Sample records for cell membrane integrity

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jens Oluf; Li, Qingfeng

    voltage around 0.6 V. The target durability is more than 5,000 hours. A hydrocarbon reformer and a catalytic burner are to be developed and integrated with the stack. The key issue of the project is development and improvement of the temperature-resistant polymer membranes with respect to durability......, 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...

  2. 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...... are to be developed and integrated with the stack. The key issue of the project is development and improvement of the temperature-resistant polymer membranes with respect to durability, conductivity, mechanical and other properties. For this purpose, basic polymers will be first synthesized and optimized. Different...... routes to functionalize the polymers will be explored to increate proton conductivity. By the development of advanced materials, demonstration of the high temperature PEMFC stack and integration of such a system, FURIM is expected to sufficiently promote the commercialisation of the fuel cell technology...

  3. 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). Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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


    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......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....

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ingermann, R.L.


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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 [ 14 C]inulin, values (ml H 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf

    . A hydrocarbon reformer and a catalytic burner are to be developed and integrated with the stack. The key issue of the project is development and improvement of the temperature-resistant polymer membranes with respect to durability, conductivity, mechanical and other properties. For this purpose, basic polymers...... will be first synthesized and optimized. Different routes to functionalize the polymers will be explored to increate proton conductivity....

  8. Synthetic antimicrobial peptides of the halictines family disturb the membrane integrity of Candida cells. (United States)

    Kodedová, Marie; Sychrová, Hana


    We compared the potency of four derivatives of the antimicrobial peptide halictine-2 against six Candida species. Observed activity was peptide and species specific. Halictines rapidly permeabilized cell membranes and caused the leakage of cytosolic components. Their killing potential was enhanced by the commercial antimicrobial agent octenidine dihydrochloride. The effect on C. glabrata cells did not depend on the activity of Cdr pumps, but was influenced by their lipid composition. The pre-treatment of cells with myriocin, an inhibitor of sphingolipid synthesis, enhanced the peptides' activity, whereas pre-treatment with terbinafine and fluconazole, inhibitors of sterol synthesis, significantly weakened their efficacy. The killing efficacy of peptides increased in combination with amphotericin B. Thus the mode of action of halictines is likely to depend on the plasma-membrane sterols, which might explain the observed differences among the tested Candida species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Short communication: A study of Lactobacillus isolates' adherence to and influence on membrane integrity of human Caco-2 cells. (United States)

    Jose, Neethu M; Bunt, Craig R; McDowell, Arlene; Chiu, Jasper Z S; Hussain, Malik A


    The selection criteria of ideal probiotic bacteria are complex and involve many factors. One key criterion is based on the ability of the probiotic bacteria to adhere to the epithelial lining of the gastrointestinal tract. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare the adherence and influence on membrane integrity of 2 selected lactobacilli isolates-Lactobacillus rhamnosus MI13 (dairy food origin) and L. plantarum RC2 (bovine rumen origin)-to Caco-2 cells in the presence and absence of Escherichia coli. The adhesion and influence on membrane integrity properties of the 2 Lactobacillus isolates were compared with Escherichia coli, a human commensal bacterium. From the adhesion studies, we concluded that the bovine rumen isolate exhibited better adherence to Caco-2 cells than the dairy food isolate. In contrast, the dairy food isolate better protected the Caco-2 monolayer from damage induced by ethanol. Copyright © 2017 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Integral Membrane Proteins and Bilayer Proteomics


    Whitelegge, Julian P.


    Integral membrane proteins reside within the bilayer membranes that surround cells and organelles, playing critical roles in movement of molecules across them and the transduction of energy and signals. While their extreme amphipathicity presents technical challenges, biological mass spectrometry has been applied to all aspects of membrane protein chemistry and biology, including analysis of primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure, as well as the dynamics that accompany function...

  11. Integral membrane proteins and bilayer proteomics. (United States)

    Whitelegge, Julian P


    Integral membrane proteins reside within the bilayer membranes that surround cells and organelles, playing critical roles in movement of molecules across them and the transduction of energy and signals. While their extreme amphipathicity presents technical challenges, biological mass spectrometry has been applied to all aspects of membrane protein chemistry and biology, including analysis of primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures as well as the dynamics that accompany functional cycles and catalysis.

  12. Evidence for substantial maintenance of membrane integrity and cell viability in normally developing grape (Vitis vinifera L.) berries throughout development. (United States)

    Krasnow, Mark; Matthews, Mark; Shackel, Ken


    Fluorescein diacetate (FDA) was used as a vital stain to assay membrane integrity (cell viability) in mesocarp tissue of the developing grape (Vitis vinifera L.) berry in order to test the hypothesis that there is a substantial loss of compartmentation in these cells during ripening. This technique was also used to determine whether loss of viability was associated with symptoms of a ripening disorder known as berry shrivel. FDA fluorescence of berry cells was rapid, bright, and stable for over 1 h at room temperature. Confocal microscopy detected FDA staining through two to three intact surface cell layers (300-400 mum) of bisected berries, and showed that the fluorescence was confined to the cytoplasm, indicating the maintenance of integrity in both cytoplasmic as well as vacuolar membranes, and the presence of active cytoplasmic esterases. FDA clearly discriminated between living cells and freeze-killed cells, and exhibited little, if any, non-specific staining. Propidium iodide and DAPI, both widely used to assess cell viability, were unable to discriminate between living and freeze-killed cells, and did not specifically stain the nuclei of dead cells. For normally developing berries under field conditions there was no evidence of viability loss until about 40 d after veraison, and the majority (80%) of mesocarp cells remained viable past commercial harvest (26 degrees Brix). These results are inconsistent with current models of grape berry development which hypothesize that veraison is associated with a general loss of compartmentation in mesocarp cells. The observed viability loss was primarily in the locule area around the seeds, suggesting that a localized loss of viability and compartmentation may occur as part of normal fruit development. The cell viability of berry shrivel-affected berries was similar to that of normally developing berries until the onset of visible symptoms (i.e. shrivelling), at which time viability declined in visibly shrivelled

  13. Anoxia induces Ca2+ influx and loss of cell membrane integrity in rat extensor digitorum longus muscle. (United States)

    Fredsted, Anne; Mikkelsen, Ulla Ramer; Gissel, Hanne; Clausen, Torben


    Anoxia can lead to skeletal muscle damage. In this study we have investigated whether an increased influx of Ca2+, which is known to cause damage during electrical stimulation, is a causative factor in anoxia-induced muscle damage. Isolated extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles from 4-week-old Wistar rats were mounted at resting length and were either resting or stimulated (30 min, 40 Hz, 10 s on, 30 s off) in the presence of standard oxygenation (95% O2, 5% CO2), anoxia (95% N2, 5% CO2) or varying degrees of reduced oxygenation. At varying extracellular Ca2+ concentrations ([Ca2+]o), 45Ca influx and total cellular Ca2+ content were measured and the release of lactic acid dehydrogenase (LDH) was determined as an indicator of cell membrane leakage. In resting muscles, incubated at 1.3 mM Ca2+, 15-75 min of exposure to anoxia increased 45Ca influx by 46-129% (P<0.001) and Ca2+ content by 20-50% (P<0.001). Mg2+ (11.2 mM) reduced the anoxia-induced increase in 45Ca influx by 43% (P<0.001). In muscles incubated at 20 and 5% O2, 45Ca influx was also stimulated (P<0.001). Increasing [Ca2+]o to 5 mM induced a progressive increase in both 45Ca uptake and LDH release in resting anoxic muscles. When electrical stimulation was applied during anoxia, Ca2+ content and LDH release increased markedly and showed a significant correlation (r2=0.55, P<0.001). In conclusion, anoxia or incubation at 20 or 5% O2 leads to an increased influx of 45Ca. This is associated with a loss of cell membrane integrity, possibly initiated by Ca2+. The loss of cell membrane integrity further increases Ca2+ influx, which may elicit a self-amplifying process of cell membrane leakage.

  14. Integrated membrane and microbial fuel cell technologies for enabling energy-efficient effluent Re-use in power plants. (United States)

    Shrestha, Namita; Chilkoor, Govinda; Xia, Lichao; Alvarado, Catalina; Kilduff, James E; Keating, John J; Belfort, Georges; Gadhamshetty, Venkataramana


    Municipal wastewater is an attractive alternative to freshwater sources to meet the cooling water needs of thermal power plants. Here we offer an energy-efficient integrated microbial fuel cell (MFC)/ultrafiltration (UF) process to purify primary clarifier effluent from a municipal wastewater treatment plant for use as cooling water. The microbial fuel cell was shown to significantly reduce chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the primary settled wastewater effluent upstream of the UF module, while eliminating the energy demand required to deliver dissolved oxygen in conventional aerobic treatment. We investigated surface modification of the UF membranes to control fouling. Two promising hydrophilic monomers were identified in a high-throughput search: zwitterion (2-(Methacryloyloxy)-ethyl-dimethyl-(3-sulfopropyl ammoniumhydroxide, abbreviated BET SO 3 - ), and amine (2-(Methacryloyloxy) ethyl trimethylammonium chloride, abbreviated N(CH 3 ) 3 + ). Monomers were grafted using UV-induced polymerization on commercial poly (ether sulfone) membranes. Filtration of MFC effluent by membranes modified with BET SO 3 - and N(CH 3 ) 3 + exhibited a lower rate of resistance increase and lower energy consumption than the commercially available membrane. The MFC/UF process produced high quality cooling water that meets the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI) recommendations for COD, a suite of metals (Fe, Al, Cu, Zn, Si, Mn, S, Ca and Mg), and offered extremely low corrosion rates (<0.05 mm/yr). A series of AC and DC diagnostic tests were used to evaluate the MFC performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. A high efficient micro-proton exchange membrane fuel cell by integrating micro-nano synergical structures (United States)

    Peng, Hsien-Chih; Wang, Chung-Nan; Yeh, Tsung-Kuang; Su, Yu-Chuan; Pan, Chin; Tseng, Fan-Gang


    A silicon-based micro-proton exchange membrane fuel cell (μ-PEMFC) which carries out an outstanding cell performance and high efficient catalyst utilization ratio is proposed in this paper by the employment of three micro-nano synergical techniques. Firstly, a novel design incorporating multi-walled carbon nano-tubes (MWCNTs) on radial shaped micro-channel walls to form micro/nano reaction chambers which significantly enhance the reaction surface areas for the performance improvement. In the second, the dispensing of ionomer onto the three-phase zones in the reaction chambers is controlled by different rotation speed and the optimized distribution can therefore be achieved for the improvement of catalyst utilization. In the third, the cell interfacial strength is greatly enhanced by the employment of micro-interlocks for maintaining excellent interface between Nafion membrane and reaction chambers while minimizing the system size. A μ-PEMFC is successfully fabricated by integrating aforementioned synergical micro/nano structures altogether. The best cell efficiency is 26 mW cm-2 which corresponds to a catalyst utilization ratio of 38.2 W g-pt-1, and can be considered among the best performed micro-fuel cells.

  16. 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.

  17. Activity ranking of synthetic analogs targeting vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 by an integrated cell membrane chromatography system. (United States)

    Wang, Dongyao; Lv, Diya; Chen, Xiaofei; Liu, Yue; Ding, Xuan; Jia, Dan; Chen, Langdong; Zhu, Zhenyu; Cao, Yan; Chai, Yifeng


    Evaluating the biological activities of small molecules represents an important part of the drug discovery process. Cell membrane chromatography (CMC) is a well-developed biological chromatographic technique. In this study, we have developed combined SMMC-7721/CMC and HepG2/CMC with high-performance liquid chromatography and time-of-flight mass spectrometry to establish an integrated screening platform. These systems was subsequently validated and used for evaluating the activity of quinazoline compounds, which were designed and synthesized to target vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2. The inhibitory activities of these compounds towards this receptor were also tested using a classical caliper mobility shift assay. The results revealed a significant correlation between these two methods (R(2) = 0.9565 or 0.9420) for evaluating the activities of these compounds. Compared with traditional methods of evaluating the activities analogous compounds, this integrated cell membrane chromatography screening system took less time and was more cost effective, indicating that it could be used as a practical method in drug discovery. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. A kinetic model for voltage-gated ion channels in cell membranes based on the path integral method (United States)

    Erdem, Rıza; Ekiz, Cesur


    A kinetic model of cell membrane ion channels is proposed based on the path integral method. From the Pauli-type master equations valid on a macroscopic time scale, we derive a first-order differential equation or the kinetic equation which governs temporal evolution of the channel system along the paths of extreme probability. Using known parameters for the batrachotoxin (BTX)-modified sodium channels in squid giant axon, the time dependence of the channel activation and the voltage dependence of the corresponding time constants ( τ) are examined numerically. It is found that the channel activation relaxes to the steady (or equilibrium)-state values for a given membrane potential and the corresponding time constant reaches a maximum at a certain potential and thereafter decreases in magnitude as the membrane potential increases. A qualitative comparison between these results and the results of Hodgkin-Huxley theory, path probability method and thermodynamic models as well as the cut-open axon technique is presented. Good agreement is achieved.

  19. Improvement of proton exchange membrane fuel cell overall efficiency by integrating heat-to-electricity conversion (United States)

    Xie, Chungang; Wang, Shuxin; Zhang, Lianhong; Hu, S. Jack

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have shown to be well suited for distributed power generation due to their excellent performance. However, a PEMFC produces a considerable amount of heat in the process of electrochemical reaction. It is desirable to use thermal energy for electricity generation in addition to heating applications. Based on the operating characteristics of a PEMFC, an advanced thermal energy conversion system using "ocean thermal energy conversion" (OTEC) technology is applied to exploit the thermal energy of the PEMFC for electricity generation. Through this combination of technology, this unique PEMFC power plant not only achieves the combined heat and power efficiency, but also adequately utilizes heat to generate more valuable electricity. Exergy analysis illustrates the improvement of overall efficiency and energy flow distribution in the power plant. Analytical results show that the overall efficiency of the PEMFC is increased by 0.4-2.3% due to the thermal energy conversion (TEC) system. It is also evident that the PEMFC should operate within the optimal load range by balancing the design parameters of the PEMFC and of the TEC system.

  20. 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)

  1. Synthetic antimicrobial peptides of the halictines family disturb the membrane integrity of Candida cells

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kodedová, Marie; Sychrová, Hana


    Roč. 1859, č. 10 (2017), s. 1851-1858 ISSN 0005-2736 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR(CZ) TA04010638; GA ČR(CZ) GA16-03398S; GA MŠk(CZ) LQ1604; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : antimicrobial peptide * Candida * diS-C3(3) assay * membrane potential * membrane lipids * halictine Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology OBOR OECD: Microbiology Impact factor: 3.498, year: 2016

  2. Fuel cell membrane humidification (United States)

    Wilson, Mahlon S.


    A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell assembly has an anode side and a cathode side separated by the membrane and generating electrical current by electrochemical reactions between a fuel gas and an oxidant. The anode side comprises a hydrophobic gas diffusion backing contacting one side of the membrane and having hydrophilic areas therein for providing liquid water directly to the one side of the membrane through the hydrophilic areas of the gas diffusion backing. In a preferred embodiment, the hydrophilic areas of the gas diffusion backing are formed by sewing a hydrophilic thread through the backing. Liquid water is distributed over the gas diffusion backing in distribution channels that are separate from the fuel distribution channels.

  3. Cell Membrane Coating Nanotechnology. (United States)

    Fang, Ronnie H; Kroll, Ashley V; Gao, Weiwei; Zhang, Liangfang


    Nanoparticle-based therapeutic, prevention, and detection modalities have the potential to greatly impact how diseases are diagnosed and managed in the clinic. With the wide range of nanomaterials available, the rational design of nanocarriers on an application-specific basis has become increasingly commonplace. Here, a comprehensive overview is provided on an emerging platform: cell-membrane-coating nanotechnology. As a fundamental unit of biology, cells carry out a wide range of functions, including the remarkable ability to interface and interact with their surrounding environment. Instead of attempting to replicate such functions via synthetic techniques, researchers are now directly leveraging naturally derived cell membranes as a means of bestowing nanoparticles with enhanced biointerfacing capabilities. This top-down technique is facile, highly generalizable, and has the potential to greatly augment existing nanocarriers. Further, the introduction of a natural membrane substrate onto nanoparticles surfaces has enabled additional applications beyond those traditionally associated with nanomedicine. Despite its relative youth, there exists an impressive body of literature on cell membrane coating, which is covered here in detail. Overall, there is still significant room for development, as researchers continue to refine existing workflows while finding new and exciting applications that can take advantage of this developing technology. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 1H-NMR study of the impact of high pressure and thermal processing on cell membrane integrity of onions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gonzalez, M.E.; Barrett, D.M.; McCarthy, M.J.; Vergeldt, F.J.; Gerkema, E.; Matser, A.M.; As, van H.


    Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) relaxometry was used to study the effects of high pressure and thermal processing on membrane permeability and cell compartmentalization, important components of plant tissue texture. High pressure treated onions were subjected to pressure levels from 20 to

  10. Plasma membrane changes during programmed cell deaths. (United States)

    Zhang, Yingying; Chen, Xin; Gueydan, Cyril; Han, Jiahuai


    Ruptured and intact plasma membranes are classically considered as hallmarks of necrotic and apoptotic cell death, respectively. As such, apoptosis is usually considered a non-inflammatory process while necrosis triggers inflammation. Recent studies on necroptosis and pyroptosis, two types of programmed necrosis, revealed that plasma membrane rupture is mediated by MLKL channels during necroptosis but depends on non-selective gasdermin D (GSDMD) pores during pyroptosis. Importantly, the morphology of dying cells executed by MLKL channels can be distinguished from that executed by GSDMD pores. Interestingly, it was found recently that secondary necrosis of apoptotic cells, a previously believed non-regulated form of cell lysis that occurs after apoptosis, can be programmed and executed by plasma membrane pore formation like that of pyroptosis. In addition, pyroptosis is associated with pyroptotic bodies, which have some similarities to apoptotic bodies. Therefore, different cell death programs induce distinctive reshuffling processes of the plasma membrane. Given the fact that the nature of released intracellular contents plays a crucial role in dying/dead cell-induced immunogenicity, not only membrane rupture or integrity but also the nature of plasma membrane breakdown would determine the fate of a cell as well as its ability to elicit an immune response. In this review, we will discuss recent advances in the field of apoptosis, necroptosis and pyroptosis, with an emphasis on the mechanisms underlying plasma membrane changes observed on dying cells and their implication in cell death-elicited immunogenicity.

  11. Integrating microbial fuel cells with anaerobic acidification and forward osmosis membrane for enhancing bio-electricity and water recovery from low-strength wastewater. (United States)

    Liu, Jinmeng; Wang, Xinhua; Wang, Zhiwei; Lu, Yuqin; Li, Xiufen; Ren, Yueping


    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and forward osmosis (FO) are two emerging technologies with great potential for energy-efficient wastewater treatment. In this study, anaerobic acidification and FO membrane were simultaneously integrated into an air-cathode MFC (AAFO-MFC) for enhancing bio-electricity and water recovery from low-strength wastewater. During a long-term operation of approximately 40 days, the AAFO-MFC system achieved a continuous and relatively stable power generation, and the maximum power density reached 4.38 W/m 3 . The higher bio-electricity production in the AAFO-MFC system was mainly due to the accumulation of ethanol resulted from anaerobic acidification process and the rejection of FO membrane. In addition, a proper salinity environment in the system controlled by the addition of MF membrane enhanced the electricity production. Furthermore, the AAFO-MFC system produced a high quality effluent, with the removal rates of organic matters and total phosphorus of more than 97%. However, the nitrogen removal was limited for the lower rejection of FO membrane. The combined biofouling and inorganic fouling were responsible for the lower water flux of FO membrane, and the Desulfuromonas sp. utilized the ethanol for bio-electricity production was observed in the anode. These results substantially improve the prospects for simultaneous wastewater treatment and energy recovery, and further studies are needed to optimize the system integration and operating parameters. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Effect of acclimation medium on cell viability, membrane integrity and ability to consume malic acid in synthetic wine by oenological Lactobacillus plantarum strains. (United States)

    Bravo-Ferrada, B M; Tymczyszyn, E E; Gómez-Zavaglia, A; Semorile, L


    The aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of acclimation on the viability, membrane integrity and the ability to consume malic acid of three oenological strains of Lactobacillus plantarum. Cultures in the stationary phase were inoculated in an acclimation medium (Accl.) containing 0, 6 or 10% v/v ethanol and incubated 48 h at 28°C. After incubation, cells were harvested by centrifugation and inoculated in a synthetic wine, containing 14% v/v ethanol and pH 3.5 at 28°C. Viability and membrane integrity were determined by flow cytometry (FC) using carboxyfluorescein diacetate (cFDA) and propidium iodide. Bacterial growth and malic acid consumption were monitored in a synthetic wine during 15 days. In nonacclimated strains, the damage of bacterial membranes produced a dramatic decrease in microbial viability in synthetic wine. In contrast, survival of strains previously acclimated in Accl. with 6 and 10% v/v ethanol was noticeable higher. Therefore, acclimation with ethanol increased the cultivability in synthetic wine and consequently, the consumption of l-malic acid after 15 days of growth. Acclimation of oenological strains in media containing ethanol prior to wine inoculation significantly decreases the membrane damage and improves viability in the harsh wine conditions. The role of membrane integrity is crucial to warrant the degradation of l-malic acid. The efficiency of multiparametric FC in monitoring viability and membrane damage along with the malic acid consumption has a strong impact on winemaking because it represents a useful tool for a quick and highly reliable evaluation of oenological parameters. © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  13. 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.

  14. The Dependency in the Elasticity of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cell Wall upon Cell Viability and Membrane Integrity (United States)

    McPherson, Dacia; Zhu, Chenhui; Yi, Youngwoo; Clark, Noel


    In this study the elastic spring constant of the yeast cell wall is probed with the atomic force microscope (AFM) under variable conditions. Cells were sequentially analyzed in rich growth medium (YPD), a 0.8 M NaCl rich growth medium solution and an injection of 0.01% sodium azide solution. Cells in late log phase, which have variable diameters within three to five microns, were immobilized on a patterned silicon substrate with holes approximately 3.8um in diameter and 1.5um deep that was functionalized with polyethylenimine prior to cell application. Force curves were taken moving laterally across the cell in one dimension after exposure to each medium. Spring constants of the cells, calculated from force curves, displayed a positional dependency and marked differences in high osmolarity medium and after the injection of sodium azide. This study demonstrates the ability of the AFM to investigate changes in cell morphology and correlate those findings to underlying physiological processes.

  15. Cell invasion through basement membrane


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


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

  16. 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...


    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 thermopl......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...


    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

  19. Novel proteins, putative membrane transporters, and an integrated metabolic network are revealed by quantitative proteomic analysis of Arabidopsis cell culture peroxisomes. (United States)

    Eubel, Holger; Meyer, Etienne H; Taylor, Nicolas L; Bussell, John D; O'Toole, Nicholas; Heazlewood, Joshua L; Castleden, Ian; Small, Ian D; Smith, Steven M; Millar, A Harvey


    Peroxisomes play key roles in energy metabolism, cell signaling, and plant development. A better understanding of these important functions will be achieved with a more complete definition of the peroxisome proteome. The isolation of peroxisomes and their separation from mitochondria and other major membrane systems have been significant challenges in the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) model system. In this study, we present new data on the Arabidopsis peroxisome proteome obtained using two new technical advances that have not previously been applied to studies of plant peroxisomes. First, we followed density gradient centrifugation with free-flow electrophoresis to improve the separation of peroxisomes from mitochondria. Second, we used quantitative proteomics to identify proteins enriched in the peroxisome fractions relative to mitochondrial fractions. We provide evidence for peroxisomal localization of 89 proteins, 36 of which have not previously been identified in other analyses of Arabidopsis peroxisomes. Chimeric green fluorescent protein constructs of 35 proteins have been used to confirm their localization in peroxisomes or to identify endoplasmic reticulum contaminants. The distribution of many of these peroxisomal proteins between soluble, membrane-associated, and integral membrane locations has also been determined. This core peroxisomal proteome from nonphotosynthetic cultured cells contains a proportion of proteins that cannot be predicted to be peroxisomal due to the lack of recognizable peroxisomal targeting sequence 1 (PTS1) or PTS2 signals. Proteins identified are likely to be components in peroxisome biogenesis, beta-oxidation for fatty acid degradation and hormone biosynthesis, photorespiration, and metabolite transport. A considerable number of the proteins found in peroxisomes have no known function, and potential roles of these proteins in peroxisomal metabolism are discussed. This is aided by a metabolic network analysis that reveals a

  20. Hybrid membranes for fuel cells (United States)

    Bochkareva, S. S.; Shashkina, S. S.


    Fuel cells are a very efficient, reliable, durable, and environmentally friendly energy source. Membranes for fuel cells were developed based on nitrogen-containing high-molecular compounds and organic–inorganic composites. Their electrical conductivities were measured. The influence of a silicon block of composites on the proton exchange properties of membranes was proved.The comparative characterization of the studied materials was performed.

  1. Cell invasion through basement membrane (United States)

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


    Cell invasion through basement membrane is an essential part of normal development and physiology, and occurs during the pathological progression of human inflammatory diseases and cancer. F-actin-rich membrane protrusions, called invadopodia, have been hypothesized to be the “drill bits” of invasive cells, mediating invasion through the dense, highly cross-linked basement membrane matrix. Though studied in vitro for over 30 y, invadopodia function in vivo has remained elusive. We have recently discovered that invadopodia breach basement membrane during anchor cell invasion in C. elegans, a genetically and visually tractable in vivo invasion event. Further, we found that the netrin receptor DCC localizes to the initial site of basement membrane breach and directs invasion through a single gap in the matrix. In this commentary, we examine how the dynamics and structure of AC-invadopodia compare with in vitro invadopodia and how the netrin receptor guides invasion through a single basement membrane breach. We end with a discussion of our surprising result that the anchor cell pushes the basement membrane aside, instead of completely dissolving it through proteolysis, and provide some ideas for how proteases and physical displacement may work together to ensure efficient and robust invasion. PMID:24778942

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Diffusion of Integral Membrane Proteins in Protein-Rich Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Javanainen, Matti; Martinez-Seara, Hector; Metzler, Ralf


    -like dependence D ∝ 1/R. We propose that this 1/R law mainly arises due to geometrical factors: smaller proteins are able to avoid confinement effects much better than their larger counterparts. The results highlight that the lateral dynamics in the crowded setting found in native membranes is radically different......The lateral diffusion of embedded proteins along lipid membranes in protein-poor conditions has been successfully described in terms of the Saffman-Delbrück (SD) model, which predicts that the protein diffusion coefficient D is weakly dependent on its radius R as D ∝ ln(1/R). However, instead...... of being protein-poor, native cell membranes are extremely crowded with proteins. On the basis of extensive molecular simulations, we here demonstrate that protein crowding of the membrane at physiological levels leads to deviations from the SD relation and to the emergence of a stronger Stokes...

  5. Purge gas recovery of ammonia synthesis plant by integrated configuration of catalytic hydrogen-permselective membrane reactor and solid oxide fuel cell as a novel technology (United States)

    Siavashi, Fakhteh; Saidi, Majid; Rahimpour, Mohammad Reza


    The purge gas emission of ammonia synthesis plant which contains hazardous components is one of the major sources of environmental pollution. Using integrated configuration of catalytic hydrogen-permselective membrane reactor and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system is a new approach which has a great impact to reduce the pollutant emission. By application of this method, not only emission of ammonia and methane in the atmosphere is prevented, hydrogen is produced through the methane steam reforming and ammonia decomposition reactions that take place simultaneously in a catalytic membrane reactor. The pure generated hydrogen by recovery of the purge gas in the Pd-Ag membrane reactor is used as a feed of SOFC. Since water is the only byproduct of the electrochemical reaction in the SOFC, it is recycled to the reactor for providing the required water of the reforming reaction. Performance investigation of the reactor represents that the rate of hydrogen permeation increases with enhancing the reactor temperature and pressure. Also modeling results indicate that the SOFC performance improves with increasing the temperature and fuel utilization ratio. The generated power by recovery of the purging gas stream of ammonia synthesis plant in the Razi petrochemical complex is about 8 MW.

  6. Annexin A4 and A6 induce membrane curvature and constriction during cell membrane repair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boye, Theresa Louise; Maeda, Kenji; Pezeshkian, Weria


    that annexin A4 binds to artificial membranes and generates curvature force initiated from free edges, whereas annexin A6 induces constriction force. In cells, plasma membrane injury and Ca2+ influx recruit annexin A4 to the vicinity of membrane wound edges where its homo-trimerization leads to membrane......Efficient cell membrane repair mechanisms are essential for maintaining membrane integrity and thus for cell life. Here we show that the Ca2+- and phospholipid-binding proteins annexin A4 and A6 are involved in plasma membrane repair and needed for rapid closure of micron-size holes. We demonstrate...... curvature near the edges. We propose that curvature force is utilized together with annexin A6-mediated constriction force to pull the wound edges together for eventual fusion. We show that annexin A4 can counteract various plasma membrane disruptions including holes of several micrometers indicating...

  7. Organic membrane photonic integrated circuits (OMPICs). (United States)

    Amemiya, Tomohiro; Kanazawa, Toru; Hiratani, Takuo; Inoue, Daisuke; Gu, Zhichen; Yamasaki, Satoshi; Urakami, Tatsuhiro; Arai, Shigehisa


    We propose the concept of organic membrane photonic integrated circuits (OMPICs), which incorporate various functions needed for optical signal processing into a flexible organic membrane. We describe the structure of several devices used within the proposed OMPICs (e.g., transmission lines, I/O couplers, phase shifters, photodetectors, modulators), and theoretically investigate their characteristics. We then present a method of fabricating the photonic devices monolithically in an organic membrane and demonstrate the operation of transmission lines and I/O couplers, the most basic elements of OMPICs.

  8. Cell membrane structures during exocytosis. (United States)

    Savigny, Pascale; Evans, John; McGrath, Kathryn M


    Exocytosis is a key biological process that controls the neurotransmission and release of hormones from cells. In endocrine cells, hormones are packed into secretory vesicles and released into the extracellular environment via openings in the plasma membrane, a few hundred nanometers wide, which form as a result of fusion of the membranes of the granule and cell. The complex processes and dynamics that result in the formation of the fusion pore, as well as its structure, remain scantly understood. A number of different exocytosis mechanisms have been postulated. Furthermore, the possibility exists that several mechanisms occur simultaneously. We present here an investigation of the cell membrane dynamics during exocytosis in anterior pituitary cells, especially gonadotropes, which secrete LH, a hormone central to ovulation. Gonadotrope enrichment was achieved using immunolabeled magnetic nanobeads. Three complementary imaging techniques were used to realize a fine structure study of the dynamics of the exocytosis-like sites occurring during secretion. Living pituitary and gonadotrope-enriched cells were imaged with atomic force microscopy, as well as cells that had been fixed to obtain better resolution. Atomic force microscopy, along with scanning and transmission electron microscopy, studies of these cells revealed that there are at least two different site configurations: simple single fusion pores and a complex association of pores consisting of a simple primary site combined with secondary attachments.

  9. 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.

  10. 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%.

  11. Carboxylation of multiwalled carbon nanotube attenuated the cytotoxicity by limiting the oxidative stress initiated cell membrane integrity damage, cell cycle arrestment, and death receptor mediated apoptotic pathway. (United States)

    Liu, Zhenbao; Liu, Yanfei; Peng, Dongming


    In this study, the effects of carboxylated multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs-COOH) on human normal liver cell line L02 was compared with that of pristine multiwalled carbon nanotubes (p-MWCNTs). It was shown that compared with MWCNTs-COOH, p-MWCNTs induced apoptosis, reduced the level of intracellular antioxidant glutathione more significantly, and caused severer cell membrane damage as demonstrated by lactate dehydrogenase leakage. Cell cycles were arrested by both MWCNTs, while p-MWCNTs induced higher ratio of G0/G1 phase arrestment as compared with MWCNTs-COOH. Caspase-8 was also activated after both MWCNTs exposure, indicating extrinsic apoptotic pathway was involved in the apoptosis induced by MWCNTs exposure, more importantly, MWCNTs-COOH significantly reduced the activation of caspase-8 as compared with p-MWCNTs. All these results suggested that MWCNTs-COOH might be safer for in vivo application as compared with p-MWCNTs. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Relationship between sperm plasma membrane integrity and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Sperm quality plays an important role in determining fertility. The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between sperm plasma membrane integrity and morphology, and fertility following artificial insemination (AI). A total of 16 ejaculates were collected from three Large White boars using the gloved hand ...

  13. Molecular machines open cell membranes. (United States)

    García-López, Víctor; Chen, Fang; Nilewski, Lizanne G; Duret, Guillaume; Aliyan, Amir; Kolomeisky, Anatoly B; Robinson, Jacob T; Wang, Gufeng; Pal, Robert; Tour, James M


    Beyond the more common chemical delivery strategies, several physical techniques are used to open the lipid bilayers of cellular membranes. These include using electric and magnetic fields, temperature, ultrasound or light to introduce compounds into cells, to release molecular species from cells or to selectively induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) or uncontrolled cell death (necrosis). More recently, molecular motors and switches that can change their conformation in a controlled manner in response to external stimuli have been used to produce mechanical actions on tissue for biomedical applications. Here we show that molecular machines can drill through cellular bilayers using their molecular-scale actuation, specifically nanomechanical action. Upon physical adsorption of the molecular motors onto lipid bilayers and subsequent activation of the motors using ultraviolet light, holes are drilled in the cell membranes. We designed molecular motors and complementary experimental protocols that use nanomechanical action to induce the diffusion of chemical species out of synthetic vesicles, to enhance the diffusion of traceable molecular machines into and within live cells, to induce necrosis and to introduce chemical species into live cells. We also show that, by using molecular machines that bear short peptide addends, nanomechanical action can selectively target specific cell-surface recognition sites. Beyond the in vitro applications demonstrated here, we expect that molecular machines could also be used in vivo, especially as their design progresses to allow two-photon, near-infrared and radio-frequency activation.

  14. Molecular machines open cell membranes (United States)

    García-López, Víctor; Chen, Fang; Nilewski, Lizanne G.; Duret, Guillaume; Aliyan, Amir; Kolomeisky, Anatoly B.; Robinson, Jacob T.; Wang, Gufeng; Pal, Robert; Tour, James M.


    Beyond the more common chemical delivery strategies, several physical techniques are used to open the lipid bilayers of cellular membranes. These include using electric and magnetic fields, temperature, ultrasound or light to introduce compounds into cells, to release molecular species from cells or to selectively induce programmed cell death (apoptosis) or uncontrolled cell death (necrosis). More recently, molecular motors and switches that can change their conformation in a controlled manner in response to external stimuli have been used to produce mechanical actions on tissue for biomedical applications. Here we show that molecular machines can drill through cellular bilayers using their molecular-scale actuation, specifically nanomechanical action. Upon physical adsorption of the molecular motors onto lipid bilayers and subsequent activation of the motors using ultraviolet light, holes are drilled in the cell membranes. We designed molecular motors and complementary experimental protocols that use nanomechanical action to induce the diffusion of chemical species out of synthetic vesicles, to enhance the diffusion of traceable molecular machines into and within live cells, to induce necrosis and to introduce chemical species into live cells. We also show that, by using molecular machines that bear short peptide addends, nanomechanical action can selectively target specific cell-surface recognition sites. Beyond the in vitro applications demonstrated here, we expect that molecular machines could also be used in vivo, especially as their design progresses to allow two-photon, near-infrared and radio-frequency activation.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Oxygen/glucose deprivation increases the integration of recombinant P2X7 receptors into the plasma membrane of HEK293 cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Milius, Doreen; Groeger-Arndt, Helke; Stanchev, Doychin; Lange-Dohna, Christine; Rossner, Steffen; Sperlagh, Beata; Wirkner, Kerstin; Illes, Peter


    Recombinant human P2X 7 receptors, C-terminally labelled with enhanced green fluorescent protein (P2X 7 -EGFP), were transiently expressed in HEK293 cells. Activation of these receptors by their preferential agonist 2',3'-O-(4-benzoylbenzoyl)-ATP (BzATP) induced inward currents and propidium ion uptake indicating the opening of cationic channels and of large pores permeable for dye molecules, respectively. Two mutants of P2X 7 receptors (P2X 7 -EGFP-I568N, -E496A) representing polymorphisms in the P2X 7 gene known to interfere with normal receptor-trafficking and with optimal assembly of its subunits, responded with much lower current amplitudes to BzATP than their wild-type counterpart. Similarly, the normal propidium ion uptake induced by BzATP at the wild-type P2X 7 receptor was abolished by the two mutants. Confocal laser scanning microscopy indicated that in vitro ischemia of 12 h duration increased the integration of P2X 7 -EGFP, but not of its two mutants, into the plasma membrane of HEK293 cells. Further, this ischemic stimulus facilitated the current response to BzATP in HEK293 cells permanently transfected with P2X 7 receptors. Finally, the fluorescence intensity per cell measured by flow cytometry and P2X 7 antibodies directed against an extracellular, but not an intracellular epitope of the receptor, were also increased. In conclusion, P2X 7 receptors may alter their trafficking properties during ischemia and thereby contribute to the ATP-induced damage of various cell-types including neurons

  18. Lactobacillus casei combats acid stress by maintaining cell membrane functionality. (United States)

    Wu, Chongde; Zhang, Juan; Wang, Miao; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian


    Lactobacillus casei strains have traditionally been recognized as probiotics and frequently used as adjunct culture in fermented dairy products where lactic acid stress is a frequently encountered environmental condition. We have investigated the effect of lactic acid stress on the cell membrane of L. casei Zhang [wild type (WT)] and its acid-resistant mutant Lbz-2. Both strains were grown under glucose-limiting conditions in chemostats; following challenge by low pH, the cell membrane stress responses were investigated. In response to acid stress, cell membrane fluidity decreased and its fatty acid composition changed to reduce the damage caused by lactic acid. Compared with the WT, the acid-resistant mutant exhibited numerous survival advantages, such as higher membrane fluidity, higher proportions of unsaturated fatty acids, and higher mean chain length. In addition, cell integrity analysis showed that the mutant maintained a more intact cellular structure and lower membrane permeability after environmental acidification. These results indicate that alteration in membrane fluidity, fatty acid distribution, and cell integrity are common mechanisms utilized by L. casei to withstand severe acidification and to reduce the deleterious effect of lactic acid on the cell membrane. This detailed comparison of cell membrane responses between the WT and mutant add to our knowledge of the acid stress adaptation and thus enable new strategies to be developed aimed at improving the industrial performance of this species under acid stress.

  19. 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.

  20. Fuel-Cell Structure Prevents Membrane Drying (United States)

    Mcelroy, J.


    Embossed plates direct flows of reactants and coolant. Membrane-type fuel-cell battery has improved reactant flow and heat removal. Compact, lightweight battery produces high current and power without drying of membranes.

  1. Effect of Seminal Plasma Removal on Cell Membrane, Acrosomal Integrity and Mitochondrial Activity of Cooled Stallion Semen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhafer M. Aziz


    Full Text Available Fresh semen samples were collected from 11 warm blood stallions, each ejaculate was distributed into three equal parts. The first part was diluted in a skim milk-glucose diluent (SMG, the second part was diluted in a skim milk-glucose supplemented with Tyrode's medium (SMG-T, the third part was centrifuged to remove the seminal plasma, then the sperm was resuspended in the second diluent (SMG-T-C. The diluted semen were evaluated immediately after dilution (0 hour and at 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours of storage at 5°C. Flow cytometry was performed to determine sperm viability, mitochondrial activity and acrosomal integrity. Immediately after dilution the tested parameters of sperms that diluted in SMG-T was significantly (P<0.001 higher than those diluted with SMG and SMG-T-C, and with SMG-T-C were higher significantly (P<0.05 than those diluted with SMG. The decreasing rate in tested sperm parameter was greater significantly (P<0.001 in semen samples which were diluted with SMG than those diluted with SMG-T and SMG-T-C. In conclusion, the present study indicated that viability, acrosomal integrity, and mitochondrial activity of stallion sperms were better preserved in SMG-T in comparison with SMG, also centrifugation and removal of the seminal plasma have an adverse effect on these three sperm parameters.

  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. 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.

  4. Models of dynamic extraction of lipid tethers from cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nowak, Sarah A; Chou, Tom


    When a ligand that is bound to an integral membrane receptor is pulled, the membrane and the underlying cytoskeleton can deform before either the membrane delaminates from the cytoskeleton or the ligand detaches from the receptor. If the membrane delaminates from the cytoskeleton, it may be further extruded and form a membrane tether. We develop a phenomenological model for this process by assuming that deformations obey Hooke's law up to a critical force at which the cell membrane locally detaches from the cytoskeleton and a membrane tether forms. We compute the probability of tether formation and show that tethers can be extruded only within an intermediate range of force loading rates and pulling velocities. The mean tether length that arises at the moment of ligand detachment is computed as are the force loading rates and pulling velocities that yield the longest tethers

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Low Crossover Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (United States)

    Prakash, G. K. Surya; Smart, Marshall; Atti, Anthony R.; Olah, George A.; Narayanan, S. R.; Valdez, T.; Surampudi, S.


    Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC's) using polymer electrolyte membranes are promising power sources for portable and vehicular applications. State of the art technology using Nafion(R) 117 membranes (Dupont) are limited by high methanol permeability and cost, resulting in reduced fuel cell efficiencies and impractical commercialization. Therefore, much research in the fuel cell field is focused on the preparation and testing of low crossover and cost efficient polymer electrolyte membranes. The University of Southern California in cooperation with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is focused on development of such materials. Interpenetrating polymer networks are an effective method used to blend polymer systems without forming chemical links. They provide the ability to modify physical and chemical properties of polymers by optimizing blend compositions. We have developed a novel interpenetrating polymer network based on poly (vinyl - difluoride)/cross-linked polystyrenesulfonic acid polymer composites (PVDF PSSA). Sulfonation of polystyrene accounts for protonic conductivity while the non-polar, PVDF backbone provides structural integrity in addition to methanol rejection. Precursor materials were prepared and analyzed to characterize membrane crystallinity, stability and degree of interpenetration. USC JPL PVDF-PSSA membranes were also characterized to determine methanol permeability, protonic conductivity and sulfur distribution. Membranes were fabricated into membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) and tested for single cell performance. Tests include cell performance over a wide range of temperatures (20 C - 90 C) and cathode conditions (ambient Air/O2). Methanol crossover values are measured in situ using an in-line CO2 analyzer.

  8. Simultaneous evaluation of plasma membrane integrity, acrosomal integrity, and mitochondrial membrane potential in bovine spermatozoa by flow cytometry. (United States)

    Kanno, Chihiro; Kang, Sung-Sik; Kitade, Yasuyuki; Yanagawa, Yojiro; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki; Nagano, Masashi


    The present study aimed to develop an objective evaluation procedure to estimate the plasma membrane integrity, acrosomal integrity, and mitochondrial membrane potential of bull spermatozoa simultaneously by flow cytometry. Firstly, we used frozen-thawed semen mixed with 0, 25, 50, 75 or 100% dead spermatozoa. Semen was stained using three staining solutions: SYBR-14, propidium iodide (PI), and phycoerythrin-conjugated peanut agglutinin (PE-PNA), for the evaluation of plasma membrane integrity and acrosomal integrity. Then, characteristics evaluated by flow cytometry and by fluorescence microscopy were compared. Characteristics of spermatozoa (viability and acrosomal integrity) evaluated by flow cytometry and by fluorescence microscopy were found to be similar. Secondly, we attempted to evaluate the plasma membrane integrity, acrosomal integrity, and also mitochondrial membrane potential of spermatozoa by flow cytometry using conventional staining with three dyes (SYBR-14, PI, and PE-PNA) combined with MitoTracker Deep Red (MTDR) staining (quadruple staining). The spermatozoon characteristics evaluated by flow cytometry using quadruple staining were then compared with those of staining using SYBR-14, PI, and PE-PNA and staining using SYBR-14 and MTDR. There were no significant differences in all characteristics (viability, acrosomal integrity, and mitochondrial membrane potential) evaluated by quadruple staining and the other procedures. In conclusion, quadruple staining using SYBR-14, PI, PE-PNA, and MTDR for flow cytometry can be used to evaluate the plasma membrane integrity, acrosomal integrity, and mitochondrial membrane potential of bovine spermatozoa simultaneously.

  9. Diffuse Charge Effects in Fuel Cell Membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  10. Diffusion of Integral Membrane Proteins in Protein-Rich Membranes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Javanainen, M.; Martinez-Seara, Hector; Metzler, R.; Vattulainen, I.


    Roč. 8, č. 17 (2017), s. 4308-4313 ISSN 1948-7185 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP208/12/G016 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : giant unilamellar vesicles * single-molecule tracking * lipid bilayer membranes Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry OBOR OECD: Physical chemistry Impact factor: 9.353, year: 2016

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Profiling of the toxicity mechanisms of coated and uncoated silver nanoparticles to yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae BY4741 using a set of its 9 single-gene deletion mutants defective in oxidative stress response, cell wall or membrane integrity and endocytosis. (United States)

    Käosaar, Sandra; Kahru, Anne; Mantecca, Paride; Kasemets, Kaja


    The widespread use of nanosilver in various antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral products warrants the studies of the toxicity pathways of nanosilver-enabled materials toward microbes and viruses. We profiled the toxicity mechanisms of uncoated, casein-coated, and polyvinylpyrrolidone-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using Saccharomyces cerevisiae wild-type (wt) and its 9 single-gene deletion mutants defective in oxidative stress (OS) defense, cell wall/membrane integrity, and endocytosis. The 48-h growth inhibition assay in organic-rich growth medium and 24-h cell viability assay in deionized (DI) water were applied whereas AgNO3, H2O2, and SDS served as positive controls. Both coated AgNPs (primary size 8-12nm) were significantly more toxic than the uncoated (~85nm) AgNPs. All studied AgNPs were ~30 times more toxic if exposed to yeast cells in DI water than in the rich growth medium: the IC50 based on nominal concentration of AgNPs in the growth inhibition test ranged from 77 to 576mg Ag/L and in the cell viability test from 2.7 to 18.7mg Ag/L, respectively. Confocal microscopy showed that wt but not endocytosis mutant (end3Δ) internalized AgNPs. Comparison of toxicity patterns of wt and mutant strains defective in OS defense and membrane integrity revealed that the toxicity of the studied AgNPs to S. cerevisiae was not caused by the OS or cell wall/membrane permeabilization. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Cooperative tumour cell membrane targeted phototherapy (United States)

    Kim, Heegon; Lee, Junsung; Oh, Chanhee; Park, Ji-Ho


    The targeted delivery of therapeutics using antibodies or nanomaterials has improved the precision and safety of cancer therapy. However, the paucity and heterogeneity of identified molecular targets within tumours have resulted in poor and uneven distribution of targeted agents, thus compromising treatment outcomes. Here, we construct a cooperative targeting system in which synthetic and biological nanocomponents participate together in the tumour cell membrane-selective localization of synthetic receptor-lipid conjugates (SR-lipids) to amplify the subsequent targeting of therapeutics. The SR-lipids are first delivered selectively to tumour cell membranes in the perivascular region using fusogenic liposomes. By hitchhiking with extracellular vesicles secreted by the cells, the SR-lipids are transferred to neighbouring cells and further spread throughout the tumour tissues where the molecular targets are limited. We show that this tumour cell membrane-targeted delivery of SR-lipids leads to uniform distribution and enhanced phototherapeutic efficacy of the targeted photosensitizer.

  16. 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.

  17. Fuel cell subassemblies incorporating subgasketed thrifted membranes (United States)

    Iverson, Eric J.; Pierpont, Daniel M.; Yandrasits, Michael A.; Hamrock, Steven J.; Obradovich, Stephan J.; Peterson, Donald G.


    A fuel cell roll good subassembly is described that includes a plurality of individual electrolyte membranes. One or more first subgaskets are attached to the individual electrolyte membranes. Each of the first subgaskets has at least one aperture and the first subgaskets are arranged so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the first subgaskets. A second subgasket comprises a web having a plurality of apertures. The second subgasket web is attached to the one or more first subgaskets so the center regions of the individual electrolyte membranes are exposed through the apertures of the second subgasket web. The second subgasket web may have little or no adhesive on the subgasket surface facing the electrolyte membrane.

  18. 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.

  19. Molecular dynamics simulations of large integral membrane proteins with an implicit membrane model. (United States)

    Tanizaki, Seiichiro; Feig, Michael


    The heterogeneous dielectric generalized Born (HDGB) methodology is an the extension of the GBMV model for the simulation of integral membrane proteins with an implicit membrane environment. Three large integral membrane proteins, the bacteriorhodopsin monomer and trimer and the BtuCD protein, were simulated with the HDGB model in order to evaluate how well thermodynamic and dynamic properties are reproduced. Effects of the truncation of electrostatic interactions were examined. For all proteins, the HDGB model was able to generate stable trajectories that remained close to the starting experimental structures, in excellent agreement with explicit membrane simulations. Dynamic properties evaluated through a comparison of B-factors are also in good agreement with experiment and explicit membrane simulations. However, overall flexibility was slightly underestimated with the HDGB model unless a very large electrostatic cutoff is employed. Results with the HDGB model are further compared with equivalent simulations in implicit aqueous solvent, demonstrating that the membrane environment leads to more realistic simulations.

  20. Nanoparticle-Mediated Mechanical Destruction of Cell Membranes: A Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics Study. (United States)

    Zhang, Liuyang; Zhao, Yiping; Wang, Xianqiao


    The effects of binding mode, shape, binding strength, and rotational speed of actively rotating nanoparticles on the integrity of cell membranes have been systematically studied using dissipative particle dynamics simulations. With theoretical analyses of lipid density, surface tension, stress distribution, and water permeation, we demonstrate that the rotation of nanoparticles can provide a strong driving force for membrane rupture. The results show that nanoparticles embedded inside a cell membrane via endocytosis are more capable of producing large membrane deformations under active rotation than nanoparticles attached on the cell membrane surface. Nanoparticles with anisotropic shapes produce larger deformation and have a higher rupture efficiency than those with symmetric shapes. Our findings provide useful design guidelines for a general strategy based on utilizing mechanical forces to rupture cell membranes and therefore destroy the integrity of cells.

  1. Factors Determining the Oxygen Permeability of Biological Membranes: Oxygen Transport Across Eye Lens Fiber-Cell Plasma Membranes. (United States)

    Subczynski, Witold Karol; Widomska, Justyna; Mainali, Laxman


    Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spin-label oximetry allows the oxygen permeability coefficient to be evaluated across homogeneous lipid bilayer membranes and, in some cases, across coexisting membrane domains without their physical separation. The most pronounced effect on oxygen permeability is observed for cholesterol, which additionally induces the formation of membrane domains. In intact biological membranes, integral proteins induce the formation of boundary and trapped lipid domains with a low oxygen permeability. The effective oxygen permeability coefficient across the intact biological membrane is affected not only by the oxygen permeability coefficients evaluated for each lipid domain but also by the surface area occupied by these domains in the membrane. All these factors observed in fiber cell plasma membranes of clear human eye lenses are reviewed here.

  2. Structure and properties of cell membranes. Volume 3: Methodology and properties of membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benga, G.


    This book covers the topics: Quantum chemical approach to study the mechanisms of proton translocation across membranes through protein molecules; monomolecular films as biomembrane models; planar lipid bilayers in relation to biomembranes; relation of liposomes to cell membranes; reconstitution of membrane transport systems; structure-function relationships in cell membranes as revealed by X-ray techniques; structure-function relationships in cell membranes as revealed by spin labeling ESR; structure and dynamics of cell membranes as revealed by NMR techniques; the effect of dietary lipids on the composition and properties of biological membranes and index

  3. Focus on Membrane Differentiation and Membrane Domains in the Prokaryotic Cell

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  4. Integral membrane proteins in proteomics. How to break open the black box? (United States)

    Vit, O; Petrak, J


    Integral membrane proteins (IMPs) are coded by 20-30% of human genes and execute important functions - transmembrane transport, signal transduction, cell-cell communication, cell adhesion to the extracellular matrix, and many other processes. Due to their hydrophobicity, low expression and lack of trypsin cleavage sites in their transmembrane segments, IMPs have been generally under-represented in routine proteomic analyses. However, the field of membrane proteomics has changed markedly in the past decade, namely due to the introduction of filter assisted sample preparation (FASP), the establishment of cell surface capture (CSC) protocols, and the development of methods that enable analysis of the hydrophobic transmembrane segments. This review will summarize the recent developments in the field and outline the most successful strategies for the analysis of integral membrane proteins. Integral membrane proteins (IMPs) are attractive therapeutic targets mostly due to their many important functions. However, our knowledge of the membrane proteome is severely limited to effectively exploit their potential. This is mostly due to the lack of appropriate techniques or methods compatible with the typical features of IMPs, namely hydrophobicity, low expression and lack of trypsin cleavage sites. This review summarizes the most recent development in membrane proteomics and outlines the most successful strategies for their large-scale analysis. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Membrane phosphorylation and nerve cell function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, P.R.


    This thesis deals with the phosphorylation of membrane components. In part I a series of experiments is described using the hippocampal slice as a model system. In part II a different model system - cultured hybrid cells - is used to study protein and lipid phosphorylation, influenced by incubation with neuropeptides. In part III in vivo and in vitro studies are combined to study protein phosphorylation after neuroanatomical lesions. In a section of part II (Page 81-90) labelling experiments of the membrane inositol-phospholipids are described. 32 P-ATP was used to label phospholipids in intact hybrid cells, and short incubations were found to be the most favourable. (C.F.)

  6. The Tobacco mosaic virus Movement Protein Associates with but Does Not Integrate into Biological Membranes (United States)

    Peiró, Ana; Martínez-Gil, Luis; Tamborero, Silvia; Pallás, Vicente


    ABSTRACT Plant positive-strand RNA viruses require association with plant cell endomembranes for viral translation and replication, as well as for intra- and intercellular movement of the viral progeny. The membrane association and RNA binding of the Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) movement protein (MP) are vital for orchestrating the macromolecular network required for virus movement. A previously proposed topological model suggests that TMV MP is an integral membrane protein with two putative α-helical transmembrane (TM) segments. Here we tested this model using an experimental system that measured the efficiency with which natural polypeptide segments were inserted into the ER membrane under conditions approximating the in vivo situation, as well as in planta. Our results demonstrated that the two hydrophobic regions (HRs) of TMV MP do not span biological membranes. We further found that mutations to alter the hydrophobicity of the first HR modified membrane association and precluded virus movement. We propose a topological model in which the TMV MP HRs intimately associate with the cellular membranes, allowing maximum exposure of the hydrophilic domains of the MP to the cytoplasmic cellular components. IMPORTANCE To facilitate plant viral infection and spread, viruses encode one or more movement proteins (MPs) that interact with ER membranes. The present work investigated the membrane association of the 30K MP of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), and the results challenge the previous topological model, which predicted that the TMV MP behaves as an integral membrane protein. The current data provide greatly needed clarification of the topological model and provide substantial evidence that TMV MP is membrane associated only at the cytoplasmic face of the membrane and that neither of its domains is integrated into the membrane or translocated into the lumen. Understanding the topology of MPs in the ER is vital for understanding the role of the ER in plant virus transport

  7. 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...

  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. Shock and vibration effects on performance reliability and mechanical integrity of proton exchange membrane fuel cells: A critical review and discussion (United States)

    Haji Hosseinloo, Ashkan; Ehteshami, Mohsen Mousavi


    Performance reliability and mechanical integrity are the main bottlenecks in mass commercialization of PEMFCs for applications with inherent harsh environment such as automotive and aerospace applications. Imparted shock and vibration to the fuel cell in such applications could bring about numerous issues including clamping torque loosening, gas leakage, increased electrical resistance, and structural damage and breakage. Here, we provide a comprehensive review and critique of the literature focusing on the effects of mechanically harsh environment on PEMFCs, and at the end, we suggest two main future directions in FC technology research that need immediate attention: (i) developing a generic and adequately accurate dynamic model of PEMFCs to assess the dynamic response of FC devices, and (ii) designing effective and robust shock and vibration protection systems based on the developed models in (i).

  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).

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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......, putative integral membrane proteins were identified among the approximately 25,500 proteins in the Arabidopsis genome DBs. By averaging the predictions from seven programs, approximately 6,500 proteins were classified as transmembrane (TM) candidate proteins. Some 1,800 of these contain at least four TM...

  15. 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

  16. Loss of outer membrane integrity in Gram-negative bacteria by silver ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Mater. Sci., Vol. 39, No. 7, December 2016, pp. 1871–1878. c Indian Academy of Sciences. DOI 10.1007/s12034-016-1317-5. Loss of outer membrane integrity in Gram-negative bacteria by silver nanoparticles loaded with Camellia sinensis leaf phytochemicals: plausible mechanism of bacterial cell disintegration. M SINGH.

  17. Interactions of Model Cell Membranes with Nanoparticles (United States)

    D'Angelo, S. M.; Camesano, T. A.; Nagarajan, R.


    The same properties that give nanoparticles their enhanced function, such as high surface area, small size, and better conductivity, can also alter the cytotoxicity of nanomaterials. Ultimately, many of these nanomaterials will be released into the environment, and can cause cytotoxic effects to environmental bacteria, aquatic organisms, and humans. Previous results from our laboratory suggest that nanoparticles can have a detrimental effect on cells, depending on nanoparticle size. It is our goal to characterize the properties of nanomaterials that can result in membrane destabilization. We tested the effects of nanoparticle size and chemical functionalization on nanoparticle-membrane interactions. Gold nanoparticles at 2, 5,10, and 80 nm were investigated, with a concentration of 1.1x1010 particles/mL. Model cell membranes were constructed of of L-α-phosphatidylcholine (egg PC), which has negatively charged lipid headgroups. A quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) was used to measure frequency changes at different overtones, which were related to mass changes corresponding to nanoparticle interaction with the model membrane. In QCM-D, a lipid bilayer is constructed on a silicon dioxide crystal. The crystals, oscillate at different harmonic frequencies depending upon changes in mass or energy dissipation. When mass is added to the crystal surface, such as through addition of a lipid vesicle solution, the frequency change decreases. By monitoring the frequency and dissipation, we could verify that a supported lipid bilayer (SLB) formed on the silica surface. After formation of the SLB, the nanoparticles can be added to the system, and the changes in frequency and dissipation are monitored in order to build a mechanistic understanding of nanoparticle-cell membrane interactions. For all of the smaller nanoparticles (2, 5, and 10 nm), nanoparticle addition caused a loss of mass from the lipid bilayer, which appears to be due to the formation of holes

  18. A study for the research trends of membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sener, T.


    'Full text:' A single PEM fuel cell is comprised of a membrane electrode assembly, two bipolar plates and two fields. Membrane electrode assembly is the basic component of PEM fuel cell due to its cost and function, and it consists a membrane sandwiched between two electrocatalyst layers/electrodes and two gas diffusion layers. Increasing the PEM fuel cell operation temperature from 80 o C to 150-200 o C will prevent electrocatalysts CO poisoning and increase the fuel cell performance. Therefore, membranes must have chemical and mechanical resistance and must keep enough water at high temperatures. The aim of membrane studies through fuel cell commercialization is to produce a less expensive thin membrane with high operation temperature, chemical and mechanical resistance and water adsorption capacity. Within this frame, alternative membrane materials, membrane electrode assembly manufacture and evaluation methods are being studied. In this paper, recent studies are reviewed to give a conclusion for research trends. (author)

  19. 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.

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

    Masel, Richard I [Champaign, IL; York, Cynthia A [Newington, CT; Waszczuk, Piotr [White Bear Lake, MN; Wieckowski, Andrzej [Champaign, IL


    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.

  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. Highly durable direct hydrazine hydrate anion exchange membrane fuel cell (United States)

    Sakamoto, Tomokazu; Serov, Alexey; Masuda, Teruyuki; Kamakura, Masaki; Yoshimoto, Koji; Omata, Takuya; Kishi, Hirofumi; Yamaguchi, Susumu; Hori, Akihiro; Horiuchi, Yousuke; Terada, Tomoaki; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Atanassov, Plamen; Tanaka, Hirohisa


    The factors influenced on degradation of direct hydrazine hydrate fuel cells (DHFCs) under operation conditions are analyzed by in situ soft X-ray radiography. A durability of DHFCs is significantly improved by multi-step reaction DHFCs (MSR-DHFCs) approach designed to decrease the crossover of liquid fuel. An open circuit voltage (OCV) as well as cell voltage at 5 mA cm-2 of MSR-DHFC construct with commercial anion exchange membrane (AEM) maintained for over of 3500 h at 60 °C. Furthermore, the commercial proton exchange membrane (PEM) is integrated into AEM of MSR-DHFCs resulting in stable power output of MSR-DHFCs for over than 2800 h at 80 °C.

  3. In vivo analysis of stromal integration of multilayer amniotic membrane transplantation in corneal ulcers. (United States)

    Nubile, Mario; Dua, Harminder S; Lanzini, Manuela; Ciancaglini, Marco; Calienno, Roberta; Said, Dalia G; Pocobelli, Augusto; Mastropasqua, Rodolfo; Carpineto, Paolo


    To evaluate integration of amniotic membrane into the corneal stroma using laser scanning in vivo confocal microscopy and anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT). Prospective noncomparative interventional case series. Twenty-two eyes of 22 consecutive patients (mean age 53.9 ± 9.2 years) presenting with noninfectious corneal ulcers and stromal thinning unresponsive to medical treatment were enrolled. Multiple layers of amniotic membrane were applied over the ulcer bed to fill the ulcer crater and held in place with an overlying amniotic membrane patch, which was anchored to the surrounding cornea with 10-0 nylon interrupted sutures. Outcome measures were healing of the corneal ulcers, corneal morphology and stromal thickness changes at the ulcer site as measured by AS-OCT and surface epithelialization, stromal repopulation, and structural modifications of the amniotic membrane grafts as evaluated by confocal microscopy. Follow-up extended to 12 months. Successful result was observed in 20 of 22 eyes (90.9%). AS-OCT showed that the mean residual stromal thickness at the ulcer bed was 222 ± 70 μm before surgery. The mean thickness of amniotic membrane layers at the same site was 394 ± 80 μm while the mean total corneal thickness was 623 ± 51 μm at day 1 post surgery. Thereafter a progressive reduction in thickness to 420 ± 61 μm at 6 months occurred, after which the thickness stabilized. Confocal microscopy showed that integration of the amniotic membrane tissues with corneal stroma was preceded by epithelialization over the amniotic membrane covering the ulcer. This occurred 15 ± 5 days post surgery in the successful cases. Confocal microscopy also showed that the amniotic membrane patch was degraded during the first few weeks after surgery, while the integrated amniotic tissues underwent progressive modifications characterized by early loss of amniotic epithelial cells, changes in fibrillar structure, and migration into the amniotic stroma

  4. [Parotid basal cell adenoma of membranous type]. (United States)

    Farah-Klibi, Faten; Ferchiou, Malek; Kourda, Jihène; El Amine, Olfa; Ferjaoui, Mohamed; Ben Jilani, Sarrah; Zermani, Rachida


    Basal cell adenoma (BCA) is a rare benign neoplasm characterized by the basaloid appearance of the tumour cells and the lack of myxo-chondroid stromal component present in pleomorphic adenoma. We report a case of basal cell adenoma of membranous type, highly suspected of malignancy because of the presence of mediastinal lymph nodes and pulmonary nodules which finally were related to an associated sarcoidosis. Our patient was an 80-year-old woman who presented a swelling of the right parotid two years ago. The clinical examination revealed a solid, indolent and mobile mass. A chest radiography noted mediastinal lymph nodes. The CT-scan confirmed the presence of mediastinal and tracheal lymph nodes with pulmonary nodules. So the diagnosis of metastatic malignant salivary gland tumor was suspected. Finally, the histological examination concluded to a basal cell adenoma of membranous type with sarcoidosis granulomas in the parotid and in the lymph nodes. The BCA is a benign tumor located generally in the parotid gland. When the malignancy is suspected, like in our case, this tumor must be differentiated from the basal cell adenocarcinoma using histological criteria.

  5. Properties, degradation and high temperature fuel cell test of different types of PBI and PBI blend membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Qingfeng; Rudbeck, Hans Christian; Chromik, Andreas


    Polybenzimidazoles (PBIs) with synthetically modified structures and their blends with a partially fluorinated sulfonated aromatic polyether have been prepared and characterized for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Significant improvement in the polymer chemical stability...... to further improve the polymer stability and assist maintaining the membrane integrity. Upon acid doping the membrane swelling was reduced for the modified PBI and their blend membranes, which, in turn, results in enhancement of the mechanical strength, proton conductivity and high temperature fuel cell...

  6. Membrane tension: A challenging but universal physical parameter in cell biology. (United States)

    Pontes, Bruno; Monzo, Pascale; Gauthier, Nils C


    The plasma membrane separates the interior of cells from the outside environment. The membrane tension, defined as the force per unit length acting on a cross-section of membrane, regulates many vital biological processes. In this review, we summarize the first historical findings and the latest advances, showing membrane tension as an important physical parameter in cell biology. We also discuss how this parameter must be better integrated and we propose experimental approaches for key unanswered questions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Membrane Purification Cell for Aluminum Recycling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David DeYoung; James Wiswall; Cong Wang


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

  8. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  10. α-Synuclein oligomers induced by docosahexaenoic acid affect membrane integrity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiara Fecchio

    Full Text Available A key feature of Parkinson disease is the aggregation of α-synuclein and its intracellular deposition in fibrillar form. Increasing evidence suggests that the pathogenicity of α-synuclein is correlated with the activity of oligomers formed in the early stages of its aggregation process. Oligomers toxicity seems to be associated with both their ability to bind and affect the integrity of lipid membranes. Previously, we demonstrated that α-synuclein forms oligomeric species in the presence of docosahexaenoic acid and that these species are toxic to cells. Here we studied how interaction of these oligomers with membranes results in cell toxicity, using cellular membrane-mimetic and cell model systems. We found that α-synuclein oligomers are able to interact with large and small unilamellar negatively charged vesicles acquiring an increased amount of α-helical structure, which induces small molecules release. We explored the possibility that oligomers effects on membranes could be due to pore formation, to a detergent-like effect or to fibril growth on the membrane. Our biophysical and cellular findings are consistent with a model where α-synuclein oligomers are embedded into the lipid bilayer causing transient alteration of membrane permeability.

  11. Function of nuclear membrane proteins in shaping the nuclear envelope integrity during closed mitosis. (United States)

    Yang, Hui-Ju; Iwamoto, Masaaki; Hiraoka, Yasushi; Haraguchi, Tokuko


    The nuclear envelope (NE) not only protects the genome from being directly accessed by detrimental agents but also regulates genome organization. Breaches in NE integrity threaten genome stability and impede cellular function. Nonetheless, the NE constantly remodels, and NE integrity is endangered in dividing or differentiating cells. Specifically, in unicellular eukaryotes undergoing closed mitosis, the NE expands instead of breaking down during chromosome segregation. The newly assembling nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) penetrate the existing NE in interphase. A peculiar example of NE remodelling during nuclear differentiation in Tetrahymena involves formation of the redundant NE and clustered NPCs. Even under these conditions, the NE remains intact. Many recent studies on unicellular organisms have revealed that nuclear membrane proteins, such as LEM-domain proteins, play a role in maintaining NE integrity. This review summarizes and discusses how nuclear membrane proteins participate in NE integrity. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Japanese Biochemical Society. All rights reserved.

  12. Membrane rafts of the human red blood cell. (United States)

    Ciana, Annarita; Achilli, Cesare; Minetti, Giampaolo


    The cell type of election for the study of cell membranes, the mammalian non-nucleated erythrocyte, has been scarcely considered in the research of membrane rafts of the plasma membrane. However, detergent-resistant-membranes (DRM) were actually first described in human erythrocytes, as a fraction resisting solubilization by the nonionic detergent Triton X-100. These DRMs were insoluble entities of high density, easily pelleted by centrifugation, as opposed to the now accepted concept of lipid raft-like membrane fractions as material floating in low-density regions of sucrose gradients. The present article reviews the available literature on membrane rafts/DRMs in human erythrocytes from an historical point of view, describing the experiments that provided the solution to the above described discrepancy and suggesting possible avenue of research in the field of membrane rafts that, moving from the most studied model of living cell membrane, the erythrocyte's, could be relevant also for other cell types.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Roles of DNA repair and membrane integrity in heat resistance of Deinococcus radiodurans. (United States)

    Bauermeister, Anja; Hahn, Claudia; Rettberg, Petra; Reitz, Günther; Moeller, Ralf


    To study the effects of heat shock on Deinococcus radiodurans and the role of DNA repair in high temperature resistance, different strains of D. radiodurans (wild type, recA, irrE, and pprA) were treated with temperatures ranging from 40 to 100 °C under wet and dry conditions. The mutant strains were more sensitive to wet heat of ≥60 °C and dry heat of ≥80 °C than the wild type. Both wild-type and DNA repair-deficient strains were much more resistant to high temperatures when exposed in the dried state as opposed to cells in suspension. Molecular staining techniques with the wild-type strain revealed that cells in the dried state were able to retain membrane integrity after drying and subsequent heat exposure, while heat-exposed cells in suspension showed significant loss of membrane integrity and respiration activity. The results suggest that the repair of DNA damage (e.g., DNA double-strand breaks by RecA and PprA) is essential after treatment with wet heat at temperatures >60 °C and dry heat >80 °C, and the ability of D. radiodurans to stabilize its plasma membrane during dehydration might represent one aspect in the protection of dried cells from heat-induced membrane damage.

  16. 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

  17. Fabrication and characterization of an integrated ionic device from suspended polypyrrole and alamethicin-reconstituted lipid bilayer membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. (paper)

  18. 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...

  19. Subcellular localization and logistics of integral membrane protein biogenesis in Escherichia coli. (United States)

    Bogdanov, Mikhail; Aboulwafa, Mohammad; Saier, Milton H


    Transporters catalyze entry and exit of molecules into and out of cells and organelles, and protein-lipid interactions influence their activities. The bacterial phosphoenolpyruvate: sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS) catalyzes transport-coupled sugar phosphorylation as well as nonvectorial sugar phosphorylation in the cytoplasm. The vectorial process is much more sensitive to the lipid environment than the nonvectorial process. Moreover, cytoplasmic micellar forms of these enzyme-porters have been identified, and non-PTS permeases have similarly been shown to exist in 'soluble' forms. The latter porters exhibit lipid-dependent activities and can adopt altered topologies by simply changing the lipid composition. Finally, intracellular membranes and vesicles exist in Escherichia coli leading to the following unanswered questions: (1) what determines whether a PTS permease catalyzes vectorial or nonvectorial sugar phosphorylation? (2) How do phospholipids influence relative amounts of the plasma membrane, intracellular membrane, inner membrane-derived vesicles and cytoplasmic micelles? (3) What regulates the route(s) of permease insertion and transfer into and between the different subcellular sites? (4) Do these various membranous forms have distinct physiological functions? (5) What methods should be utilized to study the biogenesis and interconversion of these membranous structures? While research concerning these questions is still in its infancy, answers will greatly enhance our understanding of protein-lipid interactions and how they control the activities, conformations, cellular locations and biogenesis of integral membrane proteins. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  20. Performance of integrated bioelectrochemical membrane reactor: Energy recovery, pollutant removal and membrane fouling alleviation (United States)

    Dong, Yue; He, Weihua; Li, Chao; Liang, Dandan; Qu, Youpeng; Han, Xiaoyu; Feng, Yujie


    A novel hybrid bioelectrochemical membrane reactor with integrated microfiltration membrane as the separator between electrodes is developed for domestic wastewater treatment. After accumulation of biofilm, the organic pollutants are mainly degraded in anodic compartment, and microfiltration membrane blocks the adverse leakage of dissolved oxygen from aerated cathodic compartment. The maximum system power output is restricted by gas-water ratio following a Monod-like relationship. Within the tested gas-water ratios ranging from 0.6 to 42.9, the half-saturation constant (KQ) is 5.9 ± 0.9 with a theoretic maximum power density of 20.4 ± 1.0 W m-3. Energy balance analysis indicates an appropriate gas-water ratio regulation (from 2.3 to 28.6) for cathodic compartment is necessary to obtain positive energy output for the system. A maximum net electricity output is 9.09 × 10-3 kWh m-3 with gas-water ratio of 17.1. Notably, the system achieves the chemical oxygen demand removal of 98.3 ± 0.3%, ammonia nitrogen removal of 99.6 ± 0.1%, and total nitrogen removal of 80.0 ± 0.9%. This work verifies an effective integration of microfiltration membrane into bioelectrochemical system as separator for high-quality effluent and provides an insight into the operation and regulation of biocathode system for effective electrical energy output.

  1. Preparation and characterization of Nafion/titanium dioxide nanocomposite membranes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eroglu, Inci; Devrim, Yilser; Erkan, Serdar [Middle East Technical Univ., Ankara (Turkey). Dept. of Chemical Engineering; Bac, Nurcan [Yeditepe Univ., Istanbul (Turkey). Dept. of Chemical Engineering


    In the present study, Nafion/Titanium dioxide (TiO{sub 2}) nanocomposite membranes for use in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) were investigated. Nafion/TiO{sub 2} membranes were prepared using the recasting procedure. The composite membranes have been characterized by thermal analysis, XRD, SEM, proton conductivity measurements and single cell performance. Thermal analysis results showed that the composite membranes have good thermal properties. The introduction of the inorganic filler supplies the composite membrane with a good thermal resistance. The physico-chemical properties studied by means of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques have proved the uniform and homogeneous distribution of TiO{sub 2} and the consequent enhancement of crystalline character of these membranes. The energy dispersive spectra (EDS) analysis indicated that the distribution of Ti element on the surface of the composite membrane was uniform. Performances of fabricated Membrane electrode assembly (MEA)'s measured via the PEMFC test station built at METU Fuel Cell Technology Laboratory. A single cell with a 5 cm{sup 2} active area was used in the experiments. These results should be conducive to the preparation of membranes suitable for PEMFC. We believe that Nafion/TiO{sub 2} nano composite membranes have good prospects for use in PEMFC. (orig.)

  2. Investigation of the prospect of energy self-sufficiency and technical performance of an integrated PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell), dairy farm and biogas plant system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guan, Tingting; Alvfors, Per; Lindbergh, Göran


    Highlights: • A PEMFC stack with a 40% of electrical efficiency will make the integrated PEMFC-CHP, biogas plant and dairy farm self-sufficient. • The quality of the reformate gas is good enough to support normal operation of the PEMFC-CHP. • The methane conversion rate and the content of the CH 4 in the biogas need to be balanced in order to obtain the best system performance. • Compared with a coal-fired CHP plant, the integrated system can avoid coal consumption and CO 2 emissions. - Abstract: A PEMFC fuelled with hydrogen is known for its high efficiency and low local emissions. However, the generation of hydrogen is always a controversial issue for the application of the PEMFC due to the use of fossil fuel and the possible carbon dioxide emissions. Presently, the PEMFC-CHP fed with renewable fuels, such as biogas, appears to be the most attractive energy converter–fuel combination. In this paper, an integrated PEMFC-CHP, a dairy farm and a biogas plant are studied. A PEMFC-CHP fed with reformate gas from the biogas plant generates electricity and heat to a dairy farm and a biogas plant, while the dairy farm delivers wet manure to the biogas plant as the feedstock for biogas production. This integrated system has been modelled for steady-state conditions by using Aspen Plus®. The results indicate that the wet manure production of a dairy farm with 300 milked cows can support a biogas plant to give 1280 MW h of biogas annually. Based on the biogas production, a PEMFC-CHP with a stack having an electrical efficiency of 40% generates 360 MW h electricity and 680 MW h heat per year, which is enough to cover the energy demand of the whole system while the total efficiency of the PEMFC-CHP system is 82%. The integrated PEMFC-CHP, dairy farm and biogas plant could make the dairy farm and the biogas plant self-sufficient in a sustainable way provided the PEMFC-CHP has the electrical efficiency stated above. The effect of the methane conversion rate and the

  3. Channels in cell membranes and synchrotron radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan Xiaohui; Tian Liang; Zhang Xinyi


    For long time a lot of scientists have devoted to study how matter, such as water molecules and K + , Na + , Ca 2+ , Cl - ions, move through cell membranes and complete the matter exchange between the inside and outside of cells. Peter Agre discovered and characterized the first water channel protein in 1988 and Roderick MacKinnon elucidated the structural and mechanistic basis for ion channel function in 1998. These achievements have made it possible for us to 'see' these exquisitely designed molecular machines in action at the atomic level. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2003 is shared between these two scientists. In determining the high resolution 3D structure of these channels, the synchrotron X-ray diffraction plays an important role

  4. A highly-occupied, single-cell trapping microarray for determination of cell membrane permeability. (United States)

    Weng, Lindong; Ellett, Felix; Edd, Jon; Wong, Keith H K; Uygun, Korkut; Irimia, Daniel; Stott, Shannon L; Toner, Mehmet


    Semi- and selective permeability is a fundamentally important characteristic of the cell membrane. Membrane permeability can be determined by monitoring the volumetric change of cells following exposure to a non-isotonic environment. For this purpose, several microfluidic perfusion chambers have been developed recently. However, these devices only allow the observation of one single cell or a group of cells that may interact with one another in an uncontrolled way. Some of these devices have integrated on-chip temperature control to investigate the temperature-dependence of membrane permeability, but they inevitably require sophisticated fabrication and assembly, and delicate temperature and pressure calibration. Therefore, it is highly desirable to design a simple single-cell trapping device that allows parallel monitoring of multiple separate, individual cells subjected to non-isotonic exposure at various temperatures. In this study, we developed a pumpless, single-layer microarray with high trap occupancy of single cells. The benchmark performance of the device was conducted by targeting spherical particles of 18.8 μm in diameter as a model, yielding trap occupancy of up to 86.8% with a row-to-row shift of 10-30 μm. It was also revealed that in each array the particles larger than a corresponding critical size would be excluded by the traps in a deterministic lateral displacement mode. Demonstrating the utility of this approach, we used the single-cell trapping device to determine the membrane permeability of rat hepatocytes and patient-derived circulating tumor cells (Brx-142) at 4, 22 and 37 °C. The membrane of rat hepatocytes was found to be highly permeable to water and small molecules such as DMSO and glycerol, via both lipid- and aquaporin-mediated pathways. Brx-142 cells, however, displayed lower membrane permeability than rat hepatocytes, which was associated with strong coupling of water and DMSO transport but less interaction between water and

  5. Sulfonated carbon black-based composite membranes for fuel cell ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Pristine and composite membranes prepared from SPEEK82 decomposed completely in <1 h, which is undesirable for fuel cell applications. SPEEK60 membrane having wt% of 0.25–0.5 with S–C particles led to higher proton conductivity than that of pristine membrane. No positive effect was observed on the properties of ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haryadi,; Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E.


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

  7. Application of the nanocomposite membrane as electrolyte of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)



    Hydrogen fuel cells proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is currently still in development and commercialization. Several barriers to the commercialization of these Nafion membrane as electrolyte is its very sensitive to humidity fluctuation. Nafion must be modified by making a composite Nafion-SiO 2 -HPA to increase electrolyte resistance against humidity fluctuations during the cell used. Research carried out by mixing Nafion solution with Tetra Ethoxy Ortho Silicate (TEOS) and conductive materials is phosphotungstic acid (PWA) by varying the ratio of Nafion, TEOS and PWA. The membrane is produced by heating a mixture of Nafion, TEOS and PWA by varying the evaporation temperature, time and annealing temperature to obtain the transparent membrane. The resulting membrane was analyzed its physical, chemical and electrochemical properties by applying the membrane as electrolyte of PEMFC at various humidity and temperature of operation. The results showed that at low temperatures (30-90 °C) and high humidity at 100 % RH, pure Nafion membrane is better than composite membrane (Nafion-SiO 2 -PWA), but at low humidity condition composite membrane is better than the pure Nafion membrane. It can be concluded that the composite membranes of (Nafion-SiO 2 -PWA) can be used as electrolyte of PEMFC operated at low humidity (40 % RH) and temperature between (30-90 °C). (author)

  8. Cell membrane-based nanoparticles: a new biomimetic platform for tumor diagnosis and treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruixiang Li


    Full Text Available Taking inspiration from nature, the biomimetic concept has been integrated into drug delivery systems in cancer therapy. Disguised with cell membranes, the nanoparticles can acquire various functions of natural cells. The cell membrane-coating technology has pushed the limits of common nano-systems (fast elimination in circulation to more effectively navigate within the body. Moreover, because of the various functional molecules on the surface, cell membrane-based nanoparticles (CMBNPs are capable of interacting with the complex biological microenvironment of the tumor. Various sources of cell membranes have been explored to camouflage CMBNPs and different tumor-targeting strategies have been developed to enhance the anti-tumor drug delivery therapy. In this review article we highlight the most recent advances in CMBNP-based cancer targeting systems and address the challenges and opportunities in this field.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. CCR5 internalisation and signalling have different dependence on membrane lipid raft integrity. (United States)

    Cardaba, Clara Moyano; Kerr, Jason S; Mueller, Anja


    The chemokine receptor, CCR5, acts as a co-receptor for human immunodeficiency virus entry into cells. CCR5 has been shown to be targeted to cholesterol- and sphingolipid-rich membrane microdomains termed lipid rafts or caveolae. Cholesterol is essential for CCL4 binding to CCR5 and for keeping the conformational integrity of the receptor. Filipin treatment leads to loss of caveolin-1 from the membrane and therefore to a collapse of the caveolae. We have found here that sequestration of membrane cholesterol with filipin did not affect receptor signalling, however a loss of ligand-induced internalisation of CCR5 was observed. Cholesterol extraction with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MCD) reduced signalling through CCR5 as measured by release of intracellular Ca(2+) and completely abolished the inhibition of forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation with no effect on internalisation. Pertussis toxin (PTX) treatment inhibited the intracellular release of calcium that is transduced via Galphai G-proteins. Depletion of cholesterol destroyed microdomains in the membrane and switched CCR5/G-protein coupling to a PTX-independent G-protein. We conclude that cholesterol in the membrane is essential for CCR5 signalling via the Galphai G-protein subunit, and that integrity of lipid rafts is not essential for effective CCR5 internalisation however it is crucial for proper CCR5 signal transduction via Galphai G-proteins.

  12. Nanoscale spin sensing in artificial cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simpson David


    The use of the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centre in diamond as a single spin sensor or magnetometer has attracted considerable interest in recent years because of its unique combination of sensitivity, nanoscale resolution, and optical initialisation and readout at room temperature. Nanodiamonds in particular hold great promise as an optical magnetometer probe for bio applications. In this work we employ nanodiamonds containing single NV spins to detect freely diffusing Mn2+ ions by detecting changes in the transverse relaxation time (T2) of the single spin probe. We also report the detection of gadolinium spin labels present in an artificial cell membrane by measuring changes in the longitudinal relaxation time (T1) of the probe. (author)

  13. 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

  14. Roles of membrane trafficking in plant cell wall dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuo eEbine


    Full Text Available The cell wall is one of the characteristic components of plant cells. The cell wall composition differs among cell types and is modified in response to various environmental conditions. To properly generate and modify the cell wall, many proteins are transported to the plasma membrane or extracellular space through membrane trafficking, which is one of the key protein transport mechanisms in eukaryotic cells. Given the diverse composition and functions of the cell wall in plants, the transport of the cell wall components and proteins that are involved in cell wall-related events could be specialized for each cell type, i.e., the machinery for cell wall biogenesis, modification, and maintenance could be transported via different trafficking pathways. In this review, we summarize the recent progress in the current understanding of the roles and mechanisms of membrane trafficking in plant cells and focus on the biogenesis and regulation of the cell wall.

  15. 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.

  16. Membrane phospholipids and radiation-induced death of mammalian cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolters, H.


    Radiation-induced cell killing is generally believed to be a consequence of residual DNA damage or damage that is mis-repaired. However, besides this DNA damage, damage to other molecules or structures of the cell may be involved in the killing. Especially membranes have been suggested as a determinant in cellular radiosensitivity. In this thesis experiments are described, dealing with the possible involvement of membranes in radiation-induced killing of mammalian cells. A general treatise of membrane structure is followed by information concerning deleterious effects of radiation on membranes. Consequences of damage to structure and function of membranes are reviewed. Thereafter evidence relating to the possible involvement of membranes in radiation-induced cell killing is presented. (Auth.)

  17. Membrane tension and cytoskeleton organization in cell motility. (United States)

    Sens, Pierre; Plastino, Julie


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

  18. Lats kinase is involved in the intestinal apical membrane integrity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. (United States)

    Kang, Junsu; Shin, Donghoon; Yu, Jae-Ran; Lee, Junho


    The roles of Lats kinases in the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis have been well established. Here we report new roles for Lats kinase in the integrity of the apical membrane structure. WTS-1, the C. elegans Lats homolog, localized primarily to the subapical region in the intestine. A loss-of-function mutation in wts-1 resulted in an early larval arrest and defects in the structure of the intestinal lumen. An electron microscopy study of terminally arrested wts-1 mutant animals revealed numerous microvilli-containing lumen-like structures within the intestinal cells. The wts-1 phenotype was not caused by cell proliferation or apoptosis defects. Instead, we found that the wts-1 mutant animals exhibited gradual mislocalization of apical actin and apical junction proteins, suggesting that wts-1 normally suppresses the formation of extra apical membrane structures. Heat-shock-driven pulse-chase expression experiments showed that WTS-1 regulates the localization of newly synthesized apical actins. RNAi of the exocyst complex genes suppressed the mislocalization phenotype of wts-1 mutation. Collectively, the data presented here suggest that Lats kinase plays important roles in the integrity of the apical membrane structure of intestinal cells.

  19. First integrals of the axisymmetric shape equation of lipid membranes (United States)

    Zhang, Yi-Heng; McDargh, Zachary; Tu, Zhan-Chun


    The shape equation of lipid membranes is a fourth-order partial differential equation. Under the axisymmetric condition, this equation was transformed into a second-order ordinary differential equation (ODE) by Zheng and Liu (Phys. Rev. E 48 2856 (1993)). Here we try to further reduce this second-order ODE to a first-order ODE. First, we invert the usual process of variational calculus, that is, we construct a Lagrangian for which the ODE is the corresponding Euler–Lagrange equation. Then, we seek symmetries of this Lagrangian according to the Noether theorem. Under a certain restriction on Lie groups of the shape equation, we find that the first integral only exists when the shape equation is identical to the Willmore equation, in which case the symmetry leading to the first integral is scale invariance. We also obtain the mechanical interpretation of the first integral by using the membrane stress tensor. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11274046) and the National Science Foundation of the United States (Grant No. 1515007).

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hua-Bing, Li; Li, Jin; Bing, Qiu


    To study two-dimensional red blood cells deforming in a shear Bow 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. (fundamental areas of phenomenology(including applications))

  1. Phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphates-at the interface between cell signalling and membrane traffic. (United States)

    Marat, Andrea L; Haucke, Volker


    Phosphoinositides (PIs) form a minor class of phospholipids with crucial functions in cell physiology, ranging from cell signalling and motility to a role as signposts of compartmental membrane identity. Phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphates are present at the plasma membrane and within the endolysosomal system, where they serve as key regulators of both cell signalling and of intracellular membrane traffic. Here, we provide an overview of the metabolic pathways that regulate cellular synthesis of PI 3-phosphates at distinct intracellular sites and discuss the mechanisms by which these lipids regulate cell signalling and membrane traffic. Finally, we provide a framework for how PI 3-phosphate metabolism is integrated into the cellular network. © 2016 The Authors.

  2. 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...... a concentrated CO2 source that can be used for enhanced oil recovery, in combination with biomass gasification and electrolysis for synthesis gas production, or possibly sequestered. The cases with oxygen enriched air provide very promising economic figures of merit with discounted payback periods slightly...

  3. 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...... based on pure PBI as a reference point, the composite membranes were characterized with respect to spectroscopic and physicochemical properties. After doping with phosphoric acid, the composite membranes showed considerably improved ex situ proton conductivity under anhydrous as well as under fully...... humidified conditions in the 120-180°C temperature range. The conductivity improvements were also confirmed by in situ fuel cell tests at 160°C and further supported by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy data based on the operating membrane electrode assemblies, demonstrating the technical...

  4. Large Deformation Mechanics of Plasma Membrane Chained Vesicles in Cells (United States)

    Kosawada, Tadashi; Sanada, Kouichi; Takano, Tetsuo

    The clathrin-coated pits, vesicles and chained vesicles on the inner surface of the plasma membrane facilitate the cell to transport specific extracellular macromolecules. This cellular process is strongly involved with large mechanical deformations of the plasma membrane accompanied by changes in membrane curvature. The assembly of the clathrin coat is thought to provide curvature into the membrane. Hence, effects of in-plane shear elasticity due to these coat structure may be significant on the vesicular mechanics. In this study, large deformation mechanics of plasma membrane chained vesicles in cells have been formulated based on minimization of bending and in-plane shear strain energy of the membrane. Effects of outer surrounding cytoplasmic flat membrane upon mechanically stable shapes of the vesicles were revealed, while effects of in-plane shear elasticity were partly discussed.

  5. Mechanosensitivity of cell membranes. Ion channels, lipid matrix and cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Petrov, A G; Usherwood, P N


    Physical and biophysical mechanisms of mechano-sensitivity of cell membranes are reviewed. The possible roles of the lipid matrix and of the cytoskeleton in membrane mechanoreception are discussed. Techniques for generation of static strains and dynamic curvatures of membrane patches are considered. A unified model for stress-activated and stress-inactivated ion channels under static strains is described. A review of work on stress-sensitive pores in lipid-peptide model membranes is presented. The possible role of flexoelectricity in mechano-electric transduction, e.g. in auditory receptors is discussed. Studies of flexoelectricity in model lipid membranes, lipid-peptide membranes and natural membranes containing ion channels are reviewed. Finally, possible applications in molecular electronics of mechanosensors employing some of the recognized principles of mechano-electric transduction in natural membranes are discussed.

  6. Review of cell performance in anion exchange membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Dekel, Dario R.


    Anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) have recently received increasing attention since in principle they allow for the use of non-precious metal catalysts, which dramatically reduces the cost per kilowatt of power in fuel cell devices. Until not long ago, the main barrier in the development of AEMFCs was the availability of highly conductive anion exchange membranes (AEMs); however, improvements on this front in the past decade show that newly developed AEMs have already reached high levels of conductivity, leading to satisfactory cell performance. In recent years, a growing number of research studies have reported AEMFC performance results. In the last three years, new records in performance were achieved. Most of the literature reporting cell performance is based on hydrogen-AEMFCs, although an increasing number of studies have also reported the use of fuels others than hydrogen - such as alcohols, non-alcohol C-based fuels, as well as N-based fuels. This article reviews the cell performance and performance stability achieved in AEMFCs through the years since the first reports in the early 2000s.

  7. Performance enhancement of membrane electrode assemblies with plasma etched polymer electrolyte membrane in PEM fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Yong-Hun; Yoon, Won-Sub [School of Advanced Materials Engineering, Kookmin University, 861-1 Jeongneung-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-702 (Korea); Bae, Jin Woo; Cho, Yoon-Hwan; Lim, Ju Wan; Ahn, Minjeh; Jho, Jae Young; Sung, Yung-Eun [World Class University (WCU) program of Chemical Convergence for Energy and Environment (C2E2), School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, College of Engineering, Seoul National University (SNU), 599 Gwanak-Ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-744 (Korea); Kwon, Nak-Hyun [Fuel Cell Vehicle Team 3, Advanced Technology Center, Corporate Research and Development Division, Hyundai-Kia Motors, 104 Mabuk-dong, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 446-912 (Korea)


    In this work, a surface modified Nafion 212 membrane was fabricated by plasma etching in order to enhance the performance of a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Single-cell performance of MEA at 0.7 V was increased by about 19% with membrane that was etched for 10 min compared to that with untreated Nafion 212 membrane. The MEA with membrane etched for 20 min exhibited a current density of 1700 mA cm{sup -2} at 0.35 V, which was 8% higher than that of MEA with untreated membrane (1580 mA cm{sup -2}). The performances of MEAs containing etched membranes were affected by complex factors such as the thickness and surface morphology of the membrane related to etching time. The structural changes and electrochemical properties of the MEAs with etched membranes were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform-infrared spectrometry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry. (author)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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...... 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Integrated functions of membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase in regulating cancer malignancy: Beyond a proteinase. (United States)

    Sakamoto, Takeharu; Seiki, Motoharu


    Membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is expressed in different types of invasive and proliferative cells, including cancer cells and stromal cells. MT1-MMP cleaves extracellular matrix proteins, membrane proteins and other pericellular proteins, thereby changing the cellular microenvironment and regulating signal activation. Critical roles of protease activity in cancer cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis have been demonstrated by many groups. MT1-MMP also has a non-protease activity in that it inhibits the oxygen-dependent suppression of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) via Munc18-1-interacting protein 3 (Mint3) and thereby enhances the expression of HIF target genes. Elevated HIF activity in MT1-MMP-expressing cancer cells is a fundamental mechanism underlying the Warburg effect, a well-known phenomenon where malignant cancer cells exhibit a higher rate of glucose metabolism. Because specific intervention of HIF activation by MT1-MMP suppresses tumor formation by cancer cells in mice, both the proteolytic and non-proteolytic activities of MT1-MMP are important for tumor malignancy and function in an integrated manner. In this review, we summarize recent findings relating to how MT1-MMP activates HIF and its effects on cancer cells and stromal cells. © 2017 The Authors. Cancer Science published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Japanese Cancer Association.

  11. 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. me...

  12. 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...

  13. Development and characterization of proton conductive membranes and membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells (United States)

    Jiang, Ruichun

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), including hydrogen fuel cells (PEMFCs) and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs), are considered as attractive electrical power sources. However, there are some technical obstacles that impede the commercialization of PEMFCs. For instance, in H 2-PEMFCs, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning of the anode catalyst causes serious performance loss; in DMFCs, methanol crossover through the membrane reduces the overall fuel cell efficiency. This work focused on: (1) developing high performance membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and investigating their behavior at higher temperature H2-PEMFC with H2+CO as the fuel; (2) improving DMFCs efficiency by preparing low methanol crossover/good proton conductivity membranes based on NafionRTM matrix; (3) synthesizing and modifying low cost sulfonated hydrocarbon (SPEEK) membranes for both H2-PEMFCs and DMFCs applications. High performance membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) with composite NafionRTM-TeflonRTM-Zr(HPO 4)2 membranes were prepared, optimized and characterized at higher temperature (> 100°C)/lower relative humidity (oxidation mechanism of H2/CO in higher temperature PEMFC was investigated and simulated. Two type of membranes based on NafionRTM matrix were prepared: silica/NafionRTM membrane and palladium impregnated NafionRTM (Pd-NafionRTM) membrane. The composite silica/NafionRTM membrane was developed by in-situ sol-gel reaction followed by solution casting, while the Pd-NafionRTM was fabricated via a supercritical fluid CO2 (scCO 2) route. Reduced methanol crossover and enhanced efficiency was observed by applying each of the two membranes to DMFCs. In addition, the research demonstrated that scCO2 is a promising technique for modifying membranes or depositing nano-particle electrocatalysts onto electrolyte. Sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) was synthesized by a sulfonation reaction using poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK). Multilayer structure SPEEK membranes with

  14. Iron Deprivation Affects Drug Susceptibilities of Mycobacteria Targeting Membrane Integrity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahul Pal


    Full Text Available Multidrug resistance (MDR acquired by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB through continuous deployment of antitubercular drugs warrants immediate search for novel targets and mechanisms. The ability of MTB to sense and become accustomed to changes in the host is essential for survival and confers the basis of infection. A crucial condition that MTB must surmount is iron limitation, during the establishment of infection, since iron is required by both bacteria and humans. This study focuses on how iron deprivation affects drug susceptibilities of known anti-TB drugs in Mycobacterium smegmatis, a “surrogate of MTB.” We showed that iron deprivation leads to enhanced potency of most commonly used first line anti-TB drugs that could be reverted upon iron supplementation. We explored that membrane homeostasis is disrupted upon iron deprivation as revealed by enhanced membrane permeability and hypersensitivity to membrane perturbing agent leading to increased passive diffusion of drug and TEM images showing detectable differences in cell envelope thickness. Furthermore, iron seems to be indispensable to sustain genotoxic stress suggesting its possible role in DNA repair machinery. Taken together, we for the first time established a link between cellular iron and drug susceptibility of mycobacteria suggesting iron as novel determinant to combat MDR.

  15. Effect of gamma-radiation on the plasma and vacuolar membranes of cultured spinach cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitsuhashi, N.; Koshiba, T.; Sato, M.


    By the use of 31 P NMR spectroscopy, a higher radiosensitivity of the vacuolar membrane (tonoplast) than the plasma membrane was inferred for cultured spinach cells irradiated with 0-7.5 kGy and immediately transferred to fresh medium. In non-irradiated cells, inorganic phosphate (Pi) was rapidly taken up from the medium and transported into the vacuole; the content of cytoplasmic Pi was maintained at a constant level throughout the incubation period (7 days), whilst the Pi in the vacuole was exhausted. In irradiated cells, Pi uptake was not greatly altered up to 5 kGy, and fluorescein diacetate, a substance used to determine the integrity of the plasma membrane, was readily absorbed. However, movement of the Pi taken up into the vacuole across the tonoplast was markedly reduced with increasing dose. This membrane impairment was not amplified during subsequent incubation. A crucial question as to the fate of the Pi is critically discussed. (author)

  16. Pyroelectricity as a possible mechanism for cell membrane permeabilization. (United States)

    García-Sánchez, Tomás; Muscat, Adeline; Leray, Isabelle; Mir, Lluis M


    The effects of pyroelectricity on cell membrane permeability had never been explored. Pyroelectricity consists in the generation of an electric field in the surface of some materials when a change in temperature is produced. In the present study, tourmaline microparticles, which are known to display pyroelectrical properties, were subjected to different changes in temperature upon exposure to cells in order to induce an electric field at their surface. Then, the changes in the permeability of the cell membrane to a cytotoxic agent (bleomycin) were assessed by a cloning efficacy test. An increase in the permeability of the cell membrane was only detected when tourmaline was subjected to a change in temperature. This suggests that the apparition of an induced pyroelectrical electric field on the material could actually be involved in the observed enhancement of the cell membrane permeability as a result of cell electropermeabilization. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Treating domestic sewage by Integrated Inclined-Plate-Membrane bio-reactor (United States)

    Song, Li Ming; Wang, Zi; Chen, Lei; Zhong, Min; Dong, Zhan Feng


    Membrane fouling shorten the service life of the membrane and increases aeration rate for membrane surface cleaning. Two membrane bio-reactors, one for working and another for comparing, were set up to evaluate the feasibility of alleviating membrane fouling and improving wastewater treatment efficiency by integrating inclined-plate precipitation and membrane separation. The result show that: (1) Inclined-plate in reactor had a good effect on pollutant removal of membrane bioreactor. The main role of inclined-plate is dividing reactor space and accelerating precipitation. (2) Working reactor have better performance in COD, TN and TP removal, which can attribute to that working reactor (integrated inclined-plate-Membrane bioreactor) takes both advantages of membrane separation and biological treatment. When influent COD, TP and TN concentration is 163-248 mg/L, 2.08-2.81 mg/L and 24.38-30.49 mg/L in working reactor, effluent concentration is 27-35 mg/L, 0.53-0.59 mg/L and 11.28-11.56 mg/L, respectively. (3) Membrane fouling was well alleviated in integrated inclined-plate-Membrane bioreactor, and membrane normal service time is significantly longer than that in comparing reactor, which can attribute to accelerating precipitation of inclined-plate. In summary, integrated inclined-plate-Membrane bioreactor is a promising technology to alleviating membrane fouling and improving wastewater treatment efficiency, having good performance and bright future in application.

  18. 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].

  19. A cell culture technique for human epiretinal membranes to describe cell behavior and membrane contraction in vitro. (United States)

    Wertheimer, Christian; Eibl-Lindner, Kirsten H; Compera, Denise; Kueres, Alexander; Wolf, Armin; Docheva, Denitsa; Priglinger, Siegfried G; Priglinger, Claudia; Schumann, Ricarda G


    To introduce a human cell culture technique for investigating in-vitro behavior of primary epiretinal cells and membrane contraction of fibrocellular tissue surgically removed from eyes with idiopathic macular pucker. Human epiretinal membranes were harvested from ten eyes with idiopathic macular pucker during standard vitrectomy. Specimens were fixed on cell culture plastic using small entomological pins to apply horizontal stress to the tissue, and then transferred to standard cell culture conditions. Cell behavior of 400 epiretinal cells from 10 epiretinal membranes was observed in time-lapse microscopy and analyzed in terms of cell migration, cell velocity, and membrane contraction. Immunocytochemistry was performed for cell type-specific antigens. Cell specific differences in migration behavior were observed comprising two phenotypes: (PT1) epiretinal cells moving fast, less directly, with small round phenotype and (PT2) epiretinal cells moving slowly, directly, with elongated large phenotype. No mitosis, no outgrowth and no migration onto the plastic were seen. Horizontal contraction measurements showed variation between specimens. Masses of epiretinal cells with a myofibroblast-like phenotype expressed cytoplasmatic α-SMA stress fibers and correlated with cell behavior characteristics (PT2). Fast moving epiretinal cells (PT1) were identified as microglia by immunostaining. This in-vitro technique using traction application allows for culturing surgically removed epiretinal membranes from eyes with idiopathic macular pucker, demonstrating cell behavior and membrane contraction of primary human epiretinal cells. Our findings emphasize the abundance of myofibroblasts, the presence of microglia and specific differences of cell behavior in these membranes. This technique has the potential to improve the understanding of pathologies at the vitreomacular interface and might be helpful in establishing anti-fibrotic treatment strategies.

  20. 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

  1. Carbon nanotubes based nafion composite membranes for fuel cell applications

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cele, NP


    Full Text Available composite membranes. Keywords: Carbon Nanotubes, Conductivity, Fuel Cell, Nafion, Nanocomposite Membranes, Thermal Properties, Water Uptake FUEL CELLS 00, 0000, No. 0, 1–8 ? 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim 1 ORIGINA L RESEAR CH PAPE... used strategies to overcome these drawbacks is the modification of Nafion by using polymer nanocomposite (PNC) technology. PNCs have recently shown a worldwide growth effort especially in the fabrication of high temperature PEM for fuel cells [18...

  2. 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.

  3. Formation of Cell Membrane Component Domains in Artificial Lipid Bilayer. (United States)

    Tero, Ryugo; Fukumoto, Kohei; Motegi, Toshinori; Yoshida, Miyu; Niwano, Michio; Hirano-Iwata, Ayumi


    The lipid bilayer environment around membrane proteins strongly affects their structure and functions. Here, we aimed to study the fusion of proteoliposomes (PLs) derived from cultured cells with an artificial lipid bilayer membrane and the distribution of the PL components after the fusion. PLs, which were extracted as a crude membrane fraction from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, formed isolated domains in a supported lipid bilayer (SLB), comprising phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), and cholesterol (Chol), after the fusion. Observation with a fluorescence microscope and an atomic force microscope showed that the membrane fusion occurred selectively at microdomains in the PC + PE + Chol-SLB, and that almost all the components of the PL were retained in the domain. PLs derived from human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK) cells also formed isolated domains in the PC + PE + Chol-SLB, but their fusion kinetics was different from that of the CHO-PLs. We attempted to explain the mechanism of the PL-SLB fusion and the difference between CHO- and HEK-PLs, based on a kinetic model. The domains that contained the whole cell membrane components provided environments similar to that of natural cell membranes, and were thus effective for studying membrane proteins using artificial lipid bilayer membranes.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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......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...

  5. 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...

  6. Layer-by-layer cell membrane assembly (United States)

    Matosevic, Sandro; Paegel, Brian M.


    Eukaryotic subcellular membrane systems, such as the nuclear envelope or endoplasmic reticulum, present a rich array of architecturally and compositionally complex supramolecular targets that are as yet inaccessible. Here we describe layer-by-layer phospholipid membrane assembly on microfluidic droplets, a route to structures with defined compositional asymmetry and lamellarity. Starting with phospholipid-stabilized water-in-oil droplets trapped in a static droplet array, lipid monolayer deposition proceeds as oil/water-phase boundaries pass over the droplets. Unilamellar vesicles assembled layer-by-layer support functional insertion both of purified and of in situ expressed membrane proteins. Synthesis and chemical probing of asymmetric unilamellar and double-bilayer vesicles demonstrate the programmability of both membrane lamellarity and lipid-leaflet composition during assembly. The immobilized vesicle arrays are a pragmatic experimental platform for biophysical studies of membranes and their associated proteins, particularly complexes that assemble and function in multilamellar contexts in vivo.

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


    Maher A.R. Sadiq Al-Baghdadi


    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 ...

  8. Membrane orientation of droplets prepared from Chara corallina internodal cells. (United States)

    Berecki, G; Eijken, M; Van Iren, F; Van Duijn, B


    It is generally accepted that the membrane surrounding droplets from characean cells originates from the tonoplast, but there is some uncertainty regarding droplet membrane sidedness. This issue was addressed directly by combining two different droplet isolation methods and the patch clamp technique. Neutral red accumulation was used to demonstrate the presence of H(+)-transport over the membrane and to predict membrane orientation. Two types of droplet populations with differently oriented membranes could be formed in an iso-osmotic bath solution. Cytoplasmic droplets (cytosolic side of the tonoplast inside) contained cytoplasm, while the second type of droplet population contained vacuolar sap (vacuolar droplets, vacuolar side of the tonoplast inside). Smaller vesicels also appeared inside the droplets, with an apparently inversely oriented membrane. Confocal laser scanning microscopy indirectly demonstrated that, at least with one of the droplet isolation methods, the plasma membrane entirely remains in the internodal cell after intracellular perfusion. Both types of droplet populations allowed the formation of excised patches and single-channel measurements by the patch clamp technique. Properties of anion channels in the tonoplast could be used to prove the predicted membrane orientation, knowing that Ca2+ can only activate these channels from the cytosolic side. These results provide useful data for studies addressing ligand-binding, block and modulation, organization and interaction of proteins within the membrane or with other regulatory factors, where it is important to control membrane orientation.

  9. Fluorinated carboxylic membranes deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition for fuel cell applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thery, J.; Faucheux, V.; Truffier-Boutry, D.; Martinent, A.; Laurent, J.-Y. [Laboratory of Printed Component, LITEN, CEA Grenoble, 17 rue des martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 09 (France); Martin, S.; Le Van Jodin, L. [Laboratory of Components for the Micro-storage of Energy, LITEN, CEA Grenoble, 17 rue des martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 09 (France)


    Among the fuel cell technologies, the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are particularly promising because they are energy-efficient, clean, and fuel-flexible (i.e., can use hydrogen or methanol). The great majority of PEM fuel cells rely on a polymer electrolyte from the family of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes, nevertheless alternative materials are currently being developed, mainly to offer the alternative workout techniques which are required for the portable energy sources. Plasma polymerization represents a good solution, as it offers the possibility to deposit thin layer with an accurate and homogeneous thickness, even on 3D surfaces. In this paper, we present the results for the growth of proton conductive fluoro carboxylic membranes elaborated by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition. These membranes present conductivity values of the same order than the one of Nafion {sup registered}. The properties of the membrane, such as the chemical composition, the ionic conductivity, the swelling behaviour and the permeability were correlated to the plasma process parameters. The membranes were integrated in fuel cells on porous substrates and we present here the results regarding the barrier effect and the power output. Barrier effect similar to those of 40 {mu}m Nafion {sup registered} layers was reached for 10 {mu}m thick carboxylic membranes. Power outputs around 3 mW cm{sup -2} were measured. We discuss the results regarding the gas barrier effect and the power outputs. (author)

  10. Fluorinated carboxylic membranes deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition for fuel cell applications (United States)

    Thery, J.; Martin, S.; Faucheux, V.; Le Van Jodin, L.; Truffier-Boutry, D.; Martinent, A.; Laurent, J.-Y.

    Among the fuel cell technologies, the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are particularly promising because they are energy-efficient, clean, and fuel-flexible (i.e., can use hydrogen or methanol). The great majority of PEM fuel cells rely on a polymer electrolyte from the family of perfluorosulfonic acid membranes, nevertheless alternative materials are currently being developed, mainly to offer the alternative workout techniques which are required for the portable energy sources. Plasma polymerization represents a good solution, as it offers the possibility to deposit thin layer with an accurate and homogeneous thickness, even on 3D surfaces. In this paper, we present the results for the growth of proton conductive fluoro carboxylic membranes elaborated by plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition. These membranes present conductivity values of the same order than the one of Nafion ®. The properties of the membrane, such as the chemical composition, the ionic conductivity, the swelling behaviour and the permeability were correlated to the plasma process parameters. The membranes were integrated in fuel cells on porous substrates and we present here the results regarding the barrier effect and the power output. Barrier effect similar to those of 40 μm Nafion ® layers was reached for 10 μm thick carboxylic membranes. Power outputs around 3 mW cm -2 were measured. We discuss the results regarding the gas barrier effect and the power outputs.

  11. Radiation Interaction with Therapeutic Drugs and Cell Membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, Diana I.; Manaila, Elena N.; Matei, Constantin I.; Iacob, Nicusor I.; Ighigeanu, Daniel I.; Craciun, Gabriela D.; Moisescu, Mihaela I.; Savopol, Tudor D.; Kovacs, Eugenia A.; Cinca, Sabin A.; Margaritescu, Irina D.


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

  12. Proteolytic Enzymes Clustered in Specialized Plasma-Membrane Domains Drive Endothelial Cells' Migration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica Salamone

    Full Text Available In vitro cultured endothelial cells forming a continuous monolayer establish stable cell-cell contacts and acquire a "resting" phenotype; on the other hand, when growing in sparse conditions these cells acquire a migratory phenotype and invade the empty area of the culture. Culturing cells in different conditions, we compared expression and clustering of proteolytic enzymes in cells having migratory versus stationary behavior. In order to observe resting and migrating cells in the same microscopic field, a continuous cell monolayer was wounded. Increased expression of proteolytic enzymes was evident in cell membranes of migrating cells especially at sprouting sites and in shed membrane vesicles. Gelatin zymography and western blotting analyses confirmed that in migrating cells, expression of membrane-bound and of vesicle-associated proteolytic enzymes are increased. The enzymes concerned include MMP-2, MMP-9, MT1-MMP, seprase, DPP4 (DiPeptidyl Peptidase 4 and uPA. Shed membrane vesicles were shown to exert degradative activity on ECM components and produce substrates facilitating cell migration. Vesicles shed by migrating cells degraded ECM components at an increased rate; as a result their effect on cell migration was amplified. Inhibiting either Matrix Metallo Proteases (MMPs or Serine Integral Membrane Peptidases (SIMPs caused a decrease in the stimulatory effect of vesicles, inhibiting the spontaneous migratory activity of cells; a similar result was also obtained when a monoclonal antibody acting on DPP4 was tested. We conclude that proteolytic enzymes have a synergistic stimulatory effect on cell migration and that their clustering probably facilitates the proteolytic activation cascades needed to produce maximal degradative activity on cell substrates during the angiogenic process.

  13. Proteolytic Enzymes Clustered in Specialized Plasma-Membrane Domains Drive Endothelial Cells' Migration. (United States)

    Salamone, Monica; Carfì Pavia, Francesco; Ghersi, Giulio


    In vitro cultured endothelial cells forming a continuous monolayer establish stable cell-cell contacts and acquire a "resting" phenotype; on the other hand, when growing in sparse conditions these cells acquire a migratory phenotype and invade the empty area of the culture. Culturing cells in different conditions, we compared expression and clustering of proteolytic enzymes in cells having migratory versus stationary behavior. In order to observe resting and migrating cells in the same microscopic field, a continuous cell monolayer was wounded. Increased expression of proteolytic enzymes was evident in cell membranes of migrating cells especially at sprouting sites and in shed membrane vesicles. Gelatin zymography and western blotting analyses confirmed that in migrating cells, expression of membrane-bound and of vesicle-associated proteolytic enzymes are increased. The enzymes concerned include MMP-2, MMP-9, MT1-MMP, seprase, DPP4 (DiPeptidyl Peptidase 4) and uPA. Shed membrane vesicles were shown to exert degradative activity on ECM components and produce substrates facilitating cell migration. Vesicles shed by migrating cells degraded ECM components at an increased rate; as a result their effect on cell migration was amplified. Inhibiting either Matrix Metallo Proteases (MMPs) or Serine Integral Membrane Peptidases (SIMPs) caused a decrease in the stimulatory effect of vesicles, inhibiting the spontaneous migratory activity of cells; a similar result was also obtained when a monoclonal antibody acting on DPP4 was tested. We conclude that proteolytic enzymes have a synergistic stimulatory effect on cell migration and that their clustering probably facilitates the proteolytic activation cascades needed to produce maximal degradative activity on cell substrates during the angiogenic process.

  14. Cubic membranes: a legend beyond the Flatland* of cell membrane organization. (United States)

    Almsherqi, Zakaria A; Kohlwein, Sepp D; Deng, Yuru


    Cubic membranes represent highly curved, three-dimensional nanoperiodic structures that correspond to mathematically well defined triply periodic minimal surfaces. Although they have been observed in numerous cell types and under different conditions, particularly in stressed, diseased, or virally infected cells, knowledge about the formation and function of nonlamellar, cubic structures in biological systems is scarce, and research so far is restricted to the descriptive level. We show that the "organized smooth endoplasmic reticulum" (OSER; Snapp, E.L., R.S. Hegde, M. Francolini, F. Lombardo, S. Colombo, E. Pedrazzini, N. Borgese, and J. Lippincott-Schwartz. 2003. J. Cell Biol. 163:257-269), which is formed in response to elevated levels of specific membrane-resident proteins, is actually the two-dimensional representation of two subtypes of cubic membrane morphology. Controlled OSER induction may thus provide, for the first time, a valuable tool to study cubic membrane formation and function at the molecular level.

  15. Ionic fluxes in erythrocyte membranes of sickle cell anaemia ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ionic fluxes in erythrocyte membranes of sickle cell anaemia subjects at different tonicities. ... Journal of African Association of Physiological Sciences ... The aim of this study was to investigate ionic fluxes in membrane of erythrocytes at different tonicities with a view to highlighting any selective ionic-fluxing potential of ...

  16. 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.

  17. Perforate on CHO cell membranes induced by electromagnetic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been used to visualize the morphological change on the surface of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell membranes before and after electromagnetic pulses (EMP) irradiation. The results show that there were different sizes and shapes of membrane perforate (width ranging from 0.39 - 0.66 ...

  18. Catalytic membranes for CO oxidation in fuel cells (United States)

    Sandi-Tapia, Giselle; Carrado Gregar, Kathleen; Kizilel, Riza


    A hydrogen permeable membrane, which includes a polymer stable at temperatures of about 200 C having clay impregnated with Pt or Au or Ru or Pd particles or mixtures thereof with average diameters of less than about 10 nanometers (nms) is disclosed. The membranes are useful in fuel cells or any device which requires hydrogen to be separated from carbon monoxide.

  19. Paeonia lactiflora Inhibits Cell Wall Synthesis and Triggers Membrane Depolarization in Candida albicans. (United States)

    Lee, Heung-Shick; Kim, Younhee


    Fungal cell walls and cell membranes are the main targets of antifungals. In this study, we report on the antifungal activity of an ethanol extract from Paeonia lactiflora against Candida albicans , showing that the antifungal activity is associated with the synergistic actions of preventing cell wall synthesis, enabling membrane depolarization, and compromising permeability. First, it was shown that the ethanol extract from P. lactiflora was involved in damaging the integrity of cell walls in C. albicans . In isotonic media, cell bursts of C. albicans by the P. lactiflora ethanol extract could be restored, and the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the P. lactiflora ethanol extract against C. albicans cells increased 4-fold. In addition, synthesis of (1,3)-β- D -glucan polymer was inhibited by 87% and 83% following treatment of C. albicans microsomes with the P. lactiflora ethanol extract at their 1× MIC and 2× MIC, respectively. Second, the ethanol extract from P. lactiflora influenced the function of C. albicans cell membranes. C. albicans cells treated with the P. lactiflora ethanol extract formed red aggregates by staining with a membrane-impermeable dye, propidium iodide. Membrane depolarization manifested as increased fluorescence intensity by staining P. lactiflora -treated C. albicans cells with a membrane-potential marker, DiBAC 4 (3) (( bis -1,3-dibutylbarbituric acid) trimethine oxonol). Membrane permeability was assessed by crystal violet assay, and C. albicans cells treated with the P. lactiflora ethanol extract exhibited significant uptake of crystal violet in a concentration-dependent manner. The findings suggest that P. lactiflora ethanol extract is a viable and effective candidate for the development of new antifungal agents to treat Candida -associated diseases.

  20. An agar gel membrane-PDMS hybrid microfluidic device for long term single cell dynamic study. (United States)

    Wong, Ieong; Atsumi, Shota; Huang, Wei-Chih; Wu, Tung-Yun; Hanai, Taizo; Lam, Miu-Ling; Tang, Ping; Yang, Jian; Liao, James C; Ho, Chih-Ming


    Significance of single cell measurements stems from the substantial temporal fluctuations and cell-cell variability possessed by individual cells. A major difficulty in monitoring surface non-adherent cells such as bacteria and yeast is that these cells tend to aggregate into clumps during growth, obstructing the tracking or identification of single-cells over long time periods. Here, we developed a microfluidic platform for long term single-cell tracking and cultivation with continuous media refreshing and dynamic chemical perturbation capability. The design highlights a simple device-assembly process between PDMS microchannel and agar membrane through conformal contact, and can be easily adapted by microbiologists for their routine laboratory use. The device confines cell growth in monolayer between an agar membrane and a glass surface. Efficient nutrient diffusion through the membrane and reliable temperature maintenance provide optimal growth condition for the cells, which exhibited fast exponential growth and constant distribution of cell sizes. More than 24 h of single-cell tracking was demonstrated on a transcription-metabolism integrated synthetic biological model, the gene-metabolic oscillator. Single cell morphology study under alcohol toxicity allowed us to discover and characterize cell filamentation exhibited by different E. coli isobutanol tolerant strains. We believe this novel device will bring new capabilities to quantitative microbiology, providing a versatile platform for single cell dynamic studies.

  1. Selectivity of biopolymer membranes using HepG2 cells. (United States)

    Lü, Dongyuan; Gao, Yuxin; Luo, Chunhua; Lü, Shouqian; Wang, Qian; Xu, Xianghong; Sun, Shujin; Wang, Chengzhi; Long, Mian


    Bioartificial liver (BAL) system has emerged as an alternative treatment to bridge acute liver failure to either liver transplantation or liver regeneration. One of the main reasons that the efficacy of the current BAL systems was not convincing in clinical trials is attributed to the lack of friendly interface between the membrane and the hepatocytes in liver bioreactor, the core unit of BAL system. Here, we systematically compared the biological responses of hepatosarcoma HepG2 cells seeded on eight, commercially available biocompatible membranes made of acetyl cellulose-nitrocellulose mixed cellulose (CA-NC), acetyl cellulose (CA), nylon (JN), polypropylene (PP), nitrocellulose (NC), polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), polycarbonate (PC) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Physicochemical analysis and mechanical tests indicated that CA, JN and PP membranes yield high adhesivity and reasonable compressive and/or tensile features with friendly surface topography for cell seeding. Cells prefer to adhere on CA, JN, PP or PTFE membranes with high proliferation rate in spheriod-like shape. Actin, albumin and cytokeratin 18 expressions are favorable for cells on CA or PP membrane, whereas protein filtration is consistent among all the eight membranes. These results further the understandings of cell growth, morphology and spreading, as well as protein filtration on distinct membranes in designing a liver bioreactor.

  2. 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.

  3. Tritium labelling of a cholesterol amphiphile designed for cell membrane anchoring of proteins. (United States)

    Schäfer, Balázs; Orbán, Erika; Kele, Zoltán; Tömböly, Csaba


    Cell membrane association of proteins can be achieved by the addition of lipid moieties to the polypeptide chain, and such lipid-modified proteins have important biological functions. A class of cell surface proteins contains a complex glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) glycolipid at the C-terminus, and they are accumulated in cholesterol-rich membrane microdomains, that is, lipid rafts. Semisynthetic lipoproteins prepared from recombinant proteins and designed lipids are valuable probes and model systems of the membrane-associated proteins. Because GPI-anchored proteins can be reinserted into the cell membrane with the retention of the biological function, they are appropriate candidates for preparing models via reduction of the structural complexity. A synthetic headgroup was added to the 3β-hydroxyl group of cholesterol, an essential lipid component of rafts, and the resulting cholesterol derivative was used as a simplified GPI mimetic. In order to quantitate the membrane integrated GPI mimetic after the exogenous addition to live cells, a tritium labelled cholesterol anchor was prepared. The radioactive label was introduced into the headgroup, and the radiolabelled GPI mimetic anchor was obtained with a specific activity of 1.37 TBq/mmol. The headgroup labelled cholesterol derivative was applied to demonstrate the sensitive detection of the cell membrane association of the anchor under in vivo conditions. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. 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

  5. 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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Two novel approaches targeting cancer cell membrane for tumor therapy. (United States)

    Feng, Yingzhu; Wang, Bochu; Cao, Yang; He, Rui


    Disruption of normal cell function by chemicals, UV radiation or viruses can cause various cancer. Drugs that have been developed for cancer therapy bind to various targets to correct disorder cell behavior, repair damaged DNA or promote cell apoptosis. However, there is rare study that focuses on cancer cell membrane as target. We propose two approaches for achieving our goal. One is to use phospholipase A2 (PLA2) to cleave phospholipid heads of the bilayer of cancer cells. Because PLA2 has unique Ca(2+) catalytic site and the pH of healthy tissue cells should be slightly alkaline at 7.2-7.5, it can be easily protected by CO3(2-) in the form of PLA2-CaCO3. While PLA2-CaCO3 accumulate in cancer cells in the acidic microenvironment of which the pH is below 7, it could be converted to active state (PLA2-Ca(2+)) which can intensively damage the cancer cell membrane. The other one is to use both monoclonal antibodies and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO). The internalization of targeted cancer cell antibodies could change the curvature of cell membrane from order state to disorder state, therefore strong detergent DMSO can destroy cancer cells at extreme low concentration. These two approaches present no harm for normal cells, therefore, drugs targeted cancer cell membrane might become a new and high effective clinical cancer therapy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Novel High Temperature Membrane for PEM Fuel Cells, Phase I (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...

  8. 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

  9. Novel Membrane for Highly Efficient Fuel Cells, Phase I (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...

  10. Nafion-based nanocomposite membranes for fuel cells

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cele, NP


    Full Text Available , mechanical properties and electrical conductivity of nafion membrane for fuel cell applications. The results showed an improvement on the thermal behaviour of prepared nation nanocomposites compared to pure Nafion with an addition of only 1 wt% MWCNTs....

  11. Poly (ether ether ketone) membranes for fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marrero, Jacqueline C.; Gomes, Ailton de S.; Filho, Jose C.D.; Hui, Wang S.; Oliveira, Vivianna S. de


    Polymeric membranes were developed using a SPEEK polymer matrix (sulphonated poly (ether ether ketone)), containing hygroscopic particles of zirconia (Zr) (incorporated by sol-gel method), for use as electrolyte membranes in fuel cells. SPEEK with different sulfonation degrees were used: 63 and 86%. The thermal analysis (TGA and DSC) was carried out to characterize the membranes and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) was carried out to evaluating the proton conductivity of the membranes. Additional analysis were underway in order to characterize these membranes, which include: X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) in order to evaluate the influence of zirconia and sulfonation degree on the properties of the membranes. (author)

  12. 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.

  13. Metaxin deficiency alters mitochondrial membrane permeability and leads to resistance to TNF-induced cell killing. (United States)

    Ono, Koh; Wang, Xiaofei; Kim, Sung Ouk; Armstrong, Lucas C; Bornstein, Paul; Han, Jiahuai


    Metaxin, a mitochondrial outer membrane protein, is critical for TNF-induced cell death in L929 cells. Its deficiency, caused by retroviral insertion-mediated mutagenesis, renders L929 cells resistance to TNF killing. In this study, we further characterized metaxin deficiency-caused TNF resistance in parallel with Bcl-X(L) overexpression-mediated death resistance. We did not find obvious change in mitochondria membrane potential in metaxin-deficient (Met(mut)) and Bcl-X(L)-overexpressing cells, but we did find an increase in the release rate of the mitochondrial membrane potential probe rhodamine 123 (Rh123) that was preloaded into mitochondria. In addition, overexpression of a function-interfering mutant of metaxin (MetaΔTM/C) or Bcl-X(L) in MCF-7.3.28 cells also resulted in an acquired resistance to TNF killing and a faster rate of Rh123 release, indicating a close correlation between TNF resistance and higher rates of the dye release from the mitochondria. The release of Rh123 can be controlled by the mitochondrial membrane permeability transition (PT) pore, as targeting an inner membrane component of the PT pore by cyclosporin A (CsA) inhibited Rh123 release. However, metaxin deficiency and Bcl-X(L) overexpression apparently affect Rh123 release from a site(s) different from that of CsA, as CsA can overcome their effect. Though both metaxin and Bcl-X(L) appear to function on the outer mitochondrial membrane, they do not interact with each other. They may use different mechanisms to increase the permeability of Rh123, since previous studies have suggested that metaxin may influence certain outer membrane porins while Bcl-X(L) may form pores on the outer membrane. The alteration of the mitochondrial outer membrane properties by metaxin deficiency and Bcl-X(L) overexpression, as indicated by a quicker Rh123 release, may be helpful in maintaining mitochondrial integrity.

  14. 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…

  15. 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...

  16. Mouse endometrial stromal cells produce basement-membrane components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  17. 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.

  18. Novel niobium carbide/carbon porous nanotube electrocatalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cell cathodes (United States)

    Nabil, Y.; Cavaliere, S.; Harkness, I. A.; Sharman, J. D. B.; Jones, D. J.; Rozière, J.


    Niobium carbide/carbon nanotubular porous structures have been prepared using electrospinning and used as electrocatalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. They were functionalised with 3.1 nm Pt particles synthesised by a microwave-assisted polyol method and characterised for their electrochemical properties. The novel NbC-based electrocatalyst demonstrated electroactivity towards the oxygen reduction reaction as well as greater stability over high potential cycling than a commercial carbon-based electrocatalyst. Pt/NbC/C was integrated at the cathode of a membrane electrode assembly and characterised in a single fuel cell showing promising activity and power density.

  19. Catalyst layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells prepared by electrospray deposition on Nafion membrane (United States)

    Chaparro, A. M.; Ferreira-Aparicio, P.; Folgado, M. A.; Martín, A. J.; Daza, L.

    The electrospray deposition method has been used for preparation of catalyst layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) on Nafion membrane. Deposition of Pt/C + ionomer suspensions on Nafion 212 gives rise to layers with a globular morphology, in contrast with the dendritic growth observed for the same layers when deposited on the gas diffusion layer, GDL (microporous carbon black layer on carbon cloth) or on metallic Al foils. Such a change is discussed in the light of the influence of the Nafion substrate on the electrospray deposition process. Nafion, which is a proton conductor and electronic insulator, gives rise to the discharge of particles through proton release and transport towards the counter electrode, compared with the direct electron transfer that takes place when depositing on an electronic conductor. There is also a change in the electric field distribution in the needle to counter-electrode gap due to the presence of Nafion, which may alter conditions for the electrospray effect. If discharging of particles is slow enough, for instances with a low membrane protonic conductivity, the Nafion substrate may be charged positively yielding a change in the electric field profile and, with it, in the properties of the film. Single cell characterization is carried out with Nafion 212 membranes catalyzed by electrospray on the cathode side. It is shown that the internal resistance of the cell decreases with on-membrane deposited cathodic catalyst layers, with respect to the same layers deposited on GDL, giving rise to a considerable improvement in cell performance. The lower internal resistance is due to higher proton conductivity at the catalyst layer-membrane interface resulting from on-membrane deposition. On the other hand, electroactive area and catalyst utilization appear little modified by on-membrane deposition, compared with on-GDL deposition.

  20. Membrane-protein integration and the role of the translocation channel. (United States)

    Rapoport, Tom A; Goder, Veit; Heinrich, Sven U; Matlack, Kent E S


    Most eukaryotic membrane proteins are integrated into the lipid bilayer during their synthesis at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Their integration occurs with the help of a protein-conducting channel formed by the heterotrimeric Sec61 membrane-protein complex. The crystal structure of an archaeal homolog of the complex suggests mechanisms that enable the channel to open across the membrane and to release laterally hydrophobic transmembrane segments of nascent membrane proteins into lipid. Many aspects of membrane-protein integration remain controversial and poorly understood, but new structural data provide testable hypotheses. We propose a model of how the channel recognizes transmembrane segments, orients them properly with respect to the plane of the membrane and releases them into lipid. We also discuss how the channel would prevent small molecules from crossing the lipid bilayer while it is integrating proteins.

  1. 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.

  2. FAD oxidizes the ERO1-PDI electron transfer chain: The role of membrane integrity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Papp, Eszter; Nardai, Gabor; Mandl, Jozsef; Banhegyi, Gabor; Csermely, Peter


    The molecular steps of the electron transfer in the endoplasmic reticulum from the secreted proteins during their oxidation are relatively unknown. We present here that flavine adenine dinucleotide (FAD) is a powerful oxidizer of the oxidoreductase system, Ero1 and PDI, besides the proteins of rat liver microsomes and HepG2 hepatoma cells. Inhibition of FAD transport hindered the action of FAD. Microsomal membrane integrity was mandatory for all FAD-related oxidation steps downstream of Ero1. The PDI inhibitor bacitracin could inhibit FAD-mediated oxidation of microsomal proteins and PDI, but did not hinder the FAD-driven oxidation of Ero1. Our data demonstrated that Ero1 can utilize FAD as an electron acceptor and that FAD-driven protein oxidation goes through the Ero1-PDI pathway and requires the integrity of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. Our findings prompt further studies to elucidate the membrane-dependent steps of PDI oxidation and the role of FAD in redox folding

  3. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus nonstructural protein 2 (nsp2) topology and selective isoform integration in artificial membranes. (United States)

    Kappes, Matthew A; Miller, Cathy L; Faaberg, Kay S


    The membrane insertion and topology of nonstructural protein 2 (nsp2) of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) strain VR-2332 was assessed using a cell free translation system in the presence or absence of artificial membranes. Expression of PRRSV nsp2 in the absence of all other viral factors resulted in the genesis of both full-length nsp2 as well as a select number of C-terminal nsp2 isoforms. Addition of membranes to the translation stabilized the translation reaction, resulting in predominantly full-length nsp2 as assessed by immunoprecipitation. Analysis further showed full-length nsp2 strongly associates with membranes, along with two additional large nsp2 isoforms. Membrane integration of full-length nsp2 was confirmed through high-speed density fractionation, protection from protease digestion, and immunoprecipitation. The results demonstrated that nsp2 integrated into the membranes with an unexpected topology, where the amino (N)-terminal (cytoplasmic) and C-terminal (luminal) domains were orientated on opposite sides of the membrane surface. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. X-radiation effects on muscle cell membrane electrical parameters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Portela, A.; Vaccari, J.G.; Llobera, O.; Campi, M.; Delbue, M.A.; Perez, J.C.; Stewart, P.A.; Gosztonyi, A.E.; Brown Univ., Providence, R.I.


    Early effects of 100 Kilorads of X-rays on muscle cell membrane properties have been measured in sartorius muscles from Leptodactylus ocellatus. Threshold strength for rectangular current pulses increased 10% after irradiation, and action potential propagation velocity decreased 10%. Passive membrane parameters were calculated from potential responses to sub-threshold current pulses, assuming conventional cable theory. Specific membrane conductance increased to 18% after irradiation, membrane capacitance increased 14%, and length constant decreased 10% but membrane time constant was unchanged. Cell diameter decreased 5%, and resting membrane potential decreased 8%. Membrane parameters during an action potential were also evaluated by the phase-plane and current-voltage plot techniques. Irradiation significantly decreased the action potential amplitude, the excitation potential, and the maximum rates of rise and fall of membrane potential. Increases were observed in dynamic sodium and potassium conductances, peak sodium current, and net charge accumulation per action potential. This X-ray dose also produced signficant changes in the timing of peak events during the action potential; in general the whole action potential process is slower after irradiation

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harper, Jeffrey F.


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeffrey F. Harper, Ph.D.


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

  7. Dendronized Polymer Architectures for Fuel Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    case the side chains are synthesized and introduced in their sulfonated form onto an azide‐functionalized PSU via click chemistry. Three degrees of substitution of each architecture were prepared in order to evaluate the dependence on number of sulfonated side chains. Solution cast membranes were...

  8. The lipid organisation of the cell membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ladha, S.


    Full Text Available Lipids and proteins in biological membranes are arranged in a mosaic of domains in the membrane. These domains represent small-scale heterogeneities in composition, shape and fluidity within the plane of the membrane, over the range of hundreds of nanometers to a few micrometers. They arise from the complex interactions of the heterogeneous mixtures of phospholipids, sterols, and proteins that make up all biological membranes.Los lípidos y las proteínas en las membranas biológicas están dispuestos en un mosaico de campos en la membrana. Estos campos representan heterogeneidades a pequeña escala en la composición, forma y fluidez dentro del plano de la membrana, en un rango que va de los cientos de nanómetros a los pocos micrómetros. Estos campos se originan de las complejas interacciones de las mezclas heterogéneas de fosfolípidos, esteroles y proteínas de las que están hechas todas y cada una de las membranas biológicas.

  9. Polyunsaturation in cell membranes and lipid bilayers and its effects on membrane proteins. (United States)

    Slater, S J; Kelly, M B; Yeager, M D; Larkin, J; Ho, C; Stubbs, C D


    The effect of variation of the degree of cis-unsaturation on cell membrane protein functioning was investigated using a model lipid bilayer system and protein kinase C (PKC). This protein is a key element of signal transduction. Furthermore it is representative of a class of extrinsic membrane proteins that show lipid dependent interactions with cell membranes. To test for dependence of activity on the phospholipid unsaturation, experiments were devised using a vesicle assay system consisting of phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylserine (PS) in which the unsaturation was systematically varied. Highly purified PKC alpha and epsilon were obtained using the baculovirus-insect cell expression system. It was shown that increased PC unsaturation elevated the activity of PKC alpha. By contrast, increasing the unsaturation of PS decreased the activity of PKC alpha, and to a lesser extent PKC epsilon. This result immediately rules out any single lipid bilayer physical parameter, such as lipid order, underlying the effect. It is proposed that while PC unsaturation effects are explainable on the basis of a contribution to membrane surface curvature stress, the effects of PS unsaturation may be due to specific protein-lipid interactions. Overall, the results indicate that altered phospholipid unsaturation in cell membranes that occurs in certain disease states such as chronic alcoholism, or by dietary manipulations, are likely to have profound effects on signal transduction pathways involving PKC and similar proteins.

  10. Outer Hair Cell Lateral Wall Structure Constrains the Mobility of Plasma Membrane Proteins. (United States)

    Yamashita, Tetsuji; Hakizimana, Pierre; Wu, Siva; Hassan, Ahmed; Jacob, Stefan; Temirov, Jamshid; Fang, Jie; Mellado-Lagarde, Marcia; Gursky, Richard; Horner, Linda; Leibiger, Barbara; Leijon, Sara; Centonze, Victoria E; Berggren, Per-Olof; Frase, Sharon; Auer, Manfred; Brownell, William E; Fridberger, Anders; Zuo, Jian


    Nature's fastest motors are the cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs). These sensory cells use a membrane protein, Slc26a5 (prestin), to generate mechanical force at high frequencies, which is essential for explaining the exquisite hearing sensitivity of mammalian ears. Previous studies suggest that Slc26a5 continuously diffuses within the membrane, but how can a freely moving motor protein effectively convey forces critical for hearing? To provide direct evidence in OHCs for freely moving Slc26a5 molecules, we created a knockin mouse where Slc26a5 is fused with YFP. These mice and four other strains expressing fluorescently labeled membrane proteins were used to examine their lateral diffusion in the OHC lateral wall. All five proteins showed minimal diffusion, but did move after pharmacological disruption of membrane-associated structures with a cholesterol-depleting agent and salicylate. Thus, our results demonstrate that OHC lateral wall structure constrains the mobility of plasma membrane proteins and that the integrity of such membrane-associated structures are critical for Slc26a5's active and structural roles. The structural constraint of membrane proteins may exemplify convergent evolution of cellular motors across species. Our findings also suggest a possible mechanism for disorders of cholesterol metabolism with hearing loss such as Niemann-Pick Type C diseases.

  11. Outer Hair Cell Lateral Wall Structure Constrains the Mobility of Plasma Membrane Proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuji Yamashita


    Full Text Available Nature's fastest motors are the cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs. These sensory cells use a membrane protein, Slc26a5 (prestin, to generate mechanical force at high frequencies, which is essential for explaining the exquisite hearing sensitivity of mammalian ears. Previous studies suggest that Slc26a5 continuously diffuses within the membrane, but how can a freely moving motor protein effectively convey forces critical for hearing? To provide direct evidence in OHCs for freely moving Slc26a5 molecules, we created a knockin mouse where Slc26a5 is fused with YFP. These mice and four other strains expressing fluorescently labeled membrane proteins were used to examine their lateral diffusion in the OHC lateral wall. All five proteins showed minimal diffusion, but did move after pharmacological disruption of membrane-associated structures with a cholesterol-depleting agent and salicylate. Thus, our results demonstrate that OHC lateral wall structure constrains the mobility of plasma membrane proteins and that the integrity of such membrane-associated structures are critical for Slc26a5's active and structural roles. The structural constraint of membrane proteins may exemplify convergent evolution of cellular motors across species. Our findings also suggest a possible mechanism for disorders of cholesterol metabolism with hearing loss such as Niemann-Pick Type C diseases.

  12. Polybenzimidazole/Mxene composite membranes for intermediate temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Fei, Mingming; Lin, Ruizhi; Deng, Yuming; Xian, Hongxi; Bian, Renji; Zhang, Xiaole; Cheng, Jigui; Xu, Chenxi; Cai, Dongyu


    This report demonstrated the first study on the use of a new 2D nanomaterial (Mxene) for enhancing membrane performance of intermediate temperature (>100 °C) polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (ITPEMFCs). In this study, a typical Ti3C2T x -MXene was synthesized and incorporated into polybenzimidazole (PBI)-based membranes by using a solution blending method. The composite membrane with 3 wt% Ti3C2T x -MXene showed the proton conductivity more than 2 times higher than that of pristine PBI membrane at the temperature range of 100 °C-170 °C, and led to substantial increase in maximum power density of fuel cells by ˜30% tested at 150 °C. The addition of Ti3C2T x -MXene also improved the mechanical properties and thermal stability of PBI membranes. At 3 wt% Ti3C2T x -MXene, the elongation at break of phosphoric acid doped PBI remained unaffected at 150 °C, and the tensile strength and Young’s modulus was increased by ˜150% and ˜160%, respectively. This study pointed out promising application of MXene in ITPEMFCs.

  13. Immobilization of an integral membrane protein for biotechnological phenylacetaldehyde production. (United States)

    Oelschlägel, Michel; Riedel, Anika; Zniszczoł, Aurelia; Szymańska, Katarzyna; Jarzębski, Andrzej B; Schlömann, Michael; Tischler, Dirk


    Styrene oxide isomerase (SOI) has previously been shown to be an integral membrane protein performing a highly selective, hydrolytic ring opening reaction of epoxides to yield pure aldehydes. Earlier studies had also shown a high sensitivity of SOIs toward their product phenylacetaldehyde which caused an irreversible inhibition and finally complete loss of activity at higher aldehyde concentrations. Here we report on the covalent immobilization of a styrene oxide isomerase (SOI) on SBA-15 silica carriers. The production of the SOI from a Rhodococcus strain was optimized, the enzyme was enriched and immobilized, and finally the biocatalyst was applied in aqueous as well as in two-phase systems. Linkage of the protein to epoxide or amino groups on the SBA-based carriers led to relatively poor stabilization of the enzyme in an aqueous system. But, improved stability was observed toward organic phases like the non-toxic phthalate-related 1,2-cyclohexane dicarboxylic acid diisononyl ester (Hexamol DINCH) which here to our knowledge was used for the first time in a biotechnological application. With this two-phase system and the immobilized SOI, 1.6-2.0× higher product yields were reached and the lifetime of the biocatalyst was tremendously increased. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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

  15. Asymmetric Hybrid Polymer-Lipid Giant Vesicles as Cell Membrane Mimics. (United States)

    Peyret, Ariane; Ibarboure, Emmanuel; Le Meins, Jean-François; Lecommandoux, Sebastien


    Lipid membrane asymmetry plays an important role in cell function and activity, being for instance a relevant signal of its integrity. The development of artificial asymmetric membranes thus represents a key challenge. In this context, an emulsion-centrifugation method is developed to prepare giant vesicles with an asymmetric membrane composed of an inner monolayer of poly(butadiene)- b -poly(ethylene oxide) (PBut- b -PEO) and outer monolayer of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl- sn -glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC). The formation of a complete membrane asymmetry is demonstrated and its stability with time is followed by measuring lipid transverse diffusion. From fluorescence spectroscopy measurements, the lipid half-life is estimated to be 7.5 h. Using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching technique, the diffusion coefficient of 1,2-dioleoyl- sn -glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine- N -(lissamine rhodamine B sulfonyl) (DOPE-rhod, inserted into the POPC leaflet) is determined to be about D = 1.8 ± 0.50 μm 2 s -1 at 25 °C and D = 2.3 ± 0.7 μm 2 s -1 at 37 °C, between the characteristic values of pure POPC and pure polymer giant vesicles and in good agreement with the diffusion of lipids in a variety of biological membranes. These results demonstrate the ability to prepare a cell-like model system that displays an asymmetric membrane with transverse and translational diffusion properties similar to that of biological cells.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

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


    with deionized water in an attempt to completely remove the salts and then soxhlet -extracted in methanol for 72 h. Finally, it was vacuum dried at...were evaluated us- ing methods based on ASTM-D882 and ASTM-1004. SPTES-50 and Nafion samples both dry and wet were characterized. Samples of the...four-point-probe method provides membrane resistance without the effect of charge-transfer resistance and other nonohmic resis- tances. Proton

  20. Mouse endometrial stromal cells produce basement-membrane components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    . Mouse decidual cells isolated from 6- to 7-day pregnant uteri explanted in vitro continue to synthesize basement-membrane-like extracellular matrix. Using immunohistochemistry and metabolic labeling followed by immunoprecipitation, SDS-PAGE, and fluorography, it was shown that the decidual cells...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yildirim, M.H.


    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

  2. Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell control with feed-forward ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Feed-forward and feedback control is developed in this work for Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks. The feed-forward control is achieved using different methods, including look-up table, fuzzy logic and neural network, to improve the fuel cell stack breathing control and prevent the problem of oxygen ...

  3. The influence of platelet membranes on tumour cell behaviour. (United States)

    Coupland, L A; Hindmarsh, E J; Gardiner, E E; Parish, C R


    The significant role of platelets in the protection of tumour cells from immune attack and shear forces and the promotion of tumour cell extravasation from the bloodstream in the process of haematogenous metastasis have been extensively studied. The role of platelets, and in particular platelet membranes, in the promotion of a more metastatic phenotype in tumour cells is a more recent and, therefore, less well-recognised area of research. This review article summarises studies that have focused on the impact of tumour cell interactions with platelets and platelet membranes on tumour cell behaviour in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the gene expression changes that occur within tumour cells following contact with platelet membranes are also extensively reviewed. Overall, the interaction of platelet membranes with tumour cells results in a more invasive phenotype and the promotion of epithelial to mesenchymal transition with our own genetic studies revealing that matrix metalloproteinase-1, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and interleukin-8 are globally upregulated in a range of tumour cell lines.

  4. Advanced nanocomposite membranes for fuel cell applications: a comprehensive review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolsoum Pourzare


    Full Text Available Combination of inorganic fillers into organic polymer membranes (organic–inorganic hybrid membranes has drawn a significant deal of attention over the last few decades. This is because of the incorporated influence of the organic and inorganic phases towards proton conductivity and membrane stability, in addition to cost decline, improved water retention property, and also suppressing fuel crossover by increasing the transport pathway tortuousness. The preparation methods of the composite membranes and the intrinsic characteristics of the used particles as filler, such as size, type, surface acidity, shape, and their interactions with the polymer matrix can significantly affect the properties of the resultant matrix. The membranes currently used in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs are perfluorinated polymers containing sulfonic acid, such as Nafion®. Although these membranes possess superior properties, such as high proton conductivity and acceptable chemical, mechanical, and thermal stability, they suffer from several disadvantages such as water management, CO poisoning, and fuel crossover. Organic-inorganic nanocomposite PEMs offer excellent potentials for overcoming these shortcomings in order to achieve improved FC performance. Various inorganic fillers for the fabrication of composite membranes have been comprehensively reviewed in the present article. Moreover, the properties of polymer composites containing different nanoparticles have been thoroughly discussed.

  5. 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.

  6. Numerical modeling transport phenomena in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Suh, DongMyung

    To study the coupled phenomena occurring in proton exchange membrane fuel cells, a two-phase, one-dimensional, non-isothermal model is developed in the chapter 1. The model includes water phase change, proton transport in the membrane and electro-osmotic effect. The thinnest, but most complex layer in the membrane electrode assembly, catalyst layer, is considered an interfacial boundary between the gas diffusion layer and the membrane. Mass and heat transfer and electro-chemical reaction through the catalyst layer are formulated into equations, which are applied to boundary conditions for the gas diffusion layer and the membrane. Detail accounts of the boundary equations and the numerical solving procedure used in this work are given. The polarization curve is calculated at different oxygen pressures and compared with the experimental results. When the operating condition is changed along the polarization curve, the change of physicochemical variables in the membrane electrode assembly is studied. In particular, the over-potential diagram presents the usage of the electrochemical energy at each layer of the membrane electrode assembly. Humidity in supplying gases is one of the most important factors to consider for improving the performance of PEMFE. Both high and low humidity conditions can result in a deteriorating cell performance. The effect of humidity on the cell performance is studied in the chapter 2. First, a numerical model based on computational fluid dynamics is developed. Second, the cell performances are simulated, when the relative humidity is changed from 0% to 100% in the anode and the cathode channel. The simulation results show how humidity in the reactant gases affects the water content distribution in the membrane, the over-potential at the catalyst layers and eventually the cell performance. In particular, the rapid enhancement in the cell performance caused by self-hydrating membrane is captured by the simulation. Fully humidifying either H2

  7. Desmosomes: interconnected calcium-dependent structures of remarkable stability with significant integral membrane protein turnover. (United States)

    Windoffer, Reinhard; Borchert-Stuhlträger, Monika; Leube, Rudolf E


    Desmosomes are prominent cell adhesion structures that are major stabilizing elements, together with the attached cytoskeletal intermediate filament network, of the cytokeratin type in epithelial tissues. To examine desmosome dynamics in tightly coupled cells and in situations of decreased adhesion, fluorescent desmosomal cadherin desmocollin 2a (Dsc2a) chimeras were stably expressed in human hepatocellular carcinoma-derived PLC cells (clone PDc-13) and in Madin-Darby canine kidney cells (clone MDc-2) for the continuous monitoring of desmosomes in living cells. The hybrid polypeptides integrated specifically and without disturbance into normal-appearing desmosomes that occurred in association with typical cytokeratin filament bundles. Tracking of labeled adhesion sites throughout the cell cycle by time-lapse fluorescence microscopy revealed that they were immobile and that they maintained their structural integrity for long periods of time. Time-space diagrams further showed that desmosomal positioning was tightly controlled, even during pronounced cell shape changes, although the desmosomal arrays extended and contracted, suggesting that they were interconnected by a flexible system with intrinsic elasticity. Double-fluorescence microscopy detecting Dsc2a chimeras together with fluorescent cytokeratin 18 chimeras revealed the association and synchronous movement of labeled desmosomes and fluorescent cytokeratin filaments. Only a minor destabilization of desmosomes was observed during mitosis, demonstrated by increased diffuse plasma membrane fluorescence and the fusion of desmosomes into larger structures. Desmosomes did not disappear completely at any time in any cell, and residual cytokeratin filaments remained in association with adhesion sites throughout cell division. On the other hand, a rapid loss of desmosomes was observed upon calcium depletion, with irreversible uptake of some desmosomal particles. Simultaneously, diffusely distributed desmosomal

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Cell membrane damage by iron nanoparticles: an invitro study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gelare Hajsalimi


    Full Text Available Application of nanotechnology in medicinal and biological fields has attracted a great interest in the recent yeras. In this paper the cell membrane leakage induced by iron nanoparticles (Fe-NP against PC12 cell line which is known as a model of nervous system cell line was investigated by the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH test. Therefore, PC12 cells were incubated with different concentration of Fe-NP and test was performed after 48h of incubation of the cells with Fe-NP. The resulting data showed that the Fe-NP induced the damage of PC12 cell membrane in a concentration dependent manner. Hence, it may be concluded that the different cytotoxicty effect of NPs may be referred to the concentration of NPs, type of the NPs and the cells. Indeed, the kind of cytotoxic impacts of NPs on the cells can be reduced by the considering of above-mentioned parameters. The resulting data showed that the Fe-NP induced the damage of PC12 cell membrane in a concentration dependent manner. Hence, it may be concluded that the different cytotoxicty effect of NPs may be referred to the concentration of NPs, type of the NPs and the cells. Indeed, the kind of cytotoxic impacts of NPs on the cells can be reduced by the considering of above-mentioned parameters.

  11. 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


    confirmed by the post TEM and XRD analysis. A strong dependence of the fuel cell performance degradation on the catalyst supports was observed. Graphitization of the carbon blacks improved the stability and catalyst durability though at the expense of a significant decrease in the specific surface area......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...

  12. Fluorescent probes for detecting cholesterol-rich ordered membrane microdomains: entangled relationships between structural analogies in the membrane and functional homologies in the cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gérald Gaibelet


    Full Text Available This review addresses the question of fluorescent detection of ordered membrane (micro domains in living (cultured cells, with a “practical” point of view since the situation is much more complicated than for studying model membranes. We first briefly recall the bases of model membrane structural organization involving liquid-ordered and -disordered phases, and the main features of their counterparts in cell membranes that are the various microdomains. We then emphasize the utility of the fluorescent probes derived from cholesterol, and delineate the respective advantages, limitations and drawbacks of the existing ones. In particular, besides their intra-membrane behavior, their relevant characteristics should integrate their different cellular fates for membrane turn-over, trafficking and metabolism, in order to evaluate and improve their efficiency for in-situ probing membrane microdomains in the cell physiology context. Finally, at the present stage, it appears that Bdp-Chol and Pyr-met-Chol display well complementary properties, allowing to use them in combination to improve the reliability of the current experimental approaches. But the field is still open, and there remains much work to perform in this research area.

  13. Electrically Conductive, Hydrophilic Porous Membrane for Fuel Cell Applications, Phase I (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...

  14. Importance of balancing membrane and electrode water in anion exchange membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Omasta, T. J.; Wang, L.; Peng, X.; Lewis, C. A.; Varcoe, J. R.; Mustain, W. E.


    Anion exchange membrane fuel cells (AEMFCs) offer several potential advantages over proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), most notably to overcome the cost barrier that has slowed the growth and large scale implementation of fuel cells for transportation. However, limitations in performance have held back AEMFCs, specifically in the areas of stability, carbonation, and maximum achievable current and power densities. In order for AEMFCs to contend with PEMFCs for market viability, it is necessary to realize a competitive cell performance. This work demonstrates a new benchmark for a H2/O2 AEMFC with a peak power density of 1.4 W cm-2 at 60 °C. This was accomplished by taking a more precise look at balancing necessary membrane hydration while preventing electrode flooding, which somewhat surprisingly can occur both at the anode and the cathode. Specifically, radiation-grafted ETFE-based anion exchange membranes and anion exchange ionomer powder, functionalized with benchmark benzyltrimethylammonium groups, were utilized to examine the effects of the following parameters on AEMFC performance: feed gas flow rate, the use of hydrophobic vs. hydrophilic gas diffusion layers, and gas feed dew points.

  15. 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 not in...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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


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

  17. Consequences of lipidic nanoemulsions on membrane integrity and ultrastructural morphology of Staphylococcus aureus (United States)

    Singh, Neeru; Manaswita Verma, Saurabh; Singh, Sandeep Kumar; Ranjan Prasad Verma, Priya


    The present study divulges the consequences of lipidic nanoemulsions (cationized and non-cationized) on morphology and membrane integrity of Staphylococcus aureus using transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Transmission electron microscopic (TEM) images reveal that the cationized lipidic emulsions (CLEs) remained adhered even after the hostile treatment to remove nanoemulsions by centrifugation owing to electrostatic attraction between CLE and negatively charged bacterial surface. TEM images portray the extensive cell lyses owing to the release of cytoplasmic content when treated with both CLE and Non-CLE (NCLE). The AFM analysis of the NCLE and CLE treated S. aureus cells showed the root mean square roughness of 11.3 ± 2.8 nm and 17.7 ± 3.2 nm, respectively. The complete losses of bacterial colonies after 45 min of contact with NCLE were observed. No viable bacterial colonies were noticeable after 10 min of contact when treated with CLE, indicating better rate of killing with respect to NCLE. Similar results were obtained in the zone of inhibition studies. Significant (p < 0.05) increase of cytoplasmic material was observed both in NCLE (0.192 ± 0.003) and CLE (0.308 ± 0.012) as compared to control (0.019 ± 0.002). The present finding illustrates that the NCLE and CLE had caused significant membrane disorganization leading to release of cytoplasmic content causing irreversible cell damage, which is in accordance with the TEM, SEM and AFM studies.

  18. Nanofiber Composite Membranes for Alkaline Fuel Cells: Generation of Compositional, Morphological, and Functional Property Relationships (United States)


    properties of nanofiber composite anion-exchange membranes for alkaline fuel cells. A new membrane fabrication strategy, utilizing polymer fiber...Approved for Public Release; Distribution Unlimited Final Report: Nanofiber Composite Membranes for Alkaline Fuel Cells: Generation of Compositional...Park, NC 27709-2211 nanofibers, electrospinning, composite membranes, alkaline fuel cells REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE 11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S REPORT NUMBER

  19. 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. PMID:22387460

  20. 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.

  1. Improving lactic acid productivity from wheat straw hydrolysates by membrane integrated repeated batch fermentation under non-sterilized conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Yuming; Chen, Xiangrong; Qi, Benkun


    to eliminate the sequential utilization of mixed sugar and feedback inhibition during batch fermentation, membrane integrated repeated batch fermentation (MIRB) was used to improve LA productivity. With MIRB, a high cell density was obtained and the simultaneous fermentation of glucose, xylose and arabinose...... was successfully realized. The separation of LA from broth by membrane in batch fermentation also decreased feedback inhibition. MIRB was carried out using wheat straw hydrolysates (29.72g/L glucose, 24.69g/L xylose and 5.14g/L arabinose) as carbon source, LA productivity was increased significantly from 1.01g...

  2. Determination of apical membrane polarity in mammary epithelial cell cultures: The role of cell-cell, cell-substratum, and membrane-cytoskeleton interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parry, G.; Beck, J.C.; Moss, L.; Bartley, J. (Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States)); Ojakian, G.K. (State Univ. of New York, Brooklyn (United States))


    The membrane glycoprotein, PAS-O, is a major differentiation antigen on mammary epithelial cells and is located exclusively in the apical domain of the plasma membrane. The authors have used 734B cultured human mammary carcinoma cells as a model system to study the role of tight junctions, cell-substratum contacts, and submembranous cytoskeletal elements in restricting PAS-O to the apical membrane. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectronmicroscopy experiments demonstrated that while tight junctions demarcate PAS-O distribution in confluent cultures, apical polarity could be established at low culture densities when cells could not form tight junctions with neighboring cells. They suggest, then, that interactions between vitronectin and its receptor, are responsible for establishment of membrane domains in the absence of tight junctions. The role of cytoskeletal elements in restricting PAS-O distribution was examined by treating cultures with cytochalasin D, colchicine, or acrylamide. Cytochalasin D led to a redistribution of PAS0O while colchicine and acrylamide did not. They hypothesize that PAS-O is restricted to the apical membrane by interactions with a microfilament network and that the cytoskeletal organization is dependent upon cell-cell and cell-substratum interactions.

  3. Plasma membrane associated membranes (PAM) from Jurkat cells contain STIM1 protein is PAM involved in the capacitative calcium entry? (United States)

    Kozieł, Katarzyna; Lebiedzinska, Magdalena; Szabadkai, Gyorgy; Onopiuk, Marta; Brutkowski, Wojciech; Wierzbicka, Katarzyna; Wilczyński, Grzegorz; Pinton, Paolo; Duszyński, Jerzy; Zabłocki, Krzysztof; Wieckowski, Mariusz R


    A proper cooperation between the plasma membrane, the endoplasmic reticulum and the mitochondria seems to be essential for numerous cellular processes involved in Ca(2+) signalling and maintenance of Ca(2+) homeostasis. A presence of microsomal and mitochondrial proteins together with those characteristic for the plasma membrane in the fraction of the plasma membrane associated membranes (PAM) indicates a formation of stabile interactions between these three structures. We isolated the plasma membrane associated membranes from Jurkat cells and found its significant enrichment in the plasma membrane markers including plasma membrane Ca(2+)-ATPase, Na(+), K(+)-ATPase and CD3 as well as sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase as a marker of the endoplasmic reticulum membranes. In addition, two proteins involved in the store-operated Ca(2+) entry, Orai1 located in the plasma membrane and an endoplasmic reticulum protein STIM1 were found in this fraction. Furthermore, we observed a rearrangement of STIM1-containing protein complexes isolated from Jurkat cells undergoing stimulation by thapsigargin. We suggest that the inter-membrane compartment composed of the plasma membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum, and isolated as a stabile plasma membrane associated membranes fraction, might be involved in the store-operated Ca(2+) entry, and their formation and rebuilding have an important regulatory role in cellular Ca(2+) homeostasis.

  4. Red Blood Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoparticles For Drug Delivery (United States)

    Carpenter, Cody Westcott

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

  5. 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

  6. Poly (Ethylene-Alit-Tetrafluoroethylene) Based Membranes For Fuel Cells: Synthesis And Fuel Cell Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alkan Guersel, S.; Gubler, L.; Scherer, G.G.


    Proton exchange membranes have been synthesized by pre-irradiation grafting of styrene onto poly (ethylene-alt-tetrafluoroethylene) (ETFE) in the presence of divinyl benzene (DVB) as the cross linker and characterized ex-situ for their fuel cell relevant properties. The optimum graft level was determined as between 20 and 30 %. ETFE based membranes exhibited encouraging fuel cell performance yet, there is room for improvement through optimization of the membrane-electrode interface. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khare, S.; Jayakumar, A.; Trivedi, A.; Kesavan, P.C.; Prasad, R.


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

  8. Lipids that determine detergent resistance of MDCK cell membrane fractions. (United States)

    Manni, Marco M; Cano, Ainara; Alonso, Cristina; Goñi, Félix M


    A comparative lipidomic study has been performed of whole Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells and of the detergent-resistant membrane fraction (DRM) obtained after treating the cells with the non-ionic detergent Triton X-100. The DRM were isolated following a standard procedure that is extensively used in cell biology studies. Significant differences were found in the lipid composition of the whole cells and of DRM. The latter were enriched in all the analyzed sphingolipid classes: sphingomyelins, ceramides and hexosylceramides. Diacylglycerols were also preferentially found in DRM. The detergent-resistant fraction was also enriched in saturated over unsaturated fatty acyl chains, and in sn-1 acyl chains containing 16 carbon atoms, over the longer and shorter ones. The glycerophospholipid species phosphatidylethanolamines and phosphatidylinositols, that were mainly unsaturated, did not show a preference for DRM. Phosphatidylcholines were an intermediate case: the saturated, but not the unsaturated species were found preferentially in DRM. The question remains on whether these DRM, recovered from detergent-membrane mixtures by floatation over a sucrose gradient, really correspond to membrane domains existing in the cell membrane prior to detergent treatment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Membrane Fluidity Changes, A Basic Mechanism of Interaction of Gravity with Cells? (United States)

    Kohn, Florian; Hauslage, Jens; Hanke, Wolfgang


    All life on earth has been established under conditions of stable gravity of 1g. Nevertheless, in numerous experiments the direct gravity dependence of biological processes has been shown on all levels of organization, from single molecules to humans. According to the underlying mechanisms a variety of questions, especially about gravity sensation of single cells without specialized organelles or structures for gravity sensing is being still open. Biological cell membranes are complex structures containing mainly lipids and proteins. Functional aspects of such membranes are usually attributed to membrane integral proteins. This is also correct for the gravity dependence of cells and organisms which is well accepted since long for a wide range of biological systems. However, it is as well established that parameters of the lipid matrix are directly modifying the function of proteins. Thus, the question must be asked, whether, and how far plain lipid membranes are affected by gravity directly. In principle it can be said that up to recently no real basic mechanism for gravity perception in single cells has been presented or verified. However, it now has been shown that as a basic membrane parameter, membrane fluidity, is significantly dependent on gravity. This finding might deliver a real basic mechanism for gravity perception of living organisms on all scales. In this review we summarize older and more recent results to demonstrate that the finding of membrane fluidity being gravity dependent is consistent with a variety of published laboratory experiments. We additionally point out to the consequences of these recent results for research in the field life science under space condition.

  10. Membrane and MEA Development in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells (United States)

    Trogadas, Panagiotis; Ramani, Vijay

    The polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) is based on Nafion polymer membranes operating at a temperature of 80°C. The main characteristics (structure and properties) and problems of Nafion-based PEFC technology are discussed. The primary drawbacks of Nafion membranes are poor conductivity at low relative humidities (and consequently at temperatures >100°C and ambient pressure) and large crossover of methanol in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) applications. These drawbacks have prompted an extensive effort to improve the properties of Nafion and identify alternate materials to replace Nafion. Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) are classified in modified Nafion, membranes based on functionalized non-fluorinated backbones and acid-base polymer systems. Perhaps the most widely employed approach is the addition of inorganic additives to Nafion membranes to yield organic/inorganic composite membranes. Four major types of inorganic additives that have been studied (zirconium phosphates, heteropolyacids, metal hydrogen sulfates, and metal oxides) are reviewed in the following. DMFC and H2/O2 (air) cells based on modified Nafion membranes have been successfully operated at temperatures up to 120°C under ambient pressure and up to 150°C under 3-5 atm. Membranes based on functionalized non-fluorinated backbones are potentially promising for high-temperature operation. High conductivities have been obtained at temperatures up to 180°C. The final category of polymeric PEMs comprises non-functionalized polymers with basic character doped with proton-conducting acids such as phosphoric acid. The advanced features include high CO tolerance and thermal management. The advances made in the fabrication of electrodes for PEM fuel cells from the PTFE-bound catalyst layers of almost 20 years ago to the present technology are briefly discussed. There are two widely employed electrode designs: (1) PTFE-bound, and (2) thin-film electrodes. Emerging methods include those featuring

  11. Performance equations of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with feeds of varying degrees of humidification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hsuen, Hsiao-Kuo; Yin, Ken-Ming


    Performance equations that describe the dependence of cell potential on current density for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) with feeds of varying degrees of humidification have been formulated in algebraic form. The equations are developed by the reduction of a one-dimensional multi-domain model that takes into account, in details, the transport limitations of gas species, proton migration and electron conduction, electrochemical kinetics, as well as liquid water flow within the cathode, anode, and membrane. The model equations for the anode and membrane were integrated with those of the cathode developed in the previous studies to form a complete set of equations for one-dimensional single cell model. Because the transport equations for the anode diffuser can be solved analytically, calculations of integrals are only needed in the membrane and the two-phase region of cathode diffuser. The proposed approach greatly reduces the complexity of the model equations, and only iterations of a single algebraic equation are required to obtain final solutions. Since the performance equations are originated from a mechanistic one-dimensional model, all the parameters appearing in the equations are endowed with a precise physical significance.

  12. 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

  13. Membrane with internal passages to permit fluid flow and an electrochemical cell containing the same (United States)

    Cisar, Alan J. (Inventor); Gonzalez-Martin, Anuncia (Inventor); Hitchens, G. Duncan (Inventor); Murphy, Oliver J. (Inventor)


    The invention provides an improved proton exchange membrane for use in electrochemical cells having internal passages parallel to the membrane surface, an apparatus and process for making the membrane, membrane and electrode assemblies fabricated using the membrane, and the application of the membrane and electrode assemblies to a variety of devices, both electrochemical and otherwise. The passages in the membrane extend from one edge of the membrane to another and allow fluid flow through the membrane and give access directly to the membrane for purposes of hydration.

  14. Tissue integrity is essential for ectopic implantation of human endometrium in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane. (United States)

    Nap, Annemiek W; Groothuis, Patrick G; Demir, Ayse Y; Maas, Jacques W M; Dunselman, Gerard A J; de Goeij, Anton F P M; Evers, Johannes L H


    Not all women with patent tubes develop clinically manifest endometriosis. Quality and quantity of endometrium in retrograde menstruation may be the determining factor in the development of the disease. We hypothesize that retrograde shedding of endometrial fragments with preserved integrity facilitates implantation of endometrium in ectopic locations, resulting in endometriotic lesion development. We evaluate the impact of tissue integrity on the success of endometriosis-like lesion development in the chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model. Menstrual and non-menstrual (cyclic) endometrium were collected by biopsy, and either minced or enzymatically dispersed. Spontaneously shed menstrual effluent was collected by a menstrual cup, and cells and tissue were isolated. We evaluated whether infiltration or lesion formation in the CAM occurred after transplantation of endometrium onto the CAM. Transplantation of biopsied menstrual and cyclic endometrium fragments, and of endometrium fragments >1 mm(3) isolated from menstrual effluent, resulted in lesion formation. Transplantation of endometrial cells isolated from menstrual effluent did not lead to lesion formation. After transplantation of digested biopsied cyclic endometrium, infiltration in the CAM but no lesions were observed. In the CAM assay, integrity of tissue architecture determines success of implantation of human endometrium in ectopic locations.

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. Electrospun fiber membranes enable proliferation of genetically modified cells (United States)

    Borjigin, Mandula; Eskridge, Chris; Niamat, Rohina; Strouse, Bryan; Bialk, Pawel; Kmiec, Eric B


    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. PMID:23467983

  18. Large enhancement in neurite outgrowth on a cell membrane-mimicking conducting polymer (United States)

    Zhu, Bo; Luo, Shyh-Chyang; Zhao, Haichao; Lin, Hsing-An; Sekine, Jun; Nakao, Aiko; Chen, Chi; Yamashita, Yoshiro; Yu, Hsiao-Hua


    Although electrically stimulated neurite outgrowth on bioelectronic devices is a promising means of nerve regeneration, immunogenic scar formation can insulate electrodes from targeted cells and tissues, thereby reducing the lifetime of the device. Ideally, an electrode material capable of electrically interfacing with neurons selectively and efficiently would be integrated without being recognized by the immune system and minimize its response. Here we develop a cell membrane-mimicking conducting polymer possessing several attractive features. This polymer displays high resistance towards nonspecific enzyme/cell binding and recognizes targeted cells specifically to allow intimate electrical communication over long periods of time. Its low electrical impedance relays electrical signals efficiently. This material is capable to integrate biochemical and electrical stimulation to promote neural cellular behaviour. Neurite outgrowth is enhanced greatly on this new conducting polymer; in addition, electrically stimulated secretion of proteins from primary Schwann cells can also occur on it.

  19. Cell biology symposium: Membrane trafficking and signal transduction (United States)

    In general, membrane trafficking is a broad group of processes where proteins and other large molecules are distributed throughout the cell as well as adjacent extracellular spaces. Whereas signal transduction is a process where signals are transmitted through a series of chemical or molecular event...

  20. Polymers application in proton exchange membranes for fuel cells (PEMFCs) (United States)

    Walkowiak-Kulikowska, Justyna; Wolska, Joanna; Koroniak, Henryk


    This review presents the most important research on alternative polymer membranes with ionic groups attached, provides examples of materials with a well-defined chemical structure that are described in the literature. Furthermore, it elaborates on the synthetic methods used for preparing PEMs, the current status of fuel cell technology and its application. It also briefly discusses the development of the PEMFC market.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud


    in order to account for water back diffusion. Further Membrane water content is assumed to be a linear function of thickness. PEM fuel cell is working at rather low operating conditions which makes it suitable for the automotive systems. In this paper motive power part of a lift truck has been investigated...

  2. Perforate on CHO cell membranes induced by electromagnetic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)



    Jun 17, 2009 ... A number of studies have suggested that cell membranes may be a target of EMP irradiation (Lai et al.,. 1998). Over the past 2 decades, advances in specify instru- mentation have greatly contributed to cellular and mole- cular biology tools available to investigate nanoscaled bio- molecular structures.

  3. 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

  4. Salinity induced changes in cell membrane stability, protein and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    control), 4.7, 9.4 and 14.1 dS m-1 to determine the effect of salt on vegetative growth, relative water content, cell membrane stability, protein and RNA contents in sand culture experiment. Fresh and dry weights of plants, shoots and roots decreased ...

  5. hydrogel membrane as electrolyte for direct borohydride fuel cells

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Abstract. A direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC) employing a poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel membrane electrolyte (PHME) is reported. The DBFC employs an AB5 Misch metal alloy as anode and a gold- plated stainless steel mesh as cathode in conjunction with aqueous alkaline solution of sodium boro- hydride as fuel and ...

  6. hydrogel membrane as electrolyte for direct borohydride fuel cells

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC) employing a poly (vinyl alcohol) hydrogel membrane electrolyte (PHME) is reported. The DBFC employs an AB5 Misch metal alloy as anode and a goldplated stainless steel mesh as cathode in conjunction with aqueous alkaline solution of sodium borohydride as fuel and aqueous ...

  7. Denaturation of membrane proteins and hyperthermic cell killing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burgman, Paulus Wilhelmus Johannes Jozef


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

  8. The roles of membrane microdomains (rafts) in T cell activation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hořejší, Václav


    Roč. 191, - (2003), s. 148-164 ISSN 0105-2896 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LN00A026 Grant - others:Wellcome Trust(GB) J1116W24Z Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5052915 Keywords : membrane microdomain * raft * T cell Subject RIV: EC - Immunology Impact factor: 7.052, year: 2003

  9. Sulfonated carbon black-based composite membranes for fuel cell ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Sci., Vol. 36, No. 4, August 2013, pp. 563–573. c Indian Academy of Sciences. Sulfonated carbon black-based composite membranes for fuel cell applications .... All data were collected from a second heating cycle and glass tran- sition temperatures (Tg) were calculated as a midpoint of thermogram. 2.5d FTIR studies: FTIR ...

  10. Distribution of Flagella Secreted Protein and Integral Membrane Protein Among Campylobacter jejuni Isolated from Thailand (United States)


    secreted protein and integral membrane protein among Campylobacter jejuni isolated from Thailand Piyarat Pootong 1·, Oralak Serichantalergs...Ladaporn Bodhidatta \\ Frederic Poly2, Patricia Guerry2 and Carl J Mason 1 Abstract Background: Campylobacter jejuni, a gram-negative bacterium, is a...groups of integral membrane protein. The significance of these different FspA variants to virulence requires further study. Background Campylobacter

  11. An adhesion-based method for plasma membrane isolation: evaluating cholesterol extraction from cells and their membranes. (United States)

    Bezrukov, Ludmila; Blank, Paul S; Polozov, Ivan V; Zimmerberg, Joshua


    A method to isolate large quantities of directly accessible plasma membrane from attached cells is presented. The method is based on the adhesion of cells to an adsorbed layer of polylysine on glass plates, followed by hypotonic lysis with ice-cold distilled water and subsequent washing steps. Optimal conditions for coating glass plates and time for cell attachment were established. No additional chemical or mechanical treatments were used. Contamination of the isolated plasma membrane by cell organelles was less than 5%. The method uses inexpensive, commercially available polylysine and reusable glass plates. Plasma membrane preparations can be made in 15 min. Using this method, we determined that methyl-beta-cyclodextrin differentially extracts cholesterol from fibroblast cells and their plasma membranes and that these differences are temperature dependent. Determination of the cholesterol/phospholipid ratio from intact cells does not reflect methyl-beta-cyclodextrin plasma membrane extraction properties.

  12. Cholesterol Oxidase/Triton X-100 Parked Microelectrodes for the Detection of Cholesterol in Plasma Membrane at Single Cells. (United States)

    Xu, Haiyan; Zhou, Shuai; Jiang, Dechen; Chen, Hong-Yuan


    The classic electrochemical analysis of plasma membrane cholesterol at single cells utilizes a cholesterol oxidase modified microelectrode that oxidizes local cholesterol efflux from the plasma membrane to generate hydrogen peroxide for the electrochemical quantification. In this letter, a mixture of cholesterol oxidase and Triton X-100 was filled in the microcapillary that could park at the Pt layer coated tip due to slow hydrodynamic flow. During the contact of the tip with the cellular membrane, Triton X-100 at the tip permeabilized the contacted membrane to release cholesterol for the reaction with cholesterol oxidase. As compared with the linkage of cholesterol oxidase at the electrode surface, the oxidase parked in aqueous solution at the tip had a higher turnover rate resulting in larger electrochemical signal for single cell analysis. More charge collected at acyl-coA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) inhibited cells supported that this novel detection strategy could monitor the flunctation of membrane cholesterol at single cells. The successful detection of plasma membrane cholesterol at single cells using the oxidase parked microelectrode will provide a special strategy for the fabrication of biosensor that permits the integration of more molecules without functional groups at the electrode to measure active and inactive molecules in the plasma membrane. Moreover, the larger electrochemical signals collected could further increase the spatial resolution for single cell electrochemical analysis.

  13. Proteomics of plasma membranes from poplar trees reveals tissue distribution of transporters, receptors, and proteins in cell wall formation. (United States)

    Nilsson, Robert; Bernfur, Katja; Gustavsson, Niklas; Bygdell, Joakim; Wingsle, Gunnar; Larsson, Christer


    By exploiting the abundant tissues available from Populus trees, 3-4 m high, we have been able to isolate plasma membranes of high purity from leaves, xylem, and cambium/phloem at a time (4 weeks after bud break) when photosynthesis in the leaves and wood formation in the xylem should have reached a steady state. More than 40% of the 956 proteins identified were found in the plasma membranes of all three tissues and may be classified as "housekeeping" proteins, a typical example being P-type H(+)-ATPases. Among the 213 proteins predicted to be integral membrane proteins, transporters constitute the largest class (41%) followed by receptors (14%) and proteins involved in cell wall and carbohydrate metabolism (8%) and membrane trafficking (8%). ATP-binding cassette transporters (all members of subfamilies B, C, and G) and receptor-like kinases (four subfamilies) were two of the largest protein families found, and the members of these two families showed pronounced tissue distribution. Leaf plasma membranes were characterized by a very high proportion of transporters, constituting almost half of the integral proteins. Proteins involved in cell wall synthesis (such as cellulose and sucrose synthases) and membrane trafficking were most abundant in xylem plasma membranes in agreement with the role of the xylem in wood formation. Twenty-five integral proteins and 83 soluble proteins were exclusively found in xylem plasma membranes, which identifies new candidates associated with cell wall synthesis and wood formation. Among the proteins uniquely found in xylem plasma membranes were most of the enzymes involved in lignin biosynthesis, which suggests that they may exist as a complex linked to the plasma membrane.

  14. Innovative membrane development for fuel cells

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Vaivars, G


    Full Text Available will take time, and the first alternative commercial car will be hybrid. The critical issue is the power source for an electrical engine. The fuel cell (FC)-battery hybrid is a promising solution to replace the combustion engine. Liquid fuel (e.g. methanol...

  15. 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. © 2013.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Identification of glycan structure alterations on cell membrane proteins in desoxyepothilone B resistant leukemia cells. (United States)

    Nakano, Miyako; Saldanha, Rohit; Göbel, Anja; Kavallaris, Maria; Packer, Nicolle H


    Resistance to tubulin-binding agents used in cancer is often multifactorial and can include changes in drug accumulation and modified expression of tubulin isotypes. Glycans on cell membrane proteins play important roles in many cellular processes such as recognition and apoptosis, and this study investigated whether changes to the glycan structures on cell membrane proteins occur when cells become resistant to drugs. Specifically, we investigated the alteration of glycan structures on the cell membrane proteins of human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (CEM) cells that were selected for resistance to desoxyepothilone B (CEM/dEpoB). The glycan profile of the cell membrane glycoproteins was obtained by sequential release of N- and O-glycans from cell membrane fraction dotted onto polyvinylidene difluoride membrane with PNGase F and β-elimination respectively. The released glycan alditols were analyzed by liquid chromatography (graphitized carbon)-electrospray ionization tandem MS. The major N-glycan on CEM cell was the core fucosylated α2-6 monosialo-biantennary structure. Resistant CEM/dEpoB cells had a significant decrease of α2-6 linked sialic acid on N-glycans. The lower α2-6 sialylation was caused by a decrease in activity of β-galactoside α2-6 sialyltransferase (ST6Gal), and decreased expression of the mRNA. It is clear that the membrane glycosylation of leukemia cells changes during acquired resistance to dEpoB drugs and that this change occurs globally on all cell membrane glycoproteins. This is the first identification of a specific glycan modification on the surface of drug resistant cells and the mechanism of this downstream effect on microtubule targeting drugs may offer a route to new interventions to overcome drug resistance.

  19. Anion exchange membrane based on alkali doped poly(2,5-benzimidazole) for alkaline membrane fuel cell

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Luo, H


    Full Text Available Alkaline membrane fuel cell (AMFC) has been received increasing attention among the different types of fuel cells. Ammonium quaternized polymers such as poly (arylene ether sulfones) are being developed and studied as candidates of ionomeric...

  20. Actuation of flexoelectric membranes in viscoelastic fluids with applications to outer hair cells (United States)

    Herrera-Valencia, E. E.; Rey, Alejandro D.


    Liquid crystal flexoelectric actuation uses an imposed electric field to create membrane bending, and it is used by the outer hair cells (OHCs) located in the inner ear, whose role is to amplify sound through generation of mechanical power. Oscillations in the OHC membranes create periodic viscoelastic flows in the contacting fluid media. A key objective of this work on flexoelectric actuation relevant to OHCs is to find the relations and impact of the electromechanical properties of the membrane, the rheological properties of the viscoelastic media, and the frequency response of the generated mechanical power output. The model developed and used in this work is based on the integration of: (i) the flexoelectric membrane shape equation applied to a circular membrane attached to the inner surface of a circular capillary and (ii) the coupled capillary flow of contacting viscoelastic phases, such that the membrane flexoelectric oscillations drive periodic viscoelastic capillary flows, as in OHCs. By applying the Fourier transform formalism to the governing equation, analytical expressions for the transfer function associated with the curvature and electrical field and for the power dissipation of elastic storage energy were found. PMID:25332388

  1. Synthesis and characterization of Nafion/TiO2 nanocomposite membrane for proton exchange membrane fuel cell. (United States)

    Kim, Tae Young; Cho, Sung Yong


    In this study, the syntheses and characterizations of Nafion/TiO2 membranes for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) were investigated. Porous TiO2 powders were synthesized using the sol-gel method; with Nafion/TiO2 nanocomposite membranes prepared using the casting method. An X-ray diffraction analysis demonstrated that the synthesized TiO2 had an anatase structure. The specific surface areas of the TiO2 and Nafion/TiO2 nanocomposite membrane were found to be 115.97 and 33.91 m2/g using a nitrogen adsorption analyzer. The energy dispersive spectra analysis indicated that the TiO2 particles were uniformly distributed in the nanocomposite membrane. The membrane electrode assembly prepared from the Nafion/TiO2 nanocomposite membrane gave the best PEMFC performance compared to the Nafion/P-25 and Nafion membranes.

  2. Towards self-assembled hybrid artificial cells: novel bottom-up approaches to functional synthetic membranes. (United States)

    Brea, Roberto J; Hardy, Michael D; Devaraj, Neal K


    There has been increasing interest in utilizing bottom-up approaches to develop synthetic cells. A popular methodology is the integration of functionalized synthetic membranes with biological systems, producing "hybrid" artificial cells. This Concept article covers recent advances and the current state-of-the-art of such hybrid systems. Specifically, we describe minimal supramolecular constructs that faithfully mimic the structure and/or function of living cells, often by controlling the assembly of highly ordered membrane architectures with defined functionality. These studies give us a deeper understanding of the nature of living systems, bring new insights into the origin of cellular life, and provide novel synthetic chassis for advancing synthetic biology. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shah, V. A.; Gammon, P. M.; 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.; Chávez-Ángel, E.; Shchepetov, A.; Prunnila, M.; Kachkanov, V.; Dolbnya, I. P.; Reparaz, J. S.


    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 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

  4. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Jingshuai; Li, Xueyuan; Xu, Yizin


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

  6. Domestic wastewater treatment by forward osmosis-membrane distillation (FO-MD) integrated system. (United States)

    Li, Jie; Hou, Deyin; Li, Kuiling; Zhang, Yong; Wang, Jun; Zhang, Xiwang


    In this study, real domestic wastewater treatment by forward osmosis-membrane distillation (FO-MD) integrated system was investigated in laboratory scale. The integrated membrane system presented a good separation performance and the removal efficiency of most contaminants in the domestic wastewater was higher than 90%. High molecular weight contaminants were completely removed, while a few low molecular weight contaminants permeated through the membrane. The FO membrane fouling layer mainly consisted of organic substances like polysaccharides and proteins, and was very loose and could be effectively removed by rinsing the membrane surface with tap water. By comparison, the MD membrane fouling was mainly induced by inorganic salts and was not as severe as that of the FO membrane. During 120 h continuous operation, the FO-MD integrated system exhibited satisfying performance stability and maintained a high water yield and high product water quality. The results indicated the potential of the FO-MD integrated system for municipal wastewater treatment in coastal cities, water purification and desalination.

  7. A Novel Unitized Regenerative Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (United States)

    Murphy, O. J.; Cisar, A. J.; Gonzalez-Martin, A.; Salinas, C. E.; Simpson, S. F.


    A difficulty encountered in designing a unitized regenerative proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell lies in the incompatibility of electrode structures and electrocatalyst materials optimized for either of the two functions (fuel cell or electrolyzer) with the needs of the other function. This difficulty is compounded in previous regenerative fuel cell designs by the fact that water, which is needed for proton conduction in the PEM during both modes of operation, is the reactant supplied to the anode in the electrolyzer mode of operation and the product formed at the cathode in the fuel cell mode. Drawbacks associated with existing regenerative fuel cells have been addressed. In a first innovation, electrodes function either as oxidation electrodes (hydrogen ionization or oxygen evolution) or as reduction electrodes (oxygen reduction or hydrogen evolution) in the fuel cell and electrolyzer modes, respectively. Control of liquid water within the regenerative fuel cell has been brought about by a second innovation. A novel PEM has been developed with internal channels that permit the direct access of water along the length of the membrane. Lateral diffusion of water along the polymer chains of the PEM provides the water needed at electrode/PEM interfaces. Fabrication of the novel single cell unitized regenerative fuel cell and results obtained on testing it are presented.

  8. Nuclear myosin I regulates cell membrane tension

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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


    Roč. 6, AUG 2 (2016), č. článku 30864. ISSN 2045-2322 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109; GA ČR GAP305/11/2232; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1304 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : neuronal growth cone * rna-polymerase-ii * cancer cells * phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate * myo1c * actin * transcription * complex * motor * afm Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.259, year: 2016


    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.

  10. Integral and peripheral association of proteins and protein complexes with Yersinia pestis inner and outer membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bunai Christine L


    Full Text Available Abstract Yersinia pestis proteins were sequentially extracted from crude membranes with a high salt buffer (2.5 M NaBr, an alkaline solution (180 mM Na2CO3, pH 11.3 and membrane denaturants (8 M urea, 2 M thiourea and 1% amidosulfobetaine-14. Separation of proteins by 2D gel electrophoresis was followed by identification of more than 600 gene products by MS. Data from differential 2D gel display experiments, comparing protein abundances in cytoplasmic, periplasmic and all three membrane fractions, were used to assign proteins found in the membrane fractions to three protein categories: (i integral membrane proteins and peripheral membrane proteins with low solubility in aqueous solutions (220 entries; (ii peripheral membrane proteins with moderate to high solubility in aqueous solutions (127 entries; (iii cytoplasmic or ribosomal membrane-contaminating proteins (80 entries. Thirty-one proteins were experimentally associated with the outer membrane (OM. Circa 50 proteins thought to be part of membrane-localized, multi-subunit complexes were identified in high Mr fractions of membrane extracts via size exclusion chromatography. This data supported biologically meaningful assignments of many proteins to the membrane periphery. Since only 32 inner membrane (IM proteins with two or more predicted transmembrane domains (TMDs were profiled in 2D gels, we resorted to a proteomic analysis by 2D-LC-MS/MS. Ninety-four additional IM proteins with two or more TMDs were identified. The total number of proteins associated with Y. pestis membranes increased to 456 and included representatives of all six β-barrel OM protein families and 25 distinct IM transporter families.

  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. 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.

  13. Isolation of a Wheat Cell Line with Altered Membrane Properties (United States)

    Erdei, László; Vigh, László; Dudits, Dénes


    A spontaneous dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO)-tolerant cell line was isolated from a cell culture of wheat (Triticum monococcum L.). The tolerant cells were able to grow in the presence of 4% DMSO. Cells formed from protoplasts of the tolerant line required DMSO for division in culture medium of high osmotic value. Fatty acid composition and the molar ratio of phospholipids/sterols suggest a more ordered membrane structure in the tolerant line. Accordingly, a lower K+ influx rate was detected in the tolerant cells in comparison with the original line. These characteristics were maintained after 6 months' cultivation of the cells in DMSO-free growth medium. This suggested that genetic changes could be responsible for differences between the two cell lines. PMID:16662251

  14. Cell membrane wrapping of a spherical thin elastic shell. (United States)

    Yi, Xin; Gao, Huajian


    Nanocapsules that can be tailored intelligently and specifically have drawn considerable attention in the fields of drug delivery and bioimaging. Here we conduct a theoretical study on cell uptake of a spherical nanocapsule which is modeled as a linear elastic solid thin shell in three dimensions. It is found that there exist five wrapping phases based on the stability of three wrapping states: no wrapping, partial wrapping and full wrapping. The wrapping phase diagrams are strongly dependent on the capsule size, adhesion energy, cell membrane tension, and bending rigidity ratio between the capsule and membrane. Discussion is made on similarities and differences between the cell uptake of solid nanocapsules and fluid vesicles. The reported results may have important implications for biomedical applications of nanotechnology.

  15. 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......), calcein dye leakage and fluorescence spectroscopy. OCD consistently showed that Nc is bound in an alpha-helical, surface bound state over a range of peptide to lipid (P/L) ratios up to approximately 1:15. Realignment of Nc at higher P/L ratios correlates to loss of membrane integrity as shown by Laurdan...... concentration, probably through formation of transient pores or transient disruption of the membrane integrity, followed by more extensive membrane disintegration at higher P/L ratios....

  16. 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.

  17. Nafion/silane nanocomposite membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. (United States)

    Ghi, Lee Jin; Park, Na Ri; Kim, Moon Sung; Rhee, Hee Woo


    The polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has been studied actively for both potable and stationary applications because it can offer high power density and be used only hydrogen and oxygen as environment-friendly fuels. Nafion which is widely used has mechanical and chemical stabilities as well as high conductivity. However, there is a drawback that it can be useless at high temperatures (> or = 90 degrees C) because proton conducting mechanism cannot work above 100 degrees C due to dehydration of membrane. Therefore, PEMFC should be operated for long-term at high temperatures continuously. In this study, we developed nanocomposite membrane using stable properties of Nafion and phosphonic acid groups which made proton conducting mechanism without water. 3-Aminopropyl triethoxysilane (APTES) was used to replace sulfonic acid groups of Nafion and then its aminopropyl group was chemically modified to phosphonic acid groups. The nanocomposite membrane showed very high conductivity (approximately 0.02 S/cm at 110 degrees C, <30% RH).

  18. Phosphoric acid distribution in the membrane electrode assembly of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwon, Kyungjung; Park, Jung Ock; Yoo, Duck Young; Yi, Jung S.


    The ionomer content in electrode is one of the most important parameters for the high performance of fuel cells. The high temperature PEMFC based on phosphoric acid (PA)-doped polymer membrane with unhumidified reactant gases has a difficulty in controlling the liquid state PA ionomer content in electrode. To evaluate the PA content in electrode, the three techniques of cyclic voltammetry (CV), electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and acid-base titration (ABT) are carried out in situ or ex situ. The properties of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) such as electrochemical surface area (ESA), ohmic resistance, charge transfer resistance, double layer capacitance and the amount of PA in MEA components (anode, cathode and membrane) are extracted by each technique. Ex situ CV with the usage of dry gases has a limitation in assessing the reliable ESA of unhumidified PEMFC. While in situ EIS presents some informative values of resistance and capacitance for understanding the PA distribution in MEA, its sensitivity to the PA content in MEA components needs to be higher for detecting a subtle change in PA distribution. Ex situ ABT supplies a clear PA distribution in MEA at room temperature but does not seem to reflect the operating state well at high temperatures. However, it can be used as a detection tool for the loss of the initial acid content in membrane during a long-term MEA durability study.

  19. 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.

  20. Membrane properties of smooth muscle cells in pulmonary hypertensive rats. (United States)

    Suzuki, H; Twarog, B M


    The membrane properties of smooth muscle cells in rat main pulmonary artery (MPA) and small pulmonary artery (SPA) were investigated during chronic normobaric hypoxia and after monocrotaline injection. As chronic pulmonary hypertension developed, pronounced differences between MPA and SPA were observed. These findings may shed light on mechanisms of smooth muscle hypertrophy. 1) The resting membrane potential of smooth muscle in MPA became less negative than the normal (depolarized), whereas the resting membrane potential of smooth muscle in SPA became more negative (hyperpolarized). 2) In MPA, both the length and time constants diminished. 3) In MPA, the maximum membrane depolarization produced by a 10-fold increase in extracellular [K+] decreased. 4) In SPA, the depolarization observed in K+-free solution was more rapid and greater in amplitude, and the transient hyperpolarization following restoration of K+-containing solution increased. 5) In SPA, initial and sustained depolarization evoked by Na+-deficient solutions were increased. 6) Depolarization in MPA was due to increased membrane permeability, perhaps to Cl-, whereas hyperpolarization in SPA could be attributed to increased activity of an electrogenic Na+-K+ pump.

  1. 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.

  2. A microbial fuel cell–membrane bioreactor integrated system for cost-effective wastewater treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Yong-Peng; Liu, Xian-Wei; Li, Wen-Wei; Li, Feng; Wang, Yun-Kun; Sheng, Guo-Ping; Zeng, Raymond J.; Yu, Han-Qing


    Highlights: ► An MFC–MBR integrated system for wastewater treatment and electricity generation. ► Stable electricity generation during 1000-h continuous operation. ► Low-cost electrode, separator and filter materials were adopted. -- Abstract: Microbial fuel cell (MFC) and membrane bioreactor (MBR) are both promising technologies for wastewater treatment, but both with limitations. In this study, a novel MFC–MBR integrated system, which combines the advantages of the individual systems, was proposed for simultaneous wastewater treatment and energy recovery. The system favored a better utilization of the oxygen in the aeration tank of MBR by the MFC biocathode, and enabled a high effluent quality. Continuous and stable electricity generation, with the average current of 1.9 ± 0.4 mA, was achieved over a long period of about 40 days. The maximum power density reached 6.0 W m −3 . Moreover, low-cost materials were used for the reactor construction. This integrated system shows great promise for practical wastewater treatment application.

  3. Low-temperature bonded glass-membrane microfluidic device for in vitro organ-on-a-chip cell culture models (United States)

    Pocock, Kyall J.; Gao, Xiaofang; Wang, Chenxi; Priest, Craig; Prestidge, Clive A.; Mawatari, Kazuma; Kitamori, Takehiko; Thierry, Benjamin


    The integration of microfluidics with living biological systems has paved the way to the exciting concept of "organson- a-chip", which aims at the development of advanced in vitro models that replicate the key features of human organs. Glass based devices have long been utilised in the field of microfluidics but the integration of alternative functional elements within multi-layered glass microdevices, such as polymeric membranes, remains a challenge. To this end, we have extended a previously reported approach for the low-temperature bonding of glass devices that enables the integration of a functional polycarbonate porous membrane. The process was initially developed and optimised on specialty low-temperature bonding equipment (μTAS2001, Bondtech, Japan) and subsequently adapted to more widely accessible hot embosser units (EVG520HE Hot Embosser, EVG, Austria). The key aspect of this method is the use of low temperatures compatible with polymeric membranes. Compared to borosilicate glass bonding (650 °C) and quartz/fused silica bonding (1050 °C) processes, this method maintains the integrity and functionality of the membrane (Tg 150 °C for polycarbonate). Leak tests performed showed no damage or loss of integrity of the membrane for up to 150 hours, indicating sufficient bond strength for long term cell culture. A feasibility study confirmed the growth of dense and functional monolayers of Caco-2 cells within 5 days.

  4. Establishment of insect cell lines expressing green fluorescent protein on cell surface based on AcMNPV GP64 membrane fusion characteristic. (United States)

    Qi, Ben-Xiang; Chen, Ying-Jian; Su, Rui; Li, Yi-Fei; Zheng, Gui-Ling; Li, Chang-You


    Displaying a protein on the surface of cells has been provided a very successful strategy to function research of exogenous proteins. Based on the membrane fusion characteristic of Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus envelope protein GP64, we amplified and cloned N-terminal signal peptide and C-terminal transmembrane domain as well as cytoplasmic tail domain of gp64 gene into vector pIZ/V5-His with multi-cloning sites to construct the cell surface expression vector pIZ/V5-gp64. To verify that the vector can be used to express proteins on the membrane of insect cells, a recombinant plasmid pIZ/V5-gp64-GFP was constructed by introducing the PCR amplified green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene and transfected into insect cell lines Sf9 and H5. The transected cells were screened with zeocin and cell cloning. PCR verification results showed that the GFP gene was successfully integrated into these cells. Green fluorescence in Sf9-GFP and H5-GFP cells was observed by using confocal laser scanning microscopy and immunofluorescence detection indicated that GFP protein was located on the cell membrane. Western blot results showed that a fusion protein GP64-GFP of about 40 kDa was expressed on the membrane of Sf9-GFP and H5-GFP cells. The expression system constructed in this paper can be used for localization and continuous expression of exogenous proteins on insect cell membrane.

  5. Stimulating Effect of Terfenadine on Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Signoretto


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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baldo, Wilians Roberto


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferraris, John P. [Univ. of Texas-Dallas, Richardson, TX (United States). Dept. of Chemistry


    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 H2/CO2 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. CO2-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 H2/CO2 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 H2/CO2 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 and selectivity at 300 °C, which is comparable to a flat PBI membrane. A water-gas shift reactor has been built and currently being optimized for testing under DOE conditions.

  8. 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.

  9. Embelin-Induced Phosphatidylserine Translocation in the Erythrocyte Cell Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghada Bouguerra


    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The antihelminthic, contraceptive, anti-inflammatory and anticancer phytochemical embelin is at least in part effective against malignancy by inducing suicidal death or apoptosis of tumor cells. Erythrocytes are similarly able to enter suicidal death or eryptosis, which is characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Signaling of eryptosis includes increase of cytosolic Ca2+-activity ([Ca2+]i, ceramide formation, oxidative stress as well as activation of p38 kinase and protein kinase C (PKC. The present study tested, whether and how embelin induces eryptosis. Methods: Phosphatidylserine exposure at the cell surface was estimated from annexin V binding, cell volume from forward scatter, [Ca2+]i from Fluo3-fluorescence, ceramide abundance utilizing specific antibodies and reactive oxygen species (ROS from 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFDA fluorescence. Results: A 48 hours exposure of human erythrocytes to embelin (≥25 µM significantly increased the percentage of annexin-V-binding cells and hemolysis. Embelin did not significantly modify [Ca2+]i. The effect of embelin on annexin-V-binding was not blunted by removal of extracellular Ca2+, by p38 kinase inhibitor SB203580 (2 µM or by PKC inhibitor staurosporine (1 µM. Embelin did, however, significantly increase the ceramide abundance. Conclusions: Embelin stimulates phospholipid scrambling of the erythrocyte cell membrane, an effect involving ceramide formation.

  10. Mechanics of membrane bulging during cell-wall disruption in Gram-negative bacteria (United States)

    Daly, Kristopher E.; Huang, Kerwyn Casey; Wingreen, Ned S.; Mukhopadhyay, Ranjan


    The bacterial cell wall is a network of sugar strands crosslinked by peptides that serve as the primary structure for bearing osmotic stress. Despite its importance in cellular survival, the robustness of the cell wall to network defects has been relatively unexplored. Treatment of the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli with the antibiotic vancomycin, which disrupts the crosslinking of new material during growth, leads to the development of pronounced bulges and eventually of cell lysis. Here, we model the mechanics of the bulging of the cytoplasmic membrane through pores in the cell wall. We find that the membrane undergoes a transition between a nearly flat state and a spherical bulge at a critical pore radius of ~20 nm. This critical pore size is large compared to the typical distance between neighboring peptides and glycan strands, and hence pore size acts as a constraint on network integrity. We also discuss the general implications of our model to membrane deformations in eukaryotic blebbing and vesiculation in red blood cells.

  11. Cell-geometry-dependent changes in plasma membrane order direct stem cell signalling and fate. (United States)

    von Erlach, Thomas C; Bertazzo, Sergio; Wozniak, Michele A; Horejs, Christine-Maria; Maynard, Stephanie A; Attwood, Simon; Robinson, Benjamin K; Autefage, Hélène; Kallepitis, Charalambos; Del Río Hernández, Armando; Chen, Christopher S; Goldoni, Silvia; Stevens, Molly M


    Cell size and shape affect cellular processes such as cell survival, growth and differentiation 1-4 , thus establishing cell geometry as a fundamental regulator of cell physiology. The contributions of the cytoskeleton, specifically actomyosin tension, to these effects have been described, but the exact biophysical mechanisms that translate changes in cell geometry to changes in cell behaviour remain mostly unresolved. Using a variety of innovative materials techniques, we demonstrate that the nanostructure and lipid assembly within the cell plasma membrane are regulated by cell geometry in a ligand-independent manner. These biophysical changes trigger signalling events involving the serine/threonine kinase Akt/protein kinase B (PKB) that direct cell-geometry-dependent mesenchymal stem cell differentiation. Our study defines a central regulatory role by plasma membrane ordered lipid raft microdomains in modulating stem cell differentiation with potential translational applications.

  12. A laser microsurgical method of cell wall removal allows detection of large-conductance ion channels in the guard cell plasma membrane (United States)

    Miedema, H.; Henriksen, G. H.; Assmann, S. M.; Evans, M. L. (Principal Investigator)


    Application of patch clamp techniques to higher-plant cells has been subject to the limitation that the requisite contact of the patch electrode with the cell membrane necessitates prior enzymatic removal of the plant cell wall. Because the wall is an integral component of plant cells, and because cell-wall-degrading enzymes can disrupt membrane properties, such enzymatic treatments may alter ion channel behavior. We compared ion channel activity in enzymatically isolated protoplasts of Vicia faba guard cells with that found in membranes exposed by a laser microsurgical technique in which only a tiny portion of the cell wall is removed while the rest of the cell remains intact within its tissue environment. "Laser-assisted" patch clamping reveals a new category of high-conductance (130 to 361 pS) ion channels not previously reported in patch clamp studies on plant plasma membranes. These data indicate that ion channels are present in plant membranes that are not detected by conventional patch clamp techniques involving the production of individual plant protoplasts isolated from their tissue environment by enzymatic digestion of the cell wall. Given the large conductances of the channels revealed by laser-assisted patch clamping, we hypothesize that these channels play a significant role in the regulation of ion content and electrical signalling in guard cells.

  13. Binding of 18F by cell membranes and cell walls of Streptococcus mutans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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


    The binding of 18 F to isolated cell membranes and cell walls of Streptococcus mutans GS-5 or other bacteria was assayed. The attachment of 18 F to these cell envelopes proceeded slowly and reached equilibrium within 60 min. 18 F binding was stimulated by Ca 2+ (1 mM). The binding of 18 F to cellular components was dependent upon the pH, as well as the amount of 18 F and dose of the binder employed. The binding of 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 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 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 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 18 F per mg (dry weight). 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 18 F binding by cell membranes and walls of oral flora

  14. 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....

  15. Proteomic analysis of isolated membrane fractions from superinvasive cancer cells


    Dowling, Paul; Meleady, Paula; Dowd, Andrew; Henry, Michael; Glynn, Sharon; Clynes, Martin


    The superinvasive phenotype exhibited by paclitaxel-selected variants of an in vitro invasive clonal population of the human cancer cell line, MDA-MB-435S were examined using DIGE (Fluorescence 2-D Difference Gel Electrophoresis) and mass spectrometry. Isolation of membrane proteins from the MDA-MB-435S-F/Taxol-10p4p and parental populations was performed by temperature-dependent phase partitioning using the detergent Triton X-114. Subsequent DIGE-generated data analysed using Decyde...

  16. Molecular Interactions at Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jagalski, Vivien

    Biological membranes are essential and complex structures in every living cell consisting of a fluid lipid bilayer sheet and membrane proteins. Its significance makes biological membranes not only interesting for medical research, but also has made it a target for toxins in the course of evolution....... Today, we know more than ever before about the properties of biological membranes. Advanced biophysical techniques and sophisticated membrane models allow us to answer specific questions about the structure of the components within membranes and their interactions. However, many detailed structural...... mechanisms of membrane compounds, including compounds associated with membranes, are still unknown due to the challenges that arise when probing the hydrophobic nature of the membrane's interior. For integral membrane proteins that span through the entire membrane, the amphiphilic environment is essential...

  17. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Collective cell behavior on basement membranes floating in space (United States)

    Ellison, Sarah; Bhattacharjee, Tapomoy; Morley, Cameron; Sawyer, W.; Angelini, Thomas

    The basement membrane is an essential part of the polarity of endothelial and epithelial tissues. In tissue culture and organ-on-chip devices, monolayer polarity can be established by coating flat surfaces with extracellular matrix proteins and tuning the trans-substrate permeability. In epithelial 3D culture, spheroids spontaneously establish inside-out polarity, morphing into hollow shell-like structures called acini, generating their own basement membrane on the inner radius of the shell. However, 3D culture approaches generally lack the high degree of control provided by the 2D culture plate or organ-on-chip devices, making it difficult to create more faithful in vitro tissue models with complex surface curvature and morphology. Here we present a method for 3D printing complex basement membranes covered in cells. We 3D print collagen-I and Matrigel into a 3D growth medium made from jammed microgels. This soft, yielding material allows extracellular matrix to be formed as complex surfaces and shapes, floating in space. We then distribute MCF10A epithelial cells across the polymerized surface. We envision employing this strategy to study 3D collective cell behavior in numerous model tissue layers, beyond this simple epithelial model.

  19. Fluorine NMR-based screening on cell membrane extracts. (United States)

    Veronesi, Marina; Romeo, Elisa; Lambruschini, Chiara; Piomelli, Daniele; Bandiera, Tiziano; Scarpelli, Rita; Garau, Gianpiero; Dalvit, Claudio


    The possibility of measuring the action of inhibitors of specific enzymatic reactions in intact cells, cell lysates or membrane preparations represents a major advance in the lead discovery process. Despite the relevance of assaying in physiological conditions, only a small number of biophysical techniques, often requiring complex set-up, are applicable to these sample types. Here, we demonstrate the first application of n-fluorine atoms for biochemical screening (n-FABS), a homogeneous and versatile assay based on (19) F NMR spectroscopy, to the detection of high- and low-affinity inhibitors of a membrane enzyme in cell extracts and determination of their IC50 values. Our approach can allow the discovery of novel binding fragments against targets known to be difficult to purify or where membrane-association is required for activity. These results pave the way for future applications of the methodology to these relevant and complex biological systems. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. 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.

  1. Relative abundance of integral plasma membrane proteins in Arabidopsis leaf and root tissue determined by metabolic labeling and mass spectrometry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Bernfur

    Full Text Available Metabolic labeling of proteins with a stable isotope ((15N in intact Arabidopsis plants was used for accurate determination by mass spectrometry of differences in protein abundance between plasma membranes isolated from leaves and roots. In total, 703 proteins were identified, of which 188 were predicted to be integral membrane proteins. Major classes were transporters, receptors, proteins involved in membrane trafficking and cell wall-related proteins. Forty-one of the integral proteins, including nine of the 13 isoforms of the PIP (plasma membrane intrinsic protein aquaporin subfamily, could be identified by peptides unique to these proteins, which made it possible to determine their relative abundance in leaf and root tissue. In addition, peptides shared between isoforms gave information on the proportions of these isoforms. A comparison between our data for protein levels and corresponding data for mRNA levels in the widely used database Genevestigator showed an agreement for only about two thirds of the proteins. By contrast, localization data available in the literature for 21 of the 41 proteins show a much better agreement with our data, in particular data based on immunostaining of proteins and GUS-staining of promoter activity. Thus, although mRNA levels may provide a useful approximation for protein levels, detection and quantification of isoform-specific peptides by proteomics should generate the most reliable data for the proteome.

  2. Rupturing Giant Plasma Membrane Vesicles to Form Micron-sized Supported Cell Plasma Membranes with Native Transmembrane Proteins. (United States)

    Chiang, Po-Chieh; Tanady, Kevin; Huang, Ling-Ting; Chao, Ling


    Being able to directly obtain micron-sized cell blebs, giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs), with native membrane proteins and deposit them on a planar support to form supported plasma membranes could allow the membrane proteins to be studied by various surface analytical tools in native-like bilayer environments. However, GPMVs do not easily rupture on conventional supports because of their high protein and cholesterol contents. Here, we demonstrate the possibility of using compression generated by the air-water interface to efficiently rupture GPMVs to form micron-sized supported membranes with native plasma membrane proteins. We demonstrated that not only lipid but also a native transmembrane protein in HeLa cells, Aquaporin 3 (AQP3), is mobile in the supported membrane platform. This convenient method for generating micron-sized supported membrane patches with mobile native transmembrane proteins could not only facilitate the study of membrane proteins by surface analytical tools, but could also enable us to use native membrane proteins for bio-sensing applications.

  3. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Reversal: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Congwei Qin


    Full Text Available The H2/air-fed proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC has two major problems: cost and durability, which obstruct its pathway to commercialization. Cell reversal, which would create irreversible damage to the fuel cell and shorten its lifespan, is caused by reactant starvation, load change, low catalyst performance, and so on. This paper will summarize the causes, consequences, and mitigation strategies of cell reversal of PEMFC in detail. A description of potential change in the anode and cathode and the differences between local starvation and overall starvation are reviewed, which gives a framework for comprehending the origins of cell reversal. According to the root factor of cell starvation, i.e., fuel cells do not satisfy the requirements of electrons and protons of normal anode and cathode chemical reactions, we will introduce specific methods to mitigate or prevent fuel cell damage caused by cell reversal in the view of system management strategies and component material modifications. Based on a comprehensive understanding of cell reversal, it is beneficial to operate a fuel cell stack and extend its lifetime.

  4. FG repeats facilitate integral protein trafficking to the inner nuclear membrane


    Kerr, Alastair RW; Schirmer, Eric C


    The mechanism for nucleo-cytoplasmic transport of integral membrane proteins is poorly understood compared to transport of soluble molecules. We recently demonstrated that at least four distinct mechanisms can contribute to transport of integral proteins through the peripheral channels of the nuclear pore complex. One of these requires having multiple phenylalanine-glycine (FG) pairings on the integral protein. It also requires the nuclear pore complex protein Nup35, which separately contains...

  5. 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


    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...

  6. 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.

  7. Integrated investigation approach for determining mechanical properties of poly-silicon membranes


    Brueckner, J.; Dehe, A.; Auerswald, E.; Dudek, R.; Michel, B.; Rzepka, S.


    A methodology is presented for determining mechanical properties of free-standing thin films such as poly-silicon membranes. The integrated investigation approach comprises test structure development, mechanical testing, and numerical simulation. All membrane test structures developed and manufactured consist of the same material but have different stiffness due to variations in the geometric design. The mechanical tests apply microscopic loads utilizing a nanoindentation tool. Young's modulu...

  8. Dynamic analysis of magnetic nanoparticles crossing cell membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pedram, Maysam Z. [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Tech., Azadi Ave., Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Shamloo, Amir, E-mail: [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Tech., Azadi Ave., Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Ghafar-Zadeh, Ebrahim [Biologically-Inspired Sensors and Actuators Laboratory, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer science, York University, Keel Street, Toronto (Canada); Alasty, Aria, E-mail: [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Tech., Azadi Ave., Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of)


    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.

  9. 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...... that stretch and volume sensitivity can be considered two independent regulatory mechanisms....


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor CIUPINA


    Full Text Available The fuel cells could contribute to the reduction of the pollution emission and the fossil fuels due to the conversion efficiency which is higher than the other energy conversion systems. There are many possibilities to improve the efficiency and to reduce the weight of the fuel cells by the integration of new nanostructured materials.

  11. Hydrocarbon-based fuel cell membranes: Sulfonated crosslinked poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells


    Deng, Suxiang; Hassan, Mohammad K.; Mauritz, Kenneth A.; Mays, Jimmy W.


    High temperature fuel cell membranes based on poly(1,3-cyclohexadiene) were prepared by a Polymerization-Crosslinking-Sulfonation (PCS) approach, and a broad range of membrane compositions were achieved using various sulfonating reagents and reaction conditions. Membranes were characterized for their proton conductivity and thermal degradation behavior. Some of the membranes showed up to a 68% increase in proton conductivity as compared to Nafion under the same conditions (100% relative humid...

  12. Experimental study on the membrane electrode assembly of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell: effects of microporous layer, membrane thickness and gas diffusion layer hydrophobic treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferreira, Rui B.; Falcão, D.S.; Oliveira, V.B.; Pinto, A.M.F.R.


    Highlights: • EIS is employed to investigate the MEA design of a PEM fuel cell. • Effects of MPL, membrane thickness and GDL hydrophobic treatment are studied. • MPL increases cell output at low to medium currents but reduces it at high currents. • Better results are obtained when employing a thinner Nafion membrane. • GDL hydrophobic treatment improves the cell performance. - Abstract: In this study, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is employed to analyze the influence of microporous layer (MPL), membrane thickness and gas diffusion layer (GDL) hydrophobic treatment in the performance of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Results show that adding a MPL increases cell performance at low to medium current densities. Because lower ohmic losses are observed when applying a MPL, such improvement is attributed to a better hydration state of the membrane. The MPL creates a pressure barrier for water produced at the cathode, forcing it to travel to the anode side, therefore increasing the water content in the membrane. However, at high currents, this same phenomenon seems to have intensified liquid water flooding in the anode gas channels, increasing mass transfer losses and reducing the cell performance. Decreasing membrane thickness results into considerably higher performances, due to a decrease in ohmic resistance. Moreover, at low air humidity operation, a rapid recovery from dehydration is observed when a thinner membrane is employed. The GDL hydrophobic treatment significantly improves the cell performance. Untreated GDLs appear to act as water-traps that not only hamper reactants transport to the reactive sites but also impede the proper humidification of the cell. From the different designs tested, the highest maximum power density is obtained from that containing a MPL, a thinner membrane and treated GDLs.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 was establ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. A direct ascorbate fuel cell with an anion exchange membrane (United States)

    Muneeb, Omar; Do, Emily; Tran, Timothy; Boyd, Desiree; Huynh, Michelle; Ghosn, Gregory; Haan, John L.


    Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) is investigated as a renewable alternative fuel for alkaline direct liquid fuel cells (DLFCs). The environmentally- and biologically-friendly compound, L-ascorbic acid (AA) has been modeled and studied experimentally under acidic fuel cell conditions. In this work, we demonstrate that ascorbic acid is a more efficient fuel in alkaline media than in acidic media. An operating direct ascorbate fuel cell is constructed with the combination of L-ascorbic acid and KOH as the anode fuel, air or oxygen as the oxidant, a polymer anion exchange membrane, metal or carbon black anode materials and metal cathode catalyst. Operation of the fuel cell at 60 °C using 1 M AA and 1 M KOH as the anode fuel and electrolyte, respectively, and oxygen gas at the cathode, produces a maximum power density of 73 mW cm-2, maximum current density of 497 mA cm-2 and an open circuit voltage of 0.90 V. This performance is significantly greater than that of an ascorbic acid fuel cell with a cation exchange membrane, and it is competitive with alkaline DLFCs fueled by alcohols.

  18. 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

  19. Antibacterial activity of ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complex manipulated by membrane permeability and cell morphology. (United States)

    Sun, Dongdong; Zhang, Weiwei; Lv, Mengting; Yang, Endong; Zhao, Qian; Wang, Weiyun


    This study investigates the antibacterial effects of the ruthenium(II) complex RuBP and the mechanism of RuBP action on bacteria. Results show that RuBP can inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Micrococcus tetragenus. Cellular uptake and laser confocal microscopic studies reveal the efficient uptake of RuBP by M. tetragenus cells. Scanning electron microscopic observations of the morphologies of M. tetragenus and S. aureus treated with RuBP further confirm that direct contact of both bacteria with RuBP can damage the cell membrane and membrane integrity, which may eventually induce growth inhibition and bacterial death. After RuBP treatment, the electrical conductivity of the bacterial suspensions increases. Spectroscopic studies and agarose gel electrophoresis indicate that intact DNA and RNA decrease or disappear in RuBP-treated bacterial cells, thus demonstrating that RuBP performs its antibacterial function by increasing the permeability of cell membranes. This study provides new insights for understanding the antibacterial actions of RuBP and designing metal complex antibiotics for other biomedical applications. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Fundamentals of fuel cell system integration (United States)

    Krumpelt, Michael; Kumar, Romesh; Myles, Kevin M.


    Fuel cells are theoretically very efficient energy conversion devices that have the potential of becoming a commercial product for numerous uses in the civilian economy. We have analyzed several fuel cell system designs with regard to thermal and chemical integration of the fuel cell stack into the rest of the system. Thermal integration permits the use of the stack waste heat for the endothermic steps of fuel reforming. Chemical integration provides the steam needed for fuel reforming from the water produced by the electrochemical cell reaction. High-temperature fuel cells, such as the molten carbonate and the solid oxide fuel cells, permit this system integration in a relatively simple manner. Lower temperature fuel cells, such as the polymer electrolyte and phosphoric acid systems, require added system complexity to achieve such integration. The system economics are affected by capital and fuel costs and technical parameters, such as electrochemical fuel utilization, current density, and system complexity. At today's low fuel prices and the high fuel cell costs (in part, because of the low rates of production of the early prototypes), fuel cell systems are not cost competitive with conventional power generation. With the manufacture and sale of larger numbers of fuel cell systems, the total costs will decrease from the current several thousand dollars per kW, to perhaps less than $100 per kW as production volumes approa ch a million units per year.

  1. 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...

  2. Integration of membrane distillation into traditional salt farming method: Process development and modelling (United States)

    Hizam, S.; Bilad, M. R.; Putra, Z. A.


    Farmers still practice the traditional salt farming in many regions, particularly in Indonesia. This archaic method not only produces low yield and poor salt quality, it is also laborious. Furthermore, the farming locations typically have poor access to fresh water and are far away from electricity grid, which restrict upgrade to a more advanced technology for salt production. This paper proposes a new concept of salt harvesting method that improves the salt yield and at the same time facilitates recovery of fresh water from seawater. The new concept integrates solar powered membrane distillation (MD) and photovoltaic cells to drive the pumping. We performed basic solar still experiments to quantify the heat flux received by a pond. The data were used as insight for designing the proposed concept, particularly on operational strategy and the most effective way to integrate MD. After the conceptual design had been developed, we formulated mass and energy balance to estimate the performance of the proposed concept. Based on our data and design, it is expected that the system would improve the yield and quality of the salt production, maximizing fresh water harvesting, and eventually provides economical gain for salt farmers hence improving their quality of life. The key performance can only be measured via experiment using gain output ratio as performance indicator, which will be done in a future study.

  3. Preparation of Highly Sulfonated Ultra-Thin Proton-Exchange Polymer Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (United States)

    Jiang, Zhongqing; Meng, Yuedong; Jiang, Zhong-Jie; Shi, Yicai

    Sulfonated ultra-thin proton-exchange polymer membrane carrying pyridine groups was made from a plasma polymerization of styrene, 2-vinylpyridine, and trifluoromethanesulfonic acid by after-glow capacitively coupled discharge technique. Pyridine groups tethered to the polymer backbone acts as a medium through the basic nitrogen for transfer of protons between the sulfonic acid groups of proton exchange membrane. It shows that the method using present technology could effectively depress the degradation of monomers during the plasma polymerization. Spectroscopic analyses reveal that the obtained membranes are highly functionalized with proton exchange groups and have higher proton conductivity. Thus, the membranes are expected to be used in direct methanol fuel cells.

  4. 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......- and system models match experimental data from the literature. However, limited data were available for verification so further work is necessary to confirm detailed aspects of the models. It is nonetheless expected that the developed models will be useful for system modeling and optimization of PEM fuel...... cell systems. Consequences of indirectly fueling PEM stacks with hydrocarbons using reforming technology were investigated using a PEM stack model including CO poisoning kinetics and a transient Simulink steam reforming system model. Aspects regarding the optimization of PEM fuel cell systems...

  5. 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.

  6. Trans-cis isomerization of lipophilic dyes probing membrane microviscosity in biological membranes and in live cells. (United States)

    Chmyrov, Volodymyr; Spielmann, Thiemo; Hevekerl, Heike; Widengren, Jerker


    Membrane environment and fluidity can modulate the dynamics and interactions of membrane proteins and can thereby strongly influence the function of cells and organisms in general. In this work, we demonstrate that trans-cis isomerization of lipophilic dyes is a useful parameter to monitor packaging and fluidity of biomembranes. Fluorescence fluctuations, generated by trans-cis isomerization of the thiocarbocyanine dye Merocyanine 540 (MC540), were first analyzed by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) in different alcohol solutions. Similar isomerization kinetics of MC540 in lipid vesicles could then also be monitored, and the influence of lipid polarity, membrane curvature, and cholesterol content was investigated. While no influence of membrane curvature and lipid polarity could be observed, a clear decrease in the isomerization rates could be observed with increasing cholesterol contents in the vesicle membranes. Finally, procedures to spatially map photoinduced and thermal isomerization rates on live cells by transient state (TRAST) imaging were established. On the basis of these procedures, MC540 isomerization was studied on live MCF7 cells, and TRAST images of the cells at different temperatures were found to reliably detect differences in the isomerization parameters. Our studies indicate that trans-cis isomerization is a useful parameter for probing membrane dynamics and that the TRAST imaging technique can provide spatial maps of photoinduced isomerization as well as both photoinduced and thermal back-isomerization, resolving differences in local membrane microviscosity in live cells.

  7. Performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells at elevated temperature

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shyu, Jin-Cherng; Hsueh, Kan-Lin; Tsau, Fanghei


    Highlights: → At 1 atm, cell has best performance (∼1300 mA/cm at 0.6 V) at 100 deg. C and RH = 100%. → The A value in Eq. increased with increases in the back pressure and RH. →R i dramatically decreased at back pressure of 1 atm. → At each RH, R i decreased and then increased as cell temperature increased at 1 atm. - Abstract: The polarization curves of a single PEMFC having a Nafion membrane fed with H 2 /O 2 with relative humidity (RH) of 35%, 70% and 100% were measured at cell temperatures ranging from 65 deg. C to 120 deg. C at back pressures of 0 atm and 1 atm, respectively. Measured results showed that the best cell performance at 0.6 V operated within 65-120 deg. C at zero back pressure was 1000 mA cm -2 at 65 deg. C and RH = 100%, while the best cell performance at 1 atm back pressure was 1300 mA cm -2 at 100 deg. C and RH = 100%. Based on the analysis of impedance data measured at anode and cathode humidification temperatures of 90 deg. C and cell temperature of 100 deg. C at back pressures of 0 and 1 atm (90-100p0 and 90-100p1), it could be found that the membrane resistance was reduced and the catalyst became more active as the back pressure increases. The present results showed that increasing back pressure was able to dramatically improve cell performance and the effect of the back pressure surpassed that of humidification in the internal resistance of cell.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Jin; Li, Xiaojin; Yu, Shuchun; Hao, Jinkai; Lu, Wangting; Shao, Zhigang; Yi, Baolian


    Highlights: • Porous polybenzimidazole membrane was prepared with glucose as porogen. • Phosphoric acid content was as high as 15.7 mol H 3 PO 4 per PBI repeat unit. • 200 h Constant current density test was carried out at 150 °C. • Degradation was due to the gap between membrane and catalyst layer. - Abstract: In this paper, the preparation and characterization of porous polybenzimidazole membranes doped with phosphoric acid were reported. For the preparation of porous polybenzimidazole membranes, glucose and saccharose were selected as porogen and added into PBI resin solution before solvent casting. The prepared porous PBI membranes had high proton conductivity and high content of acid doping at room temperature with 15.7 mol H 3 PO 4 per PBI repeat unit, much higher than pure PBI membrane at the same condition. Further, the performance and stability of the porous PBI membrane in high-temperature proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells was tested. It was found that the cell performance remained stable during 200 h stability test under a constant current discharge of 0.5 A cm −2 except for the last fifty hours. The decay in the last fifty hours was ascribed to the delamination between the catalyst layer and membrane increasing the charge-transfer resistance

  10. Cell-substrate interaction with cell-membrane-stress dependent adhesion. (United States)

    Jiang, H; Yang, B


    Cell-substrate interaction is examined in a two-dimensional mechanics model. The cell and substrate are treated as a shell and an elastic solid, respectively. Their interaction through adhesion is treated using nonlinear springs. Compared to previous cell mechanics models, the present model introduces a cohesive force law that is dependent not only on cell-substrate distance but also on internal cell-membrane stress. It is postulated that a living cell would establish focal adhesion sites with density dependent on the cell-membrane stress. The formulated mechanics problem is numerically solved using coupled finite elements and boundary elements for the cell and the substrate, respectively. The nodes in the adhesion zone from either side are linked by the cohesive springs. The specific cases of a cell adhering to a homogeneous substrate and a heterogeneous bimaterial substrate are examined. The analyses show that the substrate stiffness affects the adhesion behavior significantly and regulates the direction of cell adhesion, in good agreement with the experimental results in the literature. By introducing a reactive parameter (i.e., cell-membrane stress) linking biological responses of a living cell to a mechanical environment, the present model offers a unified mechanistic vehicle for characterization and prediction of living cell responses to various kinds of mechanical stimuli including local extracellular matrix and neighboring cells. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Determine equilibrium dissociation constant of drug-membrane receptor affinity using the cell membrane chromatography relative standard method. (United States)

    Ma, Weina; Yang, Liu; Lv, Yanni; Fu, Jia; Zhang, Yanmin; He, Langchong


    The equilibrium dissociation constant (K D ) of drug-membrane receptor affinity is the basic parameter that reflects the strength of interaction. The cell membrane chromatography (CMC) method is an effective technique to study the characteristics of drug-membrane receptor affinity. In this study, the K D value of CMC relative standard method for the determination of drug-membrane receptor affinity was established to analyze the relative K D values of drugs binding to the membrane receptors (Epidermal growth factor receptor and angiotensin II receptor). The K D values obtained by the CMC relative standard method had a strong correlation with those obtained by the frontal analysis method. Additionally, the K D values obtained by CMC relative standard method correlated with pharmacological activity of the drug being evaluated. The CMC relative standard method is a convenient and effective method to evaluate drug-membrane receptor affinity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Effects of cholesterol depletion on membrane nanostructure in MCF-7 cells by atomic force microscopy (United States)

    Wang, Yuhua; Jiang, Ningcheng; Shi, Aisi; Zheng, Liqin; Yang, Hongqin; Xie, Shusen


    The cell membrane is composed of phospholipids, glycolipids, cholesterol and proteins that are dynamic and heterogeneous distributed in the bilayer structure and many researches have showed that the plasma membrane in eukaryotic cells contains microdomains termed "lipid raft" in which cholesterol, sphingolipids and specific membrane proteins are enriched. Cholesterol extraction induced lipid raft disruption is one of the most widely used methods for lipid raft research and MβCD is a type of solvent to extract the cholesterol from cell membranes. In this study, the effect of MβCD treatment on the membrane nanostructure in MCF-7 living cells was investigated by atomic force microscopy. Different concentrations of MβCD were selected to deplete cholesterol for 30 min and the viability of cells was tested by MTT assay to obtain the optimal concentration. Then the nanostructure of the cell membrane was detected. The results show that an appropriate concentration of MβCD can induce the alteration of cell membranes nanostructure and the roughness of membrane surface decreases significantly. This may indicate that microdomains of the cell membrane disappear and the cell membrane appears more smoothly. Cholesterol can affect nanostructure and inhomogeneity of the plasma membrane in living cells.

  13. 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. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. 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.

  15. Bleb Expansion in Migrating Cells Depends on Supply of Membrane from Cell Surface Invaginations. (United States)

    Goudarzi, Mohammad; Tarbashevich, Katsiaryna; Mildner, Karina; Begemann, Isabell; Garcia, Jamie; Paksa, Azadeh; Reichman-Fried, Michal; Mahabaleshwar, Harsha; Blaser, Heiko; Hartwig, Johannes; Zeuschner, Dagmar; Galic, Milos; Bagnat, Michel; Betz, Timo; Raz, Erez


    Cell migration is essential for morphogenesis, organ formation, and homeostasis, with relevance for clinical conditions. The migration of primordial germ cells (PGCs) is a useful model for studying this process in the context of the developing embryo. Zebrafish PGC migration depends on the formation of cellular protrusions in form of blebs, a type of protrusion found in various cell types. Here we report on the mechanisms allowing the inflation of the membrane during bleb formation. We show that the rapid expansion of the protrusion depends on membrane invaginations that are localized preferentially at the cell front. The formation of these invaginations requires the function of Cdc42, and their unfolding allows bleb inflation and dynamic cell-shape changes performed by migrating cells. Inhibiting the formation and release of the invaginations strongly interfered with bleb formation, cell motility, and the ability of the cells to reach their target. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. Comparison of gas membrane separation cascades using conventional separation cell and two-unit separation cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ohno, Masayoshi; Morisue, Tetsuo; Ozaki, Osamu; Miyauchi, Terukatsu.


    The adoption of two-unit separation cells in radioactive rare gas membrane separation equipment enhances the separation factor, but increases the required membrane area and compressive power. An analytical economic evaluation was undertaken to compare the conventional separation cell with the two-unit separation cells, adopting as parameters the number of cascade stages, the membrane area and the operating power requirements. This paper describes the models used for evaluating the separation performance and the economics of cascade embodying these different concepts of separation cell taken up for study, and the results obtained for the individual concepts are mutually compared. It proved that, in respect of the number required of cascade stages, of operating power requirements and of the annual expenditure, better performance could always be expected of the two-unit separation cells as compared with the conventional separation cell, at least in the range of parameters adopted in this study. As regards the minimum membrane area, the conventional separation cell and the series-type separation cell yielded almost the same values, with the parallel-type separation cell falling somewhat behind. (auth.)

  18. Remodelling of primary human CD4+ T cell plasma membrane order by n-3 PUFA. (United States)

    Fan, Yang-Yi; Fuentes, Natividad R; Hou, Tim Y; Barhoumi, Rola; Li, Xian C; Deutz, Nicolaas E P; Engelen, Marielle P K J; McMurray, David N; Chapkin, Robert S


    Cell membrane fatty acids influence fundamental properties of the plasma membrane, including membrane fluidity, protein functionality, and lipid raft signalling. Evidence suggests that dietary n-3 PUFA may target the plasma membrane of immune cells by altering plasma membrane lipid dynamics, thereby regulating the attenuation of immune cell activation and suppression of inflammation. As lipid-based immunotherapy might be a promising new clinical strategy for the treatment of inflammatory disorders, we conducted in vitro and in vivo experiments to examine the effects of n-3 PUFA on CD4+ T cell membrane order, mitochondrial bioenergetics and lymphoproliferation. n-3 PUFA were incorporated into human primary CD4+ T cells phospholipids in vitro in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in a reduction in whole cell membrane order, oxidative phosphorylation and proliferation. At higher doses, n-3 PUFA induced unique phase separation in T cell-derived giant plasma membrane vesicles. Similarly, in a short-term human pilot study, supplementation of fish oil (4 g n-3 PUFA/d) for 6 weeks in healthy subjects significantly elevated EPA (20 : 5n-3) levels in CD4+ T cell membrane phospholipids, and reduced membrane lipid order. These results demonstrate that the dynamic reshaping of human CD4+ T cell plasma membrane organisation by n-3 PUFA may modulate down-stream clonal expansion.

  19. Noncontact microsurgery of cell membranes using femtosecond laser pulses for optoinjection of specified substances into cells (United States)

    Il'ina, I. V.; Ovchinnikov, A. V.; Chefonov, O. V.; Sitnikov, D. S.; Agranat, Mikhail B.; Mikaelyan, A. S.


    IR femtosecond laser pulses were used for microsurgery of a cell membrane aimed at local and short-duration change in its permeability and injection of specified extracellular substances into the cells. The possibility of noncontact laser delivery of the propidium iodide fluorescent dye and the pEGFP plasmid, encoding the green fluorescent protein, into the cells with preservation of the cell viability was demonstrated.

  20. Comparative Studies of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Stacks and Single Cells (United States)


    in the Catalyst Layer and Effects of Both Perfluorosulfonate Ionomer and PTFE-Loaded Carbon on the Catalyst Layer of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells support of this project. 12 References 1. T. F. Fuller, "Is a Fuel Cell in Your Future?" 77K Electrochemical Society Interface (Fall...ARMY RESEARCH LABORATORY mm^ n Comparative Studies of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Stacks and Single Cells Deryn Chu and Rongzhong

  1. Synthesis and characterisation of alkaline anionic-exchange membranes for direct alcohol fuel cells

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Nonjola, P


    Full Text Available , but the most important being proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), which uses an acidic membrane like Nafion (sulfonated fluorocarbon polymers) as an electrolyte. The use of polymer electrolytes represents an interesting path to pursue...

  2. The structure and function of cell membranes studied by atomic force microscopy. (United States)

    Shi, Yan; Cai, Mingjun; Zhou, Lulu; Wang, Hongda


    The cell membrane, involved in almost all communications of cells and surrounding matrix, is one of the most complicated components of cells. Lack of suitable methods for the detection of cell membranes in vivo has sparked debates on the biochemical composition and structure of cell membranes over half a century. The development of single molecule techniques, such as AFM, SMFS, and TREC, provides a versatile platform for imaging and manipulating cell membranes in biological relevant environments. Here, we discuss the latest developments in AFM and the progress made in cell membrane research. In particular, we highlight novel structure models and dynamic processes, including the mechanical properties of the cell membranes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Transient response of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (United States)

    Weydahl, Helge; Møller-Holst, Steffen; Hagen, Georg; Børresen, Børre

    The transient response of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) supplied with pure hydrogen and oxygen was investigated by load step measurements assisted by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and chronoamperometry. Using an in-house designed resistance board, the uncontrolled response in both cell voltage and current upon step changes in a resistive load was observed. The PEMFC was found to respond quickly and reproducibly to load changes. The transient PEMFC response was limited by a cathodic charge transfer process with a potential-dependent response time. For load steps to high-current densitities, a second transient process with a constant response time was observed. This transient was offset from the charge transfer transient by a temporarily stable plateau. Results from chronoamperometry indicated that the second transient could be related to a diffusion process. Transient paths were plotted in the V- i diagram, matching a predicted pattern with overshooting cell voltage and current during a load step.

  4. High performance direct methanol fuel cell with thin electrolyte membrane (United States)

    Wan, Nianfang


    A high performance direct methanol fuel cell is achieved with thin electrolyte membrane. 320 mW cm-2 of peak power density and over 260 mW cm-2 at 0.4 V are obtained when working at 90 °C with normal pressure air supply. It is revealed that the increased anode half-cell performance with temperature contributes primarily to the enhanced performance at elevated temperature. From the comparison of iR-compensated cathode potential of methanol/air with that of H2/air fuel cell, the impact of methanol crossover on cathode performance decreases with current density and becomes negligible at high current density. Current density is found to influence fuel efficiency and methanol crossover significantly from the measurement of fuel efficiency at different current density. At high current density, high fuel efficiency can be achieved even at high temperature, indicating decreased methanol crossover.

  5. Calcium pumps of plasma membrane and cell interior

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strehler, Emanuel E; Treiman, Marek


    Calcium entering the cell from the outside or from intracellular organelles eventually must be returned to the extracellular milieu or to intracellular storage organelles. The two major systems capable of pumping Ca2+ against its large concentration gradient out of the cell or into the sarco....../endoplasmatic reticulum are the plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPases (PMCAs) and the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPases (SERCAs), respectively. In mammals, multigene families code for these Ca2+ pumps and additional isoform subtypes are generated via alternative splicing. PMCA and SERCA isoforms show developmental-, tissue......- and cell type-specific patterns of expression. Different PMCA and SERCA isoforms are characterized by different regulatory and kinetic properties that likely are optimized for the distinct functional tasks fulfilled by each pump in setting resting cytosolic or intra-organellar Ca2+ levels, and in shaping...

  6. Percolation in a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Catalyst Layer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stacy, Stephen; Allen, Jeffrey


    Water management in the catalyst layers of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) is confronted by two issues, flooding and dry out, both of which result in improper functioning of the fuel cell and lead to poor performance and degradation. At the present time, the data that has been reported about water percolation and wettability within a fuel cell catalyst layer is limited. A method and apparatus for measuring the percolation pressure in the catalyst layer has been developed based upon an experimental apparatus used to test water percolation in porous transport layers (PTL). The experimental setup uses a pseudo Hele-Shaw type testing where samples are compressed and a fluid is injected into the sample. Testing the samples gives percolation pressure plots which show trends in increasing percolation pressure with an increase in flow rate. A decrease in pressure was seen as percolation occurred in one sample, however the pressure only had a rising effect in the other sample.

  7. A Simple Alkaline Method for Decellularizing Human Amniotic Membrane for Cell Culture (United States)

    Saghizadeh, Mehrnoosh; Winkler, Michael A.; Kramerov, Andrei A.; Hemmati, David M.; Ghiam, Chantelle A.; Dimitrijevich, Slobodan D.; Sareen, Dhruv; Ornelas, Loren; Ghiasi, Homayon; Brunken, William J.; Maguen, Ezra; Rabinowitz, Yaron S.; Svendsen, Clive N.; Jirsova, Katerina; Ljubimov, Alexander V.


    Human amniotic membrane is a standard substratum used to culture limbal epithelial stem cells for transplantation to patients with limbal stem cell deficiency. Various methods were developed to decellularize amniotic membrane, because denuded membrane is poorly immunogenic and better supports repopulation by dissociated limbal epithelial cells. Amniotic membrane denuding usually involves treatment with EDTA and/or proteolytic enzymes; in many cases additional mechanical scraping is required. Although ensuring limbal cell proliferation, these methods are not standardized, require relatively long treatment times and can result in membrane damage. We propose to use 0.5 M NaOH to reliably remove amniotic cells from the membrane. This method was used before to lyse cells for DNA isolation and radioactivity counting. Gently rubbing a cotton swab soaked in NaOH over the epithelial side of amniotic membrane leads to nearly complete and easy removal of adherent cells in less than a minute. The denuded membrane is subsequently washed in a neutral buffer. Cell removal was more thorough and uniform than with EDTA, or EDTA plus mechanical scraping with an electric toothbrush, or n-heptanol plus EDTA treatment. NaOH-denuded amniotic membrane did not show any perforations compared with mechanical or thermolysin denuding, and showed excellent preservation of immunoreactivity for major basement membrane components including laminin α2, γ1-γ3 chains, α1/α2 and α6 type IV collagen chains, fibronectin, nidogen-2, and perlecan. Sodium hydroxide treatment was efficient with fresh or cryopreserved (10% dimethyl sulfoxide or 50% glycerol) amniotic membrane. The latter method is a common way of membrane storage for subsequent grafting in the European Union. NaOH-denuded amniotic membrane supported growth of human limbal epithelial cells, immortalized corneal epithelial cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells. This simple, fast and reliable method can be used to standardize

  8. A simple alkaline method for decellularizing human amniotic membrane for cell culture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehrnoosh Saghizadeh

    Full Text Available Human amniotic membrane is a standard substratum used to culture limbal epithelial stem cells for transplantation to patients with limbal stem cell deficiency. Various methods were developed to decellularize amniotic membrane, because denuded membrane is poorly immunogenic and better supports repopulation by dissociated limbal epithelial cells. Amniotic membrane denuding usually involves treatment with EDTA and/or proteolytic enzymes; in many cases additional mechanical scraping is required. Although ensuring limbal cell proliferation, these methods are not standardized, require relatively long treatment times and can result in membrane damage. We propose to use 0.5 M NaOH to reliably remove amniotic cells from the membrane. This method was used before to lyse cells for DNA isolation and radioactivity counting. Gently rubbing a cotton swab soaked in NaOH over the epithelial side of amniotic membrane leads to nearly complete and easy removal of adherent cells in less than a minute. The denuded membrane is subsequently washed in a neutral buffer. Cell removal was more thorough and uniform than with EDTA, or EDTA plus mechanical scraping with an electric toothbrush, or n-heptanol plus EDTA treatment. NaOH-denuded amniotic membrane did not show any perforations compared with mechanical or thermolysin denuding, and showed excellent preservation of immunoreactivity for major basement membrane components including laminin α2, γ1-γ3 chains, α1/α2 and α6 type IV collagen chains, fibronectin, nidogen-2, and perlecan. Sodium hydroxide treatment was efficient with fresh or cryopreserved (10% dimethyl sulfoxide or 50% glycerol amniotic membrane. The latter method is a common way of membrane storage for subsequent grafting in the European Union. NaOH-denuded amniotic membrane supported growth of human limbal epithelial cells, immortalized corneal epithelial cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells. This simple, fast and reliable method can be used to

  9. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell operational at temperatures around 150-200 degrees C is desirable for fast electrode kinetics and high tolerance to fuel impurities. For this purpose polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes have been prepared and H/sub 3/PO/sub 4/-doped in a doping range from 300...... to 1600 mol%. Physiochemical properties of the membrane electrolyte have been investigated by measurements of water uptake, acid doping level, electric conductivity, mechanical strength and water drag coefficient. Electrical conductivity is found to be insensitive to humidity but dependent on the acid...... doping level. At 160 degrees C a conductivity as high as 0.13 S cm/sup -1/ is obtained for membranes of high doping levels. Mechanical strength measurements show, however, that a high acid doping level results in poor mechanical properties. At operational temperatures up to 190 degrees C, fuel cells...

  11. Alterations of red cell membrane properties in neuroacanthocytosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Siegl

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

  12. A quantitative assessment of the membrane-integral sub-proteome of a bacterial magnetic organelle. (United States)

    Raschdorf, Oliver; Bonn, Florian; Zeytuni, Natalie; Zarivach, Raz; Becher, Dörte; Schüler, Dirk


    Magnetotactic bacteria produce chains of complex membrane-bound organelles that direct the biomineralization of magnetic nanoparticles and serve for magnetic field navigation. These magnetosome compartments have recently emerged as a model for studying the subcellular organization of prokaryotic organelles. Previous studies indicated the presence of specific proteins with various functions in magnetosome biosynthesis. However, the exact composition and stoichiometry of the magnetosome subproteome have remained unknown. In order to quantify and unambiguously identify all proteins specifically targeted to the magnetosome membrane of the Alphaproteobacterium Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense, we analyzed the protein composition of several cellular fractions by semi-quantitative mass spectrometry. We found that nearly all genuine magnetosome membrane-integral proteins belong to a well-defined set of previously identified proteins encoded by gene clusters within a genomic island, indicating a highly controlled protein composition. Magnetosome proteins were present in different quantities with up to 120 copies per particle as estimated by correlating our results with available quantitative Western blot data. This high abundance suggests an unusually crowded protein composition of the membrane and a tight packing with transmembrane domains of integral proteins. Our findings will help to further define the structure of the organelle and contribute to the elucidation of magnetosome biogenesis. Magnetosomes are one of the most complex bacterial organelles and consist of membrane-bounded crystals of magnetic minerals. The exact composition and stoichiometry of the associated membrane integral proteins are of major interest for a deeper understanding of prokaryotic organelle assembly; however, previous proteomic studies failed to reveal meaningful estimations due to the lack of precise and quantitative data, and the inherently high degree of accumulated protein contaminants in

  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...... addressing detergent properties and protein conformations at the same time. The mapping of the states reveals that KcsA undergoes a series of rearrangements which include expansion of the tetramer in several steps followed by dissociation into monomers at 29% TFE. Supplementary studies of DDM and TFE...

  14. 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


    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...... with a regenerated cellulose membrane for separation of low molecular weight products. The main technical considerations and challenges related to establishing the continuous membrane microbioreactor are discussed. The workability of the prototype was validated by comparing the process data at microscale to those...


    Falkner-Radler, Christiane I; Glittenberg, Carl; Gabriel, Max; Binder, Susanne


    To evaluate microscope-integrated intrasurgical spectral domain optical coherence tomography during macular surgery in a prospective monocenter study. Before pars plana vitrectomy and before, during, and after membrane peeling, 512 × 128 macular cube scans were performed using a Carl Zeiss Meditec Cirrus high-definition OCT system adapted to the optical pathway of a Zeiss OPMI VISU 200 surgical microscope and compared with retinal staining. The study included 51 patients with epiretinal membranes, with 8 of those having additional lamellar macular holes, 11 patients with vitreomacular traction, and 8 patients with full-thickness macular holes. Intraoperative spectral domain optical coherence tomography allowed performing membrane peeling without using retinal dyes in 40% of cases (28 of 70 patients). No residual membranes were found in 94.3% of patients (66 of 70 patients) in intrasurgical spectral domain optical coherence tomography and subsequent (re)staining. In patients with vitreomacular traction, intrasurgical spectral domain optical coherence tomography scans facilitated decisions on the need for an intraocular tamponade after membrane peeling. Intraoperative spectral domain optical coherence tomography was comparable with retinal dyes in confirming success after membrane peeling. However, the visualization of flat membranes was better after staining.

  16. 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...

  17. Indole prevents Escherichia coli cell division by modulating membrane potential


    Chimerel, Catalin; Field, Christopher M.; Pi?ero-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...

  18. 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.

  19. Aprediction study for the behaviour of fuel cell membrane subjected to hygro and thermal stresses in running PEM fuel cell


    Maher A.R. Sadiq Al-Baghdadi


    A three-dimensional, multi–phase, non-isothermal computational fluid dynamics model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell has been used and developed to investigate the hygro and thermal stresses in polymer membrane, which developed during the cell operation due to the changes of temperature and relative humidity. The behaviour of the membrane during operation of a unit cell has been studied and investigated under real cell operating conditions. The results show that the non-uniform distrib...

  20. Toward mechanical manipulations of cell membranes and membrane proteins using an atomic force microscope: an invited review. (United States)

    Ikai, Atsushi; Afrin, Rehana


    Recent advances in the use of the atomic force microscope (AFM) for manipulating cell membranes and membrane proteins are reviewed. Early pioneering work on measurements of the magnitude of the force required to create indentations with defined depth on their surfaces and to separate interacting pairs of avidin-biotin, antigen-antibody, and complementary DNA pairs formed the basis of this field. The method has subsequently been applied to map the presence of cell surface receptors and polysaccharides on live cell membranes by force measurement, with promising results. Attempts to extract phospholipids and proteins from lipid bilayers and live cell surfaces have been reported, providing a new tool for the manipulation of cellular activities and biochemical analysis at the single-cell level. An increasing awareness of the effect of the pulling speed (nm/s or microm/s), or more accurately, the force loading rate (pN/s or nN/s) on the magnitude of the rupture force, has led researchers to construct energy diagrams of rupture events based on the parameters available from such studies. Information on such nature of the interplay of force and loading rate is vital for nanomanipulation of living cells and cell membranes. Some relevant work for membrane manipulation using other methods is also reviewed in relation to AFM-based methodology.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    Degradation tests of two phosphoric acid (PA) doped PBI membrane based HT-PEM fuel cells were reported in this paper to investigate the effects of start/stop and the presence of methanol in the fuel to the performance degradation of the HT-PEM fuel cell. Continuous tests with pure dry H2 and meth......Degradation tests of two phosphoric acid (PA) doped PBI membrane based HT-PEM fuel cells were reported in this paper to investigate the effects of start/stop and the presence of methanol in the fuel to the performance degradation of the HT-PEM fuel cell. Continuous tests with pure dry H2...... to the corrosion of carbon support in the catalyst layer and degradation of the PBI membrane. During the continuous test with methanol containing H2 as the fuel the reaction kinetic resistance and mass transfer resistance of both single cells increased, which may be caused by the adsorption of methanol...

  2. Membranes produced by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technique for low temperature fuel cell applications (United States)

    Ennajdaoui, Aboubakr; Roualdes, Stéphanie; Brault, Pascal; Durand, Jean

    A plasma polymerization process using a continuous glow discharge has been implemented for preparing proton conducting membranes from trifluoromethane sulfonic acid and styrene. The chemical and physical structure of plasma membranes has been investigated using FTIR and SEM. The films are homogeneous with a good adhesion on commercial gas diffusion layer (E-Tek ®). Their deposition rate can be increased with increasing flow rate and input power. The thermogravimetric analysis under air of plasma polymers has showed a thermal stability up to 140 °C. Compared to the pulsed glow discharge studied in a previous paper, the continuous glow discharge has enabled to enhance the proton conductivity of membranes by a factor 3 (up to 1.7 mS cm -1). Moreover, the low methanol permeability (methanol diffusion coefficient down to 5 × 10 -13 m 2 s -1) of membranes has been confirmed by this study. In an industrial context, a reactor prototype has been developed to manufacture by plasma processes all active layers of fuel cell cores to be integrated in original compact PEMFC or DMFC.

  3. The extracellular membrane-proximal domain of membrane-bound IgE restricts B cell activation by limiting B cell antigen receptor surface expression. (United States)

    Vanshylla, Kanika; Opazo, Felipe; Gronke, Konrad; Wienands, Jürgen; Engels, Niklas


    Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are key mediators of allergic reactions. Due to their potentially harmful anaphylactic properties, their production is tightly regulated. The membrane-bound isoform of IgE (mIgE), which is an integral component of the B cell antigen receptor, has been shown to be critical for the regulation of IgE responses in mice. In primate species including humans, mIgE can be expressed in two isoforms that are produced by alternative splicing of the primary ε Ig heavy chain transcript, and differ in the absence or presence of an extracellular membrane-proximal domain (EMPD) consisting of 52 amino acids. However, the function of the EMPD remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the EMPD restricts surface expression of mIgE-containing BCRs in human and murine B cells. The EMPD does not interfere with BCR assembly but acts as an autonomous endoplasmic reticulum retention domain. Limited surface expression of EMPD-containing mIgE-BCRs caused impaired activation of intracellular signaling cascades and hence represents a regulatory mechanism that may control the production of potentially anaphylactic IgE antibodies in primate species. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. A novel membrane-less direct alcohol fuel cell (United States)

    Yi, Qingfeng; Chen, Qinghua; Yang, Zheng


    Membrane-less fuel cell possesses such advantages as simplified design and lower cost. In this paper, a membrane-less direct alcohol fuel cell is constructed by using multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) supported Pd and ternary PdSnNi composites as the anode catalysts and Fe/C-PANI composite, produced by direct pyrolysis of Fe-doped polyaniline precursor, as the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalyst. The alcohols investigated in the present study are methanol, ethanol, n-propanol, iso-propanol, n-butanol, iso-butanol and sec-butanol. The cathode catalyst Fe/C-PANI is electrochemically inactive to oxidation of the alcohols. The performance of the cell with various alcohols in 1 mol L-1 NaOH solution on either Pd/MWCNT or PdSnNi/MWCNT catalyst has been evaluated. In any case, the performance of the cell using the anode catalyst PdSnNi/MWCNT is considerably better than Pd/MWCNT. For the PdSnNi/MWCNT, the maximum power densities of the cell using methanol (0.5 mol L-1), ethanol (0.5 mol L-1), n-propanol (0.5 mol L-1), iso-propanol (0.5 mol L-1), n-butanol (0.2 mol L-1), iso-butanol (0.2 mol L-1) and sec-butanol (0.2 mol L-1) are 0.34, 1.03, 1.07, 0.44, 0.50, 0.31 and 0.15 mW cm-2, respectively.

  5. Application of zwitterionic detergents to the solubilization of integral membrane proteins for two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. (United States)

    Henningsen, Robert; Gale, Brenda L; Straub, Kenneth M; DeNagel, Diane C


    Comparative analysis has long been utilized in biological research to interpret protein interactions in both drug naïve versus drug challenged and normal versus diseased tissues. The technology of proteomics today allows researchers to provide insight into old and still open questions related to biological mechanisms while offering the opportunity to discover novel details in cellular lifecycles. Perhaps the most powerful way to execute these differential displays is in the combination of two-dimensional (2-D) gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. While these two techniques together are well suited for abundant and soluble proteins found in cells, rare proteins and integral membrane proteins are still problematic. Recently, a series of novel zwitterionic detergents has been reported in the literature that shows a substantial improvement in solubilizing integral membrane proteins. We show that the amidosulfobetaine, 4-octylbenzol amidosulfobetaine, is better than 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)dimethylamino]-1-propanesulfonate (CHAPS) at solubilizing both an ion channel and a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), while another amidosulfobetaine, myristic amidosulfobetaine (ASB-14), was better than CHAPS at solubilizing a GPCR. Neither membrane protein was visible after staining with colloidal Coomassie blue, silver nor Sypro Ruby. However, a comparison against a duplicate immunoblot allowed for the localization and identification of the ion channel from a 2-D gel by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

  6. Membrane dynamics and interactions in measles virus dendritic cell infections. (United States)

    Avota, Elita; Koethe, Susanne; Schneider-Schaulies, Sibylle


    Viral entry, compartmentalization and transmission depend on the formation of membrane lipid/protein microdomains concentrating receptors and signalosomes. Dendritic cells (DCs) are prime targets for measles virus (MV) infection, and this interaction promotes immune activation and generalized immunosuppression, yet also MV transport to secondary lymphatics where transmission to T cells occurs. In addition to MV trapping, DC-SIGN interaction can enhance MV uptake by activating cellular sphingomyelinases and, thereby, vertical surface transport of its entry receptor CD150. To exploit DCs as Trojan horses for transport, MV promotes DC maturation accompanied by mobilization, and restrictions of viral replication in these cells may support this process. MV-infected DCs are unable to support formation of functional immune synapses with conjugating T cells and signalling via viral glycoproteins or repulsive ligands (such as semaphorins) plays a key role in the induction of T-cell paralysis. In the absence of antigen recognition, MV transmission from infected DCs to T cells most likely involves formation of polyconjugates which concentrate viral structural proteins, viral receptors and with components enhancing either viral uptake or conjugate stability. Because DCs barely support production of infectious MV particles, these organized interfaces are likely to represent virological synapses essential for MV transmission. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    The 25 kDa branched polyethylenimine (PEI) is a highly efficient synthetic polycation used in transfection protocols, but also triggers mitochondrial-mediated apoptotic cell death processes where the mechanistic issues are poorly understood. We now demonstrate that PEI in a concentration- and tim...

  8. 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.

  9. Key factors regulating the mass delivery of macromolecules to model cell membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campbell, Richard A.; Watkins, Erik B.; Jagalski, Vivien


    We show that both gravity and electrostatics are key factors regulating interactions between model cell membranes and self-assembled liquid crystalline aggregates of dendrimers and phospholipids. The system is a proxy for the trafficking of reservoirs of therapeutic drugs to cell membranes for sl...... of the aggregates to activate endocytosis pathways on specific cell types is discussed in the context of targeted drug delivery applications.......We show that both gravity and electrostatics are key factors regulating interactions between model cell membranes and self-assembled liquid crystalline aggregates of dendrimers and phospholipids. The system is a proxy for the trafficking of reservoirs of therapeutic drugs to cell membranes for slow...

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:26670258

  12. Difference in membrane repair capacity between cancer cell lines and a normal cell line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frandsen, Stine Krog; McNeil, Anna K.; Novak, Ivana


    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...

  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. Adherence of Helicobacter pylori cells and their surface components to HeLa cell membranes. (United States)

    Fauchère, J L; Blaser, M J


    Four Helicobacter pylori strains were used to develop in vitro methods to assess adherence to HeLa cells. Using direct detection by microscopy, adhesion scores increased with the initial bacteria-to-cell ratio. The urease method assessed H. pylori bound to HeLa cells by their urease activity. The percentage of the original inoculum adhering to HeLa cells remained constant for initial ratios from 10(2) to 10(5) bacteria per cell. An ELISA using anti-H. pylori serum assessed whole bacteria or components bound to HeLa cell fractions. By all three methods, the four H. pylori strains were adherent to HeLa cells or membranes whereas Campylobacter fetus and Providencia control strains were not. The adherence of H. pylori whole cells decreased following extraction with saline, water, or glycine buffer and most of the superficial adhering material (SAM) was present in the saline or water extracts. SAM bound better to HeLa membranes than to calf fetuin or bovine serum albumin (BSA); binding was inhibited by preincubation of SAM with HeLa membranes but not with fetuin or BSA or by pretreatment of HeLa membranes with neuraminidase. These data indicate that SAM has a specific receptor on the HeLa cell membranes. By gel exclusion chromatography of bacterial extracts, the most adherent components were found in the fractions which also contained the highest urease activity; these fractions included urease subunit antigens. We conclude that adherence of H. pylori can be assessed by microtiter assays and involves bacterial surface material which co-purifies with urease and is different from the N-acetyl-neuraminyl-lactose binding hemagglutinin.

  15. Anion exchange membrane fuel cells: Current status and remaining challenges (United States)

    Gottesfeld, Shimshon; Dekel, Dario R.; Page, Miles; Bae, Chulsung; Yan, Yushan; Zelenay, Piotr; Kim, Yu Seung


    The anion exchange membrane fuel cell (AEMFC) is an attractive alternative to acidic proton exchange membrane fuel cells, which to date have required platinum-based catalysts, as well as acid-tolerant stack hardware. The AEMFC could use non-platinum-group metal catalysts and less expensive metal hardware thanks to the high pH of the electrolyte. Over the last decade, substantial progress has been made in improving the performance and durability of the AEMFC through the development of new materials and the optimization of system design and operation conditions. In this perspective article, we describe the current status of AEMFCs as having reached beginning of life performance very close to that of PEMFCs when using ultra-low loadings of Pt, while advancing towards operation on non-platinum-group metal catalysts alone. In the latter sections, we identify the remaining technical challenges, which require further research and development, focusing on the materials and operational factors that critically impact AEMFC performance and/or durability. These perspectives may provide useful insights for the development of next-generation of AEMFCs.

  16. Reactivation System for Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel-Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Giral


    Full Text Available In recent years, Proton-Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs have been the focus of very intensive researches. Manufacturers of these alternative power sources propose a rejuvenation sequence after the FC has been operating at high power for a certain period of time. These rejuvenation methods could be not appropriate for the reactivation of the FC when it has been out of operation for a long period of time or after it has been repaired. Since the developed reactivation system monitors temperature, current, and the cell voltages of the stack, it could be also useful for the diagnostic and repairing processes. The limited number of published contributions suggests that systems developing reactivation techniques are an open research field. In this paper, an automated system for reactivating PEMFCs and results of experimental testing are presented.

  17. Plasma membrane temperature gradients and multiple cell permeabilization induced by low peak power density femtosecond lasers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allen L. Garner


    Full Text Available Calculations indicate that selectively heating the extracellular media induces membrane temperature gradients that combine with electric fields and a temperature-induced reduction in the electropermeabilization threshold to potentially facilitate exogenous molecular delivery. Experiments by a wide-field, pulsed femtosecond laser with peak power density far below typical single cell optical delivery systems confirmed this hypothesis. Operating this laser in continuous wave mode at the same average power permeabilized many fewer cells, suggesting that bulk heating alone is insufficient and temperature gradients are crucial for permeabilization. This work suggests promising opportunities for a high throughput, low cost, contactless method for laser mediated exogenous molecule delivery without the complex optics of typical single cell optoinjection, for potential integration into microscope imaging and microfluidic systems.

  18. Cell lysis induced by membrane-damaging detergent saponins from Quillaja saponaria. (United States)

    Berlowska, Joanna; Dudkiewicz, Marta; Kregiel, Dorota; Czyzowska, Agata; Witonska, Izabela


    This paper presents the results of a study to determine the effect of Quillaja saponaria saponins on the lysis of industrial yeast strains. Cell lysis induced by saponin from Q. saponaria combined with the plasmolysing effect of 5% NaCl for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Kluyveromyces marxianus yeasts biomass was conducted at 50 °C for 24-48 h. Membrane permeability and integrity of the yeast cells were monitored using fluorescent techniques and concentrations of proteins, free amino nitrogen (FAN) and free amino acids in resulting lysates were analyzed. Protein release was significantly higher in the case of yeast cell lysis promoted with 0.008% Q. saponaria and 5% NaCl in comparison to plasmolysis triggered by NaCl only. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. A Cell-Cell Fusion Assay to Assess Arenavirus Envelope Glycoprotein Membrane-Fusion Activity. (United States)

    York, Joanne; Nunberg, Jack H


    For many viruses that enter their target cells through pH-dependent fusion of the viral and endosomal membranes, cell-cell fusion assays can provide an experimental platform for investigating the structure-function relationships that promote envelope glycoprotein membrane-fusion activity. Typically, these assays employ effector cells expressing the recombinant envelope glycoprotein on the cell surface and target cells engineered to quantitatively report fusion with the effector cell. In the protocol described here, Vero cells are transfected with a plasmid encoding the arenavirus envelope glycoprotein complex GPC and infected with the vTF7-3 vaccinia virus expressing the bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase. These effector cells are mixed with target cells infected with the vCB21R-lacZ vaccinia virus encoding a β-galactosidase reporter under the control of the T7 promoter. Cell-cell fusion is induced upon exposure to low-pH medium (pH 5.0), and the resultant expression of the β-galactosidase reporter is quantitated using a chemiluminescent substrate. We have utilized this robust microplate cell-cell fusion assay extensively to study arenavirus entry and its inhibition by small-molecule fusion inhibitors.

  20. S-methylmethionine reduces cell membrane damage in higher plants exposed to low-temperature stress. (United States)

    Rácz, Ilona; Páldi, Emil; Szalai, Gabriella; Janda, Tibor; Pál, Magdolna; Lásztity, Demeter


    S-methylmethionine (SMM), an important intermediate compound in the sulphur metabolism, can be found in various quantities in majority of plants. The experiments were designed to determine the extent to which SMM is able to preserve cell membrane integrity or reduce the degree of membrane damage in the course of low-temperature stress. By measuring electrolyte leakage (EL), it was proved that SMM treatment reduced cell membrane damage, and thus EL, during low-temperature stress in both the leaves and roots of peas, maize, soy beans and eight winter wheat varieties with different levels of frost resistance. Investigations on the interaction between SMM and polyamine biosynthesis revealed that SMM increased the quantities of agmatine (Agm) and putrescine (Put) as well as that of spermidine (Spd), while it had no effect on the quantity of spermine (Spn). Using a specific inhibitor, methylglyoxal-bis-guanyl hydrazone (MGBG), it was proved that the polyamine metabolic pathway starting from methionine played no role in the synthesis of Spd or Spn, so there must be an alternative pathway for the synthesis of SMM-induced polyamines.

  1. Modelling and validation of Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) (United States)

    Mohiuddin, A. K. M.; Basran, N.; Khan, A. A.


    This paper is the outcome of a small scale fuel cell project. Fuel cell is an electrochemical device that converts energy from chemical reaction to electrical work. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is one of the different types of fuel cell, which is more efficient, having low operational temperature and fast start up capability results in high energy density. In this study, a mathematical model of 1.2 W PEMFC is developed and simulated using MATLAB software. This model describes the PEMFC behaviour under steady-state condition. This mathematical modeling of PEMFC determines the polarization curve, power generated, and the efficiency of the fuel cell. Simulation results were validated by comparing with experimental results obtained from the test of a single PEMFC with a 3 V motor. The performance of experimental PEMFC is little lower compared to simulated PEMFC, however both results were found in good agreement. Experiments on hydrogen flow rate also been conducted to obtain the amount of hydrogen consumed to produce electrical work on PEMFC.

  2. Pyro-electrification of polymer membranes for cell patterning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rega, R.; Gennari, O.; Mecozzia, L.; Grilli, S.; Pagliarulo, V.; Ferraro, P. [National Council of Research, Institute of Applied Science & Intelligent Systems (ISASI) ‘E. Caianiello’, Via Campi Flegrei 34, 80078 Pozzuoli (Italy)


    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].

  3. Recovery of Flavonoids from Orange Press Liquor by an Integrated Membrane Process (United States)

    Cassano, Alfredo; Conidi, Carmela; Ruby-Figueroa, René


    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. PMID:25116725

  4. 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.

  5. Recovery of flavonoids from orange press liquor by an integrated membrane process. (United States)

    Cassano, Alfredo; Conidi, Carmela; Ruby-Figueroa, René


    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.

  6. Vesicles mimicking normal and cancer cell membranes exhibit differential responses to the cell-penetrating peptide Pep-1. (United States)

    Almarwani, Bashiyar; Phambu, Esther Nzuzi; Alexander, Christopher; Nguyen, Ha Aimee T; Phambu, Nsoki; Sunda-Meya, Anderson


    The cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) Pep-1 presents a great potential in drug delivery due to its intrinsic property to cross plasma membrane. However, its mechanism of entry into the cell remains unresolved. In this study, we compare the selectivity of Pep-1 towards vesicles mimicking normal and cancer cell membranes. The interaction was performed in a wide range of peptide-to-lipid molar ratios using infrared (IR), fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) techniques. At low peptide concentration, fluorescence experiments show that lipid-phosphatidylserine (PS) seems to enable Pep-1 translocation into cancer cell membrane as evidenced by the blue shift of its maximal emission wavelength. DSC data show that Pep-1 induces segregation of lipids. At high peptide concentration, IR data indicate that the interaction of Pep-1 is relatively stronger with normal cell membrane than with cancer cell membrane through the phosphate groups, while the interaction is weaker with normal cell membrane than with cancer cell membrane through the carbonyl groups. TGA and DSC data reveal that vesicles of normal cell membrane are thermally more stable than vesicles of cancer cell membrane. This suggests that the additional lipid PS included in cancer cell membrane has a destabilizing effect on the membrane structure. SEM images reveal that Pep-1 form superstructures including spherical particles and fibrils in the presence of both model membranes. PS seems to enhance peptide transport across cellular membranes. The biophysical techniques in this study provide valuable insights into the properties of CPPs in drug delivery systems. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. A practical guide for the identification of membrane and plasma membrane proteins in human embryonic stem cells and human embryonal carcinoma cells.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dormeyer, W.; van Hoof, D.; Mummery, C.L.; Krijgsveld, J.; Heck, A.


    The identification of (plasma) membrane proteins in cells can provide valuable insights into the regulation of their biological processes. Pluripotent cells such as human embryonic stem cells and embryonal carcinoma cells are capable of unlimited self-renewal and share many of the biological

  8. Comparison of human mesenchymal stromal cells from four neonatal tissues: Amniotic membrane, chorionic membrane, placental decidua and umbilical cord. (United States)

    Araújo, Anelise Bergmann; Salton, Gabrielle Dias; Furlan, Juliana Monteiro; Schneider, Natália; Angeli, Melissa Helena; Laureano, Álvaro Macedo; Silla, Lúcia; Passos, Eduardo Pandolfi; Paz, Ana Helena


    Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are being investigated as a potential alternative for cellular therapy. This study was designed to compare the biological characteristics of MSCs isolated from amniotic membrane (A-MSCs), chorionic membrane (C-MSCs), placental decidua (D-MSCs) and umbilical cord (UC-MSCs) to ascertain whether any one of these sources is superior to the others for cellular therapy purposes. MSCs were isolated from amniotic membrane, chorionic membrane, umbilical cord and placental decidua. Immunophenotype, differentiation ability, cell size, cell complexity, polarity index and growth kinetics of MSCs isolated from these four sources were analyzed. MSCs were successfully isolated from all four sources. Surface marker profile and differentiation ability were consistent with human MSCs. C-MSCs in suspension were the smallest cells, whereas UC-MSCs presented the greatest length and least width. A-MSCs had the lowest polarity index and UC-MSCs, as more elongated cells, the highest. C-MSCs, D-MSCs and UC-MSCs exhibited similar growth capacity until passage 8 (P8); C-MSCs presented better lifespan, whereas insignificant proliferation was observed in A-MSCs. Neonatal and maternal tissues can serve as sources of multipotent stem cells. Some characteristics of MSCs obtained from four neonatal tissues were compared and differences were observed. Amniotic membrane was the least useful source of MSCs, whereas chorionic membrane and umbilical cord were considered good options for future use in cell therapy because of the known advantages of immature cells. Copyright © 2017 International Society for Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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].

  10. Water-Free Proton-Conducting Membranes for Fuel Cells (United States)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram; Yen, Shiao-Pin


    Poly-4-vinylpyridinebisulfate (P4VPBS) is a polymeric salt that has shown promise as a water-free proton-conducting material (solid electrolyte) suitable for use in membrane/electrode assemblies in fuel cells. Heretofore, proton-conducting membranes in fuel cells have been made from perfluorinated ionomers that cannot conduct protons in the absence of water and, consequently, cannot function at temperatures >100 C. In addition, the stability of perfluorinated ionomers at temperatures >100 C is questionable. However, the performances of fuel cells of the power systems of which they are parts could be improved if operating temperatures could be raised above 140 C. What is needed to make this possible is a solid-electrolyte material, such as P4VPBS, that can be cast into membranes and that both retains proton conductivity and remains stable in the desired higher operating temperature range. A family of solid-electrolyte materials different from P4VPBS was described in Anhydrous Proton-Conducting Membranes for Fuel Cells (NPO-30493), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 29, No. 8 (August 2005), page 48. Those materials notably include polymeric quaternized amine salts. If molecules of such a polymeric salt could be endowed with flexible chain structures, it would be possible to overcome the deficiencies of simple organic amine salts that must melt before being able to conduct protons. However, no polymeric quaternized amine salts have yet shown to be useful in this respect. The present solid electrolyte is made by quaternizing the linear polymer poly- 4-vinylpyridine (P4VP) to obtain P4VPBS. It is important to start with P4VP having a molecular weight of 160,000 daltons because P4VPBS made from lower-molecular-weight P4VP yields brittle membranes. In an experimental synthesis, P4VP was dissolved in methanol and then reacted with an excess of sulfuric acid to precipitate P4VPBS. The precipitate was recovered, washed several times with methanol to remove traces of acid, and dried to a

  11. Integration of ceramic membrane and compressed air-assisted solvent extraction (CASX) for metal recovery. (United States)

    Li, Chi-Wang; Chiu, Chun-Hao; Lee, Yu-Cheng; Chang, Chia-Hao; Lee, Yu-Hsun; Chen, Yi-Ming


    In our previous publications, compressed air-assisted solvent extraction process (CASX) was developed and proved to be kinetically efficient process for metal removal. In the current study, CASX with a ceramic MF membrane integrated for separation of spent solvent was employed to remove and recover metal from wastewater. MF was operated either in crossflow mode or dead-end with intermittent flushing mode. Under crossflow mode, three distinct stages of flux vs. TMP (trans-membrane pressure) relationship were observed. In the first stage, flux increases with increasing TMP which is followed by the stage of stable flux with increasing TMP. After reaching a threshold TMP which is dependent of crossflow velocity, flux increases again with increasing TMP. At the last stage, solvent was pushed through membrane pores as indicated by increasing permeate COD. In dead-end with intermittent flushing mode, an intermittent flushing flow (2 min after a 10-min or a 30-min dead-end filtration) was incorporated to reduce membrane fouling by flush out MSAB accumulated on membrane surface. Effects of solvent concentration and composition were also investigated. Solvent concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 1% (w/w) have no adverse effect in terms of membrane fouling. However, solvent composition, i.e. D(2)EHPA/kerosene ratio, shows impact on membrane fouling. The type of metal extractants employed in CASX has significant impact on both membrane fouling and the quality of filtrate due to the differences in their viscosity and water solubility. Separation of MSAB was the limiting process controlling metal removal efficiency, and the removal efficiency of Cd(II) and Cr(VI) followed the same trend as that for COD.

  12. Integrative Analysis of Subcellular Quantitative Proteomics Studies Reveals Functional Cytoskeleton Membrane-Lipid Raft Interactions in Cancer. (United States)

    Shah, Anup D; Inder, Kerry L; Shah, Alok K; Cristino, Alexandre S; McKie, Arthur B; Gabra, Hani; Davis, Melissa J; Hill, Michelle M


    Lipid rafts are dynamic membrane microdomains that orchestrate molecular interactions and are implicated in cancer development. To understand the functions of lipid rafts in cancer, we performed an integrated analysis of quantitative lipid raft proteomics data sets modeling progression in breast cancer, melanoma, and renal cell carcinoma. This analysis revealed that cancer development is associated with increased membrane raft-cytoskeleton interactions, with ∼40% of elevated lipid raft proteins being cytoskeletal components. Previous studies suggest a potential functional role for the raft-cytoskeleton in the action of the putative tumor suppressors PTRF/Cavin-1 and Merlin. To extend the observation, we examined lipid raft proteome modulation by an unrelated tumor suppressor opioid binding protein cell-adhesion molecule (OPCML) in ovarian cancer SKOV3 cells. In agreement with the other model systems, quantitative proteomics revealed that 39% of OPCML-depleted lipid raft proteins are cytoskeletal components, with microfilaments and intermediate filaments specifically down-regulated. Furthermore, protein-protein interaction network and simulation analysis showed significantly higher interactions among cancer raft proteins compared with general human raft proteins. Collectively, these results suggest increased cytoskeleton-mediated stabilization of lipid raft domains with greater molecular interactions as a common, functional, and reversible feature of cancer cells.

  13. Circulating cell membrane microparticles transfer heme to endothelial cells and trigger vasoocclusions in sickle cell disease. (United States)

    Camus, Stéphane M; De Moraes, João A; Bonnin, Philippe; Abbyad, Paul; Le Jeune, Sylvain; Lionnet, François; Loufrani, Laurent; Grimaud, Linda; Lambry, Jean-Christophe; Charue, Dominique; Kiger, Laurent; Renard, Jean-Marie; Larroque, Claire; Le Clésiau, Hervé; Tedgui, Alain; Bruneval, Patrick; Barja-Fidalgo, Christina; Alexandrou, Antigoni; Tharaux, Pierre-Louis; Boulanger, Chantal M; Blanc-Brude, Olivier P


    Intravascular hemolysis describes the relocalization of heme and hemoglobin (Hb) from erythrocytes to plasma. We investigated the concept that erythrocyte membrane microparticles (MPs) concentrate cell-free heme in human hemolytic diseases, and that heme-laden MPs have a physiopathological impact. Up to one-third of cell-free heme in plasma from 47 patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) was sequestered in circulating MPs. Erythrocyte vesiculation in vitro produced MPs loaded with heme. In silico analysis predicted that externalized phosphatidylserine (PS) in MPs may associate with and help retain heme at the cell surface. Immunohistology identified Hb-laden MPs adherent to capillary endothelium in kidney biopsies from hyperalbuminuric SCD patients. In addition, heme-laden erythrocyte MPs adhered and transferred heme to cultured endothelial cells, inducing oxidative stress and apoptosis. In transgenic SAD mice, infusion of heme-laden MPs triggered rapid vasoocclusions in kidneys and compromised microvascular dilation ex vivo. These vascular effects were largely blocked by heme-scavenging hemopexin and by the PS antagonist annexin-a5, in vitro and in vivo. Adversely remodeled MPs carrying heme may thus be a source of oxidant stress for the endothelium, linking hemolysis to vascular injury. This pathway might provide new targets for the therapeutic preservation of vascular function in SCD. © 2015 by The American Society of Hematology.

  14. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. New polymeric electrolyte membranes based on proton donor proton acceptor properties for direct methanol fuel cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manea, G.C.; Mulder, M.H.V.


    In order to reduce the high methanol permeability of membranes in a direct methanol fuel cell application new and better materials are still required. In this paper membranes made from polybenzimidazole/sulfonated polysulfone are given and compared with homopolymer membranes made from sulfonated

  16. New Insight Into the Roles of Membrane Microdomains in Physiological Activities of Fungal Cells.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Malínský, Jan; Opekarová, Miroslava


    Roč. 325, mar. (2016), s. 119-180 ISSN 1937-6448 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-10641S Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : membrane microdomain * membrane structure * fungi * membrane contact sites Subject RIV: EA - Cell Biology Impact factor: 3.752, year: 2015

  17. Development of proton-conducting membranes for fuel cells: a review

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Schauer, Jan


    Roč. 10, - (2006), s. 19-26 ISSN 0972-446X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/05/0080 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40500505 Keywords : proton exchange membrane * fuel cell membrane * polymer membrane Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry

  18. Novel composite membranes based on PBI and dicationic ionic liquids for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hooshyari, Khadijeh; Javanbakht, Mehran; Adibi, Mina


    Two types of innovative composite membranes based on polybenzimidazole (PBI) containing dicationic ionic liquid 1,3-di(3-methylimidazolium) propane bis (trifluoromethylsulfonyl) imide (PDC 3 ) and monocationic ionic liquid 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium bis (trifluoromethanesulfonyl) imide (PMC 6 ) are prepared as electrolyte for high temperature fuel cells applications under anhydrous conditions. The analyses of results display promising characteristics such as high proton conductivity and thermal stability. Moreover the fuel cell performance of PA doped PDC 3 composite membranes is enhanced in comparison with PA doped PMC 6 and PA doped PBI membranes at high temperatures. Dicationic ionic liquid with high number of charge carriers provides well-developed ionic channels which form facile pathways and considerably develop the anhydrous proton conductivity. The highest proton conductivity of 81 mS/cm is achieved for PA doped PDC 3 composite membranes with PBI/IL mole ratio: 4 at 180 °C. A power density of 0.44 W/cm 2 is obtained at 0.5 V and 180 °C for PA doped PDC 3 composite membranes, which proves that these developed composite membranes can be considered as most promising candidates for high temperature fuel cell applications with enhanced proton conductivity.

  19. Introducing catalyst in alkaline membrane for improved performance direct borohydride fuel cells (United States)

    Qin, Haiying; Lin, Longxia; Chu, Wen; Jiang, Wei; He, Yan; Shi, Qiao; Deng, Yonghong; Ji, Zhenguo; Liu, Jiabin; Tao, Shanwen


    A catalytic material is introduced into the polymer matrix to prepare a novel polymeric alkaline electrolyte membrane (AEM) which simultaneously increases ionic conductivity, reduces the fuel cross-over. In this work, the hydroxide anion exchange membrane is mainly composed of poly(vinylalcohol) and alkaline exchange resin. CoCl2 is added into the poly(vinylalcohol) and alkaline exchange resin gel before casting the membrane to introduce catalytic materials. CoCl2 is converted into CoOOH after the reaction with KOH solution. The crystallinity of the polymer matrix decreases and the ionic conductivity of the composite membrane is notably improved by the introduction of Co-species. A direct borohydride fuel cell using the composite membrane exhibits an open circuit voltage of 1.11 V at 30 °C, which is notably higher than that of cells using other AEMs. The cell using the composite membrane achieves a maximum power density of 283 mW cm-2 at 60 °C while the cell using the membrane without Co-species only reaches 117 mW cm-2 at the same conditions. The outstanding performance of the cell using the composite membrane benefits from impregnation of the catalytic Co-species in the membrane, which not only increases the ionic conductivity but also reduces electrode polarization thus improves the fuel cell performance. This work provides a new approach to develop high-performance fuel cells through adding catalysts in the electrolyte membrane.

  20. Binding and Fusion of Extracellular Vesicles to the Plasma Membrane of Their Cell Targets. (United States)

    Prada, Ilaria; Meldolesi, Jacopo


    Exosomes and ectosomes, extracellular vesicles of two types generated by all cells at multivesicular bodies and the plasma membrane, respectively, play critical roles in physiology and pathology. A key mechanism of their function, analogous for both types of vesicles, is the fusion of their membrane to the plasma membrane of specific target cells, followed by discharge to the cytoplasm of their luminal cargo containing proteins, RNAs, and DNA. Here we summarize the present knowledge about the interactions, binding and fusions of vesicles with the cell plasma membrane. The sequence initiates with dynamic interactions, during which vesicles roll over the plasma membrane, followed by the binding of specific membrane proteins to their cell receptors. Membrane binding is then converted rapidly into fusion by mechanisms analogous to those of retroviruses. Specifically, proteins of the extracellular vesicle membranes are structurally rearranged, and their hydrophobic sequences insert into the target cell plasma membrane which undergoes lipid reorganization, protein restructuring and membrane dimpling. Single fusions are not the only process of vesicle/cell interactions. Upon intracellular reassembly of their luminal cargoes, vesicles can be regenerated, released and fused horizontally to other target cells. Fusions of extracellular vesicles are relevant also for specific therapy processes, now intensely investigated.

  1. The study of preparation for immobilized cells membranes of E. Coli. by radiation technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cao Jin; Chen Pin; Yu Yi


    The paper described the preparation of immobilized cells membranes with E. Coli by radiation technique. The nylon 6 was grafted with HEMA, which as a matrix to prepare immobilized cells membranes with E. Coli. by radiation entrapment at low temperature. The results showed that the retentive activity possessed a maximum value for membranes with E. Coli. when the irradiation dose was at 10-12 kGy, the entrapped cells has 2.3 g/ml at 50% HEMA concentration, the optimum pH and optimum temperature for membranes with E. Coli. are as same the original cells

  2. Materials and characterization techniques for high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. (United States)

    Zeis, Roswitha


    The performance of high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (HT-PEMFC) is critically dependent on the selection of materials and optimization of individual components. A conventional high-temperature membrane electrode assembly (HT-MEA) primarily consists of a polybenzimidazole (PBI)-type membrane containing phosphoric acid and two gas diffusion electrodes (GDE), the anode and the cathode, attached to the two surfaces of the membrane. This review article provides a survey on the materials implemented in state-of-the-art HT-MEAs. These materials must meet extremely demanding requirements because of the severe operating conditions of HT-PEMFCs. They need to be electrochemically and thermally stable in highly acidic environment. The polymer membranes should exhibit high proton conductivity in low-hydration and even anhydrous states. Of special concern for phosphoric-acid-doped PBI-type membranes is the acid loss and management during operation. The slow oxygen reduction reaction in HT-PEMFCs remains a challenge. Phosphoric acid tends to adsorb onto the surface of the platinum catalyst and therefore hampers the reaction kinetics. Additionally, the binder material plays a key role in regulating the hydrophobicity and hydrophilicity of the catalyst layer. Subsequently, the binder controls the electrode-membrane interface that establishes the triple phase boundary between proton conductive electrolyte, electron conductive catalyst, and reactant gases. Moreover, the elevated operating temperatures promote carbon corrosion and therefore degrade the integrity of the catalyst support. These are only some examples how materials properties affect the stability and performance of HT-PEMFCs. For this reason, materials characterization techniques for HT-PEMFCs, either in situ or ex situ, are highly beneficial. Significant progress has recently been made in this field, which enables us to gain a better understanding of underlying processes occurring during fuel cell

  3. 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.

  4. Infectious rotavirus enters cells by direct cell membrane penetration, not by endocytosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaljot, K.T.; Shaw, R.D.; Greenberg, H.B.; Rubin, D.H.


    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 51 Cr, [ 14 C]choline, and [ 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


    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Vaginal epithelial cells regulate membrane adhesiveness to co-ordinate bacterial adhesion. (United States)

    Younes, Jessica A; Klappe, Karin; Kok, Jan Willem; Busscher, Henk J; Reid, Gregor; van der Mei, Henny C


    Vaginal epithelium is colonized by different bacterial strains and species. The bacterial composition of vaginal biofilms controls the balance between health and disease. Little is known about the relative contribution of the epithelial and bacterial cell surfaces to bacterial adhesion and whether and how adhesion is regulated over cell membrane regions. Here, we show that bacterial adhesion forces with cell membrane regions not located above the nucleus are stronger than with regions above the nucleus both for vaginal pathogens and different commensal and probiotic lactobacillus strains involved in health. Importantly, adhesion force ratios over membrane regions away from and above the nucleus coincided with the ratios between numbers of adhering bacteria over both regions. Bacterial adhesion forces were dramatically decreased by depleting the epithelial cell membrane of cholesterol or sub-membrane cortical actin. Thus, epithelial cells can regulate membrane regions to which bacterial adhesion is discouraged, possibly to protect the nucleus. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. 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.

  10. The effectiveness of styrene-maleic acid (SMA) copolymers for solubilisation of integral membrane proteins from SMA-accessible and SMA-resistant membranes. (United States)

    Swainsbury, David J K; Scheidelaar, Stefan; Foster, Nicholas; van Grondelle, Rienk; Killian, J Antoinette; Jones, Michael R


    Solubilisation of biological lipid bilayer membranes for analysis of their protein complement has traditionally been carried out using detergents, but there is increasing interest in the use of amphiphilic copolymers such as styrene maleic acid (SMA) for the solubilisation, purification and characterisation of integral membrane proteins in the form of protein/lipid nanodiscs. Here we survey the effectiveness of various commercially-available formulations of the SMA copolymer in solubilising Rhodobacter sphaeroides reaction centres (RCs) from photosynthetic membranes. We find that formulations of SMA with a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of styrene to maleic acid are almost as effective as detergent in solubilising RCs, with the best solubilisation by short chain variants (membranes was uniformly low, but could be increased through a variety of treatments to increase the lipid:protein ratio. However, proteins isolated from such membranes comprised clusters of complexes in small membrane patches rather than individual proteins. We conclude that short-chain 2:1 and 3:1 formulations of SMA are the most effective in solubilising integral membrane proteins, but that solubilisation efficiencies are strongly influenced by the size of the target protein and the density of packing of proteins in the membrane. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Analytical model describes ion conduction in fuel cell membranes (United States)

    Herbst, Daniel; Tse, Steve; Witten, Thomas


    Many fuel cell designs employ polyelectrolyte membranes, but little is known about how to tune the parameters (water level, morphology, etc.) to maximize ion conductivity. We came up with a simple model based on a random, discrete water distribution and ion confinement due to neighboring polymer. The results quantitatively agree with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and explain experimental observations. We find that when the ratio of water volume to polymer volume, Vw /Vp , is small, the predicted ion self-diffusion coefficient scales roughly as Dw T√{Vw /Vp } exp(- ⋯Vp /Vw) , where Dw T is the limiting value in pure water at temperature T . At high water levels the model also agrees with MD simulation, plateauing to Dw T . The model predicts a maximum conductivity at a water level higher than is typically used, and that it would be beneficial to increase water retention even at the expense of lower ion concentration. Also, membranes would conduct better if they phase-separated into water-rich and polymer-rich regions. US ARMY MURI #W911NF-10-1-0520.

  12. Computational fluid dynamics modeling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    A transient, multi-dimensional model has been developed to simulate proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The model accounts simultaneously for electrochemical kinetics, current distribution, hydrodynamics and multi-component transport. A single set of conservation equations valid for flow channels, gas-diffusion electrodes, catalyst layers and the membrane region are developed and numerically solved using a finite-volume-based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technique. The numerical model is validated against published experimental data with good agreement. Subsequently, the model is applied to explore hydrogen dilution effects in the anode feed. The predicted polarization cubes under hydrogen dilution conditions are found to be in qualitative agreement with recent experiments reported in the literature. The detailed two-dimensional electrochemical and flow/transport simulations further reveal that in the presence of hydrogen dilution in the fuel stream, hydrogen is depleted at the reaction surface resulting in substantial kinetic polarization and hence a lower current density that is limited by hydrogen transport from the fuel stream to the reaction site.

  13. Continuous Change in Membrane and Membrane-Skeleton Organization During Development From Proerythroblast to Senescent Red Blood Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giampaolo Minetti


    Full Text Available Within the context of erythropoiesis and the possibility of producing artificial red blood cells (RBCs in vitro, a most critical step is the final differentiation of enucleated erythroblasts, or reticulocytes, to a fully mature biconcave discocyte, the RBC. Reviewed here is the current knowledge about this fundamental maturational process. By combining literature data with our own experimental evidence we propose that the early phase in the maturation of reticulocytes to RBCs is driven by a membrane raft-based mechanism for the sorting of disposable membrane proteins, mostly the no longer needed transferrin receptor (TfR, to the multivesicular endosome (MVE as cargo of intraluminal vesicles that are subsequently exocytosed as exosomes, consistently with the seminal and original observation of Johnstone and collaborators of more than 30 years ago (Pan BT, Johnstone RM. Cell. 1983;33:967-978. According to a strikingly selective sorting process, the TfR becomes cargo destined to exocytosis while other molecules, including the most abundant RBC transmembrane protein, band 3, are completely retained in the cell membrane. It is also proposed that while this process could be operating in the early maturational steps in the bone marrow, additional mechanism(s must be at play for the final removal of the excess reticulocyte membrane that is observed to occur in the circulation. This processing will most likely require the intervention of the spleen, whose function is also necessary for the continuous remodeling of the RBC membrane all along this cell's circulatory life.

  14. Cellular reactions of osteoblast-like cells to a novel nanocomposite membrane for guided bone regeneration (United States)

    Meng, Yao; Liu, Man; Wang, Shao-An; Mo, An-Chun; Huang, Cui; Zuo, Yi; Li, Ji-Dong


    This study investigated the bioactivity and biocompatibility of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (n-HA)/Polyamide-66 (PA66) nanocomposite membrane and expanded-polytetrafluoroethylene (e-PTFE) membrane (as control) to MG63 osteoblast-like cells. The attachment and proliferation of the cells on the porous surface of nHA/PA66 membrane and the surface of e-PTFE membrane were evaluated by scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation and the MTT assay. The bioactivity of the cells on the surface of the two membranes was evaluated by testing cell viability and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities. The results suggested that the bioresponse of MG63 osteoblast-like cells on the porous surface of nHA/PA66 membrane was better than the bioresponse on the opposite surface of e-PTFE membrane. Because of a better cell attachment manner, there is a potential utilization of the guided bone regeneration (GBR) membrane to substitute nHA/PA66 membrane for e-PTFE membrane.

  15. Shock Wave-Induced Damage and Poration in Eukaryotic Cell Membranes. (United States)

    López-Marín, Luz M; Millán-Chiu, Blanca E; Castaño-González, Karen; Aceves, Carmen; Fernández, Francisco; Varela-Echavarría, Alfredo; Loske, Achim M


    Shock waves are known to permeabilize eukaryotic cell membranes, which may be a powerful tool for a variety of drug delivery applications. However, the mechanisms involved in shock wave-mediated membrane permeabilization are still poorly understood. In this study, the effects on both the permeability and the ultrastructural features of two human cell lineages were investigated after the application of underwater shock waves in vitro. Scanning Electron Microscopy of cells derived from a human embryo kidney (HEK)-293 and Michigan Cancer Foundation (MCF)-7 cells, an immortalized culture derived from human breast adenocarcinoma, showed a small amount of microvilli (as compared to control cells), the presence of hole-like structures, and a decrease in cell size after shock wave exposure. Interestingly, these effects were accompanied by the permeabilization of acid and macromolecular dyes and gene transfection. Trypan blue exclusion assays indicated that cell membranes were porated during shock wave treatment but resealed after a few seconds. Deformations of the cell membrane lasted for at least 5 min, allowing their observation in fixed cells. For each cell line, different shock wave parameters were needed to achieve cell membrane poration. This difference was correlated to successful gene transfection by shock waves. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that shock waves induce transient micro- and submicrosized deformations at the cell membrane, leading to cell transfection and cell survival. They also indicate that ultrastructural analyses of cell surfaces may constitute a useful way to match the use of shock waves to different cells and settings.

  16. Effects of Propofol on Several Membrane Characteristics of Cervical Cancer Cell Lines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Zhang


    Full Text Available Background: Although significant advances have been made toward understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the effect of propofol on tumor cell metastasis, less is known regarding how cell membrane and cytoskeletal ultrastructure are affected in this process. Here, we investigated the relationship between cell morphology and cell size, which are features mainly defined by the cytoskeleton. Methods: To confirm the effects of propofol on the migratory ability of human cervical carcinoma cells, cell migration and invasion were examined through scratch wound healing and transwell membrane assays. Furthermore, HeLa cells cultivated with different concentrations of propofol were examined by confocal microscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM, and the mean optical density and migration ability of these cells were also assessed. In addition, cell membrane morphology was inspected using AFM. Results: The results of the wound healing and transwell membrane assays indicated that propofol decreases the migratory ability of cervical carcinoma cells compared to control cells. A comparative analysis of the test results revealed that short-term (3 h exposure to propofol induced marked changes in cell membrane microstructure and in the cytoskeleton in a dose-dependent manner. These morphological changes in the cell membrane were accompanied by cytoskeleton (F-actin derangement. The present findings demonstrate a close relationship between changes in cell membrane ultrastructure and cytoskeletal alterations (F-actin in propofol-treated HeLa cells. AFM scanning analysis showed that cell membrane ultrastructure was significantly changed, including a clear reduction in membrane roughness. Conclusion: The influence of propofol on the HeLa cell cytoskeleton can be directly reflected by changes in cellular morphology, as assessed by AFM. Moreover, the use of AFM is a good method for investigating propofol-mediated changes within cytoskeletal ultrastructure.

  17. S-layer and cytoplasmic membrane – exceptions from the typical archaeal cell wall with a focus on double membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eKlingl


    Full Text Available The common idea of typical cell wall architecture in archaea consists of a pseudo-crystalline proteinaceous surface layer (S-layer, situated upon the cytoplasmic membrane. This is true for the majority of described archaea, hitherto. Within the crenarchaea, the S-layer often represents the only cell wall component, but there are various exceptions from this wall architecture. Beside (glycosylated S-layers in (hyperthermophilic cren- and euryarchaea as well as halophilic archaea, one can find a great variety of other cell wall structures like proteoglycan-like S-layers (Halobacteria, glutaminylglycan (Natronococci, methanochondroitin (Methanosarcina or double layered cell walls with pseudomurein (Methanothermus and Methanopyrus. The presence of an outermost cellular membrane in the crenarchaeal species Ignicoccus hospitalis already gave indications for an outer membrane similar to Gram-negative bacteria. Although there is just limited data concerning their biochemistry and ultrastructure, recent studies on the euryarchaeal methanogen Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis, cells of the ARMAN group, and the SM1 euryarchaeon delivered further examples for this exceptional cell envelope type consisting of two membranes.

  18. Antibacterial activity of polyphenolic fraction of Kombucha against Vibrio cholerae: targeting cell membrane. (United States)

    Bhattacharya, D; Ghosh, D; Bhattacharya, S; Sarkar, S; Karmakar, P; Koley, H; Gachhui, R


    The present study was undertaken to determine the mechanism of antibacterial activity of a polyphenolic fraction, composed of mainly catechin and isorhamnetin, previously isolated from Kombucha, a 14-day fermented beverage of sugared black tea, against the enteropathogen Vibrio cholerae N16961. Bacterial growth was found to be seriously impaired by the polyphenolic fraction in a dose-dependent manner. Scanning Electron Microscopy demonstrated morphological alterations in bacterial cells when exposed to the polyphenolic fraction in a concentration-dependent manner. Permeabilization assays confirmed that the fraction disrupted bacterial membrane integrity in both time- and dose-dependent manners, which were proportional to the production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). Furthermore, each of the polyphenols catechin and isorhamnetin showed the ability to permeate bacterial cell membranes by generating oxidative stress, thereby suggesting their role in the antibacterial potential of Kombucha. Thus, the basic mechanism of antibacterial activity of the Kombucha polyphenolic fraction against V. cholerae involved bacterial membrane permeabilization and morphological changes, which might be due to the generation of intracellular ROS. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the investigation of antibacterial mechanism of Kombucha, which is mostly attributed to its polyphenolic content. The emergence of multidrug-resistant Vibrio cholerae strains has hindered an efficient anti-Vibrio therapy. This study has demonstrated the membrane damage-mediated antibacterial mechanism of Kombucha, a popular fermented beverage of sugared tea, which is mostly attributed to its polyphenolic content. This study also implies the exploitation of Kombucha as a potential new source of bioactive polyphenols against V. cholerae. © 2017 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  19. Analysis performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) (United States)

    Mubin, A. N. A.; Bahrom, M. H.; Azri, M.; Ibrahim, Z.; Rahim, N. A.; Raihan, S. R. S.


    Recently, the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has gained much attention to the technology of renewable energy due to its mechanically ideal and zero emission power source. PEMFC performance reflects from the surroundings such as temperature and pressure. This paper presents an analysis of the performance of the PEMFC by developing the mathematical thermodynamic modelling using Matlab/Simulink. Apart from that, the differential equation of the thermodynamic model of the PEMFC is used to explain the contribution of heat to the performance of the output voltage of the PEMFC. On the other hand, the partial pressure equation of the hydrogen is included in the PEMFC mathematical modeling to study the PEMFC voltage behaviour related to the input variable input hydrogen pressure. The efficiency of the model is 33.8% which calculated by applying the energy conversion device equations on the thermal efficiency. PEMFC’s voltage output performance is increased by increasing the hydrogen input pressure and temperature.

  20. Ankyrin-B directs membrane tethering of periaxin and is required for maintenance of lens fiber cell hexagonal shape and mechanics. (United States)

    Maddala, Rupalatha; Walters, Mark; Brophy, Peter J; Bennett, Vann; Rao, Ponugoti V


    Periaxin (Prx), a PDZ domain protein expressed preferentially in myelinating Schwann cells and lens fibers, plays a key role in membrane scaffolding and cytoarchitecture. Little is known, however, about how Prx is anchored to the plasma membrane. Here we report that ankyrin-B (AnkB), a well-characterized adaptor protein involved in linking the spectrin-actin cytoskeleton to integral membrane proteins, is required for membrane association of Prx in lens fibers and colocalizes with Prx in hexagonal fiber cells. Under AnkB haploinsufficiency, Prx accumulates in the soluble fraction with a concomitant loss from the membrane-enriched fraction of mouse lenses. Moreover, AnkB haploinsufficiency induced age-dependent disruptions in fiber cell hexagonal geometry and radial alignment and decreased compressive stiffness in mouse lenses parallel to the changes observed in Prx null mouse lens. Both AnkB- and Prx-deficient mice exhibit disruptions in membrane organization of the spectrin-actin network and the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex in lens fiber cells. Taken together, these observations reveal that AnkB is required for Prx membrane anchoring and for maintenance of lens fiber cell hexagonal geometry, membrane skeleton organization, and biomechanics. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  1. Live cell linear dichroism imaging reveals extensive membrane ruffling within the docking structure of natural killer cell immune synapses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benninger, Richard K P; Vanherberghen, Bruno; Young, Stephen


    We have applied fluorescence imaging of two-photon linear dichroism to measure the subresolution organization of the cell membrane during formation of the activating (cytolytic) natural killer (NK) cell immune synapse (IS). This approach revealed that the NK cell plasma membrane is convoluted...... into ruffles at the periphery, but not in the center of a mature cytolytic NK cell IS. Time-lapse imaging showed that the membrane ruffles formed at the initial point of contact between NK cells and target cells and then spread radialy across the intercellular contact as the size of the IS increased, becoming...

  2. 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

  3. A Printed Equilibrium Dialysis Device with Integrated Membranes for Improved Binding Affinity Measurements. (United States)

    Pinger, Cody W; Heller, Andrew A; Spence, Dana M


    Equilibrium dialysis is a simple and effective technique used for investigating the binding of small molecules and ions to proteins. A three-dimensional (3D) printer was used to create a device capable of measuring binding constants between a protein and a small ion based on equilibrium dialysis. Specifically, the technology described here enables the user to customize an equilibrium dialysis device to fit their own experiments by choosing membranes of various material and molecular-weight cutoff values. The device has dimensions similar to that of a standard 96-well plate, thus being amenable to automated sample handlers and multichannel pipettes. The device consists of a printed base that hosts multiple windows containing a porous regenerated-cellulose membrane with a molecular-weight cutoff of ∼3500 Da. A key step in the fabrication process is a print-pause-print approach for integrating membranes directly into the windows subsequently inserted into the base. The integrated membranes display no leaking upon placement into the base. After characterizing the system's requirements for reaching equilibrium, the device was used to successfully measure an equilibrium dissociation constant for Zn 2+ and human serum albumin (K d = (5.62 ± 0.93) × 10 -7 M) under physiological conditions that is statistically equal to the constants reported in the literature.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Crosslinked wholly aromatic polyether membranes based on quinoline derivatives and their application in high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Kallitsis, K. J.; Nannou, R.; Andreopoulou, A. K.; Daletou, M. K.; Papaioannou, D.; Neophytides, S. G.; Kallitsis, J. K.


    An AB type difunctional quinoline based monomer bearing a pentafluorophenyl unit combined with a phenol functionality is being synthesized and homopolymerized to create linear aromatic polyethers as polymer electrolytes for HT-PEM FCs applications. Several conditions are tested for the optimized synthesis of the monomer and homopolymer. Additionally, covalent crosslinking through aromatic polyether bond formation enables the creation of wholly aromatic crosslinked polymeric electrolyte membranes. More specifically, the perfluorophenyl units are crosslinked with other hydroxyl end functionalized moieties, providing membranes with enhanced chemical and mechanical properties that are moreover easily doped with phosphoric acid even at ambient temperatures. All membranes are evaluated for their structural and thermal characteristics and their doping ability with phosphoric acid. Selected crosslinked membranes are further tested in terms of their single cell performance at the temperature range 160 °C-200 °C showing promising performance and high conductivity values even up to 0.2 S cm-1 in some cases.

  9. A microfluidic platform for probing single cell plasma membranes using optically trapped Smart Droplet Microtools (SDMs). (United States)

    Lanigan, Peter M P; Ninkovic, Tanja; Chan, Karen; de Mello, Andrew J; Willison, Keith R; Klug, David R; Templer, Richard H; Neil, Mark A A; Ces, Oscar


    We recently introduced a novel platform based upon optically trapped lipid coated oil droplets (Smart Droplet Microtools-SDMs) that were able to form membrane tethers upon fusion with the plasma membrane of single cells. Material transfer from the plasma membrane to the droplet via the tether was seen to occur. Here we present a customised version of the SDM approach based upon detergent coated droplets deployed within a microfluidic format. These droplets are able to differentially solubilise the plasma membrane of single cells with spatial selectivity and without forming membrane tethers. The microfluidic format facilitates separation of the target cells from the bulk SDM population and from downstream analysis modules. Material transfer from the cell to the SDM was monitored by tracking membrane localized EGFP.

  10. 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

  11. Water Management Membrane for Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Development of an improved water management membrane for a static vapor feed electrolyzer that produces sub-saturated H2 and O2 is proposed. This improved membrane...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shamsuddin Ilias


    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising power sources for space and electric vehicle applications. Platinum (Pt) catalyst is used for both fuel and air electrodes in PEMFCs. The carbon monoxide (CO) contamination of H{sub 2} greatly affects electrocatalysts used at the anode of PEMFCs and decrease the cell performance. This irreversible poisoning of the anode can happen even in CO concentrations as low as few ppm, and therefore, require expensive scrubbing of the H{sub 2}-fuel to reduce the contaminant concentration to acceptable level. In order to commercialize this environmentally sound source of energy/power system, development of suitable CO-tolerant catalyst is needed. In this work, we have synthesized several novel electrocatalysts (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. The concentration of CO in the H{sub 2} fuel varied from 10 ppm to 100 ppm. The performance of the electrodes was evaluated by determining the cell potential against current density. The effect of temperature, catalyst compositions, and electrode film preparation methods on the performance of PEM fuel cell has also been studied. It was found that at 70 C and 3.5 atm pressure at the cathode, Pt-alloy catalysts (10 wt % Pt/Ru/C, 20 wt % Pt/Mo/C) were more CO-tolerant than 20 wt % Pt catalyst alone. It was also observed that spraying method is better for the preparation of electrode film than the brushing technique. Some of these results are summarized in this report.

  13. Novel process integration for biodiesel blend in membrane reactive divided wall (MRDW) column


    Sakhre Vandana; Jain Sanjeev; Sapkal Vilas S.; Agarwal Dev P.


    The paper proposes a novel process integration for biodiesel blend in the Membrane assisted Reactive Divided Wall Distillation (MRDW) column. Biodiesel is a green fuel and grade of biodiesel blend is B20 (%) which consist of 20% biodiesel and rest 80% commercial diesel. Instead of commercial diesel, Tertiary Amyl Ethyl Ether (TAEE) was used as an environment friendly fuel for blending biodiesel. Biodiesel and TAEE were synthesized in a pilot scale reactive distillation column. Dual reactive d...

  14. A bioartificial environment for kidney epithelial cells based on a supramolecular polymer basement membrane mimic and an organotypical culture system. (United States)

    Mollet, Björne B; Bogaerts, Iven L J; van Almen, Geert C; Dankers, Patricia Y W


    Renal applications in healthcare, such as renal replacement therapies and nephrotoxicity tests, could potentially benefit from bioartificial kidney membranes with fully differentiated and functional human tubular epithelial cells. A replacement of the natural environment of these cells is required to maintain and study cell functionality cell differentiation in vitro. Our approach was based on synthetic supramolecular biomaterials to mimic the natural basement membrane (BM) on which these cells grow and a bioreactor to provide the desired organotypical culture parameters. The BM mimics were constructed from ureidopyrimidinone (UPy)-functionalized polymer and bioactive peptides by electrospinning. The resultant membranes were shown to have a hierarchical fibrous BM-like structure consisting of self-assembled nanofibres within the electrospun microfibres. Human kidney-2 (HK-2) epithelial cells were cultured on the BM mimics under organotypical conditions in a custom-built bioreactor. The bioreactor facilitated in situ monitoring and functionality testing of the cultures. Cell viability and the integrity of the epithelial cell barrier were demonstrated inside the bioreactor by microscopy and transmembrane leakage of fluorescently labelled inulin, respectively. Furthermore, HK-2 cells maintained a polarized cell layer and showed modulation of both gene expression of membrane transporter proteins and metabolic activity of brush border enzymes when subjected to a continuous flow of culture medium inside the new bioreactor for 21 days. These results demonstrated that both the culture and study of renal epithelial cells was facilitated by the bioartificial in vitro environment that is formed by synthetic supramolecular BM mimics in our custom-built bioreactor. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Efficient treatment of aniline containing wastewater in bipolar membrane microbial electrolysis cell-Fenton system. (United States)

    Li, Xiaohu; Jin, Xiangdan; Zhao, Nannan; Angelidaki, Irini; Zhang, Yifeng


    Aniline-containing wastewater can cause significant environmental problems and threaten the humans's life. However, rapid degradation of aniline with cost-efficient methods remains a challenge. In this work, a novel microbial electrolysis cell with bipolar membrane was integrated with Fenton reaction (MEC-Fenton) for efficient treatment of real wastewater containing a high concentration (4460 ± 52 mg L -1 ) of aniline. In this system, H 2 O 2 was in situ electro-synthesized from O 2 reduction on the graphite cathode and was simultaneously used as source of OH for the oxidation of aniline wastewater under an acidic condition maintained by the bipolar membrane. The aniline was effectively degraded following first-order kinetics at a rate constant of 0.0166 h -1 under an applied voltage of 0.5 V. Meanwhile, a total organic carbon (TOC) removal efficiency of 93.1 ± 1.2% was obtained, revealing efficient mineralization of aniline. The applicability of bipolar membrane MEC-Fenton system was successfully demonstrated with actual aniline wastewater. Moreover, energy balance showed that the system could be a promising technology for removal of biorefractory organic pollutants from wastewaters. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Ganglion cell neurites in human idiopathic epiretinal membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lesnik Oberstein, S. Y.; Lewis, G. P.; Chapin, E. A.; Fisher, S. K.


    AIM: To identify and confirm the presence of neural elements in idiopathic epiretinal membranes removed from patients' eyes during vitrectomy with epiretinal membrane peeling. METHODS: Human epiretinal membranes from patients with no other known eye disease and of varying durations were labelled

  17. Membrane fusion-competent virus-like proteoliposomes and proteinaceous supported bilayers made directly from cell plasma membranes. (United States)

    Costello, Deirdre A; Hsia, Chih-Yun; Millet, Jean K; Porri, Teresa; Daniel, Susan


    Virus-like particles are useful materials for studying virus-host interactions in a safe manner. However, the standard production of pseudovirus based on the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) backbone is an intricate procedure that requires trained laboratory personnel. In this work, a new strategy for creating virus-like proteoliposomes (VLPLs) and virus-like supported bilayers (VLSBs) is presented. This strategy uses a cell blebbing technique to induce the formation of nanoscale vesicles from the plasma membrane of BHK cells expressing the hemagglutinin (HA) fusion protein of influenza X-31. These vesicles and supported bilayers contain HA and are used to carry out single particle membrane fusion events, monitored using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. The results of these studies show that the VLPLs and VLSBs contain HA proteins that are fully competent to carry out membrane fusion, including the formation of a fusion pore and the release of fluorophores loaded into vesicles. This new strategy for creating spherical and planar geometry virus-like membranes has many potential applications. VLPLs could be used to study fusion proteins of virulent viruses in a safe manner, or they could be used as therapeutic delivery particles to transport beneficial proteins coexpressed in the cells to a target cell. VLSBs could facilitate high throughput screening of antiviral drugs or pathogen-host cell interactions.

  18. A biofilter integrated with gas membrane separation unit for the treatment of fluctuating styrene loads. (United States)

    Li, Lin; Lian, Jing; Han, Yunping; Liu, Junxin


    Biofiltration for volatile organic compound control in waste gas streams is best operated at steady contaminant loadings. To provide long-term stable operation of a biofilter under adverse contaminant feeding conditions, an integrated bioreactor system with a gas separation membrane module installed after a biofilter was proposed for styrene treatment. Styrene was treated effectively, with average styrene effluent concentrations maintained at less than 50 mg m(-3) and a total removal efficiency of over 96% achieved when the biofiltration column faced fluctuating loads. The maximum elimination capacity of the integrated bioreactor system was 93.8 g m(-3)h(-1), which was higher than that obtained with the biofiltration column alone. The combination of these two processes (microbial and chemical) led to more efficient elimination of styrene and buffering of the fluctuating loads. The factors on gas membrane separation, microbial characteristics in the integrated bioreactor and membrane fouling were also investigated in this study. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. Supercapacitive Biosolar Cell Driven by Direct Electron Transfer between Photosynthetic Membranes and CNT Networks with Enhanced Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pankratov, Dmitry; Pankratova, Galina; Dyachkova, Tatiana P.


    enabled a 1.5-fold enhancement in photocurrent density. This system offers more advantages including a reduced charge-transfer resistance, a lower open-circuit potential, and an improved cell stability. More remarkably, the average power density of the optimized cells was 250 times higher than......Integrating photosynthetic cell components with nanostructured materials can facilitate the conversion of solar energy into electric power for creating sustainable carbon-neutral energy sources. With the aim at exploring efficient photoinduced biocatalytic energy conversion systems, we have used...... an amidated carbon nanotube (aCNT) networked matrix to integrate thylakoid membranes (TMs) for construction of a direct electron transfer-driven biosolar cell. We have evaluated the resulting photobioelectrochemical cells systematically. Compared to the carboxylated CNT (cCNT)-TMs system, the aCNT-TMs system...

  1. Physiological and Transcriptional Responses of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to d-Limonene Show Changes to the Cell Wall but Not to the Plasma Membrane (United States)

    Brennan, Timothy C. R.; Nielsen, Lars K.


    Monoterpenes can, upon hydrogenation, be used as light-fraction components of sustainable aviation fuels. Fermentative production of monoterpenes in engineered microorganisms, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has gained attention as a potential route to deliver these next-generation fuels from renewable biomass. However, end product toxicity presents a formidable problem for microbial synthesis. Due to their hydrophobicity, monoterpene inhibition has long been attributed to membrane interference, but the molecular mechanism remains largely unsolved. In order to gain a better understanding of the mode of action, we analyzed the composition and structural integrity of the cell envelope as well as the transcriptional response of yeast cells treated with an inhibitory amount of d-limonene (107 mg/liter). We found no alterations in membrane fluidity, structural membrane integrity, or fatty acid composition after the solvent challenge. A 4-fold increase in the mean fluorescence intensity per cell (using calcofluor white stain) and increased sensitivity to cell wall-degrading enzymes demonstrated that limonene disrupts cell wall properties. Global transcript measurements confirmed the membrane integrity observations by showing no upregulation of ergosterol or fatty acid biosynthesis pathways, which are commonly overexpressed in yeast to reinforce membrane rigidity during ethanol exposure. Limonene shock did cause a compensatory response to cell wall damage through overexpression of several genes (ROM1, RLM1, PIR3, CTT1, YGP1, MLP1, PST1, and CWP1) involved with the cell wall integrity signaling pathway. This is the first report demonstrating that cell wall, rather than plasma membrane, deterioration is the main source of monoterpene inhibition. We show that limonene can alter the structure and function of the cell wall, which has a clear effect on cytokinesis. PMID:23542628

  2. Influenza Hemifusion Phenotype Depends on Membrane Context: Differences in Cell-Cell and Virus-Cell Fusion. (United States)

    Zawada, Katarzyna E; Okamoto, Kenta; Kasson, Peter M


    Influenza viral entry into the host cell cytoplasm is accomplished by a process of membrane fusion mediated by the viral hemagglutinin protein. Hemagglutinin acts in a pH-triggered fashion, inserting a short fusion peptide into the host membrane followed by refolding of a coiled-coil structure to draw the viral envelope and host membranes together. Mutations to this fusion peptide provide an important window into viral fusion mechanisms and protein-membrane interactions. Here, we show that a well-described fusion peptide mutant, G1S, has a phenotype that depends strongly on the viral membrane context. The G1S mutant is well known to cause a "hemifusion" phenotype based on experiments in transfected cells, where cells expressing G1S hemagglutinin can undergo lipid mixing in a pH-triggered fashion similar to virus but will not support fusion pores. We compare fusion by the G1S hemagglutinin mutant expressed either in cells or in influenza virions and show that this hemifusion phenotype occurs in transfected cells but that native virions are able to support full fusion, albeit at a slower rate and 10-100× reduced infectious titer. We explain this with a quantitative model where the G1S mutant, instead of causing an absolute block of fusion, alters the protein stoichiometry required for fusion. This change slightly slows fusion at high hemagglutinin density, as on the viral surface, but at lower hemagglutinin density produces a hemifusion phenotype. The quantitative model thus reproduces the observed virus-cell and cell-cell fusion phenotypes, yielding a unified explanation where membrane context can control the observed viral fusion phenotype. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. In vitro evaluation of the human gingival fibroblast/gingival mesenchymal stem cell dynamics through perforated guided tissue membranes: cell migration, proliferation and membrane stiffness assay. (United States)

    Gamal, A Y; Al-Berry, N N; Hassan, A A; Rashed, L A; Iacono, V J


    Migration of gingival fibroblasts/gingival mesenchymal stem cells through macro-perforated barrier membranes may allow them to participate positively in periodontal regeneration. The optimal guided tissue membrane perforation diameter that could favor maximum cell migration into the defect area and at the same time act as an occlusive barrier for gingival epithelium and its associated gingival extracellular matrix component is not yet identified. Cultured human gingival fibroblasts/gingival mesenchymal stem cells were placed in the upper chambers of 12-well collagen-coated polytetrafluoroethylene transwells, which were manually perforated with 0.2, 0.4 and 0.7 mm sized pores. The lower chambers of the transwells received blood clot as an attraction medium. The number of cells that have migrated to the lower chambers was calculated. Proliferation of these cells was evaluated using MTT assay. Scanning electron microscopy images were obtained for the lower surfaces of the transwell membranes. Perforated bovine collagen membranes (Tutopatch ® ) were subjected to mechanical testing to determine the tensile strength and modulus of elasticity. Group 3 (0.7 mm) showed significantly higher values for cell migration and proliferation. All groups showed a small degree of extracellular matrix migration through membrane perforations. Scanning electron microscopy evaluation revealed variable numbers of cells in fibrin matrices located mainly around the pore edges. There were non-significant differences between groups regarding mechanical properties. The present study demonstrated that macro-membrane perforations of 0.2, 0.4 and 0.7 mm are suitable pore diameters that could maintain membrane stiffness and allow for cellular migration. However, these membrane perforation diameters did not allow for total gingival connective tissue isolation. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. 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

    Investigation of integrated processes involves challenges at both design and control levels, these can mainly be associated with different dynamic behaviors of the individual units plus their interaction. Therefore, the design and operation of the integrated system constitutes a key issue. In order...... to understand the controlled operation of the integrated process, it is convenient to use a model based approach supported by experimental evidence. Recently, an integrated bioreactor and electrically driven membrane separation process (Reverse Electro- Enhanced Dialysis - REED) has been proposed as a method...... on the innovative REED technology, where lactate ions are exchanged by hydroxide ions. This allows the lactate removal and simultaneously facilitates the pH control in the fermenter. Long operation time is achieved by reversing periodically the polarity of the imposed electrical field to significantly reduce...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prado Rubio, Oscar Andres

    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......This work is motivated by the need for tighter integration of industrial processes in an attempt to improve process sustainability. To this end, this work considers a interesting case study around which different systematic approaches are used or developed to achieve the above goal. The thesis...... is concerned with the understanding of an integrated bioreactor and electrically driven membrane separation processes for lactic acid fermentation. This is achieved through a model based investigation of the individual units and the integrated system. Development of system understanding is the key to reveal...

  6. Nafion®/H-ZSM-5 composite membranes with superior performance for direct methanol fuel cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yildirim, M.H.; Curos, Anna Roca; Motuzas, Julius; Motuzas, J.; Julbe, Anne; Stamatialis, Dimitrios; Wessling, Matthias


    Solution cast composite direct methanol fuel cell membranes (DEZ) based on DE2020 Nafion® dispersion and in-house prepared H-ZSM-5 zeolites with different Si/Al ratios were prepared and thoroughly characterized for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) applications. All composite membranes have indeed

  7. Pharmacological targeting of membrane rigidity: implications on cancer cell migration and invasion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Braig, Simone; Stoiber, Katharina; Zahler, Stefan; Vollmar, Angelika M


    The invasive potential of cancer cells strongly depends on cellular stiffness, a physical quantity that is not only regulated by the mechanical impact of the cytoskeleton but also influenced by the membrane rigidity. To analyze the specific role of membrane rigidity in cancer progression, we treated cancer cells with the Acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibitor Soraphen A and revealed an alteration of the phospholipidome via mass spectrometry. Migration, invasion, and cell death assays were employed to relate this alteration to functional consequences, and a decrease of migration and invasion without significant impact on cell death has been recorded. Fourier fluctuation analysis of giant plasma membrane vesicles showed that Soraphen A increases membrane rigidity of carcinoma cell membranes. Mechanical measurements of the creep deformation response of whole intact cells were performed using the optical stretcher. The increase in membrane rigidity was observed in one cell line without changing the creep deformation response indicating no restructuring of the cytoskeleton. These data indicate that the increase of membrane rigidity alone is sufficient to inhibit invasiveness of cancer cells, thus disclosing the eminent role of membrane rigidity in migratory processes. (paper)

  8. Technological aspects in synthesis and characterization of proton conducting polyetheretherketone (PEEK) membranes for fuel cell applications.

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Vaivars, G


    Full Text Available The research on ion-exchange membranes has grown considerably in recent years with the growing interest in fuel cell technology for the automotive and portable applications. The requirements for a fuel cell membrane are the following: high chemical...

  9. Increased phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) receptor function associated with sickle red cell membrane ghosts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramachandran, M.; Nair, C.N.; Abraham, E.C.


    The biological receptor for tumor-promoting phorbol esters has been identified as the Ca 2+ /phospholipid dependent enzyme, protein kinase C. In the red cell, this enzyme is mainly cytosolic but becomes translocated to the membrane if the cellular Ca 2+ is allowed to rise. Since cellular Ca 2+ in sickle red cells is high, it was reasoned that this enzyme may become more membrane-bound. In fact, the authors noticed a four-fold increase in the binding of 3 H-PDBu by membrane ghosts isolated from sickle red cells compared to normal red cells (pmoles PDBu bound/mg protein; normal = 0.3 vs sickle cell = 1.4). Attempts to assay the enzyme directly as phospholipid-activated 32 P incorporation into the acid-precipitable membrane proteins also indicated a two-fold increase in the radiolabelling of sickle cell membrane ghosts. Autophosphorylation of membrane proteins and analysis of the phosphorylation profile by SDS-PAGE and autoradiography revealed phosphorylation predominantly of bands 3, 4.1 and 4.9 which are known protein kinase C substrates for the red cell enzyme. The increased membrane-associated protein kinase C in sickle red cells may have a bearing on the altered membrane properties reported in this condition

  10. Enzymatic Oxidation of Cholesterol: Properties and Functional Effects of Cholestenone in Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Neuvonen, M.; Manna, M.; Mokkila, S.


    of cholestenone using simulations and cell biological experiments and assessed the functional effects of cholestenone in human cells. Atomistic simulations predicted that cholestenone reduces membrane order, undergoes faster flip-flop and desorbs more readily from membranes than cholesterol. In primary human...

  11. (poly)Phosphoinositide phosphorylation is a marker for plasma membrane in Friend erythroleukaemic cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rawyler, A.J.; Roelofsen, B.; Wirtz, K.W.A.; Kamp, J.A.F. op den


    Upon subcellular fractionation of (murine) Friend erythroleukaemic cells (FELCs), purified plasma membranes were identified by their high enrichment in specific marker enzymes and typical plasma membrane lipids. When FELCs were incubated for short periods with 32Pi before cell fractionation, the

  12. Normal chemotaxis in Dictyostelium discoideum cells with a depolarized plasma membrane potential

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duijn, Bert van; Vogelzang, Sake A.; Ypey, Dirk L.; Molen, Loek G. van der; Haastert, Peter J.M. van


    We examined a possible role for the plasma membrane potential in signal transduction during cyclic AMP-induced chemotaxis in the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. Chemotaxis, cyclic GMP and cyclic AMP responses in cells with a depolarized membrane potential were measured. Cells can be

  13. Intrinsic potential of cell membranes: opposite effects of lipid transmembrane asymmetry and asymmetric salt ion distribution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gurtovenko, Andrey A; Vattulainen, Ilpo


    Using atomic-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we consider the intrinsic cell membrane potential that is found to originate from a subtle interplay between lipid transmembrane asymmetry and the asymmetric distribution of monovalent salt ions on the two sides of the cell membrane. It turns out...

  14. Cellular reactions of osteoblast-like cells to a novel nanocomposite membrane for guided bone regeneration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meng Yao [State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Department of Orthodontics, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Liu Man [State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Stomatology Health Care Center, Shenzhen Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, Shenzhen 518048 (China); Wang Shaoan [State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Mo Anchun [State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China)], E-mail:; Huang, Cui [State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Zuo Yi; Li Jidong [Research Center for Nano-biomaterials, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China)


    This study investigated the bioactivity and biocompatibility of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (n-HA)/Polyamide-66 (PA66) nanocomposite membrane and expanded-polytetrafluoroethylene (e-PTFE) membrane (as control) to MG63 osteoblast-like cells. The attachment and proliferation of the cells on the porous surface of nHA/PA66 membrane and the surface of e-PTFE membrane were evaluated by scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation and the MTT assay. The bioactivity of the cells on the surface of the two membranes was evaluated by testing cell viability and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities. The results suggested that the bioresponse of MG63 osteoblast-like cells on the porous surface of nHA/PA66 membrane was better than the bioresponse on the opposite surface of e-PTFE membrane. Because of a better cell attachment manner, there is a potential utilization of the guided bone regeneration (GBR) membrane to substitute nHA/PA66 membrane for e-PTFE membra0008.

  15. A monolayer graphene - Nafion sandwich membrane for direct methanol fuel cells (United States)

    Yan, X. H.; Wu, Ruizhe; Xu, J. B.; Luo, Zhengtang; Zhao, T. S.


    Methanol crossover due to the low selectivity of proton exchange membranes is a long-standing issue in direct methanol fuel cell technology. Here we attempt to address this issue by designing a composite membrane fabricated by sandwiching a monolayer graphene between two thin Nafion membranes to take advantage of monolayer graphene's selective permeability to only protons. The methanol permeability of the present membrane is demonstrated to have a 68.6% decrease in comparison to that of the pristine Nafion membrane. The test in a passive direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) shows that the designed membrane retains high proton conductivity while substantially suppressing methanol crossover. As a result, the present membrane enables the passive DMFC to exhibit a decent performance even at a methanol concentration as high as 10.0 M.

  16. Covalently Cross-Linked Sulfone Polybenzimidazole Membranes with Poly(Vinylbenzyl Chloride) for Fuel Cell Applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Jingshuai; Aili, David; Li, Qingfeng


    Covalently cross-linked polymer membranes were fabricated from poly(aryl sulfone benzimidazole) (SO(2) PBI) and poly(vinylbenzyl chloride) (PVBCl) as electrolytes for high-temperature proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. The cross-linking imparted organo insolubility and chemical stability against...... radical attack to the otherwise flexible SO(2) PBI membranes. Steady phosphoric acid doping of the cross-linked membranes was achieved at elevated temperatures with little swelling. The acid-doped membranes exhibited increased mechanical strength compared to both pristine SO(2) PBI and poly[2,2'-(m......-phenylene)-5,5'-bibenzimidazole] (mPBI). The superior characteristics of the cross-linked SO(2) PBI membranes allowed higher acid doping levels and, therefore, higher proton conductivity. Fuel-cell tests with the cross-linked membranes demonstrated a high open circuit voltage and improved power performance...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Par3 integrates Tiam1 and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling to change apical membrane identity. (United States)

    Ruch, Travis R; Bryant, David M; Mostov, Keith E; Engel, Joanne N


    Pathogens can alter epithelial polarity by recruiting polarity proteins to the apical membrane, but how a change in protein localization is linked to polarity disruption is not clear. In this study, we used chemically induced dimerization to rapidly relocalize proteins from the cytosol to the apical surface. We demonstrate that forced apical localization of Par3, which is normally restricted to tight junctions, is sufficient to alter apical membrane identity through its interactions with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and the Rac1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor Tiam1. We further show that PI3K activity is required upstream of Rac1, and that simultaneously targeting PI3K and Tiam1 to the apical membrane has a synergistic effect on membrane remodeling. Thus, Par3 coordinates the action of PI3K and Tiam1 to define membrane identity, revealing a signaling mechanism that can be exploited by human mucosal pathogens. © 2017 Ruch et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (

  20. Effect of sweet grass (Hierochloe odorata) on the physico-chemical properties of liver cell membranes from rats intoxicated with ethanol. (United States)

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


    Changes in the composition and physicochemical properties of liver cell membranes due to ethanol intoxication are due mainly to reactive oxygen species (ROS). The destructive action of free radicals can be neutralized by administration of antioxidants. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of sweet grass on the physicochemical and biochemical properties of the rat liver membrane altered by chronic ethanol intoxication. Qualitative and quantitative composition of phospholipids and proteins in the membrane were determined by HPLC. Ethanol increased phospholipid levels and altered the level of integral proteins as determined by decreased phenylalanine, cysteine and lysine. Ethanol significantly enhanced changes in the surface charge density of the liver cell membranes as determined by electrophoresis. Administration of sweet grass to rats intoxicated with ethanol significantly protects lipids and proteins against oxidative modifications. Therefore, sweet grass protects against some of the deleterious membrane changes associated with ethanol exposure. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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...

  2. Fabrication of a membrane filter with controlled pore shape and its application to cell separation and strong single cell trapping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, Dong-Hoon; Yoon, Gun-Wook; Yoon, Jun-Bo; Park, Jeong Won; Lee, Dae-Sik; Ihm, Chunhwa


    A porous membrane filter is one of the key components for sample preparation in lab-on-a-chip applications. However, most of the membranes reported to date have only been used for size-based separation since it is difficult to provide functionality to the membrane or improve the performance of the membrane. In this work, as a method to functionalize the membrane filter, controlling the shape of the membrane pores is suggested, and a convenient and mass-producible fabrication method is provided. With the proposed method, membrane filters with round, conical and funnel shape pores were successfully fabricated, and we demonstrated that the sidewall slope of the conical shape pores could be precisely controlled. To verify that the membrane filter can be functionalized by controlled pore shape, we investigated filtration and trapping performance of the membrane filter with conical shape pores. In a filtration test of 1000 cancer cells (MCF-7, a breast cancer cell line) spiked in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) solution, 77% of the total cancer cells were retained on the membrane, and each cell from among 99.3% of the retained cells was automatically isolated in a single conical pore during the filtration process. Thanks to its engineered pore shape, trapping ability of the membrane with conical pores is dramatically improved. Microparticles trapped in the conical pores maintain their locations without any losses even at a more than 30 times faster external flow rate com-pared with those mounted on conventional cylindrical pores. Also, 78% of the cells trapped in the conical pores withstand an external flow of over 300 μl min −1 whereas only 18% of the cells trapped in the cylindrical pores remain on the membrane after 120 μl min −1 of an external flow is applied. (paper)

  3. Performance enhancement of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells by dual-layered membrane electrode assembly structures with carbon nanotubes. (United States)

    Jung, Dong-Won; Kim, Jun-Ho; Kim, Se-Hoon; Kim, Jun-Bom; Oh, Eun-Suok


    The effect of dual-layered membrane electrode assemblies (d-MEAs) on the performance of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was investigated using the following characterization techniques: single cell performance test, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and cyclic voltammetry (CV). It has been shown that the PEMFC with d-MEAs has better cell performance than that with typical mono-layered MEAs (m-MEAs). In particular, the d-MEA whose inner layer is composed of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) showed the best fuel cell performance. This is due to the fact that the d-MEAs with MWCNTs have the highest electrochemical surface area and the lowest activation polarization, as observed from the CV and EIS test.

  4. Wrapping of a deformable nanoparticle by the cell membrane: Insights into the flexibility-regulated nanoparticle-membrane interaction (United States)

    Tang, Huayuan; Zhang, Hongwu; Ye, Hongfei; Zheng, Yonggang


    Although many researches have been conducted on the interaction of the cell membrane with the rigid nanoparticle (NP), relatively little is known about the interaction of the membrane with the deformable NP, which is a promising kind of drug delivery carrier. In this paper, we investigate the wrapping of a deformable NP by the membrane, with particular attention paid to the location of the NP. Phase diagrams with respect to the normalized NP-membrane adhesion strength and the bending stiffness ratio between the NP and membrane are presented. The results show that the NP is easier to be fully wrapped but harder to be shallowly wrapped when the NP locates outside than inside the vesicle. For the system with an outside NP, there are three distinct stages separated by two critical bending stiffness ratios as the NP becomes softer. Moreover, the critical normalized adhesion strength required for a deformable NP to be fully wrapped is the same as that for a rigid NP when the bending stiffness ratio is higher than a critical value, which is different from the wrapping behavior by an initially flat membrane. In addition, a larger vesicle size facilitates the full wrapping configuration when the NP is inside, whereas it prohibits it when the NP is outside. These results are consistent with the previous research and can provide guidelines for the design of drug delivery systems based on the flexibility-tunable NPs.

  5. Red Blood Cell Susceptibility to Pneumolysin: CORRELATION WITH MEMBRANE BIOCHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES. (United States)

    Bokori-Brown, Monika; Petrov, Peter G; Khafaji, Mawya A; Mughal, Muhammad K; Naylor, Claire E; Shore, Angela C; Gooding, Kim M; Casanova, Francesco; Mitchell, Tim J; Titball, Richard W; Winlove, C Peter


    This study investigated the effect of the biochemical and biophysical properties of the plasma membrane as well as membrane morphology on the susceptibility of human red blood cells to the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin pneumolysin, a key virulence factor of Streptococcus pneumoniae, using single cell studies. We show a correlation between the physical properties of the membrane (bending rigidity and surface and dipole electrostatic potentials) and the susceptibility of red blood cells to pneumolysin-induced hemolysis. We demonstrate that biochemical modifications of the membrane induced by oxidative stress, lipid scrambling, and artificial cell aging modulate the cell response to the toxin. We provide evidence that the diversity of response to pneumolysin in diabetic red blood cells correlates with levels of glycated hemoglobin and that the mechanical properties of the red blood cell plasma membrane are altered in diabetes. Finally, we show that diabetic red blood cells are more resistant to pneumolysin and the related toxin perfringolysin O relative to healthy red blood cells. Taken together, these studies indicate that the diversity of cell response to pneumolysin within a population of human red blood cells is influenced by the biophysical and biochemical status of the plasma membrane and the chemical and/or oxidative stress pre-history of the cell. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  6. Control and Experimental Characterization of a Methanol Reformer for a 350 W High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell system

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    This work involves the an experimental characterisation and the development of control strategies for the methanol reformer system used in the Serenergy Serenus H3 E-350 high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HTPEM) fuel cell system. The system consists of a fuel evaporator utilizing...... the high temperature waste gas from a cathode air cooled 45 cell HTPEM fuel cell stack. The MEAs used are BASF P2100 which use phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole type membranes; an MEA with high CO tolerance and no complex humidity requirements. The methanol reformer used is integrated into a compact......, i.e. cathode and anode gas flows and temperature by using mass flow controllers and controlled heaters. Using this system the methanol reformer is characterized in its different operating points, both steady-state but also dynamically. Methanol steam reforming is a well known process, and provides...

  7. 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.

  8. Cell membrane and cell junctions in differentiation of preimplanted mouse embryos. (United States)

    Izquierdo, L; Fernández, S; López, T


    Cell membrane and cell junctions in differentiation of preimplanted mouse embryos, (membrana celular y uniones celulares en la diferenciación del embrión de ratón antes de la implantación). Arch. Biol. Med. Exper. 10: 130-134, 1976. The development of cell junctions that seal the peripheral blastomeres could be a decisive step in the differentiation of morulae into blastocysts. The appearance of these junctions is studied by electron microscopy of late morulae and initial blastocysts. Zonulae occludentes as well as impermeability to lanthanum emulsion precedes the appearance of the blastocel and hence might be considered as one of its necessary causes.

  9. Chitosan and alginate types of bio-membrane in fuel cell application: An overview (United States)

    Shaari, N.; Kamarudin, S. K.


    The major problems of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell technology that need to be highlighted are fuel crossovers (e.g., methanol or hydrogen leaking across fuel cell membranes), CO poisoning, low durability, and high cost. Chitosan and alginate-based biopolymer membranes have recently been used to solve these problems with promising results. Current research in biopolymer membrane materials and systems has focused on the following: 1) the development of novel and efficient biopolymer materials; and 2) increasing the processing capacity of membrane operations. Consequently, chitosan and alginate-based biopolymers seek to enhance fuel cell performance by improving proton conductivity, membrane durability, and reducing fuel crossover and electro-osmotic drag. There are four groups of chitosan-based membranes (categorized according to their reaction and preparation): self-cross-linked and salt-complexed chitosans, chitosan-based polymer blends, chitosan/inorganic filler composites, and chitosan/polymer composites. There are only three alginate-based membranes that have been synthesized for fuel cell application. This work aims to review the state-of-the-art in the growth of chitosan and alginate-based biopolymer membranes for fuel cell applications.

  10. Integrated membrane distillation-crystallization: process design and cost estimations for seawater treatment and fluxes of single salt solutions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Creusen, R.J.M.; Medevoort, J. van; Roelands, C.P.M.; Renesse van Duivenbode, J.A.D. van; Hanemaaijer, J.H.; Leerdam, R.C. van


    The goal of this research is to design an integrated membrane distillation-crystallization (MDC) process for desalination of seawater with pure water and dry salts as the only products. The process is based on a combination of membrane distillation (MD) and osmotic distillation (OD) steps with

  11. Systems Integration, Modeling, and Validation of a Fuel Cell Hybrid Electric Vehicle


    Ogburn, Michael James


    The goals of the research documented in this thesis were the design, construction, modeling, and validation of a fuel cell hybrid electric vehicle based a conversion of a five-passenger production sedan. Over 60 engineering students working together as the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team of Virginia Tech (HEVT), integrated a proton exchange membrane fuel cell system into a series hybrid electric vehicle. This design produced an efficient and truly zero-emission vehicle. This 1997 Chevrolet Lum...

  12. Performance comparison of long and short-side chain perfluorosulfonic membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell operation (United States)

    Stassi, A.; Gatto, I.; Passalacqua, E.; Antonucci, V.; Arico, A. S.; Merlo, L.; Oldani, C.; Pagano, E.

    A new Aquivion™ E79-03S short-side chain perfluorosulfonic membrane with a thickness of 30 μm (dry form) and an equivalent weight (EW) of 790 g/equiv recently developed by Solvay-Solexis for high-temperature operation was tested in a pressurised (3 bar abs.) polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) single cell at a temperature of 130 °C. For comparison, a standard Nafion™ membrane (EW 1100 g/equiv) of similar thickness (50 μm) was investigated under similar operating conditions. Both membranes were tested for high temperature operation in conjunction with an in-house prepared carbon supported Pt electrocatalyst. The electrocatalyst consisted of nanosized Pt particles (particle size ∼2 nm) dispersed on a high surface area carbon black. The electrochemical tests showed better performance for the Aquivion™ membrane as compared to Nafion™ with promising properties for high temperature PEM fuel cell applications. Beside the higher open circuit voltage and lower ohmic constraints, a higher electrocatalytic activity was observed at high temperature for the electrocatalyst-Aquivion™ ionomer interface indicating a better catalyst utilization.

  13. Estimation of Membrane Hydration Status for Standby Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems by Impedance Measurement: First Results on Variable Temperature Stack Characterization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bidoggia, Benoit; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    Fuel cells are getting growing interest in both backup systems and electric vehicles. Although these systems are characterized by periods of standby, they must be able to start at any instant in the shortest possible time. However, the membranes of which proton exchange membrane fuel cells are made...... way for estimating the hydration status and the temperature of its membrane before the system is started up. A summarizing table with the complete characterization of the fuel cell stack is included in this article....

  14. Current Understanding of Physicochemical Mechanisms for Cell Membrane Penetration of Arginine-rich Cell Penetrating Peptides: Role of Glycosaminoglycan Interactions. (United States)

    Takechi-Haraya, Yuki; Saito, Hiroyuki


    Arginine-rich cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) are very promising drug carriers to deliver membrane-impermeable pharmaceuticals, such as siRNA, bioactive peptides and proteins. CPPs directly penetrate into cells across cell membranes via a spontaneous energy-independent process, in which CPPs appear to interact with acidic lipids in the outer leaflet of the cell membrane. However, acidic lipids represent only 10 to 20% of the total membrane lipid content and in mammalian cell membranes they are predominantly located in the inner leaflet. Alternatively, CPPs favorably bind in a charge density- dependent manner to negatively charged, sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), such as heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate, which are abundant on the cell surface and are involved in many biological functions. We have recently demonstrated that the interaction of CPPs with sulfated GAGs plays a critical role in their direct cell membrane penetration: the favorable enthalpy contribution drives the high-affinity binding of arginine-rich CPPs to sulfated GAGs, initiating an efficient cell membrane penetration. The favorable enthalpy gain is presumably mainly derived from a unique property of the guanidino group of arginine residues forming multidentate hydrogen bonding with sulfate and carboxylate groups in GAGs. Such interactions can be accompanied with charge neutralization of arginine-rich CPPs, promoting their partition into cell membranes. This review summarizes the current understanding of the physicochemical mechanism for lipid