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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. Cell membrane fluid-mosaic structure and cancer metastasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolson, Garth L

    2015-04-01

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

  3. 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 sulfone)) to act as mechanical reinforcement. It was found that miscibility behavior of the blends had a significant impact on the transport and swelling properties of these blends, which could be explained by the blend microstructure. The miscibility behavior was found to be strongly dependent on the sulfonation level of SPEKK. The conductivities of the blends were enhanced by as much as two orders of magnitude when the morphology was modified by electric field. The last approach was ionic crosslinking of the sulfonate groups in SPEKK using divalent cations, specifically barium ions. The crosslinking treatment has greatly improved the thermal stability of the membranes in both dry and wet conditions.

  4. The Molecular Structure of Human Red Blood Cell Membranes from Highly Oriented, Solid Supported Multi-Lamellar Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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. Probing Induced Structural Changes in Biomimetic Bacterial Cell Membrane Interactions with Divalent Cations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holt, Allison M [ORNL; Standaert, Robert F [ORNL; Jubb, Aaron M [ORNL; Katsaras, John [ORNL; Johs, Alexander [ORNL

    2017-01-01

    Biological membranes, formed primarily by the self-assembly of complex mixtures of phospholipids, provide a structured scaffold for compartmentalization and structural processes in living cells. The specific physical properties of phospholipid species present in a given membrane play a key role in mediating these processes. Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), a zwitterionic lipid present in bacterial, yeast, and mammalian cell membranes, is exceptional. In addition to undergoing the standard lipid polymorphic transition between the gel and liquid-crystalline phase, it can also assume an unusual polymorphic state, the inverse hexagonal phase (HII). Divalent cations are among the factors that drive the formation of the HII phase, wherein the lipid molecules form stacked tubular structures by burying the hydrophilic head groups and exposing the hydrophobic tails to the bulk solvent. Most biological membranes contain a lipid species capable of forming the HII state suggesting that such lipid polymorphic structural states play an important role in structural biological processes such as membrane fusion. In this study, the interactions between Mg2+ and biomimetic bacterial cell membranes composed of PE and phosphatidylglycerol (PG) were probed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), small-angle x-ray scattering (SAXS), and fluorescence spectroscopy. The lipid phase transitions were examined at varying ratios of PE to PG and upon exposure to physiologically relevant concentrations of Mg2+. An understanding of these basic interactions enhances our understanding of membrane dynamics and how membrane-mediated structural changes may occur in vivo.

  7. The structure and function of cell membranes examined by atomic force microscopy and single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda

    2015-06-07

    The cell membrane is one of the most complicated biological complexes, and long-term fierce debates regarding the cell membrane persist because of technical hurdles. With the rapid development of nanotechnology and single-molecule techniques, our understanding of cell membranes has substantially increased. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has provided several unprecedented advances (e.g., high resolution, three-dimensional and in situ measurements) in the study of cell membranes and has been used to systematically dissect the membrane structure in situ from both sides of membranes; as a result, novel models of cell membranes have recently been proposed. This review summarizes the new progress regarding membrane structure using in situ AFM and single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS), which may shed light on the study of the structure and functions of cell membranes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. 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:

  11. [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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Structure of porous electrodes in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells: An optical reconstruction technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berejnov, Viatcheslav; Sinton, David; Djilali, Ned

    Computing flows and phase transport in porous media requires a physically representative geometric model. We present a simple method of digitizing the structure of fibrous porous media commonly used in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, the so-called gas diffusion layer (GDL). Employing an inverted microscope and image recognition software we process images of the GDL surface collected manually at different focal lengths with micrometer accuracy. Processing the series of images allows retrieval of local depths of the salient in-focus structural elements in each of the different images. These elements are then recombined into a depth-map representing the three-dimensional structure of the GDL surface. Superimposition of the in-focus portions of the structural elements distributed throughout the stack of images yields digitized data describing the geometry and structural attributes of the 3D surface of the GDL fibrous material.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Performance enhancement of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells by dual-layered membrane electrode assembly structures with carbon nanotubes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Dong-Won; Kim, Jun-Ho; Kim, Se-Hoon; Kim, Jun-Bom; Oh, Eun-Suok

    2013-05-01

    The effect of dual-layered membrane electrode assemblies (d-MEAs) on the performance of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was investigated using the following characterization techniques: single cell performance test, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), and cyclic voltammetry (CV). It has been shown that the PEMFC with d-MEAs has better cell performance than that with typical mono-layered MEAs (m-MEAs). In particular, the d-MEA whose inner layer is composed of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) showed the best fuel cell performance. This is due to the fact that the d-MEAs with MWCNTs have the highest electrochemical surface area and the lowest activation polarization, as observed from the CV and EIS test.

  17. Interfacial Structure, Dynamics, and Transport of Polyelectrolyte Membrane Materials for Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soles, Christopher; Page, K.; Eastman, S.; Kim, S.; Kang, S.; Dura, J.; National Institute of Standards; Technology; Polymers Divison Team; NIST Collaboration

    2011-03-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) fuel cells show promise for a wide range of applications both in the transportation sector and for stationary power production due to their high charge density and low operating temperatures. While the structure and transport of bulk PEMs have been studied extensively, little is known about these materials at interfaces and under confinement, as they exist within the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). Using neutron/ x-ray reflectivity and polarization-modulation infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy, we have studied the polymer-substrate interfacial structure, swelling, and water transport as function of humidity, surface chemistry, and film thickness. The interfacial structure is highly dependent upon the substrate surface chemistry and the swelling/water diffusivity are suppressed when the PEM is confined to a thin film. This new information will enable researchers to more accurately model the performance of the MEA as current simulations typically rely on bulk property values to predict water and proton transport under these conditions.

  18. 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.

  19. Crystal structures of electrospun PVDF membranes and its separator application for rechargeable lithium metal cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao Kun [Department of Applied Chemistry, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001 (China)]. E-mail: gaokun@hit.edu.cn; Hu Xinguo [Department of Applied Chemistry, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001 (China); Dai Chongsong [Department of Applied Chemistry, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001 (China); Yi Tingfeng [Department of Applied Chemistry, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001 (China)

    2006-07-15

    An electrospinning method was used to prepare electrospun PVDF-based membranes (EPMs) for battery separators applications. The morphology of the EPMs was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The relations between applied voltage and average fiber diameter (AFD) under certain electrospinning conditions were discussed. The thermal properties and crystal structure of the EPMs also were investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). Due to soften PVDF fibers in high temperature, the thermal treated EPMs can form an interconnected web structure, which greatly improves physical properties. Compared with Celgard{sup TM} 2400 (PP separator), the cell with EPM shows better cycling ability of CV and charge-discharge performance with little capacity loss after 50 cycles at C/2 rate.

  20. Visualizing structural dynamics of thylakoid membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwai, Masakazu; Yokono, Makio; Nakano, Akihiko

    2014-01-01

    To optimize photosynthesis, light-harvesting antenna proteins regulate light energy dissipation and redistribution in chloroplast thylakoid membranes, which involve dynamic protein reorganization of photosystems I and II. However, direct evidence for such protein reorganization has not been visualized in live cells. Here we demonstrate structural dynamics of thylakoid membranes by live cell imaging in combination with deconvolution. We observed chlorophyll fluorescence in the antibiotics-induced macrochloroplast in the moss Physcomitrella patens. The three-dimensional reconstruction uncovered the fine thylakoid membrane structure in live cells. The time-lapse imaging shows that the entire thylakoid membrane network is structurally stable, but the individual thylakoid membrane structure is flexible in vivo. Our observation indicates that grana serve as a framework to maintain structural integrity of the entire thylakoid membrane network. Both the structural stability and flexibility of thylakoid membranes would be essential for dynamic protein reorganization under fluctuating light environments. PMID:24442007

  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. Electricity producing property and bacterial community structure in microbial fuel cell equipped with membrane electrode assembly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubaba, Owen; Araki, Yoko; Yamamoto, Shuji; Suzuki, Kei; Sakamoto, Hisatoshi; Matsuda, Atsunori; Futamata, Hiroyuki

    2013-07-01

    It is important for practical use of microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to not only develop electrodes and proton exchange membranes but also to understand the bacterial community structure related to electricity generation. Four lactate fed MFCs equipped with different membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were constructed with paddy field soil as inoculum. The MEAs significantly affected the electricity-generating properties of the MFCs. MEA-I was made with Nafion 117 solution and the other MEAs were made with different configurations of three kinds of polymers. MFC-I equipped with MEA-I exhibited the highest performance with a stable current density of 55 ± 3 mA m⁻². MFC-III equipped with MEA-III with the highest platinum concentration, exhibited the lowest performance with a stable current density of 1.7 ± 0.1 mA m⁻². SEM observation revealed that there were cracks on MEA-III. These results demonstrated that it is significantly important to prevent oxygen-intrusion for improved MFC performance. By comparing the data of DGGE and phylogenetic analyzes, it was suggested that the dominant bacterial communities of MFC-I were constructed with lactate-fermenters and Fe(III)-reducers, which consisted of bacteria affiliated with the genera of Enterobacter, Dechlorosoma, Pelobacter, Desulfovibrio, Propioniferax, Pelosinus, and Firmicutes. A bacterium sharing 100% similarity to one of the DGGE bands was isolated from MFC-I. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of the isolate shared 98% similarity to gram-positive Propioniferax sp. P7 and it was confirmed that the isolate produced electricity in an MFC. These results suggested that these bacteria are valuable for constructing the electron transfer network in MFC.

  5. Membrane Cells for Brine Electrolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tingle, M.

    1982-01-01

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

  6. Molecular Structure of Membrane Tethers

    OpenAIRE

    Baoukina, Svetlana; Marrink, Siewert J.; Tieleman, D. Peter

    2012-01-01

    Membrane tethers are nanotubes formed by a lipid bilayer. They play important functional roles in cell biology and provide an experimental window on lipid properties. Tethers have been studied extensively in experiments and described by theoretical models, but their molecular structure remains unknown due to their small diameters and dynamic nature. We used molecular dynamics simulations to obtain molecular-level insight into tether formation. Tethers were pulled from single-component lipid b...

  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. The impact of cell-penetrating peptides on membrane bilayer structure during binding and insertion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirst, Daniel J; Lee, Tzong-Hsien; Kulkarni, Ketav; Wilce, Jacqueline A; Aguilar, Marie-Isabel

    2016-08-01

    We have studied the effect of penetratin and a truncated analogue on the bilayer structure using dual polarisation interferometry, to simultaneously measure changes in mass per unit area and birefringence (an optical parameter representing bilayer order) with high sensitivity during the binding and dissociation from the membrane. Specifically, we studied penetratin (RQIKIWFQNRRMKWKK), along with a shortened and biotinylated version known as R8K-biotin (RRMKWKKK(Biotin)-NH2). Overall both peptides bound only weakly to the neutral DMPC and POPC bilayers, while much higher binding was observed for the anionic DMPC/DMPG and POPC/POPG. The binding of penetratin to gel-phase DMPC/DMPG was adequately represented by a two-state model, whereas on the fluid-phase POPC/POPG it exhibited a distinctly different binding pattern, best represented by a three-state kinetic model. However, R8K-biotin did not bind well to DMPC/DMPG and showed a more transitory and superficial binding to POPC/POPG. Comparing the modelling results for both peptides binding to POPC/POPG suggests an important role for a securely bound intermediate prior to penetratin insertion and translocation. Overall these results further elucidate the mechanism of penetratin, and provide another example of the significance of the ability of DPI to measure structural changes and the use of kinetic analysis to investigate the stages of peptide-membrane interactions.

  10. Biological Fuel Cells and Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghassemi, Zahra; Slaughter, Gymama

    2017-01-17

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

  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. [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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Robust mixed conducting membrane structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2010-01-01

    The present invention provides a membrane structure, comprising in said order a first electronically conducting layer, an ionically conducting layer, and a second electronically conducting layer, characterized in that the first and second electronically conducting layers are internally short circ...

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. Hereditary spherocytosis, elliptocytosis, and other red cell membrane disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  2. The structure and function of the urokinase receptor, a membrane protein governing plasminogen activation on the cell surface

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Behrendt, N; Rønne, E; Danø, K

    1995-01-01

    PA receptor, uPAR, is a cell-surface protein which plays an important role in the localization and regulation of these processes. In the present article a number of established conclusions concerning the structure and function of uPAR are presented, and in addition various models are discussed which might...... explain additional observations for which the mechanisms involved have not yet been clarified experimentally. uPAR is a highly glycosylated, 3-domain protein, anchored in the plasma membrane by a glycolipid moiety. The domain organization is important for efficient ligand-binding, and the NH2-terminal...... to an interplay between uPAR and other, unidentified components. In addition to the function in the regulation of proteolysis, uPAR seems to play a role in internalization processes and in cellular signal transduction and adhesion. A few reagents have been identified which are capable to inhibit the interaction...

  3. POLYMER ELECTROLYTE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2001-01-01

    A method for preparing polybenzimidazole or polybenzimidazole blend membranes and fabricating gas diffusion electrodes and membrane-electrode assemblies is provided for a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. Blend polymer electrolyte membranes based on PBI and various...... thermoplastic polymers for high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells have also been developed. Miscible blends are used for solution casting of polymer membranes (solid electrolytes). High conductivity and enhanced mechanical strength were obtained for the blend polymer solid electrolytes...... electrolyte membrane by hot-press. The fuel cell can operate at temperatures up to at least 200 °C with hydrogen-rich fuel containing high ratios of carbon monoxide such as 3 vol% carbon monoxide or more, compared to the carbon monoxide tolerance of 10-20 ppm level for Nafion$m(3)-based polymer electrolyte...

  4. Structure Prediction of Membrane Proteins

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chunlong Zhou; Yao Zheng; Yan Zhou

    2004-01-01

    There is a large gap between the number of membrane protein (MP) sequences and that of their decoded 3D structures, especially high-resolution structures, due to difficulties in crystal preparation of MPs. However, detailed knowledge of the 3D structure is required for the fundamental understanding of the function of an MP and the interactions between the protein and its inhibitors or activators. In this paper, some computational approaches that have been used to predict MP structures are discussed and compared.

  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

    2016-04-13

    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.

  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

    2016-09-06

    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.

  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.

  12. The Molecules of the Cell Membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretscher, Mark S.

    1985-01-01

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

  13. Artificial cell membranes for diagnostics and therapeutics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-09-01

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

  14. Geometry and Topology of Cell Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouligand, Y.

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

  15. 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

  16. Identification of Novel Membrane Structures in Plasmodium falciparum Infected Erythrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clavijo Carlos A

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the release of merozoites from malaria infected erythrocytes. In this study membranous structures present in the culture medium at the time of merozoite release have been characterized. Biochemical and ultrastructural evidence indicate that membranous structures consist of the infected erythrocyte membrane, the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane and a residual body containing electron dense material. These are subcellular compartments expected in a structure that arises as a consequence of merozoite release from the infected cell. Ultrastructural studies show that a novel structure extends from the former parasite compartment to the surface membrane. Since these membrane modifications are detected only after merozoites have been released from the infected erythrocyte, it is proposed that they might play a role in the release of merozoites from the host cell

  17. 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...

  18. Structural Requirements for Membrane Assembly of Proteins Spanning the Membrane Several Times

    OpenAIRE

    Lipp, Joachim; Flint, Nicholas; Haeuptle, Marie-Theres; Dobberstein, Bernhard

    1989-01-01

    We have investigated the structural requirements for the biogenesis of proteins spanning the membrane several times. Proteins containing various combinations of topological signals (signal anchor and stop transfer sequences) were synthesized in a cell-free translation system and their membrane topology was determined. Proteins spanning the membrane twice were obtained when a signal anchor sequence was followed by either a stop transfer sequence or a second signal anchor sequence. Thus, a sig...

  19. Expression and structural analysis of membrane proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Eifler, Nora

    2006-01-01

    1.1 Membrane Proteins Between one quarter and one third of all genes in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms code for integral membrane proteins (IMPs) (Essen, 2002). These proteins are essential parts of biological membranes and confer various functions, such as energy conversion, transport, biosynthesis of lipids, signal transduction, or cell recognition. The enormous economical potential of membrane proteins is highlighted by the family of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPC...

  20. 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

  1. Focus on membrane differentiation and membrane domains in the prokaryotic cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. A highly order-structured membrane electrode assembly with vertically aligned carbon nanotubes for ultra-low Pt loading PEM fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tian, Zhi Qun; Lim, San Hua; Poh, Chee Kok; Lin, Jianyi [Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences, 1 Pesek Road, Jurong Island, Singapore 627833 (Singapore); Tang, Zhe; Chua, Daniel [Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117542 (Singapore); Xia, Zetao [Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, 3 Research Link, Singapore 117602 (Singapore); Luo, Zhiqiang; Shen, Zexiang [Division of Physics and Applied Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 637371 Singapore (Singapore); Shen, Pei Kang [State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, and Key Laboratory of Low-carbon Chemistry and Energy Conservation of Guangdong Province, School of Physics and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275 (China); Feng, Yuan Ping [Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117542 (Singapore)

    2011-11-15

    A simple method was developed to prepare ultra-low Pt loading membrane electrode assembly (MEA) using vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (VACNTs) as highly ordered catalyst support for PEM fuel cells application. In the method, VACNTs were directly grown on the cheap household aluminum foil by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), using Fe/Co bimetallic catalyst. By depositing a Pt thin layer on VACNTs/Al and subsequent hot pressing, Pt/VACNTs can be 100% transferred from Al foil onto polymer electrolyte membrane for the fabrication of MEA. The whole transfer process does not need any chemical removal and destroy membrane. The PEM fuel cell with the MEA fabricated using this method showed an excellent performance with ultra-low Pt loading down to 35 {mu}g cm{sup -2} which was comparable to that of the commercial Pt catalyst on carbon powder with 400 {mu}g cm{sup -2}. To the best of our knowledge, for the first time, we identified that it is possible to substantially reduce the Pt loading one order by application of order-structured electrode based on VACNTs as Pt catalysts support, compared with the traditional random electrode at a comparable performance through experimental and mathematical methods. (Copyright copyright 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Bacillus subtilis Bactofilins Are Essential for Flagellar Hook- and Filament Assembly and Dynamically Localize into Structures of Less than 100 nm Diameter underneath the Cell Membrane.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jihad El Andari

    Full Text Available Bactofilins are a widely conserved protein family implicated in cell shape maintenance and in bacterial motility. We show that the bactofilins BacE and BacF from Bacillus subtilis are essential for motility. The proteins are required for the establishment of flagellar hook- and filament structures, but apparently not for the formation of basal bodies. Functional YFP fusions to BacE and to BacF localize as discrete assemblies at the B. subtilis cell membrane, and have a diameter of 60 to 70 nm. BacF assemblies are relatively static, and partially colocalize with flagellar basal bodies, while BacE assemblies are fewer per cell than those of BacF and are highly mobile. Tracking of BacE foci showed that the assemblies arrest at a single point for a few hundred milliseconds, showing that a putative interaction with flagellar structures would be transient and fast. When overexpressed or expressed in a heterologous cell system, bactofilins can form filamentous structures, and also form multimers as purified proteins. Our data reveal a propensity for bactofilins to form filaments, however, in B. subtilis cells, bactofilins assemble into defined size assemblies that show a dynamic localization pattern and play a role in flagellar assembly.

  7. Bacillus subtilis Bactofilins Are Essential for Flagellar Hook- and Filament Assembly and Dynamically Localize into Structures of Less than 100 nm Diameter underneath the Cell Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Andari, Jihad; Altegoer, Florian; Bange, Gert; Graumann, Peter L.

    2015-01-01

    Bactofilins are a widely conserved protein family implicated in cell shape maintenance and in bacterial motility. We show that the bactofilins BacE and BacF from Bacillus subtilis are essential for motility. The proteins are required for the establishment of flagellar hook- and filament structures, but apparently not for the formation of basal bodies. Functional YFP fusions to BacE and to BacF localize as discrete assemblies at the B. subtilis cell membrane, and have a diameter of 60 to 70 nm. BacF assemblies are relatively static, and partially colocalize with flagellar basal bodies, while BacE assemblies are fewer per cell than those of BacF and are highly mobile. Tracking of BacE foci showed that the assemblies arrest at a single point for a few hundred milliseconds, showing that a putative interaction with flagellar structures would be transient and fast. When overexpressed or expressed in a heterologous cell system, bactofilins can form filamentous structures, and also form multimers as purified proteins. Our data reveal a propensity for bactofilins to form filaments, however, in B. subtilis cells, bactofilins assemble into defined size assemblies that show a dynamic localization pattern and play a role in flagellar assembly. PMID:26517549

  8. 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.

  9. Electrospun superhydrophobic membranes with unique structures for membrane distillation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Yuan; Loh, Chun-Heng; Wang, Rong; Fane, Anthony G

    2014-09-24

    With modest temperature demand, low operating pressure, and high solute rejection, membrane distillation (MD) is an attractive option for desalination, waste treatment, and food and pharmaceutical processing. However, large-scale practical applications of MD are still hindered by the absence of effective membranes with high hydrophobicity, high porosity, and adequate mechanical strength, which are important properties for MD permeation fluxes, stable long-term performance, and effective packing in modules without damage. This study describes novel design strategies for highly robust superhydrophobic dual-layer membranes for MD via electrospinning. One of the newly developed membranes comprises a durable and ultrathin 3-dimensional (3D) superhydrophobic skin and porous nanofibrous support whereas another was fabricated by electrospinning 3D superhydrophobic layers on a nonwoven support. These membranes exhibit superhydrophobicity toward distilled water, salty water, oil-in-water emulsion, and beverages, which enables them to be used not only for desalination but also for other processes. The superhydrophobic dual-layer membrane #3S-N with nanofibrous support has a competitive permeation flux of 24.6 ± 1.2 kg m(-2) h(-1) in MD (feed and permeate temperate were set as 333 and 293 K, respectively) due to the higher porosity of the nanofibrous scaffold. Meanwhile, the membranes with the nonwoven support exhibit greater mechanical strength due to this support combined with better long-term performance because of the thicker 3D superhydrophobic layers. The morphology, pore size, porosity, mechanical properties, and liquid enter pressure of water of these superhydrophobic composite membranes with two different structures are reported and compared with commercial polyvinylidene fluoride membranes.

  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. Correlation between membrane fluidity cellular development and stem cell differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Noutsi, Pakiza

    2016-12-01

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

  12. Modeling branching pore structures in membrane filters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanaei, Pejman; Cummings, Linda J.

    2016-11-01

    Membrane filters are in widespread industrial use, and mathematical models to predict their efficacy are potentially very useful, as such models can suggest design modifications to improve filter performance and lifetime. Many models have been proposed to describe particle capture by membrane filters and the associated fluid dynamics, but most such models are based on a very simple structure in which the pores of the membrane are assumed to be simple circularly-cylindrical tubes spanning the depth of the membrane. Real membranes used in applications usually have much more complex geometry, with interconnected pores which may branch and bifurcate. Pores are also typically larger on the upstream side of the membrane than on the downstream side. We present an idealized mathematical model, in which a membrane consists of a series of bifurcating pores, which decrease in size as the membrane is traversed. Feed solution is forced through the membrane by applied pressure, and particles are removed from the feed either by sieving, or by particle adsorption within pores (which shrinks them). Thus the membrane's permeability decreases as the filtration progresses, ultimately falling to zero. We discuss how filtration efficiency depends on the characteristics of the branching structure. Partial support from NSF DMS 1261596 is gratefully acknowledged.

  13. Binding of oligoarginine to membrane lipids and heparan sulfate: structural and thermodynamic characterization of a cell-penetrating peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonçalves, Elisabete; Kitas, Eric; Seelig, Joachim

    2005-02-22

    Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) comprise a group of arginine-rich oligopeptides that are able to deliver exogenous cargo into cells. A first step in the internalization of CPPs is their binding to the cell surface, a reaction likely to involve membrane phospholipids and/or heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs). The present work characterizes the interaction of R(9), one of the most efficient CPPs, with either heparan sulfate (HS) or lipid vesicles composed of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (POPC) and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylglycerol (POPG). Isothermal titration calorimetry shows that R(9) binds to HS with high affinity. Assuming that HS has n independent and equivalent binding sites for R(9), we find an association constant of 3.1 x 10(6) M(-1) at 28 degrees C. At this temperature, the reaction enthalpy is DeltaH(degrees)pep = - 5.5 kcal/mol and approximately 7 R(9) molecules bind per HS chain, which is equivalent to approximately 0.95 cationic/anionic charge ratio. Delta decreases in magnitude upon an increase in temperature, and the reaction becomes entropy-driven at higher temperatures (>or=37 degrees C). The positive heat-capacity change entailed by this reaction (DeltaC(degrees)P = +167 cal mol(-1) K(-1)) indicates the loss of polar residues on R(9)-HS binding, suggesting that hydrophobic forces play no major role on binding. Calorimetric analysis of the interaction of R(9) with POPC/POPG (75:25) vesicles reveals an association constant of 8.2 x 10(4) M(-1) at 28 degrees C. Using a surface partition equilibrium model to correct for electrostatic effects, we find an intrinsic partition constant of approximately 900 M(-1), a value that is also confirmed by electrophoretic mobility measurements. This corresponds to an electrostatic contribution of approximately 33% to the total free energy of binding. Deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) shows no change in the headgroup conformation of POPC and POPG, suggesting

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Thermostabilisation of membrane proteins for structural studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnani, Francesca; Serrano-Vega, Maria J.; Shibata, Yoko; Abdul-Hussein, Saba; Lebon, Guillaume; Miller-Gallacher, Jennifer; Singhal, Ankita; Strege, Annette; Thomas, Jennifer A.; Tate, Christopher G.

    2017-01-01

    The thermostability of an integral membrane protein in detergent solution is a key parameter that dictates the likelihood of obtaining well-diffracting crystals suitable for structure determination. However, many mammalian membrane proteins are too unstable for crystallisation. We developed a thermostabilisation strategy based on systematic mutagenesis coupled to a radioligand-binding thermostability assay that can be applied to receptors, ion channels and transporters. It takes approximately 6-12 months to thermostabilise a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) containing 300 amino acid residues. The resulting thermostabilised membrane proteins are more easily crystallised and result in high-quality structures. This methodology has facilitated structure-based drug design applied to GPCRs, because it is possible to determine multiple structures of the thermostabilised receptors bound to low affinity ligands. Protocols and advice are given on how to develop thermostability assays for membrane proteins and how to combine mutations to make an optimally stable mutant suitable for structural studies. PMID:27466713

  17. [Germ cell membrane lipids in spermatogenesis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ting; Shi, Xiao; Quan, Song

    2016-05-01

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

  18. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanca, Sarmiza E.; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    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.

  20. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanca, Sarmiza E; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang

    2015-01-21

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Advanced composite polymer electrolyte fuel cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-09-01

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

  4. The Fluid-Mosaic Model of Membrane Structure: still relevant to understanding the structure, function and dynamics of biological membranes after more than 40 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolson, Garth L

    2014-06-01

    In 1972 the Fluid-Mosaic Membrane Model of membrane structure was proposed based on thermodynamic principals of organization of membrane lipids and proteins and available evidence of asymmetry and lateral mobility within the membrane matrix [S. J. Singer and G. L. Nicolson, Science 175 (1972) 720-731]. After over 40years, this basic model of the cell membrane remains relevant for describing the basic nano-structures of a variety of intracellular and cellular membranes of plant and animal cells and lower forms of life. In the intervening years, however, new information has documented the importance and roles of specialized membrane domains, such as lipid rafts and protein/glycoprotein complexes, in describing the macrostructure, dynamics and functions of cellular membranes as well as the roles of membrane-associated cytoskeletal fences and extracellular matrix structures in limiting the lateral diffusion and range of motion of membrane components. These newer data build on the foundation of the original model and add new layers of complexity and hierarchy, but the concepts described in the original model are still applicable today. In updated versions of the model more emphasis has been placed on the mosaic nature of the macrostructure of cellular membranes where many protein and lipid components are limited in their rotational and lateral motilities in the membrane plane, especially in their natural states where lipid-lipid, protein-protein and lipid-protein interactions as well as cell-matrix, cell-cell and intracellular membrane-associated protein and cytoskeletal interactions are important in restraining the lateral motility and range of motion of particular membrane components. The formation of specialized membrane domains and the presence of tightly packed integral membrane protein complexes due to membrane-associated fences, fenceposts and other structures are considered very important in describing membrane dynamics and architecture. These structures along

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Cell fine structure and function - Past and present

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Moran, H.

    1970-01-01

    Electron microscopic studies of nerve membrane fine structure, discussing cell membrane multienzyme and macromolecular energy and information transduction, protein synthesis and nucleic acids interrelations

  8. New membrane structures with proton conducting properties

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Casper Frydendal

    Perfluorosulfonic acid membranes (e.g. Nafion®) are the most widely applied electrolytes in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) because of their good chemical stability, mechanical properties and high proton conductivity, when well hydrated. The upper limit of operating temperature...... [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...

  9. Effects of structure on the interactions between five natural antimicrobial compounds and phospholipids of bacterial cell membrane on model monolayers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monolayers composed of bacterial phospholipids were used as model membranes to study interactions of naturally occurring phenolic compounds 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde, 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde and the plant essential oil compounds carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, and geraniol, previously found to be...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Dendronized Polymer Architectures for Fuel Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Multi‐step synthetic pathways to low‐ion exchange capacity (IEC) polysulfone (PSU) with sulfonic acid functionalized aliphatic dendrons and sulfonated comb‐type PSU structures are developed and investigated in a comparative study as non‐fluorinated proton exchange membrane (PEM) candidates. In each...... evaluated as PEMs for use in fuel cells by proton conductivity measurements, and in the case of dendronized architectures: thermal stability. The proposed synthetic strategy facilitates exploration of a non‐fluorous system with various flexible side chains where IEC is tunable by the degree of substitution....

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Anion permselective membrane. [For redox fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  17. 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

    of the 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......, with reasonable proton conductivity still being possible to obtain....

  18. 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].

  19. Membrane alterations in irreversibly sickled cells: hemoglobin--membrane interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1978-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan Ferdi Gerçel

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Optimizing internal structure of membrane filters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Linda; Sanaei, Pejman

    2016-11-01

    Membrane filters are in widespread use, and manufacturers have considerable interest in improving their performance, in terms of particle retention properties, and total throughput over the filter lifetime. In this regard, it has long been known that membrane properties should not be uniform over the membrane depth; rather, membrane permeability should decrease in the direction of flow. While much research effort has been focused on investigating favorable membrane permeability gradients, this work has been largely empirical in nature. We present a simple, first-principles model for flow through and fouling of a membrane filter, accounting for permeability gradients via variable pore size. Our model accounts for two fouling modes: sieving; and particle adsorption within pores. For filtration driven by a fixed pressure drop, flux through the membrane eventually goes to zero, as fouling occurs and pores close. We address issues of filter performance as the internal pore structure is varied, by comparing the total throughput obtained with equal-resistance membranes. Within certain classes of pore profiles we are able to find the optimum pore profile that maximizes total throughput over the filter lifetime, while maintaining acceptable particle removal from the feed. Partial support from NSF DMS 1261596 is gratefully acknowledged.

  2. Isolation of mitochondria with cubic membrane morphology reveals specific ionic requirements for the preservation of membrane structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Ketpin; Tan, Olivia Li Ling; Almsherqi, Zakaria A; Lin, Qingsong; Kohlwein, Sepp D; Deng, Yuru

    2015-03-01

    Biological membranes with cubic symmetry are a hallmark of virus-infected or diseased cells. The mechanisms of formation and specific cellular functions of cubic membranes, however, are unclear. The best-documented cubic membrane formation occurs in the free-living giant amoeba Chaos carolinense. In that system, mitochondrial inner membranes undergo a reversible structural change from tubular to cubic membrane organization upon starvation of the organism. As a prerequisite to further analyze the structural and functional features of cubic membranes, we adapted protocols for the isolation of mitochondria from starved amoeba and have identified buffer conditions that preserve cubic membrane morphology in vitro. The requirement for high concentration of ion-chelating agents in the isolation media supports the importance of a balanced ion milieu in establishing and maintaining cubic membranes in vivo.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Stability and rupture of archaebacterial cell membrane: a model study.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-29

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

  6. Development of membrane electrode assemblies for solid polymer fuel cells with higher performance, lower cost and carbon monoxide tolerance: improved cathode structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ralph, T.; Collis, N.; Edwards, N.

    1997-09-01

    Pre-commercial prototype solid polymer fuel cell (SPFC) modules and systems are presently available for sale. The widespread use of the technology has been limited, however, principally because of the high capital cost and insufficient power density. The UK Department of Trade and Industry`s Advanced Fuel Cells R and D Strategy has identified that the SPFC could, after appropriate development, be suitable for small scale combined heat and power and transportation applications in the UK. Key technology developments required to meet the cost and performance targets include increasing the power density of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), reducing the platinum loading of the electrode materials and identifying anode catalysts with increased tolerance to reformate operation. The objectives of this project were to establish a SPFC single cell test facility at Johnson Matthey Technology Centre (JMTC) and evaluate the performance of a multicomponent cathode structure developed in a previous DTI supported project. The cathode combined two components in a multicomponent layer. This comprised an `ionomer` component consisting of a platinum catalyst which had been pre-impregnated with soluble polymer electrolyte, to enhance the platinum utilisation. This component was intimately mixed with a `gas transport` component, composed of a carbon/PTFE mixture, to provide gas transport channels. A Nafion surface coating to link together isolated pockets of `ionomer` component in the electrode depth completed the fabrication. (Author)

  7. Structure Biology of Membrane Bound Enzymes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Dax [Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States). School of Medicine. Dept. of Physiology

    2016-11-30

    The overall goal of the proposed research is to understand the membrane-associated active processes catalyzed by an alkane $\\square$-hydroxylase (AlkB) from eubacterium Pseudomonase oleovorans. AlkB performs oxygenation of unactivated hydrocarbons found in crude oils. The enzymatic reaction involves energy-demanding steps in the membrane with the uses of structurally unknown metal active sites featuring a diiron [FeFe] center. At present, a critical barrier to understanding the membrane-associated reaction mechanism is the lack of structural information. The structural biology efforts have been challenged by technical difficulties commonly encountered in crystallization and structural determination of membrane proteins. The specific aims of the current budget cycle are to crystalize AlkB and initiate X-ray analysis to set the stage for structural determination. The long-term goals of our structural biology efforts are to provide an atomic description of AlkB structure, and to uncover the mechanisms of selective modification of hydrocarbons. The structural information will help elucidating how the unactivated C-H bonds of saturated hydrocarbons are oxidized to initiate biodegradation and biotransformation processes. The knowledge gained will be fundamental to biotechnological applications to biofuel transformation of non-edible oil feedstock. Renewable biodiesel is a promising energy carry that can be used to reduce fossil fuel dependency. The proposed research capitalizes on prior BES-supported efforts on over-expression and purification of AlkB to explore the inner workings of a bioenergy-relevant membrane-bound enzyme.

  8. 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.

  9. Alternative membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  10. A novel bioactive membrane by cell electrospinning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Haiping; Liu, Yuanyuan; Hu, Qingxi

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2007-08-15

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

  12. Sterion membranes in Direct Methanol fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  13. Stretching micropatterned cells on a PDMS membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpi, Nicolas; Piel, Matthieu

    2014-01-22

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Primate cathelicidin orthologues display different structures and membrane interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgera, Francesca; Vaccari, Lisa; Antcheva, Nikolinka; Scaini, Denis; Pacor, Sabrina; Tossi, Alessandro

    2009-02-01

    The human cathelicidin LL-37 displays both direct antibacterial activities and the capacity to modulate host-cell activities. These depend on structural characteristics that are subject to positive selection for variation, as observed in a previous analysis of the CAMP gene (encoding LL-37) in primates. The altered balance between cationic and anionic residues in different primate orthologues affects intramolecular salt-bridging and influences the stability of the helical conformation and tendency to aggregate in solution of the peptide. In the present study, we have analysed the effects of these structural variations on membrane interactions for human LL-37, rhesus RL-37 and orang-utan LL-37, using several complementary biophysical and biochemical methods. CD and ATR (attenuated total reflection)-FTIR (Fourier-transform IR) spectroscopy on model membranes indicate that RL-37, which is monomeric and unstructured in bulk solution [F-form (free form)], and human LL-37, which is partly structured and probably aggregated [A-form (aggregated form)], bind biological membranes in different manners. RL-37 may insert more deeply into the lipid bilayer than LL-37, which remains aggregated. AFM (atomic force microscopy) performed on the same supported bilayer as used for ATR-FTIR measurements suggests a carpet-like mode of permeabilization for RL37 and formation of more defined worm-holes for LL-37. Comparison of data from the biological activity on bacterial cells with permeabilization of model membranes indicates that the structure/aggregation state also affects the trajectory of the peptides from bulk solution through the outer cell-wall layers to the membrane. The results of the present study suggest that F-form cathelicidin orthologues may have evolved to have primarily a direct antimicrobial defensive capacity, whereas the A-forms have somewhat sacrificed this to gain host-cell modulating functions.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 ...

  18. Shedding of cell membrane-bound proteoglycans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Eon Jeong; Park, Pyong Woo

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Continuous monitoring of membrane protein micro-domain association during cell signaling

    CERN Document Server

    Huang, Heng

    2011-01-01

    Central to understanding membrane bound cell signaling is to quantify how the membrane ultra-structure consisting of transient spatial domains modulates signaling and how the signaling influences this ultra-structure. Yet, measuring the association of membrane proteins with domains in living, intact cells poses considerable challenges. Here, we describe a non-destructive method to quantify protein-lipid domain and protein cytoskeleton interactions in single, intact cells enabling continuous monitoring of the protein domains interaction over time during signaling.

  20. 3D visualization of membrane failures in fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Lipid domain structure of the plasma membrane revealed by patching of membrane components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harder, T; Scheiffele, P; Verkade, P; Simons, K

    1998-05-18

    Lateral assemblies of glycolipids and cholesterol, "rafts," have been implicated to play a role in cellular processes like membrane sorting, signal transduction, and cell adhesion. We studied the structure of raft domains in the plasma membrane of non-polarized cells. Overexpressed plasma membrane markers were evenly distributed in the plasma membrane. We compared the patching behavior of pairs of raft markers (defined by insolubility in Triton X-100) with pairs of raft/non-raft markers. For this purpose we cross-linked glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP), Thy-1, influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA), and the raft lipid ganglioside GM1 using antibodies and/or cholera toxin. The patches of these raft markers overlapped extensively in BHK cells as well as in Jurkat T-lymphoma cells. Importantly, patches of GPI-anchored PLAP accumulated src-like protein tyrosine kinase fyn, which is thought to be anchored in the cytoplasmic leaflet of raft domains. In contrast patched raft components and patches of transferrin receptor as a non-raft marker were sharply separated. Taken together, our data strongly suggest that coalescence of cross-linked raft elements is mediated by their common lipid environments, whereas separation of raft and non-raft patches is caused by the immiscibility of different lipid phases. This view is supported by the finding that cholesterol depletion abrogated segregation. Our results are consistent with the view that raft domains in the plasma membrane of non-polarized cells are normally small and highly dispersed but that raft size can be modulated by oligomerization of raft components.

  5. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...... to an epithelial morphology and vice versa. To achieve this, we developed a shotgun-based lipidomics workflow that enabled the absolute quantification of mammalian membrane lipidomes with minimal sample processing from low sample amounts. Epithelial morphogenesis was accompanied by a major shift from sphingomyelin...... to glycosphingolipid, together with an increase in plasmalogen, phosphatidylethanolamine, and cholesterol content, whereas the opposite changes took place during an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Moreover, during polarization, the sphingolipids became longer, more saturated, and more hydroxylated as required...

  9. Membrane electrode assembly for a fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    2016-05-06

    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.

  14. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Sulfonic acid-functionalized polymer electrolyte membranes alternative to Nafion® were developed. These were hydrocarbon systems, such as blend sulfonated polyetheretherketone (s-PEEK), new generation perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) systems, and composite zirconium phosphate–PFSA polymers. The membranes varied in terms of composition, equivalent weight, thickness, and filler and were investigated with regard to their methanol permeation characteristics and proton conductivity for application in direct methanol fuel cells. The behavior of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) was investigated in fuel cell with the aim to individuate a correlation between membrane characteristics and their performance in a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The power density of the DMFC at 60 °C increased according to a square root-like function of the membrane selectivity. This was defined as the reciprocal of the product between area specific resistance and crossover. The power density achieved at 60 °C for the most promising s-PEEK-based membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) was higher than the benchmark Nafion® 115-based MEA (77 mW·cm−2 vs. 64 mW·cm−2). This result was due to a lower methanol crossover (47 mA·cm−2 equivalent current density for s-PEEK vs. 120 mA·cm−2 for Nafion® 115 at 60 °C as recorded at OCV with 2 M methanol) and a suitable area specific resistance (0.15 Ohm cm2 for s-PEEK vs. 0.22 Ohm cm2 for Nafion® 115). PMID:26610582

  15. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonino S. Aricò

    2015-11-01

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

  16. Strong thin membrane structure. [solar sails

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frazer, R. E. (Inventor)

    1979-01-01

    A continuous process is described for producing strong lightweight structures for use as solar sails for spacecraft propulsion by radiation pressure. A thin reflective coating, such as aluminum, is applied to a rotating cylinder. A nylon mesh, applied over the aluminum coating, is then coated with a polymerizing material such as a para-xylylene monomer gas to polymerize as a film bound to the mesh and the aluminum. An emissivity increasing material such as chromium or silicon monoxide is applied to the polymer film to disperse such material colloidally into the growing polymer film, or to the final polymer film. The resulting membrane structure is then removed from the cylinder. Alternately, the membrane structure can be formed by etching a substrate in the form of an organic film such as a polymide, or a metal foil, to remove material from the substrate and reduce its thickness. A thin reflective coating (aluminum) is applied on one side of the substrate, and an emissivity increasing coating is applied on the reverse side of the substrate.

  17. 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.

  18. Extracellular heme uptake and the challenges of bacterial cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Aaron D; Wilks, Angela

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Structure and functions of fungal cell surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nozawa, Y.

    1984-01-01

    A review with 24 references on the biochemistry, molecular structure, and function of cell surfaces of fungi, especially dermatophytes: the chemistry and structure of the cell wall, the effect of polyene antibiotics on the morphology and function of cytoplasmic membranes, and the chemical structure and function of pigments produced by various fungi are discussed.

  20. 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.

  1. Blend Concepts for Fuel Cell Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    J. Kerres

    2005-01-01

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

  2. Controlling Structure in Sulfonated Block Copolymer Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truong, Phuc; Stein, Gila; Strzalka, Joe

    2015-03-01

    In many ionic block copolymer systems, the strong incompatibility between ionic and non-ionic segments will trap non-equilibrium structures in the film, making it difficult to engineer the optimal domain sizes and transport pathways. The goal of this work is to establish a framework for controlling the solid-state structure of sulfonated pentablock copolymer membranes. They have ABCBA block sequence, where A is poly(t-butyl styrene), B is poly(hydrogenated isoprene), and C is poly(styrene sulfonate). To process into films, the polymer is dissolved in toluene/n-propanol solvent mixtures, where the solvent proportions and the polymer loading were both varied. Solution-state structure was measured with small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). We detected micelles with radii that depend on the solvent composition and polymer loading. Film structure was measured with grazing-incidence SAXS, which shows (i) domain periodicity is constant throughout film thickness; (ii) domain periodicity depends on solvent composition and polymer loading, and approximately matches the micelle radii in solutions. The solid-state packing is consistent with a hard sphere structure factor. Results suggest that solid-state structure can be tuned by manipulating the solution-state self-assembly.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Antimicrobial Peptide Structure and Mechanism of Action: A Focus on the Role of Membrane Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tzong-Hsien; Hall, Kristopher N; Aguilar, Marie-Isabel

    2016-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are showing increasing promise as potential candidate antibacterial drugs in the face of the rapidly emerging bacterial resistance to conventional antibiotics in recent years. The target of these peptides is the microbial membrane and there are numerous models to explain their mechanism of action ranging from pore formation to general membrane disruption. The interaction between the AMP and the target membrane is critical to the specificity and activity of these peptides. However, a precise understanding of the relationship between antimicrobial peptide structure and their cytolytic function in a range of organisms is still lacking. This is a result of the complex nature of the interactions of AMPs with the cell membrane, the mechanism of which can vary considerably between different classes of antimicrobia peptides. A wide range of biophysical techniques have been used to study the influence of a number of peptide and membrane properties on the cytolytic activity of these peptides in model membrane systems. Central to characterisation of this interaction is a quantitative analysis of the binding of peptide to the membrane and the coherent dynamic changes in membrane structure. Recently, dual polarization interferometry has been used to perform an in depth analysis of antimicrobial peptide induced membrane perturbation and with new mass-structure co-fitting kinetic analysis have allowed a real-time label free analysis of binding affinity and kinetics. We review these studies which describe multi-step mechanisms which are adopted by various AMPs in nature and may advance our approach to the development of a new generation of effective antimicrobial therapeutics.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Polyarylenethioethersulfone Membranes for Fuel Cells (Postprint)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Fabrication Method for Laboratory-Scale High-Performance Membrane Electrode Assemblies for Fuel Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sassin, Megan B; Garsany, Yannick; Gould, Benjamin D; Swider-Lyons, Karen E

    2017-01-03

    Custom catalyst-coated membranes (CCMs) and membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) are necessary for the evaluation of advanced electrocatalysts, gas diffusion media (GDM), ionomers, polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs), and electrode structures designed for use in next-generation fuel cells, electrolyzers, or flow batteries. This Feature provides a reliable and reproducible fabrication protocol for laboratory scale (10 cm(2)) fuel cells based on ultrasonic spray deposition of a standard Pt/carbon electrocatalyst directly onto a perfluorosulfonic acid PEM.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Evaluation of stem cell components in retrocorneal membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  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

    2014-11-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Membrane Tether Formation on a Cell Surface with Reservoir

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 relevan...

  7. 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.

  8. Platinum group metal-free electrocatalysts: Effects of synthesis on structure and performance in proton-exchange membrane fuel cell cathodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Workman, Michael J.; Dzara, Michael; Ngo, Chilan; Pylypenko, Svitlana; Serov, Alexey; McKinney, Sam; Gordon, Jonathan; Atanassov, Plamen; Artyushkova, Kateryna

    2017-04-01

    Development of platinum group metal free catalysts for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) in proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) requires understanding of the interactions between surface chemistry and performance, both of which are strongly dependent on synthesis conditions. To elucidate these complex relationships, a set of Fe-N-C catalysts derived from the same set of precursor materials is fabricated by varying several key synthetic parameters under controlled conditions. The results of physicochemical characterization are presented and compared with the results of rotating disk electrode (RDE) analysis and fuel cell testing. We find that electrochemical performance is strongly correlated with three key properties related to catalyst composition: concentrations of 1) atomically dispersed Fe species, 2) species in which N is bound to Fe, and 3) surface oxides. Not only are these factors related to performance, these types of chemical species are shown to correlate with each other. This study provides evidence supporting the role of iron coordinated with nitrogen as an active species for the ORR, and offers synthetic pathways to increase the density of atomically dispersed iron species and surface oxides for optimum performance.

  9. 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

  10. 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

    To achieve high temperature operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), preferably under ambient pressure, acid–base polymer membranes represent an effective approach. The phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole membrane seems so far the most successful system in the field. It has...... 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...

  11. 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.

  12. Revealing alteration of membrane structures during ischema using impedance spectroscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihaela Gheorghiu

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Alterations of membrane structure and function are essential characteristics of cells undergoing ischemia. Noninvasive monitoring of tissue alterations during ischemia and the estimation of the reversibility domain (corresponding to organ capability to fully recover its functions after shifting back to normal blood perfusion are important for biomedical applications allowing better time management during surgical interventions, especially in organ transplantation. Due to it’s capability to reveal inhomogeneities, as well as it’s noninvasive character, impedance spectroscopy was used for continuous monitoring of the progression of excised tissue samples during ischemia. We have developed a fast, noninvasive, automated method for quantitative analysis of impedance spectra of tissue samples, capable of revealing, through characteristic parameters (dispersion amplitudes, time constants and distribution parameters membrane based microscopic processes like the closure ofgap-junctions (a characteristic of the early alterations of ischemic tissues in the reversibility phase. Microscopic and equivalent circuit modeling was used to probe the effect of closure of cell connections and of changes in electrical properties of cell constituents on impedance spectra. We have developed a normalizing procedure emphasizing the pattern of ischemic alterations and enabling the comparison of different data sets.

  13. Nanoporous Aluminium Oxide Membranes as Cell Interfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothea Brüggemann

    2013-01-01

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

  14. 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...... of new drugs and drug-delivery systems therefore requries insight into the physical properties of lipid-bilayer membranes. This mini-review provides a perspective on the current view of lipid-bilayer structure and dynamics based on information obtained from a variety of recent experimental...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pakiza Noutsi

    Full Text Available Cell membrane is made up of a complex structure of lipids and proteins that diffuse laterally giving rise to what we call membrane fluidity. During cellular development, such as differentiation cell membranes undergo dramatic fluidity changes induced by proteins such as ARC and Cofilin among others. In this study we used the generalized polarization (GP property of fluorescent probe Laurdan using two-photon microscopy to determine membrane fluidity as a function of time and for various cell lines. A low GP value corresponds to a higher fluidity and a higher GP value is associated with a more rigid membrane. Four different cell lines were monitored such as hN2, NIH3T3, HEK293 and L6 cells. Membrane fluidity was measured at 12h, 72h and 92 h. Our results show significant changes in membrane fluidity among all cell types at different time points. GP values tend to increase significantly within 92 h in hN2 cells and 72 h in NIH3T3 cells and only at 92 h in HEK293 cells. L6 showed a marked decrease in membrane fluidity at 72 h and starts to increase at 92 h. As expected, NIH3T3 cells have more rigid membrane at earlier time points. On the other hand, neurons tend to have the highest membrane fluidity at early time points emphasizing its correlation with plasticity and the need for this malleability during differentiation. This study sheds light on the involvement of membrane fluidity during neuronal differentiation and development of other cell lines.

  3. 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.

  4. Influence of preparative procedures on the membrane viscoelasticity of human red cell ghosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nash, G B; Tran-Son-Tay, R; Meiselman, H J

    1986-02-13

    The effects of systematic variations in the preparative procedures on the membrane viscoelastic properties of resealed human red blood cell ghosts have been investigated. Ghosts, prepared by hypotonic lysis at 0 degrees C and resealing at 37 degrees C, were subjected to: measurement of the time constant for extensional recovery (tc); measurement of the membrane shear elastic modulus (mu) via three separate techniques; determination of the membrane viscosity (eta m) via a cone-plate Rheoscope. Membrane viscosity was also determined as eta m = mu X tc. Compared to intact cells, ghosts had shorter tc, regardless of their residual hemoglobin concentration (up to 21.6 g/dl). However, prolonged exposure to hypotonic media did increase their recovery time toward the intact cell value. The shear elastic modulus, as judged by micropipette aspiration of membrane tongues (mu p), was similar for all ghosts and intact cells. This result, taken with the tc data, indicates that ghosts have reduced membrane viscosity. Rheoscopic analysis also showed that eta m was reduced for ghosts, with the degree of reduction (approx. 50%) agreeing well with that estimated by the product mu p X tc. However, flow channel and pipette elongation estimates indicated that the ghost membrane elastic modulus was somewhat elevated compared to intact cells. We conclude that: ghosts have reduced membrane viscosity; ghosts have membrane rigidities close to intact cells, except possibly when the membrane is subjected to very large strains; the reduction in eta m is not directly related to the loss of hemoglobin; prolonged exposure of ghosts to low-ionic strength media increases the membrane viscosity toward its initial cellular level. These data indicate that the mechanical characteristics of ghost membranes can be varied by changing the methods of preparation and thus have potential application to further studies of the structural determinants of red cell membrane viscoelasticity.

  5. Practical aspects in expression and purification of membrane proteins for structural analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R; Edwards, Patricia C; Standfuss, Joerg

    2013-01-01

    A surge of membrane protein structures in the last few years can be attributed to advances in technologies starting at the level of genomes, to highly efficient expression systems, stabilizing conformational flexibility, automation of crystallization and data collection for screening large numbers of crystals and the microfocus beam lines at synchrotrons. The substantial medical importance of many membrane proteins provides a strong incentive to understand them at the molecular level. It is becoming obvious that the major bottleneck in many of the membrane projects is obtaining sufficient amount of stable functional proteins in a detergent micelle for structural studies. Naturally, large effort has been spent on optimizing and advancing multiple expression systems and purification strategies that have started to yield sufficient protein and structures. We describe in this chapter protocols to refold membrane proteins from inclusion bodies, purification from inner membranes of Escherichia coli and from mammalian cell lines.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-15

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Membrane fouling in microfiltration used for cell harvesting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaghazchi, Tahereh; Zokaee, Farzin; Zare, Abbas

    2001-03-01

    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.

  17. Self-assembly and function of primitive cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Deamer, David

    2009-09-01

    We describe possible pathways for separating amphiphilic molecules from organic material on the early earth to form membrane-bound structures required for the start of cellular life. We review properties of the first membranes and their function as permeability barriers. Finally, we discuss the emergence of protein-mediated ion transport across membranes, which facilitated many other cellular functions.

  18. Influence of the surface structure on the filtration performance of UV-modified PES membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kæselev, Bozena Alicja; Kingshott, P.; Jonsson, Gunnar Eigil

    2002-01-01

    chemically characterised using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and time of flight-static secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-static SIMS). The filtration performance of irradiated/non-modified and irradiated/modified membranes was examined in a crossflow cell, using a dextran solution. The filtration...... performance of the irradiated/non-modified membranes unambiguously indicates that cross linking and chain scission to the base membrane is occurring. The simultaneous decrease in volume flux and true retention demonstrates that the proceeding cross-linking increases the hydrodynamic resistance of the membrane...... in relation to dextran when compared to membranes modified by AAG and AAP. This work suggests that the structure of the presence of grafted chains seems to be responsible for the observed changes to filtration performance of the modified membrane. Surface analysis supports the claim that the specific surface...

  19. 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 membranes...... humidified conditions in the 120-180°C temperature range. The conductivity improvements were also confirmed by in situ fuel cell tests at 160°C and further supported by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy data based on the operating membrane electrode assemblies, demonstrating the technical...... feasibility of the novel electrolyte materials....

  20. 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.

  1. 有机溶剂对PEM燃料电池CCM结构和性能的影响%Effects of organic solvents on the structure and performance of catalyst coated membrane used in PEM fuel cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张志远; 田建华; 单忠强; 梁宝臣

    2011-01-01

    Catalyst coated membrane (CCM) was prepared by direct spraying deposition of the catalyst on the surface of proton exchange membrane, which was then assembled with carbon paper diffusion layers to form a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) for the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The mixture solution for preparing CCM was composed of 20% (mass ratio) Pt/C catalyst, 5% (mass ratio) Nafion solution, organic solvent and de-ionized water. The surface morphology and pore structure were characterized by the environmental scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the polarization characteristics of MEA were evaluated by the current-voltage curves of a single PEMFC. The results indicated that the selection of solvent (ethanol, isopropyl alcohol and fert-butyl alcohol) as well as its content and volatility exhibit direct impact on the pore structure of catalyst layers of CCM, which affects the electrochemical performances of MEA. CCM fabricated with isopropyl alcohol solvent and a mass ratio of 4. 28 to Nafion solution under 50 Xl ~ 75 Xl exhibits an improved pore structure and I-V characteristic of MEA obtained.%采用直接喷涂法将催化剂涂覆在质子交换膜上形成CCM(catalyst coated membrane),CCM与碳纸扩散层组成膜电极用于质子交换膜燃料电池.制备CCM的混合液由质量分数20%的Pt/C催化剂、质量分数5%的Nafion溶液、有机溶剂和水组成.不同的有机溶剂(乙醇、异丙醇和叔丁醇)、有机溶剂的含量、溶剂的挥发速率直接影响所制备的CCM孔结构,进而影响膜电极的电化学性能.采用扫描电镜(SEM)表征了膜电极的表面形貌和孔结构;采用单体质子交换膜燃料电池(PEMFC)的电流密度-电压曲线评价了膜电极的极化特性.实验结果表明,以异丙醇为溶剂,异丙醇与Nafion溶液的质量比为4.28,在 50℃~75℃制备的CCM具有良好的孔结构和膜电极性能.

  2. Study and prediction of secondary structure for membrane proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amirova, Svetlana R.; Milchevsky, Juri V.; Filatov, Ivan V.; Esipova, Natalia G.; Tumanyan, Vladimir G.

    2007-01-01

    In this paper we present a novel approach to membrane protein secondary structure prediction based on the statistical stepwise discriminant analysis method. A new aspect of our approach is the possibility to derive physical -chemical properties that may affect the formation of membrane protein secon

  3. 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).

  4. Structural basis for lipopolysaccharide insertion in the bacterial outer membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiao, Shuai; Luo, Qingshan; Zhao, Yan; Zhang, Xuejun Cai; Huang, Yihua

    2014-07-03

    One of the fundamental properties of biological membranes is the asymmetric distribution of membrane lipids. In Gram-negative bacteria, the outer leaflet of the outer membrane is composed predominantly of lipopolysaccharides (LPS). The export of LPS requires seven essential lipopolysaccharide transport (Lpt) proteins to move LPS from the inner membrane, through the periplasm to the surface. Of the seven Lpt proteins, the LptD-LptE complex is responsible for inserting LPS into the external leaflet of the outer membrane. Here we report the crystal structure of the ∼110-kilodalton membrane protein complex LptD-LptE from Shigella flexneri at 2.4 Å resolution. The structure reveals an unprecedented two-protein plug-and-barrel architecture with LptE embedded into a 26-stranded β-barrel formed by LptD. Importantly, the secondary structures of the first two β-strands are distorted by two proline residues, weakening their interactions with neighbouring β-strands and creating a potential portal on the barrel wall that could allow lateral diffusion of LPS into the outer membrane. The crystal structure of the LptD-LptE complex opens the door to new antibiotic strategies targeting the bacterial outer membrane.

  5. 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.

  6. Fundamental study of mechanical and chemical degradation mechanisms of PEM fuel cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Wonseok

    mechanical stress necessitates the prediction of the stress distribution in the membrane under various conditions. One of research focuses was on the developing micromechanism-inspired continuum model for ionomer membranes. The model is the basis for stress analysis, and is based on a hyperelastic model with reptation-inspired viscous flow rule and multiplicative decomposition of viscoelastic and plastic deformation gradient. Finally, evaluation of the membrane degradation requires a fuel cell model since the degradation occurs under fuel cell operating conditions. The fuel cell model included structural mechanics models and multiphysics models which represents other phenomena such as gas and water transport, charge conservation, electrochemical reactions, and energy conservation. The combined model was developed to investigate the compression effect on fuel cell performance and membrane stress distribution.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurado Ramon Jose

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Thin Robust Anion Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. High Proton Conducting SPEEK/SiO2/PWA Composite Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Gaowen; JIANG Jiuxin; LIU Jianing

    2011-01-01

    Sulfonated polyether ether ketone (SPEEK) based composite membranes for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) application were prepared by sol-gel reaction of tetraethoxysilane (TEOS) in the SPEEK matrix and the incorporation of phosphotungstic acid (PWA). The conductivity of the developed membranes was determined by impedance spectroscopy and the methanol permeability through the membranes was obtained from diffuseness experiments. The SEM images show that the addition of SiO2 and the covalent cross-linking structure lead to fine PWA particles and more uniformly dispersion. The swelling of composite membranes remains in the range of 5%-8% at 30-90 ℃ and the effusion of PWA reduces significantly. The composite membranes show a good balance in higher proton conductivity and lower methanol permeation. The cell with composite membrane has higher open circuit voltage(0.728 V) and higher peak power density(45 mW/cm2) than that with Nation 117.

  11. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Performance of polymer nano composite membrane electrode assembly using Alginate as a dopant in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulijani, S.

    2016-11-01

    Polymer membrane and composite polymer for membrane electrode assembly (MEAs) are synthesized and studied for usage in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). In this study, we prepared 3 type of MEAs, polystyrene (PS), sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) and composite polymer SPS-alginat membrane via catalyst hot pressed method. The performance and properties of prepared MEAs were evaluated and analyzed by impedance spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The result showed that, water up take of MEA composite polymer SPS-alginate was obtained higher than that in SPS and PS. The proton conductivity of MEA-SPS-alginate was also higher than that PS and PSS. SEM characterization revealed that the intimate contact between the carbon catalyst layers (CL) and the membranes, and the uniformly porous structure correlate positively with the MEAs prepared by hot pressed method, exhibiting high performances for DMFC.

  14. Performance of polymer nano composite membrane electrode assembly using Alginate as a dopant in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulijani, S.

    2017-01-01

    Polymer membrane and composite polymer for membrane electrode assembly (MEAs) are synthesized and studied for usage in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). In this study, we prepared 3 type of MEAs, polystyrene (PS), sulfonated polystyrene (SPS) and composite polymer SPS-alginat membrane via catalyst hot pressed method. The performance and properties of prepared MEAs were evaluated and analyzed by impedance spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The result showed that, water up take of MEA composite polymer SPS-alginate was obtained higher than that in SPS and PS. The proton conductivity of MEA-SPS-alginate was also higher than that PS and PSS. SEM characterization revealed that the intimate contact between the carbon catalyst layers (CL) and the membranes, and the uniformly porous structure correlate positively with the MEAs prepared by hot pressed method, exhibiting high performances for DMFC.

  15. 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...

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

  17. High aspect ratio, nanostructured, platinum based electrodes for proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Design, development and ionic conduction of the proposed structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paschos, Odysseas

    High aspect ratio nanostructures can provide substantial benefits when used as fuel cell electrodes since they can alleviate problems associated with conventional carbon supports. In this work the potential of incorporating high aspect ratio nanostructures as electrodes for fuel cells was studied. Moreover, a model was created that demonstrated the potential for the nanostructures to yield high performance. The creation of Pt nanorods using anodic aluminum oxide templates was investigated and experiments showed complete utilization of the electrodes surface area. However, the Pt nanorod structure was found to not be effective in terms of Pt mass utilization, since only the outer surface of the rod is utilized for catalytic activity. An alternate method was developed to coat (with Pt) high aspect ratio structures made from a cost-effective support material. Thus far, methods used to conformally coat Pt either cannot be used directly on several materials or tend not to be cost-effective. A non-vacuum method based on an Aerosol Assisted Deposition (AAD) technique was developed and optimized. Initial experiments showed feasibility of the technique to coat a large variety of substrates. Dimensions of the particles were controlled by the deposition parameters and ranged from 4 nm up to several hundreds of nm in diameter. Experiments where Pt nanoparticles were deposited on gas diffusion layer substrates, showed higher electrochemical performance compared to commercial catalyst. The need for electrolyte coating on the high aspect ratio structures was also investigated. Initial experiments were performed by splitting an MEA in half and using an intermediate Pt film. These experiments showed that ionic conduction on Pt surface is possible. Moreover these studies indicated that ionic conduction on Pt could result from hydrophilic groups that can exist on its surface. Since these groups can either be physisorbed due to presence of water or chemisorbed on the oxidized Pt

  18. 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.

  19. Solid-state NMR structures of integral membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patching, Simon G

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  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. Free energy difference in indolicidin attraction to eukaryotic and prokaryotic model cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, In-Chul; Ripoll, Daniel R; Wallqvist, Anders

    2012-03-15

    We analyzed the thermodynamic and structural determinants of indolicidin interactions with eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell membranes using a series of atomistically detailed molecular dynamics simulations. We used quartz-supported bilayers with two different compositions of zwitterionic and anionic phospholipids as model eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell membranes. Indolicidin was preferentially attracted to the model prokaryotic cell membrane in contrast to the weak adsorption on the eukaryotic membrane. The nature of the indolicidin surface adsorption depended on an electrostatic guiding component, an attractive enthalpic component derived from van der Waals interactions, and a balance between entropic factors related to peptide confinement at the interface and counterion release from the bilayer surface. Thus, whereas we attributed the specificity of the indolicidin/membrane interaction to electrostatics, these interactions were not the sole contributors to the free energy of adsorption. Instead, a balance between an attractive van der Waals enthalpic component and a repulsive entropic component determined the overall strength of indolicidin adsorption.

  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. 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.

  6. Structure and membrane interactions of the homodimeric antibiotic peptide homotarsinin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verly, Rodrigo M.; Resende, Jarbas M.; Junior, Eduardo F. C.; de Magalhães, Mariana T. Q.; Guimarães, Carlos F. C. R.; Munhoz, Victor H. O.; Bemquerer, Marcelo Porto; Almeida, Fábio C. L.; Santoro, Marcelo M.; Piló-Veloso, Dorila; Bechinger, Burkhard

    2017-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from amphibian skin are valuable template structures to find new treatments against bacterial infections. This work describes for the first time the structure and membrane interactions of a homodimeric AMP. Homotarsinin, which was found in Phyllomedusa tarsius anurans, consists of two identical cystine-linked polypeptide chains each of 24 amino acid residues. The high-resolution structures of the monomeric and dimeric peptides were determined in aqueous buffers. The dimer exhibits a tightly packed coiled coil three-dimensional structure, keeping the hydrophobic residues screened from the aqueous environment. An overall cationic surface of the dimer assures enhanced interactions with negatively charged membranes. An extensive set of biophysical data allowed us to establish structure-function correlations with antimicrobial assays against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Although both peptides present considerable antimicrobial activity, the dimer is significantly more effective in both antibacterial and membrane biophysical assays.

  7. Structure and membrane interactions of the homodimeric antibiotic peptide homotarsinin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verly, Rodrigo M.; Resende, Jarbas M.; Junior, Eduardo F. C.; de Magalhães, Mariana T. Q.; Guimarães, Carlos F. C. R.; Munhoz, Victor H. O.; Bemquerer, Marcelo Porto; Almeida, Fábio C. L.; Santoro, Marcelo M.; Piló-Veloso, Dorila; Bechinger, Burkhard

    2017-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from amphibian skin are valuable template structures to find new treatments against bacterial infections. This work describes for the first time the structure and membrane interactions of a homodimeric AMP. Homotarsinin, which was found in Phyllomedusa tarsius anurans, consists of two identical cystine-linked polypeptide chains each of 24 amino acid residues. The high-resolution structures of the monomeric and dimeric peptides were determined in aqueous buffers. The dimer exhibits a tightly packed coiled coil three-dimensional structure, keeping the hydrophobic residues screened from the aqueous environment. An overall cationic surface of the dimer assures enhanced interactions with negatively charged membranes. An extensive set of biophysical data allowed us to establish structure-function correlations with antimicrobial assays against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Although both peptides present considerable antimicrobial activity, the dimer is significantly more effective in both antibacterial and membrane biophysical assays. PMID:28102305

  8. Exploring the inhibitory effect of membrane tension on cell polarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  12. Coating nanoparticles with cell membranes for targeted drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Weiwei; Zhang, Liangfang

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Lipid nanotechnologies for structural studies of membrane-associated proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoilova-McPhie, Svetla; Grushin, Kirill; Dalm, Daniela; Miller, Jaimy

    2014-11-01

    We present a methodology of lipid nanotubes (LNT) and nanodisks technologies optimized in our laboratory for structural studies of membrane-associated proteins at close to physiological conditions. The application of these lipid nanotechnologies for structure determination by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) is fundamental for understanding and modulating their function. The LNTs in our studies are single bilayer galactosylceramide based nanotubes of ∼20 nm inner diameter and a few microns in length, that self-assemble in aqueous solutions. The lipid nanodisks (NDs) are self-assembled discoid lipid bilayers of ∼10 nm diameter, which are stabilized in aqueous solutions by a belt of amphipathic helical scaffold proteins. By combining LNT and ND technologies, we can examine structurally how the membrane curvature and lipid composition modulates the function of the membrane-associated proteins. As proof of principle, we have engineered these lipid nanotechnologies to mimic the activated platelet's phosphtaidylserine rich membrane and have successfully assembled functional membrane-bound coagulation factor VIII in vitro for structure determination by cryo-EM. The macromolecular organization of the proteins bound to ND and LNT are further defined by fitting the known atomic structures within the calculated three-dimensional maps. The combination of LNT and ND technologies offers a means to control the design and assembly of a wide range of functional membrane-associated proteins and complexes for structural studies by cryo-EM. The presented results confirm the suitability of the developed methodology for studying the functional structure of membrane-associated proteins, such as the coagulation factors, at a close to physiological environment.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. Development of topologically structured membranes of aluminum oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bankova, A.; Videkov, V.; Tzaneva, B.

    2014-05-01

    In recent years, nanomembranes have become one of the most widely used construction material for ultrasensitive and ultrathin applications in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and other sensor structures due to their remarkable mechanical properties. Among these, the mechanical stability is of particular importance. We present an approach to the analysis of the stability of nanostructured anodic aluminum oxide free membranes subjected to mechanical bending. The membranes tested were with a thickness of 500 nm to 15 urn in various topological shapes; we describe the technological schemes of their preparation. Bends were applied to membranes prepared by using a selective process of etching and anodizing. The results of the preparation of the membranes are discussed, together with the influence of the angle of deflection, and the number of bendings. The results obtained can be used in designing MEMS structures and sensors which use nanostructured anodic aluminum oxide.

  1. Homotypic fusion of endoplasmic reticulum membranes in plant cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junjie eHu

    2013-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bugge, Katrine Østergaard

    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...... of structural knowledge on their membrane-embedded transmembrane domains (TMDs), which connect the extracellular ligand binding domains to the intracellular signaling platforms. The overall aim of this thesis work was to improve our understanding of the class I cytokine receptor signaling across the membrane...... ample material of high quality for structural studies with NMR spectroscopy of several class I cytokine receptor TMDs. Furthermore, the structure of a class I cytokine receptor TMD in DHPC micelles was solved with solution-state NMR spectroscopy. Additionally, since structural studies of intact proteins...

  3. Structure formation of surfactant membranes under shear flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiba, Hayato; Noguchi, Hiroshi; Gompper, Gerhard

    2013-07-01

    Shear-flow-induced structure formation in surfactant-water mixtures is investigated numerically using a meshless-membrane model in combination with a particle-based hydrodynamics simulation approach for the solvent. At low shear rates, uni-lamellar vesicles and planar lamellae structures are formed at small and large membrane volume fractions, respectively. At high shear rates, lamellar states exhibit an undulation instability, leading to rolled or cylindrical membrane shapes oriented in the flow direction. The spatial symmetry and structure factor of this rolled state agree with those of intermediate states during lamellar-to-onion transition measured by time-resolved scatting experiments. Structural evolution in time exhibits a moderate dependence on the initial condition.

  4. Structure and Dynamic Properties of Membrane Proteins using NMR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rösner, Heike; Kragelund, Birthe

    2012-01-01

    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....

  5. Correct use of Membrane Elements in Structural Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rothman Timothy

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Structural analysis of consumer electronic devices such as phones and tablets involves Finite Element Analysis (FEA. Dynamic loading conditions such as device dropping and bending dictate accurate FEA models to reduce design risk in many areas. The solid elements typically used in structural analysis do not have integration points on the surface. The outer surface is of most interest because that is where the cracks start. Analysts employ a post processing trick through using membranes to bring accurate stress/strain results to the surface. This paper explains numerical issues with implementation of membranes and recommends a methodology for accurate structural analysis.

  6. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    To achieve high temperature operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), preferably under ambient pressure, phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane represents an effective approach, which in recent years has motivated extensive research activities with great progress....... As a critical concern, issues of long term durability of PBI based fuel cells are addressed in this talk, including oxidative degradation of the polymer, mechanical failures of the membrane, acid leaching out, corrosion of carbon support and sintering of catalysts particles. Excellent polymer durability has...... observed under continuous operation with hydrogen and air at 150-160oC, with a fuel cell performance degradation rate of 5-10 µV/h. Improvement of the membrane performance such as mechanical strength, swelling and oxidative stability has achieved by exploring the polymer chemistry, i.e. covalently...

  8. Lectin receptor kinases participate in protein-protein interactions to mediate plasma membrane-cell wall adhesions in Arabidopsis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gouget, A.; Senchou, V.; Govers, F.; Sanson, A.; Barre, A.; Rougé, P.; Pont-Lezica, R.; Canut, H.

    2006-01-01

    Interactions between plant cell walls and plasma membranes are essential for cells to function properly, but the molecules that mediate the structural continuity between wall and membrane are unknown. Some of these interactions, which are visualized upon tissue plasmolysis in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsi

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Expression of basement membrane antigens in spindle cell melanoma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prieto, V G; Woodruff, J M

    1998-07-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Membrane proteins structure and dynamics by nuclear magnetic resonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltsev, Sergey; Lorigan, Gary A

    2011-10-01

    Membrane proteins represent a challenging class of biological systems to study. They are extremely difficult to crystallize and in most cases they retain their structure and functions only in membrane environments. Therefore, commonly used diffraction methods fail to give detailed molecular structure and other approaches have to be utilized to obtain biologically relevant information. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, however, can provide powerful structural and dynamical constraints on these complicated systems. Solution- and solid-state NMR are powerful methods for investigating membrane proteins studies. In this work, we briefly review both solution and solid-state NMR techniques for membrane protein studies and illustrate the applications of these methods to elucidate proteins structure, conformation, topology, dynamics, and function. Recent advances in electronics, biological sample preparation, and spectral processing provided opportunities for complex biological systems, such as membrane proteins inside lipid vesicles, to be studied faster and with outstanding quality. New analysis methods therefore have emerged, that benefit from the combination of sample preparation and corresponding specific high-end NMR techniques, which give access to more structural and dynamic information.

  14. Finite Element Analysis of Wrinkled Membrane Structures for Sunshield Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, John D.; Brodeur, Stephen J. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The deployable sunshield is an example of a gossamer structure envisioned for use on future space telescopes. The basic structure consists of multiple layers of pretensioned, thin-film membranes supported by deployable booms. The prediction and verification of sunshield dynamics has been identified as an area in need of technology development due to the difficulties inherent in predicting nonlinear structural behavior of the membranes and because of the challenges involved. in ground testing of the full-scale structure. This paper describes a finite element analysis of a subscale sunshield that has been subjected to ground testing in support of the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) program. The analysis utilizes a nonlinear material model that accounts for wrinkling of the membranes. Results are presented from a nonlinear static preloading analysis and subsequent dynamics analyses to illustrate baseline sunshield structural characteristics. Studies are then described which provide further insight into the effect of membrane. preload on sunshield dynamics and the performance of different membrane modeling techniques. Lastly, a comparison of analytical predictions and ground test results is presented.

  15. Facilitated Anion Transport Induces Hyperpolarization of the Cell Membrane That Triggers Differentiation and Cell Death in Cancer Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto-Cerrato, Vanessa; Manuel-Manresa, Pilar; Hernando, Elsa; Calabuig-Fariñas, Silvia; Martínez-Romero, Alicia; Fernández-Dueñas, Víctor; Sahlholm, Kristoffer; Knöpfel, Thomas; García-Valverde, María; Rodilla, Ananda M; Jantus-Lewintre, Eloisa; Farràs, Rosa; Ciruela, Francisco; Pérez-Tomás, Ricardo; Quesada, Roberto

    2015-12-23

    Facilitated anion transport potentially represents a powerful tool to modulate various cellular functions. However, research into the biological effects of small molecule anionophores is still at an early stage. Here we have used two potent anionophore molecules inspired in the structure of marine metabolites tambjamines to gain insight into the effect induced by these compounds at the cellular level. We show how active anionophores, capable of facilitating the transmembrane transport of chloride and bicarbonate in model phospholipid liposomes, induce acidification of the cytosol and hyperpolarization of plasma cell membranes. We demonstrate how this combined effect can be used against cancer stem cells (CSCs). Hyperpolarization of cell membrane induces cell differentiation and loss of stemness of CSCs leading to effective elimination of this cancer cell subpopulation.

  16. High-resolution Structures of Protein-Membrane Complexes by Neutron Reflection and MD Simulation: Membrane Association of the PTEN Tumor Suppressor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lösche, Matthias

    2012-02-01

    The lipid matrix of biomembranes is an in-plane fluid, thermally and compositionally disordered leaflet of 5 nm thickness and notoriously difficult to characterize in structural terms. Yet, biomembranes are ubiquitous in the cell, and membrane-bound proteins are implicated in a variety of signaling pathways and intra-cellular transport. We developed methodology to study proteins associated with model membranes using neutron reflection measurements and showed recently that this approach can resolve the penetration depth and orientation of membrane proteins with ångstrom resolution if their crystal or NMR structure is known. Here we apply this technology to determine the membrane bindung and unravel functional details of the PTEN phosphatase, a key player in the PI3K apoptosis pathway. PTEN is an important regulatory protein and tumor suppressor that performs its phosphatase activity as an interfacial enzyme at the plasma membrane-cytoplasm boundary. Acting as an antagonist to phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) in cell signaling, it is deleted in many human cancers. Despite its importance in regulating the levels of the phosphoinositoltriphosphate PI(3,4,5)P3, there is little understanding of how PTEN binds to membranes, is activated and then acts as a phosphatase. We investigated the structure and function of PTEN by studying its membrane affinity and localization on in-plane fluid, thermally disordered synthetic membrane models. The membrane association of the protein depends strongly on membrane composition, where phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol diphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) act synergetically in attracting the enzyme to the membrane surface. Membrane affinities depend strongly on membrane fluidity, which suggests multiple binding sites on the protein for PI(4,5)P2. Neutron reflection measurements show that the PTEN phosphatase ``scoots'' along the membrane surface (penetration protein, ˜ 60 å away from the bilayer surface, in a rather compact

  17. Characteristics and performance of membrane electrode assemblies with operating conditions in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Yong-Hun [School of Advanced Materials Engineering, Kookmin University, 861-1 Jeongneung-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-702 (Korea, Republic of); Yoo, Sung Jong [Fuel Cell Center, Korea Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul 136-791 (Korea, Republic of); Park, In-Su; Jeon, Tae-Yeol; Cho, Yoon-Hwan; Lim, Ju Wan [World Class University (WCU) program of Chemical Convergence for Energy and Environment, School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, College of Engineering, Seoul National University (SNU), Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kwon, Oh Joong [Department of Energy and Chemical Engineering, University of Incheon, 12-1 Songdo-dong, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 406-772 (Korea, Republic of); Yoon, Won-Sub [School of Advanced Materials Engineering, Kookmin University, 861-1 Jeongneung-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul 136-702 (Korea, Republic of); Sung, Yung-Eun, E-mail: ysung@snu.ac.k [World Class University (WCU) program of Chemical Convergence for Energy and Environment, School of Chemical and Biological Engineering, College of Engineering, Seoul National University (SNU), Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2010-12-30

    The degradation behavior of a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) was investigated in accelerated degradation tests under constant voltage (0.8 V and 0.7 V) and load cycling (from open circuit voltage to 0.35 V) conditions. Changes in the structural and electrochemical characteristics of MEA after the durability tests give information as to the degradation mechanism of MEAs. The results of cyclic voltammogram and postmortem analysis by X-ray diffraction and high resolution-transmission electron microscopy indicate that the cathode catalyst layers of the MEAs showed no extreme degradation under constant voltage mode, whereas MEAs under repetition of load cycling mode showed very severe degradation after 280 h. However, the single cell performance of the MEA under repetition of load cycling mode was higher than under constant voltage mode. In addition, although the Pt band in the membrane of the MEA under repetition of load cycling mode was observed by field emission scanning electron microscopy, it did not affect the ohmic resistance.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. DNA-Tile Structures Induce Ionic Currents through Lipid Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Göpfrich, Kerstin; Zettl, Thomas; Meijering, Anna E C; Hernández-Ainsa, Silvia; Kocabey, Samet; Liedl, Tim; Keyser, Ulrich F

    2015-05-13

    Self-assembled DNA nanostructures have been used to create man-made transmembrane channels in lipid bilayers. Here, we present a DNA-tile structure with a nominal subnanometer channel and cholesterol-tags for membrane anchoring. With an outer diameter of 5 nm and a molecular weight of 45 kDa, the dimensions of our synthetic nanostructure are comparable to biological ion channels. Because of its simple design, the structure self-assembles within a minute, making its creation scalable for applications in biology. Ionic current recordings demonstrate that the tile structures enable ion conduction through lipid bilayers and show gating and voltage-switching behavior. By demonstrating the design of DNA-based membrane channels with openings much smaller than that of the archetypical six-helix bundle, our work showcases their versatility inspired by the rich diversity of natural membrane components.

  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. Hybrid proton-conducting membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-08-30

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

  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. 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.

  7. Peroxynitrous acid induces structural and functional modifications to basement membranes and its key component, laminin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Degendorfer, Georg; Chuang, Christine Y.; Hammer, Astrid;

    2015-01-01

    Basement membranes (BM) are specialized extracellular matrices underlying endothelial cells in the artery wall. Laminin, the most abundant BM glycoprotein, is a structural and biologically active component. Peroxynitrous acid (ONOOH), a potent oxidizing and nitrating agent, is formed in vivo at s...

  8. Structure and formation of egg membranes in Aedes aegypti. (L. ) (Diptera:Culicidae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mathew, G.; Rai, K.S.

    1975-01-01

    An ultrastructural study of mosquito ovarioles reveals that both the vitelline membrane and the endochorion are secreted by the follicular epithelium. The presecretory phase is characterized by the hypertrophy of endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complex in the follicle cells. Synthesis of vitelline membrane precursors begins immediately after yolk protein uptake by micropinocytosis. Secretory droplets are budded off Golgi cisternae and released into the follicle cell--oocyte interface by exocytosis. The vitelline membrane first appears as dense plaques which eventually fuse to form a single homogeneous layer. Two types of secretory material are identified in the follicle cells prior to the formation of the endochorion. Golgi cisternae bud off small droplets similar in size and appearance to the precursors of the vitelline membrane. These migrate to the apical surface and accumulate between surface folds in the plasma membrane. The second type is a fibrous material formed in endoplasmic reticulum. When fully secreted, the endochorion is a 2-layered structure. The lower layer is comprised of pillar-like structures alternating with fibrous mesh-like areas. The pillars are formed by the coalescence of droplets released from Golgi, while the mesh-like areas presumably arise from the fibrous material. The outer layer is also fibrous. The follicle cells degenerate once the endochorion is laid down. endochorion is laid down.

  9. Elastic thickness compressibilty of the red cell membrane.

    OpenAIRE

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

    2001-01-01

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

  10. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Bjørn Panyella; Buch-Pedersen, Morten J; Morth, Jens Preben;

    2007-01-01

    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 1, 2......, 3 , and Na+,K+-ATPase (the sodium–potassium pump) in animals 4 . The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis 5 . The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na...... 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...

  11. Topological Structures and Membrane Nanostructures of Erythrocytes after Splenectomy in Hereditary Spherocytosis Patients via Atomic Force Microscopy

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Ying; Lu, Liyuan; Li, Juan

    2016-01-01

    Hereditary spherocytosis is an inherited red blood cell membrane disorder resulting from mutations of genes encoding erythrocyte membrane and cytoskeletal proteins. Few equipments can observe the structural characteristics of hereditary spherocytosis directly expect for atomic force microscopy In our study, we proved atomic force microscopy is a powerful and sensitive instrument to describe the characteristics of hereditary spherocytosis. Erythrocytes from hereditary spherocytosis patients we...

  12. The influence of naphthenic acids and their fractions onto cell membrane permeability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavlović Ksenija

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The influence of naphthenic acids (NAs mixture and their narrow fractions (called NA pH 4, pH 8 and pH 10 onto permeability of beetroot cell membrane is examined. The results showed that the effect depends on treatment duration, concentration and NAs structure. Longer treatment of plant cell membranes with sodium naphthenate (Na-naph resulted in the increase of membrane permeability (e.g. 4-hour treatment with Na-naph (C=100 μmol L-1 increased membrane permeability about 3 times, while prolongation of treatment to 24 hour resulted in the 18 times increasing of the effect. NAs in the concentration range from 0.1 to 10 μmol L-1 does not change membrane permeability, while membrane permeability is increasing linearly with concentration increasing from 10-100 μmol L-1. The strongest effect expressed fraction pH 8, where bi- and tricyclic carboxylic acids are the most abundant. These structures are predominant in the total NAs mixture as well. Thereby could be explained their closest, but a little bit weaker effect, comparing to NAs present in fraction pH 8. The effect of NAs onto beetroot cell membrane is between the effects of anionic (SDS and LS and non-ionic surfactants (Triton X-100. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. 172006. i br. TR31036

  13. 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.

  14. Probing Site-Specific Structural Information of Peptides at Model Membrane Interface In Situ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Bei; Panahi, Afra; Ho, Jia-Jung; Laaser, Jennifer E; Brooks, Charles L; Zanni, Martin T; Chen, Zhan

    2015-08-19

    Isotope labeling is a powerful technique to probe detailed structures of biological molecules with a variety of analytical methods such as NMR and vibrational spectroscopies. It is important to obtain molecular structural information on biological molecules at interfaces such as cell membranes, but it is challenging to use the isotope labeling method to study interfacial biomolecules. Here, by individually (13)C═(16)O labeling ten residues of a peptide, Ovispirin-1, we have demonstrated for the first time that a site-specific environment of membrane associated peptide can be probed by the submonolayer surface sensitive sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy in situ. With the peptide associated with a single lipid bilayer, the sinusoidal trend of the SFG line width and peak-center frequency suggests that the peptide is located at the interface beneath the lipid headgroup region. The constructive interferences between the isotope labeled peaks and the main peptide amide I peak contributed by the unlabeled components were used to determine the membrane orientation of the peptide. From the SFG spectral peak-center frequency, line width, and polarization dependence of the isotope labeled units, we deduced structural information on individual units of the peptide associated with a model cell membrane. We also performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to understand peptide-membrane interactions. The physical pictures described by simulation agree well with the SFG experimental result. This research demonstrates the feasibility and power of using isotope labeling SFG to probe molecular structures of interfacial biological molecules in situ in real time.

  15. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Applied for Transport Sector

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud

    2010-01-01

    A thermodynamic analysis of a PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell) is investigated. PEMFC may be the most promising technology for fuel cell automotive systems, which is operating at quite low temperatures, (between 60 to 80℃). In this study the fuel cell motive power part of a lift truck has...

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

  17. 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.

  18. Profilin as a regulator of the membrane-actin cytoskeleton interface in plant cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiantian eSun

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Membrane structures and cytoskeleton dynamics are intimately inter-connected in the eukaryotic cell. Recently, the molecular mechanisms operating at this interface have been progressively addressed. Many experiments have revealed that the actin cytoskeleton can interact with membranes through various discrete membrane domains. The actin-binding protein, profilin has been proven to inhibit actin polymerization and to promote F-actin elongation. This is dependent on many factors, such as the profilin/G-actin ratio and the ionic environment of the cell. Additionally, profilin has specific domains that interact with phosphoinositides and poly-L-proline rich proteins; theoretically, this gives profilin the opportunity to interact with membranes, and a large number of experiments have confirmed this possibility. In this article, we summarize recent findings in plant cells, and discuss the evidence of the connections among actin cytoskeleton, profilin and biomembranes through direct or indirect relationships.

  19. In-Situ Observation of Membrane Protein Folding during Cell-Free Expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Baumann

    Full Text Available Proper insertion, folding and assembly of functional proteins in biological membranes are key processes to warrant activity of a living cell. Here, we present a novel approach to trace folding and insertion of a nascent membrane protein leaving the ribosome and penetrating the bilayer. Surface Enhanced IR Absorption Spectroscopy selectively monitored insertion and folding of membrane proteins during cell-free expression in a label-free and non-invasive manner. Protein synthesis was performed in an optical cell containing a prism covered with a thin gold film with nanodiscs on top, providing an artificial lipid bilayer for folding. In a pilot experiment, the folding pathway of bacteriorhodopsin via various secondary and tertiary structures was visualized. Thus, a methodology is established with which the folding reaction of other more complex membrane proteins can be observed during protein biosynthesis (in situ and in operando at molecular resolution.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Structure-dependent interactions of polyphenols with a biomimetic membrane system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phan, Huong T T; Yoda, Tsuyoshi; Chahal, Bindu; Morita, Masamune; Takagi, Masahiro; Vestergaard, Mun'delanji C

    2014-10-01

    Polyphenols are naturally-occurring compounds, reported to be biologically active, and through their interactions with cell membranes. Although association of the polyphenols with the bilayer has been reported, the detailed mechanism of interaction is not yet well elucidated. We report on spatio-temporal real-time membrane dynamics observed in the presence of polyphenols. Two distinct membrane dynamics, corresponding to the two classes of polyphenols used, were observed. Flavonoids (epi-gallocatechin-3-gallate, gallocatechin, theaflavin and theaflavin-3-gallate) caused lipid membrane aggregation and rigidification. As simple structural modification through opening of the aromatic C-ring into an olefin bond, present in trans-stilbenes (resveratrol and picead), completely changed the membrane properties, increasing fluidity and inducing fluctuation. There were differences in the membrane transformations within the same class of polyphenols. Structure-dependent classification of membrane dynamics may contribute to a better understanding of the physicochemical mechanism involved in the bioactivity of polyphenols. In general, an increase in the number of hydrophilic side chains (galloyl, hydroxyl, glucoside, gallate) increased the reactivity of the polyphenols. Most notable was the difference observed through a simple addition of the gallate group. Unraveling the importance of these polyphenols, at a functional group level further opens the key to tailored design of bioactive compounds as potential drug candidates.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. On the importance of electrostatic interactions between cell penetrating peptides and membranes: a pathway toward tumor cell selectivity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobin, Marie-Lise; Alves, Isabel D

    2014-12-01

    Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are small molecules of major interest due to their ability to efficiently transport cargos across cell membranes in a receptor- and energy-independent way and without being cytotoxic to cells. Since their discovery 20 years ago their potential interest in drug delivery and diagnosis became undeniable. CPPs are being used to deliver inside cells a large variety of cargos such as proteins, DNA, antibodies, imaging agents and nanoparticle drug carriers. Their cellular uptake mechanisms are still debated and may vary depending on their structure, nature and size of cargo they transport and type of cell line targeted. CPPs are generally rich in positively charged residues, thus they are prone to establish electrostatic interactions with anionic membrane components (sugars and lipids). Understanding the molecular basis of CPP membrane interaction and cellular uptake is crucial to improve their in vivo efficiency target-specificity. A great number of studies demonstrated the high potential of CPPs to translocate efficiently therapeutic cargos into cells and some peptides are even in clinical phase studies. Although these molecules seem perfect for a therapeutic or diagnosis purpose, they still possess a small but non negligible drawback: a complete lack of cell type specificity. Tumor cells have recently been shown to over-express certain glycosaminoglycans at the cell membrane surface and to possess a higher amount of anionic lipids in their outer leaflet than healthy cells. Such molecules confer the cell membrane an enhanced anionic character, property that could be used by CPPs to selectively target these cells. Moreover previous studies demonstrate the importance of electrostatic interactions between basic residues in the peptide, especially Arg, and the lipid headgroups and glycosaminoglycans in the cell membrane. Electrostatic interactions put at stake in this process might be one of the keys to resolve the puzzle of CPP cell type

  8. 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.

  9. MWIR optical modulation using structured silicon membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakar, A.; Park, S. J.; Zerova, V.; Kaplan, A.; Canham, Leigh T.; Lewis, K. L.; Burgess, C. D.

    2016-10-01

    We have used near IR pump - Mid IR probe techniques to compare the feasibility and potential of using free standing nano-porous and micro-porous silicon (ordered hole arrays) as optically controlled modulators operating in the Mid-Wave Infrared (MWIR) covering the range from 3.3-5 μm. We employed 800 nm pumping pulses with the duration of 60 fs to reduce 4 μm light transmission modulation to about 25% and 45% for both silicon structures, respectively, at excitation powers of 50mW (4 mJ=cm2). However, at 5 μm both structures shown similar contrast of about 60%. The time resolved measurements revealed a fast sub-picosecond rise time for both structures suggesting that the optically generated carriers are a dominant mechanism for the modulation. However, the measurements demonstrated a significant difference in the relaxation dynamics. The nanoporous silicon demonstrated recovery as fast as a few tens of picoseconds and a possibility to effectively work in the GHz regime, while hole arrays shown almost three orders of magnitude slower response making it suitable for the MHz regime.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Nanoporous gold membranes: From morphological control to fuel cell catalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Yi

    Porous noble metals are particularly attractive for scientific research and industrial applications such as catalysis, sensing, and filtration. In this thesis, I will discuss the fabrication, characterization, and application of a new class of porous metals, called nanoporous metals (NPM). NPM is made during selective dissolution (also called dealloying) of reactive components (e.g., silver) from multi-component alloys (e.g., Ag/Au alloy). Commercially available white gold leaf (Ag65Au35) can, for example, be etched into nanoporous gold (NPG) membrane by simply floating the leaf on concentrated nitric acid for periods of a few minutes. NPG leaf adopts a single crystal porous structure within individual grains. The microstructure of NPG, such as the pore size, is tunable between a few nanometers to sub-micron length scale by either thermal annealing or post-treatment in nitric acid for extended period of time. A new gas-liquid-solid interface electroless plating technique is developed to uniformly cover the NPG surface with other metals, such as silver and platinum. This technique allows new opportunities of making functionalized nanostructures. We show that a combination of silver plating and dealloying can be used to make multimodal porous metals, which are expected to have application in sensing field. Electroless platinum plating onto NPG shows very usual growth mode. TEM observation indicates that the platinum layer on NPG surface takes a novel form of layer-islanding growth (Stranski-Krastanov growth). Annealing the Pt/NPG composite smoothens the Pt islands and forms a 1 nm coherent Pt layer on the NPG backbone, possibly with dislocation formation at the Pt/Au interface. Furthermore, it was found that we could dissolve the gold away in aqueous gold etchant, leaving behind the 1 nm-thick Pt shell, a structure we call nanotubular mesoporous platinum (NMP). Pt plated NPG has a series of unique structural properties, such as high active surface area, thermally

  14. Effect of gas diffusion layer and membrane properties in an annular proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Meninges: from protective membrane to stem cell niche.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decimo, Ilaria; Fumagalli, Guido; Berton, Valeria; Krampera, Mauro; Bifari, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    Meninges are a three tissue membrane primarily known as coverings of the brain. More in depth studies on meningeal function and ultrastructure have recently changed the view of meninges as a merely protective membrane. Accurate evaluation of the anatomical distribution in the CNS reveals that meninges largely penetrate inside the neural tissue. Meninges enter the CNS by projecting between structures, in the stroma of choroid plexus and form the perivascular space (Virchow-Robin) of every parenchymal vessel. Thus, meninges may modulate most of the physiological and pathological events of the CNS throughout the life. Meninges are present since the very early embryonic stages of cortical development and appear to be necessary for normal corticogenesis and brain structures formation. In adulthood meninges contribute to neural tissue homeostasis by secreting several trophic factors including FGF2 and SDF-1. Recently, for the first time, we have identified the presence of a stem cell population with neural differentiation potential in meninges. In addition, we and other groups have further described the presence in meninges of injury responsive neural precursors. In this review we will give a comprehensive view of meninges and their multiple roles in the context of a functional network with the neural tissue. We will highlight the current literature on the developmental feature of meninges and their role in cortical development. Moreover, we will elucidate the anatomical distribution of the meninges and their trophic properties in adult CNS. Finally, we will emphasize recent evidences suggesting the potential role of meninges as stem cell niche harbouring endogenous precursors that can be activated by injury and are able to contribute to CNS parenchymal reaction.

  16. Graphene-Induced Pore Formation on Cell Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Cell-based analysis of Chikungunya virus E1 protein in membrane fusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuo Szu-Cheng

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chikungunya fever is a pandemic disease caused by the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus (CHIKV. E1 glycoprotein mediation of viral membrane fusion during CHIKV infection is a crucial step in the release of viral genome into the host cytoplasm for replication. How the E1 structure determines membrane fusion and whether other CHIKV structural proteins participate in E1 fusion activity remain largely unexplored. Methods A bicistronic baculovirus expression system to produce recombinant baculoviruses for cell-based assay was used. Sf21 insect cells infected by recombinant baculoviruses bearing wild type or single-amino-acid substitution of CHIKV E1 and EGFP (enhanced green fluorescence protein were employed to investigate the roles of four E1 amino acid residues (G91, V178, A226, and H230 in membrane fusion activity. Results Western blot analysis revealed that the E1 expression level and surface features in wild type and mutant substituted cells were similar. However, cell fusion assay found that those cells infected by CHIKV E1-H230A mutant baculovirus showed little fusion activity, and those bearing CHIKV E1-G91D mutant completely lost the ability to induce cell-cell fusion. Cells infected by recombinant baculoviruses of CHIKV E1-A226V and E1-V178A mutants exhibited the same membrane fusion capability as wild type. Although the E1 expression level of cells bearing monomeric-E1-based constructs (expressing E1 only was greater than that of cells bearing 26S-based constructs (expressing all structural proteins, the sizes of syncytial cells induced by infection of baculoviruses containing 26S-based constructs were larger than those from infections having monomeric-E1 constructs, suggesting that other viral structure proteins participate or regulate E1 fusion activity. Furthermore, membrane fusion in cells infected by baculovirus bearing the A226V mutation constructs exhibited increased cholesterol-dependences and lower pH thresholds

  19. Structure, Function, Self-Assembly and Origin of Simple Membrane Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2003-01-01

    Integral membrane proteins perform such essential cellular functions as transport of ions, nutrients and waste products across cell walls, transduction of environmental signals, regulation of cell fusion, recognition of other cells, energy capture and its conversion into high-energy compounds. In fact, 30-40% of genes in modem organisms codes for membrane proteins. Although contemporary membrane proteins or their functional assemblies can be quite complex, their transmembrane fragments are usually remarkably simple. The most common structural motif for these fragments is a bundle of alpha-helices, but occasionally it could be a beta-barrel. In a series of molecular dynamics computer simulations we investigated self-organizing properties of simple membrane proteins based on these structural motifs. Specifically, we studied folding and insertion into membranes of short, nonpolar or amphiphatic peptides. We also investigated glycophorin A, a peptide that forms sequence-specific dimers, and a transmembrane aggregate of four identical alpha-helices that forms an efficient and selective voltage-gated proton channel was investigated. Many peptides are attracted to water-membrane interfaces. Once at the interface, nonpolar peptides spontaneously fold to a-helices. Whenever the sequence permits, peptides that contain both polar and nonpolar amino also adopt helical structures, in which polar and nonpolar amino acid side chains are immersed in water and membrane, respectively. Specific identity of side chains is less important. Helical peptides at the interface could insert into the membrane and adopt a transmembrane conformation. However, insertion of a single helix is unfavorable because polar groups in the peptide become completely dehydrated upon insertion. The unfavorable free energy of insertion can be regained by spontaneous association of peptides in the membrane. The first step in this process is the formation of dimers, although the most common are aggregates of 4

  20. New composite membranes based on modified Nafion or Flemion for PEM fuel cell application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Huimin

    A new composite membrane based on Nafion or Flemion and Silicotungstic acid (STA) was fabricated using a simple solvent evaporation procedure. The optimum evaporation temperature and the amount of STA have been investigated. The evaporation of solvent can be divided into two steps during membrane preparation. Firstly, the solvent was evaporated at 70°C for two hours. Secondly, the evaporated membrane was kept in an vacuum oven at 135°C overnight. The optimum amount of STA in the casting electrolyte solution is in the range from 5 x 10-4 to 5 x 10-3 M. The obtained cast composite membranes exhibit good thermal and mechanical properties. Study of the ionic conductivity shows that the composite membrane with STA gives a higher ionic conductivity than that without STA. The conductivity of composite membrane increases with the increase of STA concentration. When the STA concentration in the 10mL casting electrolyte solution is 5 x 10-3M, the conductivities of the composite membranes can reach up to 0.120 ohm-1 · cm-1 for Nafion/STA membrane and 0.133 ohm -1 · cm-1 for Flemion/STA membrane. On the other hand, the water uptake measurement shows that the water content of the composite membrane with STA is higher than that of composite membrane without STA. Consequently, due to the high conductivity and the high hydrated abiliy of STA, ionic conductivity and water uptake of the composite membrane can be significantly improved by the addition of STA. The morphology of the composite membrane was studied using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results of AFM and SEM showed that the STA was uniformly dispersed in the Nafion and Flemion composite membranes. The structure of a composite membrane with STA has been studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD), the fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermoanalysis and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results indicated that STA was successfully introduced into the structure of

  1. Characterization and fuel cell performance analysis of polyvinylalcohol-mordenite mixed-matrix membranes for direct methanol fuel cell use

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uctug, Fehmi Goerkem, E-mail: gorkem.uctug@bahcesehir.edu.t [University of Manchester, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, M60 1QD (United Kingdom); Holmes, Stuart M. [University of Manchester, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, M60 1QD (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-01

    Highlights: > We investigated the availability of PVA-mordenite membranes for DMFC use. > We measured the methanol permeability of PVA-mordenite membranes via pervaporation. > We did the fuel cell testing of these membranes, which had not been done before. > We showed that PVA-mordenite membranes have poorer DMFC performance than Nafion. > Membrane performance can be improved by increasing the proton conductivity of PVA. - Abstract: Polyvinylalcohol-mordenite (PVA-MOR) mixed matrix membranes were synthesized for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) use. For the structural and the morphological characterization, Scanning Electron Microscopy and Thermal Gravimetric Analysis methods were used. Zeolite distribution within the polymer matrix was found to be homogeneous. An impedance spectroscope was used to measure the proton conductivity. In order to obtain information about methanol permeation characteristics, swelling tests and a series of pervaporation experiments were carried out. 60-40 wt% PVA-MOR membranes were found to give the optimum transport properties. Proton conductivity of these membranes was found to be slightly lower than that of Nafion117{sup TM} whereas their methanol permeability was at least two orders of magnitude lower than Nafion117{sup TM}. DMFC performance of the PVA-MOR membranes was also measured. The inferior DMFC performance of PVA-MOR membranes was linked to drying in the fuel cell medium and the consequent proton conductivity loss. Their performance was improved by adding a dilute solution of sulfuric acid into the feed methanol solution. Future studies on the improvement of the proton conductivity of PVA-MOR membranes, especially via sulfonation of the polymer matrix, can overcome the low-performance problem associated with insufficient proton conductivity.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. Effect of Receptor Structure and Length on the Wrapping of a Nanoparticle by a Lipid Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haizhen Zhang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Nanoparticles have been considered as a type of powerful tool to deliver drugs and genes into cells for disease diagnosis and therapies. It has been generally accepted that the internalization of nanoparticles into cells is mostly realized by receptor-mediated endocytosis. However, for the influence of structural factors of receptors on endocytosis, this is still largely unknown. In this paper, computer simulations are applied to investigate the effects of structure (i.e., the number of constituent chains of the receptor and the length of the receptor on the wrapping behavior of nanoparticles by the lipid membrane, which is a key step of receptor-medicated endocytosis. It is found that these structural factors of receptors have strong effects on the nanoparticle’s final interaction configuration with the membrane in the simulations, such as adhering on the membrane surface or being partly or fully wrapped by the membrane. Furthermore, in some cases, the rupture of the lipid membrane occurs. These results are helpful for the understanding of endocytosis and the preparation of advanced nanoscale drug-delivery vectors.

  6. 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

    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...

  7. Membrane androgen binding sites are preferentially expressed in human prostate carcinoma cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delakas Dimitrios

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prostate cancer is one of the most frequent malignancies in males. Nevertheless, to this moment, there is no specific routine diagnostic marker to be used in clinical practice. Recently, the identification of a membrane testosterone binding site involved in the remodeling of actin cytoskeleton structures and PSA secretion, on LNCaP human prostate cancer cells has been reported. We have investigated whether this membrane testosterone binding component could be of value for the identification of prostate cancer. Methods Using a non-internalizable testosterone-BSA-FITC analog, proven to bind on membrane sites only in LNCaP cells, we have investigated the expression of membrane testosterone binding sites in a series of prostate carcinomas (n = 14, morphologically normal epithelia, taken from areas of the surgical specimens far from the location of the carcinomas (n = 8 and benign prostate hyperplasia epithelia (n = 10. Isolated epithelial cells were studied by flow cytometry, and touching preparations, after 10-min incubation. In addition, routine histological slides were assayed by confocal laser microscopy. Results We show that membrane testosterone binding sites are preferentially expressed in prostate carcinoma cells, while BPH and non-malignant epithelial cells show a low or absent binding. Conclusions Our results indicate that membrane testosterone receptors might be of use for the rapid routine identification of prostate cancer, representing a new diagnostic marker of the disease.

  8. 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.

  9. Synaptic and Golgi membrane recycling in cochlear hair cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegel, J H; Brownell, W E

    1986-06-01

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

  10. Cell wall accumulation of fluorescent proteins derived from a trans-Golgi cisternal membrane marker and paramural bodies in interdigitated Arabidopsis leaf epidermal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akita, Kae; Kobayashi, Megumi; Sato, Mayuko; Kutsuna, Natsumaro; Ueda, Takashi; Toyooka, Kiminori; Nagata, Noriko; Hasezawa, Seiichiro; Higaki, Takumi

    2017-01-01

    In most dicotyledonous plants, leaf epidermal pavement cells develop jigsaw puzzle-like shapes during cell expansion. The rapid growth and complicated cell shape of pavement cells is suggested to be achieved by targeted exocytosis that is coordinated with cytoskeletal rearrangement to provide plasma membrane and/or cell wall materials for lobe development during their morphogenesis. Therefore, visualization of membrane trafficking in leaf pavement cells should contribute an understanding of the mechanism of plant cell morphogenesis. To reveal membrane trafficking in pavement cells, we observed monomeric red fluorescent protein-tagged rat sialyl transferases, which are markers of trans-Golgi cisternal membranes, in the leaf epidermis of Arabidopsis thaliana. Quantitative fluorescence imaging techniques and immunoelectron microscopic observations revealed that accumulation of the red fluorescent protein occurred mostly in the curved regions of pavement cell borders and guard cell ends during leaf expansion. Transmission electron microscopy observations revealed that apoplastic vesicular membrane structures called paramural bodies were more frequent beneath the curved cell wall regions of interdigitated pavement cells and guard cell ends in young leaf epidermis. In addition, pharmacological studies showed that perturbations in membrane trafficking resulted in simple cell shapes. These results suggested possible heterogeneity of the curved regions of plasma membranes, implying a relationship with pavement cell morphogenesis.

  11. Designing CNC Knit for Hybrid Membrane And Bending Active Structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tamke, Martin; Holden Deleuran, Anders; Gengnagel, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in computation allow for the integration of design and simulation of highly interrelated systems, such as hybrids of structural membranes and bending active elements. The engaged complexities of forces and logistics can be mediated through the development of materials with project...... means to design, specify, make and test CNC knit as material for hybrid structures in architectural scale. This paper shares the developed process, identifies challenges, potentials and future work...

  12. 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 ...

  13. Anion selective membrane. [ion exchange resins and ion exchange membrane electrolytes for electrolytic cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  14. MICROBIAL FUEL CELL BASED POLYSTYRENE SULFONATED MEMBRANE AS PROTON EXCHANGE MEMBRANE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Mulijani

    2016-09-01

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

  15. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of human immunodeficiency virus gp41 protein that includes the fusion peptide: NMR detection of recombinant Fgp41 in inclusion bodies in whole bacterial cells and structural characterization of purified and membrane-associated Fgp41.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Erica P; Curtis-Fisk, Jaime; Young, Kaitlin M; Weliky, David P

    2011-11-22

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of a host cell begins with fusion of the HIV and host cell membranes and is mediated by the gp41 protein, a single-pass integral membrane protein of HIV. The 175 N-terminal residues make up the ectodomain that lies outside the virus. This work describes the production and characterization of an ectodomain construct containing the 154 N-terminal gp41 residues, including the fusion peptide (FP) that binds to target cell membranes. The Fgp41 sequence was derived from one of the African clade A strains of HIV-1 that have been less studied than European/North American clade B strains. Fgp41 expression at a level of ~100 mg/L of culture was evidenced by an approach that included amino acid type (13)CO and (15)N labeling of recombinant protein and solid-state NMR (SSNMR) spectroscopy of lyophilized whole cells. The approach did not require any protein solubilization or purification and may be a general approach for detection of recombinant protein. The purified Fgp41 yield was ~5 mg/L of culture. SSNMR spectra of membrane-associated Fgp41 showed high helicity for the residues C-terminal of the FP. This was consistent with a "six-helix bundle" (SHB) structure that is the final gp41 state during membrane fusion. This observation and negligible Fgp41-induced vesicle fusion supported a function for SHB gp41 of membrane stabilization and fusion arrest. SSNMR spectra of residues in the membrane-associated FP provided evidence of a mixture of molecular populations with either helical or β-sheet FP conformation. These and earlier SSNMR data strongly support the existence of these populations in the SHB state of membrane-associated gp41.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foged, Camilla; Nielsen, Hanne Moerck

    2008-01-01

    During the last decade, cell-penetrating peptides have been investigated for their ability to overcome the plasma membrane barrier of mammalian cells for the intracellular or transcellular delivery of cargoes as diverse as low molecular weight drugs, imaging agents, oligonucleotides, peptides......-penetrating peptides as transmembrane drug delivery agents, according to the recent literature, and discusses critical issues and future challenges in relation to fully understanding the fundamental principles of the cell-penetrating peptide-mediated membrane translocation of cargoes and the exploitation......, proteins and colloidal carriers such as liposomes and polymeric nanoparticles. Their ability to cross biological membranes in a non-disruptive way without apparent toxicity is highly desired for increasing drug bioavailability. This review provides an overview of the application of cell...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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......The use of resealed red blood cell membranes (ghosts) allows the study of the transport of a compound in a nonmetabolizing system with a biological membrane. Transmembrane movements of anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine, arachidonoylethanolamide) have been studied by exchange efflux experiments...... at 0°C and pH 7.3 with albumin-free and albumin-filled human red blood cell ghosts. The efflux kinetics is biexponential and is analyzed in terms of compartment models. The distribution of anandamide on the membrane inner to outer leaflet pools is determined to be 0.275 ± 0.023, and the rate constant...

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

    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).

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud

    2011-01-01

    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...

  10. Theory on Plasmon Modes of the Cell Membranes

    CERN Document Server

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

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Towards Extrusion of Ionomers to Process Fuel Cell Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Yves Sanchez

    2011-07-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Structural determinants for the membrane insertion of the transmembrane peptide of hemagglutinin from influenza virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victor, Bruno L; Baptista, António M; Soares, Cláudio M

    2012-11-26

    Membrane fusion is a process involved in a high range of biological functions, going from viral infections to neurotransmitter release. Fusogenic proteins increase the slow rate of fusion by coupling energetically downhill conformational changes of the protein to the kinetically unfavorable fusion of the membrane lipid bilayers. Hemagglutinin is an example of a fusogenic protein, which promotes the fusion of the membrane of the influenza virus with the membrane of the target cell. The N-terminus of the HA2 subunit of this protein contains a fusion domain described to act as a destabilizer of the target membrane bilayers, leading eventually to a full fusion of the two membranes. On the other hand, the C-terminus of the same subunit contains a helical transmembrane domain which was initially described to act as the anchor of the protein to the membrane of the virus. However, in recent years the study of this peptide segment has been gaining more attention since it has also been described to be involved in the membrane fusion process. Yet, the structural characterization of the interaction of such a protein domain with membrane lipids is still very limited. Therefore, in this work, we present a study of this transmembrane peptide domain in the presence of DMPC membrane bilayers, and we evaluate the effect of several mutations, and the effect of peptide oligomerization in this interaction process. Our results allowed us to identify and confirm amino acid residue motifs that seem to regulate the interaction between the segment peptide and membrane bilayers. Besides these sequence requirements, we have also identified length and tilt requirements that ultimately contribute to the hydrophobic matching between the peptide and the membrane. Additionally, we looked at the association of several transmembrane peptide segments and evaluated their direct interaction and stability inside a membrane bilayer. From our results we could conclude that three independent TM peptide

  14. [Structural modifications of the surface of Escherichia coli bacteria and copper-induced permeability of plasma membrane].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebedev, V S; Volodina, L A; Deĭnega, E Iu; Fedorov, Iu I

    2005-01-01

    The effect of Cu2+ on the structural organization of the cell surface of Escherichia coli bacteria during the induction of conductivity of a plasma membrane was studied. A fluorescent study did not reveal any substantial changes in the microviscosity of lipids by the action of copper ions. At the same time, a substantial reorganization of membrane proteins during plasmolysis was observed. A model of the copper-induced structural reorganization of membrane lipids was constructed, according to which the reorganization leads to the opening in the membrane of channels of nonspecific conductivity for cations. The opening of conductivity channels results from the break of disulfide bonds in critical membrane proteins during the interaction with Cu+, which form either due to the reduction of Cu2+ on specific sites of cell surface or by means of external reducing agents.

  15. Scalable nanostructured membranes for solid-oxide fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  16. Nuclear Membrane-Targeted Gold Nanoparticles Inhibit Cancer Cell Migration and Invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Moustafa R K; Wu, Yue; Ghosh, Deepraj; Do, Brian H; Chen, Kuangcai; Dawson, Michelle R; Fang, Ning; Sulchek, Todd A; El-Sayed, Mostafa A

    2017-03-27

    Most cancer patients die from metastasis. Recent studies have shown that gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) can slow down the migration/invasion speed of cancer cells and suppress metastasis. Since nuclear stiffness of the cell largely decreases cell migration, our hypothesis is that targeting AuNPs to the cell nucleus region could enhance nuclear stiffness, and therefore inhibit cell migration and invasion. Our results showed that upon nuclear targeting of AuNPs, the ovarian cancer cell motilities decrease significantly, compared with nontargeted AuNPs. Furthermore, using atomic force microscopy, we observed an enhanced cell nuclear stiffness. In order to understand the mechanism of cancer cell migration/invasion inhibition, the exact locations of the targeted AuNPs were clearly imaged using a high-resolution three-dimensional imaging microscope, which showed that the AuNPs were trapped at the nuclear membrane. In addition, we observed a greatly increased expression level of lamin A/C protein, which is located in the inner nuclear membrane and functions as a structural component of the nuclear lamina to enhance nuclear stiffness. We propose that the AuNPs that are trapped at the nuclear membrane both (1) add to the mechanical stiffness of the nucleus and (2) stimulate the overexpression of lamin A/C located around the nuclear membrane, thus increasing nuclear stiffness and slowing cancer cell migration and invasion.

  17. 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.

  18. An experimental study of perovskite-structured mixed ionic- electronic conducting oxides and membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Pingying

    oxygen permeability of the SrCoO3-delta membrane. Among all the disk-shaped SSCx (x = 0-0.7) membranes with a thickness of 0.91 mm, both SSC0.05 and SSC0.1 exhibit the highest oxygen permeation rate of about 3.2 mL.cm-2.min-1 (STP) at 900 °C, SSC0.1 also shows excellent cathode performance for a solid oxide fuel cell. Therefore SSC0.1 is of special interest, and thus investigated regarding the performance as a membrane reactor for methane combustion. The performance was evaluated based on the results of methane conversion rates and CO 2 selectivity. Inspired by the above findings, a series of mixed-conducting perovskite oxides SrCo0.95M0.05O3-delta (SCM, M = Bi5+, Zr4+, Ce4+, Sc3+ , La3+, Y3+, Al3+, Zn 2+) were prepared to study the effects of different dopants M on the performance of SrCo0.95M0.05O3-delta. It was found that the M cations significantly affect the crystal phase structure, grain growth, membrane porosity, electrical conductivity, and the oxygen permeability of the SCM membranes. Specifically, it is postulated in this study that the formation of the cubic perovskite structure is dependent on the electron configuration in the outer orbits of M cations, which may provide theoretical guidance for future development of high oxygen permeation ceramic membranes based on the perovskite materials. To study the significant effects of grain sizes on the oxygen permeation behaviors of La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-delta (LSCF) and SrSc0.1Co0.9O 3-delta (SSC0.1) membranes, the LSCF and SSC0.1 membranes were sintered at various temperatures to form different microstructures. Properties of these membranes with varied grain sizes were compared. Results showed that the oxygen permeation rate of the LSCF membrane increases with increasing the grain size, however, it is interesting that the oxygen permeation rate of the SSC0.1 membrane decreases with increasing the grain size. This implies that oxygen transport occurs more, however, less rapidly along grain boundaries than through

  19. 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

  20. Meninges: from protective membrane to stem cell niche

    OpenAIRE

    I. Decimo; G. Fumagalli; V. Berton; Krampera, M.; F. Bifari

    2012-01-01

    Meninges are a three tissue membrane primarily known as coverings of the brain. More in depth studies on meningeal function and ultrastructure have recently changed the view of meninges as a merely protective membrane. Accurate evaluation of the anatomical distribution in the CNS reveals that meninges largely penetrate inside the neural tissue. Meninges enter the CNS by projecting between structures, in the stroma of choroid plexus and form the perivascular space (Virchow-Robin) of every pare...

  1. Synthesis and properties of poly(aryl sulfone benzimidazole) and its copolymers for high temperature membrane electrolytes for fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Jingshuai; Li, Qingfeng; Cleemann, Lars Nilausen

    2012-01-01

    , the membrane swelling was reduced and the mechanical strength was improved, as compared with their meta structured analogues. At an acid doping level of 11 mol H3PO4 per average molar repeat unit, the Co-20%SO2PBI membrane exhibited a tensile strength of 16 MPa at room temperature and an H2-air fuel cell peak...

  2. 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...

  3. Chemical Synthesis, Characterisation, and Biocompatibility of Nanometre Scale Porous Anodic Aluminium Oxide Membranes for Use as a Cell Culture Substrate for the Vero Cell Line: A Preliminary Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gérrard Eddy Jai Poinern

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In this preliminary study we investigate for the first time the biomedical potential of using porous anodic aluminium oxide (AAO membranes as a cell substrate for culturing the Cercopithecus aethiops (African green monkey Kidney (Vero epithelial cell line. One advantage of using the inorganic AAO membrane is the presence of nanometre scale pore channels that allow the exchange of molecules and nutrients across the membrane. The size of the pore channels can be preselected by adjusting the controlling parameters of a temperature controlled two-step anodization process. The cellular interaction and response of the Vero cell line with an in-house synthesised AAO membrane, a commercially available membrane, and a glass control were assessed by investigating cell adhesion, morphology, and proliferation over a 72 h period. The number of viable cells proliferating over the respective membrane surfaces revealed that the locally produced in-house AAO membrane had cells numbers similar to the glass control. The study revealed evidence of focal adhesion sites over the surface of the nanoporous membranes and the penetration of cellular extensions into the pore structure as well. The outcome of the study has revealed that nanometre scale porous AAO membranes have the potential to become practical cell culture scaffold substrates with the capability to enhance adhesion and proliferation of Vero cells.

  4. Chemical synthesis, characterisation, and biocompatibility of nanometre scale porous anodic aluminium oxide membranes for use as a cell culture substrate for the vero cell line: a preliminary study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poinern, Gérrard Eddy Jai; Le, Xuan Thi; O'Dea, Mark; Becker, Thomas; Fawcett, Derek

    2014-01-01

    In this preliminary study we investigate for the first time the biomedical potential of using porous anodic aluminium oxide (AAO) membranes as a cell substrate for culturing the Cercopithecus aethiops (African green monkey) Kidney (Vero) epithelial cell line. One advantage of using the inorganic AAO membrane is the presence of nanometre scale pore channels that allow the exchange of molecules and nutrients across the membrane. The size of the pore channels can be preselected by adjusting the controlling parameters of a temperature controlled two-step anodization process. The cellular interaction and response of the Vero cell line with an in-house synthesised AAO membrane, a commercially available membrane, and a glass control were assessed by investigating cell adhesion, morphology, and proliferation over a 72 h period. The number of viable cells proliferating over the respective membrane surfaces revealed that the locally produced in-house AAO membrane had cells numbers similar to the glass control. The study revealed evidence of focal adhesion sites over the surface of the nanoporous membranes and the penetration of cellular extensions into the pore structure as well. The outcome of the study has revealed that nanometre scale porous AAO membranes have the potential to become practical cell culture scaffold substrates with the capability to enhance adhesion and proliferation of Vero cells.

  5. The membrane-water interface region of membrane proteins: structural bias and the anti-snorkeling effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jie; Adamian, Larisa; Jackups, Ronald

    2005-07-01

    Membrane proteins have important roles in many cellular processes. Computational analysis of their sequences and structures has provided much insight into the organizing principles of transmembrane helices. In a recent study, the membrane-water interface region was examined in detail for the first time. The results have revealed that this interface region has an important role in constraining protein secondary structure. This study raises new questions and opens up new directions for studying membrane proteins.

  6. Survey of sulfonated polyimide membrane as a good candidate for nafion substitution in fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akbarian-Feizi, Leila; Mehdipour-Ataei, Shahram; Yeganeh, Hamid [Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, P.O. Box 14965/115, Tehran (Iran)

    2010-09-15

    Studies in fuel cell membranes show that modification of polyimides by introduction of aliphatic linkages in the structure of sulfonated copolyimides, synthesis of branched/crosslinked sulfonated polyimides, and semi and fully interpenetrating polymer networks of sulfonated polyimides restrain suitable potential for Nafion substitution. (author)

  7. Interactions between membrane-bound cellulose synthases involved in the synthesis of the secondary cell wall

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmers, J.F.P.; Vernhettes, S.; Desprez, T.; Vincken, J.P.; Visser, R.G.F.; Trindade, L.M.

    2009-01-01

    It has not yet been reported how the secondary CESA (cellulose synthase) proteins are organized in the rosette structure. A membrane-based yeast two-hybrid (MbYTH) approach was used to analyze the interactions between the CESA proteins involved in secondary cell wall synthesis of Arabidopsis and the

  8. Understanding on Interface Contribution to the Electrode Performance of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Shuang Ma; Grahl-Madsen, L.

    2016-01-01

    The commercialization of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is closer to the reality than ever before. Electrode interface development can bring a boost to the last few steps. Here, we explore electrode properties from its interface structure, especially the ionomer phase. Electrodes...

  9. Using the Past in the Class: Learning from Historical Models of Cell Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Cameron; Luft, Julie A.

    2001-01-01

    Including historical events and cultural contexts to enrich science teaching helps students understand the human aspect of science. Describes a sample lesson that includes the historical milestones that led to our current understanding of the structure of cell membranes. Examines the development and use of scientific models within the historical…

  10. Lipid membrane partitioning of lysolipids and fatty acids: Effects of membrane phase structure and detergent chain length

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høyrup, Lise Pernille Kristine; Davidsen, Jesper; Jørgensen, Kent

    2001-01-01

    ) of the detergents. The calorimetric results reveal that the membrane partitioning of lysolipids depends strongly on the phase structure of the lipid membrane. This is manifested as a lysolipid partition coefficient, K, that is much larger for fluid-phase lipid membranes as compared to gel-phase lipid membranes....... Oppositely, the membrane partitioning of fatty acids depends only weakly on the phase structure of the phospholipid vesicles. In addition, the thermodynamic measurements show that the partition coefficients for both the lysolipids and fatty acids toward gel and fluid lipid membranes become almost an order...... of magnitude higher when the saturated acyl chain of the detergents increases by two carbon atoms. The obtained partition coefficients are of importance in relation to a deeper understanding of the interplay between global aqueous and local membrane concentrations of the detergents and the functional influence...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Effects of chronic kidney disease on blood cells membrane properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda eCarroll-Portillo

    2012-03-01

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

  15. Structural insights into the organization of the cavin membrane coat complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovtun, Oleksiy; Tillu, Vikas A; Jung, WooRam; Leneva, Natalya; Ariotti, Nicholas; Chaudhary, Natasha; Mandyam, Ramya A; Ferguson, Charles; Morgan, Garry P; Johnston, Wayne A; Harrop, Stephen J; Alexandrov, Kirill; Parton, Robert G; Collins, Brett M

    2014-11-24

    Caveolae are cell-surface membrane invaginations that play critical roles in cellular processes including signaling and membrane homeostasis. The cavin proteins, in cooperation with caveolins, are essential for caveola formation. Here we show that a minimal N-terminal domain of the cavins, termed HR1, is required and sufficient for their homo- and hetero-oligomerization. Crystal structures of the mouse cavin1 and zebrafish cavin4a HR1 domains reveal highly conserved trimeric coiled-coil architectures, with intersubunit interactions that determine the specificity of cavin-cavin interactions. The HR1 domain contains a basic surface patch that interacts with polyphosphoinositides and coordinates with additional membrane-binding sites within the cavin C terminus to facilitate membrane association and remodeling. Electron microscopy of purified cavins reveals the existence of large assemblies, composed of a repeating rod-like structural element, and we propose that these structures polymerize through membrane-coupled interactions to form the unique striations observed on the surface of caveolae in vivo.

  16. Superresolution measurement on the minute fluctuation of cell membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Structural and functional properties of hydration and confined water in membrane interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disalvo, E A; Lairion, F; Martini, F; Tymczyszyn, E; Frías, M; Almaleck, H; Gordillo, G J

    2008-12-01

    The scope of the present review focuses on the interfacial properties of cell membranes that may establish a link between the membrane and the cytosolic components. We present evidences that the current view of the membrane as a barrier of permeability that contains an aqueous solution of macromolecules may be replaced by one in which the membrane plays a structural and functional role. Although this idea has been previously suggested, the present is the first systematic work that puts into relevance the relation water-membrane in terms of thermodynamic and structural properties of the interphases that cannot be ignored in the understanding of cell function. To pursue this aim, we introduce a new definition of interphase, in which the water is organized in different levels on the surface with different binding energies. Altogether determines the surface free energy necessary for the structural response to changes in the surrounding media. The physical chemical properties of this region are interpreted in terms of hydration water and confined water, which explain the interaction with proteins and could affect the modulation of enzyme activity. Information provided by several methodologies indicates that the organization of the hydration states is not restricted to the membrane plane albeit to a region extending into the cytoplasm, in which polar head groups play a relevant role. In addition, dynamic properties studied by cyclic voltammetry allow one to deduce the energetics of the conformational changes of the lipid head group in relation to the head-head interactions due to the presence of carbonyls and phosphates at the interphase. These groups are, apparently, surrounded by more than one layer of water molecules: a tightly bound shell, that mostly contributes to the dipole potential, and a second one that may be displaced by proteins and osmotic stress. Hydration water around carbonyl and phosphate groups may change by the presence of polyhydroxylated compounds

  18. 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).

  19. Protein nanocoatings on synthetic polymeric nanofibrous membranes designed as carriers for skin cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacakova, Marketa; Pajorova, Julia; Stranska, Denisa; Hadraba, Daniel; Lopot, Frantisek; Riedel, Tomas; Brynda, Eduard; Zaloudkova, Margit; Bacakova, Lucie

    2017-01-01

    Protein-coated resorbable synthetic polymeric nanofibrous membranes are promising for the fabrication of advanced skin substitutes. We fabricated electrospun polylactic acid and poly(lactide-co-glycolic acid) nanofibrous membranes and coated them with fibrin or collagen I. Fibronectin was attached to a fibrin or collagen nanocoating, in order further to enhance the cell adhesion and spreading. Fibrin regularly formed a coating around individual nanofibers in the membranes, and also formed a thin noncontinuous nanofibrous mesh on top of the membranes. Collagen also coated most of the fibers of the membrane and randomly created a soft gel on the membrane surface. Fibronectin predominantly adsorbed onto a thin fibrin mesh or a collagen gel, and formed a thin nanofibrous structure. Fibrin nanocoating greatly improved the attachment, spreading, and proliferation of human dermal fibroblasts, whereas collagen nanocoating had a positive influence on the behavior of human HaCaT keratinocytes. In addition, fibrin stimulated the fibroblasts to synthesize fibronectin and to deposit it as an extracellular matrix. Fibrin coating also showed a tendency to improve the ultimate tensile strength of the nanofibrous membranes. Fibronectin attached to fibrin or to a collagen coating further enhanced the adhesion, spreading, and proliferation of both cell types. PMID:28223803

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2000-07-01

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

  5. 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℃.

  6. Neutron diffraction of cell membranes (myelin).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, D F; Akers, C K

    1969-09-05

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  10. PIG7 promotes leukemia cell chemosensitivity via lysosomal membrane permeabilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-26

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. High lipid order of Arabidopsis cell-plate membranes mediated by sterol and DYNAMIN-RELATED PROTEIN1A function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frescatada-Rosa, Márcia; Stanislas, Thomas; Backues, Steven K; Reichardt, Ilka; Men, Shuzhen; Boutté, Yohann; Jürgens, Gerd; Moritz, Thomas; Bednarek, Sebastian Y; Grebe, Markus

    2014-12-01

    Membranes of eukaryotic cells contain high lipid-order sterol-rich domains that are thought to mediate temporal and spatial organization of cellular processes. Sterols are crucial for execution of cytokinesis, the last stage of cell division, in diverse eukaryotes. The cell plate of higher-plant cells is the membrane structure that separates daughter cells during somatic cytokinesis. Cell-plate formation in Arabidopsis relies on sterol- and DYNAMIN-RELATED PROTEIN1A (DRP1A)-dependent endocytosis. However, functional relationships between lipid membrane order or lipid packing and endocytic machinery components during eukaryotic cytokinesis have not been elucidated. Using ratiometric live imaging of lipid order-sensitive fluorescent probes, we show that the cell plate of Arabidopsis thaliana represents a dynamic, high lipid-order membrane domain. The cell-plate lipid order was found to be sensitive to pharmacological and genetic alterations of sterol composition. Sterols co-localize with DRP1A at the cell plate, and DRP1A accumulates in detergent-resistant membrane fractions. Modifications of sterol concentration or composition reduce cell-plate membrane order and affect DRP1A localization. Strikingly, DRP1A function itself is essential for high lipid order at the cell plate. Our findings provide evidence that the cell plate represents a high lipid-order domain, and pave the way to explore potential feedback between lipid order and function of dynamin-related proteins during cytokinesis.

  15. 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.

  16. Sound absorption by subwavelength membrane structures: A geometric perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Min; Li, Yong; Meng, Chong; Fu, Caixing; Mei, Jun; Yang, Zhiyu; Sheng, Ping

    2015-12-01

    Decorated membranes comprising a thin layer of elastic film with small rigid platelets fixed on top have been found to be efficient absorbers of low-frequency sound. In this work we consider the problem of sound absorption from a perspective aimed at deriving upper bounds under different scenarios, i.e., whether the sound is incident from one side only or from both sides, and whether there is a reflecting surface on the back side of the membrane. By considering the negligible thickness of the membrane, usually on the order of a fraction of one millimeter, we derive a relation showing that the sum of the incoming sound waves' (complex) pressure amplitudes, averaged over the area of the membrane, must be equal to that of the outgoing waves. By using this relation, and without going to any details of the wave solutions, it is shown that the maximum absorption achievable from one-sided incidence is 50%, while the maximum absorption with a back-reflecting surface can reach 100%. The latter was attained by the hybridized resonances. All the results are shown to be in excellent agreement with the experiments. This generalized perspective, when used together with the Green function's formalism, can be useful in gaining insights into the constraints on what are achievable in scatterings and absorption by thin film structures and delineating them.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Engineering particle morphology and assembly for proton conducting fuel cell membrane applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dongxia

    The development of high performance ion conducting membranes is crucial to the commercialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). This thesis work addresses some of the issues for improving the performance of ion conducting membranes in PEMFCs and SOFCs through engineering membrane microstructures. Electric-field directed particle assembly shows promise as a route to control the structure of polymer composite membranes in PEMFCs. The application of electric fields results in the aggregation of proton conducting particles into particle chains spanning the thickness of composite membranes. The field-induced structure provides improved proton conductivity, selectivity for protons over methanol, and mechanical stability compared to membranes processed without electric field. Hydrothermal deposition is developed as a route to grow electrolyte crystals into membranes (material is hydroxyapatite) with aligned proton conductive pathways that significantly enhance proton transport by eliminating grain boundary resistance. By varying deposition parameters such as reactant concentration, reaction time, or adding crystal growth modifiers, dense hydroxyapatite electrolyte membranes with a range of thickness are produced. The microstructurally engineered hydroxyapatite membranes are promising electrolyte candidates for intermediate temperature fuel cells. The microstructural engineering of ceramics by hydrothermal deposition can potentially be applied to create other ion conducting materials with optimized transport properties. To understand how to control the crystal growth habit by adding growth modifiers, growth of unusual calcite rods was investigated in a microemulsion-based synthesis prior to the investigation of hydrothermal deposition of hydroxyapatite membranes. The microemulsions act as crystal growth modifier to mediate crystal nucleation and subsequent growth. The small microemulsion droplets confine nucleation

  20. Membrane binding properties of EBV gp110 C-terminal domain; evidences for structural transition in the membrane environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sung Jean; Seo, Min-Duk; Lee, Suk Kyeong; Lee, Bong Jin

    2008-09-30

    Gp110 of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) mainly localizes on nuclear/ER membranes and plays a role in the assembly of EBV nucleocapsid. The C-terminal tail domain (gp110 CTD) is essential for the function of gp110 and the nuclear/ER membranes localization of gp110 is ruled by its C-terminal unique nuclear localization signal (NLS), consecutive four arginines. In the present study, the structural properties of gp110 CTD in membrane mimics were investigated using CD, size-exclusion chromatography, and NMR, to elucidate the effect of membrane environment on the structural transition and to compare the structural feature of the protein in the solution state with that of the membrane-bound form. CD and NMR analysis showed that gp110 CTD in a buffer solution appears to adopt a stable folding intermediate which lacks compactness, and a highly helical structure is formed only in membrane environments. The helical content of gp110 CTD was significantly affected by the negative charge as well as the size of membrane mimics. Based on the elution profiles of the size-exclusion chromatography, we found that gp110 CTD intrinsically forms a trimer, revealing that a trimerization region may exist in the C-terminal domain of gp110 like the ectodomain of gp110. The mutation of NLS (RRRR) to RTTR does not affect the overall structure of gp110 CTD in membrane mimics, while the helical propensity in a buffer solution was slightly different between the wild-type and the mutant proteins. This result suggests that not only the helicity induced in membrane environment but also the local structure around NLS may be related to trafficking to the nuclear membrane. More detailed structural difference between the wild-type and the mutant in membrane environment was examined using synthetic two peptides including the wild-type NLS and the mutant NLS.

  1. 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

  2. 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 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haijiao; Su, Weiheng; Cai, Mingjun; Jiang, Junguang; Zeng, Xianlu; Wang, Hongda

    2013-01-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Asymmetrical Structure of Golgi Apparatus Membranes Revealed by In situ Atomic Force Microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Haijiao; Su, Weiheng; Cai, Mingjun; Jiang, Junguang; Zeng, Xianlu; Wang, Hongda

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23613878

  6. Effect of membrane structure on the action of polyenes: I. Nystatin action in cholesterol- and ergosterol-containing membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Récamier, K S; Hernández-Gómez, A; González-Damián, J; Ortega-Blake, I

    2010-09-01

    A detailed and thorough characterization of nystatin-induced permeability on lipid bilayers of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC)-containing ergosterol or cholesterol is presented. The results show that the same collection of transmembrane pores appears in membranes containing either sterol. The concentration range for the appearance of these pores is sterol-dependent. Another mechanism of action, membrane disruption, is also observed in ergosterol-POPC membranes. The greater potency of nystatin present in ergosterol-containing membranes cannot be explained simply by the longer opening times of its pores, as has been suggested; it is also due to an increased number of events in these membranes. The present results and those of a companion paper lead us to propose that membrane structure is the determining factor for drug selectivity in membranes with different sterols.

  7. Novel proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes to improve performance of reversible fuel cell systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Tim Matthew

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells react fuel and oxidant to directly and efficiently produce electrical power, without the need for combustion, heat engines, or motor-generators. Additionally, PEM fuel cell systems emit zero to virtually zero criteria pollutants and have the ability to reduce CO2 emissions due to their efficient operation, including the production or processing of fuel. A reversible fuel cell (RFC) is one particular application for a PEM fuel cell. In this application the fuel cell is coupled with an electrolyzer and a hydrogen storage tank to complete a system that can store and release electrical energy. These devices can be highly tailored to specific energy storage applications, potentially surpassing the performance of current and future secondary battery technology. Like all PEM applications, RFCs currently suffer from performance and cost limitations. One approach to address these limitations is to improve the cathode performance by engineering more optimal catalyst layer geometry as compared to the microscopically random structure traditionally used. Ideal configurations are examined and computer modeling shows promising performance improvements are possible. Several novel manufacturing methods are used to build and test small PEM fuel cells with novel electrodes. Additionally, a complete, dynamic model of an RFC system is constructed and the performance is simulated using both traditional and novel cathode structures. This work concludes that PEM fuel cell microstructures can be tailored to optimize performance based on design operating conditions. Computer modeling results indicate that novel electrode microstructures can improve fuel cell performance, while experimental results show similar performance gains that bolster the theoretical predictions. A dynamic system model predicts that novel PEM fuel cell electrode structures may enable RFC systems to be more competitive with traditional energy storage technology options.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Binding of white spot syndrome virus to Artemia sp. cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Hereditary red cell membrane disorders and laboratory diagnostic testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, M-J; Zanella, A

    2013-06-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Porous silicon membrane for micro fuel cell applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-04-15

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carton, James

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Sulfonated polystyrene-type plasma-polymerized membranes for miniature direct methanol fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Microtransplantation of membranes from cultured cells to Xenopus oocytes: A method to study neurotransmitter receptors embedded in native lipids

    OpenAIRE

    Palma, Eleonora; Trettel, Flavia; Fucile, Sergio; Renzi, Massimiliano; Miledi, Ricardo; Eusebi, Fabrizio

    2003-01-01

    The Xenopus oocyte is used as a convenient cell expression system to study the structure and function of heterogenic transmitter receptors and ion channels. Recently, we introduced a method to microtransplant already assembled neurotransmitter receptors from the human brain to the plasma membrane of Xenopus oocytes. The same approach was used here to transplant neurotransmitter receptors expressed from cultured cells to the oocytes. Membrane vesicles prepared from a human embryonic kidney cel...

  11. 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

  12. Membrane protein synthesis in cell-free systems: from bio-mimetic systems to bio-membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-25

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

  13. NMR structure of the integral membrane protein OmpX.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-03-05

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

  14. 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.

  15. A review of water flooding issues in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hui; Tang, Yanghua; Wang, Zhenwei; Shi, Zheng; Wu, Shaohong; Song, Datong; Zhang, Jianlu; Fatih, Khalid; Zhang, Jiujun; Wang, Haijiang; Liu, Zhongsheng; Abouatallah, Rami; Mazza, Antonio

    We have reviewed more than 100 references that are related to water management in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, with a particular focus on the issue of water flooding, its diagnosis and mitigation. It was found that extensive work has been carried out on the issues of flooding during the last two decades, including prediction through numerical modeling, detection by experimental measurements, and mitigation through the design of cell components and manipulating the operating conditions. Two classes of strategies to mitigate flooding have been developed. The first is based on system design and engineering, which is often accompanied by significant parasitic power loss. The second class is based on membrane electrode assembly (MEA) design and engineering, and involves modifying the material and structural properties of the gas diffusion layer (GDL), cathode catalyst layer (CCL) and membrane to function in the presence of liquid water. In this review, several insightful directions are also suggested for future investigation.

  16. 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.

  17. Oxidation of Membrane Curvature-Regulating Phosphatidylethanolamine Lipid Results in Formation of Bilayer and Cubic Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankhagowit, Shalene; Lee, Ernest Y; Wong, Gerard C L; Malmstadt, Noah

    2016-03-15

    Oxidation is associated with conditions related to chronic inflammations and aging. Cubic structures have been observed in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondrial membranes of cells under oxidative stress (e.g., tumor cells and virus-infected cells). It has been previously suspected that oxidation can result in the rearrangement of lipids from a fluid lamellar phase to a cubic structure in organelles containing membranes enriched with amphiphiles that have nonzero intrinsic curvature, such as phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and cardiolipin. This study focuses on the oxidation of 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE), a lipid that natively forms an inverted hexagonal phase at physiological conditions. The oxidized samples contain an approximately 3:2 molar ratio of nonoxidized to oxidized DOPE. Optical microscopy images collected during the hydration of this mixture from a dried film suggest that the system evolves into a coexistence of a stable fluid lamellar phase and transient square lattice structures with unit cell sizes of 500-600 nm. Small-angle X-ray scattering of the same lipid mixture yielded a body-centered Im3m cubic phase with the lattice parameter of 14.04 nm. On average, the effective packing parameter of the oxidized DOPE species was estimated to be 0.657 ± 0.069 (standard deviation). This suggests that the oxidation of PE leads to a group of species with inverted molecular intrinsic curvature. Oxidation can create amphiphilic subpopulations that potently impact the integrity of the membrane, since negative Gaussian curvature intrinsic to cubic phases can enable membrane destabilization processes.

  18. A polybenzimidazole/ionic-liquid-graphite-oxide composite membrane for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viktor Johánek

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    Plasma membrane ATPases are primary active transporters of cations that maintain steep concentration gradients. The ion gradients and membrane potentials derived from them form the basis for a range of essential cellular processes, in particular Na(+)-dependent and proton-dependent secondary tran......(+),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....

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Vibrational and structural relaxation of hydrated protons in Nafion membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Liyuan; Lotze, Stephan; Bakker, Huib J.

    2017-02-01

    We study the vibrational dynamics of the bending mode at 1730 cm-1 of proton hydration structures in Nafion membranes with polarization-resolved infrared (IR) pump-probe spectroscopy. The bending mode relaxes to an intermediate state with a time constant T1 of 170 ± 30 fs. Subsequently, the dissipated energy equilibrates with Teq of 1.5 ± 0.2 ps. The transient absorption signals show a long-living anisotropy, which indicates that for part of the excited proton hydration clusters the vibrational energy dissipation results in a local structural change, e.g. the breaking of a local hydrogen bond. This structural relaxation relaxes with a time constant of 38 ± 4 ps.

  8. 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.

  9. Membrane-DNA attachment sites in Streptococcus faecalis cells grown at different rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, L C; Rigney, D; Daneo-Moore, L; Higgins, M L

    1982-10-01

    The M-band technique was used to assess the number of attachment points of DNA to the cell membrane of Streptococcus faecalis grown at three different rates. Cells were X irradiated in liquid nitrogen and then analyzed simultaneously for the introduction of double-strand breaks into the chromosome and the degree of removal of DNA from the cell membrane (M band). Consideration of the data from these experiments and of the topology of the bacterial chromosome resulted in a reevaluation of former quantitative models. Our results are consistent with a semiquantitative model in which the bacterial chromosome is organized around a core structure. We interpret our data to mean that the core is attached to the membrane and that the complexity of the core changes more drastically with growth rate than does the number of membrane-DNA attachment points. An alternative model in which RNA hybridizes with DNA containing single- and double-strand breaks is also discussed. In any event, the complexity of these interactions precludes a reliable estimate of the number of membrane-DNA attachment sites.

  10. 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.

  11. Deoxygenation affects tyrosine phosphoproteome of red cell membrane from patients with sickle cell disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-15

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

  12. [Effects of allelochemical EMA isolated from Phragmites communis on algal cell membrane lipid and ultrastructure].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Feng-min; Hu, Hong-ying; Chong, Yun-xiao; Men, Yu-jie; Guo, Mei-ting

    2007-07-01

    In order to reveal the antialgal mechanisms of allelochemicals, effects of the allelochemical eathyl-2-methyl acetoacetate (EMA) on cell membrane lipid and ultrastructure of Chlorella pyrenoidosa, Microcystis aeruginosa and Chlorella vulagaris were studied in this paper. The lipid fatty acids of the algal membrane were isolated following the Bligh and Dye method and quantified by gas chromatograph/mass spectrometry. The ultrastructure of algal cells was observed with TEM. The results showed that EMA increased the contents of linolenic acid and linolic acid with increment of 14%, while decreased the content of myristic acid and cetylic acid in C. pyrenoidosa, membrane. The content of unsaturated fatty acids C18:1 and C18:2 increased 12% and 10% in M. aeruginosa with the addition of EMA, while the content of saturated fatty acids C18:0 and C16:0 decreased. EMA showed no significant change in the fatty acid composition in C. vulagaris under the experiment condition. EMA broke off cell wall of C. pyrenoidosa and M. aeruginosa. EMA damaged the cell membrane and the inclusion of algal cell leaked out. Nuclear and mitochondrial structure was damaged with the addition of EMA. EMA showed no significant change in the ultrastructure of C. vulgaris.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Modified SPEEK membranes for direct ethanol fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maab, Husnul; Nunes, Suzana Pereira

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

  19. Topological Structures and Membrane Nanostructures of Erythrocytes after Splenectomy in Hereditary Spherocytosis Patients via Atomic Force Microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ying; Lu, Liyuan; Li, Juan

    2016-09-01

    Hereditary spherocytosis is an inherited red blood cell membrane disorder resulting from mutations of genes encoding erythrocyte membrane and cytoskeletal proteins. Few equipments can observe the structural characteristics of hereditary spherocytosis directly expect for atomic force microscopy In our study, we proved atomic force microscopy is a powerful and sensitive instrument to describe the characteristics of hereditary spherocytosis. Erythrocytes from hereditary spherocytosis patients were small spheroidal, lacking a well-organized lattice on the cell membrane, with smaller cell surface particles and had reduced valley to peak distance and average cell membrane roughness vs. those from healthy individuals. These observations indicated defects in the certain cell membrane structural proteins such as α- and β-spectrin, ankyrin, etc. Until now, splenectomy is still the most effective treatment for symptoms relief for hereditary spherocytosis. In this study, we further solved the mysteries of membrane nanostructure changes of erythrocytes before and after splenectomy in hereditary spherocytosis by atomic force microscopy. After splenectomy, the cells were larger, but still spheroidal-shaped. The membrane ultrastructure was disorganized and characterized by a reduced surface particle size and lower than normal Ra values. These observations indicated that although splenectomy can effectively relieve the symptoms of hereditary spherocytosis, it has little effect on correction of cytoskeletal membrane defects of hereditary spherocytosis. We concluded that atomic force microscopy is a powerful tool to investigate the pathophysiological mechanisms of hereditary spherocytosis and to monitor treatment efficacy in clinical practices. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to study hereditary spherocytosis with atomic force microscopy and offers important mechanistic insight into the underlying role of splenectomy.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-01-15

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-12-15

    Polybenzimidazole membranes imbibed with acid are emerging as a suitable electrolyte material for high-temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells. The oxidative stability of polybenzimidazole has been identified as an important issue for the long-term durability of such cells. In this paper the oxidative degradation of the polymer membrane was studied under the Fenton test conditions by the weight loss, intrinsic viscosity, size exclusion chromatography, scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. During the Fenton test, significant weight losses depending on the initial molecular weight of the polymer were observed. At the same time, viscosity and SEC measurements revealed a steady decrease in molecular weight. The degradation of acid doped PBI membranes under Fenton test conditions is proposed to start by the attack of hydroxyl radicals at the carbon atom linking imidazole ring and benzenoid ring, which may eventually lead to the imidazole ring opening and formation of small molecules and terminal groups for further oxidation by an endpoint oxidation. (Copyright copyright 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  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. The organochlorine herbicide chloridazon interacts with cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-07-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Fm1-43 reveals membrane recycling in adult inner hair cells of the mammalian cochlea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griesinger, Claudius B; Richards, Chistopher D; Ashmore, Jonathan F

    2002-05-15

    Neural transmission of complex sounds demands fast and sustained rates of synaptic release from the primary cochlear receptors, the inner hair cells (IHCs). The cells therefore require efficient membrane recycling. Using two-photon imaging of the membrane marker FM1-43 in the intact sensory epithelium within the cochlear bone of the adult guinea pig, we show that IHCs possess fast calcium-dependent membrane uptake at their apical pole. FM1-43 did not permeate through the stereocilial mechanotransducer channel because uptake kinetics were neither changed by the blockers dihydrostreptomycin and d-tubocurarine nor by treatment of the apical membrane with BAPTA, known to disrupt mechanotransduction. Moreover, the fluid phase marker Lucifer Yellow produced a similar labeling pattern to FM1-43, consistent with FM1-43 uptake via endocytosis. We estimate the membrane retrieval rate at approximately 0.5% of the surface area of the cell per second. Labeled membrane was rapidly transported to the base of IHCs by kinesin-dependent trafficking and accumulated in structures that resembled synaptic release sites. Using confocal imaging of FM1-43 in excised strips of the organ of Corti, we show that the time constants of fluorescence decay at the basolateral pole of IHCs and apical endocytosis were increased after depolarization of IHCs with 40 mm potassium, a stimulus that triggers calcium influx and increases synaptic release. Blocking calcium channels with either cadmium or nimodipine during depolarization abolished the rate increase of apical endocytosis. We suggest that IHCs use fast calcium-dependent apical endocytosis for activity-associated replenishment of synaptic membrane.

  20. 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.

  1. Structure of the Membrane Anchor of Pestivirus Glycoprotein Erns, a Long Tilted Amphipathic Helix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aberle, Daniel; Muhle-Goll, Claudia; Bürck, Jochen; Wolf, Moritz; Reißer, Sabine; Luy, Burkhard; Wenzel, Wolfgang; Ulrich, Anne S.; Meyers, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Erns is an essential virion glycoprotein with RNase activity that suppresses host cellular innate immune responses upon being partially secreted from the infected cells. Its unusual C-terminus plays multiple roles, as the amphiphilic helix acts as a membrane anchor, as a signal peptidase cleavage site, and as a retention/secretion signal. We analyzed the structure and membrane binding properties of this sequence to gain a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. CD spectroscopy in different setups, as well as Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations confirmed the helical folding and showed that the helix is accommodated in the amphiphilic region of the lipid bilayer with a slight tilt rather than lying parallel to the surface. This model was confirmed by NMR analyses that also identified a central stretch of 15 residues within the helix that is fully shielded from the aqueous layer, which is C-terminally followed by a putative hairpin structure. These findings explain the strong membrane binding of the protein and provide clues to establishing the Erns membrane contact, processing and secretion. PMID:24586172

  2. 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.

  3. Charged porous membrane structures for separation of biomolecules

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kopec, Karina Katarzyna

    2011-01-01

    Thesis presents various membrane techniques for biomolecules separation. New charged membranes and new methods to introduce charge into the membranes are demonstrated. All chapters present characterization of the hollow fiber membranes produced via the immersion precipitation dry-wet spinning. Apart

  4. 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

  5. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamala, Katarzyna P; Engelhart, Aaron E; Szostak, Jack W

    2016-03-21

    One widely held model of early life suggests primitive cells consisted of simple RNA-based catalysts within lipid compartments. One possible selective advantage conferred by an encapsulated catalyst is stabilization of the compartment, resulting from catalyst-promoted synthesis of key membrane components. Here we show model protocell vesicles containing an encapsulated enzyme that promotes the synthesis of simple fatty acid derivatives become stabilized to Mg(2+), which is required for ribozyme activity and RNA synthesis. Thus, protocells capable of such catalytic transformations would have enjoyed a selective advantage over other protocells in high Mg(2+) environments. The synthetic transformation requires both the catalyst and vesicles that solubilize the water-insoluble precursor lipid. We suggest that similar modified lipids could have played a key role in early life, and that primitive lipid membranes and encapsulated catalysts, such as ribozymes, may have acted in conjunction with each other, enabling otherwise-impossible chemical transformations within primordial cells.

  6. Membrane associated qualitative differences in cell ultrastructure of chemically and high pressure cryofixed plant cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zechmann, Bernd; Müller, Maria; Zellnig, Günther

    2007-06-01

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

  7. Microtransplantation of membranes from cultured cells to Xenopus oocytes: A method to study neurotransmitter receptors embedded in native lipids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palma, Eleonora; Trettel, Flavia; Fucile, Sergio; Renzi, Massimiliano; Miledi, Ricardo; Eusebi, Fabrizio

    2003-01-01

    The Xenopus oocyte is used as a convenient cell expression system to study the structure and function of heterogenic transmitter receptors and ion channels. Recently, we introduced a method to microtransplant already assembled neurotransmitter receptors from the human brain to the plasma membrane of Xenopus oocytes. The same approach was used here to transplant neurotransmitter receptors expressed from cultured cells to the oocytes. Membrane vesicles prepared from a human embryonic kidney cell line (HEK293) stably expressing the rat glutamate receptor 1 were injected into oocytes, and, within a few hours, the oocyte plasma membrane acquired α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type glutamate receptors, which had the same properties as those expressed in the original HEK cells. Analogously, oocytes injected with membranes prepared from rat pituitary GH(4)C1 cells, stably expressing homomeric human neuronal α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (α7-AcChoRs), incorporated in their plasma membrane AcChoRs that behaved as those expressed in GH(4)C1 cells. Similar results were obtained with HEK cells stably expressing heteromeric human neuronal α4β2-AcChoRs. All this makes the Xenopus oocyte a powerful tool for detailed investigations of receptors and other proteins expressed in the membrane of cultured cells. PMID:12595576

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schefczik, K; Buff, K

    1984-10-03

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-10-20

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

  11. 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....

  12. Red blood cell (RBC) membrane proteomics--Part I: Proteomics and RBC physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasini, Erica M; Lutz, Hans U; Mann, Matthias; Thomas, Alan W

    2010-01-03

    Membrane proteomics is concerned with accurately and sensitively identifying molecules involved in cell compartmentalisation, including those controlling the interface between the cell and the outside world. The high lipid content of the environment in which these proteins are found often causes a particular set of problems that must be overcome when isolating the required material before effective HPLC-MS approaches can be performed. The membrane is an unusually dynamic cellular structure since it interacts with an ever changing environment. A full understanding of this critical cell component will ultimately require, in addition to proteomics, lipidomics, glycomics, interactomics and study of post-translational modifications. Devoid of nucleus and organelles in mammalian species other than camelids, and constantly in motion in the blood stream, red blood cells (RBCs) are the sole mammalian oxygen transporter. The fact that mature mammalian RBCs have no internal membrane-bound organelles, somewhat simplifies proteomics analysis of the plasma membrane and the fact that it has no nucleus disqualifies microarray based methods. Proteomics has the potential to provide a better understanding of this critical interface, and thereby assist in identifying new approaches to diseases.

  13. Structure of an asymmetric ternary protein complex provides insight for membrane interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dempsey, Brian R; Rezvanpour, Atoosa; Lee, Ting-Wai; Barber, Kathryn R; Junop, Murray S; Shaw, Gary S

    2012-10-10

    Plasma membrane repair involves the coordinated effort of proteins and the inner phospholipid surface to mend the rupture and return the cell back to homeostasis. Here, we present the three-dimensional structure of a multiprotein complex that includes S100A10, annexin A2, and AHNAK, which along with dysferlin, functions in muscle and cardiac tissue repair. The 3.5 Å resolution X-ray structure shows that a single region from the AHNAK C terminus is recruited by an S100A10-annexin A2 heterotetramer, forming an asymmetric ternary complex. The AHNAK peptide adopts a coil conformation that arches across the heterotetramer contacting both annexin A2 and S100A10 protomers with tight affinity (∼30 nM) and establishing a structural rationale whereby both S100A10 and annexin proteins are needed in AHNAK recruitment. The structure evokes a model whereby AHNAK is targeted to the membrane surface through sandwiching of the binding region between the S100A10/annexin A2 complex and the phospholipid membrane.

  14. Umbilical Cord Mesenchymal Stem Cells Combined With a Collagenfibrin Double-layered Membrane Accelerates Wound Healing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nan, Wenbin; Liu, Rui; Chen, Hongli; Xu, Zhihao; Chen, Jiannan; Wang, Manman; Yuan, Zhiqing

    2015-05-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the effects of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) in combination with a collagen-fibrin double-layered membrane on wound healing in mice. A collagen-fibrin double-layered membrane was prepared, and the surface properties of the support material were investigated using a scanning electron microscope. Twenty-four mice were prepared for use as full-thickness skin wound models and randomly divided into 3 groups: group A, a control group in which the wounds were bound using a conventional method; group B, a group treated with hUCMSCs combined with a collagen membrane; and group C, a group treated with hUCMSCs combined with a collagen-fibrin double-layered membrane. The postoperative concrescence of the wounds was observed daily to evaluate the effects of the different treatments. Scanning electron microscope observation showed the collagen-fibrin scaffolds exhibited a highly porous and interconnected structure, and wound healing in the double-layered membrane group was better than in groups A or B. Treatment with hUCMSCs combined with a collagen-fibrin double-layered membrane accelerated wound healing.

  15. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1983-07-01

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

  17. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells Modeling and Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-11-01

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

  18. Membrane toxicity of abnormal prion protein in adrenal chromaffin cells of scrapie infected sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGovern, Gillian; Jeffrey, Martin

    2013-01-01

    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