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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 structures during exocytosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-08-01

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

  3. Fuel-Cell Structure Prevents Membrane Drying

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcelroy, J.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benga, G.

    1985-01-01

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

  5. Identification of glycan structure alterations on cell membrane proteins in desoxyepothilone B resistant leukemia cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-11-01

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

  6. The structure and function of cell membranes studied by atomic force microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tetsuji Yamashita

    2015-09-01

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

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

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    ROMANA MASNIKOSA

    2003-11-01

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

  11. Structural and morphological changes in supramolecular-structured polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell on addition of phosphoric acid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendrana, S.; Pryliana, R. F.; Natanael, C. L.; Rahayu, I.

    2018-03-01

    Phosphoric acid is one agents used in membrane fuel cell to modify ionic conductivity. Therefore, its distribution in membrane is a key parameter to gain expected conductivity. Efforts have been made to distribute phosphoric acid in a supramolecular-structured membrane prepared with a matrix. To achieve even distribution across bulk of the membrane, the inclusion of the polyacid is carried out under pressurized chamber. Image of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) shows better phosphoric acid distribution for one prepared in pressurized state. It also leads in better performing in ionic conductivity. Moreover, data from differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) indicate that the addition of phosphoric acid is prominent in the change of membrane structure, while morphological changes are captured in SEM images.

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

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    Chulsung Bae

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Helium Ion Microscopy of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode structures

    OpenAIRE

    Chiriaev, Serguei; Dam Madsen, Nis; Rubahn, Horst-Günter; Andersen, Shuang Ma

    2017-01-01

    Characterization of composite materials with microscopy techniques is an essential route to understanding their properties and degradation mechanisms, though the observation with a suitable type of microscopy is not always possible. In this work, we present proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode interface structure dependence on ionomer content, systematically studied by Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM). A special focus was on acquiring high resolution images of the electrode structure and a...

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

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    Seruni K.U. Freisleben

    2011-08-01

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

  15. Structure and Dynamics of Thin Ionomer Films: a Key to A Stable Fuel Cell Membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perahia, Dvora

    2000-03-01

    The technology for solid polymeric electrolytic membranes for a fuel cells, calls for the thinnest film which is electrochemically stable. At present, none supported polymeric solid state fuel cell membranes, thinner than 50 microns, fail mechanically during fuel cell operation. When approaching the thin film limits, interfacial effects become significant to structure dynamics and consequently, the stability of the membranes. Our work focuses on understanding the interfacial effects on thin per-fluorinated ionomer films, including interfacial effects on the thin films themselves and nanotubes-thin film complexes, mimicking the catalyst-ionomer complexes. In particular we investigated the dynamics and structure in 500 angstrom and less, films made by several perfluorinated ionomers, cast on a solid support. Both the films and their parent solutions were investigated with the goal of resolving the factors that affect the stability in the ultra thin regime. AFM/STM and X-ray and neutron reflectivity were used to investigate the thin films and small angle neutron scattering was utilized to the study of the solutions. Films were both spin-coated and self assembles from solutions on a model oxidized single crystal silicon wafer, treated with HF. When coated from molecular solutions, the films tend to dewet on a time scale of minutes to hours. With increasing concentrations, above the critical micellar concentration of the ionomers in water/alcohol, stable films on the order of 200-500 angstroms were formed. While self-assembled films were found to be stable at temperatures close to Tg of the ionomer, spin-coated ones partially dewet. The surface structure obtained, exhibit periodicity on different length scales, depending on the concentration of the polymer in the solution from which the film was assembled. In the ultra dilute regime, micelles were detected at the solid interface. Films formed from dilute solutions exhibit fractal nature with a fractal dimension varying

  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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gérald Gaibelet

    2017-02-01

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

  19. F-BAR family proteins, emerging regulators for cell membrane dynamic changes-from structure to human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Suxuan; Xiong, Xinyu; Zhao, Xianxian; Yang, Xiaofeng; Wang, Hong

    2015-05-09

    Eukaryotic cell membrane dynamics change in curvature during physiological and pathological processes. In the past ten years, a novel protein family, Fes/CIP4 homology-Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (F-BAR) domain proteins, has been identified to be the most important coordinators in membrane curvature regulation. The F-BAR domain family is a member of the Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain superfamily that is associated with dynamic changes in cell membrane. However, the molecular basis in membrane structure regulation and the biological functions of F-BAR protein are unclear. The pathophysiological role of F-BAR protein is unknown. This review summarizes the current understanding of structure and function in the BAR domain superfamily, classifies F-BAR family proteins into nine subfamilies based on domain structure, and characterizes F-BAR protein structure, domain interaction, and functional relevance. In general, F-BAR protein binds to cell membrane via F-BAR domain association with membrane phospholipids and initiates membrane curvature and scission via Src homology-3 (SH3) domain interaction with its partner proteins. This process causes membrane dynamic changes and leads to seven important cellular biological functions, which include endocytosis, phagocytosis, filopodium, lamellipodium, cytokinesis, adhesion, and podosome formation, via distinct signaling pathways determined by specific domain-binding partners. These cellular functions play important roles in many physiological and pathophysiological processes. We further summarize F-BAR protein expression and mutation changes observed in various diseases and developmental disorders. Considering the structure feature and functional implication of F-BAR proteins, we anticipate that F-BAR proteins modulate physiological and pathophysiological processes via transferring extracellular materials, regulating cell trafficking and mobility, presenting antigens, mediating extracellular matrix degradation, and transmitting

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  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. Helium Ion Microscopy of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serguei Chiriaev

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Characterization of composite materials with microscopy techniques is an essential route to understanding their properties and degradation mechanisms, though the observation with a suitable type of microscopy is not always possible. In this work, we present proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode interface structure dependence on ionomer content, systematically studied by Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM. A special focus was on acquiring high resolution images of the electrode structure and avoiding interface damage from irradiation and tedious sample preparation. HIM demonstrated its advantages in surface imaging, which is paramount in studies of the interface morphology of ionomer covered or absorbed catalyst structures in a combination with electrochemical characterization and accelerated stress test. The electrode porosity was found to depend on the ionomer content. The stressed electrodes demonstrated higher porosity in comparison to the unstressed ones on the condition of no external mechanical pressure. Moreover, formation of additional small grains was observed for the electrodes with the low ionomer content, indicating Pt redeposition through Ostwald ripening. Polymer nanofiber structures were found in the crack regions of the catalyst layer, which appear due to the internal stress originated from the solvent evaporation. These fibers have fairly uniform diameters of a few tens of nanometers, and their density increases with the increasing ionomer content in the electrodes. In the hot-pressed electrodes, we found more closed contact between the electrode components, reduced particle size, polymer coalescence and formation of nano-sized polymer fiber architecture between the particles.

  3. Structural Changes in the Surface of Red Blood Cell Membranes during Long-Term Donor Blood Storage

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    V. V. Moroz

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: to study changes in the surface of red blood cell membranes of donor blood at the macro- and ultrastructural level during its storage for 30 days and to evaluate the functional state of the red blood cell membrane during the whole storage period. Material and methods. The investigation was conducted on human whole blood and packed red blood cells placed in the specialized packs containing the preservative CPDA-1, by using calibrated electroporation and atomic force microscopy and measuring plasma pH. Conclusion. The long-term, up to 30-day, storage of whole blood and packed red blood cells at 4°C was attended by lower plasma pH and increased hemolysis rate constant during calibrated electroporation and by the development of oxidative processes. The hemolysis rate constant was also higher in the packed red blood cells than that in the whole blood. On days 5—6, the membrane structure showed defects that developed, as the blood was stored, and caused irreversible cell membrane damage by day 30. Key words: donor blood, red blood cell membranes, atomic force microscopy.

  4. [Structure of cytosolic membrane and chemical composition of red blood cells during the early period of wound damage according to scanning probe microscopy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belousova, O D; Gaĭdash, A A; Tolmachev, I A; Ivchenko, E V; Golubok, A O; Levichev, V V; Mukhin, I S; Zhukov, M V; Belousov, I S; Tkachuk, I V

    2013-01-01

    With the help of scanning electronic and atomic force microscopy structure of red blood cell membranes of the system blood-groove and microcirculatory channels is studied. It is established, that in early stages of skin wounds in a peripheral blood circulation appear compressed red blood cells, losing water. As a result the basic mechanism of destruction of red blood cell membranes are interlayered shifts and stratification. In red blood cells of microvasculature, on the contrary, red blood cells in state of vacuolar degeneration are indentified. It creates preconditions for hydration and bullous deformations of membranes. Porous structures of membranes of both types erythrocytes are exposed to expansion.

  5. Cell invasion through basement membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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)

  7. Entrapped cells-based-anaerobic membrane bioreactor treating domestic wastewater: Performances, fouling, and bacterial community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juntawang, Chaipon; Rongsayamanont, Chaiwat; Khan, Eakalak

    2017-11-01

    A laboratory scale study on treatment performances and fouling of entrapped cells-based-anaerobic membrane bioreactor (E-AnMBR) in comparison with suspended cells-based-bioreactor (S-AnMBR) treating domestic wastewater was conducted. The difference between E-AnMBR and S-AnMBR was the uses of cells entrapped in phosphorylated polyvinyl alcohol versus planktonic cells. Bulk organic removal efficiencies by the two AnMBRs were comparable. Lower concentrations of suspended biomass, bound extracellular polymeric substances and soluble microbial products in E-AnMBR resulted in less fouling compared to S-AnMBR. S-AnMBR provided 7 days of operation time versus 11 days for E-AnMBR before chemical cleaning was required. The less frequent chemical cleaning potentially leads to a longer membrane life-span for E-AnMBR compared to S-AnMBR. Phyla Proteobacteria, Chloroflexi, Bacteroidetes and Acidobacteria were dominant in cake sludge from both AnMBRs but their abundances were different between the two AnMBRs, suggesting influence of cell entrapment on the bacteria community. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Low Copy Numbers of DC-SIGN in Cell Membrane Microdomains: Implications for Structure and Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ping; Wang, Xiang; Itano, Michelle S.; Neumann, Aaron K.; de Silva, Aravinda M.; Jacobson, Ken; Thompson, Nancy L.

    2014-01-01

    Presently, there are few estimates of the number of molecules occupying membrane domains. Using a total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM) imaging approach, based on comparing the intensities of fluorescently labeled microdomains with those of single fluorophores, we measured the occupancy of DC-SIGN, a C-type lectin, in membrane microdomains. DC-SIGN or its mutants were labeled with primary monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in either dendritic cells (DCs) or NIH3T3 cells, or expressed as GFP fusions in NIH3T3 cells. The number of DC-SIGN molecules per microdomain ranges from only a few to over 20, while microdomain dimensions range from the diffraction limit to > 1μm. The largest fraction of microdomains, appearing at the diffraction limit, in either immature DCs or 3T3 cells contains only 4-8 molecules of DC-SIGN, consistent with our preliminary super-resolution Blink microscopy estimates. We further show that these small assemblies are sufficient to bind and efficiently internalize a small (~50nm) pathogen, dengue virus, leading to infection of host cells. PMID:24313910

  9. Fuel cell membrane humidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1999-01-01

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

  10. Cell Membrane Coating Nanotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-27

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

  11. 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.

  12. Fatigue Analysis of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stacks Based on Structural Stress Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, C. W.; Liu, B.; Wei, M. Y.; Liu, L. F.

    2017-05-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack usually undergoes various vibrations during packing, transportation and serving time, in particular for those used in the automobiles and portable equipment. Based on the Miner fatigue damage theory, the fatigue lives of the fuel cell components are first assessed. Then the component fatigue life contours of the stack are obtained under four working conditions, i.e. the three single-axial (in X-, Y- and Z-axis separately) and multi-axial random vibrations. Accordingly, the component damage under various vibrations is evaluated. The stress distribution on the gasket and PEM will greatly affect their fatigue lives. Finally, we compare the fatigue lives of 4-bolt- and 6-bolt-clamping stacks under the same total clamping force, and find that increasing the bolt number could improve the bolt fatigue lives.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurbanov, Rafig; Bilgin, Mehmet; Severcan, Feride

    2016-04-01

    Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is a dominant factor standing for kidney impairments during diabetes. In this study, attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy was used to disclose the diabetes-induced structural changes in the kidney and evaluate the effects of selenium on diabetes. The increase in the area of the olefinic band indicated increased amount of lipid peroxidation end products in diabetic kidney brush border cell membrane. Moreover, saturated lipid content of this cell membrane considerably diminished. DKD was found to disrupt lipid order and cause a decrease in membrane dynamics. However, the administration of selenium at low and medium doses was shown to improve these conditions by changing the lipid contents toward control values, restoring the ordered structure of the lipids and membrane dynamics. Curve-fitting and artificial neural network (ANN) analyses of secondary structures of proteins demonstrated a relative increase in α-helix and reduction in the β-sheet during diabetes in comparison to the control group, which were ameliorated following selenium treatment at low and medium doses. These findings were further confirmed by applying hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA). A clear separation of the experimental groups was obtained with high heterogeneity in the lipid and protein regions. These chemometric analyses showed that the low and medium doses of selenium-treated diabetic groups are successfully segregated from the diabetic group and clustered closer to the control. The study suggests that medium and, more predominantly, low-dose selenium treatment can be efficient in eliminating diabetes-induced structural alterations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Assembly of Lyotropic Liquid Crystals with Solid Crystal's Structural Order Translated from the Lipid Rafts in Cell Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yoon Seob

    2017-11-29

    Self-assembly offers a powerful way to control the complexity and hierarchy of nanoscale materials, and promises to create a diverse range of emergent properties. Successful syntheses that allow a delicate structural design of building units play an important role. However, as can be learned from many cellular processes and functions, coself-assembly using logically chosen additives should be equally effective in designing self-assembly. Herein I show that, translated from the dynamic nanoscale assemblies in cell membranes known as lipid rafts, coself-assembly of 1-decanol into cetyltrimethylammonium chloride micelles for the assembly of lyotropic liquid crystals generates new structural complexity and hierarchy, and a surprising property that is emerging from it. Designing the intermolecular forces in the way that cholesterol interacts with sphingolipids promotes the synergistic balance between the flexibility and rigidity, and the unique molecular recognition for silicic acid, followed by the micelle coalescence. This very much resembles the assembly process of the lipid rafts in cell membranes and triggers orders of magnitude of sharp increases in X-ray diffraction intensity. The analysis of the diffraction patterns shows that the structural order of these liquid crystals matches that of solid crystals, often of single crystals. Furthermore, the assembly of the liquid crystals promotes a substantial increase in the condensation rate of silicic acids by guiding them to form a silicate trimer along the surface of micelles. This very much resembles the role of the lipid rafts that sharply increases the reaction rate of biomolecules by guiding them to form discrete species along the surface of membranes. This finding demonstrates that it is possible to translate the key features of cellular processes and functions into artificial self-assembling systems of our choice using the building units that are readily available, thus creating novel soft materials.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  19. 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)

  20. Static and Dynamic Membrane Structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergiu Ivanov

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available While originally P systems were defined to contain multiset rewriting rules, it turned out that considering different types of rules may produce important results, such as increasing the computational power of the rules. This paper focuses on factoring out the concept of a membrane structure out of various P system models with the goal of providing useful formalisations. Both static and dynamic membrane structures are considered.

  1. Cell invasion through basement membrane

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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...

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

  4. 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...... circuited. The present invention further provides a method of producing the above membrane structure, comprising the steps of : providing a ionically conducting layer; applying at least one layer of electronically conducting material on each side of said ionically conducting layer; sintering the multilayer...... structure; and impregnating the electronically conducting layers with a catalyst material or catalyst precursor material....

  5. 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

  6. In-situ small/wide-angle neutron scattering studies of the cluster structure in polyelectrolyte membrane for fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakano, Tomohiro; Kaneko, Michiyo; Otomo, Toshiya; Kamiyama, Takashi; Sugiyama, Masaaki; Fukunaga, Toshiharu; Kanno, Ryoji; Yamamoto, Satoru; Hyodo, Shiaki

    2007-01-01

    Proton conductivity of Nafion membrane is varied by humidity and it has been thought to be affected by the cluster structure of the membrane. We applied Small-Angle Scattering technique under humidity-controlled atmosphere with X-ray (SAXS) and neutron (SANS) to clarify the relationship between the cluster structure and molecular structure in two types of Nafion membrane, N115 and NE151F, which have different equivalent weight (EW). The proton conductivity of N115 is higher than that of NE151F. By these two measurements, three different sized periodic structures were observed in the Nafion membrane. Contrast variation method (D/H=60/40, 75/25, 80/20, 90/10) was also applied in SANS experiments and it was suggested that two of three peaks are originated from two different sizes of water clusters. A distinguishing peak at q=0.2[A -1 ], which shifts to lower q region by humidity increase, was reproduced by a simulation of Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD): the shifts of the peak was interpreted as the swelling of cluster structure. The size of the cluster calculated from the peak position is positively correlated with the proton conductivity. Finally, the effect of EW on the proton conductivity of Nafion membrane was briefly discussed from the point of its cluster structure. (author)

  7. Helium Ion Microscopy of proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrode structures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chiriaev, Serguei; Dam Madsen, Nis; Rubahn, Horst-Günter

    2017-01-01

    electrode interface structure dependence on ionomer content, systematically studied by Helium Ion Microscopy (HIM). A special focus was on acquiring high resolution images of the electrode structure and avoiding interface damage from irradiation and tedious sample preparation. HIM demonstrated its...

  8. 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.

  9. Hybrid membranes for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  10. Model-based diagnosis through Structural Analysis and Causal Computation for automotive Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polverino, Pierpaolo; Frisk, Erik; Jung, Daniel; Krysander, Mattias; Pianese, Cesare

    2017-07-01

    The present paper proposes an advanced approach for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) systems fault detection and isolation through a model-based diagnostic algorithm. The considered algorithm is developed upon a lumped parameter model simulating a whole PEMFC system oriented towards automotive applications. This model is inspired by other models available in the literature, with further attention to stack thermal dynamics and water management. The developed model is analysed by means of Structural Analysis, to identify the correlations among involved physical variables, defined equations and a set of faults which may occur in the system (related to both auxiliary components malfunctions and stack degradation phenomena). Residual generators are designed by means of Causal Computation analysis and the maximum theoretical fault isolability, achievable with a minimal number of installed sensors, is investigated. The achieved results proved the capability of the algorithm to theoretically detect and isolate almost all faults with the only use of stack voltage and temperature sensors, with significant advantages from an industrial point of view. The effective fault isolability is proved through fault simulations at a specific fault magnitude with an advanced residual evaluation technique, to consider quantitative residual deviations from normal conditions and achieve univocal fault isolation.

  11. Nidovirus replication structures : hijacking membranes to support viral RNA synthesis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Knoops, Kèvin

    2011-01-01

    Positive-stranded RNA viruses replicate in the cytoplasm of host cells and their replication complexes are associated with modified cell membranes. We investigated the structure of the nidovirus-induced membrane modifications and found that nidoviruses transform the endoplasmic reticulum into a

  12. Fine structure of bacterial adhesion to the epithelial cell membranes of the filiform papillae of tongue and palatine mucosa of rodents: a morphometric, TEM, and HRSEM study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Ii-Sei; Ogawa, Koichi; Cury, Diego Pulzatto; Dias, Fernando José; Sosthenes, Marcia Consentino Kronka; Issa, João Paulo Mardegan; Iyomasa, Mamie Mizusaki

    2013-12-01

    The palatine mucosa and filiform papillae of the dorsal tongue mucosae of rodents were examined using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM). In the HRSEM method, the samples were fixed in 2% osmium tetroxide, dehydrated in alcohol, critical point-dried, and coated with gold-palladium. In addition, the HRSEM technique was used for morphometric analysis (length, width, and length/width ratio of cocci and bacilli). For the TEM method, the tissues were fixed in modified Karnovsky solution (2.5% glutaraldehyde, 2% formalin in 0.1M sodium phosphate buffer, pH 7.4) and embedded in Spurr resin. The results demonstrated that there are thick polygonal keratinized epithelial cells where groups of bacteria are revealed in three-dimensional images on the surface of filiform papillae in these animals. The bacterial membranes are randomly attached to the microplicae surface of epithelial cells. Morphometrics showed higher values of length and width of cocci in newborn (0 day) as compared to newborn (7 days) and adults animals, the bacilli showed no differences in these measurements. At high magnification, the TEM images revealed the presence of glycocalyx microfilaments that constitute a fine adhesion area between bacterial membranes and the membranes of epithelial microplicae cells. In conclusion, the present data revealed the fine fibrillar structures of bacteria that facilitate adhesion to the epithelial cell membranes of the oral cavity and morphometric changes in newborn (0 day) rats as compared with other periods. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Changes in red blood cell membrane structure in G6PD deficiency: an atomic force microscopy study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Jia; Jiang, Chengrui; Xiao, Xiao; Fang, Zishui; Li, Lei; Han, Luhao; Mei, Anqi; Feng, Yi; Guo, Yibin; Li, Hongyi; Jiang, Weiying

    2015-04-15

    Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency affects over 400 million people worldwide. The hemolytic anemia in G6PD deficiency is usually triggered by oxidative stress, but the mechanism remains uncertain. We have used atomic force microscopy for studying changes in red blood cell membrane and providing new insights on the mechanism. G6PD activity assay and molecular genetic tests were used for molecular diagnosis. AFM was used to investigate alterations in the ultrastructure of G6PD deficient RBC membranes, the influence of different primaquine concentrations, and the protective effects of vitamin C. Nine variants were identified from 33 G6PD deficient individuals. AFM imaging and quantitative analysis showed that G6PD deficient erythrocytes became heterogeneous and roughness measurements of erythrocyte membranes are increased. G6PD enzyme activity and different mutations may relate with roughness parameters. Furthermore, primaquine induces an increased roughness and height of erythrocyte membrane. Meanwhile, primaquine induces damages to erythrocytes which could be prevented by vitamin C treatment in normal RBCs but not in G6PD deficient erythrocytes. Our research may give valuable information about the status of G6PD deficient patients and explore the mechanism of hemolytic anemia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wolters, H.

    1987-01-01

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

  15. Molecular machines open cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-30

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

  16. Molecular machines open cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  17. Conical nano-structure arrays of Platinum cathode catalyst for enhanced cell performance in PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Aziz; Nath, Bhabesh Kumar; Chutia, Joyanti

    2015-01-01

    Conical nanostructure arrays of Pt (Platinum) as cathode catalyst are developed using a novel integrated plasma sputtering technique. The integration method involves successive deposition of Pt catalyst arrays one upon another maintaining a uniform time gap. Deposition by integrated approach results in the formation of dense arrays of Pt nanostructure as compared to continuous deposition. These high number density integrated arrays with low Pt loading of 0.10 mg cm −2 at the cathode provide enhanced performance compared to non-integrated cathode catalyst prepared by continuous deposition and standard commercial electrodes with Pt loadings of 1 mg cm −2 . The performance is compared on the basis of polarization curve measurements and the calculated power density values. PEM fuel cell with dual integrated cathode showed an improved power density of 0.90 W cm −2 , which is higher than continuously deposited cathode catalyst with maximum power density of 0.67 W cm −2 for the same Pt loading of 0.10 mg cm −2 . - Highlights: • Conical nanostructures with high number density are prepared by a novel integrated deposition technique. • Electrode with such catalyst shows maximum performance of 0.9 W cm −2 . • Integrated catalyst performs better than continuously prepared nanostructure catalyst.

  18. 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

  19. Dynamic membrane structure induces temporal pattern formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippoldt, J; Händel, C; Dietrich, U; Käs, J A

    2014-10-01

    The understanding of temporal pattern formation in biological systems is essential for insights into regulatory processes of cells. Concerning this problem, the present work introduces a model to explain the attachment/detachment cycle of MARCKS and PKC at the cell membrane, which is crucial for signal transduction processes. Our model is novel with regard to its driving mechanism: Structural changes within the membrane fuel an activator-inhibitor based global density oscillation of membrane related proteins. Based on simulated results of our model, phase diagrams were generated to illustrate the interplay of MARCKS and PKC. They predict the oscillatory behavior in the form of the number of peaks, the periodic time, and the damping constant depending on the amounts of MARCKS and PKC, respectively. The investigation of the phase space also revealed an unexpected intermediate state prior to the oscillations for high amounts of MARCKS in the system. The validation of the obtained results was carried out by stability analysis, which also accounts for further enhanced understanding of the studied system. It was shown, that the occurrence of the oscillating behavior is independent of the diffusion and the consumption of the reactants. The diffusion terms in the used reaction-diffusion equations only act as modulating terms and are not required for the oscillation. The hypothesis of our work suggests a new mechanism of temporal pattern formation in biological systems. This mechanism includes a classical activator-inhibitor system, but is based on the modifications of the membrane structure, rather than a reaction-diffusion system. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Artificial membranes for membrane protein purification, functionality and structure studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmar, Mayuriben J; Lousa, Carine De Marcos; Muench, Stephen P; Goldman, Adrian; Postis, Vincent L G

    2016-06-15

    Membrane proteins represent one of the most important targets for pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, technical limitations have long been a major hindrance in our understanding of the function and structure of such proteins. Recent years have seen the refinement of classical approaches and the emergence of new technologies that have resulted in a significant step forward in the field of membrane protein research. This review summarizes some of the current techniques used for studying membrane proteins, with overall advantages and drawbacks for each method. © 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...... domain is directly involved in the molecular contact with uPA. The receptor binds uPA as well as its proenzyme, pro-uPA, in such a manner that the activation cascade can occur directly on the cell surface. Furthermore, the activation rates are enhanced relative to the situation in solution, probably due...... between uPAR and uPA. The growing knowledge on the structure and function of uPAR which is a result of protein chemical analyses, functional studies and analyses of other, interacting components, should help to obtain a better understanding of the regulation of extracellular proteolysis. In conjunction...

  4. Large Deformation Mechanics of Plasma Membrane Chained Vesicles in Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosawada, Tadashi; Sanada, Kouichi; Takano, Tetsuo

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Interactions of Model Cell Membranes with Nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

    or pores in the cell membrane. The dissipation changes were small, which indicates that even with the membrane destabilization that occurs, the overall structure of the bilayer is not greatly perturbed. For the 80 nm nanoparticles, we initially saw the same pattern as the smaller nanoparticles with a mass loss from the membrane, but eventually we saw a large decrease in frequency, representing an increase in mass. This addition of mass may be attributed to adsorption of the gold nanoparticles onto the bilayer. The 80 nm particles also created a change in the energy dissipation, which suggests that the formation of the bilayer was altered with the adsorbed particles. This study suggests that nanoparticle size controls the mechanism by which nanoparticles interact with model cell membranes. We are extending this work to other types of gold nanoparticles. We are interested in examining the role of nanoparticle hydrophobicity and type of chemical functionalization on the interactions of the nanoparticle with a model membrane. We are also conducting studies on environmental bacteria, to correlate the mechanisms of nanoparticle cytoxicity with killing data on bacterial cells.

  9. 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.

  10. Hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Hong

    2017-08-03

    The present invention is a structure, method of making and method of use for a novel macroscopic hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped, nano-porous carbon membrane (HNDCMs) with asymmetric and hierarchical pore architecture that can be produced on a large-scale approach. The unique HNDCM holds great promise as components in separation and advanced carbon devices because they could offer unconventional fluidic transport phenomena on the nanoscale. Overall, the invention set forth herein covers a hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes and methods of making and using such a membranes.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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.

  15. Lactobacillus casei combats acid stress by maintaining cell membrane functionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. [Spatial structure of the calixarene-aminophosphonic acids is important for their inhibition of the Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity in plasma membrane of smooth muscle cells].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veklich, T O; Shkrabak, O A; Rodik, R V; Boĭko, V I; Kal'chenko, V I; Kosterin, S O

    2010-01-01

    It was found that calixarene C-107 (5,17-diamino(2-pyridyl)methylphosphono-11,23-di-tret-butyl-26,28-dihydroxy-25,27-dipropoxycalix[4]arene) could effectively reduce Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity of the myometrium cell plasmatic membranes (the value of the apparent constant of inhibition I0.5 was 33 +/- 4 nM) while it practically did not influence the "basal" Mg2(+)-ATPase activity of the same membrane. In comparative experiments, we have shown that the model calixarene C-150--the calixarene "scaffold" (26,28-dihydroxy-25,27-dipropoxycalix[4]arene), and the model compound M-3 (4-hydroxyaniline(2-pyridine)methylphosphonic acid)--a fragment of the calixarene C-107, had practically no influence on the enzymatic activities of Na+,K(+)-ATPase and Mg(2+)-ATPase over a wide range of concentrations. Hence, the influence of calixarene C-107 on Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity was caused by the joint action of two aminophosphonic substituents on the upper rim of the calixarene bowl. The isomer of calixarene C-107--calixarene C-160 (5,11-diamino(2-pyridyl)methylphosphono-17,23-di-tret-butyl-26,28-dihydroxy-25,27-dipropoxycalix[4]arene) also did not influence the Na+,K(+)-ATPase and Mg(2+)-ATPase activities of plasmatic membrane of myometrium cells. We carried out molecular modeling of calixarenes C-107 and C-160 and showed differences in interatomic distance between aminophosphonic substituents of mentioned calixarenes. We came to the conclusion that spatial structure of calixarene C-107, namely localization of two aminophosphonic substituents in 5,17 position of the upper rim of this calixarene, is crucial for inhibition of Na+,K(+)-ATPase activity. Using laser correlation spectroscopy it was found that the 100 microM solution of calixarene C-107 and 2.5% DMSO had microparticles with size range from 100 nm to 10 microm. Plasma membrane vesicles had average hydrodynamic diameter 401 +/- 17 nm, but after interaction of these vesicles with calixarene C-107 we have registered the creation of

  18. Channels in cell membranes and synchrotron radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan Xiaohui; Tian Liang; Zhang Xinyi

    2004-01-01

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

  19. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-10-15

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

  1. Cubic membranes: a legend beyond the Flatland* of cell membrane organization.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-06-19

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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].

  4. Plasma membrane changes during programmed cell deaths.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. Formation of Cell Membrane Component Domains in Artificial Lipid Bilayer.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-20

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

  7. An approach to membrane protein structure without crystals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorgen, Paul L.; Hu, Yonglin; Guan, Lan; Kaback, H. Ronald; Girvin, Mark E.

    2002-01-01

    The lactose permease of Escherichia coli catalyzes coupled translocation of galactosides and H+ across the cell membrane. It is the best-characterized member of the Major Facilitator Superfamily, a related group of membrane proteins with 12 transmembrane domains that mediate transport of various substrates across cell membranes. Despite decades of effort and their functional importance in all kingdoms of life, no high-resolution structures have been solved for any member of this family. However, extensive biochemical, genetic, and biophysical studies on lactose permease have established its transmembrane topology, secondary structure, and numerous interhelical contacts. Here we demonstrate that this information is sufficient to calculate a structural model at the level of helix packing or better. PMID:12391320

  8. 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

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

  10. Development and characterization of proton conductive membranes and membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ruichun

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

  11. Diffuse Charge Effects in Fuel Cell Membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Role of structural modifications of montmorillonite, electrical properties effect, physical behavior of nanocomposite proton conducting membranes for direct methanol fuel cell applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abidin K. Sainul

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Proton exchange membranes have been synthesized from polyimide (PI doped with different contents of montmorillonite (MMT which was obtained by solution casting technique. The enhancement of conductivity was achieved through modification with the MMT. Prepared membranes were systematically characterized in terms of ion exchange capacity, water uptake, methanol uptake, swelling behavior and proton conductivity. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction measurements were used to confirm the structures of the PI/MMT composite electrolyte membranes. SEM surface morphological images of the composite membranes showed that the MMT nanoclay particles were dispersed uniformly within the membrane what was also reflected in XRD results which indicated a good compatibility of MMT particles with the polymer complex. The TGA spectra showed that the thermal stability of the membrane was reduced by adding MMT into the polymer network. The prepared membrane with 10 wt.% of modified MMT exhibited the highest proton conductivity value of 7.06 × 10-2 S·cm-1 at 70 °C. These results imply the potential application of the PI/MMT composite membranes as improved PEMs for DMFC applications.

  13. Low Crossover Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  14. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yu Seung; Pivovar, Bryan S.

    2012-07-24

    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.

  15. 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.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  18. Overcoming barriers to membrane protein structure determination

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bill, Roslyn M.; Henderson, Peter J. F.; Iwata, So; Kunji, Edmund R. S.; Michel, Hartmut; Neutze, Richard; Newstead, Simon; Poolman, Bert; Tate, Christopher G.; Vogel, Horst

    After decades of slow progress, the pace of research on membrane protein structures is beginning to quicken thanks to various improvements in technology, including protein engineering and microfocus X-ray diffraction. Here we review these developments and, where possible, highlight generic new

  19. Cooperative tumour cell membrane targeted phototherapy

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

  20. Fuel cell subassemblies incorporating subgasketed thrifted membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Layer-by-layer cell membrane assembly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matosevic, Sandro; Paegel, Brian M.

    2013-11-01

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

  4. A novel catalyst layer structure based surface-patterned Nafion® membrane for high-performance direct methanol fuel cell

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Ming; Wang, Meng; Ding, Xianan

    2018-01-01

    Conventional catalyst layer with a smooth surface exists the larger area of“catalytic dead zone” and reduces the utilization of catalyst. Based on this, a novel catalyst layer structure based surface-patterned Nafion® membrane was designed to achieve more efficient electrochemical reaction...... to prepare the novel catalyst layer, and the effect of pressure on the performance of MEA was investigated. The results suggested that the peak power density of DMFC with optimal novel catalyst layer structure increased by 28.84%, the charge transfer resistances of anode and cathode reduced by 28.8% and 26.......5% respectively, compared with the conventional catalyst layer. Performance improvement is attributed to the fact that the novel catalyst layer structure optimizes the electrolyte membrane/catalyst layer and gas diffusion layer/catalyst layer interfacial structure, which increases the electrochemical reaction...

  5. Review of Large Spacecraft Deployable Membrane Antenna Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhi-Quan; Qiu, Hui; Li, Xiao; Yang, Shu-Li

    2017-11-01

    The demand for large antennas in future space missions has increasingly stimulated the development of deployable membrane antenna structures owing to their light weight and small stowage volume. However, there is little literature providing a comprehensive review and comparison of different membrane antenna structures. Space-borne membrane antenna structures are mainly classified as either parabolic or planar membrane antenna structures. For parabolic membrane antenna structures, there are five deploying and forming methods, including inflation, inflation-rigidization, elastic ribs driven, Shape Memory Polymer (SMP)-inflation, and electrostatic forming. The development and detailed comparison of these five methods are presented. Then, properties of membrane materials (including polyester film and polyimide film) for parabolic membrane antennas are compared. Additionally, for planar membrane antenna structures, frame shapes have changed from circular to rectangular, and different tensioning systems have emerged successively, including single Miura-Natori, double, and multi-layer tensioning systems. Recent advances in structural configurations, tensioning system design, and dynamic analysis for planar membrane antenna structures are investigated. Finally, future trends for large space membrane antenna structures are pointed out and technical problems are proposed, including design and analysis of membrane structures, materials and processes, membrane packing, surface accuracy stability, and test and verification technology. Through a review of large deployable membrane antenna structures, guidance for space membrane-antenna research and applications is provided.

  6. Synthesis and characterization of Nafion/TiO2 nanocomposite membrane for proton exchange membrane fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tae Young; Cho, Sung Yong

    2011-08-01

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

  7. Polymers application in proton exchange membranes for fuel cells (PEMFCs)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-06-17

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  10. 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

  11. Environmental behaviour of tensile membrane structures

    OpenAIRE

    Elnokaly, Amira; Chilton, John; Wilson, Robin

    2002-01-01

    This paper considers the environmental properties of spaces enclosed by tensile membrane structures (TMS). Limitations in the understanding of the environmental and thermal performance of TMS have to some extent hindered their acceptance by building clients and the building industry. A review of the early attempts to model the thermal environment of spaces enclosed by TMS is given and their environmental and thermal properties are discussed. The lack of appropriate tools for the investigation...

  12. Membrane phosphorylation and nerve cell function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baer, P.R.

    1982-01-01

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

  13. Novel structure design of composite proton exchange membranes with continuous and through-membrane proton-conducting channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hang; Tang, Chenxiao; Zhuang, Xupin; Cheng, Bowen; Wang, Wei; Kang, Weimin; Li, Hongjun

    2017-10-01

    The primary goal of this study is to develop a high-performanced proton exchange membrane with the characteristics of through-membrane and continuous solution blown nanofibers as proton-conducting channels. The curled sulfonated phenolphthalein poly (ether sulfone) and poly (vinylidene fluoride) nanofibers were separately fabricated through the solution blowing process which is a new nanofiber fabricating method with high productivity, then they were fabricated into a sandwich-structured mat. Then this sandwich-structured mat was hot-pressed to form the designed structure using different melting temperatures of the two polymers by melting and making poly (vinylidene fluoride) flow into the phenolphthalein poly (ether sulfone) nanofiber mat. The characteristics of the composite membrane, such as morphology and performance of the membrane, were investigated. The characterization results proved the successful preparation of the membrane structure. Performance results showed that the novel structured membrane with through-membrane nanofibers significantly improved water swelling and methanol permeability, though its conductivity is lower than that of Nafion, the cell performance showed comparable results. Therefore, the novel structure design can be considered as a promising method for preparing of proton exchange membranes.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. Recognition of GPCRs by peptide ligands and membrane compartments theory: structural studies of endogenous peptide hormones in membrane environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankararamakrishnan, Ramasubbu

    2006-04-01

    One of the largest family of cell surface proteins, G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate virtually all known physiological processes in mammals. With seven transmembrane segments, they respond to diverse range of extracellular stimuli and represent a major class of drug targets. Peptidergic GPCRs use endogenous peptides as ligands. To understand the mechanism of GPCR activation and rational drug design, knowledge of three-dimensional structure of receptor-ligand complex is important. The endogenous peptide hormones are often short, flexible and completely disordered in aqueous solution. According to "Membrane Compartments Theory", the flexible peptide binds to the membrane in the first step before it recognizes its receptor and the membrane-induced conformation is postulated to bind to the receptor in the second step. Structures of several peptide hormones have been determined in membrane-mimetic medium. In these studies, micelles, reverse micelles and bicelles have been used to mimic the cell membrane environment. Recently, conformations of two peptide hormones have also been studied in receptor-bound form. Membrane environment induces stable secondary structures in flexible peptide ligands and membrane-induced peptide structures have been correlated with their bioactivity. Results of site-directed mutagenesis, spectroscopy and other experimental studies along with the conformations determined in membrane medium have been used to interpret the role of individual residues in the peptide ligand. Structural differences of membrane-bound peptides that belong to the same family but differ in selectivity are likely to explain the mechanism of receptor selectivity and specificity of the ligands. Knowledge of peptide 3D structures in membrane environment has potential applications in rational drug design.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Malínský, Jan; Opekarová, Miroslava

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Effects of cholesterol depletion on membrane nanostructure in MCF-7 cells by atomic force microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    2015-11-24

    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).

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Simulating the effect of alcohol on the structure of a membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kranenburg, Marieke; Smit, Berend

    2004-06-18

    Adsorption of alcohol molecules or other small amphiphilic molecules in the cell membrane can induce significant changes in the structure of the membrane. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying these structural changes, we developed a mesoscopic membrane model. Molecular simulations on this model nicely reproduce the experimental phase diagrams. We find that alcohol can induce an interdigitated structure in which the normal bilayer structure changes into a monolayer in which the alcohol molecules screen the hydrophobic tails from the water phase. We compute the effect of the chain length of the alcohol on the phase behaviour of the membrane. At low concentrations of alcohol, the membrane has domains of the interdigitated phase that are in coexistence with the normal membrane phase. We use our model to clarify some of the experimental questions related to the structure of the interdigitated phase and put forward a simple model that explains the alcohol chain length dependence of the stability of this interdigitated phase.

  5. 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

  6. Membrane structure in disease and drug therapy

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zimmer, G

    2000-01-01

    ...) interaction with membranous transport systems (opening or closing of ion or substrate channels); (2) reaction with receptors; (3) activation or inhibition of membrane enzymes; or (4) cytosolic membranous signaling and exchange. These consequences within the membrane influence intracellular wellbeing: life is possible only if a bala...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sener, T.

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Structure versus stochasticity - The role of molecular crowding and intrinsic disorder in membrane fission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snead, Wilton T; Stachowiak, Jeanne C

    2018-04-05

    Cellular membranes must undergo remodeling to facilitate critical functions including membrane trafficking, organelle biogenesis, and cell division. An essential step in membrane remodeling is membrane fission, in which an initially continuous membrane surface is divided into multiple, separate compartments. The established view has been that membrane fission requires proteins with conserved structural features such as helical scaffolds, hydrophobic insertions, and polymerized assemblies. In this review we discuss these structure-based fission mechanisms and highlight recent findings from several groups that support an alternative, structure-independent mechanism of membrane fission. This mechanism relies on lateral collisions among crowded, membrane-bound proteins to generate sufficient steric pressure to drive membrane vesiculation. As a stochastic process, this mechanism contrasts with the paradigm that deterministic protein structures are required to drive fission, raising the prospect that many more proteins may participate in fission than previously thought. Paradoxically, our recent work suggests that intrinsically disordered domains may be among the most potent drivers of membrane fission, owing to their large hydrodynamic radii and substantial chain entropy. This stochastic view of fission also suggests new roles for the structure-based fission proteins. Specifically, we hypothesize that in addition to driving fission directly, the canonical fission machines may facilitate the enrichment and organization of bulky disordered protein domains in order to promote membrane fission by locally amplifying protein crowding. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Fuel cell membranes and crossover prevention

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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.

  10. 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...

  11. Membrane and MEA Development in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trogadas, Panagiotis; Ramani, Vijay

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

  12. Membrane Structure Studies by Means of Small-Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knott, R. B.

    2008-01-01

    The basic model for membrane structure--a lipid bilayer with imbedded proteins--was formulated 35 years ago, however the detailed structure is still under active investigation using a variety of physical, chemical and computational techniques. Every biologically active cell is encapsulated by a plasma membrane with most cells also equipped with an extensive intracellular membrane system. The plasma membrane is an important boundary between the cytoplasm of the cell and the external environment, and selectively isolates the cell from that environment. Passive diffusion and/or active transport mechanisms are provided for water, ions, substrates etc. which are vital for cell metabolism and viability. Membranes also facilitate excretion of substances either as useful cellular products or as waste. Despite their complexity and diverse function, plasma membranes from quite different cells have surprisingly similar compositions. A typical membrane structure consists of a phospholipid bilayer with a number of proteins scattered throughout, along with carbohydrates (glycoproteins), glycolipids and sterols. The plasma membranes of most eukaryotic cells contain approximately equal weights of lipid and protein, which corresponds to about 100 lipid molecules per protein molecule. Clearly, lipids are a major constituent and the study of their structure and function in isolation provides valuable insight into the more complex intact multicomponent membrane. The membrane bound protein is the other major constituent and is a very active area of research for a number of reasons including the fact that over 60% of modern drugs act on their receptor sites. The interaction between the protein and the supporting lipid bilayer is clearly of major importance. Neutron scattering is a powerful technique for exploring the structure of membranes, either as reconstituted membranes formed from well characterised lipids, or as intact membranes isolated from selected biological systems. A brief

  13. Isolation of a Wheat Cell Line with Altered Membrane Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erdei, László; Vigh, László; Dudits, Dénes

    1982-01-01

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

  14. MEMS-Based Fuel Reformer with Suspended Membrane Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Kuei-Sung; Tanaka, Shuji; Esashi, Masayoshi

    We report a MEMS-based fuel reformer for supplying hydrogen to micro-fuel cells for portable applications. A combustor and a reforming chamber are fabricated at either side of a suspended membrane structure. This design is used to improve the overall thermal efficiency, which is a critical issue to realize a micro-fuel reformer. The suspended membrane structure design provided good thermal isolation. The micro-heaters consumed 0.97W to maintain the reaction zone of the MEMS-based fuel reformer at 200°C, but further power saving is necessary by improving design and fabrication. The conversion rate of methanol to hydrogen was about 19% at 180°C by using evaporated copper as a reforming catalyst. The catalytic combustion of hydrogen started without any assistance of micro-heaters. By feeding the fuel mixture of an equivalence ratio of 0.35, the temperature of the suspended membrane structure was maintained stable at 100°C with a combustion efficiency of 30%. In future works, we will test a micro-fuel reformer by using a micro-combustor to supply heat.

  15. [Parotid basal cell adenoma of membranous type].

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  16. Atomic-level Analysis of Membrane Protein Structure

    OpenAIRE

    Hendrickson, Wayne A.

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are substantially more challenging than natively soluble proteins as subjects for structural analysis. Thus, membrane proteins are greatly under-represented in structural databases. Recently, as a consequence of focused attention by consortium efforts and advances in methodology, the pace has accelerated for atomic-level structure determination of membrane proteins. Enabling advances have come in methods for protein production, for crystallographic analysis, and for cryo-EM ...

  17. Membrane Purification Cell for Aluminum Recycling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David DeYoung; James Wiswall; Cong Wang

    2011-11-29

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

  18. Vesicles mimicking normal and cancer cell membranes exhibit differential responses to the cell-penetrating peptide Pep-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. A Novel Unitized Regenerative Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  2. 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. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ingermann, R.L.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prada, Ilaria; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2016-08-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

    The cell membrane, which consists of a viscous phospholipid bilayer, different kinds of proteins and various nano/micrometer-sized domains, plays a very important role in ensuring the stability of the intracellular environment and the order of cellular signal transductions. Exploring the precise cell membrane structure and detailed functions of the biomolecules in a cell membrane would be helpful to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in cell membrane signal transductions, which could further benefit research into cell biology, immunology and medicine. The detection of membrane biomolecules at the single molecule level can provide some subtle information about the molecular structure and the functions of the cell membrane. In particular, information obtained about the molecular mechanisms and other information at the single molecule level are significantly different from that detected from a large amount of biomolecules at the large-scale through traditional techniques, and can thus provide a novel perspective for the study of cell membrane structures and functions. However, the precise investigations of membrane biomolecules prompts researchers to explore cell membranes at the single molecule level by the use of in situ imaging methods, as the exact conformation and functions of biomolecules are highly controlled by the native cellular environment. Recently, the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes has attracted increasing attention from cell biologists and immunologists. The size of biomolecules and their clusters on the cell surface are set at the nanoscale, which makes it mandatory to use high- and super-resolution imaging techniques to realize the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In the past few decades, some amazing imaging techniques and instruments with super resolution have been widely developed for molecule imaging, which can also be further employed for the in situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes. In

  6. Membrane rafts of the human red blood cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciana, Annarita; Achilli, Cesare; Minetti, Giampaolo

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andoh, Yoshimichi; Okazaki, Susumu; Ueoka, Ryuichi

    2013-04-01

    Molecular dynamics (MD) calculations for the plasma membranes of normal murine thymocytes and thymus-derived leukemic GRSL cells in water have been performed under physiological isothermal-isobaric conditions (310.15K and 1 atm) to investigate changes in membrane properties induced by canceration. The model membranes used in our calculations for normal and leukemic thymocytes comprised 23 and 25 kinds of lipids, respectively, including phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, lysophospholipids, and cholesterol. The mole fractions of the lipids adopted here were based on previously published experimental values. Our calculations clearly showed that the membrane area was increased in leukemic cells, and that the isothermal area compressibility of the leukemic plasma membranes was double that of normal cells. The calculated membranes of leukemic cells were thus considerably bulkier and softer in the lateral direction compared with those of normal cells. The tilt angle of the cholesterol and the conformation of the phospholipid fatty acid tails both showed a lower level of order in leukemic cell membranes compared with normal cell membranes. The lateral radial distribution function of the lipids also showed a more disordered structure in leukemic cell membranes than in normal cell membranes. These observations all show that, for the present thymocytes, the lateral structure of the membrane is considerably disordered by canceration. Furthermore, the calculated lateral self-diffusion coefficient of the lipid molecules in leukemic cell membranes was almost double that in normal cell membranes. The calculated rotational and wobbling autocorrelation functions also indicated that the molecular motion of the lipids was enhanced in leukemic cell membranes. Thus, here we have demonstrated that the membranes of thymocyte leukemic cells are more disordered and more fluid than normal cell membranes. Copyright © 2013

  10. Shock Wave-Induced Damage and Poration in Eukaryotic Cell Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Cell membrane as a possible site of Fröhlich's coherent oscillations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blinowska, K. J.; Lech, W.; Wittlin, A.

    1985-05-01

    The microwave absorption spectra of erythrocytes and their ghosts have a resonant structure and reveal a close resemblance, indicating that the cell membrane is the primary site of Fröhlich's coherent oscillations.

  13. Paramyxovirus membrane fusion: Lessons from the F and HN atomic structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lamb, Robert A.; Paterson, Reay G.; Jardetzky, Theodore S.

    2006-01-01

    Paramyxoviruses enter cells by fusion of their lipid envelope with the target cell plasma membrane. Fusion of the viral membrane with the plasma membrane allows entry of the viral genome into the cytoplasm. For paramyxoviruses, membrane fusion occurs at neutral pH, but the trigger mechanism that controls the viral entry machinery such that it occurs at the right time and in the right place remains to be elucidated. Two viral glycoproteins are key to the infection process-an attachment protein that varies among different paramyxoviruses and the fusion (F) protein, which is found in all paramyxoviruses. For many of the paramyxoviruses (parainfluenza viruses 1-5, mumps virus, Newcastle disease virus and others), the attachment protein is the hemagglutinin/neuraminidase (HN) protein. In the last 5 years, atomic structures of paramyxovirus F and HN proteins have been reported. The knowledge gained from these structures towards understanding the mechanism of viral membrane fusion is described

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Effect of dope solution temperature on the membrane structure and membrane distillation performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nawi, N. I. M.; Bilad, M. R.; Nordin, N. A. H. M.

    2018-04-01

    Membrane distillation (MD) is a non-isothermal process applicable to purify water using hydrophobic membrane. Membrane in MD is hydrophobic, permeable to water vapor but repels liquid water. MD membrane is expected to pose high flux, high fouling and scaling resistances and most importantly high wetting resistance. This study develops flat-sheet polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane by exploring both liquid-liquid and liquid-solid phase inversion technique largely to improve its wetting resistance and flux performance. We hypothesize that temperature of dope solution play roles in solid-liquid separation during membrane formation and an optimum balance between liquid-liquid and liquid-solid (crystallization) separation leads to highly performance PVDF membrane. Findings obtained from differential scanning calorimeter test show that increasing dope solution temperature reduces degree of PVDF crystallinity and suppresses formation of crystalline structure. The morphological images of the resulting membranes show that at elevated dope solution temperature (40, 60, 80 and 100°C), the spherulite-like structures are formed across the thickness of membranes ascribed from due to different type of crystals. The performance of direct-contact MD shows that the obtained flux of the optimum dope temperature (60°C) of 10.8 L/m2h is comparable to commercial PTFE-based MD membrane.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Jimin; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Synthesis and structural characterization of a mimetic membrane-anchored prion protein

    OpenAIRE

    Hicks, M R; Gill, A C; Bath, I K; Rullay, A K; Sylvester, I D; Crout, D H; Pinheiro, T J T

    2006-01-01

    During pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) an abnormal form (PrPSc) of the host encoded prion protein (PrPC) accumulates in insoluble fibrils and plaques. The two forms of PrP appear to have identical covalent structures, but differ in secondary and tertiary structure. Both PrPC and PrPSc have glycosylphospatidylinositol (GPI) anchors through which the protein is tethered to cell membranes. Membrane attachment has been suggested to play a role in the conversion of...

  2. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Collective cell behavior on basement membranes floating in space

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  4. 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.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  6. 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...... to further improve the polymer stability and assist maintaining the membrane integrity. Upon acid doping the membrane swelling was reduced for the modified PBI and their blend membranes, which, in turn, results in enhancement of the mechanical strength, proton conductivity and high temperature fuel cell...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahreni

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Antireflective "moth-eye" structures on tunable optical silicone membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunner, Robert; Keil, Bettina; Morhard, Christoph; Lehr, Dennis; Draheim, Jan; Wallrabe, Ulrike; Spatz, Joachim

    2012-07-01

    Flexible silicone membranes are key components for tunable optical lenses. The elastic operation of the membranes impedes the use of classical layer systems for an antireflective (AR) effect. To overcome this limitation, we equipped optical elastomer membranes with "moth-eye" structures directly in the flexible silicone substrate. The manufacturing of the AR structures in the flexible membrane includes a mastering process based on block copolymer micelle nanolithography followed by a replication method. We investigate the performance of the resulting AR structures under strain of up to 20% membrane expansion. A significant transmittance enhancement of up to 2.5% is achieved over the entire visible spectrum, which means that more than half of the surface reflection losses are compensated by the AR structures.

  10. 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Spectrins: a structural platform for stabilization and activation of membrane channels, receptors and transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machnicka, Beata; Czogalla, Aleksander; Hryniewicz-Jankowska, Anita; Bogusławska, Dżamila M; Grochowalska, Renata; Heger, Elżbieta; Sikorski, Aleksander F

    2014-02-01

    This review focuses on structure and functions of spectrin as a major component of the membrane skeleton. Recent advances on spectrin function as an interface for signal transduction mediation and a number of data concerning interaction of spectrin with membrane channels, adhesion molecules, receptors and transporters draw a picture of multifaceted protein. Here, we attempted to show the current depiction of multitask role of spectrin in cell physiology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Reciprocal influences between cell cytoskeleton and membrane channels, receptors and transporters. Guest Editor: Jean Claude Hervé. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Nanoscale spin sensing in artificial cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simpson David

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Studying Membrane Protein Structure and Function Using Nanodiscs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huda, Pie

    The structure and dynamic of membrane proteins can provide valuable information about general functions, diseases and effects of various drugs. Studying membrane proteins are a challenge as an amphiphilic environment is necessary to stabilise the protein in a functionally and structurally relevant...... form. This is most typically achieved through the use of detergent based reconstitution systems. However, time and again such systems fail to provide a suitable environment causing aggregation and inactivation. Nanodiscs are self-assembled lipoproteins containing two membrane scaffold proteins...... and a lipid bilayer in defined nanometer size, which can act as a stabiliser for membrane proteins. This enables both functional and structural investigation of membrane proteins in a detergent free environment which is closer to the native situation. Understanding the self-assembly of nanodiscs is important...

  14. Roles of membrane trafficking in plant cell wall dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuo eEbine

    2015-10-01

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

  15. Modifications of the chemical structure of phenolics differentially affect physiological activities in pulvinar cells of Mimosa pudica L. II. Influence of various molecular properties in relation to membrane transport.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocher, Françoise; Roblin, Gabriel; Chollet, Jean-François

    2017-03-01

    Early prediction of compound absorption by cells is of considerable importance in the building of an integrated scheme describing the impact of a compound on intracellular biological processes. In this scope, we study the structure-activity relationships of several benzoic acid-related phenolics which are involved in many plant biological phenomena (growth, flowering, allelopathy, defense processes). Using the partial least squares (PLS) regression method, the impact of molecular descriptors that have been shown to play an important role concerning the uptake of pharmacologically active compounds by animal cells was analyzed in terms of the modification of membrane potential, variations in proton flux, and inhibition of the osmocontractile reaction of pulvinar cells of Mimosa pudica leaves. The hydrogen bond donors (HBD) and hydrogen bond acceptors (HBA), polar surface area (PSA), halogen ratio (Hal ratio), number of rotatable bonds (FRB), molar volume (MV), molecular weight (MW), and molar refractivity (MR) were considered in addition to two physicochemical properties (logD and the amount of non-dissociated form in relation to pKa). HBD + HBA and PSA predominantly impacted the three biological processes compared to the other descriptors. The coefficient of determination in the quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models indicated that a major part of the observed seismonasty inhibition and proton flux modification can be explained by the impact of these descriptors, whereas this was not the case for membrane potential variations. These results indicate that the transmembrane transport of the compounds is a predominant component. An increasing number of implicated descriptors as the biological processes become more complex may reflect their impacts on an increasing number of sites in the cell. The determination of the most efficient effectors may lead to a practical use to improve drugs in the control of microbial attacks on plants.

  16. A Cell-Cell Fusion Assay to Assess Arenavirus Envelope Glycoprotein Membrane-Fusion Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Joanne; Nunberg, Jack H

    2018-01-01

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

  17. Membrane tension and cytoskeleton organization in cell motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sens, Pierre; Plastino, Julie

    2015-07-15

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

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

  2. Three-dimensional architecture and biogenesis of membrane structures associated with hepatitis C virus replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero-Brey, Inés; Merz, Andreas; Chiramel, Abhilash; Lee, Ji-Young; Chlanda, Petr; Haselman, Uta; Santarella-Mellwig, Rachel; Habermann, Anja; Hoppe, Simone; Kallis, Stephanie; Walther, Paul; Antony, Claude; Krijnse-Locker, Jacomine; Bartenschlager, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    All positive strand RNA viruses are known to replicate their genomes in close association with intracellular membranes. In case of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), a member of the family Flaviviridae, infected cells contain accumulations of vesicles forming a membranous web (MW) that is thought to be the site of viral RNA replication. However, little is known about the biogenesis and three-dimensional structure of the MW. In this study we used a combination of immunofluorescence- and electron microscopy (EM)-based methods to analyze the membranous structures induced by HCV in infected cells. We found that the MW is derived primarily from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and contains markers of rough ER as well as markers of early and late endosomes, COP vesicles, mitochondria and lipid droplets (LDs). The main constituents of the MW are single and double membrane vesicles (DMVs). The latter predominate and the kinetic of their appearance correlates with kinetics of viral RNA replication. DMVs are induced primarily by NS5A whereas NS4B induces single membrane vesicles arguing that MW formation requires the concerted action of several HCV replicase proteins. Three-dimensional reconstructions identify DMVs as protrusions from the ER membrane into the cytosol, frequently connected to the ER membrane via a neck-like structure. In addition, late in infection multi-membrane vesicles become evident, presumably as a result of a stress-induced reaction. Thus, the morphology of the membranous rearrangements induced in HCV-infected cells resemble those of the unrelated picorna-, corona- and arteriviruses, but are clearly distinct from those of the closely related flaviviruses. These results reveal unexpected similarities between HCV and distantly related positive-strand RNA viruses presumably reflecting similarities in cellular pathways exploited by these viruses to establish their membranous replication factories.

  3. Mechanosensitivity of cell membranes. Ion channels, lipid matrix and cytoskeleton.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrov, A G; Usherwood, P N

    1994-01-01

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

  4. Review of cell performance in anion exchange membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekel, Dario R.

    2018-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Effect of Spinneret Dimension on Structure and Performance of Polyetherimide Hollow Fiber Membrane in Membrane Contactor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gholamreza Bakeri

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available In hollow fiber membrane fabrication process, a number of parameters such as dope compositions and flow rate, bore fluid type and flow rate, air gap etc. affect on the structure and characteristics of membrane. One of effective parameters is the dimension of spinneret and in this study; the effects of this parameter on the properties of polyetherimide (PEI hollow fiber membrane and its performance in membrane contactor were studied. A polymer solution was used for fabrication of two PEI membranes at the same fabrication conditions while the dimension of spinneret was different. Through the addition of water as the nonsolvent additive to the polymer solution, the thermodynamic stability of the solution decreased and upon the enhancement in the phase inversion process, the effects of chain reorientation or chain relaxation on the structure of hollow fiber membrane were minimized. The fabricated membranes were characterized by different tests and their performance in membrane contractor and in CO2 absorption test was evaluated in two cases: 1- distilled water in lumen side and pure CO2 in shell side, 2- distilled water in shell side and pure CO2 in lumen side. The results show that smaller dimension of spinneret enhances the properties of membrane such as 250% increase in mean pore size and 300% increase in gas permeation rate. In addition, the smaller dimension of the spinneret makes more pores in the structure of membrane that can be related to the shorter diffusion length of the coagulant. Furthermore, the CO2 absorption flux improves by 150%.

  7. Crosslinked wholly aromatic polyether membranes based on quinoline derivatives and their application in high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

    The use of resealed red blood cell membranes (ghosts) allows the study of the transport of a compound in a nonmetabolizing system with a biological membrane. Transmembrane movements of anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine, arachidonoylethanolamide) have been studied by exchange efflux experiments...... at 0°C and pH 7.3 with albumin-free and albumin-filled human red blood cell ghosts. The efflux kinetics is biexponential and is analyzed in terms of compartment models. The distribution of anandamide on the membrane inner to outer leaflet pools is determined to be 0.275 ± 0.023, and the rate constant...... of unidirectional flux from inside to outside is 0.361 ± 0.023 s. The rate constant of unidirectional flux from the membrane to BSA in the medium ([BSA]) increases with the square root of [BSA] in accordance with the theory of an unstirred layer around ghosts. Anandamide passed through the red blood cell membrane...

  9. High-level cell-free production of membrane proteins with nanodiscs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roos, Christian; Kai, Lei; Haberstock, Stefan; Proverbio, Davide; Ghoshdastider, Umesh; Ma, Yi; Filipek, Slawomir; Wang, Xiaoning; Dötsch, Volker; Bernhard, Frank

    2014-01-01

    This chapter addresses two major bottlenecks in cell-free membrane protein production. Firstly, we describe the optimization of expression templates for obtaining membrane proteins in preparative scales. We present details for a newly established tag variation screen providing high success rates in improving expression efficiencies while having only minimal impacts on the target protein structure. Secondly, we present protocols for the efficient co-translational insertion of membrane proteins into defined lipid bilayers. We describe the production of nanodiscs and their implementation into cell-free expression reactions for the co-translational reconstitution of membrane proteins. In addition we give guidelines for the loading of nanodiscs with different lipids in order to systematically analyze effects of lipids on the translocation, functional folding, and stability of cell-free expressed membrane proteins.

  10. 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. me...

  11. Resolving mixed mechanisms of protein subdiffusion at the T cell plasma membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golan, Yonatan; Sherman, Eilon

    2017-06-01

    The plasma membrane is a complex medium where transmembrane proteins diffuse and interact to facilitate cell function. Membrane protein mobility is affected by multiple mechanisms, including crowding, trapping, medium elasticity and structure, thus limiting our ability to distinguish them in intact cells. Here we characterize the mobility and organization of a short transmembrane protein at the plasma membrane of live T cells, using single particle tracking and photoactivated-localization microscopy. Protein mobility is highly heterogeneous, subdiffusive and ergodic-like. Using mobility characteristics, we segment individual trajectories into subpopulations with distinct Gaussian step-size distributions. Particles of low-to-medium mobility consist of clusters, diffusing in a viscoelastic and fractal-like medium and are enriched at the centre of the cell footprint. Particles of high mobility undergo weak confinement and are more evenly distributed. This study presents a methodological approach to resolve simultaneous mixed subdiffusion mechanisms acting on polydispersed samples and complex media such as cell membranes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eKlingl

    2014-11-01

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

  13. Integral membrane protein structure determination using pseudocontact shifts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

  14. 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.

  15. Analysis of a nanochanneled membrane structure through convective gas flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grattoni, Alessandro; De Rosa, Enrica; Ferrati, Silvia; Wang, Zongxing; Gianesini, Anna; Liu, Xuewu; Hussain, Fazle; Goodall, Randy; Ferrari, Mauro

    2009-11-01

    Micro- and nano-fluidic devices are under development for a variety of applications including bio-molecular separation, drug delivery, biosensing and cell transplantation. Regulatory approval for the commercialization of these products requires the ability to fabricate a large number of these devices with high reproducibility and precision. Though traditional microscopy and particle rejection characterization techniques provide extremely useful measurements of nano-features, they are expensive and inadequate for quality control purposes. In this study, an agile and non-destructive selection method is presented which combines a predictive theoretical model with experimental analysis of convective nitrogen flow to detect structural defects in complex drug delivery membranes (nDS) combining both micro- and nanochanneled features. The mathematical model developed bridges the fluid dynamics between the micro- and nano-scales. An experimental analysis of gas flow was performed on a total of 250 membranes representing five different channel size configurations. The accuracy and reliability of this test in detecting major and minor defects of various kinds were verified by comparing the experimental results with the theoretical prediction.

  16. The synthesis of recombinant membrane proteins in yeast for structural studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routledge, Sarah J; Mikaliunaite, Lina; Patel, Anjana; Clare, Michelle; Cartwright, Stephanie P; Bawa, Zharain; Wilks, Martin D B; Low, Floren; Hardy, David; Rothnie, Alice J; Bill, Roslyn M

    2016-02-15

    Historically, recombinant membrane protein production has been a major challenge meaning that many fewer membrane protein structures have been published than those of soluble proteins. However, there has been a recent, almost exponential increase in the number of membrane protein structures being deposited in the Protein Data Bank. This suggests that empirical methods are now available that can ensure the required protein supply for these difficult targets. This review focuses on methods that are available for protein production in yeast, which is an important source of recombinant eukaryotic membrane proteins. We provide an overview of approaches to optimize the expression plasmid, host cell and culture conditions, as well as the extraction and purification of functional protein for crystallization trials in preparation for structural studies. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Pyroelectricity as a possible mechanism for cell membrane permeabilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  18. A cell culture technique for human epiretinal membranes to describe cell behavior and membrane contraction in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nowak, Sarah A; Chou, Tom

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Carbon nanotube embedded PVDF membranes: Effect of solvent composition on the structural morphology for membrane distillation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mapunda, Edgar C.; Mamba, Bhekie B.; Msagati, Titus A. M.

    2017-08-01

    Rapid population increase, growth in industrial and agricultural sectors and global climate change have added significant pressure on conventional freshwater resources. Tapping freshwater from non-conventional water sources such as desalination and wastewater recycling is considered as sustainable alternative to the fundamental challenges of water scarcity. However, affordable and sustainable technologies need to be applied for the communities to benefit from the treatment of non-conventional water source. Membrane distillation is a potential desalination technology which can be used sustainably for this purpose. In this work multi-walled carbon nanotube embedded polyvinylidene fluoride membranes for application in membrane distillation desalination were prepared via non-solvent induced phase separation method. The casting solution was prepared using mixed solvents (N, N-dimethylacetamide and triethyl phosphate) at varying ratios to study the effect of solvent composition on membrane morphological structures. Membrane morphological features were studied using a number of techniques including scanning electron microscope, atomic force microscope, SAXSpace tensile strength analysis, membrane thickness, porosity and contact angle measurements. It was revealed that membrane hydrophobicity, thickness, tensile strength and surface roughness were increasing as the composition of N, N-dimethylacetamide in the solvent was increasing with maximum values obtained between 40 and 60% N, N-dimethylacetamide. Internal morphological structures were changing from cellular structures to short finger-like and sponge-like pores and finally to large macro void type of pores when the amount of N, N-dimethylacetamide in the solvent was changed from low to high respectively. Multi-walled carbon nanotube embedded polyvinylidene fluoride membranes of desired morphological structures and physical properties can be synthesized by regulating the composition of solvents used to prepare the

  1. Influenza Hemifusion Phenotype Depends on Membrane Context: Differences in Cell-Cell and Virus-Cell Fusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zawada, Katarzyna E; Okamoto, Kenta; Kasson, Peter M

    2018-03-02

    Influenza viral entry into the host cell cytoplasm is accomplished by a process of membrane fusion mediated by the viral hemagglutinin protein. Hemagglutinin acts in a pH-triggered fashion, inserting a short fusion peptide into the host membrane followed by refolding of a coiled-coil structure to draw the viral envelope and host membranes together. Mutations to this fusion peptide provide an important window into viral fusion mechanisms and protein-membrane interactions. Here, we show that a well-described fusion peptide mutant, G1S, has a phenotype that depends strongly on the viral membrane context. The G1S mutant is well known to cause a "hemifusion" phenotype based on experiments in transfected cells, where cells expressing G1S hemagglutinin can undergo lipid mixing in a pH-triggered fashion similar to virus but will not support fusion pores. We compare fusion by the G1S hemagglutinin mutant expressed either in cells or in influenza virions and show that this hemifusion phenotype occurs in transfected cells but that native virions are able to support full fusion, albeit at a slower rate and 10-100× reduced infectious titer. We explain this with a quantitative model where the G1S mutant, instead of causing an absolute block of fusion, alters the protein stoichiometry required for fusion. This change slightly slows fusion at high hemagglutinin density, as on the viral surface, but at lower hemagglutinin density produces a hemifusion phenotype. The quantitative model thus reproduces the observed virus-cell and cell-cell fusion phenotypes, yielding a unified explanation where membrane context can control the observed viral fusion phenotype. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cele, NP

    2009-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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 PTEN's regulatory C-terminal tail is displaced from the membrane and

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    To achieve high temperature operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), preferably under ambient pressure, phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane represents an effective approach, which in recent years has motivated extensive research activities with great progress....... As a critical concern, issues of long term durability of PBI based fuel cells are addressed in this talk, including oxidative degradation of the polymer, mechanical failures of the membrane, acid leaching out, corrosion of carbon support and sintering of catalysts particles. Excellent polymer durability has...

  6. Membrane orientation of droplets prepared from Chara corallina internodal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  7. 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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Radiation Interaction with Therapeutic Drugs and Cell Membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Membrane Remodelling and Vesicle Formation During Ageing of Human Red Blood Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annarita Ciana

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: A high surface-to-volume ratio and a spectrin membrane-skeleton (MS confer to the mammalian red blood cells (RBCs their characteristic deformability, mechanical strength and structural stability. During their 120 days of circulatory life in humans, RBCs decrease in size, while remaining biconcave disks, owing to a coordinated decrease in membrane surface area and cell water. It is generally believed that part of the membrane is lost with the shedding of spectrin-free vesicles of the same type that can be obtained in vitro by different treatments. If this were true, an excess of MS would arise in old RBCs, with respect to the lipid bilayer. Aim of this paper was to investigate this aspect. Methods: Quantification of spectrin by electrophoretic methods was carried out in RBCs of different age. Results: Spectrin decreases, on a per cell basis, with RBC ageing. On the other hand, the membrane raft protein marker flotillin-2, while decreasing in the membrane of old cells, was found to be strongly depleted in the membrane of in vitro-induced vesicles. Conclusion: Part of the membrane-skeleton is probably lost together with part of the lipid bilayer in a balanced way. These findings point to a mechanism for the in vivo release of membrane that is different from that which is known to occur in vitro.

  10. Membrane Remodelling and Vesicle Formation During Ageing of Human Red Blood Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciana, Annarita; Achilli, Cesare; Gaur, Anjali; Minetti, Giampaolo

    2017-01-01

    A high surface-to-volume ratio and a spectrin membrane-skeleton (MS) confer to the mammalian red blood cells (RBCs) their characteristic deformability, mechanical strength and structural stability. During their 120 days of circulatory life in humans, RBCs decrease in size, while remaining biconcave disks, owing to a coordinated decrease in membrane surface area and cell water. It is generally believed that part of the membrane is lost with the shedding of spectrin-free vesicles of the same type that can be obtained in vitro by different treatments. If this were true, an excess of MS would arise in old RBCs, with respect to the lipid bilayer. Aim of this paper was to investigate this aspect. Quantification of spectrin by electrophoretic methods was carried out in RBCs of different age. Spectrin decreases, on a per cell basis, with RBC ageing. On the other hand, the membrane raft protein marker flotillin-2, while decreasing in the membrane of old cells, was found to be strongly depleted in the membrane of in vitro-induced vesicles. Part of the membrane-skeleton is probably lost together with part of the lipid bilayer in a balanced way. These findings point to a mechanism for the in vivo release of membrane that is different from that which is known to occur in vitro. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. Membrane dynamics and interactions in measles virus dendritic cell infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. Application of Higher Density Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Pellicles to Enrich the Plasma Membrane and Its Proteome from Cells in Suspension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Rebecca L; Choksawangkarn, Waeowalee; Fenselau, Catherine

    2018-01-01

    Enrichment of the plasma membrane represents one valuable method to characterize the surfaceome, along with other plasma membrane and structural proteins. Currently, the overlapping densities of many subcellular organelles hinder enrichment of the plasma membrane by centrifugation. However, external access to the plasma membrane of intact cells allows the attachment of a nanoparticle pellicle to enhance its density and facilitate enrichment. We describe the synthesis of iron oxide nanoparticles, attachment of the pellicle to suspended cells, and recovery of plasma membrane proteins for proteomic analysis.

  14. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  16. Toughness of membranes applied in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  18. Catalytic membranes for CO oxidation in fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-08

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

  19. Staying Tight: Plasmodesmal Membrane Contact Sites and the Control of Cell-to-Cell Connectivity in Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tilsner, Jens; Nicolas, William; Rosado, Abel; Bayer, Emmanuelle M

    2016-04-29

    Multicellularity differs in plants and animals in that the cytoplasm, plasma membrane, and endomembrane of plants are connected between cells through plasmodesmal pores. Plasmodesmata (PDs) are essential for plant life and serve as conduits for the transport of proteins, small RNAs, hormones, and metabolites during developmental and defense signaling. They are also the only pathways available for viruses to spread within plant hosts. The membrane organization of PDs is unique, characterized by the close apposition of the endoplasmic reticulum and the plasma membrane and spoke-like filamentous structures linking the two membranes, which define PDs as membrane contact sites (MCSs). This specialized membrane arrangement is likely critical for PD function. Here, we review how PDs govern developmental and defensive signaling in plants, compare them with other types of MCSs, and discuss in detail the potential functional significance of the MCS nature of PDs.

  20. Transformation of membrane nanosurface of red blood cells under hemin action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlova, Elena; Chernysh, Alexander; Moroz, Victor; Gudkova, Olga; Sergunova, Victoria; Kuzovlev, Artem

    2014-08-01

    Hemin is the product of hemoglobin oxidation. Some diseases may lead to a formation of hemin. The accumulation of hemin causes destruction of red blood cells (RBC) membranes. In this study the process of development of topological defects of RBC membranes within the size range from nanoscale to microscale levels is shown. The formation of the grain-like structures in the membrane (``grains'') with typical sizes of 120-200 nm was experimentally shown. The process of formation of ``grains'' was dependent on the hemin concentration and incubation time. The possible mechanism of membrane nanostructure alterations is proposed. The kinetic equations of formation and transformation of small and medium topological defects were analyzed. This research can be used to study the cell intoxication and analyze the action of various agents on RBC membranes.

  1. Current strategies for protein production and purification enabling membrane protein structural biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Aditya; Shin, Kyungsoo; Patterson, Robin E; Liu, Xiang-Qin; Rainey, Jan K

    2016-12-01

    Membrane proteins are still heavily under-represented in the protein data bank (PDB), owing to multiple bottlenecks. The typical low abundance of membrane proteins in their natural hosts makes it necessary to overexpress these proteins either in heterologous systems or through in vitro translation/cell-free expression. Heterologous expression of proteins, in turn, leads to multiple obstacles, owing to the unpredictability of compatibility of the target protein for expression in a given host. The highly hydrophobic and (or) amphipathic nature of membrane proteins also leads to challenges in producing a homogeneous, stable, and pure sample for structural studies. Circumventing these hurdles has become possible through the introduction of novel protein production protocols; efficient protein isolation and sample preparation methods; and, improvement in hardware and software for structural characterization. Combined, these advances have made the past 10-15 years very exciting and eventful for the field of membrane protein structural biology, with an exponential growth in the number of solved membrane protein structures. In this review, we focus on both the advances and diversity of protein production and purification methods that have allowed this growth in structural knowledge of membrane proteins through X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

  2. 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.

  3. Infrared spectroscopic study of photoreceptor membrane and purple membrane. Protein secondary structure and hydrogen deuterium exchange

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Downer, N.W.; Bruchman, T.J.; Hazzard, J.H.

    1986-01-01

    Infrared spectroscopy in the interval from 1800 to 1300 cm-1 has been used to investigate the secondary structure and the hydrogen/deuterium exchange behavior of bacteriorhodopsin and bovine rhodopsin in their respective native membranes. The amide I' and amide II' regions from spectra of membrane suspensions in D2O were decomposed into constituent bands by use of a curve-fitting procedure. The amide I' bands could be fit with a minimum of three theoretical components having peak positions at 1664, 1638, and 1625 cm-1 for bacteriorhodopsin and 1657, 1639, and 1625 cm-1 for rhodopsin. For both of these membrane proteins, the amide I' spectrum suggests that alpha-helix is the predominant form of peptide chain secondary structure, but that a substantial amount of beta-sheet conformation is present as well. The shape of the amide I' band was pH-sensitive for photoreceptor membranes, but not for purple membrane, indicating that membrane-bound rhodopsin undergoes a conformation change at acidic pH. Peptide hydrogen exchange of bacteriorhodopsin and rhodopsin was monitored by observing the change in the ratio of integrated absorbance (Aamide II'/Aamide I') during the interval from 1.5 to 25 h after membranes were introduced into buffered D2O. The fraction of peptide groups in a very slowly exchanging secondary structure was estimated to be 0.71 for bacteriorhodopsin at pD 7. The corresponding fraction in vertebrate rhodopsin was estimated to be less than or equal to 0.60. These findings are discussed in relationship to previous studies of hydrogen exchange behavior and to structural models for both proteins

  4. Increasing the Performance of Vacuum Membrane Distillation Using Micro-Structured Hydrophobic Aluminum Hollow Fiber Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Chieh Ko

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available This study develops a micro-structured hydrophobic alumina hollow fiber with a high permeate flux of 60 Lm−2h−1 and salt rejection over 99.9% in a vacuum membrane distillation process. The fiber is fabricated by phase inversion and sintering, and then modified with fluoroalkylsilanes to render it hydrophobic. The influence of the sintering temperature and feeding temperature in membrane distillation (MD on the characteristics of the fiber and MD performance are investigated. The vacuum membrane distillation uses 3.5 wt % NaCl aqueous solution at 70 °C at 0.03 bar. The permeate flux of 60 Lm−2h−1 is the highest, compared with reported data and is higher than that for polymeric hollow fiber membranes.

  5. 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

    2014-01-01

    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. Here we present a method for detecting membrane interactive proteins and their exposed residues that insert into lipid bilayers. Although the development process involved analysis of how C1b, C2, ENTH, FYVE, Gla, pleckstrin homology (PH) and PX domains bind membranes, the resulting Membrane Optimal Docking Area (MODA) method yields predictions for a given protein of known three dimensional structures without referring to canonical membrane-targeting modules. This approach was tested on the Arf1 GTPase, ATF2 acetyltransferase, von Willebrand factor A3 domain and Neisseria gonorrhoeae MsrB protein, and further refined with membrane interactive and non-interactive FAPP1 and PKD1 pleckstrin homology domains, respectively. Furthermore we demonstrate how this tool can be used to discover unprecedented membrane binding functions as illustrated by the Bro1 domain of Alix, which was revealed to recognize lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA). Validation of novel membrane-protein interactions relies on other techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) which was used here to map the sites of micelle interaction. Together this indicates that genome-wide identification of known and novel membrane interactive proteins and sites is now feasible, and provides a new tool for functional annotation of the proteome. PMID:25394204

  6. Selectivity of biopolymer membranes using HepG2 cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gábor Balogh

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

  9. Two novel approaches targeting cancer cell membrane for tumor therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    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...

  11. 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

  12. Novel Membrane for Highly Efficient Fuel Cells, Phase I

    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...

  13. Nafion-based nanocomposite membranes for fuel cells

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Cele, NP

    2008-11-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Cell membrane-inspired phospholipid polymers for developing medical devices with excellent biointerfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasuhiko Iwasaki

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This review article describes fundamental aspects of cell membrane-inspired phospholipid polymers and their usefulness in the development of medical devices. Since the early 1990s, polymers composed of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC units have been considered in the preparation of biomaterials. MPC polymers can provide an artificial cell membrane structure at the surface and serve as excellent biointerfaces between artificial and biological systems. They have also been applied in the surface modification of some medical devices including long-term implantable artificial organs. An MPC polymer biointerface can suppress unfavorable biological reactions such as protein adsorption and cell adhesion – in other words, specific biomolecules immobilized on an MPC polymer surface retain their original functions. MPC polymers are also being increasingly used for creating biointerfaces with artificial cell membrane structures.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. Optimisation of polypyrrole/Nafion composite membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Jun; Sattler, Rita R.; Garsuch, Arnd; Yepez, Omar; Pickup, Peter G.

    2006-01-01

    Acidic and neutral Nafion[reg] 115 perfluorosulphonate membranes have been modified by in situ polymerization of pyrrole using Fe(III) and H 2 O 2 as oxidizing agents, in order to decrease methanol crossover in direct methanol fuel cells. Improved selectivities for proton over methanol transport and improved fuel cell performances were only obtained with membranes that were modified while in the acid form. Use of Fe(III) as the oxidizing agent can produce a large decrease in methanol crossover, but causes polypyrrole deposition on the surface of the membrane. This increases the resistance of the membrane, and leads to poor fuel cell performances due to poor bonding with the electrodes. Surface polypyrrole deposition can be minimized, and surface polypyrrole can be removed, by using H 2 O 2 . The use of Nafion in its tetrabutylammonium form leads to very low methanol permeabilities, and appears to offer potential for manipulating the location of polypyrrole within the Nafion structure

  4. 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.

  5. Mouse endometrial stromal cells produce basement-membrane components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  6. Catalyst layers for proton exchange membrane fuel cells prepared by electrospray deposition on Nafion membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  7. Sensibilization of escherichia coli cells by cholesterol incorporated into their membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breslev, S.E.; Rozenberg, O.A.; Noskin, L.A.; Stepanova, I.M.; Beketova, A.G.; Loshakova, L.V.; Kovaleva, I.G.

    1984-01-01

    It has been established earlier that a level of cell radiosensitivity is defined by membrane viscosity changing in a wide temperature range. Therefore in epsilon coli cells of a natural type lethal doses of gamma rays are increased approximately a 3.5 times at 45 deg C, as compared to 4 deg C. Cholesterol changing a phase state of membrane lipids was used as a modifying factor. Liposomes were used with the goal of effective bacteria transfer to a membrane. It is established that liposomes without cholesterol do not affect their radioresistance and an increase of its content leads to resistance decrease. The effect is attained only at a sufficient long time of incubation of cells with liposomes (10-16 h). At 4 deg C lipids of E. coli membrane are in a solid-crystalline state independently on pholesterol presence, because of this, radiosensitivity does not change. Temperature increase up to 45 deg C transfer a part of lipids to a liquid-crystalline state, thus decreasing membrane viscosity. In this case cholesterol manifests itself. The authors explain viscosity increase with a violation in functioning of those enzyme systems, which activity is connected with membrane structural state, including enzymes of DNA repair. The authors assume that the radiosensibilization effect of cholesterol introduction into a bacterial membrane in high-temperature cell irradiation is explained by this phenomenon

  8. Neutron scattering to study membrane systems: from lipid vesicles to living cells.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nickels, Jonathan D. [ORNL; Chatterjee, Sneha [ORNL; Stanley, Christopher B. [ORNL; Qian, Shuo [ORNL; Cheng, Xiaolin [ORNL; Myles, Dean A A [ORNL; Standaert, Robert F. [ORNL; Elkins, James G. [ORNL; Katsaras, John [ORNL

    2017-03-01

    The existence and role of lateral lipid organization in biological membranes has been studied and contested for more than 30 years. Lipid domains, or rafts, are hypothesized as scalable compartments in biological membranes, providing appropriate physical environments to their resident membrane proteins. This implies that lateral lipid organization is associated with a range of biological functions, such as protein co-localization, membrane trafficking, and cell signaling, to name just a few. Neutron scattering techniques have proven to be an excellent tool to investigate these structural features in model lipids, and more recently, in living cells. I will discuss our recent work using neutrons to probe the structure and mechanical properties in model lipid systems and our current efforts in using neutrons to probe the structure and organization of the bilayer in a living cell. These efforts in living cells have used genetic and biochemical strategies to generate a large neutron scattering contrast, making the membrane visible. I will present our results showing in vivo bilayer structure and discuss the outlook for this approach.

  9. Super-resolution optical microscopy for studying membrane structure and dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sezgin, Erdinc

    2017-07-12

    Investigation of cell membrane structure and dynamics requires high spatial and temporal resolution. The spatial resolution of conventional light microscopy is limited due to the diffraction of light. However, recent developments in microscopy enabled us to access the nano-scale regime spatially, thus to elucidate the nanoscopic structures in the cellular membranes. In this review, we will explain the resolution limit, address the working principles of the most commonly used super-resolution microscopy techniques and summarise their recent applications in the biomembrane field.

  10. Structural characterization combined with the first principles simulations of barium/strontium cobaltite/ferrite as promising material for solid oxide fuel cells cathodes and high-temperature oxygen permeation membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangopadhayay, Shruba; Inerbaev, Talgat; Masunov, Artëm E; Altilio, Deanna; Orlovskaya, Nina

    2009-07-01

    Mixed ionic-electronic conducting perovskite type oxides with a general formula ABO(3) (where A = Ba, Sr, Ca and B = Co, Fe, Mn) often have high mobility of the oxygen vacancies and exhibit strong ionic conductivity. They are key materials that find use in several energy related applications, including solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), sensors, oxygen separation membranes, and catalysts. Barium/strontium cobaltite/ferrite (BSCF) Ba(0.5)Sr(0.5)Co(0.8)Fe(0.2)O(3-delta) was recently identified as a promising candidate for cathode material in intermediate temperature SOFCs. In this work, we perform experimental and theoretical study of the local atomic structure of BSFC. Micro-Raman spectroscopy was performed to characterize the vibrational properties of BSCF. The Jahn-Teller distortion of octahedral coordination around Co(4+) cations was observed experimentally and explained theoretically. Different cations and oxygen vacancies ordering are examined using plane wave pseudopotential density functional theory. We find that cations are completely disordered, whereas oxygen vacancies exhibit a strong trend for aggregation in L-shaped trimer and square tetramer structure. On the basis of our results, we suggest a new explanation for BSCF phase stability. Instead of linear vacancy ordering, which must take place before the phase transition into brownmillerite structure, the oxygen vacancies in BSCF prefer to form the finite clusters and preserve the disordered cubic structure. This structural feature could be found only in the first-principles simulations and can not be explained by the effect of the ionic radii alone.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harper, Jeffrey F.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeffrey F. Harper, Ph.D.

    2004-06-30

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Pulse radiolysis studies of model membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heijman, M.G.J.

    1984-01-01

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

  19. Probing water structure and transport in proton exchange membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ling, X.

    2018-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have attracted tremendous attention as alternative energy sources because of their high energy density and practically zero greenhouse gas emission - water is their only direct by-product. Critical to the function of PEMFCs is fast proton and water

  20. 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

  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. Durability and degradation analysis of hydrocarbon ionomer membranes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells accelerated stress evaluation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Ryo; Tsuji, Junichi; Sato, Nobuyuki; Takano, Jun; Itami, Shunsuke; Kusakabe, Masato; Miyatake, Kenji; Iiyama, Akihiro; Uchida, Makoto

    2017-11-01

    The chemical durabilities of two proton-conducting hydrocarbon polymer electrolyte membranes, sulfonated benzophenone poly(arylene ether ketone) (SPK) semiblock copolymer and sulfonated phenylene poly(arylene ether ketone) (SPP) semiblock copolymer are evaluated under accelerated open circuit voltage (OCV) conditions in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC). Post-test characterization of the membrane electrodes assemblies (MEAs) is carried out via gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. These results are compared with those of the initial MEAs. The SPP cell shows the highest OCV at 1000 h, and, in the post-test analysis, the SPP membrane retains up to 80% of the original molecular weight, based on the GPC results, and 90% of the hydrophilic structure, based on the NMR results. The hydrophilic structure of the SPP membrane is more stable after the durability evaluation than that of the SPK. From these results, the SPP membrane, with its simple hydrophilic structure, which does not include ketone groups, is seen to be significantly more resistant to radical attack. This structure leads to high chemical durability and thus impedes the chemical decomposition of the membrane.

  3. Structural Insights into the Yersinia pestis Outer Membrane Protein Ail in Lipid Bilayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Samit Kumar; Yao, Yong; Marassi, Francesca M

    2017-08-17

    Yersinia pestis the causative agent of plague, is highly pathogenic and poses very high risk to public health. The outer membrane protein Ail (Adhesion invasion locus) is one of the most highly expressed proteins on the cell surface of Y. pestis, and a major target for the development of medical countermeasures. Ail is essential for microbial virulence and is critical for promoting the survival of Y. pestis in serum. Structures of Ail have been determined by X-ray diffraction and solution NMR spectroscopy, but the protein's activity is influenced by the detergents in these samples, underscoring the importance of the surrounding environment for structure-activity studies. Here we describe the backbone structure of Ail, determined in lipid bilayer nanodiscs, using solution NMR spectroscopy. We also present solid-state NMR data obtained for Ail in membranes containing lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a major component of the bacterial outer membranes. The protein in lipid bilayers, adopts the same eight-stranded β-barrel fold observed in the crystalline and micellar states. The membrane composition, however, appears to have a marked effect on protein dynamics, with LPS enhancing conformational order and slowing down the 15 N transverse relaxation rate. The results provide information about the way in which an outer membrane protein inserts and functions in the bacterial membrane.

  4. Dendronized Polymer Architectures for Fuel Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. The lipid organisation of the cell membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ladha, S.

    2000-04-01

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

  6. Structural adaptations of proteins to different biological membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pogozheva, Irina D.; Tristram-Nagle, Stephanie; Mosberg, Henry I.; Lomize, Andrei L.

    2013-01-01

    To gain insight into adaptations of proteins to their membranes, intrinsic hydrophobic thicknesses, distributions of different chemical groups and profiles of hydrogen-bonding capacities (α and β) and the dipolarity/polarizability parameter (π*) were calculated for lipid-facing surfaces of 460 integral α-helical, β-barrel and peripheral proteins from eight types of biomembranes. For comparison, polarity profiles were also calculated for ten artificial lipid bilayers that have been previously studied by neutron and X-ray scattering. Estimated hydrophobic thicknesses are 30-31 Å for proteins from endoplasmic reticulum, thylakoid, and various bacterial plasma membranes, but differ for proteins from outer bacterial, inner mitochondrial and eukaryotic plasma membranes (23.9, 28.6 and 33.5 Å, respectively). Protein and lipid polarity parameters abruptly change in the lipid carbonyl zone that matches the calculated hydrophobic boundaries. Maxima of positively charged protein groups correspond to the location of lipid phosphates at 20-22 Å distances from the membrane center. Locations of Tyr atoms coincide with hydrophobic boundaries, while distributions maxima of Trp rings are shifted by 3-4 Å toward the membrane center. Distributions of Trp atoms indicate the presence of two 5-8 Å-wide midpolar regions with intermediate π* values within the hydrocarbon core, whose size and symmetry depend on the lipid composition of membrane leaflets. Midpolar regions are especially asymmetric in outer bacterial membranes and cell membranes of mesophilic but not hyperthermophilic archaebacteria, indicating the larger width of the central nonpolar region in the later case. In artificial lipid bilayers, midpolar regions are observed up to the level of acyl chain double bonds. PMID:23811361

  7. Polyunsaturation in cell membranes and lipid bilayers and its effects on membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-03-01

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

  8. Plasma membrane--cortical cytoskeleton interactions: a cell biology approach with biophysical considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapus, András; Janmey, Paul

    2013-07-01

    From a biophysical standpoint, the interface between the cell membrane and the cytoskeleton is an intriguing site where a "two-dimensional fluid" interacts with an exceedingly complex three-dimensional protein meshwork. The membrane is a key regulator of the cytoskeleton, which not only provides docking sites for cytoskeletal elements through transmembrane proteins, lipid binding-based, and electrostatic interactions, but also serves as the source of the signaling events and molecules that control cytoskeletal organization and remolding. Conversely, the cytoskeleton is a key determinant of the biophysical and biochemical properties of the membrane, including its shape, tension, movement, composition, as well as the mobility, partitioning, and recycling of its constituents. From a cell biological standpoint, the membrane-cytoskeleton interplay underlies--as a central executor and/or regulator--a multitude of complex processes including chemical and mechanical signal transduction, motility/migration, endo-/exo-/phagocytosis, and other forms of membrane traffic, cell-cell, and cell-matrix adhesion. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the tight structural and functional coupling between the membrane and the cytoskeleton. As biophysical approaches, both theoretical and experimental, proved to be instrumental for our understanding of the membrane/cytoskeleton interplay, this review will "oscillate" between the cell biological phenomena and the corresponding biophysical principles and considerations. After describing the types of connections between the membrane and the cytoskeleton, we will focus on a few key physical parameters and processes (force generation, curvature, tension, and surface charge) and will discuss how these contribute to a variety of fundamental cell biological functions. © 2013 American Physiological Society.

  9. 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.

  10. Novel fluoropolymer anion exchange membranes for alkaline direct methanol fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanmei; Fang, Jun; Wu, Yongbin; Xu, Hankun; Chi, Xianjun; Li, Wei; Yang, Yixu; Yan, Ge; Zhuang, Yongze

    2012-09-01

    A series of novel fluoropolymer anion exchange membranes based on the copolymer of vinylbenzyl chloride, butyl methacrylate, and hexafluorobutyl methacrylate has been prepared. Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy and elemental analysis techniques are used to study the chemical structure and chemical composition of the membranes. The water uptake, ion-exchange capacity (IEC), conductivity, methanol permeability, and chemical stability of the membranes are also determined. The membranes exhibit high anionic conductivity in deionized water at 65 °C ranging from 3.86×10(-2) S cm(-1) to 4.36×10(-2) S cm(-1). The methanol permeability coefficients of the membranes are in the range of 4.21-5.80×10(-8) cm(2) s(-1) at 65 °C. The novel membranes also show good chemical and thermal stability. An open-circuit voltage of 0.7 V and a maximum power density of 53.2 mW cm(-2) of alkaline direct methanol fuel cell (ADMFC) with the membrane C, 1 M methanol, 1 M NaOH, and humidified oxygen are achieved at 65 °C. Therefore, these membranes have great potential for applications in fuel cell systems. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Tritium labelling of a cholesterol amphiphile designed for cell membrane anchoring of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Enhancement of the Computational Efficiency of Membrane Computing Models

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Das, Digendra K

    2007-01-01

    .... Membrane computing consists of cell-like membranes placed inside a unique skin membrane. In regions delimited by a membrane structure, cells are placed in multisets of objects which evolve according to evolution rules associated with the regions...

  14. Structure and membrane organization of photosystem II in green plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hankamer, B; Barber, J; Boekema, EJ

    1997-01-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) is the pigment protein complex embedded in the thylakoid membrane of higher plants, algae, and cyanobacteria that uses solar energy to drive the photosynthetic water-splitting reaction. This chapter reviews the primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures of PSII as

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    specific properties and detailing. CNC knitting with high tenacity yarn enables this practice and offers an alternative to current woven membranes. The design and fabrication of an 8m high fabric tower through an interdisciplinary team of architects, structural and textile engineers, allowed to investigate...

  16. 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...... had a higher content of proteins and a lower level of carbohydrates. Staining analyses revealed that the EPS in the stronger biofilm regions had hydrophilic nature and distributed around dense microbial aggregates, whereas it was homogeneously distributed in the weaker strata. Overall, the obtained...

  17. Polybenzimidazole/Mxene composite membranes for intermediate temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  18. 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. © 2011 American Chemical Society

  19. Water-Free Proton-Conducting Membranes for Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanan, Sekharipuram; Yen, Shiao-Pin

    2007-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Adrenal Chromaffin Cells Exposed to 5-ns Pulses Require Higher Electric Fields to Porate Intracellular Membranes than the Plasma Membrane: An Experimental and Modeling Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaklit, Josette; Craviso, Gale L; Leblanc, Normand; Yang, Lisha; Vernier, P Thomas; Chatterjee, Indira

    2017-10-01

    Nanosecond-duration electric pulses (NEPs) can permeabilize the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), causing release of Ca 2+ into the cytoplasm. This study used experimentation coupled with numerical modeling to understand the lack of Ca 2+ mobilization from Ca 2+ -storing organelles in catecholamine-secreting adrenal chromaffin cells exposed to 5-ns pulses. Fluorescence imaging determined a threshold electric (E) field of 8 MV/m for mobilizing intracellular Ca 2+ whereas whole-cell recordings of membrane conductance determined a threshold E-field of 3 MV/m for causing plasma membrane permeabilization. In contrast, a 2D numerical model of a chromaffin cell, which was constructed with internal structures representing a nucleus, mitochondrion, ER, and secretory granule, predicted that exposing the cell to the same 5-ns pulse electroporated the plasma and ER membranes at the same E-field amplitude, 3-4 MV/m. Agreement of the numerical simulations with the experimental results was obtained only when the ER interior conductivity was 30-fold lower than that of the cytoplasm and the ER membrane permittivity was twice that of the plasma membrane. A more realistic intracellular geometry for chromaffin cells in which structures representing multiple secretory granules and an ER showed slight differences in the thresholds necessary to porate the membranes of the secretory granules. We conclude that more sophisticated cell models together with knowledge of accurate dielectric properties are needed to understand the effects of NEPs on intracellular membranes in chromaffin cells, information that will be important for elucidating how NEPs porate organelle membranes in other cell types having a similarly complex cytoplasmic ultrastructure.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. Polyarylenethioethersulfone Membranes for Fuel Cells (Postprint)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Mouse endometrial stromal cells produce basement-membrane components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yildirim, M.H.

    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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  11. The influence of platelet membranes on tumour cell behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolsoum Pourzare

    2016-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Numerical modeling transport phenomena in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suh, DongMyung

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jimin; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24725935

  16. Electrospun PCL/gelatin composite nanofiber structures for effective guided bone regeneration membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Ke; Wang, Yi; Sun, Tao; Yue, Wen; Zhang, Hongyu

    2017-09-01

    Guided bone regeneration (GBR) membranes have been proved of great benefit for bone tissue engineering due to the improvement of cell attachment and proliferation. To develop GBR membranes with better biocompatibility and more proper degradation ability, here we fabricated polycaprolactone (PCL, polymer)/gelatin (protein) hybrid nanofibrous GBR membranes via electrospinning, followed by crosslinking with genipin. Acetic acid (HAc) was utilized to resolve the phase separation of PCL and gelatin, therefore homogeneous PCL/gelatin hybrid nanofibers with different ratios were successfully prepared. FTIR, XPS, TGA, DSC results proved that the proportion of PCL and gelatin in the as-spun nanofiber membranes could be simply adjusted by changing the weight ratio of PCL and gelatin in the spinning solution. SEM and AFM images demonstrated that all the nanofibers possessed uniform and smooth structures both in two dimension (2D) and three dimension (3D). The mechanical tests showed that these nanofibers exhibited appropriate tensile and strength properties, which were suitable for bone tissue engineering. CCK-8 and SEM images revealed that all the membranes were biocompatible to MC3T3-e1 cells. In addition, the in vitro osteogenesis characterizations, alizarin red in normal medium and osteogenesis medium, indicated that the nanofibers could promote bone formation. Therefore, all these results could suggest that our design of electrospun polymer/protein nanofiber membranes was effective for guided bone regeneration. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gelare Hajsalimi

    2016-12-01

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

  18. Revealing the membrane-bound structure of neurokinin A using neutron diffraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darkes, Malcolm J. M.; Hauss, Thomas; Dante, Silvia; Bradshaw, Jeremy P.

    2000-03-01

    Neurokinin A (or substance K) belongs to the tachykinin family, a group of small amphipathic peptides that bind to specific membrane-embedded, G-protein coupled receptors. The agonist/receptor complex is quaternary in nature because the receptor binding sites are thought to be located within the lipid bilayer and because the role of water cannot be ignored. The cell membrane acts as a solvent to accumulate peptide and an inducer of peptide secondary structure. The three-dimensional shape that the peptide assumes when associated to the cell membrane will be an important parameter with regards to the receptor selectivity and affinity. Neutron diffraction measurements were carried out in order to define the location of the N-terminus of the peptide in synthetic phospholipid multi-bilayer stacks.

  19. 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

    confirmed by the post TEM and XRD analysis. A strong dependence of the fuel cell performance degradation on the catalyst supports was observed. Graphitization of the carbon blacks improved the stability and catalyst durability though at the expense of a significant decrease in the specific surface area......Degradation of carbon supported platinum catalysts is a major failure mode for the long term durability of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells based on phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes. With Vulcan carbon black as a reference, thermally treated carbon black...... and multi‐walled carbon nanotubes were used as supports for electrode catalysts and evaluated in accelerated durability tests under potential cycling at 150 °C. Measurements of open circuit voltage, area specific resistance and hydrogen permeation through the membrane were carried out, indicating little...

  20. Probing chemistry within the membrane structure of wood with soft X-ray spectral microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cody, George D.

    2000-01-01

    Scanning Transmission Soft X-ray spectral microscopy on Carbon's 1s absorption edge reveals the distribution of structural biopolymers within cell membrane regions of modern cedar and oak. Cellulose is extremely susceptible to beam damage. Spectroscopic studies of beam damage reveals that the chemical changes resulting from secondary electron impact may be highly selective and is consistent with hydroxyl eliminations and structural rearrangement of pyranose rings in alpha-cellulose to hydroxyl substituted γ pyrones. A study of acetylated cellulose demonstrates significantly different chemistry; principally massive decarboxylation. Defocusing the beam to a 2 μm spot size allows for the acquisition of 'pristine' cellulose spectra. Spectral deconvolution is used to assess the distribution of lignin and cellulose in the different regions of the cell membrane. Using the intensity of the hydroxylated aromatic carbons 1s-π * transition, the ratio of coniferyl and syringyl based lignin within the middle lamellae and secondary cell wall of oak, an angiosperm can be determined

  1. Structure and interaction with lipid membrane models of Semliki Forest virus fusion peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agopian, A; Quetin, M; Castano, S

    2016-11-01

    Semliki Forest virus (SFV) is a well-characterized alphavirus that infects cells via endocytosis and an acid-triggered fusion step using class II fusion proteins. Membrane fusion is mediated by the viral spike protein, a heterotrimer of two transmembrane subunits, E1 and E2, and a peripheral protein, E3. Sequence analysis of the E1 ectodomain of a number of alphaviruses demonstrated the presence of a highly conserved hydrophobic domain on the E1 ectodomain. This sequence was proposed to be the fusion peptide of SFV and is believed to be the domain of E1 that interacts with the target membrane and triggers fusion. Here, we investigate the structure and the interaction with lipid membrane models of 76 YQCKVYTGVYPFMWGGAYCFC 96 sequence from SFV, named SFV21, using optical method (ellipsometry) and vibrational spectroscopiy approaches (Polarization Modulation infra-Red Reflection Absorption Spectroscopy, PMIRRAS, and polarized ATR-FTIR). We demonstrate a structural flexibility of SFV21 sequence whether the lateral pressure and the lipid environment. In a lipid environment that mimics eukaryotic cell membranes, a conformational transition from an α-helix to a β-sheet is induced in the presence of lipid by increasing the peptide to lipid ratio, which leads to important perturbations in the membrane organisation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Structural basis for catalysis at the membrane-water interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufrisne, Meagan Belcher; Petrou, Vasileios I; Clarke, Oliver B; Mancia, Filippo

    2017-11-01

    The membrane-water interface forms a uniquely heterogeneous and geometrically constrained environment for enzymatic catalysis. Integral membrane enzymes sample three environments - the uniformly hydrophobic interior of the membrane, the aqueous extramembrane region, and the fuzzy, amphipathic interfacial region formed by the tightly packed headgroups of the components of the lipid bilayer. Depending on the nature of the substrates and the location of the site of chemical modification, catalysis may occur in each of these environments. The availability of structural information for alpha-helical enzyme families from each of these classes, as well as several beta-barrel enzymes from the bacterial outer membrane, has allowed us to review here the different ways in which each enzyme fold has adapted to the nature of the substrates, products, and the unique environment of the membrane. Our focus here is on enzymes that process lipidic substrates. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Bacterial Lipids edited by Russell E. Bishop. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

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

    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...

  5. Importance of balancing membrane and electrode water in anion exchange membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    Fuel cells are getting growing interest in both backup systems and electric vehicles. Although these systems are characterized by long periods of inactivity, they must be able to start at any instant in the shortest time. However, the membrane of which PEMFCs are made tends to dry out when not in...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. A monolithic silicon-based membrane-electrode assembly for micro fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzova, V. A.; Merkushev, F. F.; Semenova, O. V.

    2017-08-01

    We report the basic possibility of creating a micro fuel cell (MFC) with a monolithic silicon-based membrane-electrode assembly (MEA), which employs a porous three-layer framework structure manufactured by two-sided anodic etching of a 500-μm-thick silicon wafer. A technology of MEAs for MFCs is described.

  9. Characterization of proton exchange membrane fuel cell anode catalysts prepared by colloid method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franco, E.G.; Dantas-Filho, P.L.; Burani, G.F. [Universidade de Sao Paulo (IEE/USP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Instituto de Eletrotecnica e Energia

    2009-07-01

    Full text: Anode catalysts for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) were synthesized by the colloid method and their structure was investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy dispersive analyses (EDS), X-ray Diffraction (XRD). The electrochemical behavior of the anode catalyst was analyzed by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and polarization curves (UxI). (author)

  10. 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

  11. Nanofiber Composite Membranes for Alkaline Fuel Cells: Generation of Compositional, Morphological, and Functional Property Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

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

  12. 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.

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22387460

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Novel niobium carbide/carbon porous nanotube electrocatalyst supports for proton exchange membrane fuel cell cathodes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  16. Quantifying pulsed electric field-induced membrane nanoporation in single cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Erick K; Ibey, Bennett L; Beier, Hope T; Armani, Andrea M

    2016-11-01

    Plasma membrane disruption can trigger a host of cellular activities. One commonly observed type of disruption is pore formation. Molecular dynamic (MD) simulations of simplified lipid membrane structures predict that controllably disrupting the membrane via nano-scale poration may be possible with nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF). Until recently, researchers hoping to verify this hypothesis experimentally have been limited to measuring the relatively slow process of fluorescent markers diffusing across the membrane, which is indirect evidence of nanoporation that could be channel-mediated. Leveraging recent advances in nonlinear optical microscopy, we elucidate the role of pulse parameters in nsPEF-induced membrane permeabilization in live cells. Unlike previous techniques, it is able to directly observe loss of membrane order at the onset of the pulse. We also develop a complementary theoretical model that relates increasing membrane permeabilization to membrane pore density. Due to the significantly improved spatial and temporal resolution possible with our imaging method, we are able to directly compare our experimental and theoretical results. Their agreement provides substantial evidence that nanoporation does occur and that its development is dictated by the electric field distribution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-06-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Cody Westcott

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

  20. A direct borohydride fuel cell with a polymer fiber membrane and non-noble metal catalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaodong; Liu, Yongning; Li, Sai; Wei, Xiaozhu; Wang, Li; Chen, Yuanzhen

    2012-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) and Pt-based catalysts are two crucial components which determine the properties and price of fuel cells. Even though, PEM faces problem of fuel crossover in liquid fuel cells such as direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC), which lowers power output greatly. Here, we report a DBFC in which a polymer fiber membrane (PFM) was used, and metal oxides, such as LaNiO₃ and MnO₂, were used as cathode catalysts, meanwhile CoO was used as anode catalyst. Peak power density of 663 mW·cm⁻² has been achieved at 65°C, which increases by a factor of 1.7-3.7 compared with classic DBFCs. This fuel cell structure can also be extended to other liquid fuel cells, such as DMFC.

  1. A direct borohydride fuel cell with a polymer fiber membrane and non-noble metal catalysts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaodong; Liu, Yongning; Li, Sai; Wei, Xiaozhu; Wang, Li; Chen, Yuanzhen

    2012-08-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) and Pt-based catalysts are two crucial components which determine the properties and price of fuel cells. Even though, PEM faces problem of fuel crossover in liquid fuel cells such as direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC), which lowers power output greatly. Here, we report a DBFC in which a polymer fiber membrane (PFM) was used, and metal oxides, such as LaNiO3 and MnO2, were used as cathode catalysts, meanwhile CoO was used as anode catalyst. Peak power density of 663 mW.cm-2 has been achieved at 65°C, which increases by a factor of 1.7-3.7 compared with classic DBFCs. This fuel cell structure can also be extended to other liquid fuel cells, such as DMFC.

  2. A direct borohydride fuel cell with a polymer fiber membrane and non-noble metal catalysts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaodong; Liu, Yongning; Li, Sai; Wei, Xiaozhu; Wang, Li; Chen, Yuanzhen

    2012-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) and Pt-based catalysts are two crucial components which determine the properties and price of fuel cells. Even though, PEM faces problem of fuel crossover in liquid fuel cells such as direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC), which lowers power output greatly. Here, we report a DBFC in which a polymer fiber membrane (PFM) was used, and metal oxides, such as LaNiO3 and MnO2, were used as cathode catalysts, meanwhile CoO was used as anode catalyst. Peak power density of 663 mW·cm−2 has been achieved at 65°C, which increases by a factor of 1.7–3.7 compared with classic DBFCs. This fuel cell structure can also be extended to other liquid fuel cells, such as DMFC. PMID:22880160

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...... 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...

  7. Increasingly transformed MCF-10A cells have a progressively tumor-like phenotype in three-dimensional basement membrane culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imbalzano, Karen M; Tatarkova, Iva; Imbalzano, Anthony N; Nickerson, Jeffrey A

    2009-03-16

    MCF-10A cells are near diploid and normal human mammary epithelial cells. In three-dimensional reconstituted basement membrane culture, they undergo a well-defined program of proliferation, differentiation, and growth arrest, forming acinar structures that recapitulate many aspects of mammary architecture in vivo. The pre-malignant MCF-10AT cells and malignant MCF-10CA1a lines were sequentially derived from the MCF-10A parental cell line first by expression of a constitutively active T24 H-Ras generating the MCF-10AT cell line. This was followed by repeated selection for increasingly aggressive tumor formation from cells recovered from xenograft tumors in immuno-compromised mice, generating the MCF-10CA1a cell line. When inoculated subcutaneously into the flanks of immuno-compromised mice, MCF-10AT cells occasionally form tumors, whereas MCF-10CA1a cells invariably form tumors with a shorter latency than MCF-10AT derived tumors. MCF-10AT cells grown in three-dimensional basement membrane culture form complex multi-acinar structures that produce a basement membrane but undergo delayed cell cycle arrest and have incomplete luminal development. MCF-10CA1a cells grown in three-dimensional basement membrane culture form large, hyper-proliferative masses, that retain few characteristics of MCF10A acini and more closely resemble tumors. Here we report on the growth and differentiation properties of these three matched cell lines in three-dimensional basement membrane culture. Features of tissue morphogenesis were assessed, including proliferation, basement membrane formation, polarization of alpha-6 beta-4 integrin to the basement membrane, formation of cell:cell junctions, and apoptosis for luminal clearance. The matched series of normal MCF-10A, pre-malignant MCF-10AT, and malignant MCF-10CA1a cells offers a unique opportunity to study the mechanisms of malignant progression both in a three-dimensional microenvironment and in the same cell background.

  8. A benchmark server using high resolution protein structure data, and benchmark results for membrane helix predictions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rath, Emma M; Tessier, Dominique; Campbell, Alexander A; Lee, Hong Ching; Werner, Tim; Salam, Noeris K; Lee, Lawrence K; Church, W Bret

    2013-03-27

    Helical membrane proteins are vital for the interaction of cells with their environment. Predicting the location of membrane helices in protein amino acid sequences provides substantial understanding of their structure and function and identifies membrane proteins in sequenced genomes. Currently there is no comprehensive benchmark tool for evaluating prediction methods, and there is no publication comparing all available prediction tools. Current benchmark literature is outdated, as recently determined membrane protein structures are not included. Current literature is also limited to global assessments, as specialised benchmarks for predicting specific classes of membrane proteins were not previously carried out. We present a benchmark server at http://sydney.edu.au/pharmacy/sbio/software/TMH_benchmark.shtml that uses recent high resolution protein structural data to provide a comprehensive assessment of the accuracy of existing membrane helix prediction methods. The server further allows a user to compare uploaded predictions generated by novel methods, permitting the comparison of these novel methods against all existing methods compared by the server. Benchmark metrics include sensitivity and specificity of predictions for membrane helix location and orientation, and many others. The server allows for customised evaluations such as assessing prediction method performances for specific helical membrane protein subtypes.We report results for custom benchmarks which illustrate how the server may be used for specialised benchmarks. Which prediction method is the best performing method depends on which measure is being benchmarked. The OCTOPUS membrane helix prediction method is consistently one of the highest performing methods across all measures in the benchmarks that we performed. The benchmark server allows general and specialised assessment of existing and novel membrane helix prediction methods. Users can employ this benchmark server to determine the most

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  10. Lipids that determine detergent resistance of MDCK cell membrane fractions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Membrane with internal passages to permit fluid flow and an electrochemical cell containing the same

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

    In addition to dividing tissues into compartments, basement membranes are crucial as cell substrates and to regulate cellular behavior. The development of artificial basement membranes is indispensable for the ultimate formation of functional engineered tissues; however, pose a challenge due to their complex structure. Herein, biodegradable electrospun polyester meshes are presented, exhibiting isotropic or bipolar bioactivation as a biomimetic and biofunctional model of the natural basement membrane. In a one-step preparation process, reactive star-shaped prepolymer additives, which generate a hydrophilic fiber surface, are electrospun with cell-adhesion-mediating peptides, derived from major components of the basement membrane. Human skin cells adhere to the functionalized meshes, and long-term co-culture experiments confirm that the artificial basement membranes recapitulate and preserve tissue specific functions. Several layers of immortalized human keratinocytes grow on the membranes, differentiating toward the surface and expressing typical epithelial markers. Fibroblasts migrate into the reticular lamina mimicking part of the mesh. Both cells types begin to produce extracellular matrix proteins and to remodel the initial membrane. It is shown at the example of skin that the artificial basement membrane design provokes biomimetic responses of different cell types and can thus be used as basis for the future development of basement membrane containing tissues. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  14. Membrane Fluidity Changes, A Basic Mechanism of Interaction of Gravity with Cells?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohn, Florian; Hauslage, Jens; Hanke, Wolfgang

    2017-10-01

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

  15. Effect of lipid peroxidation on membrane permeability of cancer and normal cells subjected to oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Paal, Jonas; Neyts, Erik C; Verlackt, Christof C W; Bogaerts, Annemie

    2016-01-01

    We performed molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the effect of lipid peroxidation products on the structural and dynamic properties of the cell membrane. Our simulations predict that the lipid order in a phospholipid bilayer, as a model system for the cell membrane, decreases upon addition of lipid peroxidation products. Eventually, when all phospholipids are oxidized, pore formation can occur. This will allow reactive species, such as reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS), to enter the cell and cause oxidative damage to intracellular macromolecules, such as DNA or proteins. On the other hand, upon increasing the cholesterol fraction of lipid bilayers, the cell membrane order increases, eventually reaching a certain threshold, from which cholesterol is able to protect the membrane against pore formation. This finding is crucial for cancer treatment by plasma technology, producing a large number of RONS, as well as for other cancer treatment methods that cause an increase in the concentration of extracellular RONS. Indeed, cancer cells contain less cholesterol than their healthy counterparts. Thus, they will be more vulnerable to the consequences of lipid peroxidation, eventually enabling the penetration of RONS into the interior of the cell, giving rise to oxidative stress, inducing pro-apoptotic factors. This provides, for the first time, molecular level insight why plasma can selectively treat cancer cells, while leaving their healthy counterparts undamaged, as is indeed experimentally demonstrated.

  16. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Jingshuai; Xu, Yixin; Zhou, Lu

    2013-01-01

    A polybenzimidazole variant polymer containing hydroxyl pyridine groups, termed as OHPyPBI, was synthesized from 3,3'-diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride and 4-hydroxy-2,6-pyridinedicarboxylic acid. The thermal-oxidative stability of the OHPyPBI polymer was as high as that of poly[2,2'-(m......-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...

  18. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    -3, and Na1,K1-ATPase (the sodium-potassium pump) in animals4. The name P-type derives from the fact that these proteins exploit a phosphorylated reaction cycle intermediate of ATP hydrolysis5.The plasma membrane proton pumps belong to the type III P-type ATPase subfamily, whereas Na1,K1-ATPase and Ca21......- ATPase are type II6. Electron microscopy has revealed the overall shape of proton pumps7, however, an atomic structure has been lacking. Here we present the first structure of a P-type proton pump determined by X-ray crystallography. Ten transmembrane helices and three cytoplasmic domains define...... the functional unit of ATP-coupled proton transport across the plasma membrane, and the structure is locked in a functional state not previously observed in P-type ATPases. The transmembrane domain reveals a large cavity, which is likely to be filled with water, located near the middle of the membrane plane...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The crystal structure of GXGD membrane protease FlaK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu, Jian; Xue, Yi; Lee, Sangwon; Ha, Ya (Yale-MED)

    2011-09-20

    The GXGD proteases are polytopic membrane proteins with catalytic activities against membrane-spanning substrates that require a pair of aspartyl residues. Representative members of the family include preflagellin peptidase, type 4 prepilin peptidase, presenilin and signal peptide peptidase. Many GXGD proteases are important in medicine. For example, type 4 prepilin peptidase may contribute to bacterial pathogenesis, and mutations in presenilin are associated with Alzheimer's disease. As yet, there is no atomic-resolution structure in this protease family. Here we report the crystal structure of FlaK, a preflagellin peptidase from Methanococcus maripaludis, solved at 3.6 {angstrom} resolution. The structure contains six transmembrane helices. The GXGD motif and a short transmembrane helix, helix 4, are positioned at the centre, surrounded by other transmembrane helices. The crystal structure indicates that the protease must undergo conformational changes to bring the GXGD motif and a second essential aspartyl residue from transmembrane helix 1 into close proximity for catalysis. A comparison of the crystal structure with models of presenilin derived from biochemical analysis reveals three common transmembrane segments that are similarly arranged around the active site. This observation reinforces the idea that the prokaryotic and human proteases are evolutionarily related. The crystal structure presented here provides a framework for understanding the mechanism of the GXGD proteases, and may facilitate the rational design of inhibitors that target specific members of the family.

  4. The Crystal Structure of GXGD Membrane Protease FlaK

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J Hu; Y Xue; S Lee; Y Ha

    2011-12-31

    The GXGD proteases are polytopic membrane proteins with catalytic activities against membrane-spanning substrates that require a pair of aspartyl residues. Representative members of the family include preflagellin peptidase, type 4 prepilin peptidase, presenilin and signal peptide peptidase. Many GXGD proteases are important in medicine. For example, type 4 prepilin peptidase may contribute to bacterial pathogenesis, and mutations in presenilin are associated with Alzheimer's disease. As yet, there is no atomic-resolution structure in this protease family. Here we report the crystal structure of FlaK, a preflagellin peptidase from Methanococcus maripaludis, solved at 3.6 {angstrom} resolution. The structure contains six transmembrane helices. The GXGD motif and a short transmembrane helix, helix 4, are positioned at the centre, surrounded by other transmembrane helices. The crystal structure indicates that the protease must undergo conformational changes to bring the GXGD motif and a second essential aspartyl residue from transmembrane helix 1 into close proximity for catalysis. A comparison of the crystal structure with models of presenilin derived from biochemical analysis reveals three common transmembrane segments that are similarly arranged around the active site. This observation reinforces the idea that the prokaryotic and human proteases are evolutionarily related. The crystal structure presented here provides a framework for understanding the mechanism of the GXGD proteases, and may facilitate the rational design of inhibitors that target specific members of the family.

  5. Three-Dimensional Architecture and Biogenesis of Membrane Structures Associated with Plant Virus Replication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuejiao Jin

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Positive-sense (+ RNA viruses represent the most abundant group of viruses and are dependent on the host cell machinery to replicate. One remarkable feature that occurs after (+ RNA virus entry into cells is the remodeling of host endomembranes, leading to the formation of viral replication factories. Recently, rapid progress in three-dimensional (3D imaging technologies, such as electron tomography (ET and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM, has enabled researchers to visualize the novel membrane structures induced by viruses at high resolution. These 3D imaging technologies provide new mechanistic insights into the viral infection cycle. In this review, we summarize the latest reports on the cellular remodeling that occurs during plant virus infection; in particular, we focus on studies that provide 3D architectural information on viral replication factories. We also outline the mechanisms underlying the formation of these membranous structures and discuss possible future research directions.

  6. Three-Dimensional Architecture and Biogenesis of Membrane Structures Associated with Plant Virus Replication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Xuejiao; Cao, Xiuling; Wang, Xueting; Jiang, Jun; Wan, Juan; Laliberté, Jean-François; Zhang, Yongliang

    2018-01-01

    Positive-sense (+) RNA viruses represent the most abundant group of viruses and are dependent on the host cell machinery to replicate. One remarkable feature that occurs after (+) RNA virus entry into cells is the remodeling of host endomembranes, leading to the formation of viral replication factories. Recently, rapid progress in three-dimensional (3D) imaging technologies, such as electron tomography (ET) and focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM), has enabled researchers to visualize the novel membrane structures induced by viruses at high resolution. These 3D imaging technologies provide new mechanistic insights into the viral infection cycle. In this review, we summarize the latest reports on the cellular remodeling that occurs during plant virus infection; in particular, we focus on studies that provide 3D architectural information on viral replication factories. We also outline the mechanisms underlying the formation of these membranous structures and discuss possible future research directions.

  7. Novel cross-linked sulfonated poly (arylene ether ketone) membranes for direct methanol fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Chengji; Lin, Haidan; Na, Hui [Alan G. MacDiarmid Institute, College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130012 (China)

    2010-03-15

    To prepare a cross-linked proton exchange membrane with low methanol permeability and high proton conductivity, poly (vinyl alcohol) is first blended with sulfonated poly (arylene ether ketone) bearing carboxylic acid groups (SPAEK-C) and then heated to induce a cross-linking reaction between the carboxyl groups in SPAEK-C and the hydroxyl groups in PVA. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is used to characterize and confirm the structure of SPAEK-C and the cross-linked membranes. The proton conductivity of the cross-linked membrane with 15% PVA in weight reaches up to 0.18 S cm{sup -1} at 80 C (100% relative humidity), which is higher than that of Nafion membrane, while the methanol permeability is nearly five times lower than Nafion. The ion-exchange capacity, water uptake and thermal stability are investigated to confirm their applicability in fuel cells. (author)

  8. Electrospun fiber membranes enable proliferation of genetically modified cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Polycaprolactone (PCL) and its blended composites (chitosan, gelatin, and lecithin) are well-established biomaterials that can enrich cell growth and enable tissue engineering. However, their application in the recovery and proliferation of genetically modified cells has not been studied. In the study reported here, we fabricated PCL-biomaterial blended fiber membranes, characterized them using physicochemical techniques, and used them as templates for the growth of genetically modified HCT116-19 colon cancer cells. Our data show that the blended polymers are highly miscible and form homogenous electrospun fiber membranes of uniform texture. The aligned PCL nanofibers support robust cell growth, yielding a 2.5-fold higher proliferation rate than cells plated on standard plastic plate surfaces. PCL-lecithin fiber membranes yielded a 2.7-fold higher rate of proliferation, while PCL-chitosan supported a more modest growth rate (1.5-fold higher). Surprisingly, PCL-gelatin did not enhance cell proliferation when compared to the rate of cell growth on plastic surfaces. PMID:23467983

  9. The influence of hypoxia-hypercapnia on the structural state of cellular membranes of rat hepatocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Світлана Володимирівна Хижняк

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The structural and dynamic state of cellular membranes of rat hepatocytes under the influence of hypoxia, hypercapnia and hypothermia factors (artificial hypobiosis was investigated using the method of fluorescent probes. The diverse changes of the structure and physical properties of these membranes (especially of inner mitochondrial membrane were shown. The structural reorganization of the membrane surface area, the decrease of the lipid structural orderliness and conformational modification of proteins occur during artificial hypobiosis

  10. 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.

  11. Cell biology symposium: Membrane trafficking and signal transduction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  15. hydrogel membrane as electrolyte for direct borohydride fuel cells

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Administrator

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

  16. hydrogel membrane as electrolyte for direct borohydride fuel cells

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  17. Denaturation of membrane proteins and hyperthermic cell killing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burgman, Paulus Wilhelmus Johannes Jozef

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hořejší, Václav

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perrot, C.

    2006-11-01

    Fuel cell development requires an improvement in the electrode-membrane assembly durability which depends on both the polymer used and the fuel cell operating conditions. The origin of the degradation can be either electrochemical, chemical and/or mechanical. This study deals with the understanding of alternative membranes ageing mechanisms, i.e. non fluorinated membranes, such as sPEEK and sPI. For this kind of membranes, the first process is chemical. Understanding these mechanisms is the first essential step to develop more stable structures. An original approach is developed to overcome the analytical difficulties encountered with polymers. It consists in studying the degradation mechanism on model structures. Ageing are carried out in water, with H 2 O 2 in some cases (identified as a cause of membrane chemical ageing in the fuel cell system), and at different temperatures. The approach consists in separating the different products formed by chromatography. Then they are identified (NMR, IR, MS) and quantified. This method allows us to establish the ageing mechanism. We show that the ageing of a sPEEK structure mainly results from an attack by end chains which spreads to the whole. This mechanism is confirmed on ex-situ and in-situ aged membranes. These two kinds of ageing lead to an important decrease in polymerisation degree (determined by SEC). Formation of the same degradation products is observed. In fuel cells, a heterogeneous degradation is noticed. It takes place mainly on the cathode side. sPI are known for their high sensitivity to hydrolysis. Nevertheless, we highlight a limited degradation at 80 Celsius degrees due to the recombination of hydrolyzed species at this temperature. (author)

  1. An adhesion-based method for plasma membrane isolation: evaluating cholesterol extraction from cells and their membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marassi, Francesca M.; Ding, Yi; Schwieters, Charles D.; Tian, Ye; Yao, Yong

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marassi, Francesca M; Ding, Yi; Schwieters, Charles D; Tian, Ye; Yao, Yong

    2015-09-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Innovative membrane development for fuel cells

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Vaivars, G

    2011-10-01

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

  7. Structure and orientation study of Ebola fusion peptide inserted in lipid membrane models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agopian, Audrey; Castano, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    The fusion peptide of Ebola virus comprises a highly hydrophobic sequence located downstream from the N-terminus of the glycoprotein GP2 responsible for virus-host membrane fusion. The internal fusion peptide of GP2 inserts into membranes of infected cell to mediate the viral and the host cell membrane fusion. Since the sequence length of Ebola fusion peptide is still not clear, we study in the present work the behavior of two fusion peptides of different lengths which were named EBO17 and EBO24 referring to their amino acid length. The secondary structure and orientation of both peptides in lipid model systems made of DMPC:DMPG:cholesterol:DMPE (6:2:5:3) were investigated using PMIRRAS and polarized ATR spectroscopy coupled with Brewster angle microscopy. The infrared results showed a structural flexibility of both fusion peptides which are able to transit reversibly from an α-helix to antiparallel β-sheets. Ellipsometry results corroborate together with isotherm measurements that EBO peptides interacting with lipid monolayer highly affected the lipid organization. When interacting with a single lipid bilayer, at low peptide content, EBO peptides insert as mostly α-helices mainly perpendicular into the lipid membrane thus tend to organize the lipid acyl chains. Inserted in multilamellar vesicles at higher peptide content, EBO peptides are mostly in β-sheet structures and induce a disorganization of the lipid chain order. In this paper, we show that the secondary structure of the Ebola fusion peptide is reversibly flexible between α-helical and β-sheet conformations, this feature being dependent on its concentration in lipids, eventually inducing membrane fusion. © 2013.

  8. Dimensional and Structural Control of Silica Aerogel Membranes for Miniaturized Motionless Gas Pumps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Shanyu; Jiang, Bo; Maeder, Thomas; Muralt, Paul; Kim, Nayoung; Matam, Santhosh Kumar; Jeong, Eunho; Han, Yen-Lin; Koebel, Matthias M

    2015-08-26

    With growing public interest in portable electronics such as micro fuel cells, micro gas total analysis systems, and portable medical devices, the need for miniaturized air pumps with minimal electrical power consumption is on the rise. Thus, the development and downsizing of next-generation thermal transpiration gas pumps has been investigated intensively during the last decades. Such a system relies on a mesoporous membrane that generates a thermomolecular pressure gradient under the action of an applied temperature bias. However, the development of highly miniaturized active membrane materials with tailored porosity and optimized pumping performance remains a major challenge. Here we report a systematic study on the manufacturing of aerogel membranes using an optimized, minimal-shrinkage sol-gel process, leading to low thermal conductivity and high air conductance. This combination of properties results in superior performance for miniaturized thermomolecular air pump applications. The engineering of such aerogel membranes, which implies pore structure control and chemical surface modification, requires both chemical processing know-how and a detailed understanding of the influence of the material properties on the spatial flow rate density. Optimal pumping performance was found for devices with integrated membranes with a density of 0.062 g cm(-3) and an average pore size of 142.0 nm. Benchmarking of such low-density hydrophobic active aerogel membranes gave an air flow rate density of 3.85 sccm·cm(-2) at an operating temperature of 400 °C. Such a silica aerogel membrane based system has shown more than 50% higher pumping performance when compared to conventional transpiration pump membrane materials as well as the ability to withstand higher operating temperatures (up to 440 °C). This study highlights new perspectives for the development of miniaturized thermal transpiration air pumps while offering insights into the fundamentals of molecular pumping in

  9. Structure-based membrane dome mechanism for Piezo mechanosensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yusong R; MacKinnon, Roderick

    2017-12-12

    Mechanosensitive ion channels convert external mechanical stimuli into electrochemical signals for critical processes including touch sensation, balance, and cardiovascular regulation. The best understood mechanosensitive channel, MscL, opens a wide pore, which accounts for mechanosensitive gating due to in-plane area expansion. Eukaryotic Piezo channels have a narrow pore and therefore must capture mechanical forces to control gating in another way. We present a cryo-EM structure of mouse Piezo1 in a closed conformation at 3.7Å-resolution. The channel is a triskelion with arms consisting of repeated arrays of 4-TM structural units surrounding a pore. Its shape deforms the membrane locally into a dome. We present a hypothesis in which the membrane deformation changes upon channel opening. Quantitatively, membrane tension will alter gating energetics in proportion to the change in projected area under the dome. This mechanism can account for highly sensitive mechanical gating in the setting of a narrow, cation-selective pore. © 2017, Guo et al.

  10. Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells lacking Pex3 contain membrane vesicles that harbor a subset of peroxisomal membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wróblewska, Justyna P; Cruz-Zaragoza, Luis Daniel; Yuan, Wei; Schummer, Andreas; Chuartzman, Silvia G; de Boer, Rinse; Oeljeklaus, Silke; Schuldiner, Maya; Zalckvar, Einat; Warscheid, Bettina; Erdmann, Ralf; van der Klei, Ida J

    2017-10-01

    Pex3 has been proposed to be important for the exit of peroxisomal membrane proteins (PMPs) from the ER, based on the observation that PMPs accumulate at the ER in Saccharomyces cerevisiae pex3 mutant cells. Using a combination of microscopy and biochemical approaches, we show that a subset of the PMPs, including the receptor docking protein Pex14, localizes to membrane vesicles in S. cerevisiae pex3 cells. These vesicles are morphologically distinct from the ER and do not co-sediment with ER markers in cell fractionation experiments. At the vesicles, Pex14 assembles with other peroxins (Pex13, Pex17, and Pex5) to form a complex with a composition similar to the PTS1 import pore in wild-type cells. Fluorescence microscopy studies revealed that also the PTS2 receptor Pex7, the importomer organizing peroxin Pex8, the ubiquitin conjugating enzyme Pex4 with its recruiting PMP Pex22, as well as Pex15 and Pex25 co-localize with Pex14. Other peroxins (including the RING finger complex and Pex27) did not accumulate at these structures, of which Pex11 localized to mitochondria. In line with these observations, proteomic analysis showed that in addition to the docking proteins and Pex5, also Pex7, Pex4/Pex22 and Pex25 were present in Pex14 complexes isolated from pex3 cells. However, formation of the entire importomer was not observed, most likely because Pex8 and the RING proteins were absent in the Pex14 protein complexes. Our data suggest that peroxisomal membrane vesicles can form in the absence of Pex3 and that several PMPs can insert in these vesicles in a Pex3 independent manner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Puntheeranurak, Theeraporn; Stroh, Cordula; Zhu Rong; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan; Hinterdorfer, Peter

    2005-01-01

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

  14. 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

    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

  15. Durability aspects of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sethuraman, Vijay Anand

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

  16. Role of charged lipids in membrane structures — Insight given by simulations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pöyry, Sanja; Vattulainen, Ilpo

    2016-01-01

    to fruitful directions. In this paper, we review studies that have utilized molecular dynamics simulations to unravel the roles of charged lipids in membrane structures. We focus on lipids as active constituents of the membranes, affecting both general membrane properties as well as non-lipid membrane...

  17. Post-mortem analysis of radiation grafted fuel cell membrane using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nasef, M. M. [Technological University PETRONAS, Chemical Engineering Program, Perak (Malaysia); Saidi, H. [Technological University of Malaysia, Membrane Research Unit, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

    2002-07-01

    Post-mortem analysis of poly(tetrafluoroethylene-co-perfluorovinyl ether)-graft-polystyrene sulfonic acid (PFAS-g-PSSA) membrane was carried out at the end of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell test using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The data obtained when the membrane was initially analyzed in its virgin state was used as a reference. Substantial structural changes were shown by the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, especially in terms of chemical composition and the concentration of its basic elemental components. The used membrane was found to have no sulfur and less oxygen compared to the virgin one, providing strong evidence for the complete elimination of the sulfonic acid groups from the membrane. Overall, the results suggests that membrane oxidative degradation during PEM fuel cell test is due to the decomposition of sulfonated polystyrene located in the hydrocarbon fraction. The chemical attack mostly occurs on the vulnerable tertiary hydrogen of the alpha-carbon causing a termination of the whole sulfonated polystyrene grafts. 22 refs., 7 figs.

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Luo, H

    2010-03-01

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

  19. 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...... 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...... receptor. This integrative structure opens up for interpreting these receptors in their intact form and offers unique insights on the topology of single-pass transmembrane receptors with intrinsically disordered domains. Dimerization of the TMDs of class I cytokine receptors has been shown to be important...

  20. 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

    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...

  1. Multi-Hybrid Power Vehicles with Cost Effective and Durable Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell and Li-ion Battery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bose, Anima [Univ. of Houston, Houston, TX (United States)

    2014-02-28

    Anima Bose, the principal investigator of the project, originally proposed to develop composite membranes to operate PEMFCs at much higher temperatures than 80°C and to alleviate the flooding problems often encountered in Nafion menmbrane containing fuel cells. The PI has successfully created composite membranes by blending small quantities of octasilane-poss (OSP) with Nafion. The composite membranes exhibited temperature tolerance up to 110°C without scarifying cell performance as determined by polarization curves and proton conductivity measurements. These membranes also exhibited superior water management performance as evident from the lack of flooding. Furthermore, these fuel cells performed well under reduced humidities. Structural and thermal analyses revealed that these Nafion-octasilane composite membranes are homogenous at concentrations up to 3 wt% of the OSP and that the siloxane offers additional thermal stability.

  2. Identification of types of membrane injuries and cell death using whole cell-based proton-sensitive field-effect transistor systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imaizumi, Yuki; Goda, Tatsuro; Matsumoto, Akira; Miyahara, Yuji

    2017-09-08

    An NH 4 Cl-superfused system for a cell-cultured pH-sensing transistor was developed for detecting ion leakage across the plasma membranes of model HepG2 cells. The screening of chemical species by the method developed and conventional membrane-leakage assays identified the types of membrane injuries: structural membrane disruption and pore formation. Apoptosis-mediated membrane disordering was detected by continuously monitoring the ion-barrier breakdown of the membranes using the transistor system for an extended period. Comparisons of the ISFET assay with conventional cytotoxicity assays distinguished the cell death by direct membrane injury from that by other organelle damage. Our cell-based transistor system is fast and sensitive to ion leakage of the plasma membrane due to the small hydrodynamic size of the proton and ammonium ions as the indicators. The combination of the ion leakage assay with the existing cytotoxicity assays is a new way of classifying membrane injury and cell death induced by external chemical stimuli.

  3. 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. © 2014 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Nuclear myosin I regulates cell membrane tension

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Cell membrane wrapping of a spherical thin elastic shell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Xin; Gao, Huajian

    2015-02-14

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

  9. Molecular Interactions at Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jagalski, Vivien

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

  10. Fluorescent in situ folding control for rapid optimization of cell-free membrane protein synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika Müller-Lucks

    Full Text Available Cell-free synthesis is an open and powerful tool for high-yield protein production in small reaction volumes predestined for high-throughput structural and functional analysis. Membrane proteins require addition of detergents for solubilization, liposomes, or nanodiscs. Hence, the number of parameters to be tested is significantly higher than with soluble proteins. Optimization is commonly done with respect to protein yield, yet without knowledge of the protein folding status. This approach contains a large inherent risk of ending up with non-functional protein. We show that fluorophore formation in C-terminal fusions with green fluorescent protein (GFP indicates the folding state of a membrane protein in situ, i.e. within the cell-free reaction mixture, as confirmed by circular dichroism (CD, proteoliposome reconstitution and functional assays. Quantification of protein yield and in-gel fluorescence intensity imply suitability of the method for membrane proteins of bacterial, protozoan, plant, and mammalian origin, representing vacuolar and plasma membrane localization, as well as intra- and extracellular positioning of the C-terminus. We conclude that GFP-fusions provide an extension to cell-free protein synthesis systems eliminating the need for experimental folding control and, thus, enabling rapid optimization towards membrane protein quality.

  11. Characterization of transport phenomena in small polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Himanen, O.P.

    2008-07-01

    In small fuel cell systems, energy consumption and size of auxiliary devices should be minimized. One option is to use passive controlling methods that rely on material and structural solutions. Therefore it is important to understand transport phenomena occurring in the cells. In this thesis, charge, mass, and heat transport phenomena related to small PEMFCs were studied experimentally and by modeling. A new method was developed for the characterization of water transport properties of polymer electrolyte membrane under realistic operating conditions. The method was used to evaluate the diffusion coefficient of water in the membrane. Due to channelrib structure, cell components are inhomogeneously compressed. Charge and mass transport parameters were experimentally evaluated as a function of compression. The effect of inhomogeneous compression on cell operation was studied by modeling. Inhomogeneous compression does not significantly affect the polarization behavior of the cell, but it creates uneven current and temperature distributions inside the cell. This affects both cell performance and lifetime and should not be ignored in cell design and modeling. The operation of a freebreathing PEMFC was studied at subzero temperatures. To be able to operate at low temperatures, current density must be high enough to avoid freezing of reactant product water inside the cell. Startup at cold temperatures requires active heating. To maximize fuel efficiency, the operation of a freebreathing PEMFC in dead end mode was investigated. Dead ended operation with periodic purging enables high fuel utilization rate and the test cell operated without significant water management problems or performance loss. (orig.)

  12. Nafion/silane nanocomposite membranes for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Membrane properties of smooth muscle cells in pulmonary hypertensive rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, H; Twarog, B M

    1982-05-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Ruthenium complexes with phenylterpyridine derivatives target cell membrane and trigger death receptors-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Zhiqin; Gao, Pan; Yu, Lianling; Ma, Bin; You, Yuanyuan; Chan, Leung; Mei, Chaoming; Chen, Tianfeng

    2017-06-01

    Elucidation of the communication between metal complexes and cell membrane may provide useful information for rational design of metal-based anticancer drugs. Herein we synthesized a novel class of ruthenium (Ru) complexes containing phtpy derivatives (phtpy = phenylterpyridine), analyzed their structure-activity relationship and revealed their action mechanisms. The result showed that, the increase in the planarity of hydrophobic Ru complexes significantly enhanced their lipophilicity and cellular uptake. Meanwhile, the introduction of nitro group effectively improved their anticancer efficacy. Further mechanism studies revealed that, complex (2c), firstly accumulated on cell membrane and interacted with death receptors to activate extrinsic apoptosis signaling pathway. The complex was then transported into cell cytoplasm through transferrin receptor-mediated endocytosis. Most of the intracellular 2c accumulated in cell plasma, decreasing the level of cellular ROS, inducing the activation of caspase-9 and thus intensifying the apoptosis. At the same time, the residual 2c can translocate into cell nucleus to interact with DNA, induce DNA damage, activate p53 pathway and enhance apoptosis. Comparing with cisplatin, 2c possesses prolonged circulation time in blood, comparable antitumor ability and importantly, much lower toxicity in vivo. Taken together, this study uncovers the role of membrane receptors in the anticancer actions of Ru complexes, and provides fundamental information for rational design of membrane receptor targeting anticancer drugs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. G protein-membrane interactions II: Effect of G protein-linked lipids on membrane structure and G protein-membrane interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casas, Jesús; Ibarguren, Maitane; Álvarez, Rafael; Terés, Silvia; Lladó, Victoria; Piotto, Stefano P; Concilio, Simona; Busquets, Xavier; López, David J; Escribá, Pablo V

    2017-09-01

    G proteins often bear myristoyl, palmitoyl and isoprenyl moieties, which favor their association with the membrane and their accumulation in G Protein Coupled Receptor-rich microdomains. These lipids influence the biophysical properties of membranes and thereby modulate G protein binding to bilayers. In this context, we showed here that geranylgeraniol, but neither myristate nor palmitate, increased the inverted hexagonal (H II ) phase propensity of phosphatidylethanolamine-containing membranes. While myristate and palmitate preferentially associated with phosphatidylcholine membranes, geranylgeraniol favored nonlamellar-prone membranes. In addition, Gαi 1 monomers had a higher affinity for lamellar phases, while Gβγ and Gαβγ showed a marked preference for nonlamellar prone membranes. Moreover, geranylgeraniol enhanced the binding of G protein dimers and trimers to phosphatidylethanolamine-containing membranes, yet it decreased that of monomers. By contrast, both myristate and palmitate increased the Gαi 1 preference for lamellar membranes. Palmitoylation reinforced the binding of the monomer to PC membranes and myristoylation decreased its binding to PE-enriched bilayer. Finally, binding of dimers and trimers to lamellar-prone membranes was decreased by palmitate and myristate, but it was increased in nonlamellar-prone bilayers. These results demonstrate that co/post-translational G protein lipid modifications regulate the membrane lipid structure and that they influence the physico-chemical properties of membranes, which in part explains why G protein subunits sort to different plasma membrane domains. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Lipid Therapy: Drugs Targeting Biomembranes edited by Pablo V. Escribá. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Stimulating Effect of Terfenadine on Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Signoretto

    2016-04-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baldo, Wilians Roberto

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Structure of a bacterial type III secretion system in contact with a host membrane in situ

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nans, Andrea; Kudryashev, Mikhail; Saibil, Helen R.; Hayward, Richard D.

    2015-12-01

    Many bacterial pathogens of animals and plants use a conserved type III secretion system (T3SS) to inject virulence effector proteins directly into eukaryotic cells to subvert host functions. Contact with host membranes is critical for T3SS activation, yet little is known about T3SS architecture in this state or the conformational changes that drive effector translocation. Here we use cryo-electron tomography and sub-tomogram averaging to derive the intact structure of the primordial Chlamydia trachomatis T3SS in the presence and absence of host membrane contact. Comparison of the averaged structures demonstrates a marked compaction of the basal body (4 nm) occurs when the needle tip contacts the host cell membrane. This compaction is coupled to a stabilization of the cytosolic sorting platform-ATPase. Our findings reveal the first structure of a bacterial T3SS from a major human pathogen engaged with a eukaryotic host, and reveal striking `pump-action' conformational changes that underpin effector injection.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghada Bouguerra

    2015-11-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. The Structural Dynamics of the Flavivirus Fusion Peptide–Membrane Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Theo L. F.; Sousa, Ivanildo P.; Bianconi, M. Lucia; Bernardi, Rafael C.; Pascutti, Pedro G.; Silva, Jerson L.; Gomes, Andre M. O.; Oliveira, Andréa C.

    2012-01-01

    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, FLAG (98DRGWGNGCGLFGK110) and FLAH (98DRGWGNHCGLFGK110), 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 FLAG and FLAH 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. PMID:23094066

  9. 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.

  10. Factors Determining the Oxygen Permeability of Biological Membranes: Oxygen Transport Across Eye Lens Fiber-Cell Plasma Membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Structure and Function of the Membrane Deformation AAA ATPase Vps4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Christopher P.; Babst, Markus

    2011-01-01

    The ATPase Vps4 belongs to the type-I AAA family of proteins. Vps4 functions together with a group of proteins referred to as ESCRTs in membrane deformation and fission events. These cellular functions include vesicle formation at the endosome, cytokinesis and viral budding. The highly dynamic quaternary structure of Vps4 and its interactions with a network of regulators and co-factors have made the analysis of this ATPase challenging. Nevertheless, recent advances in the understanding of the cell biology of Vps4 together with structural information and in vitro studies are guiding mechanistic models of this ATPase. PMID:21925211

  12. Highly durable direct hydrazine hydrate anion exchange membrane fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  13. Cell-geometry-dependent changes in plasma membrane order direct stem cell signalling and fate.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  14. Calcitonin Forms Oligomeric Pore-Like Structures in Lipid Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diociaiuti, Marco; Polzi, Laura Zanetti; Valvo, Luisa; Malchiodi-Albedi, Fiorella; Bombelli, Cecilia; Gaudiano, Maria Cristina

    2006-01-01

    Calcitonin is a polypeptidic hormone involved in calcium metabolism in the bone. It belongs to the amyloid protein family, which is characterized by the common propensity to aggregate acquiring a β-sheet conformation and include proteins associated with important neurodegenerative diseases. Here we show for the first time, to our knowledge, by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) that salmon-calcitonin (sCT) forms annular oligomers similar to those observed for β-amyloid and α-sinuclein (Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases). We also investigated the interaction between sCT and model membranes, such as liposomes, with particular attention to the effect induced by lipid “rafts” made of cholesterol and GM1. We observed, by TEM immunogold labeling of sCT, that protein binding is favored by the presence of rafts. In addition, we found by TEM that sCT oligomers inserted in the membrane have the characteristic pore-like morphology of the amyloid proteins. Circular dichroism experiments revealed an increase in β-content in sCT secondary structure when the protein was reconstituted in rafts mimicking liposomes. Finally, we showed, by spectrofluorimetry experiments, that the presence of sCT allowed Ca2+ entry in rafts mimicking liposomes loaded with the Ca2+-specific fluorophore Fluo-4. This demonstrates that sCT oligomers have ion-channel activity. Our results are in good agreement with recent electrophysiological studies reporting that sCT forms Ca2+-permeable ion channels in planar model membranes. It has been proposed that, beyond the well-known interaction of the monomer with the specific receptor, the formation of Ca2+ channels due to sCT oligomers could represent an extra source of Ca2+ entry in osteoblasts. Structural and functional data reported here support this hypothesis. PMID:16940475

  15. Structure of functional Staphylococcus aureus alpha-hemolysin channels in tethered bilayer lipid membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGillivray, Duncan J; Valincius, Gintaras; Heinrich, Frank; Robertson, Joseph W F; Vanderah, David J; Febo-Ayala, Wilma; Ignatjev, Ilja; Lösche, Mathias; Kasianowicz, John J

    2009-02-18

    We demonstrate a method for simultaneous structure and function determination of integral membrane proteins. Electrical impedance spectroscopy shows that Staphylococcus aureus alpha-hemolysin channels in membranes tethered to gold have the same properties as those formed in free-standing bilayer lipid membranes. Neutron reflectometry provides high-resolution structural information on the interaction between the channel and the disordered membrane, validating predictions based on the channel's x-ray crystal structure. The robust nature of the membrane enabled the precise localization of the protein within 1.1 A. The channel's extramembranous cap domain affects the lipid headgroup region and the alkyl chains in the outer membrane leaflet and significantly dehydrates the headgroups. The results suggest that this technique could be used to elucidate molecular details of the association of other proteins with membranes and may provide structural information on domain organization and stimuli-responsive reorganization for transmembrane proteins in membrane mimics.

  16. Structure of the membrane anchor of pestivirus glycoprotein E(rns, a long tilted amphipathic helix.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Aberle

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available E(rns 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 E(rns membrane contact, processing and secretion.

  17. 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

  18. Structure of the membrane anchor of pestivirus glycoprotein E(rns), 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

    2014-02-01

    E(rns) 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 E(rns) membrane contact, processing and secretion.

  19. The effect of curvature on the undulation spectrum of Red Blood Cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuriabova, Tatiana; Henle, Mark L.; Levine, Alex J.

    2009-03-01

    The human red blood cell (RBC) membrane has a composite structure of a fluid lipid bilayer tethered to an elastic 2D spectrin network. The study of the mechanical properties of RBCs is crucial to our understanding of their ability withstand large amplitude deformations during their passage through the microvasculature. The linear mechanical response of this composite membrane can be measured by observing its undulatory dynamics in thermal equilibrium, i.e. microrheology. Previous models of these dynamics postulated an effective surface tension. In this talk, we show that surface tension is not necessary. Rather, the coupling of membrane bending to spectrin network compression by curvature can account for the observed dynamics. We use a simplified theoretical model to describe the undulatory dynamics of RBCs, measured experimentally by the Popescu group.ootnotetextG. Popescu et al. ``Imaging red blood cell dynamics by quantitative phase microscopy, Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases, (2008), in print'' Analyzing their data using our model, we observe dramatic changes in RBC membrane elasticity associated with cells' morphological transition from discocytes to echinocyte to spherocyte.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  1. 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....

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Cloning of B cell-specific membrane tetraspanning molecule BTS possessing B cell proliferation-inhibitory function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suenaga, Tadahiro; Arase, Hisashi; Yamasaki, Sho; Kohno, Masayuki; Yokosuka, Tadashi; Takeuchi, Arata; Hattori, Takamichi; Saito, Takashi

    2007-11-01

    Lymphocyte proliferation is regulated by signals through antigen receptors, co-stimulatory receptors, and other positive and negative modulators. Several membrane tetraspanning molecules are also involved in the regulation of lymphocyte growth and death. We cloned a new B cell-specific tetraspanning (BTS) membrane molecule, which is similar to CD20 in terms of expression, structure and function. BTS is specifically expressed in the B cell line and its expression is increased after the pre-B cell stage. BTS is expressed in intracellular granules and on the cell surface. Overexpression of BTS in immature B cell lines induces growth retardation through inhibition of cell cycle progression and cell size increase without inducing apoptosis. This inhibitory function is mediated predominantly by the N terminus of BTS. The development of mature B cells is inhibited in transgenic mice expressing BTS, suggesting that BTS is involved in the in vivo regulation of B cells. These results indicate that BTS plays a role in the regulation of cell division and B cell growth.

  5. Biologically Complex Planar Cell Plasma Membranes Supported on Polyelectrolyte Cushions Enhance Transmembrane Protein Mobility and Retain Native Orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Han-Yuan; Chen, Wei-Liang; Ober, Christopher K; Daniel, Susan

    2018-01-23

    Reconstituted supported lipid bilayers (SLB) are widely used as in vitro cell-surface models because they are compatible with a variety of surface-based analytical techniques. However, one of the challenges of using SLBs as a model of the cell surface is the limited complexity in membrane composition, including the incorporation of transmembrane proteins and lipid diversity that may impact the activity of those proteins. Additionally, it is challenging to preserve the transmembrane protein native orientation, function, and mobility in SLBs. Here, we leverage the interaction between cell plasma membrane vesicles and polyelectrolyte brushes to create planar bilayers from cell plasma membrane vesicles that have budded from the cell surface. This approach promotes the direct incorporation of membrane proteins and other species into the planar bilayer without using detergent or reconstitution and preserves membrane constituents. Furthermore, the structure of the polyelectrolyte brush serves as a cushion between the planar bilayer and rigid supporting surface, limiting the interaction of the cytosolic domains of membrane proteins with this surface. Single particle tracking was used to analyze the motion of GPI-linked yellow fluorescent proteins (GPI-YFP) and neon-green fused transmembrane P2X2 receptors (P2X2-neon) and shows that this platform retains over 75% mobility of multipass transmembrane proteins in its native membrane environment. An enzyme accessibility assay confirmed that the protein orientation is preserved and results in the extracellular domain facing toward the bulk phase and the cytosolic side facing the support. Because the platform presented here retains the complexity of the cell plasma membrane and preserves protein orientation and mobility, it is a better representative mimic of native cell surfaces, which may find many applications in biological assays aimed at understanding cell membrane phenomena.

  6. Fluorine NMR-based screening on cell membrane extracts.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gillian McGovern

    Full Text Available Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases are associated with accumulations of disease specific PrP (PrP(d in the central nervous system (CNS and often the lymphoreticular system (LRS. Accumulations have additionally been recorded in other tissues including the peripheral nervous system and adrenal gland. Here we investigate the effect of sheep scrapie on the morphology and the accumulation of PrP(d in the adrenal medulla of scrapie affected sheep using light and electron microscopy. Using immunogold electron microscopy, non-fibrillar forms of PrP(d were shown to accumulate mainly in association with chromaffin cells, occasional nerve endings and macrophages. PrP(d accumulation was associated with distinctive membrane changes of chromaffin cells including increased electron density, abnormal linearity and invaginations. Internalisation of PrP(d from the chromaffin cell plasma membrane occurred in association with granule recycling following hormone exocytosis. PrP(d accumulation and internalisation from membranes is similarly associated with perturbations of membrane structure and trafficking in CNS neurons and tingible body macrophages of the LRS. These data suggest that a major toxic effect of PrP(d is at the level of plasma membranes. However, the precise nature of PrP(d-membrane toxicity is tissue and cell specific suggesting that the normal protein may act as a multi-functional scaffolding molecule. We further suggest that the co-localisation of PrP(d with exocytic granules of the hormone trafficking system may provide an additional source of infectivity in blood.

  8. Rupturing Giant Plasma Membrane Vesicles to Form Micron-sized Supported Cell Plasma Membranes with Native Transmembrane Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-09

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

  9. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Reversal: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Congwei Qin

    2016-12-01

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

  10. Fuel cell end plate structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guthrie, Robin J.; Katz, Murray; Schroll, Craig R.

    1991-04-23

    The end plates (16) of a fuel cell stack (12) are formed of a thin membrane. Pressure plates (20) exert compressive load through insulation layers (22, 26) to the membrane. Electrical contact between the end plates (16) and electrodes (50, 58) is maintained without deleterious making and breaking of electrical contacts during thermal transients. The thin end plate (16) under compressive load will not distort with a temperature difference across its thickness. Pressure plate (20) experiences a low thermal transient because it is insulated from the cell. The impact on the end plate of any slight deflection created in the pressure plate by temperature difference is minimized by the resilient pressure pad, in the form of insulation, therebetween.

  11. Dewetting transition assisted clearance of (NFGAILS) amyloid fibrils from cell membranes by graphene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Jiajia; Yang, Zaixing; Gu, Zonglin; Li, Haotian; Garate, Jose Antonio; Zhou, Ruhong

    2014-01-01

    Clearance of partially ordered oligomers and monomers deposited on cell membrane surfaces is believed to be an effective route to alleviate many potential protein conformational diseases (PCDs). With large-scale all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, here we show that graphene nanosheets can easily and quickly win a competitive adsorption of human islet amyloid polypeptides (hIAPP 22-28 ) NFGAILS and associated fibrils against cell membrane, due to graphene's unique two-dimensional, highly hydrophobic surface with its all-sp 2 hybrid structure. A nanoscale dewetting transition was observed at the interfacial region between the fibril (originally deposited on the membrane) and the graphene nanosheet, which significantly assisted the adsorption of fibrils onto graphene from the membrane. The π–π stacking interaction between Phe23 and graphene played a crucial role, providing the driving force for the adsorption at the graphene surface. This study renders new insight towards the importance of water during the interactions between amyloid peptides, the phospholipidic membrane, and graphene, which might shed some light on future developments of graphene-based nanomedicine for preventing/curing PCDs like type II diabetes mellitus

  12. Dewetting transition assisted clearance of (NFGAILS) amyloid fibrils from cell membranes by graphene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Jiajia; Yang, Zaixing; Gu, Zonglin [Institute of Quantitative Biology and Medicine, SRMP and RAD-X, Collaborative Innovation Center of Radiation Medicine of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, and Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Protection, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); Li, Haotian [Bio-X Lab, Department of Physics, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Garate, Jose Antonio [IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598 (United States); Zhou, Ruhong, E-mail: ruhongz@us.ibm.com [Institute of Quantitative Biology and Medicine, SRMP and RAD-X, Collaborative Innovation Center of Radiation Medicine of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, and Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Radiation Medicine and Protection, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 (China); IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598 (United States); Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027 (United States)

    2014-12-14

    Clearance of partially ordered oligomers and monomers deposited on cell membrane surfaces is believed to be an effective route to alleviate many potential protein conformational diseases (PCDs). With large-scale all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, here we show that graphene nanosheets can easily and quickly win a competitive adsorption of human islet amyloid polypeptides (hIAPP{sub 22-28}) NFGAILS and associated fibrils against cell membrane, due to graphene's unique two-dimensional, highly hydrophobic surface with its all-sp{sup 2} hybrid structure. A nanoscale dewetting transition was observed at the interfacial region between the fibril (originally deposited on the membrane) and the graphene nanosheet, which significantly assisted the adsorption of fibrils onto graphene from the membrane. The π–π stacking interaction between Phe23 and graphene played a crucial role, providing the driving force for the adsorption at the graphene surface. This study renders new insight towards the importance of water during the interactions between amyloid peptides, the phospholipidic membrane, and graphene, which might shed some light on future developments of graphene-based nanomedicine for preventing/curing PCDs like type II diabetes mellitus.

  13. Degradation mechanisms of sulfonated poly-aromatic membranes in fuel cell; Mecanismes de degradation des membranes polyaromatiques sulfonees en pile a combustible

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perrot, C

    2006-11-15

    Fuel cell development requires an improvement in the electrode-membrane assembly durability which depends on both the polymer used and the fuel cell operating conditions. The origin of the degradation can be either electrochemical, chemical and/or mechanical. This study deals with the understanding of alternative membranes ageing mechanisms, i.e. non fluorinated membranes, such as sPEEK and sPI. For this kind of membranes, the first process is chemical. Understanding these mechanisms is the first essential step to develop more stable structures. An original approach is developed to overcome the analytical difficulties encountered with polymers. It consists in studying the degradation mechanism on model structures. Ageing are carried out in water, with H{sub 2}O{sub 2} in some cases (identified as a cause of membrane chemical ageing in the fuel cell system), and at different temperatures. The approach consists in separating the different products formed by chromatography. Then they are identified (NMR, IR, MS) and quantified. This method allows us to establish the ageing mechanism. We show that the ageing of a sPEEK structure mainly results from an attack by end chains which spreads to the whole. This mechanism is confirmed on ex-situ and in-situ aged membranes. These two kinds of ageing lead to an important decrease in polymerisation degree (determined by SEC). Formation of the same degradation products is observed. In fuel cells, a heterogeneous degradation is noticed. It takes place mainly on the cathode side. sPI are known for their high sensitivity to hydrolysis. Nevertheless, we highlight a limited degradation at 80 Celsius degrees due to the recombination of hydrolyzed species at this temperature. (author)

  14. Dynamic analysis of magnetic nanoparticles crossing cell membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

  16. Towards self-assembled hybrid artificial cells: novel bottom-up approaches to functional synthetic membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Impairments in the Nanostructure of Red Blood Cell Membranes in Acute Blood Loss and Their Correction with Perfluorocarbon Emulsion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. V. Moroz

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: to study impairments in the nanostructure of red blood cell membranes in acute blood loss and methods to correct the membrane structures with perfluorocarbon emulsion. Materials and methods. Experiments were carried out on Nembutal-anesthesized outbred rats. The model of a terminal state was 60-minute hypovolemic hypotension, followed by blood reinfusion and addition of perfluorane or Ringer’s solution. Images of fragments of the red blood cell membrane surface structure were obtained using a Femtoscan atomic force microscope (AFM. Twenty-seven experiments were performed; 186 cells were scanned on the AFM, which provided 720 images of three orders. Results. The paper shows the time course of changes in the index hi for different phases of an experiment. After 5-minute hypotension, h1 increased by more than 4.3 times and after 60-minute hypotension, this value decreased to 4.7 nm. The second-order height rose linearly at the stages: control — at 5 minutes — at 60 minutes of hypotension. At 60 minutes of hypotension, the first- and second-order heights were similar. At 5 minutes of hypotension, the third-order surface slightly changed — it increased by 1.5-fold. But at 60 minutes of hypotension, the changes in the fine structures of the membrane became great — h3 increased by 6.3 times. Conclusion. Blood loss has shown to induce impairments in the microstructure of red blood cell membranes at all levels of its organization: flick in the range of 600—1000 nm, spectrin matrix at 150—350 nm, proteins, band 3, at 30—80 nm. The per-fluorocarbon emulsion «Perftoran» exerts a pronounced modulatory effect on the red blood cell membrane nanostructure at all steps of its organization, by restoring the membrane nanostructure practically to the control level. Key words: blood loss, red blood cell membrane, nanostructure, atomic force microscopy.

  19. Nanodefects of membranes cause destruction of packed red blood cells during long-term storage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kozlova, Elena, E-mail: waterlake@mail.ru [V.A. Negovsky Scientific Research Institute of General Reanimatology, Moscow (Russian Federation); I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow (Russian Federation); Chernysh, Aleksandr [V.A. Negovsky Scientific Research Institute of General Reanimatology, Moscow (Russian Federation); I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Moscow (Russian Federation); Moroz, Victor; Sergunova, Victoria; Gudkova, Olga; Kuzovlev, Artem [V.A. Negovsky Scientific Research Institute of General Reanimatology, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2015-10-01

    Packed red blood cells (PRBC) are used for blood transfusion. PRBC were stored for 30 days under 4 °C in hermetic blood bags with CPD anticoagulant-preservative solution. Hematocrit was 50–55%. The distortions of PRBC membranes nanostructure and cells morphology during storage were studied by atomic force microscopy. Basic measurements were performed at the day 2, 6, 9, 16, 23 and 30 of storage and additionally 2–3 days after it. Topological defects occurred on RBC membranes by day 9. They appeared as domains with grain-like structures (“grains”) sized up to 200 nm. These domains were appeared in almost all cells. Later these domains merged and formed large defects on cells. It was the formation of domains with the “grains” which was onset process leading eventually to destruction of PRBC. Possible mechanisms of transformation of PRBC and their membrane are related to the alterations of spectrin cytoskeleton. During this storage period potassium ions and lactat concentrations increased, pH decreased, intracellular concentration of reduced glutathione diminished in the preservative solution. Changes of PRBC morphology were detected within the entire period of PRBC storage. Discocytes predominated at the days 1 and 2. By day 30 PRBC transformed into irreversible echinocytes and spheroechinocytes. Study of defects of membranes nanostructure may form the basis of assessing the quality of the stored PRBC. This method may allow to work out the best recommendations for blood transfusion. - Highlights: • Domains with “grains” are formed on membranes surface on 9–16 days of PRBC storage. • The development of domains is the reason of irreversible changes of PRBC structure. • The origin of domains is the consequence of alterations of spectrin cytoskeleton. • Study of nanostructure may form basis of assessing the quality of the stored PRBC.

  20. Nanodefects of membranes cause destruction of packed red blood cells during long-term storage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kozlova, Elena; Chernysh, Aleksandr; Moroz, Victor; Sergunova, Victoria; Gudkova, Olga; Kuzovlev, Artem

    2015-01-01

    Packed red blood cells (PRBC) are used for blood transfusion. PRBC were stored for 30 days under 4 °C in hermetic blood bags with CPD anticoagulant-preservative solution. Hematocrit was 50–55%. The distortions of PRBC membranes nanostructure and cells morphology during storage were studied by atomic force microscopy. Basic measurements were performed at the day 2, 6, 9, 16, 23 and 30 of storage and additionally 2–3 days after it. Topological defects occurred on RBC membranes by day 9. They appeared as domains with grain-like structures (“grains”) sized up to 200 nm. These domains were appeared in almost all cells. Later these domains merged and formed large defects on cells. It was the formation of domains with the “grains” which was onset process leading eventually to destruction of PRBC. Possible mechanisms of transformation of PRBC and their membrane are related to the alterations of spectrin cytoskeleton. During this storage period potassium ions and lactat concentrations increased, pH decreased, intracellular concentration of reduced glutathione diminished in the preservative solution. Changes of PRBC morphology were detected within the entire period of PRBC storage. Discocytes predominated at the days 1 and 2. By day 30 PRBC transformed into irreversible echinocytes and spheroechinocytes. Study of defects of membranes nanostructure may form the basis of assessing the quality of the stored PRBC. This method may allow to work out the best recommendations for blood transfusion. - Highlights: • Domains with “grains” are formed on membranes surface on 9–16 days of PRBC storage. • The development of domains is the reason of irreversible changes of PRBC structure. • The origin of domains is the consequence of alterations of spectrin cytoskeleton. • Study of nanostructure may form basis of assessing the quality of the stored PRBC

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher T. Saeui

    2015-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Malaeb, Lilian

    2013-10-15

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

  5. Phytochemicals prevent mitochondrial membrane permeabilization and protect SH-SY5Y cells against apoptosis induced by PK11195, a ligand for outer membrane translocator protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yuqiu; Shamoto-Nagai, Masayo; Maruyama, Wakako; Osawa, Toshihiko; Naoi, Makoto

    2017-01-01

    Epidemiological studies present the beneficial effects of dietary habits on prevention of aging-associated decline of brain function. Phytochemicals, the second metabolites of food, protect neuronal cells from cell death in cellular models of neurodegenerative disorders, and the neuroprotective activity has been ascribed to the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory functions. In this paper, the cellular mechanism of neuroprotection by phytochemicals was investigated, using the cellular model of mitochondrial apoptosis induced by PK11195, a ligand of outer membrane translocator protein, in SH-SY5Y cells. PK11195 induced mitochondrial membrane permeabilization with rapid transit production of superoxide (superoxide flashes) and calcium release from mitochondria, and activated apoptosis signal pathway. Study on the structure-activity relationship of astaxanthin, ferulic acid derivatives, and sesame lignans revealed that these phytochemicals inhibited mitochondrial membrane permeabilization and protected cells from apoptosis. Ferulic acid derivatives and sesame lignans inhibited or enhanced the mitochondrial pore formation and cell death by PK11195 according to their amphiphilic properties, not directly depending on the antioxidant activity. Regulation of pore formation at mitochondrial membrane is discussed as a novel mechanism behind neuroprotective activity of phytochemicals in aging and age-associated neurodegenerative disorders, and also behind dual functions of phytochemicals in neuronal and cancer cells.

  6. A direct ascorbate fuel cell with an anion exchange membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  7. Ion beam evaluation of silicon carbide membrane structures intended for particle detectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pallon, J., E-mail: jan.pallon@nuclear.lu.se [Division of Nuclear Physics, Physics Department, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Syväjärvi, M. [Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, SE-58183 Linköping (Sweden); Graphensic AB, Teknikringen 1F, SE-58330 Linköping (Sweden); Wang, Q. [Sensor System, ACREO Swedish ICT AB, Box 1070, SE-164 25 Kista (Sweden); Yakimova, R.; Iakimov, T. [Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, SE-58183 Linköping (Sweden); Graphensic AB, Teknikringen 1F, SE-58330 Linköping (Sweden); Elfman, M.; Kristiansson, P.; Nilsson, E.J.C.; Ros, L. [Division of Nuclear Physics, Physics Department, Lund University, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden)

    2016-03-15

    Thin ion transmission detectors can be used as a part of a telescope detector for mass and energy identification but also as a pre-cell detector in a microbeam system for studies of biological effects from single ion hits on individual living cells. We investigated a structure of graphene on silicon carbide (SiC) with the purpose to explore a thin transmission detector with a very low noise level and having mechanical strength to act as a vacuum window. In order to reach very deep cavities in the SiC wafers for the preparation of the membrane in the detector, we have studied the Inductive Coupled Plasma technique to etch deep circular cavities in 325 μm prototype samples. By a special high temperature process the outermost layers of the etched SiC wafers were converted into a highly conductive graphitic layer. The produced cavities were characterized by electron microscopy, optical microscopy and proton energy loss measurements. The average membrane thickness was found to be less than 40 μm, however, with a slightly curved profile. Small spots representing much thinner membrane were also observed and might have an origin in crystal defects or impurities. Proton energy loss measurement (also called Scanning Transmission Ion Microscopy, STIM) is a well suited technique for this thickness range. This work presents the first steps of fabricating a membrane structure of SiC and graphene which may be an attractive approach as a detector due to the combined properties of SiC and graphene in a monolithic materials structure.

  8. Determination of the separate lipid and protein profile structures derived from the total membrane profile structure or isolated sarcoplasmic reticulum via x-ray and neutron diffraction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herbette, L.; Blasie, J.K.

    1984-01-01

    Sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) membranes were prepared to contain biosynthetically deuterated SR phospholipids utilizing specific and general phospholipid exchange proteins (PLEP). Functional measurements and freeze fracture on SR dispersions and x-ray diffraction of hydrated oriented membrane multilayers revealed that the exchanged SR membranes were very similar to unexchanged SR membranes. Low resolution (28-A) neutron diffraction studies utilizing SR membranes exchanged with either protonated or perdeuterated SR phospholipids allowed direct determination of the lipid profile within the isolated SR membrane at two different unit cell repeat distances. These lipid profile structures were found to be highly asymmetric regarding the conformation of the fatty acid chain extents and compositional distribution of phospholipid molecules in the inner vs. outer monolayer of the SR membrane bilayer. The relatively high resolution (11-A) electron-density profile from x-ray diffraction was decomposed by utilizing the asymmetry in the number of phospholipid molecules residing in the inner vs. outer monolayer of the SR lipid bilayer as obtained from the neutron diffraction study. To our knowledge, this represents the first direct determination of a lipid bilayer profile structure within an isolated membrane system

  9. Desmosomes: interconnected calcium-dependent structures of remarkable stability with significant integral membrane protein turnover.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-04-15

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

  10. Preparation and characterization of mono-sheet bipolar membranes by pre-irradiation grafting method for fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Yingjie; Fang, Jun; Fu, Tao; Zhou, Huili; Wang, Xin; Deng, Zixiang; Zhao, Jinbao

    2016-09-01

    A new method for the preparation of the mono-sheet bipolar membrane applied to fuel cells was developed based on the pre-irradiation grafting technology. A series of bipolar membranes were successfully prepared by simultaneously grafting of styrene onto one side of the poly(ethylene-co-tetrafluoroethylene) base film and 1-vinylimidazole onto the opposite side, followed by the sulfonation and alkylation, respectively. The chemical structures and microstructures of the prepared membranes were investigated by ATR-FTIR and SEM-EDS. The TGA measurements demonstrated the prepared bipolar membranes have reasonable thermal stability. The ion exchange capacity, water uptake and ionic conductivity of the membranes were also characterized. The H2/O2 single fuel cells using these membranes were evaluated and revealed a maximum power density of 107 mW cm-2 at 35 °C with unhumidified hydrogen and oxygen. The preliminary performances suggested the great prospect of these membranes in application of bipolar membrane fuel cells.

  11. Nano/micro-patterning the membrane-electrocatalyst layer for fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omosebi, Ayokunle O.

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) are high energy density electrochemical devices capable of directly converting stored chemical potential into electricity. Their many attributes, including low emissions, quiet operation, scalability, modularity and efficiency make them attractive alternatives to conventional portable and stationary power sources. The emergence of the PEMFC as a dominant technology for electrical power generation is however currently limited by performance losses and the cost of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). The basic architecture of the MEA, which has remained largely unchanged for over four decades, consists of ink-based platinum supported on carbon catalyst layers dispersed on either side of a Nafion membrane. In order to generate power from the electrochemical reaction, protons, electrons, and oxidant must be available at the catalyst layer-Nafion ionomer interface. As such, to improve performance, the availability of this interface should be maximized without increasing the transport resistance for reactants accessing the reaction plane. To achieve this objective, the membrane-electrode interface could be restructured to possess a larger interfacial area by creating nano/microfeatures on the Nafion membrane. This work introduces electron beam lithography coupled with dry etching and sputtering strategies for creating membrane-electrode structures with over-potential suppression characteristics in PEMFCs. Electron beam lithography provides the ability to fabricate nano/microfeatures in an electron beam sensitive material, while pattern transfer and aspect-ratio control is achieved with dry etching. Conventional and ultra-thin catalyst layers were fabricated by spraying and sputter deposition, and methanol and hydrogen were tested as fuels. Experiments involving the patterned MEA elucidate improved properties that lead to PEMFC performance enhancement. The ability to directly pattern a Nafion membrane

  12. Preparation of Highly Sulfonated Ultra-Thin Proton-Exchange Polymer Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  13. Preparation of catalyst coated membrane by modified decal transfer method for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indriyati; Irmawati, Y.; Prihandoko, B.

    2017-07-01

    A new catalyst coated membrane (CCM) was prepared by modified decal transfer method. A structure of ionomer/catalyst/carbon/substrate was used to facilitate the transfer of catalyst layer from decal substrate to the membrane at quite low hot-pressing temperature (120 °C) for 8 min. Several decal substrates were tested to select a proper substrate, namely PTFE cloth, PTFE film, aluminium foil, and OHP transparent sheet. The transfer degree of catalyst layer was estimated. Elemental analysis and SEM-mapping were performed to evaluate the residue, whereas contact angle measurement was conducted to characterize the hydrophobicity of decal substrates. The results showed that PTFE cloth and PFTE film transferred approximately 90% of catalyst layer onto the membrane, while the other two substrates were around 70%. Furthermore, the elemental analysis of the residue on the substrate revealed that it was mainly composed of carbon and fluorine for PTFE cloth and PTFE film. This result supports other findings that PTFE cloth and PTFE film are suitable as decal substrate at low temperature hot pressing for fabricating CCM.

  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...

  15. Modeling Of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Mads Pagh

    The objective of this doctoral thesis was to develop reliable steady-state and transient component models suitable to asses-, develop- and optimize proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems. Several components in PEM fuel cell systems were characterized and modeled. The developed component......- and system models match experimental data from the literature. However, limited data were available for verification so further work is necessary to confirm detailed aspects of the models. It is nonetheless expected that the developed models will be useful for system modeling and optimization of PEM fuel...... cell systems. Consequences of indirectly fueling PEM stacks with hydrocarbons using reforming technology were investigated using a PEM stack model including CO poisoning kinetics and a transient Simulink steam reforming system model. Aspects regarding the optimization of PEM fuel cell systems...

  16. Bacterial nanocellulose/Nafion composite membranes for low temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Gao-peng; Zhang, Jing; Qiao, Jin-li; Jiang, Yong-ming; Zarrin, Hadis; Chen, Zhongwei; Hong, Feng

    2015-01-01

    Novel nanocomposite membranes aimed for both proton-exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) are presented in this work. The membranes are based on blending bacterial nanocellulose pulp and Nafion (abbreviated as BxNy, where x and y indicates the mass ratio of bacterial cellulose to Nafion). The structure and properties of BxNy membranes are characterized by FTIR, SEM, TG, DMA and EIS, along with water uptake, swelling behavior and methanol permeability tests. It is found that the BxNy composite membranes with reinforced concrete-like structure show excellent mechanical and thermal stability regardless of annealing. The water uptake plus area and volume swelling ratios are all decreased compared to Nafion membranes. The proton conductivities of pristine and annealed B1N9 are 0.071 and 0.056 S cm-1, respectively, at 30 °C and 100% humidity. Specifically, annealed B1N1 exhibited the lowest methanol permeability of 7.21 × 10-7 cm2 s-1. Through the selectivity analysis, pristine and annealed B1N7 are selected to assemble the MEAs. The performances of annealed B1N7 in PEMFC and DMFC show the maximum power densities of 106 and 3.2 mW cm-2, respectively, which are much higher than those of pristine B1N7 at 25 °C. The performances of the pristine and annealed B1N7 reach a level as high as 21.1 and 20.4 mW cm-2 at 80 °C in DMFC, respectively.

  17. Weak glycolipid binding of a microdomain-tracer peptide correlates with aggregation and slow diffusion on cell membranes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim Lauterbach

    Full Text Available Organized assembly or aggregation of sphingolipid-binding ligands, such as certain toxins and pathogens, has been suggested to increase binding affinity of the ligand to the cell membrane and cause membrane reorganization or distortion. Here we show that the diffusion behavior of the fluorescently tagged sphingolipid-interacting peptide probe SBD (Sphingolipid Binding Domain is altered by modifications in the construction of the peptide sequence that both result in a reduction in binding to ganglioside-containing supported lipid membranes, and at the same time increase aggregation on the cell plasma membrane, but that do not change relative amounts of secondary structural features. We tested the effects of modifying the overall charge and construction of the SBD probe on its binding and diffusion behavior, by Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR; Biacore analysis on lipid surfaces, and by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS on live cells, respectively. SBD binds preferentially to membranes containing the highly sialylated gangliosides GT1b and GD1a. However, simple charge interactions of the peptide with the negative ganglioside do not appear to be a critical determinant of binding. Rather, an aggregation-suppressing amino acid composition and linker between the fluorophore and the peptide are required for optimum binding of the SBD to ganglioside-containing supported lipid bilayer surfaces, as well as for interaction with the membrane. Interestingly, the strength of interactions with ganglioside-containing artificial membranes is mirrored in the diffusion behavior by FCS on cell membranes, with stronger binders displaying similar characteristic diffusion profiles. Our findings indicate that for aggregation-prone peptides, aggregation occurs upon contact with the cell membrane, and rather than giving a stronger interaction with the membrane, aggregation is accompanied by weaker binding and complex diffusion profiles indicative of heterogeneous

  18. Response Mechanisms of Bacterial Degraders to Environmental Contaminants on the Level of Cell Walls and Cytoplasmic Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Slavomíra Murínová

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Bacterial strains living in the environment must cope with the toxic compounds originating from humans production. Surface bacterial structures, cell wall and cytoplasmic membrane, surround each bacterial cell and create selective barriers between the cell interior and the outside world. They are a first site of contact between the cell and toxic compounds. Organic pollutants are able to penetrate into cytoplasmic membrane and affect membrane physiological functions. Bacteria had to evolve adaptation mechanisms to counteract the damage originated from toxic contaminants and to prevent their accumulation in cell. This review deals with various adaptation mechanisms of bacterial cell concerning primarily the changes in cytoplasmic membrane and cell wall. Cell adaptation maintains the membrane fluidity status and ratio between bilayer/nonbilayer phospholipids as well as the efflux of toxic compounds, protein repair mechanisms, and degradation of contaminants. Low energy consumption of cell adaptation is required to provide other physiological functions. Bacteria able to survive in toxic environment could help us to clean contaminated areas when they are used in bioremediation technologies.

  19. Response mechanisms of bacterial degraders to environmental contaminants on the level of cell walls and cytoplasmic membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murínová, Slavomíra; Dercová, Katarína

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial strains living in the environment must cope with the toxic compounds originating from humans production. Surface bacterial structures, cell wall and cytoplasmic membrane, surround each bacterial cell and create selective barriers between the cell interior and the outside world. They are a first site of contact between the cell and toxic compounds. Organic pollutants are able to penetrate into cytoplasmic membrane and affect membrane physiological functions. Bacteria had to evolve adaptation mechanisms to counteract the damage originated from toxic contaminants and to prevent their accumulation in cell. This review deals with various adaptation mechanisms of bacterial cell concerning primarily the changes in cytoplasmic membrane and cell wall. Cell adaptation maintains the membrane fluidity status and ratio between bilayer/nonbilayer phospholipids as well as the efflux of toxic compounds, protein repair mechanisms, and degradation of contaminants. Low energy consumption of cell adaptation is required to provide other physiological functions. Bacteria able to survive in toxic environment could help us to clean contaminated areas when they are used in bioremediation technologies.

  20. Trans-cis isomerization of lipophilic dyes probing membrane microviscosity in biological membranes and in live cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-02

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Cell-substrate interaction with cell-membrane-stress dependent adhesion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, H; Yang, B

    2012-01-10

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

  4. Determine equilibrium dissociation constant of drug-membrane receptor affinity using the cell membrane chromatography relative standard method.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-23

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

  5. Novel polybenzimidazole derivatives for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Lixiang

    Recent advances have made polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) a leading alternative to internal combustion engines for both stationary and transportation applications. In particular, high temperature polymer electrolyte membranes operational above 120°C without humidification offer many advantages including fast electrode kinetics, high tolerance to fuel impurities and simple thermal and water management systems. A series of polybenzimidazole (PBI) derivatives including pyridine-based PBI (PPBI) and sulfonated PBI (SPBI) homopolymers and copolymers have been synthesized using polyphosphoric acid (PPA) as both solvent and polycondensation agent. High molecular weight PBI derivative polymers were obtained with well controlled backbone structures in terms of pyridine ring content, polymer backbone rigidity and degree of sulfonation. A novel process, termed the PPA process, has been developed to prepare phosphoric acid (PA) doped PBI membranes by direct-casting of the PPA polymerization solution without isolation or re-dissolution of the polymers. The subsequent hydrolysis of PPA to PA by moisture absorbed from the atmosphere usually induced a transition from the solution-like state to a gel-like state and produced PA doped PBI membranes with a desirable suite of physiochemical properties characterized by the PA doping levels, mechanical properties and proton conductivities. The effects of the polymer backbone structure on the polymer characteristics and membrane properties, i.e., the structure-property relationships of the PBI derivative polymers have been studied. The incorporation of additional basic nitrogen containing pyridine rings and sulfonic acid groups enhanced the polymer solubility in acid and dipolar solvents while retaining the inherently high thermal stability of the PBI heteroaromatic backbone. In particular, the degradation of the SPBI polymers with reasonable high molecular weights commenced above 450°C, notably higher than other

  6. Development and understanding of new membranes based on aromatic polymers and heterocycles for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wen

    Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) are appealing as a power source for portable devices as they do not require recharging with an electrical outlet. However, the DMFC technology is confronted with the high crossover of methanol fuel from the anode to the cathode through the currently used Nafion membrane, which not only wastes the fuel but also poisons the cathode platinum catalyst. With an aim to overcome the problems encountered with the Nafion membrane, this dissertation focuses on the design and development of new polymeric membrane materials for DMFC and a fundamental understanding of their structure-property-performance relationships. Several polymeric blend membranes based on acid-base interactions between an aromatic acidic polymer such as sulfonated ploy(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) and an aromatic basic polymer such as heterocycle tethered poly(sulfone) (PSf) have been explored. Various heterochylces like nitro-benzimidazole (NBIm), 1H-Perimidine (PImd), and 5-amino-benzotriazole (BTraz) have been tethered to PSf to understand the influence of pKa values and the size of the hetrocycles. The blend membranes show lower methanol crossover and better performance in DMFC than plain SPEEK due to an enhancement in proton conductivity through acid-base interactions and an insertion of the heterocycle side groups into the ionic clusters of SPEEK as indicated by small angle X-ray scattering and TEM data. The SPEEK/PSf-PImd blend membrane shows the lowest methanol crossover due to the larger size of the side groups, while the SPEEK/PSf-BTraz blend membrane shows the highest proton conductivity and maximum power density. To further investigate the methanol-blocking effect of the heterocycles, N,N'-Bis-(1H-benzimidazol-2-yl)-isophthalamide (BBImIP) having two amino-benzimidazole groups bonded to a phenyl ring has been incorporated into sulfonated polysulfone (SPSf) and SPEEK membranes. With two 2-amino-benzimidazole groups, which could greatly increase the proton

  7. Chemo-spectroscopic sensor for carboxyl terminus overexpressed in carcinoma cell membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanca, Sarmiza E; Matthäus, Christian; Neugebauer, Ute; Nietzsche, Sandor; Fritzsche, Wolfgang; Dellith, Jan; Heintzmann, Rainer; Weber, Karina; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen

    2015-10-01

    Certain carboxyl groups of the plasma membrane are involved in tumorgenesis processes. A gold core-hydroxyapatite shell (AuHA) nanocomposite is introduced as chemo-spectroscopic sensor to monitor these carboxyl groups of the cell membrane. Hydroxyapatite (HA) plays the role both of a chemical detector and of a biocompatible Raman marker. The principle of detection is based on chemical interaction between the hydroxyl groups of the HA and the carboxyl terminus of the proteins. The AuHA exhibits a surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) signal at 954 cm(-1) which can be used for its localization. The bio-sensing capacity of AuHA towards human skin epidermoid carcinoma (A431) and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines is investigated using Raman microspectroscopic imaging. The localization of AuHA on cells is correlated with scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and structured illumination fluorescence microscopy. This qualitative approach is a step towards a quantitative study of the proteins terminus. This method would enable further studies on the molecular profiling of the plasma membrane, in an attempt to provide accurate cell identification. Using a gold core-hydroxyapatite shell (AuHA) nanocomposite, the authors in this paper showed the feasibility of detecting and differentiating cell surface molecules by surface enhanced Raman scattering. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Mechanics of membrane bulging during cell-wall disruption in Gram-negative bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-04-01

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

  9. Effect of saline stress on plasma membrane structure and function of barley roots

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahmani, F. H.

    2000-01-01

    Barely (Hordeum vulgare L. c v. Black Local) plants were grown hydroponic ally under different saline stresses (50, 100, 150 And 200 mm NaCI. The adverse effect of each saline stress on the structure and function of root cells plasma membrane was studied in terms of root surface ATPase activation by NaCI in the reaction mixture. Was 0, 50, 100. 150 and 200mM. ATPase activity was found to be increased gradually at certain concentrations of NaCI. For control and 50mM stressed plants, the increase in root surface ATPase activity was started at 150mM NaCI. For 100mM stressed plants it was started at 100mM NaCI. For 150 and 200mM stressed plants it was stated at 50mM NaCI Results indicated that the adverse effect of the growth medium saline stresses on the integrity of the plasma membrane was started at 100mM saline stress. Accordingly the role of plasma membrane bound ATPase in active ion transport was disturbed at 100mM saline stress and may be impaired at 150 and 200mM saline stresses. It was suggested that the lipid environment of the plasma membrane surrounding ATPase was modified by the saline stresses 100-200mM. (author). 38 refs., 2 figs., 2 tabs

  10. Structural and Electrochemical Analysis of PMMA Based Gel Electrolyte Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chithra M. Mathew

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available New gel polymer electrolytes containing poly(vinylidene chloride-co-acrylonitrile and poly(methyl methacrylate are prepared by solution casting method. With the addition of 60 wt.% of EC to PVdC-AN/PMMA blend, ionic conductivity value 0.398×10-6 S cm−1 has been achieved. XRD and FT-IR studies have been conducted to investigate the structure and complexation in the polymer gel electrolytes. The FT-IR spectra show that the functional groups C=O and C≡N play major role in ion conduction. Thermal stability of the prepared membranes is found to be about 180°C.

  11. Probing membrane protein structure using water polarization transfer solid-state NMR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Jonathan K; Hong, Mei

    2014-10-01

    Water plays an essential role in the structure and function of proteins, lipid membranes and other biological macromolecules. Solid-state NMR heteronuclear-detected (1)H polarization transfer from water to biomolecules is a versatile approach for studying water-protein, water-membrane, and water-carbohydrate interactions in biology. We review radiofrequency pulse sequences for measuring water polarization transfer to biomolecules, the mechanisms of polarization transfer, and the application of this method to various biological systems. Three polarization transfer mechanisms, chemical exchange, spin diffusion and NOE, manifest themselves at different temperatures, magic-angle-spinning frequencies, and pulse irradiations. Chemical exchange is ubiquitous in all systems examined so far, and spin diffusion plays the key role in polarization transfer within the macromolecule. Tightly bound water molecules with long residence times are rare in proteins at ambient temperature. The water polarization-transfer technique has been used to study the hydration of microcrystalline proteins, lipid membranes, and plant cell wall polysaccharides, and to derive atomic-resolution details of the kinetics and mechanism of ion conduction in channels and pumps. Using this approach, we have measured the water polarization transfer to the transmembrane domain of the influenza M2 protein to obtain information on the structure of this tetrameric proton channel. At short mixing times, the polarization transfer rates are site-specific and depend on the pH, labile protons, sidechain conformation, as well as the radial position of the residues in this four-helix bundle. Despite the multiple dependences, the initial transfer rates reflect the periodic nature of the residue positions from the water-filled pore, thus this technique provides a way of gleaning secondary structure information, helix tilt angle, and the oligomeric structure of membrane proteins. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All

  12. Triggering of Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling by Emodin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morena Mischitelli

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: The natural anthraquinone derivative emodin (1,3,8-trihydroxy-6-methylanthraquinone is a component of several Chinese medicinal herbal preparations utilized for more than 2000 years. The substance has been used against diverse disorders including malignancy, inflammation and microbial infection. The substance is effective in part by triggering suicidal death or apoptosis. Similar to apoptosis of nucleated cells erythrocytes may enter suicidal erythrocyte death or eryptosis, characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling with phosphatidylserine translocation to the erythrocyte surface. Signaling involved in the triggering of eryptosis include increase of cytosolic Ca2+ activity ([Ca2+]i, oxidative stress and ceramide. The present study aimed to test, whether emodin induces eryptosis and, if so, to elucidate underlying cellular mechanisms. Methods: Phosphatidylserine abundance at the cell surface was estimated from annexin-V-binding, cell volume from forward scatter, [Ca2+]i from Fluo3-fluorescence, ROS formation from DCFDA dependent fluorescence, and ceramide abundance utilizing specific antibodies. Results: Exposure of human erythrocytes for 48 hours to emodin (≥ 10 µM significantly increased the percentage of annexin-V-binding cells, and at higher concentrations (≥ 50 µM significantly increased forward scatter. Emodin significantly increased Fluo3-fluorescence (≥ 10 µM, DCFDA fluorescence (75 µM and ceramide abundance (75 µM. The effect of emodin on annexin-V-binding was significantly blunted but not abolished by removal of extracellular Ca2+. Conclusions: Emodin triggers phospholipid scrambling of the erythrocyte cell membrane, an effect at least in part due to stimulation of Ca2+ entry and paralleled by oxidative stress and ceramide appearance at the erythroctye surface.

  13. Bleb Expansion in Migrating Cells Depends on Supply of Membrane from Cell Surface Invaginations.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shore, Lawrence [Edison, NJ

    2012-02-28

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreasen, Søren Juhl; Kær, Søren Knudsen; Sahlin, Simon Lennart

    2013-01-01

    This work presents a control strategy for controlling the methanol reformer temperature of a 350 W high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell system, by using a cascade control structure for reliable system operation. The primary states affecting the methanol catalyst bed temperature...... is the water and methanol mixture fuel flow and the burner fuel/air ratio and combined flow. An experimental setup is presented capable of testing the methanol reformer used in the Serenergy H3 350 Mobile Battery Charger; a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HTPEM) fuel cell system....... The experimental system consists of a fuel evaporator utilizing the high temperature waste gas from the cathode air cooled 45 cell HTPEM fuel cell stack. The fuel cells used are BASF P1000 MEAs which use phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes. The resulting reformate gas output of the reformer system...

  16. Molecular structure and transport dynamics in Nafion and sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone ketone) membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, P.Y.; Chiu, C.P.; Hong, C.W. [Department of Power Mechanical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, 101, Sec. 2, Kwang Fu Road, Hsinchu 30013 (China)

    2009-12-01

    An atomistic simulation technique is performed to investigate the molecular structure and transport dynamics inside a hydrated Nafion membrane and a hydrated sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone ketone) (SPEEKK) membrane. The simulation system consists of the representative fragments of the polymer electrolytes, hydronium ions and solvent molecules, such as water plus methanol molecules. Simulation results show that the hydrated SPEEKK has less phase separation among hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions in comparison with the Nafion. Those water channels formed in the SPEEKK are much narrower compared to those in the Nafion. These characteristics lead to a lower mobility of hydronium ions and water molecules and hence relatively lower diffusion coefficient of methanol in the SPEEKK. It results in the reduction of the methanol permeation problem in direct methanol fuel cells. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  18. Cell dualism: presence of cells with alternative membrane potentials in growing populations of bacteria and yeasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanov, Volodymyr; Rezaeinejad, Saeid; Chu, Jian

    2013-10-01

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

  19. Kinetics of structural reorganizations in multilamellarphotosynthetic membranes monitored by small-angle neutronscattering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nagy, Gergely; Kovacs, Laszlo; Unnep, Renata

    2013-01-01

    We demonstrate the power of time-resolved small-angle neutron scattering experiments for the investigation of the structure and structural reorganizations of multilamellar photosynthetic membranes. In addition to briefly summarizing our results on thylakoid membranes isolated from higher plants...... and in unicellular organisms, we discuss the advantages and technical and methodological limitations of timeresolved SANS. We present a detailed and more systematical investigation of the kinetics of light-induced structural reorganizations in isolated spinach thylakoid membranes, which show how changes...

  20. Remodelling of primary human CD4+ T cell plasma membrane order by n-3 PUFA.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  1. Noncontact microsurgery of cell membranes using femtosecond laser pulses for optoinjection of specified substances into cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  2. Comparative Studies of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Stacks and Single Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-02-01

    in the Catalyst Layer and Effects of Both Perfluorosulfonate Ionomer and PTFE-Loaded Carbon on the Catalyst Layer of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells ...financial support of this project. 12 References 1. T. F. Fuller, "Is a Fuel Cell in Your Fut