Sample records for cell membrane

  1. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Qi, Zhigang


    Preface Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel CellsFuel CellsTypes of Fuel CellsAdvantages of Fuel CellsProton Exchange Membrane Fuel CellsMembraneCatalystCatalyst LayerGas Diffusion MediumMicroporous LayerMembrane Electrode AssemblyPlateSingle CellStackSystemCell Voltage Monitoring Module (CVM)Fuel Supply Module (FSM)Air Supply Module (ASM)Exhaust Management Module (EMM)Heat Management Module (HMM)Water Management Module (WMM)Internal Power Supply Module (IPM)Power Conditioning Module (PCM)Communications Module (COM)Controls Module (CM)SummaryThermodynamics and KineticsTheoretical EfficiencyVoltagePo

  2. Cell Membrane Softening in Cancer Cells

    Schmidt, Sebastian; Händel, Chris; Käs, Josef

    Biomechanical properties are useful characteristics and regulators of the cell's state. Current research connects mechanical properties of the cytoskeleton to many cellular processes but does not investigate the biomechanics of the plasma membrane. We evaluated thermal fluctuations of giant plasma membrane vesicles, directly derived from the plasma membranes of primary breast and cervical cells and observed a lowered rigidity in the plasma membrane of malignant cells compared to non-malignant cells. To investigate the specific role of membrane rigidity changes, we treated two cell lines with the Acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibitor Soraphen A. It changed the lipidome of cells and drastically increased membrane stiffness by up regulating short chained membrane lipids. These altered cells had a decreased motility in Boyden chamber assays. Our results indicate that the thermal fluctuations of the membrane, which are much smaller than the fluctuations driven by the cytoskeleton, can be modulated by the cell and have an impact on adhesion and motility.

  3. Fuel cell with ionization membrane

    Hartley, Frank T. (Inventor)


    A fuel cell is disclosed comprising an ionization membrane having at least one area through which gas is passed, and which ionizes the gas passing therethrough, and a cathode for receiving the ions generated by the ionization membrane. The ionization membrane may include one or more openings in the membrane with electrodes that are located closer than a mean free path of molecules within the gas to be ionized. Methods of manufacture are also provided.

  4. Solitons in cell membranes

    Das, Pradip; Schwarz, W. H.


    Using a two-dimensional smectic liquid crystal model, we have shown the plausibility of electrical solitary wave propagation along a bimolecular leaflet such as the cell membrane of a nerve axon which consists of chiral, lipid building blocks. Our model is a head-to-tail correlated ferroelectric, chiral Sm-C* liquid crystal, which is a unique class of substances that combines the electric polarization and anisotropy of ferroelectric crystals with the hydrodynamic properties of liquids. Polar Sm-A models can also be used with the same results. In addition to the usual transverse ferroelectricity, characteristic of the Sm-C* liquid crystal, the head-to-tail correlation ensures a longitudinal ferroelectricity component. The electric polarization due to the latter can couple to the transmembrane electric field resulting from the ionic imbalance between the two sides of the membrane-a mechanism detailed in the so-called Hodgkin-Huxley set of partial differential equations for the propagation of the action potential. We obtain a Landau-de Gennes-like free energy, which is the sum of elastic, fluctuation, and polarization terms, together with a ferroelectric term showing a direct coupling between the electric field and the mechanical deformation variable. Minimizing and equating to a viscous damping term leads to an equation similar to one equation of the Fitzhugh-Nagumo coupled set of partial differential equations, which is a simplified version of the Hodgkin-Huxley equations. The other equation of the set resembles an equation derived from the Nernst-Planck equation, which describes transmembrane ion transport and hence provides a mechanism for transmembrane potential variation. A more complete calculation of the velocity of the asymptotic wave form shows a lower wave speed than the estimate of Nagumo et al. The piezoelectric properties of the phase compete with its curvature elasticity to produce the soliton lattice of the cell membrane, which consists of juxtaposed

  5. Cell invasion through basement membrane

    Morrissey, Meghan A; Hagedorn, Elliott J.; Sherwood, David R.


    Cell invasion through basement membrane is an essential part of normal development and physiology, and occurs during the pathological progression of human inflammatory diseases and cancer. F-actin-rich membrane protrusions, called invadopodia, have been hypothesized to be the “drill bits” of invasive cells, mediating invasion through the dense, highly cross-linked basement membrane matrix. Though studied in vitro for over 30 y, invadopodia function in vivo has remained elusive. We have recent...

  6. Model cell membranes

    Günther-Pomorski, Thomas; Nylander, Tommy; Cardenas Gomez, Marite


    The high complexity of biological membranes has motivated the development and application of a wide range of model membrane systems to study biochemical and biophysical aspects of membranes in situ under well defined conditions. The aim is to provide fundamental understanding of processes control...



    A method for preparing polybenzimidazole or polybenzimidazole blend membranes and fabricating gas diffusion electrodes and membrane-electrode assemblies is provided for a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Blend polymer electrolyte membranes based on PBI and various...... thermoplastic polymers for high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells have also been developed. Miscible blends are used for solution casting of polymer membranes (solid electrolytes). High conductivity and enhanced mechanical strength were obtained for the blend polymer solid electrolytes. With the...... thermally resistant polymer, e.g., polybenzimidazole or a mixture of polybenzimidazole and other thermoplastics as binder, the carbon-supported noble metal catalyst is tape-cast onto a hydrophobic supporting substrate. When doped with an acid mixture, electrodes are assembled with an acid doped solid...

  8. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    Grot, Stephen [President, Ion Power Inc.


    One of the most challenging aspects of traditional PEM fuel cell stacks is the difficulty achieving the platinum catalyst utilization target of 0.2 gPt/kWe set forth by the DOE. Good catalyst utilization can be achieved with state-of-the-art catalyst coated membranes (CCM) when low catalyst loadings (<0.3 mg/cm2) are used at a low current. However, when low platinum loadings are used, the peak power density is lower than conventional loadings, requiring a larger total active area and a larger bipolar plate. This results in a lower overall stack power density not meeting the DOE target. By corrugating the fuel cell membrane electrode structure, Ion Power?s goal is to realize both the Pt utilization targets as well as the power density targets of the DOE. This will be achieved by demonstrating a fuel cell single cell (50 cm2) with a twofold increase in the membrane active area over the geometric area of the cell by corrugating the MEA structure. The corrugating structure must be able to demonstrate the target properties of < 10 mOhm-cm2 electrical resistance at > 20 psi compressive strength over the active area, in combination with offering at least 80% of power density that can be achieved by using the same MEA in a flat plate structure. Corrugated membrane fuel cell structures also have the potential to meet DOE power density targets by essentially packaging more membrane area into the same fuel cell volume as compared to conventional stack constructions.


    Huang, Hector Han-Li


    The cell membrane is a complex mixture of various lipids, proteins and other biomolecules that are all organized into a fluid 2-dimensional bilayer. A rather unique trait of this organelle is the lateral mobility of the component molecules. Surprisingly, these molecules are not necessarily distributed homogeneously in the membrane. From a physical perspective, these inhomogeneities are interesting because they indicate some level of organization in the membrane. From a biological perspect...

  10. Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells

    Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells have been investigated using density functional theory (DFT). We have elucidated that the aryl-ether moiety of membranes is one of the weakest site against attack of hydroxide ions. The results of DFT calculations for hydroxide initiated aryl-ether cleavage indicated that the aryl-ether cleavage occurred prior to degradation of cationic functional group. Such a weak nature of the aryl-ether group arises from the electron deficiency of the aryl group as well as the low bond dissociation energy. The DFT results suggests that removal of the aryl-ether group in the membrane should enhance the stability of membranes under alkaline conditions. In fact, an ether fee poly(phenylene) membrane exhibits excellent stability against the attack from hydroxide ions

  11. Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells

    Choe, Yoong-Kee [National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Umezono 1-1-1, Tsukuba (Japan); Henson, Neil J.; Kim, Yu Seung [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (United States)


    Chemical degradation mechanisms of membranes for alkaline membrane fuel cells have been investigated using density functional theory (DFT). We have elucidated that the aryl-ether moiety of membranes is one of the weakest site against attack of hydroxide ions. The results of DFT calculations for hydroxide initiated aryl-ether cleavage indicated that the aryl-ether cleavage occurred prior to degradation of cationic functional group. Such a weak nature of the aryl-ether group arises from the electron deficiency of the aryl group as well as the low bond dissociation energy. The DFT results suggests that removal of the aryl-ether group in the membrane should enhance the stability of membranes under alkaline conditions. In fact, an ether fee poly(phenylene) membrane exhibits excellent stability against the attack from hydroxide ions.

  12. In-membrane micro fuel cell

    Omosebi, Ayokunle; Besser, Ronald


    An in-membrane micro fuel cell comprises an electrically-insulating membrane that is permissive to the flow of cations, such as protons, and a pair of electrodes deposited on channels formed in the membrane. The channels are arranged as conduits for fluids, and define a membrane ridge between the channels. The electrodes are porous and include catalysts for promoting the liberation of a proton and an electron from a chemical species and/or or the recombination of a proton and an electron with a chemical specie. The fuel cell may be provided a biosensor, an electrochemical sensor, a microfluidic device, or other microscale devices fabricated in the fuel cell membrane.

  13. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells

    Yen, Shiao-Ping S. (Inventor); Kindler, Andrew (Inventor); Yavrouian, Andre (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor)


    An electrolyte membrane for use in a fuel cell can contain sulfonated polyphenylether sulfones. The membrane can contain a first sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone and a second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone, wherein the first sulfonated polyphenylether and the second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone have equivalent weights greater than about 560, and the first sulfonated polyphenylether and the second sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone also have different equivalent weights. Also, a membrane for use in a fuel cell can contain a sulfonated polyphenylether sulfone and an unsulfonated polyphenylether sulfone. Methods for manufacturing a membrane electrode assemblies for use in fuel cells can include roughening a membrane surface. Electrodes and methods for fabricating such electrodes for use in a chemical fuel cell can include sintering an electrode. Such membranes and electrodes can be assembled into chemical fuel cells.

  14. Fuel cell and membrane therefore

    Aindow, Tai-Tsui


    A fuel cell includes first and second flow field plates, and an anode electrode and a cathode electrode between the flow field plates. A polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) is arranged between the electrodes. At least one of the flow field plates influences, at least in part, an in-plane anisotropic physical condition of the PEM that varies in magnitude between a high value direction and a low value direction. The PEM has an in-plane physical property that varies in magnitude between a high value direction and a low value direction. The PEM is oriented with its high value direction substantially aligned with the high value direction of the flow field plate.

  15. Live cell imaging of membrane / cytoskeleton interactions and membrane topology

    Chierico, Luca; Joseph, Adrian S.; Lewis, Andrew L.; Battaglia, Giuseppe


    We elucidate the interaction between actin and specific membrane components, using real time live cell imaging, by delivering probes that enable access to components, that cannot be accessed genetically. We initially investigated the close interplay between Phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) and the F-actin network. We show that, during the early stage of cell adhesion, PIP2 forms domains within the filopodia membrane. We studied these domains alongside cell spreading and observed that these very closely follow the actin tread-milling. We show that this mechanism is associated with an active transport of PIP2 rich organelles from the cell perinuclear area to the edge, along actin fibers. Finally, mapping other phospholipids and membrane components we observed that the PIP2 domains formation is correlated with sphingosine and cholesterol rafts.

  16. Membrane Organization and Dynamics in Cell Polarity

    Orlando, Kelly; Guo, Wei


    The establishment and maintenance of cell polarity is important to a wide range of biological processes ranging from chemotaxis to embryogenesis. An essential feature of cell polarity is the asymmetric organization of proteins and lipids in the plasma membrane. In this article, we discuss how polarity regulators such as small GTP-binding proteins and phospholipids spatially and kinetically control vesicular trafficking and membrane organization. Conversely, we discuss how membrane trafficking...

  17. Does ATP cross the cell plasma membrane.

    Chaudry, I. H.


    Although there is an abundance of evidence which indicates that ATP is released as well as taken up by cells, the concept that ATP cannot cross the cell membrane has tended to prevail. This article reviews the evidence for the release as well as uptake of ATP by cells. The evidence presented by various investigators clearly indicates that ATP can cross the cell membrane and suggests that the release and uptake of ATP are physiological processes.

  18. Functional dynamics of cell surface membrane proteins

    Nishida, Noritaka; Osawa, Masanori; Takeuchi, Koh; Imai, Shunsuke; Stampoulis, Pavlos; Kofuku, Yutaka; Ueda, Takumi; Shimada, Ichio


    Cell surface receptors are integral membrane proteins that receive external stimuli, and transmit signals across plasma membranes. In the conventional view of receptor activation, ligand binding to the extracellular side of the receptor induces conformational changes, which convert the structure of the receptor into an active conformation. However, recent NMR studies of cell surface membrane proteins have revealed that their structures are more dynamic than previously envisioned, and they fluctuate between multiple conformations in an equilibrium on various timescales. In addition, NMR analyses, along with biochemical and cell biological experiments indicated that such dynamical properties are critical for the proper functions of the receptors. In this review, we will describe several NMR studies that revealed direct linkage between the structural dynamics and the functions of the cell surface membrane proteins, such as G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels, membrane transporters, and cell adhesion molecules.

  19. Membrane proteomic analysis of pancreatic cancer cells

    Liu Xiaojun


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human tumors due to its high potential of local invasion and metastasis. The aim of this study was to characterize the membrane proteomes of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC cells of primary and metastatic origins, and to identify potential target proteins related to metastasis of pancreatic cancer. Methods Membrane/membrane-associated proteins were isolated from AsPC-1 and BxPC-3 cells and identified with a proteomic approach based on SDS-PAGE, in-gel tryptic digestion and liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS. X! Tandem was used for database searching against the SwissProt human protein database. Results We identified 221 & 208 proteins from AsPC-1 and BxPC-3 cells, respectively, most of which are membrane or membrane-associated proteins. A hundred and nine proteins were found in both cell lines while the others were present in either AsPC-1 or BxPC-3 cells. Differentially expressed proteins between two cell lines include modulators of cell adhesion, cell motility or tumor invasion as well as metabolic enzymes involved in glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid cycle, or nucleotide/lipid metabolism. Conclusion Membrane proteomes of AsPC-1 (metastatic and BxPC-3 (primary cells are remarkably different. The differentially expressed membrane proteins may serve as potential targets for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

  20. Mechanical tension drives cell membrane fusion

    Kim, Ji Hoon; Ren, Yixin; Ng, Win Pin; Li, Shuo; Son, Sungmin; Kee, Yee-Seir; Zhang, Shiliang; Zhang, Guofeng; Fletcher, Daniel A.; Robinson, Douglas N.; Chen, Elizabeth H.


    Membrane fusion is an energy-consuming process that requires tight juxtaposition of two lipid bilayers. Little is known about how cells overcome energy barriers to bring their membranes together for fusion. Previously, we have shown that cell-cell fusion is an asymmetric process in which an “attacking” cell drills finger-like protrusions into the “receiving” cell to promote cell fusion. Here we show that the receiving cell mounts a Myosin II (MyoII)-mediated mechanosensory response to its inv...

  1. Specialized membrane biogenesis in mammary epithelial cells

    The apical membrane of the mammary gland epithelial cell is highly differentiated and adapted to participate in the process of fat secretion. Certain of the apical membrane differentiation antigens are frequently expressed on membrane carcinoma cells, and knowledge of the normal mechanisms by which these antigens are regulated may have implications for a better understanding of tumor antigen expression. Because the apical membrane of the cell is lost during secretion, active membrane biosynthesis must accompany fat secretion, and the cell represents a good model for studying membrane biogenesis in polarized epithelial cells. Experiments have been carried out using primary cultures of cells established from mammary glands of late pregnant mice and also a mouse cell line, COMMA-1-D, that differentiates in an appropriate milieu. When fat globule membranes are purified from mouse milk and the protein composition analyzed by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, four major proteins are identifiable with molecular weights of 55, 67, 90, and 150 kDa. The 67-kDa component was identified as butyrophilin and the 150-kDa one as xanthine oxidase. In addition, a high molecular weight carbohydrate rich glycoprotein, PAS-O, is also present. 3 refs., 3 figs

  2. Resistance of cell membranes to different detergents

    Schuck, Sebastian; Honsho, Masanori; Ekroos, Kim; Shevchenko, Andrej; Simons, Kai


    Partial resistance of cell membranes to solubilization with mild detergents and the analysis of isolated detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) have been used operationally to define membrane domains. Given the multitude of detergents used for this purpose, we sought to investigate whether extraction with different detergents might reflect the same underlying principle of domain formation. We therefore compared the protein and lipid content of DRMs prepared with a variety of detergents from two...

  3. Nuclear myosin I regulates cell membrane tension

    Venit, Tomáš; Kalendová, Alžběta; Petr, Martin; Dzijak, Rastislav; Pastorek, Lukáš; Rohožková, Jana; Malohlava, Jakub; Hozák, Pavel


    Plasma membrane tension is an important feature that determines the cell shape and influences processes such as cell motility, spreading, endocytosis and exocytosis. Unconventional class 1 myosins are potent regulators of plasma membrane tension because they physically link the plasma membrane with adjacent cytoskeleton. We identified nuclear myosin 1 (NM1) - a putative nuclear isoform of myosin 1c (Myo1c) - as a new player in the field. Although having specific nuclear functions, NM1 localizes predominantly to the plasma membrane. Deletion of NM1 causes more than a 50% increase in the elasticity of the plasma membrane around the actin cytoskeleton as measured by atomic force microscopy. This higher elasticity of NM1 knock-out cells leads to 25% higher resistance to short-term hypotonic environment and rapid cell swelling. In contrast, overexpression of NM1 in wild type cells leads to an additional 30% reduction of their survival. We have shown that NM1 has a direct functional role in the cytoplasm as a dynamic linker between the cell membrane and the underlying cytoskeleton, regulating the degree of effective plasma membrane tension. PMID:27480647

  4. Diffuse Charge Effects in Fuel Cell Membranes

    Biesheuvel, P.M.; Franco, A.A.; Bazant, M.Z.


    It is commonly assumed that electrolyte membranes in fuel cells are electrically neutral, except in unsteady situations, when the double-layer capacitance is heuristically included in equivalent circuit calculations. Indeed, the standard model for electron transfer kinetics at the membrane/electrode

  5. Proton conducting membrane for fuel cells

    Colombo, Daniel G.; Krumpelt, Michael; Myers, Deborah J.; Kopasz, John P.


    An ion conducting membrane comprising dendrimeric polymers covalently linked into a network structure. The dendrimeric polymers have acid functional terminal groups and may be covalently linked via linking compounds, cross-coupling reactions, or copolymerization reactions. The ion conducting membranes may be produced by various methods and used in fuel cells.

  6. Membrane elastic properties and cell function.

    Bruno Pontes

    Full Text Available Recent studies indicate that the cell membrane, interacting with its attached cytoskeleton, is an important regulator of cell function, exerting and responding to forces. We investigate this relationship by looking for connections between cell membrane elastic properties, especially surface tension and bending modulus, and cell function. Those properties are measured by pulling tethers from the cell membrane with optical tweezers. Their values are determined for all major cell types of the central nervous system, as well as for macrophage. Astrocytes and glioblastoma cells, which are considerably more dynamic than neurons, have substantially larger surface tensions. Resting microglia, which continually scan their environment through motility and protrusions, have the highest elastic constants, with values similar to those for resting macrophage. For both microglia and macrophage, we find a sharp softening of bending modulus between their resting and activated forms, which is very advantageous for their acquisition of phagocytic functions upon activation. We also determine the elastic constants of pure cell membrane, with no attached cytoskeleton. For all cell types, the presence of F-actin within tethers, contrary to conventional wisdom, is confirmed. Our findings suggest the existence of a close connection between membrane elastic constants and cell function.

  7. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

    Kim, Yu Seung; Pivovar, Bryan S


    A method of preparing advanced membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) for use in fuel cells. A base polymer is selected for a base membrane. An electrode composition is selected to optimize properties exhibited by the membrane electrode assembly based on the selection of the base polymer. A property-tuning coating layer composition is selected based on compatibility with the base polymer and the electrode composition. A solvent is selected based on the interaction of the solvent with the base polymer and the property-tuning coating layer composition. The MEA is assembled by preparing the base membrane and then applying the property-tuning coating layer to form a composite membrane. Finally, a catalyst is applied to the composite membrane.

  8. Cell membrane softening in human breast and cervical cancer cells

    Händel, Chris; Schmidt, B. U. Sebastian; Schiller, Jürgen; Dietrich, Undine; Möhn, Till; Kießling, Tobias R.; Pawlizak, Steve; Fritsch, Anatol W.; Horn, Lars-Christian; Briest, Susanne; Höckel, Michael; Zink, Mareike; Käs, Josef A.


    Biomechanical properties are key to many cellular functions such as cell division and cell motility and thus are crucial in the development and understanding of several diseases, for instance cancer. The mechanics of the cellular cytoskeleton have been extensively characterized in cells and artificial systems. The rigidity of the plasma membrane, with the exception of red blood cells, is unknown and membrane rigidity measurements only exist for vesicles composed of a few synthetic lipids. In this study, thermal fluctuations of giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) directly derived from the plasma membranes of primary breast and cervical cells, as well as breast cell lines, are analyzed. Cell blebs or GPMVs were studied via thermal membrane fluctuations and mass spectrometry. It will be shown that cancer cell membranes are significantly softer than their non-malignant counterparts. This can be attributed to a loss of fluid raft forming lipids in malignant cells. These results indicate that the reduction of membrane rigidity promotes aggressive blebbing motion in invasive cancer cells.

  9. Metric dynamics for membrane transformation through regulated cell proliferation

    Ito, Hiroshi C.


    This study develops an equation for describing three-dimensional membrane transformation through proliferation of its component cells regulated by morphogen density distributions on the membrane. The equation is developed in a two-dimensional coordinate system mapped on the membrane, referred to as the membrane coordinates. When the membrane expands, the membrane coordinates expand in the same manner so that the membrane is invariant in the coordinates. In the membrane coordinate system, the ...

  10. Photothermal nanoblade for patterned cell membrane cutting

    Wu, Ting-Hsiang; Teslaa, Tara; Teitell, Michael A.; Chiou, Pei-Yu


    We report a photothermal nanoblade that utilizes a metallic nanostructure to harvest short laser pulse energy and convert it into a highly localized and specifically shaped explosive vapor bubble. Rapid bubble expansion and collapse punctures a lightly-contacting cell membrane via high-speed fluidic flows and induced transient shear stress. The membrane cutting pattern is controlled by the metallic nanostructure configuration, laser pulse polarization, and energy. Highly controllable, sub-mic...

  11. Electrically Conductive, Hydrophilic Porous Membrane for Fuel Cell Applications Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This Phase I effort seeks to produce a conductive polyethersulfone (PES) microporous membrane for fuel cell water management applications. This membrane will...

  12. Alternate Fuel Cell Membranes for Energy Independence

    Storey, Robson, F.; Mauritz, Kenneth, A.; Patton, Derek, L.; Savin, Daniel, A.


    The overall objective of this project was the development and evaluation of novel hydrocarbon fuel cell (FC) membranes that possess high temperature performance and long term chemical/mechanical durability in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells (FC). The major research theme was synthesis of aromatic hydrocarbon polymers of the poly(arylene ether sulfone) (PAES) type containing sulfonic acid groups tethered to the backbone via perfluorinated alkylene linkages and in some cases also directly attached to the phenylene groups along the backbone. Other research themes were the use of nitrogen-based heterocyclics instead of acid groups for proton conduction, which provides high temperature, low relative humidity membranes with high mechanical/thermal/chemical stability and pendant moieties that exhibit high proton conductivities in the absence of water, and synthesis of block copolymers consisting of a proton conducting block coupled to poly(perfluorinated propylene oxide) (PFPO) blocks. Accomplishments of the project were as follows: 1) establishment of a vertically integrated program of synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of FC membranes, 2) establishment of benchmark membrane performance data based on Nafion for comparison to experimental membrane performance, 3) development of a new perfluoroalkyl sulfonate monomer, N,N-diisopropylethylammonium 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl) pentafluoropropanesulfonate (HPPS), 4) synthesis of random and block copolymer membranes from HPPS, 5) synthesis of block copolymer membranes containing high-acid-concentration hydrophilic blocks consisting of HPPS and 3,3'-disulfonate-4,4'-dichlorodiphenylsulfone (sDCDPS), 6) development of synthetic routes to aromatic polymer backbones containing pendent 1H-1,2,3-triazole moieties, 7) development of coupling strategies to create phase-separated block copolymers between hydrophilic sulfonated prepolymers and commodity polymers such as PFPO, 8) establishment of basic

  13. Resting microglial cells exhibit tubular membrane protrusions

    Ulrike Gimsa


    Full Text Available Nano- and microtubular structures have recently become a subject of increasing interest due to their importance in biology and medicine as well as their technological potential. Such structures have been observed in anorganic (Iijima, 1991 as well as in organic (Schnur 1993; Oda et al. 1991 systems. Micro- and nanotubular protrusions of bilayer membranes have been found in cells (Kralj-Iglic et al. 1998; Kralj-Iglic et al. 2001a and phospholipid vesicles (Kralj-Iglic et al. 2002; Kralj-Iglic et al. 2001b. In this work we describe membrane protrusions in microglial cells.

  14. Membrane lipidome of an epithelial cell line

    Sampaio, Julio L; Gerl, Mathias J; Klose, Christian;


    Tissue differentiation is an important process that involves major cellular membrane remodeling. We used Madin-Darby canine kidney cells as a model for epithelium formation and investigated the remodeling of the total cell membrane lipidome during the transition from a nonpolarized morphology to an...... epithelial morphology and vice versa. To achieve this, we developed a shotgun-based lipidomics workflow that enabled the absolute quantification of mammalian membrane lipidomes with minimal sample processing from low sample amounts. Epithelial morphogenesis was accompanied by a major shift from sphingomyelin...... to glycosphingolipid, together with an increase in plasmalogen, phosphatidylethanolamine, and cholesterol content, whereas the opposite changes took place during an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Moreover, during polarization, the sphingolipids became longer, more saturated, and more...

  15. Lithium. Effects on excitable cell membranes

    Ploeger, Egbert Johan


    LITHIUM: Effects on excitable cell membranes. Lithium salts have been used in the treatment of manic-depressive psychosis for many years but their mechanism of action is not well understood. Many workers assume that the action of lithium on catecholamine metabolism and/or on electrolyte distribution

  16. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

    Antonino S. Aricò


    Full Text Available Sulfonic acid-functionalized polymer electrolyte membranes alternative to Nafion® were developed. These were hydrocarbon systems, such as blend sulfonated polyetheretherketone (s-PEEK, new generation perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA systems, and composite zirconium phosphate–PFSA polymers. The membranes varied in terms of composition, equivalent weight, thickness, and filler and were investigated with regard to their methanol permeation characteristics and proton conductivity for application in direct methanol fuel cells. The behavior of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA was investigated in fuel cell with the aim to individuate a correlation between membrane characteristics and their performance in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC. The power density of the DMFC at 60 °C increased according to a square root-like function of the membrane selectivity. This was defined as the reciprocal of the product between area specific resistance and crossover. The power density achieved at 60 °C for the most promising s-PEEK-based membrane-electrode assembly (MEA was higher than the benchmark Nafion® 115-based MEA (77 mW·cm−2 vs. 64 mW·cm−2. This result was due to a lower methanol crossover (47 mA·cm−2 equivalent current density for s-PEEK vs. 120 mA·cm−2 for Nafion® 115 at 60 °C as recorded at OCV with 2 M methanol and a suitable area specific resistance (0.15 Ohm cm2 for s-PEEK vs. 0.22 Ohm cm2 for Nafion® 115.

  17. Microfluidic microbial fuel cells: from membrane to membrane free

    Yang, Yang; Ye, Dingding; Li, Jun; Zhu, Xun; Liao, Qiang; Zhang, Biao


    Microfluidic microbial fuel cells (MMFCs) are small carbon-neutral devices that use self-organized bacteria to degrade organic substrates and harness energy from the waste water. Conventional MMFCs have made great strides in the past decade and have overcome some limitations, such as high capital costs and low energy output. A co-laminar flow MFC has been first proposed in 2011 with the potential to be an attractively power source to niche applications. Co-laminar MFCs typically operate without any physical membranes separating the reactants, and bacterial ecosystems can be easily manipulated by regulating the inlet conditions. This paper highlights recent accomplishments in the development of co-laminar MFCs, emphasizing basic principles, mass transport and fluid dynamics including boundary layer theory, entrance conditions and mixing zone issues. Furthermore, the development of current techniques, major challenges and the potential research directions are discussed.

  18. Noncontact microsurgery of living cell membrane using femtosecond laser pulses

    Ilina, I. V.; Ovchinnikov, A. V.; Sitnikov, D. S.; Chefonov, O. V.; Agranat, M. B.; Mikaelyan, A. S.


    Near-infrared femtosecond laser pulses were applied to initiate reversible permeabilization of cell membrane and inject extrinsic substances into the target cells. Successful laser-based injection of a membrane impermeable dye, as well as plasmid DNA was demonstrated.

  19. Interaction of peptides with cell membranes: insights from molecular modeling

    The investigation of the interaction of peptides with cell membranes is the focus of active research. It can enhance the understanding of basic membrane functions such as membrane transport, fusion, and signaling processes, and it may shed light on potential applications of peptides in biomedicine. In this review, we will present current advances in computational studies on the interaction of different types of peptides with the cell membrane. Depending on the properties of the peptide, membrane, and external environment, the peptide–membrane interaction shows a variety of different forms. Here, on the basis of recent computational progress, we will discuss how different peptides could initiate membrane pores, translocate across the membrane, induce membrane endocytosis, produce membrane curvature, form fibrils on the membrane surface, as well as interact with functional membrane proteins. Finally, we will present a conclusion summarizing recent progress and providing some specific insights into future developments in this field. (topical review)

  20. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells modeling

    Gao, Fengge; Miraoui, Abdellatif


    The fuel cell is a potential candidate for energy storage and conversion in our future energy mix. It is able to directly convert the chemical energy stored in fuel (e.g. hydrogen) into electricity, without undergoing different intermediary conversion steps. In the field of mobile and stationary applications, it is considered to be one of the future energy solutions.Among the different fuel cell types, the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell has shown great potential in mobile applications, due to its low operating temperature, solid-state electrolyte and compactness.This book pre

  1. Fuel cell membranes and crossover prevention

    Masel, Richard I.; York, Cynthia A.; Waszczuk, Piotr; Wieckowski, Andrzej


    A membrane electrode assembly for use with a direct organic fuel cell containing a formic acid fuel includes a solid polymer electrolyte having first and second surfaces, an anode on the first surface and a cathode on the second surface and electrically linked to the anode. The solid polymer electrolyte has a thickness t:.gtoreq..times..times..times..times. ##EQU00001## where C.sub.f is the formic acid fuel concentration over the anode, D.sub.f is the effective diffusivity of the fuel in the solid polymer electrolyte, K.sub.f is the equilibrium constant for partition coefficient for the fuel into the solid polymer electrolyte membrane, I is Faraday's constant n.sub.f is the number of electrons released when 1 molecule of the fuel is oxidized, and j.sub.f.sup.c is an empirically determined crossover rate of fuel above which the fuel cell does not operate.

  2. Proton-exchange membrane regenerative fuel cells

    Swette, Larry L.; LaConti, Anthony B.; McCatty, Stephen A.

    This paper will update the progress in developing electrocatalyst systems and electrode structures primarily for the positive electrode of single-unit solid polymer proton-exchange membrane (PEM) regenerative fuel cells. The work was done with DuPont Nafion 117 in complete fuel cells (40 cm 2 electrodes). The cells were operated alternately in fuel cell mode and electrolysis mode at 80°C. In fuel cell mode, humidified hydrogen and oxygen were supplied at 207 kPa (30 psi); in electrolysis mode, water was pumped over the positive electrode and the gases were evolved at ambient pressure. Cycling data will be presented for Pt-Ir catalysts and limited bifunctional data will be presented for Pt. Ir, Ru. Rh and Na xPt 3O 4 catalysts as well as for electrode structure variations.

  3. Solar cell preparation in thin silicon membranes

    Libezny, M.; Poortmans, J.; Caymax, M.; Beaucarne, G.; Laureys, W.; Nijs, J. [IMEC, Leuven (Belgium)


    Solar cells prepared in a thin ({approx} 30 {micro}m) crystalline silicon membrane with a supporting frame allow an evaluation of the potential of c-Si thin film cells on cheap substrates. In the same time, light-weight and more radiation-hard solar cells may have direct applications in space. This paper studies the fabrication process of solar cells in {approx} 30 {micro}m thick p-Si epitaxial layers, incorporating a p{sup +2}-Si etch-stop/back-surface field layer, using KOH etching. Wax, rubber and silicon nitride were tested as masking material during the etching. It was found that both wax and silicon nitride could be used as materials for masking of supporting frames for the solar cell thinning up to 30 {micro}m. However, silicon nitride does not reliably protect the frontside structure.

  4. Durability Issues of High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Based on Acid Doped Polybenzimidazole Membranes

    To achieve high temperature operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), preferably under ambient pressure, phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane represents an effective approach, which in recent years has motivated extensive research activities with great progress. As...

  5. The application of Dow Chemical's perfluorinated membranes in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    Eisman, G. A.


    Dow Chemical's research activities in fuel cells revolve around the development of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes, useful as the proton transport medium and separator. The following work will outline some of the performance characteristics which are typical for such membranes.

  6. Sodium selectivity of Reissner's membrane epithelial cells

    Kim Kyunghee X


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sodium absorption by Reissner's membrane is thought to contribute to the homeostasis of the volume of cochlear endolymph. It was previously shown that the absorptive transepithelial current was blocked by amiloride and benzamil. The most commonly-observed target of these drugs is the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC, which is composed of the three subunits α-,β- and γ-ENaC. However, other less-selective cation channels have also been observed to be sensitive to benzamil and amiloride. The aim of this study was to determine whether Reissner's membrane epithelial cells could support parasensory K+ absorption via amiloride- and benzamil-sensitive electrogenic pathways. Results We determined the molecular and functional expression of candidate cation channels with gene array (GEO GSE6196, RT-PCR, and whole-cell patch clamp. Transcript expression analysis of Reissner's membrane detected no amiloride-sensitive acid-sensing ion channels (ASIC1a, ASIC2a, ASIC2b nor amiloride-sensitive cyclic-nucleotide gated channels (CNGA1, CNGA2, CNGA4, CNGB3. By contrast, α-,β- and γ-ENaC were all previously reported as present in Reissner's membrane. The selectivity of the benzamil-sensitive cation currents was observed in whole-cell patch clamp recordings under Cl--free conditions where cations were the only permeant species. The currents were carried by Na+ but not K+, and the permeability of Li+ was greater than that of Na+ in Reissner's membrane. Complete replacement of bath Na+ with the inpermeable cation NMDG+ led to the same inward current as with benzamil in a Na+ bath. Conclusions These results are consistent with the amiloride/benzamil-sensitive absorptive flux of Reissner's membrane mediated by a highly Na+-selective channel that has several key characteristics in common with αβγ-ENaC. The amiloride-sensitive pathway therefore absorbs only Na+ in this epithelium and does not provide a parasensory K+ efflux route from scala

  7. Membrane Purification Cell for Aluminum Recycling

    David DeYoung; James Wiswall; Cong Wang


    Recycling mixed aluminum scrap usually requires adding primary aluminum to the scrap stream as a diluent to reduce the concentration of non-aluminum constituents used in aluminum alloys. Since primary aluminum production requires approximately 10 times more energy than melting scrap, the bulk of the energy and carbon dioxide emissions for recycling are associated with using primary aluminum as a diluent. Eliminating the need for using primary aluminum as a diluent would dramatically reduce energy requirements, decrease carbon dioxide emissions, and increase scrap utilization in recycling. Electrorefining can be used to extract pure aluminum from mixed scrap. Some example applications include producing primary grade aluminum from specific scrap streams such as consumer packaging and mixed alloy saw chips, and recycling multi-alloy products such as brazing sheet. Electrorefining can also be used to extract valuable alloying elements such as Li from Al-Li mixed scrap. This project was aimed at developing an electrorefining process for purifying aluminum to reduce energy consumption and emissions by 75% compared to conventional technology. An electrolytic molten aluminum purification process, utilizing a horizontal membrane cell anode, was designed, constructed, operated and validated. The electrorefining technology could also be used to produce ultra-high purity aluminum for advanced materials applications. The technical objectives for this project were to: - Validate the membrane cell concept with a lab-scale electrorefining cell; - Determine if previously identified voltage increase issue for chloride electrolytes holds for a fluoride-based electrolyte system; - Assess the probability that voltage change issues can be solved; and - Conduct a market and economic analysis to assess commercial feasibility. The process was tested using three different binary alloy compositions (Al-2.0 wt.% Cu, Al-4.7 wt.% Si, Al-0.6 wt.% Fe) and a brazing sheet scrap composition (Al-2

  8. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    K.Scott; M. Mamlouk


    One of the major issues limiting the introduction of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is the low temperature of operation which makes platinum-based anode catalysts susceptible to poisoning by the trace amount of CO, inevitably present in reformed fuel. In order to alleviate the problem of CO poisoning and improve the power density of the cell, operating at temperature above 100 ℃ is preferred. Nafion(R) -type perfluorosulfonated polymers have been typically used for PEMFC. However, the conductivity of Nafion(R) -type polymers is not high enough to be used for fuel cell operations at higher temperature ( > 90 ℃) and atmospheric pressure because they dehydrate under these condition.An additional problem which faces the introduction of PEMFC technology is that of supplying or storing hydrogen for cell operation,especially for vehicular applications. Consequently the use of alternative fuels such as methanol and ethanol is of interest, especially if this can be used directly in the fuel cell, without reformation to hydrogen. A limitation of the direct use of alcohol is the lower activity of oxidation in comparison to hydrogen, which means that power densities are considerably lower. Hence to improve activity and power output higher temperatures of operation are preferable. To achieve this goal, requires a new polymer electrolyte membrane which exhibits stability and high conductivity in the absence of liquid water.Experimental data on a polybenzimidazole based PEMFC were presented. A simple steady-state isothermal model of the fuel cell is also used to aid in fuel cell performance optimisation. The governing equations involve the coupling of kinetic, ohmic and mass transport. This paper also considers the advances made in the performance of direct methanol and solid polymer electrolyte fuel cells and considers their limitations in relation to the source and type of fuels to be used.

  9. Membrane fluidity adjustments in ethanol-stressed Oenococcus oeni cells

    Silveira, da M.G.; Golovina, E.A.; Hoekstra, F.A.; Rombouts, F.M.; Abee, T.


    The effect of ethanol on the cytoplasmic membrane of Oenococcus oeni cells and the role of membrane changes in the acquired tolerance to ethanol were investigated. Membrane tolerance to ethanol was defined as the resistance to ethanol-induced leakage of preloaded carboxyfluorescein (cF) from cells.

  10. Origin of subdiffusion of water molecules on cell membrane surfaces

    Yamamoto, Eiji; Yasui, Masato; Yasuoka, Kenji


    Water molecules play an important role in providing unique environments for biological reactions on cell membranes. It is widely believed that water molecules form bridges that connect lipid molecules and stabilize cell membranes. Using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, we show that translational and rotational diffusion of water molecules on lipid membrane surfaces exhibit subdiffusion. Moreover, we provide evidence that both divergent mean trapping time (continuous-time random walk) and long-correlated noise (fractional Brownian motion) contribute to this subdiffusion. These results suggest that subdiffusion on cell membranes causes the water retardation, an enhancement of cell membrane stability, and a higher reaction efficiency.

  11. Membrane tension feedback on shape and motility of eukaryotic cells

    Winkler, Benjamin; Aranson, Igor S.; Ziebert, Falko


    In the framework of a phase field model of a single cell crawling on a substrate, we investigate how the properties of the cell membrane affect the shape and motility of the cell. Since the membrane influences the cell dynamics on multiple levels and provides a nontrivial feedback, we consider the following fundamental interactions: (i) the reduction of the actin polymerization rate by membrane tension; (ii) area conservation of the cell's two-dimensional cross-section vs. conservation of the circumference (i.e. membrane inextensibility); and (iii) the contribution from the membrane's bending energy to the shape and integrity of the cell. As in experiments, we investigate two pertinent observables - the cell's velocity and its aspect ratio. We find that the most important effect is the feedback of membrane tension on the actin polymerization. Bending rigidity has only minor effects, visible mostly in dynamic reshaping events, as exemplified by collisions of the cell with an obstacle.

  12. Preparation of cell membranes for high resolution imaging by AFM

    Studies of cell membrane structure by atomic force microscopy (AFM) have been limited because of the softness of cell membranes. Here, we utilize a new technique of sample preparation to lay red blood cell membranes on the top of a mica surface to obtain high resolution images by in-situ AFM on both sides of cell membranes. Our results indicate that the location of oligosaccharides and proteins in red blood cell membranes might be different from the current membrane model. The inner membrane leaflet is covered by dense proteins with fewer free lipids than expected. In contrast, the outer membrane leaflet is quite smooth; oligosaccharides and peptides supposed to protrude out of the outer membrane leaflet surface might be actually hidden in the middle of hydrophilic lipid heads; transmembrane proteins might form domains in the membranes revealed by PNGase F and trypsin digestion. Our result could be significant to interpret some functions about red blood cell membranes and guide to heal the blood diseases related to cell membranes.

  13. Intravacuolar Membranes Regulate CD8 T Cell Recognition of Membrane-Bound Toxoplasma gondii Protective Antigen

    Jodie Lopez; Amina Bittame; Céline Massera; Virginie Vasseur; Grégory Effantin; Anne Valat; Célia Buaillon; Sophie Allart; Barbara A. Fox; Leah M. Rommereim; David J. Bzik; Guy Schoehn; Winfried Weissenhorn; Jean-François Dubremetz; Jean Gagnon


    Apicomplexa parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii target effectors to and across the boundary of their parasitophorous vacuole (PV), resulting in host cell subversion and potential presentation by MHC class I molecules for CD8 T cell recognition. The host-parasite interface comprises the PV limiting membrane and a highly curved, membranous intravacuolar network (IVN) of uncertain function. Here, using a cell-free minimal system, we dissect how membrane tubules are shaped by the parasite effecto...

  14. Functional Implications of Plasma Membrane Condensation for T Cell Activation

    Rentero, Carles; Zech, Tobias; Quinn, Carmel M.; Engelhardt, Karin; Williamson, David; Grewal, Thomas; Jessup, Wendy; Harder, Thomas; Gaus, Katharina


    The T lymphocyte plasma membrane condenses at the site of activation but the functional significance of this receptor-mediated membrane reorganization is not yet known. Here we demonstrate that membrane condensation at the T cell activation sites can be inhibited by incorporation of the oxysterol 7-ketocholesterol (7KC), which is known to prevent the formation of raft-like liquid-ordered domains in model membranes. We enriched T cells with 7KC, or cholesterol as control, to assess the importa...

  15. Resting microglial cells exhibit tubular membrane protrusions

    Ulrike Gimsa; Veronika Kralj-Iglic; Jan Gimsa; Ales Iglic


    Nano- and microtubular structures have recently become a subject of increasing interest due to their importance in biology and medicine as well as their technological potential. Such structures have been observed in anorganic (Iijima, 1991) as well as in organic (Schnur 1993; Oda et al. 1991) systems. Micro- and nanotubular protrusions of bilayer membranes have been found in cells (Kralj-Iglic et al. 1998; Kralj-Iglic et al. 2001a) and phospholipid vesicles (Kralj-Iglic et al. 2002; Kralj-Igl...

  16. Nanocomposite Membranes based on Perlfuorosulfonic Acid/Ceramic for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    LI Qiong; WANG Guangjin; YE Hong; YAN Shilin


    Perlfuorosulfonic acid/ceramic nanocomposite membranes were investigated as electrolytes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell applications under low relative humidity. Different nanosized ceramics (SiO2, ZrO2, TiO2) with diameters in the range of 2-6 nm were synthesized in situ in Nafion solution through a sol-gel process and the formed nanosized ceramics were well-dispersed in the solution. The nanocomposite membranes were formed through a casting process. The nanocomposite membrane showes enhanced water retention ability and improved proton conductivity compared to those of pure Naifon membrane. The mechanical strength of the formed nanocomposite membranes is slightly less than that of pure Naifon membrane. The experimental results demonstrate that the polymer ceramic nanocompsite membranes are potential electrolyte for fuel cells operating at elevated temperature.

  17. Roles of membrane trafficking in plant cell wall dynamics

    Ebine, Kazuo; Ueda, Takashi


    The cell wall is one of the characteristic components of plant cells. The cell wall composition differs among cell types and is modified in response to various environmental conditions. To properly generate and modify the cell wall, many proteins are transported to the plasma membrane or extracellular space through membrane trafficking, which is one of the key protein transport mechanisms in eukaryotic cells. Given the diverse composition and functions of the cell wall in plants, the transpor...

  18. Plasma membranes from insect midgut cells

    Walter R. Terra


    Full Text Available Plasma membranes from insect midgut cells are separated into apical and basolateral domains. The apical domain is usually modified into microvilli with a molecular structure similar to other animals. Nevertheless, the microvillar structure should differ in some insects to permit the traffic inside them of secretory vesicles that may budd laterally or pinch-off from the tips of microvilli. Other microvillar modifications are associated with proton-pumping or with the interplay with an ensheathing lipid membrane (the perimicrovilllar membrane observed in the midgut cells of hemipterans (aphids and bugs. The perimicrovillar membranes are thought to be involved in amino acid absorption from diluted diets. The microvillar and perimicrovillar membranes have densities (and protein content that depend on the insect taxon. The role played by the microvillar and perimicrovillar proteins in insect midgut physiology is reviewed here trying to provide a coherent picture of data and highlighting further research areas.As membranas plasmáticas das células intestinais dos insetos apresentam um domínio apical e outro basal. O domínio apical é geralmente modificado em microvilosidades com organização molecular similar a de outros animais, embora possam diferir naqueles insetos que apresentam vesículas secretoras em trânsito que brotam lateralmente ou destacam-se das extremidades das microvilosidades. Outras modificações microvilares estão associadas a bombeamento de prótons ou a interrelações com uma membrana lipídica (a membrana perimicrovilar que reveste as microvilosidades de células intestinais de hemípteros (pulgões e percevejos. Admite-se que as membranas perimicrovilares estejam envolvidas na absorção de aminoácidos a partir de dietas diluídas. As membranas microvilares e perimicrovilares tem densidades distintas (e conteúdo protéico que dependem do táxon do inseto. O papel desempenhado pelas proteínas microvilares e

  19. Mechanical properties of catalyst coated membranes: A powerful indicator of membrane degradation in fuel cells

    Sadeghi Alavijeh, Alireza


    Mechanical durability of perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomer membranes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) is investigated in this thesis. This work contributes to a systematic characterization of the decay in mechanical properties of membranes and catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) that are subjected to controlled chemical and/or mechanical degradation mechanisms. During field operation of PEFCs, the membrane is subjected to a combination of chemical and mechanical degradation, resulti...

  20. The relevance of membrane models to understand nanoparticles-cell membrane interactions

    Rascol, Estelle; Devoisselle, Jean-Marie; Chopineau, Joël


    Over the past two decades, numerous types of nanoparticles (NPs) have been developed for medical applications; however only a few nanomedicines are actually available on the market. One reason is the lack of understanding and data concerning the NP fate and their behavior upon contact with biological media and cell membranes. Biomimetic membrane models are interesting tools to approach and understand NPs-cell membrane interactions. The use of these models permits one to control physical and chemical parameters and to rapidly compare membrane types and the influence of different media conditions. The interactions between NPs and cell membranes can be qualified and quantified using analytical and modeling methods. In this review, the major studies concerning NPs-cell membrane models and associated methods are described. The advantages and drawbacks for each method are compared for the different models. The key mechanisms of interactions between NPs and cell membranes are revealed using cell membrane models and are interrogated in comparison with the NP behavior in cellulo or in vivo. Investigating the interactions between NPs and cell membrane models is now proposed as an intermediate step between physicochemical characterization of NPs and biological assays.

  1. Intravacuolar Membranes Regulate CD8 T Cell Recognition of Membrane-Bound Toxoplasma gondii Protective Antigen.

    Lopez, Jodie; Bittame, Amina; Massera, Céline; Vasseur, Virginie; Effantin, Grégory; Valat, Anne; Buaillon, Célia; Allart, Sophie; Fox, Barbara A; Rommereim, Leah M; Bzik, David J; Schoehn, Guy; Weissenhorn, Winfried; Dubremetz, Jean-François; Gagnon, Jean; Mercier, Corinne; Cesbron-Delauw, Marie-France; Blanchard, Nicolas


    Apicomplexa parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii target effectors to and across the boundary of their parasitophorous vacuole (PV), resulting in host cell subversion and potential presentation by MHC class I molecules for CD8 T cell recognition. The host-parasite interface comprises the PV limiting membrane and a highly curved, membranous intravacuolar network (IVN) of uncertain function. Here, using a cell-free minimal system, we dissect how membrane tubules are shaped by the parasite effectors GRA2 and GRA6. We show that membrane association regulates access of the GRA6 protective antigen to the MHC I pathway in infected cells. Although insertion of GRA6 in the PV membrane is key for immunogenicity, association of GRA6 with the IVN limits presentation and curtails GRA6-specific CD8 responses in mice. Thus, membrane deformations of the PV regulate access of antigens to the MHC class I pathway, and the IVN may play a role in immune modulation. PMID:26628378

  2. Exocytosis and endocytosis in neurodocrine cells: inseparable membranes !



    Full Text Available Although much has been learned concerning the mechanisms of secretory vesicle formation and fusion at donor and acceptor membrane compartments, relatively little attention has been paid towards understanding how cells maintain a homeostatic membrane balance through vesicular trafficking. In neurons and neuroendocrine cells, release of neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and hormones occurs through calcium-regulated exocytosis at the plasma membrane. To allow recycling of secretory vesicle components and to preserve organelles integrity, cells must initiate and regulate compensatory membrane uptake. This review relates the fate of secretory granule membranes after full fusion exocytosis in neuroendocrine cells. In particular, we focus on the potential role of lipids in preserving and sorting secretory granule membranes after exocytosis and we discuss the potential mechanisms of membrane retrieval.

  3. Reassessing ecdysteroidogenic cells from the cell membrane receptors' perspective.

    Alexandratos, Alexandros; Moulos, Panagiotis; Nellas, Ioannis; Mavridis, Konstantinos; Dedos, Skarlatos G


    Ecdysteroids secreted by the prothoracic gland (PG) cells of insects control the developmental timing of their immature life stages. These cells have been historically considered as carrying out a single function in insects, namely the biochemical conversion of cholesterol to ecdysteroids and their secretion. A growing body of evidence shows that PG cells receive multiple cues during insect development so we tested the hypothesis that they carry out more than just one function in insects. We characterised the molecular nature and developmental profiles of cell membrane receptors in PG cells of Bombyx mori during the final larval stage and determined what receptors decode nutritional, developmental and physiological signals. Through iterative approaches we identified a complex repertoire of cell membrane receptors that are expressed in intricate patterns and activate previously unidentified signal transduction cascades in PG cells. The expression patterns of some of these receptors explain precisely the mechanisms that are known to control ecdysteroidogenesis. However, the presence of receptors for the notch, hedgehog and wingless signalling pathways and the expression of innate immunity-related receptors such as phagocytosis receptors, receptors for microbial ligands and Toll-like receptors call for a re-evaluation of the role these cells play in insects. PMID:26847502

  4. Reassessing ecdysteroidogenic cells from the cell membrane receptors’ perspective

    Alexandratos, Alexandros; Moulos, Panagiotis; Nellas, Ioannis; Mavridis, Konstantinos; Dedos, Skarlatos G.


    Ecdysteroids secreted by the prothoracic gland (PG) cells of insects control the developmental timing of their immature life stages. These cells have been historically considered as carrying out a single function in insects, namely the biochemical conversion of cholesterol to ecdysteroids and their secretion. A growing body of evidence shows that PG cells receive multiple cues during insect development so we tested the hypothesis that they carry out more than just one function in insects. We characterised the molecular nature and developmental profiles of cell membrane receptors in PG cells of Bombyx mori during the final larval stage and determined what receptors decode nutritional, developmental and physiological signals. Through iterative approaches we identified a complex repertoire of cell membrane receptors that are expressed in intricate patterns and activate previously unidentified signal transduction cascades in PG cells. The expression patterns of some of these receptors explain precisely the mechanisms that are known to control ecdysteroidogenesis. However, the presence of receptors for the notch, hedgehog and wingless signalling pathways and the expression of innate immunity-related receptors such as phagocytosis receptors, receptors for microbial ligands and Toll-like receptors call for a re-evaluation of the role these cells play in insects. PMID:26847502

  5. Development of composite membranes of PVA-TEOS doped KOH for alkaline membrane fuel cell

    Haryadi,, E-mail:; Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E. [Department of Chemical Engineering, Politeknik Negeri Bandung Jl. Gegerkalong Hilir, Ds. Ciwaruga, Bandung West Java (Indonesia)


    Anion exchange membranes (AEMs) play an important role in separating fuel and oxygen (or air) in the Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells. Preparation of hybrid organic inorganic materials of Polyvinylalcohol (PVA) - Tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) composite membrane doped KOH for direct alcohol alkaline fuel cell application has been investigated. The sol-gel method has been used to prepare the composite membrane of PVA-TEOS through crosslinking step and catalyzed by concentrated of hydrochloric acid. The gel solution was cast on the membrane plastic plate to obtain membrane sheets. The dry membranes were then doped by immersing in various concentrations of KOH solutions for about 4 hours. Investigations of the cross-linking process and the presence of hydroxyl group were conducted by FTIR as shown for frequency at about 1600 cm{sup −1} and 3300 cm{sup −1} respectively. The degree of swelling in ethanol decreased as the KOH concentration for membrane soaking process increased. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) of the membrane was 0.25meq/g. This composite membranes display significant ionic conductivity of 3.23 x 10{sup −2} S/cm in deionized water at room temperature. In addition, the morphology observation by scanning electron microscope (SEM) of the membrane indicates that soaking process of membrane in KOH increased thermal resistant.

  6. Development of composite membranes of PVA-TEOS doped KOH for alkaline membrane fuel cell

    Anion exchange membranes (AEMs) play an important role in separating fuel and oxygen (or air) in the Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells. Preparation of hybrid organic inorganic materials of Polyvinylalcohol (PVA) - Tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) composite membrane doped KOH for direct alcohol alkaline fuel cell application has been investigated. The sol-gel method has been used to prepare the composite membrane of PVA-TEOS through crosslinking step and catalyzed by concentrated of hydrochloric acid. The gel solution was cast on the membrane plastic plate to obtain membrane sheets. The dry membranes were then doped by immersing in various concentrations of KOH solutions for about 4 hours. Investigations of the cross-linking process and the presence of hydroxyl group were conducted by FTIR as shown for frequency at about 1600 cm−1 and 3300 cm−1 respectively. The degree of swelling in ethanol decreased as the KOH concentration for membrane soaking process increased. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) of the membrane was 0.25meq/g. This composite membranes display significant ionic conductivity of 3.23 x 10−2 S/cm in deionized water at room temperature. In addition, the morphology observation by scanning electron microscope (SEM) of the membrane indicates that soaking process of membrane in KOH increased thermal resistant

  7. Development of composite membranes of PVA-TEOS doped KOH for alkaline membrane fuel cell

    Haryadi, Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E.


    Anion exchange membranes (AEMs) play an important role in separating fuel and oxygen (or air) in the Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells. Preparation of hybrid organic inorganic materials of Polyvinylalcohol (PVA) - Tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) composite membrane doped KOH for direct alcohol alkaline fuel cell application has been investigated. The sol-gel method has been used to prepare the composite membrane of PVA-TEOS through crosslinking step and catalyzed by concentrated of hydrochloric acid. The gel solution was cast on the membrane plastic plate to obtain membrane sheets. The dry membranes were then doped by immersing in various concentrations of KOH solutions for about 4 hours. Investigations of the cross-linking process and the presence of hydroxyl group were conducted by FTIR as shown for frequency at about 1600 cm-1 and 3300 cm-1 respectively. The degree of swelling in ethanol decreased as the KOH concentration for membrane soaking process increased. The ion exchange capacity (IEC) of the membrane was 0.25meq/g. This composite membranes display significant ionic conductivity of 3.23 x 10-2 S/cm in deionized water at room temperature. In addition, the morphology observation by scanning electron microscope (SEM) of the membrane indicates that soaking process of membrane in KOH increased thermal resistant.

  8. Selective effect of cell membrane on synaptic neurotransmission

    Postila, Pekka A.; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Róg, Tomasz


    Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations were performed with 13 non-peptidic neurotransmitters (NTs) in three different membrane environments. The results provide compelling evidence that NTs are divided into membrane-binding and membrane-nonbinding molecules. NTs adhere to the postsynaptic membrane surface whenever the ligand-binding sites of their synaptic receptors are buried in the lipid bilayer. In contrast, NTs that have extracellular ligand-binding sites do not have a similar tendency to adhere to the membrane surface. This finding is a seemingly simple yet important addition to the paradigm of neurotransmission, essentially dividing it into membrane-independent and membrane-dependent mechanisms. Moreover, the simulations also indicate that the lipid composition especially in terms of charged lipids can affect the membrane partitioning of NTs. The revised paradigm, highlighting the importance of cell membrane and specific lipids for neurotransmission, should to be of interest to neuroscientists, drug industry and the general public alike.

  9. Selective effect of cell membrane on synaptic neurotransmission.

    Postila, Pekka A; Vattulainen, Ilpo; Róg, Tomasz


    Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations were performed with 13 non-peptidic neurotransmitters (NTs) in three different membrane environments. The results provide compelling evidence that NTs are divided into membrane-binding and membrane-nonbinding molecules. NTs adhere to the postsynaptic membrane surface whenever the ligand-binding sites of their synaptic receptors are buried in the lipid bilayer. In contrast, NTs that have extracellular ligand-binding sites do not have a similar tendency to adhere to the membrane surface. This finding is a seemingly simple yet important addition to the paradigm of neurotransmission, essentially dividing it into membrane-independent and membrane-dependent mechanisms. Moreover, the simulations also indicate that the lipid composition especially in terms of charged lipids can affect the membrane partitioning of NTs. The revised paradigm, highlighting the importance of cell membrane and specific lipids for neurotransmission, should to be of interest to neuroscientists, drug industry and the general public alike. PMID:26782980

  10. Finite element analysis of microelectrotension of cell membranes

    Bae, Chilman; Butler, Peter J.


    Electric fields can be focused by micropipette-based electrodes to induce stresses on cell membranes leading to tension and poration. To date, however, these membrane stress distributions have not been quantified. In this study, we determine membrane tension, stress, and strain distributions in the vicinity of a microelectrode using finite element analysis of a multiscale electro-mechanical model of pipette, media, membrane, actin cortex, and cytoplasm. Electric field forces are coupled to me...

  11. Membrane Fouling in Microfiltration used for Cell Harvesting

    Tahereh Kaghazchi; Farzin Zokaee; Abbas Zare


    In the present study the membrane fouling in microfiltration used for cell harvesting in a deadend system has been investigated. Experimental results were analysed in terms of existing membrane filtration models and membrane resistances. The cake filtration model (CFM) and standard blocking model (SBM) have been considered in this study.Various membrane resistances were determined at different processing time, feed concentration and stirring speed. Resistances to permeation in this system include filter medium, pore blocking, adsorption, cake layer and concentration polarization.

  12. Nanoscale cell membrane organization : a near-field optical view

    Koopman, Marjolein


    The cell plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells is a lipid bi-layer that separates the cell cytosol from the extracellular environment. The composition and organization of proteins and lipids within this bi-layer have a direct impact on many cellular processes, since they form the senses of the cell. Technological advances, like high resolution microscopy together with the possibility to address different membrane components via specific labeling now allows researchers to investigate cell membra...

  13. Phosphoric acid doped imidazolium polysulfone membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Yang, Jingshuai; Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf;


    A novel acid–base polymer membrane is prepared by doping of imidazolium polysulfone with phosphoric acid for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Polysulfone is first chloromethylated, followed by functionalization of the chloromethylated polysulfone with alkyl imidazoles i.......e. methyl (MePSU), ethyl (EtPSU) and butyl (BuPSU) imidazoliums, as revealed by 1H NMR spectra. The imidazolium polysulfone membranes are then doped with phosphoric acid and used as a proton exchange membrane electrolyte in fuel cells. An acid doping level of about 10–11mol H3PO4 per mole of the imidazolium...

  14. Engineered nanoparticles mimicking cell membranes for toxin neutralization.

    Fang, Ronnie H; Luk, Brian T; Hu, Che-Ming J; Zhang, Liangfang


    Protein toxins secreted from pathogenic bacteria and venomous animals rely on multiple mechanisms to overcome the cell membrane barrier to inflict their virulence effect. A promising therapeutic concept toward developing a broadly applicable anti-toxin platform is to administer cell membrane mimics as decoys to sequester these virulence factors. As such, lipid membrane-based nanoparticulates are an ideal candidate given their structural similarity to cellular membranes. This article reviews the virulence mechanisms employed by toxins at the cell membrane interface and highlights the application of cell-membrane mimicking nanoparticles as toxin decoys for systemic detoxification. In addition, the implication of particle/toxin nanocomplexes in the development of toxoid vaccines is discussed. PMID:25868452

  15. Nafion-carbon nanocomposite membranes prepared using hydrothermal carbonization for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells

    Chai, Zhanli [Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Clayton VIC 3182 (Australia); College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Inner Mongolia University, Inner Mongolia 010021 (China); Wang, Cheng; Zhang, Hongjie [State Key Laboratory of Rare Earth Resource Utilization, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022 (China); Doherty, Cara M.; Hill, Anita J. [CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Locked Bag 33, Clayton South MDC, VIC 3169 (Australia); Ladewig, Bradley P.; Wang, Huanting [Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Clayton VIC 3182 (Australia)


    Nafion-carbon (NC) composite membranes were prepared by hydrothermal treatment of Nafion membrane impregnated with glucose solution. The carbon loading of the NC membrane was tuned by controlling the hydrothermal carbonization time. X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy were used to characterize plain Nafion and NC composite membranes. Nafion-carbon composite membranes exhibited better proton conductivity and reduced methanol permeability than those of the plain Nafion membrane. A single cell prepared with the NC composite membrane with a carbon loading of 3.6 wt% exhibited the highest cell performance. Compared with the cell performance of plain Nafion membrane, the maximum power density of the new cell improved by 31.7% for an H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} fuel cell at room temperature, and by 44.0% for a direct methanol fuel cell at 60 C. (Copyright copyright 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  16. Membrane tension and cytoskeleton organization in cell motility

    Cell membrane shape changes are important for many aspects of normal biological function, such as tissue development, wound healing and cell division and motility. Various disease states are associated with deregulation of how cells move and change shape, including notably tumor initiation and cancer cell metastasis. Cell motility is powered, in large part, by the controlled assembly and disassembly of the actin cytoskeleton. Much of this dynamic happens in close proximity to the plasma membrane due to the fact that actin assembly factors are membrane-bound, and thus actin filaments are generally oriented such that their growth occurs against or near the membrane. For a long time, the membrane was viewed as a relatively passive scaffold for signaling. However, results from the last five years show that this is not the whole picture, and that the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton are intimately linked to the mechanics of the cell membrane. In this review, we summarize recent findings concerning the role of plasma membrane mechanics in cell cytoskeleton dynamics and architecture, showing that the cell membrane is not just an envelope or a barrier for actin assembly, but is a master regulator controlling cytoskeleton dynamics and cell polarity. (topical review)

  17. Anatomy of the red cell membrane skeleton: unanswered questions.

    Lux, Samuel E


    The red cell membrane skeleton is a pseudohexagonal meshwork of spectrin, actin, protein 4.1R, ankyrin, and actin-associated proteins that laminates the inner membrane surface and attaches to the overlying lipid bilayer via band 3-containing multiprotein complexes at the ankyrin- and actin-binding ends of spectrin. The membrane skeleton strengthens the lipid bilayer and endows the membrane with the durability and flexibility to survive in the circulation. In the 36 years since the first primitive model of the red cell skeleton was proposed, many additional proteins have been discovered, and their structures and interactions have been defined. However, almost nothing is known of the skeleton's physiology, and myriad questions about its structure remain, including questions concerning the structure of spectrin in situ, the way spectrin and other proteins bind to actin, how the membrane is assembled, the dynamics of the skeleton when the membrane is deformed or perturbed by parasites, the role lipids play, and variations in membrane structure in unique regions like lipid rafts. This knowledge is important because the red cell membrane skeleton is the model for spectrin-based membrane skeletons in all cells, and because defects in the red cell membrane skeleton underlie multiple hemolytic anemias. PMID:26537302

  18. Electrochemical proton gradient in Micrococcus lysodeikticus cells and membrane vesicles.

    Friedberg, I.; Kaback, H R


    Using the distribution of weak acids to measure the pH gradient (delta pH; interior alkaline) and the distribution of the lipophilic cation [3H]tetraphenylphosphonium+ to monitor the membrane potential (delta psi; interior negative), we studied the electrochemical gradient or protons (delta mu- H+) across the membrane of Micrococcus lysodeikticus cells and plasma membrane vesicles. With reduced phenazine methosulfate as electron donor, intact cells exhibited a relatively constant delta mu- H+...

  19. Revealing the Dynamics of Thylakoid Membranes in Living Cyanobacterial Cells

    Laura-Roxana Stingaciu; Hugh O’Neill; Michelle Liberton; Urban, Volker S.; Himadri B. Pakrasi; Michael Ohl


    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes that make major contributions to the production of the oxygen in the Earth atmosphere. The photosynthetic machinery in cyanobacterial cells is housed in flattened membrane structures called thylakoids. The structural organization of cyanobacterial cells and the arrangement of the thylakoid membranes in response to environmental conditions have been widely investigated. However, there is limited knowledge about the internal dynamics of these membran...

  20. Cultivation of MDCK epithelial cells on chitosan membranes.

    Popowicz, P; Kurzyca, J; Dolińska, B; Popowicz, J


    Deacetylated chitin upon evaporation from aqueous acetic acid solutions forms a thin, permeable and transparent porous membrane which can be successfully used as support of cell culture. An established MDCK cell line grown as monolayer on both chitosan membrane and millipore filter generates comparable bioelectrical properties when studied in a typical transporting chamber. PMID:4084278

  1. Polybenzimidazole and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane composite membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Aili, David; Allward, Todd; Alfaro, Silvia Martinez;


    Composite membranes based on poly(2,2′(m-phenylene)-5,5́bibenzimidazole) (PBI) and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (S-POSS) with S-POSS contents of 5 and 10wt.% were prepared by solution casting as base materials for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. With membranes...... based on pure PBI as a reference point, the composite membranes were characterized with respect to spectroscopic and physicochemical properties. After doping with phosphoric acid, the composite membranes showed considerably improved ex situ proton conductivity under anhydrous as well as under fully...... humidified conditions in the 120-180°C temperature range. The conductivity improvements were also confirmed by in situ fuel cell tests at 160°C and further supported by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy data based on the operating membrane electrode assemblies, demonstrating the technical...

  2. Polybenzimidazole and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane composite membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Composite membranes based on poly(2,2′(m-phenylene)-5,5′bibenzimidazole) (PBI) and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (S-POSS) with S-POSS contents of 5 and 10 wt.% were prepared by solution casting as base materials for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. With membranes based on pure PBI as a reference point, the composite membranes were characterized with respect to spectroscopic and physicochemical properties. After doping with phosphoric acid, the composite membranes showed considerably improved ex situ proton conductivity under anhydrous as well as under fully humidified conditions in the 120-180 °C temperature range. The conductivity improvements were also confirmed by in situ fuel cell tests at 160 °C and further supported by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy data based on the operating membrane electrode assemblies, demonstrating the technical feasibility of the novel electrolyte materials

  3. New ETFE-based membrane for direct methanol fuel cell

    The investigated membranes are based on 35-bar μ m thick commercial poly(ethylene-alt-tetrafluoroethylene) (ETFE) films. The films were made proton conductive by means of irradiation treatment followed by sulfonation. These membranes have exceptionally low water uptake and excellent dimensional stability. The new membranes are investigated widely in a laboratory-scale direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The temperature range used in the fuel cell tests was 30-85-bar o C and the measurement results were compared to those of the Nafion(R)115 membrane. Also methanol permeability through the ETFE-based membrane was measured as a function of temperature, resulting in values less than 10% of the corresponding values for Nafion(R)115, which was considerably thicker than the experimental membrane. Methanol crossover was reported to decrease when the thickness of the membrane increases, so the ETFE-based membrane compares favourably to Nafion(R) membranes. The maximum power densities achieved with the experimental ETFE-based membrane were about 40-65% lower than the corresponding values of the Nafion(R)115 membrane, because of the lower conductivity and noticeably higher IR-losses. Chemical and mechanical stability of the ETFE-based membrane appeared to be promising since it was tested over 2000-bar h in the DMFC without any performance loss

  4. The Stirred Tank Reactor Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    Benziger, J; Karnas, E; Moxley, J; Teuscher, C; Kevrekidis, Yu G; Benziger, Jay


    The design and operation of a differential Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell is described. The fuel cell design is based on coupled Stirred Tank Reactors (STR); the gas phase in each reactor compartment was well mixed. The characteristic times for reactant flow, gas phase diffusion and reaction were chosen so that the gas compositions at both the anode and cathode are uniform. The STR PEM fuel cell is one-dimensional; the only spatial gradients are transverse to the membrane. The STR PEM fuel cell was employed to examine fuel cell start- up, and its dynamic responses to changes in load, temperature and reactant flow rates. Multiple time scales in systems response are found to correspond to water absorption by the membrane, water transport through the membrane and stress-related mechanical changes of the membrane.

  5. Studying the Nucleated Mammalian Cell Membrane by Single Molecule Approaches

    Wang, Feng; Wu, Jiazhen; Gao, Jing; Liu, Shuheng; Jiang, Junguang; Jiang, Shibo; Wang, Hongda


    The cell membrane plays a key role in compartmentalization, nutrient transportation and signal transduction, while the pattern of protein distribution at both cytoplasmic and ectoplasmic sides of the cell membrane remains elusive. Using a combination of single-molecule techniques, including atomic force microscopy (AFM), single molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) and stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM), to study the structure of nucleated cell membranes, we found that (1) proteins at the ectoplasmic side of the cell membrane form a dense protein layer (4 nm) on top of a lipid bilayer; (2) proteins aggregate to form islands evenly dispersed at the cytoplasmic side of the cell membrane with a height of about 10–12 nm; (3) cholesterol-enriched domains exist within the cell membrane; (4) carbohydrates stay in microdomains at the ectoplasmic side; and (5) exposed amino groups are asymmetrically distributed on both sides. Based on these observations, we proposed a Protein Layer-Lipid-Protein Island (PLLPI) model, to provide a better understanding of cell membrane structure, membrane trafficking and viral fusion mechanisms. PMID:24806512

  6. Durability of symmetrically and asymmetrically porous polybenzimidazole membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Jheng, Li-Cheng; Chang, Wesley Jen-Yang; Hsu, Steve Lien-Chung; Cheng, Po-Yang


    Two types of porous polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes with symmetric and asymmetric morphologies were fabricated by the template-leaching method and characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Their physicochemical properties were compared in terms of acid-doping level, proton conductivity, mechanical strength, and oxidative stability. The durability of fuel cell operation is one of the most challenging for the PBI based membrane electrode assembly (MEA) used in high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs). In the present work, we carried out a long-term steady-state fuel cell test to compare the effect of membrane structure on the cell voltage degradation. It has also been demonstrated that the asymmetrically porous PBI could bring some notable improvements on the durability of fuel cell operation, the fuel crossover problem, and the phosphoric acid leakage.

  7. Radiation-Grafted Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Water Electrolysis Cells: Evaluation of Key Membrane Properties.

    Albert, Albert; Barnett, Alejandro O; Thomassen, Magnus S; Schmidt, Thomas J; Gubler, Lorenz


    Radiation-grafted membranes can be considered an alternative to perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes, such as Nafion, in a solid polymer electrolyte electrolyzer. Styrene, acrylonitrile, and 1,3-diisopropenylbenzene monomers are cografted into preirradiated 50 μm ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) base film, followed by sulfonation to introduce proton exchange sites to the obtained grafted films. The incorporation of grafts throughout the thickness is demonstrated by scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDX) analysis of the membrane cross-sections. The membranes are analyzed in terms of grafting kinetics, ion-exchange capacity (IEC), and water uptake. The key properties of radiation-grafted membranes and Nafion, such as gas crossover, area resistance, and mechanical properties, are evaluated and compared. The plot of hydrogen crossover versus area resistance of the membranes results in a property map that indicates the target areas for membrane development for electrolyzer applications. Tensile tests are performed to assess the mechanical properties of the membranes. Finally, these three properties are combined to establish a figure of merit, which indicates that radiation-grafted membranes obtained in the present study are promising candidates with properties superior to those of Nafion membranes. A water electrolysis cell test is performed as proof of principle, including a comparison to a commercial membrane electrode assembly (MEA). PMID:26393461

  8. Nano thermo-hydrodynamics method for investigating cell membrane fluidity


    As a barrier to compartmentalize cells,mem-branes form the interface between a cell and its surround-ings.The essential function of a membrane is to maintain a relatively stable environment in the cell,exchange sub-stances selectively and transfer energy and information continually from the outside.It is intriguing that above the phase transition temperature,the membrane lipid molecule will have three modes-lateral diffusion,rotational movement and flip-flop activity.These thermodynamic processes are vital to cell existence,growth,division,differentiation and are also responsible for hundreds of thousands of phenomena in life.Previously,species transport across the membrane was interpreted mainly from a phenomenological view using a lumped system model.Therefore,detailed flow processes occurred in the membrane domain and clues related to life mechanism were not sufficiently tackled.Such important issues can be clarifled by modeling nano scale thermal hydrodynamics over the gap space of a cell membrane.Previously observed complex membrane behaviors will be shown in this paper and explained by the thermally induced fluidic convections inside the membrane.A correlation between nano scale hydrodynamics,non-equilibrium thermodynamics and eell membrane activities is set up.The disclosed mechanisms are expected to provide a new viewpoint on the interaction between intracellular and extracellular processes through the membrane.

  9. Oncostatin M regulates membrane traffic and stimulates bile canalicular membrane biogenesis in HepG2 cells

    Van der Wouden, Johanna M.; Van IJzendoorn, Sven C.D.; Hoekstra, Dick


    Hepatocytes are the major epithelial cells of the liver and they display membrane polarity: the sinusoidal membrane representing the basolateral surface, while the bile canalicular membrane is typical of the apical membrane. In polarized HepG2 cells an endosomal organelle, SAC, fulfills a prominent

  10. Catalyst Degradation in High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Based on Acid Doped Polybenzimidazole Membranes

    Cleemann, Lars Nilausen; Buazar, F.; Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf; Pan, Chao; Steenberg, T.; Dai, S.; Bjerrum, Niels J.


    Degradation of carbon supported platinum catalysts is a major failure mode for the long term durability of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells based on phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes. With Vulcan carbon black as a reference, thermally treated carbon black and...

  11. A Quaternary Polybenzimidazole Membrane for Intermediate Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Xu, C.; Scott, K.; Li, Qingfeng;


    at 150 °C with the PA acid loading level of 3.5 PRU (amount of H3PO4 per repeat unit of polymer QPBI). The QPBI membrane was characterized in terms of composition, structure and morphology by NMR, FTIR, SEM, and EDX. The fuel cell performance with the membrane gave peak power densities of 440 and 240...

  12. Electron Spin Resonance Study of Fuel Cell Polymer Membrane Degradation

    Alexander Panchenko; Elena Aleksandrova; Emil Roduner


    @@ 1Introduction The long term stability of the membrane is an important factor limiting the fuel cell lifetime. During extended use the membrane degrades, probably via reaction with hydroxyl and superoxide radicals which are regular intermediates of the oxygen reduction at the cathode. Only extremely stable membranes can withstand the aggressive chemical and physical environment in an operating fuel cell. Within a given set of operating conditions, intrinsic chemical and mechanical properties of the membrane as well as its water content impact its durability dramatically.

  13. Cell membrane potentials induced during exposure to EMP fields

    Gailey, P.C.; Easterly, C.E.


    Internal current densities and electric fields induced in the human body during exposure to EMP fields are reviewed and used to predict resulting cell membrane potentials. Using several different approaches, membrane potentials of about 100 mV are predicted. These values are comparable to the static membrane potentials maintained by cells as a part of normal physiological function, but the EMP-induced potentials persist for only about 10 ns. Possible biological implications of EMP-induced membrane potentials including conformational changes and electroporation are discussed.

  14. Revealing the Dynamics of Thylakoid Membranes in Living Cyanobacterial Cells

    Stingaciu, Laura-Roxana; O'Neill, Hugh; Liberton, Michelle; Urban, Volker S.; Pakrasi, Himadri B.; Ohl, Michael


    Cyanobacteria are photosynthetic prokaryotes that make major contributions to the production of the oxygen in the Earth atmosphere. The photosynthetic machinery in cyanobacterial cells is housed in flattened membrane structures called thylakoids. The structural organization of cyanobacterial cells and the arrangement of the thylakoid membranes in response to environmental conditions have been widely investigated. However, there is limited knowledge about the internal dynamics of these membranes in terms of their flexibility and motion during the photosynthetic process. We present a direct observation of thylakoid membrane undulatory motion in vivo and show a connection between membrane mobility and photosynthetic activity. High-resolution inelastic neutron scattering experiments on the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 assessed the flexibility of cyanobacterial thylakoid membrane sheets and the dependence of the membranes on illumination conditions. We observed softer thylakoid membranes in the dark that have three-to four fold excess mobility compared to membranes under high light conditions. Our analysis indicates that electron transfer between photosynthetic reaction centers and the associated electrochemical proton gradient across the thylakoid membrane result in a significant driving force for excess membrane dynamics. These observations provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between photosynthesis and cellular architecture.

  15. How the antimicrobial peptides destroy bacteria cell membrane: Translocations vs. membrane buckling

    Golubovic, Leonardo; Gao, Lianghui; Chen, Licui; Fang, Weihai


    In this study, coarse grained Dissipative Particle Dynamics simulation with implementation of electrostatic interactions is developed in constant pressure and surface tension ensemble to elucidate how the antimicrobial peptide molecules affect bilayer cell membrane structure and kill bacteria. We find that peptides with different chemical-physical properties exhibit different membrane obstructing mechanisms. Peptide molecules can destroy vital functions of the affected bacteria by translocating across their membranes via worm-holes, or by associating with membrane lipids to form hydrophilic cores trapped inside the hydrophobic domain of the membranes. In the latter scenario, the affected membranes are strongly corrugated (buckled) in accord with very recent experimental observations [G. E. Fantner et al., Nat. Nanotech., 5 (2010), pp. 280-285].

  16. Lipid membrane domains in cell surface and vacuolar systems.

    Kobayashi, T; Hirabayashi, Y


    Detergent insoluble sphingolipid-cholesterol enriched 'raft'-like membrane microdomains have been implicated in a variety of biological processes including sorting, trafficking, and signaling. Mutant cells and knockout animals of sphingolipid biosynthesis are clearly useful to understand the biological roles of lipid components in raft-like domains. It is suggested that raft-like domains distribute in internal vacuolar membranes as well as plasma membranes. In addition to sphingolipid-cholesterol-rich membrane domains, recent studies suggest the existence of another lipid-membrane domain in the endocytic pathway. This domain is enriched with a unique phospholipid, lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA) and localized in the internal membrane of multivesicular endosome. LBPA-rich membrane domains are involved in lipid and protein sorting within the endosomal system. Possible interaction between sphingolipids and LBPA in sphingolipid-storage disease is discussed. PMID:11201787

  17. Measurement of the nonlinear elasticity of red blood cell membranes

    Park, Yongkeun; Best, Catherine A.; Kuriabova, Tatiana; Henle, Mark L.; Feld, Michael S.; Levine, Alex J.; Popescu, Gabriel


    The membranes of human red blood cells (RBCs) are a composite of a fluid lipid bilayer and a triangular network of semiflexible filaments (spectrin). We perform cellular microrheology using the dynamic membrane fluctuations of the RBCs to extract the elastic moduli of this composite membrane. By applying known osmotic stresses, we measure the changes in the elastic constants under imposed strain and thereby determine the nonlinear elastic properties of the membrane. We find that the elastic nonlinearities of the shear modulus in tensed RBC membranes can be well understood in terms of a simple wormlike chain model. Our results show that the elasticity of the spectrin network can mostly account for the area compression modulus at physiological osmolality, suggesting that the lipid bilayer has significant excess area. As the cell swells, the elastic contribution from the now tensed lipid membrane becomes dominant.

  18. The Stirred Tank Reactor Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    Benziger, Jay; Chia, E.; Karnas, E.; Moxley, J.; Teuscher, C.; Kevrekidis, I. G.


    The design and operation of a differential Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell is described. The fuel cell design is based on coupled Stirred Tank Reactors (STR); the gas phase in each reactor compartment was well mixed. The characteristic times for reactant flow, gas phase diffusion and reaction were chosen so that the gas compositions at both the anode and cathode are uniform. The STR PEM fuel cell is one-dimensional; the only spatial gradients are transverse to the membrane. The S...

  19. The Flocculating Cationic Polypetide from Moringa oleifera Seeds Damages Bacterial Cell Membranes by Causing Membrane Fusion.

    Shebek, Kevin; Schantz, Allen B; Sines, Ian; Lauser, Kathleen; Velegol, Stephanie; Kumar, Manish


    A cationic protein isolated from the seeds of the Moringa oleifera tree has been extensively studied for use in water treatment in developing countries and has been proposed for use in antimicrobial and therapeutic applications. However, the molecular basis for the antimicrobial action of this peptide, Moringa oleifera cationic protein (MOCP), has not been previously elucidated. We demonstrate here that a dominant mechanism of MOCP antimicrobial activity is membrane fusion. We used a combination of cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and fluorescence assays to observe and study the kinetics of fusion of membranes in liposomes representing model microbial cells. We also conducted cryo-EM experiments on E. coli cells where MOCP was seen to fuse the inner and outer membranes. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of membrane vesicles with MOCP molecules were used to elucidate steps in peptide adsorption, stalk formation, and fusion between membranes. PMID:25845029

  20. Improved Membrane Materials for PEM Fuel Cell Application

    Kenneth A. Mauritz; Robert B. Moore


    The overall goal of this project is to collect and integrate critical structure/property information in order to develop methods that lead to significant improvements in the durability and performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) materials. This project is focused on the fundamental improvement of PEMFC membrane materials with respect to chemical, mechanical and morphological durability as well as the development of new inorganically-modified membranes.

  1. Radiation Interaction with Therapeutic Drugs and Cell Membranes

    This transient permeabilized state of the cell membrane, named the 'cell electroporation' (CE) can be used to increase cells uptake of drugs that do not readily pass cell membrane, thus enabling their cytotoxicity. The anticancer drugs, such as bleomycin (BL) and cisplatin, are the most candidates for the combined use with ionizing and non-ionizing radiation fields. The methods and installations for the cell electroporation by electron beam (EB) and microwave (MW) irradiation are presented. The viability tests of the human leukocytes under EB and MW exposure with/without the BL in the cell cultures are discussed

  2. Toughness of membranes applied in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Kiefer, J.; Brack, H.P.; Scherer, G.G. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)


    Since several years we apply the radiation-grafting technique to prepare polymeric membranes for application in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Our investigations presented here focus on changes in toughness of these materials after the various synthesis steps and the importance of membrane toughness for their application in PEFCs. (author) 2 figs., 4 refs.

  3. Denaturation of membrane proteins and hyperthermic cell killing

    Burgman, Paulus Wilhelmus Johannes Jozef


    Summarizing: heat induced denaturation of membrane proteins is probably related to hyperthermic cell killing. Induced resistance of heat sensitive proteins seems to be involved in the development of thermotolerance. Although many questions remain still to be answered, it appears that HSP72, when bound to membrane proteins, is capable of providing heat resistance to these proteins. ... Zie: Summary

  4. Prism-patterned Nafion membrane for enhanced water transport in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Kim, Sang Moon; Kang, Yun Sik; Ahn, Chiyeong; Jang, Segeun; Kim, Minhyoung; Sung, Yung-Eun; Yoo, Sung Jong; Choi, Mansoo


    Here, we report a simple and effective strategy to enhance the performance of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell by imprinting prism-patterned arrays onto the Nafion membrane, which provides three combined effects directly related to the device performance. First, a locally thinned membrane via imprinted micro prism-structures lead to reduced membrane resistance, which is confirmed by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Second, increments of the geometrical surface area of the prism-patterned Nafion membrane compared to a flat membrane result in the increase in the electrochemical active surface area. Third, the vertically asymmetric geometry of prism structures in the cathode catalyst layer lead to enhanced water transport, which is confirmed by oxygen gain calculation. To explain the enhanced water transport, we propose a simple theoretical model on removal of water droplets existing in the asymmetric catalyst layer. These three combined effects achieved via incorporating prism patterned arrays into the Nafion membrane effectively enhance the performance of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell.


    Perurnal Bhavani; Dharmalingam Sangeetha


    Sulphonated polystyrene ethylene butylene polystyrene (SPSEBS) prepared with 35% sulphonation was found to be highly elastic and enlarged up to 300%-400% of its initial length.It absorbed over 110% of water by weight.A major drawback of this membrane is its poor mechanical properties which are not adequate for use as polymer electrolytes in fuel cells.To overcome this,SPSEBS was blended with poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF),a hydrophobic polymer.The blend membranes showed better mechanical properties than the base polymer.The effect of PVDF content on water uptake,ion exchange capacity and proton conductivity of the blend membranes was investigated.This paper presents the results of recent studies applied to develop an optimized in-house membrane electrode assembly (MEA) preparation technique combining catalyst ink spraying and assembly hot pressing.Easy steps were chosen in this preparation technique in order to simplify the method,aiming at cost reduction.The open circuit voltage for the cell with SPSEBS is 0.980 V which is higher compared to that of the cell with Nafion 117 (0.790 V).From this study,it is concluded that a polymer electrolyte membrane suitable for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) application can be obtained by blending SPSEBS and PVDF in appropriate proportions.The methanol permeability and selectivity showed a strong influence on DMFC performance.

  6. Gangliosides in cell recognition and membrane protein regulation

    Lopez, Pablo H. H.; Schnaar, Ronald L.


    Gangliosides, sialic acid-bearing glycosphingolipids, are expressed on all vertebrate cells, and are the major glycans on nerve cells. They are anchored to the plasma membrane through their ceramide lipids with their varied glycans extending into the extracellular space. Through sugar-specific interactions with glycan binding proteins on apposing cells, gangliosides function as receptors in cell-cell recognition, regulating natural killer cell cytotoxicity via Siglec-7 binding, myelin-axon in...

  7. Sulfated Titania-Silica Reinforced Nafion Nanocomposite Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells.

    Abu Sayeed, M D; Kim, Hee Jin; Gopalan, A I; Kim, Young Ho; Lee, Kwang-Pill; Choi, Sang-June


    Sulfated titania-silica (SO4(2-)-/TiO2-SiO2) composites were prepared by a sol-gel method with sulfate reaction and characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). The nanometric diameter and geometry of the sulfated titania-silica (STS) was investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A small amount of the STS composite in the range of 0.5-3 wt% was then added as reinforcing into the Nafion membrane by water-assisted solution casting method to prepare STS reinforced Nafion nanocomposite membranes (STS-Nafion nanocomposite membranes). The additional functional groups, sulfate groups, of the nanocomposite membrane having more surface oxygenated groups enhanced the fuel cell membrane properties. The STS-Nafion nanocomposite membranes exhibited improved water uptake compared to that of neat Nafion membranes, whereas methanol uptake values were decreased dramatically improved thermal property of the prepared nanocomposite membranes were measured by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Furthermore, increased ion exchange capacity values were obtained by thermoacidic pretreatment of the nanocomposite membranes. PMID:26716283

  8. Cell-free system for synthesizing membrane proteins cell free method for synthesizing membrane proteins

    Laible, Philip D; Hanson, Deborah K


    The invention provides an in vitro method for producing proteins, membrane proteins, membrane-associated proteins, and soluble proteins that interact with membrane-associated proteins for assembly into an oligomeric complex or that require association with a membrane for proper folding. The method comprises, supplying intracytoplasmic membranes from organisms; modifying protein composition of intracytoplasmic membranes from organism by modifying DNA to delete genes encoding functions of the organism not associated with the formation of the intracytoplasmic membranes; generating appropriate DNA or RNA templates that encode the target protein; and mixing the intracytoplasmic membranes with the template and a transcription/translation-competent cellular extract to cause simultaneous production of the membrane proteins and encapsulation of the membrane proteins within the intracytoplasmic membranes.

  9. Seperator membranes for redox-type electrochemical cells

    This disclosure is directed to improved redox type electrochemical cells, preferably those of the iron (+3)/iron (+2) electrolyte variety, incorporating polymeric, ion-exchange separator membranes produced by radiation grafting techniques

  10. Novel Membrane for Highly Efficient Fuel Cells Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells and electrolyzers are key technologies for NASA space systems utilizing hydrogen, oxygen, or water as reactants. In order...

  11. Novel High Temperature Membrane for PEM Fuel Cells Project

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The innovation proposed in this STTR program is a high temperature membrane to increase the efficiency and power density of PEM fuel cells. The NASA application is...

  12. Membrane Protein Mobility and Orientation Preserved in Supported Bilayers Created Directly from Cell Plasma Membrane Blebs.

    Richards, Mark J; Hsia, Chih-Yun; Singh, Rohit R; Haider, Huma; Kumpf, Julia; Kawate, Toshimitsu; Daniel, Susan


    Membrane protein interactions with lipids are crucial for their native biological behavior, yet traditional characterization methods are often carried out on purified protein in the absence of lipids. We present a simple method to transfer membrane proteins expressed in mammalian cells to an assay-friendly, cushioned, supported lipid bilayer platform using cell blebs as an intermediate. Cell blebs, expressing either GPI-linked yellow fluorescent proteins or neon-green fused transmembrane P2X2 receptors, were induced to rupture on glass surfaces using PEGylated lipid vesicles, which resulted in planar supported membranes with over 50% mobility for multipass transmembrane proteins and over 90% for GPI-linked proteins. Fluorescent proteins were tracked, and their diffusion in supported bilayers characterized, using single molecule tracking and moment scaling spectrum (MSS) analysis. Diffusion was characterized for individual proteins as either free or confined, revealing details of the local lipid membrane heterogeneity surrounding the protein. A particularly useful result of our bilayer formation process is the protein orientation in the supported planar bilayer. For both the GPI-linked and transmembrane proteins used here, an enzymatic assay revealed that protein orientation in the planar bilayer results in the extracellular domains facing toward the bulk, and that the dominant mode of bleb rupture is via the "parachute" mechanism. Mobility, orientation, and preservation of the native lipid environment of the proteins using cell blebs offers advantages over proteoliposome reconstitution or disrupted cell membrane preparations, which necessarily result in significant scrambling of protein orientation and typically immobilized membrane proteins in SLBs. The bleb-based bilayer platform presented here is an important step toward integrating membrane proteomic studies on chip, especially for future studies aimed at understanding fundamental effects of lipid interactions

  13. Bipolar membranes in forward bias region for fuel cell reactors

    Three bipolar membranes, two home-made composed of commercial cation (DuPont) and anion (FuMA-Tech) exchange membranes (called Nafion/FT-FAA and Nafion/FT-FAS) and a commercial one, BP-1 from FuMA-Tech, were investigated in order to characterize their suitability to use in a H2/O2 fuel cell intended to produce hydrogen peroxide on the cathode instead of water. The Nafion/FT-FAA and Nafion/FT-FAS membranes were prepared using a hot-pressing method. The optimal hot-pressing conditions were determined by measuring the ionic conductivity of the membranes. The latter was observed to depend on the relative humidity of the bipolar membrane. Of the studied bipolar membranes, Nafion/FT-FAA showed the best performance. The transport number of protons measured in a concentration cell was observed to depend on the direction of the proton diffusion flux through these membranes so that transport numbers of ca. unity were obtained when the cation exchange side faced the solution with higher proton concentration. In the opposite case, when the higher concentration faced anion exchange side, the transport number of proton was clearly lower, indicating the usefulness of the bipolar membranes for hydrogen peroxide production in the fuel cell

  14. Intravacuolar Membranes Regulate CD8 T Cell Recognition of Membrane-Bound Toxoplasma gondii Protective Antigen

    Jodie Lopez


    Full Text Available Apicomplexa parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii target effectors to and across the boundary of their parasitophorous vacuole (PV, resulting in host cell subversion and potential presentation by MHC class I molecules for CD8 T cell recognition. The host-parasite interface comprises the PV limiting membrane and a highly curved, membranous intravacuolar network (IVN of uncertain function. Here, using a cell-free minimal system, we dissect how membrane tubules are shaped by the parasite effectors GRA2 and GRA6. We show that membrane association regulates access of the GRA6 protective antigen to the MHC I pathway in infected cells. Although insertion of GRA6 in the PV membrane is key for immunogenicity, association of GRA6 with the IVN limits presentation and curtails GRA6-specific CD8 responses in mice. Thus, membrane deformations of the PV regulate access of antigens to the MHC class I pathway, and the IVN may play a role in immune modulation.

  15. A membrane bending model of outer hair cell electromotility.

    Raphael, R. M.; Popel, A S; Brownell, W. E.


    We propose a new mechanism for outer hair cell electromotility based on electrically induced localized changes in the curvature of the plasma membrane (flexoelectricity). Electromechanical coupling in the cell's lateral wall is modeled in terms of linear constitutive equations for a flexoelectric membrane and then extended to nonlinear coupling based on the Langevin function. The Langevin function, which describes the fraction of dipoles aligned with an applied electric field, is shown to be ...

  16. Increased cell membrane arachidonic acid in experimental colorectal tumours.

    Nicholson, M. L.; Neoptolemos, J P; Clayton, H A; Talbot, I C; Bell, P R


    Tumour cell membrane fatty acid composition was investigated using an animal model of colorectal carcinogenesis. Eighty six male Wistar rats were fed experimental diets containing either 5% saturated fat or 20% saturated fat. Colorectal tumours were induced by intraperitoneal injection of azoxymethane, and control rats received saline. Animals were killed at intervals up to 26 weeks after the last injection of carcinogen for histology and lipid analysis. Cell membrane fatty acids in colonic m...

  17. Electrospun nanofibre composite polymer electrolyte fuel cell and electrolysis membranes

    Sood, Rakhi; Cavaliere, Sara; Rozière, Jacques; Jones, Deborah


    International audience Large-scale commercialisation of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technology for automotive and stationary applications demands the development of a robust, durable and cost-effective materials. In this regard, ionomer membranes being present at the core of PEMFCs are required to maintain elevated proton conductivity, high mechanical strength and low gas permeability during the lifespan of the fuel cell. These challenges are addressed by investigating novel...

  18. Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy of the endothelial cell membrane.

    Simon W Fogarty

    Full Text Available We applied surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS to cationic gold-labeled endothelial cells to derive SERS-enhanced spectra of the bimolecular makeup of the plasma membrane. A two-step protocol with cationic charged gold nanoparticles followed by silver-intensification to generate silver nanoparticles on the cell surface was employed. This protocol of post-labelling silver-intensification facilitates the collection of SERS-enhanced spectra from the cell membrane without contribution from conjugated antibodies or other molecules. This approach generated a 100-fold SERS-enhancement of the spectral signal. The SERS spectra exhibited many vibrational peaks that can be assigned to components of the cell membrane. We were able to carry out spectral mapping using some of the enhanced wavenumbers. Significantly, the spectral maps suggest the distribution of some membrane components are was not evenly distributed over the cells plasma membrane. These results provide some possible evidence for the existence of lipid rafts in the plasma membrane and show that SERS has great potential for the study and characterization of cell surfaces.

  19. Cathode degradation of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)

    Morphological changes occurring in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC's) were monitored using scanning microscopy (SEM) during the course of 600 hours testing of hydrogen/air polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). The microstructural study suggests a structural change caused by loss of the recast ionomer could result in deterioration of the integrity of the electrode, a drop in both ionic and electronic conductivities, loss of platinum particle clusters (for carbon support), and increased resistance within the interfacial zone of the membrane and catalyst layer.(author)

  20. Mouse endometrial stromal cells produce basement-membrane components

    Wewer, U M; Damjanov, A; Weiss, J;


    During mouse pregnancy, uterine stromal cells transform into morphologically distinct decidual cells under the influence of the implanting embryo and a proper hormonal environment. Mechanical stimulation of hormonally primed uterine stromal cells leads to the same morphologic alterations. The....... Mouse decidual cells isolated from 6- to 7-day pregnant uteri explanted in vitro continue to synthesize basement-membrane-like extracellular matrix. Using immunohistochemistry and metabolic labeling followed by immunoprecipitation, SDS-PAGE, and fluorography, it was shown that the decidual cells...... undergo pseudodecidualization. We thus showed that stromal cells from pregnant and nonpregnant mouse uteri synthesize significant amounts of basement-membrane components in vitro, and hence could serve as a good model for the study of normal basement-membrane components....

  1. Spray deposition of Nafion membranes: Electrode-supported fuel cells

    Bayer, Thomas; Pham, Hung Cuong; Sasaki, Kazunari; Lyth, Stephen Matthew


    Fuel cells are a key technology for the successful transition towards a hydrogen society. In order to accelerate fuel cell commercialization, improvements in performance are required. Generally, polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEFCs) are membrane-supported; the electrocatalyst layer is sprayed onto both sides of the membrane, and sandwiched between carbon-based gas diffusion layers (GDLs). In this work we redesign the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and fabricate an electrode-supported PEFC. First the electrocatalyst layer is sprayed onto the GDL, and then Nafion dispersion is sprayed over the top of this to form a thin membrane. This method has the advantage of simplifying the fabrication process, allowing the fabrication of extremely thin electrolyte layers (down to ∼10 μm in this case), and reducing the amount of ionomer required in the cell. Electrode-supported PEFCs operate at significantly increased power density compared to conventional membrane-supported PEFCs, with a maximum of 581 mW/cm2 at 80 °C (atmospheric pressure, air at the cathode). Impedance spectroscopy confirmed that the origin of the improved performance was an 80% reduction in the membrane resistance due the thinner Nafion layer. This novel fabrication method is a step towards cheaper, thinner, fully printable PEFCs with high power density and efficiency.

  2. Proton conducting membranes for high temperature fuel cells with solid state water free membranes

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Yen, Shiao-Pin S. (Inventor)


    A water free, proton conducting membrane for use in a fuel cell is fabricated as a highly conducting sheet of converted solid state organic amine salt, such as converted acid salt of triethylenediamine with two quaternized tertiary nitrogen atoms, combined with a nanoparticulate oxide and a stable binder combined with the converted solid state organic amine salt to form a polymeric electrolyte membrane. In one embodiment the membrane is derived from triethylenediamine sulfate, hydrogen phosphate or trifiate, an oxoanion with at least one ionizable hydrogen, organic tertiary amine bisulfate, polymeric quaternized amine bisulfate or phosphate, or polymeric organic compounds with quaternizable nitrogen combined with Nafion to form an intimate network with ionic interactions.

  3. Mathematical modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    A one-dimensional non-isothermal model of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells has been developed to investigate the effect of various design and operating conditions on the cell performance, thermal response and water management, and to understand the underlying mechanism. The model includes variable membrane hydration, ternary gas mixtures for both reactant streams, phase change of water in the electrodes with non-saturated reactant gas streams, and energy equation for the temperature distribution across the cell. It is found that temperature distribution within the PEM fuel cells is affected by water phase change in the electrodes, especially for unsaturated reactant streams. Larger peak temperature rise occurs at lower cell operating temperatures and for partially humidified reactants due to increased membrane resistance and Joule heating arising from reduced membrane hydration. The nonuniform temperature rise can be significant for fuel cell stacks. Operation on reformed fuels results in a decrease in cell performance largely due to reduced membrane hydration, which is also mainly responsible for reduced performance at high current densities for high cell operating pressures. Model predictions compare well with known experimental results. (author)

  4. Creation and Reproduction of Model Cells with Semipermeable Membrane

    Sakaguchi, Hidetsugu


    A high activity of reactions can be confined in a model cell with a semipermeable membrane in the Schl\\"ogl model. It is interpreted as a model of primitive metabolism in a cell. We study two generalized models to understand the creation of primitive cell systems conceptually from the view point of the nonlinear-nonequilibrium physics. In the first model, a single-cell system with a highly active state confined by a semipermeable membrane is spontaneously created from an inactive homogeneous ...

  5. Monocyte cell membrane-derived nanoghosts for targeted cancer therapy

    Krishnamurthy, S.; Gnanasammandhan, M. K.; Xie, C.; Huang, K.; Cui, M. Y.; Chan, J. M.


    Core-shell type `nanoghosts' were synthesized with a drug-loaded biodegradable PLGA core and a monocyte cell membrane-derived shell. The nanoghosts were monodisperse with an average size coated nanoparticle controls in metastatic MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines.Core-shell type `nanoghosts' were synthesized with a drug-loaded biodegradable PLGA core and a monocyte cell membrane-derived shell. The nanoghosts were monodisperse with an average size coated nanoparticle controls in metastatic MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr07588b

  6. Why can hydrogen sulfide permeate cell membranes?

    Riahi, Saleh; Rowley, Christopher N


    The high membrane permeability of H2S was studied using polarizable molecular dynamics simulations of a DPPC lipid bilayer. The solubility-diffusion model predicts permeability coefficients of H2S and H2O that are in good agreement with experiment. The computed diffusion coefficient profile shows H2S to diffuse at a lower rate than H2O, but the barrier for H2S permeation on the Gibbs energy profile is negligible. The hydrophobicity of H2S allows it to partition into the paraffinic interior of the membrane readily. PMID:25323018

  7. Cytotoxicity of bovine and porcine collagen membranes in mononuclear cells.

    Moura, Camilla Christian Gomes; Soares, Priscilla Barbosa Ferreira; Carneiro, Karine Fernandes; Souza, Maria Aparecida de; Magalhães, Denildo


    This study compared the cytotoxicity and the release of nitric oxide induced by collagen membranes in human mononuclear cells. Peripheral blood was collected from each patient and the separation of mononuclear cells was performed by Ficoll. Then, 2x10(5) cells were plated in 48-well culture plates under the membranes in triplicate. The polystyrene surface was used as negative control. Cell viability was assessed by measuring mitochondrial activity (MTT) at 4, 12 and 24 h, with dosage levels of nitrite by the Griess method for the same periods. Data had non-normal distribution and were analyzed by the Kruskal-Wallis test (p<0.05). Statistically significant differences (p<0.05) were observed between the membranes and the control in the experimental period, although there was a significant reduction in viability over time (p<0.01). At 4 and 12 h, the porcine membrane induced a higher release of nitrite compared with the control and bovine membrane, respectively (p<0.01), and this difference was maintained at 24 h (p<0.05). This in vitro study showed that the porcine collagen membrane induces an increased production of proinflammatory mediators by mononuclear cells in the first hours of contact, decreasing with time. PMID:22460313

  8. Membrane Targeting of P-type ATPases in Plant Cells

    How membrane proteins are targeted to specific subcellular locations is a very complex and poorly understood area of research. Our long-term goal is to use P-type ATPases (ion pumps), in a model plant system Arabidopsis, as a paradigm to understand how members of a family of closely related membrane proteins can be targeted to different subcellular locations. The research is divided into two specific aims. The first aim is focused on determining the targeting destination of all 10 ACA-type calcium pumps (Arabidopsis Calcium ATPase) in Arabidopsis. ACAs represent a plant specific-subfamily of plasma membrane-type calcium pumps. In contrast to animals, the plant homologs have been found in multiple membrane systems, including the ER (ACA2), tonoplast (ACA4) and plasma membrane (ACA8). Their high degree of similarity provides a unique opportunity to use a comparative approach to delineate the membrane specific targeting information for each pump. One hypothesis to be tested is that an endomembrane located ACA can be re-directed to the plasma membrane by including targeting information from a plasma membrane isoform, ACA8. Our approach is to engineer domain swaps between pumps and monitor the targeting of chimeric proteins in plant cells using a Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP) as a tag. The second aim is to test the hypothesis that heterologous transporters can be engineered into plants and targeted to the plasma membrane by fusing them to a plasma membrane proton pump. As a test case we are evaluating the targeting properties of fusions made between a yeast sodium/proton exchanger (Sod2) and a proton pump (AHA2). This fusion may potentially lead to a new strategy for engineering salt resistant plants. Together these aims are designed to provide fundamental insights into the biogenesis and function of plant cell membrane systems

  9. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    and motivated extensive research activity in the field. The last 11 chapters summarize the state-of-the-art of technological development of high temperature-PEMFCs based on acid doped PBI membranes including catalysts, electrodes, MEAs, bipolar plates, modelling, stacking, diagnostics and applications....

  10. With or without rafts? Alternative views on cell membranes.

    Sevcsik, Eva; Schütz, Gerhard J


    The fundamental mechanisms of protein and lipid organization at the plasma membrane have continued to engage researchers for decades. Among proposed models, one idea has been particularly successful which assumes that sterol-dependent nanoscopic phases of different lipid chain order compartmentalize proteins, thereby modulating protein functionality. This model of membrane rafts has sustainably sparked the fields of membrane biophysics and biology, and shifted membrane lipids into the spotlight of research; by now, rafts have become an integral part of our terminology to describe a variety of cell biological processes. But is the evidence clear enough to continue supporting a theoretical concept which has resisted direct proof by observation for nearly twenty years? In this essay, we revisit findings that gave rise to and substantiated the raft hypothesis, discuss its impact on recent studies, and present alternative mechanisms to account for plasma membrane heterogeneity. PMID:26666984

  11. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Characterization for Electric Vehicle Applications

    Swan, D.H.; Dickinson, B.E.; Arikara, M.P.


    This paper presents experimental data and an analysis of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell system for electric vehicle applications. The dependence of the fuel cell system's performance on air stoichiometry, operating temperature, and reactant gas pressure was assessed in terms of the fuel cell's polarity and power density-efficiency graphs. All the experiments were performed by loading the fuel cell with resistive heater coils which could be controlled to provide a constant current or con...

  12. Oxidative degradation of polybenzimidazole membranes as electrolytes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Liao, J.H.; Li, Qingfeng; Rudbeck, H.C.;


    Polybenzimidazole membranes imbibed with acid are emerging as a suitable electrolyte material for high-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells. The oxidative stability of polybenzimidazole has been identified as an important issue for the long-term durability of such cells. In this paper the...... oxidative degradation of the polymer membrane was studied under the Fenton test conditions by the weight loss, intrinsic viscosity, size exclusion chromatography, scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. During the Fenton test, significant weight losses depending on the...

  13. Coating nanofiber scaffolds with beta cell membrane to promote cell proliferation and function

    Chen, Wansong; Zhang, Qiangzhe; Luk, Brian T.; Fang, Ronnie H.; Liu, Younian; Gao, Weiwei; Zhang, Liangfang


    The cell membrane cloaking technique has emerged as an intriguing strategy in nanomaterial functionalization. Coating synthetic nanostructures with natural cell membranes bestows the nanostructures with unique cell surface antigens and functions. Previous studies have focused primarily on development of cell membrane-coated spherical nanoparticles and the uses thereof. Herein, we attempt to extend the cell membrane cloaking technique to nanofibers, a class of functional nanomaterials that are drastically different from nanoparticles in terms of dimensional and mechanophysical characteristics. Using pancreatic beta cells as a model cell line, we demonstrate successful preparation of cell membrane-coated nanofibers and validate that the modified nanofibers possess an antigenic exterior closely resembling that of the source beta cells. When such nanofiber scaffolds are used to culture beta cells, both cell proliferation rate and function are significantly enhanced. Specifically, glucose-dependent insulin secretion from the cells is increased by near five-fold compared with the same beta cells cultured in regular, unmodified nanofiber scaffolds. Overall, coating cell membranes onto nanofibers could add another dimension of flexibility and controllability in harnessing cell membrane functions and offer new opportunities for innovative applications.

  14. Cationic Nanoparticles Induce Nanoscale Disruption in Living Cell Plasma Membranes

    Chen, Jiumei; Hessler, Jessica A.; Putchakayala, Krishna; Panama, Brian K.; Khan, Damian P.; Hong, Seungpyo; Mullen, Douglas G.; DiMaggio, Stassi C.; Som, Abhigyan; Tew, Gregory N.; Lopatin, Anatoli N.; Baker, James R.; Banaszak Holl, Mark M.; Orr, Bradford G


    It has long been recognized that cationic nanoparticles induce cell membrane permeability. Recently, it has been found that cationic nanoparticles induce the formation and/or growth of nanoscale holes in supported lipid bilayers. In this paper we show that non-cytotoxic concentrations of cationic nanoparticles induce 30–2000 pA currents in 293A and KB cells, consistent with a nanoscale defect such as a single hole or group of holes in the cell membrane ranging from 1 to 350 nm2 in total area....

  15. Nonlinear electro-mechanobiological behavior of cell membrane during electroporation

    Deng, Peigang


    A nonlinear electroporation (EP) model is proposed to study the electro-mechanobiological behavior of cell membrane during EP, by taking the nonlinear large deformation of the membrane into account. The proposed model predicts the critical transmembrane potential and the activation energy for EP, the equilibrium pore size, and the resealing process of the pore. Single-cell EP experiments using a micro EP chip were conducted on chicken red blood cells at different temperatures to determine the activation energy and the critical transmembrane potential for EP. The experimental results are in good agreement with the theoretical predictions. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

  16. Attachment of killed Mycoplasma gallisepticum cells and membranes to erythrocytes

    To correlate viability with attachment capacity, Mycoplasma gallisepticum cells harvested at different growth phases and treated by various agents were tested for their capacity to attach to human erythrocytes. The results show that viability per se is not essential for M. gallisepticum attachment to erythrocytes, as cells killed by ultraviolet irradiation and membranes isolated by lysing M. gallisepticum cells by various means retained attachment capacity. However, treatment of the mycoplasmas by protein-denaturing agents, such as heart, glutaraldehyde, or prolonged exposure to low pH, drastically affected or even abolished attachment, supporting the protein nature of the mycoplasma membrane components responsible for specific binding to the sialoglycoprotein receptors on the erythrocytes

  17. Altered Membrane Potential and Electrolyte in Sickle Cell Anemia

    JK Nnodim


    Full Text Available Aim: This study has been to evaluate the level of membrane potential and electrolyte in sickle cell disease patients. Material and methods: 100 sickle cell patients in steady state ages 5 to 30 years attending General Hospital Owerri were used in the study while 100 normal subjects (HbAA were used as control. Also 30 HbSS in crisis have been involved. Results: The results obtained showed that the level of membrane potential was significantly lower in sickle cell anemia as compared to the controls. Also, the level of the electrolyte was found significantly decreased in HbSS when compared with HbAA at P<0.05. Conclusion: The membrane potential translates to energy which means that there is less energy in sickle cell disease which is linked to electrolyte imbalance. Hence people with sickle disease should be monitored closely for their electrolytes to avoid crisis.

  18. Membrane Mechanics of Endocytosis in Cells with Turgor

    Dmitrieff, Serge


    Endocytosis is an essential process by which cells internalize a piece of plasma membrane and material from the outside. In cells with turgor, pressure opposes membrane defor- mations, and increases the amount of force that has to be generated by the endocytic machinery. To determine this force, and calculate the shape of the membrane, we used physical theory to model an elastic surface under pressure. Accurate fits of experimental profiles are obtained assuming that the coated membrane is highly rigid and preferentially curved at the endocytic site. The forces required from the actin machinery peaks at the onset of deformation, indicating that once invagination has been initiated, endocytosis is unlikely to stall before completion. Coat proteins do not lower the initiation force but may affect the process by the curvature they induce. In the presence of isotropic curvature inducers, pulling the tip of the invagination can trigger the formation of a neck at the base of the invagination. Hence direct neck cons...

  19. Interaction of injectable neurotropic drugs with the red cell membrane.

    Reinhart, Walter H; Lubszky, Szabina; Thöny, Sandra; Schulzki, Thomas


    The normal red blood cell (RBC) shape is a biconcave discocyte. An intercalation of a drug in the outer half of the membrane lipid bilayer leads to echinocytosis, an intercalation in the inner half to stomatocytosis. We have used the shape transforming capacity of RBCs as a model to analyse the membrane interaction potential of various neurotropic drugs. Chlorpromazine, clomipramine, citalopram, clonazepam, and diazepam induced a reversible stomatocytosis, phenytoin induced echinocytosis, while the anticonvulsants levetiracetam, valproic acid and phenobarbital had no effect. This diversity of RBC shape transformations suggests that the pharmacological action is not linked to the membrane interaction. We conclude that this simple RBC shape transformation assay could be a useful tool to screen for potential drug interactions with cell membranes. PMID:24997296

  20. Direct Cytoskeleton Forces Cause Membrane Softening in Red Blood Cells

    Rodríguez-García, Ruddi; López-Montero, Iván; Mell, Michael; Egea, Gustavo; Gov, Nir S.; Monroy, Francisco


    Erythrocytes are flexible cells specialized in the systemic transport of oxygen in vertebrates. This physiological function is connected to their outstanding ability to deform in passing through narrow capillaries. In recent years, there has been an influx of experimental evidence of enhanced cell-shape fluctuations related to metabolically driven activity of the erythroid membrane skeleton. However, no direct observation of the active cytoskeleton forces has yet been reported to our knowledge. Here, we show experimental evidence of the presence of temporally correlated forces superposed over the thermal fluctuations of the erythrocyte membrane. These forces are ATP-dependent and drive enhanced flickering motions in human erythrocytes. Theoretical analyses provide support for a direct force exerted on the membrane by the cytoskeleton nodes as pulses of well-defined average duration. In addition, such metabolically regulated active forces cause global membrane softening, a mechanical attribute related to the functional erythroid deformability. PMID:26083919

  1. Endothelial monolayers on collagen-coated nanofibrous membranes: cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions.

    Kang, Donggu; Kim, Jeong Hwa; Jeong, Young Hun; Kwak, Jong-Young; Yoon, Sik; Jin, Songwan


    Endothelial cells (ECs) form a monolayer lining over the entire vascular wall and play an important role in maintaining vascular homeostasis and cancer metastasis. Loss of proper endothelial function can lead to vascular diseases. Therefore, the endothelial monolayer is particularly important in tissue regeneration and mimicking vascular tissue in vitro. Numerous studies have described the effects of ECs on nanofibers made from a variety of synthetic polymer materials designed to mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM). However, little is known about maintaining the integrity of ECs in in vitro systems. Here we describe polycaprolactone nanofibrous membranes coated with collagen gel that overcome many limitations of conventional nanofibers used for engineering endothelia. We investigated cell-cell and cell-ECM junctional complexes using collagen-coated and conventional nanofibrous membranes. Conventional nanofibrous membranes alone did not form a monolayer with ECs, whereas collagen-coated nanofibrous membranes did. Several concentrations of collagen in the gel coating promoted the formation of cell-cell junctional complexes, facilitated the deposition of laminin, and increased the focal contact organization of ECs. These results suggest the possible use of collagen-coated nanofibrous membranes for vascular tissue engineering applications and a vascular platform for organ-on-a-chip systems. PMID:27186924

  2. Modeling Of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems

    Nielsen, Mads Pagh

    The objective of this doctoral thesis was to develop reliable steady-state and transient component models suitable to asses-, develop- and optimize proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems. Several components in PEM fuel cell systems were characterized and modeled. The developed component...

  3. Membrane proteins of dense lysosomes from Chinese hamster ovary cells

    In this work membrane proteins from lysosomes were studied in order to gain more information on the biogenesis and intracellular sorting of this class of membrane proteins. Membrane proteins were isolated from a purified population of lysosomes. These proteins were then examined for various co- and post-translational modifications which could serve as potential intracellular sorting signals. Biochemical analysis using marker enzymatic activities detected no plasma membrane, Golgi, endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, mitochondria, or cytosol. Analysis after incorporation of [3H]thymidine or [3H]uridine detected no nuclei or ribosomes. A fraction containing integral membrane proteins was obtained from the dense lysosomes by extraction with Triton X-114. Twenty-three polypeptides which incorporated both [35S]methionine and [3H]leucine were detected by SDS PAGE in this membrane fraction, and ranged in molecular weight from 30-130 kDa. After incorporation by cells of various radioactive metabolic precursors, the membrane fraction from dense lysosomes was examined and was found to be enriched in mannose, galactose, fucose, palmitate, myristate, and sulfate, but was depleted in phosphate. The membrane fraction from dense lysosomes was then analyzed by SDS PAGE to determine the apparent molecular weights of modified polypepties

  4. Towards Extrusion of Ionomers to Process Fuel Cell Membranes

    Jean-Yves Sanchez


    Full Text Available While Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC membranes are currently prepared by film casting, this paper demonstrates the feasibility of extrusion, a solvent-free alternative process. Thanks to water-soluble process-aid plasticizers, duly selected, it was possible to extrude acidic and alkaline polysulfone ionomers. Additionally, the feasibility to extrude composites was demonstrated. The impact of the plasticizers on the melt viscosity was investigated. Following the extrusion, the plasticizers were fully removed in water. The extrusion was found to impact neither on the ionomer chains, nor on the performances of the membrane. This environmentally friendly process was successfully validated for a variety of high performance ionomers.

  5. Cationic nanoparticles induce nanoscale disruption in living cell plasma membranes.

    Chen, Jiumei; Hessler, Jessica A; Putchakayala, Krishna; Panama, Brian K; Khan, Damian P; Hong, Seungpyo; Mullen, Douglas G; Dimaggio, Stassi C; Som, Abhigyan; Tew, Gregory N; Lopatin, Anatoli N; Baker, James R; Holl, Mark M Banaszak; Orr, Bradford G


    It has long been recognized that cationic nanoparticles induce cell membrane permeability. Recently, it has been found that cationic nanoparticles induce the formation and/or growth of nanoscale holes in supported lipid bilayers. In this paper, we show that noncytotoxic concentrations of cationic nanoparticles induce 30-2000 pA currents in 293A (human embryonic kidney) and KB (human epidermoid carcinoma) cells, consistent with a nanoscale defect such as a single hole or group of holes in the cell membrane ranging from 1 to 350 nm(2) in total area. Other forms of nanoscale defects, including the nanoparticle porating agents adsorbing onto or intercalating into the lipid bilayer, are also consistent; although the size of the defect must increase to account for any reduction in ion conduction, as compared to a water channel. An individual defect forming event takes 1-100 ms, while membrane resealing may occur over tens of seconds. Patch-clamp data provide direct evidence for the formation of nanoscale defects in living cell membranes. The cationic polymer data are compared and contrasted with patch-clamp data obtained for an amphiphilic phenylene ethynylene antimicrobial oligomer (AMO-3), a small molecule that is proposed to make well-defined 3.4 nm holes in lipid bilayers. Here, we observe data that are consistent with AMO-3 making approximately 3 nm holes in living cell membranes. PMID:19606833

  6. Understanding the transport processes in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Cheah, May Jean

    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are energy conversion devices suitable for automotive, stationary and portable applications. An engineering challenge that is hindering the widespread use of PEM fuel cells is the water management issue, where either a lack of water (resulting in membrane dehydration) or an excess accumulation of liquid water (resulting in fuel cell flooding) critically reduces the PEM fuel cell performance. The water management issue is addressed by this dissertation through the study of three transport processes occurring in PEM fuel cells. Water transport within the membrane is a combination of water diffusion down the water activity gradient and the dragging of water molecules by protons when there is a proton current, in a phenomenon termed electro-osmotic drag, EOD. The impact of water diffusion and EOD on the water flux across the membrane is reduced due to water transport resistance at the vapor/membrane interface. The redistribution of water inside the membrane by EOD causes an overall increase in the membrane resistance that regulates the current and thus EOD, thereby preventing membrane dehydration. Liquid water transport in the PEM fuel cell flow channel was examined at different gas flow regimes. At low gas Reynolds numbers, drops transitioned into slugs that are subsequently pushed out of the flow channel by the gas flow. The slug volume is dependent on the geometric shape, the surface wettability and the orientation (with respect to gravity) of the flow channel. The differential pressure required for slug motion primarily depends on the interfacial forces acting along the contact lines at the front and the back of the slug. At high gas Reynolds number, water is removed as a film or as drops depending on the flow channel surface wettability. The shape of growing drops at low and high Reynolds number can be described by a simple interfacial energy minimization model. Under flooding conditions, the fuel cell local current

  7. In Plant and Animal Cells, Detergent-Resistant Membranes Do Not Define Functional Membrane Rafts

    Tanner, W.; Malínský, Jan; Opekarová, Miroslava


    Roč. 23, č. 4 (2011), s. 1191-1193. ISSN 1040-4651 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390512; CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : plasma-membrane * lipod rafts * proteins Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 8.987, year: 2011

  8. Corona discharge in electroporation of cell membranes

    The objective of the present work is to demonstrate that electrical corona discharge is very efficient in cellular membrane electroporation due to current pulses with sharp front (2-5 ns) and to the fact that corona discharge is associated with UV radiation and micro particles emission. A comparison between DC and AC at 800 Hz and a special waveform to corona application is presented. The comparison is analyzed by means of applying all these in the maceration process (electroplasmolysis) of red wine production and in the processes of different types of the microbes.

  9. Corona discharge in electroporation of cell membranes

    Cramariuc, R; Nisiparu, L [Competence Centre in Electrostatics and Electrotehchnologies (Romania); Tudorache, A; Branduse, E; Fotescu, L [Research Institute of Wine Processing, Valea Mantei Street, No.l, Valea Calugareasca (Romania); Popa, M E; Mitelut, A [Biotechnology Faculty, University of Agronomical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (Romania); Turtoi, M O


    The objective of the present work is to demonstrate that electrical corona discharge is very efficient in cellular membrane electroporation due to current pulses with sharp front (2-5 ns) and to the fact that corona discharge is associated with UV radiation and micro particles emission. A comparison between DC and AC at 800 Hz and a special waveform to corona application is presented. The comparison is analyzed by means of applying all these in the maceration process (electroplasmolysis) of red wine production and in the processes of different types of the microbes.

  10. Detecting protein association at the T cell plasma membrane.

    Baumgart, Florian; Schütz, Gerhard J


    At the moment, many models on T cell signaling rely on results obtained via rather indirect methodologies, which makes direct comparison and conclusions to the in vivo situation difficult. Recently, a variety of new imaging methods were developed, which have the potential to directly shed light onto the mysteries of protein association at the T cell membrane. While the new modalities are extremely promising, for a broad readership it may be difficult to judge the results, since technological shortcomings are not always obvious. In this review article, we put key questions on the mechanism of protein interactions in the T cell plasma membrane into relation with techniques that allow to address such questions. We discuss applicability of the techniques, their strengths and weaknesses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Nanoscale membrane organisation and signalling. PMID:25300585

  11. Role of the cell membrane in volume regulation

    The mechanism for the stimulation of Na+ efflux in swollen cells was studied in red cells with increased and decreased cell volume. Results suggest that this response is the result of an increased affinity of the system for Na+ caused by reduced inhibition by intracellular K+ resulting from simple dilution during swelling, and a direct effect of membrane stretching on conformation of the transport system. (U.S.)

  12. Nafion®/ODF-silica composite membranes for medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Treekamol, Yaowapa


    A series of composite membranes were prepared by dispersing fluorinated polyoxadiazole oligomer (ODF)-functionalized silica nanoparticles in a Nafion matrix. Both melt-extrusion and solvent casting processes were explored. Ion exchange capacity, conductivity, water uptake and dimensional stability, thermal stability and morphology were characterized. The inclusion of functionalized nanoparticles proved advantageous, mainly due to a physical crosslinking effect and better water retention, with functionalized nanoparticles performing better than the pristine silica particles. For the same filler loading, better nanoparticle dispersion was achieved for solvent-cast membranes, resulting in higher proton conductivity. Filler agglomeration, however,was more severe for solvent-castmembranes at loadings beyond 5wt.%. The composite membranes showed excellent thermal stability, allowing for operation in medium temperature PEM fuel cells. Fuel cell performance of the compositemembranesdecreaseswithdecreasing relativehumidity, but goodperformance values are still obtained at 34% RHand 90 °C,with the best results obtained for solvent castmembranes loaded with 10 wt.% ODF-functionalized silica. Hydrogen crossover of the composite membranes is higher than that forpureNafion membranes,possiblydue toporosityresulting fromsuboptimalparticle- matrixcompatibility. © 2013 Crown Copyright and Elsevier BV. All rights reserved.

  13. Classification of Cells with Membrane Staining and/or Fixation Based on Cellular Specific Membrane Capacitance and Cytoplasm Conductivity

    Song-Bin Huang; Yang Zhao; Deyong Chen; Shing-Lun Liu; Yana Luo; Tzu-Keng Chiu; Junbo Wang; Jian Chen; Min-Hsien Wu


    Single-cell electrical properties (e.g., specific membrane capacitance (Cspecific membrane) and cytoplasm conductivity (σcytoplasm)) have been regarded as potential label-free biophysical markers for the evaluation of cellular status. However, whether there exist correlations between these biophysical markers and cellular status (e.g., membrane-associate protein expression) is still unknown. To further validate the utility of single-cell electrical properties in cell type classification, Cspe...

  14. Preliminary Study of Membrane Preparation for Fuel Cell Polymer Electrolyte Membrane

    Proton conducting membranes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) have been prepared by radiation graft copolymerization of acrylic acid onto back bone polymers such as linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), and polypropylene (PP). Graft copolymers are prepared by γ-radiation and electron beam irradiation. The methods used are grafting on radiation-peroxide and grafting initiated by trapped radicals, in which the grafting reaction is done after the irradiation process (pre-irradiation grafting). The influence of the preparation conditions and the role of the initial polymer matrixes are studied. The degrees of grafting are determined by the total absorbed dose during irradiation, monomer’s concentration, grafting temperature, and the time of grafting. It is found that dose rate does not have a significant effect on the yield of grafting. The best suitable conditions for the grafting are as follows: 45 kGy for total dose, 40% (v/v) for monomer’s concentration, 70 °C for temperature and 90 minutes for period of grafting. Membranes based on different polymer matrixes show differences in their water uptake from liquid water. Apparently the ability of the membranes to take in the solvent depends on matrixes of the back bone polymers. It reflects the hydrophilic membranes properties. The preliminary characterization of the prepared grafted membranes is done by the treatment of metal uptake, using atomic absorption technique. The maximum uptake of the membranes for a given metal is Fe > Cu > Co except for LLDPE-g-Aac in which the uptake of Co > Cu. The maximum uptake of the membranes for a mixture of the metals in the same feed solution is Fe > Cu > Co. (author)


    Ming-ming Zong; Yong-kuan Gong


    The surface design used for improving biocompatibility is one of the most important issues for the fabrication of medical devices. For mimicking the ideal surface structure of cell outer membrane, a large number of polymers bearing phosphorylcholine (PC) groups have been employed to modify the surfaces of biomaterials and medical devices. It has been demonstrated that the biocompatibility of the modified materials whose surface is required to interact with a living organism has been obviously improved by introducing PC groups. In this review, the fabrication strategies of cell outer membrane mimetic surfaces and their resulted biocompatibilities were summarized.

  16. Red Blood Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoparticles For Drug Delivery

    Carpenter, Cody Westcott

    Herein we describe the development of the Red Blood Cell coated nanoparticle, RBC-NP. Purified natural erythrocyte membrane is used to coat drug-loaded poly(lacticco-glycolic acid) (PLGA). Synthetic PLGA co-polymer is biocompatible and biodegradable and has already received US FDA approval for drug-delivery and diagnostics. This work looks specifically at the retention of immunosuppressive proteins on RBC-NPs, right-sidedness of natural RBC membranes interfacing with synthetic polymer nanoparticles, sustained and retarded drug release of RBC-NPs as well as further surface modification of RBC-NPs for increased targeting of model cancer cell lines.

  17. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance

    Wei, Xue

    Fuel cells, with the advantages of high efficiency, low greenhouse gas emission, and long lifetime are a promising technology for both portable power and stationary power sources. The development of efficient electrolyte membranes with high ionic conductivity, good mechanical durability and dense structure at low cost remains a challenge to the commercialization of fuel cells. This thesis focuses on exploring novel composite polymer membranes and ceramic electrolytes with the microstructure engineered to improve performance in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), respectively. Polymer/particle composite membranes hold promise to meet the demands of DMFCs at lower cost. The structure of composite membranes was controlled by aligning proton conducting particles across the membrane thickness under an applied electric field. The field-induced structural changes caused the membranes to display an enhanced water uptake, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability in comparison to membranes prepared without an applied field. Although both methanol permeability and proton conductivity are enhanced by the applied field, the permeability increase is relatively lower than the proton conductivity improvement, which results in enhanced proton/methanol selectivity and improved DMFC performance. Apatite ceramics are a new class of fast ion conductors being studied as alternative SOFC electrolytes in the intermediate temperature range. An electrochemical/hydrothermal deposition method was developed to grow fully dense apatite membranes containing well-developed crystals with c-axis alignment to promote ion conductivity. Hydroxyapatite seed crystals were first deposited onto a metal substrate electrochemically. Subsequent ion substitution during the hydrothermal growth process promoted the formation of dense, fully crystalline films with microstructure optimal for ion transport. The deposition parameters were systematically investigated, such as

  18. Flavivirus cell entry and membrane fusion

    Smit, Jolanda M.; Moesker, Bastiaan; Rodenhuis-Zybert, Izabela; Wilschut, Jan


    Flaviviruses, such as dengue virus and West Nile virus, are enveloped viruses that infect cells through receptor-mediated endocytosis and fusion from within acidic endosomes. The cell entry process of flaviviruses is mediated by the viral E glycoprotein. This short review will address recent advance

  19. Membrane patterned by pulsed laser micromachining for proton exchange membrane fuel cell with sputtered ultra-low catalyst loadings

    Cuynet, S.; Caillard, A.; Kaya-Boussougou, S.; Lecas, T.; Semmar, N.; Bigarré, J.; Buvat, P.; Brault, P.


    Proton exchange membranes were nano- and micro-patterned on their cathode side by pressing them against stainless steel molds previously irradiated by a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser. The membranes were associated to ultra-low loaded thin catalytic layers (25 μgPt cm-2) prepared by plasma magnetron sputtering. The Pt catalyst was sputtered either on the membrane or on the porous electrode. The fuel cell performance in dry conditions were found to be highly dependent on the morphology of the membrane surface. When nanometric ripples covered by a Pt catalyst were introduced on the surface of the membrane, the fuel cell outperformed the conventional one with a flat membrane. By combining nano- and micro-patterns (nanometric ripples and 11-24 μm deep craters), the performance of the cells was clearly enhanced. The maximum power density achieved by the fuel cell was multiplied by a factor of 3.6 (at 50 °C and 3 bar): 438 mW cm-2 vs 122 mW cm-2. This improvement is due to high catalyst utilization with a high membrane conductivity. When Pt is sputtered on the porous electrode (and not on the membrane), the contribution of the patterned membrane to the fuel cell efficiency was less significant, except in the presence of nanometric ripples. This result suggests that the patterning of the membrane must be consistent with the way the catalyst is synthesized, on the membrane or on the porous electrode.

  20. Radiation effects on membranes - 1. Cellular permeability and cell survival

    The effect of various doses of γ radiation (5-60 krad) on the membrane permeability and cell survival of Candida albicans, a pathogenic yeast, was investigated. A reduction in the cell survival and in the accumulation of amino acids (proline, glycine, lysine, and glutamic acid) was observed following irradiation. The rate of oxygen uptake, which is often associated with transport, was also reduced. There was no damage to available sulfhydryl groups following the exposure of cells to various doses of γ radiation. The membrane lipid composition of C. albicans cells can be altered by growing them in alkanes of varying chain lengths. The effects of such altered lipid composition on radiosensitivity was examined. It was observed that C. albicans cells with altered lipid content acquire resistance to γ radiation

  1. Isolation of plasma membranes from cultured glioma cells and application to evaluation of membrane sphingomyelin turnover

    A rapid and reliable method for the isolation of plasma membranes and microsomes of high purity and yield from cultured glioma cells is described. The procedure involves disruption by N2 cavitation, preliminary separation by centrifugation in Tricine buffer, and final separation on a gradient formed from 40% Percoll at pH 9.3. Enzyme and chemical markers indicated greater than 60% yield with six- to eightfold enrichment for plasma membranes and greater than 25% yield with three- to fourfold enrichment for a microsomal fraction consisting mainly of endoplasmic reticulum. The final fractions were obtained with high reproducibility in less than 1 h from the time of cell harvesting. Application of this procedure to human fibroblasts in culture is assessed. The isolation procedure was applied to investigations of synthesis and turnover of sphingomyelin and phosphatidylcholine in plasma membranes of glioma cells following incubation for 4-24 h with [methyl-3H]choline. These studies indicated that radioactivity from phosphatidylcholine synthesized in microsomes from exogenous choline may serve as a precursor of the head-group of sphingomyelin accumulating in the plasma membrane

  2. Solid alkaline membrane fuel cell : what are they advantages and drawbacks compared to proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Coutanceau, C.; Baranton, S.; Simoes, M. [Univ. de Poitiers, Poitiers (France). Laboratoire de Catalyse en Chimie Organique, UMR CNRS


    Low temperature fuel cells such as proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFCs) are promising power sources for portable electronics and transportation applications. However, these fuel cells require high amounts of platinum at the anodes to achieve high cell performance. Although alkaline membrane fuel cells (AFCs) may be an alternative to PEMFCs, the technology of low temperature fuel cells is less developed than that of fuel cells working with a solid acid electrolyte. Interest in solid alkaline membrane fuel cells (SAMFCs) has increased in recent years because it is easier to activate the oxidation and reduction reactions in alkaline medium than in acidic medium. Fewer platinum based catalysts are needed due to higher electrode kinetics. The development of hydroxyl conductive membrane makes this technology available, but the fuel to be used in the system must be considered. Pure hydrogen or hydrogen-rich gases offer high electric efficiency, but their production, storage, and distribution are not sufficient for a large-scale development. This paper discussed the relatively good electroreactivity of polyols such as glycerol and ethylene glycol in a SAMFC, as well as sodium borohydride (NaBH{sub 4}) as an alternative. The working principle of SAMFCs was also presented along with considerations regarding the electrochemical reactions occurring at the electrodes, and requirements concerning the catalysts, the triple phase boundary in the electrode and the anionic membrane. Palladium based catalysts were found to be an interesting alternative to platinum in SAMFCs. In situ FTIR measurements and oxidation products analysis was used to determine the electrooxidation pathways of alcohol and NaBH{sub 4}in alkaline medium. The study also included a comparison with oxidation mechanisms in acid medium. 8 refs.

  3. Antigenicity and immunogenicity of an extract from the cell wall and cell membrane of Histoplasma capsulatum yeast cells.

    Gómez, A M; Rhodes, J C; Deepe, G S


    In order to identify T-cell antigens from Histoplasma capsulatum yeast cells, we prepared a detergent extract of the cell wall and cell membrane of yeast-phase H. capsulatum G217B and analyzed its antigenicity and immunogenicity. Mice injected with viable H. capsulatum yeast cells or with 500 or 1,000 micrograms of the extract mounted a delayed-type hypersensitivity response to solubilized cell wall and cell membrane. Vaccination with this antigenic preparation conferred a protective immune r...

  4. Optical Trapping Techniques Applied to the Study of Cell Membranes

    Morss, Andrew J.

    Optical tweezers allow for manipulating micron-sized objects using pN level optical forces. In this work, we use an optical trapping setup to aid in three separate experiments, all related to the physics of the cellular membrane. In the first experiment, in conjunction with Brian Henslee, we use optical tweezers to allow for precise positioning and control of cells in suspension to evaluate the cell size dependence of electroporation. Theory predicts that all cells porate at a transmembrane potential VTMof roughly 1 V. The Schwann equation predicts that the transmembrane potential depends linearly on the cell radius r, thus predicting that cells should porate at threshold electric fields that go as 1/r. The threshold field required to induce poration is determined by applying a low voltage pulse to the cell and then applying additional pulses of greater and greater magnitude, checking for poration at each step using propidium iodide dye. We find that, contrary to expectations, cells do not porate at a constant value of the transmembrane potential but at a constant value of the electric field which we find to be 692 V/cm for K562 cells. Delivering precise dosages of nanoparticles into cells is of importance for assessing toxicity of nanoparticles or for genetic research. In the second experiment, we conduct nano-electroporation—a novel method of applying precise doses of transfection agents to cells—by using optical tweezers in conjunction with a confocal microscope to manipulate cells into contact with 100 nm wide nanochannels. This work was done in collaboration with Pouyan Boukany of Dr. Lee's group. The small cross sectional area of these nano channels means that the electric field within them is extremely large, 60 MV/m, which allows them to electrophoretically drive transfection agents into the cell. We find that nano electroporation results in excellent dose control (to within 10% in our experiments) compared to bulk electroporation. We also find that

  5. Effect of stress on the membrane capacitance of the auditory outer hair cell.

    Iwasa, K H


    The membrane capacitance of the outer hair cell, which has unique membrane potential-dependent motility, was monitored during application of membrane tension. It was found that the membrane capacitance of the cell decreased when stress was applied to the membrane. This result is the opposite of stretching the lipid bilayer in the plasma membrane. It thus indicates the importance of some other capacitance component that decreases on stretching. It has been known that charge movement across the...

  6. Difference in Membrane Repair Capacity Between Cancer Cell Lines and a Normal Cell Line.

    Frandsen, Stine Krog; McNeil, Anna K; Novak, Ivana; McNeil, Paul L; Gehl, Julie


    Electroporation-based treatments and other therapies that permeabilize the plasma membrane have been shown to be more devastating to malignant cells than to normal cells. In this study, we asked if a difference in repair capacity could explain this observed difference in sensitivity. Membrane repair was investigated by disrupting the plasma membrane using laser followed by monitoring fluorescent dye entry over time in seven cancer cell lines, an immortalized cell line, and a normal primary cell line. The kinetics of repair in living cells can be directly recorded using this technique, providing a sensitive index of repair capacity. The normal primary cell line of all tested cell lines exhibited the slowest rate of dye entry after laser disruption and lowest level of dye uptake. Significantly, more rapid dye uptake and a higher total level of dye uptake occurred in six of the seven tested cancer cell lines (p electroporation. Viability in the primary normal cell line (98 % viable cells) was higher than in the three tested cancer cell lines (81-88 % viable cells). These data suggest more effective membrane repair in normal, primary cells and supplement previous explanations why electroporation-based therapies and other therapies permeabilizing the plasma membrane are more effective on malignant cells compared to normal cells in cancer treatment. PMID:27312328

  7. Formation of functional cell membrane domains: the interplay of lipid- and protein-mediated interactions.

    Harder, Thomas


    Numerous cell membrane associated processes, including signal transduction, membrane sorting, protein processing and virus trafficking take place in membrane subdomains. Protein-protein interactions provide the frameworks necessary to generate biologically functional membrane domains. For example, coat proteins define membrane areas destined for sorting processes, viral proteins self-assemble to generate a budding virus, and adapter molecules organize multimolecular signalling assemblies, whi...

  8. Durable, Low-cost, Improved Fuel Cell Membranes

    Chris Roger; David Mountz; Wensheng He; Tao Zhang


    The development of low cost, durable membranes and membranes electrode assemblies (MEAs) that operate under reduced relative humidity (RH) conditions remain a critical challenge for the successful introduction of fuel cells into mass markets. It was the goal of the team lead by Arkema, Inc. to address these shortages. Thus, this project addresses the following technical barriers from the fuel cells section of the Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program Multi-Year Research, Development and Demonstration Plan: (A) Durability (B) Cost Arkema’s approach consisted of using blends of polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF) and proprietary sulfonated polyelectrolytes. In the traditional approach to polyelectrolytes for proton exchange membranes (PEM), all the required properties are “packaged” in one macromolecule. The properties of interest include proton conductivity, mechanical properties, durability, and water/gas transport. This is the case, for example, for perfluorosulfonic acid-containing (PFSA) membranes. However, the cost of these materials is high, largely due to the complexity and the number of steps involved in their synthesis. In addition, they suffer other shortcomings such as mediocre mechanical properties and insufficient durability for some applications. The strength and originality of Arkema’s approach lies in the decoupling of ion conductivity from the other requirements. Kynar® PVDF provides an exceptional combination of properties that make it ideally suited for a membrane matrix (Kynar® is a registered trademark of Arkema Inc.). It exhibits outstanding chemical resistance in highly oxidative and acidic environments. In work with a prior grant, a membrane known as M41 was developed by Arkema. M41 had many of the properties needed for a high performance PEM, but had a significant deficiency in conductivity at low RH. In the first phase of this work, the processing parameters of M41 were explored as a means to increase its proton

  9. Effects of membrane disruption on dielectric properties of biological cells

    Disruption of the plasma membrane causes serious changes in the dielectric properties of biological cells. The changes have been simulated with spherical cell models having holes in the plasma membrane. The complex permittivity of a cubic system including a cell model was calculated by a numerical technique based on the three-dimensional finite difference method. For a cell without hole, the complex permittivity showed dielectric relaxation (β-dispersion) as predicted from interfacial polarization theories for the single-shell model. When there is one hole in the membrane, the cell has anisotropic dielectric properties depending on whether the axis through the centres of the hole and the sphere is parallel (the parallel orientation) or perpendicular (the perpendicular orientation) to the electric field direction. In the parallel orientation, dielectric relaxation (called 'α-dispersion') appeared at lower frequencies in addition to the β-dispersion, whereas only the β-dispersion was found in the perpendicular orientation. When there were two holes at the opposite poles of the cell, the 'α-dispersion' did not appear and the intensity of the β-dispersion decreased with increasing size of the holes. When two holes located in the hemisphere of the cell, however, the 'α-dispersion' appeared again. These results suggest that the occurrence of the 'α-dispersion' requires either the presence of one hole or the localization of holes

  10. Estimation of membrane hydration status for standby proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems by impedance measurement

    Bidoggia, Benoit; Rugholt, Mark; Nielsen, Morten Busk;


    Fuel cells are getting growing interest in both backup systems and electric vehicles. Although these systems are characterized by long periods of inactivity, they must be able to start at any instant in the shortest time. However, the membrane of which PEMFCs are made tends to dry out when not in...... use. This increases the time required to start the system and could lead to the destruction of the fuel cell. In this article an impedance measurement circuit is presented, which is part of a humidity status estimator for monitoring the humidity status of a fuel cell stack during standby. The...

  11. The Autohumidification Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    Benziger, J B; Tulyani, S; Turner, A; Bocarsly, A B; Kevrekidis, Yu G


    A PEM fuel cell was specially constructed to determine kinetics under conditions of well-defined gas phase composition and cell temperature. Steady state multiplicity was discovered in the autohumidification PEM fuel cell, resulting from a balance between water production and water removal. Ignition was observed in the PEM fuel cell for a critical water activity of about 0.1. Ignition is a consequence of the exponential increase of proton conductivity with water activity, which creates an autocatalytic feedback between the water production and the proton conduction. The steady state current in the ignited state decreases with increasing temperature between 50 to 105 deg C. At temperatures greater than 70 deg C five steady states were observed in the PEM fuel cell. The steady state performance has been followed with variable load resistance and hysteresis loops have been mapped. The dynamics of transitions between steady states are slow about 10^3 to 10^4 s. These slow dynamics are suggested to result from a c...

  12. Cell-penetrating peptides for drug delivery across membrane barriers

    Foged, Camilla; Nielsen, Hanne Moerck


    -penetrating peptides as transmembrane drug delivery agents, according to the recent literature, and discusses critical issues and future challenges in relation to fully understanding the fundamental principles of the cell-penetrating peptide-mediated membrane translocation of cargoes and the exploitation of their...

  13. Characterisation of cell-wall polysaccharides from mandarin segment membranes

    Coll-Almela, L.; Saura-Lopez, D.; Laencina-Sanchez, J.; Schols, H.A.; Voragen, A.G.J.; Ros-García, J.M.


    In an attempt to develop a process of enzymatic peeling of mandarin segments suitable for use on an industrial scale, the cell wall fraction of the segment membrane of Satsuma mandarin fruits was extracted to obtain a chelating agent-soluble pectin fraction (ChSS), a dilute sodium hydroxide-soluble

  14. Tandem cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Siahrostami, Samira; Björketun, Mårten E.; Strasser, Peter;


    The efficiency of proton exchange membrane fuel cells is limited mainly by the oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode. The large cathodic overpotential is caused by correlations between binding energies of reaction intermediates in the reduction of oxygen to water. This work introduces a novel...

  15. Durable Catalysts for High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    Durability of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is recognized as one of the most important issues to be addressed before the commercialization. The failure mechanisms are not well understood, however, degradation of carbon supported noble metal catalysts is identified as a major failure...

  16. Fuel cell characteristics of the membrane electrode assemblies using phosphoric acid-doped poly membranes

    Fang, Liang; Sheng, Li; Guo, Xiaoxia; Fang, Jianhua; Ma, Zi-Feng


    Recently, there has been extensive research in the development of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) for transportation and portable power applications. Nafion has been widely used as electrolyte membranes, but it has several limitations. Thus intensive efforts have been devoted to the development of low-cost proton-conducting electrolytes used at elevated temperatures to reduce the impurities poisoning. Promising candidates are the PA-doped polybenzimidazoles, which can function at higher temperature under non-humidification conditions to eliminate the water management, promote the fuel impurities tolerance, increase the electrode kinetics and facilitate the heat recovery. In this study, the novel PA-doped OPBI membrane was chosen as the electrolyte, and one molecular weight mPBI was synthesized as the binder in catalyst layers. This optimized membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) exhibited desirable performances in the electrochemical tests up to 160 degree C. This investigation opened up a new way to develop the practical proton-conducting fuel cell systems working at elevated temperatures.

  17. Investigation of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) hot-pressing parameters for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    The hot-pressing conditions for fabricating the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was investigated by using a 2n full factorial design. Time, temperature and pressure were key parameters that were varied from 500 to 1500 psi, 1 to 5 min and 100 to 160 deg. C, respectively. The results from the full factorial analysis indicated that the order of significance of the main MEA fabricating effects was temperature, pressure, time-temperature interaction and pressure-time-temperature interaction. By examining the cell performance curves, the lower fabrication conditions of temperature and pressure were suitable for MEA preparation. The conductive layer between the membrane and the catalyst layer became thin at high pressure and high temperature, as seen from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. In the ranges of condition studied, the most suitable hot-pressing condition for MEA fabrication was at 100 deg. C, 1000 psi and 2 min. This condition provided the highest maximum power density from the MEA and the best contact at the interfaces between the gas diffusion layer, the active layer and the electrolyte membrane. The experimental results were verified by testing with a commercial MEA in the same operating condition and with the same equipment. The performance of the fabricated MEA was better than that of the commercial one

  18. Quantitative analysis of the lipidomes of the influenza virus envelope and MDCK cell apical membrane

    Gerl, Mathias J.; Sampaio, Julio L; Urban, Severino; Kalvodova, Lucie; Verbavatz, Jean-Marc; Binnington, Beth; Lindemann, Dirk; Lingwood, Clifford A.; Shevchenko, Andrej; Schroeder, Cornelia; Simons, Kai


    The influenza virus (IFV) acquires its envelope by budding from host cell plasma membranes. Using quantitative shotgun mass spectrometry, we determined the lipidomes of the host Madin–Darby canine kidney cell, its apical membrane, and the IFV budding from it. We found the apical membrane to be enriched in sphingolipids (SPs) and cholesterol, whereas glycerophospholipids were reduced, and storage lipids were depleted compared with the whole-cell membranes. The virus membrane exhibited a furthe...

  19. Design & development of innovative proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Carton, James


    The research undertaken in this thesis is concerned with the design and development of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells and provides a body of information for continued PEM fuel cell development, which will ideally aid in the future commercialisation of these electrochemical devices. Through a combination of numerical analysis, computational fluid dynamic modelling and experimental work, effective flow plate designs, flow field configurations and materials are analysed and new inn...

  20. Experimental Investigation and Discussion on the Mechanical Endurance Limit of Nafion Membrane Used in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    Yang Xiao; Chongdu Cho


    As a solution of high efficiency and clean energy, fuel cell technologies, especially proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), have caught extensive attention. However, after decades of development, the performances of PEMFCs are far from achieving the target from the Department of Energy (DOE). Thus, further understanding of the degradation mechanism is needed to overcome this obstacle. Due to the importance of proton exchange membrane in a PEMFC, the degradation of the membrane, such as ...

  1. Dendronized Polymer Architectures for Fuel Cell Membranes

    Nielsen, Mads Møller; Dimitrov, Ivaylo; Takamuku, S.;


    evaluated as PEMs for use in fuel cells by proton conductivity measurements, and in the case of dendronized architectures: thermal stability. The proposed synthetic strategy facilitates exploration of a non‐fluorous system with various flexible side chains where IEC is tunable by the degree of substitution....

  2. The amniotic membrane as a source of stem cells.

    Insausti, Carmen L; Blanquer, Miguel; Bleda, Patricia; Iniesta, Paqui; Majado, María J; Castellanos, Gregorio; Moraleda, José M


    Cellular therapy has emerged as a new potential tool for curing a wide range of degenerative diseases and tissue necrosis. Embryonic stem cells possess potential for differentiation into a wide range of cell lineages, but the ethical issues associated with establishment of this human cell line have to be resolved prior to any use. The bone marrow (BM) is the usual source of adult stem cells for hematopoietic stem cell transplants and cellular therapy, but the BM harvest is a surgical procedure that requires general anesthesia or sedation, and there seems to be a reduction of the proliferative potential and differentiation capacity of the marrow mesenchymal stem cells in older donors. For these reasons there is an increasing interest in other sources of stem cells from adult and fetal tissues. The amniotic membrane (AM) or amnion is a tissue of particular interest because its cells possess characteristics of stem cells with multipotent differentiation ability, and because of low immunogenicity and easy procurement from the placenta, which is a discarded tissue after parturition, thus avoiding the current controversies associated with the use of human embryonic stem cells. Therefore, amniotic membrane has been proposed as a good candidate to be used in cellular therapy and regenerative medicine. PMID:19924645

  3. Influence of water and membrane microstructure on the transport properties of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Siu, Ana Rosa

    Proton transport in proton exchange membranes (PEMs) depends on interaction between water and acid groups covalently bound to the polymer. Although the presence of water is important in maintaining the PEM's functions, a thorough understanding of this topic is still lacking. The objective of this work is to provide a better understanding of how the nature water, confined to ionic domains of the polymer, influences the membrane's ability to transport protons, methanol and water. Understanding this topic will facilitate development of new materials with favorable transport properties for fuel cells use. Five classes of polymer membranes were used in this work: polyacrylonitrile-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (PAN-g-macPSSA); poly(vinylidene difluoride) irradiation-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (PVDF-g-PSSA); poly(ethylenetetrafluoroethylene) irradiation-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (ETFE-gPSSA); PVDF-g-PSSA with hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA); and perfluorosulfonic acid membrane (Nafion). The nature of water within the polymers (freezable versus non-freezable states) was measured by systematically freezing samples, and observing the temperature at which water freezes and the amount of heat released in the process. Freezing water-swollen membranes resulted in a 4-fold decrease in the proton conductivity of the PEM. Activation energies of proton transport before and after freezing were ˜ 0.15 eV and 0.5 eV, consistent with proton transport through liquid water and bound water, respectively. Reducing the content of water in membrane samples decreased the amount of freezable and non-freezable water. Calorimetric measurements of membranes in various degrees of hydration showed that water molecules became non-freezable when lambda, (water molecules per sulfonic acid group) was less than ˜14. Proton conduction through membranes containing only non-freezable water was demonstrated to be feasible. Diffusion experiments showed that the permeability of methanol

  4. Chemical Imaging of the Cell Membrane by NanoSIMS

    The existence of lipid microdomains and their role in cell membrane organization are currently topics of great interest and controversy. The cell membrane is composed of a lipid bilayer with embedded proteins that can flow along the two-dimensional surface defined by the membrane. Microdomains, known as lipid rafts, are believed to play a central role in organizing this fluid system, enabling the cell membrane to carry out essential cellular processes, including protein recruitment and signal transduction. Lipid rafts are also implicated in cell invasion by pathogens, as in the case of the HIV. Therefore, understanding the role of lipid rafts in cell membrane organization not only has broad scientific implications, but also has practical implications for medical therapies. One of the major limitations on lipid organization research has been the inability to directly analyze lipid composition without introducing artifacts and at the relevant length-scales of tens to hundreds of nanometers. Fluorescence microscopy is widely used due to its sensitivity and specificity to the labeled species, but only the labeled components can be observed, fluorophores can alter the behavior of the lipids they label, and the length scales relevant to imaging cell membrane domains are between that probed by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) imaging (<10 nm) and the diffraction limit of light. Topographical features can be imaged on this length scale by atomic force microscopy (AFM), but the chemical composition of the observed structures cannot be determined. Immuno-labeling can be used to study the distribution of membrane proteins at high resolution, but not lipid composition. We are using imaging mass spectrometry by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) in concert with other high resolution imaging methods to overcome these limitations. The experimental approach of this project is to combine molecule-specific stable isotope labeling with high-resolution SIMS using a

  5. Block copolymers for alkaline fuel cell membrane materials

    Li, Yifan

    Alkaline fuel cells (AFCs) using anion exchange membranes (AEMs) as electrolyte have recently received considerable attention. AFCs offer some advantages over proton exchange membrane fuel cells, including the potential of non-noble metal (e.g. nickel, silver) catalyst on the cathode, which can dramatically lower the fuel cell cost. The main drawback of traditional AFCs is the use of liquid electrolyte (e.g. aqueous potassium hydroxide), which can result in the formation of carbonate precipitates by reaction with carbon dioxide. AEMs with tethered cations can overcome the precipitates formed in traditional AFCs. Our current research focuses on developing different polymer systems (blend, block, grafted, and crosslinked polymers) in order to understand alkaline fuel cell membrane in many aspects and design optimized anion exchange membranes with better alkaline stability, mechanical integrity and ionic conductivity. A number of distinct materials have been produced and characterized. A polymer blend system comprised of poly(vinylbenzyl chloride)-b-polystyrene (PVBC-b-PS) diblock copolymer, prepared by nitroxide mediated polymerization (NMP), with poly(2,6-dimethyl-1,4-phenylene oxide) (PPO) or brominated PPO was studied for conversion into a blend membrane for AEM. The formation of a miscible blend matrix improved mechanical properties while maintaining high ionic conductivity through formation of phase separated ionic domains. Using anionic polymerization, a polyethylene based block copolymer was designed where the polyethylene-based block copolymer formed bicontinuous morphological structures to enhance the hydroxide conductivity (up to 94 mS/cm at 80 °C) while excellent mechanical properties (strain up to 205%) of the polyethylene block copolymer membrane was observed. A polymer system was designed and characterized with monomethoxy polyethylene glycol (mPEG) as a hydrophilic polymer grafted through substitution of pendent benzyl chloride groups of a PVBC

  6. Membrane transport of anandamide through resealed human red blood cell membranes

    Bojesen, I.N.; Hansen, Harald S.


    at 0°C and pH 7.3 with albumin-free and albumin-filled human red blood cell ghosts. The efflux kinetics is biexponential and is analyzed in terms of compartment models. The distribution of anandamide on the membrane inner to outer leaflet pools is determined to be 0.275 ± 0.023, and the rate constant...

  7. Polybenzimidazole Membranes Containing Benzimidazole Side Groups for High Temprature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Yang, Jingshuai; Li, Xueyuan; Xu, Yizin;


    temperatures without humidification. At an acid doping level of 13.1 mol H3PO4 per average molar repeat unit, the PBI membranes with a benzimidazole grafting degree of 10.6% demonstrated a conductivity of 0.15 S cm-1 and a H2-air fuel cell peak power density of 378 mW cm-2 at 180 oC at ambient pressure without...

  8. Tension Sensitivity of Prestin: Comparison with the Membrane Motor in Outer Hair Cells

    Dong, X.-X.; Iwasa, K H


    The membrane motor in outer hair cells undergoes conformational transitions involving charge displacement of ∼0.8 e across the membrane and changes of ∼4 nm2 in its membrane area. Previous reports have established that the charge transfer in the membrane motor and that in prestin, a membrane protein in the plasma membrane of outer hair cells, are approximately equal. Here, we determine the membrane area changes based on its sensitivity to membrane tension. We found that prestin does undergo a...

  9. A Theory for the Membrane Potential of Living Cells

    Endresen, L P; Høye, J S; Myrheim, Jan


    We give an explicit formula for the membrane potential of cells in terms of the intracellular and extracellular ionic concentrations, and derive equations for the ionic currents that flow through channels, exchangers and electrogenic pumps. We demonstrate that the work done by the pumps equals the change in potential energy of the cell, plus the energy lost in downhill ionic fluxes through the channels and exchangers. The theory is illustrated in a simple model of spontaneously active cells in the cardiac pacemaker. The model predicts the experimentally observed intracellular ionic concentration of potassium, calcium, and sodium. Likewise the shapes of the simulated action potential and five membrane currents are in good agreement with experiments. We do not see any drift in the values of the concentrations in a long time simulation, and we obtain the same asymptotic values when starting from the full equilibrium situation with equal intracellular and extracellular ionic concentrations.


    Ya. A. Udalova


    Full Text Available Affine chromatography was used to isolate Lec antibodies from the sera of a healthy female donor with the high titers of these anti- bodies, which were labeled with biotin. The study enrolled 51 patients with primary breast cancer (BC. Antigen expression was found by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. With these two techniques being used, the detection rate of Lec expression in BC cells was 65% (33/51; the antigen was most frequently found by flow cytometry as compared with immunohistochemistry: 72 and 58% of cases, respectively.

  11. Membrane electrode assemblies for unitised regenerative polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Wittstadt, U.; Wagner, E.; Jungmann, T.

    Membrane electrode assemblies for regenerative polymer electrolyte fuel cells were made by hot pressing and sputtering. The different MEAs are examined in fuel cell and water electrolysis mode at different pressure and temperature conditions. Polarisation curves and ac impedance spectra are used to investigate the influence of the changes in coating technique. The hydrogen gas permeation through the membrane is determined by analysing the produced oxygen in electrolysis mode. The analysis shows, that better performances in both process directions can be achieved with an additional layer of sputtered platinum on the oxygen electrode. Thus, the electrochemical round-trip efficiency can be improved by more than 4%. Treating the oxygen electrode with PTFE solution shows better performance in fuel cell and less performance in electrolysis mode. The increase of the round-trip efficiency is negligible. A layer sputtered directly on the membrane shows good impermeability, and hence results in high voltages at low current densities. The mass transportation is apparently constricted. The gas diffusion layer on the oxygen electrode, in this case a titanium foam, leads to flooding of the cell in fuel cell mode. Stable operation is achieved after pretreatment of the GDL with a PTFE solution.

  12. Nature of the elements transporting long-chain fatty acids through the red cell membrane

    Bojesen, Inge Norby; Bojesen, Eigil


    Docosahexaenoic acid, linoleic acid, red cell membrane, transporting elements, transport kinetics, fatty acid transport......Docosahexaenoic acid, linoleic acid, red cell membrane, transporting elements, transport kinetics, fatty acid transport...

  13. Inferring maps of forces inside cell membrane microdomains

    Masson, J -B; Tuerkcan, S; Voisinne, G; Popoff, M R; Vergassola, M; Alexandrou, A


    Mapping of the forces on biomolecules in cell membranes has spurred the development of effective labels, e.g. organic fluorophores and nanoparticles, to track trajectories of single biomolecules. Standard methods use particular statistics, namely the mean square displacement, to analyze the underlying dynamics. Here, we introduce general inference methods to fully exploit information in the experimental trajectories, providing sharp estimates of the forces and the diffusion coefficients in membrane microdomains. Rapid and reliable convergence of the inference scheme is demonstrated on trajectories generated numerically. The method is then applied to infer forces and potentials acting on the receptor of the $\\epsilon$-toxin labeled by lanthanide-ion nanoparticles. Our scheme is applicable to any labeled biomolecule and results show show its general relevance for membrane compartmentation.

  14. Inorganic-organic Composite Membranes with Novel Microstructure for High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    Zhigang Ma; Jiandong Gao; Jing Guo; Zhenghua Deng; Jishuan Suo


    Nowadays,more and more fossil fuels are consumed and air pollurion has become a threat to the survival of people.Therefore,we need some other power sources to provide energy without damaging the environment.Proton exchange membrane fuel cells(PEMFCs)have received wide attention due to their advantages Such as high energy density and zero emission[1].Particularly, direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs)were considered as the most suitable energy sources for electric vehicles(EVs)and portable electronics.

  15. Modified SPEEK membranes for direct ethanol fuel cell

    Maab, Husnul


    Membranes with low ethanol crossover were prepared aiming their application for direct ethanol fuel cell (DEFC). They were based on (1) sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) coated with carbon molecular sieves (CMS) and (2) on SPEEK/PI homogeneous blends. The membranes were characterized concerning their water and ethanol solution uptake, water and ethanol permeability in pervaporation experiments and their performance in DEFC tests. The ethanol permeabilities for the CMS-coated (180 nm and 400 nm thick layers) SPEEK were 8.5 and 3.1 x 10(-10) kg m s(-1) m(-2) and for the homogeneous SPEEK/PI blends membranes with 10, 20 and 30 wt.% of PI were 4.4, 1.0 and 0.4 x 10(-10) kg m s(-1) m(-2) respectively, which is 2- to 50-fold lower than that for plain SPEEK (19 x 10(-10) kg m s(-1) m(-2)). Particularly the SPEEK/PI membranes had substantially better performance than Nafion 117 membranes in DEFC tests at 60 degrees C and 90 degrees C. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Modeling and Simulation for Fuel Cell Polymer Electrolyte Membrane

    Takahiro Hayashi


    Full Text Available We have established methods to evaluate key properties that are needed to commercialize polyelectrolyte membranes for fuel cell electric vehicles such as water diffusion, gas permeability, and mechanical strength. These methods are based on coarse-graining models. For calculating water diffusion and gas permeability through the membranes, the dissipative particle dynamics–Monte Carlo approach was applied, while mechanical strength of the hydrated membrane was simulated by coarse-grained molecular dynamics. As a result of our systematic search and analysis, we can now grasp the direction necessary to improve water diffusion, gas permeability, and mechanical strength. For water diffusion, a map that reveals the relationship between many kinds of molecular structures and diffusion constants was obtained, in which the direction to enhance the diffusivity by improving membrane structure can be clearly seen. In order to achieve high mechanical strength, the molecular structure should be such that the hydrated membrane contains narrow water channels, but these might decrease the proton conductivity. Therefore, an optimal design of the polymer structure is needed, and the developed models reviewed here make it possible to optimize these molecular structures.

  17. Near-Critical Fluctuations and Cytoskeleton-Assisted Phase Separation Lead to Subdiffusion in Cell Membranes

    Ehrig, Jens; Petrov, Eugene P.; Schwille, Petra


    We address the relationship between membrane microheterogeneity and anomalous subdiffusion in cell membranes by carrying out Monte Carlo simulations of two-component lipid membranes. We find that near-critical fluctuations in the membrane lead to transient subdiffusion, while membrane-cytoskeleton interaction strongly affects phase separation, enhances subdiffusion, and eventually leads to hop diffusion of lipids. Thus, we present a minimum realistic model for membrane rafts showing the featu...

  18. Phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes: Physiochemical characterization and fuel cell applications [PEM fuel cells

    Qingfeng, Li; Hjuler, Hans Aage; Bjerrum, Niels


    A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell operational at temperatures around 150-200 degrees C is desirable for fast electrode kinetics and high tolerance to fuel impurities. For this purpose polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes have been prepared and H/sub 3/PO/sub 4/-doped in a doping range from 30...

  19. Stimulating Effect of Terfenadine on Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling

    Elena Signoretto


    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The antihistaminic drug Terfenadine may trigger apoptosis of tumor cells, an effect unrelated to its effect on histamine receptors. Similar to apoptosis of nucleated cells, erythrocytes may enter eryptosis, the suicidal death of erythrocytes characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Signaling triggering eryptosis include increase of cytosolic Ca2+ activity ([Ca2+]i, oxidative stress, and ceramide. The present study explored, whether Terfenadine is capable to trigger eryptosis. Methods: Flow cytometry was employed to estimate phosphatidylserine abundance at the erythrocyte surface from annexin-V-binding, cell volume from forward scatter, [Ca2+]i from Fluo3-fluorescence, abundance of reactive oxygen species (ROS from 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein (DCF diacetate dependent fluorescence, and ceramide abundance at the human erythrocyte surface utilizing specific antibodies. Hemolysis was quantified from haemoglobin concentration in the supernatant. Results: A 48 hours exposure of human erythrocytes to Terfenadine (≥ 5 µM significantly increased the percentage of annexin-V-binding cells and triggered hemolysis without significantly modifying the average forward scatter. Terfenadine (7.5 µM significantly increased Fluo3-fluorescence, but did not significantly modify DCF fluorescence or ceramide abundance. The effect of Terfenadine on annexin-V-binding was significantly blunted but not abolished by removal of extracellular Ca2+. Exposure of human erythrocytes to Ca2+ ionophore ionomycin (1 µM, 15 min triggered annexin-V-binding, an effect augmented by Terfenadine pretreatment (10 µM, 48 hours. Conclusions: Terfenadine triggers phospholipid scrambling of the human erythrocyte cell membrane, an effect in part due to entry of extracellular Ca2+ and in part due to sensitizing human erythrocyte cell membrane scrambling to Ca2+.

  20. Membrane electrolytic cell for minimizing hypochlorite and chlorate formation

    An electrolytic cell for the electrolysis of an alkali metal chloride brine is comprised of an anode compartment and a cathode compartment separated by a cation exchange membrane. The anode is comprised of an unflattened expanded structure of a valve metal selected from the group consisting of titanium, tantalum, niobium, and alloys thereof. At least one side of the anode has as the electrochemically active surface an electrodeposited layer of a valve metal oxide. A plurality of cracks traverse the electrodeposited layer and a coating of a platinum metal group oxide covers the electrodeposited layer and substantially fills the cracks. The cationic exchange membrane is comprised of a laminated structure having a first surface adapted to contact an anolyte in which the ion exchange groups are predominately sulfonic acid groups. The first surface is also in contact with the electrochemically active surface of the anode. A second surface of the cation exchange membrane, adapted to contact a catholyte, has ion exchange groups which are predominately carboxylic acid groups. The cathode positioned in the cathode compartment is spaced apart from the cation exchange membrane. The cell operates with both a low chlorine overvoltage and a low oxygen overvoltage. During electrolysis of alkali metal chloride brines, the formation of hypochlorite and chlorate ions is minimized and the alkali metal hydroxides produced have low chlorate concentrations and are suitable for use without further treatment in chlorate-sensitive applications. Spent brine treatment is simplified and at reduced costs

  1. Development of a membrane electrode assembly process for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)

    In this work, a Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) producing process was developed, involving simple steps, aiming cost reduction and good reproducibility for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) commercial applications. The electrodes were produced by spraying ink into both sides of the polymeric membrane, building the catalytic layers, followed by hot pressing of Gas Diffusion Layers (GDL), forming the MEA. This new producing method was called 'Spray and hot pressing hybrid method'. Concerning that all the parameters of spray and hot pressing methods are interdependent, a statistical procedure were used in order to study the mutual variables influences and to optimize the method. This study was earned out in two distinct steps: the first one, where seven variables were considered for the analysis and the second one, where only the variables that interfered in the process performance in the first step were considered for analysis. The results showed that the developed process was adequate, including only simple steps, reaching MEA's performance of 651 m A cm-2 at a potential of 600 mV for catalysts loading of 0,4 mg cm-2 Pt at the anode and 0,6 mg cm-2 Pt at the cathode. This result is compared to available commercial MEA's, with the same fuel cell operations conditions. (author)

  2. Fluorescent Lipids: Functional Parts of Fusogenic Liposomes and Tools for Cell Membrane Labeling and Visualization

    Christian Kleusch; Bernd Hoffmann; Nils Hersch; Agnes Csiszár; Rudolf Merkel


    In this paper a rapid and highly efficient method for controlled incorporation of fluorescent lipids into living mammalian cells is introduced. Here, the fluorescent molecules have two consecutive functions: First, they trigger rapid membrane fusion between cellular plasma membranes and the lipid bilayers of their carrier particles, so called fusogenic liposomes, and second, after insertion into cellular membranes these molecules enable fluorescence imaging of cell membranes and membrane traf...

  3. Exegoeconomic Analysis On A Proton Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    The objective of this study is to perform an exergy and economic analysis on proton electrolyte membrane fuel cell power system (PEMFC) known as exegoeconomic. A 5 kW PEMFC was taken as case study. The fuel cell includes the hydrogen processing system and a fuel cell stack. The hydrogen processing system consisted of an auto-thermal reactor (ATR), a water gas shift reactor (WGS), tubular ceramic membrane module (TCR) and a pressure swing adsorber (PSA). The fuel cell stack was the main power generator. It was obseved that TCM and PSA have low energy efficiency of 0.29 % and 0.09 % respectively. Energy efficiency for the auto-thermal reactor and fuel cell stack were higher at 22.44 % and 31.97 % respectively and both values are comparable with other studies. The exergoeconomics for the 5kW fuel cell system was determined as RM4756.62 per GJ. From the analysis, it is also found that the fuel cell cost can more competitive, if the cost of operation, maintenance and fuel can be reduced. (author)

  4. Sterol-Rich Membrane Domains Define Fission Yeast Cell Polarity.

    Makushok, Tatyana; Alves, Paulo; Huisman, Stephen Michiel; Kijowski, Adam Rafal; Brunner, Damian


    Cell polarization is crucial for the functioning of all organisms. The cytoskeleton is central to the process but its role in symmetry breaking is poorly understood. We study cell polarization when fission yeast cells exit starvation. We show that the basis of polarity generation is de novo sterol biosynthesis, cell surface delivery of sterols, and their recruitment to the cell poles. This involves four phases occurring independent of the polarity factor cdc42p. Initially, multiple, randomly distributed sterol-rich membrane (SRM) domains form at the plasma membrane, independent of the cytoskeleton and cell growth. These domains provide platforms on which the growth and polarity machinery assembles. SRM domains are then polarized by the microtubule-dependent polarity factor tea1p, which prepares for monopolar growth initiation and later switching to bipolar growth. SRM polarization requires F-actin but not the F-actin organizing polarity factors for3p and bud6p. We conclude that SRMs are key to cell polarization. PMID:27180904

  5. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for transportation applications

    Swathirajan, S. [General Motors R& D Center, Warren, MI (United States)


    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are extremely promising as future power plants in the transportation sector to achieve an increase in energy efficiency and eliminate environmental pollution due to vehicles. GM is currently involved in a multiphase program with the US Department of Energy for developing a proof-of-concept hybrid vehicle based on a PEM fuel cell power plant and a methanol fuel processor. Other participants in the program are Los Alamos National Labs, Dow Chemical Co., Ballard Power Systems and DuPont Co., In the just completed phase 1 of the program, a 10 kW PEM fuel cell power plant was built and tested to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating a methanol fuel processor with a PEM fuel cell stack. However, the fuel cell power plant must overcome stiff technical and economic challenges before it can be commercialized for light duty vehicle applications. Progress achieved in phase I on the use of monolithic catalyst reactors in the fuel processor, managing CO impurity in the fuel cell stack, low-cost electrode-membrane assembles, and on the integration of the fuel processor with a Ballard PEM fuel cell stack will be presented.

  6. Solid Polymer Fuel Cells. Electrode and membrane performance studies

    Moeller-Holst, S.


    This doctoral thesis studies aspects of fuel cell preparation and performance. The emphasis is placed on preparation and analysis of low platinum-loading solid polymer fuel cell (SPEC) electrodes. A test station was built and used to test cells within a wide range of real operating conditions, 40-150{sup o}C and 1-10 bar. Preparation and assembling equipment for single SPFCs was designed and built, and a new technique of spraying the catalyst layer directly onto the membrane was successfully demonstrated. Low Pt-loading electrodes (0.1 mg Pt/cm{sup 2}) prepared by the new technique exhibited high degree of catalyst utilization. The performance of single cells holding these electrodes is comparable to state-of-the-art SPFCs. Potential losses in single cell performance are ascribed to irreversibilities by analysing the efficiency of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell by means of the second law of thermodynamics. The water management in membranes is discussed for a model system and the results are relevant to fuel cell preparation and performance. The new spray deposition technique should be commercially interesting as it involves few steps as well as techniques that are adequate for larger scale production. 115 refs., 43 figs., 18 tabs.

  7. Membraner

    Bach, Finn


    Notatet giver en kort introduktion til den statiske virkemåde af membraner og membrankonstruktioner......Notatet giver en kort introduktion til den statiske virkemåde af membraner og membrankonstruktioner...

  8. Melittin interaction with sulfated sugars and cell membranes

    Klocek, Gabriela


    The presented work focused on an alternative mechanism of action of melittin on the cell membranes. The study using ITC reveals that melittin has a high affinity for several glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), i.e. heparan sulfate (HS), dermatan sulfate and heparin. The interaction between peptide and GAGs comprised both electrostatic and non-ionic components. Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy demonstrates that the binding of melittin to HS and other GAGs induces a conformational cha...

  9. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts

    Adamala, Katarzyna P.; Engelhart, Aaron E.; SZOSTAK, JACK W.


    One widely held model of early life suggests primitive cells consisted of simple RNA-based catalysts within lipid compartments. One possible selective advantage conferred by an encapsulated catalyst is stabilization of the compartment, resulting from catalyst-promoted synthesis of key membrane components. Here we show model protocell vesicles containing an encapsulated enzyme that promotes the synthesis of simple fatty acid derivatives become stabilized to Mg2+, which is required for ribozyme...

  10. Interface-designed Membranes with Shape-controlled Patterns for High-performance Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Yukwon Jeon; Dong Jun Kim; Jong Kwan Koh; Yunseong Ji; Jong Hak Kim; Yong-Gun Shul


    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell is a promising zero-emission power generator for stationary/automotive applications. However, key issues, such as performance and costs, are still remained for an economical commercialization. Here, we fabricated a high-performance membrane electrode assembly (MEA) using an interfacial design based on well-arrayed micro-patterned membranes including circles, squares and hexagons with different sizes, which are produced by a facile elastomeric mold method...

  11. Production of plasma membrane vesicles with chloride salts and their utility as a cell membrane mimetic for biophysical characterization of membrane protein interactions

    Del Piccolo, Nuala; Placone, Jesse; He, Lijuan; Agudelo, Sandra Carolina; Hristova, Kalina


    Plasma membrane derived vesicles are used as a model system for the biochemical and biophysical investigations of membrane proteins and membrane organization. The most widely used vesiculation procedure relies on formaldehyde and dithiothreitol (DTT), but these active chemicals may introduce artifacts in the experimental results. Here we describe a procedure to vesiculate Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, widely used for the expression of recombinant proteins, using a hypertonic vesiculation...

  12. Stimulation of Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling by Mushroom Tyrosinase

    Leonie Frauenfeld


    Full Text Available Background: Mushroom tyrosinase, a copper containing enzyme, modifies growth and survival of tumor cells. Mushroom tyrosinase may foster apoptosis, an effect in part due to interference with mitochondrial function. Erythrocytes lack mitochondria but are able to undergo apoptosis-like suicidal cell death or eryptosis, which is characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling leading to phosphatidylserine-exposure at the erythrocyte surface. Signaling involved in the triggering of eryptosis include increase of cytosolic Ca2+-activity ([Ca2+]i and activation of sphingomyelinase with subsequent formation of ceramide. The present study explored, whether tyrosinase stimulates eryptosis. Methods: Cell volume has been estimated from forward scatter, phosphatidylserine-exposure from annexin V binding, [Ca2+]i from Fluo3-fluorescence, and ceramide abundance from binding of fluorescent antibodies in flow cytometry. Results: A 24 h exposure to mushroom tyrosinase (7 U/mL was followed by a significant increase of [Ca2+]i, a significant increase of ceramide abundance, and a significant increase of annexin-V-binding. The annexin-V-binding following tyrosinase treatment was significantly blunted but not abrogated in the nominal absence of extracellular Ca2+. Tyrosinase did not significantly modify forward scatter. Conclusions: Tyrosinase triggers cell membrane scrambling, an effect, at least partially, due to entry of extracellular Ca2+ and ceramide formation.

  13. Latent progenitor cells as potential regulators for tympanic membrane regeneration

    Kim, Seung Won; Kim, Jangho; Seonwoo, Hoon; Jang, Kyung-Jin; Kim, Yeon Ju; Lim, Hye Jin; Lim, Ki-Taek; Tian, Chunjie; Chung, Jong Hoon; Choung, Yun-Hoon


    Tympanic membrane (TM) perforation, in particular chronic otitis media, is one of the most common clinical problems in the world and can present with sensorineural healing loss. Here, we explored an approach for TM regeneration where the latent progenitor or stem cells within TM epithelial layers may play an important regulatory role. We showed that potential TM stem cells present highly positive staining for epithelial stem cell markers in all areas of normal TM tissue. Additionally, they are present at high levels in perforated TMs, especially in proximity to the holes, regardless of acute or chronic status, suggesting that TM stem cells may be a potential factor for TM regeneration. Our study suggests that latent TM stem cells could be potential regulators of regeneration, which provides a new insight into this clinically important process and a potential target for new therapies for chronic otitis media and other eardrum injuries.

  14. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Applied for Transport Sector

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud


    A thermodynamic analysis of a PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell) is investigated. PEMFC may be the most promising technology for fuel cell automotive systems, which is operating at quite low temperatures, (between 60 to 80℃). In this study the fuel cell motive power part of a lift truck has...... been investigated. The fuel cell stack used in this model is developed using a Ballard PEMFC [1], so that the equations used in the stack modeling are derived from the experimental data. The stack can produce 3 to 15 kilowatt electricity depending on the number of cells used in the stack. Some of the...... investigated. In addition, different stack design schemes have been proposed and their effect on system efficiency has been investigated....

  15. Water Soluble Polymers as Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells

    Bing-Joe Hwang


    Full Text Available The relentless increase in the demand for useable power from energy-hungry economies continues to drive energy-material related research. Fuel cells, as a future potential power source that provide clean-at-the-point-of-use power offer many advantages such as high efficiency, high energy density, quiet operation, and environmental friendliness. Critical to the operation of the fuel cell is the proton exchange membrane (polymer electrolyte membrane responsible for internal proton transport from the anode to the cathode. PEMs have the following requirements: high protonic conductivity, low electronic conductivity, impermeability to fuel gas or liquid, good mechanical toughness in both the dry and hydrated states, and high oxidative and hydrolytic stability in the actual fuel cell environment. Water soluble polymers represent an immensely diverse class of polymers. In this comprehensive review the initial focus is on those members of this group that have attracted publication interest, principally: chitosan, poly (ethylene glycol, poly (vinyl alcohol, poly (vinylpyrrolidone, poly (2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid and poly (styrene sulfonic acid. The paper then considers in detail the relationship of structure to functionality in the context of polymer blends and polymer based networks together with the effects of membrane crosslinking on IPN and semi IPN architectures. This is followed by a review of pore-filling and other impregnation approaches. Throughout the paper detailed numerical results are given for comparison to today’s state-of-the-art Nafion® based materials.

  16. Quantitative analysis of cell surface membrane proteins using membrane-impermeable chemical probe coupled with 18O labeling

    Zhang, Haizhen; Brown, Roslyn N.; Qian, Wei-Jun; Monroe, Matthew E.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Moore, Ronald J.; Gritsenko, Marina A.; Shi, Liang; Romine, Margaret F; Fredrickson, James K.; Paša-Tolić, Ljiljana; Smith, Richard D.; Lipton, Mary S.


    We report a mass spectrometry-based strategy for quantitative analysis of cell surface membrane proteome changes. The strategy includes enrichment of surface membrane proteins using a membrane-impermeable chemical probe followed by stable isotope 18O labeling and LC-MS analysis. We applied this strategy for enriching membrane proteins expressed by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a gram-negative bacterium with known metal-reduction capability via extracellular electron transfer between outer membrane proteins and extracellular electron receptors. LC/MS/MS analysis resulted in the identification of about 400 proteins with 79% of them being predicted to be membrane localized. Quantitative aspects of the membrane enrichment were shown by peptide level 16O and 18O labeling of proteins from wild-type and mutant cells (generated from deletion of a type II secretion protein, GspD) prior to LC-MS analysis. Using a chemical probe labeled pure protein as an internal standard for normalization, the quantitative data revealed reduced abundances in ΔgspD mutant cells of many outer membrane proteins including the outer membrane c-cype cytochromes OmcA and MtrC, in agreement with previously investigation demonstrating that these proteins are substrates of the type II secretion system. PMID:20380418

  17. Plasma membrane biogenesis in eukaryotic cells: translocation of newly synthesized lipid.

    Mills, J T; Furlong, S T; Dawidowicz, E A


    We examined the transfer of sterols and phospholipids from their site of synthesis to the plasma membrane of Acanthamoeba castellanii. Cells were labeled with [3H]acetate, and plasma membrane fractions were isolated under conditions that minimize the nonspecific exchange of lipids between subcellular membrane fractions. Sterols and phospholipids were purified from both whole-cell homogenates and isolated plasma membrane. In whole cells, 3H-labeled lipids were formed, with no apparent time lag...

  18. Study of the effect of membrane thickness on microcapsule strength, permeability, and cell proliferation

    Ma, Ying; Zhang, Ying; Wang, Yu; Wang, Qiuyan; Tan, Mingqian; Liu, Yang; Chen, Li; Li, Na; Yu, Weiting; Ma, Xiaojun

    Cell microencapsulation is one of the promising strategies for in vitro production of proteins or in vivo delivery of therapeutic products. Membrane thickness controls microcapsule strength and permeability, which may in return affect cell growth and metabolism. In this study, the strength......, permeability, and encapsulated Chinese hamster ovary cell proliferation and metabolism of four groups of microcapsules with different membrane thicknesses were investigated. It was found that increasing membrane thickness increases microcapsule strength, whereas decreases membrane permeability. During the...

  19. Polymer Materials for Fuel Cell Membranes :Sulfonated Poly(ether sulfone) for Universal Fuel Cell Operations

    Hyoung-Juhn Kim


    @@ 1Introduction Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) have been spotlighted because they are clean and highly efficient power generation system. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), which use reformate gases or pure H2 for a fuel, have been employed for automotives and residential usages. Also, liquid-feed fuel cells such as direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and direct formic acid fuel cell (DFAFC) were studied for portable power generation.

  20. Fault tolerance control for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems

    Wu, Xiaojuan; Zhou, Boyang


    Fault diagnosis and controller design are two important aspects to improve proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system durability. However, the two tasks are often separately performed. For example, many pressure and voltage controllers have been successfully built. However, these controllers are designed based on the normal operation of PEMFC. When PEMFC faces problems such as flooding or membrane drying, a controller with a specific design must be used. This paper proposes a unique scheme that simultaneously performs fault diagnosis and tolerance control for the PEMFC system. The proposed control strategy consists of a fault diagnosis, a reconfiguration mechanism and adjustable controllers. Using a back-propagation neural network, a model-based fault detection method is employed to detect the PEMFC current fault type (flooding, membrane drying or normal). According to the diagnosis results, the reconfiguration mechanism determines which backup controllers to be selected. Three nonlinear controllers based on feedback linearization approaches are respectively built to adjust the voltage and pressure difference in the case of normal, membrane drying and flooding conditions. The simulation results illustrate that the proposed fault tolerance control strategy can track the voltage and keep the pressure difference at desired levels in faulty conditions.

  1. Cell Surface and Membrane Engineering: Emerging Technologies and Applications

    Christopher T. Saeui


    Full Text Available Membranes constitute the interface between the basic unit of life—a single cell—and the outside environment and thus in many ways comprise the ultimate “functional biomaterial”. To perform the many and often conflicting functions required in this role, for example to partition intracellular contents from the outside environment while maintaining rapid intake of nutrients and efflux of waste products, biological membranes have evolved tremendous complexity and versatility. This article describes how membranes, mainly in the context of living cells, are increasingly being manipulated for practical purposes with drug discovery, biofuels, and biosensors providing specific, illustrative examples. Attention is also given to biology-inspired, but completely synthetic, membrane-based technologies that are being enabled by emerging methods such as bio-3D printers. The diverse set of applications covered in this article are intended to illustrate how these versatile technologies—as they rapidly mature—hold tremendous promise to benefit human health in numerous ways ranging from the development of new medicines to sensitive and cost-effective environmental monitoring for pathogens and pollutants to replacing hydrocarbon-based fossil fuels.

  2. Better Proton-Conducting Polymers for Fuel-Cell Membranes

    Narayan, Sri; Reddy, Prakash


    Polyoxyphenylene triazole sulfonic acid has been proposed as a basis for development of improved proton-conducting polymeric materials for solid-electrolyte membranes in hydrogen/air fuel cells. Heretofore, the proton-conducting membrane materials of choice have been exemplified by a family of perfluorosulfonic acid-based polymers (Nafion7 or equivalent). These materials are suitable for operation in the temperature of 75 to 85 C, but in order to reduce the sizes and/or increase the energy-conversion efficiencies of fuel-cell systems, it would be desirable to increase temperatures to as high as 120 C for transportation applications, and to as high as 180 C for stationary applications. However, at 120 C and at relative humidity values below 50 percent, the loss of water from perfluorosulfonic acid-based polymer membranes results in fuel-cell power densities too low to be of practical value. Therefore, membrane electrolyte materials that have usefully high proton conductivity in the temperature range of 180 C at low relative humidity and that do not rely on water for proton conduction at 180 C would be desirable. The proposed polyoxyphenylene triazole sulfonic acid-based materials have been conjectured to have these desirable properties. These materials would be free of volatile or mobile acid constituents. The generic molecular structure of these materials is intended to exploit the fact, demonstrated in previous research, that materials that contain ionizable acid and base groups covalently attached to thermally stable polymer backbones exhibit proton conduction even in the anhydrous state.

  3. A hybrid microbial fuel cell membrane bioreactor with a conductive ultrafiltration membrane biocathode for wastewater treatment

    Malaeb, Lilian


    A new hybrid, air-biocathode microbial fuel cell-membrane bioreactor (MFC-MBR) system was developed to achieve simultaneous wastewater treatment and ultrafiltration to produce water for direct reclamation. The combined advantages of this system were achieved by using an electrically conductive ultrafiltration membrane as both the cathode and the membrane for wastewater filtration. The MFC-MBR used an air-biocathode, and it was shown to have good performance relative to an otherwise identical cathode containing a platinum catalyst. With 0.1 mm prefiltered domestic wastewater as the feed, the maximum power density was 0.38 W/m2 (6.8 W/m3) with the biocathode, compared to 0.82 W/m2 (14.5 W/m3) using the platinum cathode. The permeate quality from the biocathode reactor was comparable to that of a conventional MBR, with removals of 97% of the soluble chemical oxygen demand, 97% NH3-N, and 91% of total bacteria (based on flow cytometry). The permeate turbidity was <0.1 nephelometric turbidity units. These results show that a biocathode MFC-MBR system can achieve high levels of wastewater treatment with a low energy input due to the lack of a need for wastewater aeration. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

  4. New proton conducting membranes for fuel cell applications

    Sukumar, P.R.


    In order to synthesize proton-conducting materials which retain acids in the membrane during fuel cell operating conditions, the synthesis of poly(vinylphosphonic acid) grafted polybenzimidazole (PVPA grafted PBI) and the fabrication of multilayer membranes are mainly focussed in this dissertation. Synthesis of PVPA grafted PBI membrane can be done according to ''grafting through'' method. In ''grafting through'' method (or macromonomer method), monomer (e.g., vinylphosphonic acid) is radically copolymerized with olefin group attached macromonomer (e.g., allyl grafted PBI and vinylbenzyl grafted PBI). This approach is inherently limited to synthesize graft-copolymer with well-defined architectural and structural parameters. The incorporation of poly(vinylphosphonic acid) into PBI lead to improvements in proton conductivity up to 10-2 S/cm. Regarding multilayer membranes, the proton conducting layer-by-layer (LBL) assembly of polymers by various strong acids such as poly(vinylphosphonic acid), poly(vinylsulfonic acid) and poly(styrenesulfonic acid) paired with basic polymers such as poly(4-vinylimidazole) and poly(benzimidazole), which are appropriate for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell applications have been described. Proton conductivity increases with increasing smoothness of the film and the maximum measured conductivity was 10-4 S/cm at 25A C. Recently, anhydrous proton-conducting membranes with flexible structural backbones, which show proton-conducting properties comparable to Nafion have been focus of current research. The flexible backbone of polymer chains allow for a high segmental mobility and thus, a sufficiently low glass transition temperature (Tg), which is an essential factor to reach highly conductive systems. Among the polymers with a flexible chain backbone, poly(vinylphosphonic acid), poly(vinylbenzylphosphonic acid), poly(2-vinylbenzimidazole), poly(4-styrenesulfonic acid), poly(4-vinylimidazole), poly

  5. Alkaline direct alcohol fuel cells using an anion exchange membrane

    Matsuoka, Koji; Iriyama, Yasutoshi; Abe, Takeshi; Ogumi, Zempachi [Department of Energy and Hydrocarbon Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Katsura, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8510 (Japan); Matsuoka, Masao [Faculty of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577 (Japan)


    Alkaline direct alcohol fuel cells using an OH-form anion exchange membrane and polyhydric alcohols were studied. A high open circuit voltage of ca. 800mV was obtained for a cell using Pt-Ru/C (anode) and Pt/C (cathode) at 323K, which was about 100-200mV higher than that for a DMFC using Nafion{sup R}. The maximum power densities were in the order of ethylene glycol>glycerol>methanol>erythritol>xylitol. Silver catalysts were used as a cathode catalyst to fabricate alkaline fuel cells, since silver catalyst is almost inactive in the oxidation of polyhydric alcohols. Alkaline direct ethylene glycol fuel cells using silver as a cathode catalyst gave excellent performance because higher concentrations of fuel could be supplied to the anode. (author)

  6. Reassessing ecdysteroidogenic cells from the cell membrane receptors’ perspective

    Alexandros Alexandratos; Panagiotis Moulos; Ioannis Nellas; Konstantinos Mavridis; Dedos, Skarlatos G.


    Ecdysteroids secreted by the prothoracic gland (PG) cells of insects control the developmental timing of their immature life stages. These cells have been historically considered as carrying out a single function in insects, namely the biochemical conversion of cholesterol to ecdysteroids and their secretion. A growing body of evidence shows that PG cells receive multiple cues during insect development so we tested the hypothesis that they carry out more than just one function in insects. We ...

  7. Porous polybenzimidazole membranes doped with phosphoric acid: Preparation and application in high-temperature proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells

    Highlights: • Porous polybenzimidazole membrane was prepared with glucose as porogen. • Phosphoric acid content was as high as 15.7 mol H3PO4 per PBI repeat unit. • 200 h Constant current density test was carried out at 150 °C. • Degradation was due to the gap between membrane and catalyst layer. - Abstract: In this paper, the preparation and characterization of porous polybenzimidazole membranes doped with phosphoric acid were reported. For the preparation of porous polybenzimidazole membranes, glucose and saccharose were selected as porogen and added into PBI resin solution before solvent casting. The prepared porous PBI membranes had high proton conductivity and high content of acid doping at room temperature with 15.7 mol H3PO4 per PBI repeat unit, much higher than pure PBI membrane at the same condition. Further, the performance and stability of the porous PBI membrane in high-temperature proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells was tested. It was found that the cell performance remained stable during 200 h stability test under a constant current discharge of 0.5 A cm−2 except for the last fifty hours. The decay in the last fifty hours was ascribed to the delamination between the catalyst layer and membrane increasing the charge-transfer resistance

  8. Influence of estrogenic pesticides on membrane integrity and membrane transfer of monosaccharide into the human red cell

    Some natural and synthetic estrogens inhibit carrier-mediated transport of glucose into human red blood cells and membrane vesicles from the placenta. The inhibitory action of these estrogens on transport appears to be a direct effect at the membrane and does not involve receptor binding and protein synthesis. It is not clear, however, whether such inhibition is a common feature among estrogenic agents. Several chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides have been shown to possess estrogenic activity. These pesticides could have inhibitory effects on the human sodium-independent glucose transporter. Owing to the apparent importance of this membrane transporter in human tissues, direct interaction of hormones and xenobiotics with the glucose transporter is of fundamental significance. Some pesticides have been shown to alter membrane structure directly and alter the passive permeability of membranes. Whether the estrogenic pesticides influence passive diffusion of sugars across membranes has not been established. Finally, preliminary observations have suggested that some estrogens and pesticides have lytic effects on intact cells. Consequently, this study focuses on the ability of several estrogens and estrogenic pesticides to disrupt the cell membrane, influence the monosaccharide transporter, and alter the rate of monosaccharide permeation through the membrane by simple diffusion

  9. ACME: automated cell morphology extractor for comprehensive reconstruction of cell membranes.

    Kishore R Mosaliganti

    Full Text Available The quantification of cell shape, cell migration, and cell rearrangements is important for addressing classical questions in developmental biology such as patterning and tissue morphogenesis. Time-lapse microscopic imaging of transgenic embryos expressing fluorescent reporters is the method of choice for tracking morphogenetic changes and establishing cell lineages and fate maps in vivo. However, the manual steps involved in curating thousands of putative cell segmentations have been a major bottleneck in the application of these technologies especially for cell membranes. Segmentation of cell membranes while more difficult than nuclear segmentation is necessary for quantifying the relations between changes in cell morphology and morphogenesis. We present a novel and fully automated method to first reconstruct membrane signals and then segment out cells from 3D membrane images even in dense tissues. The approach has three stages: 1 detection of local membrane planes, 2 voting to fill structural gaps, and 3 region segmentation. We demonstrate the superior performance of the algorithms quantitatively on time-lapse confocal and two-photon images of zebrafish neuroectoderm and paraxial mesoderm by comparing its results with those derived from human inspection. We also compared with synthetic microscopic images generated by simulating the process of imaging with fluorescent reporters under varying conditions of noise. Both the over-segmentation and under-segmentation percentages of our method are around 5%. The volume overlap of individual cells, compared to expert manual segmentation, is consistently over 84%. By using our software (ACME to study somite formation, we were able to segment touching cells with high accuracy and reliably quantify changes in morphogenetic parameters such as cell shape and size, and the arrangement of epithelial and mesenchymal cells. Our software has been developed and tested on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms and is

  10. Force Balance and Membrane Shedding at the Red-Blood-Cell Surface

    Sens, Pierre; Gov, Nir


    During the aging of the red-blood cell, or under conditions of extreme echinocytosis, membrane is shed from the cell plasma membrane in the form of nanovesicles. We propose that this process is the result of the self-adaptation of the membrane surface area to the elastic stress imposed by the spectrin cytoskeleton, via the local buckling of membrane under increasing cytoskeleton stiffness. This model introduces the concept of force balance as a regulatory process at the cell membrane and quantitatively reproduces the rate of area loss in aging red-blood cells.

  11. Process for recycling components of a PEM fuel cell membrane electrode assembly

    Shore, Lawrence


    The membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of a PEM fuel cell can be recycled by contacting the MEA with a lower alkyl alcohol solvent which separates the membrane from the anode and cathode layers of the assembly. The resulting solution containing both the polymer membrane and supported noble metal catalysts can be heated under mild conditions to disperse the polymer membrane as particles and the supported noble metal catalysts and polymer membrane particles separated by known filtration means.

  12. Membrane fluidity increases during apoptosis of sheep ileal Peyer's patch B cells

    To investigate specific plasma membrane structural changes associated with apoptosis, whole cells and purified plasma membranes of apoptotic B cells from the ileal Peyer's patch of sheep were analyzed for their 'membrane fluidity'. The ileal Peyer's patch of sheep provided a large number of B cells required for plasma membrane isolation (>5 x 109). As the incidence of apoptosis increased with time of culture, the fluidity of purified plasma membranes, as measured with the fluorophore DPH (diphenylhexatriene), increased. To evaluate this phenomenon with intact cells, B cells at different apoptotic stages were fractionated on discontinuous Percoll gradients. Similar results were obtained using the fluorophore TMA-DPH (trimethylammoniumdiphenylhexatriene), which has been shown to localize specifically to the plasma membrane. Functionally, the increase in plasma membrane fluidity associated with apoptosis may represent either a mechanism to cycle phosphatidylserine to the outer leaflet, mediating phagocytic recognition of apoptotic cells, or a consequence of this event. (author). 20 refs., 1 tab., 4 figs

  13. Investigation of interaction between the drug and cell membrane by capillary electrophoresis


    By introducing cell membrane into electrophoretic buffer as pseudo-stationary phase,a novel capillary electrophoresis method was established to explore the interaction between drugs and cell membrane,where the interaction between citalopram and rabbit red blood cell membrane was used as an example. A series of concentrations of cell membrane were suspended into the running buffer by peak-shift method. The binding constant of citalopram to rabbit red blood cell membrane of 0.977 g-1·L was obtained after treatment of Scatchard plot. This method could provide not only a new way for the investigation on the interactions between drugs and cell membrane,but also a new approach for high throughput screening of the drug membrane permeability,biological activity,and evaluating drugs in vivo.

  14. Characteristics of Subfreezing Operation of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Mishler, Jeffrey Harris

    Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells are capable of high efficiency operation, and are free of NOx, SOx, and CO2 emissions when using hydrogen fuel, and ideally suited for use in transportation applications due to their high power density and low operating temperatures. However, under subfreezing conditions which may be encountered during winter seasons in some areas, product water will freeze within the membrane, cathode side catalyst layer and gas diffusion media, leading to voltage loss and operation failure. Experiments were undertaken in order to characterize the amount and location of water during fuel cell operation. First, in-situ neutron radiography was undertaken on the fuel cells at a normal operating temperature for various operating current densities, inlet relative humidities, and diffusion media hydrophobicities. It was found that more hydrophobic cathode microporous layer (MPL) or hydrophilic anode MPL may result in a larger amount of water transporting back to the anode. The water profiles along the channels were measured and the point of liquid water emergence, where two phase flow begins, was compared to previous models. Secondly, under subfreezing temperatures, neutron imaging showed that water ice product accumulates because of lack of a water removal mechanism. Water was observed under both the lands and channels, and increased almost linearly with time. It is found that most ice exists in the cathode side. With evidence from experimental observation, a cold start model was developed and explained, following existing approaches in the literature. Three stages of cold start are explained: membrane saturation, ice storage in catalyst layer pores, and then ice melting. The voltage losses due to temperature change, increased transport resistance, and reduced electrochemical surface area. The ionic conductivity of the membrane at subfreezing temperatures was modeled. Voltage evolution over time for isothermal cold starts was predicted and

  15. Cryptosporidia: epicellular parasites embraced by the host cell membrane.

    Valigurová, Andrea; Jirků, Miloslav; Koudela, Bretislav; Gelnar, Milan; Modrý, David; Slapeta, Jan


    The ultrastructure of two gastric cryptosporidia, Cryptosporidium muris from experimentally infected rodents (Mastomys natalensis) and Cryptosporidium sp. 'toad' from naturally infected toads (Duttaphrynus melanostictus), was studied using electron microscopy. Observations presented herein allowed us to map ultrastructural aspects of the cryptosporidian invasion process and the origin of a parasitophorous sac. Invading parasites attach to the host cell, followed by gradual envelopment, with the host's cell membrane folds, eventually forming the parasitophorous sac. Cryptosporidian developmental stages remain epicellular during the entire life cycle. The parasite development is illustrated in detail using high resolution field emission scanning electron microscopy. This provides a new insight into the ultrastructural detail of host-parasite interactions and species-specific differences manifested in frequency of detachment of the parasitophorous sac, radial folds of the parasitophorous sac and stem-formation of the parasitised host cell. PMID:18158154

  16. A theory for the membrane potential of cells

    Endresen, L P; Endresen, Lars Petter; Hall, Kevin


    We give an explicit formula for the membrane potential of cells in terms of the intracellular and extracellular ionic concentrations, and derive equations for the ionic currents that flow through channels, exchangers and electrogenic pumps based on simple energy considerations and conservation laws. We demonstrate that the work done by the pump is equal to the potential energy of the cell plus the energy loss due to the downhill ionic fluxes through the channels and the exchanger. Our equations predict osmotic pressure variations. The theory is illustrated in a simple model of spontaneously active cells in the cardiac pacemaker. The simulated action potential and the five currents in the model are in excellent agreement with experiments. The model predicts the experimental observed intracellular ionic concentration of potassium, calcium and sodium. We do not see any drift of the values for the concentrations in a long time simulation, instead we can obtain the same asymptotic values starting with equal intrac...

  17. Alterations of red cell membrane properties in neuroacanthocytosis.

    Claudia Siegl

    Full Text Available Neuroacanthocytosis (NA refers to a group of heterogenous, rare genetic disorders, namely chorea acanthocytosis (ChAc, McLeod syndrome (MLS, Huntington's disease-like 2 (HDL2 and pantothenate kinase associated neurodegeneration (PKAN, that mainly affect the basal ganglia and are associated with similar neurological symptoms. PKAN is also assigned to a group of rare neurodegenerative diseases, known as NBIA (neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation, associated with iron accumulation in the basal ganglia and progressive movement disorder. Acanthocytosis, the occurrence of misshaped erythrocytes with thorny protrusions, is frequently observed in ChAc and MLS patients but less prevalent in PKAN (about 10% and HDL2 patients. The pathological factors that lead to the formation of the acanthocytic red blood cell shape are currently unknown. The aim of this study was to determine whether NA/NBIA acanthocytes differ in their functionality from normal erythrocytes. Several flow-cytometry-based assays were applied to test the physiological responses of the plasma membrane, namely drug-induced endocytosis, phosphatidylserine exposure and calcium uptake upon treatment with lysophosphatidic acid. ChAc red cell samples clearly showed a reduced response in drug-induced endovesiculation, lysophosphatidic acid-induced phosphatidylserine exposure, and calcium uptake. Impaired responses were also observed in acanthocyte-positive NBIA (PKAN red cells but not in patient cells without shape abnormalities. These data suggest an "acanthocytic state" of the red cell where alterations in functional and interdependent membrane properties arise together with an acanthocytic cell shape. Further elucidation of the aberrant molecular mechanisms that cause this acanthocytic state may possibly help to evaluate the pathological pathways leading to neurodegeneration.

  18. An efficient method for introducing defined lipids into the plasma membrane of mammalian cells


    An efficient method has been devised to introduce lipid molecules into the plasma membrane of mammalian cells. This method has been applied to fuse lipid vesicles with the apical plasma membrane of Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. The cells were infected with fowl plague or influenza N virus. 4 h after infection, the hemagglutinin (HA) spike glycoprotein of the virus was present in the apical plasma membrane of the cells. Lipid vesicles containing egg phosphatidylcholine, cholesterol, and an ...

  19. Cell Spreading and Lamellipodial Extension Rate Is Regulated by Membrane Tension

    Raucher, Drazen; Sheetz, Michael P


    Cell spreading and motility require the extension of the plasma membrane in association with the assembly of actin. In vitro, extension must overcome resistance from tension within the plasma membrane. We report here that the addition of either amphiphilic compounds or fluorescent lipids that expanded the plasma membrane increased the rate of cell spreading and lamellipodial extension, stimulated new lamellipodial extensions, and caused a decrease in the apparent membrane tension. Further, in...

  20. Nafion and modified-Nafion membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells: An overview

    A K Sahu; S Pitchumani; P Sridhar; A K Shukla


    Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) employ membrane electrolytes for proton transport during the cell reaction. The membrane forms a key component of the PEFC and its performance is controlled by several physical parameters, viz. water up-take, ion-exchange capacity, proton conductivity and humidity. The article presents an overview on Nafion membranes highlighting their merits and demerits with efforts on modified-Nafion membranes.

  1. Linewidth narrowing for 31Phosphorus MRI of cell membranes

    Barrett, Sean; Frey, Merideth; Madri, Joseph; Michaud, Michael


    Most 31 P Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy studies of tissues try to avoid contamination by a relatively large, but broad, spectral feature attributed to cell membrane phospholipids. MRI using this broad 31 P membrane spectrum is not even attempted, since the spatial resolution and signal-to-noise would be poor, relative to conventional MRI using the narrow 1 H water spectrum. This long-standing barrier has been overcome by a novel pulse sequence, recently discovered in fundamental quantum computation research, which narrows the broad 31 P spectrum by ~ 1000 × . Applying time-dependent gradients in synch with a repeating pulse block enables a new route to high spatial resolution, 3D 31 P MRI of the soft solid components of cells and tissues. So far, intact and sectioned samples of ex vivo fixed mouse organs have been imaged, with (sub-mm)3 voxels. Extending the reach of MRI to broad spectra in natural and artificial tissues opens a new window into cells, enabling progress in biomedical research. W.J. Thoma et al., J. MR 61, 141 (1985); E.J. Murphy et al., MR Med 12, 282 (1989); R. McNamara et al., NMR Biomed 7, 237 (1994).

  2. Performance Degradation Tests of Phosphoric Acid Doped Polybenzimidazole Membrane Based High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Zhou, Fan; Araya, Samuel Simon; Grigoras, Ionela;


    Degradation tests of two phosphoric acid (PA) doped PBI membrane based HT-PEM fuel cells were reported in this paper to investigate the effects of start/stop and the presence of methanol in the fuel to the performance degradation of the HT-PEM fuel cell. Continuous tests with pure dry H2 and meth......Degradation tests of two phosphoric acid (PA) doped PBI membrane based HT-PEM fuel cells were reported in this paper to investigate the effects of start/stop and the presence of methanol in the fuel to the performance degradation of the HT-PEM fuel cell. Continuous tests with pure dry H2...

  3. Geometry of the Contact Zone between Fused Membrane-Coated Beads Mimicking Cell-Cell Fusion.

    Savić, Filip; Kliesch, Torben-Tobias; Verbeek, Sarah; Bao, Chunxiao; Thiart, Jan; Kros, Alexander; Geil, Burkhard; Janshoff, Andreas


    The fusion of lipid membranes is a key process in biology. It enables cells and organelles to exchange molecules with their surroundings, which otherwise could not cross the membrane barrier. To study such complex processes we use simplified artificial model systems, i.e., an optical fusion assay based on membrane-coated glass spheres. We present a technique to analyze membrane-membrane interactions in a large ensemble of particles. Detailed information on the geometry of the fusion stalk of fully fused membranes is obtained by studying the diffusional lipid dynamics with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. A small contact zone is a strong obstruction for the particle exchange across the fusion spot. With the aid of computer simulations, fluorescence-recovery-after-photobleaching recovery times of both fused and single-membrane-coated beads allow us to estimate the size of the contact zones between two membrane-coated beads. Minimizing delamination and bending energy leads to minimal angles close to those geometrically allowed. PMID:27224487

  4. Elisidepsin Interacts Directly with Glycosylceramides in the Plasma Membrane of Tumor Cells to Induce Necrotic Cell Death.

    José Manuel Molina-Guijarro

    Full Text Available Plasma membrane integrity is essential for cell life. Any major break on it immediately induces the death of the affected cell. Different molecules were described as disrupting this cell structure and thus showing antitumor activity. We have previously defined that elisidepsin (Irvalec®, PM02734 inserts and self-organizes in the plasma membrane of tumor cells, inducing a rapid loss of membrane integrity, cell permeabilization and necrotic death. Here we show that, in sensitive HCT-116 colorectal cells, all these effects are consequence of the interaction of elisidepsin with glycosylceramides in the cell membrane. Of note, an elisidepsin-resistant subline (HCT-116-Irv presented reduced levels of glycosylceramides and no accumulation of elisidepsin in the plasma membrane. Consequently, drug treatment did not induce the characteristic necrotic cell death. Furthermore, GM95, a mutant derivative from B16 mouse melanoma cells lacking ceramide glucosyltransferase (UGCG activity and thus the synthesis of glycosylceramides, was also resistant to elisidepsin. Over-expression of UGCG gene in these deficient cells restored glycosylceramides synthesis, rendering them sensitive to elisidepsin, at a similar level than parental B16 cells. These results indicate that glycosylceramides act as membrane targets of elisidepsin, facilitating its insertion in the plasma membrane and the subsequent membrane permeabilization that leads to drug-induced cell death. They also indicate that cell membrane lipids are a plausible target for antineoplastic therapy.

  5. Analysis of plasma membrane phosphoinositides from fusogenic carrot cells

    Phosphatidylinositol monophosphate (PIP) and phosphatidylinositol bisphosphate (PIP2) were found to be associated with the plasma membrane-rich fractions isolated by aqueous polymer two-phase partitioning from fusogenic cells. They represented at least 5% and 0.7% of the total inositol-labeled lipids in the plasma membrane-rich fractions, respectively, and were present in a ratio of about 7:1 (PIP:PIP2). In addition, two unidentified inositol-labeled compounds, which together were approximately 3% of the inositol-labeled lipids, were found predominantly in the plasma membrane-rich fractions and migrated between PIP2 and PIP. The R/sub f/s of these compounds were approximately 0.31 and 0.34 in the solvent system CHCl3:MeOH:15N NH4OH:H2O (90:90:7:22) using LK5 plates presoaked in 1% potassium oxalate. These compounds incorporated 32P/sub i/, (3H)inositol and were hydrolyzed in mild base. These data suggested that they were glycero-phospholipids. Although the compounds did not comigrate with lysoPIP obtained from bovine brain (R/sub f/ ∼ 0.35), when endogenous PIP was hydrolyzed to lysoPIP, the breakdown product migrated in the region of the unidentified inositol lipids

  6. Application of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell for Lift Trucks

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud


    has been investigated thermodynamically. The system includes a compressor, an air humidifier, set of heat exchangers and a stack which together build up the anode circuit, the cathode circuit and the cooling loop. Since fuel humidification is carried out via water cross over from cathode to anode...... equations are applied in order to account for water back diffusion. Further Membrane water content is assumed to be a linear function of thickness. PEM fuel cell is working at rather low operating conditions which makes it suitable for the automotive systems. In this paper motive power part of a lift truck...... conditions....

  7. Grafted polyelectrolyte membranes for lithium batteries and fuel cells

    Kerr, John B.


    Polyelectrolyte materials have been developed for lithium battery systems in response to the severe problems due to salt concentration gradients that occur in composite electrodes (aka membrane-electrode assemblies). Comb branch polymer architectures are described which allow for grafting of appropriate anions on to the polymer and also for cross-linking to provide for appropriate mechanical properties. The interactions of the polymers with the electrode surfaces are critical for the performance of the system and some of the structural features that influence this will be described. Parallels with the fuel cell MEA structures exist and will also be discussed.

  8. Grafting of Vinyl Pyrrolidone/Styrene onto Ethylene/Chlorotrifluoroethylene Membrane for Proton ExchangeMembrane Fuel Cell

    Highlights: • Gamma irradiation was used as a tool for membranes grafting. • Sty and VP were grafted ECTFE. • The membranes were characterized using; FT-IR, TGA and SEM. • The membranes were investigated for their ability into the PEMFCusing different techniques. • The highest fuel cell performance was at 75 °C and more durableup to 450 hours. - Abstract: Simultaneous gamma irradiation was proved to be an effective tool for ethylene/ chlorotrifluoroethylene grafting by styrene and vinyl pyrrolidone with different ratios. It was found that; the optimum grafting yield was 81% by using 40 kGy gamma irradiation dose when the binary monomers ratio was 1:1 (styrene: vinyl pyrrolidone). The grafted membranes were investigated for chemical structure by FT-IR and thermal properties by thermal gravimetric analysis. The mechanical properties were studied by measuring tensile strength while morphological structure was characterized by scanning electron microscope. The membranes’ free volume sizes were determined using positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS). Ion exchange capacity, water uptake and membranes thickness were investigated and proton conductivity was evaluated. The optimum temperature for attaining the maximum fuel cell performance was at 75 °C while it reduced by decreasing the temperature to 50 °C or increasing it to 85 °C. The fuel cell performance based highest yield of the grafted membrane was more durable than compressed Nr.118 (commercial membranes) up to 450 hours

  9. A Mathematical Model for Predicting the Life of PEM Fuel Cell Membranes Subjected to Hydration Cycling

    Burlatsky, S F; O'Neill, J; Atrazhev, V V; Varyukhin, A N; Dmitriev, D V; Erikhman, N S


    Under typical PEM fuel cell operating conditions, part of membrane electrode assembly is subjected to humidity cycling due to variation of inlet gas RH and/or flow rate. Cyclic membrane hydration/dehydration would cause cyclic swelling/shrinking of the unconstrained membrane. In a constrained membrane, it causes cyclic stress resulting in mechanical failure in the area adjacent to the gas inlet. A mathematical modeling framework for prediction of the lifetime of a PEM FC membrane subjected to hydration cycling is developed in this paper. The model predicts membrane lifetime as a function of RH cycling amplitude and membrane mechanical properties. The modeling framework consists of three model components: a fuel cell RH distribution model, a hydration/dehydration induced stress model that predicts stress distribution in the membrane, and a damage accrual model that predicts membrane life-time. Short descriptions of the model components along with overall framework are presented in the paper. The model was used...

  10. Adenosine-induced hyperpolarization of the membrane voltage in rat mesangial cells in primary culture.

    Pavenstädt, H. (Hermann); Ruh, J; Greger, R; Schollmeyer, P.


    1. The effect of adenosine on membrane voltage and ion currents was studied in rat mesangial cells in primary culture. Membrane voltage was measured with the patch clamp technique in the slow- or fast whole cell configuration. The resting membrane voltage of mesangial cells was -48 +/- 0.5 mV. Adenosine (10(-8)-10(-3) M) induced a sustained and concentration-dependent hyperpolarization of membrane voltage (ED50 approximately 6 x 10(-7) M). Adenosine (10(-5) M) hyperpolarized the membrane volt...