Sample records for cell membrane integrity

  1. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms. (United States)

    Jarsch, Iris K; Daste, Frederic; Gallop, Jennifer L


    Curving biological membranes establishes the complex architecture of the cell and mediates membrane traffic to control flux through subcellular compartments. Common molecular mechanisms for bending membranes are evident in different cell biological contexts across eukaryotic phyla. These mechanisms can be intrinsic to the membrane bilayer (either the lipid or protein components) or can be brought about by extrinsic factors, including the cytoskeleton. Here, we review examples of membrane curvature generation in animals, fungi, and plants. We showcase the molecular mechanisms involved and how they collaborate and go on to highlight contexts of curvature that are exciting areas of future research. Lessons from how membranes are bent in yeast and mammals give hints as to the molecular mechanisms we expect to see used by plants and protists.

  2. Influence of ethanolic extract of Tephrosia purpurea Linn. on mast cells and erythrocytes membrane integrity. (United States)

    Gokhale, A B; Dikshit, V J; Damre, A S; Kulkarni, K R; Saraf, M N


    The ethanolic extract of T. purpurea Linn. was studied for its in vitro effect on rat mast cell degranulation and erythrocyte membrane integrity in vitro. The extract in concentration of 25-200 microg/ml showed a dose-dependant inhibition of rat mast cell degranulation induded by compound 48/80 and egg albumin. T. purpurea extract was found to inhibit haemolysis of erythrocytes induced by hypotonic solution but accelerated haemolysis induced by heat at a concentration of 100 microg/ml. The studies reveal that the ethanolic extract of T. purpurea may inhibit degranulation of mast cells by a mechanism other than membrane stabilization.

  3. Yeast cell wall integrity sensors form specific plasma membrane microdomains important for signalling. (United States)

    Kock, Christian; Arlt, Henning; Ungermann, Christian; Heinisch, Jürgen J


    The cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae relies on the detection of cell surface stress by five sensors (Wsc1, Wsc2, Wsc3, Mid2, Mtl1). Each sensor contains a single transmembrane domain and a highly mannosylated extracellular region, and probably detects mechanical stress in the cell wall or the plasma membrane. We here studied the distribution of the five sensors at the cell surface by using fluorescently tagged variants in conjunction with marker proteins for established membrane compartments. We find that each of the sensors occupies a specific microdomain at the plasma membrane. The novel punctate 'membrane compartment occupied by Wsc1' (MCW) shows moderate overlap with other Wsc-type sensors, but not with those of the Mid-type sensors or other established plasma membrane domains. We further observed that sensor density and formation of the MCW compartment depends on the cysteine-rich head group near the N-terminus of Wsc1. Yet, signalling capacity depends more on the sensor density in the plasma membrane than on clustering within its microcompartment. We propose that the MCW microcompartment provides a quality control mechanism for retaining functional sensors at the plasma membrane to prevent them from endocytosis.

  4. Up against the wall: is yeast cell wall integrity ensured by mechanosensing in plasma membrane microdomains? (United States)

    Kock, Christian; Dufrêne, Yves F; Heinisch, Jürgen J


    Yeast cell wall integrity (CWI) signaling serves as a model of the regulation of fungal cell wall synthesis and provides the basis for the development of antifungal drugs. A set of five membrane-spanning sensors (Wsc1 to Wsc3, Mid2, and Mtl1) detect cell surface stress and commence the signaling pathway upon perturbations of either the cell wall structure or the plasma membrane. We here summarize the latest advances in the structure/function relationship primarily of the Wsc1 sensor and critically review the evidence that it acts as a mechanosensor. The relevance and physiological significance of the information obtained for the function of the other CWI sensors, as well as expected future developments, are discussed.

  5. Microbial responses to membrane cleaning using sodium hypochlorite in membrane bioreactors: Cell integrity, key enzymes and intracellular reactive oxygen species. (United States)

    Han, Xiaomeng; Wang, Zhiwei; Wang, Xueye; Zheng, Xiang; Ma, Jinxing; Wu, Zhichao


    Sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) is a commonly used reagent for membrane cleaning in membrane bioreactors (MBRs), while it, being a kind of disinfectant (oxidant), may impair viability of microbes or even totally inactivate them upon its diffusion into mixed liquor during membrane cleaning. In this study, we systematically examine the effects of NaClO on microorganisms in terms of microbial cell integrity, metabolism behaviours (key enzymes), and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) under various NaClO concentrations. Different proportions of microbial cells in activated sludge were damaged within several minutes dependent on NaClO dosages (5-50 mg/g-SS), and correspondingly organic matters were released to bulk solution. Inhibition of key enzymes involved in organic matter biodegradation, nitrification and denitrification was observed in the presence of NaClO above 1 mg/g-SS, and thus organic matter and nitrogen removal efficiencies were decreased. It was also demonstrated that intracellular ROS production was increased with the NaClO dosage higher than 1 mg/g-SS, which likely induced further damage to microbial cells.

  6. Further Improvement and System Integration of High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jens Oluf; Li, Qingfeng

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) technology based on Nafion membranes can operate at temperatures around 80°C. The new development in the field is high temperature PEMFC for operation above 100°C, which has been successfully demonstrated through the previous EC Joule III and the 5th......, and system integration of the high temperature PEMFC. The strategic developments of the FURIM are in three steps: (1) further improvement of the high temperature polymer membranes and related materials; (2) development of technological units including fuel cell stack, hydrocarbon reformer, afterburner...... and power management system, that are compatible with the HT-PEMFC; and (3) integration of the HT-PEMFC stack with these compatible subunits. The main goal of the project is a 2kWel HT-PEMFC stack operating in a temperature range of 120-220°C, with a single cell performance target of 0.7 A/cm² at a cell...

  7. Water management in proton exchange membrane fuel cells using integrated electroosmotic pumping (United States)

    Buie, Cullen R.; Posner, Jonathan D.; Fabian, Tibor; Cha, Suk-Won; Kim, Daejoong; Prinz, Fritz B.; Eaton, John K.; Santiago, Juan G.

    Recent experimental and numerical investigations on proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) emphasize water management as a critical factor in the design of robust, high efficiency systems. Although various water management strategies have been proposed, water is still typically removed by pumping air into cathode channels at flow rates significantly higher than required by fuel cell stoichiometry. Such methods are thermodynamically unfavorable and constrain cathode flow channel design. We have developed proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) with integrated planar electroosmotic (EO) pumping structures that actively remove liquid water from cathode flow channels. EO pumps can relieve cathode design barriers and facilitate efficient water management in fuel cells. EO pumps have no moving parts, scale appropriately with fuel cells, operate across a wide range of conditions, and consume a small fraction of fuel cell power. We demonstrate and quantify the efficacy of EO water pumping using controlled experiments in a single channel cathode flow structure. Our results show that, under certain operating conditions, removing water from the cathode using integrated EO pumping structures improves fuel cell performance and stability. The application of EO pumps for liquid water removal from PEMFC cathodes extends their operational range and reduces air flow rates.

  8. Water management in proton exchange membrane fuel cells using integrated electroosmotic pumping

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buie, Cullen R.; Posner, Jonathan D.; Fabian, Tibor; Cha, Suk-Won; Kim, Daejoong; Prinz, Fritz B.; Eaton, John K.; Santiago, Juan G. [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305 (United States)


    Recent experimental and numerical investigations on proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) emphasize water management as a critical factor in the design of robust, high efficiency systems. Although various water management strategies have been proposed, water is still typically removed by pumping air into cathode channels at flow rates significantly higher than required by fuel cell stoichiometry. Such methods are thermodynamically unfavorable and constrain cathode flow channel design. We have developed proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) with integrated planar electroosmotic (EO) pumping structures that actively remove liquid water from cathode flow channels. EO pumps can relieve cathode design barriers and facilitate efficient water management in fuel cells. EO pumps have no moving parts, scale appropriately with fuel cells, operate across a wide range of conditions, and consume a small fraction of fuel cell power. We demonstrate and quantify the efficacy of EO water pumping using controlled experiments in a single channel cathode flow structure. Our results show that, under certain operating conditions, removing water from the cathode using integrated EO pumping structures improves fuel cell performance and stability. The application of EO pumps for liquid water removal from PEMFC cathodes extends their operational range and reduces air flow rates. (author)

  9. Eugenol alters the integrity of cell membrane and acts against the nosocomial pathogen Proteus mirabilis. (United States)

    Devi, K Pandima; Sakthivel, R; Nisha, S Arif; Suganthy, N; Pandian, S Karutha


    Eugenol, a member of the phenylpropanoids class of chemical compounds, is a clear to pale yellow oily liquid extracted from certain essential oils especially from clove oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and bay leaf. The antibacterial activity of eugenol and its mechanism of bactericidal action against Proteus mirabilis were evaluated. Treatment with eugenol at their minimum inhibitory concentration [0.125 % (v/v)] and minimum bactericidal concentration [0.25 % (v/v)] reduced the viability and resulted in complete inhibition of P. mirabilis. A strong bactericidal effect on P. mirabilis was also evident, as eugenol inactivated the bacterial population within 30 min exposure. Chemo-attractant property and the observance of highest antibacterial activity at alkaline pH suggest that eugenol can work more effectively when given in vivo. Eugenol inhibits the virulence factors produced by P. mirabilis as observed by swimming motility, swarming behavior and urease activity. It interacts with cellular membrane of P. mirabilis and makes it highly permeable, forming nonspecific pores on plasma membrane, which in turn directs the release of 260 nm absorbing materials and uptake of more crystal violet from the medium into the cells. SDS-polyacrylamide gel, scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared analysis further proves the disruptive action of eugenol on the plasma membrane of P. mirabilis. The findings reveal that eugenol shows an excellent bactericidal activity against P. mirabilis by altering the integrity of cell membrane.

  10. Evaluation of hydrogen production and internal resistance in forward osmosis membrane integrated microbial electrolysis cells. (United States)

    Lee, Mi-Young; Kim, Kyoung-Yeol; Yang, Euntae; Kim, In S


    In order to enhance hydrogen production by facilitated proton transport through a forward osmosis (FO) membrane, the FO membrane was integrated into microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). An improved hydrogen production rate was obtained in the FO-MEC (12.5±1.84×10(-3)m(3)H2/m(3)/d) compared to that of the cation exchange membrane (CEM) - MEC (4.42±0.04×10(-3)m(3)H2/m(3)/d) during batch tests (72h). After an internal resistance analysis, it was confirmed that the enhanced hydrogen production in FO-MEC was attributed to the smaller charge transfer resistance than in the CEM-MEC (90.3Ω and 133.4Ω respectively). The calculation of partial internal resistance concluded that the transport resistance can be substantially reduced by replacing a CEM with a FO membrane; decrease of the resistance from 0.069Ωm(2) to 5.99×10(-4)Ωm(2).

  11. Micro direct methanol fuel cell with perforated silicon-plate integrated ionomer membrane

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jackie Vincent; Dalslet, Bjarke Thomas; Johansson, Anne-Charlotte Elisabeth Birgitta


    This article describes the fabrication and characterization of a silicon based micro direct methanol fuel cell using a Nafion ionomer membrane integrated into a perforated silicon plate. The focus of this work is to provide a platform for micro- and nanostructuring of a combined current collector...... at a perforation ratio of 40.3%. The presented fuel cells also show a high volumetric peak power density of 2 mW cm−3 in light of the small system volume of 480 μL, while being fully self contained and passively feed....... and catalytic electrode. AC impedance spectroscopy is utilized alongside IV characterization to determine the influence of the plate perforation geometries on the cell performance. It is found that higher ratios of perforation increases peak power density, with the highest achieved being 2.5 mW cm−2...

  12. Further Improvement and System Integration of High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf

    The strategic developments of the FURIM are in three steps: (1) further improvement of the high temperature polymer membranes and related materials; (2) development of technological units including fuel cell stack, hydrocarbon reformer and afterburner, that are compatible with the HT-PEMFC; and (3......) integration of the HT-PEMFC stack with these compatible subunits. The main goal of the project is a 2kWel HT-PEMFC stack operating in a temperature range of 150-200°C, with a single cell performance target of 0.7 A/cm² at a cell voltage around 0.6 V. The target durability is more than 5,000 hours...

  13. Further Improvement and System Integration of High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf

    The new development in the field of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is high temperature PEMFC for operation above 100°C, which has been successfully demonstrated through the previous EC Joule III and the 5th framework programme. New challenges are encountered, bottlenecks for the new...... of the FURIM are in three steps: (1) further improvement of the high temperature polymer membranes and related materials; (2) development of technological units including fuel cell stack, hydrocarbon reformer and afterburner, that are compatible with the HT-PEMFC; and (3) integration of the HT-PEMFC stack...... with these compatible subunits. The main goal of the project is a 2kWel HT-PEMFC stack operating in a temperature range of 150-200°C, with a single cell performance target of 0.7 A/cm² at a cell voltage around 0.6 V. The target durability is more than 5,000 hours. A hydrocarbon reformer and a catalytic burner...

  14. Anti-Candida activity of geraniol involves disruption of cell membrane integrity and function. (United States)

    Sharma, Y; Khan, L A; Manzoor, N


    Candidiasis is a major problem in immunocompromised patients. Candida, an opportunistic fungal pathogen, is a major health concern today as conventional drugs are highly toxic with undesirable side effects. Their fungistatic nature is responsible for drug resistance in continuously evolving strains. Geraniol, an acyclic monoterpene alcohol, is a component of several plant essential oils. In the present study, an attempt has been made to understand the antifungal activity of geraniol at the cell membrane level in three Candida species. With an MIC of 30-130μg/mL, this natural compound was fungicidal at concentrations 2×MIC. There was complete suppression of fungal growth at MIC values (growth curves) and encouragingly geraniol is non-toxic even at the concentrations approaching 5×MIC (hemolysis assay). Exposed cells showed altered morphology, wherein the cells appeared either broken or shrivelled up (SEM studies). Significant reduction was seen in ergosterol levels at sub-MIC and glucose-induced H(+) efflux at concentrations>MIC values. Our results suggest that geraniol disrupts cell membrane integrity by interfering with ergosterol biosynthesis and inhibiting the very crucial PM-ATPase. It may hence be used in the management and treatment of both superficial and invasive candidiasis but further studies are required to elaborate its mode of action.

  15. Hemorrhagic shock impairs myocardial cell volume regulation and membrane integrity in dogs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horton, J.W.


    An in vitro myocardial slice technique was used to quantitate alterations in cell volume regulation and membrane integrity after 2 h or hemorrhagic shock. After in vitro incubation in Krebs-Ringer-phosphate medium containing trace (/sup 14/C)inulin, values (ml H/sub 2/O/g dry wt) for control nonshocked myocardial slices were 4.03 /plus minus/ 0.11 (SE) for total water, 2.16 /plus minus/ 0.07 for inulin impermeable space, and 1.76 /plus minus/ 0.15 for inulin diffusible space. Shocked myocardial slices showed impaired response to cold incubation. After 2 h of in vivo shock, total tissue water, inulin diffusible space, and inulin impermeable space increased significantly for subendocardium, whereas changes in subepicardium parameters were minimal. Shock-induced cellular swelling was accompanied by an increased total tissue sodium, but no change in tissue potassium. Calcium entry blockade in vivo significantly reduced subendocardial total tissue water as compared with shock-untreated dogs. In addition, calcium entry blockade reduced shock-induced increases in inulin diffusible space. In vitro myocardial slice studies confirm alterations in subendocardial membrane integrity after 2 h of in vivo hemorrhagic shock. Shock-induced abnormalities in myocardial cell volume regulation are reduced by calcium entry blockade in vivo.

  16. Lysosomal enlargement and lysosomal membrane destabilisation in mussel digestive cells measured by an integrative index

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izagirre, Urtzi [Cell Biology in Environmental Toxicology Research Group, Department of Zoology and Cell Biology, School of Sciences and Technology, University of the Basque Country, P.O. box 644, E-48080 Bilbo (Spain); Marigomez, Ionan, E-mail: ionan.marigomez@ehu.e [Cell Biology in Environmental Toxicology Research Group, Department of Zoology and Cell Biology, School of Sciences and Technology, University of the Basque Country, P.O. box 644, E-48080 Bilbo (Spain)


    Lysosomal responses (enlargement and membrane destabilisation) in mussel digestive cells are well-known environmental stress biomarkers in pollution effects monitoring in marine ecosystems. Presently, in laboratory and field studies, both responses were measured separately (in terms of lysosomal volume density - Vv - and labilisation period -LP) and combined (lysosomal response index - LRI) in order to contribute to their understanding and to develop an index useful for decisions makers. LRI integrates Vv and LP, which are not necessarily dependent lysosomal responses. It is unbiased and more sensitive than Vv and LP alone and diminishes background due to confounding factors. LRI provides a simple numerical index (consensus reference = 0; critical threshold = 1) directly related to the pollution impact degree. Moreover, LRI can be represented in a way that allows the interpretation of lysosomal responses, which is useful for environmental scientists. - Lysosomal responses to pollutants measured by an integrative index.

  17. Effects of two copper compounds on Microcystis aeruginosa cell density, membrane integrity, and microcystin release. (United States)

    Tsai, Kuo-Pei


    Microcystin release following Microcystis aeruginosa cell lysis after copper-based algaecide treatment is often cited as a concern leading to restricted use of algaecide in restoration of natural water resources. To examine this concern, bench-scale experiments were conducted to study responses of M. aeruginosa to 8-day copper exposures as copper sulfate and copper-ethanolamine (Cu-EA). M. aeruginosa UTEX 2385 was cultured in BG11 medium to cell density of 10(6)cells/mL with total and extracellular microcystin of 93 and 53μg/L, respectively. Exposures of copper concentration ranged from 40 to 1000μgCu/L. Cell membrane integrity was indicated by erythrosine B. In the end of experiment, total microcystin and cell density in untreated control (313μg/L and 10(7)cells/mL) was 3.3 and 10 times greater than pretreatment value, respectively. Minimum amount of copper required to reduce M. aeruginosa population within 8 days was 160μgCu/L as copper sulfate and 80μgCu/L as Cu-EA, where total and extracellular microcystin concentrations (47 and 44μg/L for copper sulfate; 56 and 44μg/L for Cu-EA) were degraded with degradation rate coefficient 0.1 day(-1) and were less than pretreatment values. Given a copper concentration at 80µgCu/L as Cu-EA, M. aeruginosa cells were intact and less microcystin were released compared to treatments at 160-1000µgCu/L, where lysed cells and relatively greater microcystin release were observed. Based on the laboratory results, a minimum amount of copper required for reducing M. aeruginosa population could decrease total microcystin concentration and not compromise cells and minimize microcystin release.

  18. A micropatterned cell array with an integrated oxygen-sensitive fluorescent membrane. (United States)

    Montagne, Kevin; Komori, Kikuo; Yang, Fei; Tatsuma, Tetsu; Fujii, Teruo; Sakai, Yasuyuki


    We propose a simple method for producing micropatterned cell spots by photocatalytic lithography on a Pt porphyrin-based oxygen-sensitive polystyrene membrane that enables real-time imaging of oxygen consumption of patterned cell spots with sub-millimetre resolution.

  19. Effect of integral proteins in the phase stability of a lipid bilayer: Application to raft formation in cell membranes (United States)

    Gómez, Jordi; Sagués, Francesc; Reigada, Ramon


    The existence of lipid rafts is a controversial issue. The affinity of cholesterol for saturated lipids is manifested in macroscopic phase separation in model membranes, and is believed to be the thermodynamic driving force for raft formation. However, there is no clear reason to explain the small (nanometric) size of raft domains in cell membranes. In a recent paper Yethiraj and Weisshaar [Biophys. J. 93, 3113 (2007)] proposed that the effect of neutral integral membrane proteins may prevent from the formation of large lipid domains. In this paper we extend this approach by studying the effect of the protein size, as well as the lipid-protein interaction. Depending on these factors, two different mechanisms for nanodomain stabilization are shown to be possible for static proteins. The application of these results to a biological context is discussed.

  20. Determination of the temperature-dependent cell membrane permeabilities using microfluidics with integrated flow and temperature control. (United States)

    Fang, Cifeng; Ji, Fujun; Shu, Zhiquan; Gao, Dayong


    We developed an integrated microfluidic platform for instantaneous flow and localized temperature control. The platform consisted of a flow-focusing region for sample delivery and a cross-junction region embedded with a microheater for cell trapping and localized temperature control by using an active feedback control system. We further used it to measure the membrane transport properties of Jurkat cells, including the osmotically inactive cell volume (Vb) and cell membrane permeabilities to water (Lp) and to cryoprotective agent (CPA) solutions (dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in this study) (PS) at various temperatures (room temperature, 30 °C, and 37 °C). Such characteristics of cells are of great importance in many applications, especially in optimal cryopreservation. With the results, the corresponding activation energy for water and CPA transport was calculated. The comparison of the results from the current study with reference data indicates that the developed platform is a reliable tool for temperature-dependent cell behavior study, which provides valuable tools for general cell manipulation applications with precise temperature control.

  1. Composite membrane with integral rim (United States)

    Routkevitch, Dmitri; Polyakov, Oleg G


    Composite membranes that are adapted for separation, purification, filtration, analysis, reaction and sensing. The composite membranes can include a porous support structure having elongate pore channels extending through the support structure. The composite membrane also includes an active layer comprising an active layer material, where the active layer material is completely disposed within the pore channels between the surfaces of the support structure. The active layer is intimately integrated within the support structure, thus enabling great robustness, reliability, resistance to mechanical stress and thermal cycling, and high selectivity. Methods for the fabrication of composite membranes are also provided.

  2. Effectiveness of heat-integrated methanol steam reformer and polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack systems for portable applications (United States)

    Lotrič, A.; Sekavčnik, M.; Hočevar, S.


    Efficiently combining proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack with methanol steam reformer (MSR) into a small portable system is still quite a topical issue. Using methanol as a fuel in PEMFC stack includes a series of chemical processes where each proceeds at a unique temperature. In a combined MSR-PEMFC-stack system with integrated auxiliary fuel processors (vaporizer, catalytic combustor, etc.) the processes are both endothermic and exothermic hence their proper thermal integration can help raising the system efficiency. A concept of such fully integrated and compact system is proposed in this study. Three separate systems are designed based on different PEMFC stacks and MSR. Low-temperature (LT) and conventional high-temperature (cHT) PEMFC stack characteristics are based on available data from suppliers. Also, a novel high-temperature (nHT) PEMFC stack is proposed because its operating temperature coincides with that of MSR. A comparative study of modelled systems is performed using a mass and energy balances zero-dimensional model, which is interdependently coupled to a physical model based on finite element method (FEM). The results indicate that a system with nHT PEMFC stack is feasible and has the potential to reach higher system efficiencies than systems with LT or cHT PEMFC stacks.

  3. High Efficiency Solar Integrated Roof Membrane Product

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Partyka, Eric; Shenoy, Anil


    This project was designed to address the Solar Energy Technology Program objective, to develop new methods to integrate photovoltaic (PV) cells or modules within a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) application that will result in lower installed cost as well as higher efficiencies of the encapsulated/embedded PV module. The technology assessment and development focused on the evaluation and identification of manufacturing technologies and equipment capable of producing such low-cost, high-efficiency, flexible BIPV solar cells on single-ply roofing membranes.

  4. Membrane Cells for Brine Electrolysis. (United States)

    Tingle, M.


    Membrane cells were developed as alternatives to mercury and diaphragm cells for the electrolysis of brine. Compares the three types of cells, focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of membrane cells. (JN)

  5. A Procedure-Spanning Analysis of Plasma Membrane Integrity for Assessment of Cell Viability in Sperm Cryopreservation of Zebrafish Danio rerio. (United States)

    Yang, Huiping; Daly, Jonathan; Carmichael, Carrie; Matthews, Jen; Varga, Zoltan M; Tiersch, Terrence


    The goal of this study was to evaluate plasma membrane integrity and motility for zebrafish sperm quality assessment along the cryopreservation pathway-from sample collection through refrigerated storage, cryoprotectant equilibration, freezing, thawing, and fertilization. The objectives were to: (1) evaluate the effects of osmolality, extender, and refrigerated storage on sperm plasma membrane integrity and motility, and (2) compare cryopreservation of sperm from farm-raised and well-characterized research populations by evaluating motility and membrane integrity of fresh, post-equilibration (before freezing) and post-thaw sperm, and post-thaw fertility. Osmolality, extender, and storage time each influenced sperm motility and membrane integrity. Isotonic osmolality showed the best protection for motility and membrane integrity compared to hypotonic and hypertonic osmolalities. Of the four tested extenders, Hanks' balanced salt solution (HBSS) and Ca(2+)-free HBSS showed the best protection compared with NaCl and glucose, and sperm retained motility and membrane integrity for 24 h of refrigerated storage. Sperm cryopreservation of zebrafish from a farm population (n = 20) and an AB research line (n = 20) showed significant differences in post-thaw fertility (32% ± 18% vs. 73% ± 21%). No differences were found in post-thaw motility, although the farm-raised zebrafish possessed a larger body size, testis weight, and higher fresh motility. Correlation analysis of pooled data did not identify correlations among motility, flow cytometry analysis of membrane integrity and recognizable cells, and post-thaw sperm fertility (p ≥ 0.202). More research is needed to standardize the fertilization conditions especially sperm-to-egg ratio to avoid possible overabundance of sperm to obscure the differences.

  6. The cell-free integration of a polytopic mitochondrial membrane protein into liposomes occurs cotranslationally and in a lipid-dependent manner.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley R Long

    Full Text Available The ADP/ATP Carrier (AAC is the most abundant transporter of the mitochondrial inner membrane. The central role that this transporter plays in cellular energy production highlights the importance of understanding its structure, function, and the basis of its pathologies. As a means of preparing proteoliposomes for the study of membrane proteins, several groups have explored the use of cell-free translation systems to facilitate membrane protein integration directly into preformed unilamellar vesicles without the use of surfactants. Using AAC as a model, we report for the first time the detergent-free reconstitution of a mitochondrial inner membrane protein into liposomes using a wheat germ-based in vitro translation system. Using a host of independent approaches, we demonstrate the efficient integration of AAC into vesicles with an inner membrane-mimetic lipid composition and, more importantly, that the integrated AAC is functionally active in transport. By adding liposomes at different stages of the translation reaction, we show that this direct integration is obligatorily cotranslational, and by synthesizing stable ribosome-bound nascent chain intermediates, we show that the nascent AAC polypeptide interacts with lipid vesicles while ribosome-bound. Finally, we show that the presence of the phospholipid cardiolipin in the liposomes specifically enhances AAC translation rate as well as the efficiency of vesicle association and integration. In light of these results, the possible mechanisms of liposome-assisted membrane protein integration during cell-free translation are discussed with respect to the mode of integration and the role of specific lipids.

  7. Analysis of the control structures for an integrated ethanol processor for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biset, S.; Nieto Deglioumini, L.; Basualdo, M. [GIAIP-CIFASIS (UTN-FRRo-CONICET-UPCAM-UNR), BV. 27 de Febrero 210 Bis, S2000EZP Rosario (Argentina); Garcia, V.M.; Serra, M. [Institut de Robotica i Informatica Industrial, C. Llorens i Artigas 4-6, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)


    The aim of this work is to investigate which would be a good preliminary plantwide control structure for the process of Hydrogen production from bioethanol to be used in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) accounting only steady-state information. The objective is to keep the process under optimal operation point, that is doing energy integration to achieve the maximum efficiency. Ethanol, produced from renewable feedstocks, feeds a fuel processor investigated for steam reforming, followed by high- and low-temperature shift reactors and preferential oxidation, which are coupled to a polymeric fuel cell. Applying steady-state simulation techniques and using thermodynamic models the performance of the complete system with two different control structures have been evaluated for the most typical perturbations. A sensitivity analysis for the key process variables together with the rigorous operability requirements for the fuel cell are taking into account for defining acceptable plantwide control structure. This is the first work showing an alternative control structure applied to this kind of process. (author)

  8. Analysis of the control structures for an integrated ethanol processor for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems (United States)

    Biset, S.; Nieto Deglioumini, L.; Basualdo, M.; Garcia, V. M.; Serra, M.

    The aim of this work is to investigate which would be a good preliminary plantwide control structure for the process of Hydrogen production from bioethanol to be used in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) accounting only steady-state information. The objective is to keep the process under optimal operation point, that is doing energy integration to achieve the maximum efficiency. Ethanol, produced from renewable feedstocks, feeds a fuel processor investigated for steam reforming, followed by high- and low-temperature shift reactors and preferential oxidation, which are coupled to a polymeric fuel cell. Applying steady-state simulation techniques and using thermodynamic models the performance of the complete system with two different control structures have been evaluated for the most typical perturbations. A sensitivity analysis for the key process variables together with the rigorous operability requirements for the fuel cell are taking into account for defining acceptable plantwide control structure. This is the first work showing an alternative control structure applied to this kind of process.

  9. Type IV Collagen Controls the Axogenesis of Cerebellar Granule Cells by Regulating Basement Membrane Integrity in Zebrafish. (United States)

    Takeuchi, Miki; Yamaguchi, Shingo; Yonemura, Shigenobu; Kakiguchi, Kisa; Sato, Yoshikatsu; Higashiyama, Tetsuya; Shimizu, Takashi; Hibi, Masahiko


    Granule cells (GCs) are the major glutamatergic neurons in the cerebellum, and GC axon formation is an initial step in establishing functional cerebellar circuits. In the zebrafish cerebellum, GCs can be classified into rostromedial and caudolateral groups, according to the locations of their somata in the corresponding cerebellar lobes. The axons of the GCs in the caudolateral lobes terminate on crest cells in the dorsal hindbrain, as well as forming en passant synapses with Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. In the zebrafish mutant shiomaneki, the caudolateral GCs extend aberrant axons. Positional cloning revealed that the shiomaneki (sio) gene locus encodes Col4a6, a subunit of type IV collagen, which, in a complex with Col4a5, is a basement membrane (BM) component. Both col4a5 and col4a6 mutants displayed similar abnormalities in the axogenesis of GCs and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Although type IV collagen is reported to control axon targeting by regulating the concentration gradient of an axonal guidance molecule Slit, Slit overexpression did not affect the GC axons. The structure of the BM surrounding the tectum and dorsal hindbrain was disorganized in the col4a5 and col4a6 mutants. Moreover, the abnormal axogenesis of the caudolateral GCs and the RGCs was coupled with aberrant BM structures in the type IV collagen mutants. The regrowth of GC axons after experimental ablation revealed that the original and newly formed axons displayed similar branching and extension abnormalities in the col4a6 mutants. These results collectively suggest that type IV collagen controls GC axon formation by regulating the integrity of the BM, which provides axons with the correct path to their targets.

  10. Type IV Collagen Controls the Axogenesis of Cerebellar Granule Cells by Regulating Basement Membrane Integrity in Zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miki Takeuchi


    Full Text Available Granule cells (GCs are the major glutamatergic neurons in the cerebellum, and GC axon formation is an initial step in establishing functional cerebellar circuits. In the zebrafish cerebellum, GCs can be classified into rostromedial and caudolateral groups, according to the locations of their somata in the corresponding cerebellar lobes. The axons of the GCs in the caudolateral lobes terminate on crest cells in the dorsal hindbrain, as well as forming en passant synapses with Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. In the zebrafish mutant shiomaneki, the caudolateral GCs extend aberrant axons. Positional cloning revealed that the shiomaneki (sio gene locus encodes Col4a6, a subunit of type IV collagen, which, in a complex with Col4a5, is a basement membrane (BM component. Both col4a5 and col4a6 mutants displayed similar abnormalities in the axogenesis of GCs and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs. Although type IV collagen is reported to control axon targeting by regulating the concentration gradient of an axonal guidance molecule Slit, Slit overexpression did not affect the GC axons. The structure of the BM surrounding the tectum and dorsal hindbrain was disorganized in the col4a5 and col4a6 mutants. Moreover, the abnormal axogenesis of the caudolateral GCs and the RGCs was coupled with aberrant BM structures in the type IV collagen mutants. The regrowth of GC axons after experimental ablation revealed that the original and newly formed axons displayed similar branching and extension abnormalities in the col4a6 mutants. These results collectively suggest that type IV collagen controls GC axon formation by regulating the integrity of the BM, which provides axons with the correct path to their targets.

  11. Ophiobolin A from Bipolaris oryzae Perturbs Motility and Membrane Integrities of Porcine Sperm and Induces Cell Death on Mammalian Somatic Cell Lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ottó Bencsik


    Full Text Available Bipolaris oryzae is a phytopathogenic fungus causing a brown spot disease in rice, and produces substance that strongly perturbs motility and membrane integrities of boar spermatozoa. The substance was isolated from the liquid culture of the fungal strain using extraction and a multi-step semi-preparative HPLC procedures. Based on the results of mass spectrometric and 2D NMR techniques, the bioactive molecule was identified as ophiobolin A, a previously described sesterterpene-type compound. The purified ophiobolin A exhibited strong motility inhibition and viability reduction on boar spermatozoa. Furthermore, it damaged the sperm mitochondria significantly at sublethal concentration by the dissipation of transmembrane potential in the mitochondrial inner membrane, while the plasma membrane permeability barrier remained intact. The study demonstrated that the cytotoxicity of ophiobolin A toward somatic cell lines is higher by 1–2 orders of magnitude compared to other mitochondriotoxic mycotoxins, and towards sperm cells unique by replacing the progressive motility by shivering tail beating at low exposure concentration.

  12. Terpenoids inhibit Candida albicans growth by affecting membrane integrity and arrest of cell cycle. (United States)

    Zore, Gajanan B; Thakre, Archana D; Jadhav, Sitaram; Karuppayil, S Mohan


    Anti-Candida potential of six terpenoids were evaluated in this study against various isolates of Candida albicans (n=39) and non-C. albicans (n=9) that are differentially susceptible to fluconazole. All the six terpenoids tested, showed excellent activity and were equally effective against isolates of Candida sps., tested in this study. Linalool and citral were the most effective ones, inhibiting all the isolates at ≤0.064% (v/v). Five among the six terpenoids tested were fungicidal. Time dependent kill curve assay showed that MFCs of linalool and eugenol were highly toxic to C. albicans, killing 99.9% inoculum within seven min of exposure, while that of citronellal, linalyl acetate and citral required 15min, 1h and 2h, respectively. FIC index values (Linalool - 0.140, benzyl benzoate - 0.156, eugenol - 0.265, citral - 0.281 and 0.312 for linalyl acetate and citronellal) and isobologram obtained by checker board assay showed that all the six terpenoids tested exhibit excellent synergistic activity with fluconazole against a fluconazole resistant strain of C. albicans. Terpenoids tested arrested C. albicans cells at different phases of the cell cycle i.e. linalool and LA at G1, citral and citronellal at S phase and benzyl benzoate at G2-M phase and induced apoptosis. Linalool, citral, citronellal and benzyl benzoate caused more than 50% inhibition of germ tube induction at 0.008%, while eugenol and LA required 0.032 and 0.016% (v/v) concentrations, respectively. MICs of all the terpenoids for the C. albicans growth were non toxic to HeLa cells. Terpenoids tested exhibited excellent activity against C. albicans yeast and hyphal form growth at the concentrations that are non toxic to HeLa cells. Terpenoids tested in this study may find use in antifungal chemotherapy, not only as antifungal agents but also as synergistic agents along with conventional drugs like fluconazole.

  13. Characterisation of micro direct methanol fuel cells with silicon plate supported integrated ionomer membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jackie Vincent; Dalslet, Bjarke Thomas; Kallesee, C.


    This work deals with the investigation and fabrication of Micro Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (μDMFC). They are investigated as a possible alternative for zinc-air batteries in small size consumer devices such as hearing aids. In such devices the conventional rechargeable batteries such as lithium......-ion batteries have insufficiently low energy density in the range 240 Wh/L to 300 Wh/L Methanol is a promising fuel for such devices due to the high energy density, with pure methanol having an energy density of 4400 Wh/L. Using a liquid fuel also allows refueling, which can be achieved much faster than battery...

  14. Biological Fuel Cells and Membranes. (United States)

    Ghassemi, Zahra; Slaughter, Gymama


    Biofuel cells have been widely used to generate bioelectricity. Early biofuel cells employ a semi-permeable membrane to separate the anodic and cathodic compartments. The impact of different membrane materials and compositions has also been explored. Some membrane materials are employed strictly as membrane separators, while some have gained significant attention in the immobilization of enzymes or microorganisms within or behind the membrane at the electrode surface. The membrane material affects the transfer rate of the chemical species (e.g., fuel, oxygen molecules, and products) involved in the chemical reaction, which in turn has an impact on the performance of the biofuel cell. For enzymatic biofuel cells, Nafion, modified Nafion, and chitosan membranes have been used widely and continue to hold great promise in the long-term stability of enzymes and microorganisms encapsulated within them. This article provides a review of the most widely used membrane materials in the development of enzymatic and microbial biofuel cells.

  15. Bilayer-thickness-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins

    CERN Document Server

    Kahraman, Osman; Klug, William S; Haselwandter, Christoph A


    Hydrophobic thickness mismatch between integral membrane proteins and the surrounding lipid bilayer can produce lipid bilayer thickness deformations. Experiment and theory have shown that protein-induced lipid bilayer thickness deformations can yield energetically favorable bilayer-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins, and large-scale organization of integral membrane proteins into protein clusters in cell membranes. Within the continuum elasticity theory of membranes, the energy cost of protein-induced bilayer thickness deformations can be captured by considering compression and expansion of the bilayer hydrophobic core, membrane tension, and bilayer bending, resulting in biharmonic equilibrium equations describing the shape of lipid bilayers for a given set of bilayer-protein boundary conditions. Here we develop a combined analytic and numerical methodology for the solution of the equilibrium elastic equations associated with protein-induced lipid bilayer deformations. Our methodology al...

  16. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    CERN Document Server

    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

  17. Linking Cellular Mechanisms to Behavior: Entorhinal Persistent Spiking and Membrane Potential Oscillations May Underlie Path Integration, Grid Cell Firing, and Episodic Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael E. Hasselmo


    Full Text Available The entorhinal cortex plays an important role in spatial memory and episodic memory functions. These functions may result from cellular mechanisms for integration of the afferent input to entorhinal cortex. This article reviews physiological data on persistent spiking and membrane potential oscillations in entorhinal cortex then presents models showing how both these cellular mechanisms could contribute to properties observed during unit recording, including grid cell firing, and how they could underlie behavioural functions including path integration. The interaction of oscillations and persistent firing could contribute to encoding and retrieval of trajectories through space and time as a mechanism relevant to episodic memory.

  18. Cell Membrane Softening in Cancer Cells (United States)

    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.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.Abbas, S. M. H. Andrabiand N. Ahmad


    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to find out the minimum number of sperm cells per dose of insemination that will not affect the conception rate, if levels of egg yolk and glycerol are increased. For this purpose, sperm motion characteristics and plasma membrane integrity in three concentrations of sperm cells per dose, each with two levels of egg yolk and glycerol were compared. Semen was collected from buffalo bulls using an artificial vagina. Split pool ejaculates possessing more than 60% visual sperm motility were diluted in Tris-citric acid (TCA extender at 37°C, either in (1 30-6-20 (Number of sperm cells in millions/0.5 ml insemi1:1ation dose-Glycerol%-Egg yolk %,(2 15-6-20, (3 7.5-6-20, (4 30-10- 20, (5 15-10-20, (6 7.5-10-20, (7 30-6-30, (8 15-6-30, (9 7.5-6-30, (10 30-10-30, (11 15-10-30 and (12 7.5-10-30. Semen was cooled to 4°C in 2 hours, equilibrated at 4aC for 4 hours, filled in 0.5 ml straws and frozen in a programmable cell freezer ( + 4 to -15°C @ -3°C/minute and then to -80°C@ -10°C/minute before plunging them into liquid nitrogen (-196°C. Thawing of frozen semen was performed after 24 hours at 37°C for 15 seconds. Sperm motion characteristics, including motilities (computer-assisted, linear and circular, velocities (straight-line, average path and curvilinear, and lateral head displacement (LHD were assessed using computer assisted semen analyzer (CASA. Plasma membrane integrity was determined by using Hypo-Osmotic Swelling assay (HOS. Analysis of variance revealed that visual motility, computer-assisted motility, linear motility, circular motility, and plasma membrane integrity did not vary significantly when cell number was reduced from 30x106/dose to 15x106/dose. However, visual motility, computer-assisted motility and plasma membrane integrity were reduced significantly (P<0.05 when cell number was decreased to 7.5x106/dose. The velocities (straight- line, average path, curvilinear and LHD did not vary

  20. Model cell membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  1. Effect of salt on cell viability and membrane integrity of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacterium longum as observed by flow cytometry. (United States)

    Gandhi, Akanksha; Shah, Nagendra P


    The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of varying sodium chloride concentrations (0-5%) on viability and membrane integrity of three probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Bifidobacterium longum, using conventional technique and flow cytometry. Double staining of cells by carboxyfluorescein diacetate (cFDA) and propidium iodide (PI) enabled to evaluate the effect of NaCl on cell esterase activity and membrane integrity. Observations from conventional culture technique were compared with findings from flow cytometric analysis on the metabolic activities of the cells and a correlation was observed between culturability and dye extrusion ability of L. casei and B. longum. However, a certain population of L. acidophilus was viable as per the plate count method but its efflux activity was compromised. Esterase activity of most bacteria reduced significantly (P < 0.05) during one week storage at NaCl concentrations greater than 3.5%. The study revealed that L. casei was least affected by higher NaCl concentrations among the three probiotic bacteria, as opposed to B. longum where the cF extrusion performance was greatly reduced during 1 wk storage. The metabolic activity and salt resistance of L. casei was found to be highest among the bacteria studied.

  2. Behaviour of Saccharomyces cerevisiae wine strains during adaptation to unfavourable conditions of fermentation on synthetic medium: cell lipid composition, membrane integrity, viability and fermentative activity. (United States)

    Mannazzu, Ilaria; Angelozzi, Daniele; Belviso, Simona; Budroni, Marilena; Farris, Giovanni Antonio; Goffrini, Paola; Lodi, Tiziana; Marzona, Mario; Bardi, Laura


    During must fermentation wine strains are exposed to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses which, when prevailing over the cellular defence systems, can affect cell viability with negative consequences on the progression of the fermentative process. To investigate the ability of wine strains to survive and adapt to unfavourable conditions of fermentation, the lipid composition, membrane integrity, cell viability and fermentative activity of three strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were analysed during hypoxic growth in a sugar-rich medium lacking lipid nutrients. These are stressful conditions, not unusual during must fermentation, which, by affecting lipid biosynthesis may exert a negative effect on yeast viability. The results obtained showed that the three strains were able to modulate cell lipid composition during fermentation. However, only two of them, which showed highest viability and membrane integrity at the end of the fermentation process, reached a fatty acid composition which seemed to be optimal for a successful adaptation. In particular, C16/TFA and UFA/TFA ratios, more than total lipid and ergosterol contents, seem to be involved in yeast adaptation.

  3. Lipid-protein nanodiscs for cell-free production of integral membrane proteins in a soluble and folded state: comparison with detergent micelles, bicelles and liposomes. (United States)

    Lyukmanova, E N; Shenkarev, Z O; Khabibullina, N F; Kopeina, G S; Shulepko, M A; Paramonov, A S; Mineev, K S; Tikhonov, R V; Shingarova, L N; Petrovskaya, L E; Dolgikh, D A; Arseniev, A S; Kirpichnikov, M P


    Production of integral membrane proteins (IMPs) in a folded state is a key prerequisite for their functional and structural studies. In cell-free (CF) expression systems membrane mimicking components could be added to the reaction mixture that promotes IMP production in a soluble form. Here lipid-protein nanodiscs (LPNs) of different lipid compositions (DMPC, DMPG, POPC, POPC/DOPG) have been compared with classical membrane mimicking media such as detergent micelles, lipid/detergent bicelles and liposomes by their ability to support CF synthesis of IMPs in a folded and soluble state. Three model membrane proteins of different topology were used: homodimeric transmembrane (TM) domain of human receptor tyrosine kinase ErbB3 (TM-ErbB3, 1TM); voltage-sensing domain of K(+) channel KvAP (VSD, 4TM); and bacteriorhodopsin from Exiguobacterium sibiricum (ESR, 7TM). Structural and/or functional properties of the synthesized proteins were analyzed. LPNs significantly enhanced synthesis of the IMPs in a soluble form regardless of the lipid composition. A partial disintegration of LPNs composed of unsaturated lipids was observed upon co-translational IMP incorporation. Contrary to detergents the nanodiscs resulted in the synthesis of ~80% active ESR and promoted correct folding of the TM-ErbB3. None of the tested membrane mimetics supported CF synthesis of correctly folded VSD, and the protocol of the domain refolding was developed. The use of LPNs appears to be the most promising approach to CF production of IMPs in a folded state. NMR analysis of (15)N-Ile-TM-ErbB3 co-translationally incorporated into LPNs shows the great prospects of this membrane mimetics for structural studies of IMPs produced by CF systems.


    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)


    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...... electrolyte membrane by hot-press. The fuel cell can operate at temperatures up to at least 200 °C with hydrogen-rich fuel containing high ratios of carbon monoxide such as 3 vol% carbon monoxide or more, compared to the carbon monoxide tolerance of 10-20 ppm level for Nafion$m(3)-based polymer electrolyte...

  5. Bilayer-thickness-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins. (United States)

    Kahraman, Osman; Koch, Peter D; Klug, William S; Haselwandter, Christoph A


    Hydrophobic thickness mismatch between integral membrane proteins and the surrounding lipid bilayer can produce lipid bilayer thickness deformations. Experiment and theory have shown that protein-induced lipid bilayer thickness deformations can yield energetically favorable bilayer-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins, and large-scale organization of integral membrane proteins into protein clusters in cell membranes. Within the continuum elasticity theory of membranes, the energy cost of protein-induced bilayer thickness deformations can be captured by considering compression and expansion of the bilayer hydrophobic core, membrane tension, and bilayer bending, resulting in biharmonic equilibrium equations describing the shape of lipid bilayers for a given set of bilayer-protein boundary conditions. Here we develop a combined analytic and numerical methodology for the solution of the equilibrium elastic equations associated with protein-induced lipid bilayer deformations. Our methodology allows accurate prediction of thickness-mediated protein interactions for arbitrary protein symmetries at arbitrary protein separations and relative orientations. We provide exact analytic solutions for cylindrical integral membrane proteins with constant and varying hydrophobic thickness, and develop perturbative analytic solutions for noncylindrical protein shapes. We complement these analytic solutions, and assess their accuracy, by developing both finite element and finite difference numerical solution schemes. We provide error estimates of our numerical solution schemes and systematically assess their convergence properties. Taken together, the work presented here puts into place an analytic and numerical framework which allows calculation of bilayer-mediated elastic interactions between integral membrane proteins for the complicated protein shapes suggested by structural biology and at the small protein separations most relevant for the crowded membrane

  6. Integrated Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC) with an anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) for low strength wastewater treatment, energy harvesting and water reclamation

    KAUST Repository

    Jimenez Sandoval, Rodrigo J.


    Shortage of potable water is a problem that affects many nations in the world and it will aggravate in a near future if pertinent actions are not carried out. Decrease in consumption, improvements in water distribution systems to avoid losses and more efficient water treatment processes are some actions that can be implemented to attack this problem. Membrane technology and biological processes are used in wastewater treatment to achieve high water quality standards. Some other technologies, besides water treatment, attempt to obtain energy from organic wastes present in water. In this study, a proof-of-concept was accomplished demonstrating that a Microbial Electrolysis Cell can be fully integrated with a Membrane Bioreactor to achieve wastewater treatment and harvest energy. Conductive hollow fiber membranes made of nickel functioned as both filter material for treated water reclamation and as a cathode to catalyze hydrogen production reaction. The produced hydrogen was subsequently converted into methane by hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Organic removal was 98.9% irrespective of operation mode. Maximum volumetric hydrogen production rate was 0.2 m3/m3d, while maximum current density achieved was 6.1 A/m2 (based on cathode surface area). Biofouling, an unavoidable phenomenon in traditional MBRs, can be minimized in this system through self-cleaning approach of hybrid membranes by hydrogen production. The increased rate of hydrogen evolution at high applied voltage (0.9 V) reduces the membrane fouling. Improvements can be done in the system to make it as a promising net energy positive technology for the low strength wastewater treatment.

  7. Cell-free production of integral membrane aspartic acid proteases reveals zinc-dependent methyltransferase activity of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa prepilin peptidase PilD (United States)

    Aly, Khaled A; Beebe, Emily T; Chan, Chi H; Goren, Michael A; Sepúlveda, Carolina; Makino, Shin-ichi; Fox, Brian G; Forest, Katrina T


    Integral membrane aspartic acid proteases are receiving growing recognition for their fundamental roles in cellular physiology of eukaryotes and prokaryotes, and may be medically important pharmaceutical targets. The Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa PilD and the archaeal Methanococcus voltae FlaK were synthesized in the presence of unilamellar liposomes in a cell-free translation system. Cosynthesis of PilD with its full-length substrate, PilA, or of FlaK with its full-length substrate, FlaB2, led to complete cleavage of the substrate signal peptides. Scaled-up synthesis of PilD, followed by solubilization in dodecyl-β-d-maltoside and chromatography, led to a pure enzyme that retained both of its known biochemical activities: cleavage of the PilA signal peptide and S-adenosyl methionine-dependent methylation of the mature pilin. X-ray fluorescence scans show for the first time that PilD is a zinc-binding protein. Zinc is required for the N-terminal methylation of the mature pilin, but not for signal peptide cleavage. Taken together, our work identifies the P. aeruginosa prepilin peptidase PilD as a zinc-dependent N-methyltransferase and provides a new platform for large-scale synthesis of PilD and other integral membrane proteases important for basic microbial physiology and virulence. PMID:23255525

  8. The Molecules of the Cell Membrane. (United States)

    Bretscher, Mark S.


    Cell membrane molecules form a simple, two-dimensional liquid controlling what enters and leaves the cell. Discusses cell membrane molecular architecture, plasma membranes, epithelial cells, cycles of endocytosis and exocytosis, and other topics. Indicates that some cells internalize, then recycle, membrane area equivalent to their entire surface…

  9. An Integrated Membrane Process for Butenes Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Melone


    Full Text Available Iso-butene is an important material for the production of chemicals and polymers. It can take part in various chemical reactions, such as hydrogenation, oxidation and other additions owing to the presence of a reactive double bond. It is usually obtained as a by-product of a petroleum refinery, by Fluidized Catalytic Cracking (FCC of naphtha or gas-oil. However, an interesting alternative to iso-butene production is n-butane dehydroisomerization, which allows the direct conversion of n-butane via dehydrogenation and successive isomerization. In this work, a simulation analysis of an integrated membrane system is proposed for the production and recovery of butenes. The dehydroisomerization of n-butane to iso-butene takes place in a membrane reactor where the hydrogen is removed from the reaction side with a Pd/Ag alloys membrane. Afterwards, the retentate and permeate post-processing is performed in membrane separation units for butenes concentration and recovery. Four different process schemes are developed. The performance of each membrane unit is analyzed by appropriately developed performance maps, to identify the operating conditions windows and the membrane permeation properties required to maximize the recovery of the iso-butene produced. An analysis of integrated systems showed a yield of butenes higher than the other reaction products with high butenes recovery in the gas separation section, with values of molar concentration between 75% and 80%.

  10. Membrane tension feedback on shape and motility of eukaryotic cells (United States)

    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.

  11. A microfluidic chip integrated with a high-density PDMS-based microfiltration membrane for rapid isolation and detection of circulating tumor cells. (United States)

    Fan, Xiaoyun; Jia, Chunping; Yang, Jun; Li, Gang; Mao, Hongju; Jin, Qinghui; Zhao, Jianlong


    Isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) by size exclusion is a widely researched technique that offers the advantage of capturing tumor cells without reliance on cell surface expression markers. In this work, we report the development of a novel polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane filter-based microdevice for rapid and highly efficient isolation of CTCs from peripheral blood. A precise and highly porous PDMS microfilter was fabricated and integrated into the microfiltration chip by combining a sacrificial transferring film with a sandwich molding method. We achieved >90% recovery when isolating lung cancer cells from spiked blood samples, with a relatively high processing throughput of 10 mL/h. In contrast to existing CTC filtration systems, which rely on low-porosity track-etch filters or expensive lithography-based filters, our microfiltration chip does not require complex e-beam lithography or the reactive ion etching process, therefore it offers a low-cost alternative tool for highly efficient CTC enrichment and in situ analysis. Thus, this new microdevice has the potential for use in routine monitoring of cancer development and cancer therapy in a clinical setting.

  12. Integrated Ceramic Membrane System for Hydrogen Production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwartz, Joseph; Lim, Hankwon; Drnevich, Raymond


    Phase I was a technoeconomic feasibility study that defined the process scheme for the integrated ceramic membrane system for hydrogen production and determined the plan for Phase II. The hydrogen production system is comprised of an oxygen transport membrane (OTM) and a hydrogen transport membrane (HTM). Two process options were evaluated: 1) Integrated OTM-HTM reactor – in this configuration, the HTM was a ceramic proton conductor operating at temperatures up to 900°C, and 2) Sequential OTM and HTM reactors – in this configuration, the HTM was assumed to be a Pd alloy operating at less than 600°C. The analysis suggested that there are no technical issues related to either system that cannot be managed. The process with the sequential reactors was found to be more efficient, less expensive, and more likely to be commercialized in a shorter time than the single reactor. Therefore, Phase II focused on the sequential reactor system, specifically, the second stage, or the HTM portion. Work on the OTM portion was conducted in a separate program. Phase IIA began in February 2003. Candidate substrate materials and alloys were identified and porous ceramic tubes were produced and coated with Pd. Much effort was made to develop porous substrates with reasonable pore sizes suitable for Pd alloy coating. The second generation of tubes showed some improvement in pore size control, but this was not enough to get a viable membrane. Further improvements were made to the porous ceramic tube manufacturing process. When a support tube was successfully coated, the membrane was tested to determine the hydrogen flux. The results from all these tests were used to update the technoeconomic analysis from Phase I to confirm that the sequential membrane reactor system can potentially be a low-cost hydrogen supply option when using an existing membrane on a larger scale. Phase IIB began in October 2004 and focused on demonstrating an integrated HTM/water gas shift (WGS) reactor to

  13. Influence of carvacrol and 1,8-cineole on cell viability, membrane integrity, and morphology of Aeromonas hydrophila cultivated in a vegetable-based broth. (United States)

    de Sousa, Jossana Pereira; de Oliveira, Kataryne Árabe Rimá; de Figueiredo, Regina Celia Bressan Queiroz; de Souza, Evandro Leite


    This study investigated the effects of carvacrol (CAR) and 1,8-cineole (CIN) alone (at the MIC) or in combination at subinhibitory amounts (both at 1/8 MIC) on the cell viability, membrane permeability, and morphology of Aeromonas hydrophila INCQS 7966 (A. hydrophila) cultivated in a vegetable-based broth. CAR and CIN alone or in combination severely affected the viability of the bacteria and caused dramatic changes in the cell membrane permeability, leading to cell death, as observed by confocal laser microscopy. Scanning and transmission electron microscopy images of bacterial cells exposed to CAR or CIN or the mixture of both compounds revealed severe changes in cell wall structure, rupture of the plasma membrane, shrinking of cells, condensation of cytoplasmic content, leakage of intracellular material, and cell collapse. These findings suggest that CAR and CIN alone or in combination at subinhibitory amounts could be applied to inhibit the growth of A. hydrophila in foods, particularly as sanitizing agents in vegetables.

  14. Dielectric breakdown of cell membranes. (United States)

    Zimmermann, U; Pilwat, G; Riemann, F


    With human and bovine red blood cells and Escherichia coli B, dielectric breakdown of cell membranes could be demonstrated using a Coulter Counter (AEG-Telefunken, Ulm, West Germany) with a hydrodynamic focusing orifice. In making measurements of the size distributions of red blood cells and bacteria versus increasing electric field strength and plotting the pulse heights versus the electric field strength, a sharp bend in the otherwise linear curve is observed due to the dielectric breakdown of the membranes. Solution of Laplace's equation for the electric field generated yields a value of about 1.6 V for the membrane potential at which dielectric breakdown occurs with modal volumes of red blood cells and bacteria. The same value is also calculated for red blood cells by applying the capacitor spring model of Crowley (1973. Biophys. J. 13:711). The corresponding electric field strength generated in the membrane at breakdown is of the order of 4 . 10(6) V/cm and, therefore, comparable with the breakdown voltages for bilayers of most oils. The critical detector voltage for breakdown depends on the volume of the cells. The volume-dependence predicted by Laplace theory with the assumption that the potential generated across the membrane is independent of volume, could be verified experimentally. Due to dielectric breakdown the red blood cells lose hemoglobin completely. This phenomenon was used to study dielectric breakdown of red blood cells in a homogeneous electric field between two flat platinum electrodes. The electric field was applied by discharging a high voltage storage capacitor via a spark gap. The calculated value of the membrane potential generated to produce dielectric breakdown in the homogeneous field is of the same order as found by means of the Coulter Counter. This indicates that mechanical rupture of the red blood cells by the hydrodynamic forces in the orifice of the Coulter Counter could also be excluded as a hemolysing mechanism. The detector

  15. Integral Membrane Protein Expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. (United States)

    Boswell-Casteel, Rebba C; Johnson, Jennifer M; Stroud, Robert M; Hays, Franklin A


    Eukaryotic integral membrane proteins are challenging targets for crystallography or functional characterization in a purified state. Since expression is often a limiting factor when studying this difficult class of biological macromolecules, the intent of this chapter is to focus on the expression of eukaryotic integral membrane proteins (IMPs) using the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. S. cerevisiae is a prime candidate for the expression of eukaryotic IMPs because it offers the convenience of using episomal expression plasmids, selection of positive transformants, posttranslational modifications, and it can properly fold and target IMPs. Here we present a generalized protocol and insights based on our collective knowledge as an aid to overcoming the challenges faced when expressing eukaryotic IMPs in S. cerevisiae.

  16. Loss of outer membrane integrity in Gram-negative bacteria by silver nanoparticles loaded with Camellia sinensis leaf phytochemicals: plausible mechanism of bacterial cell disintegration

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)



    New generation antimicrobial and smart drugs are the needs of the present era in fighting microbial infection and various chronic diseases. Nowadays nanoparticles (NPs) are widely applied in biomedical fields by virtue of their surface modification, which enhances both target selectivity and function. This study is a continuation of our earlier study that demonstrated antimicrobial property of NPs against both Gram-positive and Gramnegative organisms (Goswami et al, 2015). Silver NPs were synthesized using tea leaves (Camellia sinensis) decoction and were characterized using UV-vis spectrophotometry, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Fouriertransformed infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The silver NPs were stable at various environmental conditions. The stability of the particles may be due to various phytochemicals of tea that were bound to the surface of reducedsilver ions as a capping agent. The antimicrobial activity of NP was investigated against three Gram-negative pathogenic bacteria (Shigella dysentriae, Salmonella infestis and Vibrio parahaemolyticus). The outer membrane ofGram-negative bacteria is a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in nature and provides protection from various stress conditions and antibiotics. But a silver NP destroys its membrane integrity and thus helps in cell killing. Spectral changesconfirmed NP interaction with hydrophobic moiety of LPS. Minimum inhibitory concentrations for S. dysentriae, S. infestis and V. parahaemolyticus were 3.75, 5.25 and 5.25 $\\mu$g ml$^{−1}$, respectively. Inhibition of biofilm formationwas significant with the three bacterial strains. Cytoplasmic leakage from each bacterial strain was also demonstrated on account of NP treatment. The particles demonstrated good biocompatibility. No damage of human buccal mucosal cells was recorded even at concentration of 10 mg ml$^{−1}$. Thus, silver NPs would be potential oral therapeutic molecules against Gram-negative bacteria.

  17. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien eHouy


    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.

  19. In situ grown carbon nanotubes on carbon paper as integrated gas diffusion and catalyst layer for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tang Zhe [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, 7 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117574 (Singapore); Poh, Chee Kok; Tian Zhiqun; Lin Jianyi [Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, 1 Pesek Road, Jurong Island, Singapore 627833 (Singapore); Ng, How Y. [Division of Environmental Science and Engineering, 9 Engineering Drive 2, Singapore 117576 (Singapore); Chua, Daniel H.C., E-mail: [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, 7 Engineering Drive 1, Singapore 117574 (Singapore)


    In situ grown carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on carbon paper as an integrated gas diffusion layer (GDL) and catalyst layer (CL) were developed for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) applications. The effect of their structure and morphology on cell performance was investigated under real PEMFC conditions. The in situ grown CNT layers on carbon paper showed a tunable structure under different growth processes. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) demonstrated that the CNT layers are able to provide extremely high surface area and porosity to serve as both the GDL and the CL simultaneously. This in situ grown CNT support layer can provide enhanced Pt utilization compared with the carbon black and free-standing CNT support layers. An optimum maximum power density of 670 mW cm{sup -2} was obtained from the CNT layer grown under 20 cm{sup 3} min{sup -1} C{sub 2}H{sub 4} flow with 0.04 mg cm{sup -2} Pt sputter-deposited at the cathode. Furthermore, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) results confirmed that the in situ grown CNT layer can provide both enhanced charge transfer and mass transport properties for the Pt/CNT-based electrode as an integrated GDL and CL, in comparison with previously reported Pt/CNT-based electrodes with a VXC72R-based GDL and a Pt/CNT-based CL. Therefore, this in situ grown CNT layer shows a great potential for the improvement of electrode structure and configuration for PEMFC applications.

  20. Thermoelectric integrated membrane evaporation water recovery technology (United States)

    Roebelen, G. J., Jr.; Winkler, H. E.; Dehner, G. F.


    The recently developed Thermoelectric Integrated Membrane Evaporation Subsystem (TIMES) offers a highly competitive approach to water recovery from waste fluids for future on-orbit stations such as the Space Operations Center. Low power, compactness and gravity insensitive operation are featured in this vacuum distillation subsystem that combines a hollow fiber membrane evaporator with a thermoelectric heat pump. The hollow fiber elements provide positive liquid/gas phase control with no moving parts other than pumps and an accumulator, thus solving problems inherent in other reclamation subsystem designs. In an extensive test program, over 850 hours of operation were accumulated during which time high quality product water was recovered from both urine and wash water at an average steady state production rate of 2.2 pounds per hour.

  1. Alternate Fuel Cell Membranes for Energy Independence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  2. Design of Incremental Conductance Sliding Mode MPPT Control Applied by Integrated Photovoltaic and Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell System under Various Operating Conditions for BLDC Motor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jehun Hahm


    Full Text Available This paper proposes an integrated photovoltaic (PV and proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC system for continuous energy harvesting under various operating conditions for use with a brushless DC motor. The proposed scheme is based on the incremental conductance (IncCond algorithm combined with the sliding mode technique. Under changing atmospheric conditions, the energy conversion efficiency of a PV array is very low, leading to significant power losses. Consequently, increasing efficiency by means of maximum power point tracking (MPPT is particularly important. To manage such a hybrid system, control strategies need to be established to achieve the aim of the distributed system. Firstly, a Matlab/Simulink based model of the PV and PEMFC is developed and validated, as well as the incremental conductance sliding (ICS MPPT technique; then, different MPPT algorithms are employed to control the PV array under nonuniform temperature and insolation conditions, to study these algorithms effectiveness under various operating conditions. Conventional techniques are easy to implement but produce oscillations at MPP. Compared to these techniques, the proposed technique is more efficient; it produces less oscillation at MPP in the steady state and provides more precise tracking.

  3. Improved Membrane Materials for PEM Fuel Cell Application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  5. In-membrane micro fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  6. [Germ cell membrane lipids in spermatogenesis]. (United States)

    Wang, Ting; Shi, Xiao; Quan, Song


    Spermatogenesis is a complex developmental process in which a diploid progenitor germ cell transforms into highly specialized spermatozoa. During spermatogenesis, membrane remodeling takes place, and cell membrane permeability and liquidity undergo phase-specific changes, which are all associated with the alteration of membrane lipids. Lipids are important components of the germ cell membrane, whose volume and ratio fluctuate in different phases of spermatogenesis. Abnormal lipid metabolism can cause spermatogenic dysfunction and consequently male infertility. Germ cell membrane lipids are mainly composed of cholesterol, phospholipids and glycolipids, which play critical roles in cell adhesion and signal transduction during spermatogenesis. An insight into the correlation of membrane lipids with spermatogenesis helps us to better understand the mechanisms of spermatogenesis and provide new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility.

  7. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells (United States)

    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.

  8. Advanced composite polymer electrolyte fuel cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, M.S.; Zawodzinski, T.A.; Gottesfeld, S.; Kolde, J.A.; Bahar, B.


    A new type of reinforced composite perfluorinated polymer electrolyte membrane, GORE-SELECT{trademark} (W.L. Gore & Assoc.), is characterized and tested for fuel cell applications. Very thin membranes (5-20 {mu}m thick) are available. The combination of reinforcement and thinness provides high membrane, conductances (80 S/cm{sup 2} for a 12 {mu}m thick membrane at 25{degrees}C) and improved water distribution in the operating fuel cell without sacrificing longevity or durability. In contrast to nonreinforced perfluorinated membranes, the x-y dimensions of the GORE-SELECT membranes are relatively unaffected by the hydration state. This feature may be important from the viewpoints of membrane/electrode interface stability and fuel cell manufacturability.

  9. Variability in permeability and integrity of cell membrane and depletion of food reserves in neem (Azadirachta indica) seeds from trees of differ-ent age classes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Devendra Kumar; Dhruv Kumar Mishra


    We quantified cell membrane permeability (electrical conduc-tivity-EC, water soluble sugar-WSS, and amino acids-AA) and integrity (phospholipids,α-tocopherol and lipid peroxidation) along with food reserve deterioration (total proteins, total sugar, and total starch) of neem seeds collected from various mother tree age classes and stored for 65 days in airtight plastic containers at ambient room temperature (35±5°C). Results show that the activities were higher in fresh seeds (EC 267.56-2950.01 µS/g, WSS 19.96-19.48 mg/g and AA 5.40-5.35 mg/g) and declined with increasing duration of storage period (EC 153.37-195.17 µS/g, WSS 3.13-4.17 mg/g and AA 4.29-4.49 mg/g after 35 days and EC 144.02-161.56 µS/g, WSS 2.06-2.40 mg/g and AA 3.98-4.27 mg/g after 65 days of storage). Phospholipids andα-tocopherol were higher in fresh seed (0.073-0.093 OD at 710 nm and 0.080-0.105 OD, respectively) and declined as storage duration in-creased (0.033-0.042 OD at 710 nm and 00.0010-0.0020 OD, respec-tively). Dead seeds showed reduced amounts of phospholipids and minimum activity ofα- tocopherol (antioxidants). The level of MDA was lower in fresh seeds (0.0066-0.0087 OD at 600-535 nm) and increased as storage duration increased (0.0248-0.0268 OD after 65 days of stor-age). The higher amount of MDA indicated that seeds died due to rancid-ity of the oil inside the seed. Neem seed cake was assessed for deteriora-tion of food reserves (total proteins, total sugar, and total starch), concen-trations of which were higher in fresh seed and declined as storage dura-tion increased. Germination was higher in fresh seeds and after 65 days, no germination was received perhaps due to deterioration of biochemi-cals in seeds. Patterns of seed deterioration were similar across all seed lots.

  10. Fuel cell and membrane therefore

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  11. Salmonella enterotoxin (Stn regulates membrane composition and integrity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masayuki Nakano


    The mechanism of action of Salmonella enterotoxin (Stn as a virulence factor in disease is controversial. Studies of Stn have indicated both positive and negative effects on Salmonella virulence. In this study, we attempted to evaluate Stn function and its effects on Salmonella virulence. To investigate Stn function, we first performed in vitro and in vivo analysis using mammalian cells and a murine ileal loop model. In these systems, we did not observe differences in virulence phenotypes between wild-type Salmonella and an stn gene-deleted mutant. We next characterized the phenotypes and molecular properties of the mutant strain under various in vitro conditions. The proteomic profiles of the total cell membrane protein fraction differed between wild type and mutant in that there was an absence of a protein in the mutant strain, which was identified as OmpA. By far-western blotting, OmpA was found to interact directly with Stn. To verify this result, the morphology of Salmonella was examined by transmission electron microscopy, with OmpA localization being analyzed by immunogold labeling. Compared with wild-type Salmonella, the mutant strain had a different pole structure and a thin periplasmic space; OmpA was not seen in the mutant. These results indicate that Stn, via regulation of OmpA membrane localization, functions in the maintenance of membrane composition and integrity.

  12. Effect of a Vietnamese Cinnamomum cassia essential oil and its major component trans-cinnamaldehyde on the cell viability, membrane integrity, membrane fluidity, and proton motive force of Listeria innocua. (United States)

    Trinh, Nga-Thi-Thanh; Dumas, Emilie; Thanh, Mai Le; Degraeve, Pascal; Ben Amara, Chedia; Gharsallaoui, Adem; Oulahal, Nadia


    The antibacterial mechanism of a Cinnamomum cassia essential oil from Vietnam and of its main component (trans-cinnamaldehyde, 90% (m/m) of C. cassia essential oil) against a Listeria innocua strain was investigated to estimate their potential for food preservation. In the presence of C. cassia essential oil or trans-cinnamaldehyde at their minimal bactericidal concentration (2700 μg·mL(-1)), L. innocua cells fluoresced green after staining with Syto9® and propidium iodide, as observed by epifluorescence microscopy, suggesting that the perturbation of membrane did not cause large pore formation and cell lysis but may have introduced the presence of viable but nonculturable bacteria. Moreover, the fluidity, potential, and intracellular pH of the cytoplasmic membrane were perturbed in the presence of the essential oil or trans-cinnamaldehyde. However, these membrane perturbations were less severe in the presence of trans-cinnamaldehyde than in the presence of multicomponent C. cassia essential oil. This indicates that in addition to trans-cinnamaldehyde, other minor C. cassia essential oil components play a major role in its antibacterial activity against L. innocua cells.

  13. Interaction of Defensins with Model Cell Membranes (United States)

    Sanders, Lori K.; Schmidt, Nathan W.; Yang, Lihua; Mishra, Abhijit; Gordon, Vernita D.; Selsted, Michael E.; Wong, Gerard C. L.


    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) comprise a key component of innate immunity for a wide range of multicellular organisms. For many AMPs, activity comes from their ability to selectively disrupt and lyse bacterial cell membranes. There are a number of proposed models for this action, but the detailed molecular mechanism of selective membrane permeation remains unclear. Theta defensins are circularized peptides with a high degree of selectivity. We investigate the interaction of model bacterial and eukaryotic cell membranes with theta defensins RTD-1, BTD-7, and compare them to protegrin PG-1, a prototypical AMP, using synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS). The relationship between membrane composition and peptide induced changes in membrane curvature and topology is examined. By comparing the membrane phase behavior induced by these different peptides we will discuss the importance of amino acid composition and placement on membrane rearrangement.

  14. Anion permselective membrane. [For redox fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alexander, S.S.; Hodgdon, R.B.


    Experimental anion permeselective membranes were improved and characterized for use as separators in a chemical redox, power storage cell being developed at the NASA Lewis Research Center. The goal of minimal Fe/sup +3/ ion transfer was achieved for each candidate membrane system. Minimal membrane resistivity was demonstrated by reduction of film thickness using synthetic backing materials but usefulness of thin membranes was limited by the scarcity of compatible fabrics. The most durable and useful backing fabrics were modacrylics. One membrane, a copolymer of 4 vinylpyridine and vinyl benzylchloride was outstanding in overall electrochemical and physical properties. Long term (1000 hrs) membrane chemical and thermal durability in redox environment was shown by three candidate polymers and two membranes. The remainder had good durability at ambient temperature. Manufacturing capability was demonstrated for large scale production of membrane sheets 5.5 ft/sup 2/ in area for two candidate systems.

  15. Membrane alterations in irreversibly sickled cells: hemoglobin--membrane interaction. (United States)

    Lessin, L S; Kurantsin-Mills, J; Wallas, C; Weems, H


    Irreversibly sickled cells (ISCs) are sickle erythrocytes which retain bipolar elongated shapes despite reoxygenation and owe their biophysical abnormalities to acquired membrane alterations. Freeze-etched membranes both of ISCs produced in vitro and ISCs isolated in vivo reveal microbodies fixed to the internal (PS) surface which obscure spectrin filaments. Intramembranous particles (IMPs) on the intramembrane (PF) surface aggregate over regions of subsurface microbodies. Electron microscopy of diaminobenzidine-treated of ISC ghosts show the microbodies to contain hemoglobin and/or hemoglobin derivatives. Scanning electron microscopy and freeze-etching demonstrate that membrane--hemoglobin S interaction in ISCs enhances the membrane loss by microspherulation. Membrane-bound hemoglobin is five times greater in in vivo ISCs than non-ISCs, and increases during ISC production, parallelling depletion of adenosine triphosphate. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of ISC membranes shows the presence of high-molecular-weight heteropolymers in the pre--band 1 region, a decrease in band 4.1 and an increase in bands 7, 8, and globin. The role of cross-linked membrane protein polymers in the generation of ISCs is discussed and is synthesized in terms of a unified concept for the determinants of the genesis of ISCs.

  16. Protective effect of black tea on integral membrane proteins in rat liver. (United States)

    Szachowicz-Petelska, Barbara; Skrzydlewska, Elżbieta; Figaszewski, Zbigniew


    Ethanol intoxication is accompanied by oxidative stress formation. Consequently, it leads to disturbances in cellular metabolism that can alter the structure and function of cell membrane components. Black tea displays antioxidant properties, protects membrane phospholipids and may protect integral membrane proteins. In the present study, we examined whether black tea induces changes in the liver integral membrane proteins of 12-months old rats chronically intoxicated with ethanol. To estimate qualitatively and quantitatively the levels of the liver integral membrane proteins, the proteins were selectively hydrolyzed by trypsin, the obtained peptides were resolved by HPLC and the levels of specific amino acids within the individual peptides were determined. All of the obtained peptides contained phenylalanine (Phe), cysteine (Cys) and lysine (Lys). Compared to the control group, rats in the ethanol intoxication group showed decreased liver levels of integral membrane proteins as well as fewer trypsin-hydrolyzed peptides and amino acids in the hydrolyzed peptides. Administration of black tea to ethanol-intoxicated rats partially protected proteins against the structural changes caused by ethanol. Black tea prevented decreases in the levels of cysteine (in about 90% of cases), lysine (in about 60% of cases), phenylalanine (in about 70% of cases) and examined peptides (in about 60% of cases). The liver protein level was higher (by about 18%) in rats who received black tea and ethanol than in those who received ethanol alone. In conclusion, black tea partially protects the composition and level of rat liver cell integral membrane proteins against changes caused by ethanol intoxication.

  17. Membrane Protein Mobility and Orientation Preserved in Supported Bilayers Created Directly from Cell Plasma Membrane Blebs. (United States)

    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

  18. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells (United States)

    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.

  19. Membrane protein synthesis in cell-free systems: from bio-mimetic systems to bio-membranes. (United States)

    Sachse, Rita; Dondapati, Srujan K; Fenz, Susanne F; Schmidt, Thomas; Kubick, Stefan


    When taking up the gauntlet of studying membrane protein functionality, scientists are provided with a plethora of advantages, which can be exploited for the synthesis of these difficult-to-express proteins by utilizing cell-free protein synthesis systems. Due to their hydrophobicity, membrane proteins have exceptional demands regarding their environment to ensure correct functionality. Thus, the challenge is to find the appropriate hydrophobic support that facilitates proper membrane protein folding. So far, various modes of membrane protein synthesis have been presented. Here, we summarize current state-of-the-art methodologies of membrane protein synthesis in biomimetic-supported systems. The correct folding and functionality of membrane proteins depend in many cases on their integration into a lipid bilayer and subsequent posttranslational modification. We highlight cell-free systems utilizing the advantages of biological membranes.

  20. Alternative membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sahu, A.K.; Pitchumani, S.; Sridhar, P.; Shukla, A.K. [Central Electrochemical Research Inst., Karaikudi (India)


    Nafion, a perfluoro-sulfonated membrane, is utilized as a membrane electrolyte in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). However, to realize optimum PEFC performance, the Nafion membrane needs to be fully humidified, making the system quite costly. Therefore, in order to solve this problem, alternative membrane electrolytes that could operate under low humidity conditions are needed. This paper reported on composite Nafion membranes with ceramic/inorganic fillers such as silica and mesoporous zirconium phosphate (MZP). Silica was impregnated to the Nafion matrix by a unique water hydrolysis sol-gel route and casted as a composite membrane while MZP, a solid-super-acid-proton-conducting medium as well as water absorbing material was synthesized by a co-assembly technique and impregnated to the Nafion matrix to form a composite membrane. The performance of the PEFCs with Nafion membrane and composite membranes was tested with hydrogen/oxygen gas and hydrogen/air feeds at varying relative humidity (RH) values under ambient conditions. It was concluded that under RH value as low as 18 per cent, the PEFC with Nafion membrane delivers a peak-power density of only 130 mW/square centimeter.

  1. Study of the effect of membrane thickness on microcapsule strength, permeability, and cell proliferation. (United States)

    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 first 6 days, cells within microcapsules with 10 μm thickness membrane proliferated fast and could reach a cell density of 1.9 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with 92% cell density. A cell density of 5.5 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with >85% cell density was achieved within microcapsules with 15 μm membrane thickness and these microcapsules kept over 88% integrity ratio after 11 days, which was much higher than that of microcapsules with 10 μm membrane thickness. Membrane with more than 20 μm thickness was not suited for encapsulated cell culture owing to low-protein diffusion rate. These results indicated that cells survived shortly within the thinnest membrane thickness. There was a specific membrane thickness more suitable for cell growth for a long-time culture. These findings will be useful for preparing microcapsules with the desired membrane thickness for microencapsulated cell culture dependent on various purposes.

  2. A novel bioactive membrane by cell electrospinning. (United States)

    Chen, Haiping; Liu, Yuanyuan; Hu, Qingxi


    Electrospinning permits fabrication of biodegradable matrices that can resemble the both scale and mechanical behavior of the native extracellular matrix. However, achieving high-cellular density and infiltration of cells within matrices with traditional technique remain challenging and time consuming. The cell electrospinning technique presented in this paper can mitigate the problems associated with these limitations. Cells encapsulated by the material in the cell electrospinning technique survived well and distributed homogenously within the nanofibrous membrane, and their vitality was improved to 133% after being cultured for 28 days. The electrospun nanofibrous membrane has a certain degradation property and favorable cell-membrane interaction that supports the active biocompatibility of the membrane. Its properties are helpful for supporting cell attachment and growth, maintaining phenotypic shape, and secreting an ample amount of extracellular matrix (ECM). This novel membrane may be a potential application within the field of tissue engineering. The ability of cell electrospinning to microintegrate cells into a biodegradable fibrous matrix embodies a novel tissue engineering approach that could be applied to fabricate a high cell density elastic tissue mimetic.

  3. Artificial cell membranes for diagnostics and therapeutics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Charych, D.; Nagy, J.O. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., CA (United States)


    Receptors on the membrane can recognize and bind extracellular molecules and convert that event into signals that elicit molecular changes within the cell. These two properties alone--molecular recognition and signal transduction--make the cell membrane an attractive model for designing novel biosensors or therapeutics. Natural cell membranes, however, are highly complex; mimicking the intricate choreography of the cell`s daily activities would be a daunting task. Instead, the authors turn to simpler, synthetic versions of the cell, where they can build in the components that give rise to specific activities and functions, one at a time. The process of forming artificial membranes is identical to that of forming natural membranes and is sometimes referred to as molecular self-assembly. From a practical point of view, the process is simple, because no external intervention is required--the molecules organize themselves into useful structures. The molecules that constitute the membranes are amphiphilic and therefore will spontaneously form lipid aggregates when mixed with water.

  4. Sterion membranes in Direct Methanol fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Linares, J. J.; Lobato, J.; Canizares, P.; Rodrigo, M. A.; Fernandez, A.


    Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs) has been postulated as an alternative to traditional hydrogen fed Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (H2-PEMFCs). Among their advantages, it can be pointed out the low cost of the fuel, simplicity of design, large availability, easy handling and distribution. However, there are still some challenges in this field, such as the development of electrocatalysts which can enhance the electrokinetics of methanol oxidation, the discovery of an electrolyte membrane with high conductivity and low methanol crossover at the same time and the production of methanol-tolerant electrocatalysts with high activity for oxygen reduction. So far, Nafion 117 has been the polymer membrane most widely used in DMFCs. Yet, it is well known that Nafion (Du Pont Inc.) membranes are not good barrier for methanol, so that the coulombic efficiency of Nafion-based DMFCs is significantly reduced by the chemical oxidation of methanol in the cathode. Recently, a new perfluorinated polymer with sulphonic acid groups (PFSA) has been developed, under the commercial name of Sterion (David Fuel Cell Components). As a difference as opposed to Nafion, this membrane is cast by the solution casting method, which provides a different sulphonic cluster configuration as compared to the extrusion cast Nafion membranes, which may give rise to different methanol crossover behaviour. In this work, it has been studied and analysed the suitability of Sterion in the DMFCs field. For that, it has been measured the methanol permeability of this membrane at different solute concentration and temperature, and its performance in an actual fuel cell at different operational conditions, such as methanol concentration, temperature and back pressure. Tests have been made using both oxygen and air in the cathode and half-cell potentials have been evaluated in some measurements in order to discriminate the contribution of both semi-reactions to the overall cell overvoltage. A lifetime

  5. Recovery of real dye bath wastewater using integrated membrane process: considering water recovery, membrane fouling and reuse potential of membranes. (United States)

    Balcik-Canbolat, Cigdem; Sengezer, Cisel; Sakar, Hacer; Karagunduz, Ahmet; Keskinler, Bulent


    It has been recognized by the whole world that textile industry which produce large amounts of wastewater with strong color and toxic organic compounds is a major problematical industry requiring effective treatment solutions. In this study, reverse osmosis (RO) membranes were tested on biologically treated real dye bath wastewater with and without pretreatment by nanofiltration (NF) membrane to recovery. Also membrane fouling and reuse potential of membranes were investigated by multiple filtrations. Obtained results showed that only NF is not suitable to produce enough quality to reuse the wastewater in a textile industry as process water while RO provide successfully enough permeate quality. The results recommend that integrated NF/RO membrane process is able to reduce membrane fouling and allow long-term operation for real dye bath wastewater.

  6. Role of membranes and membrane reactors in the hydrogen supply of fuel cells for transports

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Julbe, A.; Guizard, Ch. [Institut Europeen des Membranes, UMII, Lab. des Materiaux et des Procedes Membranaires, CNRS UMR 5635, 34 - Montpellier (France)


    Production, storage and supply of high-purity hydrogen as a clean and efficient fuel is central to fuel cells technology, in particular in vehicle traction. Actually, technologies for handling liquefied or gaseous hydrogen in transports are not available so that a number of alternative fuels are considered with the aim of in-situ generation of hydrogen through catalytic processes. The integrated concept of membrane reactors (MRs) can greatly benefit to these technologies. Particular emphasis is put on inorganic membranes and their role in MRs performance for H{sub 2} production.

  7. Stretching micropatterned cells on a PDMS membrane. (United States)

    Carpi, Nicolas; Piel, Matthieu


    Mechanical forces exerted on cells and/or tissues play a major role in numerous processes. We have developed a device to stretch cells plated on a PolyDiMethylSiloxane (PDMS) membrane, compatible with imaging. This technique is reproducible and versatile. The PDMS membrane can be micropatterned in order to confine cells or tissues to a specific geometry. The first step is to print micropatterns onto the PDMS membrane with a deep UV technique. The PDMS membrane is then mounted on a mechanical stretcher. A chamber is bound on top of the membrane with biocompatible grease to allow gliding during the stretch. The cells are seeded and allowed to spread for several hours on the micropatterns. The sample can be stretched and unstretched multiple times with the use of a micrometric screw. It takes less than a minute to apply the stretch to its full extent (around 30%). The technique presented here does not include a motorized device, which is necessary for applying repeated stretch cycles quickly and/or computer controlled stretching, but this can be implemented. Stretching of cells or tissue can be of interest for questions related to cell forces, cell response to mechanical stress or tissue morphogenesis. This video presentation will show how to avoid typical problems that might arise when doing this type of seemingly simple experiment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Elisidepsin Interacts Directly with Glycosylceramides in the Plasma Membrane of Tumor Cells to Induce Necrotic Cell Death (United States)

    Molina-Guijarro, José Manuel; García, Carolina; Macías, Álvaro; García-Fernández, Luis Francisco; Moreno, Cristina; Reyes, Fernando; Martínez-Leal, Juan Fernando; Fernández, Rogelio; Martínez, Valentín; Valenzuela, Carmen; Lillo, M. Pilar; Galmarini, Carlos M.


    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. PMID:26474061

  10. Geometry and Topology of Cell Membranes (United States)

    Bouligand, Y.

    Cells are limited by a membrane which is a fluid bilayer of phospholipids to which are associated numerous components, such as cholesterol, polysaccharides, proteins and, among them, many enzymes. organelles within cells are made for a large part of similar bilayers including phospholipids and various molecules. The cell membrane forms architectures closely related to those observed in liquid crystalline phases given by water-lipid systems (purified amphiphilic molecules in presence of water and oily components). The cell is divided into a series of compartments with definite topological relations, which are rehandled more or less profoundly in diverse circumstances as endocytosis, exocytosis, mitosis etc. There are several geometric arrangements of membrane sets : parallel membranes, hexagonal packing of tubes, cubic systems made of tubes joining either three by three, or four by four, or six by six. There are other arrangements less directly related to liquid crysyalline structures (annulate lamellae, tubes and lamellae with nematic symmetries, randomly joining tubes). Comparisons of structures in cellular membranes and in water-lipid systems reveal important differences. If geometries are often similar, water percentage and scales are distinct and bilayers observed in vitro present a symmetry which is broken in cell membrane bilayers. The curvature effects observed in water-lipid systems mainly come from a density difference between polar heads and corresponding paraffinic chains within a monolayer, whereas, in biological membranes, the asymmetry lies between the two monolayers and their associated molecules. Both systems produce saddle-shaped bilayers arranging into cubic lattices separating two aqueous compartments. In water-lipid systems, the coupling at an interface of two different areas seems to predominate, whereas in biological membranes, mechanisms are different and probably originate from geometric properties of proteins included within bilayers.

  11. Cell membrane softening in human breast and cervical cancer cells (United States)

    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.

  12. 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 ...

  13. Shedding of cell membrane-bound proteoglycans. (United States)

    Nam, Eon Jeong; Park, Pyong Woo


    Membrane-bound proteoglycans function primarily as coreceptors for many glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-binding ligands at the cell surface. The majority of membrane-bound proteoglycans can also function as soluble autocrine or paracrine effectors as their extracellular domains, replete with all GAG chains, are enzymatically cleaved and released from the cell surface by ectodomain shedding. In particular, the ectodomain shedding of syndecans, a major family of cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans, is an important posttranslational mechanism that modulates diverse pathophysiological processes. Syndecan shedding is a tightly controlled process that regulates the onset, progression, and resolution of various infectious and noninfectious inflammatory diseases. This review describes methods to induce and measure the shedding of cell membrane-bound proteoglycans, focusing on syndecan shedding as a prototypic example.

  14. Model-Based Design of Energy Efficient Palladium Membrane Water Gas Shift Fuel Processors for PEM Fuel Cell Power Plants (United States)

    Gummalla, Mallika; Vanderspurt, Thomas Henry; Emerson, Sean; She, Ying; Dardas, Zissis; Olsommer, Benoît

    An integrated, palladium alloy membrane Water-Gas Shift (WGS) reactor can significantly reduce the size, cost and complexity of a fuel processor for a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell power system.

  15. Electrically Conductive, Hydrophilic Porous Membrane for Fuel Cell Applications Project (United States)

    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...

  16. Integration of nanoporous membranes for sample filtration/preconcentration in microchip electrophoresis. (United States)

    Long, Zhicheng; Liu, Dayu; Ye, Nannan; Qin, Jianhua; Lin, Bingcheng


    Microfluidic devices integrating membrane-based sample preparation with electrophoretic separation are demonstrated. These multilayer devices consist of 10 nm pore diameter membranes sandwiched between two layers of PDMS substrates with embedded microchannels. Because of the membrane isolation, material exchange between two fluidic layers can be precisely controlled by applied voltages. More importantly, since only small molecules can pass through the nanopores, the integrated membrane can serve as a filter or a concentrator prior to microchip electrophoresis under different design and operation modes. As a filter, they can be used for separation and selective injection of small analytes from sample matrix. This has been effectively applied in rapid determination of reduced glutathione in human plasma and red blood cells without any off-chip deproteinization procedure. Alternatively, in the concentrator mode, they can be used for online purification and preconcentration of macromolecules, which was illustrated by removing primers and preconcentrating the product DNA from a PCR product mixture.

  17. Effects of PEO-PPO-PEO triblock copolymers on phospholipid membrane integrity under osmotic stress. (United States)

    Wang, Jia-Yu; Chin, Jaemin; Marks, Jeremy D; Lee, Ka Yee C


    The effects of PEO-PPO-PEO triblock copolymers, mainly Poloxamer 188, on phospholipid membrane integrity under osmotic gradients were explored using giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). Fluorescence leakage assays showed two opposing effects of P188 on the structural integrity of GUVs depending on the duration of their incubation time. A two-state transition mechanism of interaction between the triblock copolymers and the phospholipid membrane is proposed: an adsorption (I) and an insertion (II) state. While the triblock copolymer in state I acts to moderately retard the leakage, their insertion in state II perturbs the lipid packing, thus increasing the membrane permeability. Our results suggest that the biomedical application of PEO-PPO-PEO triblock copolymers, either as cell membrane resealing agents or as accelerators for drug delivery, is directed by the delicate balance between these two states.

  18. Transfer Printed Nanomembranes for Heterogeneously Integrated Membrane Photonics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongjun Yang


    Full Text Available Heterogeneous crystalline semiconductor nanomembrane (NM integration is investigated for single-layer and double-layer Silicon (Si NM photonics, III-V/Si NM lasers, and graphene/Si NM total absorption devices. Both homogeneous and heterogeneous integration are realized by the versatile transfer printing technique. The performance of these integrated membrane devices shows, not only intact optical and electrical characteristics as their bulk counterparts, but also the unique light and matter interactions, such as Fano resonance, slow light, and critical coupling in photonic crystal cavities. Such a heterogeneous integration approach offers tremendous practical application potentials on unconventional, Si CMOS compatible, and high performance optoelectronic systems.

  19. Monitoring changes in membrane polarity, membrane integrity, and intracellular ion concentrations in Streptococcus pneumoniae using fluorescent dyes. (United States)

    Clementi, Emily A; Marks, Laura R; Roche-Håkansson, Hazeline; Håkansson, Anders P


    Membrane depolarization and ion fluxes are events that have been studied extensively in biological systems due to their ability to profoundly impact cellular functions, including energetics and signal transductions. While both fluorescent and electrophysiological methods, including electrode usage and patch-clamping, have been well developed for measuring these events in eukaryotic cells, methodology for measuring similar events in microorganisms have proven more challenging to develop given their small size in combination with the more complex outer surface of bacteria shielding the membrane. During our studies of death-initiation in Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus), we wanted to elucidate the role of membrane events, including changes in polarity, integrity, and intracellular ion concentrations. Searching the literature, we found that very few studies exist. Other investigators had monitored radioisotope uptake or equilibrium to measure ion fluxes and membrane potential and a limited number of studies, mostly in Gram-negative organisms, had seen some success using carbocyanine or oxonol fluorescent dyes to measure membrane potential, or loading bacteria with cell-permeant acetoxymethyl (AM) ester versions of ion-sensitive fluorescent indicator dyes. We therefore established and optimized protocols for measuring membrane potential, rupture, and ion-transport in the Gram-positive organism S. pneumoniae. We developed protocols using the bis-oxonol dye DiBAC4(3) and the cell-impermeant dye propidium iodide to measure membrane depolarization and rupture, respectively, as well as methods to optimally load the pneumococci with the AM esters of the ratiometric dyes Fura-2, PBFI, and BCECF to detect changes in intracellular concentrations of Ca(2+), K(+), and H(+), respectively, using a fluorescence-detection plate reader. These protocols are the first of their kind for the pneumococcus and the majority of these dyes have not been used in any other bacterial

  20. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This book is a comprehensive review of high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). PEMFCs are the preferred fuel cells for a variety of applications such as automobiles, cogeneration of heat and power units, emergency power and portable electronics. The first 5 chapters...... of the book describe rationalization and illustration of approaches to high temperature PEM systems. Chapters 6 - 13 are devoted to fabrication, optimization and characterization of phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole membranes, the very first electrolyte system that has demonstrated the concept...

  1. Membranes for the Sulfur-Iodine Integrated Laboratory Scale Demonstration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frederick F. Stewart


    INL has developed polymeric membrane-based chemical separations to enable the thermochemical production of hydrogen. Major activities included studies of sulfuric acid concentration membranes, hydriodic acid concentration membranes, SO2/O2 separation membranes, potential applications of a catalyst reactor system for the decomposition of HI, and evaluation of the chemical separation needs for alternate thermochemical cycles. Membranes for the concentration of sulfuric acid were studied using pervaporation. The goal of this task was to offer the sulfur-iodine (S-I) and the hybrid sulfur (HyS) cycles a method to concentrate the sulfuric acid containing effluent from the decomposer without boiling. In this work, sulfuric acid decomposer effluent needs to be concentrated from ~50 % acid to 80 %. This task continued FY 2006 efforts to characterize water selective membranes for use in sulfuric acid concentration. In FY 2007, experiments were conducted to provide specific information, including transmembrane fluxes, separation factors, and membrane durability, necessary for proper decision making on the potential inclusion of this process into the S-I or HyS Integrated Laboratory Scale demonstration.

  2. Hereditary spherocytosis, elliptocytosis, and other red cell membrane disorders. (United States)

    Da Costa, Lydie; Galimand, Julie; Fenneteau, Odile; Mohandas, Narla


    Hereditary spherocytosis and elliptocytosis are the two most common inherited red cell membrane disorders resulting from mutations in genes encoding various red cell membrane and skeletal proteins. Red cell membrane, a composite structure composed of lipid bilayer linked to spectrin-based membrane skeleton is responsible for the unique features of flexibility and mechanical stability of the cell. Defects in various proteins involved in linking the lipid bilayer to membrane skeleton result in loss in membrane cohesion leading to surface area loss and hereditary spherocytosis while defects in proteins involved in lateral interactions of the spectrin-based skeleton lead to decreased mechanical stability, membrane fragmentation and hereditary elliptocytosis. The disease severity is primarily dependent on the extent of membrane surface area loss. Both these diseases can be readily diagnosed by various laboratory approaches that include red blood cell cytology, flow cytometry, ektacytometry, electrophoresis of the red cell membrane proteins, and mutational analysis of gene encoding red cell membrane proteins.

  3. Integration of oxygen membranes for oxygen production in cement plants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Puig Arnavat, Maria; Søgaard, Martin; Hjuler, Klaus;


    The present paper describes the integration of oxygen membranes in cement plants both from an energy, exergy and economic point of view. Different configurations for oxygen enrichment of the tertiary air for combustion in the pre-calciner and full oxy-fuel combustion in both pre-calciner and kiln...

  4. Integrally skinned polysulfone hollow fiber membranes for pervaporation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koops, G.H.; Nolten, J.A.M.; Mulder, M.H.V.; Smolders, C.A.


    From polysulfone as polymer, integrally skinned hollow fiber membranes with a defect-free top layer have been spun. The spinning process described here differs from the traditional dry-wet spinning process where the fiber enters the coagulation bath after passing a certain air gap. In the present pr

  5. ARAMEMNON, a novel database for Arabidopsis integral membrane proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schwacke, Rainer; Schneider, Anja; van der Graaff, Eric


    A specialized database (DB) for Arabidopsis membrane proteins, ARAMEMNON, was designed that facilitates the interpretation of gene and protein sequence data by integrating features that are presently only available from individual sources. Using several publicly available prediction programs, put...... is accessible at the URL

  6. Membrane lipidome of an epithelial cell line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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 hydroxylated as required...

  7. Membrane electrode assembly for a fuel cell (United States)

    Prakash, Surya (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Atti, Anthony (Inventor); Olah, George (Inventor); Smart, Marshall C. (Inventor)


    A catalyst ink for a fuel cell including a catalytic material and poly(vinylidene fluoride). The ink may be applied to a substrate to form an electrode, or bonded with other electrode layers to form a membrane electrode assembly (MEA).

  8. Lithium. Effects on excitable cell membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  9. Lipid signalling dynamics at the β-cell plasma membrane. (United States)

    Wuttke, Anne


    Pancreatic β-cells are clustered in islets of Langerhans and secrete insulin in response to increased concentrations of circulating glucose. Insulin in turn acts on liver, muscle and fat tissue to store energy and normalize the blood glucose level. Inappropriate insulin release may lead to impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes. In addition to glucose, other nutrients, neural stimuli and hormonal stimuli control insulin secretion. Many of these signals are perceived at the plasma membrane, which is also the site where insulin granules undergo exocytosis. Therefore, it is not surprising that membrane lipids play an important role in the regulation of insulin secretion. β-cells release insulin in a pulsatile fashion. Signalling lipids integrate the nutrient and neurohormonal inputs to fine-tune, shape and co-ordinate the pulsatility. An important group of signalling lipids are phosphoinositides and their downstream messengers. This MiniReview will discuss new insights into lipid signalling dynamics in β-cells obtained from live-cell imaging experiments with fluorescent translocation biosensors. The plasma membrane concentration of several phosphoinositides and of their downstream messengers changes rapidly upon nutrient or neurohormonal stimulation. Glucose induces the most complex spatio-temporal patterns, typically involving oscillations of messenger concentrations, which sometimes are locally restricted. The tightly controlled levels of lipid messengers can mediate specific binding of downstream effectors to the plasma membrane, contributing to the appropriate regulation of insulin secretion.

  10. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes (United States)

    Aricò, Antonino S.; Sebastian, David; Schuster, Michael; Bauer, Bernd; D’Urso, Claudia; Lufrano, Francesco; Baglio, Vincenzo


    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). PMID:26610582

  11. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for transportation applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  13. Integral membrane protein structure determination using pseudocontact shifts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crick, Duncan J.; Wang, Jue X. [University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry (United Kingdom); Graham, Bim; Swarbrick, James D. [Monash University, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (Australia); Mott, Helen R.; Nietlispach, Daniel, E-mail: [University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry (United Kingdom)


    Obtaining enough experimental restraints can be a limiting factor in the NMR structure determination of larger proteins. This is particularly the case for large assemblies such as membrane proteins that have been solubilized in a membrane-mimicking environment. Whilst in such cases extensive deuteration strategies are regularly utilised with the aim to improve the spectral quality, these schemes often limit the number of NOEs obtainable, making complementary strategies highly beneficial for successful structure elucidation. Recently, lanthanide-induced pseudocontact shifts (PCSs) have been established as a structural tool for globular proteins. Here, we demonstrate that a PCS-based approach can be successfully applied for the structure determination of integral membrane proteins. Using the 7TM α-helical microbial receptor pSRII, we show that PCS-derived restraints from lanthanide binding tags attached to four different positions of the protein facilitate the backbone structure determination when combined with a limited set of NOEs. In contrast, the same set of NOEs fails to determine the correct 3D fold. The latter situation is frequently encountered in polytopical α-helical membrane proteins and a PCS approach is thus suitable even for this particularly challenging class of membrane proteins. The ease of measuring PCSs makes this an attractive route for structure determination of large membrane proteins in general.

  14. Microfluidic microbial fuel cells: from membrane to membrane free (United States)

    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.

  15. Blend Concepts for Fuel Cell Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    J. Kerres


    @@ 1Introduction Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) are an alternative to lithium ion batteries as energy supply for mobile applications such as laptops, PDA's and cellphones. It would be advantageous if pure or highly concentrated methanol could be used as the fuel in these DMFC, due to the high energy density of meOH. However, most of the ionomer membranes used up to now as proton conductor in DMFC can not withstand pure or highly concentrated methanol due to extreme swelling or even dissolution under these conditions. Therefore it is required to prepare H+ -conducting membranes which remain dimensionally stable in pure or highly concentrated methanol. One way to approach this goal is to cross-link the ionomer membranes so that the swelling under the desired methanol-rich conditions is limited.

  16. Porous silicon membrane for micro fuel cell applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torres, N.; Duch, M.; Santander, J.; Sabate, N.; Esquivel, J.P.; Tarancon, A.; Cane, C. [Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Barcelona (Spain). Centro National de Microelectronica


    Significant advances have been made in the field of microsystems to offer a wide variety of applications for these devices. However, improvements in powering these devices are needed in order to obtain an autonomous power supply without increasing either the size or the cost of the devices. A promising solution involves the use of micro fuel cells instead of standard batteries, due to their easy portability, high autonomy and fast and inexpensive fuel refilling. Research in this area is based mainly on hybrid approaches consisting of microfabricated silicon parts assembled together with a Nafion thin film as a proton exchange membrane. However, higher functionality of these devices would be achieved by integrating these power sources within the microsystems to be powered. The development of specific technologies based on standard fabrication processes has to be approached and the electrode and the electrolyte will have to be developed with fabrication techniques compatible with microelectronic technologies. Porous silicon has proved to be a promising material to replace traditional Nafion-based proton exchange membranes, as this material provides a porous matrix that can be functionalized for further proton exchange behaviour. This paper presented a study that used different anodization conditions and types of silicon material to characterize the anodization process in bulk silicon. The obtained results were used to fabricate porous membranes suitable for applicability as electrolyte-frame in proton exchange membrane micro fuel cells. It was concluded that further work is needed involving pore filling with a 5 per cent Nafion solution to provide the membrane with a proton exchange capability. Moreover, a proton conductivity characterization of the membrane will be carried out as well as a complete implementation of this membrane in a final device. 10 refs., 1 tab., 6 figs.

  17. VAMP-1: a synaptic vesicle-associated integral membrane protein. (United States)

    Trimble, W S; Cowan, D M; Scheller, R H


    Several proteins are associated with, or are integral components of, the lipid bilayer that forms the delineating membrane of neuronal synaptic vesicles. To characterize these molecules, we used a polyclonal antiserum raised against purified cholinergic synaptic vesicles from Torpedo to screen a cDNA expression library constructed from mRNA of the electromotor nucleus. One clone encodes VAMP-1 (vesicle-associated membrane protein 1), a nervous-system-specific protein of 120 amino acids whose primary sequence can be divided into three domains: a proline-rich amino terminus, a highly charged internal region, and a hydrophobic carboxyl-terminal domain that is predicted to comprise a membrane anchor. Tryptic digestion of intact and lysed vesicles suggests that the protein faces the cytoplasm, where it may play a role in packaging, transport, or release of neurotransmitters. Images PMID:3380805

  18. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells modeling

    CERN Document Server

    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

  19. Coordination of peptidoglycan synthesis and outer membrane constriction during Escherichia coli cell division

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gray, A.N.; Egan, A.J.F.; van 't Veer, I.L.; Verheul, J.; Colavin, A.; Koumoutsi, A.; Biboy, J.; Altelaar, A.F.M.; Damen, M.J.; Huang, K.C.; Simorre, J.P.; Breukink, E.; den Blaauwen, T.; Typas, A.; Gross, C.A.; Vollmer, W.


    To maintain cellular structure and integrity during division, Gram-negative bacteria must carefully coordinate constriction of a tripartite cell envelope of inner membrane, peptidoglycan (PG), and outer membrane (OM). It has remained enigmatic how this is accomplished. Here, we show that envelope ma

  20. Antimonide-based membranes synthesis integration and strain engineering (United States)

    Anwar, Farhana; Klein, Brianna A.; Rasoulof, Amin; Dawson, Noel M.; Schuler-Sandy, Ted; Deneke, Christoph F.; Ferreira, Sukarno O.; Cavallo, Francesca; Krishna, Sanjay


    Antimonide compounds are fabricated in membrane form to enable materials combinations that cannot be obtained by direct growth and to support strain fields that are not possible in the bulk. InAs/(InAs,Ga)Sb type II superlattices (T2SLs) with different in-plane geometries are transferred from a GaSb substrate to a variety of hosts, including Si, polydimethylsiloxane, and metal-coated substrates. Electron microscopy shows structural integrity of transferred membranes with thickness of 100 nm to 2.5 μm and lateral sizes from 24×24μm2 to 1×1 cm2. Electron microscopy reveals the excellent quality of the membrane interface with the new host. The crystalline structure of the T2SL is not altered by the fabrication process, and a minimal elastic relaxation occurs during the release step, as demonstrated by X-ray diffraction and mechanical modeling. A method to locally strain-engineer antimonide-based membranes is theoretically illustrated. Continuum elasticity theory shows that up to ∼3.5% compressive strain can be induced in an InSb quantum well through external bending. Photoluminescence spectroscopy and characterization of an IR photodetector based on InAs/GaSb bonded to Si demonstrate the functionality of transferred membranes in the IR range. PMID:27986953

  1. Fuel cell membranes and crossover prevention (United States)

    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. Ethanol fermentation integrated with PDMS composite membrane: An effective process. (United States)

    Fu, Chaohui; Cai, Di; Hu, Song; Miao, Qi; Wang, Yong; Qin, Peiyong; Wang, Zheng; Tan, Tianwei


    The polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane, prepared in water phase, was investigated in separation ethanol from model ethanol/water mixture and fermentation-pervaporation integrated process. Results showed that the PDMS membrane could effectively separate ethanol from model solution. When integrated with batch ethanol fermentation, the ethanol productivity was enhanced compared with conventional process. Fed-batch and continuous ethanol fermentation with pervaporation were also performed and studied. 396.2-663.7g/m(2)h and 332.4-548.1g/m(2)h of total flux with separation factor of 8.6-11.7 and 8-11.6, were generated in the fed-batch and continuous fermentation with pervaporation scenario, respectively. At the same time, high titre ethanol production of ∼417.2g/L and ∼446.3g/L were also achieved on the permeate side of membrane in the two scenarios, respectively. The integrated process was environmental friendly and energy saving, and has a promising perspective in long-terms operation.

  3. Polyarylenethioethersulfone Membranes for Fuel Cells (Postprint) (United States)


    release; distribution unlimited. See additional restrictions described on inside pages STINFO COPY © 2007 The Electrochemical Society AIR...PAO Case Number: 88ABW-2007-1713; Clearance Date: 24 July 2007. © 2007 The Electrochemical Society . The U.S. Government is joint author of the to be a potential candidate for membranes in fuel cells. © 2007 The Electrochemical Society . DOI: 10.1149/1.2755881 All rights reserved

  4. Polyethylenimine-mediated impairment of mitochondrial membrane potential, respiration and membrane integrity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Anna Karina; Malinska, Dominika; Koszela-Piotrowska, Izabela;


    -dependent manner can affect functions (membrane potential, swelling and respiration) and ultrastructural integrity of freshly isolated rat liver mitochondria. The threshold concentration for detection of PEI-mediated impairment of rat liver mitochondrial functions is 3 µg/mL, however, lower PEI levels still exert...... some effects on mitochondrial morphology and respiration, and these may be related to the inherent membrane perturbing properties of this polycation. The PEI-mediated mitochondrial swelling phase is biphasic, with a fast decaying initial period (most prominent from 4 µg/mL PEI) followed by a slower......, linear swelling response. The slow phase is presumably the result of a time-dependent transition permeability opening in mitochondria initially resistant to swelling/depolarization, but may further be related to PEI-induced nanoscale structural defects and/or formation of pores in the outer membrane...

  5. Ion transport through biological membranes an integrated theoretical approach

    CERN Document Server

    Mackey, Michael C


    This book illustrates some of the ways physics and mathematics have been, and are being, used to elucidate the underlying mechan­ isms of passive ion movement through biological membranes in general, and the membranes of excltable cells in particular. I have made no effort to be comprehensive in my introduction of biological material and the reader interested in a brief account of single cell electro­ physlology from a physically-oriented biologists viewpoint will find the chapters by Woodbury (1965) an excellent introduction. Part I is introductory in nature, exploring the basic electrical properties of inexcitable and excitable cell plasma membranes. Cable theory is utilized to illustrate the function of the non-decrementing action potential as a signaling mechanism for the long range trans­ mission of information in the nervous system, and to gain some in­ sight into the gross behaviour of neurons. The detailed analysis of Hodgkin and Huxley on the squid giant axon membrane ionic conductance properties...

  6. Fabrication and characterization of an integrated ionic device from suspended polypyrrole and alamethicin-reconstituted lipid bilayer membranes (United States)

    Northcutt, Robert; Sundaresan, Vishnu-Baba


    Conducting polymers are electroactive materials that undergo conformal relaxation of the polymer backbone in the presence of an electrical field through ion exchange with solid or aqueous electrolytes. This conformal relaxation and the associated morphological changes make conducting polymers highly suitable for actuation and sensing applications. Among smart materials, bioderived active materials also use ion transport for sensing and actuation functions via selective ion transport. The transporter proteins extracted from biological cell membranes and reconstituted into a bilayer lipid membrane in bioderived active materials regulate ion transport for engineering functions. The protein transporter reconstituted in the bilayer lipid membrane is referred to as the bioderived membrane and serves as the active component in bioderived active materials. Inspired by the similarities in the physics of transduction in conducting polymers and bioderived active materials, an integrated ionic device is formed from the bioderived membrane and the conducting polymer membrane. This ionic device is fabricated into a laminated thin-film membrane and a common ion that can be processed by the bioderived and the conducting polymer membranes couple the ionic function of these two membranes. An integrated ionic device, fabricated from polypyrrole (PPy) doped with sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate (NaDBS) and an alamethicin-reconstituted DPhPC bilayer lipid membrane, is presented in this paper. A voltage-gated sodium current regulates the electrochemical response in the PPy(DBS) layer. The integrated device is fabricated on silicon-based substrates through microfabrication, electropolymerization, and vesicle fusion, and ionic activity is characterized through electrochemical measurements.

  7. Use of pressure-hold test for sterilizing filter membrane integrity in radiopharmaceutical manufacturing. (United States)

    Belanger, Anthony P; Byrne, John F; Paolino, Justin M; DeGrado, Timothy R


    The bubble point test is the de facto standard for postproduction filter membrane integrity test in the radiopharmaceutical community. However, the bubble point test depends on a subjective visual assessment of bubbling rate that can be obscured by significant diffusive gas flows below the manufacturer's prescribed bubble point. To provide a more objective means to assess filter membrane integrity, this study evaluates the pressure-hold test as an alternative to the bubble point test. In our application of the pressure-hold test, the nonsterile side of the sterilizing filter is pressurized to 85% of the predetermined bubble point with nitrogen, the filter system is closed off from the pressurizing gas and the pressure is monitored over a prescribed time interval. The drop in pressure, which has a known relationship with diffusive gas flow, is used as a quantitative measure of membrane integrity. Characterization of the gas flow vs. pressure relationship of each filter/solution combination provides an objective and quantitative means for defining a critical value of pressure drop over which the membrane is indicated to be nonintegral. The method is applied to sterilizing filter integrity testing associated with the commonly produced radiopharmaceuticals, [(18)F]FDG and [(11)C]PIB. The method is shown to be robust, practical and amenable to automation in radiopharmaceutical manufacturing environments (e.g., hot cells).

  8. Use of pressure-hold test for sterilizing filter membrane integrity in radiopharmaceutical manufacturing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belanger, Anthony P.; Byrne, John F.; Paolino, Justin M. [Brigham and Women' s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115 (United States); DeGrado, Timothy R. [Brigham and Women' s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115 (United States)], E-mail:


    The bubble point test is the de facto standard for postproduction filter membrane integrity test in the radiopharmaceutical community. However, the bubble point test depends on a subjective visual assessment of bubbling rate that can be obscured by significant diffusive gas flows below the manufacturer's prescribed bubble point. To provide a more objective means to assess filter membrane integrity, this study evaluates the pressure-hold test as an alternative to the bubble point test. In our application of the pressure-hold test, the nonsterile side of the sterilizing filter is pressurized to 85% of the predetermined bubble point with nitrogen, the filter system is closed off from the pressurizing gas and the pressure is monitored over a prescribed time interval. The drop in pressure, which has a known relationship with diffusive gas flow, is used as a quantitative measure of membrane integrity. Characterization of the gas flow vs. pressure relationship of each filter/solution combination provides an objective and quantitative means for defining a critical value of pressure drop over which the membrane is indicated to be nonintegral. The method is applied to sterilizing filter integrity testing associated with the commonly produced radiopharmaceuticals, [{sup 18}F]FDG and [{sup 11}C]PIB. The method is shown to be robust, practical and amenable to automation in radiopharmaceutical manufacturing environments (e.g., hot cells)

  9. Solid-state NMR structures of integral membrane proteins. (United States)

    Patching, Simon G


    Solid-state NMR is unique for its ability to obtain three-dimensional structures and to measure atomic-resolution structural and dynamic information for membrane proteins in native lipid bilayers. An increasing number and complexity of integral membrane protein structures have been determined by solid-state NMR using two main methods. Oriented sample solid-state NMR uses macroscopically aligned lipid bilayers to obtain orientational restraints that define secondary structure and global fold of embedded peptides and proteins and their orientation and topology in lipid bilayers. Magic angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR uses unoriented rapidly spinning samples to obtain distance and torsion angle restraints that define tertiary structure and helix packing arrangements. Details of all current protein structures are described, highlighting developments in experimental strategy and other technological advancements. Some structures originate from combining solid- and solution-state NMR information and some have used solid-state NMR to refine X-ray crystal structures. Solid-state NMR has also validated the structures of proteins determined in different membrane mimetics by solution-state NMR and X-ray crystallography and is therefore complementary to other structural biology techniques. By continuing efforts in identifying membrane protein targets and developing expression, isotope labelling and sample preparation strategies, probe technology, NMR experiments, calculation and modelling methods and combination with other techniques, it should be feasible to determine the structures of many more membrane proteins of biological and biomedical importance using solid-state NMR. This will provide three-dimensional structures and atomic-resolution structural information for characterising ligand and drug interactions, dynamics and molecular mechanisms of membrane proteins under physiological lipid bilayer conditions.

  10. The Molecular Structure of Human Red Blood Cell Membranes from Highly Oriented, Solid Supported Multi-Lamellar Membranes (United States)

    Himbert, Sebastian; Alsop, Richard J.; Rose, Markus; Hertz, Laura; Dhaliwal, Alexander; Moran-Mirabal, Jose M.; Verschoor, Chris P.; Bowdish, Dawn M. E.; Kaestner, Lars; Wagner, Christian; Rheinstädter, Maikel C.


    We prepared highly oriented, multi-lamellar stacks of human red blood cell (RBC) membranes applied on silicon wafers. RBC ghosts were prepared by hemolysis and applied onto functionalized silicon chips and annealed into multi-lamellar RBC membranes. High resolution X-ray diffraction was used to determine the molecular structure of the stacked membranes. We present direct experimental evidence that these RBC membranes consist of nanometer sized domains of integral coiled-coil peptides, as well as liquid ordered (lo) and liquid disordered (ld) lipids. Lamellar spacings, membrane and hydration water layer thicknesses, areas per lipid tail and domain sizes were determined. The common drug aspirin was added to the RBC membranes and found to interact with RBC membranes and preferably partition in the head group region of the lo domain leading to a fluidification of the membranes, i.e., a thinning of the bilayers and an increase in lipid tail spacing. Our results further support current models of RBC membranes as patchy structures and provide unprecedented structural details of the molecular organization in the different domains.

  11. Cryodamage to plasma membrane integrity in head and tail regions of human sperm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei-JieZHU; Xue-GaoLIU


    Aim: To investigate the effect of cryopreservation on the plasma membrane integrity in the head and tail regions of individual sperm, and the relationship between intact cryopreserved sperm and its motility and zona-free hamster oocyte penetration rate. Methods: The eosin Y exclusion and the hypoosmotic swelling tests were combined to form a single test (HOS-EY test) to identify the spermatozoa with four types of membrane integrity. Results: After cryopreservation, there was a marked decline in the percentage of spermatozoa with Type IV membrane integrity (head membrane intact/tail membrane intact), and a significant increase in those with Type Ⅰ (head membrane damaged/tail membrane damaged) and Type Ⅲ (head membrane damaged/tail membrane intact) membrane integrity (n = 50, P0.05). Conclusion: (1) The HOS-EY test has the advantage of showing four patterns of membrane integrity in individual spermatozoon; (2) Cryopreservation causes a significant membrane rupture in the head and tail regions of spermatozoa; Type IT[ is the main transitional state of membrane cryodamage; (3) Cryodamage to head and tail membrane may occur independently; the presence of an intact tail membrane does not necessarily indicate the intactness of head membrane. (4) Intact membranes am closely related to postthaw motility, but do not reflect the fertilizing potential.

  12. Major integral membrane protein immunogens of Treponema pallidum are proteolipids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chamberlain, N.R.; Brandt, M.E.; Erwin, A.L.; Radolf, J.D.; Norgard, M.V. (Univ. of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (USA))


    A number of the major pathogen-specific immunogens of Treponema pallidum were characterized recently as amphiphilic, integral membrane proteins by phase partitioning with Triton X-114. In the present study, we demonstrated that the same membrane immunogens (designated as detergent phase proteins (DPPs)) become radiolabeled upon in vitro incubation of T. pallidum with various {sup 3}H-labeled fatty acids. Radioimmunoprecipitation with a monoclonal antibody confirmed that the {sup 3}H-labeled 47-kilodalton protein corresponded to the well-characterized treponemal antigen with the identical apparent molecular mass. Failure to detect {sup 3}H-labeled DPPs following incubation with erythromycin confirmed that protein acylation required de novo protein synthesis by the bacteria. When treponemes were incubated with ({sup 3}H)myristate, ({sup 3}H)palmitate, or ({sup 3}H)oleate, radiolabeled proteins corresponding to the DPPs were detected upon autoradiography. Demonstration that a number of the abundant membrane immunogens of T. pallidum are proteolipids provides information to help clarify their membrane association(s) and may serve to explain their extraordinary immunogenicity.

  13. Cell membrane-camouflaged nanoparticles for drug delivery. (United States)

    Luk, Brian T; Zhang, Liangfang


    Nanoparticles can preferentially accumulate at sites of action and hold great promise to improve the therapeutic index of many drugs. While conventional methods of nanocarrier-mediated drug delivery have focused on primarily synthetic approaches, engineering strategies that combine synthetic nanoparticles with natural biomaterials have recently gained much attention. In particular, cell membrane-camouflaged nanoparticles are a new class of biomimetic nanoparticles that combine the unique functionalities of cellular membranes and engineering versatility of synthetic nanomaterials for effective delivery of therapeutic agents. Herein, we report on the recent progress on cell membrane-coated nanoparticles for drug delivery. In particular, we highlight three areas: (i) prolonging systemic circulation via cell membrane coating, (ii) cell-specific targeting via cell membrane coating, and (iii) applications of cell membrane coating for drug delivery. The cell membrane-camouflaged nanoparticle platform has emerged as a novel delivery strategy with the potential to improve the therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of a variety of diseases.

  14. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  15. Electropermeabilization mediates a stable insertion of glycophorin A with Chinese hamster ovary cell membranes. (United States)

    el Ouagari, K; Benoist, H; Sixou, S; Teissie, J


    Electropulsation allowed us to incorporate glycophorin A, an integral membrane protein, into mammalian nucleated cell membranes (Chinese hamster ovary cells). The induction of stable protein association is effective only when the field intensity is higher than its threshold value, creating membrane permeabilization to small molecules. Under controlled conditions, cell viability was only slightly altered by this treatment. Pulse number and duration controlled both the number of modified cells and incorporated molecules. The phenomena was temperature dependent. An average of 5 x 10(4) molecules/cell was bound. About 80% of cells in the pulsed population were observed to incorporate glycophorin. The protein incorporation was shown to be stable 48 h after electroassociation. Electrically bound proteins were shared between the cells after each division. As enhanced binding is detected if glycophorin is added after the pulses, it is the long-lived alteration of the membrane mediated by the pulses which supports the association.

  16. Integrity of the plasma membrane, the acrosomal membrane, and the mitochondrial membrane potential of sperm in Nelore bulls from puberty to sexual maturity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.S.L.S. Reis


    Full Text Available ABSTRACT This study evaluated the plasma membrane integrity, acrosomal membrane integrity, and mitochondrial membrane potential of Nelore bull sperm from early puberty to early sexual maturity and their associations with sperm motility and vigor, the mass motility of the spermatozoa (wave motion, scrotal circumference, and testosterone. Sixty Nelore bulls aged 18 to 19 months were divided into four lots (n=15 bulls/lot and evaluated over 280 days. Semen samples, collected every 56 days by electroejaculation, were evaluated soon after collection for motility, vigor and wave motion under an optical microscope. Sperm membrane integrity, acrosomal integrity, and mitochondrial activity were evaluated under a fluorescent microscope using probe association (FITC-PSA, PI, JC-1, H342. The sperm were classified into eight integrity categories depending on whether they exhibited intact or damaged membranes, an intact or damaged acrosomal membrane, and high or low mitochondrial potential. The results show that bulls have a low amount of sperm with intact membranes at puberty, and the sperm show low motility, vigor, and wave motion; however, in bulls at early sexual maturity, the integrity of the sperm membrane increased significantly. The rate of sperm membrane damage was negatively correlated with motility, vigor, wave motion, and testosterone in the bulls, and a positive correlation existed between sperm plasma membrane integrity and scrotal circumference. The integrity of the acrosomal membrane was not influenced by puberty. During puberty and into early sexual maturity, bulls show low sperm mitochondrial potential, but when bulls reached sexual maturity, high membrane integrity with high mitochondrial potential was evident.

  17. Cell dualism: presence of cells with alternative membrane potentials in growing populations of bacteria and yeasts. (United States)

    Ivanov, Volodymyr; Rezaeinejad, Saeid; Chu, Jian


    It is considered that all growing cells, for exception of acidophilic bacteria, have negatively charged inside cytoplasmic membrane (Δψ⁻-cells). Here we show that growing populations of microbial cells contain a small portion of cells with positively charged inside cytoplasmic membrane (Δψ⁺-cells). These cells were detected after simultaneous application of the fluorescent probes for positive membrane potential (anionic dye DIBAC⁻) and membrane integrity (propidium iodide, PI). We found in exponentially growing cell populations of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae that the content of live Δψ⁻-cells was 93.6 ± 1.8 % for bacteria and 90.4 ± 4.0 % for yeasts and the content of live Δψ⁺-cells was 0.9 ± 0.3 % for bacteria and 2.4 ± 0.7 % for yeasts. Hypothetically, existence of Δψ⁺-cells could be due to short-term, about 1 min for bacteria and 5 min for yeasts, change of membrane potential from negative to positive value during the cell cycle. This change has been shown by the reversions of K⁺, Na⁺, and Ca²⁺ ions fluxes across the cell membrane during synchronous yeast culture. The transformation of Δψ(⁻-cells to Δψ⁺-cells can be explained by slow influx of K⁺ ions into Δψ⁻-cell to the trigger level of K⁺ concentration ("compression of potassium spring"), which is forming "alternative" Δψ⁺-cell for a short period, following with fast efflux of K⁺ ions out of Δψ⁺-cell ("release of potassium spring") returning cell to normal Δψ⁻ state. We anticipate our results to be a starting point to reveal the biological role of cell dualism in form of Δψ⁻- and Δψ⁺- cells.

  18. Integrated approach to characterize fouling on a flat sheet membrane gravity driven submerged membrane bioreactor. (United States)

    Fortunato, Luca; Jeong, Sanghyun; Wang, Yiran; Behzad, Ali R; Leiknes, TorOve


    Fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBR) is acknowledged to be complex and unclear. An integrated characterization methodology was employed in this study to understand the fouling on a gravity-driven submerged MBR (GD-SMBR). It involved the use of different analytical tools, including optical coherence tomography (OCT), liquid chromatography with organic carbon detection (LC-OCD), total organic carbon (TOC), flow cytometer (FCM), adenosine triphosphate analysis (ATP) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The three-dimensional (3D) biomass morphology was acquired in a real-time through non-destructive and in situ OCT scanning of 75% of the total membrane surface directly in the tank. Results showed that the biomass layer was homogeneously distributed on the membrane surface. The amount of biomass was selectively linked with final destructive autopsy techniques. The LC-OCD analysis indicated the abundance of low molecular weight (LMW) organics in the fouling composition. Three different SEM techniques were applied to investigate the detailed fouling morphology on the membrane.

  19. Integrated approach to characterize fouling on a flat sheet membrane gravity driven submerged membrane bioreactor

    KAUST Repository

    Fortunato, Luca


    Fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBR) is acknowledged to be complex and unclear. An integrated characterization methodology was employed in this study to understand the fouling on a gravity-driven submerged MBR (GD-SMBR). It involved the use of different analytical tools, including optical coherence tomography (OCT), liquid chromatography with organic carbon detection (LC-OCD), total organic carbon (TOC), flow cytometer (FCM), adenosine triphosphate analysis (ATP) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The three-dimensional (3D) biomass morphology was acquired in a real-time through non-destructive and in situ OCT scanning of 75% of the total membrane surface directly in the tank. Results showed that the biomass layer was homogeneously distributed on the membrane surface. The amount of biomass was selectively linked with final destructive autopsy techniques. The LC-OCD analysis indicated the abundance of low molecular weight (LMW) organics in the fouling composition. Three different SEM techniques were applied to investigate the detailed fouling morphology on the membrane. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

  20. Membrane Tether Formation on a Cell Surface with Reservoir

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIANG Yu-Qiang; GUO Hong-Lian; LIU Chun-Xiang; LI Zhao-Lin; CHENG Bing-Ying; ZHANG Dao-Zhong; JIA Suo-Tang


    @@ We propose a mathematical model to analyse the membrane tether formation process on a cell surface with reservoir. Based on the experimental results, the membrane reservoir density of breast cancer cell was obtained,p = 8.02. The membrane surface viscosity between membrane and environment η is 0.021(pN.s/μm3), and the static force F0 = 5.71 pN.

  1. Dendronized Polymer Architectures for Fuel Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    Multi‐step synthetic pathways to low‐ion exchange capacity (IEC) polysulfone (PSU) with sulfonic acid functionalized aliphatic dendrons and sulfonated comb‐type PSU structures are developed and investigated in a comparative study as non‐fluorinated proton exchange membrane (PEM) candidates. In each...... 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. Nanocomposite Membranes based on Perlfuorosulfonic Acid/Ceramic for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  3. Plasma membranes from insect midgut cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    A quaternary ammonium polybenzimidazole (QPBI) membrane was synthesized for applications in intermediate temperature (100–200 °C) hydrogen fuel cells. The QPBI membrane was imbibed with phosphoric acid to provide suitable proton conductivity. The proton conductivity of the membrane was 0.051 S cm–1...... 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 m...

  5. Simulation and in situ measurement of stress distribution in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack (United States)

    de la Cruz, Javier; Cano, Ulises; Romero, Tatiana


    A critical parameter for PEM fuel cell's electric contact is the nominal clamping pressure. Predicting the mechanical behavior of all components in a fuel cell stack is a very complex task due to the diversity of materials properties. Prior to the integration of a 3 kW PEMFC power plant, a numerical simulation was performed in order to obtain the mechanical stress distribution for two of the most pressure sensitive components of the stack: the membrane, and the graphite plates. The stress distribution of the above mentioned components was numerically simulated by finite element analysis and the stress magnitude for the membrane was confirmed using pressure films. Stress values were found within the elastic zone which guarantees mechanical integrity of fuel cell components. These low stress levels particularly for the membrane will allow prolonging the life and integrity of the fuel cell stack according to its design specifications.

  6. Osmotic tolerance limits and effects of cryoprotectants on the motility, plasma membrane integrity and acrosomal integrity of rat sperm. (United States)

    Si, Wei; Benson, James D; Men, Hongsheng; Critser, John K


    Osmotic stress is an important factor that can result in cell damage during cryopreservation. The objectives of this study were to determine: (1) isosmotic sperm cell volume; (2) osmotically inactive volume; (3) osmotic tolerance limits of rat sperm; and (4) the effects of addition and removal of glycerol (Gly), ethylene glycol (EG), propylene glycol (PG) or dimethyl sulfoxide (Me(2)SO) on rat sperm function. Sperm from Fischer 344 and Sprague-Dawley rats were used in this study. An electronic particle counter was used to measure the cell volume of rat sperm. Computer-assisted sperm motility analysis and flow-cytometric analysis were used to assess sperm motility, plasma membrane and acrosomal integrity. The isosmotic sperm cell volumes of the two strains were 37.0+/-0.1 and 36.2+/-0.2 microm(3), respectively. Rat sperm behaved as linear osmometers from 260 to 450 mOsm, and the osmotically inactive sperm volumes of the two strains were 79.8+/-1.5% and 81.4+/-2.2%, respectively. Rat sperm have very limited osmotic tolerances. The sperm motility and the sperm plasma membranes of both strains were sensitive to anisosmotic treatments, but the acrosomes of both strains were more sensitive to hyposmotic than hyperosmotic conditions. The one-step addition and removal of Me(2)SO showed the most deleterious effect on rat sperm motility, plasma membrane integrity, and acrosomal integrity among the four cryoprotectants. These data characterizing rat sperm osmotic behavior, osmotic and cryoprotectant tolerance will be used to design cryopreservation protocols for rat sperm.

  7. Changes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell membrane components and promotion to ethanol tolerance during the bioethanol fermentation. (United States)

    Dong, Shi-Jun; Yi, Chen-Feng; Li, Hao


    During bioethanol fermentation process, Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell membrane might provide main protection to tolerate accumulated ethanol, and S. cerevisiae cells might also remodel their membrane compositions or structure to try to adapt to or tolerate the ethanol stress. However, the exact changes and roles of S. cerevisiae cell membrane components during bioethanol fermentation still remains poorly understood. This study was performed to clarify changes and roles of S. cerevisiae cell membrane components during bioethanol fermentation. Both cell diameter and membrane integrity decreased as fermentation time lasting. Moreover, compared with cells at lag phase, cells at exponential and stationary phases had higher contents of ergosterol and oleic acid (C18:1) but lower levels of hexadecanoic (C16:0) and palmitelaidic (C16:1) acids. Contents of most detected phospholipids presented an increase tendency during fermentation process. Increased contents of oleic acid and phospholipids containing unsaturated fatty acids might indicate enhanced cell membrane fluidity. Compared with cells at lag phase, cells at exponential and stationary phases had higher expressions of ACC1 and HFA1. However, OLE1 expression underwent an evident increase at exponential phase but a decrease at following stationary phase. These results indicated that during bioethanol fermentation process, yeast cells remodeled membrane and more changeable cell membrane contributed to acquiring higher ethanol tolerance of S. cerevisiae cells. These results highlighted our knowledge about relationship between the variation of cell membrane structure and compositions and ethanol tolerance, and would contribute to a better understanding of bioethanol fermentation process and construction of industrial ethanologenic strains with higher ethanol tolerance.

  8. Focus on membrane differentiation and membrane domains in the prokaryotic cell. (United States)

    Boekema, Egbert J; Scheffers, Dirk-Jan; van Bezouwen, Laura S; Bolhuis, Henk; Folea, I Mihaela


    A summary is presented of membrane differentiation in the prokaryotic cell, with an emphasis on the organization of proteins in the plasma/cell membrane. Many species belonging to the Eubacteria and Archaea have special membrane domains and/or membrane proliferation, which are vital for different cellular processes. Typical membrane domains are found in bacteria where a specific membrane protein is abundantly expressed. Lipid rafts form another example. Despite the rareness of conventional organelles as found in eukaryotes, some bacteria are known to have an intricate internal cell membrane organization. Membrane proliferation can be divided into curvature and invaginations which can lead to internal compartmentalization. This study discusses some of the clearest examples of bacteria with such domains and internal membranes. The need for membrane specialization is highest among the heterogeneous group of bacteria which harvest light energy, such as photosynthetic bacteria and halophilic archaea. Most of the highly specialized membranes and domains, such as the purple membrane, chromatophore and chlorosome, are found in these autotrophic organisms. Otherwise the need for membrane differentiation is lower and variable, except for those structures involved in cell division. Microscopy techniques have given essential insight into bacterial membrane morphology. As microscopy will further contribute to the unraveling of membrane organization in the years to come, past and present technology in electron microscopy and light microscopy is discussed. Electron microscopy was the first to unravel bacterial morphology because it can directly visualize membranes with inserted proteins, which no other technique can do. Electron microscopy techniques developed in the 1950s and perfected in the following decades involve the thin sectioning and freeze fractioning of cells. Several studies from the golden age of these techniques show amazing examples of cell membrane morphology

  9. Nanoporous Aluminium Oxide Membranes as Cell Interfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothea Brüggemann


    Full Text Available Nanoporous anodic aluminium oxide (AAO has become increasingly important in biomedical applications over the past years due to its biocompatibility, increased surface area, and the possibility to tailor this nanomaterial with a wide range of surface modifications. AAO nanopores are formed in an inexpensive anodisation process of pure aluminium, which results in the self-assembly of highly ordered, vertical nanochannels with well-controllable pore diameters, depths, and interpore distances. Because of these outstanding properties AAO nanopores have become excellent candidates as nanostructured substrates for cell-interface studies. In this comprehensive review previous surveys on cell adhesion and proliferation on different AAO nanopore geometries and surface modifications are highlighted and summarised tabularly. Future applications of nanoporous alumina membranes in biotechnology and medicine are also outlined, for instance, the use of nanoporous AAO as implant modifications, coculture substrates, or immunoisolation devices.

  10. Cytocompatibility of Three Corneal Cell Types with Amniotic Membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHENJian-su; CHENRui; XUJin-tang; DINGYong; ZHAOSong-bin; LISui-lian


    Rabbit limbal corneal epithelial cells, corneal endothelial cells and keratocytes were cultured on amniotic membrane. Phase contrast microscope examination was performed daily. Histological and scan electron microscopic examinations were carried out to observe the growth, arrangement and adhesion of cultivated cells. Results showed that three corneal cell types seeded on amniotic membrane grew well and had normal cell morphology. Cultured cells attached firmly on the surface of amniotic membrane. Corneal epithelial cells showed singular layer or stratification. Cell boundaries were formed and tightly opposed. Corneal endothelial cells showed cobblestone or polygonal morphologic characteristics that appeared uniform in size. The cellular arrangement was compact. Keratocytes elongated and showed triangle or dendritic morphology with many intercellular joints which could form networks. In conclusion, amniotic membrane has good scaffold property, diffusion effect and compatibility with corneal cells. The basement membrane side of amniotic membrane facilitated the growth of corneal epithelial cells and endothelial cells and cell junctions were tightly developed. The spongy layer of amniotic membrane facilitated the growth of keratocytes and intercellular joints were rich. Amniotic membrane is an ideal biomaterial for layering tissue engineered cornea.

  11. Efficient ethanol recovery from yeast fermentation broth with integrated distillation-membrane process (United States)

    A hybrid process integrating vapor stripping with vapor compression and vapor permeation membrane separation, termed Membrane Assisted Vapor Stripping (MAVS), was evaluated for recovery and dehydration of ethanol from aqueous solution as an alternative to conventional distillatio...

  12. Impedance study of membrane dehydration and compression in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Canut, Jean-Marc; Latham, Ruth; Merida, Walter; Harrington, David A. [Institute for Integrated Energy Systems, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia (Canada)


    Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is used to measure drying and rehydration in proton exchange membrane fuel cells running under load. The hysteresis between forward and backward acquisition of polarization curves is shown to be largely due to changes in the membrane resistance. Drying tests are carried out with hydrogen and simulated reformate (hydrogen and carbon dioxide), and quasi-periodic drying and rehydration conditions are studied. The membrane hydration state is clearly linked to the high-frequency arc in the impedance spectrum, which increases in size for dry conditions indicating an increase in membrane resistance. Changes in impedance spectra as external compression is applied to the cell assembly show that EIS can separate membrane and interfacial effects, and that changes in membrane resistance dominate. Reasons for the presence of a capacitance in parallel with the membrane resistance are discussed. (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  14. Characterization of lysosomal membrane proteins of Dictyostelium discoideum. A complex population of acidic integral membrane glycoproteins, Rab GTP-binding proteins and vacuolar ATPase subunits. (United States)

    Temesvari, L; Rodriguez-Paris, J; Bush, J; Steck, T L; Cardelli, J


    Highly purified lysosomes, prepared by magnetic fractionation of homogenates from Dictyostelium discoideum cells fed colloidal iron, were lysed under hypoosmotic conditions, and the membrane-associated proteins were subjected to gel electrophoresis. Thirteen major membrane polypeptides, ranging in molecular weight from 25,000 to 100,000 were identified. The isoelectric points of these proteins ranged from below 3.8 to greater than 7.0. Most of these proteins were stripped from membranes exposed to a chaotropic agent, 3,5-diodo-2-hydroxybenzoic acid lithium salt, and were therefore classified as peripheral membrane proteins. Twenty five glycoprotein species were detected by lectin blot analysis; 19 were classified as integral membrane proteins, and were, in general, larger than 45 kDa and negatively charged due in part to the presence of mannose 6-sulfate. Western blot analysis also demonstrated that a Rab 4-like GTPase, a Rab 7-like GTPase, and at least three subunits of the vacuolar ATPase were associated with the lysosomal membrane; the ATPase subunits appeared to be major proteins in lysosomal membranes. Finally, based on N-terminal sequence analysis of a major 41-kDa lysosome-associated membrane protein, we cloned a cDNA that encodes a protein (DVA41) highly homologous to a yeast and a bovine vacuolar ATPase subunit of approximately 41 kDa. The D. discoideum DVA41 gene was apparently a single copy gene, expressed at constant levels during growth and development.

  15. Membrane Fouling in Microfiltration used for Cell Harvesting

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  16. Membrane fouling in microfiltration used for cell harvesting (United States)

    Kaghazchi, Tahereh; Zokaee, Farzin; Zare, Abbas


    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.

  17. Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator Integration with the ISS Extravehicular Mobility (United States)

    Margiott, Victoria; Boyle, Robert


    NASA has developed a Solid Water Membrane Evaporation (SWME) to provide cooling for the next generation spacesuit. One approach to increasing the TRL of the system is to incorporate this hardware with the existing EMU. Several integration issues were addressed to support a potential demonstration of the SWME with the existing EMU. Systems analysis was performed to assess the capability of the SWME to maintain crewmember cooling and comfort as a replacement for sublimation. The materials of the SWME were reviewed to address compatibility with the EMU. Conceptual system placement and integration with the EMU via an EVA umbilical system to ensure crew mobility and Airlock egress were performed. A concept of operation for EVA use was identified that is compatible with the existing system. This concept is extensible as a means to provide cooling for the existing EMU. The cooling system of one of the EMUs on orbit has degraded, with the root cause undetermined. Should there be a common cause resident on ISS, this integration could provide a means to recover cooling capability for EMUs on orbit.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...... 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....

  19. Integral membrane pyrophosphatases: a novel drug target for human pathogens?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henri Xhaard


    Full Text Available Membrane-integral pyrophosphatases (mPPases are found in several human pathogens, including Plasmodium species, the protozoan parasites that cause malaria. These enzymes hydrolyze pyrophosphate and couple this to the pumping of ions (H+ and/or Na+ across a membrane to generate an electrochemical gradient. mPPases play an important role in stress tolerance in plants, protozoan parasites, and bacteria. The solved structures of mPPases from Vigna radiata and Thermotoga maritima open the possibility of using structure-based drug design to generate novel molecules or repurpose known molecules against this enzyme. Here, we review the current state of knowledge regarding mPPases, focusing on their structure, the proposed mechanism of action, and their role in human pathogens. We also summarize different methodologies in structure-based drug design and propose an example region on the mPPase structure that can be exploited by these structure-based methods for drug targeting. Since mPPases are not found in animals and humans, this enzyme is a promising potential drug target against livestock and human pathogens.

  20. NMR structure of the integral membrane protein OmpX. (United States)

    Fernández, César; Hilty, Christian; Wider, Gerhard; Güntert, Peter; Wüthrich, Kurt


    The structure of the integral membrane protein OmpX from Escherichia coli reconstituted in 60 kDa DHPC micelles (OmpX/DHPC) was calculated from 526 NOE upper limit distance constraints. The structure determination was based on complete sequence-specific assignments for the amide protons and the Val, Leu, and Ile(delta1) methyl groups in OmpX, which were selectively protonated on a perdeuterated background. The solution structure of OmpX in the DHPC micelles consists of a well-defined, eight-stranded antiparallel beta-barrel, with successive pairs of beta-strands connected by mobile loops. Several long-range NOEs observed outside of the transmembrane barrel characterize an extension of a four-stranded beta-sheet beyond the height of the barrel. This protruding beta-sheet is believed to be involved in intermolecular interactions responsible for the biological functions of OmpX. The present approach for de novo structure determination should be quite widely applicable to membrane proteins reconstituted in mixed micelles with overall molecular masses up to about 100 kDa, and may also provide a platform for additional functional studies.

  1. Conductivity Measurements of Synthesized Heteropoly Acid Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Record, K.A.; Haley, B.T.; Turner, J.


    Fuel cell technology is receiving attention due to its potential to be a pollution free method of electricity production when using renewably produced hydrogen as fuel. In a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell H2 and O2 react at separate electrodes, producing electricity, thermal energy, and water. A key component of the PEM fuel cell is the membrane that separates the electrodes. DuPont’s Nafion® is the most commonly used membrane in PEM fuel cells; however, fuel cell dehydration at temperatures near 100°C, resulting in poor conductivity, is a major hindrance to fuel cell performance. Recent studies incorporating heteropoly acids (HPAs) into membranes have shown an increase in conductivity and thus improvement in performance. HPAs are inorganic materials with known high proton conductivities. The primary objective of this work is to measure the conductivity of Nafion, X-Ionomer membranes, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Developed Membranes that are doped with different HPAs at different concentrations. Four-point conductivity measurements using a third generation BekkTech conductivity test cell are used to determine membrane conductivity. The effect of multiple temperature and humidification levels is also examined. While the classic commercial membrane, Nafion, has a conductivity of approximately 0.10 S/cm, measurements for membranes in this study range from 0.0030 – 0.58 S/cm, depending on membrane type, structure of the HPA, and the relative humidity. In general, the X-ionomer with H6P2W21O71 HPA gave the highest conductivity and the Nafion with the 12-phosphotungstic (PW12) HPA gave the lowest. The NREL composite membranes had conductivities on the order of 0.0013 – 0.025 S/cm.

  2. Tris buffer improves fluorescence yield of ram spermatozoa when evaluating membrane integrity. (United States)

    Yániz, Jesús Luis; Mateos, José Angel; Santolaria, Pilar


    This study was designed to evaluate the effect of various buffers on the fluorescence signal intensity of two fluorochromes (IP and CFDA) when used to assess the membrane integrity of ram sperm. Second ejaculates (18) from nine adult males were collected using an artificial vagina and diluted in either MOPS, TRIS, TES, HEPES, citrate, or phosphate-based extenders. Semen samples were stored at 15°C and the membrane integrity was assessed within the first 24 h of storage. Mean fluorescence intensity (FI) of PI- and CDFA-labeled sperm heads and fluorescence background noise (FBN) were determined quantitatively using Image J software. Fluorescence contrast (FC) was expressed as the difference between FI and FBN. Significantly, higher FI and FC were recorded when TRIS diluent was used, rather than the other diluents, both in the propidium- and fluorescein-labeled cells. The citrate and phosphate-based extenders showed intermediate results of FC between those of TRIS and zwitterionic (MOPS, TES and HEPES) groups for the PI-labeled sperm. However, in the CFDA-labeled sperm, the lower values of FC were obtained in the citrate and phosphate groups due to increased levels of FBN. For the membrane-damaged sperm, fluorescent labeling was limited to the sperm heads when TRIS-buffer was used, whereas in the other groups, the sperm tail was also frequently observed. It was concluded that TRIS buffer solution markedly increases the fluorescence yield of IP/CFDA-labeled sperm cells in the ram and that this should be considered when evaluating their membrane integrity.

  3. Deformation of Two-Dimensional Nonuniform-Membrane Red Blood Cells Simulated by a Lattice Boltzmann Model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Hua-Bing; JIN Li; QIU Bing


    To study two-dimensional red blood cells deforming in a shear flow with the membrane nonuniform on the rigidity and mass, the membrane is discretized into equilength segments. The fluid inside and outside the red blood cell is simulated by the D2Q9 lattice Boltzmann model and the hydrodynamic forces exerted on the membrane from the inner and outer of the red blood cell are calculated by a stress-integration method. Through the global deviation from the curvature of uniform-membrane, we find that when the membrane is nonuniform on the rigidity, the deviation first decreases with the time increases and implies that the terminal profile of the red blood cell is static. To a red blood cell with the mass nonuniform on the membrane, the deviation becomes more large, and the mass distribution affects the profile of the two sides of the flattened red blood cell in a shear flow.

  4. Diffusion-driven proton exchange membrane fuel cell for converting fermenting biomass to electricity. (United States)

    Malati, P; Mehrotra, P; Minoofar, P; Mackie, D M; Sumner, J J; Ganguli, R


    A membrane-integrated proton exchange membrane fuel cell that enables in situ fermentation of sugar to ethanol, diffusion-driven separation of ethanol, and its catalytic oxidation in a single continuous process is reported. The fuel cell consists of a fermentation chamber coupled to a direct ethanol fuel cell. The anode and fermentation chambers are separated by a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. Ethanol generated from fermented biomass in the fermentation chamber diffuses through the RO membrane into a glucose solution contained in the DEFC anode chamber. The glucose solution is osmotically neutral to the biomass solution in the fermentation chamber preventing the anode chamber from drying out. The fuel cell sustains >1.3 mW cm(-2) at 47°C with high discharge capacity. No separate purification or dilution is necessary, resulting in an efficient and portable system for direct conversion of fermenting biomass to electricity.

  5. Thin Robust Anion Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications (United States)


    provide inexpensive compact power from a wider variety of fuels than is possible with a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell, has continued aqueous solution. Interestingly though, while the proton transfer events in the anion exchange membrane are more frequent as would be ECS...release; distribution is unlimited. (Invited) Thin Robust Anion Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications The views, opinions and/or findings

  6. S4(13)-PV cell-penetrating peptide induces physical and morphological changes in membrane-mimetic lipid systems and cell membranes: implications for cell internalization. (United States)

    Cardoso, Ana M S; Trabulo, Sara; Cardoso, Ana L; Lorents, Annely; Morais, Catarina M; Gomes, Paula; Nunes, Cláudia; Lúcio, Marlene; Reis, Salette; Padari, Kärt; Pooga, Margus; Pedroso de Lima, Maria C; Jurado, Amália S


    The present work aims to gain insights into the role of peptide-lipid interactions in the mechanisms of cellular internalization and endosomal escape of the S4(13)-PV cell-penetrating peptide, which has been successfully used in our laboratory as a nucleic acid delivery system. A S4(13)-PV analogue, S4(13)-PVscr, displaying a scrambled amino acid sequence, deficient cell internalization and drug delivery inability, was used in this study for comparative purposes. Differential scanning calorimetry, fluorescence polarization and X-ray diffraction at small and wide angles techniques showed that both peptides interacted with anionic membranes composed of phosphatidylglycerol or a mixture of this lipid with phosphatidylethanolamine, increasing the lipid order, shifting the phase transition to higher temperatures and raising the correlation length between the bilayers. However, S4(13)-PVscr, in contrast to the wild-type peptide, did not promote lipid domain segregation and induced the formation of an inverted hexagonal lipid phase instead of a cubic phase in the lipid systems assayed. Electron microscopy showed that, as opposed to S4(13)-PVscr, the wild-type peptide induced the formation of a non-lamellar organization in membranes of HeLa cells. We concluded that lateral phase separation and destabilization of membrane lamellar structure without compromising membrane integrity are on the basis of the lipid-driven and receptor-independent mechanism of cell entry of S4(13)-PV peptide. Overall, our results can contribute to a better understanding of the role of peptide-lipid interactions in the mechanisms of cell-penetrating peptide membrane translocation, helping in the future design of more efficient cell-penetrating peptide-based drug delivery systems.

  7. Estimation of membrane hydration status for active proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems by impedance measurement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Török, Lajos; Sahlin, Simon Lennart; Kær, Søren Knudsen;


    , the membrane of which PEMFCs are made of tends to dry out when not in use. This increases the time interval required to start the system up and could lead to the destruction of the fuel cell. In this article a start-up time measurement setup is presented, which is part of a larger project, the membrane...... in this paper a correlation between the start-up time and relative humidity of the membrane can be derived....

  8. Cell volume and membrane stretch independently control K+ channel activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bomholtz, Sofia Hammami; Willumsen, Niels J; Olsen, Hervør L;


    A number of potassium channels including members of the KCNQ family and the Ca(2+) activated IK and SK, but not BK, are strongly and reversibly regulated by small changes in cell volume. It has been argued that this general regulation is mediated through sensitivity to changes in membrane stretch....... To test this hypothesis we have studied the regulation of KCNQ1 and BK channels after expression in Xenopus oocytes. Results from cell-attached patch clamp studies (approximately 50 microm(2) macropatches) in oocytes expressing BK channels demonstrate that the macroscopic volume-insensitive BK current...... was not affected by membrane stretch. The results indicate that (1) activation of BK channels by local membrane stretch is not mimicked by membrane stress induced by cell swelling, and (2) activation of KCNQ1 channels by cell volume increase is not mediated by local tension in the cell membrane. We conclude...

  9. Cytotoxicity of bovine and porcine collagen membranes in mononuclear cells. (United States)

    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 (pporcine membrane induced a higher release of nitrite compared with the control and bovine membrane, respectively (pporcine collagen membrane induces an increased production of proinflammatory mediators by mononuclear cells in the first hours of contact, decreasing with time.

  10. MLKL Compromises Plasma Membrane Integrity by Binding to Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yves Dondelinger


    Full Text Available Although mixed lineage kinase domain-like (MLKL protein has emerged as a specific and crucial protein for necroptosis induction, how MLKL transduces the death signal remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the full four-helical bundle domain (4HBD in the N-terminal region of MLKL is required and sufficient to induce its oligomerization and trigger cell death. Moreover, we found that a patch of positively charged amino acids on the surface of the 4HBD binds to phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs and allows recruitment of MLKL to the plasma membrane. Importantly, we found that recombinant MLKL, but not a mutant lacking these positive charges, induces leakage of PIP-containing liposomes as potently as BAX, supporting a model in which MLKL induces necroptosis by directly permeabilizing the plasma membrane. Accordingly, we found that inhibiting the formation of PI(5P and PI(4,5P2 specifically inhibits tumor necrosis factor (TNF-mediated necroptosis but not apoptosis.

  11. Durability of symmetrically and asymmetrically porous polybenzimidazole membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (United States)

    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.

  12. Effects of Bloom-Forming Algae on Fouling of Integrated Membrane Systems in Seawater Desalination (United States)

    Ladner, David Allen


    Combining low- and high-pressure membranes into an integrated membrane system is an effective treatment strategy for seawater desalination. Low-pressure microfiltration (MF) and ultrafiltration (UF) membranes remove particulate material, colloids, and high-molecular-weight organics leaving a relatively foulant-free salt solution for treatment by…

  13. Studying the Nucleated Mammalian Cell Membrane by Single Molecule Approaches (United States)

    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

  14. Correlation between membrane fluidity cellular development and stem cell differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Noutsi, Pakiza


    Cell membranes are made up of a complex structure of lipids and proteins that diffuse laterally giving rise to what we call membrane fluidity. During cellular development, such as neuronal differentiation, cell membranes undergo dramatic structural changes induced by proteins such as ARC and Cofilin among others in the case of synaptic modification. In this study we used the generalized polarization (GP) property of fluorescent probe Laurdan using two-photon microscopy to determine membrane fluidity as a function of time and for various cell lines. A low GP value corresponds to a higher fluidity and a higher GP value is associated with a more rigid membrane. Four different cell lines were monitored such as hN2, NIH3T3, HEK293 and L6 cells. As expected, NIH3T3 cells have more rigid membrane at earlier stages of their development. On the other hand neurons tend to have the highest membrane fluidity early in their development emphasizing its correlation with plasticity and the need for this malleability during differentiation. This study sheds light on the involvement of membrane fluidity during neuronal differentiation and development of other cell lines.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    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.

  16. Integrating Microbial Electrochemical Technology with Forward Osmosis and Membrane Bioreactors: Low-Energy Wastewater Treatment, Energy Recovery and Water Reuse

    KAUST Repository

    Werner, Craig M.


    Wastewater treatment is energy intensive, with modern wastewater treatment processes consuming 0.6 kWh/m3 of water treated, half of which is required for aeration. Considering that wastewater contains approximately 2 kWh/m3 of energy and represents a reliable alternative water resource, capturing part of this energy and reclaiming the water would offset or even eliminate energy requirements for wastewater treatment and provide a means to augment traditional water supplies. Microbial electrochemical technology is a novel technology platform that uses bacteria capable of producing an electric current outside of the cell to recover energy from wastewater. These bacteria do not require oxygen to respire but instead use an insoluble electrode as their terminal electron acceptor. Two types of microbial electrochemical technologies were investigated in this dissertation: 1) a microbial fuel cell that produces electricity; and 2) a microbial electrolysis cell that produces hydrogen with the addition of external power. On their own, microbial electrochemical technologies do not achieve sufficiently high treatment levels. Innovative approaches that integrate microbial electrochemical technologies with emerging and established membrane-based treatment processes may improve the overall extent of wastewater treatment and reclaim treated water. Forward osmosis is an emerging low-energy membrane-based technology for seawater desalination. In forward osmosis water is transported across a semipermeable membrane driven by an osmotic gradient. The microbial osmotic fuel cell described in this dissertation integrates a microbial fuel cell with forward osmosis to achieve wastewater treatment, energy recovery and partial desalination. This system required no aeration and generated more power than conventional microbial fuel cells using ion exchange membranes by minimizing electrochemical losses. Membrane bioreactors incorporate semipermeable membranes within a biological wastewater

  17. Integration of mixed conducting membranes in an oxygen–steam biomass gasification process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Puig Arnavat, Maria; Soprani, Stefano; Søgaard, Martin


    Oxygen–steam biomass gasification produces a high quality syngas with a high H2/CO ratio that is suitable for upgrading to liquid fuels. Such a gas is also well suited for use in conjunction with solid oxide fuel cells giving rise to a system yielding high electrical efficiency based on biomass....... The two configurations demonstrating the highest efficiency are then thermally integrated into an oxygen– steam biomass gasification plant. The energy demand for oxygen production and the membrane area required for a 6 MWth biomass plant are calculated for different operating conditions. Increasing...

  18. Cell-free synthesis of membrane proteins: tailored cell models out of microsomes. (United States)

    Fenz, Susanne F; Sachse, Rita; Schmidt, Thomas; Kubick, Stefan


    Incorporation of proteins in biomimetic giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) is one of the hallmarks towards cell models in which we strive to obtain a better mechanistic understanding of the manifold cellular processes. The reconstruction of transmembrane proteins, like receptors or channels, into GUVs is a special challenge. This procedure is essential to make these proteins accessible to further functional investigation. Here we describe a strategy combining two approaches: cell-free eukaryotic protein expression for protein integration and GUV formation to prepare biomimetic cell models. The cell-free protein expression system in this study is based on insect lysates, which provide endoplasmic reticulum derived vesicles named microsomes. It enables signal-induced translocation and posttranslational modification of de novo synthesized membrane proteins. Combining these microsomes with synthetic lipids within the electroswelling process allowed for the rapid generation of giant proteo-liposomes of up to 50 μm in diameter. We incorporated various fluorescent protein-labeled membrane proteins into GUVs (the prenylated membrane anchor CAAX, the heparin-binding epithelial growth factor like factor Hb-EGF, the endothelin receptor ETB, the chemokine receptor CXCR4) and thus presented insect microsomes as functional modules for proteo-GUV formation. Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy was applied to detect and further characterize the proteins in the GUV membrane. To extend the options in the tailoring cell models toolbox, we synthesized two different membrane proteins sequentially in the same microsome. Additionally, we introduced biotinylated lipids to specifically immobilize proteo-GUVs on streptavidin-coated surfaces. We envision this achievement as an important first step toward systematic protein studies on technical surfaces.

  19. The Use of Fibrous, Supramolecular Membranes and Human Tubular Cells for Renal Epithelial Tissue Engineering : Towards a Suitable Membrane for a Bioartificial Kidney

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dankers, Patricia Y. W.; Boomker, Jasper M.; Huizinga-van der Vlag, Ali; Smedts, Frank M. M.; Harmsen, Martin C.; van Luyn, Marja J. A.


    A bioartificial kidney, which is composed of a membrane cartridge with renal epithelial cells, can substitute important kidney functions in patients with renal failure. A particular challenge is the maintenance of monolayer integrity and specialized renal epithelial cell functions ex vivo. We hypoth

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  1. Cell membrane fluid-mosaic structure and cancer metastasis. (United States)

    Nicolson, Garth L


    Cancer cells are surrounded by a fluid-mosaic membrane that provides a highly dynamic structural barrier with the microenvironment, communication filter and transport, receptor and enzyme platform. This structure forms because of the physical properties of its constituents, which can move laterally and selectively within the membrane plane and associate with similar or different constituents, forming specific, functional domains. Over the years, data have accumulated on the amounts, structures, and mobilities of membrane constituents after transformation and during progression and metastasis. More recent information has shown the importance of specialized membrane domains, such as lipid rafts, protein-lipid complexes, receptor complexes, invadopodia, and other cellular structures in the malignant process. In describing the macrostructure and dynamics of plasma membranes, membrane-associated cytoskeletal structures and extracellular matrix are also important, constraining the motion of membrane components and acting as traction points for cell motility. These associations may be altered in malignant cells, and probably also in surrounding normal cells, promoting invasion and metastatic colonization. In addition, components can be released from cells as secretory molecules, enzymes, receptors, large macromolecular complexes, membrane vesicles, and exosomes that can modify the microenvironment, provide specific cross-talk, and facilitate invasion, survival, and growth of malignant cells.

  2. Detecting Nanodomains in Living Cell Membrane by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (United States)

    He, Hai-Tao; Marguet, Didier


    Cell membranes actively participate in numerous cellular functions. Inasmuch as bioactivities of cell membranes are known to depend crucially on their lateral organization, much effort has been focused on deciphering this organization on different length scales. Within this context, the concept of lipid rafts has been intensively discussed over recent years. In line with its ability to measure diffusion parameters with great precision, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) measurements have been made in association with innovative experimental strategies to monitor modes of molecular lateral diffusion within the plasma membrane of living cells. These investigations have allowed significant progress in the characterization of the cell membrane lateral organization at the suboptical level and have provided compelling evidence for the in vivo existence of raft nanodomains. We review these FCS-based studies and the characteristic structural features of raft nanodomains. We also discuss the findings in regards to the current view of lipid rafts as a general membrane-organizing principle.

  3. Real-Time Monitoring of Reverse Osmosis Membrane Integrity


    Surawanvijit, Sirikarn


    Reverse osmosis (RO) membrane desalination is the primary technology for seawater and brackish water desalination, agricultural drainage desalting, as well as municipal wastewater recycling for potable water reuse applications. RO membranes achieve high salt rejection (>95%) and in principle should provide a complete physical barrier to nanosize pathogens (e.g., waterborne enteric viruses). However, in the presence of imperfections and/or membrane damage, membrane breaches as small as 20-30 n...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...... corrosion, in turn, triggers the agglomeration of platinum particles resulting in reduction of the active surface area and catalytic activity. This is a major mechanism of the catalyst degradation and a key challenge to the PEMFC long-term durability. High temperature PEMFC, on the other hand, has attached...... significant attention in recent years because of its potential advantages such as high CO tolerance, easy cooling, better heat utilization and possible integration with fuel processing units. However, the high temperature obviously aggravates the carbon corrosion and catalyst degradation. Based on thermally...

  5. Loss of elongation factor P disrupts bacterial outer membrane integrity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zou, S Betty; Hersch, Steven J; Roy, Hervé;


    increased uptake of the hydrophobic dye 1-N-phenylnaphthylamine (NPN). Analysis of the membrane proteomes of wild-type and efp mutant Salmonella strains reveals few changes, including the prominent overexpression of a single porin, KdgM, in the efp mutant outer membrane. Removal of KdgM in the efp mutant...... overexpression of an outer membrane porin....

  6. A Stability Study of Alkali Doped PBI Membranes for Alkaline Electrolyzer Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jens Oluf; Aili, David; Hansen, Martin Kalmar;


    Polybenzimidazole membranes in a linear, a crosslinked and a thermally cured form were subjected to aging in 6 M aqueous KOH at 85 ºC for periods of up to 176 days. The aged membranes were characterized with respect to weight loss, mechanical properties and ionic conductivity. The area specific...... conductivity was similar to a commercial Zirfon membrane and suitable for a water electrolyzer. Some chemical degradation was seen during the aging period, but the crosslinked and the cured materials were both integral after 176 days of aging. A simplified electrolyzer test cell was operated successfully....

  7. How the antimicrobial peptides destroy bacteria cell membrane: Translocations vs. membrane buckling (United States)

    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].

  8. Membrane integrity of Campylobacter jejuni subjected to high pressure is pH-dependent (United States)

    Lerasle, M.; Guillou, S.; Simonin, H.; Laroche, M.; de Lamballerie, M.; Federighi, M.


    Our study focuses on a foodborne pathogen, Campylobacter, which is responsible for the most frequent bacterial enteritis worldwide. Membrane integrity of Campylobacter jejuni NCTC 11168 cells treated at high pressure (300 MPa, 20°C, 10 min) at pH 7.0 and pH 5.6 was measured by fluorescence spectroscopy of propidium iodide (PI) uptake. The percentage of membrane-damaged cells by high pressure, in which PI is allowed to penetrate, was determined using two calibration methods based on the PI fluorescence signal obtained with cells killed either by a heat treatment (80°C for 15 min) or by a pressure treatment (400 MPa, 20°C, 10 min). Both calibrations were shown to be statistically different (P<0.05), particularly at acidic pH, suggesting that a difference in the penetration of PI into bacterial cells might depend on the mode of cell inactivation. These results corroborate the fact that the mechanism of microbial inactivation by high pressure is pH-dependent.

  9. Exploring the inhibitory effect of membrane tension on cell polarization. (United States)

    Wang, Weikang; Tao, Kuan; Wang, Jing; Yang, Gen; Ouyang, Qi; Wang, Yugang; Zhang, Lei; Liu, Feng


    Cell polarization toward an attractant is influenced by both physical and chemical factors. Most existing mathematical models are based on reaction-diffusion systems and only focus on the chemical process occurring during cell polarization. However, membrane tension has been shown to act as a long-range inhibitor of cell polarization. Here, we present a cell polarization model incorporating the interplay between Rac GTPase, filamentous actin (F-actin), and cell membrane tension. We further test the predictions of this model by performing single cell measurements of the spontaneous polarization of cancer stem cells (CSCs) and non-stem cancer cells (NSCCs), as the former have lower cell membrane tension. Based on both our model and the experimental results, cell polarization is more sensitive to stimuli under low membrane tension, and high membrane tension improves the robustness and stability of cell polarization such that polarization persists under random perturbations. Furthermore, our simulations are the first to recapitulate the experimental results described by Houk et al., revealing that aspiration (elevation of tension) and release (reduction of tension) result in a decrease in and recovery of the activity of Rac-GTP, respectively, and that the relaxation of tension induces new polarity of the cell body when a cell with the pseudopod-neck-body morphology is severed.

  10. The Flocculating Cationic Polypetide from Moringa oleifera Seeds Damages Bacterial Cell Membranes by Causing Membrane Fusion. (United States)

    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.

  11. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Performance of a Sulfonated Poly(Arylene Ether Benzimidazole Copolymer Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan Ferdi Gerçel


    Full Text Available Disodium-3,3′-disulfonate-4,4′-dichlorodiphenylsulfone (SDCDPS and 5,5′-bis[2-(4-hydroxyphenylbenzimidazole] (HPBI monomers were synthesized. Binding these monomers via nucleophilic aromatic polycondensation reaction, a sulfonated poly(arylene ether benzimidazole copolymer was synthesized. Structures of monomers and copolymer were confirmed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy analyses. Proton exchange membrane was prepared by dissolving copolymer in dimethylacetamide (DMAc and casting onto a glass plate. Copolymer membrane was doped with sulfuric acid to ensure proton exchange character. Single cell performance of the copolymer membrane was tested in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell test station. The highest power density of the membrane was measured as 23.7 mW cm−2 at 80°C. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA showed that as the degree of disulfonation is increased thermal stability of the copolymer is increased.

  12. Coating nanoparticles with cell membranes for targeted drug delivery. (United States)

    Gao, Weiwei; Zhang, Liangfang


    Targeted delivery allows drug molecules to preferentially accumulate at the sites of action and thus holds great promise to improve therapeutic index. Among various drug-targeting approaches, nanoparticle-based delivery systems offer some unique strengths and have achieved exciting preclinical and clinical results. Herein, we aim to provide a review on the recent development of cell membrane-coated nanoparticle system, a new class of biomimetic nanoparticles that combine both the functionalities of cellular membranes and the engineering flexibility of synthetic nanomaterials for effective drug delivery and novel therapeutics. This review is particularly focused on novel designs of cell membrane-coated nanoparticles as well as their underlying principles that facilitate the purpose of drug targeting. Three specific areas are highlighted, including: (i) cell membrane coating to prolong nanoparticle circulation, (ii) cell membrane coating to achieve cell-specific targeting and (iii) cell membrane coating for immune system targeting. Overall, cell membrane-coated nanoparticles have emerged as a novel class of targeted nanotherapeutics with strong potentials to improve on drug delivery and therapeutic efficacy for treatment of various diseases.

  13. Microbial fuel cells and osmotic membrane bioreactors have mutual benefits for wastewater treatment and energy production. (United States)

    Hou, Dianxun; Lu, Lu; Ren, Zhiyong Jason


    This study demonstrates that microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and osmotic membrane bioreactors (OMBRs) can be mutually beneficial when integrated together for wastewater treatment. When connecting MFCs with OMBRs, the solute buildup increased conductivity and buffer capacity, which greatly increased MFC power density from 3 W/m(3) up to 11.5 W/m(3). In turn, the MFCs conditioned and reduced sludge production and therefore reduced forward osmosis (FO) membrane fouling. The MFC-OMBR equipped with new thin-film composite (TFC) membrane showed excellent organic (>95%) and phosphorus removal (>99%) and therefore maintained effluent sCOD below 20 mg/L. However, the nitrogen removal was limited due to the negative surface charge of the thin-film composite membrane and solution chemistry, which led to higher flux of ammonium toward the OMBR draw solution. Further studies are needed to improve nitrogen removal, reduce fouling, and optimize system integration.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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. T

  15. Antibacterial Activity of Shikimic Acid from Pine Needles of Cedrus deodara against Staphylococcus aureus through Damage to Cell Membrane. (United States)

    Bai, Jinrong; Wu, Yanping; Liu, Xiaoyan; Zhong, Kai; Huang, Yina; Gao, Hong


    Shikimic acid (SA) has been reported to possess antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, whereas the mode of action of SA is still elusive. In this study, the antibacterial activity and mechanism of SA toward S. aureus by cell membrane damage was investigated. After SA treatment, massive K+ and nucleotide leakage from S. aureus, and a significant change in the membrane potential was observed, suggesting SA may act on the membrane by destroying the cell membrane permeability. Through transmission electron microscopic observations we further confirmed that SA can disrupt the cell membrane and membrane integrity. Meanwhile, SA was found to be capable of reducing the membrane fluidity of the S. aureus cell. Moreover, the fluorescence experiments indicated that SA could quench fluorescence of Phe residues of the membrane proteins, thus demonstrating that SA can bind to S. aureus membrane proteins. Therefore, these results showed the antibacterial activity of SA against S. aureus could be caused by the interactions of SA with S. aureus membrane proteins and lipids, resulting in causing cell membrane dysfunction and bacterial damage or even death. This study reveals the potential use of SA as an antibacterial agent.

  16. Homotypic fusion of endoplasmic reticulum membranes in plant cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junjie eHu


    Full Text Available The endoplasmic reticulum (ER is a membrane-bounded organelle whose membrane comprises a network of tubules and sheets. The formation of these characteristic shapes and maintenance of their continuity through homotypic membrane fusion appears to be critical for the proper functioning of the ER. The atlastins (ATLs, a family of ER-localized dynamin-like GTPases, have been identified as fusogens of the ER membranes in metazoans. Mutations of the ATL proteins in mammalian cells cause morphological defects in the ER, and purified Drosophila ATL mediates membrane fusion in vitro. Plant cells do not possess ATL, but a family of similar GTPases, named root hair defective 3 (RHD3, are likely the functional orthologs of ATLs. In this review, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of how RHD3 proteins play a role in homotypic ER fusion. We also discuss the possible physiological significance of forming a tubular ER network in plant cells.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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 a critical concern, issues of long term durability of PBI based fuel cells are addressed in this talk, including oxidative degradation of the polymer, mechanical failures of the membrane, acid leaching out, corrosion of carbon support and sintering of catalysts particles. Excellent polymer durability has...... observed under continuous operation with hydrogen and air at 150-160oC, with a fuel cell performance degradation rate of 5-10 µV/h. Improvement of the membrane performance such as mechanical strength, swelling and oxidative stability has achieved by exploring the polymer chemistry, i.e. covalently...

  18. Toughness of membranes applied in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  19. Expression of basement membrane antigens in spindle cell melanoma. (United States)

    Prieto, V G; Woodruff, J M


    Spindle cell melanoma (SCM) is an uncommon form of melanoma that may be confused histologically with other tumors, including malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST). Tumors with neural differentiation and melanocytic nevi may both show basement membrane immunohistochemically and at the ultrastructural level. However, most ultrastructural studies of melanoma have failed to demonstrate well formed basement membrane around tumor cells. The presence of basement membrane has been used by some authors as evidence favoring MPNST, as opposed to SCM. To evaluate this distinction immunohistochemically, 22 primary and metastatic cutaneous melanomas having a spindle cell component (SCM) were studied using monoclonal antibodies against laminin and Type IV collagen. S100 protein and HMB45 antigen expression were also studied. All but one of the SCM were reactive for S100 protein in at least 25% of the cells. Thirteen of 20 tumors (65%) were focally reactive with HMB45. Laminin was expressed in 42% of the tumors (only membranous pattern in 3; cytoplasmic and membranous in 5). Seventeen tumors (77%) expressed type IV collagen (only membranous pattern in 7; cytoplasmic and membranous pattern in 10). Laminin and type IV collagen, known components of basement membrane, are often found in SCM. Therefore, their detection cannot be used to distinguish SCM from MPNST.


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  1. Effect of cantharidin on cell membrane integrity and potential in Spodoptera frugiperda Sf9 cells%斑蝥素对草地贪夜蛾Sf9细胞膜完整性和膜电位的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    汪丽; 张来喜; 张志勇; 杨宝东; 王进忠; 张爱环; 张民照


    为明确斑蝥素对昆虫细胞膜的作用及其机理,本研究利用草地贪夜蛾Spodoptera frugiperda的卵巢细胞系Sf9细胞作为实验材料,采用透射电子显微技术(transmission electron microscope,TEM)、激光共聚焦显微镜(laser scanning confocal microscope,LSCM)结合荧光探针FDA/PI及DiBAC4 (3)技术研究斑蝥素(cantharidin,CTD)对Sf9 细胞膜完整性及膜电位(membrane potential,MP)的影响.结果表明:32 μmol/L CTD处理6h和12 h后,电镜观察均未发现细胞膜结构破损;FDA/PI染色后,32 μmol/L CTD处理0.5h后细胞FDA荧光强度比对照显著降低(P<0.05),碘化丙啶(propidium iodide,PI)染色的细胞比例与对照无显著性差异(P≥0.05).32 μmol/L CTD处理140 s后即引起MP发生显著性去极化(P<0.05);64μmol/L CTD处理瞬时MP发生显著性去极化(P<0.05);32 μmol/LCTD处理3h内及64 μmol/L CTD处理2h内MP仍保持显著性去极化(P<0.05),之后去极化程度降低;32 μmol/L CTD处理6h及64μmok/L CTD处理3h时MP去极化与对照组相比已无显著性差异(P≥0.05).结果说明,CTD处理短时间内可引起Sf9细胞膜电位去极化并维持一段时间,同时导致细胞活性发生不可逆下降,但未对细胞膜结构完整性产生破坏.%To investigate the effect of cantharidin (CTD) on insect cell membrane and its mechanism,the cell membrane integrity and potential in Spodoptera frugiperda Sf9 cells treated with CTD were tested by transmission electron microscope (TEM) and laser scanning confocal microscope (LSCM) combined with fluorescent dyes FDA/PI and DiBAC4 (3).The results showed that after the Sf9 cells were treated with 32 μmol/L CTD,their membrane structure was not disrupted at 6 h and 12 h after treatment,respectively.The FDA fluorescence intensities of the treated cells evidently declined compared with the control (P < 0.05) while the proportion of the PI-staining cells was not significantly different from that of the control (P≥0

  2. Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt2Aa2 toxin disrupts cell membranes by forming large protein aggregates (United States)

    Tharad, Sudarat; Toca-Herrera, José L.; Promdonkoy, Boonhiang; Krittanai, Chartchai


    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cyt2Aa2 showed toxicity against Dipteran insect larvae and in vitro lysis activity on several cells. It has potential applications in the biological control of insect larvae. Although pore-forming and/or detergent-like mechanisms were proposed, the mechanism underlying cytolytic activity remains unclear. Analysis of the haemolytic activity of Cyt2Aa2 with osmotic stabilizers revealed partial toxin inhibition, suggesting a distinctive mechanism from the putative pore formation model. Membrane permeability was studied using fluorescent dye entrapped in large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) at various protein/lipid molar ratios. Binding of Cyt2Aa2 monomer to the lipid membrane did not disturb membrane integrity until the critical protein/lipid molar ratio was reached, when Cyt2Aa2 complexes and cytolytic activity were detected. The complexes are large aggregates that appeared as a ladder when separated by agarose gel electrophoresis. Interaction of Cyt2Aa2 with Aedes albopictus cells was investigated by confocal microscopy and total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy (TIRF). The results showed that Cyt2Aa2 binds on the cell membrane at an early stage without cell membrane disruption. Protein aggregation on the cell membrane was detected later which coincided with cell swelling. Cyt2Aa2 aggregations on supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) were visualized by AFM. The AFM topographic images revealed Cyt2Aa2 aggregates on the lipid bilayer at low protein concentration and subsequently disrupts the lipid bilayer by forming a lesion as the protein concentration increased. These results supported the mechanism whereby Cyt2Aa2 binds and aggregates on the lipid membrane leading to the formation of non-specific hole and disruption of the cell membrane. PMID:27612497

  3. An Integrated Framework Advancing Membrane Protein Modeling and Design.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca F Alford


    Full Text Available Membrane proteins are critical functional molecules in the human body, constituting more than 30% of open reading frames in the human genome. Unfortunately, a myriad of difficulties in overexpression and reconstitution into membrane mimetics severely limit our ability to determine their structures. Computational tools are therefore instrumental to membrane protein structure prediction, consequently increasing our understanding of membrane protein function and their role in disease. Here, we describe a general framework facilitating membrane protein modeling and design that combines the scientific principles for membrane protein modeling with the flexible software architecture of Rosetta3. This new framework, called RosettaMP, provides a general membrane representation that interfaces with scoring, conformational sampling, and mutation routines that can be easily combined to create new protocols. To demonstrate the capabilities of this implementation, we developed four proof-of-concept applications for (1 prediction of free energy changes upon mutation; (2 high-resolution structural refinement; (3 protein-protein docking; and (4 assembly of symmetric protein complexes, all in the membrane environment. Preliminary data show that these algorithms can produce meaningful scores and structures. The data also suggest needed improvements to both sampling routines and score functions. Importantly, the applications collectively demonstrate the potential of combining the flexible nature of RosettaMP with the power of Rosetta algorithms to facilitate membrane protein modeling and design.

  4. MUNI Ways and Structures Building Integrated Solar Membrane Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Randall


    The initial goal of the MUNI Ways and Structures Building Integrated Solar Membrane Installation Project was for the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) to gain experience using the integrated higher efficiency solar photovoltaic (PV) single-ply membrane product, as it differs from the conventional, low efficiency, thin-film PV products, to determine the feasibility of success of larger deployment. As several of CCSF’s municipal rooftops are constrained with respect to weight restrictions, staff of the Energy Generation Group of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) proposed to install a solar PV system using single-ply membrane The installation of the 100 kW (DC-STC) lightweight photo voltaic (PV) system at the MUNI Ways and Structures Center (700 Pennsylvania Ave., San Francisco) is a continuation of the commitment of the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) to increase the pace of municipal solar development, and serve its municipal facilities with clean renewable energy. The fourteen (14) solar photovoltaic systems that have already been installed at CCSF municipal facilities are assisting in the reduction of fossil-fuel use, and reduction of greenhouse gases from fossil combustion. The MUNI Ways & Structures Center roof has a relatively low weight-bearing capacity (3.25 pounds per square foot) and use of traditional crystalline panels was therefore rejected. Consequently it was decided to use the best available highest efficiency Building-Integrated PV (BIPV) technology, with consideration for reliability and experience of the manufacturer which can meet the low weight-bearing capacity criteria. The original goal of the project was to provide an opportunity to monitor the results of the BIPV technology and compare these results to other City and County of San Francisco installed PV systems. The MUNI Ways and Structures Center was acquired from the Cookson Doors Company, which had run the Center for many decades. The building was

  5. Cell-free system for synthesizing membrane proteins cell free method for synthesizing membrane proteins (United States)

    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.

  6. Integrated atomic force microscopy techniques for analysis of biomaterials: Study of membrane proteins (United States)

    Connelly, Laura S.

    Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) is the prominent techniques for structural studies of biological materials in physiological relevant fluidic environments. AFM has been used to resolve the three-dimensional (3D) surface structure of cells, membranes, and proteins structures. Ion channels, formed by membrane proteins, are the key structures that control the activity of all living systems. This dissertation focuses on the structural evaluation of membrane proteins through atomic force microscopy. In Part I, AFM is utilized to study one of the most prominent medical issues facing our society, Alzheimer's Disease (AD). AD is a misfolded protein disease characterized by the accumulation of beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptide as senile plaques, progressive neurodegeneration, and memory loss. Recent evidence suggests that AD pathology is linked to the destabilization of cellular ionic homeostasis mediated by toxic channel structures composed of Abeta peptides. Selectively engineered sequences of Abeta were examined by AFM to elucidate the substructures and thus activity Abeta channels. Key residues were evaluated with the intent better understand the exact nature by which these pores conduct electrical and molecular signals, which could aid in identifying potential therapeutic targets for the prevention/treatment of AD. Additionally, AFM was used to analyze brain derived Abeta and newly developed pharmacological agents to study membranes and Abeta. Part II, presents a novel technology that incorporates electrophysiology into the AFM interface, enabling simultaneous imaging and complementary conductance measurements. The activity of ion channels is studied by various techniques, including patch clamp, free standing lipid bilayers, droplet interface bilayers, and supported lipid bilayers. However, direct correlation with channel structures has remained a challenge. The integrated atomic force microscopy system presented offers a solution to this challenge. The functionality of the

  7. Novel Membrane for Highly Efficient Fuel Cells Project (United States)

    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...

  8. Novel High Temperature Membrane for PEM Fuel Cells Project (United States)

    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...

  9. Hybrid proton-conducting membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomez-Romero, Pedro [Institut de Ciencia de Materials de Barcelona (CSIC), Campus UAB, E-08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) (Spain)]. E-mail:; Asensio, Juan Antonio [Institut de Ciencia de Materials de Barcelona (CSIC), Campus UAB, E-08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) (Spain); Institut Quimic de Sarria, Universitat Ramon Llull, Via Augusta 390, E-08017 Barcelona (Spain); Borros, Salvador [Institut Quimic de Sarria, Universitat Ramon Llull, Via Augusta 390, E-08017 Barcelona (Spain)


    The synthesis and characterization of a novel hybrid organic-inorganic material formed by phosphomolybdic acid H{sub 3}PMo{sub 12}O{sub 40} (PMo{sub 12}) and poly(2,5-benzimidazole) (ABPBI) is reported. This material, composed of two proton-conducting components, can be cast in the form of membranes from methanesulfonic acid (MSA) solutions. Upon impregnation with phosphoric acid, the hybrid membranes present higher conductivity than the best ABPBI polymer membranes impregnated in the same conditions. These electrolyte membranes are stable up to 200 deg. C, and have a proton conductivity of 3 x 10{sup -2} S cm{sup -1} at 185 deg. C without humidification. These properties make them very good candidates as membranes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) at temperatures of 100-200 deg. C.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Physico-chemical study of the degradation of membrane-electrode assemblies in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack (United States)

    Ferreira-Aparicio, P.; Gallardo-López, B.; Chaparro, A. M.; Daza, L.

    A proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack integrated by 8-elements has been evaluated in an accelerated stress test. The application of techniques such as TEM analyses of ultramicrotome-sliced sections of some samples and XRD, XPS and TGA of spent electrodes reveal the effects of several degradation processes contributing to reduce the cells performance. The reduction of the Pt surface area at the cathode is favored by the oxidation of carbon black agglomerates in the catalytic layer, the agglomeration of Pt particles and by the partial dissolution of Pt, which migrates towards the anode and precipitates within the membrane. In the light of the TEM, EDAX and XPS results, two combined effects are probably responsible of the increase of the internal resistance of the stack cells: (i) a lower proton conductivity of the membranes due to the high affinity of the sulfonic acid groups for ions originated from Pt crystallites and other peripherical elements such as the silicone elastomeric gaskets and (ii) the increment of electrically isolated islands in the cathode gas diffusion electrodes resulting from carbon corrosion and the degradation of the perfluorinated polymers. Water accumulation and inhomogeneous gas distribution throughout the stack cells originate different degradation rates in them.

  12. Elastic thickness compressibilty of the red cell membrane.


    Heinrich, V; Ritchie, K; Mohandas, N; Evans, E.


    We have used an ultrasensitive force probe and optical interferometry to examine the thickness compressibility of the red cell membrane in situ. Pushed into the centers of washed-white red cell ghosts lying on a coverglass, the height of the microsphere-probe tip relative to its closest approach on the adjacent glass surface revealed the apparent material thickness, which began at approximately 90 nm per membrane upon detection of contact (force approximately 1-2 pN). With further impingement...

  13. The Acinar Cage: Basement Membranes Determine Molecule Exchange and Mechanical Stability of Human Breast Cell Acini.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aljona Gaiko-Shcherbak

    Full Text Available The biophysical properties of the basement membrane that surrounds human breast glands are poorly understood, but are thought to be decisive for normal organ function and malignancy. Here, we characterize the breast gland basement membrane with a focus on molecule permeation and mechanical stability, both crucial for organ function. We used well-established and nature-mimicking MCF10A acini as 3D cell model for human breast glands, with ether low- or highly-developed basement membrane scaffolds. Semi-quantitative dextran tracer (3 to 40 kDa experiments allowed us to investigate the basement membrane scaffold as a molecule diffusion barrier in human breast acini in vitro. We demonstrated that molecule permeation correlated positively with macromolecule size and intriguingly also with basement membrane development state, revealing a pore size of at least 9 nm. Notably, an intact collagen IV mesh proved to be essential for this permeation function. Furthermore, we performed ultra-sensitive atomic force microscopy to quantify the response of native breast acini and of decellularized basement membrane shells against mechanical indentation. We found a clear correlation between increasing acinar force resistance and basement membrane formation stage. Most important native acini with highly-developed basement membranes as well as cell-free basement membrane shells could both withstand physiologically relevant loads (≤ 20 nN without loss of structural integrity. In contrast, low-developed basement membranes were significantly softer and more fragile. In conclusion, our study emphasizes the key role of the basement membrane as conductor of acinar molecule influx and mechanical stability of human breast glands, which are fundamental for normal organ function.

  14. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Applied for Transport Sector

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cleemann, Lars Nilausen; Buazar, F.; Li, Qingfeng;


    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 multi‐walled carbon nanotubes were used as supports for electrode catalysts and evaluated in accelerated durability tests under potential cycling at 150 °C. Measurements of open circuit voltage, area specific resistance and hydrogen permeation through the membrane were carried out, indicating little...... contribution of the membrane degradation to the performance losses during the potential cycling tests. As the major mechanism of the fuel cell performance degradation, the electrochemical active area of the cathodic catalysts showed a steady decrease in the cyclic voltammetric measurements, which was also...

  16. Stability and rupture of archaebacterial cell membrane: a model study. (United States)

    Li, Shuangyang; Zheng, Fengxian; Zhang, Xianren; Wang, Wenchuan


    It is known that the thermoacidophilic archaebacterium Sulfolobus acidocaldarius can grow in hot springs at 65-80 degrees C and live in acidic environments (pH 2-3); however, the origin of its unusual thermal stability remains unclear. In this work, using a vesicle as a model, we study the thermal stability and rupture of archaebacterial cell membrane. We perform a simulation investigation of the structure-property relationship of monolayer membrane formed by bolaform lipids and compare it with that of bilayer membrane formed by monopolar lipids. The origin of the unusually thermal stability of archaebacterial cell and the mechanism for its rupture are presented in molecular details.

  17. Hydroxyl pyridine containing polybenzimidazole membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Jingshuai; Xu, Yixin; Zhou, Lu;


    -phenylene)-5,5'-bibenzimidazole] (mPBI) according to the TGA data. The hydroxyl pyridine groups in the OHPyPBI structure resulted in high proton conductivities of the phosphoric acid doped OHPyPBI membranes. This is because the hydroxyl pyridine groups not only increased the acid doping level of the membranes......, but also benefited the proton conduction, which was proved by the results of acid conductivities of the membranes with comparable acid doping levels. At an acid doping level of 8.6, i.e. 8.6mol acids per molar repeat unit of the polymer, the OHPyPBI membrane exhibited a proton conductivity of 0.102Scm-1...... at 180°C without humidifying. In addition, an improved tensile modulus at elevated temperatures was observed for acid doped OHPyPBI membranes. Fuel cell tests demonstrated the technical feasibility of acid doped OHPyPBI membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. © 2013 Elsevier B.V....

  18. Type IV Collagens and Basement Membrane Diseases: Cell Biology and Pathogenic Mechanisms. (United States)

    Mao, Mao; Alavi, Marcel V; Labelle-Dumais, Cassandre; Gould, Douglas B


    Basement membranes are highly specialized extracellular matrices. Once considered inert scaffolds, basement membranes are now viewed as dynamic and versatile environments that modulate cellular behaviors to regulate tissue development, function, and repair. Increasing evidence suggests that, in addition to providing structural support to neighboring cells, basement membranes serve as reservoirs of growth factors that direct and fine-tune cellular functions. Type IV collagens are a major component of all basement membranes. They evolved along with the earliest multicellular organisms and have been integrated into diverse fundamental biological processes as time and evolution shaped the animal kingdom. The roles of basement membranes in humans are as complex and diverse as their distributions and molecular composition. As a result, basement membrane defects result in multisystem disorders with ambiguous and overlapping boundaries that likely reflect the simultaneous interplay and integration of multiple cellular pathways and processes. Consequently, there will be no single treatment for basement membrane disorders, and therapies are likely to be as varied as the phenotypes. Understanding tissue-specific pathology and the underlying molecular mechanism is the present challenge; personalized medicine will rely upon understanding how a given mutation impacts diverse cellular functions.

  19. Spray deposition of Nafion membranes: Electrode-supported fuel cells (United States)

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  1. Effect of gas diffusion layer and membrane properties in an annular proton exchange membrane fuel cell (United States)

    Khazaee, I.; Ghazikhani, M.; Esfahani, M. Nasr


    A complete three-dimensional and single phase computational dynamics model for annular proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is used to investigate the effect of changing gas diffusion layer and membrane properties on the performances, current density and gas concentration. The proposed model is a full cell model, which includes all the parts of the PEM fuel cell, flow channels, gas diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers and the membrane. Coupled transport and electrochemical kinetics equations are solved in a single domain; therefore no interfacial boundary condition is required at the internal boundaries between cell components. This computational fluid dynamics code is used as the direct problem solver, which is used to simulate the two-dimensional mass, momentum and species transport phenomena as well as the electron- and proton-transfer process taking place in a PEMFC that cannot be investigated experimentally. The results show that by increasing the thickness and decreasing the porosity of GDL the performance of the cell enhances that it is different with planner PEM fuel cell. Also the results show that by decreasing the thickness of the membrane the performance of the cell increases.

  2. Graphene-Induced Pore Formation on Cell Membranes (United States)

    Duan, Guangxin; Zhang, Yuanzhao; Luan, Binquan; Weber, Jeffrey K.; Zhou, Royce W.; Yang, Zaixing; Zhao, Lin; Xu, Jiaying; Luo, Judong; Zhou, Ruhong


    Examining interactions between nanomaterials and cell membranes can expose underlying mechanisms of nanomaterial cytotoxicity and guide the design of safer nanomedical technologies. Recently, graphene has been shown to exhibit potential toxicity to cells; however, the molecular processes driving its lethal properties have yet to be fully characterized. We here demonstrate that graphene nanosheets (both pristine and oxidized) can produce holes (pores) in the membranes of A549 and Raw264.7 cells, substantially reducing cell viability. Electron micrographs offer clear evidence of pores created on cell membranes. Our molecular dynamics simulations reveal that multiple graphene nanosheets can cooperate to extract large numbers of phospholipids from the membrane bilayer. Strong dispersion interactions between graphene and lipid-tail carbons result in greatly depleted lipid density within confined regions of the membrane, ultimately leading to the formation of water-permeable pores. This cooperative lipid extraction mechanism for membrane perforation represents another distinct process that contributes to the molecular basis of graphene cytotoxicity. PMID:28218295

  3. Membrane and integrative nuclear fibroblastic growth factor receptor (FGFR) regulation of FGF-23. (United States)

    Han, Xiaobin; Xiao, Zhousheng; Quarles, L Darryl


    Fibroblastic growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) signaling pathways are implicated in the regulation of FGF-23 gene transcription, but the molecular pathways remain poorly defined. We used low molecular weight (LMW, 18 kDa) FGF-2 and high molecular weight (HMW) FGF-2 isoforms, which, respectively, activate cell surface FGF receptors and intranuclear FGFR1, to determine the roles of membrane FGFRs and integrative nuclear FGFR1 signaling (INFS) in the regulation of FGF-23 gene transcription in osteoblasts. We found that LMW-FGF-2 induced NFAT and Ets1 binding to conserved cis-elements in the proximal FGF-23 promoter and stimulated FGF-23 promoter activity through PLCγ/calcineurin/NFAT and MAPK pathways in SaOS-2 and MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts. In contrast, HMW-FGF-2 stimulated FGF-23 promoter activity in osteoblasts through a cAMP-dependent binding of FGFR1 and cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) to a conserved cAMP response element (CRE) contiguous with the NFAT binding site in the FGF-23 promoter. Mutagenesis of the NFAT and CRE binding sites, respectively, inhibited the effects of LMW-FGF-2 and HMW-FGF-23 to stimulate FGF-23 promoter activity. FGF-2 activation of both membrane FGFRs and INFS-dependent FGFR1 pathways may provide a means to integrate systemic and local regulation of FGF-23 transcription under diverse physiological and pathological conditions.

  4. Pendant dual sulfonated poly(arylene ether ketone) proton exchange membranes for fuel cell application (United States)

    Nguyen, Minh Dat Thinh; Yang, Sungwoo; Kim, Dukjoon


    Poly(arylene ether ketone) (PAEK) possessing carboxylic groups at the pendant position is synthesized, and the substitution degree of pendant carboxylic groups is controlled by adjusting the ratio of 4,4-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)valeric acid and 2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane. Dual sulfonated 3,3-diphenylpropylamine (SDPA) is grafted onto PAEK as a proton-conducting moiety via the amidation reaction with carboxylic groups. The transparent and flexible membranes with different degrees of sulfonation are fabricated so that we can test and compare their structure and properties with a commercial Nafion® 115 membrane for PEMFC applications. All prepared PAEK-SDPA membranes exhibit good oxidative and hydrolytic stability from Fenton's and high temperature water immersion test. SAXS analysis illustrates an excellent phase separation between the hydrophobic backbone and hydrophilic pendant groups, resulting in big ionic clusters. The proton conductivity was measured at different relative humidity, and its behavior was analyzed by hydration number of the membrane. Among a series of membranes, some samples (including B20V80-SDPA) show not only higher proton conductivity, but also higher integrated cell performance than those of Nafion® 115 at 100% relative humidity, and thus we expect these to be good candidate membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs).

  5. A dynamin-like protein involved in bacterial cell membrane surveillance under environmental stress. (United States)

    Sawant, Prachi; Eissenberger, Kristina; Karier, Laurence; Mascher, Thorsten; Bramkamp, Marc


    In ever-changing natural environments, bacteria are continuously challenged with numerous biotic and abiotic stresses. Accordingly, they have evolved both specific and more general mechanisms to counteract stress-induced damage and ensure survival. In the soil habitat of Bacillus subtilis, peptide antibiotics and bacteriophages are among the primary stressors that affect the integrity of the cytoplasmic membrane. Dynamin-like proteins (DLPs) play a major role in eukaryotic membrane re-modelling processes, including antiviral activities, but the function of the corresponding bacterial homologues was so far poorly understood. Here, we report on the protective function of a bacterial DLP, DynA from B. subtilis. We provide evidence that DynA plays an important role in a membrane surveillance system that counteracts membrane pore formation provoked by antibiotics and phages. In unstressed cells, DynA is a highly dynamic membrane-associated protein. Upon membrane damage, DynA localizes into large and static assemblies, where DynA acts locally to counteract stress-induced pores, presumably by inducing lipid bilayer fusion and sealing membrane gaps. Thus, lack of DynA increases the sensitivity to antibiotic exposure and phage infection. Taken together, our work suggests that DynA, and potentially other bacterial DLPs, contribute to the innate immunity of bacteria against membrane stress.

  6. Low cost, high temperature membranes for PEM fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    This report details the results of a project to develop novel, low-cost high temperature membranes specifically for automotive fuel cell use. The specific aim of the project was to determine whether a polyaromatic hydrocarbon membrane could be developed that would give a performance (0.68V at 500 mAcm{sub -2}) competitive with an established perfluoronated sulfonic acid (PSA) membrane in a fuel cell at 120{sup o}C and relative humidity of less than 50%. The novel approach used in this project was to increase the concentration of sulphonic groups to a useful level without dissolution by controlling the molecular structure of the membrane through the design of the monomer repeat unit. The physicochemical properties of 70 polymers synthesised in order to determine the effects of controlled sequence distribution were identified using an array of analytical techniques. Appropriate membranes were selected for fuel cell testing and fabricated into membrane electrode assemblies. Most of the homopolymers tested were able to withstand low humidity environments without immediate catastrophic failure and some showed promise from accelerated durability results. The properties of a simple starting polymer structure were found to be enhanced by doping with sulphonated copper phthalocyanine, resulting in high temperature capacity from a potential cheap, simple and scaleable process. The accelerated and long-term durability of such a doped polymer membrane showed that polyaromatics could easily outperform fluoropolymers under high temperature (120{sup o}C) operating conditions.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Jingshuai; Li, Xueyuan; Xu, Yizin


    Polybenzimidazole (PBI) with a high molecular weight of 69,000 was first synthesized. It was afterwards grafted with benzimidazole pendant groups on the backbones. The acid doped benzimidaozle grafted PBI membranes were investigated and characterized including fuel cell tests at elevated temperat......Polybenzimidazole (PBI) with a high molecular weight of 69,000 was first synthesized. It was afterwards grafted with benzimidazole pendant groups on the backbones. The acid doped benzimidaozle grafted PBI membranes were investigated and characterized including fuel cell tests at elevated...... 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. Characterization of the major integral protein of vacuolar membrane. (United States)

    Maeshima, M


    The vacuolar membrane of radish (Raphanus sativus) taproot contained a large quantity of a protein of 23 kilodaltons that accounted for more than 25% of the total membrane proteins. The protein, tentatively named VM 23, was purified and characterized. VM 23 tends to aggregate at high temperature even in the presence of 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate. The apparent molecular size of VM 23 was estimated to be about 400 kilodaltons by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of 0.1% Triton X-100. VM 23 was partially extracted from the vacuolar membranes with chloroform:methanol, indicating its high hydrophobicity. The hydrophobic carboxyl modifier N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide bound covalently to VM 23. The results suggest that VM 23 may act as a secondary transport system coupled with the proton transport. The antibody against radish VM 23 reacted with the major proteins in the vacuolar membranes of mung bean (Vigna radiata) and castor bean (Ricinus communis) hypocotyls and pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) epicotyl, but not with that of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) taproot. VM 23 comigrated with vacuolar H(+)-pyrophosphatase on sucrose density gradient centrifugation after sonication of membranes, indicating that it is associated with the vacuolar membrane.

  9. Efficient ethanol recovery from fermentation broths with integrated distillation-membrane process (United States)

    The energy demand of distillation-molecular sieve systems for ethanol recovery/dehydration can be significant, particularly for dilute solutions. An alternative process integrating vapor stripping (like a beer still) with vapor compression and a vapor permeation membrane separati...

  10. Nucleoid occlusion protein Noc recruits DNA to the bacterial cell membrane. (United States)

    Adams, David William; Wu, Ling Juan; Errington, Jeff


    To proliferate efficiently, cells must co-ordinate division with chromosome segregation. In Bacillus subtilis, the nucleoid occlusion protein Noc binds to specific DNA sequences (NBSs) scattered around the chromosome and helps to protect genomic integrity by coupling the initiation of division to the progression of chromosome replication and segregation. However, how it inhibits division has remained unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Noc associates with the cell membrane via an N-terminal amphipathic helix, which is necessary for function. Importantly, the membrane-binding affinity of this helix is weak and requires the assembly of nucleoprotein complexes, thus establishing a mechanism for DNA-dependent activation of Noc. Furthermore, division inhibition by Noc requires recruitment of NBS DNA to the cell membrane and is dependent on its ability to bind DNA and membrane simultaneously. Indeed, Noc production in a heterologous system is sufficient for recruitment of chromosomal DNA to the membrane. Our results suggest a simple model in which the formation of large membrane-associated nucleoprotein complexes physically occludes assembly of the division machinery.

  11. Synaptic and Golgi membrane recycling in cochlear hair cells. (United States)

    Siegel, J H; Brownell, W E


    Membrane recycling in the mechanoreceptive sensory cells of the mammalian cochlea was studied by observing membrane-bound horseradish peroxidase (HRP) reaction product following brief in vivo exposure to the enzyme. In the inner hair cell (IHC), peroxidase was taken up into coated vesicles and became incorporated into synaptic vesicles surrounding presynaptic bodies, but much HRP was also transported to the apical zone where reaction product appeared in all components of the Golgi complex. Neither the subsurface cisternae nor a tubular network associated with clusters of mitochondria were labelled. Outer hair cells (OHCs) showed considerably less membrane-bound reaction product than IHCs, indicating less rapid plasmalemmal recycling. Most membrane-bound reaction product was contained in coated vesicles and small vacuoles in the synaptic zone, but was occasionally seen in multivesicular bodies in the most apical zone. No labelled organelles were detected in the large central region of the OHC. A diffuse staining of the cytoplasm, particularly pronounced in OHCs, often interfered with the evaluation of membrane-bound reaction product in OHCs. This staining pattern could be qualitatively reproduced in both IHCs and OHCs by incubating fixed segments of the organ of Corti in oxidized diaminobenzidine. The presence of labelled synaptic vesicles associated with presynaptic bodies of IHCs and OHCs suggests that they are formed from membrane retrieved from the plasmalemma. We found no evidence that the subsurface cisternae of IHCs or the laminated cisternae of OHCs are derived from the cell surface as they never contained reaction product.

  12. 3D visualization of membrane failures in fuel cells (United States)

    Singh, Yadvinder; Orfino, Francesco P.; Dutta, Monica; Kjeang, Erik


    Durability issues in fuel cells, due to chemical and mechanical degradation, are potential impediments in their commercialization. Hydrogen leak development across degraded fuel cell membranes is deemed a lifetime-limiting failure mode and potential safety issue that requires thorough characterization for devising effective mitigation strategies. The scope and depth of failure analysis has, however, been limited by the 2D nature of conventional imaging. In the present work, X-ray computed tomography is introduced as a novel, non-destructive technique for 3D failure analysis. Its capability to acquire true 3D images of membrane damage is demonstrated for the very first time. This approach has enabled unique and in-depth analysis resulting in novel findings regarding the membrane degradation mechanism; these are: significant, exclusive membrane fracture development independent of catalyst layers, localized thinning at crack sites, and demonstration of the critical impact of cracks on fuel cell durability. Evidence of crack initiation within the membrane is demonstrated, and a possible new failure mode different from typical mechanical crack development is identified. X-ray computed tomography is hereby established as a breakthrough approach for comprehensive 3D characterization and reliable failure analysis of fuel cell membranes, and could readily be extended to electrolyzers and flow batteries having similar structure.

  13. Integrating membrane filtration into bioelectrochemical systems as next generation energy-efficient wastewater treatment technologies for water reclamation: A review. (United States)

    Yuan, Heyang; He, Zhen


    Bioelectrochemical systems (BES) represent an energy-efficient approach for wastewater treatment, but the effluent still requires further treatment for direct discharge or reuse. Integrating membrane filtration in BES can achieve high-quality effluents with additional benefits. Three types of filtration membranes, dynamic membrane, ultrafiltration membrane and forward osmosis membrane that are grouped based on pore size, have been studied for integration in BES. The integration can be accomplished either in an internal or an external configuration. In an internal configuration, membranes can act as a separator between the electrodes, or be immersed in the anode/cathode chamber as a filtration component. The external configuration allows BES and membrane module to be operated independently. Given much progress and interest in the integration of membrane filtration into BES, this paper has reviewed the past studies, described various integration methods, discussed the advantages and limitations of each integration, and presented challenges for future development.

  14. Anion selective membrane. [ion exchange resins and ion exchange membrane electrolytes for electrolytic cells (United States)

    Alexander, S. S.; Geoffroy, R. R.; Hodgdon, R. B.


    Experimental anion permselective membranes were prepared and tested for their suitability as cell separators in a chemical redox power storage system being developed at NASA-Lewis Research Center. The goals of long-term (1000 hr) oxidative and thermal stability at 80 C in FeCl3 and CrCl3 electrolytes were met by most of the weak base and strong base amino exchange groups considered in the program. Good stability is exhibited by several of the membrane substrate resins. These are 'styrene' divinylbenzene copolymer and PVC film. At least four membrane systems produce strong flexible films with electrochemical properties (resistivity, cation transfer) superior to those of the 103QZL, the most promising commercial membrane. The physical and chemical properties of the resins are listed.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Mulijani


    Full Text Available Microbial fuel cell (MFC represents a major bioelectrochemical system that converts biomass spontaneously into electricity through the activity of microorganisms. The MFC consists of anode and cathode compartments. Microorganisms in MFC liberate electrons while the electron donor is consumed. The produced electron is transmitted to the anode surface, but the generated protons must pass through the proton exchange membrane (PEM to reach the cathode compartment. PEM, as a key factor, affects electricity generation in MFCs. The study attempted to investigate if the sulfonated polystyrene (SPS membrane can be used as a PEM in the application on MFC. SPS membrane has been characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectrophotometer (FTIR, scanning electron microscope (SEM and conductivity. The result of the conductivity (σ revealed that the membrane has a promising application for MFC.

  16. Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoparticles for Targeted Therapeutics (United States)

    Luk, Brian Tsengchi

    The advent of nanoparticle-based delivery systems has made a significant impact on clinical patient outcomes. In recent decades, myriad nanoparticle-based therapeutic agents have been developed for the treatment and management of ailments such as cancer, diabetes, pain, bacterial infections, and asthma, among many others. Nanotherapeutics offer many distinct advantages over conventional free drug formulations. For example, nanoparticles are able to accumulate at tumor sites by extravasation through leaky vasculature at tumor sites via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect; nanoparticles can also be tailored to have desirable characteristics, such as prolonged circulation in the blood stream, improved drug encapsulation, and sustained or triggered drug release. Currently, a growing number of nanoformulations with favorable pharmacological profiles and promising efficacy are being used in clinical trials for the treatment of various cancers. Building on the success of these encouraging clinical results, new engineering strategies have emerged that combine synthetic nanoparticles with natural biomaterials to create nature-inspired biomimetic delivery systems. The work presented in this dissertation focuses on the biointerfacing between synthetic and natural materials, namely in the manifestation of cell membrane-coated nanoparticles. By exploiting the natural functionalities of source cell membranes, cell membrane-cloaked nanoparticles have huge potential in the delivery of therapeutic agents for a variety of applications. The first portion of this thesis will focus on understanding the fundamentals underlying cell membrane coating on synthetic nanoparticles. First introduced in 2011, cell membrane-cloaked nanoparticles showed immediate promise in drug delivery applications, but further understanding was necessary to be able to harness the full potential of the membrane coating platform. The first section provides further insight into the interfacial

  17. Communication Between the Cell Membrane and the Nucleus: Role of Protein Compartmentalization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lelievre, Sophie A; Bissell, Mina J


    Understanding how the information is conveyed from outside to inside the cell is a critical challenge for all biologists involved in signal transduction. The flow of information initiated by cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix contacts is mediated by the formation of adhesion complexes involving multiple proteins. Inside adhesion complexes, connective membrane skeleton (CMS) proteins are signal transducers that bind to adhesion molecules, organize the cytoskeleton, and initiate biochemical cascades. Adhesion complex-mediated signal transduction ultimately directs the formation of supramolecular structures in the cell nucleus, as illustrated by the establishment of multi complexes of DNA-bound transcription factors, and the redistribution of nuclear structural proteins to form nuclear subdomains. Recently, several CMS proteins have been observed to travel to the cell nucleus, suggesting a distinctive role for these proteins in signal transduction. This review focuses on the nuclear translocation of structural signal transducers of the membrane skeleton and also extends our analysis to possible translocation of resident nuclear proteins to the membrane skeleton. This leads us to envision the communication between spatially distant cellular compartments (i.e., membrane skeleton and cell nucleus) as a bidirectional flow of information (a dynamic reciprocity) based on subtle multilevel structural and biochemical equilibria. At one level, it is mediated by the interaction between structural signal transducers and their binding partners, at another level it may be mediated by the balance and integration of signal transducers in different cellular compartments.

  18. Plasma membrane and cytoskeleton dynamics during single-cell wound healing. (United States)

    Boucher, Eric; Mandato, Craig A


    Wounding leads not only to plasma membrane disruption, but also to compromised cytoskeleton structures. This results not only in unwarranted exchanges between the cytosol and extracellular milieu, but also in loss of tensegrity, which may further endanger the cell. Tensegrity can be described as the interplay between the tensile forces generated by the apparent membrane tension, actomyosin contraction, and the cytoskeletal structures resisting those changes (e.g., microtubules). It is responsible for the structural integrity of the cell and for its ability to sense mechanical signals. Recent reviews dealing with single-cell healing mostly focused on the molecular machineries controlling the traffic and fusion of specific vesicles, or their role in different pathologies. In this review, we aim to take a broader view of the different modes of single cell repair, while focussing on the different ways the changes in plasmalemma surface area and composition, plasmalemma tension, and cytoskeletal dynamics may influence and affect single-cell repair.

  19. Direct Cytoskeleton Forces Cause Membrane Softening in Red Blood Cells (United States)

    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

  20. Membrane Mechanics of Endocytosis in Cells with Turgor

    CERN Document Server

    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...

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

    KAUST Repository

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foged, Camilla; Nielsen, Hanne Moerck


    During the last decade, cell-penetrating peptides have been investigated for their ability to overcome the plasma membrane barrier of mammalian cells for the intracellular or transcellular delivery of cargoes as diverse as low molecular weight drugs, imaging agents, oligonucleotides, peptides......-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......, proteins and colloidal carriers such as liposomes and polymeric nanoparticles. Their ability to cross biological membranes in a non-disruptive way without apparent toxicity is highly desired for increasing drug bioavailability. This review provides an overview of the application of cell...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    of unidirectional flux from inside to outside is 0.361 ± 0.023 s. The rate constant of unidirectional flux from the membrane to BSA in the medium ([BSA]) increases with the square root of [BSA] in accordance with the theory of an unstirred layer around ghosts. Anandamide passed through the red blood cell membrane......The use of resealed red blood cell membranes (ghosts) allows the study of the transport of a compound in a nonmetabolizing system with a biological membrane. Transmembrane movements of anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine, arachidonoylethanolamide) have been studied by exchange efflux experiments...... 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...

  4. A boron phosphate-phosphoric acid composite membrane for medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Mamlouk, M.; Scott, K.


    A composite membrane based on a non-stoichiometric composition of BPO4 with excess of PO4 (BPOx) was synthesised and characterised for medium temperature fuel cell use (120-180 °C). The electrolyte was characterised by FTIR, SS-NMR, TGA and XRD and showed that the B-O is tetrahedral, in agreement with reports in the literature that boron phosphorus oxide compounds at B:P < 1 are exclusively built of borate and phosphate tetrahedra. Platinum micro electrodes were used to study the electrolyte compatibility and stability towards oxygen reduction at 150 °C and to obtain kinetic and mass transport parameters. The conductivities of the pure BPOx membrane electrolyte and a Polybenzimidazole (PBI)-4BPOx composite membrane were 7.9 × 10-2 S cm-1 and 4.5 × 10-2 S cm-1 respectively at 150 °C, 5%RH. Fuel cell tests showed a significant enhancement in performance of BPOx over that of typical 5.6H3PO4-PBI membrane electrolyte. The enhancement is due to the improved ionic conductivity (3×), a higher exchange current density of the oxygen reduction (30×) and a lower membrane gas permeability (10×). Fuel cell current densities at 0.6 V were 706 and 425 mA cm-2 for BPOx and 5.6H3PO4-PBI, respectively, at 150 °C with O2 (atm).

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...... group is achieved in 85wt% H3PO4 at room temperature. The membranes exhibit a proton conductivity of 0.015–0.022Scm−1 at 130–150°C under 15mol% water vapor in air, and a tensile strength of 5–6MPa at 130°C under ambient humidity. Fuel cell tests show an open circuit voltage as high as 0.96V and a peak...

  6. Development of new membrane materials for direct methanol fuel cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yildirim, Mustafa Hakan


    Development of new membrane materials for direct methanol fuel cells Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) can convert the chemical energy of a fuel directly into electrical energy with high efficiency and low emission of pollutants. DMFCs can be used as the power sources to portable electronic devices

  7. Modeling Of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud


    In this study a general PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) model has been developed to take into account the effect of pressure losses, water crossovers, humidity aspects and voltage over potentials in the cells. The model is zero dimensional and it is assumed to be steady state. The effect...

  9. Theory on Plasmon Modes of the Cell Membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Nhan, T T; Ngo, V Thanh; Viet, N A


    Considering the plasmon oscillation of each layer of the cell membranes as a quasi-particle, we introduce a simple model for the membrane collective charge excitations, take into account the surface effective potential of the plasmon-plasmon interaction between two layers. By using the useful Bogoliubov transformation method, we easily obtained the expressions of the frequencies of plasmon oscillations as a function of wave-number $k$ and membrane thickness $d$, magnitude of these frequencies is in the order of $\\sqrt{kd}$. Our results are in good agreement with ones obtained by E. Manousakis.

  10. Towards Extrusion of Ionomers to Process Fuel Cell Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Nanodomain stabilization dynamics in plasma membranes of biological cells (United States)

    Das, Tamal; Maiti, Tapas K.; Chakraborty, Suman


    We discover that a synergistically amplifying role of stabilizing membrane proteins and continuous lipid recycling can explain the physics governing the stability, polydispersity, and dynamics of lipid raft domains in plasma membranes of biological cells. We establish the conjecture using a generalized order parameter based on theoretical formalism, endorsed by detailed scaling arguments and domain mapping. Quantitative agreements with morphological distributions of raft complexes, as obtained from Förster resonance energy transfer based visualization, support the present theoretical conjecture.

  12. Poloxamer-188 and citicoline provide neuronal membrane integrity and protect membrane stability in cortical spreading depression. (United States)

    Yıldırım, Timur; Eylen, Alpaslan; Lule, Sevda; Erdener, Sefik Evren; Vural, Atay; Karatas, Hulya; Ozveren, Mehmet Faik; Dalkara, Turgay; Gursoy-Ozdemir, Yasemin


    Under pathological conditions such as brain trauma, subarachnoid hemorrhage and stroke, cortical spreading depression (CSD) or peri-infarct depolarizations contribute to brain damage in animal models of neurological disorders as well as in human neurological diseases. CSD causes transient megachannel opening on the neuronal membrane, which may compromise neuronal survival under pathological conditions. Poloxamer-188 (P-188) and citicoline are neuroprotectants with membrane sealing properties. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of P-188 and citicoline on the neuronal megachannel opening induced by CSD in the mouse brain. We have monitored megachannel opening with propidium iodide, a membrane impermeable fluorescent dye and, demonstrate that P-188 and citicoline strikingly decreased CSD-induced neuronal PI influx in cortex and hippocampal dentate gyrus. Therefore, these agents may be providing neuroprotection by blocking megachannel opening, which may be related to their membrane sealing action and warrant further investigation for treatment of traumatic brain injury and ischemic stroke.

  13. Mapping of unfolding states of integral helical membrane proteins by GPS-NMR and scattering techniques

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Calcutta, Antonello; Jessen, Christian Moestrup; Behrens, Manja Annette;


    Membrane proteins are vital for biological function, and their action is governed by structural properties critically depending on their interactions with the membranes. This has motivated considerable interest in studies of membrane protein folding and unfolding. Here the structural changes...... induced by unfolding of an integral membrane protein, namely TFE-induced unfolding of KcsA solubilized by the n-dodecyl ß-d-maltoside (DDM) surfactant is investigated by the recently introduced GPS-NMR (Global Protein folding State mapping by multivariate NMR) (Malmendal et al., PlosONE 5, e10262 (2010...

  14. Scalable nanostructured membranes for solid-oxide fuel cells. (United States)

    Tsuchiya, Masaru; Lai, Bo-Kuai; Ramanathan, Shriram


    The use of oxide fuel cells and other solid-state ionic devices in energy applications is limited by their requirement for elevated operating temperatures, typically above 800°C (ref. 1). Thin-film membranes allow low-temperature operation by reducing the ohmic resistance of the electrolytes. However, although proof-of-concept thin-film devices have been demonstrated, scaling up remains a significant challenge because large-area membranes less than ~ 100 nm thick are susceptible to mechanical failure. Here, we report that nanoscale yttria-stabilized zirconia membranes with lateral dimensions on the scale of millimetres or centimetres can be made thermomechanically stable by depositing metallic grids on them to function as mechanical supports. We combine such a membrane with a nanostructured dense oxide cathode to make a thin-film solid-oxide fuel cell that can achieve a power density of 155 mW cm⁻² at 510 °C. We also report a total power output of more than 20 mW from a single fuel-cell chip. Our large-area membranes could also be relevant to electrochemical energy applications such as gas separation, hydrogen production and permeation membranes.

  15. Evaluation on the Morphology and Membrane Integrity of Immotile Human Sperm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei-Jie ZHU; Jing LI


    Objective To determine the membrane integrity in the head and tail regions of individual spermatozoon, and observe sperm morphology for samples with totally immotile sperm.Methods Ten infertile men with immotile sperm were enrolled into this study (group A).The membrane integrity in the head and tail regions of individual spermatozoon of immotile sperm was examined by using the combined hypo-osmotic swelling-eosin Y exclusion test (HOS-EY test). Sperm morphology was observed by light, scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Ten semen samples from normospermic donors were used as the control (group B).Results The percentage of sperm with intact both head and tail membranes in group A was significantly lower than that in group B (P<0.01), whereas the value of sperm with defective head membrane but intact tail membrane in group A was significantly higher than that in group B (P<0.01) Abnormal sperm morphology in group A had a high incidence, and immotile sperm with viability and normal morphology could be observed in some cases. Most sperm had multiple ultrastructural defects.Conclussion Some immotile sperm had intact tail membrane but defective head membrane. Immotile sperm with viability and normal morphology could exist in some cases though abnormal sperm were in a great proportion. Carefully evaluating immotile sperm membrane integrity and morphology should benefit the treatment of patients with immotile sperm.

  16. High quality single crystal Ge nano-membranes for opto-electronic integrated circuitry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shah, V. A., E-mail:; Gammon, P. M. [Department of Engineering, The University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom); Department of Physics, The University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom); Rhead, S. D.; Halpin, J. E.; Trushkevych, O.; Wilson, N. R.; Myronov, M.; Edwards, R. S.; Patchett, D. H.; Allred, P. S.; Prest, M. J.; Whall, T. E.; Parker, E. H. C.; Leadley, D. R. [Department of Physics, The University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL (United Kingdom); Chávez-Ángel, E. [ICN2-Institut Catala de Nanociencia i Nanotecnologia, Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) (Spain); Department of Physics, UAB, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) (Spain); Shchepetov, A.; Prunnila, M. [VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1000, FI-02044 VTT, Espoo (Finland); Kachkanov, V.; Dolbnya, I. P. [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Reparaz, J. S. [ICN2-Institut Catala de Nanociencia i Nanotecnologia, Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) (Spain); and others


    A thin, flat, and single crystal germanium membrane would be an ideal platform on which to mount sensors or integrate photonic and electronic devices, using standard silicon processing technology. We present a fabrication technique compatible with integrated-circuit wafer scale processing to produce membranes of thickness between 60 nm and 800 nm, with large areas of up to 3.5 mm{sup 2}. We show how the optical properties change with thickness, including appearance of Fabry-Pérot type interference in thin membranes. The membranes have low Q-factors, which allow the platforms to counteract distortion during agitation and movement. Finally, we report on the physical characteristics showing sub-nm roughness and a homogenous strain profile throughout the freestanding layer, making the single crystal Ge membrane an excellent platform for further epitaxial growth or deposition of materials.

  17. Understanding the transport processes in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

    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

  18. Acid-doped Polybenzimidazole Membranes as Electrolyte for Fuel Cells Operating Above 100°C

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qingfeng, Li; Jensen, Jens Oluf; He, Ronhuan


    The technical achievement and challenges for the PEMFC technology based on perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer membranes (e.g. Nafion®) are briefly discussed. The newest development in the field is alternative polymer electrolytes for operation above 100°C. As one of the successful approaches...... to high operational temperatures, the development and evaluation of acid doped PBI membranes are reviewed, covering polymer synthesis, membrane casting, acid doping, physiochemical characterization and fuel cell tests. A high temperature PEMFC system operational at up to 200°C is demonstrated with no gas...... humidification and high CO-tolerance up to 10 vol%. This high CO tolerance allows for a direct use of reformed hydrogen without further CO removal, which opens the possibility for an integrated reformer-fuel cell system. The content of this review is to a large extent based on research performed by the authors...

  19. The Synthetic Amphipathic Peptidomimetic LTX109 Is a Potent Fungicide That Disturbs Plasma Membrane Integrity in a Sphingolipid Dependent Manner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojsen, Rasmus; Torbensen, Rasmus; Larsen, Camilla Eggert;


    The peptidomimetic LTX109 (arginine-tertbutyl tryptophan-arginine-phenylethan) was previously shown to have antibacterial properties. Here, we investigated the activity of this novel antimicrobial peptidomimetic on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We found that LTX109 was an efficient fungicid...... observations are consistent with a model in which LTX109 kills S. cerevisiae by nonspecific destabilization of the plasma membrane through direct or indirect interaction with the sphingolipids....... that killed all viable cells in an exponentially growing population as well as a large proportion of cells in biofilm formed on an abiotic surface. LTX109 had similar killing kinetics to the membrane-permeabilizing fungicide amphotericin B, which led us to investigate the ability of LTX109 to disrupt plasma...... membrane integrity. S. cerevisiae cells exposed to a high concentration of LTX109 showed rapid release of potassium and amino acids, suggesting that LTX109 acted by destabilizing the plasma membrane. This was supported by the finding that cells were permeable to the fluorescent nucleic acid stain SYTOX...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  1. Flow cytometry immunodetection and membrane integrity assessment of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ready-to-eat pasta salad during refrigerated storage. (United States)

    Subires, Alicia; Yuste, Josep; Capellas, Marta


    Over the past years, products of non-animal origin have been increasingly linked to foodborne diseases caused by the enterohemorrhagic pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7. Contaminated fresh produce and derived ready-to-eat meals are of major concern, since no further or only minimal processing is applied. In this study, flow cytometry was evaluated as a rapid technique to detect E. coli O157:H7 by immunofluorescence, using polyclonal antibodies conjugated to R-phycoerythrin, in refrigerated ready-to-eat pasta salad containing acetic acid and benzoic acid. Signal filtering strategies were applied during sample analysis to reduce the limit of detection of the technique to 5 log CFU/g. Simultaneously with pathogen detection, physiological state was assessed by staining with the membrane integrity indicators propidium iodide and SYBR Green I. Fine tuning of dye concentrations and ratios allowed discrimination of not only cells with intact or damaged membranes, but also of cells with partially damaged membranes, which were considered injured cells. Then, changes in membrane integrity of inoculated E. coli O157:H7 cells were monitored throughout 14-day refrigerated storage. Most cells were injured at the beginning of refrigeration, but showed an intact membrane at the end. This suggests that injured E. coli O157:H7 cells underwent a membrane repair during exposure to refrigeration and acid stresses, and survived in ready-to-eat pasta salad. This highlights the importance of the implementation of control measures to limit the presence of this pathogen in non-animal origin food products. Additionally, the proposed immunodetection and membrane integrity three-color assay in food is a good tool to monitor the effect of a number of food-related treatments on E. coli O157:H7 cell membrane.

  2. Indole prevents Escherichia coli cell division by modulating membrane potential. (United States)

    Chimerel, Catalin; Field, Christopher M; Piñero-Fernandez, Silvia; Keyser, Ulrich F; Summers, David K


    Indole is a bacterial signalling molecule that blocks E. coli cell division at concentrations of 3-5 mM. We have shown that indole is a proton ionophore and that this activity is key to the inhibition of division. By reducing the electrochemical potential across the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli, indole deactivates MinCD oscillation and prevents formation of the FtsZ ring that is a prerequisite for division. This is the first example of a natural ionophore regulating a key biological process. Our findings have implications for our understanding of membrane biology, bacterial cell cycle control and potentially for the design of antibiotics that target the cell membrane.

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

    KAUST Repository

    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.

  4. Effects of chronic kidney disease on blood cells membrane properties. (United States)

    Kaderjakova, Z; Lajdova, I; Horvathova, M; Morvova, M; Sikurova, L


    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is progressive loss of renal function associated among others with increased intracellular calcium concentration. The purpose of this study was to identify the effects of CKD on cell membrane properties such as human red blood cell Ca(2+) ATPase activity, lymphocyte plasma membrane P2X(7) receptor expression and function. This could help us in elucidating the origin of increased calcium concentration in blood cells. We found out Ca(2+) ATPase activity is decreased in early stage CKD patients resulting in altered calcium removal from cytoplasm. By means of flow cytometry we assessed that P2X(7) receptor expression on lymphocyte membrane is 1.5 fold increased for CKD patients. Moreover, we detected an increased uptake of ethidium bromide through this receptor in CKD at basal conditions. It means CKD lymphocyte membranes contain more receptors which are more permeable thus allowing increased calcium influx from extracellular milieu. Finally, we can state alterations in blood cell membranes are closely linked to CKD and may be responsible for intracellular calcium accumulation.

  5. Mast cell synapses and exosomes: membrane contacts for information exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda eCarroll-Portillo


    Full Text Available In addition to their central role in allergy, mast cells are involved in a wide variety of cellular interactions during homeostasis and disease. In this review, we discuss the ability of mast cells to extend their mechanisms for intercellular communication beyond the release of soluble mediators. These include formation of mast cell synapses on antigen presenting surfaces, as well as cell-cell contacts with dendritic cells and T cells. Release of membrane-bound exosomes also provide for the transfer of antigen, mast cell proteins and RNA to other leukocytes. With the recognition of the extended role mast cells have during immune modulation, further investigation of the processes in which mast cells are involved is necessary. This reopens mast cell research to exciting possibilities, demonstrating it to be an immunological frontier.

  6. Superresolution measurement on the minute fluctuation of cell membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Jing; HUANG Yaoxiong; ZHAO Haiyan; TU Mei; CHEN Wenxin


    A novel method for measuring the minute fluctuation of cell membrane is developed by modifying the super-resolution theory, increasing dimension in Fourier space, enhancing brightness gradient and utilizing maximum adaptive weighted averaging filter (MAWA) in obstructing noise. The application of the method in studying aspergillus flavus cell (AFC) and red blood cell and the new findings from the study show that it is a useful tool.

  7. Effects of n-3 PUFAs on breast cancer cells through their incorporation in plasma membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berra Bruno


    Full Text Available Abstract Background PUFAs are important molecules for membrane order and function; they can modify inflammation-inducible cytokines production, eicosanoid production, plasma triacylglycerol synthesis and gene expression. Recent studies suggest that n-3 PUFAs can be cancer chemopreventive, chemosuppressive and auxiliary agents for cancer therapy. N-3 PUFAs could alter cancer growth influencing cell replication, cell cycle, and cell death. The question that remains to be answered is how n-3 PUFAs can affect so many physiological processes. We hypothesize that n-3 PUFAs alter membrane stability, modifying cellular signalling in breast cancer cells. Methods Two lines of human breast cancer cells characterized by different expression of ER and EGFR receptors were treated with AA, EPA or DHA. We have used the MTT viability test and expression of apoptotic markers to evaluate the effect of PUFAs on cancer growth. Phospholipids were analysed by HPLC/GC, to assess n-3 incorporation into the cell membrane. Results We have observed that EPA and DHA induce cell apoptosis, a reduction of cell viability and the expression of Bcl2 and procaspase-8. Moreover, DHA slightly reduces the concentration of EGFR but EPA has no effect. Both EPA and DHA reduce the activation of EGFR. N-3 fatty acids are partially metabolized in both cell lines; AA is integrated without being further metabolized. We have analysed the fatty acid pattern in membrane phospholipids where they are incorporated with different degrees of specificity. N-3 PUFAs influence the n-6 content and vice versa. Conclusions Our results indicate that n-3 PUFA feeding might induce modifications of breast cancer membrane structure that increases the degree of fatty acid unsaturation. This paper underlines the importance of nutritional factors on health maintenance and on disease prevention.

  8. Fouling and long-term durability of an integrated forward osmosis and membrane distillation system. (United States)

    Husnain, T; Mi, B; Riffat, R


    An integrated forward osmosis (FO) and membrane distillation (MD) system has great potential for sustainable wastewater reuse. However, the fouling and long-term durability of the system remains largely unknown. This study investigates the fouling behaviour and efficiency of cleaning procedures of FO and MD membranes used for treating domestic wastewater. Results showed that a significant decline in flux of both FO and MD membranes were observed during treatment of wastewater with organic foulants. However, shear force generated by the increased cross-flow physically removed the loosely attached foulants from the FO membrane surface and resulted in 86-88% recovery of flux by cleaning with tap water. For the MD membrane, almost no flux recovery was achieved due to adsorption of organic foulants on the hydrophobic membrane surface, thus indicating significant irreversible fouling/wetting, which may not be effectively cleaned even with chemical reagents. Long-term (10 d) tests showed consistent performance of the FO membrane by rejecting the contaminants. However, organic foulants reduced the hydrophobicity of the MD membrane, caused wetting problems and allowed contaminants to pass through. The results demonstrate that combination of the FO and MD processes can effectively reduce irreversible membrane fouling and solve the wetting problem of the MD membrane.


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  10. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance (United States)

    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

  11. Flavivirus cell entry and membrane fusion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  12. Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells Challenges and Recent Developments

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qingfeng Li; Jens Oluf Jensen; Pernille P. Noyé; Chao Pan; Niels J. Bjerrum


    @@ 1Introduction The current technology of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is based on perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) membranes (e. g. Nafion(R)) as electrolyte. It operates on pure hydrogen and oxygen/air at typically 80℃ with high power density and long-term durability. For the membranes to be conductive, a minimum threshold of absorbed water molecules is about 6 to 7 mole per sulfonic site. The highest conductivity is only obtained under fully hydrated conductions, i.e. 21 - 22 mole water per sulfonic acid site. In other words, the proton conductivity is achieved by the locally liquid-like hydrophilic domain of the nanostructure.This strong dependence of conductivity on the water content in membranes limits the operational temperatureof PEMFC below 100℃.

  13. Neutron diffraction of cell membranes (myelin). (United States)

    Parsons, D F; Akers, C K


    Small-angle neutron diffraction (wavelength 4.05 angstroms) of human and rabbit sciatic nerve has been carried out by means of the Brookhaven high flux beam reactor with an automated slit camera. Most of the free water of the nerves was substituted in order to minimize incoherent scatter of hydrogen atoms. The differences in amplitude and phase shifts between neutrons and x-rays resulted in a neutron diffraction pattern that was completely different from the x-ray pattern. The neutron pattern consisted of a single peak of about 89-angstrom spacing in the region examined (up to 6-angstrom spacing). The strong third, fourth, and fifth order reflections (about 60, 45, and 36 angstroms) seen in the x-ray pattern were suppressed. The neutron data indicated a strong scattering from one portion of the membrane.

  14. Successful Integration of Membrane Technologies in a Conventional Purification Process of Tannery Wastewater Streams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angelo Chianese


    Full Text Available The aim of this work is to design and integrate an optimized batch membrane process in a conventional purification process used for the treatment of tannery wastewater. The integration was performed by using two spiral wound membrane modules in series, that is, nanofiltration and reverse osmosis, as substitutes to the biological reactor. The membrane process was designed in terms of sensible fouling issues reduction, which may be observed on the nanofiltration membrane if no optimization is performed. The entity of the fouling phenomena was estimated by pressure cycling measurements, determining both the critical and the threshold flux on the nanofiltration membrane. The obtained results were used to estimate the need of the overdesign of the membrane plant, as well as to define optimized operating conditions in order to handle fouling issues correctly for a long period of time. Finally, the developed membrane process was compared, from a technical and economic point of view, with the conventional biological process, widely offered as an external service near tannery production sites, and, here, proposed to be substituted by membrane technologies.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  16. PIG7 promotes leukemia cell chemosensitivity via lysosomal membrane permeabilization. (United States)

    Liu, Jiazhuo; Peng, Leiwen; Niu, Ting; Wu, Yu; Li, Jianjun; Wang, Fangfang; Zheng, Yuhuan; Liu, Ting


    PIG7 localizes to lysosomal membrane in leukemia cells. Our previous work has shown that transduction of pig7 into a series of leukemia cell lines did not result in either apoptosis or differentiation of most tested cell lines. Interestingly, it did significantly sensitize these cell lines to chemotherapeutic drugs. Here, we further investigated the mechanism underlying pig7-induced improved sensitivity of acute leukemia cells to chemotherapy. Our results demonstrated that the sensitization effect driven by exogenous pig7 was more effective in drug-resistant leukemia cell lines which had lower endogenous pig7 expression. Overexpression of pig7 did not directly activate the caspase apoptotic pathway, but decreased the lysosomal stability. The expression of pig7 resulted in lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP) and lysosomal protease (e.g. cathepsin B, D, L) release. Moreover, we also observed increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) induced by pig7. Some autophagy markers such as LC3I/II, ATG5 and Beclin-1, and necroptosis maker MLKL were also stimulated. However, intrinsic antagonism such as serine/cysteine protease inhibitors Spi2A and Cystatin C prevented downstream effectors from triggering leukemia cells, which were only on the "verge of apoptosis". When combined with chemotherapy, LMP increased and more proteases were released. Once this process was beyond the limit of intrinsic antagonism, it induced programmed cell death cooperatively via caspase-independent and caspase-dependent pathways.

  17. Electrospun fiber membranes enable proliferation of genetically modified cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borjigin M


    Full Text Available Mandula Borjigin*, Chris Eskridge*, Rohina Niamat, Bryan Strouse, Pawel Bialk, Eric B KmiecDepartment of Chemistry, Delaware State University, Dover, DE, USA *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Polycaprolactone (PCL and its blended composites (chitosan, gelatin, and lecithin are well-established biomaterials that can enrich cell growth and enable tissue engineering. However, their application in the recovery and proliferation of genetically modified cells has not been studied. In the study reported here, we fabricated PCL-biomaterial blended fiber membranes, characterized them using physicochemical techniques, and used them as templates for the growth of genetically modified HCT116-19 colon cancer cells. Our data show that the blended polymers are highly miscible and form homogenous electrospun fiber membranes of uniform texture. The aligned PCL nanofibers support robust cell growth, yielding a 2.5-fold higher proliferation rate than cells plated on standard plastic plate surfaces. PCL-lecithin fiber membranes yielded a 2.7-fold higher rate of proliferation, while PCL-chitosan supported a more modest growth rate (1.5-fold higher. Surprisingly, PCL-gelatin did not enhance cell proliferation when compared to the rate of cell growth on plastic surfaces. Keywords: nanofibers, PCL-biomaterial blends, miscibility, gene editing, cell proliferation

  18. Membrane composition influences the topology bias of bacterial integral membrane proteins. (United States)

    Bay, Denice C; Turner, Raymond J


    Small multidrug resistance (SMR) protein family members confer bacterial resistance to toxic antiseptics and are believed to function as dual topology oligomers. If dual topology is essential for SMR activity, then the topology bias should change as bacterial membrane lipid compositions alter to maintain a "neutral" topology bias. To test this hypothesis, a bioinformatic analysis of bacterial SMR protein sequences was performed to determine a membrane protein topology based on charged amino acid residues within loops, and termini regions according to the positive inside rule. Three bacterial lipid membrane parameters were examined, providing the proportion of polar lipid head group charges at the membrane surface (PLH), the relative hydrophobic fatty acid length (FAL), and the proportion of fatty acid unsaturation (FAU). Our analysis indicates that individual SMR pairs, and to a lesser extent SMR singleton topology biases, are significantly correlated to increasing PLH, FAL and FAU differences validating the hypothesis. Correlations between the topology biases of SMR proteins identified in Gram+ compared to Gram- species and each lipid parameter demonstrated a linear inverse relationship.

  19. Optical Trapping Techniques Applied to the Study of Cell Membranes (United States)

    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

  20. Integrated Water Gas Shift Membrane Reactors Utilizing Novel, Non Precious Metal Mixed Matrix Membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferraris, John


    Nanoparticles of zeolitic imidazolate frameworks and other related hybrid materials were prepared by modifying published synthesis procedures by introducing bases, changing stoichiometric ratios, or adjusting reaction conditions. These materials were stable at temperatures >300 °C and were compatible with the polymer matrices used to prepare mixed- matrix membranes (MMMs). MMMs tested at 300 °C exhibited a >30 fold increase in permeability, compared to those measured at 35 °C, while maintaining H{sub 2}/CO{sub 2} selectivity. Measurements at high pressure (up to 30 atm) and high temperature (up to 300 °C) resulted in an increase in gas flux across the membrane with retention of selectivity. No variations in permeability were observed at high pressures at either 35 or 300 °C. CO{sub 2}-induced plasticization was not observed for Matrimid®, VTEC, and PBI polymers or their MMMs at 30 atm and 300 °C. Membrane surface modification by cross-linking with ethanol diamine resulted in an increase in H{sub 2}/CO{sub 2} selectivity at 35 °C. Spectrometric analysis showed that the cross-linking was effective to temperatures <150 °C. At higher temperatures, the cross-linked membranes exhibit a H{sub 2}/CO{sub 2} selectivity similar to the uncross-linked polymer. Performance of the polybenzimidazole (PBI) hollow fibers prepared at Santa Fe Science and Technology (SFST, Inc.) showed increased flux o to a flat PBI membrane. A water-gas shift reactor has been built and currently being optimized for testing under DOE conditions.

  1. Advanced treatment of biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater by a novel integration of catalytic ultrasound oxidation and membrane bioreactor. (United States)

    Jia, Shengyong; Han, Hongjun; Zhuang, Haifeng; Xu, Peng; Hou, Baolin


    Laboratorial scale experiments were conducted to investigate a novel system integrating catalytic ultrasound oxidation (CUO) with membrane bioreactor (CUO-MBR) on advanced treatment of biologically pretreated coal gasification wastewater. Results indicated that CUO with catalyst of FeOx/SBAC (sewage sludge based activated carbon (SBAC) which loaded Fe oxides) represented high efficiencies in eliminating TOC as well as improving the biodegradability. The integrated CUO-MBR system with low energy intensity and high frequency was more effective in eliminating COD, BOD5, TOC and reducing transmembrane pressure than either conventional MBR or ultrasound oxidation integrated MBR. The enhanced hydroxyl radical oxidation, facilitation of substrate diffusion and improvement of cell enzyme secretion were the mechanisms for CUO-MBR performance. Therefore, the integrated CUO-MBR was the promising technology for advanced treatment in engineering applications.

  2. Extracellular heme uptake and the challenges of bacterial cell membranes. (United States)

    Smith, Aaron D; Wilks, Angela


    In bacteria, the fine balance of maintaining adequate iron levels while preventing the deleterious effects of excess iron has led to the evolution of sophisticated cellular mechanisms to obtain, store, and regulate iron. Iron uptake provides a significant challenge given its limited bioavailability and need to be transported across the bacterial cell wall and membranes. Pathogenic bacteria have circumvented the iron-availability issue by utilizing the hosts' heme-containing proteins as a source of iron. Once internalized, iron is liberated from the porphyrin enzymatically for cellular processes within the bacterial cell. Heme, a lipophilic and toxic molecule, poses a significant challenge in terms of transport given its chemical reactivity. As such, pathogenic bacteria have evolved sophisticated membrane transporters to coordinate, sequester, and transport heme. Recent advances in the biochemical and structural characterization of the membrane-bound heme transport proteins are discussed in the context of ligand coordination, protein-protein interaction, and heme transfer.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

  4. [Membrane-based photochemical systems as models for photosynthetic cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hurst, J.K.


    The objectives of this research are to improve our conceptual view of the ways in which membranes and interfaces can be used to control chemical reactivity. We have focused on understanding three elementary processes that are central to developing membrane-based integrated chemical systems for water photolysis or related photoconversion/photostorage processes. Specifically, we have sought to identify: the influence of interfaces upon charge separation/recombination reactions, pathways for transmembrane charge separation across hydrocarbon bilayer membranes, and mechanisms of water oxidation catalyzed by transition metal coordination complexes. Historically, the chemical dynamics of each of these processes has been poorly understood, with numerous unresolved issues and conflicting viewpoints appearing in the literature. As described in this report our recent research has led to considerable clarification of the underlying reaction mechanisms.

  5. Difference in Membrane Repair Capacity Between Cancer Cell Lines and a Normal Cell Line. (United States)

    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 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.

  6. Trans-activity of plasma membrane-associated ganglioside sialyltransferase in mammalian cells. (United States)

    Vilcaes, Aldo A; Demichelis, Vanina Torres; Daniotti, Jose L


    Gangliosides are acidic glycosphingolipids that contain sialic acid residues and are expressed in nearly all vertebrate cells. They are synthesized at the Golgi complex by a combination of glycosyltransferase activities followed by vesicular delivery to the plasma membrane, where they participate in a variety of physiological as well as pathological processes. Recently, a number of enzymes of ganglioside anabolism and catabolism have been shown to be associated with the plasma membrane. In particular, it was observed that CMP-NeuAc:GM3 sialyltransferase (Sial-T2) is able to sialylate GM3 at the plasma membrane (cis-catalytic activity). In this work, we demonstrated that plasma membrane-integrated ecto-Sial-T2 also displays a trans-catalytic activity at the cell surface of epithelial and melanoma cells. By using a highly sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay combined with confocal fluorescence microscopy, we observed that ecto-Sial-T2 was able to sialylate hydrophobically or covalently immobilized GM3 onto a solid surface. More interestingly, we observed that ecto-Sial-T2 was able to sialylate GM3 exposed on the membrane of neighboring cells by using both the exogenous and endogenous donor substrate (CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid) available at the extracellular milieu. In addition, the trans-activity of ecto-Sial-T2 was considerably reduced when the expression of the acceptor substrate was inhibited by using a specific inhibitor of biosynthesis of glycolipids, indicating the lipidic nature of the acceptor. Our findings provide the first direct evidence that an ecto-sialyltransferase is able to trans-sialylate substrates exposed in the plasma membrane from mammalian cells, which represents a novel insight into the molecular events that regulate the local glycosphingolipid composition.

  7. Spontaneous Packaging and Hypothermic Storage of Mammalian Cells with a Cell-Membrane-Mimetic Polymer Hydrogel in a Microchip. (United States)

    Xu, Yan; Mawatari, Kazuma; Konno, Tomohiro; Kitamori, Takehiko; Ishihara, Kazuhiko


    Currently, continuous culture/passage and cryopreservation are two major, well-established methods to provide cultivated mammalian cells for experiments in laboratories. Due to the lack of flexibility, however, both laboratory-oriented methods are unable to meet the need for rapidly growing cell-based applications, which require cell supply in a variety of occasions outside of laboratories. Herein, we report spontaneous packaging and hypothermic storage of mammalian cells under refrigerated (4 °C) and ambient conditions (25 °C) using a cell-membrane-mimetic methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) polymer hydrogel incorporated within a glass microchip. Its capability for hypothermic storage of cells was comparatively evaluated over 16 days. The results reveal that the cytocompatible MPC polymer hydrogel, in combination with the microchip structure, enabled hypothermic storage of cells with quite high viability, high intracellular esterase activity, maintained cell membrane integrity, and small morphological change for more than 1 week at 4 °C and at least 4 days at 25 °C. Furthermore, the stored cells could be released from the hydrogel and exhibited the ability to adhere to a surface and achieve confluence under standard cell culture conditions. Both hypothermic storage conditions are ordinary flexible conditions which can be easily established in places outside of laboratories. Therefore, cell packaging and storage using the hydrogel incorporated within the microchip would be a promising miniature and portable solution for flexible supply and delivery of small amounts of cells from bench to bedside.

  8. Enzymatic synthesis of hydrophobic compounds integrated with membrane separation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noworyta Andrzej


    Full Text Available The enzymatic synthesis of a highly hydrophobic product (dipeptide precursor in which the reaction is accompanied by the mass transfer of the reaction product to the organic phase and the substrates to the water phase is considered. Equations describing both continuous and batch processes are formulated. The range of variability in the operating parameters of such a bioreactor is specified, and the correlations reported in the literature to describe mass transfer in the membrane contactor are validated. The proposed process was verified experimentally, and good agreement between the determined and calculated concentrations was obtained in both phases.

  9. Binding of white spot syndrome virus to Artemia sp. cell membranes. (United States)

    Feng, Shuying; Li, Guangda; Feng, Wenpo; Huang, Jie


    Using differential velocity centrifugation, cell membranes of Artemia sp. were prepared, and their binding to white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) was analyzed in vitro. The results indicated that WSSV can specifically bind to Artemia cell membranes, and that WSSV receptor very likely existed in this membrane, which suggested that Artemia sp. may be a reservoir of WSSV. This study investigated the specific WSSV binding site by performing competitive inhibition experiments using shrimp gill cell membranes to bind WSSV to Artemia cell membranes. The results showed that shrimp gill cell membranes had a distinct inhibition effect on the specific binding of Artemia cell membranes to WSSV. Thus, potentially similar WSSV receptors or binding sites existed on Artemia sp. cell membranes and shrimp gill cell membranes. Taken together, these findings may provide experimental basis for the development of an effective approach to controlling WSSV, and theoretical basis for the study of WSSV receptors.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  11. Hereditary red cell membrane disorders and laboratory diagnostic testing. (United States)

    King, M-J; Zanella, A


    This overview describes two groups of nonimmune hereditary hemolytic anemias caused by defects in membrane proteins located in distinct layers of the red cell membrane. Hereditary spherocytosis (HS), hereditary elliptocytosis (HE), and hereditary pyropoikilocytosis (HPP) represent disorders of the red cell cytoskeleton. Hereditary stomatocytoses represents disorders of cation permeability in the red cell membrane. The current laboratory screening tests for HS are the osmotic fragility test, acid glycerol lysis time test (AGLT), cryohemolysis test, and eosin-5'-maleimide (EMA)-binding test. For atypical HS, SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of erythrocyte membrane proteins is carried out to confirm the diagnosis. The diagnosis of HE/HPP is based on abnormal red cell morphology and the detection of protein 4.1R deficiency or spectrin variants using gel electrophoresis. None of screening tests can detect all HS cases. Some testing centers (a survey of 25 laboratories) use a combination of tests (e.g., AGLT and EMA). No specific screening test for hereditary stomatocytoses is available. The preliminary diagnosis is based on presenting a compensated hemolytic anemia, macrocytosis, and a temperature or time dependent pseudohyperkalemia in some patients. Both the EMA-binding test and the osmotic fragility test may help in differential diagnosis of HS and hereditary stomatocytosis.

  12. Stimulated-healing of proton exchange membrane fuel cell catalyst

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Latsuzbaia, R.; Negro, E.; Koper, G.J.M.


    Platinum nanoparticles, which are used as catalysts in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC), tend to degrade after long-term operation. We discriminate the following mechanisms of the degradation: poisoning, migration and coalescence, dissolution, and electrochemical Ostwald ripening. There a

  13. Polycation-mediated integrated cell death processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parhamifar, Ladan; Andersen, Helene; Wu, Linping


    standard. PEIs are highly efficient transfectants, but depending on their architecture and size they induce cytotoxicity through different modes of cell death pathways. Here, we briefly review dynamic and integrated cell death processes and pathways, and discuss considerations in cell death assay design...

  14. Membrane photobioreactors for integrated microalgae cultivation and nutrient remediation of membrane bioreactors effluent. (United States)

    Marbelia, L; Bilad, M R; Passaris, I; Discart, V; Vandamme, D; Beuckels, A; Muylaert, K; Vankelecom, Ivo F J


    The feasibility of a new concept of wastewater treatment by combining a membrane bioreactor (MBR) and a microalgae membrane photobioreactor (MPBR) is assessed in this study. In this system, the organic carbon present in wastewater is expected to be fully oxidized in the MBR, while the nutrients are removed via the subsequent MPBR treatment. The effluent of a lab-scale MBR was fed into a PBR and a MPBR which served as growing medium for Chlorella vulgaris. The MPBRs demonstrated their superiority by limiting the algae wash-out, thus increasing the allowable optimum dilution rate (Dopt). At these corresponding Dopt values, 3.5 and 2 times higher biomass concentrations and volumetric productivities respectively were achieved by the MPBR. It is also possible to run the MPBR at still higher biomass concentration, thus enabling a smaller footprint and higher nutrient removal efficiency. However, reduced nutrient removal efficiencies were found to be one possible drawback.

  15. How to Evaluate the Electric Noise in a Cell Membrane? (United States)

    Bier, M.


    There has been considerable public anxiety about possible health effects of electromagnetic radiation emitted by high voltage power lines. Power frequencies (60 Hz in the US, 50 Hz in many other countries) are sufficiently slow for the associated electric fields to distribute themselves across the highly resistive cell membranes. To assess the ambient power frequency fields, researchers have compared the voltage that these fields induce across cell membranes to the strength of the electric noise that the membranes generate themselves through Brownian motion. However, there has been disagreement among researchers on how to evaluate this equilibrium membrane electric noise. I will review the different approaches and present an {ITALIC ab initio} modeling of membrane electric fields. I will show that different manifestations of Brownian noise lead to an electric noise intensity that is many times larger than what conventional estimates have yielded. Next, the legitimacy of gauging a nonequilibrium external signal against internal equilibrium noise is questioned and a more meaningful criterion is proposed. Finally, an estimate will be derived of the nonequilibrium noise intensity due to the driven ion traffic through randomly opening and closing ion channels.

  16. Effects of Perfluorocarbons on surfactant exocytosis and membrane properties in isolated alveolar type II cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ravasio Andrea


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Perfluorocarbons (PFC are used to improve gas exchange in diseased lungs. PFC have been shown to affect various cell types. Thus, effects on alveolar type II (ATII cells and surfactant metabolism can be expected, data, however, are controversial. Objective The study was performed to test two hypotheses: (I the effects of PFC on surfactant exocytosis depend on their respective vapor pressures; (II different pathways of surfactant exocytosis are affected differently by PFC. Methods Isolated ATII cells were exposed to two PFC with different vapor pressures and spontaneous surfactant exocytosis was measured. Furthermore, surfactant exocytosis was stimulated by either ATP, PMA or Ionomycin. The effects of PFC on cell morphology, cellular viability, endocytosis, membrane permeability and fluidity were determined. Results The spontaneous exocytosis was reduced by PFC, however, the ATP and PMA stimulated exocytosis was slightly increased by PFC with high vapor pressure. In contrast, Ionomycin-induced exocytosis was decreased by PFC with low vapor pressure. Cellular uptake of FM 1-43 - a marker of membrane integrity - was increased. However, membrane fluidity, endocytosis and viability were not affected by PFC incubation. Conclusions We conclude that PFC effects can be explained by modest, unspecific interactions with the plasma membrane rather than by specific interactions with intracellular targets.

  17. 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...

  18. The Relationship Between Intracellular Antioxidant Enzyme Activity and Sperm Cell Membrane Integrity in Bama Miniature Pig Semen Cryopreservation%巴马香猪精液冷冻过程中精子内抗氧化酶活性与精子质膜完整性关系研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孔德营; 商海涛; 刘福慧; 韩勇; 魏泓; 张家骅


    During Bama miniature pig semen cryopreservation ,Sperm cell membrane can be damaged due to the oxidation of ROS ,and thus affect Sperm quality .The level of ROS in sperm cells affected by the ac-tivities of antioxidant enzymes ,however ,no data are available concerning the relationship between sperm intracellular antioxidant enzyme activity and cell membrane integrity during semen cryopreservation .In our experiment ,we divided the sperm during cryopreservation process into four statuses ,such as fresh sperm , sperm at 15 ℃ ,sperm at 5 ℃ ,and frozen-thawed sperm ,and detected the motion parameters ,plasma membrane integrity (PMI) ,acrosome integrity (AI) of sperm in these statuses ,analysed the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) ,glutathione peroxidase (Gpx) and the level of ROS (malonaldehyde-MDA) in sperm cells .Results showed that ,sperm at 15 ℃ and fresh sperm indexes had no significant difference (p>0.05) .Motility ,cell membrane integrity and antioxidant enzymes activity of sperm at 5 ℃ were low-er than fresh sperm (p 0.05) .Motility ,cell membrane integrity and antioxidant enzyme activities of frozen-thawed sperm were lower than those in other groups (p<0.05) ,and sperm MDA level is significantly higher than that of oth-er groups (p<0.05) .Meanwhile ,the correlation between SOD ,Gpx activity and sperm PMI ,AI were significant (p < 0.05) .And we can conclude that ,When the temperature was below 15 ℃ to freezing , SOD and GPX activity of sperm decreased gradually ,cell membrane lipid peroxidation of sperm enhanced , cell membrane damaged ,the contents of sperm exosmosed ,and this is an important reason leading to the reduction of semen quality .%猪精液冷冻过程中,精子质膜往往因受到活性氧(ROS)的氧化而发生损伤,精子品质也随之下降.精子ROS水平受抗氧化酶活性的影响,然而冷冻过程中精子细胞内抗氧化酶活性变化与细胞膜完整性的关系还缺乏报道.该试验将巴马

  19. Performance of Membrane-Assisted Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System Fuelled by Bioethanol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amornchai Arpornwichanop


    Full Text Available The membrane separation units for bioethanol purification including pervaporation and vapor permeation are integrated with the bioethanol-fuelled solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC system. The preliminary calculations indicate that Hydrophilic type is a suitable membrane for vapor permeation to be installed after a hydrophobic pervaporation. Based on energy self-sufficient condition and data of available pervaporation membranes, the simulation results show that the use of vapor permeation unit after the pervaporation can significantly improve the overall electrical efficiency from 10.96% for the system with pervaporation alone to 26.56%. Regarding the effect of ethanol recovery, the ethanol recovery at 75% can offer the optimal overall efficiency from the proposed purification system compared to the ethanol recovery at 31.16% for the case with the single pervaporation.

  20. Effect of powdered activated carbon on integrated submerged membrane bioreactor-nanofiltration process for wastewater reclamation. (United States)

    Woo, Yun Chul; Lee, Jeong Jun; Shim, Wang-Geun; Shon, Ho Kyong; Tijing, Leonard D; Yao, Minwei; Kim, Han-Seung


    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of powdered activated carbon (PAC) on the overall performance of a submerged membrane bioreactor (SMBR) system integrated with nanofiltration (NF) for wastewater reclamation. It was found that the trans-membrane pressure of SMBR increased continuously while that of the SMBR with PAC was more stable, mainly because water could still pass through the PACs and membrane even though foulants adhered on the PAC surface. The presence of PAC was able to mitigate fouling in SMBR as well as in NF. SMBR-NF with PAC obtained a higher flux of 8.1 LMH compared to that without PAC (6.6 LMH). In addition, better permeate quality was obtained with SMBR-NF integrated process added with PAC. The present results suggest that the addition of PAC in integrated SMBR-NF process could possibly lead to satisfying water quality and can be operated for a long-term duration.

  1. Time-dependent cell membrane damage under mechanical tension: Experiments and modeling


    Lu, Bo; Chang, Jay Han-Chieh; Tai, Yu-Chong


    This paper reports a study of cancer cell membrane damage during filtration caused by cell membrane tension. The membrane tension was induced when cells were captured on a microfabricated parylene-C filter during the constant-pressure-driven filtration. This work includes both experiments and modeling to explore the underlying biomechanics of the cell membrane damage. The developed model not only agrees with our time-dependent cell damage data, but also fits well with previous results on red ...

  2. The cytoplasmic domain is essential for transport function of the integral membrane transport protein SLC4A11. (United States)

    Loganathan, Sampath K; Lukowski, Chris M; Casey, Joseph R


    Large cytoplasmic domains (CD) are a common feature among integral membrane proteins. In virtually all cases, these CD have a function (e.g., binding cytoskeleton or regulatory factors) separate from that of the membrane domain (MD). Strong associations between CD and MD are rare. Here we studied SLC4A11, a membrane transport protein of corneal endothelial cells, the mutations of which cause genetic corneal blindness. SLC4A11 has a 41-kDa CD and a 57-kDa integral MD. One disease-causing mutation in the CD, R125H, manifests a catalytic defect, suggesting a role of the CD in transport function. Expressed in HEK-293 cells without the CD, MD-SLC4A11 is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum, indicating a folding defect. Replacement of CD-SLC4A11 with green fluorescent protein did not rescue MD-SLC4A11, suggesting some specific role of CD-SLC4A11. Homology modeling revealed that the structure of CD-SLC4A11 is similar to that of the Cl(-)/HCO3(-) exchange protein AE1 (SLC4A1) CD. Fusion to CD-AE1 partially rescued MD-SLC4A11 to the cell surface, suggesting that the structure of CD-AE1 is similar to that of CD-SLC4A11. The CD-AE1-MD-SLC4a11 chimera, however, had no functional activity. We conclude that CD-SLC4A11 has an indispensable role in the transport function of SLC4A11. CD-SLC4A11 forms insoluble precipitates when expressed in bacteria, suggesting that the domain cannot fold properly when expressed alone. Consistent with a strong association between CD-SLC4A11 and MD-SLC4A11, these domains specifically associate when coexpressed in HEK-293 cells. We conclude that SLC4A11 is a rare integral membrane protein in which the CD has strong associations with the integral MD, which contributes to membrane transport function.

  3. Chemical Imaging of the Cell Membrane by NanoSIMS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, P K; Kraft, M L; Frisz, J F; Carpenter, K J; Hutcheon, I D


    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

  4. Durability aspects of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Sethuraman, Vijay Anand

    In order for the successful adoption of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology, it is imperative that durability is understood, quantified and improved. A number of mechanisms are known to contribute to PEMFC membrane electrode assembly (MEA) performance degradation. In this dissertation, we show, via experiments, some of the various processes that degrade the proton exchange membrane in a PEM fuel cell; and catalyst poisoning due to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and siloxane. The effect of humidity on the chemical stability of two types of membranes, [i.e., perfluorosulfonic acid type (PFSA, NafionRTM 112) and biphenyl sulfone hydrocarbon type, (BPSH-35)] was studied by subjecting the MEAs to open-circuit voltage (OCV) decay and potential cycling tests at elevated temperatures and low inlet gas relative humidities. The BPSH-35 membranes showed poor chemical stability in ex situ Fenton tests compared to that of NafionRTM membranes. However, under fuel cell conditions, BPSH-35 MEAs outperformed NafionRTM 112 MEAs in both the OCV decay and potential cycling tests. For both membranes, (i) at a given temperature, membrane degradation was more pronounced at lower humidities and (ii) at a given relative humidity operation, increasing the cell temperature accelerated membrane degradation. Mechanical stability of these two types of membranes was also studied using relative humidity (RH) cycling. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) formation rates in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell were estimated by studying the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) on a rotating ring disc electrode (RRDE). Fuel cell conditions were replicated by depositing a film of Pt/Vulcan XC-72 catalyst onto the disk and by varying the temperature, dissolved O2 concentration and the acidity levels in HClO4. The HClO4 acidity was correlated to ionomer water activity and hence fuel cell humidity. H 2O2 formation rates showed a linear dependence on oxygen concentration and square dependence on water


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. BLM Experimentation and opto-electrical characterization in microchips, towards an integrated platform for drug screening on membrane proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stimberg, V.C.; Uitert, van I.; Le Gac, S.; Berg, van den A.; Verpoorte, S; Andersson-Svahn, S.M.H.; Emneus, J.; Pamme, N


    Experimentation on cell membranes and on membrane proteins commonly makes use of planar and simplified membrane models, or bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs). Although these models are extensively employed, the experimentation is tedious and time-consuming, and mostly limited to electrical measurements.

  7. A parametric study of assembly pressure, thermal expansion, and membrane swelling in PEM fuel cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maher A.R. Sadiq Al-Baghdadi


    Full Text Available Proton Exchange membrane (PEM fuel cells are still undergoing intense development, and the combination of new and optimized materials, improved product development, novel architectures, more efficient transport processes, and design optimization and integration are expected to lead to major gains in performance, efficiency, durability, reliability, manufacturability and cost-effectiveness. PEM fuel cell assembly pressure is known to cause large strains in the cell components. All components compression occurs during the assembly process of the cell, but also during fuel cell operation due to membrane swelling when absorbs water and cell materials expansion due to heat generating in catalyst layers. Additionally, the repetitive channel-rib pattern of the bipolar plates results in a highly inhomogeneous compressive load, so that while large strains are produced under the rib, the region under the channels remains approximately at its initial uncompressed state. This leads to significant spatial variations in GDL thickness and porosity distributions, as well as in electrical and thermal bulk conductivities and contact resistances (both at the ribe-GDL and membrane-GDL interfaces. These changes affect the rates of mass, charge, and heat transport through the GDL, thus impacting fuel cell performance and lifetime. In this paper, computational fluid dynamics (CFD model of a PEM fuel cell has been developed to simulate the pressure distribution inside the cell, which are occurring during fuel cell assembly (bolt assembling, and membrane swelling and cell materials expansion during fuel cell running due to the changes of temperature and relative humidity. The PEM fuel cell model simulated includes the following components; two bi-polar plates, two GDLs, and, an MEA (membrane plus two CLs. This model is used to study and analyses the effect of assembling and operating parameters on the mechanical behaviour of PEM. The analysis helped identifying critical

  8. A polybenzimidazole/ionic-liquid-graphite-oxide composite membrane for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Xu, Chenxi; Liu, Xiaoteng; Cheng, Jigui; Scott, Keith


    Graphite oxide is successfully functionalised by 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane ionic liquid and used as a filler material in a polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. The ionic-liquid-graphite-oxide/polybenzimidazole (ILGO/PBI) composite membrane exhibits an appropriate level of proton conductivity when imbibed with phosphoric acid at low phosphoric acid loading, which promotes its use in fuel cells by avoiding acid leakage and materials corrosion. The ionic conductivities of the ILGO/PBI membranes at 175 °C are 0.035 S cm-1 and 0.025 S cm-1 at per repeat units of 3.5 and 2.0, respectively. The fuel cell performance of ILGO/PBI membranes exhibits a maximum power density of 320 mW cm-2 at 175 °C, which is higher than that of a pristine PBI membrane.

  9. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells. (United States)

    Johánek, Viktor; Ostroverkh, Anna; Fiala, Roman; Rednyk, Andrii; Matolín, Vladimír


    The chemical analysis of processes inside fuel cells under operating conditions in either direct or inverted (electrolysis) mode and their correlation with potentiostatic measurements is a crucial part of understanding fuel cell electrochemistry. We present a relatively simple yet powerful experimental setup for online monitoring of the fuel cell exhaust (of either cathode or anode side) downstream by mass spectrometry. The influence of a variety of parameters (composition of the catalyst, fuel type or its concentration, cell temperature, level of humidification, mass flow rate, power load, cell potential, etc.) on the fuel cell operation can be easily investigated separately or in a combined fashion. We demonstrate the application of this technique on a few examples of low-temperature (70°C herein) polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (both alcohol- and hydrogen-fed) subjected to a wide range of conditions.

  10. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (United States)

    Ostroverkh, Anna; Fiala, Roman; Rednyk, Andrii; Matolín, Vladimír


    The chemical analysis of processes inside fuel cells under operating conditions in either direct or inverted (electrolysis) mode and their correlation with potentiostatic measurements is a crucial part of understanding fuel cell electrochemistry. We present a relatively simple yet powerful experimental setup for online monitoring of the fuel cell exhaust (of either cathode or anode side) downstream by mass spectrometry. The influence of a variety of parameters (composition of the catalyst, fuel type or its concentration, cell temperature, level of humidification, mass flow rate, power load, cell potential, etc.) on the fuel cell operation can be easily investigated separately or in a combined fashion. We demonstrate the application of this technique on a few examples of low-temperature (70°C herein) polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (both alcohol- and hydrogen-fed) subjected to a wide range of conditions. PMID:28042492

  11. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viktor Johánek


    Full Text Available The chemical analysis of processes inside fuel cells under operating conditions in either direct or inverted (electrolysis mode and their correlation with potentiostatic measurements is a crucial part of understanding fuel cell electrochemistry. We present a relatively simple yet powerful experimental setup for online monitoring of the fuel cell exhaust (of either cathode or anode side downstream by mass spectrometry. The influence of a variety of parameters (composition of the catalyst, fuel type or its concentration, cell temperature, level of humidification, mass flow rate, power load, cell potential, etc. on the fuel cell operation can be easily investigated separately or in a combined fashion. We demonstrate the application of this technique on a few examples of low-temperature (70°C herein polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (both alcohol- and hydrogen-fed subjected to a wide range of conditions.

  12. Analysis of Water Management in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    A two-dimensional, steady-state, isothermal water-management model for a complete proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was developed. The model includes the transport in the diffusion layer and the proton exchange membrane (PEM) with a pseudo-homogeneous model for the cathode catalyst layer. The predicted fuel cell performance with variable cathode porosities compares well with experimental results. The model is then used to investigate the effects of some structural parameters, such as the rib size, the interdigitated flow field, and various operating conditions including the gas flow rate, the cell temperature and pressure, humidification, and the relative humidity at the inlet. Water management is best achieved by tuning the anode operating conditions.

  13. Gold Nanoparticles-Enhanced Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell (United States)

    Li, Hongfei; Pan, Cheng; Liu, Ping; Zhu, Yimei; Adzic, Radoslav; Rafailovich, Miriam

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells have drawn great attention and been taken as a promising alternated energy source. One of the reasons hamper the wider application of PEM fuel cell is the catalytic poison effect from the impurity of the gas flow. Haruta has predicted that gold nanoparticles that are platelet shaped and have direct contact with the metal oxide substrate to be the perfect catalysts of the CO oxidization, yet the synthesis method is difficult to apply in the Fuel Cell. In our approach, thiol-functionalized gold nanoparticles were synthesized through two-phase method developed by Brust et al. We deposit these Au particles with stepped surface directly onto the Nafion membrane in the PEM fuel cell by Langmuir-Blodgett method, resulting in over 50% enhancement of the efficiency of the fuel cell. DFT calculations were conducted to understand the theory of this kind of enhancement. The results indicated that only when the particles were in direct surface contact with the membrane, where AuNPs attached at the end of the Nafion side chains, it could reduce the energy barrier for the CO oxidation that could happen at T<300K.

  14. Cell mechanics: integrating cell responses to mechanical stimuli. (United States)

    Janmey, Paul A; McCulloch, Christopher A


    Forces are increasingly recognized as major regulators of cell structure and function, and the mechanical properties of cells are essential to the mechanisms by which cells sense forces, transmit them to the cell interior or to other cells, and transduce them into chemical signals that impact a spectrum of cellular responses. Comparison of the mechanical properties of intact cells with those of the purified cytoskeletal biopolymers that are thought to dominate their elasticity reveal the extent to which the studies of purified systems can account for the mechanical properties of the much more heterogeneous and complex cell. This review summarizes selected aspects of current work on cell mechanics with an emphasis on the structures that are activated in cell-cell contacts, that regulate ion flow across the plasma membrane, and that may sense fluid flow that produces low levels of shear stress.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  16. Inferring maps of forces inside cell membrane microdomains

    CERN Document Server

    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.

  17. Development of structured polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications (United States)

    Gasa, Jeffrey

    The objective of this research was to explore structure-property relationships to develop the understanding needed for introduction of superior PEM materials. Polymer electrolyte membranes based on sulfonated poly(ether ketone ketone) (SPEKK) were fabricated using N-methyl pyrrolidone as casting solvent. The membranes were characterized in terms of properties that were relevant to fuel cell applications, such as proton conductivity, methanol permeability, and swelling properties, among others. It was found in this study that the proton conductivity of neat SPEKK membranes could reach the conductivity of commercial membranes such as NafionRTM. However, when the conductivity of SPEKK was comparable to NafionRTM, the swelling of SPEKK in water was quite excessive. The swelling problem was remedied by modifying the microstructure of SPEKK using different techniques. One of them involved blending of lightly sulfonated PEKK with highly acidic particles (sulfonated crosslinked polystyrene-SXLPS). Low sulfonation level of SPEKK was used to reduce the swelling of the membrane in water and the role of the highly acidic particles was to enhance the proton conductivity of the membrane. Because of the residual crystallinity in SPEKK with low sulfonation levels (IEC sulfone)) to act as mechanical reinforcement. It was found that miscibility behavior of the blends had a significant impact on the transport and swelling properties of these blends, which could be explained by the blend microstructure. The miscibility behavior was found to be strongly dependent on the sulfonation level of SPEKK. The conductivities of the blends were enhanced by as much as two orders of magnitude when the morphology was modified by electric field. The last approach was ionic crosslinking of the sulfonate groups in SPEKK using divalent cations, specifically barium ions. The crosslinking treatment has greatly improved the thermal stability of the membranes in both dry and wet conditions.

  18. Membrane separation of carbon dioxide in the integrated gasification combined cycle systems (United States)

    Kotowicz, Janusz; Skorek-osikowska, Anna; Janusz-szymańska, Katarzyna


    Integrated gasification combined cycle systems (IGCC) are becoming more popular because of the characteristics, by which they are characterized, including low pollutants emissions, relatively high efficiency of electricity production and the ability to integrate the installation of carbon capture and storage (CCS). Currently, the most frequently used CO2 capture technology in IGCC systems is based on the absorption process. This method causes a significant increase of the internal load and decreases the efficiency of the entire system. It is therefore necessary to look for new methods of carbon dioxide capture. The authors of the present paper propose the use of membrane separation. The paper reviews available membranes for use in IGCC systems, indicates, inter alia, possible places of their implementation in the system and the required operation parameters. Attention is drawn to the most important parameters of membranes (among other selectivity and permeability) influencing the cost and performance of the whole installation. Numerical model of a membrane was used, among others, to analyze the influence of the basic parameters of the selected membranes on the purity and recovery ratio of the obtained permeate, as well as to determine the energetic cost of the use of membranes for the CO2 separation in IGCC systems. The calculations were made within the environment of the commercial package Aspen Plus. For the calculations both, membranes selective for carbon dioxide and membranes selective for hydrogen were used. Properly selected pressure before and after membrane module allowed for minimization of energy input on CCS installation assuring high purity and recovery ratio of separated gas.

  19. Deoxygenation affects tyrosine phosphoproteome of red cell membrane from patients with sickle cell disease. (United States)

    Siciliano, Angela; Turrini, Franco; Bertoldi, Mariarita; Matte, Alessandro; Pantaleo, Antonella; Olivieri, Oliviero; De Franceschi, Lucia


    Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a worldwide distributed hereditary red cell disorder related to the production of a defective form of hemoglobin, hemoglobin S (HbS). One of the hallmarks of SCD is the presence of dense, dehydrate highly adhesive sickle red blood cells (RBCs) that result from persistent membrane damage associated with HbS polymerization, abnormal activation of membrane cation transports and generation of distorted and rigid red cells with membrane perturbation and cytoskeleton dysfunction. Although modulation of phosphorylation state of the proteins from membrane and cytoskeleton networks has been proposed to participate in red cell homeostasis, much still remains to be investigated in normal and diseased red cells. Here, we report that tyrosine (Tyr-) phosphoproteome of sickle red cells was different from normal controls and was affected by deoxygenation. We found proteins, p55 and band 4.1, from the junctional complex, differently Tyr-phosphorylated in SCD RBCs compared to normal RBCs under normoxia and modulated by deoxygenation, while band 4.2 was similarly Tyr-phosphorylated in both conditions. In SCD RBCs we identified the phosphopeptides for protein 4.1R located in the protein FERM domain (Tyr-13) and for alpha-spectrin located near or in a linker region (Tyr-422 and Tyr-1498) involving protein areas crucial for their functions in the context of red cell membrane properties, suggesting that Tyr-phosphorylation may be part of the events involved in maintaining membrane mechanical stability in SCD red cells.

  20. Creating transient cell membrane pores using a standard inkjet printer. (United States)

    Owczarczak, Alexander B; Shuford, Stephen O; Wood, Scott T; Deitch, Sandra; Dean, Delphine


    Bioprinting has a wide range of applications and significance, including tissue engineering, direct cell application therapies, and biosensor microfabrication. Recently, thermal inkjet printing has also been used for gene transfection. The thermal inkjet printing process was shown to temporarily disrupt the cell membranes without affecting cell viability. The transient pores in the membrane can be used to introduce molecules, which would otherwise be too large to pass through the membrane, into the cell cytoplasm. The application being demonstrated here is the use of thermal inkjet printing for the incorporation of fluorescently labeled g-actin monomers into cells. The advantage of using thermal ink-jet printing to inject molecules into cells is that the technique is relatively benign to cells. Cell viability after printing has been shown to be similar to standard cell plating methods. In addition, inkjet printing can process thousands of cells in minutes, which is much faster than manual microinjection. The pores created by printing have been shown to close within about two hours. However, there is a limit to the size of the pore created (~10 nm) with this printing technique, which limits the technique to injecting cells with small proteins and/or particles. A standard HP DeskJet 500 printer was modified to allow for cell printing. The cover of the printer was removed and the paper feed mechanism was bypassed using a mechanical lever. A stage was created to allow for placement of microscope slides and coverslips directly under the print head. Ink cartridges were opened, the ink was removed and they were cleaned prior to use with cells. The printing pattern was created using standard drawing software, which then controlled the printer through a simple print command. 3T3 fibroblasts were grown to confluence, trypsinized, and then resuspended into phosphate buffered saline with soluble fluorescently labeled g-actin monomers. The cell suspension was pipetted into the

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  2. Membrane lipid rafts, master regulators of hematopoietic stem cell retention in bone marrow and their trafficking. (United States)

    Ratajczak, M Z; Adamiak, M


    Cell outer membranes contain glycosphingolipids and protein receptors, which are integrated into glycoprotein microdomains, known as lipid rafts, which float freely in the membrane bilayer. These structures have an important role in assembling signaling molecules (e.g., Rac-1, RhoH and Lyn) together with surface receptors, such as the CXCR4 receptor for α-chemokine stromal-derived factor-1, the α4β1-integrin receptor (VLA-4) for vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and the c-kit receptor for stem cell factor, which together regulate several aspects of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell (HSPC) biology. Here, we discuss the role of lipid raft integrity in the retention and quiescence of normal HSPCs in bone marrow niches as well as in regulating HSPC mobilization and homing. We will also discuss the pathological consequences of the defect in lipid raft integrity seen in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and the emerging evidence for the involvement of lipid rafts in hematological malignancies.

  3. Modeling and Simulation for Fuel Cell Polymer Electrolyte Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. Modified SPEEK membranes for direct ethanol fuel cell

    KAUST Repository

    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.

  5. Modified SPEEK membranes for direct ethanol fuel cell (United States)

    Maab, Husnul; Nunes, Suzana Pereira

    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 × 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 × 10 -10 kg m s -1 m -2 respectively, which is 2- to 50-fold lower than that for plain SPEEK (19 × 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 °C and 90 °C.

  6. Control and experimental characterization of a methanol reformer for a 350W high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreasen, Søren Juhl; Kær, Søren Knudsen; Jensen, Hans-Christian Becker

    High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane(HTPEM) fuel cells offer many advantages due to their increased operating tempera-tures compared to similar Nafion-based membrane tech-nologies, that rely on the conductive abilities of liquid water. The polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes are especially...... suited for reformer systems, where high CO tolerance is required. This enables the use fuels based on e.g. liquid alcohols. This work presents the control strategies of a methanol refoermer for a 350W HTPEM FC system. The system examined is the Serenergy H3-350 Mobile Battery Charger, an integrated...

  7. The influence of membrane electrode assembly water content on the performance of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell as investigated by 1H NMR microscopy. (United States)

    Feindel, Kirk W; Bergens, Steven H; Wasylishen, Roderick E


    The relation between the performance of a self-humidifying H(2)/O(2) polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell and the amount and distribution of water as observed using (1)H NMR microscopy was investigated. The integrated (1)H NMR image signal intensity (proportional to water content) from the region of the polymer electrolyte membrane between the catalyst layers was found to correlate well with the power output of the fuel cell. Several examples are provided which demonstrate the sensitivity of the (1)H NMR image intensity to the operating conditions of the fuel cell. Changes in the O(2)(g) flow rate cause predictable trends in both the power density and the image intensity. Higher power densities, achieved by decreasing the resistance of the external circuit, were found to increase the water in the PEM. An observed plateau of both the power density and the integrated (1)H NMR image signal intensity from the membrane electrode assembly and subsequent decline of the power density is postulated to result from the accumulation of H(2)O(l) in the gas diffusion layer and cathode flow field. The potential of using (1)H NMR microscopy to obtain the absolute water content of the polymer electrolyte membrane is discussed and several recommendations for future research are provided.

  8. Rigid proteins and softening of biological membranes-with application to HIV-induced cell membrane softening. (United States)

    Agrawal, Himani; Zelisko, Matthew; Liu, Liping; Sharma, Pradeep


    A key step in the HIV-infection process is the fusion of the virion membrane with the target cell membrane and the concomitant transfer of the viral RNA. Experimental evidence suggests that the fusion is preceded by considerable elastic softening of the cell membranes due to the insertion of fusion peptide in the membrane. What are the mechanisms underpinning the elastic softening of the membrane upon peptide insertion? A broader question may be posed: insertion of rigid proteins in soft membranes ought to stiffen the membranes not soften them. However, experimental observations perplexingly appear to show that rigid proteins may either soften or harden membranes even though conventional wisdom only suggests stiffening. In this work, we argue that regarding proteins as merely non-specific rigid inclusions is flawed, and each protein has a unique mechanical signature dictated by its specific interfacial coupling to the surrounding membrane. Predicated on this hypothesis, we have carried out atomistic simulations to investigate peptide-membrane interactions. Together with a continuum model, we reconcile contrasting experimental data in the literature including the case of HIV-fusion peptide induced softening. We conclude that the structural rearrangements of the lipids around the inclusions cause the softening or stiffening of the biological membranes.

  9. Highly charged proton-exchange membrane. Sulfonated poly(ether sulfone)-silica polyelectrolyte composite membranes for fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shahi, Vinod K. [Electro-Membrane Processes Division, Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavnagar-364002, Gujarat (India)


    Sulfonation of poly(ether sulfone) was carried out with chlorosulphonic acid in chloroform and its composite proton-exchange membrane was prepared using aminopropyltriethoxysilane as inorganic precursor by sol-gel in acidic medium. These membranes were further subjected to phosphorylation with phosphorous acid for introducing phosphonic acid functionality at inorganic segment. Extent of sulphonation was estimated by {sup 1}H-NMR spectroscopy while introduction of phosphonic acid groups was confirmed by FTIR spectroscopy and ion-exchange capacity studies. Different membranes, with varied silica content without and with phosphorylation, were characterized for their thermal and mechanical stabilities, physicochemical and electrochemical properties using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), aq. methanol uptake studies, proton conductivity and methanol permeability measurements. The silica content in the membrane matrix and effect of phosphorylation was optimized as a function of membrane properties. Activation energy required for the proton transport across the membrane was also estimated and found to be comparable with Nafion 117 membrane. From the frictional interpretation and estimation of selectivity parameter it was observed that SPS-Si composite phosphorylated membrane with 20% silica content (SPS-Si(P)/20) resulted in the best proton-exchange membrane, which exhibited quite higher selectivity parameter in comparison to Nafion 117 for direct methanol fuel cell applications. Also, current-voltage polarization characteristics of SPS-Si(P)/20 membrane measured in direct methanol fuel cell, were found to be comparable to the Nafion 117 membrane. (author)

  10. Membraner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liao, J.H. [The State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 5625 Renmin Street, Changchun, Jilin 130022 (China); Energy and Materials Science Group, Department of Chemistry, Kemitorvet 207, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark); Li, Q.F.; Jensen, J.O.; Bjerrum, N.J. [Energy and Materials Science Group, Department of Chemistry, Kemitorvet 207, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark); Rudbeck, H.C. [Danish Power Systems ApS, Raadhusvej 59, DK 2920 Charlottenlund (Denmark); Chromik, A.; Kerres, J. [Institute for Chemical Process Engineering, University of Stuttgart, D-70199 Stuttgart (Germany); Xing, W. [The State Key Laboratory of Electroanalytical Chemistry, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 5625 Renmin Street, Changchun, Jilin 130022 (China)


    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 initial molecular weight of the polymer were observed. At the same time, viscosity and SEC measurements revealed a steady decrease in molecular weight. The degradation of acid doped PBI membranes under Fenton test conditions is proposed to start by the attack of hydroxyl radicals at the carbon atom linking imidazole ring and benzenoid ring, which may eventually lead to the imidazole ring opening and formation of small molecules and terminal groups for further oxidation by an endpoint oxidation. (Copyright copyright 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  12. Near-critical fluctuations and cytoskeleton-assisted phase separation lead to subdiffusion in cell membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Ehrig, Jens; 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 features of both microscopic phase separation and subdiffusion.

  13. The organochlorine herbicide chloridazon interacts with cell membranes. (United States)

    Suwalsky, M; Benites, M; Villena, F; Norris, B; Quevedo, L


    Chloridazon is a widely used organochlorine herbicide. In order to evaluate its perturbing effect on cell membranes it was made to interact with human erythrocytes, frog adrenergic neuroepithelial synapse and molecular models. These consisted in multilayers of dimyristoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DMPE) and of dimyristoylphosphatidyltidylcholine (DMPC), representative of phospholipid classes located in the inner and outer monolayers of the erythrocyte membrane, respectively. X-ray diffraction showed that chloridazon interacted preferentially with DMPC multilayers. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that 0.1 mM chloridazon induced erythrocyte crenation. According to the bilayer couple hypothesis, this is due to the preferential insertion of chloridazon in the phosphatidylcholine-rich external moiety of the red cell membrane. Electrophysiological measurements showed that nerve stimulation was followed immediately by a transient increase in short-circuit current (SCC) and in the potential difference (PD) of the neuroepithelial synapse. Increasing concentrations of chloridazon caused a dose-dependent and reversible decrease of the responses of both parameters to 76% of their control values. The pesticide induced a similar (28%) significant time-dependent decrease in the basal values of the SCC and of PD. These results are in accordance with a perturbing effect of chloridazon on the phospholipid moiety of the nerve fibre membrane leading to interference with total ion transport across the nerve skin junction.

  14. Multi-layer graphene membrane based memory cell (United States)

    Siahlo, Andrei I.; Popov, Andrey M.; Poklonski, Nikolai A.; Lozovik, Yurii E.; Vyrko, Sergey A.; Ratkevich, Sergey V.


    The scheme and operational principles of the nanoelectromechanical memory cell based on the bending of a multi-layer graphene membrane by the electrostatic force are proposed. An analysis of the memory cell total energy as a function of the memory cell sizes is used to determine the sizes corresponding to a bistable memory cell with the conducting ON and non-conducting OFF states and to calculate the switching voltage between the OFF and ON states. It is shown that a potential barrier between the OFF and ON states is huge for practically all sizes of a bistable memory cell which excludes spontaneous switching and allows the proposed memory cell to be used for long-term archival storage.

  15. Effects of NaCl and Ca2+on Membrane Potential of Epidermal Cells of Maize Roots

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUA Jia-min; WANG Xiao-li; ZHAI Fu-qin; YAN Feng; FENG Ke


    The effects of salt-stress on plants involve not only the water stress caused by low osmotic pressure,but also the toxicity of excess Na+.A large amount of Na+ entering cells would reduce K+ uptake,which leads to an imbalance of K:Na ratio in cells.One of the reasons for the reduced K+-uptake iS the closure of K+-channel which is controlled by membrane potential.Calcium is usually applied to improve the growth of plants on saline soils and shows positive influence in the integrality of cell membrane.This study applied glass microelectrode technique to monitoring the NaCl-induced changes of membrane potential of root epidermal cells of maize(Zea mays L.,Denghai 11)seedlings at NaCl concentrations of 0,8,20,50,100,200 mmol L-1,respectively.The effect of Ca2+ on the changes of membrane potential caused by NaCl Was also studied.The results showed that:NaCl caused cell membrane depolarization.The depolarization became greater and faster with increasing of NaCl concentration.Moreover,the extent of depolarization was positively correlated with NaCl concentration.The addition of calcium postponed the depolarization,and decreased the degree of depolarization caused by NaCl.High NaCl concentration leads to depolarization of maize root cell membrane,which can partly be counteracted by calcium.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  17. Sterol-Rich Membrane Domains Define Fission Yeast Cell Polarity. (United States)

    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.

  18. Integrative Signaling Networks of Membrane Guanylate Cyclases: Biochemistry and Physiology (United States)

    Sharma, Rameshwar K.; Duda, Teresa; Makino, Clint L.


    This monograph presents a historical perspective of cornerstone developments on the biochemistry and physiology of mammalian membrane guanylate cyclases (MGCs), highlighting contributions made by the authors and their collaborators. Upon resolution of early contentious studies, cyclic GMP emerged alongside cyclic AMP, as an important intracellular second messenger for hormonal signaling. However, the two signaling pathways differ in significant ways. In the cyclic AMP pathway, hormone binding to a G protein coupled receptor leads to stimulation or inhibition of an adenylate cyclase, whereas the cyclic GMP pathway dispenses with intermediaries; hormone binds to an MGC to affect its activity. Although the cyclic GMP pathway is direct, it is by no means simple. The modular design of the molecule incorporates regulation by ATP binding and phosphorylation. MGCs can form complexes with Ca2+-sensing subunits that either increase or decrease cyclic GMP synthesis, depending on subunit identity. In some systems, co-expression of two Ca2+ sensors, GCAP1 and S100B with ROS-GC1 confers bimodal signaling marked by increases in cyclic GMP synthesis when intracellular Ca2+ concentration rises or falls. Some MGCs monitor or are modulated by carbon dioxide via its conversion to bicarbonate. One MGC even functions as a thermosensor as well as a chemosensor; activity reaches a maximum with a mild drop in temperature. The complexity afforded by these multiple limbs of operation enables MGC networks to perform transductions traditionally reserved for G protein coupled receptors and Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) ion channels and to serve a diverse array of functions, including control over cardiac vasculature, smooth muscle relaxation, blood pressure regulation, cellular growth, sensory transductions, neural plasticity and memory.

  19. The architecture of EssB, an integral membrane component of the type VII secretion system. (United States)

    Zoltner, Martin; Norman, David G; Fyfe, Paul K; El Mkami, Hassane; Palmer, Tracy; Hunter, William N


    The membrane-bound EssB is an integral and essential component of the bacterial type VII secretion system that can contribute to pathogenicity. The architecture of Geobacillus thermodenitrificans EssB has been investigated by combining crystallographic and EPR spectroscopic methods. The protein forms a dimer that straddles the cytoplasmic membrane. A helical fold is observed for the C-terminal segment, which is positioned on the exterior of the membrane. This segment contributes most to dimer formation. The N-terminal segment displays a structure related to the pseudokinase fold and may contribute to function by recognizing substrates or secretion system partners. The remaining part of EssB may serve as an anchor point for the secretion apparatus, which is embedded in the cytoplasmic membrane with the C-terminal domain protruding out to interact with partner proteins or components of peptidoglycan.

  20. Impact of the antimicrobial peptide Novicidin on membrane structure and integrity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Søren B; Otzen, Daniel Erik


    We have studied the impact of an 18-residue cationic antimicrobial peptide Novicidin (Nc) on the structure and integrity of partially anionic lipid membranes using oriented circular dichroism (OCD), quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D), dual polarization interferometry (DPI...... fluorescence spectroscopy and by loss of lipid alignment in DPI analysis. Laurdan generalized polarity shows a decrease in water accessibility or mobility in the hydrophobic/hydrophilic interface of the lipid membrane, consistent with rearrangement of lipid packing. QCM-D studies on the interaction of Nc...... with lipid membranes emphasize the importance of including the dissipation factor in data analysis, revealing formation of a highly hydrated film after exposure to 3muMNc. Our findings suggest a carpet mechanism of membrane disruption in which peptide binding first induces leakage at a critical surface...

  1. Development of a preprototype thermoelectric integrated membrane evaporation subsystem for water recovery (United States)

    Winkler, H. E.; Roebelen, G. J., Jr.


    A three-man urine water recovery preprototype subsystem using a new concept to provide efficient potable water recovery from waste fluids on extended duration space flights has been designed, fabricated, and tested. Low power, compactness, and gravity insensitive operation are featured in this vacuum distillation subsystem that combines a hollow fiber polysulfone membrane evaporator with a thermoelectric heat pump. Application and integration of these key elements have solved problems inherent in previous reclamation subsystem designs. The hollow fiber elements provide positive liquid/gas phase control with no moving parts other than a waste liquid recirculation pump and a product water withdrawal pump. Tubular membranes provide structural integrity, improving on previous flat sheet membrane designs. A thermoelectric heat pump provides latent energy recovery.

  2. Integral PVA-PES Composite Membranes by Surface Segregation Method for Pervaporation Dehydration of Ethanol

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    吴洪; 李宪实; 聂明成; 李犇; 姜忠义


    A facile surface segregation method was utilized to fabricate poly(vinyl alcohol)-polyethersulfone (PVA-PES) composite membranes. PVA and PES were first dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), then casted on a glass plate and immersed in a coagulation bath. During the phase inversion process in coagulation bath, PVA spontaneously segregated to the polymer solution/coagulation bath interface. The enriched PVA on the surface was further crosslinked by glutaraldehyde. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) confirmed the integral and asymmetric membrane structure with a dense PVA-enriched surface and a porous PES-enriched support, as well as the surface enrichment of PVA. The coverage fraction of the membrane surtace by PVA reacned up to 86.8% when me PVA content m me membrane recipe was 16.7% (by mass). The water contact angle decreased with the increase of PVA content. The effect of coagulation bath type on membrane structure was analyzed. The membrane pervaporation performance was evaluated by varying the PVA content, the annealing temperature, feed concentration and operation temperature. The membrane exhibited a fairly good ethanol dehydration capacity and long-term operational stability.

  3. A label-free proteome analysis strategy for identifying quantitative changes in erythrocyte membranes induced by red cell disorders. (United States)

    Pesciotta, Esther N; Sriswasdi, Sira; Tang, Hsin-Yao; Mason, Philip J; Bessler, Monica; Speicher, David W


    Red blood cells have been extensively studied but many questions regarding membrane properties and pathophysiology remain unanswered. Proteome analysis of red cell membranes is complicated by a very wide dynamic range of protein concentrations as well as the presence of proteins that are very large, very hydrophobic, or heterogeneously glycosylated. This study investigated the removal of other blood cell types, red cell membrane extraction, differing degrees of fractionation using 1-D SDS gels, and label-free quantitative methods to determine optimized conditions for proteomic comparisons of clinical blood samples. The results showed that fractionation of red cell membranes on 1-D SDS gels was more efficient than low-ionic-strength extractions followed by 1-D gel fractionation. When gel lanes were sliced into 30 uniform slices, a good depth of analysis that included the identification of most well-characterized, low-abundance red cell membrane proteins including those present at 500 to 10,000 copies per cell was obtained. Furthermore, the size separation enabled detection of changes due to proteolysis or in vivo protein crosslinking. A combination of Rosetta Elucidator quantitation and subsequent statistical analysis enabled the robust detection of protein differences that could be used to address unresolved questions in red cell disorders. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Integrated omics.

  4. Evaluation of stem cell components in retrocorneal membranes. (United States)

    Lee, Seok Hyun; Kim, Kyoung Woo; Kim, Mi Kyung; Chun, Yeoun Sook; Kim, Jae Chan


    The purpose of this study was to elucidate the origin and cellular composition of retrocorneal membranes (RCMs) associated with chemical burns using immunohistochemical staining for primitive cell markers. Six cases of RCMs were collected during penetrating keratoplasty. We examined RCMs with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining and immunohistochemical analysis using monoclonal antibodies against hematopoietic stem cells (CD34, CD133, c-kit), mesenchymal stem cells (beta-1-integrin, TGF-β, vimentin, hSTRO-1), fibroblasts (FGF-β, α-smooth muscle actin), and corneal endothelial cells (type IV collagen, CD133, VEGF, VEGFR1). Histologic analysis of RCMs revealed an organized assembly of spindle-shaped cells, pigment-laden cells, and thin collagenous matrix structures. RCMs were positive for markers of mesenchymal stem cells including beta-1-integrin, TGF-β, vimentin, and hSTRO-1. Fibroblast markers were also positive, including FGF-β and α-smooth muscle actin (SMA). In contrast, immunohistochemical staining was negative for hematopoietic stem cell markers including CD34, CD133 and c-kit as well as corneal endothelial cell markers such as type IV collagen, CD133 except VEGF and VEGFR1. Pigment-laden cells did not stain with any antibodies. The results of this study suggest that RCMs consist of a thin collagen matrix and fibroblast-like cells and may be a possible neogenetic structure produced from a lineage of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

  5. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts. (United States)

    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 Mg(2+), which is required for ribozyme activity and RNA synthesis. Thus, protocells capable of such catalytic transformations would have enjoyed a selective advantage over other protocells in high Mg(2+) environments. The synthetic transformation requires both the catalyst and vesicles that solubilize the water-insoluble precursor lipid. We suggest that similar modified lipids could have played a key role in early life, and that primitive lipid membranes and encapsulated catalysts, such as ribozymes, may have acted in conjunction with each other, enabling otherwise-impossible chemical transformations within primordial cells.

  6. Membrane-integrated oxy-fuel combustion of coal: Process design and simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chen, Wei; Ham, van der A.G.J.; Nijmeijer, A.; Winnubst, A.J.A.


    A membrane-integrated oxy-fuel combustion process is designed and simulated in UniSim Design®. The results of the simulation indicate that a net efficiency of 31.8% is obtained for a coal-fired power plant of 182 MWth (assuming only carbon in the coal), including the compression of CO2 to 100 bar. T

  7. Membrane associated qualitative differences in cell ultrastructure of chemically and high pressure cryofixed plant cells. (United States)

    Zechmann, Bernd; Müller, Maria; Zellnig, Günther


    Membrane contrast can sometimes be poor in biological samples after high pressure freezing (HPF) and freeze substitution (FS). The addition of water to the FS-medium has been shown to improve membrane contrast in animal tissue and yeast. In the present study we tested the effects of 1% and 5% water added to the FS-medium (2% osmium with 0.2% uranyl acetate in anhydrous acetone) on the quality and visibility of membranes in high pressure frozen leaf samples of Cucurbita pepo L. plants and compared them to chemically fixed cells (3% glutaraldehyde post-fixed with 1% osmium tetroxide). The addition of water to the FS-medium drastically decreased the amounts of well preserved cells and did not significantly improve the quality nor visibility of membranes. In samples that were freeze substituted in FS-media containing 1% and 5% water the width of thylakoid membranes was found to be significantly increased of about 20% and the perinuclear space was up to 76% wider in comparison to what was found in samples which were freeze substituted without water. No differences were found in the thickness of membranes between chemically and cryofixed cells that were freeze substituted in the FS-medium without water. Nevertheless, in chemically fixed cells the intrathylakoidal space was about 120% wider than in cryofixed cells that were freeze substituted with or without water. The present results demonstrate that the addition of water to the FS-medium does not improve membrane contrast but changes the width of thylakoid membranes and the perinuclear space in the present plant material. The addition of water to the FS-medium is therefore not as essential for improved membrane contrast in the investigated plant samples as it was observed in cells of animal tissues and yeast cells.

  8. The insecticide DDT decreases membrane potential and cell input resistance of cultured human liver cells. (United States)

    Schefczik, K; Buff, K


    The resting membrane potential, Em, and the cell input resistance, Rinp, of cultured human Chang liver cells were measured using the single electrode 'double-pulse' current clamp technique, following exposure of the cells to the insecticide DDT (20 microM). In control (unexposed) cells, the mean Em was -24 mV, and the mean Rinp was 30 M omega. Neither parameter was significantly impaired after 1 h of cell exposure to DDT. But after 7 and 48 h, the Em was depolarized by 15 and 25 mV, respectively, in parallel with a decrease of the cell input resistance. The strongly time-delayed effect of DDT on Chang liver cell membranes may indicate a mode of interaction different from excitable membranes.

  9. Sulfonated polystyrene-type plasma-polymerized membranes for miniature direct methanol fuel cells (United States)

    Roualdes, Stéphanie; Topala, Ionut; Mahdjoub, Habiba; Rouessac, Vincent; Sistat, Philippe; Durand, Jean

    Sulfonated polystyrene-type membranes were synthesized by plasma polymerization of a mixture of styrene and trifluoromethane sulfonic acid monomers in a low-frequency after-glow discharge plasma reactor. Such a deposition process enables the preservation of the monomers structure, which was confirmed by mass spectrometry analysis. The synthesized plasma-polymerized membranes are dense and uniform with a few microns thickness. Their structure determined by Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy is very rich in sulfonic acid groups (up to 5%) and stable up to 120 °C. Even if their intrinsic proton conductivity is low (10 -1 mS cm -1), directly related to their disorganized and highly cross-linked structure, plasma-polymerized membranes present a proton conduction ability similar to Nafion ® because of their low thickness. Due to their highly cross-linked structure, these membranes enable a reduction of the methanol crossover in a factor 10 by comparison with Nafion ®. Thus, the integration of plasma-polymerized films in miniaturized direct methanol fuel cells as proton-exchange membranes seems promising.

  10. Polybenzimidazole membranes for zero gap alkaline electrolysis cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraglund, Mikkel Rykær; Aili, David; Christensen, Erik;

    Membranes of m-PBI doped in KOH (aq), 15-35 wt%, show high ionic conductivity in the temperature range 20-80 ºC. In electrolysis cells with nickel foam electrodes m-PBI membranesprovide low internal resistance. With a 60 µm membraneat 80ºC in 20 wt% KOH,1000 mA/cm2 is achieved at 2.25....

  11. Binding of /sup 18/F by cell membranes and cell walls of Streptococcus mutans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yotis, W.W.; Zeb, M.; McNulty, J.; Kirchner, F.; Reilly, C.; Glendenin, L.


    The binding of /sup 18/F to isolated cell membranes and cell walls of Streptococcus mutans GS-5 or other bacteria was assayed. The attachment of /sup 18/F to these cell envelopes proceeded slowly and reached equilibrium within 60 min. /sup 18/F binding was stimulated by Ca/sup 2 +/ (1 mM). The binding of /sup 18/F to cellular components was dependent upon the pH, as well as the amount of /sup 18/F and dose of the binder employed. The binding of /sup 18/F by cell walls prepared from fluoride-sensitive and fluoride-resistant cells of S. salivarius and S. mutans did not differ significantly. The pretreatment of cell walls or cell membranes for 60 min at 30 degrees C with 1 mg of RNase, DNase, or trypsin per ml did not influence the binding of /sup 18/F by the walls and membranes of S. mutans GS-5. However, prior exposure of cell membranes to sodium dodecyl sulfate caused a significant reduction in the number of /sup 18/F atoms bound by the membranes. In saturated assay systems, cell membranes of S. mutans GS-5 bound 10(15) to 10(16) atoms of /sup 18/F per mg (dry weight), whereas cell walls from S. mutans GS-5, FA-1, and HS-6 or Actinomyces viscosus T14V and T14AV bound 10(12) to 10(13) atoms of /sup 18/F per mg (dry weight). /sup 18/F in this quantity (10(12) to 10(13) atoms) cannot be detected with the fluoride electrode. The data provide, for the first time, a demonstration of /sup 18/F binding by cell membranes and walls of oral flora.

  12. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells Modeling and Optimization (United States)

    Zhang, Zhuqian; Wang, Xia; Shi, Zhongying; Zhang, Xinxin; Yu, Fan


    Performance of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells is dependent on operating parameters and designing parameters. Operating parameters mainly include temperature, pressure, humidity and the flow rate of the inlet reactants. Designing parameters include reactants distributor patterns and dimensions, electrodes dimensions, and electrodes properties such as porosity, permeability and so on. This work aims to investigate the effects of various designing parameters on the performance of PEM fuel cells, and the optimum values will be determined under a given operating condition.A three-dimensional steady-state electrochemical mathematical model was established where the mass, fluid and thermal transport processes are considered as well as the electrochemical reaction. A Powell multivariable optimization algorithm will be applied to investigate the optimum values of designing parameters. The objective function is defined as the maximum potential of the electrolyte fluid phase at the membrane/cathode interface at a typical value of the cell voltage. The robustness of the optimum design of the fuel cell under different cell potentials will be investigated using a statistical sensitivity analysis. By comparing with the reference case, the results obtained here provide useful tools for a better design of fuel cells.

  13. Silymarin protects plasma membrane and acrosome integrity in sperm treated with sodium arsenite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farzaneh Eskandari


    Full Text Available Background: Exposure to arsenic is associated with impairment of male reproductive function by inducing oxidative stress. Silymarin with an antioxidant property scavenges free radicals. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate if silymarin can prevent the adverse effects of sodium arsenite on ram sperm plasma membrane and acrosome integrity. Materials and Methods: Ram epidydimal spermatozoa were divided into five groups: spermatozoa at 0 hr, spermatozoa at 180 min (control, spermatozoa treated with silymarin (20 μM + sodium arsenite (10 μM for 180 min, spermatozoa treated with sodium arsenite (10 μM for 180 min and spermatozoa treated with silymarin (20 μM for 180 min. Double staining of Hoechst and propidium iodide was performed to evaluate sperm plasma membrane integrity, whereas comassie brilliant blue staining was used to assess acrosome integrity. Results: Plasma membrane (p< 0.001 and acrosome integrity (p< 0.05 of the spermatozoa were significantly reduced in sodium arsenite group compared to the control. In silymarin + sodium arsenite group, silymarin was able to significantly (p< 0.001 ameliorate the adverse effects of sodium arsenite on these sperm parameters compared to sodium arsenite group. The incubation of sperm for 180 min (control group showed a significant (p< 0.001 decrease in acrosome integrity compared to the spermatozoa at 0 hour. The application of silymarin alone for 180 min could also significantly (p< 0.05 increase sperm acrosome integrity compared to the control. Conclusion: Silymarin as a potent antioxidant could compensate the adverse effects of sodium arsenite on the ram sperm plasma membrane and acrosome integrity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. The synthetic amphipathic peptidomimetic LTX109 is a potent fungicide that disturbs plasma membrane integrity in a sphingolipid dependent manner. (United States)

    Bojsen, Rasmus; Torbensen, Rasmus; Larsen, Camilla Eggert; Folkesson, Anders; Regenberg, Birgitte


    The peptidomimetic LTX109 (arginine-tertbutyl tryptophan-arginine-phenylethan) was previously shown to have antibacterial properties. Here, we investigated the activity of this novel antimicrobial peptidomimetic on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We found that LTX109 was an efficient fungicide that killed all viable cells in an exponentially growing population as well as a large proportion of cells in biofilm formed on an abiotic surface. LTX109 had similar killing kinetics to the membrane-permeabilizing fungicide amphotericin B, which led us to investigate the ability of LTX109 to disrupt plasma membrane integrity. S. cerevisiae cells exposed to a high concentration of LTX109 showed rapid release of potassium and amino acids, suggesting that LTX109 acted by destabilizing the plasma membrane. This was supported by the finding that cells were permeable to the fluorescent nucleic acid stain SYTOX Green after a few minutes of LTX109 treatment. We screened a haploid S. cerevisiae gene deletion library for mutants resistant to LTX109 to uncover potential molecular targets. Eight genes conferred LTX109 resistance when deleted and six were involved in the sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway (SUR1, SUR2, SKN1, IPT1, FEN1 and ORM2). The involvement of all of these genes in the biosynthetic pathway for the fungal-specific lipids mannosylinositol phosphorylceramide (MIPC) and mannosyl di-(inositol phosphoryl) ceramide (M(IP)2C) suggested that these lipids were essential for LTX109 sensitivity. Our observations are consistent with a model in which LTX109 kills S. cerevisiae by nonspecific destabilization of the plasma membrane through direct or indirect interaction with the sphingolipids.

  16. The synthetic amphipathic peptidomimetic LTX109 is a potent fungicide that disturbs plasma membrane integrity in a sphingolipid dependent manner.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rasmus Bojsen

    Full Text Available The peptidomimetic LTX109 (arginine-tertbutyl tryptophan-arginine-phenylethan was previously shown to have antibacterial properties. Here, we investigated the activity of this novel antimicrobial peptidomimetic on the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We found that LTX109 was an efficient fungicide that killed all viable cells in an exponentially growing population as well as a large proportion of cells in biofilm formed on an abiotic surface. LTX109 had similar killing kinetics to the membrane-permeabilizing fungicide amphotericin B, which led us to investigate the ability of LTX109 to disrupt plasma membrane integrity. S. cerevisiae cells exposed to a high concentration of LTX109 showed rapid release of potassium and amino acids, suggesting that LTX109 acted by destabilizing the plasma membrane. This was supported by the finding that cells were permeable to the fluorescent nucleic acid stain SYTOX Green after a few minutes of LTX109 treatment. We screened a haploid S. cerevisiae gene deletion library for mutants resistant to LTX109 to uncover potential molecular targets. Eight genes conferred LTX109 resistance when deleted and six were involved in the sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway (SUR1, SUR2, SKN1, IPT1, FEN1 and ORM2. The involvement of all of these genes in the biosynthetic pathway for the fungal-specific lipids mannosylinositol phosphorylceramide (MIPC and mannosyl di-(inositol phosphoryl ceramide (M(IP2C suggested that these lipids were essential for LTX109 sensitivity. Our observations are consistent with a model in which LTX109 kills S. cerevisiae by nonspecific destabilization of the plasma membrane through direct or indirect interaction with the sphingolipids.

  17. Graphene-doped electrospun nanofiber membrane electrodes and proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance (United States)

    Wei, Meng; Jiang, Min; Liu, Xiaobo; Wang, Min; Mu, Shichun


    A rational electrode structure can allow proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells own high performance with a low noble metal loading and an optimal transport pathway for reaction species. In this study, we develop a graphene doped polyacrylonitile (PAN)/polyvinylident fluoride (PVDF) (GPP) electrospun nanofiber electrode with improved electrical conductivity and high porosity, which could enhance the triple reaction boundary and promote gas and water transport throughout the porous electrode. Thus the increased electrochemical active surface area (ECSA) of Pt catalysts and fuel cell performance can be expected. As results, the ECSA of hot-pressed electrospun electrodes with 2 wt% graphene oxide (GO) is up to 84.3 m2/g, which is greatly larger than that of the conventional electrode (59.5 m2/g). Significantly, the GPP nanofiber electrospun electrode with Pt loading of 0.2 mg/cm2 exhibits higher fuel cell voltage output and stability than the conventional electrode.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Haizhen; Brown, Roslyn N.; Qian, Weijun; Monroe, Matthew E.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Moore, Ronald J.; Gritsenko, Marina A.; Shi, Liang; Romine, Margaret F.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Pasa-Tolic, 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 environmental electron receptors. LC/MS/MS analysis resulted in the identification of about 79% membrane proteins among all proteins identified from the enriched sample. To illustrate the quantification of membrane proteome changes, enriched membrane protein samples from wild-type and mutant cells (generated from deletion of a type II secretion protein, GspD) were further labeled with 16O and 18O at the peptide level prior to LC-MS analysis. A chemical-probe-labeled pure protein has also been used as an internal standard for normalization purpose. The quantitative data revealed reduced abundances of many outer membrane proteins such as OmcA and MtrC in ΔgspD mutant cells, which agreed well with previously published studies.

  19. Quantitative analysis of cell surface membrane proteins using membrane-impermeable chemical probe coupled with 18O labeling (United States)

    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

  20. Quantitative analysis of cell surface membrane proteins using membrane-impermeable chemical probe coupled with 18O labeling. (United States)

    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; Pasa-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 (18)O 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 (16)O and (18)O 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 Delta gspD mutant cells of many outer membrane proteins including the outer membrane c-type cytochromes OmcA and MtrC, in agreement with a previous report that these proteins are substrates of the type II secretion system.

  1. Microfluidic application-specific integrated device for monitoring direct cell-cell communication via gap junctions between individual cell pairs (United States)

    Lee, Philip J.; Hung, Paul J.; Shaw, Robin; Jan, Lily; Lee, Luke P.


    Direct cell-cell communication between adjacent cells is vital for the development and regulation of functional tissues. However, current biological techniques are difficult to scale up for high-throughput screening of cell-cell communication in an array format. In order to provide an effective biophysical tool for the analysis of molecular mechanisms of gap junctions that underlie intercellular communication, we have developed a microfluidic device for selective trapping of cell-pairs and simultaneous optical characterizations. Two different cell populations can be brought into membrane contact using an array of trapping channels with a 2μm by 2μm cross section. Device operation was verified by observation of dye transfer between mouse fibroblasts (NIH3T3) placed in membrane contact. Integration with lab-on-a-chip technologies offers promising applications for cell-based analytical tools such as drug screening, clinical diagnostics, and soft-state biophysical devices for the study of gap junction protein channels in cellular communications. Understanding electrical transport mechanisms via gap junctions in soft membranes will impact quantitative biomedical sciences as well as clinical applications.

  2. Differential expression profiling of membrane proteins by quantitative proteomics in a human mesenchymal stem cell line undergoing osteoblast differentiation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foster, Leonard J; Zeemann, Patricia A; Li, Chen;


    One of the major limitations for understanding the biology of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) is the absence of prospective markers needed for distinguishing them from other cells and for monitoring lineage-specific differentiation. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics has proven extremely...... in a cell model of hMSCs established by overexpression of human telomerase reverse-transcriptase gene. We identified 463 unique proteins with extremely high confidence, including all known markers of hMSCs (e.g., SH3 [CD71], SH2 [CD105], CD166, CD44, Thy1, CD29, and HOP26 [CD63]) among 148 integral membrane...... or membrane-anchored proteins and 159 membrane-associated proteins. Twenty-nine integrins and cell adhesion molecules, 20 receptors, and 18 Ras-related small GTPases were also identified. Upon OB differentiation, the expression levels of 83 proteins increased by at least twofold whereas the levels of another...

  3. Dynamic analysis of magnetic nanoparticles crossing cell membrane (United States)

    Pedram, Maysam Z.; Shamloo, Amir; Ghafar-Zadeh, Ebrahim; Alasty, Aria


    Nowadays, nanoparticles (NPs) are used in a variety of biomedical applications including brain disease diagnostics and subsequent treatments. Among the various types of NPs, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been implemented by many research groups for an array of life science applications. In this paper, we studied MNPs controlled delivery into the endothelial cells using a magnetic field. Dynamics equations of MNPs were defined in the continuous domain using control theory methods and were applied to crossing the cell membrane. This study, dedicated to clinical and biomedical research applications, offers a guideline for the generation of a magnetic field required for the delivery of MNPs.

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

    KAUST Repository

    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.

  5. Membrane-attached Cytokines Expressed by mRNA Electroporation Act as Potent T-Cell Adjuvants. (United States)

    Weinstein-Marom, Hadas; Pato, Aviad; Levin, Noam; Susid, Keren; Itzhaki, Orit; Besser, Michal J; Peretz, Tamar; Margalit, Alon; Lotem, Michal; Gross, Gideon


    Proinflammatory cytokines are widely explored in different adoptive cell therapy protocols for enhancing survival and function of the transferred T cells, but their systemic administration is often associated with severe toxicity which limits their clinical use. To confine cytokine availability to the therapeutic T cells, we expressed 3 key cytokines, IL-2, IL-12, and IL-15, as integral T-cell membrane proteins. To prevent permanent activation of growth signaling pathways, we delivered these genes to T cells through mRNA electroporation. The engineered cytokines could be detected on the surface of mRNA-transfected cells and binding to their cell-surface receptors mainly occurred in cis. The 3 human cytokines supported the ex vivo growth of activated human CD8 and CD4 T cells for at least 6 days posttransfection, comparably to high-dose soluble IL-2. Similarly, membrane IL-2, membrane IL-12, and, to a lesser extent, membrane IL-15, were comparable with their soluble counterparts in supporting proliferation of splenic mouse CD8 T cells. Following electroporation of human CD8 T cells and antimelanoma tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, membrane cytokines synergized with constitutively active toll-like receptor 4 in inducing interferon-γ secretion. Efficient cooperation with TLR4 was also evident in the upregulation of the activation molecules CD25, CD69, CD137 (4-1BB), and CD134 (OX40). Taken together, membrane cytokines expressed through mRNA transfection emerge as effective tools for enhancing T-cell proliferation and function and may have potential use in adoptive T-cell therapy.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Fault tolerance control for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems (United States)

    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.

  8. Confocal supercritical angle fluorescence microscopy for cell membrane imaging

    CERN Document Server

    Sivankutty, Siddharth; Mayet, Céline; Dupuis, Guillaume; Fort, Emmanuel; Lévêque-Fort, Sandrine


    We demonstrate sub-wavelength sectioning on biological samples with a conventional confocal microscope. This optical sectioning is achieved by the phenomenon of supercritical angle fuorescence, wherein only a fluorophore next to the interface of a refractive index discontinuity can emit propagating components of radiation into the so-called forbidden angles. The simplicity of this technique allows it to be integrated with a high numerical aperture confocal scanning microscope by only a simple modi?cation on the detection channel. Confocal-SAF microscopy would be a powerful tool to achieve high resolution surface imaging, especially for membrane imaging in biological samples

  9. Lowering the platinum loading of high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez, Santiago Martin; Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf


    Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with ultra-low Pt loading electrodes were prepared for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFCs) based on acid doped polybenzimidazole. With no electrode binders or ionomers, the triple phase boundary of the catalyst layer...

  10. Better Proton-Conducting Polymers for Fuel-Cell Membranes (United States)

    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.

  11. Membrane phospholipids, lipoxidative damage and molecular integrity: a causal role in aging and longevity. (United States)

    Pamplona, Reinald


    Nonenzymatic molecular modifications induced by reactive carbonyl species (RCS) generated by peroxidation of membrane phospholipids acyl chains play a causal role in the aging process. Most of the biological effects of RCS, mainly alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehydes, di-aldehydes, and keto-aldehydes, are due to their capacity to react with cellular constituents, forming advanced lipoxidation end-products (ALEs). Compared to reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, lipid-derived RCS are stable and can diffuse within or even escape from the cell and attack targets far from the site of formation. Therefore, these soluble reactive intermediates, precursors of ALEs, are not only cytotoxic per se, but they also behave as mediators and propagators of oxidative stress and cellular and tissue damage. The consequent loss-of-function and structural integrity of modified biomolecules can have a wide range of downstream functional consequences and may be the cause of subsequent cellular dysfunctions and tissue damage. The causal role of ALEs in aging and longevity is inferred from the findings that follow: a) its accumulation with aging in several tissues and species; b) physiological interventions (dietary restriction) that increase longevity, decrease ALEs content; c) the longer the longevity of a species, the lower is the lipoxidation-derived molecular damage; and finally d) exacerbated levels of ALEs are associated with pathological states.

  12. Membrane currents of spiking cells isolated from turtle retina. (United States)

    Lasater, E M; Witkovsky, P


    We examined the membrane properties of spiking neurons isolated from the turtle (Pseudemys scripta) retina. The cells were maintained in culture for 1-7 days and were studied with the whole cell patch clamp technique. We utilized cells whose perikaryal diameters were greater than 15 microns since Kolb (1982) reported that ganglion cell perikarya in Pseudemys retina are 13-25 microns, whereas amacrine perikarya are less than 14 microns in diameter. We identified 5 currents in the studied cells: (1) a transient sodium current (INa) blocked by TTX, (2) a sustained calcium current (ICa) blocked by cobalt and enhanced by Bay-K 8644, (3) a calcium-dependent potassium current (IK(Ca)), (4) an A-type transient potassium current (IA) somewhat more sensitive to 4-AP than TEA, (5) a sustained potassium current (IK) more sensitive to TEA than 4-AP. The estimated average input resistance of the cells at -70 mV was 720 +/- 440 M omega. When all active currents were blocked, the membrane resistance between -130 and +20 mV was 2.5 G omega. When examined under current clamp, some cells produced multiple spikes to depolarizing steps of 0.1-0.3 nA, whereas other cells produced only a single spike irrespective of the strength of the current pulse. Most single spikers had an outward current that rose to a peak relatively slowly, whereas multiple spikers tend to have a more rapidly activating outward current. Under current clamp, 4-AP slowed the repolarization phase of the spike thus broadening it, but did not always abolish the ability to produce multiple spikes. TEA induced a depolarized plateau following the initial spike which precluded further spikes. It thus appears that the spiking patterns of the retinal cells are shaped primarily by the kinetics of INa, IK and IA and to a lesser extent by IK(Ca).

  13. Mathematical and Computational Modeling of Polymer Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (United States)

    Ulusoy, Sehribani

    In this thesis a comprehensive review of fuel cell modeling has been given and based on the review, a general mathematical fuel cell model has been developed in order to understand the physical phenomena governing the fuel cell behavior and in order to contribute to the efforts investigating the optimum performance at different operating conditions as well as with different physical parameters. The steady state, isothermal model presented here accounts for the combined effects of mass and species transfer, momentum conservation, electrical current distribution through the gas channels, the electrodes and the membrane, and the electrochemical kinetics of the reactions in the anode and cathode catalyst layers. One of the important features of the model is that it proposes a simpler modified pseudo-homogeneous/agglomerate catalyst layer model which takes the advantage of the simplicity of pseudo-homogenous modeling while taking into account the effects of the agglomerates in the catalyst layer by using experimental geometric parameters published. The computation of the general mathematical model can be accomplished in 3D, 2D and 1D with the proper assumptions. Mainly, there are two computational domains considered in this thesis. The first modeling domain is a 2D Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) model including the modified agglomerate/pseudo-homogeneous catalyst layer modeling with consistent treatment of water transport in the MEA while the second domain presents a 3D model with different flow filed designs: straight, stepped and tapered. COMSOL Multiphysics along with Batteries and Fuel Cell Module have been used for 2D & 3D model computations while ANSYS FLUENT PEMFC Module has been used for only 3D two-phase computation. Both models have been validated with experimental data. With 2D MEA model, the effects of temperature and water content of the membrane as well as the equivalent weight of the membrane on the performance have been addressed. 3D COMSOL simulation

  14. Investigating the role of viral integral membrane proteins in promoting the assembly of nepovirus and comovirus replication factories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helene eSanfacon


    Full Text Available Formation of plant virus membrane-associated replication factories requires the association of viral replication proteins and viral RNA with intracellular membranes, the recruitment of host factors and the modification of membranes to form novel structures that house the replication complex. Many viruses encode integral membrane proteins that act as anchors for the replication complex. These hydrophobic proteins contain trans-membrane domains and/or amphipathic helices that associate with the membrane and modify its structure. The comovirus Co-Pro and NTP-binding (NTB, putative helicase proteins and the cognate nepovirus X2 and NTB proteins are among the best characterized plant virus integral membrane replication proteins and are functionally related to the picornavirus 2B, 2C and 3A membrane proteins. The identification of membrane-association domains and analysis of the membrane topology of these proteins is discussed. The evidence suggesting that these proteins have the ability to induce membrane proliferation, alter the structure and integrity of intracellular membranes and modulate the induction of symptoms in infected plants is also reviewed. Finally, areas of research that need further investigation are highlighted.

  15. New proton conducting membranes for fuel cell applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  17. The mechanism of the NH4 ion oscillatory transport across the excitable cell membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radenović Čedomir N.


    Full Text Available This paper presents results on typical oscillations of the membrane potential induced by the excitation of the cell membrane by different concentrations of the NH4Cl solution. The existence of four classes of oscillations of the membrane potential and several different single and local impulses rhythmically occurring were determined. It is known that the oscillatory processes of the membrane potential are in direct dependence on oscillatory transport processes of NH4 and Cl ions across the excitable cell membrane. A hypothesis on a possible mechanism of oscillatory transport processes of NH4 and Cl ions across the excitable cell membrane is also presented.

  18. Multichannel detection of ionic currents through two nanopores fabricated on integrated Si3N4 membranes. (United States)

    Yanagi, Itaru; Akahori, Rena; Aoki, Mayu; Harada, Kunio; Takeda, Ken-Ichi


    Integration of solid-state nanopores and multichannel detection of signals from each nanopore are effective measures for realizing high-throughput nanopore sensors. In the present study, we demonstrated fabrication of Si3N4 membrane arrays and the simultaneous measurement of ionic currents through two nanopores formed in two adjacent membranes. Membranes with thicknesses as low as 6.4 nm and small nanopores with diameters of less than 2 nm could be fabricated using the poly-Si sacrificial-layer process and multilevel pulse-voltage injection. Using the fabricated nanopore membranes, we successfully achieved simultaneous detection of clear ionic-current blockades when single-stranded short homopolymers (poly(dA)60) passed through two nanopores. In addition, we investigated the signal crosstalk and leakage current among separated chambers. When two nanopores were isolated on the front surface of the membrane, there was no signal crosstalk or leakage current between the chambers. However, when two nanopores were isolated on the backside of the Si substrate, signal crosstalk and leakage current were observed owing to high-capacitance coupling between the chambers and electrolysis of water on the surface of the Si substrate. The signal crosstalk and leakage current could be suppressed by oxidizing the exposed Si surface in the membrane chip. Finally, the observed ionic-current blockade when poly(dA)60 passed through the nanopore in the oxidized chip was approximately half of that observed in the non-oxidized chip.

  19. Recovery of Flavonoids from Orange Press Liquor by an Integrated Membrane Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfredo Cassano


    Full Text Available Orange press liquor is a by-product generated by the citrus processing industry containing huge amounts of natural phenolic compounds with recognized antioxidant activity. In this work, an integrated membrane process for the recovery of flavonoids from orange press liquors was investigated on a laboratory scale. The liquor was previously clarified by ultrafiltration (UF in selected operating conditions by using hollow fiber polysulfone membranes. Then, the clarified liquor with a total soluble solids (TSS content of 10 g·100 g−1 was pre-concentrated by nanofiltration (NF up to 32 g TSS 100 g−1 by using a polyethersulfone spiral-wound membrane. A final concentration step, up to 47 g TSS 100 g−1, was performed by using an osmotic distillation (OD apparatus equipped with polypropylene hollow fiber membranes. Suspended solids were completely removed in the UF step producing a clarified liquor containing most part of the flavonoids of the original press liquor due to the low rejection of the UF membrane towards these compounds. Flavanones and anthocyanins were highly rejected by the NF membrane, producing a permeate stream with a TSS content of 4.5 g·100 g−1. An increasing of both the flavanones and anthocyanins concentration was observed in the NF retentate by increasing the volume reduction factor (VRF. The final concentration of flavonoids by OD produced a concentrated solution of interest for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications.

  20. Dual Split Protein (DSP) Assay to Monitor Cell-Cell Membrane Fusion. (United States)

    Nakane, Shuhei; Matsuda, Zene


    Fusion between viral and cellular membranes is the essential first step in infection of enveloped viruses. This step is mediated by viral envelope glycoproteins (Env) that recognize cellular receptors. The membrane fusion between the effector cells expressing viral Env and the target cells expressing its receptors can be monitored by several methods. We have recently developed a pair of chimeric reporter protein composed of split Renilla luciferase (RL) and split GFP. We named this reporter dual split protein (DSP), since it recovers both RL and GFP activities upon self reassociation. By using DSP, pore formation and content mixing between the effector and target cells can be monitored upon the recovery of RL and GFP activities after the membrane fusion. This quick assay provides quantitative as well as spatial information about membrane fusion mediated by viral Env.

  1. Integration of Bioreactor and Membrane Separation Processes: A Model Based Approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prado Rubio, Oscar Andres

    to as Reverse Electro-Enhanced Dialysis (REED). Unconsumed substrate and biomass are effectively recycled to the fermenter. In the second membrane separation stage, the lactate is recovered and concentrated as lactic acid using Electrodialysis with bipolar membranes (EDBM), while sodium hydroxide is regenerated...... test. Satisfactory results are obtained regulating the pH and managing the input constraints. The design and operability of the integrated bioreactor and REED module are investigated using the developed models and control structure. The study involves two different case studies: continuous lactic acid...

  2. Membrane integrity and fertilizing potential of cryopreserved spermatozoa in European mouflon. (United States)

    Naitana, S; Ledda, S; Leoni, G; Bogliolo, L; Loi, P; Cappai, P


    There is a pressing need to develop and use assisted reproductive techniques in wildlife species living in small and captive groups. We evaluated the effect of freezing on membrane integrity and fertilizing capacity of European mouflon (Ovis gmelini musimon) spermatozoa collected during the breeding season. After thawing, the percentage of live spermatozoa, stained with fluorescein isothiocynate labeled Pisum Sativum agglutinin and propidium iodide, was 47% of which 19% showed intact acrosomal membrane. After culture in TCM 199 + 10% FCS, the number of live spermatozoa was significantly (P European mouflon.

  3. Protonic conductors for proton exchange membrane fuel cells: An overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurado Ramon Jose


    Full Text Available At present, Nation, which is a perfluorinated polymer, is one of the few materials that deliver the set of chemical and mechanical properties required to perform as a good electrolyte in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs. However, Nation presents some disadvantages, such as limiting the operational temperature of the fuel system (So°C, because of its inability to retain water at higher temperatures and also suffers chemical crossover. In addition to these restrictions, Nation membranes are very expensive. Reducing costs and using environmentally friendly materials are good reasons to make a research effort in this field in order to achieve similar or even better fuel-cell performances. Glass materials of the ternary system SiO2-ZrO2-P2O5, hybrid materials based on Nation, and nanopore ceramic membranes based on SiO2 TiO2, Al2O3, etc. are considered at present, as promising candidates to replace Nation as the electrolyte in PEMFCs. These types of materials are generally prepared by sol-gel processes in order to tailor their channel-porous structure and pore size. In this communication, the possible candidates in the near future as electrolytes (including other polymers different than Nation in PEMFCs are briefly reviewed. Their preparation methods, their electrical transport properties and conduction mechanisms are considered. The advantages and disadvantages of these materials with respect to Nation are also discussed.

  4. Effect of commercial long-term extenders on metabolic activity and membrane integrity of boar spermatozoa stored at 17 degrees C. (United States)

    Dziekońska, A; Fraser, L; Majewska, A; Lecewicz, M; Zasiadczyk, Ł; Kordan, W


    This study was aimed to analyze the metabolic activity and membrane integrity of boar spermatozoa following storage in long-term semen extenders. Boar semen was diluted with Androhep EnduraGuard (AeG), DILU-Cell (DC), SafeCell Plus (SCP) and Vitasem LD (VLD) extenders and stored for 10 days at 17 degrees C. Parameters of the analyzed sperm metabolic activity included total motility (TMOT), progressive motility (PMOT), high mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and ATP content, whereas those of the membrane integrity included plasma membrane integrity (PMI) and normal apical ridge (NAR) acrosome. Extender type was a significant (P sperm parameters, except for ATP content. Furthermore, the storage time had a significant effect (P sperm metabolic activity and membrane integrity during semen storage. In all extenders the metabolic activity and membrane integrity of the stored spermatozoa decreased continuously over time. Among the four analyzed extenders, AeG and SCP showed the best performance in terms of TMOT and PMI on Days 5, 7 and 10 of storage. Marked differences in the proportions of spermatozoa with high MMP were observed between the extenders, particularly on Day 10 of storage. There were not any marked differences in sperm ATP content between the extenders, regardless of the storage time. Furthermore, the percentage of spermatozoa with NAR acrosomes decreased during prolonged storage, being markedly lower in DC-diluted semen compared with semen diluted with either AeG or SCP extender. The results of this study indicated that components of the long-term extenders have different effects on the sperm functionality and prolonged semen longevity by delaying the processes associated with sperm ageing during liquid storage.

  5. Studies on improved integrated membrane-based chromatographic process for bioseparation (United States)

    Xu, Yanke

    To improve protein separation and purification directly from a fermentation broth, a novel membrane filtration-cum-chromatography device configuration having a relatively impermeable coated zone near the hollow fiber module outlet has been developed. The integrated membrane filtration-cum-chromatography unit packed with chromatographic beads on the shell side of the hollow fiber unit enjoys the advantages of both membrane filtration and chromatography; it allows one to load the chromatographic media directly from the fermentation broth or lysate and separate the adsorbed proteins through the subsequent elution step in a cyclic process. Interfacial polymerization was carried out to coat the bottom section of the hollow fiber membrane while leaving the rest of the hollow fiber membrane unaffected. Myoglobin (Mb), bovine serum albumin (BSA) and a-lactalbumin (a-LA) were used as model proteins in binary mixtures. Separation behaviors of binary protein mixtures were studied in devices using either an ultrafiltration (UF) membrane or a microfiltration (MF) membrane. Experimental results show that the breakthrough time and the protein loading capacities were dramatically improved after coating in both UF and MF modules. For a synthetic yeast fermentation broth feed, the Mb and a-LA elution profiles for the four consecutive cyclic runs were almost superimposable. Due to the lower transmembrane flux in this device plus the periodical washing-elution during the chromatographic separation, fouling was not a problem as it is in conventional microfiltration. A mathematical model describing the hydrodynamic and protein loading behaviors of the integrated device using UF membrane with a coated zone was developed. The simulation results for the breakthrough agree well with the experimental breakthrough curves. The optimal length of the coated zone was obtained from the simulation. A theoretical analysis of the protein mass transfer was performed using a diffusion-convection model

  6. The Mechanism of Budding of Retroviruses from Cell Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Pincetic


    Full Text Available Retroviruses have evolved a mechanism for the release of particles from the cell membrane that appropriates cellular protein complexes, referred to as ESCRT-I, -II, -III, normally involved in the biogenesis of multivesicular bodies. Three different classes of late assembly (L domains encoded in Gag, with core sequences of PPXY, PTAP, and YPXL, recruit different components of the ESCRT machinery to form a budding complex for virus release. Here, we highlight recent progress in identifying the role of different ESCRT complexes in facilitating budding, ubiquitination, and membrane targeting of avian sarcoma and leukosis virus (ASLV and human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1. These findings show that retroviruses may adopt parallel budding pathways by recruiting different host factors from common cellular machinery for particle release.

  7. Nanocomposite membranes based on polybenzimidazole and ZrO2 for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. (United States)

    Nawn, Graeme; Pace, Giuseppe; Lavina, Sandra; Vezzù, Keti; Negro, Enrico; Bertasi, Federico; Polizzi, Stefano; Di Noto, Vito


    Owing to the numerous benefits obtained when operating proton exchange membrane fuel cells at elevated temperature (>100 °C), the development of thermally stable proton exchange membranes that demonstrate conductivity under anhydrous conditions remains a significant goal for fuel cell technology. This paper presents composite membranes consisting of poly[2,2'-(m-phenylene)-5,5'-bibenzimidazole] (PBI4N) impregnated with a ZrO2 nanofiller of varying content (ranging from 0 to 22 wt %). The structure-property relationships of the acid-doped and undoped composite membranes have been studied using thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, wide-angle X-ray scattering, infrared spectroscopy, and broadband electrical spectroscopy. Results indicate that the level of nanofiller has a significant effect on the membrane properties. From 0 to 8 wt %, the acid uptake as well as the thermal and mechanical properties of the membrane increase. As the nanofiller level is increased from 8 to 22 wt % the opposite effect is observed. At 185 °C, the ionic conductivity of [PBI4N(ZrO2 )0.231 ](H3 PO4 )13 is found to be 1.04×10(-1)  S cm(-1) . This renders membranes of this type promising candidates for use in high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

  8. Water free proton conducting membranes based on poly-4-vinylpyridinebisulfate for fuel cells (United States)

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


    Disclosed are methods for forming a water-free electrolyte membrane useful in fuel cells. Also provided is a water-free electrolyte membrane comprising a quaternized amine salt including poly-4-vinylpyridinebisulfate, a poly-4-vinylpyridinebisulfate silica composite, and a combination thereof and a fuel cell comprising the membrane.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.G. Marianowski


    The objectives of this program were: (a) to develop and demonstrate a new polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system that operates up to 160 C temperatures and at ambient pressures for stationary power applications, and (b) to determine if the GTI-molded composite graphite bipolar separator plate could provide long term operational stability at 160 C or higher. There are many reasons that fuel cell research has been receiving much attention. Fuel cells represent environmentally friendly and efficient sources of electrical power generation that could use a variety of fuel sources. The Gas Technology Institute (GTI), formerly Institute of Gas Technology (IGT), is focused on distributed energy stationary power generation systems. Currently the preferred method for hydrogen production for stationary power systems is conversion of natural gas, which has a vast distribution system in place. However, in the conversion of natural gas into a hydrogen-rich fuel, traces of carbon monoxide are produced. Carbon monoxide present in the fuel gas will in time cumulatively poison, or passivate the active platinum catalysts used in the anodes of PEMFC's operating at temperatures of 60 to 80 C. Various fuel processors have incorporated systems to reduce the carbon monoxide to levels below 10 ppm, but these require additional catalytic section(s) with sensors and controls for effective carbon monoxide control. These CO cleanup systems must also function especially well during transient load operation where CO can spike 300% or more. One way to circumvent the carbon monoxide problem is to operate the fuel cell at a higher temperature where carbon monoxide cannot easily adsorb onto the catalyst and poison it. Commercially available polymer membranes such as Nafion{trademark} are not capable of operation at temperatures sufficiently high to prevent this. Hence this project investigated a new polymer membrane alternative to Nafion{trademark} that is capable of operation at

  10. Heat sources in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells (United States)

    Ramousse, Julien; Lottin, Olivier; Didierjean, Sophie; Maillet, Denis

    In order to model accurately heat transfer in PEM fuel cell, a particular attention had to be paid to the assessment of heat sources in the cell. Although the total amount of heat released is easily computed from its voltage, local heat sources quantification and localization are not simple. This paper is thus a discussion about heat sources/sinks distribution in a single cell, for which many bold assumptions are encountered in the literature. The heat sources or sinks under consideration are: (1) half-reactions entropy, (2) electrochemical activation, (3) water sorption/desorption at the GDL/membrane interfaces, (4) Joule effect in the membrane and (5) water phase change in the GDL. A detailed thermodynamic study leads to the conclusion that the anodic half-reaction is exothermic (Δ Sr ev a = - 226 J mo l-1 K-1) , instead of being athermic as supposed in most of the thermal studies. As a consequence, the cathodic half-reaction is endothermic (Δ Sr ev c = + 62.8 J mo l-1 K-1) , which results in a heat sink at the cathode side, proportional to the current. In the same way, depending on the water flux through the membrane, sorption can create a large heat sink at one electrode and an equivalent heat source at the other. Water phase change in the GDL - condensation/evaporation - results in heat sources/sinks that should also be taken into account. All these issues are addressed in order to properly set the basis of heat transfer modeling in the cell.

  11. Triggering of erythrocyte cell membrane scrambling by salinomycin. (United States)

    Bissinger, Rosi; Malik, Abaid; Jilani, Kashif; Lang, Florian


    Salinomycin, a polyether ionophore antibiotic effective against a variety of pathogens, has been shown to trigger apoptosis of cancer cells and cancer stem cells. The substance is thus considered for the treatment of malignancy. Salinomycin compromises tumour cell survival at least in part by interference with mitochondrial function. Erythrocytes lack mitochondria but may undergo apoptosis-like suicidal cell death or eryptosis, which is characterized by scrambling of the cell membrane with phosphatidylserine exposure at the erythrocyte surface. Signalling involved in the triggering of eryptosis includes activation of oxidant-sensitive Ca(2+) permeable cation channels with subsequent increase in cytosolic Ca(2+) activity ([Ca(2+)]i). This study explored whether salinomycin stimulates eryptosis. Phosphatidylserine-exposing erythrocytes were identified by measurement of annexin-V binding, cell volume was estimated from forward scatter, haemolysis determined from haemoglobin release, [Ca(2+)]i quantified utilizing Fluo3-fluorescence and oxidative stress from 2',7' dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFDA) fluorescence in flow cytometry. A 48-hr exposure to salinomycin (5-100 nM) was followed by a significant increase in Fluo3-fluorescence, DCFDA fluorescence and annexin-V binding, as well as a significant decrease in forward scatter (at 5-10 nM, but not at 50 and 100 nM). The annexin-V binding after salinomycin treatment was significantly blunted but not abrogated in the nominal absence of extracellular Ca(2+) or in the presence of antioxidant n-acetyl cysteine (1 mM). Salinomycin triggers cell membrane scrambling, an effect at least partially due to oxidative stress and entry of extracellular Ca(2+).

  12. Triggering of Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling by Emodin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morena Mischitelli


    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The natural anthraquinone derivative emodin (1,3,8-trihydroxy-6-methylanthraquinone is a component of several Chinese medicinal herbal preparations utilized for more than 2000 years. The substance has been used against diverse disorders including malignancy, inflammation and microbial infection. The substance is effective in part by triggering suicidal death or apoptosis. Similar to apoptosis of nucleated cells erythrocytes may enter suicidal erythrocyte death or eryptosis, characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Signaling involved in the triggering of eryptosis include increase of cytosolic Ca2+ activity ([Ca2+]i, oxidative stress and ceramide. The present study aimed to test, whether emodin induces eryptosis and, if so, to elucidate underlying cellular mechanisms. Methods: Phosphatidylserine abundance at the cell surface was estimated from annexin-V-binding, cell volume from forward scatter, [Ca2+]i from Fluo3-fluorescence, ROS formation from DCFDA dependent fluorescence, and ceramide abundance utilizing specific antibodies. Results: Exposure of human erythrocytes for 48 hours to emodin (≥ 10 µM significantly increased the percentage of annexin-V-binding cells, and at higher concentrations (≥ 50 µM significantly increased forward scatter. Emodin significantly increased Fluo3-fluorescence (≥ 10 µM, DCFDA fluorescence (75 µM and ceramide abundance (75 µM. The effect of emodin on annexin-V-binding was significantly blunted but not abolished by removal of extracellular Ca2+. Conclusions: Emodin triggers phospholipid scrambling of the erythrocyte cell membrane, an effect at least in part due to stimulation of Ca2+ entry and paralleled by oxidative stress and ceramide appearance at the erythroctye surface.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  14. Integrated regenerative fuel cell experimental evaluation (United States)

    Martin, Ronald E.


    An experimental test program was conducted to investigate the performance characteristics of an integrated regenerative fuel cell (IRFC) concept. The IRFC consists of a separate fuel cell unit and electrolysis cell unit in the same structure, with internal storage of fuel cell product water and external storage of electrolysis cell produced hydrogen and oxygen. The fuel cell unit incorporates an enhanced Orbiter-type cell capable of improved performance at reduced weight. The electrolysis cell features a NiCo2O4 catalyst oxygen evolution eletrode with a porous Teflon cover to retard electrolyte loss. Six complete IRFC assemblies were assembled and performance tested at an operating temperature of 200 F (93.3 C) and reactant pressures up to 170 psia (117.2 n/cu cm) on IRFC No. 4. Anomalous pressure charge/discharge characteristics were encountered during performance evaluation. A reversible fuel cell incorporating a proprietary bi-functional oxygen electrode operated satisfactory at 200 F (93.3 C) at reactant pressures up to 50 psia (41.4 n/cu cm) as a regenerative fuel cell for one cycle, before developing an electrical short in the fuel cell mode. Electrolysis cell 300-hour endurance tests demonstrated the electrolyte retention capability of the electrode Teflon cover and the performance stability of the bi-functional oxygen electrode at high potential.

  15. Process for recycling components of a PEM fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (United States)

    Shore, Lawrence [Edison, NJ


    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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    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.

  17. Ionic Liquids and New Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells (United States)

    Belieres, Jean-Philippe


    There is currently a great surge of activity in fuel cell research as laboratories across the world seek to take advantage of the high energy capacity provided by &el cells relative to those of other portable electrochemical power systems. Much of this activity is aimed at high temperature fie1 cells, and a vital component of such &el cells must be the availability of a high temperature stable proton-permeable membrane. NASA Glenn Research Center is greatly involved in developing this technology. Other approaches to the high temperature fuel cell involve the use of single- component or almost-single-component electrolytes that provide a path for protons through the cell. A heavily researched case is the phosphoric acid fuel cell, in which the electrolyte is almost pure phosphoric acid and the cathode reaction produces water directly. The phosphoric acid fie1 cell delivers an open circuit voltage of 0.9 V falling to about 0.7 V under operating conditions at 170 C. The proton transport mechanism is mainly vehicular in character according to the viscosity/conductance relation. Here we describe some Proton Transfer Ionic Liquids (PTILs) with low vapor pressure and high temperature stability that have conductivities of unprecedented magnitude for non-aqueous systems. The first requirement of an ionic liquid is that, contrary to experience with most liquids consisting of ions, it must have a melting point that is not much above room temperature. The limit commonly suggested is 100 C. PTILs constitute an interesting class of non-corrosive proton-exchange electrolyte, which can serve well in high temperature (T = 100 - 250 C) fuel cell applications. We will present cell performance data showing that the open circuit voltage output, and the performance of a simple H2(g)Pt/PTIL/Pt/O2(g) fuel cell may be superior to those of the equivalent phosphoric acid electrolyte fuel cell both at ambient temperature and temperatures up to and above 200 C. My work at NASA Glenn Research

  18. A theory for the membrane potential of cells

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  19. A hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell using an ion-exchange membrane as an electrolyte

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duin, P.J. van; Kruissink, C.A.


    Using an acidic type of water leached ion exchange membrane, cell current outputs of the order of 100 mA▪cm-2 at 0,6 V cell voltage have been obtained; the removal of produced water largely limits the cell performance. Cells using the alkaline type of membrane exhibit much smaller current densities,

  20. Steam reforming of methane in equilibrium membrane reactors for integration in power cycles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bottino, A.; Comite, A.; Capannelli, G. [Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, Via Dodecaneso 31, 16146 Genoa (Italy); Di Felice, R. [Department of Process and Chemical Engineering ' G. Bonino, Via Opera Pia 15, Genoa (Italy); Pinacci, P. [CESI, Via Rubattino 54, 20134 Milano (Italy)


    Methane steam reforming is the most important industrial route to produce H{sub 2}. The process is governed by equilibrium reactions, the overall process is endothermic and high temperatures are required to reach satisfactory methane conversions. The possibility of using a membrane reactor, which separates H{sub 2} from the reaction zone with a subsequent improvement of the conversions, is a challenge of many academic and industrial researchers. A great effort of membrane reactor analysis applied to steam reforming is necessary in the light of the novel and potential process applications (fuel cells, CO{sub 2} capture). This paper presents the model of a non-adiabatic methane steam reformer membrane reactor (MSRMR) working in equilibrium conditions. The model was used to investigate the effects of some variables (e.g. temperature profile, separation efficiency, plant size) on the membrane area and the energy required by the process, which in turn affect fixed and operating costs. The simulations showed that the membrane area required sharp increases in the reactor size and that for large plants the development of thin and permeable membranes is a key issue. (author)

  1. Comparison of different methods for assessment of sperm concentration and membrane integrity with bull semen. (United States)

    Anzar, Muhammad; Kroetsch, Tom; Buhr, Mary M


    Assessing semen quality is crucially important for the exploitation of genetically superior sires in an artificial insemination (AI) program. In this study, we compare modern and conventional techniques to estimate bovine sperm concentration and membrane integrity. First, the NucleoCounter SP-100 was validated for sperm concentration and provided statistically reliable and repeatable estimates among aliquots and replicates of 25 fresh ejaculates. Sperm concentrations in 78 ejaculates were then determined with hemacytometer, flow cytometer, and NucleoCounter SP-100 and were significantly correlated (P spectrophotometers, comparing optical density against counts drawn by hemacytometer and NucleoCounter SP-100 (n = 94 fresh ejaculates) showed different (P calibration of spectrophotometers. Flow cytometer and NucleoCounter SP-100 can be used with equal confidence to estimate sperm concentration and membrane integrity in domestic animals and human semen.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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.

  3. Membrane Nanotubes between peritoneal mesothelial cells: functional connectivity and crucial participation during inflammatory reactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia eRanzinger


    Full Text Available Peritoneal dialysis (PD has attained increased relevance as continuous renal replacement therapy over the past years. During this treatment, the peritoneum functions as dialysis membrane to eliminate diffusible waste products from the blood-stream. Success and efficacy of this treatment is dependent on the integrity of the peritoneal membrane. Chronic inflammatory conditions within the peritoneal cavity coincide with elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines leading to the impairment of tissue integrity. High glucose concentrations and glucose metabolites in PD solutions contribute to structural and functional reorganization processes of the peritoneal membrane during long-term PD. The subsequent loss of ultrafiltration is causal for the treatment failure over time. It was shown that peritoneal mesothelial cells are functionally connected via Nanotubes (NTs and that a correlation of NT-occurrence and defined pathophysiological conditions exists. Additionally, an important participation of NTs during inflammatory reactions was shown. Here, we will summarize recent developments of NT-related research and provide new insights into NT-mediated cellular interactions under physiological as well as pathophysiological conditions.

  4. Tandem cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...... reaction intermediate each, and they occur on different catalyst surfaces. As a result they can be optimized independently and the fundamental problem associated with the four-electron catalysis is avoided. A combination of density functional theory calculations and published experimental data is used...

  5. 2011 Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cell Workshop Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pivovar, B.


    A workshop addressing the current state-of-the-art in alkaline membrane fuel cells (AMFCs) was held May 8-9, 2011, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. This workshop was the second of its kind, with the first being held December 11-13, 2006, in Phoenix, Arizona. The 2011 workshop and associated workshop report were created to assess the current state of AMFC technology (taking into account recent advances), investigate the performance potential of AMFC systems across all possible power ranges and applications, and identify the key research needs for commercial competitiveness in a variety of areas.

  6. Ultrasonic Bonding of Membrane-Electrode-Assemblies of Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dung-An Wang


    Full Text Available Ultrasonic bonding has a great potential for manufacturing of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs of fuel cells (FCs due to its short process cycle time and low energy consumption.  Before introduction of the bonding process into the industry, a detailed and elaborate investigation of the effects of the processing parameters on the bonding quality is necessary.  We develop a finite element model of the ultrasonic bonding for MEAs of FCs.  The model can be used as a computational framework for initial evaluation of the effectiveness of ultrasonic boding for MEAs of FCs.

  7. Indole prevents Escherichia coli cell division by modulating membrane potential


    Chimerel, Catalin; Field, Christopher M.; Piñero-Fernandez, Silvia; Keyser, Ulrich F.; Summers, David K.


    Indole is a bacterial signalling molecule that blocks E. coli cell division at concentrations of 3–5 mM. We have shown that indole is a proton ionophore and that this activity is key to the inhibition of division. By reducing the electrochemical potential across the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli, indole deactivates MinCD oscillation and prevents formation of the FtsZ ring that is a prerequisite for division. This is the first example of a natural ionophore regulating a key biological proces...

  8. Stability of transmembrane amyloid β-peptide and membrane integrity tested by molecular modeling of site-specific Aβ42 mutations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chetan Poojari

    Full Text Available Interactions of the amyloid β-protein (Aβ with neuronal cell membranes, leading to the disruption of membrane integrity, are considered to play a key role in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Natural mutations in Aβ42, such as the Arctic mutation (E22G have been shown to increase Aβ42 aggregation and neurotoxicity, leading to the early-onset of Alzheimer's disease. A correlation between the propensity of Aβ42 to form protofibrils and its effect on neuronal dysfunction and degeneration has been established. Using rational mutagenesis of the Aβ42 peptide it was further revealed that the aggregation of different Aβ42 mutants in lipid membranes results in a variety of polymorphic aggregates in a mutation dependent manner. The mutant peptides also have a variable ability to disrupt bilayer integrity. To further test the connection between Aβ42 mutation and peptide-membrane interactions, we perform molecular dynamics simulations of membrane-inserted Aβ42 variants (wild-type and E22G, D23G, E22G/D23G, K16M/K28M and K16M/E22G/D23G/K28M mutants as β-sheet monomers and tetramers. The effects of charged residues on transmembrane Aβ42 stability and membrane integrity are analyzed at atomistic level. We observe an increased stability for the E22G Aβ42 peptide and a decreased stability for D23G compared to wild-type Aβ42, while D23G has the largest membrane-disruptive effect. These results support the experimental observation that the altered toxicity arising from mutations in Aβ is not only a result of the altered aggregation propensity, but also originates from modified Aβ interactions with neuronal membranes.

  9. Integration of micro-filtration into osmotic membrane bioreactors to prevent salinity build-up. (United States)

    Wang, Xinhua; Yuan, Bo; Chen, Yao; Li, Xiufen; Ren, Yueping


    The high salinity remains as one of major obstacles of the osmotic membrane bioreactor (OMBR). In this study, a new pathway was explored to prevent the salinity build-up by integrating the micro-filtration (MF) membrane to the OMBR (MF-OMBR). The results indicated that the salinity characterized by conductivity in the MF-OMBR was effectively alleviated and controlled at a lower value of about 5 mS/cm, and the stable flux of forward osmosis (FO) membrane correspondingly increased to approximately 5.5L/(m(2)h). Besides, the addition of MF membrane in the OMBR could increase the total organic carbon (TOC) and ammonium nitrogen (NH3-N) removals due to the activated sludge by improving the microbial activity. The membrane fouling especially the reversible fouling in the MF-OMBR was severer compared to that in the conventional OMBR, which resulted in a lower water flux than the expectation due to the increase of filtration resistance and external concentration polarization.

  10. On the Efficiency of NHS Ester Cross-Linkers for Stabilizing Integral Membrane Protein Complexes (United States)

    Chen, Fan; Gerber, Sabina; Korkhov, Volodymyr M.; Mireku, Samantha; Bucher, Monika; Locher, Kaspar P.; Zenobi, Renato


    We have previously presented a straightforward approach based on high-mass matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS) to study membrane proteins. In addition, the stoichiometry of integral membrane protein complexes could be determined by MALDI-MS, following chemical cross-linking via glutaraldehyde. However, glutaraldehyde polymerizes in solution and reacts nonspecifically with various functional groups of proteins, limiting its usefulness for structural studies of protein complexes. Here, we investigated the capability of N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) esters, which react much more specifically, to cross-link membrane protein complexes such as PglK and BtuC2D2. We present clear evidence that NHS esters are capable of stabilizing membrane protein complexes in situ, in the presence of detergents such as DDM, C12E8, and LDAO. The stabilization efficiency strongly depends on the membrane protein structure (i.e, the number of primary amine groups and the distances between primary amines). A minimum number of primary amine groups is required, and the distances between primary amines govern whether a cross-linker with a specific spacer arm length is able to bridge two amine groups.

  11. Technology advancement for integrative stem cell analyses. (United States)

    Jeong, Yoon; Choi, Jonghoon; Lee, Kwan Hyi


    Scientists have endeavored to use stem cells for a variety of applications ranging from basic science research to translational medicine. Population-based characterization of such stem cells, while providing an important foundation to further development, often disregard the heterogeneity inherent among individual constituents within a given population. The population-based analysis and characterization of stem cells and the problems associated with such a blanket approach only underscore the need for the development of new analytical technology. In this article, we review current stem cell analytical technologies, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each, followed by applications of these technologies in the field of stem cells. Furthermore, while recent advances in micro/nano technology have led to a growth in the stem cell analytical field, underlying architectural concepts allow only for a vertical analytical approach, in which different desirable parameters are obtained from multiple individual experiments and there are many technical challenges that limit vertically integrated analytical tools. Therefore, we propose--by introducing a concept of vertical and horizontal approach--that there is the need of adequate methods to the integration of information, such that multiple descriptive parameters from a stem cell can be obtained from a single experiment.

  12. The Architecture of EssB, an Integral Membrane Component of the Type VII Secretion System


    Zoltner, Martin; Norman, David G.; Fyfe, Paul K.; El Mkami, Hassane; Palmer, Tracy; Hunter, William N.


    Supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (H007571), the Medical Research Council (UK) (G117/519), and the Wellcome Trust (grants 082596, 083481, 094090, and 099149). The membrane-bound EssB is an integral and essential component of the bacterial type VII secretion system that can contribute to pathogenicity. The architecture of Geobacillus thermodenitrificans EssB has been investigated by combining crystallographic and EPR spectroscopic methods. The protein f...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Ying; Zhang, Ying; Wang, Yu;


    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 first 6 days, cells within microcapsules with 10 μm thickness membrane proliferated fast and could reach a cell density of 1.9 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with 92% cell density. A cell density of 5.5 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with >85% cell density was achieved within microcapsules with 15 μm...

  14. On controllability of an integrated bioreactor and periodically operated membrane separation process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prado Rubio, Oscar Andres; Jørgensen, Sten Bay; Jonsson, Gunnar Eigil

    -Rubio et al., 2011b). The main purpose of this first attempt of process integration was to predict the productivity improvements and to reveal to which extend the REED module can facilitate the pH control in the fermenter. There, the membrane and reactor unit interactions are exploited to substantially....... Use multiple REED units activated sequentially or iii. Try to avoid the controllers fighting by a more appropriate control structure design. Hopefully merging those ideas, an improved strategy for the integrated process design and control development can be proposed....

  15. A monolithic integrated micro direct methanol fuel cell based on sulfo functionalized porous silicon (United States)

    Wang, M.; Lu, Y. X.; Liu, L. T.; Wang, X. H.


    In this paper, we demonstrate a monolithic integrated micro direct methanol fuel cell (μDMFC) for the first time. The monolithic integrated μDMFC combines proton exchange membrane (PEM) and Pt nanocatalysts, in which PEM is achieved by the functionalized porous silicon membrane and 3D Pt nanoflowers being synthesized in situ on it as catalysts. Sulfo groups functionalized porous silicon membrane serves as a PEM and a catalyst support simultaneously. The μDMFC prototype achieves an open circuit voltage of 0.3 V, a maximum power density of 5.5 mW/cm2. The monolithic integrated μDMFC offers several desirable features such as compatibility with micro fabrication techniques, an undeformable solid PEM and the convenience of assembly.

  16. Characteristics and performance of membrane electrode assemblies with operating conditions in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Yong-Hun [School of Advanced Materials Engineering, Kookmin University, 861-1 Jeongneung-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-702 (Korea, Republic of); Yoo, Sung Jong [Fuel Cell Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul 136-791 (Korea, Republic of); Park, In-Su; Jeon, Tae-Yeol; Cho, Yoon-Hwan; Lim, Ju Wan [World Class University (WCU) program of Chemical Convergence for Energy and Environment, School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, College of Engineering, Seoul National University (SNU), Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kwon, Oh Joong [Department of Energy and Chemical Engineering, University of Incheon, 12-1 Songdo-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 406-772 (Korea, Republic of); Yoon, Won-Sub [School of Advanced Materials Engineering, Kookmin University, 861-1 Jeongneung-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-702 (Korea, Republic of); Sung, Yung-Eun, E-mail: [World Class University (WCU) program of Chemical Convergence for Energy and Environment, School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, College of Engineering, Seoul National University (SNU), Seoul (Korea, Republic of)


    The degradation behavior of a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) was investigated in accelerated degradation tests under constant voltage (0.8 V and 0.7 V) and load cycling (from open circuit voltage to 0.35 V) conditions. Changes in the structural and electrochemical characteristics of MEA after the durability tests give information as to the degradation mechanism of MEAs. The results of cyclic voltammogram and postmortem analysis by X-ray diffraction and high resolution-transmission electron microscopy indicate that the cathode catalyst layers of the MEAs showed no extreme degradation under constant voltage mode, whereas MEAs under repetition of load cycling mode showed very severe degradation after 280 h. However, the single cell performance of the MEA under repetition of load cycling mode was higher than under constant voltage mode. In addition, although the Pt band in the membrane of the MEA under repetition of load cycling mode was observed by field emission scanning electron microscopy, it did not affect the ohmic resistance.

  17. Multi-layered, membrane-integrated microfluidics based on replica molding of a thiol-ene epoxy thermoset for organ-on-a-chip applications. (United States)

    Sticker, Drago; Rothbauer, Mario; Lechner, Sarah; Hehenberger, Marie-Therese; Ertl, Peter


    In this study we have investigated a photosensitive thermoset (OSTEMER 322-40) as a complementary material to readily fabricate complex multi-layered microdevices for applications in life science. Simple, versatile and robust fabrication of multifunctional microfluidics is becoming increasingly important for the development of customized tissue-, organ- and body-on-a-chip systems capable of mimicking tissue interfaces and biological barriers. In the present work key material properties including optical properties, vapor permeability, hydrophilicity and biocompatibility are evaluated for cell-based assays using fibroblasts, endothelial cells and mesenchymal stem cells. The excellent bonding strength of the OSTEMER thermoset to flexible fluoropolymer (FEP) sheets and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) membranes further allows for the fabrication of integrated microfluidic components such as membrane-based microdegassers, microvalves and micropumps. We demonstrate the application of multi-layered, membrane-integrated microdevices that consist of up to seven layers and three membranes that specially confine and separate vascular cells from the epithelial barrier and 3D tissue structures.

  18. Evidence for Transfer of Membranes from Mesenchymal Stem Cells to HL-1 Cardiac Cells. (United States)

    Boomsma, Robert A; Geenen, David L


    This study examined the interaction of mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) with cardiac HL-1 cells during coculture by fluorescent dye labeling and then flow cytometry. MSC were layered onto confluent HL-1 cell cultures in a 1 : 4 ratio. MSC gained gap junction permeant calcein from HL-1 cells after 4 hours which was partially reduced by oleamide. After 20 hours, 99% MSC gained calcein, unaffected by oleamide. Double-labeling HL-1 cells with calcein and the membrane dye DiO resulted in transfer of both calcein and DiO to MSC. When HL-1 cells were labeled with calcein and MSC with DiO, MSC gained calcein while HL-1 cells gained DiO. Very little fusion was observed since more than 90% Sca-1 positive MSC gained DiO from HL-1 cells while less than 9% gained gap junction impermeant CMFDA after 20 hours with no Sca-1 transfer to HL-1 cells. Time dependent transfer of membrane DiD was observed from HL-1 cells to MSC (100%) and vice versa (50%) after 20 hours with more limited transfer of CMFDA. These results demonstrate that MSC and HL-1 cells exchange membrane components which may account for some of the beneficial effect of MSC in the heart after myocardial infarction.

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

    CERN Document Server

    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...

  20. 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 nano-vesicles. 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 qu...

  1. The Effect of Platinum Electrocatalyst on Membrane Degradation in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells. (United States)

    Bodner, Merit; Cermenek, Bernd; Rami, Mija; Hacker, Viktor


    Membrane degradation is a severe factor limiting the lifetime of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Therefore, obtaining a deeper knowledge is fundamental in order to establish fuel cells as competitive product. A segmented single cell was operated under open circuit voltage with alternating relative humidity. The influence of the catalyst layer on membrane degradation was evaluated by measuring a membrane without electrodes and a membrane-electrode-assembly under identical conditions. After 100 h of accelerated stress testing the proton conductivity of membrane samples near the anode and cathode was investigated by means of ex situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The membrane sample near the cathode inlet exhibited twofold lower membrane resistance and a resulting twofold higher proton conductivity than the membrane sample near the anode inlet. The results from the fluoride ion analysis have shown that the presence of platinum reduces the fluoride emission rate; which supports conclusions drawn from the literature.

  2. Penetration of living cell membranes with fortified carbon nanotube tips. (United States)

    Vakarelski, Ivan U; Brown, Scott C; Higashitani, Ko; Moudgil, Brij M


    We have fabricated robust nanosurgical needles suitable for single cell operations by modifying multiwalled carbon nanotube (MCNT)-terminated atomic force microscopy (AFM) tips. Extra-long MCNT AFM tips were prepared and fortified with molecular layers of carbon to overcome mechanical instabilities and then coated with an outer shell of gold to promote chemical versatility. The terminal diameters of the final fabricated tips were approximately 30-40 nm, and the MCNT probes were several micrometers in length. We illustrate the capability of these modified MCNT tips to carry nanoparticulate payloads and to penetrate the plasma membrane of living pleural mesothelial cells at the smallest indentation depths (100-200 nm) and lowest penetration forces (100-200 pN) currently reported for these procedures.

  3. Cell-Culture Reactor Having a Porous Organic Polymer Membrane (United States)

    Koontz, Steven L. (Inventor)


    A method for making a biocompatible polymer article using a uniform atomic oxygen treatment is disclosed. The substrate may be subsequently optionally grated with a compatibilizing compound. Compatibilizing compounds may include proteins, phosphory1choline groups, platelet adhesion preventing polymers, albumin adhesion promoters, and the like. The compatibilized substrate may also have a living cell layer adhered thereto. The atomic oxygen is preferably produced by a flowing afterglow microwave discharge, wherein the substrate resides in a sidearm out of the plasma. Also, methods for culturing cells for various purposes using the various membranes are disclosed as well. Also disclosed are porous organic polymers having a distributed pore chemistry (DPC) comprising hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions, and a method for making the DPC by exposing the polymer to atomic oxygen wherein the rate of hydrophilization is greater than the rate of mass loss.

  4. New hybrid model of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Rui-min; CAO Guang-yi; ZHU Xin-jian


    Model and simulation are good tools for design optimization of fuel cell systems. This paper proposes a new hybrid model of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The hybrid model includes physical component and black-box component. The physical component represents the well-known part of PEMFC, while artificial neural network (ANN) component estimates the poorly known part of PEMFC. The ANN model can compensate the performance of the physical model. This hybrid model is implemented on Matlab/Simulink software. The hybrid model shows better accuracy than that of the physical model and ANN model. Simulation results suggest that the hybrid model can be used as a suitable and accurate model for PEMFC.

  5. Intravital multiphoton photoconversion with a cell membrane dye. (United States)

    Turcotte, Raphaël; Wu, Juwell W; Lin, Charles P


    Photoconversion, an irreversible shift in a fluorophore emission spectrum after light exposure, is a powerful tool for marking cellular and subcellular compartments and tracking their dynamics in vivo. This paper reports on the photoconversion properties of Di-8-ANEPPS, a commercially available membrane dye. When illuminated with near-infrared femtosecond laser pulses, Di-8-ANEPPS undergoes multiphoton photoconversion as indicated by the supralinear dependence of the conversion rate ρpc on the incident power (ρpc∝Iexc2.27), and by the ability to photoconvert a thin optical section in a three-dimensional matrix. The characteristic emission spectrum changed from red to blue, and ratiometric analysis on single cells in vitro revealed a 65-fold increase in the blue to red wavelength ratio after photoconversion. The spectral shift is preserved in vivo for hours, making Di-8-ANEPPS a useful dye for intravital cell marking and tracking applications.

  6. Composite materials for polymer electrolyte membrane microbial fuel cells. (United States)

    Antolini, Ermete


    Recently, the feasibility of using composite metal-carbon, metal-polymer, polymer-carbon, polymer-polymer and carbon-carbon materials in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) has been investigated. These materials have been tested as MFC anode catalyst (microorganism) supports, cathode catalysts and membranes. These hybrid materials, possessing the properties of each component, or even with a synergistic effect, would present improved characteristics with respect to the bare components. In this paper we present an overview of the use of these composite materials in microbial fuel cells. The characteristics of the composite materials as well as their effect on MFC performance were compared with those of the individual component and/or the conventionally used materials.

  7. An integrated membrane system for the biocatalytic production of 3′-sialyllactose from dairy by-products

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Jianquan; Nordvang, Rune Thorbjørn; Morthensen, Sofie Thage


    An integrated membrane system was investigated for the production of 30-sialyllactose by an engineered sialidase using casein glycomacropeptide (CGMP) and lactose as substrates. CGMP was purified by ultrafiltration (UF) to remove any small molecules present and then an enzymatic membrane reactor...... (EMR) was used to separate the product and reuse the enzyme. A PLCC regenerated cellulose membrane was found to be the most suitable for both the UF purification and EMR. Subsequently, nanofiltration (NF) was conducted to increase the purity of the 30-sialyllactose by removing the excess lactose...... present. The NTR7450 membrane outperformed others in NF due to its high retention of 30-sialyllactose (98%) and relatively low rejection of lactose (40%). The lactose in the permeate could be concentrated by the NF45 membrane and recycled into the EMR. The described integrated membrane system enables...

  8. Sensitive dependence of the coefficient of variation of interspike intervals on the lower boundary of membrane potential for the leaky integrate-and-fire neuron model. (United States)

    Inoue, Junko; Doi, Shinji


    After the report of Softky and Koch [Softky, W.R., Koch, C., 1993. The highly irregular firing of cortical cells is inconsistent with temporal integration of random EPSPs. J. Neurosci. 13, 334-350], leaky integrate-and-fire models have been investigated to explain high coefficient of variation (CV) of interspike intervals (ISIs) at high firing rates observed in the cortex. The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of the position of a lower boundary of membrane potential on the possible value of CV of ISIs based on the diffusional leaky integrate-and-fire models with and without reversal potentials. Our result shows that the irregularity of ISIs for the diffusional leaky integrate-and-fire neuron significantly changes by imposing a lower boundary of membrane potential, which suggests the importance of the position of the lower boundary as well as that of the firing threshold when we study the statistical properties of leaky integrate-and-fire neuron models. It is worth pointing out that the mean-CV plot of ISIs for the diffusional leaky integrate-and-fire neuron with reversal potentials shows a close similarity to the experimental result obtained in Softky and Koch [Softky, W.R., Koch, C., 1993. The highly irregular firing of cortical cells is inconsistent with temporal integration of random EPSPs. J. Neurosci. 13, 334-350].

  9. Microfluidic device for continuous single cells analysis via Raman spectroscopy enhanced by integrated plasmonic nanodimers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perozziello, Gerardo; Candeloro, Patrizio; De Grazia, Antonio


    In this work a Raman flow cytometer is presented. It consists of a microfluidic device that takes advantages of the basic principles of Raman spectroscopy and flow cytometry. The microfluidic device integrates calibrated microfluidic channels-where the cells can flow one-by-one -, allowing single...... cell Raman analysis. The microfluidic channel integrates plasmonic nanodimers in a fluidic trapping region. In this way it is possible to perform Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy on single cell. These allow a label-free analysis, providing information about the biochemical content of membrane and cytoplasm...

  10. Pyro-electrification of polymer membranes for cell patterning (United States)

    Rega, R.; Gennari, O.; Mecozzia, L.; Grilli, S.; Pagliarulo, V.; Ferraro, P.


    In the recent years, much attention has been devoted to the possibility of charging polymer-based materials, due to their potential in developing large-scale and inexpensive flexible thin-film technology. The availability of localized electrostatic fields is in of great interest for a huge amount of applications such as distribution of biomolecules and cells from the liquid phase. Here we report a voltage-free pyro-electrification (PE) process able to induce permanent dipoles into polymer layers; the lithium niobate (LN) crystal is the key component that plays the multi-purpose role of sustaining, heating and poling the polymer layer that is then peeled-off easily in order to have a free-standing charged membrane. The results show the fascinating application for the living cell patterning. It well known that cell behaviour is affected by chemical and topographical cues of substrate. In fact, polymers, such as polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), are naturally cytophobic and require specific functionalization treatments in order to promote cell adhesion. Through our proposal technique, it's possible to obtain spontaneous organization and a driven growth of SH-SY5Y cells that is solely dictated by the nature of the charge polymer surface, opening, in this way, the innovative chance to manipulate and transfer biological samples on a free-standing polymer layer [1].

  11. The effects of various control and water treatment processes on the membrane integrity and toxin fate of cyanobacteria. (United States)

    Fan, Jiajia; Hobson, Peter; Ho, Lionel; Daly, Robert; Brookes, Justin


    Cyanobacterial blooms are one of the main contaminants that can degrade drinking water quality with the associated taste, odour and toxic compounds. Although a wide range of techniques have shown promise for cyanobacterial bloom control and cyanobacterial cell/metabolite removal in reservoirs and water treatment plants (WTPs), these treatments may have negative consequences through release of intracellular metabolites into the surrounding water. This study assessed the impact of copper sulphate (CuSO4), chlorine, potassium permanganate (KMnO4), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and ozone on Microcystis aeruginosa culture and the toxins it produced. All of these agents induced the loss of cyanobacterial membrane integrity. However, no associated increase in dissolved toxins was detected during chlorine and H2O2 treatments which may be due to faster toxin oxidation rates than release rates. KMnO4 doses of 1 and 3mgL(-1) degraded dissolved toxins while having no impact on cyanobacterial membrane integrity. In contrast, ozone induced a significant increase in extracellular toxins but it was unable to degrade these toxins to the same degree as the other oxidants which may due to the lack of residual. All chemicals, except CuSO4, were able to reduce cyanotoxins and chlorine was the most effective with a rate up to 2161M(-1)s(-1).

  12. Coal Integrated Gasification Fuel Cell System Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chellappa Balan; Debashis Dey; Sukru-Alper Eker; Max Peter; Pavel Sokolov; Greg Wotzak


    This study analyzes the performance and economics of power generation systems based on Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology and fueled by gasified coal. System concepts that integrate a coal gasifier with a SOFC, a gas turbine, and a steam turbine were developed and analyzed for plant sizes in excess of 200 MW. Two alternative integration configurations were selected with projected system efficiency of over 53% on a HHV basis, or about 10 percentage points higher than that of the state-of-the-art Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) systems. The initial cost of both selected configurations was found to be comparable with the IGCC system costs at approximately $1700/kW. An absorption-based CO2 isolation scheme was developed, and its penalty on the system performance and cost was estimated to be less approximately 2.7% and $370/kW. Technology gaps and required engineering development efforts were identified and evaluated.

  13. Nafion/Silicon Oxide Composite Membrane for High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membranes were produced via in situ sol-gel reaction of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) in Nafion membranes. The physicochemical properties of the membranes were studied by FT-IR, TG-DSC and tensile strength. The results show that the silicon oxide is compatible with the Nafion membrane and the thermo stability of Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane is higher than that of Nafion membrane. Furthermore, the tensile strength of Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane is similar to that of the Nafion membrane. The proton conductivity of Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane is higher than that of Nafion membrane. When the Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane was employed as an electrolyte in H2/O2 PEMFC, a higher current density value (1 000 mA/cm2 at 0.38 V) than that of the Nafion 1135 membrane (100 mA/cm2 at 0.04 V) was obtained at 110 ℃.

  14. Development of a living membrane comprising a functional human renal proximal tubule cell monolayer on polyethersulfone polymeric membrane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schophuizen, Carolien M S; De Napoli, Ilaria E; Jansen, Jitske; Teixeira, Sandra; Wilmer, Martijn J; Hoenderop, Joost G J; Van den Heuvel, Lambert P W; Masereeuw, R.; Stamatialis, Dimitrios


    The need for improved renal replacement therapies has stimulated innovative research for the development of a cell-based renal assist device. A key requirement for such a device is the formation of a "living membrane", consisting of a tight kidney cell monolayer with preserved functional organic ion

  15. Continuous monitoring of membrane protein micro-domain association during cell signaling

    CERN Document Server

    Huang, Heng


    Central to understanding membrane bound cell signaling is to quantify how the membrane ultra-structure consisting of transient spatial domains modulates signaling and how the signaling influences this ultra-structure. Yet, measuring the association of membrane proteins with domains in living, intact cells poses considerable challenges. Here, we describe a non-destructive method to quantify protein-lipid domain and protein cytoskeleton interactions in single, intact cells enabling continuous monitoring of the protein domains interaction over time during signaling.

  16. Quantum theory analysis on microscopic mechanism of the interaction of laser with cell membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Lin; ZHANG Can-bang; WANG Sheng-yu; LI Ling; WANG Rui-li; ZHOU Ling-yun


    On the basis of liquid crystal model with the electric dipole moment of cell membrane,the microscopic mechanism of the electricity and thermology effects of interaction of laser with cell membrane is researched by electromagnetic, quantum mechanics and quantum statistics. We derive the formulas on the polarization effects and "temperature-rising effect" of laser-cell membrane interaction. The results of the theoretical research can explain some experiments.

  17. Sampling membrane potential, membrane resistance and electrode resistance with a glass electrode impaled into a single cell. (United States)

    Schiebe, M; Jaeger, U


    A method is demonstrated to measure membrane resistances and membrane potentials of single cells during impalement by a single glass microelectrode. The intention was to develop a procedure which would provide data almost continuously. Therefore, a frequency-dependent voltage divider network has been chosen to represent the basic electrical properties of the electrode and cell membrane, and used to explore its voltage response to a current stimulus, consisting of two rectangular pulses of different widths. It can be shown that the resolution of the method can be improved by inverting this stimulus so that each polarization becomes a relaxation and vice versa. In order to generate, analyze and display this signal continuously, a device has been designed which has been called 'Electrophysiological Monitor, (E1M2)'. E1M2 provides a current stimulus as input into a standard bridge network and can analyze the summed response of the electrode and cell by a set of sample-hold amplifiers. It then decodes and displays the data continuously, as membrane potential (Em), input resistance of the cell (Rinp) and the electrode resistance (Re) respectively. From Rinp the membrane resistance (Rm) can be deduced. The validity of the method has been examined by measuring these parameters in frog muscle cells. Technical design considerations, the accuracy and possible pitfalls with the suggested procedure are discussed.

  18. Rapid fabrication of microfluidic polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell in PDMS by surface patterning of perfluorinated ion-exchange resin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Song, Yong-Ak; Han, Jongyoon [Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Batista, Candy [Roxbury Community College, 1234 Columbus Ave., Roxbury Crossing, MA 02120 (United States); Sarpeshkar, Rahul [Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)


    In this paper we demonstrate a simple and rapid fabrication method for a microfluidic polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which has become the de facto standard material in BioMEMS. Instead of integrating a Nafion sheet film between two layers of a PDMS device in a traditional ''sandwich format,'' we pattern a perfluorinated ion-exchange resin such as a Nafion resin on a glass substrate using a reversibly bonded PDMS microchannel to generate an ion-selective membrane between the fuel-cell electrodes. After this patterning step, the assembly of the microfluidic fuel cell is accomplished by simple oxygen plasma bonding between the PDMS chip and the glass substrate. In an example implementation, the planar PEM microfluidic fuel cell generates an open circuit voltage of 600-800 mV and delivers a maximum current output of nearly 4 {mu}A. To enhance the power output of the fuel cell we utilize self-assembled colloidal arrays as a support matrix for the Nafion resin. Such arrays allow us to increase the thickness of the ion-selective membrane to 20 {mu}m and increase the current output by 166%. Our novel fabrication method enables rapid prototyping of microfluidic fuel cells to study various ion-exchange resins for the polymer electrolyte membrane. Our work will facilitate the development of miniature, implantable, on-chip power sources for biomedical applications. (author)

  19. Influence of Silica/Sulfonated Polyether-Ether Ketone as Polymer Electrolyte Membrane for Hydrogen Fueled Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Handayani


    Full Text Available The operation of non-humidified condition of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC using composite sPEEK-silica membrane is reported. Sulfonated membrane of PEEK is known as hydrocarbon polyelectrolyte membrane for PEMFC and direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC. The state of the art of fuel cells is based on the perluorosulfonic acid membrane (Nafion. Nafion has been the most used in both PEMFC and DMFC due to good performance although in low humidified condition showed poor current density. Here we reported the effect of silica in hydrocarbon sPEEK membrane that contributes for a better water management system inside the cell, and showed 0.16 W/cm2 of power density which is 78% higher than that of non-silica modified [Keywords: composite membrane, polyether-ether ketone, silica, proton exchange membrane fuel cell].

  20. Enhancement of the fuel cell performance of a high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell running with titanium composite polybenzimidazole-based membranes (United States)

    Lobato, Justo; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.; Úbeda, Diego; Pinar, F. Javier


    The fuel cell performance of a composite PBI-based membrane with TiO2 has been studied. The behaviour of the membrane has been evaluated by comparison with the fuel cell performance of other PBI-based membranes, all of which were cast from the same polymer with the same molecular weight. The PBI composite membrane incorporating TiO2 showed the best performance and reached 1000 mW cm-2 at 175 °C. Moreover, this new titanium composite PBI-based membrane also showed the best stability during the preliminary long-term test under our operation conditions. Thus, the slope of the increase in the ohmic resistance of the composite membrane was 0.041 mΩ cm2 h-1 and this is five times lower than that of the standard PBI membrane. The increased stability was due to the high phosphoric acid retention capacity - as confirmed during leaching tests, in which the Ti-based composite PBI membrane retained 5 mol of H3PO4/PBI r.u. whereas the PBI standard membrane only retained 1 mol H3PO4/PBI r.u. Taking into account the results obtained in this study, the TiO2-PBI based membranes are good candidates as electrolytes for high temperature PEMFCs.

  1. Development of more efficient and cheaper MEA's for PEM fuel cells; Membrane-electrode-assembly

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yde Andersen, S. (IRD Fuel Cell A/S, Svendborg (Denmark)); Nilsson, M.S. (Danish Power System Aps, Charlottenlund (Denmark)); Siu, A.; Plackett, D. (Technical Univ. of Denmark. Risoe National Lab. for Sustainable Energy, Dansk Polymer Center, Roskilde (Denmark)); Li, Q. (Technical Univ. of Denmark, Dept. of Chemistry, Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark))


    The project covered 5 main areas: 1) polymer and membranes; 2) electrocatalysts; 3) gas diffusion electrodes; 4) MEAs; and 5) evaluation techniques. For the polymers, by purification of monomers and optimizing parameters, high molecular weight polybenzimidazoles have been synthesized in batches of 50 g with good reproducibility. Based on the polymer, two types of new membranes have been prepared. One is the cross-linked (covalently and acid-base) PBI blend membranes. The blend membranes were systematically characterized and show excellent properties such as very high acid doping levels, conductivity, mechanical strength and durability. The other type is composite membranes based on PBI and nanoclay. Using the modified nanoclay, good dispersion and transparent composite membranes have been achieved. For catalyst preparation, the carbon supports have been modified with thermal treatment. Improved corrosion resistance was achieved with little sacrificing of the catalytic activity. High Pt loading catalysts were prepared, based on which high performance gas diffusion electrodes were fabricated. The performance target of both cathode and anode was achieved, as evaluated by the PTFE half cell tests. New gas diffusion layer (GDL) materials have been developed and tested in different MEA configurations. Significant performance improvement has been achieved with also potential to reduce the cost. Techniques for applying micro porous layers and catalyst layers have been optimized, including tape casting, spraying, and catalyst-coated membrane (CCM). Using the developed membranes and gas diffusion electrodes, membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) were fabricated for both single cell and stack tests. Selection of sealing materials and design of integrated gaskets have been made for both low and high temperature MEAs. Parameters for hot-pressing such as temperature, pressure and duration were systematically studied. 44 MEAs with an active area of 256 cm{sup 2} have been prepared

  2. Lipid-protein interactions in plasma membranes of fiber cells isolated from the human eye lens. (United States)

    Raguz, Marija; Mainali, Laxman; O'Brien, William J; Subczynski, Witold K


    The protein content in human lens membranes is extremely high, increases with age, and is higher in the nucleus as compared with the cortex, which should strongly affect the organization and properties of the lipid bilayer portion of intact membranes. To assess these effects, the intact cortical and nuclear fiber cell plasma membranes isolated from human lenses from 41- to 60-year-old donors were studied using electron paramagnetic resonance spin-labeling methods. Results were compared with those obtained for lens lipid membranes prepared from total lipid extracts from human eyes of the same age group [Mainali, L., Raguz, M., O'Brien, W. J., and Subczynski, W. K. (2013) Biochim. Biophys. Acta]. Differences were considered to be mainly due to the effect of membrane proteins. The lipid-bilayer portions of intact membranes were significantly less fluid than lipid bilayers of lens lipid membranes, prepared without proteins. The intact membranes were found to contain three distinct lipid environments termed the bulk lipid domain, boundary lipid domain, and trapped lipid domain. However, the cholesterol bilayer domain, which was detected in cortical and nuclear lens lipid membranes, was not detected in intact membranes. The relative amounts of bulk and trapped lipids were evaluated. The amount of lipids in domains uniquely formed due to the presence of membrane proteins was greater in nuclear membranes than in cortical membranes. Thus, it is evident that the rigidity of nuclear membranes is greater than that of cortical membranes. Also the permeability coefficients for oxygen measured in domains of nuclear membranes were significantly lower than appropriate coefficients measured in cortical membranes. Relationships between the organization of lipids into lipid domains in fiber cells plasma membranes and the organization of membrane proteins are discussed.

  3. Effects of alpha-lipoic acids on sperm membrane integrity during liquid storage of boar semen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Parlapan


    Full Text Available Preliminary studies have shown that sperm membrane from swine shows high sensitivity to cryopreservation process, causing a dramatic reduction in sperm quality. This has been attributed to the production of reactive oxygen species, that cause lipid peroxidation in sperm membranes. The aim of the present study was to minimize the oxidative attack by adding different concentration of alpha-lipoic acid into the sperm liquid storage at 17ºC for 7 days. Freshly ejaculated boar semen was diluted with Beltsville Thawing Solution (BTS and supplemented with 5 levels of alpha-lipoic  acid (0.015, 0.02, 0.05, 0.1, 0.15 mmol/ml. The membrane integrity was evaluated at days 0, 1, 3, 5 and 7 of liquid preservation, using flow cytometer FACSCanto II (BD Biociencias systems. The experiment indicate that supplementation of alpha-lipoic  acid to the semen liquid storage extender improve sperm membrane

  4. The role of forward osmosis and microfiltration in an integrated osmotic-microfiltration membrane bioreactor system. (United States)

    Luo, Wenhai; Hai, Faisal I; Kang, Jinguo; Price, William E; Nghiem, Long D; Elimelech, Menachem


    This study investigates the performance of an integrated osmotic and microfiltration membrane bioreactor (O/MF-MBR) system for wastewater treatment and reclamation. The O/MF-MBR system simultaneously used microfiltration (MF) and forward osmosis (FO) membranes to extract water from the mixed liquor of an aerobic bioreactor. The MF membrane facilitated the bleeding of dissolved inorganic salts and thus prevented the build-up of salinity in the bioreactor. As a result, sludge production and microbial activity were relatively stable over 60 days of operation. Compared to MF, the FO process produced a better permeate quality in terms of nutrients, total organic carbon, as well as hydrophilic and biologically persistent trace organic chemicals (TrOCs). The high rejection by the FO membrane also led to accumulation of hydrophilic and biologically persistent TrOCs in the bioreactor, consequently increasing their concentration in the MF permeate. On the other hand, hydrophobic and readily biodegradable TrOCs were minimally detected in both MF and FO permeates, with no clear difference in the removal efficiencies between two processes.

  5. Modelling membrane hydration and water balance of a pem fuel cell

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liso, Vincenzo; Nielsen, Mads Pagh


    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells requires an appropriate hydration in order to ensure high efficiency and long durability. As water is essential for promoting proton conductivity in the membrane, it is important to control membrane water hydration to avoid flooding. In this study we...

  6. Integrated Wireless Monitoring and Control System in Reverse Osmosis Membrane Desalination Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al Haji Ahmad


    Full Text Available The operational processes of the Reverse Osmosis (RO membrane desalination plants require continuous monitoring through the constant attendance of operators to ensure proper productivity and minimize downtime and prevent membrane failure. Therefore, the plant must be equipped with a control system that monitors and controls the operational variables. Monitoring and controlling the affecting parameters are critical to the evaluation of the performance of the desalination plant, which will help the operator find and resolve problems immediately. Therefore, this paper was aimed at developing an RO unit by utilizing a wireless sensor network (WSN system. Hence, an RO pilot plant with a feed capacity of 1.2 m3/h was utilized, commissioned, and tested in Kuwait to assess and verify the performance of the integrated WSN in RO membrane desalination system. The investigated system allowed the operators to remotely monitor the operational process of the RO system. The operational data were smoothly recorded and monitored. Furthermore, the technical problems were immediately determined, which reduced the time and effort in rectifying the technical problems relevant to the RO performance. The manpower requirements of such treatment system were dramatically reduced by about 50%. Based on a comparison between manual and wireless monitoring operational processes, the availability of the integrated RO unit with a wireless monitoring was increased by 10%

  7. A membrane-integrated advanced scheme for treatment of industrial wastewater: dynamic modeling towards scale up. (United States)

    Kumar, Ramesh; Pal, Parimal


    Modeling and simulation was carried out for an advanced membrane-integrated hybrid treatment process that ensures reuse of water with conversion and recovery of ammoniacal nitrogen as value-added struvite fertilizer from coke wastewater. While toxic cyanide was largely removed in a pre-chemical treatment unit using Fenton's reagents under optimized conditions, more than 95% of NH4(+)-N could be recovered as a valuable by-product called struvite through addition of appropriate doses of magnesium and phosphate salts. Water could be turned reusable through a polishing treatment by nanofiltration membranes in a largely fouling free membrane module following a biodegradation step. Mathematical modeling of such an integrated process was done with Haldane-Andrew approach for the associated microbial degradation of phenol by Pseudomonas putida. Residual NH4(+) was degraded by nitrification and denitrification following the modified Monod kinetics. The model could successfully predict the plant performance as reflected in reasonably low relative error (0.03-0.18) and high Willmott d-index (>0.98).

  8. Structure determination of an integral membrane protein at room temperature from crystals in situ

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Axford, Danny [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Foadi, James [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Hu, Nien-Jen; Choudhury, Hassanul Ghani [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom); Iwata, So [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom); Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501 (Japan); Beis, Konstantinos [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom); Evans, Gwyndaf, E-mail: [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Alguel, Yilmaz, E-mail: [Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxfordshire OX11 0DE (United Kingdom); Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0FA (United Kingdom)


    The X-ray structure determination of an integral membrane protein using synchrotron diffraction data measured in situ at room temperature is demonstrated. The structure determination of an integral membrane protein using synchrotron X-ray diffraction data collected at room temperature directly in vapour-diffusion crystallization plates (in situ) is demonstrated. Exposing the crystals in situ eliminates manual sample handling and, since it is performed at room temperature, removes the complication of cryoprotection and potential structural anomalies induced by sample cryocooling. Essential to the method is the ability to limit radiation damage by recording a small amount of data per sample from many samples and subsequently assembling the resulting data sets using specialized software. The validity of this procedure is established by the structure determination of Haemophilus influenza TehA at 2.3 Å resolution. The method presented offers an effective protocol for the fast and efficient determination of membrane-protein structures at room temperature using third-generation synchrotron beamlines.

  9. Surface-micromachined microfiltration membranes for efficient isolation and functional immunophenotyping of subpopulations of immune cells. (United States)

    Chen, Weiqiang; Huang, Nien-Tsu; Oh, Boram; Lam, Raymond H W; Fan, Rong; Cornell, Timothy T; Shanley, Thomas P; Kurabayashi, Katsuo; Fu, Jianping


    An accurate measurement of the immune status in patients with immune system disorders is critical in evaluating the stage of diseases and tailoring drug treatments. The functional cellular immunity test is a promising method to establish the diagnosis of immune dysfunctions. The conventional functional cellular immunity test involves measurements of the capacity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to produce pro-inflammatory cytokines when stimulated ex vivo. However, this "bulk" assay measures the overall reactivity of a population of lymphocytes and monocytes, making it difficult to pinpoint the phenotype or real identity of the reactive immune cells involved. In this research, we develop a large surface micromachined poly-dimethylsiloxane (PDMS) microfiltration membrane (PMM) with high porosity, which is integrated in a microfluidic microfiltration platform. Using the PMM with functionalized microbeads conjugated with antibodies against specific cell surface proteins, we demonstrated rapid, efficient and high-throughput on-chip isolation, enrichment, and stimulation of subpopulations of immune cells from blood specimens. Furthermore, the PMM-integrated microfiltration platform, coupled with a no-wash homogeneous chemiluminescence assay ("AlphaLISA"), enables us to demonstrate rapid and sensitive on-chip immunophenotyping assays for subpopulations of immune cells isolated directly from minute quantities of blood samples.

  10. Two-dimensional simulation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hum, B.; Li, X. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering


    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells have fast startup, are highly energy efficient and have high power density, rendering them very suitable for use in zero-emission vehicles and on-site power cogeneration. Before the PEM fuel cell can reach widespread commercial use, the performance has to be improved regarding the minimization of all transport resistances. This can be done by considering the electrochemical reactions in the catalyst layers along with the physical transport of reactant gas flows, product and process water, heat and the charged particles in the individual cells and stacks. This paper presents the results of a two-dimensional numerical simulation of a steady, isothermal, fully humidified PEM fuel cell which was conducted to examine what happens in the catalyst layers. The finite volume method was used together with the alternating direction implicit algorithm. It was determined that the cathode catalyst layer has more pronounced changes in potential, reaction rate and current density generation compared to the anode catalyst layer. This is because of the large cathode activation overpotential and the low diffusion coefficient of oxygen. It was demonstrated that catalyst layers, by nature, are 2 dimensional, particularly in areas of low reactant concentrations. Maximum power density is limited by the depletion of one of the reactants in the catalyst layer. Both the fuel and oxidant supply must be managed simultaneously for optimal cell performance. It was concluded that cell performance is not greatly affected by flow direction. It was noted that this analysis can also be used for more complex cell design, such as cross flow between reactant streams and practical serpentine flow channel design. 11 refs., 2 tabs., 10 figs.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shamsuddin Ilias


    Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the available chemical free energy directly into electrical energy, without going through heat exchange process. Of all different types of fuel cells, the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising power sources for stand-alone utility and electric vehicle applications. Platinum (Pt) Catalyst is used for both fuel and air electrodes in PEMFCs. However, carbon monoxide (CO) contamination of H{sub 2} greatly affects electro catalysts used at the anode of PEMFCs and decreases cell performance. The irreversible poisoning of the anode can occur even in CO concentrations as low as few parts per million (ppm). In this work, we have synthesized several novel elctrocatalysts (Pt/C, Pt/Ru/C, Pt/Mo/C, Pt/Ir and Pt/Ru/Mo) for PEMFCs. These catalysts have been tested for CO tolerance in the H{sub 2}/air fuel cell, using CO concentrations in the H{sub 2} fuel that varies from 10 to 100 ppm. The performance of the electrodes was evaluated by determining the cell potential against current density. The effects of catalyst composition and electrode film preparation method on the performance of PEM fuel cell were also studied. It was found that at 70 C and 3.5 atm pressure at the cathode, Pt-alloy catalyst (10 wt% Pt/Ru/C, 20 wt% Pt/Mo/C) were more CO tolerant than the 20 wt% Pt/C catalyst alone. It was also observed that spraying method was better than the brushing technique for the preparation of electrode film.

  12. Membrane cholesterol regulates lysosome-plasma membrane fusion events and modulates Trypanosoma cruzi invasion of host cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bárbara Hissa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi are able to invade several types of non-phagocytic cells through a lysosomal dependent mechanism. It has been shown that, during invasion, parasites trigger host cell lysosome exocytosis, which initially occurs at the parasite-host contact site. Acid sphingomyelinase released from lysosomes then induces endocytosis and parasite internalization. Lysosomes continue to fuse with the newly formed parasitophorous vacuole until the parasite is completely enclosed by lysosomal membrane, a process indispensable for a stable infection. Previous work has shown that host membrane cholesterol is also important for the T. cruzi invasion process in both professional (macrophages and non-professional (epithelial phagocytic cells. However, the mechanism by which cholesterol-enriched microdomains participate in this process has remained unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: In the present work we show that cardiomyocytes treated with MβCD, a drug able to sequester cholesterol from cell membranes, leads to a 50% reduction in invasion by T. cruzi trypomastigotes, as well as a decrease in the number of recently internalized parasites co-localizing with lysosomal markers. Cholesterol depletion from host membranes was accompanied by a decrease in the labeling of host membrane lipid rafts, as well as excessive lysosome exocytic events during the earlier stages of treatment. Precocious lysosomal exocytosis in MβCD treated cells led to a change in lysosomal distribution, with a reduction in the number of these organelles at the cell periphery, and probably compromises the intracellular pool of lysosomes necessary for T. cruzi invasion. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Based on these results, we propose that cholesterol depletion leads to unregulated exocytic events, reducing lysosome availability at the cell cortex and consequently compromise T. cruzi entry into host cells. The results also suggest that two different pools of

  13. Effect of cell-membrane composition on the growth and composition of a nonlytic enveloped mycoplasmavirus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Putzrath, R.M.; Cadden, S.P.; Maniloff, J.


    The effect of host cell membrane composition on viral growth and membrane composition was studied using MVL2, an enveloped nonlytic mycoplasmavirus. MVL2 contains seven proteins, with molecular weights of 67,800; 63,600; 60,900; 58,000; 52,400; 20,600; and 19,100. Cells grown in a medium which altered the fatty acid composition of the cell membrane lipids gave rise to viruses with similarly altered lipids. Near the lower limit of the membrane lipid phase transition cell growth was reduced, but no effect on viral adsorption or maturation could be found.

  14. prpC-related signal transduction is influenced by copper, membrane integrity and the alpha cleavage site

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Cathryn L Haigh; Victoria A Lewis; Laura J Vella; Colin L Masters; Andrew F Hill; Victoria A Lawson; Steven J Collins


    The copper-binding, membrane-anchored, cellular prion protein (PrPC) has two constitutive cleavage sites pro-ducing distinct N- and C-terminal fragments (N1/C1 and N2/C2). Using RKI3 cells expressing either human PrPC, mouse PrPC or mouse PrPC carrying the 3F4 epitope, this study explored the influence of the PrPC primary sequence on endoproteolytic cleavage and one putative PrPC function, MAP kinase signal transduction, in response to exoge-nous copper with or without a perturbed membrane environment. PrPC primary sequence, especially that around the N1/C1 cleavage site, appeared to influence basal levels of proteolysis at this location and extracellular signal-regulat-ed kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation, with increased processing demonstrating an inverse relationship with basal ERK1/2 activation. Human PrPC showed increased N1/C1 cleavage in response to copper alone, accompanied by spe-cific p38 and JNK/SAPK phosphorylation. Combined exposure to copper plus the cholesterol-sequestering antibiotic filipin resulted in a mouse PrPC-specific substantial increase in signal protein phosphorylation, accompanied by an increase in N1/C1 cleavage. Mouse PrPC harboring the human N1/C1 cleavage site assumed more human-like profiles basally and in response to copper and altered membrane environments. Our results demonstrate that the PrPC pri-mary sequence around the N1/C1 cleavage site influences endoproteolytic processing at this location, which appears linked to MAP kinase signal transduction both basally and in response to copper. Further, the primary sequence ap-pears to confer a mutual dependence of N1/C1 cleavage and membrane integrity on the fidelity of prpC-related signal transduction in response to exogenous stimuli.

  15. Infectious rotavirus enters cells by direct cell membrane penetration, not by endocytosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaljot, K.T.; Shaw, R.D.; Greenberg, H.B. (Stanford Univ. School of Medicine, CA (USA) Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical Center, CA (USA)); Rubin, D.H. (Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (USA))


    Rotaviruses are icosahedral viruses with a segmented, double-stranded RNA genome. They are the major cause of severe infantile infectious diarrhea. Rotavirus growth in tissue culture is markedly enhanced by pretreatment of virus with trypsin. Trypsin activation is associated with cleavage of the viral hemagglutinin (viral protein 3 (VP3); 88 kilodaltons) into two fragments (60 and 28 kilodaltons). The mechanism by which proteolytic cleavage leads to enhanced growth is unknown. To determine whether trypsin treatment affected rotavirus internalization, the authors studied the kinetics of entry of infectious rhesus rotavirus (RRV) into MA104 cells. Trypsin-activated RRV was internalized with a half-time of 3 to 5 min, while nonactivated virus disappeared from the cell surface with a half-time of 30 to 50 min. In contrast to trypsin-activated RRV, loss of nonactivated RRV from the cell surface did not result in the appearance of infection, as measured by plaque formation. Purified trypsin-activated RRV added to cell monolayers at pH 7.4 mediated {sup 51}Cr, ({sup 14}C)choline, and ({sup 3}H)inositol released from prelabeled MA104 cells. This release could be specifically blocked by neutralizing antibodies to VP3. These results suggest that MA104 cell infection follows the rapid entry of trypsin-activated RRV by direct cell membrane penetration. Cell membrane penetration of infectious RRV is initiated by trypsin cleavage of VP3. Neutralizing antibodies can inhibit this direct membrane penetration.

  16. Homeostatic restitution of cell membranes. Nuclear membrane lipid biogenesis and transport of protein from cytosol to intranuclear spaces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amalia Slomiany, Maria Grabska, Bronislaw L. Slomiany


    Full Text Available Our studies on homeostatic restitution of cellular and subcellular membranes showed that vesicular intracellular transport is engaged in systematic and coordinated replacement of lipids and proteins in the membranes of the secretory, non-dividing epithelial cells (Slomiany et al., J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 2004; 55: 837-860. In this report, we present evidence on the homeostatic restitution of lipids in the biomembranes that constitute nuclear envelopes. We investigated nuclear membranes lipid synthesis by employing purified intact nuclei (IN, the outer nuclear membrane (ONM, the inner nuclear membrane (INM and the cell cytosol (CC. In contrast to Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER which in the presence of CC generates new biomembrane that forms ER vesicles transporting ER products to Golgi, the IN, ONM and INM are not producing transport vesicles. Instead, the newly synthesized lipids remain in the nuclear membranes. The membranes (INM, ONM of IN incubated with CC become enriched with newly synthesized phosphatidylcholine (PC, phosphatidylinositol (PI, phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs and phosphatidic acid (PA. The incubation of separated ONM and INM with CC also enriched the membranes with IN specific lipids identified above. Moreover, the incubation of IN or its membranes with CC afforded retention of numerous CC proteins on the nuclear membrane. Here, we concentrated on 30kDa CC protein that displayed affinity to nuclear membrane PIP2. The 30kDa CC protein bound to PIP2 of IN, INM, and ONM. With IN, initially the PIP2-30kDa CC protein complex was detected on ONM, after 30-120 min of incubation, was found on INM and in nuclear contents. At the same time when the 30 kDa protein was released from INM and found in nuclear contents, the PIP2 of INM and ONM became undetectable, while the lipid extract from the membrane displaced from IN contained labeled PI only. Since ONM is an uninterrupted continuum of ER and INM, we speculate that the synthesis of

  17. Effects of high hydrostatic pressure on Escherichia coli ultrastructure, membrane integrity and molecular composition as assessed by FTIR spectroscopy and microscopic imaging techniques. (United States)

    Prieto-Calvo, María; Prieto, Miguel; López, Mercedes; Alvarez-Ordóñez, Avelino


    High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) is a novel food processing technology that is considered as an attractive alternative to conventional heat treatments for the preservation of foods, due to its lethal effects on pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, while causing minor effects on food quality and sensorial attributes. This study is aimed at investigating how HHP treatments at varying intensities in the range 50-900 MPa affect the viability, membrane integrity, ultrastructure and molecular composition of Escherichia coli. Results of membrane integrity tests (measurement of cellular leakage and monitoring of propidium iodide uptake through fluorescence microscopy) and ultrastructural observations by transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that HHP gave rise to cellular enlargement, membrane damage or detachment, DNA and protein denaturation and loss of intracellular contents. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analyses evidenced minor changes in molecular composition in response to high pressures, which were mostly observed on the spectral region w4 (1200-900 cm-1), mainly informative of carbohydrates and polysaccharides of the cell wall. These findings suggest that exposure of E. coli cells to HHP causes alterations in their physical integrity while producing minor modifications in biochemical cellular composition. The current study increases the knowledge on the mechanisms of E. coli inactivation by HHP and provides valuable information for the design of more effective food preservation regimes based on the integration of mild HHP in combination with other food preservation strategies into a multi-target hurdle technology approach.

  18. Measurement of the cell membrane capacitance and conductance of colonic crypt cells of the rat using the patch clamp technique

    CERN Document Server

    Schill, C


    Using the patch clamp technique the membrane capacitance and membrane conductance of colonic crypt cells of the rat was measured. The influence of the intracellular agonists Ca++, cAMP and of osmotic changes on the membrane capacitance and conductance was studied.

  19. Semicontinuous Production of Lactic Acid From Cheese Whey Using Integrated Membrane Reactor (United States)

    Li, Yebo; Shahbazi, Abolghasem; Coulibaly, Sekou; Mims, Michele M.

    Semicontinuous production of lactic acid from cheese whey using free cells of Bifidobacterium longum with and without nanofiltration was studied. For the semicontinuous fermentation without membrane separation, the lactic acid productivity of the second and third runs is much lower than the first run. The semicontinuous fermentation with nanoseparation was run semicontinuously for 72 h with lactic acid to be harvested every 24 h using a nanofiltration membrane unit. The cells and unutilized lactose were kept in the reactor and mixed with newly added cheese whey in the subsequent runs. Slight increase in the lactic acid productivity was observed in the second and third runs during the semicontinuous fermentation with nanofiltration. It can be concluded that nanoseparation could improve the lactic acid productivity of the semicontinuous fermentation process.

  20. A continuous membrane microbioreactor system for development of integrated pectin modification and separation processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zainal Alam, Muhd Nazrul Hisham Bin; Pinelo, Manuel; Samanta, Kama


    Evaluation of novel enzyme reactions and reactor systems is often hampered by costs related to obtaining sufficient amounts of enzymes. In this respect, it will be advantageous to assess new enzymatic processes in microbioreactors designed to resemble genuine reactor systems. In this work, we...... present a continuous membrane microbioreactor prototype for development of enzyme catalyzed degradation of pectin. Membrane reactors are becoming increasingly important for the novel ‘biorefining’ type of processes that either require product removal to avoid product inhibition or rest on partial...... hydrolysis of the substrate to obtain e.g. value-added oligosaccharides from complex biopolymers. The microbioreactor prototype was fabricated from poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) and poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) and designed as a loop reactor (working volume approximately 190μL) integrated...

  1. Efficient Nanoporous Silicon Membranes for Integrated Microfluidic Separation and Sensing Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ileri, N; L?tant, S E; Britten, J; Nguyen, H; Larson, C; Zaidi, S; Palazoglu, A; Faller, R; Tringe, J W; Stroeve, P


    Nanoporous devices constitute emerging platforms for selective molecule separation and sensing, with great potential for high throughput and economy in manufacturing and operation. Acting as mass transfer diodes similar to a solid-state device based on electron conduction, conical pores are shown to have superior performance characteristics compared to traditional cylindrical pores. Such phenomena, however, remain to be exploited for molecular separation. Here we present performance results from silicon membranes created by a new synthesis technique based on interferometric lithography. This method creates millimeter sized planar arrays of uniformly tapered nanopores in silicon with pore diameter 100 nm or smaller, ideally-suited for integration into a multi-scale microfluidic processing system. Molecular transport properties of these devices are compared against state-of-the-art polycarbonate track etched (PCTE) membranes. Mass transfer rates of up to fifteen-fold greater than commercial sieve technology are obtained. Complementary results from molecular dynamics simulations on molecular transport are reported.

  2. FOS-1 promotes basement-membrane removal during anchor-cell invasion in C. elegans. (United States)

    Sherwood, David R; Butler, James A; Kramer, James M; Sternberg, Paul W


    Cell invasion through basement membranes is crucial during morphogenesis and cancer metastasis. Here, we genetically dissect this process during anchor-cell invasion into the vulval epithelium in C. elegans. We have identified the fos transcription factor ortholog fos-1 as a critical regulator of basement-membrane removal. In fos-1 mutants, the gonadal anchor cell extends cellular processes normally toward vulval cells, but these processes fail to remove the basement membranes separating the gonad from the vulval epithelium. fos-1 is expressed in the anchor cell and controls invasion cell autonomously. We have identified ZMP-1, a membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase, CDH-3, a Fat-like protocadherin, and hemicentin, a fibulin family extracellular matrix protein, as transcriptional targets of FOS-1 that promote invasion. These results reveal a key genetic network that controls basement-membrane removal during cell invasion.

  3. Endogenously generated amyloid β increases membrane fluidity in neural 2a cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    NIU Ying; SHENG BaiYang; SONG Bo; LIU LingLing; ZHANG XiuFang; ZHAO NanMing; GONG YanDao


    The effect of endogenously generated amyloid β on membrane fluidity was investigated in Neural 2a cells stably expressing Swedish mutant amyloid precursor protein (APPswe). Membrane fluidity was studied by fluorescence polarizability using 1,6-Diphenyl-1,3,5-Hexatriene (DPH) as the fluorescence probe. It was found that the membrane fluidity in APPswe cells was significantly higher than that in its wild type counterparts. Alleviating the effect of amyloid β either by y secretase activity inhibition or by amyloid antibody treatment decreased membrane fluidity, which indicated an important role of amyloid β in increasing membrane fluidity. Treatment using amyloid β channel blocker, tromethamine and NA4 suggested that channel formed by amyloid β on the cell membrane is a way through which amyloid β takes its membrane fluidizing effect.

  4. Purinergically induced membrane fluidization in ciliary cells: characterization and control by calcium and membrane potential. (United States)

    Alfahel, E; Korngreen, A; Parola, A H; Priel, Z


    To examine the role of membrane dynamics in transmembrane signal transduction, we studied changes in membrane fluidity in mucociliary tissues from frog palate and esophagus epithelia stimulated by extracellular ATP. Micromolar concentrations of ATP induced strong changes in fluorescence polarization, possibly indicating membrane fluidization. This effect was dosage dependent, reaching a maximum at 10-microM ATP. It was dependent on the presence of extracellular Ca2+ (or Mg2+), though it was insensitive to inhibitors of voltage-gated calcium channels. It was inhibited by thapsigargin and by ionomycin (at low extracellular Ca2+ concentration), both of which deplete Ca2+ stores. It was inhibited by the calcium-activated potassium channel inhibitors quinidine, charybdotoxin, and apamine and was reduced considerably by replacement of extracellular Na+ with K+. Hyperpolarization, or depolarization, of the mucociliary membrane induced membrane fluidization. The degree of membrane fluidization depended on the degree of hyperpolarization or depolarization of the ciliary membrane potential and was considerably lower than the effect induced by extracellular ATP. These results indicate that appreciable membrane fluidization induced by extracellular ATP depends both on an increase in intracellular Ca2+, mainly from its internal stores, and on hyperpolarization of the membrane. Calcium-dependent potassium channels couple the two effects. In light of recent results on the enhancement of ciliary beat frequency, it would appear that extracellular ATP-induced changes both in ciliary beat frequency and in membrane fluidity are triggered by similar signal transduction pathways.

  5. Cell invasion through basement membrane: the anchor cell breaches the barrier. (United States)

    Hagedorn, Elliott J; Sherwood, David R


    Cell invasion through basement membrane (BM) is a specialized cellular behavior critical to many normal developmental events, immune surveillance, and cancer metastasis. A highly dynamic process, cell invasion involves a complex interplay between cell-intrinsic elements that promote the invasive phenotype, and cell-cell and cell-BM interactions that regulate the timing and targeting of BM transmigration. The intricate nature of these interactions has made it challenging to study cell invasion in vivo and model in vitro. Anchor cell invasion in Caenorhabditis elegans is emerging as an important experimental paradigm for comprehensive analysis of BM invasion, revealing the gene networks that specify invasive behavior and the interactions that occur at the cell-BM interface.

  6. Short-term effects of ultrahigh concentration cationic silica nanoparticles on cell internalization, cytotoxicity, and cell integrity with human breast cancer cell line (MCF-7)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seog, Ji Hyun [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology (Korea, Republic of); Kong, Bokyung [Corning Precision Materials (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Dongheun [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology (Korea, Republic of); Graham, Lauren M. [University of Maryland, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (United States); Choi, Joon Sig [Chungnam National University, Department of Biochemistry (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Sang Bok, E-mail: [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology (Korea, Republic of)


    High concentrations of cationic colloidal silica nanoparticles (CCS-NPs) have been widely used for the enrichment of plasma membrane proteins. However, the interaction between the CCS-NPs and cells under the required concentration for the isolation of plasma membrane are rarely investigated. We evaluated the internalization and toxicity of the 15 nm CCS-NPs which were exposed at high concentrations with short time in human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) with transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy, and colorimetric assays. The NPs were observed throughout the cells, particularly in the cytoplasm and the nucleus, after short incubation periods. Additionally, the NPs significantly influenced the membrane integrity of the MCF-7 cells.

  7. The spectrin-ankyrin-4.1-adducin membrane skeleton: adapting eukaryotic cells to the demands of animal life. (United States)

    Baines, Anthony J


    The cells in animals face unique demands beyond those encountered by their unicellular eukaryotic ancestors. For example, the forces engendered by the movement of animals places stresses on membranes of a different nature than those confronting free-living cells. The integration of cells into tissues, as well as the integration of tissue function into whole animal physiology, requires specialisation of membrane domains and the formation of signalling complexes. With the evolution of mammals, the specialisation of cell types has been taken to an extreme with the advent of the non-nucleated mammalian red blood cell. These and other adaptations to animal life seem to require four proteins--spectrin, ankyrin, 4.1 and adducin--which emerged during eumetazoan evolution. Spectrin, an actin cross-linking protein, was probably the earliest of these, with ankyrin, adducin and 4.1 only appearing as tissues evolved. The interaction of spectrin with ankyrin is probably a prerequisite for the formation of tissues; only with the advent of vertebrates did 4.1 acquires the ability to bind spectrin and actin. The latter activity seems to allow the spectrin complex to regulate the cell surface accumulation of a wide variety of proteins. Functionally, the spectrin-ankyrin-4.1-adducin complex is implicated in the formation of apical and basolateral domains, in aspects of membrane trafficking, in assembly of certain signalling and cell adhesion complexes and in providing stability to otherwise mechanically fragile cell membranes. Defects in this complex are manifest in a variety of hereditary diseases, including deafness, cardiac arrhythmia, spinocerebellar ataxia, as well as hereditary haemolytic anaemias. Some of these proteins also function as tumor suppressors. The spectrin-ankyrin-4.1-adducin complex represents a remarkable system that underpins animal life; it has been adapted to many different functions at different times during animal evolution.

  8. Preparation of electrolyte membranes for micro tubular solid oxide fuel cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) micro tubular electrolyte membranes for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) were prepared via the combined wet phase inversion and sintering technique. The as-derived YSZ mi- cro tubes consist of a thin dense skin layer and a thick porous layer that can serve as the electrode of fuel cells. The dense and the porous electrolyte layers have the thickness of 3-5 μm and 70-90 μm, respectively, while the inner surface porosity of the porous layer is higher than 28.1%. The two layers are perfectly integrated together to preclude the crack or flake of electrolyte film from the electrode. The presented method possesses distinct advantages such as technological simplicity, low cost and high reliability, and thus provides a new route for the preparation of micro tubular SOFCs.

  9. Shotgun proteomics and network analysis between plasma membrane and extracellular matrix proteins from rat olfactory ensheathing cells. (United States)

    Liu, Yisong; Teng, Xiaohua; Yang, Xiaoxu; Song, Qing; Lu, Rong; Xiong, Jixian; Liu, Bo; Zeng, Nianju; Zeng, Yu; Long, Jia; Cao, Rui; Lin, Yong; He, Quanze; Chen, Ping; Lu, Ming; Liang, Songping


    Olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) are a special type of glial cells that have characteristics of both astrocytes and Schwann cells. Evidence suggests that the regenerative capacity of OECs is induced by soluble, secreted factors that influence their microenvironment. These factors may regulate OECs self-renewal and/or induce their capacity to augment spinal cord regeneration. Profiling of plasma membrane and extracellular matrix through a high-throughput expression proteomics approach was undertaken to identify plasma membrane and extracellular matrix proteins of OECs under serum-free conditions. 1D-shotgun proteomics followed with gene ontology (GO) analysis was used to screen proteins from primary culture rat OECs. Four hundred and seventy nonredundant plasma membrane proteins and 168 extracellular matrix proteins were identified, the majority of which were never before reported to be produced by OECs. Furthermore, plasma membrane and extracellular proteins were classified based on their protein-protein interaction predicted by STRING quantitatively integrates interaction data. The proteomic profiling of the OECs plasma membrane proteins and their connection with the secretome in serum-free culture conditions provides new insights into the nature of their in vivo microenvironmental niche. Proteomic analysis for the discovery of clinical biomarkers of OECs mechanism warrants further study.

  10. Segmented polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells - A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez, Luis C.; Brandao, Lucia; Mendes, Adelio [LEPAE, Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto (Portugal); Sousa, Jose M. [LEPAE, Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto (Portugal); Chemistry Department, University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Apartado 202, 5001-911 Vila-Real Codex (Portugal)


    A complex interaction of many design, assembling and operating parameters as well as the properties of the materials used in the construction of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) result in an uneven electrochemical performance over the MEA active area. For more than one decade, segmented PEMFC (SFC) have been used to study the factors responsible for that uneven performance. This paper reviews relevant literature related to SFC published since 1998 focusing on the three most important SFC design techniques: (1) printed circuit board, (2) resistors network and (3) Hall effect sensors. First, the three techniques are described and fundamental considerations for its design, construction and electrochemical characterization are provided. After that, the effect of most important parameters on the current density distribution is highlighted. Finally, representative results combining current density distribution measurements with other analytical techniques for distributed analysis are presented. (author)

  11. Integrated forward osmosis-membrane distillation process for human urine treatment. (United States)

    Liu, Qianliang; Liu, Caihong; Zhao, Lei; Ma, Weichao; Liu, Huiling; Ma, Jun


    This study demonstrated a forward osmosis-membrane distillation (FO-MD) hybrid system for real human urine treatment. A series of NaCl solutions at different concentrations were adopted for draw solutions in FO process, which were also the feed solutions of MD process. To establish a stable and continuous integrated FO-MD system, individual FO process with different NaCl concentrations and individual direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) process with different feed temperatures were firstly investigated separately. Four stable equilibrium conditions were obtained from matching the water transfer rates of individual FO and MD processes. It was found that the integrated system is stable and sustainable when the water transfer rate of FO subsystem is equal to that of MD subsystem. The rejections to main contaminants in human urine were also investigated. Although individual FO process had relatively high rejection to Total Organic Carbon (TOC), Total Nitrogen (TN) and Ammonium Nitrogen (NH4(+)-N) in human urine, these contaminants could also accumulate in draw solution after long term performance. The MD process provided an effective rejection to contaminants in draw solution after FO process and the integrated system revealed nearly complete rejection to TOC, TN and NH4(+)-N. This work provided a potential treatment process for human urine in some fields such as water regeneration in space station and water or nutrient recovery from source-separated urine.

  12. Lipid bilayer-bound conformation of an integral membrane beta barrel protein by multidimensional MAS NMR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eddy, Matthew T. [The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology (United States); Su, Yongchao; Silvers, Robert; Andreas, Loren; Clark, Lindsay [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemistry (United States); Wagner, Gerhard [Harvard Medical School, Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology (United States); Pintacuda, Guido; Emsley, Lyndon [Université de Lyon, Centre de RMN à Très Hauts Champs, Institut des Sciences Analytiques (CNRS, ENS Lyon, UCB Lyon 1) (France); Griffin, Robert G., E-mail: [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemistry (United States)


    The human voltage dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC) is a 32 kDa β-barrel integral membrane protein that controls the transport of ions across the outer mitochondrial membrane. Despite the determination of VDAC solution and diffraction structures, a structural basis for the mechanism of its function is not yet fully understood. Biophysical studies suggest VDAC requires a lipid bilayer to achieve full function, motivating the need for atomic resolution structural information of VDAC in a membrane environment. Here we report an essential step toward that goal: extensive assignments of backbone and side chain resonances for VDAC in DMPC lipid bilayers via magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR). VDAC reconstituted into DMPC lipid bilayers spontaneously forms two-dimensional lipid crystals, showing remarkable spectral resolution (0.5–0.3 ppm for {sup 13}C line widths and <0.5 ppm {sup 15}N line widths at 750 MHz). In addition to the benefits of working in a lipid bilayer, several distinct advantages are observed with the lipid crystalline preparation. First, the strong signals and sharp line widths facilitated extensive NMR resonance assignments for an integral membrane β-barrel protein in lipid bilayers by MAS NMR. Second, a large number of residues in loop regions were readily observed and assigned, which can be challenging in detergent-solubilized membrane proteins where loop regions are often not detected due to line broadening from conformational exchange. Third, complete backbone and side chain chemical shift assignments could be obtained for the first 25 residues, which comprise the functionally important N-terminus. The reported assignments allow us to compare predicted torsion angles for VDAC prepared in DMPC 2D lipid crystals, DMPC liposomes, and LDAO-solubilized samples to address the possible effects of the membrane mimetic environment on the conformation of the protein. Concluding, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Xiao


    Full Text Available 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 hygrothermal aging effect on its properties, are particularly necessary. In this work, a thick membrane (Nafion N117, which is always used as an ionic polymer for the PEMFCs, has been analyzed. Experimental investigation is performed for understanding the mechanical endurance of the bare membranes under different loading conditions. Tensile tests are conducted to compare the mechanical property evolution of two kinds of bare-membrane specimens including the dog-bone and the deeply double edge notched (DDEN types. Both dog-bone and DDEN specimens were subjected to a series of degradation tests with different cycling times and wide humidity ranges. The tensile tests are repeated for both kinds of specimens to assess the strain-stress relations. Furthermore, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR, X-ray diffraction (XRD and Scanning electron microscope (SEM observation and water absorption measurement were conducted to speculate the cause of this variation. The initial cracks along with the increasing of bound water content were speculated as the primary cause.

  14. Meninges: from protective membrane to stem cell niche. (United States)

    Decimo, Ilaria; Fumagalli, Guido; Berton, Valeria; Krampera, Mauro; Bifari, Francesco


    Meninges are a three tissue membrane primarily known as coverings of the brain. More in depth studies on meningeal function and ultrastructure have recently changed the view of meninges as a merely protective membrane. Accurate evaluation of the anatomical distribution in the CNS reveals that meninges largely penetrate inside the neural tissue. Meninges enter the CNS by projecting between structures, in the stroma of choroid plexus and form the perivascular space (Virchow-Robin) of every parenchymal vessel. Thus, meninges may modulate most of the physiological and pathological events of the CNS throughout the life. Meninges are present since the very early embryonic stages of cortical development and appear to be necessary for normal corticogenesis and brain structures formation. In adulthood meninges contribute to neural tissue homeostasis by secreting several trophic factors including FGF2 and SDF-1. Recently, for the first time, we have identified the presence of a stem cell population with neural differentiation potential in meninges. In addition, we and other groups have further described the presence in meninges of injury responsive neural precursors. In this review we will give a comprehensive view of meninges and their multiple roles in the context of a functional network with the neural tissue. We will highlight the current literature on the developmental feature of meninges and their role in cortical development. Moreover, we will elucidate the anatomical distribution of the meninges and their trophic properties in adult CNS. Finally, we will emphasize recent evidences suggesting the potential role of meninges as stem cell niche harbouring endogenous precursors that can be activated by injury and are able to contribute to CNS parenchymal reaction.

  15. The Investigation and Development of Low Cost Hardware Components for Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells - Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    George A. Marchetti


    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell components, which would have a low-cost structure in mass production, were fabricated and tested. A fuel cell electrode structure, comprising a thin layer of graphite (50 microns) and a front-loaded platinum catalyst layer (600 angstroms), was shown to produce significant power densities. In addition, a PEM bipolar plate, comprising flexible graphite, carbon cloth flow-fields and an integrated polymer gasket, was fabricated. Power densities of a two-cell unit using this inexpensive bipolar plate architecture were shown to be comparable to state-of-the-art bipolar plates.

  16. Membrane dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendix, Pól Martin


    Current topics include membrane-protein interactions with regard to membrane deformation or curvature sensing by BAR domains. Also, we study the dynamics of membrane tubes of both cells and simple model membrane tubes. Finally, we study membrane phase behavior which has important implications...... for the lateral organization of membranes as wells as for physical properties like bending, permeability and elasticity...

  17. Spatial proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance under bromomethane poisoning (United States)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; Artyushkova, Kateryna; St-Pierre, Jean


    The poisoning effects of 5 ppm CH3Br in the air on the spatial performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) were studied using a segmented cell system. The presence of CH3Br caused performance loss from 0.650 to 0.335 V at 1 A cm-2 accompanied by local current density redistribution. The observed behavior was explained by possible bromomethane hydrolysis with the formation of Br-. Bromide and bromomethane negatively affected the oxygen reduction efficiency over a wide range of potentials because of their adsorption on Pt, which was confirmed by XPS. Moreover, the PEMFC exposure to CH3Br led to a decrease in the anode and cathode electrochemical surface area (∼52-57%) due to the growth of Pt particles through agglomeration and Ostwald ripening. The PEMFC did not restore its performance after stopping bromomethane introduction to the air stream. However, the H2/N2 purge of the anode/cathode and CV scans almost completely recovered the cell performance. The observed final loss of ∼50 mV was due to an increased activation overpotential. PEMFC exposure to CH3Br should be limited to concentrations much less than 5 ppm due to serious performance loss and lack of self-recovery.

  18. Assessment of Membrane Fluidity Fluctuations during Cellular Development Reveals Time and Cell Type Specificity

    KAUST Repository

    Noutsi, Pakiza


    Cell membrane is made up of a complex structure of lipids and proteins that diffuse laterally giving rise to what we call membrane fluidity. During cellular development, such as differentiation cell membranes undergo dramatic fluidity changes induced by proteins such as ARC and Cofilin among others. In this study we used the generalized polarization (GP) property of fluorescent probe Laurdan using two-photon microscopy to determine membrane fluidity as a function of time and for various cell lines. A low GP value corresponds to a higher fluidity and a higher GP value is associated with a more rigid membrane. Four different cell lines were monitored such as hN2, NIH3T3, HEK293 and L6 cells. Membrane fluidity was measured at 12h, 72h and 92 h. Our results show significant changes in membrane fluidity among all cell types at different time points. GP values tend to increase significantly within 92 h in hN2 cells and 72 h in NIH3T3 cells and only at 92 h in HEK293 cells. L6 showed a marked decrease in membrane fluidity at 72 h and starts to increase at 92 h. As expected, NIH3T3 cells have more rigid membrane at earlier time points. On the other hand, neurons tend to have the highest membrane fluidity at early time points emphasizing its correlation with plasticity and the need for this malleability during differentiation. This study sheds light on the involvement of membrane fluidity during neuronal differentiation and development of other cell lines.

  19. Assessment of Membrane Fluidity Fluctuations during Cellular Development Reveals Time and Cell Type Specificity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pakiza Noutsi

    Full Text Available Cell membrane is made up of a complex structure of lipids and proteins that diffuse laterally giving rise to what we call membrane fluidity. During cellular development, such as differentiation cell membranes undergo dramatic fluidity changes induced by proteins such as ARC and Cofilin among others. In this study we used the generalized polarization (GP property of fluorescent probe Laurdan using two-photon microscopy to determine membrane fluidity as a function of time and for various cell lines. A low GP value corresponds to a higher fluidity and a higher GP value is associated with a more rigid membrane. Four different cell lines were monitored such as hN2, NIH3T3, HEK293 and L6 cells. Membrane fluidity was measured at 12h, 72h and 92 h. Our results show significant changes in membrane fluidity among all cell types at different time points. GP values tend to increase significantly within 92 h in hN2 cells and 72 h in NIH3T3 cells and only at 92 h in HEK293 cells. L6 showed a marked decrease in membrane fluidity at 72 h and starts to increase at 92 h. As expected, NIH3T3 cells have more rigid membrane at earlier time points. On the other hand, neurons tend to have the highest membrane fluidity at early time points emphasizing its correlation with plasticity and the need for this malleability during differentiation. This study sheds light on the involvement of membrane fluidity during neuronal differentiation and development of other cell lines.

  20. Nanoporous gold membranes: From morphological control to fuel cell catalysis (United States)

    Ding, Yi

    stable, low Pt usage, and better tolerance to CO poisoning. We incorporated it as a membrane electrode into a working proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Preliminary results show that Pt/NPG has very good fuel cell performance at a very low platinum loading.

  1. Performance of polymer nano composite membrane electrode assembly using Alginate as a dopant in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (United States)

    Mulijani, S.


    Polymer membrane and composite polymer for membrane electrode assembly (MEAs) are synthesized and studied for usage in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). In this study, we prepared 3 type of MEAs, polystyrene (PS), sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) and composite polymer SPS-alginat membrane via catalyst hot pressed method. The performance and properties of prepared MEAs were evaluated and analyzed by impedance spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The result showed that, water up take of MEA composite polymer SPS-alginate was obtained higher than that in SPS and PS. The proton conductivity of MEA-SPS-alginate was also higher than that PS and PSS. SEM characterization revealed that the intimate contact between the carbon catalyst layers (CL) and the membranes, and the uniformly porous structure correlate positively with the MEAs prepared by hot pressed method, exhibiting high performances for DMFC.

  2. Performance of polymer nano composite membrane electrode assembly using Alginate as a dopant in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (United States)

    Mulijani, S.


    Polymer membrane and composite polymer for membrane electrode assembly (MEAs) are synthesized and studied for usage in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). In this study, we prepared 3 type of MEAs, polystyrene (PS), sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) and composite polymer SPS-alginat membrane via catalyst hot pressed method. The performance and properties of prepared MEAs were evaluated and analyzed by impedance spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The result showed that, water up take of MEA composite polymer SPS-alginate was obtained higher than that in SPS and PS. The proton conductivity of MEA-SPS-alginate was also higher than that PS and PSS. SEM characterization revealed that the intimate contact between the carbon catalyst layers (CL) and the membranes, and the uniformly porous structure correlate positively with the MEAs prepared by hot pressed method, exhibiting high performances for DMFC.

  3. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine. (United States)

    Pi, Jiang; Jin, Hua; Yang, Fen; Chen, Zheng W; Cai, Jiye


    The cell membrane, which consists of a viscous phospholipid bilayer, different kinds of proteins and various nano/micrometer-sized domains, plays a very important role in ensuring the stability of the intracellular environment and the order of cellular signal transductions. Exploring the precise cell membrane structure and detailed functions of the biomolecules in a cell membrane would be helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cell membrane signal transductions, which could further benefit research into cell biology, immunology and medicine. The detection of membrane biomolecules at the single molecule level can provide some subtle information about the molecular structure and the functions of the cell membrane. In particular, information obtained about the molecular mechanisms and other information at the single molecule level are significantly different from that detected from a large amount of biomolecules at the large-scale through traditional techniques, and can thus provide a novel perspective for the study of cell membrane structures and functions. However, the precise investigations of membrane biomolecules prompts researchers to explore cell membranes at the single molecule level by the use of in situ imaging methods, as the exact conformation and functions of biomolecules are highly controlled by the native cellular environment. Recently, the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes has attracted increasing attention from cell biologists and immunologists. The size of biomolecules and their clusters on the cell surface are set at the nanoscale, which makes it mandatory to use high- and super-resolution imaging techniques to realize the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In the past few decades, some amazing imaging techniques and instruments with super resolution have been widely developed for molecule imaging, which can also be further employed for the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In

  4. Multiphase transport in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Gauthier, Eric D.

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) enable efficient conversion of fuels to electricity. They have enormous potential due to the high energy density of the fuels they utilize (hydrogen or alcohols). Power density is a major limitation to wide-scale introduction of PEMFCs. Power density in hydrogen fuel cells is limited by accumulation of water in what is termed fuel cell `flooding.' Flooding may occur in either the gas diffusion layer (GDL) or within the flow channels of the bipolar plate. These components comprise the electrodes of the fuel cell and balance transport of reactants/products with electrical conductivity. This thesis explores the role of electrode materials in the fuel cell and examines the fundamental connection between material properties and multiphase transport processes. Water is generated at the cathode catalyst layer. As liquid water accumulates it will utilize the largest pores in the GDL to go from the catalyst layer to the flow channels. Water collects to large pores via lateral transport at the interface between the GDL and catalyst layer. We have shown that water may be collected in these large pores from several centimeters away, suggesting that we could engineer the GDL to control flooding with careful placement and distribution of large flow-directing pores. Once liquid water is in the flow channels it forms slugs that block gas flow. The slugs are pushed along the channel by a pressure gradient that is dependent on the material wettability. The permeable nature of the GDL also plays a major role in slug growth and allowing bypass of gas between adjacent channels. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) have analogous multiphase flow issues where carbon dioxide bubbles accumulate, `blinding' regions of the fuel cell. This problem is fundamentally similar to water management in hydrogen fuel cells but with a gas/liquid phase inversion. Gas bubbles move laterally through the porous GDL and emerge to form large bubbles within the

  5. Influence of preparative procedures on the membrane viscoelasticity of human red cell ghosts. (United States)

    Nash, G B; Tran-Son-Tay, R; Meiselman, H J


    The effects of systematic variations in the preparative procedures on the membrane viscoelastic properties of resealed human red blood cell ghosts have been investigated. Ghosts, prepared by hypotonic lysis at 0 degrees C and resealing at 37 degrees C, were subjected to: measurement of the time constant for extensional recovery (tc); measurement of the membrane shear elastic modulus (mu) via three separate techniques; determination of the membrane viscosity (eta m) via a cone-plate Rheoscope. Membrane viscosity was also determined as eta m = mu X tc. Compared to intact cells, ghosts had shorter tc, regardless of their residual hemoglobin concentration (up to 21.6 g/dl). However, prolonged exposure to hypotonic media did increase their recovery time toward the intact cell value. The shear elastic modulus, as judged by micropipette aspiration of membrane tongues (mu p), was similar for all ghosts and intact cells. This result, taken with the tc data, indicates that ghosts have reduced membrane viscosity. Rheoscopic analysis also showed that eta m was reduced for ghosts, with the degree of reduction (approx. 50%) agreeing well with that estimated by the product mu p X tc. However, flow channel and pipette elongation estimates indicated that the ghost membrane elastic modulus was somewhat elevated compared to intact cells. We conclude that: ghosts have reduced membrane viscosity; ghosts have membrane rigidities close to intact cells, except possibly when the membrane is subjected to very large strains; the reduction in eta m is not d