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Sample records for cell membrane structures

  1. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grot, Stephen [President, Ion Power Inc.

    2013-09-30

    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.

  2. Fuel-Cell Structure Prevents Membrane Drying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcelroy, J.

    1986-01-01

    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.

  3. Investigating cell membrane structure and dynamics with TCSPC-FLIM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Marois, Alix; Owen, Dylan M.; Suhling, Klaus

    2015-03-01

    We report the use of Time-Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) in a polarization-resolved Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM) setup for the investigation of cell membrane structural and dynamic properties. This technique allows us to study the orientation and mobility of fluorescent membrane dyes, namely di-4-ANEPPDHQ and DiO, in model bilayers of different lipid compositions. Dipole alignment and extent of rotational motion can be linked to membrane order and fluidity. Comparison of the time-resolved anisotropy decays of the two fluorescent dyes suggests that rotational motion of membrane constituents is restricted in liquid-ordered phases, and appears to be limited to the region of aliphatic tails in liquid-disordered phases. In living cells, understanding the membrane structure provides crucial information on its functional properties, such as exo- and endocytosis, cell mobility and signal transduction.

  4. Development of structured polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasa, Jeffrey

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

  5. [Radiation-induced changes in structural state of membranes of human blood cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burlakova, E B; Atkarskaia, M V; Fatkullina, L D; Andreev, S G

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate radiation-induced changes in the structural state of the membranes, blood samples of healthy donors were subjected to gamma radiation in the range of small (1-10 cGy) and medium doses (50 cGy-2 Gy). After irradiation, the microviscosity of lipid membranes of red and white blood cells was measured by ESR spin probe method. At doses exceeding 1 cGy, statistically significant changes of the degree of spontaneous erythrocyte hemolysis and of the lymphocyte plasma membrane microviscosity were observed. Under identical irradiation conditions, the stability of lymphocyte membranes was less as compared to erythrocyte membranes.

  6. Cell-free methods to produce structurally intact mammalian membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinoda, Takehiro; Shinya, Naoko; Ito, Kaori; Ishizuka-Katsura, Yoshiko; Ohsawa, Noboru; Terada, Takaho; Hirata, Kunio; Kawano, Yoshiaki; Yamamoto, Masaki; Tomita, Taisuke; Ishibashi, Yohei; Hirabayashi, Yoshio; Kimura-Someya, Tomomi; Shirouzu, Mikako; Yokoyama, Shigeyuki

    2016-01-01

    The crystal structures of four membrane proteins, from bacteria or a unicellular alga, have been solved with samples produced by cell-free protein synthesis. In this study, for mammalian membrane protein production, we established the precipitating and soluble membrane fragment methods: membrane proteins are synthesized with the Escherichia coli cell-free system in the presence of large and small membrane fragments, respectively, and are simultaneously integrated into the lipid environments. We applied the precipitating membrane fragment method to produce various mammalian membrane proteins, including human claudins, glucosylceramide synthase, and the γ-secretase subunits. These proteins were produced at levels of about 0.1-1.0 mg per ml cell-free reaction under the initial conditions, and were obtained as precipitates by ultracentrifugation. Larger amounts of membrane proteins were produced by the soluble membrane fragment method, collected in the ultracentrifugation supernatants, and purified directly by column chromatography. For several proteins, the conditions of the membrane fragment methods were further optimized, such as by the addition of specific lipids/detergents. The functional and structural integrities of the purified proteins were confirmed by analyses of their ligand binding activities, size-exclusion chromatography profiles, and/or thermal stabilities. We successfully obtained high-quality crystals of the complex of human claudin-4 with an enterotoxin. PMID:27465719

  7. Plant cell plasma membrane structure and properties under clinostatting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polulakh, Yu. A.; Zhadko, S. I.; Klimchuk, D. A.; Baraboy, V. A.; Alpatov, A. N.; Sytnik, K. M.

    Structural-functional organization of plasma membrane of pea roots seedling was investigated by methods of chemiluminescence, fluorescence probes, chromatography and freeze-fracture studies under normal conditions and clinostatting. Phase character of lipid peroxidation intensity was fixed. The initial phase of this process is characterized by lipid peroxidation decreasing with its next induction. The primary changes depending on free-radical mechanisms of lipid peroxidation were excellently revealed by chemiluminescence. Plasmalemma microviscosity increased on the average of 15-20 % under microgravity at the initial stages of its phenomenon. There were major changes of phosphatidilcholine and phosphatidilethanolamine contents. The total quantity of phospholipids remained rather stable. Changes of phosphatide acid concentration point to degradation and phospholipids biosynthesis. There were increases of unsaturated fatty acids mainly at the expense of linoleic and linolenic acids and also a decrease of saturated fatty acid content at the expense of palmitic and stearic acids. Unsaturation index of fatty acids increased as well. On the whole fatty acid composition was variable in comparison with phospholipids. Probably it is one of mechanisms of maintaining of microviscosity within definite limits. Considerable structural changes in organization of plasmalemma protein-lipid complex were not revealed by the freeze-fracture studies.

  8. Structural Transition of Actin Filament in a Cell-Sized Water Droplet with a Phospholipid Membrane

    CERN Document Server

    Hase, M

    2005-01-01

    Actin filament, F-actin, is a semiflexible polymer with a negative charge, and is one of the main constituents on cell membranes. To clarify the effect of cross-talk between a phospholipid membrane and actin filaments in cells, we conducted microscopic observations on the structural changes in actin filaments in a cell-sized (several tens of micrometers in diameter) water droplet coated with a phospholipid membrane such as phosphatidylserine (PS; negatively-charged head group) or phosphatidylethanolamine (PE; neutral head group) as a simple model of a living cell membrane. With PS, actin filaments are distributed uniformly in the water phase without adsorption onto the membrane surface between 2 and 6 mM Mg2+, while between 6 and 12 mM Mg2+, actin filaments are adsorbed onto the inner membrane surface. With PE, actin filaments are uniformly adsorbed onto the inner membrane surface between 2 and 12 mM Mg2+. With both PS and PE membranes, at Mg2+ concentrations higher than 12 mM, thick bundles are formed in the...

  9. Membrane-associated insulin-like growth factor (IGF binding structures in placental cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROMANA MASNIKOSA

    2003-11-01

    Full Text Available The biological activities of IGF-I and –II are mediated mainly by the type 1 IGF receptor (IGF 1R and controlled by their interaction with soluble proteins, the IGF binding proteins (IGFBPs. Although there is a growing body of evidence that some IGFBPs may be cell surface-bound, published data concerning cell association of IGFBP-1 are scarce and none of them concern placental cells. The cell membranes used in this study were isolated from term human placentae. Detergent-solubilized membranes were shown to contain two types of IGF binding structures that were separated by gel filtration on a Sephadex G-100 column. Proteins in the first peak were eluted at V0 (Mr > 100 kD and they bound IGF-I with greater specificity and affinity than IGF-II and insulin. Most likely, they represented the IGF 1R. Small proteins (Mr ~ 45 kD were eluted with the membrane proteins in the second maximum. They were able to bind IGF-I and IGF-II, but not insulin. The identity of these proteins was shown to be IGFBP-1 on the basis of their reaction with specific anti-IGFBP-1 antibodies. To the best of our knowledge, the existence of IGFBP-1 associated with human placental cell membranes has not been reported in the literature before. Colocalisation of IGFBP-1 with IGF 1R in cell membranes could provide efficient modulation of IGF 1R receptor-ligand interactions.

  10. Partially Fluorinated Sulfonated Poly(ether amide Fuel Cell Membranes: Influence of Chemical Structure on Membrane Properties

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    Chulsung Bae

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A series of fluorinated sulfonated poly (ether amides (SPAs were synthesized for proton exchange membrane fuel cell applications. A polycondensation reaction of 4,4’-oxydianiline, 2-sulfoterephthalic acid monosodium salt, and tetrafluorophenylene dicarboxylic acids (terephthalic and isophthalic or fluoroaliphatic dicarboxylic acids produced SPAs with sulfonation degrees of 80–90%. Controlling the feed ratio of the sulfonated and unsulfonated dicarboxylic acid monomers afforded random SPAs with ion exchange capacities between 1.7 and 2.2 meq/g and good solubility in polar aprotic solvents. Their structures were characterized using NMR and FT IR spectroscopies. Tough, flexible, and transparent films were obtained with dimethylsulfoxide using a solution casting method. Most SPA membranes with 90% sulfonation degree showed high proton conductivity (>100 mS/cm at 80 °C and 100% relative humidity. Among them, two outstanding ionomers (ODA-STA-TPA-90 and ODA-STA-IPA-90 showed proton conductivity comparable to that of Nafion 117 between 40 and 80 °C. The influence of chemical structure on the membrane properties was systematically investigated by comparing the fluorinated polymers to their hydrogenated counterparts. The results suggest that the incorporation of fluorinated moieties in the polymer backbone of the membrane reduces water absorption. High molecular weight and the resulting physical entanglement of the polymers chains played a more important role in improving stability in water, however.

  11. Effect of ConA—receptor interaction on the structure of cell membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DAIJIANWU; KECHUNLIN; 等

    1992-01-01

    Recently,the effect of ligand receptor interaction on the membrane structure of liposomes has been studied extensively,However,little is known about how it exists on biological membranes,In this paper,the effect of Concanavalin A(ConA) receptorinteratcion on the structure of cell membranes was studied by Circular DIchrosim(CD) and 31P Nuclear Magnetic Resonance(NMR).CD results of both the purified macrophage membranes and human erythrocyte hgosts(EG) showed that the conformation of membrane proteins changed after ConA binding.For further research,31P-NMR was used to detect the orgainzation of phosp[holipid molecules on macrophage membranes.After ConA binding,the tendercy to form non bilayer structure increased with the amount of ConA.The changes of 31P-NMR spectra of living macrophages might be partly due to the above stated reason too.In addition,ConA-receptor interaction also induced similar results of 31P-NMR spectra in EG.In contrast,wheat germ agglutinin (WGA),another kind of lectin,rarely showed the same influence.

  12. Nano-Structured Proton Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wu Chien-Suen; Lin Fan-Yen; Chu Peter P

    2005-01-01

    @@ 1Introduction Nano-structured materials are characterized by long range ordering of the nano-dimensioned quantum dot units. They have been found to deliver substantially different (electric, optical, magnetic and physical) properties from that of the bulk. The differences are mainly due to the increases of surface charge with large fraction of grain boundaries, and the periodical potential field created by the ordered nano-domains. Specifically,the issues considered in "nano ionics" are the degree of interaction, the charge distribution on the interfaces where they become obvious in ionic properties and thermodynamics such as mobility of charge carriers. Major efforts in this direction are focused on:

  13. [Phospholipids and structural modification of tissues and cell membranes for adaptation in high altitude mountains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iakovlev, V M; Vishnevskiĭ, A A; Shanazarov, A S

    2012-01-01

    The nature of the impact of physical factors of high altitudes (3200 m) on the lipids of tissues and membranes of animals was researched. It was established that the adaptation process in Wistar rats was followed by peroxide degradation and subsequent modification of the phospholipids' structure of tissues and microsomal membranes. Adaptive phospholipids reconstruction takes place in microsomal membranes in the tissues of the lungs, brain, liver and skeletal muscles. Together with this, the amount of phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidic acid accumulates, indicating that the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol-4, 5 biphosphate to diacylglycerol and secondary messenger--inositol triphosphate, occurs. A decrease in temperature adaptation (+10 degrees C) leads to a more noticeable shift in peroxide oxidation of lipids, phospholipid structure in the tissues and membranes rather than adaptation in thermoneutral conditions (+30 degrees C). Modification of lipid composition of tissues and cell membranes in the highlands obviously increases the adaptive capabilities of cells of the whole body: physical performance and resistance to hypoxia increases in animals. PMID:22586936

  14. [Phospholipids and structural modification of tissues and cell membranes for adaptation in high altitude mountains].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iakovlev, V M; Vishnevskiĭ, A A; Shanazarov, A S

    2012-01-01

    The nature of the impact of physical factors of high altitudes (3200 m) on the lipids of tissues and membranes of animals was researched. It was established that the adaptation process in Wistar rats was followed by peroxide degradation and subsequent modification of the phospholipids' structure of tissues and microsomal membranes. Adaptive phospholipids reconstruction takes place in microsomal membranes in the tissues of the lungs, brain, liver and skeletal muscles. Together with this, the amount of phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidic acid accumulates, indicating that the hydrolysis of phosphatidylinositol-4, 5 biphosphate to diacylglycerol and secondary messenger--inositol triphosphate, occurs. A decrease in temperature adaptation (+10 degrees C) leads to a more noticeable shift in peroxide oxidation of lipids, phospholipid structure in the tissues and membranes rather than adaptation in thermoneutral conditions (+30 degrees C). Modification of lipid composition of tissues and cell membranes in the highlands obviously increases the adaptive capabilities of cells of the whole body: physical performance and resistance to hypoxia increases in animals.

  15. Plasma lipid pattern and red cell membrane structure in β-thalassemia patients in Jakarta

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    Seruni K.U. Freisleben

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Over the last 10 years, we have investigated thalassemia patients in Jakarta to obtain a comprehensive picture of iron overload, oxidative stress, and cell damage.Methods: In blood samples from 15 transfusion-dependent patients (group T, 5 non-transfused patients (group N and 10 controls (group C, plasma lipids and lipoproteins, lipid-soluble vitamin E, malondialdehyde (MDA and thiol status were measured. Isolated eryhtrocyte membranes were investigated with electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy using doxyl-stearic acid and maleimido-proxyl spin lables. Data were analyzed statistically with ANOVA.Results: Plasma triglycerides were higher and cholesterol levels were lower in thalassemic patients compared to controls. Vitamin E, group C: 21.8 vs T: 6.2 μmol/L and reactive thiols (C: 144 vs. T: 61 μmol/L were considerably lower in transfused patients, who exert clear signs of oxidative stress (MDA, C: 1.96 vs T: 9.2 μmol/L and of tissue cell damage, i.e., high transaminases plasma levels. Non-transfused thalassemia patients have slight signs of oxidative stress, but no significant indication of cell damage. Erythrocyte membrane parameters from EPR spectroscopy differ considerably between all groups. In transfusion-dependent patients the structure of the erythrocyte membrane and the gradients of polarity and fluidity are destroyed in lipid domains; binding capacity of protein thiols in the membrane is lower and immobilized.Conclusion: In tranfusion-dependent thalassemic patients, plasma lipid pattern and oxidative stress are associated with structural damage of isolated erythrocyte membranes as measured by EPR spectroscopy with lipid and proteinthiol spin labels. (Med J Indones 2011; 20:178-84Keywords: electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, erythrocyte membrane, lipoproteins, oxidative stress, thalassemia, plasma lipids.

  16. Physical association between a novel plasma-membrane structure and centrosome orients cell division

    Science.gov (United States)

    Negishi, Takefumi; Miyazaki, Naoyuki; Murata, Kazuyoshi; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi; Ueno, Naoto

    2016-01-01

    In the last mitotic division of the epidermal lineage in the ascidian embryo, the cells divide stereotypically along the anterior-posterior axis. During interphase, we found that a unique membrane structure invaginates from the posterior to the centre of the cell, in a microtubule-dependent manner. The invagination projects toward centrioles on the apical side of the nucleus and associates with one of them. Further, a cilium forms on the posterior side of the cell and its basal body remains associated with the invagination. A laser ablation experiment suggests that the invagination is under tensile force and promotes the posterior positioning of the centrosome. Finally, we showed that the orientation of the invaginations is coupled with the polarized dynamics of centrosome movements and the orientation of cell division. Based on these findings, we propose a model whereby this novel membrane structure orchestrates centrosome positioning and thus the orientation of cell division axis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16550.001 PMID:27502556

  17. Bacillus subtilis MreB orthologs self-organize into filamentous structures underneath the cell membrane in a heterologous cell system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix Dempwolff

    Full Text Available Actin-like bacterial cytoskeletal element MreB has been shown to be essential for the maintenance of rod cell shape in many bacteria. MreB forms rapidly remodelling helical filaments underneath the cell membrane in Bacillus subtilis and in other bacterial cells, and co-localizes with its two paralogs, Mbl and MreBH. We show that MreB localizes as dynamic bundles of filaments underneath the cell membrane in Drosophila S2 Schneider cells, which become highly stable when the ATPase motif in MreB is modified. In agreement with ATP-dependent filament formation, the depletion of ATP in the cells lead to rapid dissociation of MreB filaments. Extended induction of MreB resulted in the formation of membrane protrusions, showing that like actin, MreB can exert force against the cell membrane. Mbl also formed membrane associated filaments, while MreBH formed filaments within the cytosol. When co-expressed, MreB, Mbl and MreBH built up mixed filaments underneath the cell membrane. Membrane protein RodZ localized to endosomes in S2 cells, but localized to the cell membrane when co-expressed with Mbl, showing that bacterial MreB/Mbl structures can recruit a protein to the cell membrane. Thus, MreB paralogs form a self-organizing and dynamic filamentous scaffold underneath the membrane that is able to recruit other proteins to the cell surface.

  18. Crystal structure of MraY, an essential membrane enzyme for bacterial cell wall synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Ben C; Zhao, Jinshi; Gillespie, Robert A; Kwon, Do-Yeon; Guan, Ziqiang; Hong, Jiyong; Zhou, Pei; Lee, Seok-Yong

    2013-08-30

    MraY (phospho-MurNAc-pentapeptide translocase) is an integral membrane enzyme that catalyzes an essential step of bacterial cell wall biosynthesis: the transfer of the peptidoglycan precursor phospho-MurNAc-pentapeptide to the lipid carrier undecaprenyl phosphate. MraY has long been considered a promising target for the development of antibiotics, but the lack of a structure has hindered mechanistic understanding of this critical enzyme and the enzyme superfamily in general. The superfamily includes enzymes involved in bacterial lipopolysaccharide/teichoic acid formation and eukaryotic N-linked glycosylation, modifications that are central in many biological processes. We present the crystal structure of MraY from Aquifex aeolicus (MraYAA) at 3.3 Å resolution, which allows us to visualize the overall architecture, locate Mg(2+) within the active site, and provide a structural basis of catalysis for this class of enzyme. PMID:23990562

  19. The structural role of cholesterol in cell membranes: from condensed bilayers to lipid rafts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Martin R; Regen, Steven L

    2014-12-16

    CONSPECTUS: Defining the two-dimensional structure of cell membranes represents one of the most daunting challenges currently facing chemists, biochemists, and biophysicists. In particular, the time-averaged lateral organization of the lipids and proteins that make up these natural enclosures has yet to be established. As the classic Singer-Nicolson model of cell membranes has evolved over the past 40 years, special attention has focused on the structural role played by cholesterol, a key component that represents ca. 30% of the total lipids that are present. Despite extensive studies with model membranes, two fundamental issues have remained a mystery: (i) the mechanism by which cholesterol condenses low-melting lipids by uncoiling their acyl chains and (ii) the thermodynamics of the interaction between cholesterol and high- and low-melting lipids. The latter bears directly on one of the most popular notions in modern cell biology, that is, the lipid raft hypothesis, whereby cholesterol is thought to combine with high-melting lipids to form "lipid rafts" that float in a "sea" of low-melting lipids. In this Account, we first describe a chemical approach that we have developed in our laboratories that has allowed us to quantify the interactions between exchangeable mimics of cholesterol and low- and high-melting lipids in model membranes. In essence, this "nearest-neighbor recognition" (NNR) method involves the synthesis of dimeric forms of these lipids that contain a disulfide moiety as a linker. By means of thiolate-disulfide interchange reactions, equilibrium mixtures of dimers are then formed. These exchange reactions are initiated either by adding dithiothreitol to a liposomal dispersion to generate a small amount of thiol monomer or by including a small amount of thiol monomer in the liposomes at pH 5.0 and then raising the pH to 7.4. We then show how such NNR measurements have allowed us to distinguish between two very different mechanisms that have been

  20. Membrane-electrode structures for molecular catalysts for use in fuel cells and other electrochemical devices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kerr, John B.; Zhu, Xiaobing; Hwang, Gi Suk; Martin, Zulima; He, Qinggang; Driscoll, Peter; Weber, Adam; Clark, Kyle

    2016-09-27

    Water soluble catalysts, (M)meso-tetra(N-Methyl-4-Pyridyl)Porphinepentachloride (M=Fe, Co, Mn & Cu), have been incorporated into the polymer binder of oxygen reduction cathodes in membrane electrode assemblies used in PEM fuel cells and found to support encouragingly high current densities. The voltages achieved are low compared to commercial platinum catalysts but entirely consistent with the behavior observed in electroanalytical measurements of the homogeneous catalysts. A model of the dynamics of the electrode action has been developed and validated and this allows the MEA electrodes to be optimized for any chemistry that has been demonstrated in solution. It has been shown that improvements to the performance will come from modifications to the structure of the catalyst combined with optimization of the electrode structure and a well-founded pathway to practical non-platinum group metal catalysts exists.

  1. Performance of diagonal control structures at different operating conditions for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serra, Maria; Husar, Attila; Feroldi, Diego; Riera, Jordi [Institut de Robotica i Informatica Industrial, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, C. Llorens i Artigas 4, 08028 Barcelona (Spain)

    2006-08-25

    This work is focused on the selection of operating conditions in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. It analyses efficiency and controllability aspects, which change from one operating point to another. Specifically, several operating points that deliver the same amount of net power are compared, and the comparison is done at different net power levels. The study is based on a complex non-linear model, which has been linearised at the selected operating points. Different linear analysis tools are applied to the linear models and results show important controllability differences between operating points. The performance of diagonal control structures with PI controllers at different operating points is also studied. A method for the tuning of the controllers is proposed and applied. The behaviour of the controlled system is simulated with the non-linear model. Conclusions indicate a possible trade-off between controllability and optimisation of hydrogen consumption. (author)

  2. Secretion and membrane recycling in plant cells: novel intermediary structures visualized in ultrarapidly frozen sycamore and carrot suspension-culture cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staehelin, L A; Chapman, R L

    1987-05-01

    Freeze-fracture electron microscopy of propane-jet-frozen samples has been employed to investigate vesicle-mediated secretion and membrane recycling events in carrot (Daucus carota L.) and sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) suspension-culture cells. Stabilization of the cells by means of ultrarapid freezing has enabled us to preserve the cells in a turgid state and to visualize new intermediate membrane configurations related to these events. Indeed, many of the observed membrane configurations, such as flattened membrane vesicles with slit-shaped membrane fusion sites and horseshoe-shaped membrane infoldings, appear to result from the action of turgor forces on the plasma membrane. Individual cells exhibited great variations in numbers and types of membrane configurations postulated to be related to secretion and membrane-recycling events. In the majority of cells, the different membrane profiles displayed a patchy distribution, and within each patch the membrane configurations tended to be of the same stage. This result indicates that secretory events are triggered in domains measuring from 0.1 to about 10 μm in diameter. Based on an extensive analysis of the different membrane configurations seen in our samples, we have formulated the following model of vesicle-mediated secretion in plant cells: Fusion of a secretory vesicle with the plasma membrane leads to the formation of a single, narrow-necked pore that increases in diameter up to about 60 nm. During discharge, the vesicle is flattened, forming a disc-shaped structure perpendicular to the plane of the plasma membrane. As the vesicle is flattened, the pore is converted to a slit, the maximum length of which coincides with the diameter of the flattened vesicle. The flattened vesicle then tips over and concomitantly the plasma-membrane slit becomes curved into a horseshoe-shaped configuration as it extends along the outer margins of the tipped-over vesicle. Some coated pits are present interspersed

  3. Electrostatics of cell membrane recognition: structure and activity of neutral and cationic rigid push-pull rods in isoelectric, anionic, and polarized lipid bilayer membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakai, N; Gerard, D; Matile, S

    2001-03-21

    Design, synthesis, and structural and functional studies of rigid-rod ionophores of different axial electrostatic asymmetry are reported. The employed design strategy emphasized presence of (a) a rigid scaffold to minimize the conformational complexity, (b) a unimolecular ion-conducting pathway to minimize the suprastructural complexity and monitor the function, (c) an extended fluorophore to monitor structure, (d) variable axial rod dipole, and (e) variable terminal charges to create axial asymmetry. Studies in isoelectric, anionic, and polarized bilayer membranes confirmed a general increase in activity of uncharged rigid push-pull rods in polarized bilayers. The similarly increased activity of cationic rigid push-pull rods with an electrostatic asymmetry comparable to that of alpha-helical bee toxin melittin (positive charge near negative axial dipole terminus) is shown by fluorescence-depth quenching experiments to originate from the stabilization of transmembrane rod orientation by the membrane potential. The reduced activity of rigid push-pull rods having an electrostatic asymmetry comparable to that in alpha-helical natural antibiotics (a positive charge near the positive axial dipole terminus) is shown by structural studies to originate from rod "ejection" by membrane potentials comparable to that found in mammalian plasma membranes. This structural evidence for cell membrane recognition by asymmetric rods is unprecedented and of possible practical importance with regard to antibiotic resistance.

  4. Structure of the major membrane protein complex from urinary bladder epithelial cells by cryo-electron crystallography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oostergetel, GT; Keegstra, W; Brisson, A

    2001-01-01

    Numerous protein plaques cover the apical surface of mammalian urinary bladder epithelial cells. These plaques contain four integral membrane proteins, called uroplakins, which form a well-ordered array of hexameric complexes. The 3D structure of these naturally occurring 2D crystals was studied by

  5. 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;

    2009-01-01

    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...

  6. Fabricating neuromast-inspired gel structures for membrane-based hair cell sensing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamaddoni, Nima J.; Stephens, Christopher P.; Sarles, S. A.

    2012-04-01

    Recent research has shown that a new class of mechanical sensor, assembled from biomolecules and which features an artificial cell membrane as the sensing element, can be used to mimic basic hair cell mechanotransduction in vertebrates. The work presented in this paper is motivated by the need to increase sensor performance and stability by refining the methods used to fabricate and connect lipid-encapsulated hydrogels. Inspired by superficial neuromasts found on fish, three hydrogel materials are compared for their ability to be readily shaped into neuromast-inspired geometries and enable lipid bilayer formation using self-assembly at an oil/water interface. Agarose, polyethylene glycol (PEG, 6kg/mole), and hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) gel materials are compared. The results of this initial study determined that UV-curable gel materials such as PEG and HEMA enable more accurate shaping of the gel-needed for developing a sensor that uses a gel material both for mechanical support and membrane formation-compared to agarose. However, the lower hydrophobicity of agarose and PEG materials provide a more fluid, water-like environment for membrane formation-unlike HEMA. In working toward a neuromast-inspired design, a final experiment demonstrates that a bilayer can also be formed directly between two lipid-covered PEG surfaces. These initial results suggest that candidate gel materials with a low hydrophobicity, high fluidity, and a low modulus can be used to provide membrane support.

  7. Structural properties of lipid reconstructs and lipid composition of normotensive and hypertensive rat vascular smooth muscle cell membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.R. Oliveira

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Multiple cell membrane alterations have been reported to be the cause of various forms of hypertension. The present study focuses on the lipid portion of the membranes, characterizing the microviscosity of membranes reconstituted with lipids extracted from the aorta and mesenteric arteries of spontaneously hypertensive (SHR and normotensive control rat strains (WKY and NWR. Membrane-incorporated phospholipid spin labels were used to monitor the bilayer structure at different depths. The packing of lipids extracted from both aorta and mesenteric arteries of normotensive and hypertensive rats was similar. Lipid extract analysis showed similar phospholipid composition for all membranes. However, cholesterol content was lower in SHR arteries than in normotensive animal arteries. These findings contrast with the fact that the SHR aorta is hyporeactive while the SHR mesenteric artery is hyperreactive to vasopressor agents when compared to the vessels of normotensive animal strains. Hence, factors other than microviscosity of bulk lipids contribute to the vascular smooth muscle reactivity and hypertension of SHR. The excess cholesterol in the arteries of normotensive animal strains apparently is not dissolved in bulk lipids and is not directly related to vascular reactivity since it is present in both the aorta and mesenteric arteries. The lower cholesterol concentrations in SHR arteries may in fact result from metabolic differences due to the hypertensive state or to genes that co-segregate with those that determine hypertension during the process of strain selection.

  8. Effect of Structure on the Interactions between Five Natural Antimicrobial Compounds and Phospholipids of Bacterial Cell Membrane on Model Monolayers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stella W. Nowotarska

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Monolayers composed of bacterial phospholipids were used as model membranes to study interactions of the naturally occurring phenolic compounds 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde and 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde, and the plant essential oil compounds carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, and geraniol, previously found to be active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogenic microorganisms. The lipid monolayers consist of 1,2-dihexadecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DPPE, 1,2-dihexa- decanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1'-rac-glycerol (DPPG, and 1,1',2,2'-tetratetradecanoyl cardiolipin (cardiolipin. Surface pressure–area (π-A and surface potential–area (Δψ-A isotherms were measured to monitor changes in the thermodynamic and physical properties of the lipid monolayers. Results of the study indicated that the five compounds modified the three lipid monolayer structures by integrating into the monolayer, forming aggregates of antimicrobial –lipid complexes, reducing the packing effectiveness of the lipids, increasing the membrane fluidity, and altering the total dipole moment in the monolayer membrane model. The interactions of the five antimicrobial compounds with bacterial phospholipids depended on both the structure of the antimicrobials and the composition of the monolayers. The observed experimental results provide insight into the mechanism of the molecular interactions between naturally-occurring antimicrobial compounds and phospholipids of the bacterial cell membrane that govern activities.

  9. Restoring effect of selenium on the molecular content, structure and fluidity of diabetic rat kidney brush border cell membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurbanov, Rafig; Bilgin, Mehmet; Severcan, Feride

    2016-04-01

    Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a dominant factor standing for kidney impairments during diabetes. In this study, attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy was used to disclose the diabetes-induced structural changes in the kidney and evaluate the effects of selenium on diabetes. The increase in the area of the olefinic band indicated increased amount of lipid peroxidation end products in diabetic kidney brush border cell membrane. Moreover, saturated lipid content of this cell membrane considerably diminished. DKD was found to disrupt lipid order and cause a decrease in membrane dynamics. However, the administration of selenium at low and medium doses was shown to improve these conditions by changing the lipid contents toward control values, restoring the ordered structure of the lipids and membrane dynamics. Curve-fitting and artificial neural network (ANN) analyses of secondary structures of proteins demonstrated a relative increase in α-helix and reduction in the β-sheet during diabetes in comparison to the control group, which were ameliorated following selenium treatment at low and medium doses. These findings were further confirmed by applying hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA). A clear separation of the experimental groups was obtained with high heterogeneity in the lipid and protein regions. These chemometric analyses showed that the low and medium doses of selenium-treated diabetic groups are successfully segregated from the diabetic group and clustered closer to the control. The study suggests that medium and, more predominantly, low-dose selenium treatment can be efficient in eliminating diabetes-induced structural alterations. PMID:26850735

  10. Functional dynamics of cell surface membrane proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  11. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    CERN Document Server

    Qi, Zhigang

    2013-01-01

    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

  12. Cell Membrane Softening in Cancer Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Sebastian; Händel, Chris; Käs, Josef

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

  13. Opioid-receptor (OR) signaling cascades in rat cerebral cortex and model cell lines: the role of plasma membrane structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujčíková, H; Brejchová, J; Vošahlíková, M; Kagan, D; Dlouhá, K; Sýkora, J; Merta, L; Drastichová, Z; Novotný, J; Ostašov, P; Roubalová, L; Parenti, M; Hof, M; Svoboda, P

    2014-01-01

    Large number of extracellular signals is received by plasma membrane receptors which, upon activation, transduce information into the target cell interior via trimeric G-proteins (GPCRs) and induce activation or inhibition of adenylyl cyclase enzyme activity (AC). Receptors for opioid drugs such as morphine (micro-OR, delta-OR and kappa-OR) belong to rhodopsin family of GPCRs. Our recent results indicated a specific up-regulation of AC I (8-fold) and AC II (2.5-fold) in plasma membranes (PM) isolated from rat brain cortex exposed to increasing doses of morphine (10-50 mg/kg) for 10 days. Increase of ACI and ACII represented the specific effect as the amount of ACIII-ACIX, prototypical PM marker Na, K-ATPase and trimeric G-protein alpha and beta subunits was unchanged. The up-regulation of ACI and ACII faded away after 20 days since the last dose of morphine. Proteomic analysis of these PM indicated that the brain cortex of morphine-treated animals cannot be regarded as being adapted to this drug because significant up-regulation of proteins functionally related to oxidative stress and alteration of brain energy metabolism occurred. The number of delta-OR was increased 2-fold and their sensitivity to monovalent cations was altered. Characterization of delta-OR-G-protein coupling in model HEK293 cell line indicated high ability of lithium to support affinity of delta-OR response to agonist stimulation. Our studies of PM structure and function in context with desensitization of GPCRs action were extended by data indicating participation of cholesterol-enriched membrane domains in agonist-specific internalization of delta-OR. In HEK293 cells stably expressing delta-OR-G(i)1alpha fusion protein, depletion of PM cholesterol was associated with the decrease in affinity of G-protein response to agonist stimulation, whereas maximum response was unchanged. Hydrophobic interior of isolated PM became more "fluid", chaotically organized and accessible to water molecules

  14. Specific glycosylation of membrane proteins in epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines: glycan structures reflect gene expression and DNA methylation status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anugraham, Merrina; Jacob, Francis; Nixdorf, Sheri; Everest-Dass, Arun Vijay; Heinzelmann-Schwarz, Viola; Packer, Nicolle H

    2014-09-01

    Epithelial ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer in women worldwide bearing the highest mortality rate among all gynecological cancers. Cell membrane glycans mediate various cellular processes such as cell signaling and become altered during carcinogenesis. The extent to which glycosylation changes are influenced by aberrant regulation of gene expression is nearly unknown for ovarian cancer and remains crucial in understanding the development and progression of this disease. To address this effect, we analyzed the membrane glycosylation of non-cancerous ovarian surface epithelial (HOSE 6.3 and HOSE 17.1) and serous ovarian cancer cell lines (SKOV 3, IGROV1, A2780, and OVCAR 3), the most common histotype among epithelial ovarian cancers. N-glycans were released from membrane glycoproteins by PNGase F and analyzed using nano-liquid chromatography on porous graphitized carbon and negative-ion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Glycan structures were characterized based on their molecular masses and tandem MS fragmentation patterns. We identified characteristic glycan features that were unique to the ovarian cancer membrane proteins, namely the "bisecting N-acetyl-glucosamine" type N-glycans, increased levels of α 2-6 sialylated N-glycans and "N,N'-diacetyl-lactosamine" type N-glycans. These N-glycan changes were verified by examining gene transcript levels of the enzymes specific for their synthesis (MGAT3, ST6GAL1, and B4GALNT3) using qRT-PCR. We further evaluated the potential epigenetic influence on MGAT3 expression by treating the cell lines with 5-azacytidine, a DNA methylation inhibitor. For the first time, we provide evidence that MGAT3 expression may be epigenetically regulated by DNA hypomethylation, leading to the synthesis of the unique "bisecting GlcNAc" type N-glycans on the membrane proteins of ovarian cancer cells. Linking the observation of specific N-glycan substructures and their complex association with epigenetic

  15. [Function of surface membrane structures in Thiobacillus thiooxidans].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pivovarova, T A; Karavaĭko, G I

    1975-01-01

    The function of the surface membrane structures was studied with cytochemical techniques on ultrathin sections of Thiobacillus thiooxidans. The transport of elementary sulphur inside the cell involves the surface membrane structures, while oxidation of the sulphur to sulphuric acid takes place on the outer surface of the cytoplasmic membrane. The surface membrane structures are supposed also to participate in the primary dissolution of elementary sulphur at the site of contact of the cells with the mineral.

  16. Proton conducting membrane for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-03-27

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

  17. Structure-based drug design targeting the cell membrane receptor GPBAR1: exploiting the bile acid scaffold towards selective agonism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Leva, Francesco Saverio; Festa, Carmen; Renga, Barbara; Sepe, Valentina; Novellino, Ettore; Fiorucci, Stefano; Zampella, Angela; Limongelli, Vittorio

    2015-01-01

    Bile acids can regulate nutrient metabolism through the activation of the cell membrane receptor GPBAR1 and the nuclear receptor FXR. Developing an exogenous control over these receptors represents an attractive strategy for the treatment of enterohepatic and metabolic disorders. A number of dual GPBAR1/FXR agonists are known, however their therapeutic use is limited by multiple unwanted effects due to activation of the diverse downstream signals controlled by the two receptors. On the other hand, designing selective GPBAR1 and FXR agonists is challenging since the two proteins share similar structural requisites for ligand binding. Here, taking advantage of our knowledge of the two targets, we have identified through a rational drug design study a series of amine lithocholic acid derivatives as selective GPBAR1 agonists. The presence of the 3α-NH2 group on the steroidal scaffold is responsible for the selectivity over FXR unveiling unprecedented structural insights into bile acid receptors activity modulation. PMID:26567894

  18. Structure-based drug design targeting the cell membrane receptor GPBAR1: exploiting the bile acid scaffold towards selective agonism

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Leva, Francesco Saverio; Festa, Carmen; Renga, Barbara; Sepe, Valentina; Novellino, Ettore; Fiorucci, Stefano; Zampella, Angela; Limongelli, Vittorio

    2015-11-01

    Bile acids can regulate nutrient metabolism through the activation of the cell membrane receptor GPBAR1 and the nuclear receptor FXR. Developing an exogenous control over these receptors represents an attractive strategy for the treatment of enterohepatic and metabolic disorders. A number of dual GPBAR1/FXR agonists are known, however their therapeutic use is limited by multiple unwanted effects due to activation of the diverse downstream signals controlled by the two receptors. On the other hand, designing selective GPBAR1 and FXR agonists is challenging since the two proteins share similar structural requisites for ligand binding. Here, taking advantage of our knowledge of the two targets, we have identified through a rational drug design study a series of amine lithocholic acid derivatives as selective GPBAR1 agonists. The presence of the 3α-NH2 group on the steroidal scaffold is responsible for the selectivity over FXR unveiling unprecedented structural insights into bile acid receptors activity modulation.

  19. Fuel cell with ionization membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Frank T. (Inventor)

    2007-01-01

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

  20. Self-Deployable Membrane Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokolowski, Witold M.; Willis, Paul B.; Tan, Seng C.

    2010-01-01

    Currently existing approaches for deployment of large, ultra-lightweight gossamer structures in space rely typically upon electromechanical mechanisms and mechanically expandable or inflatable booms for deployment and to maintain them in a fully deployed, operational configuration. These support structures, with the associated deployment mechanisms, launch restraints, inflation systems, and controls, can comprise more than 90 percent of the total mass budget. In addition, they significantly increase the stowage volume, cost, and complexity. A CHEM (cold hibernated elastic memory) membrane structure without any deployable mechanism and support booms/structure is deployed by using shape memory and elastic recovery. The use of CHEM micro-foams reinforced with carbon nanotubes is considered for thin-membrane structure applications. In this advanced structural concept, the CHEM membrane structure is warmed up to allow packaging and stowing prior to launch, and then cooled to induce hibernation of the internal restoring forces. In space, the membrane remembers its original shape and size when warmed up. After the internal restoring forces deploy the structure, it is then cooled to achieve rigidization. For this type of structure, the solar radiation could be utilized as the heat energy used for deployment and space ambient temperature for rigidization. The overall simplicity of the CHEM self-deployable membrane is one of its greatest assets. In present approaches to space-deployable structures, the stow age and deployment are difficult and challenging, and introduce a significant risk, heavy mass, and high cost. Simple procedures provided by CHEM membrane greatly simplify the overall end-to-end process for designing, fabricating, deploying, and rigidizing large structures. The CHEM membrane avoids the complexities associated with other methods for deploying and rigidizing structures by eliminating deployable booms, deployment mechanisms, and inflation and control systems

  1. 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)

    2009-07-01

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  3. Model cell membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    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...

  4. Structure analysis and conformational transitions of the cell penetrating peptide transportan 10 in the membrane-bound state.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Fanghänel

    Full Text Available Structure analysis of the cell-penetrating peptide transportan 10 (TP10 revealed an exemplary range of different conformations in the membrane-bound state. The bipartite peptide (derived N-terminally from galanin and C-terminally from mastoparan was found to exhibit prominent characteristics of (i amphiphilic α-helices, (ii intrinsically disordered peptides, as well as (iii β-pleated amyloid fibrils, and these conformational states become interconverted as a function of concentration. We used a complementary approach of solid-state (19F-NMR and circular dichroism in oriented membrane samples to characterize the structural and dynamical behaviour of TP10 in its monomeric and aggregated forms. Nine different positions in the peptide were selectively substituted with either the L- or D-enantiomer of 3-(trifluoromethyl-bicyclopent-[1.1.1]-1-ylglycine (CF3-Bpg as a reporter group for (19F-NMR. Using the L-epimeric analogs, a comprehensive three-dimensional structure analysis was carried out in lipid bilayers at low peptide concentration, where TP10 is monomeric. While the N-terminal region is flexible and intrinsically unstructured within the plane of the lipid bilayer, the C-terminal α-helix is embedded in the membrane with an oblique tilt angle of ∼ 55° and in accordance with its amphiphilic profile. Incorporation of the sterically obstructive D-CF3-Bpg reporter group into the helical region leads to a local unfolding of the membrane-bound peptide. At high concentration, these helix-destabilizing C-terminal substitutions promote aggregation into immobile β-sheets, which resemble amyloid fibrils. On the other hand, the obstructive D-CF3-Bpg substitutions can be accommodated in the flexible N-terminus of TP10 where they do not promote aggregation at high concentration. The cross-talk between the two regions of TP10 thus exerts a delicate balance on its conformational switch, as the presence of the α-helix counteracts the tendency of the

  5. Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy of nano structured thin film catalysts for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Vincent; Berejnov, Viatcheslav; West, Marcia; Kundu, Sumit; Susac, Darija; Stumper, Jürgen; Atanasoski, Radoslav T.; Debe, Mark; Hitchcock, Adam P.

    2014-10-01

    Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) has been applied to characterize nano structured thin film (NSTF) catalysts implemented as electrode materials in proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cells. STXM is used to study all chemical constituents at various stages in the fabrication process, from the perylene red (PR149) starting material, through the formation of the uncoated perylene whiskers, their coated form with Pt-based catalyst, and toward the NSTF anode fully integrated into the catalyst coated membrane (CCM). CCM samples were examined prior to operational testing and after several different accelerated testing protocols: start-up/shut-down (SU/SD), and reversal tests. It was found that, while the perylene support material is present in the pre-test samples, it was completely absent in the post-test samples. We attribute this loss of perylene material to the presence of cracks in the catalyst combined with intensive hydrogenation processes happening at the anode during operation. Despite the loss of the perylene support, the platinum shells forming the NSTF anode catalyst layer performed well during the tests.

  6. Synthesis, structural characterization, modal membrane interaction and anti-tumor cell line studies of nitrophenyl ferrocenes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altaf, Ataf Ali; Lal, Bhajan; Badshah, Amin; Usman, Muhammad; Chatterjee, Pabitra B.; Huq, Fazlul; Ullah, Shafiq; Crans, Debbie C.

    2016-06-01

    A series of nitrophenyl ferrocens (A1 - A5) were synthesized and fully characterized in solid state (using CHN analysis, FTIR and single crystal XRD) as well as in solution phase (1H &13C NMR and UV-visible spectroscopy). Micelle interface interactions of these compounds were explored and found to have ability across a micelle membrane interface. Interestingly, these compounds exhibited π-electronic push pull systems and oxidation of ferrocene to ferrocenium on crossing the negative interface of the micelle membrane. Selective compounds were screened for antitumor activity against parental and drug resistant human ovarian tumor models i.e. A2780 and A2780cisR, A2780ZD0473R. Screened compounds were found to overcome resistance factor compared to cisplatin.

  7. Insights into the Antimicrobial Mechanism of Action of Human RNase6: Structural Determinants for Bacterial Cell Agglutination and Membrane Permeation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulido, David; Arranz-Trullén, Javier; Prats-Ejarque, Guillem; Velázquez, Diego; Torrent, Marc; Moussaoui, Mohammed; Boix, Ester

    2016-01-01

    Human Ribonuclease 6 is a secreted protein belonging to the ribonuclease A (RNaseA) superfamily, a vertebrate specific family suggested to arise with an ancestral host defense role. Tissue distribution analysis revealed its expression in innate cell types, showing abundance in monocytes and neutrophils. Recent evidence of induction of the protein expression by bacterial infection suggested an antipathogen function in vivo. In our laboratory, the antimicrobial properties of the protein have been evaluated against Gram-negative and Gram-positive species and its mechanism of action was characterized using a membrane model. Interestingly, our results indicate that RNase6, as previously reported for RNase3, is able to specifically agglutinate Gram-negative bacteria as a main trait of its antimicrobial activity. Moreover, a side by side comparative analysis with the RN6(1–45) derived peptide highlights that the antimicrobial activity is mostly retained at the protein N-terminus. Further work by site directed mutagenesis and structural analysis has identified two residues involved in the protein antimicrobial action (Trp1 and Ile13) that are essential for the cell agglutination properties. This is the first structure-functional characterization of RNase6 antimicrobial properties, supporting its contribution to the infection focus clearance. PMID:27089320

  8. Insights into the Antimicrobial Mechanism of Action of Human RNase6: Structural Determinants for Bacterial Cell Agglutination and Membrane Permeation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulido, David; Arranz-Trullén, Javier; Prats-Ejarque, Guillem; Velázquez, Diego; Torrent, Marc; Moussaoui, Mohammed; Boix, Ester

    2016-01-01

    Human Ribonuclease 6 is a secreted protein belonging to the ribonuclease A (RNaseA) superfamily, a vertebrate specific family suggested to arise with an ancestral host defense role. Tissue distribution analysis revealed its expression in innate cell types, showing abundance in monocytes and neutrophils. Recent evidence of induction of the protein expression by bacterial infection suggested an antipathogen function in vivo. In our laboratory, the antimicrobial properties of the protein have been evaluated against Gram-negative and Gram-positive species and its mechanism of action was characterized using a membrane model. Interestingly, our results indicate that RNase6, as previously reported for RNase3, is able to specifically agglutinate Gram-negative bacteria as a main trait of its antimicrobial activity. Moreover, a side by side comparative analysis with the RN6(1-45) derived peptide highlights that the antimicrobial activity is mostly retained at the protein N-terminus. Further work by site directed mutagenesis and structural analysis has identified two residues involved in the protein antimicrobial action (Trp1 and Ile13) that are essential for the cell agglutination properties. This is the first structure-functional characterization of RNase6 antimicrobial properties, supporting its contribution to the infection focus clearance. PMID:27089320

  9. Structure of the novel membrane-coating material in proton-secreting epithelial cells and identification as an H+ATPase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, D; Gluck, S; Hartwig, J

    1987-10-01

    Specialized proton-secreting cells known collectively as mitochondria-rich cells are found in a variety of transporting epithelia, including the kidney collecting duct (intercalated cells) and toad and turtle urinary bladders. These cells contain a population of characteristic tubulovesicles that are believed to be involved in the shuttling of proton pumps (H+ATPase) to and from the plasma membrane. These transporting vesicles have a dense, studlike material coating the cytoplasmic face of their limiting membranes and similar studs are also found beneath parts of the plasma membrane. We have recently shown that this membrane coat does not contain clathrin. The present study was performed to determine the structure of this coat in rapidly frozen and freeze-dried tissue, and to determine whether the coat contains a major membrane protein transported by these vesicles, a proton pumping H+ATPase. The structure of the coat was examined in proton-secreting, mitochondria-rich cells from toad urinary bladder epithelium by rapidly freezing portions of apical membrane and associated cytoplasm that were sheared away from the remainder of the cell using polylysine-coated coverslips. Regions of the underside of these apical membranes as large as 0.2 micron2 were decorated by studlike projections that were arranged into regular hexagonal arrays. Individual studs had a diameter of 9.5 nm and appeared to be composed of multiple subunits arranged around a central depression, possibly representing a channel. The studs had a density of approximately 16,800 per micron2 of membrane. Similar arrays of studs were also found on vesicles trapped in the residual band of cytoplasm that remained attached to the underside of the plasma membrane, but none were seen in adjacent granular cells. To determine whether these arrays of studs contained H+ATPase molecules, we examined a preparation of affinity-purified bovine medullary H+ATPase, using the same technique, after incorporation of the

  10. Structural Elucidation of the Cell-Penetrating Penetratin Peptide in Model Membranes at the Atomic Level: Probing Hydrophobic Interactions in the Blood-Brain Barrier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bera, Swapna; Kar, Rajiv K; Mondal, Susanta; Pahan, Kalipada; Bhunia, Anirban

    2016-09-01

    Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have shown promise in nonpermeable therapeutic drug delivery, because of their ability to transport a variety of cargo molecules across the cell membranes and their noncytotoxicity. Drosophila antennapedia homeodomain-derived CPP penetratin (RQIKIWFQNRRMKWKK), being rich in positively charged residues, has been increasingly used as a potential drug carrier for various purposes. Penetratin can breach the tight endothelial network known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB), permitting treatment of several neurodegenerative maladies, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease. However, a detailed structural understanding of penetratin and its mechanism of action is lacking. This study defines structural features of the penetratin-derived peptide, DK17 (DRQIKIWFQNRRMKWKK), in several model membranes and describes a membrane-induced conformational transition of the DK17 peptide in these environments. A series of biophysical experiments, including high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, provides the three-dimensional structure of DK17 in different membranes mimicking the BBB or total brain lipid extract. Molecular dynamics simulations support the experimental results showing preferential binding of DK17 to particular lipids at atomic resolution. The peptide conserves the structure of the subdomain spanning residues Ile6-Arg11, despite considerable conformational variation in different membrane models. In vivo data suggest that the wild type, not a mutated sequence, enters the central nervous system. Together, these data highlight important structural and functional attributes of DK17 that could be utilized in drug delivery for neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:27532224

  11. Effects of polymer structure on properties of sulfonated polyimide/protic ionic liquid composite membranes for nonhumidified fuel cell applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasuda, Tomohiro; Nakamura, Shin-ichiro; Honda, Yoshiyuki; Kinugawa, Kei; Lee, Seung-Yul; Watanabe, Masayoshi

    2012-03-01

    To investigate the effects of polymer structure on the properties of composite membranes including a protic ionic liquid, [dema][TfO] (diethylmethylammonium trifluoromethanesulfonate), for nonhumidified fuel cell applications, we synthesized sulfonated polyimides (SPIs) with different structures as matrix polymers, which have different magnitudes of ion-exchange capacities (IECs), different sequence distributions of ionic groups, and positions of sulfonate groups in the main chain or side chain. Despite having similar IECs, multiblock copolymer SPI and random copolymer SPI having sulfonate groups in the side chain exhibit higher ionic conductivity than random copolymer SPI having sulfonate groups in the main chain, indicating that the flexibility of sulfonic acid groups and the sequence distribution of ionic groups greatly affect the ion conduction. Atomic force microscopy observation revealed that the multiblock copolymer SPI forms more developed phase separation than the others. These results indicate that the flexibility of sulfonic acid groups and the connectivity of the ion conduction channel, which greatly depends on the sequence distribution, affect the ion conduction. PMID:22352958

  12. Resting microglial cells exhibit tubular membrane protrusions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Gimsa

    2002-11-01

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

  13. Lipids in the structure and functions of biological membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuznetsov V.I.

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Lipids are one of the main components of cellular membranes. Lipids make up 30-55% of the cell content depending on the types of cells. Phospholipids, sphingomyelins, cholesterol, etc. are characteristic to cellular membranes. The composition of lipids of the both sides of the membranes differs. This fact determines asymmetry of the structure of bili-pid layer. The reason for many pathologies is the changes in the properties of cellular membranes with the modification of their components. The study of structure and functioning of cellular biomembranes is essential for many researchers. The condition of membranes, their quality, their quantitative composition and modification under the influence of different factors as well as their interaction with carbohydrate and protein component are of great importance for the functioning of both membranes, cells and the body in general. Analysis and structuring of lipids and their functions in biological membranes are studied.

  14. Dielectric breakdown of cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, U; Pilwat, G; Riemann, F

    1974-11-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    A quaternary ammonium polybenzimidazole (QPBI) membrane was synthesized for applications in intermediate temperature (100–200 °C) hydrogen fuel cells. The QPBI membrane was imbibed with phosphoric acid to provide suitable proton conductivity. The proton conductivity of the membrane was 0.051 S cm–1...... at 150 °C with the PA acid loading level of 3.5 PRU (amount of H3PO4 per repeat unit of polymer QPBI). The QPBI membrane was characterized in terms of composition, structure and morphology by NMR, FTIR, SEM, and EDX. The fuel cell performance with the membrane gave peak power densities of 440 and 240 m...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lux, Samuel E

    2016-01-14

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

  19. Alternate Fuel Cell Membranes for Energy Independence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-12-18

    performance properties of experimental membranes, 9) fabrication and FC performance testing of membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) from experimental membranes, and 10) measurement of ex situ and in situ membrane durability of experimental membranes. Although none of the experimental hydrocarbon membranes that issued from the project displayed proton conductivities that met DOE requirements, the project contributed to our basic understanding of membrane structure-property relationships in a number of key respects. An important finding of the benchmark studies is that physical degradation associated with humidity and temperature variations in the FC tend to open new fuel crossover pathways and act synergistically with chemical degradation to accelerate overall membrane degradation. Thus, for long term membrane survival and efficient fuel utilization, membranes must withstand internal stresses due to humidity and temperature changes. In this respect, rigid aromatic hydrocarbon fuel cell membranes, e.g. PAES, offer an advantage over un-modified Nafion membranes. The benchmark studies also showed that broadband dielectric spectroscopy is a potentially powerful tool in assessing shifts in the fundamental macromolecular dynamics caused by Nafion chemical degradation, and thus, this technique is of relevance in interrogating proton exchange membrane durability in fuel cells and macromolecular dynamics as coupled to proton migration, which is of fundamental relevance in proton exchange membranes in fuel cells. A key finding from the hydrocarbon membrane synthesis effort was that rigid aromatic polymers containing isolated ion exchange groups tethered tightly to the backbone (short tether), such as HPPS, provide excellent mechanical and durability properties but do not provide sufficient conductivity, in either random or block configuration, when used as the sole ion exchange monomer. However, we continue to hypothesize that longer tethers, and tethered groups spaced more closely

  20. Proton-exchange membrane regenerative fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  1. The Structure and Properties of Pulsed dc Sputtered Nanocrystalline NbN Coatings for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Sung-Yong

    2016-02-01

    Niobium nitride coatings for the surface modified proton exchange membrane fuel cells with various pulse parameters have been prepared using dc (direct current) and asymmetric-bipolar pulsed dc magnetron sputtering. The pulse frequency and the duty cycle were varied from 5 to 50 kHz and 50 to 95%, respectively. The deposition rate, grain size and resistivity of pulsed dc sputtered films were decreased when the pulse frequency increased, while the nano hardness of niobium nitride films increased. We present in detail coatings (e.g., deposition rate, grain size, prefer-orientation, resistivity and hardness). Our studies show that niobium nitride coatings with superior properties can be prepared using asymmetric-bipolar pulsed dc sputtering.

  2. STUDYING MEMBRANE ANCHOR ORGANIZATION IN LIVING CELL MEMBRANES

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Hector Han-Li

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Engineered nanoparticles mimicking cell membranes for toxin neutralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. POLYMER ELECTROLYTE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2001-01-01

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

  5. Resting microglial cells exhibit tubular membrane protrusions

    OpenAIRE

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-31

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

  8. Sphingolipid symmetry governs membrane lipid raft structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Peter J

    2014-07-01

    Lipid domain formation in membranes underlies the concept of rafts but their structure is controversial because the key role of cholesterol has been challenged. The configuration of glycosphingolipid receptors for agonists, bacterial toxins and enveloped viruses in plasma membrane rafts appears to be an important factor governing ligand binding and infectivity but the details are as yet unresolved. I have used X-ray diffraction methods to examine how cholesterol affects the distribution of glycosphingolipid in aqueous dispersions of an equimolar mixture of cholesterol and egg-sphingomyelin containing different proportions of glucosylceramide from human extracts. Three coexisting liquid-ordered bilayer structures are observed at 37°C in mixtures containing up to 20mol% glycosphingolipid. All the cholesterol was sequestered in one bilayer with the minimum amount of sphingomyelin (33mol%) to prevent formation of cholesterol crystals. The other two bilayers consisted of sphingomyelin and glucosylceramide. Asymmetric molecular species of glucosylceramide with N-acyl chains longer than 20 carbons form an equimolar complex with sphingomyelin in which the glycosidic residues are arranged in hexagonal array. Symmetric molecular species mix with sphingomyelin in proportions less than equimolar to form quasicrystalline bilayers. When the glycosphingolipid exceeds equimolar proportions with sphingomyelin cholesterol is incorporated into the structure and formation of a gel phase of glucosylceramide is prevented. The demonstration of particular structural features of ceramide molecular species combined with the diversity of sugar residues of glycosphingolipid classes paves the way for a rational approach to understanding the functional specificity of lipid rafts and how they are coupled across cell membranes.

  9. In-membrane micro fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Omosebi, Ayokunle; Besser, Ronald

    2016-09-06

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Structure-relaxation interplay of a new nanostructured membrane based on tetraethylammonium trifluoromethanesulfonate ionic liquid and neutralized nafion 117 for high-temperature fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Noto, Vito; Negro, Enrico; Sanchez, Jean-Yves; Iojoiu, Christina

    2010-02-24

    In this report, the electrical performance at T > 100 degrees C and low relative humidity of proton-conducting Nafion-based membranes was improved by preparing new materials based on Nafion 117 (N117) neutralized with triethylammonium (TEA(+)) and doped with the ionic liquid (IL) trifluoromethanesulfonate of triethylammonium (TEA-TF). In particular, a new two-step protocol for the preparation of [N117(x-)(TEA(+))(x)/(TEA-TF)(y)] is proposed. [N117(x-)(TEA(+))(x)/(TEA-TF)(y)] membrane is composed of ca. 30 wt % of TEA-TF. The structure of the different nanophases composing the materials and their interactions were investigated by FT-IR ATR and micro-Raman spectroscopy. The thermal stability, water uptake, and mechanical properties of the membranes were studied by thermogravimetric analysis and dynamic mechanical analysis measurements. With respect to pristine N117, the thermal and mechanical properties of the proposed materials were improved. The electric response of [N117(x-)(TEA(+))(x)/(TEA-TF)(y)] was studied by broad band dielectric spectroscopy in the frequency range from 10(-2) Hz to 10 MHz and for temperatures between 5 and 155 degrees C. In comparison to the N117 reference, the following was observed: (a) the stability range of conductivity (SRC) of the [N117(x-)(TEA(+))(x)] membrane increases up to 155 degrees C, while its sigma(DC) at T = 100 degrees C is lowered by ca. 2 orders of magnitude; (b) the SRC of [N117(x-)(TEA(+))(x)/(TEA-TF)(y)] is similar to that of [N117(x-)(TEA(+))(x)], while the sigma(DC) at 145 degrees C decreases in the order 7.3 x 10(-3) > 6.1 x 10(-3) > 9.7 x 10(-4) S x cm(-1) for [N117(x-)(TEA(+))(x)/(TEA-TF)(y)], N117, and [N117(x-)(TEA(+))(x)] membranes, respectively. In conclusion, the lower water uptake, the improved thermal and mechanical stability, and the good conductivity make [N117(x-)(TEA(+))(x)/(TEA-TF)(y)] a promising membrane to improve for application in proton exchange membrane fuel cells operating under anhydrous

  12. Improved Membrane Materials for PEM Fuel Cell Application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kenneth A. Mauritz; Robert B. Moore

    2008-06-30

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. General aspects of peptide selectivity towards lipid bilayers and cell membranes studied by variation of the structural parameters of amphipathic helical model peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dathe, Margitta; Meyer, Jana; Beyermann, Michael; Maul, Björn; Hoischen, Christian; Bienert, Michael

    2002-02-01

    Model compounds of modified hydrophobicity (Eta), hydrophobic moment (mu) and angle subtended by charged residues (Phi) were synthesized to define the general roles of structural motifs of cationic helical peptides for membrane activity and selectivity. The peptide sets were based on a highly hydrophobic, non-selective KLA model peptide with high antimicrobial and hemolytic activity. Variation of the investigated parameters was found to be a suitable method for modifying peptide selectivity towards either neutral or highly negatively charged lipid bilayers. Eta and mu influenced selectivity preferentially via modification of activity on 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (POPC) bilayers, while the size of the polar/hydrophobic angle affected the activity against 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoylphosphatidyl-DL-glycerol (POPG). The influence of the parameters on the activity determining step was modest in both lipid systems and the activity profiles were the result of the parameters' influence on the second less pronounced permeabilization step. Thus, the activity towards POPC vesicles was determined by the high permeabilizing efficiency, however, changes in the structural parameters preferentially influenced the relatively moderate affinity. In contrast, intensive peptide accumulation via electrostatic interactions was sufficient for the destabilization of highly negatively charged POPG lipid membranes, but changes in the activity profile, as revealed by the modification of Phi, seem to be preferentially caused by variation of the low permeabilizing efficiency. The parameters proved very effective also in modifying antimicrobial and hemolytic activity. However, their influence on cell selectivity was limited. A threshold value of hydrophobicity seems to exist which restricted the activity modifying potential of mu and Phi on both lipid bilayers and cell membranes.

  15. Composition analysis of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell microporous layer using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy and near edge X-ray absorption fine structure analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Michael G.; Wang, Jian; Banerjee, Rupak; Bazylak, Aimy

    2016-03-01

    The novel application of scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) to the microporous layer (MPL) of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell is investigated. A spatially resolved chemical component distribution map is obtained for the MPL of a commercially available SGL 25 BC sample. This is achieved with near edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopic analysis. Prior to analysis the sample is embedded in non-reactive epoxy and ultra-microtomed to a thickness of 100 nm. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), carbon particle agglomerates, and supporting epoxy resin distributions are identified and reconstructed for a scanning area of 6 μm × 6 μm. It is observed that the spatial distribution of PTFE is strongly correlated to the carbon particle agglomerations. Additionally, agglomerate structures of PTFE are identified, possibly indicating the presence of a unique mesostructure in the MPL. STXM analysis is presented as a useful technique for the investigation of chemical species distributions in the MPL.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  17. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The iron oxide-hydroxyapatite (FeOxHA) nanoparticles reported here differ from those reported before by their advantage of homogeneity and simple preparation; moreover, the presence of carboxymethyldextran (CMD), together with hydroxyapatite (HA), allows access to the cellular membrane, which makes our magnetic apatite unique. These nanoparticles combine magnetic behavior, Raman label ability and the property of interaction with the cellular membrane; they therefore represent an interesting material for structural differentiation of the cell membrane. It was observed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence microscopy that FeOxHA adheres to the plasma membrane and does not penetrate the membrane. These insights make the nanoparticles a promising material for magnetic cell sorting, e.g. in microfluidic device applications. (paper)

  18. Fuel cell and membrane therefore

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aindow, Tai-Tsui

    2016-08-09

    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.

  19. Detecting Nanodomains in Living Cell Membrane by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Hai-Tao; Marguet, Didier

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  1. Mediterranean-style diet effect on the structural properties of the erythrocyte cell membrane of hypertensive patients: the Prevencion con Dieta Mediterranea Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barceló, Francisca; Perona, Javier S; Prades, Jesús; Funari, Sérgio S; Gomez-Gracia, Enrique; Conde, Manuel; Estruch, Ramon; Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Valentina

    2009-11-01

    A currently ongoing randomized trial has revealed that the Mediterranean diet, rich in virgin olive oil or nuts, reduces systolic blood pressure in high-risk cardiovascular patients. Here, we present a structural substudy to assess the effect of a Mediterranean-style diet supplemented with nuts or virgin olive oil on erythrocyte membrane properties in 36 hypertensive participants after 1 year of intervention. Erythrocyte membrane lipid composition, structural properties of reconstituted erythrocyte membranes, and serum concentrations of inflammatory markers are reported. After the intervention, the membrane cholesterol content decreased, whereas that of phospholipids increased in all of the dietary groups; the diminishing cholesterol:phospholipid ratio could be associated with an increase in the membrane fluidity. Moreover, reconstituted membranes from the nuts and virgin olive oil groups showed a higher propensity to form a nonlamellar inverted hexagonal phase structure that was related to an increase in phosphatidylethanolamine lipid class. These data suggest that the Mediterranean-style diet affects the lipid metabolism that is altered in hypertensive patients, influencing the structural membrane properties. The erythrocyte membrane modulation described provides insight in the structural bases underlying the beneficial effect of a Mediterranean-style diet in hypertensive subjects.

  2. Membrane Organization and Dynamics in Cell Polarity

    OpenAIRE

    Orlando, Kelly; Guo, Wei

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Plant membranes a biophysical approach to structure, development and senescence

    CERN Document Server

    Leshem, Ya’Acov Y

    1992-01-01

    The plasma membrane is at once the window through which the cell senses the environment and the portal through which the environment influences the structure and activities of the cell. Its importance in cellular physiology can thus hardly be overestimated, since constant flow of materials between cell and environment is essential to the well-being of any biological system. The nature of the materials mov­ ing into the cell is also critical, since some substances are required for maintenance and growth, while others, because of their toxicity, must either be rigorously excluded or permitted to enter only after chemical alteration. Such alteration frequently permits the compounds to be sequestered in special cellular compartments having different types of membranes. This type of homogeneity, plus the fact that the wear and tear of transmembrane molecular traffic compels the system to be constantly monitored and repaired, means that the membrane system of any organism must be both structurally complex and dy­...

  4. Membrane lipidome of an epithelial cell line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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...

  5. Interaction of Defensins with Model Cell Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  6. Does ATP cross the cell plasma membrane.

    OpenAIRE

    Chaudry, I. H.

    1982-01-01

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

  7. Nanodevices based on Membrane-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Hye Jun; Kim, Tae Hyun; Namgung, Seon; Hong, Seunghun; Lee, Sang Hun; Park, Tai Hyun

    2010-03-01

    Proteins in cell membrane have been drawing attention due to their versatile functionalities such as ion transfer for neuronal activity and selective binding for sensory systems. However, it is still very difficult to manipulate and study those proteins because they easily lose their functionalities without lipid membranes. We developed a method to coat lipid membranes containing various functional membrane proteins on single-walled carbon nanotube (swCNT)-based field effect transistors (FETs). In this hybrid structure, the activity of membrane proteins can be monitored by underlying swCNT-FETs, allowing us to easily study the functionalities of membrane proteins. Furthermore, we built advanced devices based on these hybrid structures. For an example, we coated lipid membrane containing `olfactory receptors' on swCNT-FETs, resulting in `bioelectric nose' systems. The bioelectric nose system had high sensitivity and human nose-like selectivity to odorant molecules. This talk will also discuss about the future prospect of these membrane-CNT hybrid structures.

  8. Insufficient Folding of Type IV Collagen and Formation of Abnormal Basement Membrane-like Structure in Embryoid Bodies Derived from Hsp47-Null Embryonic Stem CellsD⃞

    OpenAIRE

    Matsuoka, Yasuhiro; Kubota, Hiroshi; Adachi, Eijiro; Nagai, Naoko; Marutani, Toshihiro; Hosokawa, Nobuko; Nagata, Kazuhiro

    2004-01-01

    Hsp47 is a molecular chaperone that specifically recognizes procollagen in the endoplasmic reticulum. Hsp47-null mouse embryos produce immature type I collagen and form discontinuous basement membranes. We established Hsp47-/- embryonic stem cell lines and examined formation of basement membrane and production of type IV collagen in embryoid bodies, a model for postimplantation egg-cylinder stage embryos. The visceral endodermal cell layers surrounding Hsp47-/- embryoid bodies were often diso...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-02-01

    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].

  10. Crosslinking and alkyl substitution in nano-structured grafted fluoropolymer for use as proton-exchange membranes in fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Mikkel Juul; Ma, Yue; Lund, Peter Brilner;

    2009-01-01

    crosslinking agent divinylbenzene has been investigated and its amount optimized. Substitution of styrene by methylstyrene and t-butylstyrene has been performed with the purpose of improving the chemical stability of the membranes. Grafting with a fraction of divinylbenzene in the order of 1-2 vol-% of the...... total monomers has been found to be the best compromise between high grafting yield, good chemical stability, and high proton conductivity of the final membrane. The use of methylstyrene and t-butylstyrene as grafting monomers instead of styrene results in substantially increased chemical stability...

  11. Mechanical tension drives cell membrane fusion

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. New membrane structures with proton conducting properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Casper Frydendal

    for these membranes is restricted by the loss of conductivity and dimensional stability as the temperature reaches the boiling point of water and the glass transition temperature of the polymer. At low relative humidity the membranes dehydrate, resulting in loss of conductivity and reduced dimensions. High...... [1, 2, 3]. Improved fuel cell performance from incorporation of hygroscopic oxides or solid proton conductors (e.g. zirconium phosphates) has been reported. The poster exhibits upcoming work in the field of composite electrolyte membranes at the University of Southern Denmark, combining radiation...

  14. Plasma membranes from insect midgut cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R. Terra

    2006-06-01

    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

  15. Structural lipid changes and Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity of gill cells' basolateral membranes during saltwater acclimation in sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus, L.) juveniles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lança, Maria João; Machado, Maria; Ferreira, Ana Filipa; Quintella, Bernardo Ruivo; de Almeida, Pedro Raposo

    2015-11-01

    Seawater acclimation is a critical period for anadromous species and a process yet to be understood in lampreys. Considering that changes in lipid composition of the gill cells' basolateral membranes may disrupt the major transporter Na(+)K(+)-ATPase, the goal of this study was to detect changes at this level during juvenile sea lamprey seawater acclimation. The results showed that saltwater acclimation has a direct effect on the fatty acid composition of gill cells basolateral membrane's phospholipids. When held in full-strength seawater, the fatty acid profile of basolateral membrane's phospholipids suffered a restructure by increasing either saturation or the ratio between oleic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. Simultaneously, the activity of Na(+)K(+)-ATPase revealed a significant and positive correlation with basolateral membrane's cholesterol content in the presence of highest salinity. Our results pointed out for lipid adjustments involving the functional transporter present on the gill cell basolateral membranes to ensure the role played by branchial Na(+)K(+)-ATPase in ion transport during saltwater acclimation process. The responses observed contributed to the strategy adopted by gill cell's basolateral membranes to compensate for osmotic and ionic stressors, to ensure the success of the process of seawater acclimation associated with the downstream trophic migration of juvenile sea lamprey.

  16. Nuclear myosin I regulates cell membrane tension

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Diffuse Charge Effects in Fuel Cell Membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

    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

  18. Membrane elastic properties and cell function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Pontes

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

  19. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yu Seung; Pivovar, Bryan S

    2014-02-25

    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.

  20. Mechanism of Action of Thymosinα1: Does It Interact with Membrane by Recognition of Exposed Phosphatidylserine on Cell Surface? A Structural Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nepravishta, R; Mandaliti, W; Vallebona, P S; Pica, F; Garaci, E; Paci, M

    2016-01-01

    Thymosinα1 is a peptidic hormone with pleiotropic activity, which is used in the therapy of several diseases. It is unstructured in water solution and interacts with negative regions of micelles and vesicles assuming two tracts of helical conformation with a structural flexible break in between. The studies of the interaction of Thymosinα1 with micelles of mixed dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine and sodium dodecylsulfate and vesicles with mixed dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine/dipalmitoylphosphatidylserine, the latter the negative component of the membranes, by (1)H and natural abundance (15)N NMR are herewith reported, reviewed, and discussed. The results indicate that the preferred interactions are those where the surface is negatively charged due to sodium dodecylsulfate or due to the presence of dipalmitoylphosphatidylserine exposed on the surface. In fact the unbalance of dipalmitoylphosphatidylserine on the cellular surface is an important phenomenon present in pathological conditions of cells. Moreover, the direct interaction of Thymosinα1 with K562 cells presenting an overexposure of phosphatidylserine as a consequence of resveratrol-induced apoptosis was carried out. PMID:27450732

  1. Complement activation on B lymphocytes opsonized with rituximab or ofatumumab produces substantial changes in membrane structure preceding cell lysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Beum, Paul V.; Lindorfer, Margaret A.; Beurskens, Frank; Stukenberg, P. Todd; Lokhorst, Henk M.; Pawluczkowycz, Andrew W.; Parren, Paul W. H. I.; van de Winkel, Jan G. J.; Taylor, Ronald P.

    2008-01-01

    Binding of the CD20 mAb rituximab (RTX) to B lymphocytes in normal human serum (NHS) activates complement (C) and promotes C3b deposition on or in close proximity to cell-bound RTX. Based on spinning disk confocal microscopy analyses, we report the first real-time visualization of C3b deposition and

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

    Science.gov (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.

    2015-08-01

    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.

  3. Metric dynamics for membrane transformation through regulated cell proliferation

    OpenAIRE

    Ito, Hiroshi C.

    2016-01-01

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

  4. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    This book is a comprehensive review of high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). PEMFCs are the preferred fuel cells for a variety of applications such as automobiles, cogeneration of heat and power units, emergency power and portable electronics. The first 5 chapters...

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

    Data.gov (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...

  6. FABRICATION AND BIOCOMPATIBILITY OF CELL OUTER MEMBRANE MIMETIC SURFACES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ming-ming Zong; Yong-kuan Gong

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance

    Science.gov (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

  8. Exploiting Microbeams for Membrane Protein Structure Determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Anna J; Axford, Danny; Paterson, Neil G; Owen, Robin L

    2016-01-01

    A reproducible, and sample independent means of predictably obtaining large, well-ordered crystals has proven elusive in macromolecular crystallography. In the structure determination pipeline, crystallisation often proves to be a rate-limiting step, and the process of obtaining even small or badly ordered crystals can prove time-consuming and laborious. This is particularly true in the field of membrane protein crystallography and this is reflected in the limited number of unique membrane protein structures deposited in the protein data bank (less than 650 by June 2016 - http://blanco.biomol.uci.edu/mpstruc ). Over recent years the requirement for, and time and cost associated with obtaining, large crystals has been partially alleviated through the development of beamline instrumentation allowing data collection, and structure solution, from ever-smaller crystals. Advances in several areas have led to a step change in what might be considered achievable during a synchrotron trip over the last decade. This chapter will briefly review the current status of the field, the tools available to ease data collection and processing, and give some examples of exploitation of these for membrane protein microfocus macromolecular crystallography. PMID:27553238

  9. Modeling and Simulation for Fuel Cell Polymer Electrolyte Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahiro Hayashi

    2013-01-01

    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.

  10. 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...... or ionically cross-linking and structure modification With load, thermal or startup-shutdown cycling, the performance loss was found to be much bigger, about 300 µV per cycle or 40 µV per operating hour, due to the increased acid loss and catalyst support corrosion, particularly under open circuit voltage...

  11. Tethered and Polymer Supported Bilayer Lipid Membranes: Structure and Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Jakob; Köper, Ingo

    2016-01-01

    Solid supported bilayer lipid membranes are model systems to mimic natural cell membranes in order to understand structural and functional properties of such systems. The use of a model system allows for the use of a wide variety of analytical tools including atomic force microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, neutron reflectometry, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Among the large number of different types of model membranes polymer-supported and tethered lipid bilayers have been shown to be versatile and useful systems. Both systems consist of a lipid bilayer, which is de-coupled from an underlying support by a spacer cushion. Both systems will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the effect that the spacer moiety has on the bilayer properties. PMID:27249006

  12. Tethered and Polymer Supported Bilayer Lipid Membranes: Structure and Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Andersson

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Solid supported bilayer lipid membranes are model systems to mimic natural cell membranes in order to understand structural and functional properties of such systems. The use of a model system allows for the use of a wide variety of analytical tools including atomic force microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, neutron reflectometry, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. Among the large number of different types of model membranes polymer-supported and tethered lipid bilayers have been shown to be versatile and useful systems. Both systems consist of a lipid bilayer, which is de-coupled from an underlying support by a spacer cushion. Both systems will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the effect that the spacer moiety has on the bilayer properties.

  13. Lithium. Effects on excitable cell membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ploeger, Egbert Johan

    1974-01-01

    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

  14. Investigation of structural change of purple membrane in storage by transmission electron microscope and atomic force microscope

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    The structural change of purple membrane during storage has been investigated by means of transmission electron microscope and atomic force microscope. It is found that many liposomes have spontaneously evolved from the purple membrane sheets isolated three years ago. The membrane proteins on the liposomes, bacteriorhodopsin, are still presented as trimers in 2-D hexagonal structure, which is the same as that in natural cell membrane. However, the cytoplasmic surface of purple membrane faced outside on the liposomes.

  15. Cell Secretion: Current Structural and Biochemical Insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh Trikha

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Essential physiological functions in eukaryotic cells, such as release of hormones and digestive enzymes, neurotransmission, and intercellular signaling, are all achieved by cell secretion. In regulated (calcium-dependent secretion, membrane-bound secretory vesicles dock and transiently fuse with specialized, permanent, plasma membrane structures, called porosomes or fusion pores. Porosomes are supramolecular, cup-shaped lipoprotein structures at the cell plasma membrane that mediate and control the release of vesicle cargo to the outside of the cell. The sizes of porosomes range from 150nm in diameter in acinar cells of the exocrine pancreas to 12nm in neurons. In recent years, significant progress has been made in our understanding of the porosome and the cellular activities required for cell secretion, such as membrane fusion and swelling of secretory vesicles. The discovery of the porosome complex and the molecular mechanism of cell secretion are summarized in this article.

  16. Nanoscale Distribution of Sulfonic Acid Groups Determines Structure and Binding of Water in Nafion Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Xiao; Bonn, Mischa

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The connection between the nanoscale structure of two chemically equivalent, yet morphologically distinct Nafion fuel‐cell membranes and their macroscopic chemical properties is demonstrated. Quantification of the chemical interactions between water and Nafion reveals that extruded membranes have smaller water channels with a reduced sulfonic acid head group density compared to dispersion‐cast membranes. As a result, a disproportionally large amount of non‐bulk water molecules exists in extruded membranes, which also exhibit larger proton conductivity and larger water mobility compared to cast membranes. The differences in the physicochemical properties of the membranes, that is, the chemical constitution of the water channels and the local water structure, and the accompanying differences in macroscopic water and proton transport suggest that the chemistry of nanoscale channels is an important, yet largely overlooked parameter that influences the functionality of fuel‐cell membranes. PMID:26895211

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhen-lu; Ding, Hong-ming; Ma, Yu-qiang

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Plasma membrane integrity is essential for cell life. Any major break on it immediately induces the death of the affected cell. Different molecules were described as disrupting this cell structure and thus showing antitumor activity. We have previously defined that elisidepsin (Irvalec®, PM02734) inserts and self-organizes in the plasma membrane of tumor cells, inducing a rapid loss of membrane integrity, cell permeabilization and necrotic death. Here we show that, in sensitive HCT-116 colorectal cells, all these effects are consequence of the interaction of elisidepsin with glycosylceramides in the cell membrane. Of note, an elisidepsin-resistant subline (HCT-116-Irv) presented reduced levels of glycosylceramides and no accumulation of elisidepsin in the plasma membrane. Consequently, drug treatment did not induce the characteristic necrotic cell death. Furthermore, GM95, a mutant derivative from B16 mouse melanoma cells lacking ceramide glucosyltransferase (UGCG) activity and thus the synthesis of glycosylceramides, was also resistant to elisidepsin. Over-expression of UGCG gene in these deficient cells restored glycosylceramides synthesis, rendering them sensitive to elisidepsin, at a similar level than parental B16 cells. These results indicate that glycosylceramides act as membrane targets of elisidepsin, facilitating its insertion in the plasma membrane and the subsequent membrane permeabilization that leads to drug-induced cell death. They also indicate that cell membrane lipids are a plausible target for antineoplastic therapy. PMID:26474061

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Manuel Molina-Guijarro

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

  2. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Gao, Fengge; Miraoui, Abdellatif

    2013-01-01

    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

  3. Wind-induced response analysis of conical membrane structures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Bo; WU Yue; SHEN Shi-zhao

    2005-01-01

    Conical membrane structures are a typical form of tensile membrane structures. In the past, most studies focused on the static performance, but few on dynamic performance. In this paper, systematic parameter analysis of wind-induced response of conical membrane structures has been performed with nonlinear random simulation method in a time domain, by considering some parameters, such as span, rise-span ratio, prestress of membrane, and characteristic of the approaching wind flow. Moreover, formulas of the dynamic coefficient and nonlinear adjustment factor are advised, which can be conveniently used in wind-resistant design of conical membrane structures.

  4. Mathematical Model of Gas Permeation Through PTFEP orous Membrane and the Effect of Membrane Pore Structure

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张秀莉; 张卫东; 郝新政; 张慧峰; 张泽廷; 张建春

    2003-01-01

    Membrane-based separation processes are new technology combined membrane separation with conventional separation. Hydrophobic porous membranes are often used in these processes. The structure of hydrophobic porous membrane has significant effect on mass transfer process. The permeabilities of five kinds of gas, He, N2,O2, CO2 and water vapor, across six polytetrafluoroethylene(PTFE) fiat membranes were tested experimentally.Results indicated that the greater the membrane mean pore size and the wider the pore size distribution are, the higher the gas permeability. A gas permeation model, including the effects of membrane structure parameter and gas properties, was established. A comprehensive characteristic parameter (including porosity, thickness and tortuosity) was found more effective to express the influence of membrane structure in gas permeation process. The predicted permeation coefficients were in good agreement with experimental data.

  5. Fuel cell membranes and crossover prevention

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-04

    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.

  6. Omega-3 DHA and EPA for cognition, behavior, and mood: clinical findings and structural-functional synergies with cell membrane phospholipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidd, Parris M

    2007-09-01

    The omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are orthomolecular, conditionally essential nutrients that enhance quality of life and lower the risk of premature death. They function exclusively via cell membranes, in which they are anchored by phospholipid molecules. DHA is proven essential to pre- and postnatal brain development, whereas EPA seems more influential on behavior and mood. Both DHA and EPA generate neuroprotective metabolites. In double-blind, randomized, controlled trials, DHA and EPA combinations have been shown to benefit attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, and aggression. For the affective disorders, meta-analyses confirm benefits in major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder, with promising results in schizophrenia and initial benefit for borderline personality disorder. Accelerated cognitive decline and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) correlate with lowered tissue levels of DHA/EPA, and supplementation has improved cognitive function. Huntington disease has responded to EPA. Omega-3 phospholipid supplements that combine DHA/EPA and phospholipids into the same molecule have shown marked promise in early clinical trials. Phosphatidylserine with DHA/EPA attached (Omega-3 PS) has been shown to alleviate AD/HD symptoms. Krill omega-3 phospholipids, containing mostly phosphatidylcholine (PC) with DHA/EPA attached, markedly outperformed conventional fish oil DHA/EPA triglycerides in double-blind trials for premenstrual syndrome/dysmenorrhea and for normalizing blood lipid profiles. Krill omega-3 phospholipids demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity, lowering C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in a double-blind trial. Utilizing DHA and EPA together with phospholipids and membrane antioxidants to achieve a triple cell membrane synergy may further diversify their currently wide range of clinical applications. PMID:18072818

  7. Single cell membrane poration by bubble-induced microjets in a microfluidic chip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Z G; Liu, A Q; Klaseboer, E; Zhang, J B; Ohl, C D

    2013-03-21

    This paper demonstrates membrane poration of a single suspension cell due to a fast liquid microjet. The jet is formed during the collapse of a laser induced bubble created at a variable stand-off distance from the target cell. The cell is trapped by a converging structure within a microfluidic chip. The asymmetrical growth and collapse of the cavitation bubble next to the cell lead to the microjetting, which deforms and porates the cell membrane. In the experiments, the membrane porations of myeloma cells are probed with the uptake of trypan blue. Time-resolved studies of the diffusion of trypan blue show a marked dependency on the bubble dynamics, i.e. the stand-off distance. The penetration length of the dye increases with shorter distances. Numerical simulations of the diffusion process agree with larger pores formed on the cell membrane. This method allows for a fast, repeatable, and localized rupture of membranes of individual cells in suspension. PMID:23364762

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1990-02-01

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

  9. Block copolymers for alkaline fuel cell membrane materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yifan

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

  10. Sodium selectivity of Reissner's membrane epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Kyunghee X

    2011-02-01

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

  11. Label-free measuring and mapping of binding kinetics of membrane proteins in single living cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Wei; Yang, Yunze; Wang, Shaopeng; Nagaraj, Vinay J.; Liu, Qiang; Wu, Jie; Tao, Nongjian

    2012-10-01

    Membrane proteins mediate a variety of cellular responses to extracellular signals. Although membrane proteins are studied intensively for their values as disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets, in situ investigation of the binding kinetics of membrane proteins with their ligands has been a challenge. Traditional approaches isolate membrane proteins and then study them ex situ, which does not reflect accurately their native structures and functions. We present a label-free plasmonic microscopy method to map the local binding kinetics of membrane proteins in their native environment. This analytical method can perform simultaneous plasmonic and fluorescence imaging, and thus make it possible to combine the strengths of both label-based and label-free techniques in one system. Using this method, we determined the distribution of membrane proteins on the surface of single cells and the local binding kinetic constants of different membrane proteins. Furthermore, we studied the polarization of the membrane proteins on the cell surface during chemotaxis.

  12. Cell membrane-camouflaged nanoparticles for drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luk, Brian T; Zhang, Liangfang

    2015-12-28

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

  13. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    K.Scott; M. Mamlouk

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Analysis of tensioned membrane structures considering cable sliding

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋昌永

    2003-01-01

    In routine design of tensioned membrane structures, the membrane is generally modeled using space membrane elements and the cables by space cable elements, with no sliding allowed between the membrane and the cables. On the other hand, large deflections are expected and sliding between the membrane and the cables is inevitable. In the present paper, the general finite element code ABAQUS was employed to investigate the influence of cable sliding on membrane surface on the structural behavior. Three analysis models were devised to fulfill this purpose: (1) The membrane element shares nodes with the cable element; (2) The cable can slide on the membrane surface freely (without friction) and (3) The cable can slide on the membrane surface, but with friction between the cable and the membrane. The sliding problem is modeled using a surface - based contact algorithm. The results from three analysis models are compared, showing that cable sliding has only little influence on the structure shape and on the stress distributions in the membrane. The main influence of cable sliding may be its effect on the dynamic behavior of tensioned membrane structures.

  15. Structure, composition, and strength of nitrifying membrane-aerated biofilms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pellicer i Nàcher, Carles; Smets, Barth F.

    2014-01-01

    Membrane-aerated biofilm reactors (MABRs) are a novel technology based on the growth of biofilms on oxygen-permeable membranes. Hereby, MABRs combine all the advantages of biofilm growth with a more flexible and efficient control of the oxygen load. In the present work, flow cell operation...... to achieve full nitrification revealed a significantly different structure of nitrifying MABR biofilms with respect to its co-diffusion counterparts reported in the literature (up to now assumed to have similar properties). Different levels of shear stress and oxygen loadings during MABR operation also...... affected these biofilm parameters. Furthermore, reactor operation at higher oxygen loads resulted in an increase of the biofilm cohesiveness, which depended on the EPS mass in the biofilms and the type of stress applied (more cohesive against normal than shear stresses). The EPS in the strongest biofilms...

  16. 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.

    2003-01-01

    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.

  17. Nanocomposite membranes based on polybenzimidazole and ZrO2 for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-24

    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.

  18. Binding and Fusion of Extracellular Vesicles to the Plasma Membrane of Their Cell Targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prada, Ilaria; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27517914

  19. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Jiang; Jin, Hua; Yang, Fen; Chen, Zheng W.; Cai, Jiye

    2014-10-01

    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

  20. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pi, Jiang; Jin, Hua; Yang, Fen; Chen, Zheng W; Cai, Jiye

    2014-11-01

    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

  1. Working at higher magnifications in scanning electron microscopy with secondary and backscattered electrons on metal coated biological specimens and imaging macromolecular cell membrane structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, K R

    1985-01-01

    Membrane structures of macromolecular dimensions were imaged with high resolution secondary electron type I (SE-I) signal contrasts on metal coated biological specimens. The quality of the surface information was strongly dependent on the signal used for microscopy and on the properties of metal films, i.e., thickness, continuity, structure and decoration effects. Films of 10 nm thickness produced so much type II electrons that identical images were obtained with the conventional SE-II and BSE-II signals. In such images, the type I SE signal was so low that only very weak contrasts were recognizable. If the films--continuous or discontinuous--were composed of large metal aggregates (gold and platinum) a strong micro-roughness contrast was produced by the type II signal. At high magnifications (100,000 x) this background signal greatly reduced the S/N ratio of the SE-I signal. A similar effect was previously shown to be produced by the type III background signal. The type II background signal minimized when continuous films of small aggregates (tantalum and chromium) were applied. SE-I contrast dominated in the image if the film thickness was limited to 1 nm. Additionally, it was found that gold and platinum decorated membrane surface structures, less than 20 nm in size, and did not reveal all the topographic information available (size, shape, orientation spacing of small surface features) but merely displayed center-to-center distances. These decoration effects were avoided and extensive topographic information was obtained through surface coating with Ta or Cr. PMID:4095499

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

    CERN Document Server

    Yamamoto, Eiji; Yasui, Masato; Yasuoka, Kenji

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  4. Analysis of tensioned membrane structures considering cable sliding

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    宋昌永

    2003-01-01

    In routine design of tensioned membrane st ructures, the membrane is gen erally modeled using space membrane elements and the cables by space cable eleme nts, with no sliding allowed between the membrane and the cables. On the other h and, large deflections are expected and sliding between the membrane and the cab les is inevitable. In the present paper, the general finite element code ABAQUS was employed to investigate the influence of cable sliding on membrane surface o n the structural behavior. Three analysis models were devised to fulfill this pu rpose: (1) The membrane element shares nodes with the cable element; (2) The cab le can slide on the membrane surface freely (without friction) and (3) The cable can slide on the membrane surface, but with friction between the cable and the membrane. The sliding problem is modeled using a surface-based contact algorithm . The results from three analysis models are compared, showing that cable slidin g has only little influence on the structure shape and on the stress distributio ns in the membrane. The main influence of cable sliding may be its effect on the dynamic behavior of tensioned membrane structures.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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;

    2014-01-01

    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 membran...

  7. 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

    2010-02-23

    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

  8. Membrane Elastegrities: A New Model Viscoelastic Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlides, Eleftherios; Pearce, Jennifer

    2014-11-01

    We propose a new class of structures, membrane elastegrities, a network of rigid and elastic members maintaining shape through elastic forces, named by analogy to tensegrities that maintain shape through tension alone. Numerous researchers have proposed tensegrities as models to biological structure. Elastegrities expand tensegrity properties primarily by suggesting a mechanism for containing and pumping non-Newtonian fluids in living organisms. The chiral icosahedral elastegrity compared to the 6-strut tensegrity have identical symmetry, negative Poisson Ratio, and the reaction force to external forces is distributed throughout the elastic members causing reversible deformation. They also have important differences: a) elastic hinge connections enable containment and pumping of fluids versus nodal connections, b) simple assembly by folding a flat shape-memory material versus assembly requiring scaffolding, c) hinge connections limit freedom of movement resulting in isometric forces as members rotate cooperatively contracting versus large freedom of movement with unpredictable deformation. d) The chiral icosahedral elastegrity can contain liquid and requires increased force for equal displacement as it rotates towards a zero volume octahedron suggesting a mechanism for a non-Newtonian pump.

  9. Molecular dynamics study of lipid bilayers modeling the plasma membranes of normal murine thymocytes and leukemic GRSL cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andoh, Yoshimichi; Okazaki, Susumu; Ueoka, Ryuichi

    2013-04-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) calculations for the plasma membranes of normal murine thymocytes and thymus-derived leukemic GRSL cells in water have been performed under physiological isothermal-isobaric conditions (310.15K and 1 atm) to investigate changes in membrane properties induced by canceration. The model membranes used in our calculations for normal and leukemic thymocytes comprised 23 and 25 kinds of lipids, respectively, including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, lysophospholipids, and cholesterol. The mole fractions of the lipids adopted here were based on previously published experimental values. Our calculations clearly showed that the membrane area was increased in leukemic cells, and that the isothermal area compressibility of the leukemic plasma membranes was double that of normal cells. The calculated membranes of leukemic cells were thus considerably bulkier and softer in the lateral direction compared with those of normal cells. The tilt angle of the cholesterol and the conformation of the phospholipid fatty acid tails both showed a lower level of order in leukemic cell membranes compared with normal cell membranes. The lateral radial distribution function of the lipids also showed a more disordered structure in leukemic cell membranes than in normal cell membranes. These observations all show that, for the present thymocytes, the lateral structure of the membrane is considerably disordered by canceration. Furthermore, the calculated lateral self-diffusion coefficient of the lipid molecules in leukemic cell membranes was almost double that in normal cell membranes. The calculated rotational and wobbling autocorrelation functions also indicated that the molecular motion of the lipids was enhanced in leukemic cell membranes. Thus, here we have demonstrated that the membranes of thymocyte leukemic cells are more disordered and more fluid than normal cell membranes.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Qiong; WANG Guangjin; YE Hong; YAN Shilin

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Roles of membrane trafficking in plant cell wall dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Ebine, Kazuo; Ueda, Takashi

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Effect of Sodium Ferulate on Fluidity and Morphology of Cell Membrane in Ozone Induced Lung Injury

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To study the effect of sodium ferulate (SF), an active component of Radix Angelica, on lung damage induced by ozone (O3). Methods: Mice model of lung injury was induced by ozone inhalation and treated with SF. The level of lipid peroxide and microviscosity in alveolar epithelial cell membrane of the mice was determined, and the structural change of lung cells was observed by microscopy. Results: Ozone could increase the level of malondialdehyde (MDA) and the microviscosity in alveolar epithelial cell membrane, and induce inflammatory changes in morphologic structure. These abnormal changes were improved after SF administration, which was manifested as alleviation of heightened microviscosity, increase of membrane fluidity, as well as the basically normalized pulmonary cellular structure under microscope. Conclusion: SF has a preventive effect against oxidized pulmonary injury induced by ozone, the action of which could be through scavenging oxygen free radicals, reducing lipid peroxide production, increasing membranous fluidity and mitigating inflammatory changes in cell structure.

  13. Pinkbar is an epithelial-specific BAR domain protein that generates planar membrane structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pykäläinen, Anette; Boczkowska, Malgorzata; Zhao, Hongxia; Saarikangas, Juha; Rebowski, Grzegorz; Jansen, Maurice; Hakanen, Janne; Koskela, Essi V.; Peränen, Johan; Vihinen, Helena; Jokitalo, Eija; Salminen, Marjo; Ikonen, Elina; Dominguez, Roberto; Lappalainen, Pekka (Helsinki); (Penn)

    2013-05-29

    Bin/amphipysin/Rvs (BAR)-domain proteins sculpt cellular membranes and have key roles in processes such as endocytosis, cell motility and morphogenesis. BAR domains are divided into three subfamilies: BAR- and F-BAR-domain proteins generate positive membrane curvature and stabilize cellular invaginations, whereas I-BAR-domain proteins induce negative curvature and stabilize protrusions. We show that a previously uncharacterized member of the I-BAR subfamily, Pinkbar, is specifically expressed in intestinal epithelial cells, where it localizes to Rab13-positive vesicles and to the plasma membrane at intercellular junctions. Notably, the BAR domain of Pinkbar does not induce membrane tubulation but promotes the formation of planar membrane sheets. Structural and mutagenesis analyses reveal that the BAR domain of Pinkbar has a relatively flat lipid-binding interface and that it assembles into sheet-like oligomers in crystals and in solution, which may explain its unique membrane-deforming activity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kishore R Mosaliganti

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

  15. Changes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell membrane components and promotion to ethanol tolerance during the bioethanol fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  16. Plasma Membrane Lesions In Anthracycline-Resistant Tumor Cells Probed Using A Fluorescent Dye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Thomas G.; Doroshow, James H.

    1989-06-01

    Human cancer cells selected for resistance to several structurally unrelated cytotoxic drugs are known to display plasma membrane alterations such as amplified levels of a variety of glycoproteins, modifications in lipid composition, alterations in membrane fluidity and increased cellular fragility to osmotic shock. We have studied the plasma membrane fluidity of HL60 human leukemia cells and MCF-7 human breast cancer cells that have been selected for acquired resistance against the cytocidal effects of the anthracycline anticancer drug Adriamycin. Fluidity measurements were accomplished by evaluating the fluorescence anisotropy of the plasma membrane specific probe trimethylamino-1,6-dipihenylhexatriene (TMA.DPH) bound to whole, living cells. TMA.DPH anisotropy values for MCF-7 sensitive and 12-fold resistant cells were 0.306 and 0.285, respectively, while anisotropy values for HL-60 sensitive and 80-fold resistant cells lines were 0.310 and 0.295, respectively. In all cases, cell viability exceeded 97% and anisotropy values were subject to a day-to-day uncertainty of +/-2%. Our results demonstrate that increased plasma membrane fluidity apparently accompanies the development of resistance in both cell lines. Because it is known that increased membrane fluidity results in significantly decreased Adriamycin binding in artificial membrane systems, we propose here that decreased drug associations with fluidized, plasma membrane lipid bilayer regions may be a mechanism which contributes, in part, to the reduced rates of drug accumulation observed in HL60 and MCF-7 cells resistant to Adriamycin.

  17. Cytocompatibility of Three Corneal Cell Types with Amniotic Membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-15

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

  20. Assessment of Membrane Fluidity Fluctuations during Cellular Development Reveals Time and Cell Type Specificity

    KAUST Repository

    Noutsi, Pakiza

    2016-06-30

    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.

  1. Assessment of Membrane Fluidity Fluctuations during Cellular Development Reveals Time and Cell Type Specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noutsi, Pakiza; Gratton, Enrico; Chaieb, Sahraoui

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27362860

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien eHouy

    2013-10-01

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

  3. Membrane tether formation from voltage-clamped outer hair cells using optical tweezers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Feng; Ermilov, Sergey A.; Murdock, David R.; Brownell, William E.; Anvari, Bahman

    2004-06-01

    Outer hair cells contribute an active mechanical feedback to the vibrations of the cochlear structures resulting in the high sensitivity and frequency selectivity of normal hearing. We have designed and implemented a novel experimental setup that combines optical tweezers with patch-clamp apparatus to investigate the electromechanical properties of cellular plasma membranes. A micron-size bead trapped by the optical tweezers is brought in contact with the membrane of a voltage-clamped cell, and subsequently moved away to form a plasma membrane tether. Bead displacement during tether elongation is monitored by a quadrant photodetector to obtain time-resolved measurements of the tethering force. Salient information associated with the mechanical properties of the membrane tether can thus be obtained. Tethers can be pulled from the cell membrane at different holding potentials, and the tether force response can be measured while changing transmembrane potential. Experimental results from outer hair cells and human embryonic kidney cells are presented.

  4. New proton conducting membranes for fuel cell applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sukumar, P.R.

    2006-07-01

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

  5. Structural models of the membrane anchors of envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2 from pestiviruses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Jimin, E-mail: jimin.wang@yale.edu; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo, E-mail: yorgo.modis@yale.edu

    2014-04-15

    The membrane anchors of viral envelope proteins play essential roles in cell entry. Recent crystal structures of the ectodomain of envelope protein E2 from a pestivirus suggest that E2 belongs to a novel structural class of membrane fusion machinery. Based on geometric constraints from the E2 structures, we generated atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors using computational approaches. The E1 anchor contains two amphipathic perimembrane helices and one transmembrane helix; the E2 anchor contains a short helical hairpin stabilized in the membrane by an arginine residue, similar to flaviviruses. A pair of histidine residues in the E2 ectodomain may participate in pH sensing. The proposed atomic models point to Cys987 in E2 as the site of disulfide bond linkage with E1 to form E1–E2 heterodimers. The membrane anchor models provide structural constraints for the disulfide bonding pattern and overall backbone conformation of the E1 ectodomain. - Highlights: • Structures of pestivirus E2 proteins impose constraints on E1, E2 membrane anchors. • Atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors were generated in silico. • A “snorkeling” arginine completes the short helical hairpin in the E2 membrane anchor. • Roles in pH sensing and E1–E2 disulfide bond formation are proposed for E1 residues. • Implications for E1 ectodomain structure and disulfide bonding pattern are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bing-Joe Hwang

    2012-03-01

    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.

  7. The effect of natural and synthetic fatty acids on membrane structure, microdomain organization, cellular functions and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarguren, Maitane; López, David J; Escribá, Pablo V

    2014-06-01

    This review deals with the effects of synthetic and natural fatty acids on the biophysical properties of membranes, and on their implication on cell function. Natural fatty acids are constituents of more complex lipids, like triacylglycerides or phospholipids, which are used by cells to store and obtain energy, as well as for structural purposes. Accordingly, natural and synthetic fatty acids may modify the structure of the lipid membrane, altering its microdomain organization and other physical properties, and provoking changes in cell signaling. Therefore, by modulating fatty acids it is possible to regulate the structure of the membrane, influencing the cell processes that are reliant on this structure and potentially reverting pathological cell dysfunctions that may provoke cancer, diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The so-called Membrane Lipid Therapy offers a strategy to regulate the membrane composition through drug administration, potentially reverting pathological processes by re-adapting cell membrane structure. Certain fatty acids and their synthetic derivatives are described here that may potentially be used in such therapies, where the cell membrane itself can be considered as a target to combat disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Structure and Function: Relevance in the Cell's Physiology, Pathology and Therapy.

  8. High Temperature Membrane with Humidification-Independent Cluster Structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipp, Ludwig [FuelCell Energy, Inc., Danbury, CT (United States)

    2015-07-10

    The objective of this project was to develop high temperature membranes to facilitate the wide-spread deployment of hydrogen fuel cells. High temperature membranes offer significant advantages in PEM system operation, overall capital and operating costs. State-of-the-art Nafion-based membranes are inadequate for the high temperature operation. These conventional membranes become unstable at higher temperatures (90-120°C) and lose their conductivity, particularly at low relative humidity. In this program, alternate materials were developed to enable fabrication of novel high performance composite membranes. FCE’s concept for the multi-component composite membrane, named mC2, has been used in the design of more conductive membranes.

  9. Characterization of ion-exchange membrane materials: properties vs structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berezina, N P; Kononenko, N A; Dyomina, O A; Gnusin, N P

    2008-06-22

    This review focuses on the preparation, structure and applications of ion-exchange membranes formed from various materials and exhibiting various functions (electrodialytic, perfluorinated sulphocation-exchange and novel laboratory-tested membranes). A number of experimental techniques for measuring electrotransport properties as well as the general procedure for membrane testing are also described. The review emphasizes the relationships between membrane structures, physical and chemical properties and mechanisms of electrochemical processes that occur in charged membrane materials. The water content in membranes is considered to be a key factor in the ion and water transfer and in polarization processes in electromembrane systems. We suggest the theoretical approach, which makes it possible to model and characterize the electrochemical properties of heterogeneous membranes using several transport-structural parameters. These parameters are extracted from the experimental dependences of specific electroconductivity and diffusion permeability on concentration. The review covers the most significant experimental and theoretical research on ion-exchange membranes that have been carried out in the Membrane Materials Laboratory of the Kuban State University. These results have been discussed at the conferences "Membrane Electrochemistry", Krasnodar, Russia for many years and were published mainly in Russian scientific sources.

  10. Graphene-doped electrospun nanofiber membrane electrodes and proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  11. Structural basis of complement membrane attack complex formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serna, Marina; Giles, Joanna L.; Morgan, B. Paul; Bubeck, Doryen

    2016-02-01

    In response to complement activation, the membrane attack complex (MAC) assembles from fluid-phase proteins to form pores in lipid bilayers. MAC directly lyses pathogens by a `multi-hit' mechanism; however, sublytic MAC pores on host cells activate signalling pathways. Previous studies have described the structures of individual MAC components and subcomplexes; however, the molecular details of its assembly and mechanism of action remain unresolved. Here we report the electron cryo-microscopy structure of human MAC at subnanometre resolution. Structural analyses define the stoichiometry of the complete pore and identify a network of interaction interfaces that determine its assembly mechanism. MAC adopts a `split-washer' configuration, in contrast to the predicted closed ring observed for perforin and cholesterol-dependent cytolysins. Assembly precursors partially penetrate the lipid bilayer, resulting in an irregular β-barrel pore. Our results demonstrate how differences in symmetric and asymmetric components of the MAC underpin a molecular basis for pore formation and suggest a mechanism of action that extends beyond membrane penetration.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-29

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haryadi, Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  15. Selective effect of cell membrane on synaptic neurotransmission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Electron crystallography for structural and functional studies of membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2011-01-01

    Membrane proteins are important research targets for basic biological sciences and drug design, but studies of their structure and function are considered difficult to perform. Studies of membrane structures have been greatly facilitated by technological and instrumental advancements in electron microscopy together with methodological advancements in biology. Electron crystallography is especially useful in studying the structure and function of membrane proteins. Electron crystallography is now an established method of analyzing the structures of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers, which resembles their natural biological environment. To better understand the neural system function from a structural point of view, we developed the cryo-electron microscope with a helium-cooled specimen stage, which allows for analysis of the structures of membrane proteins at a resolution higher than 3 Å. This review introduces recent instrumental advances in cryo-electron microscopy and presents some examples of structure analyses of membrane proteins, such as bacteriorhodopsin, water channels and gap junction channels. This review has two objectives: first, to provide a personal historical background to describe how we came to develop the cryo-electron microscope and second, to discuss some of the technology required for the structural analysis of membrane proteins based on cryo-electron microscopy.

  17. Optimization of fluorimetric lipid membrane biosensor sensitivity through manipulation of membrane structure and nitrobenzoxadiazole dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine concentration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrive, Jason D. A.; Krull, Ulrich J.

    1995-01-01

    In the work reported here, surface concentrations of 0.027 and 0.073 molecules nm-2 of the fluorescent membrane probe molecule nitrobenzoxadiazole dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine (NBD-PE) were shown to yield optimum sensitivity for fluorimetric transduction of membrane structural perturbations for lipid membrane-based biosensor development. These optima were obtained through correlation of experimental data with theoretical predictions of optimum surface concentrations based on a model for NBD-PE self quenching previously published by our group. It was also determined that membrane structural heterogeneity improves the sensitivity of NBD-PE labeled membrane transducers. Together with fluorescence microscopy, observations of surface potential change upon compression or expansion of phosphatidylcholine (PC)/phosphatidic acid (PA) monolayers were used to qualitatively indicate the degree of structural heterogeneity in these membranes. It was determined that sub-microscopic domains must exist in microscopically homogeneous egg PC/egg PA membranes in order to facilitate the observed NBD-PE self-quenching responses upon alteration of bulk pH and therefore, membrane surface electrostatics and structure.

  18. Finite element analysis of microelectrotension of cell membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Bae, Chilman; Butler, Peter J.

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Membrane Fouling in Microfiltration used for Cell Harvesting

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tahereh Kaghazchi; Farzin Zokaee; Abbas Zare

    2001-01-01

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

  20. STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES OF COMPOSITE POLYURETHANE HOLLOW FIBER MEMBRANES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xian-feng Li; Chang-fa Xiao

    2005-01-01

    Composite polyurethane (PU)-SiO2 hollow fiber membranes were successfully prepared via optimizing the technique of dry-jet wet spinning, and their pressure-responsibilities were confirmed by the relationships of pure water fluxtransmembrane pressure (PWF-TP) for the first time. The origin for this phenomenon was analyzed on the basis of membrane structure and material characteristics. The effects of SiO2 content on the structure and properties of membrane were investigated. The experimental results indicated that SiO2 in membrane created a great many interfacial micro-voids and played an important role in pressure-responsibility, PWF and rejection of membrane: with the increase of SiO2 content, the ability of membrane recovery weakened, PWF increased, and rejection decreased slightly.

  1. Present and future of membrane protein structure determination by electron crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ubarretxena-Belandia, Iban; Stokes, David L

    2010-01-01

    Membrane proteins are critical to cell physiology, playing roles in signaling, trafficking, transport, adhesion, and recognition. Despite their relative abundance in the proteome and their prevalence as targets of therapeutic drugs, structural information about membrane proteins is in short supply. This chapter describes the use of electron crystallography as a tool for determining membrane protein structures. Electron crystallography offers distinct advantages relative to the alternatives of X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy. Namely, membrane proteins are placed in their native membranous environment, which is likely to favor a native conformation and allow changes in conformation in response to physiological ligands. Nevertheless, there are significant logistical challenges in finding appropriate conditions for inducing membrane proteins to form two-dimensional arrays within the membrane and in using electron cryo-microscopy to collect the data required for structure determination. A number of developments are described for high-throughput screening of crystallization trials and for automated imaging of crystals with the electron microscope. These tools are critical for exploring the necessary range of factors governing the crystallization process. There have also been recent software developments to facilitate the process of structure determination. However, further innovations in the algorithms used for processing images and electron diffraction are necessary to improve throughput and to make electron crystallography truly viable as a method for determining atomic structures of membrane proteins.

  2. Import to the inner nuclear membrane : a structural perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hapsari, Rizqiya Astri

    2016-01-01

    In all eukaryotic cell, form yeast to humans, the Nuclear Pore Complexes provide the main gateway to the nuclear interior. While the transport of soluble cargo’s in and out of the nucleus is relatively well understood, the transport of membrane proteins that reside in the membranes of the nuclear en

  3. The Structural Basis of Cholesterol Activity in Membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olsen, Brett N.; Bielska, Agata; Lee, Tiffany; Daily, Michael D.; Covey, Douglas F.; Schlesinger, Paul H.; Baker, Nathan A.; Ory, Daniel S.

    2013-10-15

    Although the majority of free cellular cholesterol is present in the plasma membrane, cholesterol homeostasis is principally regulated through sterol-sensing proteins that reside in the cholesterol-poor endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In response to acute cholesterol loading or depletion, there is rapid equilibration between the ER and plasma membrane cholesterol pools, suggesting a biophysical model in which the availability of plasma membrane cholesterol for trafficking to internal membranes modulates ER membrane behavior. Previous studies have predominantly examined cholesterol availability in terms of binding to extramembrane acceptors, but have provided limited insight into the structural changes underlying cholesterol activation. In this study, we use both molecular dynamics simulations and experimental membrane systems to examine the behavior of cholesterol in membrane bilayers. We find that cholesterol depth within the bilayer provides a reasonable structural metric for cholesterol availability and that this is correlated with cholesterol-acceptor binding. Further, the distribution of cholesterol availability in our simulations is continuous rather than divided into distinct available and unavailable pools. This data provide support for a revised cholesterol activation model in which activation is driven not by saturation of membrane-cholesterol interactions but rather by bulk membrane remodeling that reduces membrane-cholesterol affinity.

  4. Adhesion and receptor clustering stabilizes lateral heterogeneity in cell plasma membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veatch, Sarah

    2013-03-01

    The thermodynamic properties of plasma membrane lipids play a vital role in many functions that initiate at the mammalian cell surface. Some functions are thought to occur, at least in part, because plasma membrane lipids have a tendency to separate into two distinct liquid phases, called liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered. We find that isolated cell plasma membranes are poised near a miscibility critical point separating these two liquid phases, and postulate that critical composition fluctuations provide the physical basis of functional membrane heterogeneity in intact cells. In this talk I will describe several possible mechanisms through which dynamic fluctuations can be stabilized in super-critical membranes, and will present some preliminary evidence suggesting that these structures can be visualized in intact cells using quantitative super-resolution fluorescence localization imaging.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Membrane tension and cytoskeleton organization in cell motility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayan, Sri; Reddy, Prakash

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Friedberg, I.; Kaback, H R

    1980-01-01

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

  9. Structure and Water Transport in Nafion Nanocomposite Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Eric; Page, Kirt

    2014-03-01

    Perfluorinated ionomers, specifically Nafion, are the most widely used ion exchange membranes for vanadium redox flow battery applications, where an understanding of the relationship between membrane structure and transport of water/ions is critical to battery performance. In this study, the structure of Nafion/SiO2 nanocomposite membranes, synthesized using sol-gel chemistry, as well as cast directly from Nafion/SiO2 nanoparticle dispersions, was measured using both small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) and ultra-small-angle neutron scattering (USANS). Through contrast match studies of the SiO2 nanoparticles, direct information on the change in the structure of the Nafion membranes and the ion-transport channels within was obtained, where differences in membrane structure was observed between the solution-cast membranes and the membranes synthesized using sol-gel chemistry. Additionally, water sorption and diffusion in these Nafion/SiO2 nanocomposite membranes were measured using in situ time-resolved Fourier transform infrared-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy and dynamic vapor sorption (DVS).

  10. Synthesis and characterization of neodymium oxide modified nafion membrane for direct alcohol fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nafion composite membranes were prepared by incorporating neodymium oxide (Nd2O3), a hygroscopic rare earth oxide and a dopant for H+ ion conduction, into the nafion structure. Five different loadings of Nd2O3 were used to fabricate Nd2O3/nafion composite membranes and characterized extensively for possible use in direct alcohol fuel cells. The proton conductivity, ion exchange capacity, water uptake, tensile strength, and oxidation stability of the composite membrane were higher than pure cast nafion membrane. Nd2O3/nafion composite membrane exhibited reduced methanol and ethanol crossover as compared to pure cast nafion membrane and thus has potential to use in direct alcohol fuel cells.

  11. Multiplex lithography for multilevel multiscale architectures and its application to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Hyesung; Moon Kim, Sang; Sik Kang, Yun; Kim, Junsoo; Jang, Segeun; Kim, Minhyoung; Park, Hyunchul; Won Bang, Jung; Seo, Soonmin; Suh, Kahp-Yang; Sung, Yung-Eun; Choi, Mansoo

    2015-01-01

    The production of multiscale architectures is of significant interest in materials science, and the integration of those structures could provide a breakthrough for various applications. Here we report a simple yet versatile strategy that allows for the LEGO-like integrations of microscale membranes by quantitatively controlling the oxygen inhibition effects of ultraviolet-curable materials, leading to multilevel multiscale architectures. The spatial control of oxygen concentration induces different curing contrasts in a resin allowing the selective imprinting and bonding at different sides of a membrane, which enables LEGO-like integration together with the multiscale pattern formation. Utilizing the method, the multilevel multiscale Nafion membranes are prepared and applied to polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Our multiscale membrane fuel cell demonstrates significant enhancement of performance while ensuring mechanical robustness. The performance enhancement is caused by the combined effect of the decrease of membrane resistance and the increase of the electrochemical active surface area. PMID:26412619

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  13. Stochastic transport through carbon nanotubes in lipid bilayers and live cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Jia; Kim, Kyunghoon; Zhang, Jianfei; Escalada, Artur; Tunuguntla, Ramya; Comolli, Luis R.; Allen, Frances I.; Shnyrova, Anna V.; Cho, Kang Rae; Munoz, Dayannara; Wang, Y. Morris; Grigoropoulos, Costas P.; Ajo-Franklin, Caroline M.; Frolov, Vadim A.; Noy, Aleksandr

    2014-10-01

    There is much interest in developing synthetic analogues of biological membrane channels with high efficiency and exquisite selectivity for transporting ions and molecules. Bottom-up and top-down methods can produce nanopores of a size comparable to that of endogenous protein channels, but replicating their affinity and transport properties remains challenging. In principle, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) should be an ideal membrane channel platform: they exhibit excellent transport properties and their narrow hydrophobic inner pores mimic structural motifs typical of biological channels. Moreover, simulations predict that CNTs with a length comparable to the thickness of a lipid bilayer membrane can self-insert into the membrane. Functionalized CNTs have indeed been found to penetrate lipid membranes and cell walls, and short tubes have been forced into membranes to create sensors, yet membrane transport applications of short CNTs remain underexplored. Here we show that short CNTs spontaneously insert into lipid bilayers and live cell membranes to form channels that exhibit a unitary conductance of 70-100 picosiemens under physiological conditions. Despite their structural simplicity, these `CNT porins' transport water, protons, small ions and DNA, stochastically switch between metastable conductance substates, and display characteristic macromolecule-induced ionic current blockades. We also show that local channel and membrane charges can control the conductance and ion selectivity of the CNT porins, thereby establishing these nanopores as a promising biomimetic platform for developing cell interfaces, studying transport in biological channels, and creating stochastic sensors.

  14. The structure of melittin in membranes.

    OpenAIRE

    Vogel, H.; Jähnig, F

    1986-01-01

    The conformation of the polypeptide melittin in lipid membranes as determined by Raman spectroscopy is a bent alpha-helix formed by the mainly hydrophobic residues 1-21, and a nonhelical COOH-terminal segment of the hydrophilic residues 22-26. Fluorescence quenching experiments on residue Trp19 reveal that all COOH-termini are located on that side of a vesicular membrane to which melittin was added. By means of fluorescence energy transfer between unmodified and modified Trp19 residues, melit...

  15. Discovery of novel membrane binding structures and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kufareva, Irina; Lenoir, Marc; Dancea, Felician; Sridhar, Pooja; Raush, Eugene; Bissig, Christin; Gruenberg, Jean; Abagyan, Ruben; Overduin, Michael

    2014-12-01

    The function of a protein is determined by its intrinsic activity in the context of its subcellular distribution. Membranes localize proteins within cellular compartments and govern their specific activities. Discovering such membrane-protein interactions is important for understanding biological mechanisms and could uncover novel sites for therapeutic intervention. We present a method for detecting membrane interactive proteins and their exposed residues that insert into lipid bilayers. Although the development process involved analysis of how C1b, C2, ENTH, FYVE, Gla, pleckstrin homology (PH), and PX domains bind membranes, the resulting membrane optimal docking area (MODA) method yields predictions for a given protein of known three-dimensional structures without referring to canonical membrane-targeting modules. This approach was tested on the Arf1 GTPase, ATF2 acetyltransferase, von Willebrand factor A3 domain, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae MsrB protein and further refined with membrane interactive and non-interactive FAPP1 and PKD1 pleckstrin homology domains, respectively. Furthermore we demonstrate how this tool can be used to discover unprecedented membrane binding functions as illustrated by the Bro1 domain of Alix, which was revealed to recognize lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA). Validation of novel membrane-protein interactions relies on other techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), which was used here to map the sites of micelle interaction. Together this indicates that genome-wide identification of known and novel membrane interactive proteins and sites is now feasible and provides a new tool for functional annotation of the proteome.

  16. The Stirred Tank Reactor Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    CERN Document Server

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for osmotic power generation

    KAUST Repository

    Fu, Feng Jiang

    2015-11-01

    In this work, a novel sandwich-structured hollow fiber membrane has been developed via a specially designed spinneret and optimized spinning conditions. With this specially designed spinneret, the outer layer, which is the most crucial part of the sandwich-structured membrane, is maintained the same as the traditional dual-layer membrane. The inner substrate layer is separated into two layers: (1) an ultra-thin middle layer comprising a high molecular weight polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) additive to enhance integration with the outer polybenzimidazole (PBI) selective layer, and (2) an inner-layer to provide strong mechanical strength for the membrane. Experimental results show that a high water permeability and good mechanical strength could be achieved without the expensive post treatment process to remove PVP which was necessary for the dual-layer pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) membranes. By optimizing the composition, the membrane shows a maximum power density of 6.23W/m2 at a hydraulic pressure of 22.0bar when 1M NaCl and 10mM NaCl are used as the draw and feed solutions, respectively. To our best knowledge, this is the best phase inversion hollow fiber membrane with an outer selective PBI layer for osmotic power generation. In addition, this is the first work that shows how to fabricate sandwich-structured hollow fiber membranes for various applications. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-14

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

  20. Studying Membrane Protein Structure and Function Using Nanodiscs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huda, Pie

    The structure and dynamic of membrane proteins can provide valuable information about general functions, diseases and effects of various drugs. Studying membrane proteins are a challenge as an amphiphilic environment is necessary to stabilise the protein in a functionally and structurally relevant...... form. This is most typically achieved through the use of detergent based reconstitution systems. However, time and again such systems fail to provide a suitable environment causing aggregation and inactivation. Nanodiscs are self-assembled lipoproteins containing two membrane scaffold proteins...... for understanding the key mechanisms during reconstitution of membrane proteins in these lipoproteins. In this project the self-assembly of nanodiscs has been structurally characterized with small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) in a time resolved fashion. This brought knowledge about the structural development...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Structural elucidation of the interaction between neurodegenerative disease-related tau protein with model lipid membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Emmalee M.

    A protein's sequence of amino acids determines how it folds. That folded structure is linked to protein function, and misfolding to dysfunction. Protein misfolding and aggregation into beta-sheet rich fibrillar aggregates is connected with over 20 neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). AD is characterized in part by misfolding, aggregation and deposition of the microtubule associated tau protein into neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). However, two questions remain: What is tau's fibrillization mechanism, and what is tau's cytotoxicity mechanism? Tau is prone to heterogeneous interactions, including with lipid membranes. Lipids have been found in NFTs, anionic lipid vesicles induced aggregation of the microtubule binding domain of tau, and other protein aggregates induced ion permeability in cells. This evidence prompted our investigation of tau's interaction with model lipid membranes to elucidate the structural perturbations those interactions induced in tau protein and in the membrane. We show that although tau is highly charged and soluble, it is highly surface active and preferentially interacts with anionic membranes. To resolve molecular-scale structural details of tau and model membranes, we utilized X-ray and neutron scattering techniques. X-ray reflectivity indicated tau aggregated at air/water and anionic lipid membrane interfaces and penetrated into membranes. More significantly, membrane interfaces induced tau protein to partially adopt a more compact conformation with density similar to folded protein and ordered structure characteristic of beta-sheet formation. This suggests possible membrane-based mechanisms of tau aggregation. Membrane morphological changes were seen using fluorescence microscopy, and X-ray scattering techniques showed tau completely disrupts anionic membranes, suggesting an aggregate-based cytotoxicity mechanism. Further investigation of protein constructs and a "hyperphosphorylation" disease mimic helped

  3. Effects of an antibacterial membrane on osteoblast-like cells in vitro

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye J

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Jun Ye1, Qianqian Yao1, Anchun Mo2, Jing Nie2, Wenwen Liu1, Cui Ye1, Xianji Chen11State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, 2Department of Oral Implant, West China College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People's Republic of ChinaAbstract: Infection around membranes is often found in guided bone regeneration (GBR. The excellent antibacterial properties of Ag-nHA-nTiO2/polyamide-66 (PA66 nanocomposite membranes have been demonstrated previously. The aim of this study was to observe the microstructure of an Ag-nHA-nTiO2/PA66 membrane and its effects on osteoblast-like cells in vitro. An Ag-nHA-nTiO2/PA66 membrane was used in the experimental group, and both nHA/PA66 and expanded poly tetrafluroethylene (e-PTFE membranes were set as control. MG63 osteoblast-like cells were cultured on the three kinds of membrane and tissue culture polystyrene (TCP. The microstructure of the above membranes and the cells adhered on them were detected by scanning electronic microscope (SEM. Cell proliferation was determined by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT assay, cell viability with a cell viability analyzer, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP activity and Ca2+ concentration of osteoblast-like cell matrix by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. SEM showed that both Ag-nHA-nTiO2/PA66 membranes and nHA/PA66 membranes were composed of porous obverse face and smooth opposite face. The e-PTFE membranes showed elliptic surface structure with many tiny lined cracks. The MG63 cells adhered and proliferated well on all three kinds of membranes. Though cell viability on Ag-nHA-nTiO2/PA66 membranes was significantly lower than that of the control groups (P < 0.05, MTT values, ALP activity, and Ca2+ concentration did not differ significantly among the three kinds of membranes (P > 0.05. From these findings, it can be concluded that Ag-nHA-nTiO2/PA66 membranes are as biocompatible as nHA/PA66 membranes and TCP, thus may be applied safely in

  4. Effect of Ce3+ on membrane permeability of Escherichia coli cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Aimei; SHI Qingshan; OUYANG Yousheng; CHEN Yiben

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to delineate the antibacterial mechanism of rare-earth ion Ce3+ to the target organism Escherichia coli cell,and the most important purpose was to identify its biological effect of increasing the E.coli cell membrane permeability.The antibacterial activities of Ce3+ to E.coli cells were tested,and then the permeability of outer membrane (OM) and inner membrane (IM) were studied by N-phenyl-1-naphthylamine (NPN) and o-nitrophenyl-β-D-galactopyranoside (ONPG) methods separately.Through these experiments we concluded that the E.coli cells grown to log phage were more sensitive to Ce3+ than the ones not at this stage; the structure of membrane was destroyed and the permeability of both OM and IM was obviously increased by Ce3+; there should be certain interactions between Ce3+ and some proteins inside the cell,which impeded the physiological activities of bacteria.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  6. 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;

    2013-01-01

    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...

  7. [Transfer of T-DNA from agrobacteria into plant cells through cell walls and membranes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chumakov, M I

    2001-01-01

    Discusses probable routes of agrobacterial penetration through the plant integumental tissues, cell wall, and plant cell plasmodesma. Analyzes the contribution of extracellular structures of agrobacteria in penetration through barriers of a plant cell, primary contact (adhesion), and during DNA transfer from bacterial (E. coli, A. tumefaciens) to recipient (bacterial or plant) cells. Discusses the relationship between donor cell adhesion to recipient cell surface and the infectious and conjugation processes. Considers the probable role of piles in conjugative transfer of agrobacterial DNA through membranes of donor and recipient (bacterial and plant) cells. Analyzes the contribution of the plant cell cytoskeleton to T-DNA transfer. Suggests a model of transport of T-DNA-VirD2 complex and VirE2 proteins through independent channels consisting of vir-coded proteins. PMID:11236737

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Alexander Panchenko; Elena Aleksandrova; Emil Roduner

    2005-01-01

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

  9. Integral membrane protein structure determination using pseudocontact shifts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  10. 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: dn206@cam.ac.uk [University of Cambridge, Department of Biochemistry (United Kingdom)

    2015-04-15

    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.

  11. Graphene-based structure, method of suspending graphene membrane, and method of depositing material onto graphene membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zettl, Alexander K.; Meyer, Jannik Christian

    2013-04-02

    An embodiment of a method of suspending a graphene membrane across a gap in a support structure includes attaching graphene to a substrate. A pre-fabricated support structure having the gap is attached to the graphene. The graphene and the pre-fabricated support structure are then separated from the substrate which leaves the graphene membrane suspended across the gap in the pre-fabricated support structure. An embodiment of a method of depositing material includes placing a support structure having a graphene membrane suspended across a gap under vacuum. A precursor is adsorbed to a surface of the graphene membrane. A portion of the graphene membrane is exposed to a focused electron beam which deposits a material from the precursor onto the graphene membrane. An embodiment of a graphene-based structure includes a support structure having a gap, a graphene membrane suspended across the gap, and a material deposited in a pattern on the graphene membrane.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  13. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-15

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-21

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

  16. The connection of cytoskeletal network with plasma membrane and the cell wall

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zengyu Liu; Staffan Persson; Yi Zhang

    2015-01-01

    The cell wall provides external support of the plant cells, while the cytoskeletons including the microtubules and the actin filaments constitute an internal framework. The cytoskeletons contribute to the cell wall biosynthesis by spatially and temporarily regulating the transportation and deposition of cell wall components. This tight control is achieved by the dynamic behavior of the cytoskeletons, but also through the tethering of these structures to the plasma membrane. This tethering may also extend beyond the plasma membrane and impact on the cell wall, possibly in the form of a feedback loop. In this review, we discuss the linking components between the cytoskeletons and the plasma membrane, and/or the cell wall. We also discuss the prospective roles of these components in cell wall biosyn-thesis and modifications, and aim to provide a platform for further studies in this field.

  17. Diagnostic tool for red blood cell membrane disorders: Assessment of a new generation ektacytometer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da Costa, Lydie; Suner, Ludovic; Galimand, Julie; Bonnel, Amandine; Pascreau, Tiffany; Couque, Nathalie; Fenneteau, Odile; Mohandas, Narla

    2016-01-01

    Inherited red blood cell (RBC) membrane disorders, such as hereditary spherocytosis, elliptocytosis and hereditary ovalocytosis, result from mutations in genes encoding various RBC membrane and skeletal proteins. The RBC membrane, a composite structure composed of a lipid bilayer linked to a spectrin/actin-based membrane skeleton, confers upon the RBC unique features of deformability and mechanical stability. The disease severity is primarily dependent on the extent of membrane surface area loss. RBC membrane disorders can be readily diagnosed by various laboratory approaches that include RBC cytology, flow cytometry, ektacytometry, electrophoresis of RBC membrane proteins and genetics. The reference technique for diagnosis of RBC membrane disorders is the osmotic gradient ektacytometry. However, in spite of its recognition as the reference technique, this technique is rarely used as a routine diagnosis tool for RBC membrane disorders due to its limited availability. This may soon change as a new generation of ektacytometer has been recently engineered. In this review, we describe the workflow of the samples shipped to our Hematology laboratory for RBC membrane disorder analysis and the data obtained for a large cohort of French patients presenting with RBC membrane disorders using a newly available version of the ektacytomer. PMID:26603718

  18. Nafion-layered silicate nanocomposite membrane for fuel cell application

    OpenAIRE

    Thomassin, Jean-Michel; Pagnoulle, Christophe; Bizzari, Didier; Caldarella, Giuseppe; Germain, Albert; Jérôme, Robert

    2004-01-01

    Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) using a proton exchange membrane as electrolyte is an attractive option for electricity generation. The most widely used membrane in the DMFC system is based on a perfluorinated polymer bearing sulfonic acid functions like Nafion®. The latter combines chemical, mechanical and thermal stability and high protonic conductivity but shows elevated methanol permeability. We propose the preparation of a novel type of hybrid membranes to tentatively solve this probl...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopman, Marjolein

    2006-01-01

    The cell plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells is a lipid bi-layer that separates the cell cytosol from the extracellular environment. The composition and organization of proteins and lipids within this bi-layer have a direct impact on many cellular processes, since they form the senses of the cell. T

  20. Phosphate Ions Affect the Water Structure at Functionalized Membrane Surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Aliyah; Imbrogno, Joseph; Belfort, Georges; Petersen, Poul B

    2016-09-01

    Antifouling surfaces improve function, efficiency, and safety in products such as water filtration membranes, marine vehicle coatings, and medical implants by resisting protein and biofilm adhesion. Understanding the role of water structure at these materials in preventing protein adhesion and biofilm formation is critical to designing more effective coatings. Such fouling experiments are typically performed under biological conditions using isotonic aqueous buffers. Previous studies have explored the structure of pure water at a few different antifouling surfaces, but the effect of electrolytes and ionic strength (I) on the water structure at antifouling surfaces is not well studied. Here sum frequency generation (SFG) spectroscopy is used to characterize the interfacial water structure at poly(ether sulfone) (PES) and two surface-modified PES films in contact with 0.01 M phosphate buffer with high and low salt (Ionic strength, I= 0.166 and 0.025 M, respectively). Unmodified PES, commonly used as a filtration membrane, and modified PES with a hydrophobic alkane (C18) and with a poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) were used. In the low ionic strength phosphate buffer, water was strongly ordered near the surface of the PEG-modified PES film due to exclusion of phosphate ions and the creation of a surface potential resulting from charge separation between phosphate anions and sodium cations. However, in the high ionic strength phosphate buffer, the sodium and potassium chloride (138 and 3 mM, respectively) in the phosphate buffered saline screened this charge and substantially reduced water ordering. A much smaller water ordering and subsequent reduction upon salt addition was observed for the C18-modified PES, and little water structure change was seen for the unmodified PES. The large difference in water structuring with increasing ionic strength between widely used phosphate buffer and phosphate buffered saline at the PEG interface demonstrates the importance of studying

  1. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedersen, Bjørn P; Buch-Pedersen, Morten J; Morth, J Preben; Palmgren, Michael G; Nissen, Poul

    2007-12-13

    A prerequisite for life is the ability to maintain electrochemical imbalances across biomembranes. In all eukaryotes the plasma membrane potential and secondary transport systems are energized by the activity of P-type ATPase membrane proteins: H+-ATPase (the proton pump) in plants and fungi, and Na+,K+-ATPase (the sodium-potassium pump) in animals. The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis. The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na+,K+-ATPase and Ca2+-ATPase are type II. Electron microscopy has revealed the overall shape of proton pumps, however, an atomic structure has been lacking. Here we present the first structure of a P-type proton pump determined by X-ray crystallography. Ten transmembrane helices and three cytoplasmic domains define the functional unit of ATP-coupled proton transport across the plasma membrane, and the structure is locked in a functional state not previously observed in P-type ATPases. The transmembrane domain reveals a large cavity, which is likely to be filled with water, located near the middle of the membrane plane where it is lined by conserved hydrophilic and charged residues. Proton transport against a high membrane potential is readily explained by this structural arrangement. PMID:18075595

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lelievre, Sophie A; Bissell, Mina J

    1998-10-21

    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.

  3. Ion induced changes in the structure of bordered pit membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jinkee; Holbrook, N Michele; Zwieniecki, Maciej A

    2012-01-01

    Ion-mediated changes in xylem hydraulic resistance are hypothesized to result from hydrogel like properties of pectins located in the bordered pit membranes separating adjacent xylem vessels. Although the kinetics of the ion-mediated changes in hydraulic resistance are consistent with the swelling/deswelling behavior of pectins, there is no direct evidence of this activity. In this report we use atomic force microscopy (AFM) to investigate structural changes in bordered pit membranes associated with changes in the ionic concentration of the surrounding solution. When submerged in de-ionized water, AFM revealed bordered pit membranes as relatively smooth, soft, and lacking any sharp edges surface, in contrast to pictures from scanning electron microscope (SEM) or AFM performed on air-dry material. Exposure of the bordered pit membranes to 50 mM KCl solution resulted in significant changes in both surface physical properties and elevation features. Specifically, bordered pit membranes became harder and the fiber edges were clearly visible. In addition, the membrane contracted and appeared much rougher due to exposed microfibers. In neither solution was there any evidence of discrete pores through the membrane whose dimensions were altered in response to the ionic composition of the surrounding solution. Instead the variable hydraulic resistance appears to involve changes in the both the permeability and the thickness of the pit membrane.

  4. 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)

    1999-08-01

    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.

  5. Membrane transport mechanism 3D structure and beyond

    CERN Document Server

    Ziegler, Christine

    2014-01-01

    This book provides a molecular view of membrane transport by means of numerous biochemical and biophysical techniques. The rapidly growing number of atomic structures of transporters in different conformations and the constant progress in bioinformatics have recently added deeper insights.   The unifying mechanism of energized solute transport across membranes is assumed to consist of the conformational cycling of a carrier protein to provide access to substrate binding sites from either side of a cellular membrane. Due to the central role of active membrane transport there is considerable interest in deciphering the principles of one of the most fundamental processes in nature: the alternating access mechanism.   This book brings together particularly significant structure-function studies on a variety of carrier systems from different transporter families: Glutamate symporters, LeuT-like fold transporters, MFS transporters and SMR (RND) exporters, as well as ABC-type importers.   The selected examples im...

  6. Ternary structure reveals mechanism of a membrane diacylglycerol kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dianfan; Stansfeld, Phillip J.; Sansom, Mark S. P.; Keogh, Aaron; Vogeley, Lutz; Howe, Nicole; Lyons, Joseph A.; Aragao, David; Fromme, Petra; Fromme, Raimund; Basu, Shibom; Grotjohann, Ingo; Kupitz, Christopher; Rendek, Kimberley; Weierstall, Uwe; Zatsepin, Nadia A.; Cherezov, Vadim; Liu, Wei; Bandaru, Sateesh; English, Niall J.; Gati, Cornelius; Barty, Anton; Yefanov, Oleksandr; Chapman, Henry N.; Diederichs, Kay; Messerschmidt, Marc; Boutet, Sébastien; Williams, Garth J.; Marvin Seibert, M.; Caffrey, Martin

    2015-12-01

    Diacylglycerol kinase catalyses the ATP-dependent conversion of diacylglycerol to phosphatidic acid in the plasma membrane of Escherichia coli. The small size of this integral membrane trimer, which has 121 residues per subunit, means that available protein must be used economically to craft three catalytic and substrate-binding sites centred about the membrane/cytosol interface. How nature has accomplished this extraordinary feat is revealed here in a crystal structure of the kinase captured as a ternary complex with bound lipid substrate and an ATP analogue. Residues, identified as essential for activity by mutagenesis, decorate the active site and are rationalized by the ternary structure. The γ-phosphate of the ATP analogue is positioned for direct transfer to the primary hydroxyl of the lipid whose acyl chain is in the membrane. A catalytic mechanism for this unique enzyme is proposed. The active site architecture shows clear evidence of having arisen by convergent evolution.

  7. BLEND MEMBRANES FOR DIRECT METHANOL AND PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Perurnal Bhavani; Dharmalingam Sangeetha

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  9. Gangliosides in cell recognition and membrane protein regulation

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Structural interactions of a voltage sensor toxin with lipid membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Mihailescu, Mihaela; Krepkiy, Dmitriy; Milescu, Mirela; Gawrisch, Klaus; Swartz, Kenton J.; White, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Tarantula venom contains protein toxins that interact with diverse families of ion channels and alter their activity. A number of tarantula toxins are known to interact with membranes and are thought to bind to ion channel proteins within the lipid bilayer. In the present study, we find that tarantula toxins influence the structure and dynamics of the lipid bilayer, and that the toxin orients itself within membranes to facilitate formation of the toxin–channel complexes. Our results have impl...

  11. Structure and Dynamic Properties of Membrane Proteins using NMR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rösner, Heike; Kragelund, Birthe

    2012-01-01

    conformational changes. Their structural and functional decoding is challenging and has imposed demanding experimental development. Solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the techniques providing the capacity to make a significant difference in the deciphering of the membrane protein...... structure-function paradigm. The method has evolved dramatically during the last decade resulting in a plethora of new experiments leading to a significant increase in the scientific repertoire for studying membrane proteins. Besides solving the three-dimensional structures using state-of-the-art approaches......-populated states, this review seeks to introduce the vast possibilities solution NMR can offer to the study of membrane protein structure-function analyses with special focus on applicability. © 2012 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 2:1491-1539, 2012....

  12. Class I Cytokine Receptors: Structure and function in the Membrane

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bugge, Katrine Østergaard

    of these challenging domains. Supplemented by a review of the current collection of TMD structures from single-pass transmembrane receptors, the thesis as a whole provides important insights on the structure and function in the membrane as well as highlight the open questions to be addressed in the years to come....... with a globular domain in combination with a membrane embedded domain and an intrinsically disordered domain is exceptionally challenging, this structure, along with data collected on the adjacent domains in isolation, was utilized to present the first full-length integrative structure of a class I cytokine......Class I cytokine receptors are involved in important biological functions of both physiological and pathological nature in mammals. However, the molecular details of the cross-membrane signal transduction through these receptors remain obscure. One of the major reasons for this is the lack...

  13. Interplay between structure and relaxations in perfluorosulfonic acid proton conducting membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giffin, Guinevere A; Haugen, Gregory M; Hamrock, Steven J; Di Noto, Vito

    2013-01-16

    This study focuses on changes in the structure of ionomer membranes, provided by the 3M Fuel Cells Component Group, as a function of the equivalent weight (EW) and the relationship between the structure and the properties of the membrane. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction results showed evidence of both non-crystalline and crystalline ordered hydrophobic regions in all the EW membranes except the 700 EW membrane. The spectral changes evident in the vibrational spectra of the 3M membranes can be associated with two major phenomena: (1) dissociation of the proton from the sulfonic acid groups even in the presence of small amounts of water; and (2) changes in the conformation or the degree of crystallinity of the poly(tetrafluoroethylene) hydrophobic domains both as a function of EW and membrane water content. All the membranes, regardless of EW, are thermally stable up to 360 °C. The wet membranes have conductivities between 7 and 20 mS/cm at 125 °C. In this condition, the conductivity values follow VTF behavior, which suggests that the proton migration occurs via proton exchange processes between delocalization bodies (DBs) that are facilitated by the dynamics of the host polymer. The conductivity along the interface between the hydrophobic and hydrophilic domains makes a larger contribution in the smaller EW membranes likely due to the existence of a greater number of interfaces in the membrane. The larger crystalline domains present in the higher EW membranes provide percolation pathways for charge migration between DBs, which reduces the probability of charge transfer along the interface. Therefore, at higher EWs although there is charge migration along the interface within the hydrophobic-hydrophilic domains, the exchange of protons between different DBs is likely the rate-limiting step of the overall conduction process. PMID:23249300

  14. A beam-membrane structure micromachined differential pressure flow sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, P; Zhao, Y L; Tian, B; Li, C; Li, Y Y

    2015-04-01

    A beam-membrane structure micromachined flow sensor is designed, depending on the principle of differential pressure caused by the mass flow, which is directly proportional to the square flow rate. The FSI (fluid structure interaction) characteristics of the differential pressure flow sensor are investigated via numerical analysis and analog simulation. The working mechanism of the flow sensor is analyzed depending on the FSI results. Then, the flow sensor is fabricated and calibrated. The calibration results show that the beam-membrane structure differential pressure flow sensor achieves ideal static characteristics and works well in the practical applications.

  15. Biocompatibility of nanometre scale porous anodic aluminium oxide membranes towards the RK 13 epithelial cell line: A preliminary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G and eacute;rrard Eddy Jai Poinern

    2015-07-01

    Results: Cell proliferation over a 48 h period indicated that the AAO membranes were more than comparable with the glass control substrates. Subsequent microscopy observations revealed evidence of focal adhesion sites and cellular extensions interacting with the underlining porous membrane surface structure. Conclusions: The study has shown that AAO membranes have the potential to culture RK-13 cells and indicate a possible tissue engineering technique for producing tissues. [Int J Res Med Sci 2015; 3(7.000: 1583-1588

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laible, Philip D; Hanson, Deborah K

    2013-06-04

    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.

  17. Use of reverse micelles in membrane protein structural biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Horn, Wade D. [Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Center for Structural Biology (United States); Ogilvie, Mark E.; Flynn, Peter F. [University of Utah, Department of Chemistry (United States)], E-mail: peter.flynn@utah.edu

    2008-03-15

    Membrane protein structural biology is a rapidly developing field with fundamental importance for elucidating key biological and biophysical processes including signal transduction, intercellular communication, and cellular transport. In addition to the intrinsic interest in this area of research, structural studies of membrane proteins have direct significance on the development of therapeutics that impact human health in diverse and important ways. In this article we demonstrate the potential of investigating the structure of membrane proteins using the reverse micelle forming surfactant dioctyl sulfosuccinate (AOT) in application to the prototypical model ion channel gramicidin A. Reverse micelles are surfactant based nanoparticles which have been employed to investigate fundamental physical properties of biomolecules. The results of this solution NMR based study indicate that the AOT reverse micelle system is capable of refolding and stabilizing relatively high concentrations of the native conformation of gramicidin A. Importantly, pulsed-field-gradient NMR diffusion and NOESY experiments reveal stable gramicidin A homodimer interactions that bridge reverse micelle particles. The spectroscopic benefit of reverse micelle-membrane protein solubilization is also explored, and significant enhancement over commonly used micelle based mimetic systems is demonstrated. These results establish the effectiveness of reverse micelle based studies of membrane proteins, and illustrate that membrane proteins solubilized by reverse micelles are compatible with high resolution solution NMR techniques.

  18. Heat stress causes spatially-distinct membrane re-modelling in K562 leukemia cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gábor Balogh

    Full Text Available Cellular membranes respond rapidly to various environmental perturbations. Previously we showed that modulations in membrane fluidity achieved by heat stress (HS resulted in pronounced membrane organization alterations which could be intimately linked to the expression and cellular distribution of heat shock proteins. Here we examine heat-induced membrane changes using several visualisation methods. With Laurdan two-photon microscopy we demonstrate that, in contrast to the enhanced formation of ordered domains in surface membranes, the molecular disorder is significantly elevated within the internal membranes of cells preexposed to mild HS. These results were compared with those obtained by anisotropy, fluorescence lifetime and electron paramagnetic resonance measurements. All probes detected membrane changes upon HS. However, the structurally different probes revealed substantially distinct alterations in membrane heterogeneity. These data call attention to the careful interpretation of results obtained with only a single label. Subtle changes in membrane microstructure in the decision-making of thermal cell killing could have potential application in cancer therapy.

  19. Novel Membrane for Highly Efficient Fuel Cells Project

    Data.gov (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...

  20. Novel High Temperature Membrane for PEM Fuel Cells Project

    Data.gov (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...

  1. Challenges in structural approaches to cell modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Im, Wonpil; Liang, Jie; Olson, Arthur; Zhou, Huan-Xiang; Vajda, Sandor; Vakser, Ilya A

    2016-07-31

    Computational modeling is essential for structural characterization of biomolecular mechanisms across the broad spectrum of scales. Adequate understanding of biomolecular mechanisms inherently involves our ability to model them. Structural modeling of individual biomolecules and their interactions has been rapidly progressing. However, in terms of the broader picture, the focus is shifting toward larger systems, up to the level of a cell. Such modeling involves a more dynamic and realistic representation of the interactomes in vivo, in a crowded cellular environment, as well as membranes and membrane proteins, and other cellular components. Structural modeling of a cell complements computational approaches to cellular mechanisms based on differential equations, graph models, and other techniques to model biological networks, imaging data, etc. Structural modeling along with other computational and experimental approaches will provide a fundamental understanding of life at the molecular level and lead to important applications to biology and medicine. A cross section of diverse approaches presented in this review illustrates the developing shift from the structural modeling of individual molecules to that of cell biology. Studies in several related areas are covered: biological networks; automated construction of three-dimensional cell models using experimental data; modeling of protein complexes; prediction of non-specific and transient protein interactions; thermodynamic and kinetic effects of crowding; cellular membrane modeling; and modeling of chromosomes. The review presents an expert opinion on the current state-of-the-art in these various aspects of structural modeling in cellular biology, and the prospects of future developments in this emerging field.

  2. Discovery of novel membrane binding structures and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kufareva, Irina; Lenoir, Marc; Dancea, Felician; Sridhar, Pooja; Raush, Eugene; Bissig, Christin; Gruenberg, Jean; Abagyan, Ruben; Overduin, Michael

    2014-12-01

    The function of a protein is determined by its intrinsic activity in the context of its subcellular distribution. Membranes localize proteins within cellular compartments and govern their specific activities. Discovering such membrane-protein interactions is important for understanding biological mechanisms and could uncover novel sites for therapeutic intervention. We present a method for detecting membrane interactive proteins and their exposed residues that insert into lipid bilayers. Although the development process involved analysis of how C1b, C2, ENTH, FYVE, Gla, pleckstrin homology (PH), and PX domains bind membranes, the resulting membrane optimal docking area (MODA) method yields predictions for a given protein of known three-dimensional structures without referring to canonical membrane-targeting modules. This approach was tested on the Arf1 GTPase, ATF2 acetyltransferase, von Willebrand factor A3 domain, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae MsrB protein and further refined with membrane interactive and non-interactive FAPP1 and PKD1 pleckstrin homology domains, respectively. Furthermore we demonstrate how this tool can be used to discover unprecedented membrane binding functions as illustrated by the Bro1 domain of Alix, which was revealed to recognize lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA). Validation of novel membrane-protein interactions relies on other techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), which was used here to map the sites of micelle interaction. Together this indicates that genome-wide identification of known and novel membrane interactive proteins and sites is now feasible and provides a new tool for functional annotation of the proteome. PMID:25394204

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-29

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jodie Lopez

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Effects of anodic aluminum oxide membrane on performance of nanostructured solar cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Hongmei; Singh, Vijay

    2015-05-01

    Three nanowire solar cell device configurations have been fabricated to demonstrate the effects of the host anodized aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane on device performance. The three configurations show similar transmittance spectra, indicating that AAO membrane has negligible optical absorption. Power conversion efficiency (PCE) of the device is studied as a function of the carrier transport and collection in cell structures with and without AAO membrane. Free standing nanowire solar cells exhibit PCE of 9.9%. Through inclusion of AAO in solar cell structure, interface defects and traps caused by humidity and oxygen are reduced, and direct contact of CdTe tentacles with SnO2 and formation of micro shunt shorts are prevented; hence PCE is improved to 11.1%-11.3%. Partially embedded nanowire solar cells further reduce influence of non-ideal and non-uniform nanowire growth and generate a large amount of carriers in axial direction and also a small quantity of carriers in lateral direction, thus becoming a promising solar cell structure. Thus, including AAO membrane in solar cell structure provides favorable electro-optical properties as well as mechanical advantages.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Suppression of fluid membrane fluctuations by a periodic pinning potential: Applications to red blood cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henle, Mark L.; Levine, Alex J.

    2009-03-01

    The membrane of the red blood cell (RBC) is tethered to a two- dimensional triangular network of semi-flexible elastic spectrin filaments. This network allows the cell to maintain its structural integrity during the large shape deformations that occur as it circulates through the microvasculature. The lipid membrane is anchored to the spectrin filaments at the nodes of the network. Consequently, these attachments impose a two-dimensional periodic pinning potential upon the membrane. In this talk, we investigate the effect of this pinning potential on the thermal bending fluctuations of the membrane. We show that there is an exact mapping of this system onto the classic problem of non-interacting electrons subject to a periodic potential; we exploit this mapping to obtain an exact analytic solution for a defect-free triangular array of harmonic pinning sites. The pinning potential affects both the local and global structure of the bending fluctuations. To investigate the local structure we consider the bending correlations between two nearby points in the membrane, while for the global structure we consider the total area stored in the fluctuations. We also investigate the effective area modulus of the membrane/spectrin composite structure.

  9. The bacteriophage ϕ29 tail possesses a pore-forming loop for cell membrane penetration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jingwei; Gui, Miao; Wang, Dianhong; Xiang, Ye

    2016-06-23

    Most bacteriophages are tailed bacteriophages with an isometric or a prolate head attached to a long contractile, long non-contractile, or short non-contractile tail. The tail is a complex machine that plays a central role in host cell recognition and attachment, cell wall and membrane penetration, and viral genome ejection. The mechanisms involved in the penetration of the inner host cell membrane by bacteriophage tails are not well understood. Here we describe structural and functional studies of the bacteriophage ϕ29 tail knob protein gene product 9 (gp9). The 2.0 Å crystal structure of gp9 shows that six gp9 molecules form a hexameric tube structure with six flexible hydrophobic loops blocking one end of the tube before DNA ejection. Sequence and structural analyses suggest that the loops in the tube could be membrane active. Further biochemical assays and electron microscopy structural analyses show that the six hydrophobic loops in the tube exit upon DNA ejection and form a channel that spans the lipid bilayer of the membrane and allows the release of the bacteriophage genomic DNA, suggesting that cell membrane penetration involves a pore-forming mechanism similar to that of certain non-enveloped eukaryotic viruses. A search of other phage tail proteins identified similar hydrophobic loops, which indicates that a common mechanism might be used for membrane penetration by prokaryotic viruses. These findings suggest that although prokaryotic and eukaryotic viruses use apparently very different mechanisms for infection, they have evolved similar mechanisms for breaching the cell membrane. PMID:27309813

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon W Fogarty

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  12. The full-length cell-cell fusogen EFF-1 is monomeric and upright on the membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeev-Ben-Mordehai, Tzviya; Vasishtan, Daven; Siebert, C. Alistair; Grünewald, Kay

    2014-05-01

    Fusogens are membrane proteins that remodel lipid bilayers to facilitate membrane merging. Although several fusogen ectodomain structures have been solved, structural information on full-length, natively membrane-anchored fusogens is scarce. Here we present the electron cryo microscopy three-dimensional reconstruction of the Caenorhabditis elegans epithelial fusion failure 1 (EFF-1) protein natively anchored in cell-derived membrane vesicles. This reveals a membrane protruding, asymmetric, elongated monomer. Flexible fitting of a protomer of the EFF-1 crystal structure, which is homologous to viral class-II fusion proteins, shows that EFF-1 has a hairpin monomeric conformation before fusion. These structural insights, when combined with our observations of membrane-merging intermediates between vesicles, enable us to propose a model for EFF-1 mediated fusion. This process, involving identical proteins on both membranes to be fused, follows a mechanism that shares features of SNARE-mediated fusion while using the structural building blocks of the unilaterally acting class-II viral fusion proteins.

  13. Sustained Epigenetic Drug Delivery Depletes Cholesterol-Sphingomyelin Rafts from Resistant Breast Cancer Cells, Influencing Biophysical Characteristics of Membrane Lipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghavan, Vijay; Vijayaraghavalu, Sivakumar; Peetla, Chiranjeevi; Yamada, Masayoshi; Morisada, Megan; Labhasetwar, Vinod

    2015-10-27

    Cell-membrane lipid composition can greatly influence biophysical properties of cell membranes, affecting various cellular functions. We previously showed that lipid synthesis becomes altered in the membranes of resistant breast cancer cells (MCF-7/ADR); they form a more rigid, hydrophobic lipid monolayer than do sensitive cell membranes (MCF-7). These changes in membrane lipids of resistant cells, attributed to epigenetic aberration, significantly affected drug transport and endocytic function, thus impacting the efficacy of anticancer drugs. The present study's objective was to determine the effects of the epigenetic drug, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC), delivered in sustained-release nanogels (DAC-NGs), on the composition and biophysical properties of membrane lipids of resistant cells. Resistant and sensitive cells were treated with DAC in solution (DAC-sol) or DAC-NGs, and cell-membrane lipids were isolated and analyzed for lipid composition and biophysical properties. In resistant cells, we found increased formation of cholesterol-sphingomyelin (CHOL-SM) rafts with culturing time, whereas DAC treatment reduced their formation. In general, the effect of DAC-NGs was greater in changing the lipid composition than with DAC-sol. DAC treatment also caused a rise in levels of certain phospholipids and neutral lipids known to increase membrane fluidity, while reducing the levels of certain lipids known to increase membrane rigidity. Isotherm data showed increased lipid membrane fluidity following DAC treatment, attributed to decrease levels of CHOL-SM rafts (lamellar beta [Lβ] structures or ordered gel) and a corresponding increase in lipids that form lamellar alpha-structures (Lα, liquid crystalline phase). Sensitive cells showed marginal or insignificant changes in lipid profile following DAC-treatment, suggesting that epigenetic changes affecting lipid biosynthesis are more specific to resistant cells. Since membrane fluidity plays a major role in drug transport

  14. Sustained Epigenetic Drug Delivery Depletes Cholesterol-Sphingomyelin Rafts from Resistant Breast Cancer Cells, Influencing Biophysical Characteristics of Membrane Lipids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghavan, Vijay; Vijayaraghavalu, Sivakumar; Peetla, Chiranjeevi; Yamada, Masayoshi; Morisada, Megan; Labhasetwar, Vinod

    2015-10-27

    Cell-membrane lipid composition can greatly influence biophysical properties of cell membranes, affecting various cellular functions. We previously showed that lipid synthesis becomes altered in the membranes of resistant breast cancer cells (MCF-7/ADR); they form a more rigid, hydrophobic lipid monolayer than do sensitive cell membranes (MCF-7). These changes in membrane lipids of resistant cells, attributed to epigenetic aberration, significantly affected drug transport and endocytic function, thus impacting the efficacy of anticancer drugs. The present study's objective was to determine the effects of the epigenetic drug, 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (DAC), delivered in sustained-release nanogels (DAC-NGs), on the composition and biophysical properties of membrane lipids of resistant cells. Resistant and sensitive cells were treated with DAC in solution (DAC-sol) or DAC-NGs, and cell-membrane lipids were isolated and analyzed for lipid composition and biophysical properties. In resistant cells, we found increased formation of cholesterol-sphingomyelin (CHOL-SM) rafts with culturing time, whereas DAC treatment reduced their formation. In general, the effect of DAC-NGs was greater in changing the lipid composition than with DAC-sol. DAC treatment also caused a rise in levels of certain phospholipids and neutral lipids known to increase membrane fluidity, while reducing the levels of certain lipids known to increase membrane rigidity. Isotherm data showed increased lipid membrane fluidity following DAC treatment, attributed to decrease levels of CHOL-SM rafts (lamellar beta [Lβ] structures or ordered gel) and a corresponding increase in lipids that form lamellar alpha-structures (Lα, liquid crystalline phase). Sensitive cells showed marginal or insignificant changes in lipid profile following DAC-treatment, suggesting that epigenetic changes affecting lipid biosynthesis are more specific to resistant cells. Since membrane fluidity plays a major role in drug transport

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

    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...... very rapidly, within seconds. At a molar ratio of anandamide to BSA of...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Song-Bin Huang

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Single-cell electrical properties (e.g., specific membrane capacitance (Cspecific membrane and cytoplasm conductivity (σcytoplasm have been regarded as potential label-free biophysical markers for the evaluation of cellular status. However, whether there exist correlations between these biophysical markers and cellular status (e.g., membrane-associate protein expression is still unknown. To further validate the utility of single-cell electrical properties in cell type classification, Cspecific membrane and σcytoplasm of single PC-3 cells with membrane staining and/or fixation were analyzed and compared in this study. Four subtypes of PC-3 cells were prepared: untreated PC-3 cells, PC-3 cells with anti-EpCAM staining, PC-3 cells with fixation, and fixed PC-3 cells with anti-EpCAM staining. In experiments, suspended single cells were aspirated through microfluidic constriction channels with raw impedance data quantified and translated to Cspecific membrane and σcytoplasm. As to experimental results, significant differences in Cspecific membrane were observed for both live and fixed PC-3 cells with and without membrane staining, indicating that membrane staining proteins can contribute to electrical properties of cellular membranes. In addition, a significant decrease in σcytoplasm was located for PC-3 cells with and without fixation, suggesting that cytoplasm protein crosslinking during the fixation process can alter the cytoplasm conductivity. Overall, we have demonstrated how to classify single cells based on cellular electrical properties.

  17. Structural correlates of rotavirus cell entry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliaa H Abdelhakim

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Cell entry by non-enveloped viruses requires translocation into the cytosol of a macromolecular complex--for double-strand RNA viruses, a complete subviral particle. We have used live-cell fluorescence imaging to follow rotavirus entry and penetration into the cytosol of its ∼ 700 Å inner capsid particle ("double-layered particle", DLP. We label with distinct fluorescent tags the DLP and each of the two outer-layer proteins and track the fates of each species as the particles bind and enter BSC-1 cells. Virions attach to their glycolipid receptors in the host cell membrane and rapidly become inaccessible to externally added agents; most particles that release their DLP into the cytosol have done so by ∼ 10 minutes, as detected by rapid diffusional motion of the DLP away from residual outer-layer proteins. Electron microscopy shows images of particles at various stages of engulfment into tightly fitting membrane invaginations, consistent with the interpretation that rotavirus particles drive their own uptake. Electron cryotomography of membrane-bound virions also shows closely wrapped membrane. Combined with high resolution structural information about the viral components, these observations suggest a molecular model for membrane disruption and DLP penetration.

  18. Functional expression of mammalian receptors and membrane channels in different cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eifler, Nora; Duckely, Myriam; Sumanovski, Lazar T; Egan, Terrance M; Oksche, Alexander; Konopka, James B; Lüthi, Anita; Engel, Andreas; Werten, Paul J L

    2007-08-01

    In native tissues, the majority of medically important membrane proteins is only present at low concentrations, making their overexpression in recombinant systems a prerequisite for structural studies. Here, we explore the commonly used eukaryotic expression systems-yeast, baculovirus/insect cells (Sf9) and Semliki Forest Virus (SFV)/mammalian cells-for the expression of seven different eukaryotic membrane proteins from a variety of protein families. The expression levels, quality, biological activity, localization and solubility of all expressed proteins are compared in order to identify the advantages of one system over the other. SFV-transfected mammalian cell lines provide the closest to native environment for the expression of mammalian membrane proteins, and they exhibited the best overall performance. But depending on the protein, baculovirus-infected Sf9 cells performed almost as well as mammalian cells. The lowest expression levels for the proteins tested here were obtained in yeast.

  19. Deformation of wrinkled membrane inflatable structures under concentrated loads

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Chang-guo; DU Xing-wen; WAN Zhi-min; HE Xiao-dong

    2008-01-01

    The axisymmetric deformation of a paraboloidal membrane inflatable structure subjected to a concentrated load at its apex and a uniform intemal pressure was analyzed.The wrinkle angle was obtained according to the membrane theory when wrinkles appeared and determined the wrinkle region.The wrinkled deformation was obtained based on the relaxed energy function.The effects of inflation pressure and concentrated loads on the wrinkle ansle were analyzed and the deformation Was obtained at the apex of structure.According to the numerical analysis,the shape of deformed meridians with wrinkles Was obtained.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Structure and functions of simple membrane-water interfaces. [Abstract only

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, A.; Wilson, M. A.

    1994-01-01

    The structure and functions of the earliest ancestors of contemporary cells are focal points in studies of the origin of life. Probably the first cell-like structures were vesicles - closed, spheroidal structures with aqueous medium trapped inside. The membranous walls of vesicles were most likely bilayers composed of simple amphiphilic material available on early earth. The membrane studied was composed of glycerol 1-monooleate (GMO). Glycerol forms the polar head group and the oily tail contains 18 carbon atoms. All head groups have been found to be located in two narrow regions at the interfaces with water. The membrane interior, formed by the hydrophobic tails, is quite fluid with chain disorder increasing towards the center of the bilayer. These results are in agreement with x-ray and neutron scattering data from related bilayers. The width of the membrane is not constant, but fluctuates in time and space. Occasional thinning defects in the membrane, observed during the course of the simulations, may have a significant influence on rates of passive transport of small molecules across membranes. It has been found that water penetrates the head group region but not the oily interior of the membrane. Water molecules near the interface are oriented by dipoles of the head groups. The resulting electrostatic potential across the interface, determined in our simulations, has been found to be markedly larger than across the water-oil interface. This quantity has been implicated as the source of selectivity, with respect to the sign of the charge, as an ion approaches the interface and during transport of hydrophobic ions across membranes.

  2. Plasma membrane and cytoskeleton dynamics during single-cell wound healing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucher, Eric; Mandato, Craig A

    2015-10-01

    Wounding leads not only to plasma membrane disruption, but also to compromised cytoskeleton structures. This results not only in unwarranted exchanges between the cytosol and extracellular milieu, but also in loss of tensegrity, which may further endanger the cell. Tensegrity can be described as the interplay between the tensile forces generated by the apparent membrane tension, actomyosin contraction, and the cytoskeletal structures resisting those changes (e.g., microtubules). It is responsible for the structural integrity of the cell and for its ability to sense mechanical signals. Recent reviews dealing with single-cell healing mostly focused on the molecular machineries controlling the traffic and fusion of specific vesicles, or their role in different pathologies. In this review, we aim to take a broader view of the different modes of single cell repair, while focussing on the different ways the changes in plasmalemma surface area and composition, plasmalemma tension, and cytoskeletal dynamics may influence and affect single-cell repair. PMID:26209916

  3. Pulse radiolysis studies of model membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this thesis the influence of the structure of membranes on the processes in cell membranes were examined. Different models of the membranes were evaluated. Pulse radiolysis was used as the technique to examine the membranes. (R.B.)

  4. Effect of heat treatment on the activity and stability of PtCo/C catalyst and application of in-situ X-ray absorption near edge structure for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Rui; Zhao, Tiantian; Shang, Mingfeng; Wang, Jianqiang; Tang, Wenchao; Guterman, Vladimir E.; Ma, Jianxin

    2015-10-01

    For the purpose of reducing the cost and improving the performance of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), some low-Pt or non-Pt catalysts have been studied in recent years. PtCo/C electrocatalysts are synthesized by a two-step reduction approach followed by the heat treatment. PtCo metal particles are uniformly dispersed on the surface of XC-72 carbon support, with a uniform particle size distribution. The PtCo/C catalyst after 400 °C heat treatment has the best electrochemical performance among the as-prepared catalysts, even superior to the commercial Pt/C catalyst. In the durability test, PtCo/C-400 also shows excellent stability with only 6.9% decline of electrochemical surface area (ECSA) after 1000 cyclic voltammetry (CV) cycles. In-situ X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) technique is conducted to explore the nanostructure change of Pt during the PEMFC operation. For PtCo/C catalyst, with the fuel cell operation potential decreasing from open circuit voltage (OCV) to 0.3 V, the Pt L3 white line intensity decreases continuously, indicating the decline of Pt 5d-vacancy due to the adsorption of oxygenated species.

  5. Structural lipid changes and NKA activity of gill cells´ basolateral membranes as response to increasing salinity and atrazine stressors in sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus, L. juveniles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria João Lança

    2015-12-01

    Modulation of BLM lipids associated with NKA activity seems to be the strategy adopted by gill cells of juveniles to compensate for osmotic and ionic stressors and for contact/resistance to ATZ exposure.

  6. Characterization of a structural intermediate of flavivirus membrane fusion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Stiasny

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Viral membrane fusion proceeds through a sequence of steps that are driven by triggered conformational changes of viral envelope glycoproteins, so-called fusion proteins. Although high-resolution structural snapshots of viral fusion proteins in their prefusion and postfusion conformations are available, it has been difficult to define intermediate structures of the fusion pathway because of their transient nature. Flaviviruses possess a class II viral fusion protein (E mediating fusion at acidic pH that is converted from a dimer to a trimer with a hairpin-like structure during the fusion process. Here we show for tick-borne encephalitis virus that exposure of virions to alkaline instead of acidic pH traps the particles in an intermediate conformation in which the E dimers dissociate and interact with target membranes via the fusion peptide without proceeding to the merger of the membranes. Further treatment to low pH, however, leads to fusion, suggesting that these monomers correspond to an as-yet-elusive intermediate required to convert the prefusion dimer into the postfusion trimer. Thus, the use of nonphysiological conditions allows a dissection of the flavivirus fusion process and the identification of two separate steps, in which membrane insertion of multiple copies of E monomers precedes the formation of hairpin-like trimers. This sequence of events provides important new insights for understanding the dynamic process of viral membrane fusion.

  7. Chitosan and polycaprolactone membranes patterned via electrospinning: effect of underlying chemistry and pattern characteristics on epithelial/fibroblastic cell behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simşek, Murat; Capkın, Merve; Karakeçili, Ayşe; Gümüşderelioğlu, Menemşe

    2012-12-01

    Electrospinning was used as an effective route to pattern chitosan (CS) and polycaprolactone (PCL) membranes with submicron fibers having different chemical structure (PCL or PCL/collagen) and physical characteristics (size: between ≈200 and 550 nm; randomly oriented or aligned form). While the PCL fibers with diameters in the same range (≈200 nm) were patterned on both of CS and PCL membranes to evaluate the influence of the underlying membrane chemistry, only CS membranes were patterned with PCL fibers having different sizes simply by changing the electrospinning conditions to investigate the effects of pattern characteristics. Furthermore, collagen was added to the PCL fiber structure to change the chemical composition of the fibers in a cell-attractive way. Two cell lines with different morphologies, fibroblastic MC3T3-E1 preosteoblasts and epithelial Madine Darby Bovine Kidney (MDBK) cells, were cultured on the patterned membranes. The observation of cellular behavior in terms of cell morphology and F-actin synthesis was realized by scanning electron microscopy and confocal microscopy analysis during the first 12 h of culture period. The viability of cells was controlled by MTT assay through 96 h of cell culture. The cell culture studies indicated that the leading aspect for the morphology change on patterned membranes was the fiber orientation. The aligned topography controlled the morphology of cells both on CS and PCL membranes. In the presence of collagen in the fiber structure, F-actin filament synthesis increased for MC3T3-E1 and MDBK cell lines.

  8. Structuring detergents for extracting and stabilizing functional membrane proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rima Matar-Merheb

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Membrane proteins are privileged pharmaceutical targets for which the development of structure-based drug design is challenging. One underlying reason is the fact that detergents do not stabilize membrane domains as efficiently as natural lipids in membranes, often leading to a partial to complete loss of activity/stability during protein extraction and purification and preventing crystallization in an active conformation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Anionic calix[4]arene based detergents (C4Cn, n=1-12 were designed to structure the membrane domains through hydrophobic interactions and a network of salt bridges with the basic residues found at the cytosol-membrane interface of membrane proteins. These compounds behave as surfactants, forming micelles of 5-24 nm, with the critical micellar concentration (CMC being as expected sensitive to pH ranging from 0.05 to 1.5 mM. Both by 1H NMR titration and Surface Tension titration experiments, the interaction of these molecules with the basic amino acids was confirmed. They extract membrane proteins from different origins behaving as mild detergents, leading to partial extraction in some cases. They also retain protein functionality, as shown for BmrA (Bacillus multidrug resistance ATP protein, a membrane multidrug-transporting ATPase, which is particularly sensitive to detergent extraction. These new detergents allow BmrA to bind daunorubicin with a Kd of 12 µM, a value similar to that observed after purification using dodecyl maltoside (DDM. They preserve the ATPase activity of BmrA (which resets the protein to its initial state after drug efflux much more efficiently than SDS (sodium dodecyl sulphate, FC12 (Foscholine 12 or DDM. They also maintain in a functional state the C4Cn-extracted protein upon detergent exchange with FC12. Finally, they promote 3D-crystallization of the membrane protein. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These compounds seem promising to extract in a functional state

  9. Structural investigation of membrane proteins by electron microscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moscicka, Katarzyna Beata

    2009-01-01

    Biological membranes are vital components of all living systems, forming the boundaries of cells and their organelles. They consist of a lipid bilayer and embedded proteins, which are nanomachines that fulfill key functions such as energy conversion, solute transport, secretion, and signal transduct

  10. Cell membrane integrity in myotonic dystrophy type 1: implications for therapy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anchel González-Barriga

    Full Text Available Myotonic Dystrophy type 1 (DM1 is a multisystemic disease caused by toxic RNA from a DMPK gene carrying an expanded (CTG•CAGn repeat. Promising strategies for treatment of DM1 patients are currently being tested. These include antisense oligonucleotides and drugs for elimination of expanded RNA or prevention of aberrant binding to RNP proteins. A significant hurdle for preclinical development along these lines is efficient systemic delivery of compounds across endothelial and target cell membranes. It has been reported that DM1 patients show elevated levels of markers of muscle damage or loss of sarcolemmal integrity in their serum and that splicing of dystrophin, an essential protein for muscle membrane structure, is abnormal. Therefore, we studied cell membrane integrity in DM1 mouse models commonly used for preclinical testing. We found that membranes in skeletal muscle, heart and brain were impermeable to Evans Blue Dye. Creatine kinase levels in serum were similar to those in wild type mice and expression of dystrophin protein was unaffected. Also in patient muscle biopsies cell surface expression of dystrophin was normal and calcium-positive fibers, indicating elevated intracellular calcium levels, were only rarely seen. Combined, our findings indicate that cells in DM1 tissues do not display compromised membrane integrity. Hence, the cell membrane is a barrier that must be overcome in future work towards effective drug delivery in DM1 therapy.

  11. Composite membranes based on a novel benzimidazole grafted PEEK and SPEEK for fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Hongtao; Zhang, Gang; Ma, Wenjia; Zhao, Chengji; Zhang, Yang; Han, Miaomiao; Zhu, Jing; Liu, Zhongguo; Wu, Jing; Na, Hui [Alan G MacDiarmid Institute, College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun 130012 (China)

    2010-10-15

    Poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK) and sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK, IEC = 2.07 mequiv.g{sup -1}) have been synthesized via nucleophilic aromatic substitution reaction. Bromomethylated poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK-Br) is then prepared and reacted with 2-benzimidazolethiol to obtain the benzimidazole grafted poly(ether ether ketone) (PEEK-BI). The structures of PEEK-Br and PEEK-BI are characterized by {sup 1}H NMR spectra. Composite membranes based on SPEEK and PEEK-BI are prepared and their properties used for fuel cells are studied in detail. The results show that the composite membranes exhibit greatly improved mechanical properties as well as reduced water uptake and methanol permeability compared with the pristine SPEEK membrane. The increased oxidative stability and selectivity indicate that the composite membranes are promising to be used as proton exchange membranes. (author)

  12. FATE OF REVERSE OSMOSIS (RO) MEMBRANES DURING OXIDATION BY DISINFECTANTS USED IN WATER TREATMENT: IMPACT ON MEMBRANE STRUCTURE AND PERFORMANCES

    KAUST Repository

    Maugin, Thomas

    2013-12-01

    Providing pretreatment prior RO filtration is essential to avoid biofouling and subsequent loss of membrane performances. Chlorine is known to degrade polymeric membrane, improving or reducing membrane efficiency depending on oxidation conditions. This study aimed to assess the impact of alternative disinfectant, NH2Cl, as well as secondary oxidants formed during chloramination of seawater, e.g. HOBr, HOI, or used in water treatment e.g. ClO2, O3, on membrane structure and performances. Permeability, total and specific rejection (Cl-, SO4 2-, Br-, Boron), FTIR profile, elemental composition were analyzed. Results showed that each oxidant seems to react differently with the membrane. HOCl, HOBr, ClO2 and O3 improved membrane permeability but decreased rejection in different extent. In comparison, chloramines resulted in identical trends but oxidized membrane very slowly. On the contrary, iodine improved membrane rejection e.g. boron, but decreased permeability. Reaction conducted with chlorine, bromine, iodine and chloramines resulted in the incorporation of halogen in the membrane structure. All oxidant except iodine were able to break amide bonds of the membrane structure in our condition. In addition, chloramine seemed to react with membrane differently, involving a potential addition of nitrogen. Chloramination of seawater amplified membrane performances evolutions due to generation of bromochloramine. Moreover, chloramines reacted both with NOM and membrane during oxidation in natural seawater, leading to additional rejection drop.

  13. Structure and Function of HAMLET: Epitopes, Membrane Interactions and Molecular Recognition

    OpenAIRE

    Ho, Chin Shing

    2014-01-01

    HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumor cells) is a complex of partially unfolded human alpha-lactalbumin and oleic acid that kills many different types of tumor cells and shows therapeutic efficacy in animal models and clinical studies. This thesis aims to (1) elucidate the structure of HAMLET and the exposure of biologically active domains, (2) define the contribution of lipids to the tumoricidal effect of HAMLET, (3) characterize the membranes response to HAMLET and the pertur...

  14. Towards structural and functional analysis of the plant plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justesen, Bo Højen

    of plasma membrane H+-ATPases. Studies on the plasma membrane H+-ATPases have involved both in vivo and in vitro approaches, with the latter employing either solubilisation by detergent micelles, or reconstitution into lipid vesicles. Despite resulting in a large body of information on structure, function...... into soluble nanoscale lipid bilayers, also termed nanodiscs. Extensive analysis confirms the correct assembly and reconstitution of active proton pump into nanodiscs. The pump inserts as a monomer, which through activity analysis confirms this as the minimal functional unit of the plasma membrane H......The plasma membrane H+-ATPase is a proton pump essential for several physiological important processes in plants. Through the extrusion of protons from the cell, the PM H+-ATPase establishes and maintains a proton gradient used by proton coupled transporters and secondary active transport...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1994-01-01

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

  16. 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;

    2010-01-01

    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 in ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Polybenzimidazole (PBI) with a high molecular weight of 69,000 was first synthesized. It was afterwards grafted with benzimidazole pendant groups on the backbones. The acid doped benzimidaozle grafted PBI membranes were investigated and characterized including fuel cell tests at elevated...... temperatures without humidification. At an acid doping level of 13.1 mol H3PO4 per average molar repeat unit, the PBI membranes with a benzimidazole grafting degree of 10.6% demonstrated a conductivity of 0.15 S cm-1 and a H2-air fuel cell peak power density of 378 mW cm-2 at 180 oC at ambient pressure without...

  18. Cell packing structures

    KAUST Repository

    Pottmann, Helmut

    2015-03-03

    This paper is an overview of architectural structures which are either composed of polyhedral cells or closely related to them. We introduce the concept of a support structure of such a polyhedral cell packing. It is formed by planar quads and obtained by connecting corresponding vertices in two combinatorially equivalent meshes whose corresponding edges are coplanar and thus determine planar quads. Since corresponding triangle meshes only yield trivial structures, we focus on support structures associated with quad meshes or hex-dominant meshes. For the quadrilateral case, we provide a short survey of recent research which reveals beautiful relations to discrete differential geometry. Those are essential for successfully initializing numerical optimization schemes for the computation of quad-based support structures. Hex-dominant structures may be designed via Voronoi tessellations, power diagrams, sphere packings and various extensions of these concepts. Apart from the obvious application as load-bearing structures, we illustrate here a new application to shading and indirect lighting. On a higher level, our work emphasizes the interplay between geometry, optimization, statics, and manufacturing, with the overall aim of combining form, function and fabrication into novel integrated design tools.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  20. Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoparticles for Targeted Therapeutics

    Science.gov (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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud

    2011-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Deng, Peigang

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  7. Membrane Mechanics of Endocytosis in Cells with Turgor

    CERN Document Server

    Dmitrieff, Serge

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Altered Membrane Potential and Electrolyte in Sickle Cell Anemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JK Nnodim

    2014-01-01

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

  9. High temperature proton exchange membranes based on polybenzimidazoles for fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf; Savinell, Robert F;

    2009-01-01

    in recent years motivated extensive research activities with great progress. This treatise is devoted to updating the development, covering polymer synthesis, membrane casting, physicochemical characterizations and fuel cell technologies. To optimize the membrane properties, high molecular weight polymers...... with synthetically modified or N-substituted structures have been synthesized. Techniques for membrane casting from organic solutions and directly from acid solutions have been developed. Ionic and covalent cross-linking as well as inorganic–organic composites has been explored. Membrane characterizations...... havebeenmadeincluding spectroscopy,wateruptake and acid doping, thermal and oxidative stability, conductivity, electro-osmoticwater drag, methanol crossover, solubility and permeability of gases, and oxygen reduction kinetics. Related fuel cell technologies such as electrode and MEA fabrication have been developed...

  10. Photocatalytic Degradation of E.coli Membrane Cell in the Presence of ZnO Nanowires

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Xuefei; WANG Wei; LIU Peng; WANG ping; ZHANG Lianmeng

    2011-01-01

    The photocatalytic degradation of E. coli membrane cell by ZnO nanowires was studied using field-emission scanning electron microscope(FE-SEM), fluorescence microscopy, and Attenuated total reflection fourier transform infrared(ATR-FTIR). The outer membrane of E.coli was removed completely in the presence of ZnO nanowires under UV irradiation, and the cells became twisted shapes without a mechanically strong network. After ZnO nanowires photocatalysis, the permeability of the treated cells increased to some degree that could be confirmed by quantum dots labeling technique. Structural changes in the cell wall membrane were revealed by the decay of the characteristic groups bands in ATR-FTIR spectra.

  11. A Versatile Method for Immunofluorescent Staining of Cells Cultured on Permeable Membrane Inserts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillespie, Jenni L; Anyah, Anwuli; Taylor, John M; Marlin, Jerry W; Taylor, Tracey A H

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND Obtaining high-quality images of cellular structures via immunofluorescence staining is critical for cellular localization studies. Often, these studies cannot be performed in parallel with certain oncology, virology, pharmacokinetic, and drug absorption studies due to model system technicalities requiring the cells to be cultured on porous membranes rather than glass or plastic. MATERIAL AND METHODS Here, we report a method of immunofluorescent staining of cells cultured on permeable membranes. RESULTS As proof of principle, HeLa cells grown on Transwell® membrane supports were stained with fluorescently labeled antibodies using this modified immunofluorescence staining method and visualized by fluorescent microscopy. CONCLUSIONS This protocol is a convenient alternative to staining cells on glass coverslips, thereby expanding the scope and applications of this important research tool. PMID:27616137

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  13. Different Structures of PVA Nanofibrous Membrane for Sound Absorption Application

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Mohrova

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The thin nanofibrous layer has different properties in the field of sound absorption in comparison with porous fibrous material which works on a principle of friction of air particles in contact with walls of pores. In case of the thin nanofibrous layer, which represents a sound absorber here, the energy of sonic waves is absorbed by the principle of membrane resonance. The structure of the membrane can play an important role in the process of converting the sonic energy to a different energy type. The vibration system acts differently depending on the presence of smooth fibers in the structure, amount of partly merged fibers, or structure of polymer foil as extreme. Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA was used as a polymer because of its good water solubility. It is possible to influence the structure of nanofibrous layer during the production process thanks to this property of polyvinyl alcohol.

  14. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yildirim, Mustafa Hakan

    2009-01-01

    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

  16. A boron phosphate-phosphoric acid composite membrane for medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamlouk, M.; Scott, K.

    2015-07-01

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

  17. Nanodomain stabilization dynamics in plasma membranes of biological cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-01

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

  18. Cell-free synthesis of cytochrome bo(3) ubiquinol oxidase in artificial membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yildiz, Ahu Arslan; Knoll, Wolfgang; Gennis, Robert B; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin

    2012-04-01

    The analysis of membrane proteins is notoriously difficult because isolation and detergent-mediated reconstitution often results in compromising the protein structure and function. We introduce a novel strategy of combining a cell-free expression method for synthesis of a protein species coping with one of the most important obstacles in membrane protein research-preserving the structural-functional integrity of a membrane protein species and providing a stable matrix for application of analytical tools to characterize the membrane protein of interest. We address integration and subsequent characterization of the cytochrome bo(3) ubiquinol oxidase (Cyt-bo(3)) from de novo synthesis without the effort of conventional cell culture, isolation, and purification procedures. The experimental output supports our idea of a suitable platform for in vitro protein synthesis and functional integration into a membrane-mimicking structure. We show the compatibility of different concepts of in vitro synthesis toward biosensor applicability by the example of Cyt-bo(3) protein expression. Our results obtained from in vitro synthesized proteins displayed similar behavior to proteins isolated from the cellular context. Overall, our approach is suitable for the in vitro expression of "complex" protein species such as Cyt-bo(3), which can be reproducible and stably synthesized and preserved in robust, synthetic planar membrane architecture. PMID:22306473

  19. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Bjørn P.; Buch-Pedersen, Morten Jeppe; Morth, J. Preben;

    2007-01-01

    -3, and Na1,K1-ATPase (the sodium-potassium pump) in animals4. The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis5.The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na1,K1-ATPase and Ca21...... where it is lined by conserved hydrophilic and charged residues. Proton transport against a high membrane potential is readily explained by this structural arrangement....

  20. Tethered bilayer membranes as a complementary tool for functional and structural studies: The pyolysin case.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preta, Giulio; Jankunec, Marija; Heinrich, Frank; Griffin, Sholeem; Sheldon, Iain Martin; Valincius, Gintaras

    2016-09-01

    We demonstrate the use of tethered bilayer lipid membranes (tBLMs) as an experimental platform for functional and structural studies of membrane associated proteins by electrochemical techniques. The reconstitution of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (CDC) pyolysin (PLO) from Trueperella pyogenes into tBLMs was followed in real-time by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Changes of the EIS parameters of the tBLMs upon exposure to PLO solutions were consistent with the dielectric barrier damage occurring through the formation of water-filled pores in membranes. Parallel experiments involving a mutant version of PLO, which is able to bind to the membranes but does not form oligomer pores, strengthen the reliability of this methodology, since no change in the electrochemical impedance was observed. Complementary atomic force microscopy (AFM) and neutron reflectometry (NR) measurements revealed structural details of the membrane bound PLO, consistent with the structural transformations of the membrane bound toxins found for other cholesterol dependent cytolysins. In this work, using the tBLMs platform we also observed a protective effect of the dynamin inhibitor Dynasore against pyolysin as well as pneumolysin. An effect of Dynasore in tBLMs, which was earlier observed in experiments with live cells, confirms the biological relevance of the tBLMs models, as well as demonstrates the potential of the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to quantify membrane damage by the pore forming toxins. In conclusion, tBLMs are a reliable and complementary method to explore the activity of CDCs in eukaryotic cells and to develop strategies to limit the toxic effects of CDCs. PMID:27211243

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheah, May Jean

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

  2. Structural basis for membrane anchoring of HIV-1 envelope spike.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dev, Jyoti; Park, Donghyun; Fu, Qingshan; Chen, Jia; Ha, Heather Jiwon; Ghantous, Fadi; Herrmann, Tobias; Chang, Weiting; Liu, Zhijun; Frey, Gary; Seaman, Michael S; Chen, Bing; Chou, James J

    2016-07-01

    HIV-1 envelope spike (Env) is a type I membrane protein that mediates viral entry. We used nuclear magnetic resonance to determine an atomic structure of the transmembrane (TM) domain of HIV-1 Env reconstituted in bicelles that mimic a lipid bilayer. The TM forms a well-ordered trimer that protects a conserved membrane-embedded arginine. An amino-terminal coiled-coil and a carboxyl-terminal hydrophilic core stabilize the trimer. Individual mutations of conserved residues did not disrupt the TM trimer and minimally affected membrane fusion and infectivity. Major changes in the hydrophilic core, however, altered the antibody sensitivity of Env. These results show how a TM domain anchors, stabilizes, and modulates a viral envelope spike and suggest that its influence on Env conformation is an important consideration for HIV-1 immunogen design. PMID:27338706

  3. Corona discharge in electroporation of cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  4. 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;

    2014-01-01

    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...

  5. Xyloglucan biosynthesis by Golgi membranes from suspension-cultured sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xyloglucan is a major hemicellulose polysaccharide in plant cell walls. Biosynthesis of such cell wall polysaccharides is closely linked to the process of plant cell growth and development. Xyloglucan polysaccharides consist of a β-1,4 glucan backbone synthesized by xyloglucan synthase and sidechains of xylose, galactose, and fucose added by other transferase enzymes. Most plant Golgi and plasma membranes also contain glucan synthases I ampersand II, which make β-1,4 and β-1,3 glucans, respectively. All of these enzymes have very similar activities. Cell walls on suspension-cultured cells from Acer pseudoplatanus (sycamore maple) were enzymatically softened prior to cell disruption by passing through a 30 μm nylon screen. Cell membranes from homogenates were separated by ultracentrifugation on top-loaded or flotation sucrose density gradients. Samples were collected by gradient fractionation and assayed for membrane markers and xyloglucan and glucan synthase activities. Standard marker assays (cyt. c reductase for eR, IDPase ampersand UDPase for Golgi, and eosin 5'-malelmide binding for plasma membrane) showed partial separation of these three membrane types. Golgi and plasma membrane markers overlapped in most gradients. Incorporation of 14C-labeled sugars from UDP-glucose and UDP-xylose was used to detect xyloglucan synthase, glucan synthases I ampersand II, and xylosyl transferase in Golgi membrane fractions. These activities overlapped, although distinct peaks of xyloglucan synthase and xylosyl transferase were found. Ca++ had a stimulatory effect on glucan synthases I ampersand II, while Mn++ had an inhibitory effect on glucan synthase I in the presence of Ca++. The similarity of these various synthase activities demonstrates the need for careful structural characterization of newly synthesized polysaccharides

  6. Ion induced changes in the structure of bordered pit membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinkee eLee

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Xylem hydraulic resistance varies with ion concentration in sap solution. It is assumed that this variation in resistance results from hydrogel like properties of pectins located in bordered pit membranes separating adjacent vessels. Although kinetics of the resistance change suggests swelling/deswelling behavior of the pectins, there is no direct evidence of this activity. In this report we provide evidence of structural changes in bordered pit membranes responding to variation in ionic concentration of solute around it using atomic force microscopy (AFM. AFM revealed bordered pit membranes as relatively smooth, soft and lacking any sharp edges surface when submerged in de-ionized water, in contrast to pictures from scanning electron microscope (SEM or AFM performed on air dry material. Exposure of the bordered pit membranes to 50 mM KCl solution resulted in significant changes in both surface physical properties with and elevation features as bordered pit membrane became harder, with visible edges of fibers and collapsed, while no change in porosity was observed. Analysis suggests a need for a major shift in our understanding to the physical bases of variable xylem resistance from change in porosity to change in pathway length. Findings support the role of actuating properties of hybrid hydrogel-cellulose materials in water redistribution and embolism resistance.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Treekamol, Yaowapa

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  10. Flavivirus cell entry and membrane fusion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Smoking and red blood cell phospholipid membrane fatty acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murff, H J; Tindle, H A; Shrubsole, M J; Cai, Q; Smalley, W; Milne, G L; Swift, L L; Ness, R M; Zheng, W

    2016-09-01

    Smoking is associated with lower n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) concentrations; however, limited studies have accounted for dietary PUFA intake or whether tobacco dose or smoking duration influences this association. We measured red blood cell phospholipid (RBC) membrane concentrations of fatty acids in 126 current smokers, 311 former smokers, and 461 never smokers using gas liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Smokers had lower RBC membrane percentages of total n-3 LCPUFAs compared to former smokers or never smokers (median percent: 5.46, [interquartile range (IQR) 4.52, 6.28] versus 6.39; [IQR: 5.18, 7.85] versus 6.59; [IQR 5.34, 8.01]) (psmoking and cigarettes per day were not associated with RBC membrane n-3 LCPUFA differences. Smoking is associated with lower n-3 LCPUFA RBC membrane percentages and this association was not influenced by diet or smoking dose or duration. PMID:27637337

  13. Silica based composite membranes for methanol fuel cells operating at high temperature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alvarez, A.; Guzman, C.; Peza-Ledesma, C.; Godinez, Luis A.; Nava, R.; Duron-Torres, S.M.; Ledesma-Garcia, J.; Arriaga, L.G.

    2011-01-15

    Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are seen as an alternative energy source for several applications, particularly portable power sources. Nafion membranes constitute a well known proton exchange system for DMFC systems due to their convenient electrochemical, mechanical and thermal stability and high proton conductivity properties. But there are problems currently associated with the direct methanol fuel cell technology. Intensive efforts to decrease the methanol crossover are focused mainly on the development of new polymer electrolyte membranes. In this study, Nafion polymer was modified by means of the incorporation of inorganic oxides with different structural properties (SBA-15 and SiO2), both prepared by sol-gel method in order to increase the proton conductivity at high temperature of fuel cell and to contribute decrementing the methanol crossover effect. Composite membranes based in inorganic fillers showed a significant decrease in the concentration of methanol permeation.

  14. Pattern formation in biological fluids II: cell deformation in shear fields evidences convective membrane organisation

    CERN Document Server

    Lofthouse, J

    2004-01-01

    The mechanical behaviour and symmetry-breaking shape deformation of red blood cells subjected to shear flows is used to demonstrate that far from being random fluids, both the membrane and cytoplasm of every biological cell undergo spatially organised convective and shear driven flows when the cell maintains a Near Equilibrium state through continuousmetabolic activity. The model demonstrates that fluid bifurcation events drive cell shape changes, rather than a Meccano like cytoskeletal structure, and represents a significant Gestalt shift in models of cell mechanics.

  15. Electrospun fiber membranes enable proliferation of genetically modified cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borjigin M

    2013-02-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1991-01-01

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

  17. Up against the wall: is yeast cell wall integrity ensured by mechanosensing in plasma membrane microdomains?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  18. The Flavivirus Precursor Membrane-Envelope Protein Complex: Structure and Maturation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Long; Lok, Shee-Mei; Yu, I-Mei; Zhang, Ying; Kuhn, Richard J.; Chen, Jue; Rossmann, Michael G. (Purdue)

    2008-09-17

    Many viruses go through a maturation step in the final stages of assembly before being transmitted to another host. The maturation process of flaviviruses is directed by the proteolytic cleavage of the precursor membrane protein (prM), turning inert virus into infectious particles. We have determined the 2.2 angstrom resolution crystal structure of a recombinant protein in which the dengue virus prM is linked to the envelope glycoprotein E. The structure represents the prM-E heterodimer and fits well into the cryo-electron microscopy density of immature virus at neutral pH. The pr peptide {beta}-barrel structure covers the fusion loop in E, preventing fusion with host cell membranes. The structure provides a basis for identifying the stages of its pH-directed conformational metamorphosis during maturation, ending with release of pr when budding from the host.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morss, Andrew J.

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

  20. Isotropic Versus Bipolar Functionalized Biomimetic Artificial Basement Membranes and Their Evaluation in Long-Term Human Cell Co-Culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Angela; Wistlich, Laura; Heffels, Karl-Heinz; Walles, Heike; Groll, Jürgen

    2016-08-01

    In addition to dividing tissues into compartments, basement membranes are crucial as cell substrates and to regulate cellular behavior. The development of artificial basement membranes is indispensable for the ultimate formation of functional engineered tissues; however, pose a challenge due to their complex structure. Herein, biodegradable electrospun polyester meshes are presented, exhibiting isotropic or bipolar bioactivation as a biomimetic and biofunctional model of the natural basement membrane. In a one-step preparation process, reactive star-shaped prepolymer additives, which generate a hydrophilic fiber surface, are electrospun with cell-adhesion-mediating peptides, derived from major components of the basement membrane. Human skin cells adhere to the functionalized meshes, and long-term co-culture experiments confirm that the artificial basement membranes recapitulate and preserve tissue specific functions. Several layers of immortalized human keratinocytes grow on the membranes, differentiating toward the surface and expressing typical epithelial markers. Fibroblasts migrate into the reticular lamina mimicking part of the mesh. Both cells types begin to produce extracellular matrix proteins and to remodel the initial membrane. It is shown at the example of skin that the artificial basement membrane design provokes biomimetic responses of different cell types and can thus be used as basis for the future development of basement membrane containing tissues. PMID:27283510

  1. Axon Membrane Skeleton Structure is Optimized for Coordinated Sodium Propagation

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Yihao; Li, He; Tzingounis, Anastasios V; Lykotrafitis, George

    2016-01-01

    Axons transmit action potentials with high fidelity and minimal jitter. This unique capability is likely the result of the spatiotemporal arrangement of sodium channels along the axon. Super-resolution microscopy recently revealed that the axon membrane skeleton is structured as a series of actin rings connected by spectrin filaments that are held under entropic tension. Sodium channels also exhibit a periodic distribution pattern, as they bind to ankyrin G, which associates with spectrin. Here, we elucidate the relationship between the axon membrane skeleton structure and the function of the axon. By combining cytoskeletal dynamics and continuum diffusion modeling, we show that spectrin filaments under tension minimize the thermal fluctuations of sodium channels and prevent overlap of neighboring channel trajectories. Importantly, this axon skeletal arrangement allows for a highly reproducible band-like activation of sodium channels leading to coordinated sodium propagation along the axon.

  2. Structural Transition in Myelin Membrane as Initiator of Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaharabani, Rona; Ram-On, Maor; Avinery, Ram; Aharoni, Rina; Arnon, Ruth; Talmon, Yeshayahu; Beck, Roy

    2016-09-21

    In demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis, disrupted myelin structures impair the functional role of the sheath as an insulating layer for proper nerve conduction. Though the etiology and recovery pathways remain unclear, in vivo studies show alterations in the lipid and the adhesive protein (myelin basic protein, MBP) composition. We find that in vitro cytoplasmic myelin membranes with modified lipid composition and low MBP concentration, as in demyelinating disease, show structural instabilities and pathological phase transition from a lamellar to inverted hexagonal, which involve enhanced local curvature. Similar curvatures are also found in vivo in diseased myelin sheaths. In addition, MBP dimers form a correlated mesh-like network within the inner membrane space, only in the vicinity of native lipid composition. These findings delineate the distinct functional roles of dominant constituents in cytoplasmic myelin sheaths, and shed new light on mechanisms disrupting lipid-protein complexes in the diseased state.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Iwasa, K H

    1993-01-01

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

  4. Combining in Vitro Folding with Cell Free Protein Synthesis for Membrane Protein Expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Focke, Paul J; Hein, Christopher; Hoffmann, Beate; Matulef, Kimberly; Bernhard, Frank; Dötsch, Volker; Valiyaveetil, Francis I

    2016-08-01

    Cell free protein synthesis (CFPS) has emerged as a promising methodology for protein expression. While polypeptide production is very reliable and efficient using CFPS, the correct cotranslational folding of membrane proteins during CFPS is still a challenge. In this contribution, we describe a two-step protocol in which the integral membrane protein is initially expressed by CFPS as a precipitate followed by an in vitro folding procedure using lipid vesicles for converting the protein precipitate to the correctly folded protein. We demonstrate the feasibility of using this approach for the K(+) channels KcsA and MVP and the amino acid transporter LeuT. We determine the crystal structure of the KcsA channel obtained by CFPS and in vitro folding to show the structural similarity to the cellular expressed KcsA channel and to establish the feasibility of using this two-step approach for membrane protein production for structural studies. Our studies show that the correct folding of these membrane proteins with complex topologies can take place in vitro without the involvement of the cellular machinery for membrane protein biogenesis. This indicates that the folding instructions for these complex membrane proteins are contained entirely within the protein sequence. PMID:27384110

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Solution NMR Structure of Membrane-Integral Diacylglycerol Kinase

    OpenAIRE

    Van Horn, Wade D.; Kim, Hak-Jun; Ellis, Charles D.; Hadziselimovic, Arina; Sulistijo, Endah S.; Karra, Murthy D.; Tian, Changlin; Sönnichsen, Frank D.; Sanders, Charles R.

    2009-01-01

    Escherichia coli diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) represents a family of integral membrane enzymes that is unrelated to all other phosphotransferases. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of the DAGK homotrimer using solution NMR. The third transmembrane helix from each subunit is domain-swapped with the first and second transmembrane segments from an adjacent subunit. Each of DAGK’s three active sites resembles a portico. The cornice of the portico appears to be the determinant of ...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chris Roger; David Mountz; Wensheng He; Tao Zhang

    2011-03-17

    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

  8. Synovial fluid and synovial membrane mesenchymal stem cells: latest discoveries and therapeutic perspectives

    OpenAIRE

    de Sousa, Eduardo Branco; Casado, Priscila Ladeira; Neto, Vivaldo Moura; Duarte, Maria Eugenia Leite; Aguiar, Diego Pinheiro

    2014-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the ability to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondroblasts, adipocytes, and even myoblasts. Most studies have focused on finding MSCs in different parts of the body for medical treatment. Every joint structure, including bone, joint fat, articular cartilage, and synovium, potentially contains resident MSCs. Recently, a progenitor cell population has been found in synovial fluid and showed similarities with both bone marrow and synovial membrane MSCs. Synov...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Harder, Thomas

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Effect of Melatonin and Cholesterol on the Structure of DOPC and DPPC Membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Drolle, E [University of Waterloo, Canada; Kucerka, Norbert [Canadian Neutron Beam Centre and Comelius University (Slovakia); Hoopes, M I [University of Waterloo, Canada; Choi, Y [University of Waterloo, Canada; Katsaras, John [ORNL; Karttunen, M [University of Waterloo, Canada; Leonenko, Z [University of Waterloo, Canada

    2013-01-01

    The cell membrane plays an important role in the molecular mechanism of amyloid toxicity associated with Alzheimer's disease. The membrane's chemical composition and the incorporation of small molecules, such as melatonin and cholesterol, can alter its structure and physical properties, thereby affecting its interaction with amyloid peptides. Both melatonin and cholesterol have been recently linked to amyloid toxicity. Melatonin has been shown to have a protective role against amyloid toxicity. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of this protection is still not well understood, and cholesterol's role remains controversial. We used small-angle neutron diffraction (SAND) from oriented lipid multi-layers, small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) from unilamellar vesicles experiments andMolecular Dynamics (MD) simulations to elucidate non-specific interactions of melatonin and cholesterol with 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) and 1,2-dipalmitoyl-snglycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) model membranes. We conclude that melatonin decreases the thickness of both model membranes by disordering the lipid hydrocarbon chains, thus increasing membrane fluidity. This result is in stark contrast to the much accepted ordering effect induced by cholesterol, which causes membranes to thicken.

  11. Membrane Transporters: Structure, Function and Targets for Drug Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravna, Aina W.; Sager, Georg; Dahl, Svein G.; Sylte, Ingebrigt

    Current therapeutic drugs act on four main types of molecular targets: enzymes, receptors, ion channels and transporters, among which a major part (60-70%) are membrane proteins. This review discusses the molecular structures and potential impact of membrane transporter proteins on new drug discovery. The three-dimensional (3D) molecular structure of a protein contains information about the active site and possible ligand binding, and about evolutionary relationships within the protein family. Transporters have a recognition site for a particular substrate, which may be used as a target for drugs inhibiting the transporter or acting as a false substrate. Three groups of transporters have particular interest as drug targets: the major facilitator superfamily, which includes almost 4000 different proteins transporting sugars, polyols, drugs, neurotransmitters, metabolites, amino acids, peptides, organic and inorganic anions and many other substrates; the ATP-binding cassette superfamily, which plays an important role in multidrug resistance in cancer chemotherapy; and the neurotransmitter:sodium symporter family, which includes the molecular targets for some of the most widely used psychotropic drugs. Recent technical advances have increased the number of known 3D structures of membrane transporters, and demonstrated that they form a divergent group of proteins with large conformational flexibility which facilitates transport of the substrate.

  12. Nanostructured Ion-Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells: Recent Advances and Perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Guangwei; Li, Zhen; Zhao, Jing; Wang, Shaofei; Wu, Hong; Guiver, Michael D; Jiang, Zhongyi

    2015-09-23

    Polymer-based materials with tunable nanoscale structures and associated microenvironments hold great promise as next-generation ion-exchange membranes (IEMs) for acid or alkaline fuel cells. Understanding the relationships between nanostructure, physical and chemical microenvironment, and ion-transport properties are critical to the rational design and development of IEMs. These matters are addressed here by discussing representative and important advances since 2011, with particular emphasis on aromatic-polymer-based nanostructured IEMs, which are broadly divided into nanostructured polymer membranes and nanostructured polymer-filler composite membranes. For each category of membrane, the core factors that influence the physical and chemical microenvironments of the ion nanochannels are summarized. In addition, a brief perspective on the possible future directions of nanostructured IEMs is presented. PMID:26270555

  13. The Autohumidification Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    CERN Document Server

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

    2003-01-01

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

  14. Structural basis for alginate secretion across the bacterial outer membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitney, J.C.; Robinson, H.; Hay, I. D.; Li, C.; Eckford, P. D. W.; Amaya, M. F.; Wood, L. F.; Ohman, D. E.; Bear, C. E.; Rehm, B. H.; Howell, P. L.

    2011-08-09

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the predominant pathogen associated with chronic lung infection among cystic fibrosis patients. During colonization of the lung, P. aeruginosa converts to a mucoid phenotype characterized by the overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Secretion of newly synthesized alginate across the outer membrane is believed to occur through the outer membrane protein AlgE. Here we report the 2.3 {angstrom} crystal structure of AlgE, which reveals a monomeric 18-stranded {beta}-barrel characterized by a highly electropositive pore constriction formed by an arginine-rich conduit that likely acts as a selectivity filter for the negatively charged alginate polymer. Interestingly, the pore constriction is occluded on either side by extracellular loop L2 and an unusually long periplasmic loop, T8. In halide efflux assays, deletion of loop T8 ({Delta}T8-AlgE) resulted in a threefold increase in anion flux compared to the wild-type or {Delta}L2-AlgE supporting the idea that AlgE forms a transport pathway through the membrane and suggesting that transport is regulated by T8. This model is further supported by in vivo experiments showing that complementation of an algE deletion mutant with {Delta}T8-AlgE impairs alginate production. Taken together, these studies support a mechanism for exopolysaccharide export across the outer membrane that is distinct from the Wza-mediated translocation observed in canonical capsular polysaccharide export systems.

  15. Structural Basis for Alginate Secretion Across the Bacterial Outer Membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J Whitney; I Hay; C Li; P Eckford; H Robinson; M Amaya; L Wood; D Ohman; C Bear; et al.

    2011-12-31

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the predominant pathogen associated with chronic lung infection among cystic fibrosis patients. During colonization of the lung, P. aeruginosa converts to a mucoid phenotype characterized by the overproduction of the exopolysaccharide alginate. Secretion of newly synthesized alginate across the outer membrane is believed to occur through the outer membrane protein AlgE. Here we report the 2.3 {angstrom} crystal structure of AlgE, which reveals a monomeric 18-stranded {beta}-barrel characterized by a highly electropositive pore constriction formed by an arginine-rich conduit that likely acts as a selectivity filter for the negatively charged alginate polymer. Interestingly, the pore constriction is occluded on either side by extracellular loop L2 and an unusually long periplasmic loop, T8. In halide efflux assays, deletion of loop T8 ({Delta}T8-AlgE) resulted in a threefold increase in anion flux compared to the wild-type or {Delta}L2-AlgE supporting the idea that AlgE forms a transport pathway through the membrane and suggesting that transport is regulated by T8. This model is further supported by in vivo experiments showing that complementation of an algE deletion mutant with {Delta}T8-AlgE impairs alginate production. Taken together, these studies support a mechanism for exopolysaccharide export across the outer membrane that is distinct from the Wza-mediated translocation observed in canonical capsular polysaccharide export systems.

  16. Rigid proteins and softening of biological membranes—with application to HIV-induced cell membrane softening

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  17. Tandem cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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...

  18. Lipid signalling dynamics at the β-cell plasma membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuttke, Anne

    2015-04-01

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

  19. 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.

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foged, Camilla; Nielsen, Hanne Moerck

    2008-01-01

    , 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...

  1. Degradation mechanisms of sulfonated poly-aromatic membranes in fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuel cell development requires an improvement in the electrode-membrane assembly durability which depends on both the polymer used and the fuel cell operating conditions. The origin of the degradation can be either electrochemical, chemical and/or mechanical. This study deals with the understanding of alternative membranes ageing mechanisms, i.e. non fluorinated membranes, such as sPEEK and sPI. For this kind of membranes, the first process is chemical. Understanding these mechanisms is the first essential step to develop more stable structures. An original approach is developed to overcome the analytical difficulties encountered with polymers. It consists in studying the degradation mechanism on model structures. Ageing are carried out in water, with H2O2 in some cases (identified as a cause of membrane chemical ageing in the fuel cell system), and at different temperatures. The approach consists in separating the different products formed by chromatography. Then they are identified (NMR, IR, MS) and quantified. This method allows us to establish the ageing mechanism. We show that the ageing of a sPEEK structure mainly results from an attack by end chains which spreads to the whole. This mechanism is confirmed on ex-situ and in-situ aged membranes. These two kinds of ageing lead to an important decrease in polymerisation degree (determined by SEC). Formation of the same degradation products is observed. In fuel cells, a heterogeneous degradation is noticed. It takes place mainly on the cathode side. sPI are known for their high sensitivity to hydrolysis. Nevertheless, we highlight a limited degradation at 80 Celsius degrees due to the recombination of hydrolyzed species at this temperature. (author)

  2. The asymmetrical structure of Golgi apparatus membranes revealed by in situ atomic force microscope.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haijiao Xu

    Full Text Available The Golgi apparatus has attracted intense attentions due to its fascinating morphology and vital role as the pivot of cellular secretory pathway since its discovery. However, its complex structure at the molecular level remains elusive due to limited approaches. In this study, the structure of Golgi apparatus, including the Golgi stack, cisternal structure, relevant tubules and vesicles, were directly visualized by high-resolution atomic force microscope. We imaged both sides of Golgi apparatus membranes and revealed that the outer leaflet of Golgi membranes is relatively smooth while the inner membrane leaflet is rough and covered by dense proteins. With the treatment of methyl-β-cyclodextrin and Triton X-100, we confirmed the existence of lipid rafts in Golgi apparatus membrane, which are mostly in the size of 20 nm -200 nm and appear irregular in shape. Our results may be of significance to reveal the structure-function relationship of the Golgi complex and pave the way for visualizing the endomembrane system in mammalian cells at the molecular level.

  3. Crystal structure and biochemical analyses reveal Beclin 1 as a novel membrane binding protein

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Weijiao Huang; Feng-Liang Wang; Haiteng Deng; Lei Liu; Ning Gao; Li Yu; Yigong Shi; Wooyoung Choi; Wanqiu Hu; Na Mi; Qiang Guo; Meisheng Ma; Mei Liu; Yuan Tian; Peilong Lu

    2012-01-01

    The Beclin 1 gene is a haplo-insufficient tumor suppressor and plays an essential role in autophagy.However,the molecular mechanism by which Beclin 1 functions remains largely unknown.Here we report the crystal structure of the evolutionarily conserved domain(ECD)of Beclin 1 at 1.6(A)resolution.Beclin 1 ECD exhibits a previously unreported fold,with three structural repeats arranged symmetrically around a central axis.Beclin 1 ECD defines a novel class of membrane-binding domain,with a strong preference for lipid membrane enriched with cardiolipin.The tip of a surface loop in Beclin 1 ECD,comprising three aromatic amino acids,acts as a hydrophobic finger to associate with lipid membrane,consequently resulting in the deformation of membrane and liposomes.Mutation of these aromatic residues rendered Beclin 1 unable to stably associate with lipid membrane in vitro and unable to fully rescue autophagy in Beclin 1-knockdown cells in vivo.These observations form an important framework for deciphering the biological functions of Beclin 1.

  4. Dendronized Polymer Architectures for Fuel Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Backbone structure of Yersinia pestis Ail determined in micelles by NMR-restrained simulated annealing with implicit membrane solvation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The outer membrane protein Ail (attachment invasion locus) is a virulence factor of Yersinia pestis that mediates cell invasion, cell attachment and complement resistance. Here we describe its three-dimensional backbone structure determined in decyl-phosphocholine (DePC) micelles by NMR spectroscopy. The NMR structure was calculated using the membrane function of the implicit solvation potential, eefxPot, which we have developed to facilitate NMR structure calculations in a physically realistic environment. We show that the eefxPot force field guides the protein towards its native fold. The resulting structures provide information about the membrane-embedded global position of Ail, and have higher accuracy, higher precision and improved conformational properties, compared to the structures calculated with the standard repulsive potential

  6. Backbone structure of Yersinia pestis Ail determined in micelles by NMR-restrained simulated annealing with implicit membrane solvation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marassi, Francesca M., E-mail: fmarassi@sbmri.org; Ding, Yi [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (United States); Schwieters, Charles D. [National Institutes of Health, Division of Computational Bioscience, Center for Information Technology (United States); Tian, Ye; Yao, Yong [Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (United States)

    2015-09-15

    The outer membrane protein Ail (attachment invasion locus) is a virulence factor of Yersinia pestis that mediates cell invasion, cell attachment and complement resistance. Here we describe its three-dimensional backbone structure determined in decyl-phosphocholine (DePC) micelles by NMR spectroscopy. The NMR structure was calculated using the membrane function of the implicit solvation potential, eefxPot, which we have developed to facilitate NMR structure calculations in a physically realistic environment. We show that the eefxPot force field guides the protein towards its native fold. The resulting structures provide information about the membrane-embedded global position of Ail, and have higher accuracy, higher precision and improved conformational properties, compared to the structures calculated with the standard repulsive potential.

  7. How to Evaluate the Electric Noise in a Cell Membrane?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bier, M.

    2006-05-01

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

  8. Membrane interaction and secondary structure of de novo designed arginine-and tryptophan peptides with dual function

    KAUST Repository

    Rydberg, Hanna A.

    2012-10-01

    Cell-penetrating peptides and antimicrobial peptides are two classes of positively charged membrane active peptides with several properties in common. The challenge is to combine knowledge about the membrane interaction mechanisms and structural properties of the two classes to design peptides with membrane-specific actions, useful either as transporters of cargo or as antibacterial substances. Membrane active peptides are commonly rich in arginine and tryptophan. We have previously designed a series of arg/trp peptides and investigated how the position and number of tryptophans affect cellular uptake. Here we explore the antimicrobial properties and the interaction with lipid model membranes of these peptides, using minimal inhibitory concentrations assay (MIC), circular dichroism (CD) and linear dichroism (LD). The results show that the arg/trp peptides inhibit the growth of the two gram positive strains Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus pyogenes, with some individual variations depending on the position of the tryptophans. No inhibition of the gram negative strains Proteus mirabilis or Pseudomonas aeruginosa was noticed. CD indicated that when bound to lipid vesicles one of the peptides forms an α-helical like structure, whereas the other five exhibited rather random coiled structures. LD indicated that all six peptides were somehow aligned parallel with the membrane surface. Our results do not reveal any obvious connection between membrane interaction and antimicrobial effect for the studied peptides. By contrast cell-penetrating properties can be coupled to both the secondary structure and the degree of order of the peptides. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Yang Xiao; Chongdu Cho

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Biological Membrane Ion Channels Dynamics, Structure, and Applications

    CERN Document Server

    Chung, Shin-Ho; Krishnamurthy, Vikram

    2007-01-01

    Ion channels are biological nanotubes that are formed by membrane proteins. Because ion channels regulate all electrical activities in living cells, understanding their mechanisms at a molecular level is a fundamental problem in biology. This book deals with recent breakthroughs in ion-channel research that have been brought about by the combined effort of experimental biophysicists and computational physicists, who together are beginning to unravel the story of these exquisitely designed biomolecules. With chapters by leading experts, the book is aimed at researchers in nanodevices and biosensors, as well as advanced undergraduate and graduate students in biology and the physical sciences. Key Features Presents the latest information on the molecular mechanisms of ion permeation through membrane ion channels Uses schematic diagrams to illustrate important concepts in biophysics Written by leading researchers in the area of ion channel investigations

  12. Lipid rafts-mediated endocytosis and physiology-based cell membrane traffic models of doxorubicin liposomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yinghuan; Gao, Lei; Tan, Xi; Li, Feiyang; Zhao, Ming; Peng, Shiqi

    2016-08-01

    The clathrin-mediated endocytosis is likely a major mechanism of liposomes' internalization. A kinetic approach was used to assess the internalization mechanism of doxorubicin (Dox) loaded cationic liposomes and to establish physiology-based cell membrane traffic mathematic models. Lipid rafts-mediated endocytosis, including dynamin-dependent or -independent endocytosis of noncaveolar structure, was a dominant process. The mathematic models divided Dox loaded liposomes binding lipid rafts (B) into saturable binding (SB) and nonsaturable binding (NSB) followed by energy-driven endocytosis. The intracellular trafficking demonstrated early endosome-late endosome-lysosome or early/late endosome-cytoplasm-nucleus pathways. The three properties of liposome structures, i.e., cationic lipid, fusogenic lipid, and pegylation, were investigated to compare their contributions to cell membrane and intracellular traffic. The results revealed great contribution of cationic lipid DOTAP and fusogenic lipid DOPE to cell membrane binding and internalization. The valid Dox in the nuclei of HepG2 and A375 cells treated with cationic liposomes containing 40mol% of DOPE were 1.2-fold and 1.5-fold higher than that in the nuclei of HepG2 and A375 cells treated with liposomes containing 20mol% of DOPE, respectively, suggesting the dependence of cell type. This tendency was proportional to the increase of cell-associated total liposomal Dox. The mathematic models would be useful to predict intracellular trafficking of liposomal Dox.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berra Bruno

    2011-05-01

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

  14. Type IV Collagens and Basement Membrane Diseases: Cell Biology and Pathogenic Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Durability aspects of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (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

  16. Structure and distribution of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin in lipid membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry δ-endotoxins cause death of susceptible insect larvae by forming lytic pores in the midgut epithelial cell membranes. The 65 kDa trypsin activated Cry4Ba toxin was previously shown to be capable of permeabilizing liposomes and forming ionic channels in receptor-free planar lipid bilayers. Here, magnetic ACmode (MACmode) atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize the lateral distribution and the native molecular structure of the Cry4Ba toxin in the membrane. Liposome fusion and the Langmuir-Blodgett technique were employed for supported lipid bilayer preparations. The toxin preferentially inserted in a self-assembled structure, rather than as a single monomeric molecule. In addition, the spontaneous insertion into receptor-free lipid bilayers lead to formation of characteristic pore-like structures with four-fold symmetry, suggesting that tetramers are the preferred oligomerization state of this toxin

  17. Structure and distribution of the Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba toxin in lipid membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Puntheeranurak, Theeraporn [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom 73170 (Thailand); Stroh, Cordula [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Zhu Rong [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria); Angsuthanasombat, Chanan [Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, Nakornpathom 73170 (Thailand); Hinterdorfer, Peter [Institute for Biophysics, Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Altenbergerstr. 69, A-4040 Linz (Austria)]. E-mail: peter.hinterdorfer@jku.at

    2005-11-15

    Bacillus thuringiensis Cry {delta}-endotoxins cause death of susceptible insect larvae by forming lytic pores in the midgut epithelial cell membranes. The 65 kDa trypsin activated Cry4Ba toxin was previously shown to be capable of permeabilizing liposomes and forming ionic channels in receptor-free planar lipid bilayers. Here, magnetic ACmode (MACmode) atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize the lateral distribution and the native molecular structure of the Cry4Ba toxin in the membrane. Liposome fusion and the Langmuir-Blodgett technique were employed for supported lipid bilayer preparations. The toxin preferentially inserted in a self-assembled structure, rather than as a single monomeric molecule. In addition, the spontaneous insertion into receptor-free lipid bilayers lead to formation of characteristic pore-like structures with four-fold symmetry, suggesting that tetramers are the preferred oligomerization state of this toxin.

  18. Membrane biofouling characterization: effects of sample preparation procedures on biofilm structure and the microbial community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Zheng; Lu, Huijie; Liu, Wen-Tso

    2014-01-01

    Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses, storage time at 4°C, and DNA extraction method) on the downstream analysis of nitrifying biofilms grown on ultrafiltration membranes. Both rinse and storage affected biofilm structure, as suggested by their strong correlation with total biovolume, biofilm thickness, roughness and the spatial distribution of EPS. Significant variations in DNA yields and microbial community diversity were also observed among samples treated by different rinses, storage and DNA extraction methods. For the tested biofilms, two rinses, no storage and DNA extraction with both mechanical and chemical cell lysis from attached biofilm were the optimal sample preparation procedures for obtaining accurate information about biofilm structure, EPS distribution and the microbial community.

  19. Membrane biofouling characterization: effects of sample preparation procedures on biofilm structure and the microbial community

    KAUST Repository

    Xue, Zheng

    2014-07-15

    Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses, storage time at 4°C, and DNA extraction method) on the downstream analysis of nitrifying biofilms grown on ultrafiltration membranes. Both rinse and storage affected biofilm structure, as suggested by their strong correlation with total biovolume, biofilm thickness, roughness and the spatial distribution of EPS. Significant variations in DNA yields and microbial community diversity were also observed among samples treated by different rinses, storage and DNA extraction methods. For the tested biofilms, two rinses, no storage and DNA extraction with both mechanical and chemical cell lysis from attached biofilm were the optimal sample preparation procedures for obtaining accurate information about biofilm structure, EPS distribution and the microbial community. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

  20. Effects of the Membrane Action of Tetralin on the Functional and Structural Properties of Artificial and Bacterial Membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    SIKKEMA, J; POOLMAN, B; KONINGS, WN; DEBONT, JAM

    1992-01-01

    Tetralin is toxic to bacterial cells at concentrations below 100-mu-mol/liter. To assess the inhibitory action of tetralin on bacterial membranes, a membrane model system, consisting of proteoliposomes in which beef heart cytochrome c oxidase was reconstituted as the proton motive force-generating m

  1. Proteomic characterization of golgi membranes enriched from Arabidopsis suspension cell cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Sara Fasmer; Ebert, Berit; Rautengarten, Carsten;

    2016-01-01

    from an Arabidopsis cell suspension culture that can be used to investigate the proteome of this organelle. We also provide a useful workflow for the examination of proteomic data as the result of multiple analyses. Finally, we highlight a simple technique to validate the subcellular localization......The plant Golgi apparatus has a central role in the secretory pathway and is the principal site within the cell for the assembly and processing of macromolecules. The stacked membrane structure of the Golgi apparatus along with its interactions with the cytoskeleton and endoplasmic reticulum has...... historically made the isolation and purification of this organelle difficult. Density centrifugation has typically been used to enrich Golgi membranes from plant microsomal preparations, and aside from minor adaptations, the approach is still widely employed. Here we outline the enrichment of Golgi membranes...

  2. Bacillus thuringiensis membrane-damaging toxins acting on mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celandroni, Francesco; Salvetti, Sara; Senesi, Sonia; Ghelardi, Emilia

    2014-12-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis is widely used as a biopesticide in forestry and agriculture, being able to produce potent species-specific insecticidal toxins and considered nonpathogenic to other animals. More recently, however, repeated observations are documenting the association of this microorganism with various infectious diseases in humans, such as food-poisoning-associated diarrheas, periodontitis, bacteremia, as well as ocular, burn, and wound infections. Similar to B. cereus, B. thuringiensis produces an array of virulence factors acting against mammalian cells, such as phosphatidylcholine- and phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PC-PLC and PI-PLC), hemolysins, in particular hemolysin BL (HBL), and various enterotoxins. The contribution of some of these toxins to B. thuringiensis pathogenicity has been studied in animal models of infection, following intravitreous, intranasal, or intratracheal inoculation. These studies lead to the speculation that the activities of PC-PLC, PI-PLC, and HBL are responsible for most of the pathogenic properties of B. thuringiensis in nongastrointestinal infections in mammals. This review summarizes data regarding the biological activity, the genetic basis, and the structural features of these membrane-damaging toxins.

  3. Nanoparticle adhesion in proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Qianping; Joy, David C.; Keffer, David J.

    2013-11-01

    Carbon supported platinum (Pt/C) catalyst remains among the most preferable catalyst materials for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. However, platinum (Pt) particles suffer from poor durability and encounter electrochemical surface area (ESA) loss under operation with the accompany of Pt nanoparticle coarsening. Several proposed mechanisms have involved the Pt detachment from its carbonate support as an initial step for the deactivation of Pt nanoparticles. In this study, we investigated the detachment mechanism from the nano-adhesion point of view. Classic molecular dynamics simulations are performed on systems contain Pt nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes. A thin Nafion film (1 nm) at different hydration levels is also included in the system to study the environmental effect on nanoparticle adhesion. We found that the adhesion force strengthens as the Pt size goes up. Pt nanoparticles of tetrahedral shape exhibit relatively stronger connection with the carbon substrate due to its unique ‘anchor-like’ structure. Adhesion is enhanced with the introduction of a Nafion. The humidity level in the Nafion film has a rather complicated effect on the strength of nanoparticle adhesion. The binding energies and maximum adhesive forces are reported for all systems studied.

  4. Solution NMR Structure of Membrane-Integral Diacylglycerol Kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Horn, Wade D.; Kim, Hak-Jun; Ellis, Charles D.; Hadziselimovic, Arina; Sulistijo, Endah S.; Karra, Murthy D.; Tian, Changlin; Sönnichsen, Frank D.; Sanders, Charles R.

    2009-01-01

    Escherichia coli diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) represents a family of integral membrane enzymes that is unrelated to all other phosphotransferases. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of the DAGK homotrimer using solution NMR. The third transmembrane helix from each subunit is domain-swapped with the first and second transmembrane segments from an adjacent subunit. Each of DAGK’s three active sites resembles a portico. The cornice of the portico appears to be the determinant of DAGK’s lipid substrate specificity and overhangs the site of phosphoryl transfer near the water-membrane interface. Mutations to cysteine that caused severe misfolding were located in or near the active site, indicating a high degree of overlap between sites responsible for folding and for catalysis. PMID:19556511

  5. Comparative proteomic analysis of plasma membrane proteins between human osteosarcoma and normal osteoblastic cell lines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary malignant tumor of bone in children and adolescents. However, the knowledge in diagnostic modalities has progressed less. To identify new biomarkers for the early diagnosis of OS as well as for potential novel therapeutic candidates, we performed a sub-cellular comparative proteomic research. An osteosarcoma cell line (MG-63) and human osteoblastic cells (hFOB1.19) were used as our comparative model. Plasma membrane (PM) was obtained by aqueous two-phase partition. Proteins were analyzed through iTRAQ-based quantitative differential LC/MS/MS. The location and function of differential proteins were analyzed through GO database. Protein-protein interaction was examined through String software. One of differentially expressed proteins was verified by immunohistochemistry. 342 non-redundant proteins were identified, 68 of which were differentially expressed with 1.5-fold difference, with 25 up-regulated and 43 down-regulated. Among those differential proteins, 69% ware plasma membrane, which are related to the biological processes of binding, cell structure, signal transduction, cell adhesion, etc., and interaction with each other. One protein--CD151 located in net nodes was verified to be over-expressed in osteosarcoma tissue by immunohistochemistry. It is the first time to use plasma membrane proteomics for studying the OS membrane proteins according to our knowledge. We generated preliminary but comprehensive data about membrane protein of osteosarcoma. Among these, CD151 was further validated in patient samples, and this small molecule membrane might be a new target for OS research. The plasma membrane proteins identified in this study may provide new insight into osteosarcoma biology and potential diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers

  6. Genistein and Daidzein Effects on Proliferation, Cell Membranes,Cell Cycles and Cell Apoptosis of Different Cell Lines

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李重华; 王洪钟; 肖锐; 张勇; 于江涛; 谢莉萍; 张荣庆

    2001-01-01

    Genistein and daidzein are two principle isoflavonoids in soybeans. They have received increasing attention in the past few years because of their possible roles in cancer prevention. Here are provided experimental evidences that genistein could inhibit the growth of human bladder carcinoma cells (ECV-304), human colon cancer cells (HT29), human uterus cervix cancer cells (Hela), and murine transformed muscle cells (3T3). Different from genistein, daidzein could only inhibit the growth of ECV-304, HT29, and 3T3 cells. To elucidate the mechanisms of the anti-tumor effect of genistein and daidzein, fluorescent polarization, circular dichroism, and flow cytometric analysis were employed to study the influence of genistein and daidzein on membrane fluidity and membrane protein conformation of these cell lines. The results showed that genistein increased the order of membrane protein conformation and reduced the membrane fluidity of ECV-304, HT29, and Hela cells. Daidzein also increased the order of membrane protein conformation of ECV-304 and HT29, but had no effect on the membrane fluidity of all these four cell lines. Also demonstrated was that both compounds affected the apoptosis and cell cycle progression of some cell lines. However, the effects of genistein and daidzein were not the same. These evidences suggested that the effects of genistein and daidzein on malignant cells were multisites and multiapproaches, and there were differences between their functional mechanisms. The amelioration effect on cell conditions may represent one of the mechanisms of the effect of genistein and daidzein on the growth, differentiation, and transference of malignant cells.

  7. MEMBRANE LEc EXPRESSION IN BREAST CANCER CELLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ya. A. Udalova

    2009-01-01

    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.

  8. A Theory for the Membrane Potential of Living Cells

    CERN Document Server

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

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Gold Nanoparticles-Enhanced Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  11. Inferring maps of forces inside cell membrane microdomains

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Nanoporous silicon membrane for fuel cells realized by electrochemical etching

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaouadi, M., E-mail: mohja05.08@hotmail.com [Laboratoire de Photovoltaieque, Centre de Recherches et des Technologies de l' Energie, Technopole de Borj-Cedria, BP 95 Hammam-Lif 2050 (Tunisia); Dimassi, W.; Gaidi, M.; Chtourou, R.; Ezzaouia, H. [Laboratoire de Photovoltaieque, Centre de Recherches et des Technologies de l' Energie, Technopole de Borj-Cedria, BP 95 Hammam-Lif 2050 (Tunisia)

    2012-05-15

    In this work we propose a simple method to realize nanoporous silicon proton exchange membranes for fuel cells. The electrochemical etching allows in a single step, the grooving of the membrane and the realization of double porous silicon (PS) layer. We have studied the impact of the different electrochemical conditions: current density, the electrolyte concentration (ethanoic HF) and the anodization time leading to optimal thickness (of 50-90 {mu}m) and nanoporosity for silicon microstructures. The experimental techniques employed for surface studies and depths of groove in silicon are mainly scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) which give information of the silicon microstructures. Photoluminescence (PL) measurements of porous silicon membrane were carried out in order to investigate the optical properties of the PS.

  13. Benzimidazole grafted polybenzimidazoles for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Jingshuai; Aili, David; Li, Qingfeng;

    2013-01-01

    High molecular weight polybenzimidazole (PBI) was synthesized and grafted with benzimidazole pendant groups. The high molecular weight of PBI resulted in good film-forming properties and superior tensile strength. With a phosphoric acid doping level (ADL) of 13.1, a tensile strength of 16 MPa...... was achieved at room temperature. Grafting of benzimidazole moieties onto the PBI macromolecular chain introduced additional basic sites which allowed the membrane to achieve higher phosphoric acid uptakes. A molar acid conductivity, defined as the specific conductivity of each mole of doping acid......, was proposed to evaluate the effective conductivity contributed from the doping acids. With a grafting degree of 5.3% and an ADL of 13.1, the PBI membranes exhibited a total conductivity of 0.15 S cm-1. A H2-air fuel cell based on this membrane showed a peak power density of 378 mW cm-2 at 180 °C without...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojesen, Inge Norby; Bojesen, Eigil

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. Surfaces of action: cells and membranes in electrochemistry and the life sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grote, Mathias

    2010-09-01

    The term 'cell', in addition to designating fundamental units of life, has also been applied since the nineteenth century to technical apparatuses such as fuel and galvanic cells. This paper shows that such technologies, based on the electrical effects of chemical reactions taking place in containers, had a far-reaching impact on the concept of the biological cell. My argument revolves around the controversy over oxidative phosphorylation in bioenergetics between 1961 and 1977. In this scientific conflict, a two-level mingling of technological culture, physical chemistry and biological research can be observed. First, Peter Mitchell explained the chemiosmotic hypothesis of energy generation by representing cellular membrane processes via an analogy to fuel cells. Second, in the associated experimental scrutiny of membranes, material cell models were devised that reassembled spatialized molecular processes in vitro. Cells were thus modelled both on paper and in the test tube not as morphological structures but as compartments able to perform physicochemical work. The story of cells and membranes in bioenergetics points out the role that theories and practices in physical chemistry had in the molecularization of life. These approaches model the cell as a 'topology of molecular action', as I will call it, and it involves concepts of spaces, surfaces and movements. They epitomize an engineer's vision of the organism that has influenced diverse fields in today's life sciences.

  17. Toward a Molecular Understanding of the Mechanism of Cryopreservation by Polyampholytes: Cell Membrane Interactions and Hydrophobicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, Robin; Hayashi, Fumiaki; Nagashima, Toshio; Matsumura, Kazuaki

    2016-05-01

    Cryopreservation enables long-term preservation of cells at ultralow temperatures. Current cryoprotective agents (CPAs) have several limitations, making it imperative to develop CPAs with advanced properties. Previously, we developed a novel synthetic polyampholyte-based CPA, copolymer of 2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA) and methacrylic acid(MAA) (poly(MAA-DMAEMA)), which showed excellent efficiency and biocompatibility. Introduction of hydrophobicity increased its efficiency significantly. Herein, we investigated the activity of other polyampholytes. We prepared two zwitterionic polymers, poly(sulfobetaine) (SPB) and poly(carboxymethyl betaine) (CMB), and compared their efficiency with poly(MAA-DMAEMA). Poly-SPB showed only intermediate property and poly-CMB showed no cryoprotective property. These data suggested that the polymer structure strongly influences cryoprotection, providing an impetus to elucidate the molecular mechanism of cryopreservation. We investigated the mechanism by studying the interaction of polymers with cell membrane, which allowed us to identify the interactions responsible for imparting different properties. Results unambiguously demonstrated that polyampholytes cryopreserve cells by strongly interacting with cell membrane, with hydrophobicity increasing the affinity for membrane interaction, which enables it to protect the membrane from various freezing-induced damages. Additionally, cryoprotective polymers, especially their hydrophobic derivatives, inhibit the recrystallization of ice, thus averting cell death. Hence, our results provide an important insight into the complex mechanism of cryopreservation, which might facilitate the rational design of polymeric CPAs with improved efficiency. PMID:27077533

  18. Model of red blood cell membrane skeleton: electrical and mechanical properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, M M; Markin, V S

    1987-12-21

    A theoretical membrane skeleton model of erythrocyte has been developed and successfully applied to interpret electrical and mechanical properties of the red blood cell spectrin-actin network. The model is based on the structure of the membrane skeleton that is comprised of unit cells each containing an actin protofilament and shooting forth a few spectrin heterodimers. The loose ends of the heterodimers of adjacent cells can form bonds with each other giving rise to an integrated network. The number of bonds depends on the temperature. The bond length being excessive (2.6 times the distance between the centers of adjacent cells), the bonds are flexible, and can thus be regarded as entropy springs. The advanced model has been employed to calculate the shear modulus of the membrane skeleton as well as to establish its temperature dependence. In a wide range of temperatures mu(T) is a decreasing function well fitting the experimental data. The relationship between the membrane bilayer-free size of the skeleton and the ionic strength of the solution has been derived to appear in good agreement with the results obtained previously. Experimental data combined with the advanced theory yield the average number of heterodimers per unit cell, m0, as equal to ca. 5; the spectrin heterodimer charge has been estimated. PMID:3455470

  19. Structural studies on membrane-embedded influenza hemagglutinin and its fragments.

    OpenAIRE

    Gray, C; Tamm, L K

    1997-01-01

    The mechanism of influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA)-mediated membrane fusion has been inferred in part from studies examining pH-induced structural changes in soluble HA derivatives lacking the viral membrane anchor and, sometimes, the fusion peptide (the C- and N-terminal residues of the HA2 chain, respectively). To reconcile structure-based mechanisms of HA-mediated membrane fusion with structural implications of functional studies performed on membrane-embedded HA, we have undertaken atten...

  20. Creating transient cell membrane pores using a standard inkjet printer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-16

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

  1. Modified SPEEK membranes for direct ethanol fuel cell

    KAUST Repository

    Maab, Husnul

    2010-07-01

    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. Carbon dioxide (hydrogen sulfide) membrane separations and WGS membrane reactor modeling for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jin

    Acid-gas removal is of great importance in many environmental or energy-related processes. Compared to current commercial technologies, membrane-based CO2 and H2S capture has the advantages of low energy consumption, low weight and space requirement, simplicity of installation/operation, and high process flexibility. However, the large-scale application of the membrane separation technology is limited by the relatively low transport properties. In this study, CO2 (H2S)-selective polymeric membranes with high permeability and high selectivity have been studied based on the facilitated transport mechanism. The membrane showed facilitated effect for both CO2 and H2S. A CO2 permeability of above 2000 Barrers, a CO2/H2 selectivity of greater than 40, and a CO2/N2 selectivity of greater than 200 at 100--150°C were observed. As a result of higher reaction rate and smaller diffusing compound, the H2S permeability and H2S/H2 selectivity were about three times higher than those properties for CO2. The novel CO2-selective membrane has been applied to capture CO 2 from flue gas and natural gas. In the CO2 capture experiments from a gas mixture with N2 and H2, a permeate CO 2 dry concentration of greater than 98% was obtained by using steam as the sweep gas. In CO2/CH4 separation, decent CO 2 transport properties were obtained with a feed pressure up to 500 psia. With the thin-film composite membrane structure, significant increase on the CO2 flux was achieved with the decrease of the selective layer thickness. With the continuous removal of CO2, CO2-selective water-gas-shift (WGS) membrane reactor is a promising approach to enhance CO conversion and increase the purity of H2 at process pressure under relatively low temperature. The simultaneous reaction and transport process in the countercurrent WGS membrane reactor was simulated by using a one-dimensional non-isothermal model. The modeling results show that a CO concentration of less than 10 ppm and a H2 recovery of greater

  3. 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

    2015-01-01

    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......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...

  4. Spectroscopic characterization of cell membranes and their constituents of the plant-associated soil bacterium Azospirillum brasilense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamnev, A. A.; Antonyuk, L. P.; Matora, L. Yu.; Serebrennikova, O. B.; Sumaroka, M. V.; Colina, M.; Renou-Gonnord, M.-F.; Ignatov, V. V.

    1999-05-01

    Structural and compositional features of bacterial membranes and some of their isolated constituents (cell surface lipopolysaccharide, phospholipids) of the plant-growth-promoting diazotrophic rhizobacterium Azospirillum brasilense (wild-type strain Sp245) were characterized using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and some other techniques. FTIR spectra of the cell membranes were shown to comprise the main vibration modes of the relevant lipopolysaccharide and protein components which are believed to be involved in associative plant-bacterium interactions, as well as of phospholipid constituents. The role and functions of metal cations in the structural organization and physicochemical properties of bacterial cell membranes are also discussed considering their accumulation in the membranes from the culture medium.

  5. Crystal Structure of Mitochondrial Respiratory Membrane Protein Complex Ⅱ Determined

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    @@ Scientists at the CAS Institute of Biophysics (IBP) and Tsinghua University have gained new insights into the mechanism of mitochondria, the subcellular structures which generate energy for living cells.

  6. Extensive determination of glycan heterogeneity reveals an unusual abundance of high mannose glycans in enriched plasma membranes of human embryonic stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Hyun Joo; Gip, Phung; Kim, Jaehan; Wu, Shuai; Park, Kun Wook; McVaugh, Cheryl T; Schaffer, David V; Bertozzi, Carolyn R; Lebrilla, Carlito B

    2012-04-01

    Most cell membrane proteins are known or predicted to be glycosylated in eukaryotic organisms, where surface glycans are essential in many biological processes including cell development and differentiation. Nonetheless, the glycosylation on cell membranes remains not well characterized because of the lack of sensitive analytical methods. This study introduces a technique for the rapid profiling and quantitation of N- and O-glycans on cell membranes using membrane enrichment and nanoflow liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry of native structures. Using this new method, the glycome analysis of cell membranes isolated from human embryonic stem cells and somatic cell lines was performed. Human embryonic stem cells were found to have high levels of high mannose glycans, which contrasts with IMR-90 fibroblasts and a human normal breast cell line, where complex glycans are by far the most abundant and high mannose glycans are minor components. O-Glycosylation affects relatively minor components of cell surfaces. To verify the quantitation and localization of glycans on the human embryonic stem cell membranes, flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry were performed. Proteomics analyses were also performed and confirmed enrichment of plasma membrane proteins with some contamination from endoplasmic reticulum and other membranes. These findings suggest that high mannose glycans are the major component of cell surface glycosylation with even terminal glucoses. High mannose glycans are not commonly presented on the surfaces of mammalian cells or in serum yet may play important roles in stem cell biology. The results also mean that distinguishing stem cells from other mammalian cells may be facilitated by the major difference in the glycosylation of the cell membrane. The deep structural analysis enabled by this new method will enable future mechanistic studies on the biological significance of high mannose glycans on stem cell membranes and provide a general tool to examine

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

    CERN Document Server

    Ehrig, Jens; Schwille, Petra

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. 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

    2001-01-01

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

  10. Multi-layer graphene membrane based memory cell

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  11. Microplicae: specialized surface structure of epithelial cells of wet-surfaced oral mucosa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P. Asikainen; E. Sirviö; J.J.W. Mikkonen; S.P. Singh; E.A.J.M. Schulten; C.M. ten Bruggenkate; A.P. Koistinen; A.M. Kullaa

    2015-01-01

    The surface structure of the superficial cells of the oral mucosa is decorated with numerous membrane ridges, termed microplicae (MPLs). The MPL structure is typical of the epithelial surfaces that are covered with protective mucus. Cell membrane MPLs are no longer seen as passive consequences of ce

  12. Stimulating Effect of Terfenadine on Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Signoretto

    2016-04-01

    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+.

  13. Beyond Membrane Protein Structure: Drug Discovery, Dynamics and Difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggin, Philip C; Aldeghi, Matteo; Bodkin, Michael J; Heifetz, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Most of the previous content of this book has focused on obtaining the structures of membrane proteins. In this chapter we explore how those structures can be further used in two key ways. The first is their use in structure based drug design (SBDD) and the second is how they can be used to extend our understanding of their functional activity via the use of molecular dynamics. Both aspects now heavily rely on computations. This area is vast, and alas, too large to consider in depth in a single book chapter. Thus where appropriate we have referred the reader to recent reviews for deeper assessment of the field. We discuss progress via the use of examples from two main drug target areas; G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels. We end with a discussion of some of the main challenges in the area.

  14. Spontaneous Packaging and Hypothermic Storage of Mammalian Cells with a Cell-Membrane-Mimetic Polymer Hydrogel in a Microchip.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-21

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  16. The effects of heat exposure on the membranous structure of rat's intestinalepithelium and the biochemical indexes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo Biao Zhu; Ji Hong Li

    2000-01-01

    AIM To study the effects of heat exposure and swimming on membranous structure of the small intestinalepithelium and the biochemical indexes.METHODS The distribution of the intra-membranous particles (IMPs) in enteric epithelium of SD rats andthe number of IMPs were analyzed with freeze-etching technique and TxB2, PGFIa, PRL, CORT and totalSA (TSA) were measured with the techniques of biochemistry and radio-immunity.RESULTS Heat exposure markedly affected the distributive pattern of IMPs in intestinal epithelium andmade the numbers of IMPs on the PF and EF faces of cell membrane and nuclear membrane decreased.Swimming exacerbated the above changes. And in the meantime heat exposure resulted in the massivereleasing of the body-hurting substance as TxB2 and reducing of the body-protecting substance as PGFIa.TSA increased obviously. These changes recovered partly after heat exposure, but the number of IMPs onboth PF and EF faces and certain biochemical indexes were still not restored to the levels as in the controlgroup.CONCLUSION Heat exposure and swimming can make the cellular catabolism accelerated and anabolismreduced, then bring about the numbers of IMPs of intestinal epithelium membrane and nuclear membranedecreased, and the distribution was abnormal. TxB2, PGFIa, PRL, CORT and TSA were changedabnormally during heat exposure. And above indexes showed no notable evidence of recovery after stoppingheat exposure 4 hours-24 hours; the delayed injury was obviously presented.

  17. Membrane tubule formation by banana-shaped proteins with or without transient network structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi

    2016-02-01

    In living cells, membrane morphology is regulated by various proteins. Many membrane reshaping proteins contain a Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain, which consists of a banana-shaped rod. The BAR domain bends the biomembrane along the rod axis and the features of this anisotropic bending have recently been studied. Here, we report on the role of the BAR protein rods in inducing membrane tubulation, using large-scale coarse-grained simulations. We reveal that a small spontaneous side curvature perpendicular to the rod can drastically alter the tubulation dynamics at high protein density, whereas no significant difference is obtained at low density. A percolated network is intermediately formed depending on the side curvature. This network suppresses tubule protrusion, leading to the slow formation of fewer tubules. Thus, the side curvature, which is generated by protein-protein and membrane-protein interactions, plays a significant role in tubulation dynamics. We also find that positive surface tensions and the vesicle membrane curvature can stabilize this network structure by suppressing the tubulation.

  18. Electrical Dissipative Structures in Membrane-Coupled Compartment Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feudel, U.; Feistel, R.; Ebeling, W.

    Reaction-diffusion systems with charged particles are studied. Conditions for the arising of electrical dissipative structures in a compartment system consisting of two boxes separated by a membrane are derived. The appearance of a polar dissipative structure is proved for a simple capacitor model in combination with a simple second order chemical kinetics which leads to an analytically solvable problem. Electrical dissipative structures can in principle be considered as non equilibrium electrical batteries. The theoretical efficiency of such batteries is estimated.Translated AbstractElektrische Dissipative Strukturen in Membrangekoppelten SystemenEs werden Reaktions-Diffusionssysteme mit geladenen Teilchen studiert. Bedingungen für die Entstehung elektrischer dissipativer Strukturen in einem Kompartment-System, bestehend aus zwei durch eine Membran getrennten Zellen werden abgeleitet. Die Entstehung einer polaren dissipativen Struktur wird für ein einfaches Kondensatorenmodell in Kombination mit einer einfachen chemischen Kinetik, das analytische Lösbarkeit gestattet, nachgewiesen. Elektrische dissipative Strukturen können im Prinzip als elektrische Batterien fern von Gleichgewicht betrachtet werden. Der theoretische Wirkungsgrad einer solchen Batterie wird berechnet.

  19. Galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane promoted liver-specific functions of HepG2 cells in vitro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yan, E-mail: zhang_yan@ecust.edu.cn [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China); Zhang, Yi [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China); Chen, Min; Zhou, Yan [The State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, School of Bioengineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 200237 (China); Lang, Meidong, E-mail: mdlang@ecust.edu.cn [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China)

    2014-08-01

    The lack of pendant functional groups on the PCL backbone has been a great challenge for surface bioactivation of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). In the present study, covalently galactosylated PCL (GPCL) was developed through coupling between the amino-functionalized PCL (NPCL) and the lactobionic acid (LA) and its potential application in maintenance of physiological functions of HepG2 cells was further evaluated. The structure and properties of GPCL were explored by {sup 1}H NMR, FT-IR, GPC and DSC. Moreover, the incorporation of galactose ligands onto GPCL membranes not only promoted higher wettability, but also radically changed surface morphology in comparison with PCL and NPCL according to the contact angle measurement and atomic force microscopy. When HepG2 cells were seeded onto these membranes, the cells on GPCL membranes showed more pronounced cell adhesion and tended to form aggregates during the initial adhesion stage and then progressively grew into multi-layer structures compared to those without galactose ligands by the observation with fluorescence microscope and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, live–dead assay and functional tests demonstrated that HepG2 cells on GPCL membranes had superior viability and maintained better liver-specific functions. Collectively, GPCL has great potential for hepatic tissue engineering scaffolds. - Graphical abstract: The specific recognition between the galactose ligands on the galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane and the ASGPR on the HepG2 cell surface. The galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membranes improved the cell-matrix interaction. The galactosylated functionalized PCL scaffold is a potential candidate for liver tissue engineering. - Highlights: • The specific recognition between the galactose ligands on the galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane and the ASGPR on the HepG2 cell surface. • The galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membranes improved the cell-matrix interaction.

  20. Multifractal characterization of morphology of human red blood cells membrane skeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ţălu, Ş; Stach, S; Kaczmarska, M; Fornal, M; Grodzicki, T; Pohorecki, W; Burda, K

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this paper is to show applicability of multifractal analysis in investigations of the morphological changes of ultra-structures of red blood cells (RBCs) membrane skeleton measured using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Human RBCs obtained from healthy and hypertensive donors as well as healthy erythrocytes irradiated with neutrons (45 μGy) were studied. The membrane skeleton of the cells was imaged using AFM in a contact mode. Morphological characterization of the three-dimensional RBC surfaces was realized by a multifractal method. The nanometre scale study of human RBCs surface morphology revealed a multifractal geometry. The generalized dimensions Dq and the singularity spectrum f(α) provided quantitative values that characterize the local scale properties of their membrane skeleton organization. Surface characterization was made using areal ISO 25178-2: 2012 topography parameters in combination with AFM topography measurement. The surface structure of human RBCs is complex with hierarchical substructures resulting from the organization of the erythrocyte membrane skeleton. The analysed AFM images confirm a multifractal nature of the surface that could be useful in histology to quantify human RBC architectural changes associated with different disease states. In case of very precise measurements when the red cell surface is not wrinkled even very fine differences can be uncovered as was shown for the erythrocytes treated with a very low dose of ionizing radiation.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moeller-Holst, S.

    1996-12-31

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-19

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

  3. Exegoeconomic Analysis On A Proton Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  4. 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)

    1996-04-01

    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.

  5. The influence of oscillating electromagnetic fields on membrane structure and function: Synthetic liposome and natural membrane bilayer systems with direct application to the controlled delivery of chemical agents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liburdy, R.P.; de Manincor, D.; Fingado, B.

    1989-09-01

    Investigations have been conducted to determine if an imposed electromagnetic field can influence membrane transport, and ion and drug permeability in both synthetic and natural cell membrane systems. Microwave fields enhance accumulation of sodium in the lymphocyte and induce protein shedding at Tc. Microwaves also trigger membrane permeability of liposome systems under specific field exposure conditions. Sensitivity varies in a defined way in bilayers displaying a membrane structural phase transition temperature, Tc; maximal release was observed at or near Tc. Significantly, liposome systems without a membrane phase transition were also found to experience permeability increases but, in contrast, this response was temperature independent. The above results indicate that field-enhanced drug release occurs in liposome vesicles that possess a Tc as well as non-Tc liposomes. Additional studies extend non-Tc liposome responses to the in vivo case in which microwaves trigger Gentamicin release from a liposome depot'' placed subcutaneously in the rat hind leg. In addition, evidence is provided that cell surface sequestered liposomes can be triggered by microwave fields to release drugs directly into target cells. 24 refs., 6 figs.

  6. Molecular Dynamics Study of Carbon Nanotubes/Polyamide Reverse Osmosis Membranes: Polymerization, Structure, and Hydration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, Takumi; Cruz-Silva, Rodolfo; Tejima, Syogo; Takeuchi, Kenji; Hayashi, Takuya; Inukai, Shigeki; Noguchi, Toru; Tanioka, Akihiko; Kawaguchi, Takeyuki; Terrones, Mauricio; Endo, Morinobu

    2015-11-11

    Carbon nanotubes/polyamide (PA) nanocomposite thin films have become very attractive as reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. In this work, we used molecular dynamics to simulate the influence of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in the polyamide molecular structure as a model case of a carbon nanotubes/polyamide nanocomposite RO membrane. It was found that the addition of SWCNTs decreases the pore size of the composite membrane and increases the Na and Cl ion rejection. Analysis of the radial distribution function of water confined in the pores of the membranes shows that SWCNT+PA nanocomposite membranes also exhibit smaller clusters of water molecules within the membrane, thus suggesting a dense membrane structure (SWCNT+PA composite membranes were 3.9% denser than bare PA). The results provide new insights into the fabrication of novel membranes reinforced with tubular structures for enhanced desalination performance. PMID:26505521

  7. Structure of a bacterial type III secretion system in contact with a host membrane in situ

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nans, Andrea; Kudryashev, Mikhail; Saibil, Helen R.; Hayward, Richard D.

    2015-12-01

    Many bacterial pathogens of animals and plants use a conserved type III secretion system (T3SS) to inject virulence effector proteins directly into eukaryotic cells to subvert host functions. Contact with host membranes is critical for T3SS activation, yet little is known about T3SS architecture in this state or the conformational changes that drive effector translocation. Here we use cryo-electron tomography and sub-tomogram averaging to derive the intact structure of the primordial Chlamydia trachomatis T3SS in the presence and absence of host membrane contact. Comparison of the averaged structures demonstrates a marked compaction of the basal body (4 nm) occurs when the needle tip contacts the host cell membrane. This compaction is coupled to a stabilization of the cytosolic sorting platform-ATPase. Our findings reveal the first structure of a bacterial T3SS from a major human pathogen engaged with a eukaryotic host, and reveal striking `pump-action' conformational changes that underpin effector injection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

    Cell microencapsulation is one of the promising strategies for in vitro production of proteins or in vivo delivery of therapeutic products. Membrane thickness controls microcapsule strength and permeability, which may in return affect cell growth and metabolism. In this study, the strength, permeability, and encapsulated Chinese hamster ovary cell proliferation and metabolism of four groups of microcapsules with different membrane thicknesses were investigated. It was found that increasing membrane thickness increases microcapsule strength, whereas decreases membrane permeability. During the first 6 days, cells within microcapsules with 10 μm thickness membrane proliferated fast and could reach a cell density of 1.9 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with 92% cell density. A cell density of 5.5 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with >85% cell density was achieved within microcapsules with 15 μm membrane thickness and these microcapsules kept over 88% integrity ratio after 11 days, which was much higher than that of microcapsules with 10 μm membrane thickness. Membrane with more than 20 μm thickness was not suited for encapsulated cell culture owing to low-protein diffusion rate. These results indicated that cells survived shortly within the thinnest membrane thickness. There was a specific membrane thickness more suitable for cell growth for a long-time culture. These findings will be useful for preparing microcapsules with the desired membrane thickness for microencapsulated cell culture dependent on various purposes.

  9. The structural dynamics of the flavivirus fusion peptide-membrane interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ygara S Mendes

    Full Text Available Membrane fusion is a crucial step in flavivirus infections and a potential target for antiviral strategies. Lipids and proteins play cooperative roles in the fusion process, which is triggered by the acidic pH inside the endosome. This acidic environment induces many changes in glycoprotein conformation and allows the action of a highly conserved hydrophobic sequence, the fusion peptide (FP. Despite the large volume of information available on the virus-triggered fusion process, little is known regarding the mechanisms behind flavivirus-cell membrane fusion. Here, we evaluated the contribution of a natural single amino acid difference on two flavivirus FPs, FLA(G ((98DRGWGNGCGLFGK(110 and FLA(H ((98DRGWGNHCGLFGK(110, and investigated the role of the charge of the target membrane on the fusion process. We used an in silico approach to simulate the interaction of the FPs with a lipid bilayer in a complementary way and used spectroscopic approaches to collect conformation information. We found that both peptides interact with neutral and anionic micelles, and molecular dynamics (MD simulations showed the interaction of the FPs with the lipid bilayer. The participation of the indole ring of Trp appeared to be important for the anchoring of both peptides in the membrane model, as indicated by MD simulations and spectroscopic analyses. Mild differences between FLA(G and FLA(H were observed according to the pH and the charge of the target membrane model. The MD simulations of the membrane showed that both peptides adopted a bend structure, and an interaction between the aromatic residues was strongly suggested, which was also observed by circular dichroism in the presence of micelles. As the FPs of viral fusion proteins play a key role in the mechanism of viral fusion, understanding the interactions between peptides and membranes is crucial for medical science and biology and may contribute to the design of new antiviral drugs.

  10. Dynamical clustering and a mechanism for raft-like structures in a model lipid membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starr, Francis W; Hartmann, Benedikt; Douglas, Jack F

    2014-05-01

    We use molecular dynamics simulations to examine the dynamical heterogeneity of a model single-component lipid membrane using a coarse-grained representation of lipid molecules. This model qualitatively reproduces the known phase transitions between disordered, ordered, and gel membrane phases, and the phase transitions are accompanied by significant changes in the nature of the lipid dynamics. In particular, lipid diffusion in the liquid-ordered phase is hindered by the transient trapping of molecules by their neighbors, similar to the dynamics of a liquid approaching its glass transition. This transient molecular caging gives rise to two distinct mobility groups within a single-component membrane: lipids that are transiently trapped, and lipids with displacements on the scale of the intermolecular spacing. Most significantly, lipids within these distinct mobility states spatially segregate, creating transient "islands" of enhanced mobility having a size and time scale compatible with lipid "rafts," dynamical structures thought to be important for cell membrane function. Although the dynamic lipid clusters that we observe do not themselves correspond to rafts (which are more complex, multicomponent structures), we hypothesize that such rafts may develop from the same universal mechanism, explaining why raft-like regions should arise, regardless of lipid structural or compositional details. These clusters are strikingly similar to the dynamical clusters found in glass-forming fluids, and distinct from phase-separation clusters. We also show that mobile lipid clusters can be dissected into smaller clusters of cooperatively rearranging molecules. The geometry of these clusters can be understood in the context of branched equilibrium polymers, related to percolation theory. We discuss how these dynamical structures relate to a range observations on the dynamics of lipid membranes.

  11. Membraner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bach, Finn

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Crystal structure of the Neisseria gonorrhoeae MtrD inner membrane multidrug efflux pump.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jani Reddy Bolla

    Full Text Available Neisseria gonorrhoeae is an obligate human pathogen and the causative agent of the sexually-transmitted disease gonorrhea. The control of this disease has been compromised by the increasing proportion of infections due to antibiotic-resistant strains, which are growing at an alarming rate. The MtrCDE tripartite multidrug efflux pump, belonging to the hydrophobic and amphiphilic efflux resistance-nodulation-cell division (HAE-RND family, spans both the inner and outer membranes of N. gonorrhoeae and confers resistance to a variety of antibiotics and toxic compounds. We here report the crystal structure of the inner membrane MtrD multidrug efflux pump, which reveals a novel structural feature that is not found in other RND efflux pumps.

  13. The effect of curvature on the undulation spectrum of Red Blood Cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuriabova, Tatiana; Henle, Mark L.; Levine, Alex J.

    2009-03-01

    The human red blood cell (RBC) membrane has a composite structure of a fluid lipid bilayer tethered to an elastic 2D spectrin network. The study of the mechanical properties of RBCs is crucial to our understanding of their ability withstand large amplitude deformations during their passage through the microvasculature. The linear mechanical response of this composite membrane can be measured by observing its undulatory dynamics in thermal equilibrium, i.e. microrheology. Previous models of these dynamics postulated an effective surface tension. In this talk, we show that surface tension is not necessary. Rather, the coupling of membrane bending to spectrin network compression by curvature can account for the observed dynamics. We use a simplified theoretical model to describe the undulatory dynamics of RBCs, measured experimentally by the Popescu group.ootnotetextG. Popescu et al. ``Imaging red blood cell dynamics by quantitative phase microscopy, Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases, (2008), in print'' Analyzing their data using our model, we observe dramatic changes in RBC membrane elasticity associated with cells' morphological transition from discocytes to echinocyte to spherocyte.

  14. Melittin interaction with sulfated sugars and cell membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Klocek, Gabriela

    2008-01-01

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

  15. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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....

  17. Sulfonated carbon black-based composite membranes for fuel cell applications

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hacer Doǧan; Emel Yildiz; Metin Kaya; Tülay Y Inan

    2013-08-01

    Two different commercial grade carbon black samples, Cabot Regal 400R (C1) and Cabot Mogul L (C2), were sulfonated with diazonium salt of sulfanilic acid. The resultant sulfonated carbon black samples (S–C) were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). Composite membranes were then prepared using S–C as fillers and sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) as polymer matrix with three different sulfonation degrees (DS = 60, 70 and 82%). Structure and properties of the composite membranes were characterized by FTIR, TGA, scanning electron microscopy, proton conduction, water uptake, ion exchange capacity and chemical stability. Incorporation of S–C particles above 0.25 wt% caused decrease in chemical stability. 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 the composite membranes with the addition of S–C particles at high concentrations due to the agglomeration problems and decrease in the content of conductive polymer matrix.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Stimulation of Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling by Mushroom Tyrosinase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonie Frauenfeld

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Membrane toxicity of abnormal prion protein in adrenal chromaffin cells of scrapie infected sheep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gillian McGovern

    Full Text Available Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases are associated with accumulations of disease specific PrP (PrP(d in the central nervous system (CNS and often the lymphoreticular system (LRS. Accumulations have additionally been recorded in other tissues including the peripheral nervous system and adrenal gland. Here we investigate the effect of sheep scrapie on the morphology and the accumulation of PrP(d in the adrenal medulla of scrapie affected sheep using light and electron microscopy. Using immunogold electron microscopy, non-fibrillar forms of PrP(d were shown to accumulate mainly in association with chromaffin cells, occasional nerve endings and macrophages. PrP(d accumulation was associated with distinctive membrane changes of chromaffin cells including increased electron density, abnormal linearity and invaginations. Internalisation of PrP(d from the chromaffin cell plasma membrane occurred in association with granule recycling following hormone exocytosis. PrP(d accumulation and internalisation from membranes is similarly associated with perturbations of membrane structure and trafficking in CNS neurons and tingible body macrophages of the LRS. These data suggest that a major toxic effect of PrP(d is at the level of plasma membranes. However, the precise nature of PrP(d-membrane toxicity is tissue and cell specific suggesting that the normal protein may act as a multi-functional scaffolding molecule. We further suggest that the co-localisation of PrP(d with exocytic granules of the hormone trafficking system may provide an additional source of infectivity in blood.

  2. Dewetting transition assisted clearance of (NFGAILS) amyloid fibrils from cell membranes by graphene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Jiajia; Yang, Zaixing; Gu, Zonglin [Institute of Quantitative Biology and Medicine, SRMP and RAD-X, Collaborative Innovation Center of Radiation Medicine of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, and Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Protection, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); Li, Haotian [Bio-X Lab, Department of Physics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Garate, Jose Antonio [IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598 (United States); Zhou, Ruhong, E-mail: ruhongz@us.ibm.com [Institute of Quantitative Biology and Medicine, SRMP and RAD-X, Collaborative Innovation Center of Radiation Medicine of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, and Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Protection, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598 (United States); Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027 (United States)

    2014-12-14

    Clearance of partially ordered oligomers and monomers deposited on cell membrane surfaces is believed to be an effective route to alleviate many potential protein conformational diseases (PCDs). With large-scale all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, here we show that graphene nanosheets can easily and quickly win a competitive adsorption of human islet amyloid polypeptides (hIAPP{sub 22-28}) NFGAILS and associated fibrils against cell membrane, due to graphene's unique two-dimensional, highly hydrophobic surface with its all-sp{sup 2} hybrid structure. A nanoscale dewetting transition was observed at the interfacial region between the fibril (originally deposited on the membrane) and the graphene nanosheet, which significantly assisted the adsorption of fibrils onto graphene from the membrane. The π–π stacking interaction between Phe23 and graphene played a crucial role, providing the driving force for the adsorption at the graphene surface. This study renders new insight towards the importance of water during the interactions between amyloid peptides, the phospholipidic membrane, and graphene, which might shed some light on future developments of graphene-based nanomedicine for preventing/curing PCDs like type II diabetes mellitus.

  3. Theoretical design strategies of bipolar membrane fuel cell with enhanced self-humidification behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiushi; Gong, Jian; Peng, Sikan; Lu, Shanfu; Sui, Pang-Chieh; Djilali, Ned; Xiang, Yan

    2016-03-01

    The bipolar membrane fuel cells (BPMFCs), which have a unique acid-alkaline jointed membrane electrode assembly (MEA) structure, have demonstrated their great potential for self-humidification during operation. Although the self-humidification ability of such bipolar membranes (BPMs) has recently been validated by a one-dimensional BPM model, the transport mechanism and the formation of self-humidification in the MEAs are not well understood. In the present study, a two-dimensional cross-channel MEA model is developed to elucidate the mechanisms and enhancement of water transport on self-humidification with comprehensive consideration of the three electrochemical reaction zones. The water-formation interface model has been successfully investigated by theoretical and experimental interface reaction kinetics, streamlines of water flux present the formation process and mechanism of self-humidification. A critical current (voltage) value, beyond which self-humidification is initiated, is identified. It is also found that such critical current (voltage) can be adjusted by changing the membrane thickness and the water uptake property of the ionomer. It is concluded that fabricating BPMs with proper membrane thickness and water uptake property are effective strategies to enhance the water management and cell performance in BPMFCs.

  4. Dewetting transition assisted clearance of (NFGAILS) amyloid fibrils from cell membranes by graphene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clearance of partially ordered oligomers and monomers deposited on cell membrane surfaces is believed to be an effective route to alleviate many potential protein conformational diseases (PCDs). With large-scale all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, here we show that graphene nanosheets can easily and quickly win a competitive adsorption of human islet amyloid polypeptides (hIAPP22-28) NFGAILS and associated fibrils against cell membrane, due to graphene's unique two-dimensional, highly hydrophobic surface with its all-sp2 hybrid structure. A nanoscale dewetting transition was observed at the interfacial region between the fibril (originally deposited on the membrane) and the graphene nanosheet, which significantly assisted the adsorption of fibrils onto graphene from the membrane. The π–π stacking interaction between Phe23 and graphene played a crucial role, providing the driving force for the adsorption at the graphene surface. This study renders new insight towards the importance of water during the interactions between amyloid peptides, the phospholipidic membrane, and graphene, which might shed some light on future developments of graphene-based nanomedicine for preventing/curing PCDs like type II diabetes mellitus

  5. Modelling and Fabrication of Micro-SOFC Membrane Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigita ABAKEVIČIENĖ

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Fabrication process of micro-SOFC membrane structure using the bulk micromachining of silicon technique with SiO2 and Si3N4 sacrificial layers is presented in this study. The process involves back side photolithography, magnetron sputtering of platinum thin films, thermal evaporation of YSZ electrolyte, deep reactive ion etching of silicon, and, finally, release of free-standing membrane using CF4/O2 plasma etching.X-ray analysis shows the cubic phase of YSZ electrolyte and platinum electrodes. Modelling of normal stress distribution in the micro-SOFC structure with the Si3N4 sacrificial layer shows that at high temperatures the substrate expands less than the coating, causing tensile stresses in the substrate area next to the coating and compressive stresses in the coating, as the substrate material has a lower coefficient of thermal expansion than the layered Pt/YSZ/Pt coating. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ms.20.2.5585

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Degradation mechanisms of sulfonated poly-aromatic membranes in fuel cell; Mecanismes de degradation des membranes polyaromatiques sulfonees en pile a combustible

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perrot, C

    2006-11-15

    Fuel cell development requires an improvement in the electrode-membrane assembly durability which depends on both the polymer used and the fuel cell operating conditions. The origin of the degradation can be either electrochemical, chemical and/or mechanical. This study deals with the understanding of alternative membranes ageing mechanisms, i.e. non fluorinated membranes, such as sPEEK and sPI. For this kind of membranes, the first process is chemical. Understanding these mechanisms is the first essential step to develop more stable structures. An original approach is developed to overcome the analytical difficulties encountered with polymers. It consists in studying the degradation mechanism on model structures. Ageing are carried out in water, with H{sub 2}O{sub 2} in some cases (identified as a cause of membrane chemical ageing in the fuel cell system), and at different temperatures. The approach consists in separating the different products formed by chromatography. Then they are identified (NMR, IR, MS) and quantified. This method allows us to establish the ageing mechanism. We show that the ageing of a sPEEK structure mainly results from an attack by end chains which spreads to the whole. This mechanism is confirmed on ex-situ and in-situ aged membranes. These two kinds of ageing lead to an important decrease in polymerisation degree (determined by SEC). Formation of the same degradation products is observed. In fuel cells, a heterogeneous degradation is noticed. It takes place mainly on the cathode side. sPI are known for their high sensitivity to hydrolysis. Nevertheless, we highlight a limited degradation at 80 Celsius degrees due to the recombination of hydrolyzed species at this temperature. (author)

  8. Aqueous liquid feed organic fuel cell using solid polymer electrolyte membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surampudi, Subbarao (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Vamos, Eugene (Inventor); Frank, Harvey A. (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor); Olah, George A. (Inventor); Prakash, G. K. Surya (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    A liquid organic fuel cell is provided which employs a solid electrolyte membrane. An organic fuel, such as a methanol/water mixture, is circulated past an anode of a cell while oxygen or air is circulated past a cathode of the cell. The cell solid electrolyte membrane is preferably fabricated from Nafion.TM.. Additionally, a method for improving the performance of carbon electrode structures for use in organic fuel cells is provided wherein a high surface-area carbon particle/Teflon.TM.-binder structure is immersed within a Nafion.TM./methanol bath to impregnate the electrode with Nafion.TM.. A method for fabricating an anode for use in a organic fuel cell is described wherein metal alloys are deposited onto the electrode in an electro-deposition solution containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid. A fuel additive containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid for use with fuel cells employing a sulfuric acid electrolyte is also disclosed. New organic fuels, namely, trimethoxymethane, dimethoxymethane, and trioxane are also described for use with either conventional or improved fuel cells.

  9. Nanodefects of membranes cause destruction of packed red blood cells during long-term storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kozlova, Elena, E-mail: waterlake@mail.ru [V.A. Negovsky Scientific Research Institute of General Reanimatology, Moscow (Russian Federation); I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow (Russian Federation); Chernysh, Aleksandr [V.A. Negovsky Scientific Research Institute of General Reanimatology, Moscow (Russian Federation); I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow (Russian Federation); Moroz, Victor; Sergunova, Victoria; Gudkova, Olga; Kuzovlev, Artem [V.A. Negovsky Scientific Research Institute of General Reanimatology, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2015-10-01

    Packed red blood cells (PRBC) are used for blood transfusion. PRBC were stored for 30 days under 4 °C in hermetic blood bags with CPD anticoagulant-preservative solution. Hematocrit was 50–55%. The distortions of PRBC membranes nanostructure and cells morphology during storage were studied by atomic force microscopy. Basic measurements were performed at the day 2, 6, 9, 16, 23 and 30 of storage and additionally 2–3 days after it. Topological defects occurred on RBC membranes by day 9. They appeared as domains with grain-like structures (“grains”) sized up to 200 nm. These domains were appeared in almost all cells. Later these domains merged and formed large defects on cells. It was the formation of domains with the “grains” which was onset process leading eventually to destruction of PRBC. Possible mechanisms of transformation of PRBC and their membrane are related to the alterations of spectrin cytoskeleton. During this storage period potassium ions and lactat concentrations increased, pH decreased, intracellular concentration of reduced glutathione diminished in the preservative solution. Changes of PRBC morphology were detected within the entire period of PRBC storage. Discocytes predominated at the days 1 and 2. By day 30 PRBC transformed into irreversible echinocytes and spheroechinocytes. Study of defects of membranes nanostructure may form the basis of assessing the quality of the stored PRBC. This method may allow to work out the best recommendations for blood transfusion. - Highlights: • Domains with “grains” are formed on membranes surface on 9–16 days of PRBC storage. • The development of domains is the reason of irreversible changes of PRBC structure. • The origin of domains is the consequence of alterations of spectrin cytoskeleton. • Study of nanostructure may form basis of assessing the quality of the stored PRBC.

  10. Basement membrane and interstitial proteoglycans produced by MDCK cells correspond to those expressed in the kidney cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erickson, A C; Couchman, J R

    2001-01-01

    Multiple proteoglycans (PGs) are present in all basement membranes (BM) and may contribute to their structure and function, but their effects on cell behavior are not well understood. Their postulated functions include: a structural role in maintaining tissue histoarchitecture, or aid in selectiv...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher T. Saeui

    2015-06-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaojuan; Zhou, Boyang

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hyoung-Juhn Kim

    2005-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Malaeb, Lilian

    2013-10-15

    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.

  15. VESICULAR TRANSPORT. A structure of the COPI coat and the role of coat proteins in membrane vesicle assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodonova, S O; Diestelkoetter-Bachert, P; von Appen, A; Hagen, W J H; Beck, R; Beck, M; Wieland, F; Briggs, J A G

    2015-07-10

    Transport of material within cells is mediated by trafficking vesicles that bud from one cellular compartment and fuse with another. Formation of a trafficking vesicle is driven by membrane coats that localize cargo and polymerize into cages to bend the membrane. Although extensive structural information is available for components of these coats, the heterogeneity of trafficking vesicles has prevented an understanding of how complete membrane coats assemble on the membrane. We combined cryo-electron tomography, subtomogram averaging, and cross-linking mass spectrometry to derive a complete model of the assembled coat protein complex I (COPI) coat involved in traffic between the Golgi and the endoplasmic reticulum. The highly interconnected COPI coat structure contradicted the current "adaptor-and-cage" understanding of coated vesicle formation.

  16. Preparation and characterization of mono-sheet bipolar membranes by pre-irradiation grafting method for fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Yingjie; Fang, Jun; Fu, Tao; Zhou, Huili; Wang, Xin; Deng, Zixiang; Zhao, Jinbao

    2016-09-01

    A new method for the preparation of the mono-sheet bipolar membrane applied to fuel cells was developed based on the pre-irradiation grafting technology. A series of bipolar membranes were successfully prepared by simultaneously grafting of styrene onto one side of the poly(ethylene-co-tetrafluoroethylene) base film and 1-vinylimidazole onto the opposite side, followed by the sulfonation and alkylation, respectively. The chemical structures and microstructures of the prepared membranes were investigated by ATR-FTIR and SEM-EDS. The TGA measurements demonstrated the prepared bipolar membranes have reasonable thermal stability. The ion exchange capacity, water uptake and ionic conductivity of the membranes were also characterized. The H2/O2 single fuel cells using these membranes were evaluated and revealed a maximum power density of 107 mW cm-2 at 35 °C with unhumidified hydrogen and oxygen. The preliminary performances suggested the great prospect of these membranes in application of bipolar membrane fuel cells.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-10-04

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

  18. Heat Denaturation of Protein Structures and Chlorophyll States in PSII Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李冬海; 阮翔; 许强; 王可玢; 公衍道; 匡廷云; 赵南明

    2002-01-01

    Heat denaturation is an important technique in the study of the structure and function of photosynthetic proteins. Heat denaturation of photosystem II (PSII) membrane was studied using circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and oxygen electrode. Complete loss of oxygen-evolving activity of the PSII membrane was observed at temperatures below 45℃. The decrease of excitonic interaction between chlorophyll molecules occurred more rapidly than the change of the protein secondary structure of the PSII membrane at temperatures above 45℃. The results indicate that the protein secondary structure of the membrane proteins in PSII membranes is more stable than the excitonic interaction between chlorophyll molecules during heat denaturation.

  19. Bacterial nanocellulose/Nafion composite membranes for low temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Gao-peng; Zhang, Jing; Qiao, Jin-li; Jiang, Yong-ming; Zarrin, Hadis; Chen, Zhongwei; Hong, Feng

    2015-01-01

    Novel nanocomposite membranes aimed for both proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) are presented in this work. The membranes are based on blending bacterial nanocellulose pulp and Nafion (abbreviated as BxNy, where x and y indicates the mass ratio of bacterial cellulose to Nafion). The structure and properties of BxNy membranes are characterized by FTIR, SEM, TG, DMA and EIS, along with water uptake, swelling behavior and methanol permeability tests. It is found that the BxNy composite membranes with reinforced concrete-like structure show excellent mechanical and thermal stability regardless of annealing. The water uptake plus area and volume swelling ratios are all decreased compared to Nafion membranes. The proton conductivities of pristine and annealed B1N9 are 0.071 and 0.056 S cm-1, respectively, at 30 °C and 100% humidity. Specifically, annealed B1N1 exhibited the lowest methanol permeability of 7.21 × 10-7 cm2 s-1. Through the selectivity analysis, pristine and annealed B1N7 are selected to assemble the MEAs. The performances of annealed B1N7 in PEMFC and DMFC show the maximum power densities of 106 and 3.2 mW cm-2, respectively, which are much higher than those of pristine B1N7 at 25 °C. The performances of the pristine and annealed B1N7 reach a level as high as 21.1 and 20.4 mW cm-2 at 80 °C in DMFC, respectively.

  20. Weak glycolipid binding of a microdomain-tracer peptide correlates with aggregation and slow diffusion on cell membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim Lauterbach

    Full Text Available Organized assembly or aggregation of sphingolipid-binding ligands, such as certain toxins and pathogens, has been suggested to increase binding affinity of the ligand to the cell membrane and cause membrane reorganization or distortion. Here we show that the diffusion behavior of the fluorescently tagged sphingolipid-interacting peptide probe SBD (Sphingolipid Binding Domain is altered by modifications in the construction of the peptide sequence that both result in a reduction in binding to ganglioside-containing supported lipid membranes, and at the same time increase aggregation on the cell plasma membrane, but that do not change relative amounts of secondary structural features. We tested the effects of modifying the overall charge and construction of the SBD probe on its binding and diffusion behavior, by Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR; Biacore analysis on lipid surfaces, and by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS on live cells, respectively. SBD binds preferentially to membranes containing the highly sialylated gangliosides GT1b and GD1a. However, simple charge interactions of the peptide with the negative ganglioside do not appear to be a critical determinant of binding. Rather, an aggregation-suppressing amino acid composition and linker between the fluorophore and the peptide are required for optimum binding of the SBD to ganglioside-containing supported lipid bilayer surfaces, as well as for interaction with the membrane. Interestingly, the strength of interactions with ganglioside-containing artificial membranes is mirrored in the diffusion behavior by FCS on cell membranes, with stronger binders displaying similar characteristic diffusion profiles. Our findings indicate that for aggregation-prone peptides, aggregation occurs upon contact with the cell membrane, and rather than giving a stronger interaction with the membrane, aggregation is accompanied by weaker binding and complex diffusion profiles indicative of heterogeneous

  1. Response Mechanisms of Bacterial Degraders to Environmental Contaminants on the Level of Cell Walls and Cytoplasmic Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slavomíra Murínová

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial strains living in the environment must cope with the toxic compounds originating from humans production. Surface bacterial structures, cell wall and cytoplasmic membrane, surround each bacterial cell and create selective barriers between the cell interior and the outside world. They are a first site of contact between the cell and toxic compounds. Organic pollutants are able to penetrate into cytoplasmic membrane and affect membrane physiological functions. Bacteria had to evolve adaptation mechanisms to counteract the damage originated from toxic contaminants and to prevent their accumulation in cell. This review deals with various adaptation mechanisms of bacterial cell concerning primarily the changes in cytoplasmic membrane and cell wall. Cell adaptation maintains the membrane fluidity status and ratio between bilayer/nonbilayer phospholipids as well as the efflux of toxic compounds, protein repair mechanisms, and degradation of contaminants. Low energy consumption of cell adaptation is required to provide other physiological functions. Bacteria able to survive in toxic environment could help us to clean contaminated areas when they are used in bioremediation technologies.

  2. Expression of recombinant dystrophin and its localization to the cell membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, C C; Pearlman, J A; Chamberlain, J S; Caskey, C T

    1991-01-24

    Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked progressive myopathy caused by a defect in the DMD gene locus. The gene corresponding to the DMD locus produces a 14-kilobase (kb) messenger RNA that codes for a large cytoskeletal membrane protein, dystrophin. DMD and Becker's muscular dystrophy are the consequences of dystrophin mutations. The exact biological function of dystrophin remains unknown but it has been demonstrated that it is localized to the cytoplasmic face of the cell membrane and has direct interaction with several other membrane proteins. We report here the synthesis of a 14-kb full-length complementary DNA for the mouse muscle dystrophin mRNA and the expression of this cDNA in COS cells. The recombinant dystrophin is indistinguishable from mouse muscle dystrophin by western blot analysis with anti-dystrophin antibodies and was shown by an immunofluorescent technique to be localized in the cell membrane. Our successful construction of a functional full-length cDNA opens opportunities for the study of structure and function of dystrophin and provides an opportunity to initiate gene therapy studies. PMID:1824797

  3. A new look at lipid-membrane structure in relation to drug research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mouritsen, Ole G.; Jørgensen, Kent

    1998-01-01

    Lipid-bilayer membranes are key objects in drug research in relation to (i) interaction of drugs with membrane-bound receptors, (ii) drug targeting, penetration, and permeation of cell membranes, and (iii) use of liposomes in micro-encapsulation technologies for drug delivery. Rational design...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  5. Structure and supramolecular architecture of membrane channel-forming peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spach, G; Duclohier, H; Molle, G; Valleton, J M

    1989-01-01

    Peptides gathering together to induce channels in lipid bilayers may be classified in several categories according to the spatial structures involved. For example, gramicidin A forms intramolecular tubes, alamethicin, bundles of helical rods with intermolecular pores, porins (being proteins, properly speaking) are rich in beta-sheets that may form barrels, whereas cyclic peptides might stack together resulting in the formation of pores. The chemical structure of these compounds is now well characterized. The transmembrane electrical signals that they transmit are also typical of the particular supramolecular configurations (or architecture). Investigations in this field are thus relevant to structure-function relationship studies due to the availability of natural or synthetic analogues allowing the measurement of the influence of physico-chemical parameters upon the energy profiles of the pores. Consequently, questions such as the existence and probabilities of conductance substrates, their voltage-dependence and their ion or molecular selectivity can be tackled. Today, the loosest aspect of these studies lies in the actual molecular conformations and architecture in the membranes of the peptide aggregates, the knowledge of which remains imprecise, even 'at rest' in the best-studied cases. This review attempts to point out still unresolved questions and to propose some plausible approaches concerning, for example: 1) the configurations of the molecular aggregates responsible for ion transfer; 2) the mechanisms for channel-opening and closing (gating); 3) the eventual cooperative phenomena between channels, via the bilayer or interfacial components. Possible applications of these structures will be tentatively outlined. PMID:2470416

  6. 160 C PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE (PEM) FUEL CELL SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.G. Marianowski

    2001-12-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sens, Pierre; Gov, Nir

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shore, Lawrence

    2012-02-28

    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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Structural and Electrochemical Analysis of PMMA Based Gel Electrolyte Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chithra M. Mathew

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available New gel polymer electrolytes containing poly(vinylidene chloride-co-acrylonitrile and poly(methyl methacrylate are prepared by solution casting method. With the addition of 60 wt.% of EC to PVdC-AN/PMMA blend, ionic conductivity value 0.398×10-6 S cm−1 has been achieved. XRD and FT-IR studies have been conducted to investigate the structure and complexation in the polymer gel electrolytes. The FT-IR spectra show that the functional groups C=O and C≡N play major role in ion conduction. Thermal stability of the prepared membranes is found to be about 180°C.

  11. [Influence of wholemeal bread on functional and structure characteristics erythrocytes membrane and lipids oxidation in fraction of microsome of internal organs in rats].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitavskaia, A V; Khasiev, Kh Kh; Murzakhmetova, M K

    2006-01-01

    Acute tests in rats showed, that application of wholemeal bread into a standard vivarium ration (40 g per a rat with body weight 180-200 g) drastically impoves structural and functional characteristics of membranes of erlthrocytes and cells of a number of internal organs. Anhibition of peroxide oxidation of biological membranes lipids of internal organs (liver, ridneys, heart, lungs and brain) takes place, as well as impairment of erythrocytes membranes perkeability and increase of their peroxide resistivity.

  12. The Structural Basis of Cholesterol Accessibility in Membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Olsen, Brett N.; Bielska, Agata A.; Lee, Tiffany; Daily, Michael D.; Covey, Douglas F.; Schlesinger, Paul H.; Baker, Nathan A.; Ory, Daniel S.

    2013-01-01

    Although the majority of free cellular cholesterol is present in the plasma membrane, cholesterol homeostasis is principally regulated through sterol-sensing proteins that reside in the cholesterol-poor endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In response to acute cholesterol loading or depletion, there is rapid equilibration between the ER and plasma membrane cholesterol pools, suggesting a biophysical model in which the availability of plasma membrane cholesterol for trafficking to internal membranes mo...

  13. A theory for the membrane potential of cells

    CERN Document Server

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  15. Structural remodeling of bacteriophage T4 and host membranes during infection initiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Bo; Margolin, William; Molineux, Ian J; Liu, Jun

    2015-09-01

    The first stages of productive bacteriophage infections of bacterial host cells require efficient adsorption to the cell surface followed by ejection of phage DNA into the host cytoplasm. To achieve this goal, a phage virion must undergo significant structural remodeling. For phage T4, the most obvious change is the contraction of its tail. Here, we use skinny E. coli minicells as a host, along with cryo-electron tomography and mutant phage virions, to visualize key structural intermediates during initiation of T4 infection. We show for the first time that most long tail fibers are folded back against the tail sheath until irreversible adsorption, a feature compatible with the virion randomly walking across the cell surface to find an optimal site for infection. Our data confirm that tail contraction is triggered by structural changes in the baseplate, as intermediates were found with remodeled baseplates and extended tails. After contraction, the tail tube penetrates the host cell periplasm, pausing while it degrades the peptidoglycan layer. Penetration into the host cytoplasm is accompanied by a dramatic local outward curvature of the cytoplasmic membrane as it fuses with the phage tail tip. The baseplate hub protein gp27 and/or the ejected tape measure protein gp29 likely form the transmembrane channel for viral DNA passage into the cell cytoplasm. Building on the wealth of prior biochemical and structural information, this work provides new molecular insights into the mechanistic pathway of T4 phage infection. PMID:26283379

  16. 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.

  17. Association of the Astrovirus Structural Protein VP90 with Membranes Plays a Role in Virus Morphogenesis▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez, Ernesto; Aguirre-Crespo, Gabriela; Zavala, Guadalupe; Arias, Carlos F.

    2007-01-01

    VP90, the capsid polyprotein precursor of human astrovirus Yuc8, is assembled into viral particles, and its processing at the carboxy terminus by cellular caspases, to yield VP70, has been correlated with the cell release of the virus. Here, we characterized the effect of the VP90-VP70 processing on the properties of these proteins, as well as on their intracellular distribution. VP90 was found in membrane-enriched fractions (mVP90), as well as in fractions enriched in cytosolic proteins (cVP90), while VP70 was found exclusively in the latter fractions. Upon trypsin activation, infectivity was detected in all VP90-containing fractions, confirming that both mVP90 and cVP90 are able to assemble into particles; however, the two forms of VP90 showed differential sensitivities to trypsin, especially at their carboxy termini, which in the case of mVP90 was shown to remain membrane associated after protease digestion. Structural protein oligomers were detected in purified VP70-containing viruses, as well as in membrane-enriched fractions, but they were less evident in cytosolic fractions. Ultrastructural studies of infected cells revealed different types of viral particles, some of which appeared to be associated with membranes. By immunoelectron microscopy, structural proteins were shown to form virus particles in clusters and to associate with the edges of vesicles induced during infection, which also appear to contain subviral particles inside. Nonstructural proteins and viral RNA colocalized with mVP90, but not with cVP90, suggesting that mVP90 might represent the form of the protein that is initially assembled into particles, at the sites where the virus genome is being replicated. PMID:17652389

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  19. Allosteric activation of membrane-bound glutamate receptors using coordination chemistry within living cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyonaka, Shigeki; Kubota, Ryou; Michibata, Yukiko; Sakakura, Masayoshi; Takahashi, Hideo; Numata, Tomohiro; Inoue, Ryuji; Yuzaki, Michisuke; Hamachi, Itaru

    2016-10-01

    The controlled activation of proteins in living cells is an important goal in protein-design research, but to introduce an artificial activation switch into membrane proteins through rational design is a significant challenge because of the structural and functional complexity of such proteins. Here we report the allosteric activation of two types of membrane-bound neurotransmitter receptors, the ion-channel type and the G-protein-coupled glutamate receptors, using coordination chemistry in living cells. The high programmability of coordination chemistry enabled two His mutations, which act as an artificial allosteric site, to be semirationally incorporated in the vicinity of the ligand-binding pockets. Binding of Pd(2,2‧-bipyridine) at the allosteric site enabled the active conformations of the glutamate receptors to be stabilized. Using this approach, we were able to activate selectively a mutant glutamate receptor in live neurons, which initiated a subsequent signal-transduction pathway.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-24

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

  1. Influence of Lipid Oxidization on Structures and Functions of Biological Membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Korytowski, Agatha Anna

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of this thesis is to clarify how the structures and functions of biological membranes are influenced by the oxidative damage mediated by free radicals. As a precisely defined model systems, artificially reconstituted lipid membranes (Langmuir monolayers, vesicles, supported membranes, multilamellar membranes) incorporating two oxidized phospholipids bearing aldehyde or carboxyl groups at the end of truncated sn-2 acyl chains were fabricated. By the combination of various exper...

  2. Analysis of plasma membrane phosphoinositides from fusogenic carrot cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Ying; Zhang, Ying; Wang, Yu;

    2013-01-01

    Cell microencapsulation is one of the promising strategies for in vitro production of proteins or in vivo delivery of therapeutic products. Membrane thickness controls microcapsule strength and permeability, which may in return affect cell growth and metabolism. In this study, the strength......, permeability, and encapsulated Chinese hamster ovary cell proliferation and metabolism of four groups of microcapsules with different membrane thicknesses were investigated. It was found that increasing membrane thickness increases microcapsule strength, whereas decreases membrane permeability. During...... the first 6 days, cells within microcapsules with 10 μm thickness membrane proliferated fast and could reach a cell density of 1.9 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with 92% cell density. A cell density of 5.5 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with >85% cell density was achieved within microcapsules with 15 μm...

  5. Influence of cholesterol and ceramide VI on the structure of multilamellar lipid membranes at water exchange

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The structural changes in the multilamellar lipid membranes of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC)/cholesterol and DPPC/ceramide VI binary systems during hydration and dehydration have been studied by neutron diffraction. The effect of cholesterol and ceramide on the kinetics of water exchange in DPPC membranes is characterized. Compared to pure DPPC, membranes of binary systems swell faster during hydration (with a characteristic time of ∼30 min). Both compounds, ceramide VI and cholesterol, similarly affect the hydration of DPPC membranes, increasing the repeat distance due to the bilayer growth. However, in contrast to cholesterol, ceramide significantly reduces the thickness of the membrane water layer. The introduction of cholesterol into a DPPC membrane slows down the change in the parameters of the bilayer internal structure during dehydration. In the DPPC/ceramide VI/cholesterol ternary system (with a molar cholesterol concentration of 40%), cholesterol is partially released from the lamellar membrane structure into the crystalline phase.

  6. Bacterial porin disrupts mitochondrial membrane potential and sensitizes host cells to apoptosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vera Kozjak-Pavlovic

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The bacterial PorB porin, an ATP-binding beta-barrel protein of pathogenic Neisseria gonorrhoeae, triggers host cell apoptosis by an unknown mechanism. PorB is targeted to and imported by host cell mitochondria, causing the breakdown of the mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi(m. Here, we show that PorB induces the condensation of the mitochondrial matrix and the loss of cristae structures, sensitizing cells to the induction of apoptosis via signaling pathways activated by BH3-only proteins. PorB is imported into mitochondria through the general translocase TOM but, unexpectedly, is not recognized by the SAM sorting machinery, usually required for the assembly of beta-barrel proteins in the mitochondrial outer membrane. PorB integrates into the mitochondrial inner membrane, leading to the breakdown of DeltaPsi(m. The PorB channel is regulated by nucleotides and an isogenic PorB mutant defective in ATP-binding failed to induce DeltaPsi(m loss and apoptosis, demonstrating that dissipation of DeltaPsi(m is a requirement for cell death caused by neisserial infection.

  7. 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;

    2015-01-01

    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...

  8. Exploration of lipid metabolism in relation with plasma membrane properties of Duchenne muscular dystrophy cells: influence of L-carnitine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Françoise Le Borgne

    Full Text Available Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD arises as a consequence of mutations in the dystrophin gene. Dystrophin is a membrane-spanning protein that connects the cytoskeleton and the basal lamina. The most distinctive features of DMD are a progressive muscular dystrophy, a myofiber degeneration with fibrosis and metabolic alterations such as fatty infiltration, however, little is known on lipid metabolism changes arising in Duchenne patient cells. Our goal was to identify metabolic changes occurring in Duchenne patient cells especially in terms of L-carnitine homeostasis, fatty acid metabolism both at the mitochondrial and peroxisomal level and the consequences on the membrane structure and function. In this paper, we compared the structural and functional characteristics of DMD patient and control cells. Using radiolabeled L-carnitine, we found, in patient muscle cells, a marked decrease in the uptake and the intracellular level of L-carnitine. Associated with this change, a decrease in the mitochondrial metabolism can be seen from the analysis of mRNA encoding for mitochondrial proteins. Probably, associated with these changes in fatty acid metabolism, alterations in the lipid composition of the cells were identified: with an increase in poly unsaturated fatty acids and a decrease in medium chain fatty acids, mono unsaturated fatty acids and in cholesterol contents. Functionally, the membrane of cells lacking dystrophin appeared to be less fluid, as determined at 37°C by fluorescence anisotropy. These changes may, at least in part, be responsible for changes in the phospholipids and cholesterol profile in cell membranes and ultimately may reduce the fluidity of the membrane. A supplementation with L-carnitine partly restored the fatty acid profile by increasing saturated fatty acid content and decreasing the amounts of MUFA, PUFA, VLCFA. L-carnitine supplementation also restored muscle membrane fluidity. This suggests that regulating lipid metabolism

  9. Structure and dynamics of nano-sized raft-like domains on the plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Fernando E.; Pantano, Sergio

    2012-01-01

    Cell membranes are constitutively composed of thousands of different lipidic species, whose specific organization leads to functional heterogeneities. In particular, sphingolipids, cholesterol and some proteins associate among them to form stable nanoscale domains involved in recognition, signaling, membrane trafficking, etc. Atomic-detail information in the nanometer/second scale is still elusive to experimental techniques. In this context, molecular simulations on membrane systems have provided useful insights contributing to bridge this gap. Here we present the results of a series of simulations of biomembranes representing non-raft and raft-like nano-sized domains in order to analyze the particular structural and dynamical properties of these domains. Our results indicate that the smallest (5 nm) raft domains are able to preserve their distinctive structural and dynamical features, such as an increased thickness, higher ordering, lower lateral diffusion, and specific lipid-ion interactions. The insertion of a transmembrane protein helix into non-raft, extended raft-like, and raft-like nanodomain environments result in markedly different protein orientations, highlighting the interplay between the lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interactions.

  10. A structural overview of the plasma membrane Na+,K+-ATPase and H+-ATPase ion pumps

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morth, Jens Preben; Pedersen, Bjørn Panella; Buch-Pedersen, Morten Jeppe;

    2011-01-01

    transport systems that are responsible for uptake and extrusion of metabolites and other ions. The ion gradients are also both directly and indirectly used to control pH homeostasis and to regulate cell volume. The plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase maintains a proton gradient in plants and fungi and the Na......(+),K(+)-ATPase maintains a Na(+) and K(+) gradient in animal cells. Structural information provides insight into the function of these two distinct but related P-type pumps....

  11. The Effect of Platinum Electrocatalyst on Membrane Degradation in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodner, Merit; Cermenek, Bernd; Rami, Mija; Hacker, Viktor

    2015-12-08

    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.

  12. Charge transport in the electrospun nanofiber composite membrane's three-dimensional fibrous structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeGostin, Matthew B.; Peracchio, Aldo A.; Myles, Timothy D.; Cassenti, Brice N.; Chiu, Wilson K. S.

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, a Fiber Network (FN) ion transport model is developed to simulate the three-dimensional fibrous microstructural morphology that results from the electrospinning membrane fabrication process. This model is able to approximate fiber layering within a membrane as well as membrane swelling due to water uptake. The discrete random fiber networks representing membranes are converted to resistor networks and solved for current flow and ionic conductivity. Model predictions are validated by comparison with experimental conductivity data from electrospun anion exchange membranes (AEM) and proton exchange membranes (PEM) for fuel cells as well as existing theories. The model is capable of predicting in-plane and thru-plane conductivity and takes into account detailed membrane characteristics, such as volume fraction, fiber diameter, fiber conductivity, and membrane layering, and as such may be used as a tool for advanced electrode design.

  13. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells for space and electric vehicle applications: From basic research to technology development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasan, Supramaniam; Mukerjee, Sanjeev; Parthasarathy, A.; CesarFerreira, A.; Wakizoe, Masanobu; Rho, Yong Woo; Kim, Junbom; Mosdale, Renaut A.; Paetzold, Ronald F.; Lee, James

    1994-01-01

    The proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising electrochemical power sources for space and electric vehicle applications. The wide spectrum of R&D activities on PEMFC's, carried out in our Center from 1988 to date, is as follows (1) Electrode Kinetic and Electrocatalysis of Oxygen Reduction; (2) Optimization of Structures of Electrodes and of Membrane and Electrode Assemblies; (3) Selection and Evaluation of Advanced Proton Conducting Membranes and of Operating Conditions to Attain High Energy Efficiency; (4) Modeling Analysis of Fuel Cell Performance and of Thermal and Water Management; and (5) Engineering Design and Development of Multicell Stacks. The accomplishments on these tasks may be summarized as follows: (1) A microelectrode technique was developed to determine the electrode kinetic parameters for the fuel cell reactions and mass transport parameters for the H2 and O2 reactants in the proton conducting membrane. (2) High energy efficiencies and high power densities were demonstrated in PEMFCs with low platinum loading electrodes (0.4 mg/cm(exp 2) or less), advanced membranes and optimized structures of membrane and electrode assemblies, as well as operating conditions. (3) The modeling analyses revealed methods to minimize mass transport limitations, particularly with air as the cathodic reactant; and for efficient thermal and water management. (4) Work is in progress to develop multi-kilowatt stacks with the electrodes containing low platinum loadings.

  14. Retinoid- and sodium-butyrate– induced decrease in heat shock protein 70 membrane-positive tumor cells is associated with reduced sensitivity to natural killer cell lysis, growth delay, and altered growth morphology

    OpenAIRE

    Gehrmann, Mathias; Schönberger, Johann; Zilch, Tanja; Rossbacher, Lydia; Thonigs, Gerald; Eilles, Christoph; Multhoff, Gabriele

    2005-01-01

    Human tumors frequently present heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) on their cell membranes, whereas corresponding normal tissues fail to do so. Therefore, an Hsp70 membrane-positive phenotype provided a tumor-specific marker. Moreover, membrane-bound Hsp70 provides a target structure for the cytolytic attack mediated by natural killer (NK) cells. Vitamin A derivatives 13-cis retinoic acid (13-RA) and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and sodium-butyrate (SBU) are known for their redifferentiating cap...

  15. Gravity resistance, another graviresponse in plants - role of microtubule-membrane-cell wall continuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoson, T.; Saito, Y.; Usui, S.; Soga, K.; Wakabayashi, K.

    Resistance to the gravitational force has been a serious problem for plants to survive on land, after they first went ashore more than 400 million years ago. Thus, gravity resistance is the principal graviresponse in plants comparable to gravitropism. Nevertheless, only limited information has been obtained for this second gravity response. We have examined the mechanism of gravity resistance using hypergravity conditions produced by centrifugation. The results led a hypothesis on the mechanism of plant resistance to the gravitational force that the plant constructs a tough body by increasing the cell wall rigidity, which are brought about by modification of the cell wall metabolism and cell wall environment, especially pH. The hypothesis was further supported by space experiments during the Space Shuttle STS-95 mission. On the other hand, we have shown that gravity signal may be perceived by mechanoreceptors (mechanosensitive ion channels) on the plasma membrane and amyloplast sedimentation in statocytes is not involved in gravity resistance. Moreover, hypergravity treatment increased the expression levels of genes encoding alpha-tubulin, a component of microtubules and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-Coenzyme A reductase (HMGR), which catalyzes a reaction producing mevalonic acid, a key precursor of terpenoids such as membrane sterols. The expression of HMGR and alpha- and beta-tubulin genes increased within several hours after hypergravity treatment, depending on the magnitude of gravity. The determination of levels of gene products as well as the analysis with knockout mutants of these genes by T-DNA insertions in Arabidopsis supports the involvement of both membrane sterols and microtubules in gravity resistance. These results suggest that structural or physiological continuum of microtubule-cell membrane-cell wall is responsible for plant resistance to the gravitational force.

  16. Optimal microporous layer for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yan, Wei-Mon; Wu, Dong-Kai [Department of Greenergy, National University of Tainan, Tainan 700 (China); Wang, Xiao-Dong [Department of Thermal Engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing 100083 (China); Ong, Ai-Lien [Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry, University of Genoa, Via Dodecaneso 31, 16146 Genoa (Italy); Lee, Duu-Jong [Department of Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106 (China); Su, Ay [Department of Mechanical Engineering, Fuel Cell Center, Yuan Ze University, Taoyuan 300 (China)

    2010-09-01

    This study elucidates how fabrication processes (screen-printing and spraying) and constituent materials (carbon paper as backing, Acetylene Black (AB) carbon (42 nm), XC-72R carbon (30 nm) or BP2000 (15 nm) as carbon powders, and 10-50% fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) as hydrophobic substances) for microporous layers (MPLs) affect the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells. The screen-printing process produces MPLs with smaller surface fractures than does the spraying process. The effect of optimal FEP content on cell performance is noted. The presence of an optimal FEP content is due to the counterbalance between enhanced performance produced with increased gas permeability and decreased performance yielded with small contact area and electrical conductivity with excess FEP. The MPL with large carbon powders is preferred when oxygen supply is limited; otherwise, small carbon powders should be utilized. Optimal MPL design should address negative effects possibly associated with contact resistance, gas permeation resistance, and excess water resistance. (author)

  17. New hybrid model of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Rui-min; CAO Guang-yi; ZHU Xin-jian

    2007-01-01

    Model and simulation are good tools for design optimization of fuel cell systems. This paper proposes a new hybrid model of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The hybrid model includes physical component and black-box component. The physical component represents the well-known part of PEMFC, while artificial neural network (ANN) component estimates the poorly known part of PEMFC. The ANN model can compensate the performance of the physical model. This hybrid model is implemented on Matlab/Simulink software. The hybrid model shows better accuracy than that of the physical model and ANN model. Simulation results suggest that the hybrid model can be used as a suitable and accurate model for PEMFC.

  18. Cell-Culture Reactor Having a Porous Organic Polymer Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koontz, Steven L. (Inventor)

    2000-01-01

    A method for making a biocompatible polymer article using a uniform atomic oxygen treatment is disclosed. The substrate may be subsequently optionally grated with a compatibilizing compound. Compatibilizing compounds may include proteins, phosphory1choline groups, platelet adhesion preventing polymers, albumin adhesion promoters, and the like. The compatibilized substrate may also have a living cell layer adhered thereto. The atomic oxygen is preferably produced by a flowing afterglow microwave discharge, wherein the substrate resides in a sidearm out of the plasma. Also, methods for culturing cells for various purposes using the various membranes are disclosed as well. Also disclosed are porous organic polymers having a distributed pore chemistry (DPC) comprising hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions, and a method for making the DPC by exposing the polymer to atomic oxygen wherein the rate of hydrophilization is greater than the rate of mass loss.

  19. Effect of ionizing radiations of lymphocyte membranes. Part of a coordinated programme on cell membrane probes as biological indicators in radiation accidents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A study of the effects of low doses of irradiation on membrane receptors of lymphoid cells indicated that doses as low as 10 rads induced detectable changes in the antigen receptors of cell surfaces. Lymphoid cells from mice or rabbit lymph nodes, or circulating lymphocytes from human volunteers were irradiated and studied for their ability to bind antisera against the IgG membrane receptors. The isolated lymphoid cells were x-irradiated, and tested versus non-irradiated controls. They were incubated at 370C for different times, and IgG-positive cells stained by the direct or indirect immunofluorescence technique. The percentage of IgG-positive cells was reduced by low-dose irradiation, and proved dose -and temperature-dependent. The disappearance phenomenon depends on the microtubular structure, metabolic energy, and levels of C-AMP. Only the reappearance phase is temperature-dependent and not affected by the drugs tested. The phenomenon is dose-rate dependent, showing greater sensitivity at lower dose/rates. Experiments using anti-Fc and anti-Fab portions of the surface molecule, appear to confirm a partial internatlization of the surface molecule as cause (at least in rabbit cells). Similar experiments with human cells did not show a differential effect. Human T-cells and FC receptors of Mast cells did, however, indicate that these surface molecules are also modified by irradiation

  20. Regulation of B cell differentiation by intracellular membrane associated proteins and microRNAs: role in the antibody response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng eLou

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available B cells are central to adaptive immunity and their functions in antibody responses are exquisitely regulated. As suggested by recent findings, B cell differentiation is mediated by intracellular membrane structures (including endosomes, lysosomes and autophagosomes and protein factors specifically associated with these membranes, including Rab7, Atg5 and Atg7. These factors participate in vesicle formation/trafficking, signal transduction and induction of gene expression to promote antigen presentation, CSR/SHM, and generation/maintenance of plasma cells and memory B cells. Their expression is induced in B cells activated to differentiate and further fine-tuned by immune-modulating microRNAs, which coordinates CSR/SHM, plasma cell differentiation and memory B cell differentiation. These short non-coding RNAs would individually target multiple factors associated with the same intracellular membrane compartments and collaboratively target a single factor in addition to regulate AID and Blimp-1. These, together with regulation of microRNA biogenesis and activities by endosomes and autophagosomes, show that intracellular membranes and microRNAs, two broadly relevant cell constituents, play important roles in balancing gene expression to specify B cell differentiation processes for optimal antibody responses.

  1. Regulation of B Cell Differentiation by Intracellular Membrane-Associated Proteins and microRNAs: Role in the Antibody Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Zheng; Casali, Paolo; Xu, Zhenming

    2015-01-01

    B cells are central to adaptive immunity and their functions in antibody responses are exquisitely regulated. As suggested by recent findings, B cell differentiation is mediated by intracellular membrane structures (including endosomes, lysosomes, and autophagosomes) and protein factors specifically associated with these membranes, including Rab7, Atg5, and Atg7. These factors participate in vesicle formation/trafficking, signal transduction and induction of gene expression to promote antigen presentation, class switch DNA recombination (CSR)/somatic hypermutation (SHM), and generation/maintenance of plasma cells and memory B cells. Their expression is induced in B cells activated to differentiate and further fine-tuned by immune-modulating microRNAs, which coordinates CSR/SHM, plasma cell differentiation, and memory B cell differentiation. These short non-coding RNAs would individually target multiple factors associated with the same intracellular membrane compartments and collaboratively target a single factor in addition to regulating AID and Blimp-1. These, together with regulation of microRNA biogenesis and activities by endosomes and autophagosomes, show that intracellular membranes and microRNAs, two broadly relevant cell constituents, play important roles in balancing gene expression to specify B cell differentiation processes for optimal antibody responses. PMID:26579118

  2. Pyro-electrification of polymer membranes for cell patterning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rega, R.; Gennari, O.; Mecozzia, L.; Grilli, S.; Pagliarulo, V.; Ferraro, P.

    2016-05-01

    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. Immunoprecipitation of membrane proteins of cultured human sarcoma cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grófová, M; Forchhammer, J; Lizonová, A; Popovic, M

    1981-01-01

    Human sarcoma associated antigens (HSAA) have previously been identified by indirect immune fluorescence in human sarcoma cells in culture using sera from patients bearing different types of sarcoma. To further characterize these HSAA, surface proteins of cultured cells were labeled with 125Iodine, [3H]-glucosamine and [35S]-methionine and solubilized. After immunoprecipitation labeled proteins were detected in immune complexes by SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and autoradiography, which allowed comparison with antigens described by other groups. A surface protein (Mr 96 000) was precipitated with sera from sarcoma bearing patients, and two glycoproteins (Mr 115 000 and 85 000) were preferentially precipitated with antisera from rabbits immunized with membranes from two human sarcoma cell lines. At least two of these proteins were found in each of five human sarcoma cell lines studied (U-4SS, U-3930S, U-20S, B-5GT and B-6FS). None of the proteins were precipitated with three human control sera, and only occasionally a faint band was observed in immunoprecipitates from control cells (B-25F, B-41B, B-42FC, U-2S, and U-393S with the immune sera. These proteins are probably some of the antigens responsible for the immune fluorescence observed in determination of HSAA. However, purification of the proteins and competition experiments are needed before this can be finally established.

  4. DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ELECTROCATALYSTS FOR PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shamsuddin Ilias

    2002-06-11

    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.

  5. Lipid membranes for the fabrication of functional micro- and nano-structures

    OpenAIRE

    Gopalakrishnan, Gopakumar; Vogel, Horst

    2007-01-01

    The central goal of this thesis work is to fabricate novel, functional fluorescent nanostructures in confined systems offered by phospholipid membranes, which are known to have highly ordered, thermotropic and lyotropic structures. In separate approaches, we have used three different lipid systems: multilamellar planar lipid membranes, unilamellar vesicular membranes as well as lipid monolayers for the development of functional fluorescent nano-, micro- and meso-scopic structures. Techniques ...

  6. Dynamical and structural properties of lipid membranes in relation to liposomal drug delivery systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Kent; Høyrup, Lise Pernille Kristine; Pedersen, Tina B.;

    2001-01-01

    The structural and dynamical properties of DPPC liposomes containing lipopolymers (PEG-lipids) and charged DPPS lipids have been,studied in relation to the lipid membrane interaction of enzymes and peptides. The results suggest that both the lipid membrane structure and dynamics and in particular...... liposomal drug delivery systems that become destabilized by membrane degrading phospholipase A(2) enzymes, which are found at elevated concentrations at diseased sites....

  7. In-situ biofilm characterization in membrane systems using Optical Coherence Tomography: formation, structure, detachment and impact of flux change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreszer, C; Wexler, A D; Drusová, S; Overdijk, T; Zwijnenburg, A; Flemming, H-C; Kruithof, J C; Vrouwenvelder, J S

    2014-12-15

    Biofouling causes performance loss in spiral wound nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane operation for process and drinking water production. The development of biofilm formation, structure and detachment was studied in-situ, non-destructively with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in direct relation with the hydraulic biofilm resistance and membrane performance parameters: transmembrane pressure drop (TMP) and feed-channel pressure drop (FCP). The objective was to evaluate the suitability of OCT for biofouling studies, applying a membrane biofouling test cell operated at constant crossflow velocity (0.1 m s(-1)) and permeate flux (20 L m(-2)h(-1)). In time, the biofilm thickness on the membrane increased continuously causing a decline in membrane performance. Local biofilm detachment was observed at the biofilm-membrane interface. A mature biofilm was subjected to permeate flux variation (20 to 60 to 20 L m(-2)h(-1)). An increase in permeate flux caused a decrease in biofilm thickness and an increase in biofilm resistance, indicating biofilm compaction. Restoring the original permeate flux did not completely restore the original biofilm parameters: After elevated flux operation the biofilm thickness was reduced to 75% and the hydraulic resistance increased to 116% of the original values. Therefore, after a temporarily permeate flux increase the impact of the biofilm on membrane performance was stronger. OCT imaging of the biofilm with increased permeate flux revealed that the biofilm became compacted, lost internal voids, and became more dense. Therefore, membrane performance losses were not only related to biofilm thickness but also to the internal biofilm structure, e.g. caused by changes in pressure. Optical Coherence Tomography proved to be a suitable tool for quantitative in-situ biofilm thickness and morphology studies which can be carried out non-destructively and in real-time in transparent membrane biofouling monitors.

  8. In-situ biofilm characterization in membrane systems using Optical Coherence Tomography: Formation, structure, detachment and impact of flux change

    KAUST Repository

    Dreszer, C.

    2014-12-01

    Biofouling causes performance loss in spiral wound nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) membrane operation for process and drinking water production. The development of biofilm formation, structure and detachment was studied in-situ, non-destructively with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in direct relation with the hydraulic biofilm resistance and membrane performance parameters: transmembrane pressure drop (TMP) and feed-channel pressure drop (FCP). The objective was to evaluate the suitability of OCT for biofouling studies, applying a membrane biofouling test cell operated at constant crossflow velocity (0.1 m s-1) and permeate flux (20 L m-2h-1).In time, the biofilm thickness on the membrane increased continuously causing a decline in membrane performance. Local biofilm detachment was observed at the biofilm-membrane interface. A mature biofilm was subjected to permeate flux variation (20 to 60 to 20 L m-2h-1). An increase in permeate flux caused a decrease in biofilm thickness and an increase in biofilm resistance, indicating biofilm compaction. Restoring the original permeate flux did not completely restore the original biofilm parameters: After elevated flux operation the biofilm thickness was reduced to 75% and the hydraulic resistance increased to 116% of the original values. Therefore, after a temporarily permeate flux increase the impact of the biofilm on membrane performance was stronger. OCT imaging of the biofilm with increased permeate flux revealed that the biofilm became compacted, lost internal voids, and became more dense. Therefore, membrane performance losses were not only related to biofilm thickness but also to the internal biofilm structure, e.g. caused by changes in pressure.Optical Coherence Tomography proved to be a suitable tool for quantitative in-situ biofilm thickness and morphology studies which can be carried out non-destructively and in real-time in transparent membrane biofouling monitors.

  9. In silicio identification of glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-anchored plasma-membrane and cell wall proteins of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caro, L H; Tettelin, H; Vossen, J H; Ram, A F; van den Ende, H; Klis, F M

    1997-12-01

    Use of the Von Heijne algorithm allowed the identification of 686 open reading frames (ORFs) in the genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that encode proteins with a potential N-terminal signal sequence for entering the secretory pathway. On further analysis, 51 of these proteins contain a potential glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-attachment signal. Seven additional ORFs were found to belong to this group. Upon examination of the possible GPI-attachment sites, it was found that in yeast the most probable amino acids for GPI-attachment as asparagine and glycine. In yeast, GPI-proteins are found at the cell surface, either attached to the plasma-membrane or as an intrinsic part of the cell wall. It was noted that plasma-membrane GPI-proteins possess a dibasic residue motif just before their predicted GPI-attachment site. Based on this, and on homologies between proteins, families of plasma-membrane and cell wall proteins were assigned, revealing 20 potential plasma-membrane and 38 potential cell wall proteins. For members of three plasma-membrane protein families, a function has been described. On the other hand, most of the cell wall proteins seem to be structural components of the wall, responsive to different growth conditions. The GPI-attachment site of yeast slightly differs from mammalian cells. This might be of use in the development of anti-fungal drugs.

  10. The NMR structure of human obestatin in membrane-like environments: insights into the structure-bioactivity relationship of obestatin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Begoña O Alén

    Full Text Available The quest for therapeutic applications of obestatin involves, as a first step, the determination of its 3D solution structure and the relationship between this structure and the biological activity of obestatin. On this basis, we have employed a combination of circular dichroism (CD, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR spectroscopy, and modeling techniques to determine the solution structure of human obestatin (1. Other analogues, including human non-amidated obestatin (2 and the fragment peptides (6-23-obestatin (3, (11-23-obestatin (4, and (16-23-obestatin (5 have also been scrutinized. These studies have been performed in a micellar environment to mimic the cell membrane (sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS. Furthermore, structural-activity relationship studies have been performed by assessing the in vitro proliferative capabilities of these peptides in the human retinal pigmented epithelial cell line ARPE-19 (ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation, Ki67 expression, and cellular proliferation. Our findings emphasize the importance of both the primary structure (composition and size and particular segments of the obestatin molecule that posses significant α-helical characteristics. Additionally, details of a species-specific role for obestatin have also been hypothesized by comparing human and mouse obestatins (1 and 6, respectively at both the structural and bioactivity levels.

  11. Development of a living membrane comprising a functional human renal proximal tubule cell monolayer on polyethersulfone polymeric membrane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schophuizen, Carolien M S; De Napoli, Ilaria E; Jansen, Jitske; Teixeira, Sandra; Wilmer, Martijn J; Hoenderop, Joost G J; Van den Heuvel, Lambert P W; Masereeuw, R.; Stamatialis, Dimitrios

    2015-01-01

    The need for improved renal replacement therapies has stimulated innovative research for the development of a cell-based renal assist device. A key requirement for such a device is the formation of a "living membrane", consisting of a tight kidney cell monolayer with preserved functional organic ion

  12. Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Membrane Fluidity and Disease Outcome in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

    OpenAIRE

    Gloudina M Hon; Hassan, Mogamat S.; van Rensburg, Susan J.; Abel, Stefan; Erasmus, Rajiv T; Matsha, Tandi

    2011-01-01

    Immune cell membrane lipids are important determinants of membrane fluidity, eicosanoid production and phagocytosis and fatty acid metabolic abnormalities have been reported in immune cells from patients with multiple sclerosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between peripheral blood mononuclear cell membrane fluidity, permeability status, and disease outcome as measured by the Kurtzke expanded disability status scale. Phospholipids, fatty acids and cholesterol comp...

  13. Cell membrane stability in two barley genotypes under water stress conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Hanna Bandurska; Halina Gniazdowska-Skoczek

    2014-01-01

    The effect of water stress induced in vitro by polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG) and under drought stress on cell membrane stability was examined in two barley genotypes, the cultivar Aramir and line R567. The injury of cell membranes was markely influenced by leaf age, leaf position on the stem, and the degree of drought stress. The differences in percentage of injury to cell membrane between these genotypes were also found. The cv. Aramir exhibited a lower percentage injury value as compared t...

  14. Mapping membrane protein interactions in cell signaling systems.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Light, Yooli Kim; Hadi, Masood Z.; Lane, Pamela; Jacobsen, Richard B.; Hong, Joohee; Ayson, Marites J.; Wood, Nichole L.; Schoeniger, Joseph S.; Young, Malin M.

    2003-12-01

    We proposed to apply a chemical cross-linking, mass spectrometry and modeling method called MS3D to the structure determination of the rhodopsin-transducin membrane protein complex (RTC). Herein we describe experimental progress made to adapt the MS3D approach for characterizing membrane protein systems, and computational progress in experimental design, data analysis and protein structure modeling. Over the past three years, we have developed tailored experimental methods for all steps in the MS3D method for rhodopsin, including protein purification, a functional assay, cross-linking, proteolysis and mass spectrometry. In support of the experimental effort. we have out a data analysis pipeline in place that automatically selects the monoisotopic peaks in a mass spectrometric spectrum, assigns them and stores the results in a database. Theoretical calculations using 24 experimentally-derived distance constraints have resulted in a backbone-level model of the activated form of rhodopsin, which is a critical first step towards building a model of the RTC. Cross-linked rhodopsin-transducin complexes have been isolated via gel electrophoresis and further mass spectrometric characterization of the cross-links is underway.

  15. Nafion/Silicon Oxide Composite Membrane for High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membranes were produced via in situ sol-gel reaction of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) in Nafion membranes. The physicochemical properties of the membranes were studied by FT-IR, TG-DSC and tensile strength. The results show that the silicon oxide is compatible with the Nafion membrane and the thermo stability of Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane is higher than that of Nafion membrane. Furthermore, the tensile strength of Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane is similar to that of the Nafion membrane. The proton conductivity of Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane is higher than that of Nafion membrane. When the Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane was employed as an electrolyte in H2/O2 PEMFC, a higher current density value (1 000 mA/cm2 at 0.38 V) than that of the Nafion 1135 membrane (100 mA/cm2 at 0.04 V) was obtained at 110 ℃.

  16. Elastic membranes in confinement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bostwick, Joshua; Miksis, Michael; Davis, Stephen

    2014-11-01

    An elastic membrane stretched between two walls takes a shape defined by its length and the volume of fluid it encloses. Many biological structures, such as cells, mitochondria and DNA, have finer internal structure in which a membrane (or elastic member) is geometrically ``confined'' by another object. We study the shape stability of elastic membranes in a ``confining'' box and introduce repulsive van der Waals forces to prevent the membrane from intersecting the wall. We aim to define the parameter space associated with mitochondria-like deformations. We compare the confined to `unconfined' solutions and show how the structure and stability of the membrane shapes changes with the system parameters.

  17. 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

    2011-12-01

    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].

  18. Synthesis and characterization of different structured ZnO nanomaterial through Polyethylene Glycol along with antibacterial activity study by direct attachment to the E.coli Dh5α and S.aureus ATCC 25923 bacterial cell membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P BHADRA

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The development of new resistant strains of bacteria to current antibiotics has become a serious problem in the human health; therefore, there is a strong incentive to develop new bactericides. To overcome this problem Nanotechnology is expected to open new avenues to fight and prevent disease using atomic scale tailoring ofmaterials. Here we achieve the considerable control over ZnO nanomaterials shape comprises volume percentage control of the polymer PEG. In this article, first time we present cuboid like structure to hexagonal disc to columnar structure and finally most challenging tetrapod like structure at room temperature. The products were characterized by several sophisticated instrumental techniques. Zone of inhibition study showed the enhanced biocidal activity of ZnO nanotetrapods compared with other nanostructures in repeatedexperiments. It demonstrated that the bactericidal efficacy of ZnO nanostructures changes with changing nanomaterials structure. Apart from this, we also investigated cell internalization process through SAED pattern.

  19. Impacts of operating conditions and solution chemistry on osmotic membrane structure and performance

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Mavis C.Y.

    2012-02-01

    Herein, we report on changes in the performance of a commercial cellulose triacetate (CTA) membrane, imparted by varied operating conditions and solution chemistries. Changes to feed and draw solution flow rate did not significantly alter the CTA membrane\\'s water permeability, salt permeability, or membrane structural parameter when operated with the membrane skin layer facing the draw solution (PRO-mode). However, water and salt permeability increased with increasing feed or draw solution temperature, while the membrane structural parameter decreased with increasing draw solution, possibly due to changes in polymer intermolecular interactions. High ionic strength draw solutions may de-swell the CTA membrane via charge neutralization, which resulted in lower water permeability, higher salt permeability, and lower structural parameter. This observed trend was further exacerbated by the presence of divalent cations which tends to swell the polymer to a greater extent. Finally, the calculated CTA membrane\\'s structural parameter was lower and less sensitive to external factors when operated in PRO-mode, but highly sensitive to the same factors when the skin layer faced the feed solution (FO-mode), presumably due to swelling/de-swelling of the saturated porous substructure by the draw solution. This is a first attempt aimed at systematically evaluating the changes in performance of the CTA membrane due to operating conditions and solution chemistry, shedding new insight into the possible advantages and disadvantages of this material in certain applications. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

  20. Effects of Irradiation on the Structure-activity Relationship of Konjac Glucomannan Molecular Chain Membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Chun-Hua; PENG Shu-Hui; WEN Cheng-Rong; WANG Li-Xia; XIONG Bo; LIU Ya-Nan; FAN Lin-Lin; YAO Min-Na; PANG Jie

    2012-01-01

    To know the effects of irradiation on the konjac glucomannan (KGM) molecular chain membrane, KGM membrane solution was treated with the irradiation dose of 0-20 kGy in this study, and the structure and properties of KGM membrane were analyzed with Infrared spectrum, Raman spectrum, X-ray, SEM scanning and so on. The results revealed that the effects of different irradiation doses on the KGM molecular chain structure were different. Higher irradiation dose (20 kGy) resulted in partial damage against KGM membrane crystal structure, and there was no obvious change for the amorphous structure; with membrane property test, the tensile strength of KGM membrane gradually increased with the increase of irradiation dose and its elongation at break reduced, but these changes were not significant, WVP value reduced; with SEM, the membrane surface treated with irradiation was smoother even than the membrane without treatment. In addition, when increasing the irradiation dose, membrane surface became more even, and arrangement was more orderly and compact. KGM membrane nrooerties, and it is an ideal Irradiation modification could effectively improve the modification method.