been observed in living cells in a number of circumstances, notably, in crawling neutrophils and slime molds. During later stages of cell division, they can also spontaneously form a contractile ring that will eventually cleave the cell into two daughter cells. We present a framework for describing networks of polymerizing actin filaments, where assembly is regulated by various proteins. It can also include the effects of molecular motors. We show that the molecular processes driven by these proteins can generate various structures that have been observed in contractile rings of fission yeast and mammalian cells. We discuss a possible functional role of each of these patterns. The work was supported by Agence Nationale de la Recherche, France, (ANR-10-LABX-0030-INRT) and by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft through SFB1027.

  9. Cytosolic pressure provides a propulsive force comparable to actin polymerization during lamellipod protrusion

    Daphne Manoussaki; Shin, William D.; Waterman, Clare M.; Richard S Chadwick

    2015-01-01

    Does cytosolic pressure facilitate f-actin polymerization to push the leading edge of a cell forward during self-propelled motion? AFM force-distance (f-d) curves obtained from lamellipodia of live cells often exhibit a signal from which the tension, bending modulus, elastic modulus and thickness in the membrane-cortex complex can be estimated close to the contact point. These measurements permit an estimate of the cytosolic pressure via the canonical Laplace force balance. The deeper portion...

  10. The actin binding protein adseverin regulates osteoclastogenesis.

    Hassanpour, Siavash; Jiang, Hongwei; Wang, Yongqiang; Kuiper, Johannes W P; Glogauer, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Adseverin (Ads), a member of the Gelsolin superfamily of actin binding proteins, regulates the actin cytoskeleton architecture by severing and capping existing filamentous actin (F-actin) strands and nucleating the assembly of new F-actin filaments. Ads has been implicated in cellular secretion, exocytosis and has also been shown to regulate chondrogenesis and megakaryoblastic leukemia cell differentiation. Here we report for the first time that Ads is involved in regulating osteoclastogenesis (OCG). Ads is induced during OCG downstream of RANK-ligand (RANKL) stimulation and is highly expressed in mature osteoclasts. The D5 isoform of Ads is not involved in regulating OCG, as its expression is not induced in response to RANKL. Three clonal Ads knockdown RAW264.7 (RAW) macrophage cell lines with varying degrees of Ads expression and OCG deficiency were generated. The most drastic OCG defect was noted in the clonal cell line with the greatest degree of Ads knockdown as indicated by a lack of TRAcP staining and multinucleation. RNAi mediated knockdown of Ads in osteoclast precursors resulted in distinct morphological changes characterized by altered F-actin distribution and increased filopodia formation. Ads knockdown precursor cells experienced enhanced migration while fusion of knockdown precursors cells was limited. Transient reintroduction of de novo Ads back into the knockdown system was capable of rescuing TRAcP expression but not osteoclast multinucleation most likely due to the transient nature of Ads expression. This preliminary study allows us to conclude that Ads is a RANKL induced early regulator of OCG with a potential role in pre-osteoclast differentiation and fusion. PMID:25275604

  11. The actin binding protein adseverin regulates osteoclastogenesis.

    Siavash Hassanpour

    Full Text Available Adseverin (Ads, a member of the Gelsolin superfamily of actin binding proteins, regulates the actin cytoskeleton architecture by severing and capping existing filamentous actin (F-actin strands and nucleating the assembly of new F-actin filaments. Ads has been implicated in cellular secretion, exocytosis and has also been shown to regulate chondrogenesis and megakaryoblastic leukemia cell differentiation. Here we report for the first time that Ads is involved in regulating osteoclastogenesis (OCG. Ads is induced during OCG downstream of RANK-ligand (RANKL stimulation and is highly expressed in mature osteoclasts. The D5 isoform of Ads is not involved in regulating OCG, as its expression is not induced in response to RANKL. Three clonal Ads knockdown RAW264.7 (RAW macrophage cell lines with varying degrees of Ads expression and OCG deficiency were generated. The most drastic OCG defect was noted in the clonal cell line with the greatest degree of Ads knockdown as indicated by a lack of TRAcP staining and multinucleation. RNAi mediated knockdown of Ads in osteoclast precursors resulted in distinct morphological changes characterized by altered F-actin distribution and increased filopodia formation. Ads knockdown precursor cells experienced enhanced migration while fusion of knockdown precursors cells was limited. Transient reintroduction of de novo Ads back into the knockdown system was capable of rescuing TRAcP expression but not osteoclast multinucleation most likely due to the transient nature of Ads expression. This preliminary study allows us to conclude that Ads is a RANKL induced early regulator of OCG with a potential role in pre-osteoclast differentiation and fusion.

  12. [Cytoskeletal actin and its associated proteins. Some examples in Protista].

    Guillén, N; Carlier, M F; Brugerolle, G; Tardieux, I; Ausseil, J

    1998-06-01

    Many processes, cell motility being an example, require cells to remodel the actin cytoskeleton in response to both intracellular and extracellular signals. Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton involves the rapid disassembly and reassembly of actin filaments, a phenomenon regulated by the action of particular actin-binding proteins. In recent years, an interest in studying actin regulation in unicellular organisms has arisen. Parasitic protozoan are among these organisms and studies of the cytoskeleton functions of these protozoan are relevant related to either cell biology or pathogenicity. To discuss recent data in this field, a symposium concerning "Actin and actin-binding proteins in protists" was held on May 8-11 in Paris, France, during the XXXV meeting of the French Society of Protistology. As a brief summary of the symposium we report here findings concerning the in vitro actin dynamic assembly, as well as the characterization of several actin-binding proteins from the parasitic protozoan Entamoeba histolytica, Trichomonas vaginalis and Plasmodium knowlesi. In addition, localization of actin in non-pathogen protists such as Prorocentrum micans and Crypthecodinium cohnii is also presented. The data show that some actin-binding proteins facilitate organization of filaments into higher order structures as pseudopods, while others have regulatory functions, indicating very particular roles for actin-binding proteins. One of the proteins discussed during the symposium, the actin depolymerizing factor ADF, was shown to enhance the treadmilling rate of actin filaments. In vitro, ADF binds to the ADP-bound forms of G-actin and F-actin, thereby participating in and changing the rate of actin assembly. Biochemical approaches allowed the identification of a protein complex formed by HSP/C70-cap32-34 which might also be involved in depolymerization of F-actin in P. knowlesi. Molecular and cellular approaches were used to identify proteins such as ABP-120 and myosin

  13. Contact dermatitis

    ... type. It can be by contact with acids, alkaline materials such as soaps and detergents , fabric softeners, ... dyes, and permanent wave solutions Nickel or other metals (found in jewelry, watch straps, metal zips, bra ...

  14. Helpful Contacts

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — The data used to populate the Helpful Contacts database is available for public usage. This functionality is primarily used by health policy researchers and the...

  15. Contact problems

    Galin, Lev Aleksandrovich

    2008-01-01

    L.A. Galin's book on contact problems is a remarkable work. Actually there are two books: the first, published in 1953 deals with contact problems in the classical theory of elasticity; this is the one that was translated into English in 1961. The second book, published in 1980, included the first, and then had new sections on contact problems for viscoelastic materials, and rough contact problems; this section has not previously been translated into English. In this new translation, the original text and the mathematical analysis have been completely revised, new material has been added, and the material appearing in the 1980 Russian translation has been completely rewritten. In addition there are three essays by students of Galin, bringing the analysis up to date.

  16. Evaluation of magnetic flux distribution from magnetic domains in [Co/Pd] nanowires by magnetic domain scope method using contact-scanning of tunneling magnetoresistive sensor

    Okuda, Mitsunobu, E-mail: okuda.m-ky@nhk.or.jp; Miyamoto, Yasuyoshi; Miyashita, Eiichi; Hayashi, Naoto [NHK Science and Technology Research Laboratories, 1-10-11 Kinuta Setagaya, Tokyo 157-8510 (Japan)

    2014-05-07

    Current-driven magnetic domain wall motions in magnetic nanowires have attracted great interests for physical studies and engineering applications. The magnetic force microscope (MFM) is widely used for indirect verification of domain locations in nanowires, where relative magnetic force between the local domains and the MFM probe is used for detection. However, there is an occasional problem that the magnetic moments of MFM probe influenced and/or rotated the magnetic states in the low-moment nanowires. To solve this issue, the “magnetic domain scope for wide area with nano-order resolution (nano-MDS)” method has been proposed recently that could detect the magnetic flux distribution from the specimen directly by scanning of tunneling magnetoresistive field sensor. In this study, magnetic domain structure in nanowires was investigated by both MFM and nano-MDS, and the leakage magnetic flux density from the nanowires was measured quantitatively by nano-MDS. Specimen nanowires consisted from [Co (0.3)/Pd (1.2)]{sub 21}/Ru(3) films (units in nm) with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy were fabricated onto Si substrates by dual ion beam sputtering and e-beam lithography. The length and the width of the fabricated nanowires are 20 μm and 150 nm. We have succeeded to obtain not only the remanent domain images with the detection of up and down magnetizations as similar as those by MFM but also magnetic flux density distribution from nanowires directly by nano-MDS. The obtained value of maximum leakage magnetic flux by nano-MDS is in good agreement with that of coercivity by magneto-optical Kerr effect microscopy. By changing the protective diamond-like-carbon film thickness on tunneling magnetoresistive sensor, the three-dimensional spatial distribution of leakage magnetic flux could be evaluated.

  17. Actin dynamics and the elasticity of cytoskeletal networks

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The structural integrity of a cell depends on its cytoskeleton, which includes an actin network. This network is transient and depends upon the continual polymerization and depolymerization of actin. The degradation of an actin network, and a corresponding reduction in cell stiffness, can indicate the presence of disease. Numerical simulations will be invaluable for understanding the physics of these systems and the correlation between actin dynamics and elasticity. Here we develop a model that is capable of generating actin network structures. In particular, we develop a model of actin dynamics which considers the polymerization, depolymerization, nucleation, severing, and capping of actin filaments. The structures obtained are then fed directly into a mechanical model. This allows us to qualitatively assess the effects of changing various parameters associated with actin dynamics on the elasticity of the material.

  18. Multimodal characterization of contact lenses

    Marcus, Michael A.; Compertore, David; Gibson, Donald S.; Herbrand, Matthew E.; Ignatovich, Filipp V.

    2015-10-01

    A table top instrument has been designed, constructed and tested to characterize all of the primary optical and physical properties of contact lenses. Measured optical properties include base power, cylinder power, cylindrical axis, prism, refractive index and wavefront aberrations. Measured physical properties include center thickness, lens diameter and lens sagittal depth. The instrument combines a Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor (SHWS), a machine vision sensor, and a low coherence light interferometer (LCI) all coaxially aligned into a single tabletop unit. The unit includes a cuvette, mounted in a translatable sample chamber for holding the contact lens under test, and it can be configured to measure wet or dry contact lenses. During operation, the vision sensor measures the diameter of the lens, and locates the center of the lens. The lens is then aligned for other measurements. The vision sensor can also measure various alignment marks on the lens, as well as identify any alpha numerical features, which can be used to associate the lens orientation with the measured aberrations. The LCI measures the center thickness, sagittal depth and index of refraction of the contact lens. The base radius of curvature is then calculated using these measured parameters. The SHWS measures the lenses prescription power, including spherical, cylinder, prism, and higher order wavefront aberrations. NIST traceable calibration artifacts are used to calibrate the SHWS, machine vision and LCI modalities. Repeatability measurements on a contact lens in a saline solution are presented.

  19. Measurement and Analysis of in vitro Actin Polymerization

    Doolittle, Lynda K.; Rosen, Michael K.; Padrick, Shae B.

    2013-01-01

    The polymerization of actin underlies force generation in numerous cellular processes. While actin polymerization can occur spontaneously, cells maintain control over this important process by preventing actin filament nucleation and then allowing stimulated polymerization and elongation by several regulated factors. Actin polymerization, regulated nucleation and controlled elongation activities can be reconstituted in vitro, and used to probe the signaling cascades cells use to control when ...

  20. Force Generation by Endocytic Actin Patches in Budding Yeast

    Carlsson, Anders E.; Bayly, Philip V.

    2014-01-01

    Membrane deformation during endocytosis in yeast is driven by local, templated assembly of a sequence of proteins including polymerized actin and curvature-generating coat proteins such as clathrin. Actin polymerization is required for successful endocytosis, but it is not known by what mechanisms actin polymerization generates the required pulling forces. To address this issue, we develop a simulation method in which the actin network at the protein patch is modeled as an active gel. The def...

  1. Actin protofilament orientation in deformation of the erythrocyte membrane skeleton.

    Picart, C.; Dalhaimer, P.; Discher, D. E.

    2000-01-01

    The red cell's spectrin-actin network is known to sustain local states of shear, dilation, and condensation, and yet the short actin filaments are found to maintain membrane-tangent and near-random azimuthal orientations. When calibrated with polarization results for single actin filaments, imaging of micropipette-deformed red cell ghosts has allowed an assessment of actin orientations and possible reorientations in the network. At the hemispherical cap of the aspirated projection, where the ...

  2. Dendritic Actin Filament Nucleation Causes Traveling Waves and Patches

    Carlsson, Anders E

    2010-01-01

    The polymerization of actin via branching at a cell membrane containing nucleation-promoting factors is simulated using a stochastic-growth methodology. The polymerized-actin distribution displays three types of behavior: a) traveling waves, b) moving patches, and c) random fluctuations. Increasing actin concentration causes a transition from patches to waves. The waves and patches move by a treadmilling mechanism which does not require myosin II. The effects of downregulation of key proteins on actin wave behavior are evaluated.

  3. Dendritic Actin Filament Nucleation Causes Traveling Waves and Patches

    Carlsson, Anders E.

    2010-06-01

    The polymerization of actin via branching at a cell membrane containing nucleation-promoting factors is simulated using a stochastic-growth methodology. The polymerized-actin distribution displays three types of behavior: (a) traveling waves, (b) moving patches, and (c) random fluctuations. Increasing actin concentration causes a transition from patches to waves. The waves and patches move by a treadmilling mechanism not involving myosin II. The effects of downregulation of key proteins on actin wave behavior are evaluated.

  4. Daylight photodynamic therapy for actinic keratosis

    Wiegell, Stine; Wulf, H C; Szeimies, R-M;

    2011-01-01

    Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is an attractive therapy for non-melanoma skin cancers including actinic keratoses (AKs) because it allows treatment of large areas; it has a high response rate and results in an excellent cosmesis. However, conventional PDT for AKs is associated with inconveniently lon...

  5. Competition of two distinct actin networks for actin defines a bistable switch for cell polarization

    Lomakin, Alexis J.; Lee, Kun-Chun; Han, Sangyoon J.; Bui, D A.; Davidson, Michael; Mogilner, Alex; Danuser, Gaudenz

    2015-01-01

    Symmetry-breaking polarization enables functional plasticity of cells and tissues and is yet not well understood. Here we show that epithelial cells, hard-wired to maintain a static morphology and to preserve tissue organization, can spontaneously switch to a migratory polarized phenotype upon relaxation of the actomyosin cytoskeleton. We find that myosin-II engages actin in the formation of cortical actomyosin bundles and thus makes it unavailable for deployment in the process of dendritic growth normally driving cell motility. At low contractility regimes epithelial cells polarize in a front-back manner due to emergence of actin retrograde flows powered by dendritic polymerization of actin. Coupled to cell movement, the flows transport myosin-II from the front to the back of the cell, where the motor locally “locks” actin in contractile bundles. This polarization mechanism could be employed by embryonic and cancer epithelial cells in microenvironments where high contractility-driven cell motion is inefficient. PMID:26414403

  6. Dynamics and Regulation of Actin Cytoskeleton in Plant Cells

    Ren Haiyun

    2007-01-01

    @@ The actin cytoskeleton constituted of globular actin (G-actin) is a ubiquitous component of eukaryotic cells and plays crucial roles in diverse physiological processes in plant cells, such as cytoplasmic streaming, organelle and nucleus positioning, cell morphogenesis, cell division, tip growth, etc.

  7. Towards the Structure Determination of a Modulated Protein Crystal: The Semicrystalline State of Profilin:Actin

    Borgstahl, G.; Lovelace, J.; Snell, E. H.; Bellamy, H.

    2003-01-01

    One of the remaining challenges to structural biology is the solution of modulated structures. While small molecule crystallographers have championed this type of structure, to date, no modulated macromolecular structures have been determined. Modulation of the molecular structures within the crystal can produce satellite reflections or a superlattice of reflections in reciprocal space. We have developed the data collection methods and strategies that are needed to collect and analyze these data. If the macromolecule's crystal lattice is composed of physiologically relevant packing contacts, structural changes induced under physiological conditions can cause distortion relevant to the function and biophysical processes of the molecule making up the crystal. By careful measurement of the distortion, and the corresponding three-dimensional structure of the distorted molecule, we will visualize the motion and mechanism of the biological macromolecule(s). We have measured the modulated diffraction pattern produced by the semicrystalline state of profilin:actin crystals using highly parallel and highly monochromatic synchrotron radiation coupled with fine phi slicing (0.001-0.010 degrees) for structure determination. These crystals present these crystals present a unique opportunity to address an important question in structural biology. The modulation is believed to be due to the formation of actin helical filaments from the actin beta ribbon upon the pH-induced dissociation of profilin. To date, the filamentous state of actin has resisted crystallization and no detailed structures are available. The semicrystalline state profilin:actin crystals provides a unique opportunity to understand the many conformational states of actin. This knowledge is essential for understanding the dynamics underlying shape changes and motility of eukaryotic cells. Many essential processes, such as cytokinesis, phagocytosis, and cellular migration depend upon the capacity of the actin

  8. Signal Collection and Processing for Non-contact Automotive Torque Sensor%车用无接触式扭矩传感器的信号采集与处理

    孟濬; 王华强

    2012-01-01

    扭矩传感器是汽车电动助力转向(EPS)系统中的关键部件之一,为了提高其工作性能,提出了一种针对EPS系统的非接触式扭矩传感器信号采集与处理方案.首先,对传感器的应用环境进行了介绍,给出了传感器探测电感元件的安装方法和电路的框图.接着,对电路的各个模块进行了说明,重点分析说明了基于运放的相教检波模块和基于数字电位器的智能调整模块.然后,给出了智能调整模块的软件设计流程图.最后,介绍了所用的实验装置,进行了传感器性能测试试验,验证了各个模块的工作及关键点的波形.实验数据表明电路工作稳定,输出线性度较好,能满足汽车EPS系统使用的要求.由于探测部分采用了非接触的工作方式,其使用寿命和性能均优于传统的电阻式扭矩传感器.%Torque sensor is one of the key components in the Electric Power Steering ( EPS) system. A design of signal collection and processing of non-contact torque senor for EPS system is provided, in order to improve the performance of torque sensor. In the beginning, the paper describes the application environment of the torque sensor, with the installation of detecting inductors and the block diagram of the circuit. In the following section the paper describes the implementation of each circuit module, with details of the phase sensitive detecting module based on OP-Amplifier and the intelligently adjusting module based on digital potentiometers. Then, the software flowchart for the Intelligently Adjusting module is provided. Finally, the paper presents the experimental devices for the test, the Torque Sensor performance test and that, verfies each moduJe is working and its waveform at key points. The data collected from the test shows that the designed circuits are suitable for the application to EPS system with the feature of high stability and good linearity of output. As the detection part works under non-contact

  9. Contact Dermatitis

    ... resources Meet our partners Español Donate Diseases and treatments Acne and rosacea Bumps and growths Color problems Contagious skin diseases ... Contact dermatitis public SPOT Skin Cancer™ Diseases and treatments Acne and rosacea Bumps and growths Color problems Contagious skin diseases ...

  10. The Structural Basis of Actin Organization by Vinculin and Metavinculin.

    Kim, Laura Y; Thompson, Peter M; Lee, Hyunna T; Pershad, Mihir; Campbell, Sharon L; Alushin, Gregory M

    2016-01-16

    Vinculin is an essential adhesion protein that links membrane-bound integrin and cadherin receptors through their intracellular binding partners to filamentous actin, facilitating mechanotransduction. Here we present an 8.5-Å-resolution cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction and pseudo-atomic model of the vinculin tail (Vt) domain bound to F-actin. Upon actin engagement, the N-terminal "strap" and helix 1 are displaced from the Vt helical bundle to mediate actin bundling. We find that an analogous conformational change also occurs in the H1' helix of the tail domain of metavinculin (MVt) upon actin binding, a muscle-specific splice isoform that suppresses actin bundling by Vt. These data support a model in which metavinculin tunes the actin bundling activity of vinculin in a tissue-specific manner, providing a mechanistic framework for understanding metavinculin mutations associated with hereditary cardiomyopathies. PMID:26493222

  11. Wnt Signalling Promotes Actin Dynamics during Axon Remodelling through the Actin-Binding Protein Eps8.

    Eleanna Stamatakou

    Full Text Available Upon arrival at their synaptic targets, axons slow down their growth and extensively remodel before the assembly of presynaptic boutons. Wnt proteins are target-derived secreted factors that promote axonal remodelling and synaptic assembly. In the developing spinal cord, Wnts secreted by motor neurons promote axonal remodelling of NT-3 responsive dorsal root ganglia neurons. Axon remodelling induced by Wnts is characterised by growth cone pausing and enlargement, processes that depend on the re-organisation of microtubules. However, the contribution of the actin cytoskeleton has remained unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that Wnt3a regulates the actin cytoskeleton by rapidly inducing F-actin accumulation in growth cones from rodent DRG neurons through the scaffold protein Dishevelled-1 (Dvl1 and the serine-threonine kinase Gsk3β. Importantly, these changes in actin cytoskeleton occurs before enlargement of the growth cones is evident. Time-lapse imaging shows that Wnt3a increases lamellar protrusion and filopodia velocity. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of actin assembly demonstrates that Wnt3a increases actin dynamics. Through a yeast-two hybrid screen, we identified the actin-binding protein Eps8 as a direct interactor of Dvl1, a scaffold protein crucial for the Wnt signalling pathway. Gain of function of Eps8 mimics Wnt-mediated axon remodelling, whereas Eps8 silencing blocks the axon remodelling activity of Wnt3a. Importantly, blockade of the Dvl1-Eps8 interaction completely abolishes Wnt3a-mediated axonal remodelling. These findings demonstrate a novel role for Wnt-Dvl1 signalling through Eps8 in the regulation of axonal remodeling.

  12. A small molecule inhibitor of tropomyosin dissociates actin binding from tropomyosin-directed regulation of actin dynamics

    Teresa T. Bonello; Miro Janco; Jeff Hook; Alex Byun; Mark Appaduray; Irina Dedova; Sarah Hitchcock-DeGregori; Hardeman, Edna C.; Justine R. Stehn; Till Böcking; Gunning, Peter W.

    2016-01-01

    The tropomyosin family of proteins form end-to-end polymers along the actin filament. Tumour cells rely on specific tropomyosin-containing actin filament populations for growth and survival. To dissect out the role of tropomyosin in actin filament regulation we use the small molecule TR100 directed against the C terminus of the tropomyosin isoform Tpm3.1. TR100 nullifies the effect of Tpm3.1 on actin depolymerisation but surprisingly Tpm3.1 retains the capacity to bind F-actin in a cooperativ...

  13. Impact of altered actin gene expression on vinculin, talin, cell spreading, and motility.

    Schevzov, G; Lloyd, C; Gunning, P

    1995-08-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated a strong correlation between the expression of vinculin and the shape and motility of a cell (Rodriguez Fernandez et al., 1992a, b, 1993). This hypothesis was tested by comparing the expression of vinculin and talin with the motility of morphologically altered myoblasts. These mouse C2 myoblasts were previously generated by directly perturbing the cell cytoskeleton via the stable transfection of a mutant-form of the beta-actin gene (beta sm) and three different forms of the gamma-actin gene; gamma, gamma minus 3'UTR (gamma delta'UTR), and gamma minus intron III (gamma delta IVSIII) (Schevzov et al., 1992; Lloyd and Gunning, 1993). In the case of the beta sm and gamma-actin transfectants, a two-fold decrease in the cell surface area was coupled, as predicted, with a decrease in vinculin and talin expression. In contrast, the gamma delta IVSIII transfectants with a seven-fold decrease in the cell surface area showed an unpredicted slight increase in vinculin and talin expression and the gamma delta 3'-UTR transfectants with a slight increase in the cell surface area showed no changes in talin expression and a decrease in vinculin expression. We conclude that changes in actin gene expression alone can impact on the expression of vinculin and talin. Furthermore, we observed that these actin transfectants failed to show a consistent relationship between cell shape, motility, and the expression of vinculin. However, a relationship between talin and cell motility was found to exist, suggesting a role for talin in the establishment of focal contacts necessary for motility. PMID:7646816

  14. Actin flow and talin dynamics govern rigidity sensing in actin-integrin linkage through talin extension.

    Hirata, Hiroaki; Chiam, Keng-Hwee; Lim, Chwee Teck; Sokabe, Masahiro

    2014-10-01

    At cell-substrate adhesion sites, the linkage between actin filaments and integrin is regulated by mechanical stiffness of the substrate. Of potential molecular regulators, the linker proteins talin and vinculin are of particular interest because mechanical extension of talin induces vinculin binding with talin, which reinforces the actin-integrin linkage. For understanding the molecular and biophysical mechanism of rigidity sensing at cell-substrate adhesion sites, we constructed a simple physical model to examine a role of talin extension in the stiffness-dependent regulation of actin-integrin linkage. We show that talin molecules linking between retrograding actin filaments and substrate-bound integrin are extended in a manner dependent on substrate stiffness. The model predicts that, in adhesion complexes containing ≈30 talin links, talin is extended enough for vinculin binding when the substrate is stiffer than 1 kPa. The lifetime of talin links needs to be 2-5 s to achieve an appropriate response of talin extension against substrate stiffness. Furthermore, changes in actin velocity drastically shift the range of substrate stiffness that induces talin-vinculin binding. Our results suggest that talin extension is a key step in sensing and responding to substrate stiffness at cell adhesion sites. PMID:25142525

  15. Computational Study of the Binding Mechanism of Actin-Depolymerizing Factor 1 with Actin in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Du, Juan; Wang, Xue; Dong, Chun-Hai; Yang, Jian Ming; Yao, Xiao Jun

    2016-01-01

    Actin is a highly conserved protein. It plays important roles in cellular function and exists either in the monomeric (G-actin) or polymeric form (F-actin). Members of the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin protein family bind to both G-actin and F-actin and play vital roles in actin dynamics by manipulating the rates of filament polymerization and depolymerization. It has been reported that the S6D and R98A/K100A mutants of actin-depolymerizing factor 1 (ADF1) in Arabidopsis thaliana decreased the binding affinity of ADF for the actin monomer. To investigate the binding mechanism and dynamic behavior of the ADF1-actin complex, we constructed a homology model of the AtADF1-actin complex based on the crystal structure of AtADF1 and the twinfilin C-terminal ADF-H domain in a complex with a mouse actin monomer. The model was then refined for subsequent molecular dynamics simulations. Increased binding energy of the mutated system was observed using the Molecular Mechanics Generalized Born Surface Area and Poisson-Boltzmann Surface Area (MM-GB/PBSA) methods. To determine the residues that make decisive contributions to the ADF1 actin-binding affinity, per-residue decomposition and computational alanine scanning analyses were performed, which provided more detailed information on the binding mechanism. Root-mean-square fluctuation and principal component analyses confirmed that the S6D and R98A/K100A mutants induced an increased conformational flexibility. The comprehensive molecular insight gained from this study is of great importance for understanding the binding mechanism of ADF1 and G-actin. PMID:27414648

  16. Sequence and comparative genomic analysis of actin-related proteins.

    Muller, Jean; Oma, Yukako; Vallar, Laurent; Friederich, Evelyne; Poch, Olivier; Winsor, Barbara

    2005-12-01

    Actin-related proteins (ARPs) are key players in cytoskeleton activities and nuclear functions. Two complexes, ARP2/3 and ARP1/11, also known as dynactin, are implicated in actin dynamics and in microtubule-based trafficking, respectively. ARP4 to ARP9 are components of many chromatin-modulating complexes. Conventional actins and ARPs codefine a large family of homologous proteins, the actin superfamily, with a tertiary structure known as the actin fold. Because ARPs and actin share high sequence conservation, clear family definition requires distinct features to easily and systematically identify each subfamily. In this study we performed an in depth sequence and comparative genomic analysis of ARP subfamilies. A high-quality multiple alignment of approximately 700 complete protein sequences homologous to actin, including 148 ARP sequences, allowed us to extend the ARP classification to new organisms. Sequence alignments revealed conserved residues, motifs, and inserted sequence signatures to define each ARP subfamily. These discriminative characteristics allowed us to develop ARPAnno (http://bips.u-strasbg.fr/ARPAnno), a new web server dedicated to the annotation of ARP sequences. Analyses of sequence conservation among actins and ARPs highlight part of the actin fold and suggest interactions between ARPs and actin-binding proteins. Finally, analysis of ARP distribution across eukaryotic phyla emphasizes the central importance of nuclear ARPs, particularly the multifunctional ARP4. PMID:16195354

  17. Actin is required for IFT regulation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    Avasthi, Prachee; Onishi, Masayuki; Karpiak, Joel; Yamamoto, Ryosuke; Mackinder, Luke; Jonikas, Martin C; Sale, Winfield S; Shoichet, Brian; Pringle, John R; Marshall, Wallace F

    2014-09-01

    Assembly of cilia and flagella requires intraflagellar transport (IFT), a highly regulated kinesin-based transport system that moves cargo from the basal body to the tip of flagella [1]. The recruitment of IFT components to basal bodies is a function of flagellar length, with increased recruitment in rapidly growing short flagella [2]. The molecular pathways regulating IFT are largely a mystery. Because actin network disruption leads to changes in ciliary length and number, actin has been proposed to have a role in ciliary assembly. However, the mechanisms involved are unknown. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, conventional actin is found in both the cell body and the inner dynein arm complexes within flagella [3, 4]. Previous work showed that treating Chlamydomonas cells with the actin-depolymerizing compound cytochalasin D resulted in reversible flagellar shortening [5], but how actin is related to flagellar length or assembly remains unknown. Here we utilize small-molecule inhibitors and genetic mutants to analyze the role of actin dynamics in flagellar assembly in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We demonstrate that actin plays a role in IFT recruitment to basal bodies during flagellar elongation and that when actin is perturbed, the normal dependence of IFT recruitment on flagellar length is lost. We also find that actin is required for sufficient entry of IFT material into flagella during assembly. These same effects are recapitulated with a myosin inhibitor, suggesting that actin may act via myosin in a pathway by which flagellar assembly is regulated by flagellar length. PMID:25155506

  18. Gelsolin mediates calcium-dependent disassembly of Listeria actin tails

    Larson, Laura; Arnaudeau, Serge; Gibson, Bruce; Li, Wei; Krause, Ryoko; Hao, Binghua; Bamburg, James R.; Lew, Daniel P.; Demaurex, Nicolas; Southwick, Frederick

    2005-01-01

    The role of intracellular Ca2+ in the regulation of actin filament assembly and disassembly has not been clearly defined. We show that reduction of intracellular free Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) to <40 nM in Listeria monocytogenes-infected, EGFP–actin-transfected Madin–Darby canine kidney cells results in a 3-fold lengthening of actin filament tails. This increase in tail length is the consequence of marked slowing of the actin filament disassembly rate, without a significant change in assembly rate. The Ca2+-sensitive actin-severing protein gelsolin concentrates in the Listeria rocket tails at normal resting [Ca2+]i and disassociates from the tails when [Ca2+]i is lowered. Reduction in [Ca2+]i also blocks the severing activity of gelsolin, but not actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin microinjected into Listeria-infected cells. In Xenopus extracts, Listeria tail lengths are also calcium-sensitive, markedly shortening on addition of calcium. Immunodepletion of gelsolin, but not Xenopus ADF/cofilin, eliminates calcium-sensitive actin-filament shortening. Listeria tail length is also calcium-insensitive in gelsolin-null mouse embryo fibroblasts. We conclude that gelsolin is the primary Ca2+-sensitive actin filament recycling protein in the cell and is capable of enhancing Listeria actin tail disassembly at normal resting [Ca2+]i (145 nM). These experiments illustrate the unique and complementary functions of gelsolin and ADF/cofilin in the recycling of actin filaments. PMID:15671163

  19. Tropomyosin - master regulator of actin filament function in the cytoskeleton.

    Gunning, Peter W; Hardeman, Edna C; Lappalainen, Pekka; Mulvihill, Daniel P

    2015-08-15

    Tropomyosin (Tpm) isoforms are the master regulators of the functions of individual actin filaments in fungi and metazoans. Tpms are coiled-coil parallel dimers that form a head-to-tail polymer along the length of actin filaments. Yeast only has two Tpm isoforms, whereas mammals have over 40. Each cytoskeletal actin filament contains a homopolymer of Tpm homodimers, resulting in a filament of uniform Tpm composition along its length. Evidence for this 'master regulator' role is based on four core sets of observation. First, spatially and functionally distinct actin filaments contain different Tpm isoforms, and recent data suggest that members of the formin family of actin filament nucleators can specify which Tpm isoform is added to the growing actin filament. Second, Tpms regulate whole-organism physiology in terms of morphogenesis, cell proliferation, vesicle trafficking, biomechanics, glucose metabolism and organ size in an isoform-specific manner. Third, Tpms achieve these functional outputs by regulating the interaction of actin filaments with myosin motors and actin-binding proteins in an isoform-specific manner. Last, the assembly of complex structures, such as stress fibers and podosomes involves the collaboration of multiple types of actin filament specified by their Tpm composition. This allows the cell to specify actin filament function in time and space by simply specifying their Tpm isoform composition. PMID:26240174

  20. Fibroblast-mediated contraction in actinically exposed and actinically protected aging skin

    The changes in skin morphology over time are a consequence of both chronologic aging and the accumulation of environmental exposure. Through observation, we know that actinic radiation intensifies the apparent aging of skin. We have investigated the effects of aging and actinic radiation on the ability of fibroblasts to contract collagen-fibroblast lattices. Preauricular and postauricular skin samples were obtained from eight patients aged 49 to 74 undergoing rhytidectomy. The samples were kept separate, and the fibroblasts were grown in culture. Lattices constructed with preauricular fibroblasts consistently contracted more than lattices containing postauricular fibroblasts. The difference in amount of contraction in 7 days between sites was greatest for the younger patients and decreased linearly as donor age increased (r = -0.96). This difference may be due to preauricular fibroblasts losing their ability to contract a lattice as aging skin is exposed to more actinic radiation

  1. Actin turnover is required to prevent axon retraction driven by endogenous actomyosin contractility

    Gallo, Gianluca; Yee, Hal F.; Letourneau, Paul C.

    2002-01-01

    Growth cone motility and guidance depend on the dynamic reorganization of filamentous actin (F-actin). In the growth cone, F-actin undergoes turnover, which is the exchange of actin subunits from existing filaments. However, the function of F-actin turnover is not clear. We used jasplakinolide (jasp), a cell-permeable macrocyclic peptide that inhibits F-actin turnover, to study the role of F-actin turnover in axon extension. Treatment with jasp caused axon retraction, demonstrating that axon ...

  2. Isolation of a 5-kilodalton actin-sequestering peptide from human blood platelets.

    Safer, D; Golla, R; Nachmias, V T

    1990-01-01

    Resting human platelets contain approximately 0.3 mM unpolymerized actin. When freshly drawn and washed platelets are treated with saponin, 85-90% of the unpolymerized actin diffuses out. Analysis by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis under nondenaturing conditions shows that the bulk of this unpolymerized actin migrates with a higher mobility than does pure G-actin, profilactin, or actin-gelsolin complex. When muscle G-actin is added to fresh or boiled saponin extract, the added muscle actin...

  3. Fiber optic level sensor for cryogens

    Sharma, M.

    1981-01-01

    Sensor is useful in cryogenic environments where liquids of very low index of refraction are encountered. It is "yes/no" indication of whether liquid is in contact with sensor. Sharp bends in fiber alter distribution of light among propagation modes. This amplifies change in light output observed when sensor contacts liquid, without requiring long fiber that would increse insertion loss.

  4. Structure of the F-actin-tropomyosin complex.

    von der Ecken, Julian; Müller, Mirco; Lehman, William; Manstein, Dietmar J; Penczek, Pawel A; Raunser, Stefan

    2015-03-01

    Filamentous actin (F-actin) is the major protein of muscle thin filaments, and actin microfilaments are the main component of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. Mutations in different actin isoforms lead to early-onset autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing loss, familial thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections, and multiple variations of myopathies. In striated muscle fibres, the binding of myosin motors to actin filaments is mainly regulated by tropomyosin and troponin. Tropomyosin also binds to F-actin in smooth muscle and in non-muscle cells and stabilizes and regulates the filaments there in the absence of troponin. Although crystal structures for monomeric actin (G-actin) are available, a high-resolution structure of F-actin is still missing, hampering our understanding of how disease-causing mutations affect the function of thin muscle filaments and microfilaments. Here we report the three-dimensional structure of F-actin at a resolution of 3.7 Å in complex with tropomyosin at a resolution of 6.5 Å, determined by electron cryomicroscopy. The structure reveals that the D-loop is ordered and acts as a central region for hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions that stabilize the F-actin filament. We clearly identify map density corresponding to ADP and Mg(2+) and explain the possible effect of prominent disease-causing mutants. A comparison of F-actin with G-actin reveals the conformational changes during filament formation and identifies the D-loop as their key mediator. We also confirm that negatively charged tropomyosin interacts with a positively charged groove on F-actin. Comparison of the position of tropomyosin in F-actin-tropomyosin with its position in our previously determined F-actin-tropomyosin-myosin structure reveals a myosin-induced transition of tropomyosin. Our results allow us to understand the role of individual mutations in the genesis of actin- and tropomyosin-related diseases and will serve as a strong foundation for the targeted

  5. Steric effects induce geometric remodeling of actin bundles in filopodia

    Dobramysl, Ulrich; Erban, Radek

    2016-01-01

    Filopodia are ubiquitous fingerlike protrusions, spawned by many eukaryotic cells, to probe and interact with their environments. Polymerization dynamics of actin filaments, comprising the structural core of filopodia, largely determine their instantaneous lengths and overall lifetimes. The polymerization reactions at the filopodial tip require transport of G-actin, which enter the filopodial tube from the filopodial base and diffuse toward the filament barbed ends near the tip. Actin filaments are mechanically coupled into a tight bundle by cross-linker proteins. Interestingly, many of these proteins are relatively short, restricting the free diffusion of cytosolic G-actin throughout the bundle and, in particular, its penetration into the bundle core. To investigate the effect of steric restrictions on G-actin diffusion by the porous structure of filopodial actin filament bundle, we used a particle-based stochastic simulation approach. We discovered that excluded volume interactions result in partial and the...

  6. Actin gene expression in developing sea urchin embryos.

    Crain, W R; Durica, D S; Van Doren, K

    1981-01-01

    We show that the synthesis of actin is regulated developmentally during early sea urchin embryogenesis and that the level of synthesis of this protein parallels the steady-state amounts of the actin messenger ribonucleic acids (RNA). An in vitro translation and RNA blotting analysis of embryo RNA from several stages of early development indicated that during the first 8 h after fertilization there was a low and relatively constant level of actin messenger RNA in the embryo. Between 8 and 13 h...

  7. Bacterial Subversion of Host Actin Dynamics at the Plasma Membrane

    Carabeo, Rey

    2011-01-01

    Invasion of non-phagocytic cells by a number of bacterial pathogens involves the subversion of the actin cytoskeletal remodelling machinery to produce actin-rich cell surface projections designed to engulf the bacteria. The signalling that occurs to induce these actin-rich structures has considerable overlap amongst a diverse group of bacteria. The molecular organisation within these structures act in concert to internalise the invading pathogen. This dynamic process could be subdivided into ...

  8. Myosin phosphorylation triggers actin polymerization in vascular smooth muscle

    Chen, Xuesong; Pavlish, Kristin; Benoit, Joseph N.

    2008-01-01

    A variety of contractile stimuli increases actin polymerization, which is essential for smooth muscle contraction. However, the mechanism(s) of actin polymerization associated with smooth muscle contraction is not fully understood. We tested the hypothesis that phosphorylated myosin triggers actin polymerization. The present study was conducted in isolated intact or β-escin-permeabilized rat small mesenteric arteries. Reductions in the 20-kDa myosin regulatory light chain (MLC20) phosphorylat...

  9. Calcium-Actin Waves and Oscillations of Cellular Membranes

    Veksler, Alex; Gov, Nir S.

    2009-01-01

    We propose a mechanism for the formation of membrane oscillations and traveling waves, which arise due to the coupling between the actin cytoskeleton and the calcium flux through the membrane. In our model, the fluid cell membrane has a mobile but constant population of proteins with a convex spontaneous curvature, which act as nucleators of actin polymerization and adhesion. Such a continuum model couples the forces of cell-substrate adhesion, actin polymerization, membrane curvature, and th...

  10. Reverse actin sliding triggers strong myosin binding that moves tropomyosin

    Bekyarova, T. I.; Reedy, M C; Baumann, B. A. J.; Tregear, R T; Ward, A; Krzic, U.; Prince, K.M.; Perz-Edwards, R. J.; Reconditi, M.; Gore, D.; Irving, T C; Reedy, M K

    2008-01-01

    Actin/myosin interactions in vertebrate striated muscles are believed to be regulated by the “steric blocking” mechanism whereby the binding of calcium to the troponin complex allows tropomyosin (TM) to change position on actin, acting as a molecular switch that blocks or allows myosin heads to interact with actin. Movement of TM during activation is initiated by interaction of Ca2+ with troponin, then completed by further displacement by strong binding cross-bridges. We report x-ray evidence...

  11. A Robust Actin Filaments Image Analysis Framework.

    Alioscha-Perez, Mitchel; Benadiba, Carine; Goossens, Katty; Kasas, Sandor; Dietler, Giovanni; Willaert, Ronnie; Sahli, Hichem

    2016-08-01

    The cytoskeleton is a highly dynamical protein network that plays a central role in numerous cellular physiological processes, and is traditionally divided into three components according to its chemical composition, i.e. actin, tubulin and intermediate filament cytoskeletons. Understanding the cytoskeleton dynamics is of prime importance to unveil mechanisms involved in cell adaptation to any stress type. Fluorescence imaging of cytoskeleton structures allows analyzing the impact of mechanical stimulation in the cytoskeleton, but it also imposes additional challenges in the image processing stage, such as the presence of imaging-related artifacts and heavy blurring introduced by (high-throughput) automated scans. However, although there exists a considerable number of image-based analytical tools to address the image processing and analysis, most of them are unfit to cope with the aforementioned challenges. Filamentous structures in images can be considered as a piecewise composition of quasi-straight segments (at least in some finer or coarser scale). Based on this observation, we propose a three-steps actin filaments extraction methodology: (i) first the input image is decomposed into a 'cartoon' part corresponding to the filament structures in the image, and a noise/texture part, (ii) on the 'cartoon' image, we apply a multi-scale line detector coupled with a (iii) quasi-straight filaments merging algorithm for fiber extraction. The proposed robust actin filaments image analysis framework allows extracting individual filaments in the presence of noise, artifacts and heavy blurring. Moreover, it provides numerous parameters such as filaments orientation, position and length, useful for further analysis. Cell image decomposition is relatively under-exploited in biological images processing, and our study shows the benefits it provides when addressing such tasks. Experimental validation was conducted using publicly available datasets, and in osteoblasts grown in

  12. A Robust Actin Filaments Image Analysis Framework

    Alioscha-Perez, Mitchel; Benadiba, Carine; Goossens, Katty; Kasas, Sandor; Dietler, Giovanni; Willaert, Ronnie; Sahli, Hichem

    2016-01-01

    The cytoskeleton is a highly dynamical protein network that plays a central role in numerous cellular physiological processes, and is traditionally divided into three components according to its chemical composition, i.e. actin, tubulin and intermediate filament cytoskeletons. Understanding the cytoskeleton dynamics is of prime importance to unveil mechanisms involved in cell adaptation to any stress type. Fluorescence imaging of cytoskeleton structures allows analyzing the impact of mechanical stimulation in the cytoskeleton, but it also imposes additional challenges in the image processing stage, such as the presence of imaging-related artifacts and heavy blurring introduced by (high-throughput) automated scans. However, although there exists a considerable number of image-based analytical tools to address the image processing and analysis, most of them are unfit to cope with the aforementioned challenges. Filamentous structures in images can be considered as a piecewise composition of quasi-straight segments (at least in some finer or coarser scale). Based on this observation, we propose a three-steps actin filaments extraction methodology: (i) first the input image is decomposed into a ‘cartoon’ part corresponding to the filament structures in the image, and a noise/texture part, (ii) on the ‘cartoon’ image, we apply a multi-scale line detector coupled with a (iii) quasi-straight filaments merging algorithm for fiber extraction. The proposed robust actin filaments image analysis framework allows extracting individual filaments in the presence of noise, artifacts and heavy blurring. Moreover, it provides numerous parameters such as filaments orientation, position and length, useful for further analysis. Cell image decomposition is relatively under-exploited in biological images processing, and our study shows the benefits it provides when addressing such tasks. Experimental validation was conducted using publicly available datasets, and in osteoblasts

  13. Actin polymerisation at the cytoplasmic face of eukaryotic nuclei

    David-Watine Brigitte

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There exists abundant molecular and ultra-structural evidence to suggest that cytoplasmic actin can physically interact with the nuclear envelope (NE membrane system. However, this interaction has yet to be characterised in living interphase cells. Results Using a fluorescent conjugate of the actin binding drug cytochalasin D (CD-BODIPY we provide evidence that polymerising actin accumulates in vicinity to the NE. In addition, both transiently expressed fluorescent actin and cytoplasmic micro-injection of fluorescent actin resulted in accumulation of actin at the NE-membrane. Consistent with the idea that the cytoplasmic phase of NE-membranes can support this novel pool of perinuclear actin polymerisation we show that isolated, intact, differentiated primary hepatocyte nuclei support actin polymerisation in vitro. Further this phenomenon was inhibited by treatments hindering steric access to outer-nuclear-membrane proteins (e.g. wheat germ agglutinin, anti-nesprin and anti-nucleoporin antibodies. Conclusion We conclude that actin polymerisation occurs around interphase nuclei of living cells at the cytoplasmic phase of NE-membranes.

  14. Shape Changes of Self-Assembled Actin Bilayer Composite Membranes

    Hackl, W; Sackmann, E

    1997-01-01

    We report the self-assembly of thin actin shells beneath the membranes of giant vesicles. Ion-carrier mediated influx of Mg2+ induces actin polymerization in the initially spherical vesicles. Buckling of the vesicles and the formation of blisters after thermally induced bilayer expansion is demonstrated. Bilayer flickering is dominated by tension generated by its coupling to the actin cortex. Quantitative flicker analysis suggests the bilayer and the actin cortex are separated by 0.4 \\mum to 0.5 \\mum due to undulation forces.

  15. Immunocytochemical identification of actin in mitochondria of Physarum polycephalum

    2003-01-01

    Mitochondria isolated from the plasmodia of Physarum polycephalum Schw. are reacted with rabbit anti-actin antibody, and detected with FITC-conjugated sheep anti-rabbit IgG antibody. The results of indirect immunofluorescence show that actin exists in the mitochondria. Western blot analysis confirms the existence of actin in the protein preparation of the mitochondria. The indirect immunoelectron microscopic observation using the same antibodies verifies further that actin is the constituents of mitochondria, and it is dispersively distributed in the mitochondria of P. polycephalum.

  16. An unconventional form of actin in protozoan hemoflagellate, Leishmania.

    Kapoor, Prabodh; Sahasrabuddhe, Amogh A; Kumar, Ashutosh; Mitra, Kalyan; Siddiqi, Mohammad Imran; Gupta, Chhitar M

    2008-08-15

    Leishmania actin was cloned, overexpressed in baculovirus-insect cell system, and purified to homogeneity. The purified protein polymerized optimally in the presence of Mg2+ and ATP, but differed from conventional actins in its following properties: (i) it did not polymerize in the presence of Mg2+ alone, (ii) it polymerized in a restricted range of pH 7.0-8.5, (iii) its critical concentration for polymerization was found to be 3-4-fold lower than of muscle actin, (iv) it predominantly formed bundles rather than single filaments at pH 8.0, (v) it displayed considerably higher ATPase activity during polymerization, (vi) it did not inhibit DNase-I activity, and (vii) it did not bind the F-actin-binding toxin phalloidin or the actin polymerization disrupting agent Latrunculin B. Computational and molecular modeling studies revealed that the observed unconventional behavior of Leishmania actin is related to the diverged amino acid stretches in its sequence, which may lead to changes in the overall charge distribution on its solvent-exposed surface, ATP binding cleft, Mg2+ binding sites, and the hydrophobic loop that is involved in monomer-monomer interactions. Phylogenetically, it is related to ciliate actins, but to the best of our knowledge, no other actin with such unconventional properties has been reported to date. It is therefore suggested that actin in Leishmania may serve as a novel target for design of new antileishmanial drugs. PMID:18539603

  17. Dynamic buckling of actin within filopodia

    Leijnse, Natascha; Oddershede, Lene B; Bendix, Pól Martin

    2015-01-01

    Filopodia are active tubular structures protruding from the cell surface which allow the cell to sense and interact with the surrounding environment through repetitive elongation-retraction cycles. The mechanical behavior of filopodia has been studied by measuring the traction forces exerted on...... external substrates.(1) These studies have revealed that internal actin flow can transduce a force across the cell surface through transmembrane linkers like integrins. In addition to the elongation-retraction behavior filopodia also exhibit a buckling and rotational behavior. Filopodial buckling in...

  18. A novel method to study the electrodynamic behavior of actin filaments. Evidence for cable-like properties of actin.

    Lin, E C; Cantiello, H. F.

    1993-01-01

    Actin, one of the most abundant intracellular proteins, forms long linear polyelectrolytic polymers in solution. A novel technique to handle single actin filaments in solution was developed that allows the study of ionic currents elicited along the surface of electrically stimulated actin filaments. Electrical currents were observed about the polymer's surface under both high (100 mM KCl) and low (1 mM KCl) ionic strength conditions. The data are consistent with a dynamic behavior of the coun...

  19. Sequential Treatment of Multiple Actinic Keratoses with Solaraze and Actikerall

    Thomas Dirschka

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Interest is increasing in the use of sequential or combined therapeutic modalities for spot or area treatment of actinic keratoses (AKs to achieve complete sustained remission. For multiple lesions in a contained area, topical treatment offers less discomfort, better cosmesis and greater patient convenience than destructive/ablative techniques. Twelve patients with multiple grade I and II AK lesions of the scalp (cases 1-10 or the dorsum of the hand (cases 11 and 12, most with a history of recurrence, were treated with Solaraze gel (3% diclofenac sodium in 2.5% hyaluronic acid twice daily for 12 weeks, followed by a 2-week treatment-free interval, then Actikerall cutaneous solution (5-fluorouracil 5 mg/g and salicylic acid 100 mg/g once daily for up to 6 weeks as required. Sequential treatment provided complete (clinical and histological clearance in 8/10 male patients. Two patients with numerous lesions had partial clearance (significant improvement and the remaining few lesions were treated with erbium laser. Both female patients achieved complete clinical clearance with sequential treatment. Solaraze/Actikerall were well tolerated. A case of contact dermatitis with Solaraze resolved after discontinuation and the patient progressed to treatment with Actikerall. Local application site reactions resolved upon treatment completion. Topical lesion-directed sequential treatment with Solaraze/Actikerall is a rational approach to treat patients with multiple AKs. Sequential treatment produces excellent clearance rates which are accompanied by relevant improvement in patients' quality of life.

  20. Interactions between the Yeast SM22 Homologue Scp1 and Actin Demonstrate the Importance of Actin Bundling in Endocytosis* S⃞

    Gheorghe, Dana M.; Aghamohammadzadeh, Soheil; Rooij, Iwona I. Smaczynska-de; Allwood, Ellen G.; Winder, Steve J.; Ayscough, Kathryn R.

    2008-01-01

    The yeast SM22 homologue Scp1 has previously been shown to act as an actin-bundling protein in vitro. In cells, Scp1 localizes to the cortical actin patches that form as part of the invagination process during endocytosis, and its function overlaps with that of the well characterized yeast fimbrin homologue Sac6p. In this work we have used live cell imaging to demonstrate the importance of key residues in the Scp1 actin interface. We have defined two actin binding domains within Scp1 that all...

  1. Gas sensor

    Schmid, Andreas K.; Mascaraque, Arantzazu; Santos, Benito; de la Figuera, Juan

    2014-09-09

    A gas sensor is described which incorporates a sensor stack comprising a first film layer of a ferromagnetic material, a spacer layer, and a second film layer of the ferromagnetic material. The first film layer is fabricated so that it exhibits a dependence of its magnetic anisotropy direction on the presence of a gas, That is, the orientation of the easy axis of magnetization will flip from out-of-plane to in-plane when the gas to be detected is present in sufficient concentration. By monitoring the change in resistance of the sensor stack when the orientation of the first layer's magnetization changes, and correlating that change with temperature one can determine both the identity and relative concentration of the detected gas. In one embodiment the stack sensor comprises a top ferromagnetic layer two mono layers thick of cobalt deposited upon a spacer layer of ruthenium, which in turn has a second layer of cobalt disposed on its other side, this second cobalt layer in contact with a programmable heater chip.

  2. Head-neck domain of Arabidopsis myosin XI, MYA2, fused with GFP produces F-actin patterns that coincide with fast organelle streaming in different plant cells

    Holweg Carola L

    2008-07-01

    organelles such as peroxisomes. Potential roles of MYA2 may also exist in the cell nucleus. Whether the low quality of the F-actin-labeling by MYA2-head6IQ compared to other F-actin-binding proteins (ABPs signifies a weak association of the myosin with actin filaments remains to be proven by other means than in vivo. Clues for the mode of contact between the myosin molecules and F-actin so far cannot be drawn from sequence-related data.

  3. ER-PM Contacts Define Actomyosin Kinetics for Proper Contractile Ring Assembly.

    Zhang, Dan; Bidone, Tamara C; Vavylonis, Dimitrios

    2016-03-01

    The cortical endoplasmic reticulum (ER), an elaborate network of tubules and cisternae [1], establishes contact sites with the plasma membrane (PM) through tethering machinery involving a set of conserved integral ER proteins [2]. The physiological consequences of forming ER-PM contacts are not fully understood. Here, we reveal a kinetic restriction role of ER-PM contacts over ring compaction process for proper actomyosin ring assembly in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We show that fission yeast cells deficient in ER-PM contacts exhibit aberrant equatorial clustering of actin cables during ring assembly and are particularly susceptible to compromised actin filament crosslinking activity. Using quantitative image analyses and computer simulation, we demonstrate that ER-PM contacts function to modulate the distribution of ring components and to constrain their compaction kinetics. We propose that ER-PM contacts have evolved as important physical modulators to ensure robust ring assembly. PMID:26877082

  4. Computational analysis of viscoelastic properties of crosslinked actin networks.

    Taeyoon Kim

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Mechanical force plays an important role in the physiology of eukaryotic cells whose dominant structural constituent is the actin cytoskeleton composed mainly of actin and actin crosslinking proteins (ACPs. Thus, knowledge of rheological properties of actin networks is crucial for understanding the mechanics and processes of cells. We used Brownian dynamics simulations to study the viscoelasticity of crosslinked actin networks. Two methods were employed, bulk rheology and segment-tracking rheology, where the former measures the stress in response to an applied shear strain, and the latter analyzes thermal fluctuations of individual actin segments of the network. It was demonstrated that the storage shear modulus (G' increases more by the addition of ACPs that form orthogonal crosslinks than by those that form parallel bundles. In networks with orthogonal crosslinks, as crosslink density increases, the power law exponent of G' as a function of the oscillation frequency decreases from 0.75, which reflects the transverse thermal motion of actin filaments, to near zero at low frequency. Under increasing prestrain, the network becomes more elastic, and three regimes of behavior are observed, each dominated by different mechanisms: bending of actin filaments, bending of ACPs, and at the highest prestrain tested (55%, stretching of actin filaments and ACPs. In the last case, only a small portion of actin filaments connected via highly stressed ACPs support the strain. We thus introduce the concept of a 'supportive framework,' as a subset of the full network, which is responsible for high elasticity. Notably, entropic effects due to thermal fluctuations appear to be important only at relatively low prestrains and when the average crosslinking distance is comparable to or greater than the persistence length of the filament. Taken together, our results suggest that viscoelasticity of the actin network is attributable to different mechanisms depending on

  5. Plasmin enzymatic activity in the presence of actin

    Yusova E. I.

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Aim. To study the changes in the plasmin activity towards substrates with high and low molecular mass in the presence of actin. Methods. The proteins used for this investigation were obtained by affinity chromatography and gel-filtration. The plasmin enzymatic activity was determined by a turbidimetric assay and a chromogenic substrate-based assay. The enzyme linked immunosorbent assay and biotin-avidin-phosphatase system were used to study the interaction of plasminogen and its fragments with actin. Results. It was shown that G-actin causes 1.5-fold decrease in the rate of polymeric fibrin hydrolysis by plasmin and Glu-plasminogen activated by the tissue plasminogen activator. However, actin did not impede plasmin autolysis and had no influence on its amidase activity. We have studied an interaction of biotinylated Glu-plasminogen and its fragments (kringle 1-3, kringle 4 and mini-plasminogen with immobilized G-actin. Glu-plasminogen and kringle 4 had a high affinity towards actin (C50 is 113 and 117 nM correspondingly. Mini-plasminogen and kringe 4 did not bind to actin. A similar affinity of Glu-plasminogen and kringle 1-3 towards actin proves the involvement of the kringle 1-3 lysine-binding sites of the native plasminogen form in the actin interaction. Conclusions. Actin can modulate plasmin specificity towards high molecular mass substrates through its interaction with lysine-binding sites of the enzyme kringle domains. Actin inhibition of the fibrinolytic activity of plasmin is due to its competition with fibrin for thelysine binding sites of plasminogen/plasmin.

  6. Vibration sensor

    This invention relates to a sensor for detecting the vibrations of a liquid, specifically designed for detecting low frequency vibrations transmitted by a high temperature liquid, particularly the liquid metal coolant of a fast reactor. It comprises a piezoelectric transducer inside a cavity closed by a membrane in contact with the liquid and in which a vacuum is made. The membrane is connected to one of the sides of the transducer, called the first side, through a mechanical vibration transmitting part made of a thermal insulation material. The other side of the transducer, termed second side, is blocked and the cavity has at least one leak-tight passage for an electric conductor

  7. A36-dependent actin filament nucleation promotes release of vaccinia virus.

    Jacquelyn Horsington

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Cell-to-cell transmission of vaccinia virus can be mediated by enveloped virions that remain attached to the outer surface of the cell or those released into the medium. During egress, the outer membrane of the double-enveloped virus fuses with the plasma membrane leaving extracellular virus attached to the cell surface via viral envelope proteins. Here we report that F-actin nucleation by the viral protein A36 promotes the disengagement of virus attachment and release of enveloped virus. Cells infected with the A36(YdF virus, which has mutations at two critical tyrosine residues abrogating localised actin nucleation, displayed a 10-fold reduction in virus release. We examined A36(YdF infected cells by transmission electron microscopy and observed that during release, virus appeared trapped in small invaginations at the plasma membrane. To further characterise the mechanism by which actin nucleation drives the dissociation of enveloped virus from the cell surface, we examined recombinant viruses by super-resolution microscopy. Fluorescently-tagged A36 was visualised at sub-viral resolution to image cell-virus attachment in mutant and parental backgrounds. We confirmed that A36(YdF extracellular virus remained closely associated to the plasma membrane in small membrane pits. Virus-induced actin nucleation reduced the extent of association, thereby promoting the untethering of virus from the cell surface. Virus release can be enhanced via a point mutation in the luminal region of B5 (P189S, another virus envelope protein. We found that the B5(P189S mutation led to reduced contact between extracellular virus and the host membrane during release, even in the absence of virus-induced actin nucleation. Our results posit that during release virus is tightly tethered to the host cell through interactions mediated by viral envelope proteins. Untethering of virus into the surrounding extracellular space requires these interactions be relieved, either

  8. Recent technology of sensor; Saikin no sensor gijutsu

    Matsushita, S.; Iwaki, S. [Shin Meiwa Industry Co. Ltd., Hyogo (Japan)

    1997-02-01

    Introduced in this report are typical sensors used in robotized welding, which are the arc sensor, contact sensor, and optical sensor. The arc sensor enables welding by utilizing the physical features of arc for the real-time detection of the weld line. Changes in welding current or voltage produced by changes in the distance between the tip and parent metal are the information usually inputted into the arc sensor. This sensor needs weaving for weld line detection. Weaving directly relates to response and tracking characteristics, and is carried out by the robot, high-speed rotary sensor, etc. The contact sensor identifies the weld start point in the absence of welding current and a touch sensor is often used capable of switching the welding power source to the contact probe circuit for the torch itself to serve as a probe. The optical sensor detects a laser beam with the aid of CCD for the measurement of the position, groove shape, and dimensions. For improving accuracy and other properties, algorithm based on the modern control theory has begun to be incorporated into the sensors for use in robotized welding. 15 refs., 12 figs., 1 tab.

  9. A human β-III-spectrin spinocerebellar ataxia type 5 mutation causes high-affinity F-actin binding.

    Avery, Adam W; Crain, Jonathan; Thomas, David D; Hays, Thomas S

    2016-01-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 5 (SCA5) is a human neurodegenerative disease that stems from mutations in the SPTBN2 gene encoding the protein β-III-spectrin. Here we investigated the molecular consequence of a SCA5 missense mutation that results in a L253P substitution in the actin-binding domain (ABD) of β-III-spectrin. We report that the L253P substitution in the isolated β-III-spectrin ABD causes strikingly high F-actin binding affinity (Kd = 75.5 nM) compared to the weak F-actin binding affinity of the wild-type ABD (Kd = 75.8 μM). The mutation also causes decreased thermal stability (Tm = 44.6 °C vs 59.5 °C). Structural analyses indicate that leucine 253 is in a loop at the interface of the tandem calponin homology (CH) domains comprising the ABD. Leucine 253 is predicted to form hydrophobic contacts that bridge the CH domains. The decreased stability of the mutant indicates that these bridging interactions are probably disrupted, suggesting that the high F-actin binding affinity of the mutant is due to opening of the CH domain interface. These results support a fundamental role for leucine 253 in regulating opening of the CH domain interface and binding of the ABD to F-actin. This study indicates that high-affinity actin binding of L253P β-III-spectrin is a likely driver of neurodegeneration. PMID:26883385

  10. Sensing with Superconducting Point Contacts

    Argo Nurbawono

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Superconducting point contacts have been used for measuring magnetic polarizations, identifying magnetic impurities, electronic structures, and even the vibrational modes of small molecules. Due to intrinsically small energy scale in the subgap structures of the supercurrent determined by the size of the superconducting energy gap, superconductors provide ultrahigh sensitivities for high resolution spectroscopies. The so-called Andreev reflection process between normal metal and superconductor carries complex and rich information which can be utilized as powerful sensor when fully exploited. In this review, we would discuss recent experimental and theoretical developments in the supercurrent transport through superconducting point contacts and their relevance to sensing applications, and we would highlight their current issues and potentials. A true utilization of the method based on Andreev reflection analysis opens up possibilities for a new class of ultrasensitive sensors.

  11. Deafness and espin-actin self-organization in stereocilia

    Wong, Gerard C. L.

    2009-03-01

    Espins are F-actin-bundling proteins associated with large parallel actin bundles found in hair cell stereocilia in the ear, as well as brush border microvilli and Sertoli cell junctions. We examine actin bundle structures formed by different wild-type espin isoforms, fragments, and naturally-occurring human espin mutants linked to deafness and/or vestibular dysfunction. The espin-actin bundle structure consisted of a hexagonal arrangement of parallel actin filaments in a non-native twist state. We delineate the structural consequences caused by mutations in espin's actin-bundling module. For espin mutation with a severely damaged actin-bundling module, which are implicated in deafness in mice and humans, oriented nematic-like actin filament structures, which strongly impinges on bundle mechanical stiffness. Finally, we examine what makes espin different, via a comparative study of bundles formed by espin and those formed by fascin, a prototypical bundling protein found in functionally different regions of the cell, such as filopodia.

  12. Electrophoresis and orientation of F-actin in agarose gels.

    Borejdo, J; Ortega, H.

    1989-01-01

    F-Actin was electrophoresed on agarose gels. In the presence of 2 mM MgCl2 and above pH 8.5 F-actin entered 1% agarose; when the electric field was 2.1 V/cm and the pH was 8.8, F-actin migrated through a gel as a single band at a rate of 2.5 mm/h. Labeling of actin with fluorophores did not affect its rate of migration, but an increase in ionic strength slowed it down. After the electrophoresis actin was able to bind phalloidin and heavy meromyosin (HMM) and it activated Mg2+-dependent ATPase...

  13. Membrane waves driven by forces from actin filaments

    Membrane waves propagating along the cell circumference in a top down view have been observed with several eukaryotic cells (Döbereiner et al 2006 Phys. Rev. Lett. 97 10; Machacek and Danuser 2006 Biophys. J. 90 1439–52). We present a mathematical model reproducing these traveling membrane undulations during lamellipodial motility of cells on flat substrates. The model describes the interplay of pushing forces exerted by actin polymerization on the membrane, pulling forces of attached actin filaments on the cell edge, contractile forces powered by molecular motors across the actin gel and resisting membrane tension. The actin filament network in the bulk of lamellipodia obeys gel flow equations. We investigated in particular the dependence of wave properties on gel parameters and found that inhibition of myosin motors abolishes waves in some cells but not in others in agreement with experimental observations. The model provides a unifying mechanism explaining the dynamics of actin-based motility in a variety of systems. (paper)

  14. Almost contact 5-folds are contact

    Casals, Roger; Presas, Francisco

    2012-01-01

    We prove that every homotopy class of an almost contact structure on a closed 5-dimensional manifold with no 2-torsion in $H^2(M,\\Z)$ admits a contact structure. If there is 2-torsion, we prove that there is a contact structure with the same first Chern class as the given almost contact structure.

  15. Wdpcp, a PCP protein required for ciliogenesis, regulates directional cell migration and cell polarity by direct modulation of the actin cytoskeleton.

    Cheng Cui

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Planar cell polarity (PCP regulates cell alignment required for collective cell movement during embryonic development. This requires PCP/PCP effector proteins, some of which also play essential roles in ciliogenesis, highlighting the long-standing question of the role of the cilium in PCP. Wdpcp, a PCP effector, was recently shown to regulate both ciliogenesis and collective cell movement, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Here we show Wdpcp can regulate PCP by direct modulation of the actin cytoskeleton. These studies were made possible by recovery of a Wdpcp mutant mouse model. Wdpcp-deficient mice exhibit phenotypes reminiscent of Bardet-Biedl/Meckel-Gruber ciliopathy syndromes, including cardiac outflow tract and cochlea defects associated with PCP perturbation. We observed Wdpcp is localized to the transition zone, and in Wdpcp-deficient cells, Sept2, Nphp1, and Mks1 were lost from the transition zone, indicating Wdpcp is required for recruitment of proteins essential for ciliogenesis. Wdpcp is also found in the cytoplasm, where it is localized in the actin cytoskeleton and in focal adhesions. Wdpcp interacts with Sept2 and is colocalized with Sept2 in actin filaments, but in Wdpcp-deficient cells, Sept2 was lost from the actin cytoskeleton, suggesting Wdpcp is required for Sept2 recruitment to actin filaments. Significantly, organization of the actin filaments and focal contacts were markedly changed in Wdpcp-deficient cells. This was associated with decreased membrane ruffling, failure to establish cell polarity, and loss of directional cell migration. These results suggest the PCP defects in Wdpcp mutants are not caused by loss of cilia, but by direct disruption of the actin cytoskeleton. Consistent with this, Wdpcp mutant cochlea has normal kinocilia and yet exhibits PCP defects. Together, these findings provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that a PCP component required for ciliogenesis can directly modulate the actin

  16. Lipstick Induced Contact Leucoderma

    Gupta Lalit Kumar; Jain Suresh Kumar; Khare Ashok Kumar

    2001-01-01

    Lipstick is a commonly used cosmetic. Its use may sometimes lead to contact dermatitis. Contact leucoderma to lipsticks however, is not common. We report a patient developing contact leucoderma to lipstick in association with contact dermatitis.

  17. Lipstick Induced Contact Leucoderma

    Gupta Lalit Kumar

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Lipstick is a commonly used cosmetic. Its use may sometimes lead to contact dermatitis. Contact leucoderma to lipsticks however, is not common. We report a patient developing contact leucoderma to lipstick in association with contact dermatitis.

  18. EDITORIAL: Close contact Close contact

    Demming, Anna

    2010-07-01

    The development of scanning probe techniques, such as scanning tunnelling microscopy [1], has often been touted as the catalyst for the surge in activity and progress in nanoscale science and technology. Images of nanoscale structural detail have served as an invaluable investigative resource and continue to fascinate with the fantastical reality of an intricate nether world existing all around us, but hidden from view of the naked eye by a disparity in scale. As is so often the case, the invention of the scanning tunnelling microscope heralded far more than just a useful new apparatus, it demonstrated the scope for exploiting the subtleties of electronic contact. The shrinking of electronic devices has been a driving force for research into molecular electronics, in which an understanding of the nature of electronic contact at junctions is crucial. In response, the number of experimental techniques in molecular electronics has increased rapidly in recent years. Scanning tunnelling microscopes have been used to study electron transfer through molecular films on a conducting substrate, and the need to monitor the contact force of scanning tunnelling electrodes led to the use of atomic force microscopy probes coated in a conducting layer as studied by Cui and colleagues in Arizona [2]. In this issue a collaboration of researchers at Delft University and Leiden University in the Netherlands report a new device architecture for the independent mechanical and electrostatic tuning of nanoscale charge transport, which will enable thorough studies of molecular transport in the future [3]. Scanning probes can also be used to pattern surfaces, such as through spatially-localized Suzuki and Heck reactions in chemical scanning probe lithography. Mechanistic aspects of spatially confined Suzuki and Heck chemistry are also reported in this issue by researchers in Oxford [4]. All these developments in molecular electronics fabrication and characterization provide alternative

  19. Mechanical properties of branched actin filaments

    Razbin, Mohammadhosein; Benetatos, Panayotis; Zippelius, Annette

    2015-01-01

    Cells moving on a two dimensional substrate generate motion by polymerizing actin filament networks inside a flat membrane protrusion. New filaments are generated by branching off existing ones, giving rise to branched network structures. We investigate the force-extension relation of branched filaments, grafted on an elastic structure at one end and pushing with the free ends against the leading edge cell membrane. Single filaments are modeled as worm-like chains, whose thermal bending fluctuations are restricted by the leading edge cell membrane, resulting in an effective force. Branching can increase the stiffness considerably; however the effect depends on branch point position and filament orientation, being most pronounced for intermediate tilt angles and intermediate branch point positions. We describe filament networks without cross-linkers to focus on the effect of branching. We use randomly positioned branch points, as generated in the process of treadmilling, and orientation distributions as measur...

  20. High Resolution Flexible Tactile Sensors

    Drimus, Alin; Bilberg, Arne

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the development of a tactile sensor for robotics inspired by the human sense of touch. It consists of two parts: a static tactile array sensor based on piezoresistive rubber and a dynamic sensor based on piezoelectric PVDF film. The combination of these two layers addresses...... both spatial distribution of pressure and dynamic events such as contact, release of contact and slip. Data acquisition and object recognition applications are described and it is proposed that such a sensor could be used in robotic grippers to improve object recognition, manipulation of objects...

  1. How to estimate epidemic risk from incomplete contact diaries data?

    Mastrandrea, Rossana

    2016-01-01

    Social interactions shape the patterns of spreading processes in a population. Techniques such as diaries or proximity sensors allow to collect data about encounters and to build networks of contacts between individuals. The contact networks obtained from these different techniques are however quantitatively different. Here, we first show how these discrepancies affect the prediction of the epidemic risk when these data are fed to numerical models of epidemic spread: low participation rate, under-reporting of contacts and overestimation of contact durations in contact diaries with respect to sensor data determine indeed important differences in the outcomes of the corresponding simulations {with for instance an enhanced sensitivity to initial conditions}. Most importantly, we investigate if and how information gathered from contact diaries can be used in such simulations in order to yield an accurate description of the epidemic risk, assuming that data from sensors represent the ground truth. The contact netw...

  2. Capping of the barbed ends of actin filaments by a high-affinity profilin-actin complex.

    DiNubile, M J; Huang, S

    1997-01-01

    Profilin, a ubiquitous 12 to 15-kDa protein, serves many functions, including sequestering monomeric actin, accelerating nucleotide exchange on actin monomers, decreasing the critical concentration of the barbed end of actin filaments, and promoting actin polymerization when barbed ends are free. Most previous studies have focused on profilin itself rather than its complex with actin. A high-affinity profilin-actin complex (here called profilactin) can be isolated from a poly-(L)-proline (PLP) column by sequential elution with 3 M and 7 M urea. Profilactin inhibited the elongation rate of pyrenyl-G-actin from filament seeds in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. Much greater inhibition of elongation was observed with spectrin-F-actin than gelsolin-F-actin seeds, suggesting that the major effect of profilactin was due to capping the barbed ends of actin filaments. Its dissociation constant for binding to filament ends was 0.3 microM; the on- and off-rate constants were estimated to be 1.7 x 10(3) M-1 s-1 and 4.5 x 10(-4) s-1, respectively. Purified profilin (obtained by repetitive applications to a PLP column and assessed by silver-stained polyacylamide gels) did not slow the elongation rate of pyrenyl-G-actin from filament seeds. Capping protein could not be detected by Western blotting in the profilactin preparation, but low concentrations of gelsolin did contaminate our preparation. However, prolonged incubation with either calcium or EGTA did not affect capping activity, implying that contaminating gelsolin-actin complexes were not primarily responsible for the observed capping activity. Reapplication of the profilactin preparation to PLP-coupled Sepharose removed both profilin and actin and concurrently eliminated its capping activity. Profilactin that was reapplied to uncoupled Sepharose retained its capping activity. Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) was the most potent phosphoinositol in reducing the capping activity of profilactin

  3. Titin-Actin Interaction: PEVK-Actin-Based Viscosity in a Large Animal

    Charles S. Chung

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Titin exhibits an interaction between its PEVK segment and the actin filament resulting in viscosity, a speed dependent resistive force, which significantly influences diastolic filling in mice. While diastolic disease is clinically pervasive, humans express a more compliant titin (N2BA:N2B ratio ~0.5–1.0 than mice (N2BA:N2B ratio ~0.2. To examine PEVK-actin based viscosity in compliant titin-tissues, we used pig cardiac tissue that expresses titin isoforms similar to that in humans. Stretch-hold experiments were performed at speeds from 0.1 to 10 lengths/s from slack sarcomere lengths (SL to SL of 2.15 μm. Viscosity was calculated from the slope of stress-relaxation vs stretch speed. Recombinant PEVK was added to compete off native interactions and this found to reduce the slope by 35%, suggesting that PEVK-actin interactions are a strong contributor of viscosity. Frequency sweeps were performed at frequencies of 0.1–400 Hz and recombinant protein reduced viscous moduli by 40% at 2.15 μm and by 50% at 2.25 μm, suggesting a SL-dependent nature of viscosity that might prevent SL ``overshoot’’ at long diastolic SLs. This study is the first to show that viscosity is present at physiologic speeds in the pig and supports the physiologic relevance of PEVK-actin interactions in humans in both health and disease.

  4. Human Muscle LIM Protein Dimerizes along the Actin Cytoskeleton and Cross-Links Actin Filaments

    Hoffmann, Céline; Moreau, Flora; Moes, Michèle; Luthold, Carole; Dieterle, Monika; Goretti, Emeline; Neumann, Katrin; Steinmetz, André; Thomas, Clément

    2014-01-01

    The muscle LIM protein (MLP) is a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein playing important roles in the regulation of myocyte remodeling and adaptation to hypertrophic stimuli. Missense mutations in human MLP or its ablation in transgenic mice promotes cardiomyopathy and heart failure. The exact function(s) of MLP in the cytoplasmic compartment and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here, we provide evidence that MLP autonomously binds to, stabilizes, and bundles actin f...

  5. Cloning and characterization of an actin gene of Chlamys farreri and the phylogenetic analysis of mollusk actins

    2007-01-01

    An actin gene (CfACT1) was cloned by using RT-PCR, 3' and 5'RACE from hemocytes of the sea scallop Chlamys farreri. The full length of the transcript is 1535 bp, which contains a long 3' un-translated region of 436bp and 59bp of a 5' un-translated sequence. The open reading frame encodes a polypeptide of 376 amino acids. Sequence comparisons indicated that CfACT1 is more closely related to vertebrate cytoplasmic actins than muscle types. Phylogenetic analysis showed that molluscan actins could be generally divided into two categories: muscle and cytoplasmic, although both are similar to vertebrate cytoplasmic actins. It was also inferred that different isotypes existed in muscle or cytoplasma in mollusks. The genomic sequence of CfACT1 was cloned and sequenced. Only one intron was detected:it was located between codons 42 and 43 and different from vertebrate actin genes.

  6. On the Properties of a Bundle of Flexible Actin Filaments in an Optical Trap

    Perilli, Alessia; Ciccotti, Giovanni; Ryckaert, Jean Paul

    2016-01-01

    We establish the Statistical Mechanics framework for a bundle of Nf living and uncrosslinked actin filaments in a supercritical solution of free monomers pressing against a mobile wall. The filaments are anchored normally to a fixed planar surface at one of their ends and, because of their limited flexibility, they grow almost parallel to each other. Their growing ends hit a moving obstacle, depicted as a second planar wall, parallel to the previous one and subjected to a harmonic compressive force. The force constant is denoted as trap strength while the distance between the two walls as trap length to make contact with the experimental optical trap apparatus. For an ideal solution of reactive filaments and free monomers at fixed free monomers chemical potential, we obtain the general expression for the grand potential from which we derive averages and distributions of relevant physical quantities, namely the obstacle position, the bundle polymerization force and the number of filaments in direct contact wit...

  7. Concentration profiles of actin-binding molecules in lamellipodia

    Falcke, Martin

    2016-04-01

    Motile cells form lamellipodia in the direction of motion, which are flat membrane protrusions containing an actin filament network. The network flows rearward relative to the leading edge of the lamellipodium due to actin polymerization at the front. Thus, actin binding molecules are subject to transport towards the rear of the cell in the bound state and diffuse freely in the unbound state. We analyze this reaction-diffusion-advection process with respect to the concentration profiles of these species and provide an analytic approximation for them. Network flow may cause a depletion zone of actin binding molecules close to the leading edge. The existence of such zone depends on the free molecule concentration in the cell body, on the ratio of the diffusion length to the distance bound molecules travel rearward with the flow before dissociating, and the ratio of the diffusion length to the width of the region with network flow and actin binding. Our calculations suggest the existence of depletion zones for the F-actin cross-linkers filamin and α-actinin in fish keratocytes (and other cell types), which is in line with the small elastic moduli of the F-actin network close to the leading edge found in measurements of the force motile cells are able to exert.

  8. Non-contact FBG sensing based steam turbine rotor dynamic balance vibration detection system

    Li, Tianliang; Tan, Yuegang; Cai, Lin

    2015-10-01

    This paper has proposed a non-contact vibration sensor based on fiber Bragg grating sensing, and applied to detect vibration of steam turbine rotor dynamic balance experimental platform. The principle of the sensor has been introduced, as well as the experimental analysis; performance of non-contact FBG vibration sensor has been analyzed in the experiment; in addition, turbine rotor dynamic vibration detection system based on eddy current displacement sensor and non-contact FBG vibration sensor have built; finally, compared with results of signals under analysis of the time domain and frequency domain. The analysis of experimental data contrast shows that: the vibration signal analysis of non-contact FBG vibration sensor is basically the same as the result of eddy current displacement sensor; it verified that the sensor can be used for non-contact measurement of steam turbine rotor dynamic balance vibration.

  9. Role of actin in auxin transport and transduction of gravity

    Hu, S.; Basu, S.; Brady, S.; Muday, G.

    Transport of the plant hormone auxin is polar and the direction of the hormone movement appears to be controlled by asymmetric distribution of auxin transport protein complexes. Changes in the direction of auxin transport are believed to drive asymmetric growth in response to changes in the gravity vector. To test the possibility that asymmetric distribution of the auxin transport protein complex is mediated by attachment to the actin cytoskeleton, a variety of experimental approaches have been used. The most direct demonstration of the role of the actin cytoskeleton in localization of the protein complex is the ability of one protein in this complex to bind to affinity columns containing actin filaments. Additionally, treatments of plant tissues with drugs that fragment the actin c toskeleton reducey polar transport. In order to explore this actin interaction and the affect of gravity on auxin transport and developmental polarity, embryos of the brown alga, Fucus have been examined. Fucus zygotes are initially symmetrical, but develop asymmetry in response to environmental gradients, with light gradients being the best- characterized signal. Gravity will polarize these embryos and gravity-induced polarity is randomized by clinorotation. Auxin transport also appears necessary for environmental controls of polarity, since auxin efflux inhibitors perturb both photo- and gravity-polarization at a very discrete temporal window within six hours after fertilization. The actin cytoskeleton has previously been shown to reorganize after fertilization of Fucus embryos leading to formation of an actin patch at the site of polar outgrowth. These actin patches still form in Fucus embryos treated with auxin efflux inhibitors, yet the position of these patches is randomized. Together, these results suggest that there are connections between the actin cytoskeleton, auxin transport, and gravity oriented growth and development. (Supported by NASA Grant: NAG2-1203)

  10. Staining Fission Yeast Filamentous Actin with Fluorescent Phalloidin Conjugates.

    Hagan, Iain M

    2016-01-01

    The Schizosaccharomyces pombe filamentous (F)-actin cytoskeleton drives cell growth, morphogenesis, endocytosis, and cytokinesis. The protocol described here reveals the distribution of F-actin in fixed cells through the use of fluorescently conjugated phalloidin. Simultaneous staining of cell wall landmarks (with calcofluor) and chromatin (with 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole, or DAPI) makes this rapid staining procedure highly effective for staging cell cycle progression, monitoring morphogenetic abnormalities, and assessing the impact of environmental and genetic changes on the integrity of the F-actin cytoskeleton. PMID:27250943