WorldWideScience

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. Plant cell plasma membrane structure and properties under clinostatting

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Hase, M

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ROMANA MASNIKOSA

    2003-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chulsung Bae

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DAIJIANWU; KECHUNLIN; 等

    1992-01-01

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

  7. Nano-Structured Proton Exchange Membrane for Fuel Cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seruni K.U. Freisleben

    2011-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Developments of new proton conducting membranes based on different polybenzimidazole structures for fuel cells applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carollo, A.; Quartarone, E.; Tomasi, C.; Mustarelli, P.; Belotti, F.; Magistris, A. [Department of Physical Chemistry, IENI-CNR and INSTM, University of Pavia Via Taramelli 16, 27100 Pavia (Italy); Maestroni, F.; Parachini, M.; Garlaschelli, L.; Righetti, P.P. [Department of Organic Chemistry, University of Pavia Via Taramelli 12, 27100 Pavia (Italy)

    2006-09-29

    The current goal on PEMFCs research points towards the optimization of devices working at temperatures above 100{sup o}C and at low humidity levels. Acid-doped polybenzimidazoles are particularly appealing because of high proton conductivity without humidification and promising fuel cells performances. In this paper we present the development of new proton conducting membranes based on different polybenzimidazole (PBI) structures. Phosphoric acid-doped membranes, synthesized from benzimidazole-based monomers with increased basicity and molecular weight, are presented and discussed. Test of methanol crossover and diffusion were performed in order to check the membrane suitability for DMFCs. Both the acid doping level and proton conductivity remarkably increase with the membrane molecular weight and basicity, which strictly depend on the amount of NH-groups as well as on their position in the polymer backbone. In particular, a conductivity value exceeding 0.1Scm{sup -1} at RH=40% and 80{sup o}C was reached in the case of the pyridine-based PBI. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Martin R; Regen, Steven L

    2014-12-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-30

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  15. 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...... absent from the center of the mature synapse. Understanding the role of such extensive membrane ruffling in the assembly of cytolytic synapses is an intriguing new goal....

  16. 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)

  17. Clarifying the chemical state of additives in membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells by X-ray absorption fine structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanuma, Toshihiro; Itoh, Takanori

    2016-02-01

    Cerium and manganese compounds are used in the membrane for polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) as radical scavengers to mitigate chemical degradation of the membrane. The chemical states of cerium and manganese in the membrane were investigated using a fluorescence X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) technique. Membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were subjected to open circuit voltage (OCV) condition, under which hydroxyl radicals attack the membrane; a shift in absorption energy in X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectra was compared between Ce- and Mn-containing membranes before and after OCV testing. In the case of the Ce-containing MEA, there was no significant difference in XANES spectra before and after OCV testing, whereas in the case of the Mn-containing MEA, there was an obvious shift in XANES absorption energy after OCV testing, indicating that Mn atoms with higher valence state than 2+ exist in the membrane after OCV testing. This can be attributed to the difference in the rate of reduction; the reaction of Ce4+ with ·OOH is much faster than that of Mn3+ with ·OOH, leaving some of the Mn atoms with higher valence state. It was confirmed that cerium and manganese redox couples reduced the attack from radicals, mitigating membrane degradation.

  18. Membrane structure and radiation and hyperthermic damage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The general structure of the biological membrane and its involvement in cell damage from radiation and hyperthermic insults are discussed using bacterial cells as an example. Bacterial cells are useful models for these types of studies because they possess a simple membrane system whose composition can be readily altered. Also, various strains exist having different sensitivities to radiation and heat. For example, the response of Escherichia coli cells to ionizing radiation is found to be related to the degree of association between its DNA and membrane. The cell membrane, particularly the lipid component, is an important target in hyperthermic cell killing. The composition and organization of the membrane lipids can influence a cell's response to heat. Heat-induced changes in membrane lipids lead to altered distribution of E. coli proteins, particularly their translocation to the outer membrane. These and other aspects are discussed in this review. (author)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oostergetel, GT; Keegstra, W; Brisson, A

    2001-01-01

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

  20. Structural changes in plasma membranes prepared from irradiated Chinese hamster V79 cells as revealed by Raman spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The effect of gamma irradiation on the integrity of plasma membranes isolated from Chinese hamster V79 cells was investigated by Raman spectroscopy. Plasma membranes of control V79 cells show transitions between -10 and 5 degree C (low-temperature transition), 10 and 22 degree C (middle-temperature transition), and 32 and 40 degree C (high-temperature transition). Irradiation (5 Gy) alters these transitions markedly. First, the low-temperature transition shifts to higher temperature (onset and completion temperatures 4 and 14 degree C). Second, the middle-temperature transition shifts up to the range of about 20-32 degree C, but the width remains unchanged. Third, the higher temperature transition broadens markedly and shifts to the range of about 15-40 degree C. Protein secondary structure as determined by least-squares analysis of the amide I bands shows 36% total helix, 55% total beta-strand, and 9% turn plus undefined for control plasma membrane proteins. Plasma membrane proteins of irradiated V79 cells show an increase in total helix (40 and 45% at 5 and 10 Gy, respectively) and a decrease in the total beta-strand (48 and 44% at 5 and 10 Gy, respectively) structures. The qualitative analysis of the Raman features of plasma membranes and model compounds in the 1600 cm-1 region, assigned to tyrosine groups, revealed that irradiation alters the microenvironment of these groups. We conclude that the radiation dose used in the survival range of Chinese hamster V79 cells can cause damage to plasma membrane proteins without detectable lipid peroxidation, and that the altered proteins react differently with lipids, yielding a shift in the thermal transition properties

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  2. Structural genomics of membrane proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Walian, Peter; Cross, Timothy A.; Jap, Bing K.

    2004-01-01

    Improvements in the fields of membrane-protein molecular biology and biochemistry, technical advances in structural data collection and processing, and the availability of numerous sequenced genomes have paved the way for membrane-protein structural genomics efforts. There has been significant recent progress, but various issues essential for high-throughput membrane-protein structure determination remain to be resolved.

  3. 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.

  4. Development of nano-structure controlled polymer electrolyte fuel-cell membranes by high-energy heavy ion irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    There is increasing interest in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) together with recent worldwide energy demand and environmental issues. In order to develop proton-conductive membranes for PEFCs, we have been using high-energy heavy ion beams from the cyclotron accelerator of Takasaki Ion Accelerators for Advanced Radiation Application (TIARA), JAEA. Our strategic focus is centered on using nano-scale controllability of the ion-beam processing; the membrane preparation involves (1) the irradiation of commercially-available base polymer films with MeV ions, (2) graft polymerization of vinyl monomers into electronically-excited parts along the ion trajectory, called latent tracks, and (3) sulfonation of the graft polymers. Interestingly, the resulting membranes exhibited anisotropic proton transport, i.e., higher conductivity in the thickness direction. According to microscopic observations, this is probably because the columnar electrolyte phase extended, with a width of tens-to-hundreds nanometers, through the membrane. Other excellent membrane properties, e.g., sufficient mechanical strength, high dimensional stability, and low gas permeability should be due to such a controlled structure. (author)

  5. Functional dynamics of cell surface membrane proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Minimum structural requirements for cell membrane leakage-mediated anti-MRSA activity of macrocyclic bis(bibenzyl)s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Kana; Morita, Daichi; Onoda, Kenji; Kuroda, Teruo; Miyachi, Hiroyuki

    2016-05-01

    Macrocyclic bis(bibenzyl)-type phenolic natural products, found exclusively in bryophytes, exhibit potent antibacterial activity towards methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (anti-MRSA activity). Here, in order to identify the minimum essential structure for cell membrane leakage-mediated anti-MRSA activity of these compounds, we synthesized acyclic fragment structures and evaluated their anti-MRSA activity. The activities of all of the acyclic fragments tested exhibited similar characteristics to those of the macrocycles, i.e., anti-MRSA bactericidal activity, an enhancing effect on influx and efflux of ethidium bromide (EtBr: fluorescent DNA-binder) in Staphylococcus aureus cells, and bactericidal activity towards a Staphylococcus aureus strain resistant to 2-phenoxyphenol (4). The latter result suggests that they have a different mechanism of action from 4, which is a FabI inhibitor previously proposed to be the minimum active fragment of riccardin-type macrocycles. Thus, cyclic structure is not a necessary condition for cell membrane leakage-mediated anti-MRSA activity of macrocyclic bis(bibenzyl)s. PMID:26995530

  9. Cell Membrane Softening in Cancer Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Sebastian; Händel, Chris; Käs, Josef

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  12. Membrane protein structure determination in membrana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Yi; Yao, Yong; Marassi, Francesca M

    2013-09-17

    The two principal components of biological membranes, the lipid bilayer and the proteins integrated within it, have coevolved for specific functions that mediate the interactions of cells with their environment. Molecular structures can provide very significant insights about protein function. In the case of membrane proteins, the physical and chemical properties of lipids and proteins are highly interdependent; therefore structure determination should include the membrane environment. Considering the membrane alongside the protein eliminates the possibility that crystal contacts or detergent molecules could distort protein structure, dynamics, and function and enables ligand binding studies to be performed in a natural setting. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy is compatible with three-dimensional structure determination of membrane proteins in phospholipid bilayer membranes under physiological conditions and has played an important role in elucidating the physical and chemical properties of biological membranes, providing key information about the structure and dynamics of the phospholipid components. Recently, developments in the recombinant expression of membrane proteins, sample preparation, pulse sequences for high-resolution spectroscopy, radio frequency probes, high-field magnets, and computational methods have enabled a number of membrane protein structures to be determined in lipid bilayer membranes. In this Account, we illustrate solid-state NMR methods with examples from two bacterial outer membrane proteins (OmpX and Ail) that form integral membrane β-barrels. The ability to measure orientation-dependent frequencies in the solid-state NMR spectra of membrane-embedded proteins provides the foundation for a powerful approach to structure determination based primarily on orientation restraints. Orientation restraints are particularly useful for NMR structural studies of membrane proteins because they provide information about both three-dimensional structure

  13. Proton conducting membrane for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-03-27

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

  14. Structural organization of the lens fiber cell plasma membrane protein MP18

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The 18,000-dalton bovine lens fiber cell intrinsic membrane protein MP18 was phosphorylated on a serine residue by both cAMP-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C. In addition, this protein bound calmodulin and was recognized by a monoclonal antibody (2D10). These different regions were localized using enzymatic and chemical fragmentation of electrophoretically purified MP18 that had been phosphorylated with either cAMP-dependent protein kinase or protein kinase C. Partial digestion of 32P-labeled MP18 with protease V8 resulted in a Mr = 17,000 peptide that bound calmodulin, but neither contained 32P or was recognized by the monoclonal antibody 2D10. Furthermore, the 17-kDa peptide had the same N-terminal amino acid sequence as MP18. Thus, the monoclonal antibody 2D10 recognition site and the protein kinase phosphorylation site(s) are close together and confined to a small region in the C terminus of MP18. This conclusion was confirmed in experiments where MP18 was fragmented with trypsin, endoproteinase Lys-C, or CNBr. The location of the phosphorylation site was confirmed by sequencing the small 32P-labeled, C-terminal peptide that resulted from protease V8 digestion of 32P-labeled MP18. This peptide contained a consensus sequence for cAMP-dependent protein kinase

  15. Fuel cell with ionization membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Frank T. (Inventor)

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    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.

  18. Solitons in cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Pradip; Schwarz, W. H.

    1995-04-01

    Using a two-dimensional smectic liquid crystal model, we have shown the plausibility of electrical solitary wave propagation along a bimolecular leaflet such as the cell membrane of a nerve axon which consists of chiral, lipid building blocks. Our model is a head-to-tail correlated ferroelectric, chiral Sm-C* liquid crystal, which is a unique class of substances that combines the electric polarization and anisotropy of ferroelectric crystals with the hydrodynamic properties of liquids. Polar Sm-A models can also be used with the same results. In addition to the usual transverse ferroelectricity, characteristic of the Sm-C* liquid crystal, the head-to-tail correlation ensures a longitudinal ferroelectricity component. The electric polarization due to the latter can couple to the transmembrane electric field resulting from the ionic imbalance between the two sides of the membrane-a mechanism detailed in the so-called Hodgkin-Huxley set of partial differential equations for the propagation of the action potential. We obtain a Landau-de Gennes-like free energy, which is the sum of elastic, fluctuation, and polarization terms, together with a ferroelectric term showing a direct coupling between the electric field and the mechanical deformation variable. Minimizing and equating to a viscous damping term leads to an equation similar to one equation of the Fitzhugh-Nagumo coupled set of partial differential equations, which is a simplified version of the Hodgkin-Huxley equations. The other equation of the set resembles an equation derived from the Nernst-Planck equation, which describes transmembrane ion transport and hence provides a mechanism for transmembrane potential variation. A more complete calculation of the velocity of the asymptotic wave form shows a lower wave speed than the estimate of Nagumo et al. The piezoelectric properties of the phase compete with its curvature elasticity to produce the soliton lattice of the cell membrane, which consists of juxtaposed

  19. Structural changes in plasma membrane under influence of ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The effects ionizing radiation on membranes was studied. Changes arising in the oligosaccharide layer of the surface of the cell membrane, in the protein and lipid phases of membranes under the influence of radiation, as well as possible schemes of formation of structural changes in the membrane are discussed. Molecular bases of structural membrane changes induced by radiation, and determination of their role in development of cell pathology were investigated. The influence of the state of irradiated cell membranes on their radiosensitivity are also studied

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Self-Deployable Membrane Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  4. 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)

  5. Robust mixed conducting membrane structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  9. POLYMER ELECTROLYTE MEMBRANE FUEL CELLS

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2001-01-01

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

  10. Resting microglial cells exhibit tubular membrane protrusions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrike Gimsa

    2002-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  12. Membrane Protein Structure Determination: Back to the Membrane

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, Yong; Ding, Yi; Tian, Ye; Opella, Stanley J.; Marassi, Francesca M.

    2013-01-01

    NMR spectroscopy enables the structures of membrane proteins to be determined in the native-like environment of the phospholipid bilayer membrane. This chapter outlines the methods for membrane protein structural studies using solid-state NMR spectroscopy with samples of membrane proteins incorporated in proteoliposomes or planar lipid bilayers. The methods for protein expression and purification, sample preparation, and NMR experiments are described and illustrated with examples from OmpX an...

  13. Lipids in the structure and functions of biological membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuznetsov V.I.

    2014-06-01

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

  14. Membrane protein structure determination: back to the membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Yong; Ding, Yi; Tian, Ye; Opella, Stanley J; Marassi, Francesca M

    2013-01-01

    NMR spectroscopy enables the structures of membrane proteins to be determined in the native-like environment of the phospholipid bilayer membrane. This chapter outlines the methods for membrane protein structural studies using solid-state NMR spectroscopy with samples of membrane proteins incorporated in proteoliposomes or planar lipid bilayers. The methods for protein expression and purification, sample preparation, and NMR experiments are described and illustrated with examples from OmpX and Ail, two bacterial outer membrane proteins that function in bacterial virulence. PMID:23975776

  15. The quantum casimir effect may be a universal force organizing the bilayer structure of the cell membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pawlowski, Piotr H; Zielenkiewicz, Piotr

    2013-05-01

    A mathematic-physical model of the interaction between cell membrane bilayer leaflets is proposed based on the Casimir effect in dielectrics. This model explains why the layers of a lipid membrane gently slide one past another rather than penetrate each other. The presented model reveals the dependence of variations in the free energy of the system on the membrane thickness. This function is characterized by the two close minima corresponding to the different levels of interdigitation of the lipids from neighbor layers. The energy barrier of the compressing transition between the predicted minima is estimated to be 5.7 kT/lipid, and the return energy is estimated to be 3.1 kT/lipid. The proposed model enables estimation of the value of the membrane elastic thickness modulus of compressibility, which is 1.7 × 10⁹ N/m², and the value of the interlayer friction coefficient, which is 1.9 × 10⁸ Ns/m³. PMID:23612889

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clavijo Carlos A

    1998-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Fabrication of polymer electrolyte membranes fuel cell as reduction of ETFE film polymer structure using electron beam

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crosslinking of ETFE polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) by combining several sources such as, -Electron beam (EB) -Thermal energy Characteristics of ETFE membrane: Ion exchange capacity (IEC), Water-uptake(WU) Size increment(SI), Tensile test, Chemical resistance Ionic conductivity (IC) Electric characteristics in PEMFC. Grafting monomer: Styrene (S), Methylstyrene (MS), Ion exchange capacity: Titration method with 0.1N NaOH Water-uptake : 24hr in DI water, room temp. = 26 .deg. C Tensile test: In stron analyzer Chemical resistance: 28% H2O2, 50 .deg. C Size increment: % wt-change after Di water-swelled at 26 .deg. C and for 24hr Ionic conductivity: 4 probe, measured in DI water at 26 .deg. C Electric characteristics: PEMFC (H2/O2), Cell size : 1 Χ 1 cm2 Temp. range: 50∼70 .deg. C, Pt loading : 0.4mg/cm2

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  20. Dynamic Structure Formation of Peripheral Membrane Proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Morozova, Diana; Guigas, Gernot; Weiss, Matthias

    2011-01-01

    Author Summary Eukaryotic cells are subdivided into a variety of compartments by membranes, i.e. by lipid bilayers into which a multitude of proteins are embedded. About 30% of all protein species in a cell are associated with membranes to perform vital functions, e.g. in signaling and transport pathways. A plethora of membrane-associated proteins, so-called peripheral membrane proteins, penetrate only one monolayer whereas transmembrane proteins span the entire thickness of a lipid bilayer. ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lux, Samuel E

    2016-01-14

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

  2. 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

  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

    explain additional observations for which the mechanisms involved have not yet been clarified experimentally. uPAR is a highly glycosylated, 3-domain protein, anchored in the plasma membrane by a glycolipid moiety. The domain organization is important for efficient ligand-binding, and the NH2-terminal...... interaction 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...

  4. Proton-exchange membrane regenerative fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  5. STUDYING MEMBRANE ANCHOR ORGANIZATION IN LIVING CELL MEMBRANES

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Hector Han-Li

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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

    at 150 °C with the PA acid loading level of 3.5 PRU (amount of H3PO4 per repeat unit of polymer QPBI). The QPBI membrane was characterized in terms of composition, structure and morphology by NMR, FTIR, SEM, and EDX. The fuel cell performance with the membrane gave peak power densities of 440 and 240...

  7. Engineered nanoparticles mimicking cell membranes for toxin neutralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Cardiolipin effects on membrane structure and dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unsay, Joseph D; Cosentino, Katia; Subburaj, Yamunadevi; García-Sáez, Ana J

    2013-12-23

    Cardiolipin (CL) is a lipid with unique properties solely found in membranes generating electrochemical potential. It contains four acyl chains and tends to form nonlamellar structures, which are believed to play a key role in membrane structure and function. Indeed, CL alterations have been linked to disorders such as Barth syndrome and Parkinson's disease. However, the molecular effects of CL on membrane organization remain poorly understood. Here, we investigated the structure and physical properties of CL-containing membranes using confocal microscopy, fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. We found that the fluidity of the lipid bilayer increased and its mechanical stability decreased with CL concentration, indicating that CL decreases the packing of the membrane. Although the presence of up to 20% CL gave rise to flat, stable bilayers, the inclusion of 5% CL promoted the formation of flowerlike domains that grew with time. Surprisingly, we often observed two membrane-piercing events in atomic force spectroscopy experiments with CL-containing membranes. Similar behavior was observed with a lipid mixture mimicking the mitochondrial outer membrane composition. This suggests that CL promotes the formation of membrane areas with apposed double bilayers or nonlamellar structures, similar to those proposed for mitochondrial contact sites. All together, we show that CL induces membrane alterations that support the role of CL in facilitating bilayer structure remodeling, deformation, and permeabilization. PMID:23962277

  9. Resting microglial cells exhibit tubular membrane protrusions

    OpenAIRE

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-31

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

  12. Solar cell preparation in thin silicon membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Libezny, M.; Poortmans, J.; Caymax, M.; Beaucarne, G.; Laureys, W.; Nijs, J. [IMEC, Leuven (Belgium)

    1997-12-31

    Solar cells prepared in a thin ({approx} 30 {micro}m) crystalline silicon membrane with a supporting frame allow an evaluation of the potential of c-Si thin film cells on cheap substrates. In the same time, light-weight and more radiation-hard solar cells may have direct applications in space. This paper studies the fabrication process of solar cells in {approx} 30 {micro}m thick p-Si epitaxial layers, incorporating a p{sup +2}-Si etch-stop/back-surface field layer, using KOH etching. Wax, rubber and silicon nitride were tested as masking material during the etching. It was found that both wax and silicon nitride could be used as materials for masking of supporting frames for the solar cell thinning up to 30 {micro}m. However, silicon nitride does not reliably protect the frontside structure.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  2. Impact of bacterial endotoxin on the structure of DMPC membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagel, Michael; Brauckmann, Stephan; Moegle-Hofacker, Franzeska; Effenberger-Neidnicht, Katharina; Hartmann, Matthias; de Groot, Herbert; Mayer, Christian

    2015-10-01

    Bacterial lipopolysaccharides are believed to have a toxic effect on human cell membranes. In this study, the influence of a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Escherichia coli on the structure, the dynamics and the mechanical strength of phospholipid membranes are monitored by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Model membranes are formed from 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DMPC) and are either prepared as multilamellar bulk samples or multilamellar vesicles. Field gradient NMR data directly prove the rapid integration of LPS into DMPC membranes. Solid state NMR experiments primarily detect decreasing molecular order parameters with increasing LPS content. This is accompanied by a mechanical softening of the membrane bilayers as is shown by AFM indentation measurements. Altogether, the data prove that lipopolysaccharide molecules quickly insert into phospholipid bilayers, increase membrane fluctuation amplitudes and significantly weaken their mechanical stiffness. PMID:26071197

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  4. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  5. Membrane Organization and Dynamics in Cell Polarity

    OpenAIRE

    Orlando, Kelly; Guo, Wei

    2009-01-01

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

  6. 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...... [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...

  7. Does ATP cross the cell plasma membrane.

    OpenAIRE

    Chaudry, I. H.

    1982-01-01

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

  8. 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].

  9. 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...

  10. Membrane proteomic analysis of pancreatic cancer cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Xiaojun

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human tumors due to its high potential of local invasion and metastasis. The aim of this study was to characterize the membrane proteomes of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC cells of primary and metastatic origins, and to identify potential target proteins related to metastasis of pancreatic cancer. Methods Membrane/membrane-associated proteins were isolated from AsPC-1 and BxPC-3 cells and identified with a proteomic approach based on SDS-PAGE, in-gel tryptic digestion and liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS. X! Tandem was used for database searching against the SwissProt human protein database. Results We identified 221 & 208 proteins from AsPC-1 and BxPC-3 cells, respectively, most of which are membrane or membrane-associated proteins. A hundred and nine proteins were found in both cell lines while the others were present in either AsPC-1 or BxPC-3 cells. Differentially expressed proteins between two cell lines include modulators of cell adhesion, cell motility or tumor invasion as well as metabolic enzymes involved in glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid cycle, or nucleotide/lipid metabolism. Conclusion Membrane proteomes of AsPC-1 (metastatic and BxPC-3 (primary cells are remarkably different. The differentially expressed membrane proteins may serve as potential targets for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Mechanical tension drives cell membrane fusion

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Specialized membrane biogenesis in mammary epithelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The apical membrane of the mammary gland epithelial cell is highly differentiated and adapted to participate in the process of fat secretion. Certain of the apical membrane differentiation antigens are frequently expressed on membrane carcinoma cells, and knowledge of the normal mechanisms by which these antigens are regulated may have implications for a better understanding of tumor antigen expression. Because the apical membrane of the cell is lost during secretion, active membrane biosynthesis must accompany fat secretion, and the cell represents a good model for studying membrane biogenesis in polarized epithelial cells. Experiments have been carried out using primary cultures of cells established from mammary glands of late pregnant mice and also a mouse cell line, COMMA-1-D, that differentiates in an appropriate milieu. When fat globule membranes are purified from mouse milk and the protein composition analyzed by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, four major proteins are identifiable with molecular weights of 55, 67, 90, and 150 kDa. The 67-kDa component was identified as butyrophilin and the 150-kDa one as xanthine oxidase. In addition, a high molecular weight carbohydrate rich glycoprotein, PAS-O, is also present. 3 refs., 3 figs

  17. Cathode degradation of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morphological changes occurring in membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC's) were monitored using scanning microscopy (SEM) during the course of 600 hours testing of hydrogen/air polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). The microstructural study suggests a structural change caused by loss of the recast ionomer could result in deterioration of the integrity of the electrode, a drop in both ionic and electronic conductivities, loss of platinum particle clusters (for carbon support), and increased resistance within the interfacial zone of the membrane and catalyst layer.(author)

  18. Resistance of cell membranes to different detergents

    OpenAIRE

    Schuck, Sebastian; Honsho, Masanori; Ekroos, Kim; Shevchenko, Andrej; Simons, Kai

    2003-01-01

    Partial resistance of cell membranes to solubilization with mild detergents and the analysis of isolated detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) have been used operationally to define membrane domains. Given the multitude of detergents used for this purpose, we sought to investigate whether extraction with different detergents might reflect the same underlying principle of domain formation. We therefore compared the protein and lipid content of DRMs prepared with a variety of detergents from two...

  19. Nuclear myosin I regulates cell membrane tension

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. The elliptocyte: a study of the relationship between cell shape and membrane structure using the camelid erythrocyte as a model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omorphos, S A; Hawkey, C M; Rice-Evans, C

    1989-01-01

    1. The elliptocytic shape of the camelid erythrocyte is very stable and has a high resistance to modification by drugs and treatment which alter the shape of the discocytic erythrocytes of scimitar-horned oryx and man. 2. Differences in the erythrocyte membrane proteins have been found which indicate that proteins play an important role in stabilisation of the camelid elliptocyte. 3. The organisation of the cytoskeletal network in camelid elliptocytes differs from that established for human discocytes. PMID:2605918

  2. Membrane elastic properties and cell function.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Pontes

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

  3. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yu Seung; Pivovar, Bryan S

    2014-02-25

    A method of preparing advanced membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) for use in fuel cells. A base polymer is selected for a base membrane. An electrode composition is selected to optimize properties exhibited by the membrane electrode assembly based on the selection of the base polymer. A property-tuning coating layer composition is selected based on compatibility with the base polymer and the electrode composition. A solvent is selected based on the interaction of the solvent with the base polymer and the property-tuning coating layer composition. The MEA is assembled by preparing the base membrane and then applying the property-tuning coating layer to form a composite membrane. Finally, a catalyst is applied to the composite membrane.

  4. Membrane-Bound Dynamic Structure of an Arginine-Rich Cell-Penetrating Peptide, the Protein Transduction Domain of HIV TAT, from Solid-State NMR

    OpenAIRE

    Su, Yongchao; Alan J Waring; Ruchala, Piotr; Hong, Mei

    2010-01-01

    The protein transduction domain of HIV-1 TAT, TAT(48-60), is an efficient cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) that diffuses across the lipid membranes of cells despite eight cationic Arg and Lys residues. To understand its mechanism of membrane translocation against the free energy barrier, we have conducted solid-state NMR experiments to determine the site-specific conformation, dynamics, and lipid interaction of the TAT peptide in anionic lipid bilayers. We found that TAT(48-60) is a highly dyna...

  5. Rho-dependent membrane folding causes Shigella entry into epithelial cells.

    OpenAIRE

    Adam, T; Giry, M; Boquet, P; Sansonetti, P

    1996-01-01

    The small GTPase rho is functionally involved in the formation of cytoskeletal structures like stress fibers or focal adhesion plaques. Shigella entry into HeLa cells induces a blossom-like membrane structure at the bacterial entry site. We show here that this membrane-folding process is rho-dependent. The three rho isoforms were recruited into bacterial entry sites with differential localization relative to the membrane structure. A rho-specific inhibitor abolished Shigella-induced membrane ...

  6. 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.

  7. Metric dynamics for membrane transformation through regulated cell proliferation

    OpenAIRE

    Ito, Hiroshi C.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Cell Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Thyroid & Parathyroid Glands Adrenal Gland Pancreas Gonads Other Endocrine Glands Review Quiz Cardiovascular System Heart Structure of the Heart Physiology of the Heart Blood Classification & Structure of Blood ...

  10. Photothermal nanoblade for patterned cell membrane cutting

    OpenAIRE

    Wu, Ting-Hsiang; Teslaa, Tara; Teitell, Michael A.; Chiou, Pei-Yu

    2010-01-01

    We report a photothermal nanoblade that utilizes a metallic nanostructure to harvest short laser pulse energy and convert it into a highly localized and specifically shaped explosive vapor bubble. Rapid bubble expansion and collapse punctures a lightly-contacting cell membrane via high-speed fluidic flows and induced transient shear stress. The membrane cutting pattern is controlled by the metallic nanostructure configuration, laser pulse polarization, and energy. Highly controllable, sub-mic...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This Phase I effort seeks to produce a conductive polyethersulfone (PES) microporous membrane for fuel cell water management applications. This membrane will...

  12. FABRICATION AND BIOCOMPATIBILITY OF CELL OUTER MEMBRANE MIMETIC SURFACES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ming-ming Zong; Yong-kuan Gong

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Membrane fluidity increases during apoptosis of sheep ileal Peyer's patch B cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    To investigate specific plasma membrane structural changes associated with apoptosis, whole cells and purified plasma membranes of apoptotic B cells from the ileal Peyer's patch of sheep were analyzed for their 'membrane fluidity'. The ileal Peyer's patch of sheep provided a large number of B cells required for plasma membrane isolation (>5 x 109). As the incidence of apoptosis increased with time of culture, the fluidity of purified plasma membranes, as measured with the fluorophore DPH (diphenylhexatriene), increased. To evaluate this phenomenon with intact cells, B cells at different apoptotic stages were fractionated on discontinuous Percoll gradients. Similar results were obtained using the fluorophore TMA-DPH (trimethylammoniumdiphenylhexatriene), which has been shown to localize specifically to the plasma membrane. Functionally, the increase in plasma membrane fluidity associated with apoptosis may represent either a mechanism to cycle phosphatidylserine to the outer leaflet, mediating phagocytic recognition of apoptotic cells, or a consequence of this event. (author). 20 refs., 1 tab., 4 figs

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. Exploiting Microbeams for Membrane Protein Structure Determination.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Andersson

    2016-05-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

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

  2. Electrostatic Inflation of Membrane Space Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiles, Laura A.

    Membrane space structures provide a lightweight and cost effective alternative to traditional mechanical systems. The low-mass and high deployed-to-stored volume ratios allow for larger structures to be launched, expanding on-orbit science and technology capabilities. This research explores a novel method for deployment of membrane space structures using electrostatic pressure as the inflation mechanism. Applying electric charge to a layered gossamer structure provides an inflationary pressure due to the repulsive electrostatic forces between the charged layers. The electrostatic inflation of membrane structures (EIMS) concept is particularly applicable to non-precision structures such as sunshields or drag de-orbiting devices. This research addresses three fundamental topics: necessary conditions for EIMS in a vacuum, necessary conditions for EIMS in a plasma, and charging methods. Vacuum demonstrations show that less than 10 kiloVolts are required for electrostatic inflation of membrane structures in 1-g. On-orbit perturbation forces can be much smaller, suggesting feasible voltage requirements. Numerical simulation enables a relationship between required inflation pressure (to offset disturbances) and voltage. 100's of Volts are required for inflation in geosynchronous orbits (GEO) and a few kiloVolts in low Earth orbit (LEO). While GEO plasma has a small impact on the EIMS performance, Debye shielding at LEO reduces the electrostatic pressure. The classic Debye shielding prediction is far worse than actual shielding, raising the `effective' Debye length to the meter scale in LEO, suggesting feasibility for EIMS in LEO. Charged particle emission and remote charging methods are explored as inflation mechanisms. Secondary electron emission characteristics of EIMS materials were determined experimentally. Nonlinear fits to the Sternglass curve determined a maximum yield of 1.83 at 433 eV for Aluminized Kapton and a maximum yield of 1.78 at 511 eV for Aluminized

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Xiao; Bonn, Mischa; Parekh, Sapun H; Domke, Katrin F

    2016-03-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  6. Noncontact microsurgery of living cell membrane using femtosecond laser pulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilina, I. V.; Ovchinnikov, A. V.; Sitnikov, D. S.; Chefonov, O. V.; Agranat, M. B.; Mikaelyan, A. S.

    2013-06-01

    Near-infrared femtosecond laser pulses were applied to initiate reversible permeabilization of cell membrane and inject extrinsic substances into the target cells. Successful laser-based injection of a membrane impermeable dye, as well as plasmid DNA was demonstrated.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Manuel Molina-Guijarro

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

  9. 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

  10. Recent developments in membrane-protein structural genomics

    OpenAIRE

    Gao, Fei Philip; Cross, Timothy A.

    2006-01-01

    Recent work has identified the topology of almost all the inner membrane proteins in Escherichia coli, and advances in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy now allow the determination of α-helical membrane protein structures at high resolution. Together these developments will help overcome the current limitations of high-throughput determination of membrane protein structures.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张秀莉; 张卫东; 郝新政; 张慧峰; 张泽廷; 张建春

    2003-01-01

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

  12. Fuel cell membranes and crossover prevention

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-04

    A membrane electrode assembly for use with a direct organic fuel cell containing a formic acid fuel includes a solid polymer electrolyte having first and second surfaces, an anode on the first surface and a cathode on the second surface and electrically linked to the anode. The solid polymer electrolyte has a thickness t:.gtoreq..times..times..times..times. ##EQU00001## where C.sub.f is the formic acid fuel concentration over the anode, D.sub.f is the effective diffusivity of the fuel in the solid polymer electrolyte, K.sub.f is the equilibrium constant for partition coefficient for the fuel into the solid polymer electrolyte membrane, I is Faraday's constant n.sub.f is the number of electrons released when 1 molecule of the fuel is oxidized, and j.sub.f.sup.c is an empirically determined crossover rate of fuel above which the fuel cell does not operate.

  13. Wind-induced response analysis of conical membrane structures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Bo; WU Yue; SHEN Shi-zhao

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-21

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

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisman, G. A.

    1990-02-01

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

  17. Structure Determination of Membrane Proteins in Five Easy Pieces

    OpenAIRE

    Marassi, Francesca M.; Das, Bibhuti B.; Lu, George J.; Nothnagel, Henry J.; Park, Sang Ho; Son, Woo Sung; Tian, Ye; Opella, Stanley J.

    2011-01-01

    A general method for determining the structures of membrane proteins in phospholipid bilayers under physiological conditions is described. Membrane proteins are high priority targets for structure determination, and are challenging for the existing experimental methods. Because membrane proteins reside in a liquid crystalline phospholipid bilayer membranes it is important to study them in this type of environment. The approach we have developed can be summarized in five steps, and incorporate...

  18. Controlling Structure in Sulfonated Block Copolymer Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truong, Phuc; Stein, Gila; Strzalka, Joe

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kidd, Parris M

    2007-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  1. Block copolymers for alkaline fuel cell membrane materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yifan

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

  2. Sodium selectivity of Reissner's membrane epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim Kyunghee X

    2011-02-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  4. Membrane electrolytic cell for minimizing hypochlorite and chlorate formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An electrolytic cell for the electrolysis of an alkali metal chloride brine is comprised of an anode compartment and a cathode compartment separated by a cation exchange membrane. The anode is comprised of an unflattened expanded structure of a valve metal selected from the group consisting of titanium, tantalum, niobium, and alloys thereof. At least one side of the anode has as the electrochemically active surface an electrodeposited layer of a valve metal oxide. A plurality of cracks traverse the electrodeposited layer and a coating of a platinum metal group oxide covers the electrodeposited layer and substantially fills the cracks. The cationic exchange membrane is comprised of a laminated structure having a first surface adapted to contact an anolyte in which the ion exchange groups are predominately sulfonic acid groups. The first surface is also in contact with the electrochemically active surface of the anode. A second surface of the cation exchange membrane, adapted to contact a catholyte, has ion exchange groups which are predominately carboxylic acid groups. The cathode positioned in the cathode compartment is spaced apart from the cation exchange membrane. The cell operates with both a low chlorine overvoltage and a low oxygen overvoltage. During electrolysis of alkali metal chloride brines, the formation of hypochlorite and chlorate ions is minimized and the alkali metal hydroxides produced have low chlorate concentrations and are suitable for use without further treatment in chlorate-sensitive applications. Spent brine treatment is simplified and at reduced costs

  5. 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

  6. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    K.Scott; M. Mamlouk

    2006-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prada, Ilaria; Meldolesi, Jacopo

    2016-01-01

    Exosomes and ectosomes, extracellular vesicles of two types generated by all cells at multivesicular bodies and the plasma membrane, respectively, play critical roles in physiology and pathology. A key mechanism of their function, analogous for both types of vesicles, is the fusion of their membrane to the plasma membrane of specific target cells, followed by discharge to the cytoplasm of their luminal cargo containing proteins, RNAs, and DNA. Here we summarize the present knowledge about the interactions, binding and fusions of vesicles with the cell plasma membrane. The sequence initiates with dynamic interactions, during which vesicles roll over the plasma membrane, followed by the binding of specific membrane proteins to their cell receptors. Membrane binding is then converted rapidly into fusion by mechanisms analogous to those of retroviruses. Specifically, proteins of the extracellular vesicle membranes are structurally rearranged, and their hydrophobic sequences insert into the target cell plasma membrane which undergoes lipid reorganization, protein restructuring and membrane dimpling. Single fusions are not the only process of vesicle/cell interactions. Upon intracellular reassembly of their luminal cargoes, vesicles can be regenerated, released and fused horizontally to other target cells. Fusions of extracellular vesicles are relevant also for specific therapy processes, now intensely investigated. PMID:27517914

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  10. 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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Yamamoto, Eiji; Yasui, Masato; Yasuoka, Kenji

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  13. Imaging cytoskeleton--mitochondrial membrane attachments by embedment-free electron microscopy of saponin-extracted cells.

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, A; Krockmalnic, G; Penman, S

    1990-01-01

    Embedment-free electron microscopy images the cytoskeleton and nuclear matrix, which are very difficult to visualize in conventional electron micrographs. However, to be effective, cell structures must be depleted of soluble proteins, which otherwise shroud cell architecture. Nonionic detergents effect this extraction, releasing soluble proteins but also destroying all membranes. Saponin can permeabilize plasma membranes, releasing soluble proteins while preserving many cytoplasmic membranes....

  14. Structural aspects of polymer membrane transport properties

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bleha, Miroslav; Pientka, Zbyněk

    Valladolid: Secretariado de Publicaciones. Universidad de Valladolid, 1993, s. 225. ISBN 84-7762-359-7. [European Society of Membranes Science and Technology (ESMST). Sumer School on Membranes (10.). Valladolid (ES), 20.09.1993-24.09.1993

  15. Changes in plasma membrane structure upon irradiation on thymocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thymocytes were irradiated with doses of 4 to 104 Gy. The binding of 1-anilinonaphtalene-8-sulphonate and Ca2+ to plasma membranes; viscosity and lipid peroxidation; Stern-Folmer constant; and the number of Sh-groups of membrane proteins were determined. The structural changes in plasma membranes after irradiation of thymocytes were found to be cooperative

  16. Effect of ionizing radiation and calcium on plasma membrane structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plasma membrane thymocytes were irradiated with doses of 10-104 Gy in the presence of 125 and 1125 μ mol of Ca2+ per 1 mg of membrane proteins. Fluorescence of 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulphonate and the degree of puren eximerization were determined. The data obtained indicate that calcium can exert a stabilizing effect on the plasma membrane structure affected by radiation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. Structural Determinants for Partitioning of Lipids and Proteins Between Coexisting Fluid Phases in Giant Plasma Membrane Vesicles

    OpenAIRE

    Sengupta, Prabuddha; Hammond, Adam; Holowka, David; Baird, Barbara

    2007-01-01

    The structural basis for organizational heterogeneity of lipids and proteins underlies fundamental questions about the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. A current hypothesis is the participation of liquid ordered (Lo) membrane domains (lipid rafts) in dynamic compartmentalization of membrane function, but it has been difficult to demonstrate the existence of these domains in live cells. Recently, giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) obtained by chemically induced blebbing of cultured cel...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Preliminary crystallographic analysis of the antibiotic discharge outer membrane lipoprotein OprM of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with an exceptionally long unit cell and complex lattice structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The OprM subunit of the MexAB-OprM efflux pump in P. aeruginosa is an outer membrane-anchored lipoprotein. OprM crystals have been grown at 293 K in the presence of 2-methyl-2,4-propanediol and a combination of surfactants and diffracted to 2.56 Å resolution. Crystals of the drug-discharge outer membrane protein OprM (MW = 50.9 kDa) of the MexAB-OprM multidrug transporter of Pseudomonas aeruginosa have been grown at 293 K in the presence of 2-methyl-2,4-propanediol and a combination of surfactants. The crystal belonged to space group R32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 85.43, c = 1044.3 Å. Diffraction data for OprM were obtained using the undulator synchrotron-radiation beamline at SPring-8 (BL44XU, Osaka University), which allowed an extra-long specimen-to-detector distance with a wide detector area. The crystal diffracted to 2.56 Å resolution using 0.9 Å X-rays from the synchrotron-radiation source. A heavy-atom derivative for isomorphous replacement phasing was obtained using iridium chloride

  1. Preliminary crystallographic analysis of the antibiotic discharge outer membrane lipoprotein OprM of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with an exceptionally long unit cell and complex lattice structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akama, Hiroyuki; Kanemaki, Misa [Department of Molecular Life Science, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara 259-1193 (Japan); Tsukihara, Tomitake; Nakagawa, Atsushi [The Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University, Suita 565-0871 (Japan); Nakae, Taiji, E-mail: nakae@is.icc.u-tokai.ac.jp [Department of Molecular Life Science, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara 259-1193 (Japan)

    2005-01-01

    The OprM subunit of the MexAB-OprM efflux pump in P. aeruginosa is an outer membrane-anchored lipoprotein. OprM crystals have been grown at 293 K in the presence of 2-methyl-2,4-propanediol and a combination of surfactants and diffracted to 2.56 Å resolution. Crystals of the drug-discharge outer membrane protein OprM (MW = 50.9 kDa) of the MexAB-OprM multidrug transporter of Pseudomonas aeruginosa have been grown at 293 K in the presence of 2-methyl-2,4-propanediol and a combination of surfactants. The crystal belonged to space group R32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 85.43, c = 1044.3 Å. Diffraction data for OprM were obtained using the undulator synchrotron-radiation beamline at SPring-8 (BL44XU, Osaka University), which allowed an extra-long specimen-to-detector distance with a wide detector area. The crystal diffracted to 2.56 Å resolution using 0.9 Å X-rays from the synchrotron-radiation source. A heavy-atom derivative for isomorphous replacement phasing was obtained using iridium chloride.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, K R

    1985-01-01

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

  3. Functional Implications of Plasma Membrane Condensation for T Cell Activation

    OpenAIRE

    Rentero, Carles; Zech, Tobias; Quinn, Carmel M.; Engelhardt, Karin; Williamson, David; Grewal, Thomas; Jessup, Wendy; Harder, Thomas; Gaus, Katharina

    2008-01-01

    The T lymphocyte plasma membrane condenses at the site of activation but the functional significance of this receptor-mediated membrane reorganization is not yet known. Here we demonstrate that membrane condensation at the T cell activation sites can be inhibited by incorporation of the oxysterol 7-ketocholesterol (7KC), which is known to prevent the formation of raft-like liquid-ordered domains in model membranes. We enriched T cells with 7KC, or cholesterol as control, to assess the importa...

  4. Preliminary crystallographic analysis of the antibiotic discharge outer membrane lipoprotein OprM of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with an exceptionally long unit cell and complex lattice structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akama, Hiroyuki; Kanemaki, Misa; Tsukihara, Tomitake; Nakagawa, Atsushi; Nakae, Taiji

    2005-01-01

    Crystals of the drug-discharge outer membrane protein OprM (MW = 50.9 kDa) of the MexAB-OprM multidrug transporter of Pseudomonas aeruginosa have been grown at 293 K in the presence of 2-methyl-2,4-propanediol and a combination of surfactants. The crystal belonged to space group R32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 85.43, c = 1044.3 A. Diffraction data for OprM were obtained using the undulator synchrotron-radiation beamline at SPring-8 (BL44XU, Osaka University), which allowed an extra-long specimen-to-detector distance with a wide detector area. The crystal diffracted to 2.56 A resolution using 0.9 A X-rays from the synchrotron-radiation source. A heavy-atom derivative for isomorphous replacement phasing was obtained using iridium chloride. PMID:16508113

  5. Chemical Imaging of the Cell Membrane by NanoSIMS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Qiong; WANG Guangjin; YE Hong; YAN Shilin

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Roles of membrane trafficking in plant cell wall dynamics

    OpenAIRE

    Ebine, Kazuo; Ueda, Takashi

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Grafted polyelectrolyte membranes for lithium batteries and fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kerr, John B.

    2003-06-24

    Polyelectrolyte materials have been developed for lithium battery systems in response to the severe problems due to salt concentration gradients that occur in composite electrodes (aka membrane-electrode assemblies). Comb branch polymer architectures are described which allow for grafting of appropriate anions on to the polymer and also for cross-linking to provide for appropriate mechanical properties. The interactions of the polymers with the electrode surfaces are critical for the performance of the system and some of the structural features that influence this will be described. Parallels with the fuel cell MEA structures exist and will also be discussed.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Mechanical properties of catalyst coated membranes: A powerful indicator of membrane degradation in fuel cells

    OpenAIRE

    Sadeghi Alavijeh, Alireza

    2015-01-01

    Mechanical durability of perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) ionomer membranes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) is investigated in this thesis. This work contributes to a systematic characterization of the decay in mechanical properties of membranes and catalyst coated membranes (CCMs) that are subjected to controlled chemical and/or mechanical degradation mechanisms. During field operation of PEFCs, the membrane is subjected to a combination of chemical and mechanical degradation, resulti...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kishore R Mosaliganti

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

  12. Membrane Elastegrities: A New Model Viscoelastic Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlides, Eleftherios; Pearce, Jennifer

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Thomas G.; Doroshow, James H.

    1989-06-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noutsi, Pakiza; Gratton, Enrico; Chaieb, Sahraoui

    2016-01-01

    Cell membrane is made up of a complex structure of lipids and proteins that diffuse laterally giving rise to what we call membrane fluidity. During cellular development, such as differentiation cell membranes undergo dramatic fluidity changes induced by proteins such as ARC and Cofilin among others. In this study we used the generalized polarization (GP) property of fluorescent probe Laurdan using two-photon microscopy to determine membrane fluidity as a function of time and for various cell lines. A low GP value corresponds to a higher fluidity and a higher GP value is associated with a more rigid membrane. Four different cell lines were monitored such as hN2, NIH3T3, HEK293 and L6 cells. Membrane fluidity was measured at 12h, 72h and 92 h. Our results show significant changes in membrane fluidity among all cell types at different time points. GP values tend to increase significantly within 92 h in hN2 cells and 72 h in NIH3T3 cells and only at 92 h in HEK293 cells. L6 showed a marked decrease in membrane fluidity at 72 h and starts to increase at 92 h. As expected, NIH3T3 cells have more rigid membrane at earlier time points. On the other hand, neurons tend to have the highest membrane fluidity at early time points emphasizing its correlation with plasticity and the need for this malleability during differentiation. This study sheds light on the involvement of membrane fluidity during neuronal differentiation and development of other cell lines. PMID:27362860

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    StephaneGasman

    2013-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Pavlović Ksenija; Grbović Ljubica; Vasiljević Bojana; Župunski Andrea; Putnik-Delić Marina; Maksimović Ivana; Kevrešan Slavko

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  2. 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

  3. Overexpressing Human Membrane Proteins in Stably Transfected and Clonal Human Embryonic Kidney 293S Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Chaudhary, Sarika; Pak, John E.; Gruswitz, Franz; Sharma, Vinay; Stroud, Robert M.

    2012-01-01

    X-ray crystal structures of human membrane proteins, while potentially being of extremely high impact, are highly underrepresented relative to those of prokaryotic membrane proteins. One key reason for this is that human membrane proteins can be difficult to express at a level, and at a quality, suitable for structural studies. This protocol describes the methods that we utilize to overexpress human membrane proteins from clonal HEK293S GnTI- cells, and was recently used in our 2.1 Å X-ray cr...

  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. Reassessing ecdysteroidogenic cells from the cell membrane receptors' perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandratos, Alexandros; Moulos, Panagiotis; Nellas, Ioannis; Mavridis, Konstantinos; Dedos, Skarlatos G

    2016-01-01

    Ecdysteroids secreted by the prothoracic gland (PG) cells of insects control the developmental timing of their immature life stages. These cells have been historically considered as carrying out a single function in insects, namely the biochemical conversion of cholesterol to ecdysteroids and their secretion. A growing body of evidence shows that PG cells receive multiple cues during insect development so we tested the hypothesis that they carry out more than just one function in insects. We characterised the molecular nature and developmental profiles of cell membrane receptors in PG cells of Bombyx mori during the final larval stage and determined what receptors decode nutritional, developmental and physiological signals. Through iterative approaches we identified a complex repertoire of cell membrane receptors that are expressed in intricate patterns and activate previously unidentified signal transduction cascades in PG cells. The expression patterns of some of these receptors explain precisely the mechanisms that are known to control ecdysteroidogenesis. However, the presence of receptors for the notch, hedgehog and wingless signalling pathways and the expression of innate immunity-related receptors such as phagocytosis receptors, receptors for microbial ligands and Toll-like receptors call for a re-evaluation of the role these cells play in insects. PMID:26847502

  6. Reassessing ecdysteroidogenic cells from the cell membrane receptors’ perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexandratos, Alexandros; Moulos, Panagiotis; Nellas, Ioannis; Mavridis, Konstantinos; Dedos, Skarlatos G.

    2016-01-01

    Ecdysteroids secreted by the prothoracic gland (PG) cells of insects control the developmental timing of their immature life stages. These cells have been historically considered as carrying out a single function in insects, namely the biochemical conversion of cholesterol to ecdysteroids and their secretion. A growing body of evidence shows that PG cells receive multiple cues during insect development so we tested the hypothesis that they carry out more than just one function in insects. We characterised the molecular nature and developmental profiles of cell membrane receptors in PG cells of Bombyx mori during the final larval stage and determined what receptors decode nutritional, developmental and physiological signals. Through iterative approaches we identified a complex repertoire of cell membrane receptors that are expressed in intricate patterns and activate previously unidentified signal transduction cascades in PG cells. The expression patterns of some of these receptors explain precisely the mechanisms that are known to control ecdysteroidogenesis. However, the presence of receptors for the notch, hedgehog and wingless signalling pathways and the expression of innate immunity-related receptors such as phagocytosis receptors, receptors for microbial ligands and Toll-like receptors call for a re-evaluation of the role these cells play in insects. PMID:26847502

  7. Cell structures for purifying ionized solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A cell structure is described for separating an ionized solution into streams of concentrated acid, concentrated alkali and deionized fluid, the structure comprising a bed of mixed anion and cation resin, a first anion membrane forming a partition for a side of the mixed resin bed, a first cation membrane forming a partition for another side of the mixed resin bed, an anion resin bed adjacent to the first anion membrane, a second cation membrane forming a partition for a side of the anion resin bed remote from the first anion membrane, an anode spaced from the anion resin bed and the second cation membrane, a cation resin bed adjacent to the first cation membrane, a second anion membrane forming a partition for a side of the cation resin bed remote from the first cation membrane, and a cathode spaced from the cation resin bed and the second anion membrane. As an example, reference is made to the continuous extraction of tritium from the water in the primary coolant loop of a nuclear power plant. (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-29

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haryadi, Sugianto, D.; Ristopan, E.

    2015-12-01

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

  11. 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...... 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...... for understanding the key mechanisms during reconstitution of membrane proteins in these lipoproteins. In this project the self-assembly of nanodiscs has been structurally characterized with small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) in a time resolved fashion. This brought knowledge about the structural...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mihaela Gheorghiu

    2002-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  14. 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.

  15. Selective effect of cell membrane on synaptic neurotransmission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Selective effect of cell membrane on synaptic neurotransmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Atomistic molecular dynamics simulations were performed with 13 non-peptidic neurotransmitters (NTs) in three different membrane environments. The results provide compelling evidence that NTs are divided into membrane-binding and membrane-nonbinding molecules. NTs adhere to the postsynaptic membrane surface whenever the ligand-binding sites of their synaptic receptors are buried in the lipid bilayer. In contrast, NTs that have extracellular ligand-binding sites do not have a similar tendency to adhere to the membrane surface. This finding is a seemingly simple yet important addition to the paradigm of neurotransmission, essentially dividing it into membrane-independent and membrane-dependent mechanisms. Moreover, the simulations also indicate that the lipid composition especially in terms of charged lipids can affect the membrane partitioning of NTs. The revised paradigm, highlighting the importance of cell membrane and specific lipids for neurotransmission, should to be of interest to neuroscientists, drug industry and the general public alike. PMID:26782980

  17. 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.

  18. Finite element analysis of microelectrotension of cell membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Bae, Chilman; Butler, Peter J.

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Membrane Fouling in Microfiltration used for Cell Harvesting

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tahereh Kaghazchi; Farzin Zokaee; Abbas Zare

    2001-01-01

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

  20. Structural basis of complement membrane attack complex formation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Koopman, Marjolein

    2006-01-01

    The cell plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells is a lipid bi-layer that separates the cell cytosol from the extracellular environment. The composition and organization of proteins and lipids within this bi-layer have a direct impact on many cellular processes, since they form the senses of the cell. Technological advances, like high resolution microscopy together with the possibility to address different membrane components via specific labeling now allows researchers to investigate cell membra...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veatch, Sarah

    2013-03-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  5. Nafion-carbon nanocomposite membranes prepared using hydrothermal carbonization for proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chai, Zhanli [Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Clayton VIC 3182 (Australia); College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Inner Mongolia University, Inner Mongolia 010021 (China); Wang, Cheng; Zhang, Hongjie [State Key Laboratory of Rare Earth Resource Utilization, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun 130022 (China); Doherty, Cara M.; Hill, Anita J. [CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Locked Bag 33, Clayton South MDC, VIC 3169 (Australia); Ladewig, Bradley P.; Wang, Huanting [Department of Chemical Engineering, Monash University, Clayton VIC 3182 (Australia)

    2010-12-21

    Nafion-carbon (NC) composite membranes were prepared by hydrothermal treatment of Nafion membrane impregnated with glucose solution. The carbon loading of the NC membrane was tuned by controlling the hydrothermal carbonization time. X-ray diffraction, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and positron annihilation lifetime spectroscopy were used to characterize plain Nafion and NC composite membranes. Nafion-carbon composite membranes exhibited better proton conductivity and reduced methanol permeability than those of the plain Nafion membrane. A single cell prepared with the NC composite membrane with a carbon loading of 3.6 wt% exhibited the highest cell performance. Compared with the cell performance of plain Nafion membrane, the maximum power density of the new cell improved by 31.7% for an H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} fuel cell at room temperature, and by 44.0% for a direct methanol fuel cell at 60 C. (Copyright copyright 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  6. Membrane tension and cytoskeleton organization in cell motility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  7. STRUCTURE AND PROPERTIES OF COMPOSITE POLYURETHANE HOLLOW FIBER MEMBRANES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xian-feng Li; Chang-fa Xiao

    2005-01-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hapsari, Rizqiya Astri

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Friedberg, I.; Kaback, H R

    1980-01-01

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

  11. Structural Studies of Membrane-Bound Pyrophosphatases

    OpenAIRE

    Kellosalo, Juho

    2013-01-01

    Membrane-bound pyrophosphatases (M-PPases) catalyze a reaction where the free energy released from pyrophoshate (PPi) hydrolysis is converted into a sodium and/or proton gradient by pumping these ions across the membrane [1]. They are found in plants, protozoans and prokaryotes and are important for survival in abiotic stress conditions such as cold, hypoxia, salt stress and low-light intensity [2, 3][4]. In plants, M-PPases are the main hydrolysers of cytoplasmic pyrophosphate, which source ...

  12. Structure determination of membrane proteins in five easy pieces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marassi, Francesca M; Das, Bibhuti B; Lu, George J; Nothnagel, Henry J; Park, Sang Ho; Son, Woo Sung; Tian, Ye; Opella, Stanley J

    2011-12-01

    Rotational Alignment (RA) solid-state NMR provides the basis for a general method for determining the structures of membrane proteins in phospholipid bilayers under physiological conditions. Membrane proteins are high priority targets for structure determination, and are challenging for existing experimental methods. Because membrane proteins reside in liquid crystalline phospholipid bilayer membranes it is important to study them in this type of environment. The RA solid-state NMR approach we have developed can be summarized in five steps, and incorporates methods of molecular biology, biochemistry, sample preparation, the implementation of NMR experiments, and structure calculations. It relies on solid-state NMR spectroscopy to obtain high-resolution spectra and residue-specific structural restraints for membrane proteins that undergo rotational diffusion around the membrane normal, but whose mobility is otherwise restricted by interactions with the membrane phospholipids. High resolution spectra of membrane proteins alone and in complex with other proteins and ligands set the stage for structure determination and functional studies of these proteins in their native, functional environment. PMID:21964394

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  16. Cultivation of MDCK epithelial cells on chitosan membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popowicz, P; Kurzyca, J; Dolińska, B; Popowicz, J

    1985-01-01

    Deacetylated chitin upon evaporation from aqueous acetic acid solutions forms a thin, permeable and transparent porous membrane which can be successfully used as support of cell culture. An established MDCK cell line grown as monolayer on both chitosan membrane and millipore filter generates comparable bioelectrical properties when studied in a typical transporting chamber. PMID:4084278

  17. 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...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  19. New ETFE-based membrane for direct methanol fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The investigated membranes are based on 35-bar μ m thick commercial poly(ethylene-alt-tetrafluoroethylene) (ETFE) films. The films were made proton conductive by means of irradiation treatment followed by sulfonation. These membranes have exceptionally low water uptake and excellent dimensional stability. The new membranes are investigated widely in a laboratory-scale direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The temperature range used in the fuel cell tests was 30-85-bar o C and the measurement results were compared to those of the Nafion(R)115 membrane. Also methanol permeability through the ETFE-based membrane was measured as a function of temperature, resulting in values less than 10% of the corresponding values for Nafion(R)115, which was considerably thicker than the experimental membrane. Methanol crossover was reported to decrease when the thickness of the membrane increases, so the ETFE-based membrane compares favourably to Nafion(R) membranes. The maximum power densities achieved with the experimental ETFE-based membrane were about 40-65% lower than the corresponding values of the Nafion(R)115 membrane, because of the lower conductivity and noticeably higher IR-losses. Chemical and mechanical stability of the ETFE-based membrane appeared to be promising since it was tested over 2000-bar h in the DMFC without any performance loss

  20. The Stirred Tank Reactor Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    CERN Document Server

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

    2003-01-01

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

  1. A new look at lipid-membrane structure in relation to drug research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mouritsen, Ole G.; Jørgensen, Kent

    1998-01-01

    Lipid-bilayer membranes are key objects in drug research in relation to (i) interaction of drugs with membrane-bound receptors, (ii) drug targeting, penetration, and permeation of cell membranes, and (iii) use of liposomes in micro-encapsulation technologies for drug delivery. Rational design of...... new drugs and drug-delivery systems therefore requries insight into the physical properties of lipid-bilayer membranes. This mini-review provides a perspective on the current view of lipid-bilayer structure and dynamics based on information obtained from a variety of recent experimental and...... theoretical studies. Special attention is paid to trans-bilayer structure, lateral molecular organization of the lipid bilayer, lipid-mediated protein assembly, and lipid-bilayer permeability. It is argued that lipids play a major role in lipid membrane-organization and functionality....

  2. Structure of highly rigid ionic polymers from single molecules to membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Lilin; Cornelius, Christopher J.

    2005-03-01

    The structure of ionic polymers in solutions and in their solid state is governed by the segregation to hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions. Very rigid backbones with persistence lengths much larger than the size of the monomer limit the segregation affecting the resulting structure and dynamics of the polymers. Using a newly synthesized para phenylene based sulfonated polymer with a potential to serve as a polymeric electrolytic membrane for fuel cell applications, we followed the structure of highly rigid ionic polymers from a single molecule to a water swollen membranes using small angle neutron scattering and AFM/TEM techniques. AFM and TEM images show that the dry membranes have domains with a diameter from 30 nm to 70nm. Small angle neutron scattering probes the smaller structure in the membranes from dry to swollen states. Fitting to Teubner-Strey model of SANS data indicates the bi-continuous phases were formed with water and ethanol despite the rigidity of the backbone.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-14

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Aimei; SHI Qingshan; OUYANG Yousheng; CHEN Yiben

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  7. 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; Jensen, Jens Oluf; Pan, Chao; Steenberg, T.; Dai, S.; Bjerrum, Niels J.

    2013-01-01

    Degradation of carbon supported platinum catalysts is a major failure mode for the long term durability of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells based on phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes. With Vulcan carbon black as a reference, thermally treated carbon black and...

  8. The structure of melittin in membranes.

    OpenAIRE

    Vogel, H.; Jähnig, F

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Alexander Panchenko; Elena Aleksandrova; Emil Roduner

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Cell membrane potentials induced during exposure to EMP fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gailey, P.C.; Easterly, C.E.

    1994-09-01

    Internal current densities and electric fields induced in the human body during exposure to EMP fields are reviewed and used to predict resulting cell membrane potentials. Using several different approaches, membrane potentials of about 100 mV are predicted. These values are comparable to the static membrane potentials maintained by cells as a part of normal physiological function, but the EMP-induced potentials persist for only about 10 ns. Possible biological implications of EMP-induced membrane potentials including conformational changes and electroporation are discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Emmalee M.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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 membrane tightly with its two major domains, the C2 and phosphatase domains

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    Polybenzimidazoles (PBIs) with synthetically modified structures and their blends with a partially fluorinated sulfonated aromatic polyether have been prepared and characterized for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Significant improvement in the polymer chemical stability in...... 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...

  15. Evaluation of the damage of cell wall and cell membrane for various extracellular polymeric substance extractions of activated sludge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Xuesong; Liu, Junxin; Xiao, Benyi

    2014-10-20

    Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) are susceptible to contamination by intracellular substances released during the extraction of EPS owing to the damage caused to microbial cell structures. The damage to cell walls and cell membranes in nine EPS extraction processes of activated sludge was evaluated in this study. The extraction of EPS (including proteins, carbohydrates and DNA) was the highest using the NaOH extraction method and the lowest using formaldehyde extraction. All nine EPS extraction methods in this study resulted in cell wall and membrane damage. The damage to cell walls, evaluated by 2-keto-3-deoxyoctonate (KDO) and N-acetylglucosamine content changes in extracted EPS, was the most significant in the NaOH extraction process. Formaldehyde extraction showed a similar extent of damage to cell walls to those detected in the control method (centrifugation), while those in the formaldehyde-NaOH and cation exchange resin extractions were slightly higher than those detected in the control. N-acetylglucosamine was more suitable than KDO for the evaluation of cell wall damage in the EPS extraction of activated sludge. The damage to cell membranes was characterized by two fluorochromes (propidium iodide and FITC Annexin V) with flow cytometry (FCM) measurement. The highest proportion of membrane-damaged cells was detected in NaOH extraction (26.54% of total cells) while membrane-damaged cells comprised 8.19% of total cells in the control. PMID:25173614

  16. Lipid membrane domains in cell surface and vacuolar systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, T; Hirabayashi, Y

    2000-01-01

    Detergent insoluble sphingolipid-cholesterol enriched 'raft'-like membrane microdomains have been implicated in a variety of biological processes including sorting, trafficking, and signaling. Mutant cells and knockout animals of sphingolipid biosynthesis are clearly useful to understand the biological roles of lipid components in raft-like domains. It is suggested that raft-like domains distribute in internal vacuolar membranes as well as plasma membranes. In addition to sphingolipid-cholesterol-rich membrane domains, recent studies suggest the existence of another lipid-membrane domain in the endocytic pathway. This domain is enriched with a unique phospholipid, lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA) and localized in the internal membrane of multivesicular endosome. LBPA-rich membrane domains are involved in lipid and protein sorting within the endosomal system. Possible interaction between sphingolipids and LBPA in sphingolipid-storage disease is discussed. PMID:11201787

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Calcium-dependent oligomerization of CAR proteins at cell membrane modulates ABA signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Maira; Sanchez-Barrena, Maria Jose; Gonzalez-Rubio, Juana Maria; Rodriguez, Lesia; Fernandez, Daniel; Antoni, Regina; Yunta, Cristina; Belda-Palazon, Borja; Gonzalez-Guzman, Miguel; Peirats-Llobet, Marta; Menendez, Margarita; Boskovic, Jasminka; Marquez, Jose A; Rodriguez, Pedro L; Albert, Armando

    2016-01-19

    Regulation of ion transport in plants is essential for cell function. Abiotic stress unbalances cell ion homeostasis, and plants tend to readjust it, regulating membrane transporters and channels. The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) and the second messenger Ca(2+) are central in such processes, as they are involved in the regulation of protein kinases and phosphatases that control ion transport activity in response to environmental stimuli. The identification and characterization of the molecular mechanisms underlying the effect of ABA and Ca(2+) signaling pathways on membrane function are central and could provide opportunities for crop improvement. The C2-domain ABA-related (CAR) family of small proteins is involved in the Ca(2+)-dependent recruitment of the pyrabactin resistance 1/PYR1-like (PYR/PYL) ABA receptors to the membrane. However, to fully understand CAR function, it is necessary to define a molecular mechanism that integrates Ca(2+) sensing, membrane interaction, and the recognition of the PYR/PYL interacting partners. We present structural and biochemical data showing that CARs are peripheral membrane proteins that functionally cluster on the membrane and generate strong positive membrane curvature in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner. These features represent a mechanism for the generation, stabilization, and/or specific recognition of membrane discontinuities. Such structures may act as signaling platforms involved in the recruitment of PYR/PYL receptors and other signaling components involved in cell responses to stress. PMID:26719420

  20. The Stirred Tank Reactor Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    OpenAIRE

    Benziger, Jay; Chia, E.; Karnas, E.; Moxley, J.; Teuscher, C.; Kevrekidis, I. G.

    2003-01-01

    The design and operation of a differential Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell is described. The fuel cell design is based on coupled Stirred Tank Reactors (STR); the gas phase in each reactor compartment was well mixed. The characteristic times for reactant flow, gas phase diffusion and reaction were chosen so that the gas compositions at both the anode and cathode are uniform. The STR PEM fuel cell is one-dimensional; the only spatial gradients are transverse to the membrane. The S...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-21

    A cationic protein isolated from the seeds of the Moringa oleifera tree has been extensively studied for use in water treatment in developing countries and has been proposed for use in antimicrobial and therapeutic applications. However, the molecular basis for the antimicrobial action of this peptide, Moringa oleifera cationic protein (MOCP), has not been previously elucidated. We demonstrate here that a dominant mechanism of MOCP antimicrobial activity is membrane fusion. We used a combination of cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and fluorescence assays to observe and study the kinetics of fusion of membranes in liposomes representing model microbial cells. We also conducted cryo-EM experiments on E. coli cells where MOCP was seen to fuse the inner and outer membranes. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of membrane vesicles with MOCP molecules were used to elucidate steps in peptide adsorption, stalk formation, and fusion between membranes. PMID:25845029

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zengyu Liu; Staffan Persson; Yi Zhang

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Integral membrane protein structure determination using pseudocontact shifts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Membrane specializations and endosome maturation in dendritic cells and B cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boes, Marianne; Cuvillier, Armelle; Ploegh, Hidde

    2004-04-01

    Interest in the cell biology of antigen presentation is centered on dendritic cells (DCs) as initiators of the immune response. The ability to examine primary antigen-presenting cells, as opposed to cell lines, has opened a new window for study of antigen processing and peptide acquisition by Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) products, especially where intracellular trafficking of peptide-Class-II complexes is concerned. Here, we review the dynamics of Class II MHC-positive intracellular structures in dendritic cells as well as B cells. We focus on the generation of multivesicular bodies, where Class II MHC products acquire antigenic peptide, on the endosomal transport of peptide-loaded Class II MHC to the cell surface and on the importance of Class II MHC localization in membrane microdomains. PMID:15066635

  7. Radiation Interaction with Therapeutic Drugs and Cell Membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  8. Preliminary crystallographic analysis of the antibiotic discharge outer membrane lipoprotein OprM of Pseudomonas aeruginosa with an exceptionally long unit cell and complex lattice structure

    OpenAIRE

    Akama, Hiroyuki; Kanemaki, Misa; Tsukihara, Tomitake; Nakagawa, Atsushi; Nakae, Taiji

    2004-01-01

    The OprM subunit of the MexAB-OprM efflux pump in P. aeruginosa is an outer membrane-anchored lipoprotein. OprM crystals have been grown at 293 K in the presence of 2-methyl-2,4-propanediol and a combination of surfactants and diffracted to 2.56 Å resolution.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lelievre, Sophie A; Bissell, Mina J

    1998-10-21

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

  10. 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. PMID:26905652

  11. 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.

  12. Denaturation of membrane proteins and hyperthermic cell killing

    OpenAIRE

    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 bound to membrane proteins, is capable of providing heat resistance to these proteins. ... Zie: Summary

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Perurnal Bhavani; Dharmalingam Sangeetha

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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......A prerequisite for life is the ability to maintain electrochemical imbalances across biomembranes. In all eukaryotes the plasma membrane potential and secondary transport systems are energized by the activity of P-type ATPase membrane proteins: H1-ATPase (the proton pump) in plants and fungi1...... 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...

  15. Gangliosides in cell recognition and membrane protein regulation

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  17. Structured microparticles with tailored properties produced by membrane emulsification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vladisavljević, Goran T

    2015-11-01

    This paper provides an overview of membrane emulsification routes for fabrication of structured microparticles with tailored properties for specific applications. Direct (bottom-up) and premix (top-down) membrane emulsification processes are discussed including operational, formulation and membrane factors that control the droplet size and droplet generation regimes. A special emphasis was put on different methods of controlled shear generation on membrane surface, such as cross flow on the membrane surface, swirl flow, forward and backward flow pulsations in the continuous phase and membrane oscillations and rotations. Droplets produced by membrane emulsification can be used for synthesis of particles with versatile morphology (solid and hollow, matrix and core/shell, spherical and non-spherical, porous and coherent, composite and homogeneous), which can be surface functionalised and coated or loaded with macromolecules, nanoparticles, quantum dots, drugs, phase change materials and high molecular weight gases to achieve controlled/targeted drug release and impart special optical, chemical, electrical, acoustic, thermal and magnetic properties. The template emulsions including metal-in-oil, solid-in-oil-in-water, oil-in-oil, multilayer, and Pickering emulsions can be produced with high encapsulation efficiency of encapsulated materials and narrow size distribution and transformed into structured particles using a variety of solidification processes, such as polymerisation (suspension, mini-emulsion, interfacial and in-situ), ionic gelation, chemical crosslinking, melt solidification, internal phase separation, layer-by-layer electrostatic deposition, particle self-assembly, complex coacervation, spray drying, sol-gel processing, and molecular imprinting. Particles fabricated from droplets produced by membrane emulsification include nanoclusters, colloidosomes, carbon aerogel particles, nanoshells, polymeric (molecularly imprinted, hypercrosslinked, Janus and core

  18. Crystal structure of the plasma membrane proton pump.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-13

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

  19. Oxidant injury and dynamics or vitamin E incorporation in pulmonary artery endothelial cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), an environmental oxidant, is known to cause peroxidative injury to pulmonary artery endothelial cells (PAEC). Vitamin E (E), a dietary antioxidant, protects against free-radical-initiated injury and stabilizes cell membrane structure. Because E represents the only known hydrophobic antioxidant in the lipid bilayer, we hypothesize that site-specific injury from NO2 may differentially influence the incorporation of E and the stabilization of membrane structure in PAEC. To test this, confluent porcine PAEC were exposed to 5 ppm NO2 in 5% CO2 or air (control) for 24 hr. After exposure, cells were incubated wither with labeled (3H), unlabeled E, or with vehicle alone (control) for 24 hr. After incubation, incorporation of E was measured in mitochondrial (MT), microsomal (MS), and plasma membranes (PM). Alterations in physical state of these membranes were measured by monitoring fluorescence anisotrophy (rs) of diphenylhexatriene (DPH). Increases in rs represent decreases in fluidity. E incorporation in control MT, MS, and PM was 7.2, 5.3, and 21.8 nmol/mg protein, respectively. In NO2-exposed cells, E incorporation was increased in PM only (31.6 nmol/mg protein). As a result of increased E incorporation, rs values for DPH were significantly increased in PM. These results indicate that site-specific injury and the physical state of membrane lipids are determinants of E incorporation and the stability of membrane structure

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Seperator membranes for redox-type electrochemical cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This disclosure is directed to improved redox type electrochemical cells, preferably those of the iron (+3)/iron (+2) electrolyte variety, incorporating polymeric, ion-exchange separator membranes produced by radiation grafting techniques

  3. Novel Membrane for Highly Efficient Fuel Cells Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells and electrolyzers are key technologies for NASA space systems utilizing hydrogen, oxygen, or water as reactants. In order...

  4. Novel High Temperature Membrane for PEM Fuel Cells Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The innovation proposed in this STTR program is a high temperature membrane to increase the efficiency and power density of PEM fuel cells. The NASA application is...

  5. Membrane transport mechanism 3D structure and beyond

    CERN Document Server

    Ziegler, Christine

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Ternary structure reveals mechanism of a membrane diacylglycerol kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jodie Lopez

    2015-12-01

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

  10. A membrane bending model of outer hair cell electromotility.

    OpenAIRE

    Raphael, R. M.; Popel, A S; Brownell, W. E.

    2000-01-01

    We propose a new mechanism for outer hair cell electromotility based on electrically induced localized changes in the curvature of the plasma membrane (flexoelectricity). Electromechanical coupling in the cell's lateral wall is modeled in terms of linear constitutive equations for a flexoelectric membrane and then extended to nonlinear coupling based on the Langevin function. The Langevin function, which describes the fraction of dipoles aligned with an applied electric field, is shown to be ...

  11. Increased cell membrane arachidonic acid in experimental colorectal tumours.

    OpenAIRE

    Nicholson, M. L.; Neoptolemos, J P; Clayton, H A; Talbot, I C; Bell, P R

    1991-01-01

    Tumour cell membrane fatty acid composition was investigated using an animal model of colorectal carcinogenesis. Eighty six male Wistar rats were fed experimental diets containing either 5% saturated fat or 20% saturated fat. Colorectal tumours were induced by intraperitoneal injection of azoxymethane, and control rats received saline. Animals were killed at intervals up to 26 weeks after the last injection of carcinogen for histology and lipid analysis. Cell membrane fatty acids in colonic m...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, Hongmei; Singh, Vijay

    2015-05-01

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

  15. Structural differences between thermophilic and mesophilic membrane proteins

    OpenAIRE

    Meruelo, Alejandro D.; Han, Seong Kyu; Kim, Sanguk; Bowie, James U.

    2012-01-01

    The evolutionary adaptations of thermophilic water-soluble proteins required for maintaining stability at high temperature have been extensively investigated. Little is known about the adaptations in membrane proteins, however. Here, we compare many properties of mesophilic and thermophilic membrane protein structures, including side-chain burial, packing, hydrogen bonding, transmembrane kinks, loop lengths, hydrophobicity, and other sequence features. Most of these properties are quite simil...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henle, Mark L.; Levine, Alex J.

    2009-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon W Fogarty

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

  1. Use of reverse micelles in membrane protein structural biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  2. Use of reverse micelles in membrane protein structural biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-03-15

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

  3. Mouse endometrial stromal cells produce basement-membrane components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1986-01-01

    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. The....... 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...... 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltsev, Sergey; Lorigan, Gary A

    2011-10-01

    Membrane proteins represent a challenging class of biological systems to study. They are extremely difficult to crystallize and in most cases they retain their structure and functions only in membrane environments. Therefore, commonly used diffraction methods fail to give detailed molecular structure and other approaches have to be utilized to obtain biologically relevant information. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, however, can provide powerful structural and dynamical constraints on these complicated systems. Solution- and solid-state NMR are powerful methods for investigating membrane proteins studies. In this work, we briefly review both solution and solid-state NMR techniques for membrane protein studies and illustrate the applications of these methods to elucidate proteins structure, conformation, topology, dynamics, and function. Recent advances in electronics, biological sample preparation, and spectral processing provided opportunities for complex biological systems, such as membrane proteins inside lipid vesicles, to be studied faster and with outstanding quality. New analysis methods therefore have emerged, that benefit from the combination of sample preparation and corresponding specific high-end NMR techniques, which give access to more structural and dynamic information. PMID:23733702

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-27

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

  8. Influence of radiation on liquid content of plasma membranes of liver cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The level of total phospholipids decreases, a cholesterol/phospholipid molar coefficient increases, and lipid/protein ratio in plasma membranes of liver cells decreases at early times following total-body X-irradiation of rats (LDsub(50/30)). Changes in individual phospholipids were differently directed. A possible correlation between the data obtained and the structural-functional status of the surface membrane is discussed

  9. Discovery of novel membrane binding structures and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. Proton conducting membranes for high temperature fuel cells with solid state water free membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

    A water free, proton conducting membrane for use in a fuel cell is fabricated as a highly conducting sheet of converted solid state organic amine salt, such as converted acid salt of triethylenediamine with two quaternized tertiary nitrogen atoms, combined with a nanoparticulate oxide and a stable binder combined with the converted solid state organic amine salt to form a polymeric electrolyte membrane. In one embodiment the membrane is derived from triethylenediamine sulfate, hydrogen phosphate or trifiate, an oxoanion with at least one ionizable hydrogen, organic tertiary amine bisulfate, polymeric quaternized amine bisulfate or phosphate, or polymeric organic compounds with quaternizable nitrogen combined with Nafion to form an intimate network with ionic interactions.

  11. Mathematical modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A one-dimensional non-isothermal model of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells has been developed to investigate the effect of various design and operating conditions on the cell performance, thermal response and water management, and to understand the underlying mechanism. The model includes variable membrane hydration, ternary gas mixtures for both reactant streams, phase change of water in the electrodes with non-saturated reactant gas streams, and energy equation for the temperature distribution across the cell. It is found that temperature distribution within the PEM fuel cells is affected by water phase change in the electrodes, especially for unsaturated reactant streams. Larger peak temperature rise occurs at lower cell operating temperatures and for partially humidified reactants due to increased membrane resistance and Joule heating arising from reduced membrane hydration. The nonuniform temperature rise can be significant for fuel cell stacks. Operation on reformed fuels results in a decrease in cell performance largely due to reduced membrane hydration, which is also mainly responsible for reduced performance at high current densities for high cell operating pressures. Model predictions compare well with known experimental results. (author)

  12. Water transport through a PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell in a seven-layer model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The most critical problems to overcome in the PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell technology are the water management. In this work, a seven-layer theoretical model is proposed that includes anode and cathode inlet channels, anode and cathode GDLs (gas diffusion layers), CLs (catalyst layers), and the 117 Nation proton exchange membrane. The mathematical model is a one-dimensional, steady-state, isothermal and isobar to describe the water transport phenomena in PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell). A rationally chosen set of parameters are considered such as the humidity and the stoichiometry of the inlet gases, the porosity of GDL, and the membrane thickness. The results show that with sufficient levels of humidity, the water management would improve for larger porosities of GDLs or a thinner membrane, and the resistance and over voltage of the membrane can be reduced significantly as well. This model will help to select system parameters so that the fuel cell would not suffer from dehydration and flooding. Also, model predictions were successfully compared to theoretical I–V polarization curves presented by Chen et al. (2007) and Springer et al. (1991). - Highlights: ► A model to describe the water transport phenomena in a PEMFC with a seven-layer structure is proposed. ► Parameters such as humidity of reactant gases, membrane thickness, porosity of GDL and stoichiometric ratio are considered. ► This model will help to select parameters so that the fuel cell would not suffer from dehydration and flooding

  13. The Prediction of Membrane Protein Structure and Genome Structural Annotation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita Casadio

    2006-04-01

    Full Text Available New methods, essentially based on hidden Markov models (HMM and neural networks (NN, can predict the topography of both β-barrel and all-α membrane proteins with high accuracy and a low rate of false positives and false negatives. These methods have been integrated in a suite of programs to filter proteomes of Gram-negative bacteria, searching for new membrane proteins.

  14. Hematoporphyrin derivative induced photodamage to brain tumor cells: Alterations in subcellular membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreenivasan, Rajesh; Joshi, Preeti G.; Joshi, Nanda B.

    1997-01-01

    Photoinduced structural and functional changes were studied in the subcellular membranes isolated from HpD treated cells. Changes in the limiting anisotropy of lipid specific probes 1,6,Diphenyl-1,3,5,hexatriene (DPH) and 1-(4-Trimethyl ammonium 1,6 diphenyl)-1,3,5,hexatriene toulene sulphonate (TMA-DPH) incorporated into the membrane were used to assess the structural alterations while changes in the activity of the marker enzymes were used to assess the functional alterations. Our results suggest that damage to the endoplasmic reticulum may play an important role in the photosensitization of brain tumor cells.

  15. Creation and Reproduction of Model Cells with Semipermeable Membrane

    OpenAIRE

    Sakaguchi, Hidetsugu

    2008-01-01

    A high activity of reactions can be confined in a model cell with a semipermeable membrane in the Schl\\"ogl model. It is interpreted as a model of primitive metabolism in a cell. We study two generalized models to understand the creation of primitive cell systems conceptually from the view point of the nonlinear-nonequilibrium physics. In the first model, a single-cell system with a highly active state confined by a semipermeable membrane is spontaneously created from an inactive homogeneous ...

  16. Monocyte cell membrane-derived nanoghosts for targeted cancer therapy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, S.; Gnanasammandhan, M. K.; Xie, C.; Huang, K.; Cui, M. Y.; Chan, J. M.

    2016-03-01

    Core-shell type `nanoghosts' were synthesized with a drug-loaded biodegradable PLGA core and a monocyte cell membrane-derived shell. The nanoghosts were monodisperse with an average size coated nanoparticle controls in metastatic MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines.Core-shell type `nanoghosts' were synthesized with a drug-loaded biodegradable PLGA core and a monocyte cell membrane-derived shell. The nanoghosts were monodisperse with an average size coated nanoparticle controls in metastatic MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr07588b

  17. Why can hydrogen sulfide permeate cell membranes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riahi, Saleh; Rowley, Christopher N

    2014-10-29

    The high membrane permeability of H2S was studied using polarizable molecular dynamics simulations of a DPPC lipid bilayer. The solubility-diffusion model predicts permeability coefficients of H2S and H2O that are in good agreement with experiment. The computed diffusion coefficient profile shows H2S to diffuse at a lower rate than H2O, but the barrier for H2S permeation on the Gibbs energy profile is negligible. The hydrophobicity of H2S allows it to partition into the paraffinic interior of the membrane readily. PMID:25323018

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Pulse radiolysis studies of model membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuo Szu-Cheng

    2012-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucher, Eric; Mandato, Craig A

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Structure and Dynamic Properties of Membrane Proteins using NMR

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rösner, Heike; Kragelund, Birthe

    2012-01-01

    conformational changes. Their structural and functional decoding is challenging and has imposed demanding experimental development. Solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is one of the techniques providing the capacity to make a significant difference in the deciphering of the membrane protein......Integral membrane proteins are one of the most challenging groups of macromolecules despite their apparent conformational simplicity. They manage and drive transport, circulate information, and participate in cellular movements via interactions with other proteins and through intricate...... structure-function paradigm. The method has evolved dramatically during the last decade resulting in a plethora of new experiments leading to a significant increase in the scientific repertoire for studying membrane proteins. Besides solving the three-dimensional structures using state-of-the-art approaches...

  5. Overcoming bottlenecks in the membrane protein structural biology pipeline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardy, David; Bill, Roslyn M; Jawhari, Anass; Rothnie, Alice J

    2016-06-15

    Membrane proteins account for a third of the eukaryotic proteome, but are greatly under-represented in the Protein Data Bank. Unfortunately, recent technological advances in X-ray crystallography and EM cannot account for the poor solubility and stability of membrane protein samples. A limitation of conventional detergent-based methods is that detergent molecules destabilize membrane proteins, leading to their aggregation. The use of orthologues, mutants and fusion tags has helped improve protein stability, but at the expense of not working with the sequence of interest. Novel detergents such as glucose neopentyl glycol (GNG), maltose neopentyl glycol (MNG) and calixarene-based detergents can improve protein stability without compromising their solubilizing properties. Styrene maleic acid lipid particles (SMALPs) focus on retaining the native lipid bilayer of a membrane protein during purification and biophysical analysis. Overcoming bottlenecks in the membrane protein structural biology pipeline, primarily by maintaining protein stability, will facilitate the elucidation of many more membrane protein structures in the near future. PMID:27284049

  6. Structural correlates of rotavirus cell entry.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aliaa H Abdelhakim

    2014-09-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bugge, Katrine Østergaard

    of structural knowledge on their membrane-embedded transmembrane domains (TMDs), which connect the extracellular ligand binding domains to the intracellular signaling platforms. The overall aim of this thesis work was to improve our understanding of the class I cytokine receptor signaling across the membrane...... bilayer via structural characterizations of TMD representatives. To enable structural studies of these domains, an organic-extraction based strategy for efficient production of isotope-labeled TMDs with or without short intrinsically disordered regions was developed. This strategy successfully provided...... 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...

  8. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    and motivated extensive research activity in the field. The last 11 chapters summarize the state-of-the-art of technological development of high temperature-PEMFCs based on acid doped PBI membranes including catalysts, electrodes, MEAs, bipolar plates, modelling, stacking, diagnostics and applications....

  9. Anhydrous phosphoric Acid functionalized sintered mesoporous silica nanocomposite proton exchange membranes for fuel cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Jie; He, Beibei; Lamb, Krystina; De Marco, Roland; Shen, Pei Kang; Jiang, San Ping

    2013-11-13

    A novel inorganic proton exchange membrane based on phosphoric acid (PA)-functionalized sintered mesoporous silica, PA-meso-silica, has been developed and investigated. After sintering at 650 °C, the meso-silica powder forms a dense membrane with a robust and ordered mesoporous structure, which is critical for retention of PA and water within the porous material. The PA-meso-silica membrane achieved a high proton conductivity of 5 × 10(-3) to 5 × 10(-2) S cm(-1) in a temperature range of 80-220 °C, which is between 1 and 2 orders of magnitudes higher than a typical membrane Nafion 117 or polybenzimidazole (PBI)/PA in the absence of external humidification. Furthermore, the PA-meso-silica membranes exhibited good chemical stability along with high performance at elevated temperatures, producing a peak power density of 632 mW cm(-2) using a H2 fuel at 190 °C in the absence of external humidification. The high membrane proton conductivity and excellent fuel cell performance demonstrate the utility of PA-meso-silica as a new class of inorganic proton exchange membranes for use in the high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). PMID:24125494

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anchel González-Barriga

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-10-15

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

  12. 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.

  13. With or without rafts? Alternative views on cell membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevcsik, Eva; Schütz, Gerhard J

    2016-02-01

    The fundamental mechanisms of protein and lipid organization at the plasma membrane have continued to engage researchers for decades. Among proposed models, one idea has been particularly successful which assumes that sterol-dependent nanoscopic phases of different lipid chain order compartmentalize proteins, thereby modulating protein functionality. This model of membrane rafts has sustainably sparked the fields of membrane biophysics and biology, and shifted membrane lipids into the spotlight of research; by now, rafts have become an integral part of our terminology to describe a variety of cell biological processes. But is the evidence clear enough to continue supporting a theoretical concept which has resisted direct proof by observation for nearly twenty years? In this essay, we revisit findings that gave rise to and substantiated the raft hypothesis, discuss its impact on recent studies, and present alternative mechanisms to account for plasma membrane heterogeneity. PMID:26666984

  14. The cytotoxic effects of titanium oxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles oh Human Cervical Adenocarcinoma cell membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mironava, Tatsiana; Applebaum, Ariella; Applebaum, Eliana; Guterman, Shoshana; Applebaum, Kayla; Grossman, Daniel; Gordon, Chris; Brink, Peter; Wang, H. Z.; Rafailovich, Miriam

    2013-03-01

    The importance of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO), inorganic metal oxides nanoparticles (NPs) stems from their ubiquitous applications in personal care products, solar cells and food whitening agents. Hence, these NPs come in direct contact with the skin, digestive tracts and are absorbed into human tissues. Currently, TiO2 and ZnO are considered safe commercial ingredients by the material safety data sheets with no reported evidence of carcinogenicity or ecotoxicity, and do not classify either NP as a toxic substance. This study examined the direct effects of TiO2 and ZnO on HeLa cells, a human cervical adenocarcinonma cell line, and their membrane mechanics. The whole cell patch-clamp technique was used in addition to immunohistochemistry staining, TEM and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Additionally, we examined the effects of dexamethasone (DXM), a glucocorticoid steroid known to have an effect on cell membrane mechanics. Overall, TiO2 and ZnO seemed to have an adverse effect on cell membrane mechanics by effecting cell proliferation, altering cellular structure, decreasing cell-cell adhesion, activating existing ion channels, increasing membrane permeability, and possibly disrupting cell signaling.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew

    2003-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Cationic Nanoparticles Induce Nanoscale Disruption in Living Cell Plasma Membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Jiumei; Hessler, Jessica A.; Putchakayala, Krishna; Panama, Brian K.; Khan, Damian P.; Hong, Seungpyo; Mullen, Douglas G.; DiMaggio, Stassi C.; Som, Abhigyan; Tew, Gregory N.; Lopatin, Anatoli N.; Baker, James R.; Banaszak Holl, Mark M.; Orr, Bradford G

    2009-01-01

    It has long been recognized that cationic nanoparticles induce cell membrane permeability. Recently, it has been found that cationic nanoparticles induce the formation and/or growth of nanoscale holes in supported lipid bilayers. In this paper we show that non-cytotoxic concentrations of cationic nanoparticles induce 30–2000 pA currents in 293A and KB cells, consistent with a nanoscale defect such as a single hole or group of holes in the cell membrane ranging from 1 to 350 nm2 in total area....

  1. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  3. Altered Membrane Potential and Electrolyte in Sickle Cell Anemia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JK Nnodim

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Membrane Mechanics of Endocytosis in Cells with Turgor

    CERN Document Server

    Dmitrieff, Serge

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ho, Chin Shing

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  10. 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...

  11. Membrane proteins of dense lysosomes from Chinese hamster ovary cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this work membrane proteins from lysosomes were studied in order to gain more information on the biogenesis and intracellular sorting of this class of membrane proteins. Membrane proteins were isolated from a purified population of lysosomes. These proteins were then examined for various co- and post-translational modifications which could serve as potential intracellular sorting signals. Biochemical analysis using marker enzymatic activities detected no plasma membrane, Golgi, endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, mitochondria, or cytosol. Analysis after incorporation of [3H]thymidine or [3H]uridine detected no nuclei or ribosomes. A fraction containing integral membrane proteins was obtained from the dense lysosomes by extraction with Triton X-114. Twenty-three polypeptides which incorporated both [35S]methionine and [3H]leucine were detected by SDS PAGE in this membrane fraction, and ranged in molecular weight from 30-130 kDa. After incorporation by cells of various radioactive metabolic precursors, the membrane fraction from dense lysosomes was examined and was found to be enriched in mannose, galactose, fucose, palmitate, myristate, and sulfate, but was depleted in phosphate. The membrane fraction from dense lysosomes was then analyzed by SDS PAGE to determine the apparent molecular weights of modified polypepties

  12. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justesen, Bo Højen

    The plasma membrane H+-ATPase is a proton pump essential for several physiological important processes in plants. Through the extrusion of protons from the cell, the PM H+-ATPase establishes and maintains a proton gradient used by proton coupled transporters and secondary active transport of...... nutrients and metabolites across the plasma membrane. Additional processes involving the PM H+-ATPase includes plant growth, development, and response to biotic and abiotic stresses. Extensive efforts have been made in attempts to elucidate the detailed physiological role and biochemical characteristics of...... plasma membrane H+-ATPases. Studies on the plasma membrane H+-ATPases have involved both in vivo and in vitro approaches, with the latter employing either solubilisation by detergent micelles, or reconstitution into lipid vesicles. Despite resulting in a large body of information on structure, function...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  15. Cationic nanoparticles induce nanoscale disruption in living cell plasma membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jiumei; Hessler, Jessica A; Putchakayala, Krishna; Panama, Brian K; Khan, Damian P; Hong, Seungpyo; Mullen, Douglas G; Dimaggio, Stassi C; Som, Abhigyan; Tew, Gregory N; Lopatin, Anatoli N; Baker, James R; Holl, Mark M Banaszak; Orr, Bradford G

    2009-08-13

    It has long been recognized that cationic nanoparticles induce cell membrane permeability. Recently, it has been found that cationic nanoparticles induce the formation and/or growth of nanoscale holes in supported lipid bilayers. In this paper, we show that noncytotoxic concentrations of cationic nanoparticles induce 30-2000 pA currents in 293A (human embryonic kidney) and KB (human epidermoid carcinoma) cells, consistent with a nanoscale defect such as a single hole or group of holes in the cell membrane ranging from 1 to 350 nm(2) in total area. Other forms of nanoscale defects, including the nanoparticle porating agents adsorbing onto or intercalating into the lipid bilayer, are also consistent; although the size of the defect must increase to account for any reduction in ion conduction, as compared to a water channel. An individual defect forming event takes 1-100 ms, while membrane resealing may occur over tens of seconds. Patch-clamp data provide direct evidence for the formation of nanoscale defects in living cell membranes. The cationic polymer data are compared and contrasted with patch-clamp data obtained for an amphiphilic phenylene ethynylene antimicrobial oligomer (AMO-3), a small molecule that is proposed to make well-defined 3.4 nm holes in lipid bilayers. Here, we observe data that are consistent with AMO-3 making approximately 3 nm holes in living cell membranes. PMID:19606833

  16. Cell investigation of nanostructures: zero-mode waveguides for plasma membrane studies with single molecule resolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plasma membranes are highly dynamic structures, with key molecular interactions underlying their functionality occurring at nanometre scales. A fundamental challenge in biology is to observe these interactions in living cells. Although fluorescence microscopy has enabled advances in characterizing molecular distributions in cells, optical techniques are restricted by the diffraction limit. We address this limitation with an approach based on zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs), which are optical nanostructures that confine fluorescence excitation to sub-diffraction volumes. Successful use of ZMWs with cell membranes is reported in this paper. We demonstrate that plasma membranes from live cells penetrate these nanostructures. Cellular exploration of the nanoapertures depends heavily on actin filaments but not on microtubules. Thus, membranes enter the confined excitation volume, and diffusion of individual fluorescent lipids can be monitored. Through fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, we compared DiIC12 and DiIC16 fluorescent labels incorporated into plasma membranes and found distinctive diffusion behaviours. These results show that the use of optical nanostructures enables the measurement of membrane events with single molecule resolution in sub-diffraction volumes

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheah, May Jean

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

  18. Membrane-mediated changes in the structure of chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belyaev, N D; Budker, V G; Dubrovskaya, V A; Khristoljubova, N B; Kiseleva, E V; Matveeva, N M; Sukojan, M A

    1985-01-01

    In the present paper the interaction of metaphase chromosomes and chromatin with model and natural lipid membranes was studied. It was shown that chromatin and chromosomes are able to form complexes with membranes in the presence of divalent cations. In such complexes, the typical structure of chromosomes is altered. The character of this alteration in chromosomal structure was investigated with the use of electron microscopy and chemical modification with dimethylsulphate (DMS). The latter is possible because, according to the presented data, the condensation of chromatin into chromosomes is associated with a decrease in accessibility of N-3 in adenine (the protection of the minor groove of DNA) to modifications, and with an increased methylation of N-1 in adenine (the disarrangement of the secondary structure of DNA). It was shown that the interaction of chromosomes with liposomes provides various levels of unfolding up to the appearance of chromatin-like structures. The secondary DNA structure of decondensed chromosomes coincides with the secondary structure of chromosomal but not chromatin DNA, whereas the extent of shielding of the minor groove of DNA in such decondensed structures typical for chromatin DNA. It is possible to suggest that the chromosomal decondensation in telophase of mitosis is initiated by the action of a membrane component of the developing nuclear envelope. PMID:3926416

  19. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  1. 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

  2. Corona discharge in electroporation of cell membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  3. Corona discharge in electroporation of cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Shuang Ma; Grahl-Madsen, L.

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Cell-free expression and stable isotope labelling strategies for membrane proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Membrane proteins are highly underrepresented in the structural data-base and remain one of the most challenging targets for functional and structural elucidation. Their roles in transport and cellular communication, furthermore, often make over-expression toxic to their host, and their hydrophobicity and structural complexity make isolation and reconstitution a complicated task, especially in cases where proteins are targeted to inclusion bodies. The development of cell-free expression systems provides a very interesting alternative to cell-based systems, since it circumvents many problems such as toxicity or necessity for the transportation of the synthesized protein to the membrane, and constitutes the only system that allows for direct production of membrane proteins in membrane-mimetic environments which may be suitable for liquid state NMR measurements. The unique advantages of the cell-free expression system, including strong expression yields as well as the direct incorporation of almost any combination of amino acids with very little metabolic scrambling, has allowed for the development of a wide-array of isotope labelling techniques which facilitate structural investigations of proteins whose spectral congestion and broad line-widths may have earlier rendered them beyond the scope of NMR. Here we explore various labelling strategies in conjunction with cell-free developments, with a particular focus on α-helical transmembrane proteins which benefit most from such methods.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  7. Detecting protein association at the T cell plasma membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgart, Florian; Schütz, Gerhard J

    2015-04-01

    At the moment, many models on T cell signaling rely on results obtained via rather indirect methodologies, which makes direct comparison and conclusions to the in vivo situation difficult. Recently, a variety of new imaging methods were developed, which have the potential to directly shed light onto the mysteries of protein association at the T cell membrane. While the new modalities are extremely promising, for a broad readership it may be difficult to judge the results, since technological shortcomings are not always obvious. In this review article, we put key questions on the mechanism of protein interactions in the T cell plasma membrane into relation with techniques that allow to address such questions. We discuss applicability of the techniques, their strengths and weaknesses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Nanoscale membrane organisation and signalling. PMID:25300585

  8. The structure of ions and zwitterionic lipids regulates the charge of dipolar membranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szekely, Or; Steiner, Ariel; Szekely, Pablo; Amit, Einav; Asor, Roi; Tamburu, Carmen; Raviv, Uri

    2011-06-21

    In pure water, zwitterionic lipids form lamellar phases with an equilibrium water gap on the order of 2 to 3 nm as a result of the dominating van der Waals attraction between dipolar bilayers. Monovalent ions can swell those neutral lamellae by a small amount. Divalent ions can adsorb onto dipolar membranes and charge them. Using solution X-ray scattering, we studied how the structure of ions and zwitterionic lipids regulates the charge of dipolar membranes. We found that unlike monovalent ions that weakly interact with all of the examined dipolar membranes, divalent and trivalent ions adsorb onto membranes containing lipids with saturated tails, with an association constant on the order of ∼10 M(-1). One double bond in the lipid tail is sufficient to prevent divalent ion adsorption. We suggest that this behavior is due to the relatively loose packing of lipids with unsaturated tails that increases the area per lipid headgroup, enabling their free rotation. Divalent ion adsorption links two lipids and limits their free rotation. The ion-dipole interaction gained by the adsorption of the ions onto unsaturated membranes is insufficient to compensate for the loss of headgroup free-rotational entropy. The ion-dipole interaction is stronger for cations with a higher valence. Nevertheless, polyamines behave as monovalent ions near dipolar interfaces in the sense that they interact weakly with the membrane surface, whereas in the bulk their behavior is similar to that of multivalent cations. Advanced data analysis and comparison with theory provide insight into the structure and interactions between ion-induced regulated charged interfaces. This study models biologically relevant interactions between cell membranes and various ions and the manner in which the lipid structure governs those interactions. The ability to monitor these interactions creates a tool for probing systems that are more complex and forms the basis for controlling the interactions between dipolar

  9. Role of the cell membrane in volume regulation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The mechanism for the stimulation of Na+ efflux in swollen cells was studied in red cells with increased and decreased cell volume. Results suggest that this response is the result of an increased affinity of the system for Na+ caused by reduced inhibition by intracellular K+ resulting from simple dilution during swelling, and a direct effect of membrane stretching on conformation of the transport system. (U.S.)

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Preliminary Study of Membrane Preparation for Fuel Cell Polymer Electrolyte Membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Proton conducting membranes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) have been prepared by radiation graft copolymerization of acrylic acid onto back bone polymers such as linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), and polypropylene (PP). Graft copolymers are prepared by γ-radiation and electron beam irradiation. The methods used are grafting on radiation-peroxide and grafting initiated by trapped radicals, in which the grafting reaction is done after the irradiation process (pre-irradiation grafting). The influence of the preparation conditions and the role of the initial polymer matrixes are studied. The degrees of grafting are determined by the total absorbed dose during irradiation, monomer’s concentration, grafting temperature, and the time of grafting. It is found that dose rate does not have a significant effect on the yield of grafting. The best suitable conditions for the grafting are as follows: 45 kGy for total dose, 40% (v/v) for monomer’s concentration, 70 °C for temperature and 90 minutes for period of grafting. Membranes based on different polymer matrixes show differences in their water uptake from liquid water. Apparently the ability of the membranes to take in the solvent depends on matrixes of the back bone polymers. It reflects the hydrophilic membranes properties. The preliminary characterization of the prepared grafted membranes is done by the treatment of metal uptake, using atomic absorption technique. The maximum uptake of the membranes for a given metal is Fe > Cu > Co except for LLDPE-g-Aac in which the uptake of Co > Cu. The maximum uptake of the membranes for a mixture of the metals in the same feed solution is Fe > Cu > Co. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Pingying

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

  14. 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.

  15. Structure and dynamics of model membranes by advanced NMR spectroscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The molecular conformation and dynamics of phospholipids have important implications for the detailed understanding of membrane function, fluidity, composition and protein-lipid interaction. The advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods used in the study of structure and dynamics of model membranes are reviewed. Conformational exchange of the lipid headgroup as well as segmental order can be measured using dipolar couplings between the nuclei 31 P - 1 H, 13 C - 1 H, 1 H - 1 H and 31 P - 13 C by a novel solid-state two-dimensional (2D) NMR technique. Self-diffusion of lipids and water in lipid bilayers measured by sensitive NMR method of fringe field of superconducting magnet as well as 2D deuterium exchange NMR spectroscopy are presented. The powerful method of 2D NOESY in establishing the intermolecular interaction between an antineoplastic drug (daunomycin) and a model membrane is discussed. (authors)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  17. Mesostructured-aluminosilicate-Nafion hybrid membranes for direct methanol fuel cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Organic–inorganic hybrid membranes are prepared from Nafion and acid functionalized aluminosilicate with varying structures and surface areas. Acid-functionalized mesostructured aluminosilicate with cellular foam framework (Al-MSU-F type) of surface area 463 m2 g−1, acid-functionalized aluminosilicate molecular sieves (Al-HMS type) of surface area 651 m2 g−1 and acid-functionalized mesostructured aluminosilicate with hexagonal network (Al-MCM-41 type) of surface area 799 m2 g−1 have been employed as potential filler materials to form hybrid membranes with Nafion. The structural behavior, water uptake, ion-exchange capacity, proton conductivity and methanol permeability of the hybrid membranes are extensively investigated. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) with Al-HMS-Nafion and Al-MCM-41-Nafion hybrid membranes deliver respective peak power-densities of 170 mW cm−2 and 246 mW cm−2, while a peak power-density of only 48 mW cm−2 is obtained for the DMFC employing pristine recast-Nafion membrane under identical operating conditions. The unique properties associated with hybrid membranes could be exclusively attributed to the presence of pendant sulfonic-acid groups in the filler materials, which provide proton-conducting pathways between the filler and matrix in the hybrid membranes, and facilitate proton transport with adequate balance between proton conductivity and methanol permeability

  18. Flavivirus cell entry and membrane fusion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Membrane patterned by pulsed laser micromachining for proton exchange membrane fuel cell with sputtered ultra-low catalyst loadings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuynet, S.; Caillard, A.; Kaya-Boussougou, S.; Lecas, T.; Semmar, N.; Bigarré, J.; Buvat, P.; Brault, P.

    2015-12-01

    Proton exchange membranes were nano- and micro-patterned on their cathode side by pressing them against stainless steel molds previously irradiated by a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser. The membranes were associated to ultra-low loaded thin catalytic layers (25 μgPt cm-2) prepared by plasma magnetron sputtering. The Pt catalyst was sputtered either on the membrane or on the porous electrode. The fuel cell performance in dry conditions were found to be highly dependent on the morphology of the membrane surface. When nanometric ripples covered by a Pt catalyst were introduced on the surface of the membrane, the fuel cell outperformed the conventional one with a flat membrane. By combining nano- and micro-patterns (nanometric ripples and 11-24 μm deep craters), the performance of the cells was clearly enhanced. The maximum power density achieved by the fuel cell was multiplied by a factor of 3.6 (at 50 °C and 3 bar): 438 mW cm-2 vs 122 mW cm-2. This improvement is due to high catalyst utilization with a high membrane conductivity. When Pt is sputtered on the porous electrode (and not on the membrane), the contribution of the patterned membrane to the fuel cell efficiency was less significant, except in the presence of nanometric ripples. This result suggests that the patterning of the membrane must be consistent with the way the catalyst is synthesized, on the membrane or on the porous electrode.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  2. Isolation of plasma membranes from cultured glioma cells and application to evaluation of membrane sphingomyelin turnover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A rapid and reliable method for the isolation of plasma membranes and microsomes of high purity and yield from cultured glioma cells is described. The procedure involves disruption by N2 cavitation, preliminary separation by centrifugation in Tricine buffer, and final separation on a gradient formed from 40% Percoll at pH 9.3. Enzyme and chemical markers indicated greater than 60% yield with six- to eightfold enrichment for plasma membranes and greater than 25% yield with three- to fourfold enrichment for a microsomal fraction consisting mainly of endoplasmic reticulum. The final fractions were obtained with high reproducibility in less than 1 h from the time of cell harvesting. Application of this procedure to human fibroblasts in culture is assessed. The isolation procedure was applied to investigations of synthesis and turnover of sphingomyelin and phosphatidylcholine in plasma membranes of glioma cells following incubation for 4-24 h with [methyl-3H]choline. These studies indicated that radioactivity from phosphatidylcholine synthesized in microsomes from exogenous choline may serve as a precursor of the head-group of sphingomyelin accumulating in the plasma membrane

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

    CERN Document Server

    Lofthouse, J

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1991-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Iwasa, K H

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Harder, Thomas

    2003-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

    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...... 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-23

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

  16. Effects of membrane disruption on dielectric properties of biological cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Disruption of the plasma membrane causes serious changes in the dielectric properties of biological cells. The changes have been simulated with spherical cell models having holes in the plasma membrane. The complex permittivity of a cubic system including a cell model was calculated by a numerical technique based on the three-dimensional finite difference method. For a cell without hole, the complex permittivity showed dielectric relaxation (β-dispersion) as predicted from interfacial polarization theories for the single-shell model. When there is one hole in the membrane, the cell has anisotropic dielectric properties depending on whether the axis through the centres of the hole and the sphere is parallel (the parallel orientation) or perpendicular (the perpendicular orientation) to the electric field direction. In the parallel orientation, dielectric relaxation (called 'α-dispersion') appeared at lower frequencies in addition to the β-dispersion, whereas only the β-dispersion was found in the perpendicular orientation. When there were two holes at the opposite poles of the cell, the 'α-dispersion' did not appear and the intensity of the β-dispersion decreased with increasing size of the holes. When two holes located in the hemisphere of the cell, however, the 'α-dispersion' appeared again. These results suggest that the occurrence of the 'α-dispersion' requires either the presence of one hole or the localization of holes

  17. 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...... use. This increases the time required to start the system and could lead to the destruction of the fuel cell. In this article an impedance measurement circuit is presented, which is part of a humidity status estimator for monitoring the humidity status of a fuel cell stack during standby. The...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-09-17

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

  19. Fabrication BaZrO3/PBI-based nanocomposite as a new proton conducting membrane for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooshyari, Khadijeh; Javanbakht, Mehran; Shabanikia, Akbar; Enhessari, Morteza

    2015-02-01

    Novel PBI (polybenzimidazole)-BaZrO3 (PBZ) nanocomposite membranes have been prepared for the high temperature proton exchange membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cells. The results showed that the water uptake, acid doping level and proton conductivity of the PBZ nanocomposite membranes were higher than that of virgin PBI membrane due to the presence of perovskite structure BaZrO3 nanoparticles, which as protonic conductor can perform as a special pathway for hydrogen transport. The proton conductivity of the PBZ nanocomposite membranes with 13 mol phosphoric acid per PBI repeat unit was obtained 125 mS/cm at 180 °C and 5% relative humidity. It was found that the performance of the fuel cells increases by increasing temperature; this was explained by faster reaction kinetic and higher proton conductivity. The power density and current density at 0.5 V 180 °C with 5% relative humidity were observed 0.56 W/cm2 and 1.12 A/cm2, respectively for PBZ nanocomposite membranes containing 4 wt% of the nanofillers. The results suggested that PBZ nanocomposite membranes are promising electrolytes for HT-PEM fuel cells with improved proton conductivity.

  20. The Autohumidification Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    CERN Document Server

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foged, Camilla; Nielsen, Hanne Moerck

    2008-01-01

    -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 of their...

  2. 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

  3. Tandem cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    The efficiency of proton exchange membrane fuel cells is limited mainly by the oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode. The large cathodic overpotential is caused by correlations between binding energies of reaction intermediates in the reduction of oxygen to water. This work introduces a novel...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Durability of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is recognized as one of the most important issues to be addressed before the commercialization. The failure mechanisms are not well understood, however, degradation of carbon supported noble metal catalysts is identified as a major failure...

  5. Influence of plasma-treatments on the structure, superstructure, and function of membrane lipids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammer, Malte U.; Forbrig, Enrico; Weltmann, Klaus-Dieter; Reuter, Stephan

    2012-10-01

    Every cell, eu- or prokaryotic, has a membrane as an interface to the environment. Every substance that is applied from outside the cell has to interact with it. This includes plasma-generated reactive species in the liquid cell environment created by plasma-treatment. By the Singer and Nicolson model, proteins are embedded in a lipid bilayer. Proteins are the functional elements, lipids are the structural elements. Due to the amphiphilic nature of the lipids, they form (super-) structures in an aqueous environment. The exact superstructure is determined by a structural parameter of the lipid, its shape. Here, we show experiments on lipids by fluorophore-based liposome assays and raman spectroscopy. The results show a membrane-activity of plasma-born reactive species against lipids and lipid structures. Based on this results and literature, we propose a model for a lesion-forming mechanism in membranes of some reactive species created by plasma-treatment. It is based on a hydrophobic-hydrophilic mismatch due to lipid peroxidization induced by reactive species generated in liquids by plasma-treatment.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Fuel cell characteristics of the membrane electrode assemblies using phosphoric acid-doped poly membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang, Liang; Sheng, Li; Guo, Xiaoxia; Fang, Jianhua; Ma, Zi-Feng

    2011-01-15

    Recently, there has been extensive research in the development of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) for transportation and portable power applications. Nafion has been widely used as electrolyte membranes, but it has several limitations. Thus intensive efforts have been devoted to the development of low-cost proton-conducting electrolytes used at elevated temperatures to reduce the impurities poisoning. Promising candidates are the PA-doped polybenzimidazoles, which can function at higher temperature under non-humidification conditions to eliminate the water management, promote the fuel impurities tolerance, increase the electrode kinetics and facilitate the heat recovery. In this study, the novel PA-doped OPBI membrane was chosen as the electrolyte, and one molecular weight mPBI was synthesized as the binder in catalyst layers. This optimized membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) exhibited desirable performances in the electrochemical tests up to 160 degree C. This investigation opened up a new way to develop the practical proton-conducting fuel cell systems working at elevated temperatures.

  9. Investigation of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) hot-pressing parameters for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The hot-pressing conditions for fabricating the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was investigated by using a 2n full factorial design. Time, temperature and pressure were key parameters that were varied from 500 to 1500 psi, 1 to 5 min and 100 to 160 deg. C, respectively. The results from the full factorial analysis indicated that the order of significance of the main MEA fabricating effects was temperature, pressure, time-temperature interaction and pressure-time-temperature interaction. By examining the cell performance curves, the lower fabrication conditions of temperature and pressure were suitable for MEA preparation. The conductive layer between the membrane and the catalyst layer became thin at high pressure and high temperature, as seen from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. In the ranges of condition studied, the most suitable hot-pressing condition for MEA fabrication was at 100 deg. C, 1000 psi and 2 min. This condition provided the highest maximum power density from the MEA and the best contact at the interfaces between the gas diffusion layer, the active layer and the electrolyte membrane. The experimental results were verified by testing with a commercial MEA in the same operating condition and with the same equipment. The performance of the fabricated MEA was better than that of the commercial one

  10. Structural Basis for Specific Membrane Targeting by the HIV-1 Gag Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summers, Michael F.

    2006-03-01

    In HIV-1 infected cells, newly synthesized retroviral Gag polyproteins are directed to specific cellular membranes where they assemble and bud to form immature virions. Membrane binding is mediated by Gag's matrix (MA) domain, a 132-residue polypeptide containing an N-terminal myristyl group that can adopt sequestered and exposed conformations. Membane specificity was recently shown to be regulated by phosphatidylinositol-(4,5)-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2), a cellular factor abundant in the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane (PM). We now show that phosphoinositides, including soluble analogs of PI(4,5)P2 with truncated lipids, bind HIV-1 MA and trigger myristate exposure. The phosphoinositol moiety and one of the fatty acid tails binds to a cleft on the surface of the protein. The other fatty acid chain of PI(4,5)P2 and the exposed myristyl group of MA bracket a conserved basic surface patch implicated in membrane binding. Our findings indicate that PI(4,5)P2 acts as both a trigger of the myristyl switch and as a membrane anchor, and suggest a structure-based mechanism for the specific targeting HIV-1 Gag to PI(4,5)P2-enriched membranes.

  11. 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.

  12. Quantitative analysis of the lipidomes of the influenza virus envelope and MDCK cell apical membrane

    OpenAIRE

    Gerl, Mathias J.; Sampaio, Julio L; Urban, Severino; Kalvodova, Lucie; Verbavatz, Jean-Marc; Binnington, Beth; Lindemann, Dirk; Lingwood, Clifford A.; Shevchenko, Andrej; Schroeder, Cornelia; Simons, Kai

    2012-01-01

    The influenza virus (IFV) acquires its envelope by budding from host cell plasma membranes. Using quantitative shotgun mass spectrometry, we determined the lipidomes of the host Madin–Darby canine kidney cell, its apical membrane, and the IFV budding from it. We found the apical membrane to be enriched in sphingolipids (SPs) and cholesterol, whereas glycerophospholipids were reduced, and storage lipids were depleted compared with the whole-cell membranes. The virus membrane exhibited a furthe...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Carton, James

    2011-01-01

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

  14. Solution NMR Structure of Membrane-Integral Diacylglycerol Kinase

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Yang Xiao; Chongdu Cho

    2014-01-01

    As a solution of high efficiency and clean energy, fuel cell technologies, especially proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC), have caught extensive attention. However, after decades of development, the performances of PEMFCs are far from achieving the target from the Department of Energy (DOE). Thus, further understanding of the degradation mechanism is needed to overcome this obstacle. Due to the importance of proton exchange membrane in a PEMFC, the degradation of the membrane, such as ...

  16. Dendronized Polymer Architectures for Fuel Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berra Bruno

    2011-05-01

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

  19. Influence of water and membrane microstructure on the transport properties of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siu, Ana Rosa

    Proton transport in proton exchange membranes (PEMs) depends on interaction between water and acid groups covalently bound to the polymer. Although the presence of water is important in maintaining the PEM's functions, a thorough understanding of this topic is still lacking. The objective of this work is to provide a better understanding of how the nature water, confined to ionic domains of the polymer, influences the membrane's ability to transport protons, methanol and water. Understanding this topic will facilitate development of new materials with favorable transport properties for fuel cells use. Five classes of polymer membranes were used in this work: polyacrylonitrile-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (PAN-g-macPSSA); poly(vinylidene difluoride) irradiation-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (PVDF-g-PSSA); poly(ethylenetetrafluoroethylene) irradiation-graft-poly(styrenesulfonic) acid (ETFE-gPSSA); PVDF-g-PSSA with hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA); and perfluorosulfonic acid membrane (Nafion). The nature of water within the polymers (freezable versus non-freezable states) was measured by systematically freezing samples, and observing the temperature at which water freezes and the amount of heat released in the process. Freezing water-swollen membranes resulted in a 4-fold decrease in the proton conductivity of the PEM. Activation energies of proton transport before and after freezing were ˜ 0.15 eV and 0.5 eV, consistent with proton transport through liquid water and bound water, respectively. Reducing the content of water in membrane samples decreased the amount of freezable and non-freezable water. Calorimetric measurements of membranes in various degrees of hydration showed that water molecules became non-freezable when lambda, (water molecules per sulfonic acid group) was less than ˜14. Proton conduction through membranes containing only non-freezable water was demonstrated to be feasible. Diffusion experiments showed that the permeability of methanol

  20. Cast and 3D printed ion exchange membranes for monolithic microbial fuel cell fabrication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Philamore, Hemma; Rossiter, Jonathan; Walters, Peter; Winfield, Jonathan; Ieropoulos, Ioannis

    2015-09-01

    We present novel solutions to a key challenge in microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology; greater power density through increased relative surface area of the ion exchange membrane that separates the anode and cathode electrodes. The first use of a 3D printed polymer and a cast latex membrane are compared to a conventionally used cation exchange membrane. These new techniques significantly expand the geometric versatility available to ion exchange membranes in MFCs, which may be instrumental in answering challenges in the design of MFCs including miniaturisation, cost and ease of fabrication. Under electrical load conditions selected for optimal power transfer, peak power production (mean 10 batch feeds) was 11.39 μW (CEM), 10.51 μW (latex) and 0.92 μW (Tangoplus). Change in conductivity and pH of anolyte were correlated with MFC power production. Digital and environmental scanning electron microscopy show structural changes to and biological precipitation on membrane materials following long term use in an MFC. The cost of the novel membranes was lower than the conventional CEM. The efficacy of two novel membranes for ion exchange indicates that further characterisation of these materials and their fabrication techniques, shows great potential to significantly increase the range and type of MFCs that can be produced.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-09-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Expression, refolding, and initial structural characterization of the Y. pestis Ail outer membrane protein in lipids

    OpenAIRE

    Plesniak, Leigh A.; Mahalakshmi, Radhakrishnan; Rypien, Candace; Yang, Yuan; Racic, Jasmina; Marassi, Francesca M.

    2010-01-01

    Ail is an outer membrane protein and virulence factor of Yersinia pestis, an extremely pathogenic, category A biothreat agent, responsible for precipitating massive human plague pandemics throughout history. Due to its key role in bacterial adhesion to host cells and bacterial resistance to host defense, Ail is a key target for anti-plague therapy. However, little information is available about the molecular aspects of its function and interactions with the human host, and the structure of Ai...

  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

    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...

  9. 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...

  10. Tension Sensitivity of Prestin: Comparison with the Membrane Motor in Outer Hair Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Dong, X.-X.; Iwasa, K H

    2004-01-01

    The membrane motor in outer hair cells undergoes conformational transitions involving charge displacement of ∼0.8 e across the membrane and changes of ∼4 nm2 in its membrane area. Previous reports have established that the charge transfer in the membrane motor and that in prestin, a membrane protein in the plasma membrane of outer hair cells, are approximately equal. Here, we determine the membrane area changes based on its sensitivity to membrane tension. We found that prestin does undergo a...

  11. 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. PMID:25283838

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. A Theory for the Membrane Potential of Living Cells

    CERN Document Server

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

    1998-01-01

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

  16. MEMBRANE LEc EXPRESSION IN BREAST CANCER CELLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ya. A. Udalova

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Affine chromatography was used to isolate Lec antibodies from the sera of a healthy female donor with the high titers of these anti- bodies, which were labeled with biotin. The study enrolled 51 patients with primary breast cancer (BC. Antigen expression was found by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. With these two techniques being used, the detection rate of Lec expression in BC cells was 65% (33/51; the antigen was most frequently found by flow cytometry as compared with immunohistochemistry: 72 and 58% of cases, respectively.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojesen, Inge Norby; Bojesen, Eigil

    1998-01-01

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

  19. Inferring maps of forces inside cell membrane microdomains

    CERN Document Server

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    Ensuring the quality and reproducibility of results from biofilm structure and microbial community analysis is essential to membrane biofouling studies. This study evaluated the impacts of three sample preparation factors (ie number of buffer rinses, storage time at 4°C, and DNA extraction method) on the downstream analysis of nitrifying biofilms grown on ultrafiltration membranes. Both rinse and storage affected biofilm structure, as suggested by their strong correlation with total biovolume, biofilm thickness, roughness and the spatial distribution of EPS. Significant variations in DNA yields and microbial community diversity were also observed among samples treated by different rinses, storage and DNA extraction methods. For the tested biofilms, two rinses, no storage and DNA extraction with both mechanical and chemical cell lysis from attached biofilm were the optimal sample preparation procedures for obtaining accurate information about biofilm structure, EPS distribution and the microbial community. PMID:25115516

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  3. 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.

  4. Electrospun PELCL membranes loaded with QK peptide for enhancement of vascular endothelial cell growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yang; Yang, Qingmao; Zhou, Fang; Zhao, Yunhui; Jia, Xiaoling; Yuan, Xiaoyan; Fan, Yubo

    2016-06-01

    One of the major challenges in tissue engineering of small-diameter vascular grafts is to inhibit intimal hyperplasia and keep long-term patency after implantation. Rapid endothelialization of the grafts could be an effective approach. In this study, QK, a peptide mimicking vascular endothelial growth factor, was selected as the bioactive substrate and loaded in electrospun membranes for enhancement of vascular endothelial cell growth. In detail, QK peptide was firstly introduced with poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate into a thiolated chitosan solution that could transfer into hydrogel. Then, suspensions or emulsions of poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (PELCL) containing QK peptide (with or without chitosan hydrogel) were electrospun into fibrous membranes. For comparison, the electrospun PELCL membrane without QK was also fabricated. Results of release behaviors showed that the electrospun membranes, especially that contained chitosan hydrogel prepared by suspension electrospinning, could successfully encapsulate QK peptide and maintain its secondary structure after released. In vitro cell culture studies exhibited that the release of QK peptide could accelerate the proliferation of vascular endothelial cells in the 9 days. It was suggested that the electrospun PELCL membranes loaded with QK peptide might have potential applications in vascular tissue engineering. PMID:27107890

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, M M; Markin, V S

    1987-12-21

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

  7. The multidrug transporter, P-glycoprotein, actively mediates cholesterol redistribution in the cell membrane

    OpenAIRE

    Garrigues, Alexia; Escargueil, Alexandre E.; Orlowski, Stéphane

    2002-01-01

    P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is a plasma membrane ATP-binding cassette transporter, responsible for multidrug resistance in tumor cells. P-gp catalyzes the ATP hydrolysis-dependent efflux of numerous amphiphilic compounds of unrelated chemical structures. In the absence of any identified substrate, P-gp exhibits an apparently futile, basal ATPase activity. By using native membrane vesicles containing high amounts of P-gp, we show here that (i) this basal ATPase activity is tightly dependent on the p...

  8. 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.

  9. Solution NMR Structure of Membrane-Integral Diacylglycerol Kinase

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jin

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  14. Fabrication and Performance Evaluation of Hybrid Membrane based on a Sulfonated Polyphenyl Sulfone/Phosphotungstic acid/Silica for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell at Low Humidity Conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sulfonated polyphenyl sulfone/phosphotungstic acid/silica (sPPS/PWA/silica) hybrid membranes were prepared and characterized as alternative materials for PEMFC operation at high temperature and low humidity conditions. Polyphenyl sulfone polymer (PPS) was sulfonated with trimethylsilyl chlorosulfonate in 1,2 dichloroethane at ambient temperatures. The degree of sulfonation was determined by 1H-NMR analysis. Sulfonation levels from 25 to 45% were easily achieved by varying the content of the sulfonation agent. The hybrid membrane was composed of the mixture of sPPS solution, PWA/silica particles. The structures of the membranes were investigated by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The composite membranes gained good thermal resistance with insertion of PWA/silica. SEM results have proven the uniform and homogeneous distribution of PWA/silica in hybrid membrane. The existence PWA/silica has improved the water uptake, proton conductivity and oxidative stability of hybrid membrane. Gas diffusion electrodes (GDE) were fabricated by ultrasonic coating technique. Catalyst loading was 0.4 mg Pt/cm2 for both anode and cathode sides. The membranes were tested in a single cell with a 5 cm2 active area operating at the temperature range of 70 to 120 °C and 100 and 30% relative humidity conditions. Single PEMFC tests performed at different operating temperatures indicated that sPPS/PWA/silica hybrid membrane was more stable and also performed better than pristine sPPS membrane. At the overall, the sPPS/PWA/silica hybrid membrane seems to be a promising alternative membrane for the possible utilization in PEMFC

  15. 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+.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Gray, C; Tamm, L K

    1997-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 1H 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. • The

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yan, E-mail: zhang_yan@ecust.edu.cn [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China); Zhang, Yi [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China); Chen, Min; Zhou, Yan [The State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, School of Bioengineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 200237 (China); Lang, Meidong, E-mail: mdlang@ecust.edu.cn [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China)

    2014-08-01

    The lack of pendant functional groups on the PCL backbone has been a great challenge for surface bioactivation of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). In the present study, covalently galactosylated PCL (GPCL) was developed through coupling between the amino-functionalized PCL (NPCL) and the lactobionic acid (LA) and its potential application in maintenance of physiological functions of HepG2 cells was further evaluated. The structure and properties of GPCL were explored by {sup 1}H NMR, FT-IR, GPC and DSC. Moreover, the incorporation of galactose ligands onto GPCL membranes not only promoted higher wettability, but also radically changed surface morphology in comparison with PCL and NPCL according to the contact angle measurement and atomic force microscopy. When HepG2 cells were seeded onto these membranes, the cells on GPCL membranes showed more pronounced cell adhesion and tended to form aggregates during the initial adhesion stage and then progressively grew into multi-layer structures compared to those without galactose ligands by the observation with fluorescence microscope and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, live–dead assay and functional tests demonstrated that HepG2 cells on GPCL membranes had superior viability and maintained better liver-specific functions. Collectively, GPCL has great potential for hepatic tissue engineering scaffolds. - Graphical abstract: The specific recognition between the galactose ligands on the galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane and the ASGPR on the HepG2 cell surface. The galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membranes improved the cell-matrix interaction. The galactosylated functionalized PCL scaffold is a potential candidate for liver tissue engineering. - Highlights: • The specific recognition between the galactose ligands on the galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane and the ASGPR on the HepG2 cell surface. • The galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membranes improved the cell-matrix interaction.

  19. A cell surface integral membrane glycoprotein of 85,000 mol wt (gp85) associated with triton X-100-insoluble cell skeleton

    OpenAIRE

    1984-01-01

    The Triton X-100-insoluble skeleton of baby hamster kidney BHK cells consists of the nucleus, intermediate-size filaments, and actin fibers. By transmission electron microscopy, membrane fragments were found to be associated with these insoluble structures. When radioiodinated or [3H]glucosamine-labeled cells were extracted with 0.5% Triton, most plasma membrane glycoproteins were solubilized except for a glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 85,000 (gp85) that remained associated with the ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  1. Fluorescent Lipids: Functional Parts of Fusogenic Liposomes and Tools for Cell Membrane Labeling and Visualization

    OpenAIRE

    Christian Kleusch; Bernd Hoffmann; Nils Hersch; Agnes Csiszár; Rudolf Merkel

    2012-01-01

    In this paper a rapid and highly efficient method for controlled incorporation of fluorescent lipids into living mammalian cells is introduced. Here, the fluorescent molecules have two consecutive functions: First, they trigger rapid membrane fusion between cellular plasma membranes and the lipid bilayers of their carrier particles, so called fusogenic liposomes, and second, after insertion into cellular membranes these molecules enable fluorescence imaging of cell membranes and membrane traf...

  2. Exegoeconomic Analysis On A Proton Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The objective of this study is to perform an exergy and economic analysis on proton electrolyte membrane fuel cell power system (PEMFC) known as exegoeconomic. A 5 kW PEMFC was taken as case study. The fuel cell includes the hydrogen processing system and a fuel cell stack. The hydrogen processing system consisted of an auto-thermal reactor (ATR), a water gas shift reactor (WGS), tubular ceramic membrane module (TCR) and a pressure swing adsorber (PSA). The fuel cell stack was the main power generator. It was obseved that TCM and PSA have low energy efficiency of 0.29 % and 0.09 % respectively. Energy efficiency for the auto-thermal reactor and fuel cell stack were higher at 22.44 % and 31.97 % respectively and both values are comparable with other studies. The exergoeconomics for the 5kW fuel cell system was determined as RM4756.62 per GJ. From the analysis, it is also found that the fuel cell cost can more competitive, if the cost of operation, maintenance and fuel can be reduced. (author)

  3. Sterol-Rich Membrane Domains Define Fission Yeast Cell Polarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makushok, Tatyana; Alves, Paulo; Huisman, Stephen Michiel; Kijowski, Adam Rafal; Brunner, Damian

    2016-05-19

    Cell polarization is crucial for the functioning of all organisms. The cytoskeleton is central to the process but its role in symmetry breaking is poorly understood. We study cell polarization when fission yeast cells exit starvation. We show that the basis of polarity generation is de novo sterol biosynthesis, cell surface delivery of sterols, and their recruitment to the cell poles. This involves four phases occurring independent of the polarity factor cdc42p. Initially, multiple, randomly distributed sterol-rich membrane (SRM) domains form at the plasma membrane, independent of the cytoskeleton and cell growth. These domains provide platforms on which the growth and polarity machinery assembles. SRM domains are then polarized by the microtubule-dependent polarity factor tea1p, which prepares for monopolar growth initiation and later switching to bipolar growth. SRM polarization requires F-actin but not the F-actin organizing polarity factors for3p and bud6p. We conclude that SRMs are key to cell polarization. PMID:27180904

  4. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for transportation applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swathirajan, S. [General Motors R& D Center, Warren, MI (United States)

    1996-04-01

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells are extremely promising as future power plants in the transportation sector to achieve an increase in energy efficiency and eliminate environmental pollution due to vehicles. GM is currently involved in a multiphase program with the US Department of Energy for developing a proof-of-concept hybrid vehicle based on a PEM fuel cell power plant and a methanol fuel processor. Other participants in the program are Los Alamos National Labs, Dow Chemical Co., Ballard Power Systems and DuPont Co., In the just completed phase 1 of the program, a 10 kW PEM fuel cell power plant was built and tested to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating a methanol fuel processor with a PEM fuel cell stack. However, the fuel cell power plant must overcome stiff technical and economic challenges before it can be commercialized for light duty vehicle applications. Progress achieved in phase I on the use of monolithic catalyst reactors in the fuel processor, managing CO impurity in the fuel cell stack, low-cost electrode-membrane assembles, and on the integration of the fuel processor with a Ballard PEM fuel cell stack will be presented.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Membrane-associated IL 1-like activity on rat dendritic cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The secretion of interleukin 1 (IL 1) by rat dendritic cells (DC) was studied in relation to their ability to induce the production interleukin 2 (IL 2 ) and to induce IL 2 responsiveness. IL 1 (or IL 1-like activity) was measured by its capacity to enhance IL 2 production by EL4 cells. In contrast to peritoneal exudate cells (PEC) or splenic adherent cells, DC from thoracic duct lymph (TD-DC) or from spleen did not secrete detectable amounts of IL 1 on stimulation with LPS/Silica. However, TD-DC and splenic DC were able to enhance IL 2 production by EL4 cells directly, and were only two times less effective than PEC. By preventing cell-to-cell contact between stimulator cells and EL4 cells, it was demonstrated that most of the IL 2-inducing activity of TD-DC and PEC was associated with the cell membrane. Treatment with 1% paraformaldehyde (PFA) to abolish metabolic activity resulted in a 50% decrease (or inactivation) of IL 2-inducing activity of TD-DC in the EL4 assay. Moreover, UVB-irradiation (300 mJ/cm2) of TD-DC, which has been described to inhibit the release of IL 1 by macrophages, caused a 70% decrease in IL 2-inducing activity. These results suggest that membrane-associated structures, that are identical to or mimic Il 1, are involved in the activation of T cells by DC

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

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

  9. Membraner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bach, Finn

    2009-01-01

    Notatet giver en kort introduktion til den statiske virkemåde af membraner og membrankonstruktioner......Notatet giver en kort introduktion til den statiske virkemåde af membraner og membrankonstruktioner...

  10. 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)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noguchi, Hiroshi

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Guo Biao Zhu; Ji Hong Li

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  14. Melittin interaction with sulfated sugars and cell membranes

    OpenAIRE

    Klocek, Gabriela

    2008-01-01

    The presented work focused on an alternative mechanism of action of melittin on the cell membranes. The study using ITC reveals that melittin has a high affinity for several glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), i.e. heparan sulfate (HS), dermatan sulfate and heparin. The interaction between peptide and GAGs comprised both electrostatic and non-ionic components. Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy demonstrates that the binding of melittin to HS and other GAGs induces a conformational cha...

  15. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts

    OpenAIRE

    Adamala, Katarzyna P.; Engelhart, Aaron E.; SZOSTAK, JACK W.

    2016-01-01

    One widely held model of early life suggests primitive cells consisted of simple RNA-based catalysts within lipid compartments. One possible selective advantage conferred by an encapsulated catalyst is stabilization of the compartment, resulting from catalyst-promoted synthesis of key membrane components. Here we show model protocell vesicles containing an encapsulated enzyme that promotes the synthesis of simple fatty acid derivatives become stabilized to Mg2+, which is required for ribozyme...

  16. Sulfonated carbon black-based composite membranes for fuel cell applications

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hacer Doǧan; Emel Yildiz; Metin Kaya; Tülay Y Inan

    2013-08-01

    Two different commercial grade carbon black samples, Cabot Regal 400R (C1) and Cabot Mogul L (C2), were sulfonated with diazonium salt of sulfanilic acid. The resultant sulfonated carbon black samples (S–C) were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). Composite membranes were then prepared using S–C as fillers and sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) as polymer matrix with three different sulfonation degrees (DS = 60, 70 and 82%). Structure and properties of the composite membranes were characterized by FTIR, TGA, scanning electron microscopy, proton conduction, water uptake, ion exchange capacity and chemical stability. Incorporation of S–C particles above 0.25 wt% caused decrease in chemical stability. Pristine and composite membranes prepared from SPEEK82 decomposed completely in <1 h, which is undesirable for fuel cell applications. SPEEK60 membrane having wt% of 0.25–0.5 with S–C particles led to higher proton conductivity than that of pristine membrane. No positive effect was observed on the properties of the composite membranes with the addition of S–C particles at high concentrations due to the agglomeration problems and decrease in the content of conductive polymer matrix.

  17. Interface-designed Membranes with Shape-controlled Patterns for High-performance Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Yukwon Jeon; Dong Jun Kim; Jong Kwan Koh; Yunseong Ji; Jong Hak Kim; Yong-Gun Shul

    2015-01-01

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell is a promising zero-emission power generator for stationary/automotive applications. However, key issues, such as performance and costs, are still remained for an economical commercialization. Here, we fabricated a high-performance membrane electrode assembly (MEA) using an interfacial design based on well-arrayed micro-patterned membranes including circles, squares and hexagons with different sizes, which are produced by a facile elastomeric mold method...

  18. Molecular Dynamics Study of Carbon Nanotubes/Polyamide Reverse Osmosis Membranes: Polymerization, Structure, and Hydration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, Takumi; Cruz-Silva, Rodolfo; Tejima, Syogo; Takeuchi, Kenji; Hayashi, Takuya; Inukai, Shigeki; Noguchi, Toru; Tanioka, Akihiko; Kawaguchi, Takeyuki; Terrones, Mauricio; Endo, Morinobu

    2015-11-11

    Carbon nanotubes/polyamide (PA) nanocomposite thin films have become very attractive as reverse osmosis (RO) membranes. In this work, we used molecular dynamics to simulate the influence of single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) in the polyamide molecular structure as a model case of a carbon nanotubes/polyamide nanocomposite RO membrane. It was found that the addition of SWCNTs decreases the pore size of the composite membrane and increases the Na and Cl ion rejection. Analysis of the radial distribution function of water confined in the pores of the membranes shows that SWCNT+PA nanocomposite membranes also exhibit smaller clusters of water molecules within the membrane, thus suggesting a dense membrane structure (SWCNT+PA composite membranes were 3.9% denser than bare PA). The results provide new insights into the fabrication of novel membranes reinforced with tubular structures for enhanced desalination performance. PMID:26505521

  19. Production of plasma membrane vesicles with chloride salts and their utility as a cell membrane mimetic for biophysical characterization of membrane protein interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Del Piccolo, Nuala; Placone, Jesse; He, Lijuan; Agudelo, Sandra Carolina; Hristova, Kalina

    2012-01-01

    Plasma membrane derived vesicles are used as a model system for the biochemical and biophysical investigations of membrane proteins and membrane organization. The most widely used vesiculation procedure relies on formaldehyde and dithiothreitol (DTT), but these active chemicals may introduce artifacts in the experimental results. Here we describe a procedure to vesiculate Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, widely used for the expression of recombinant proteins, using a hypertonic vesiculation...

  20. Stimulation of Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling by Mushroom Tyrosinase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonie Frauenfeld

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Mushroom tyrosinase, a copper containing enzyme, modifies growth and survival of tumor cells. Mushroom tyrosinase may foster apoptosis, an effect in part due to interference with mitochondrial function. Erythrocytes lack mitochondria but are able to undergo apoptosis-like suicidal cell death or eryptosis, which is characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling leading to phosphatidylserine-exposure at the erythrocyte surface. Signaling involved in the triggering of eryptosis include increase of cytosolic Ca2+-activity ([Ca2+]i and activation of sphingomyelinase with subsequent formation of ceramide. The present study explored, whether tyrosinase stimulates eryptosis. Methods: Cell volume has been estimated from forward scatter, phosphatidylserine-exposure from annexin V binding, [Ca2+]i from Fluo3-fluorescence, and ceramide abundance from binding of fluorescent antibodies in flow cytometry. Results: A 24 h exposure to mushroom tyrosinase (7 U/mL was followed by a significant increase of [Ca2+]i, a significant increase of ceramide abundance, and a significant increase of annexin-V-binding. The annexin-V-binding following tyrosinase treatment was significantly blunted but not abrogated in the nominal absence of extracellular Ca2+. Tyrosinase did not significantly modify forward scatter. Conclusions: Tyrosinase triggers cell membrane scrambling, an effect, at least partially, due to entry of extracellular Ca2+ and ceramide formation.

  1. 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.

  2. Electrical Dissipative Structures in Membrane-Coupled Compartment Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  3. Latent progenitor cells as potential regulators for tympanic membrane regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seung Won; Kim, Jangho; Seonwoo, Hoon; Jang, Kyung-Jin; Kim, Yeon Ju; Lim, Hye Jin; Lim, Ki-Taek; Tian, Chunjie; Chung, Jong Hoon; Choung, Yun-Hoon

    2015-06-01

    Tympanic membrane (TM) perforation, in particular chronic otitis media, is one of the most common clinical problems in the world and can present with sensorineural healing loss. Here, we explored an approach for TM regeneration where the latent progenitor or stem cells within TM epithelial layers may play an important regulatory role. We showed that potential TM stem cells present highly positive staining for epithelial stem cell markers in all areas of normal TM tissue. Additionally, they are present at high levels in perforated TMs, especially in proximity to the holes, regardless of acute or chronic status, suggesting that TM stem cells may be a potential factor for TM regeneration. Our study suggests that latent TM stem cells could be potential regulators of regeneration, which provides a new insight into this clinically important process and a potential target for new therapies for chronic otitis media and other eardrum injuries.

  4. 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...... been investigated. The fuel cell stack used in this model is developed using a Ballard PEMFC [1], so that the equations used in the stack modeling are derived from the experimental data. The stack can produce 3 to 15 kilowatt electricity depending on the number of cells used in the stack. Some of the...... investigated. In addition, different stack design schemes have been proposed and their effect on system efficiency has been investigated....

  5. 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.

  6. The structural dynamics of the flavivirus fusion peptide-membrane interaction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ygara S Mendes

    Full Text Available Membrane fusion is a crucial step in flavivirus infections and a potential target for antiviral strategies. Lipids and proteins play cooperative roles in the fusion process, which is triggered by the acidic pH inside the endosome. This acidic environment induces many changes in glycoprotein conformation and allows the action of a highly conserved hydrophobic sequence, the fusion peptide (FP. Despite the large volume of information available on the virus-triggered fusion process, little is known regarding the mechanisms behind flavivirus-cell membrane fusion. Here, we evaluated the contribution of a natural single amino acid difference on two flavivirus FPs, FLA(G ((98DRGWGNGCGLFGK(110 and FLA(H ((98DRGWGNHCGLFGK(110, and investigated the role of the charge of the target membrane on the fusion process. We used an in silico approach to simulate the interaction of the FPs with a lipid bilayer in a complementary way and used spectroscopic approaches to collect conformation information. We found that both peptides interact with neutral and anionic micelles, and molecular dynamics (MD simulations showed the interaction of the FPs with the lipid bilayer. The participation of the indole ring of Trp appeared to be important for the anchoring of both peptides in the membrane model, as indicated by MD simulations and spectroscopic analyses. Mild differences between FLA(G and FLA(H were observed according to the pH and the charge of the target membrane model. The MD simulations of the membrane showed that both peptides adopted a bend structure, and an interaction between the aromatic residues was strongly suggested, which was also observed by circular dichroism in the presence of micelles. As the FPs of viral fusion proteins play a key role in the mechanism of viral fusion, understanding the interactions between peptides and membranes is crucial for medical science and biology and may contribute to the design of new antiviral drugs.

  7. Myosin Light-Chain Kinase Is Necessary for Membrane Homeostasis in Cochlear Inner Hair Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Zhu, Guang-Jie; Wang, Fang; Chen, Chen; Xu, Lin; Zhang, Wen-Cheng; Fan, Chi; PENG, YA-JING; Chen, Jie; He, Wei-Qi; Guo, Shi-Ying; Zuo, Jian; Gao, Xia; Zhu, Min-Sheng

    2012-01-01

    The structural homeostasis of the cochlear hair cell membrane is critical for all aspects of sensory transduction, but the regulation of its maintenance is not well understood. In this report, we analyzed the cochlear hair cells of mice with specific deletion of myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) in inner hair cells. MLCK-deficient mice showed impaired hearing, with a 5- to 14-dB rise in the auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds to clicks and tones of different frequencies and a signific...

  8. Theoretical design strategies of bipolar membrane fuel cell with enhanced self-humidification behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiushi; Gong, Jian; Peng, Sikan; Lu, Shanfu; Sui, Pang-Chieh; Djilali, Ned; Xiang, Yan

    2016-03-01

    The bipolar membrane fuel cells (BPMFCs), which have a unique acid-alkaline jointed membrane electrode assembly (MEA) structure, have demonstrated their great potential for self-humidification during operation. Although the self-humidification ability of such bipolar membranes (BPMs) has recently been validated by a one-dimensional BPM model, the transport mechanism and the formation of self-humidification in the MEAs are not well understood. In the present study, a two-dimensional cross-channel MEA model is developed to elucidate the mechanisms and enhancement of water transport on self-humidification with comprehensive consideration of the three electrochemical reaction zones. The water-formation interface model has been successfully investigated by theoretical and experimental interface reaction kinetics, streamlines of water flux present the formation process and mechanism of self-humidification. A critical current (voltage) value, beyond which self-humidification is initiated, is identified. It is also found that such critical current (voltage) can be adjusted by changing the membrane thickness and the water uptake property of the ionomer. It is concluded that fabricating BPMs with proper membrane thickness and water uptake property are effective strategies to enhance the water management and cell performance in BPMFCs.

  9. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clearance of partially ordered oligomers and monomers deposited on cell membrane surfaces is believed to be an effective route to alleviate many potential protein conformational diseases (PCDs). With large-scale all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, here we show that graphene nanosheets can easily and quickly win a competitive adsorption of human islet amyloid polypeptides (hIAPP22-28) NFGAILS and associated fibrils against cell membrane, due to graphene's unique two-dimensional, highly hydrophobic surface with its all-sp2 hybrid structure. A nanoscale dewetting transition was observed at the interfacial region between the fibril (originally deposited on the membrane) and the graphene nanosheet, which significantly assisted the adsorption of fibrils onto graphene from the membrane. The π–π stacking interaction between Phe23 and graphene played a crucial role, providing the driving force for the adsorption at the graphene surface. This study renders new insight towards the importance of water during the interactions between amyloid peptides, the phospholipidic membrane, and graphene, which might shed some light on future developments of graphene-based nanomedicine for preventing/curing PCDs like type II diabetes mellitus

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Haizhen; Brown, Roslyn N.; Qian, Wei-Jun; Monroe, Matthew E.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Moore, Ronald J.; Gritsenko, Marina A.; Shi, Liang; Romine, Margaret F; Fredrickson, James K.; Paša-Tolić, Ljiljana; Smith, Richard D.; Lipton, Mary S.

    2010-01-01

    We report a mass spectrometry-based strategy for quantitative analysis of cell surface membrane proteome changes. The strategy includes enrichment of surface membrane proteins using a membrane-impermeable chemical probe followed by stable isotope 18O labeling and LC-MS analysis. We applied this strategy for enriching membrane proteins expressed by Shewanella oneidensis MR-1, a gram-negative bacterium with known metal-reduction capability via extracellular electron transfer between outer membrane proteins and extracellular electron receptors. LC/MS/MS analysis resulted in the identification of about 400 proteins with 79% of them being predicted to be membrane localized. Quantitative aspects of the membrane enrichment were shown by peptide level 16O and 18O labeling of proteins from wild-type and mutant cells (generated from deletion of a type II secretion protein, GspD) prior to LC-MS analysis. Using a chemical probe labeled pure protein as an internal standard for normalization, the quantitative data revealed reduced abundances in ΔgspD mutant cells of many outer membrane proteins including the outer membrane c-cype cytochromes OmcA and MtrC, in agreement with previously investigation demonstrating that these proteins are substrates of the type II secretion system. PMID:20380418

  12. Aqueous liquid feed organic fuel cell using solid polymer electrolyte membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surampudi, Subbarao (Inventor); Narayanan, Sekharipuram R. (Inventor); Vamos, Eugene (Inventor); Frank, Harvey A. (Inventor); Halpert, Gerald (Inventor); Olah, George A. (Inventor); Prakash, G. K. Surya (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    A liquid organic fuel cell is provided which employs a solid electrolyte membrane. An organic fuel, such as a methanol/water mixture, is circulated past an anode of a cell while oxygen or air is circulated past a cathode of the cell. The cell solid electrolyte membrane is preferably fabricated from Nafion.TM.. Additionally, a method for improving the performance of carbon electrode structures for use in organic fuel cells is provided wherein a high surface-area carbon particle/Teflon.TM.-binder structure is immersed within a Nafion.TM./methanol bath to impregnate the electrode with Nafion.TM.. A method for fabricating an anode for use in a organic fuel cell is described wherein metal alloys are deposited onto the electrode in an electro-deposition solution containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid. A fuel additive containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid for use with fuel cells employing a sulfuric acid electrolyte is also disclosed. New organic fuels, namely, trimethoxymethane, dimethoxymethane, and trioxane are also described for use with either conventional or improved fuel cells.

  13. Differential two colour X-ray radiobiology of membrane/cytoplasm yeast cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report describes the experiment entitled 'Differential Two Colour X-Ray Radiobiology of Membrane/Cytoplasm Yeast Cells'; carried out at the Central Laser Facility (CLF) from the 6th January to the 3rd February 1997. The experiment, funded by the Framework IV Large-Scale Facilities Access Scheme, was proposed by Dr. M. Milani, Dipartimento di Scienza dei Materiali, University of Milan, Italy, and carried out by visiting researchers from his institute, the University of Modena and with technical support from the Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. Experimental highlights: The development of an investigation technique based on the use of very soft X-ray in order to damage specific structures inside the cell structure (specifically cell wall and membrane); the use of pressure sensors as a diagnostics of cell response which allows to monitor cell response over a large range of times from fast response up to several hours; the use of dry yeast cells as an 'easy to handle' type of sample; the development of a simple model for X-ray dosimetry of the different cell compartments; the study of metabolic oscillation in yeast cell suspension and the observation of the oscillation frequency shift following an exposure to soft X-rays. (author)

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. Fluorescence staining of live cyanobacterial cells suggest non-stringent chromosome segregation and absence of a connection between cytoplasmic and thylakoid membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scholz Ingeborg

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In spite of their abundance and importance, little is known about cyanobacterial cell biology and their cell cycle. During each cell cycle, chromosomes must be separated into future daughter cells, i.e. into both cell halves, which in many bacteria is achieved by an active machinery that operates during DNA replication. Many cyanobacteria contain multiple identical copies of the chromosome, but it is unknown how chromosomes are segregated into future daughter cells, and if an active or passive mechanism is operative. In addition to an outer and an inner cell membrane, cyanobacteria contain internal thylakoid membranes that carry the active photosynthetic machinery. It is unclear whether thylakoid membranes are invaginations of the inner cell membrane, or an independent membrane system. Results We have used different fluorescent dyes to study the organization of chromosomes and of cell and thylakoid membranes in live cyanobacterial cells. FM1-43 stained the outer and inner cytoplasmic membranes but did not enter the interior of the cell. In contrast, thylakoid membranes in unicellular Synechocystis cells became visible through a membrane-permeable stain only. Furthermore, continuous supply of the fluorescent dye FM1-43 resulted in the formation of one to four intracellular fluorescent structures in Synechocystis cells, within occurred within 30 to 60 minutes, and may represent membrane vesicles. Using fluorescent DNA stains, we found that Synechocystis genomic DNA is compacted in the cell centre that is devoid of thylakoid membranes. Nucleoids segregated very late in the cell cycle, just before complete closing of the division septum. In striking contrast to Bacillus subtilis, which possesses an active chromosome segregation machinery, fluorescence intensity of stained nucleoids differed considerably between the two Synechocystis daughter cells soon after cell division. Conclusion Our experiments strongly support the idea that

  17. Plasma membrane biogenesis in eukaryotic cells: translocation of newly synthesized lipid.

    OpenAIRE

    Mills, J T; Furlong, S T; Dawidowicz, E A

    1984-01-01

    We examined the transfer of sterols and phospholipids from their site of synthesis to the plasma membrane of Acanthamoeba castellanii. Cells were labeled with [3H]acetate, and plasma membrane fractions were isolated under conditions that minimize the nonspecific exchange of lipids between subcellular membrane fractions. Sterols and phospholipids were purified from both whole-cell homogenates and isolated plasma membrane. In whole cells, 3H-labeled lipids were formed, with no apparent time lag...

  18. Study of the effect of membrane thickness on microcapsule strength, permeability, and cell proliferation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Ying; Zhang, Ying; Wang, Yu; Wang, Qiuyan; Tan, Mingqian; Liu, Yang; Chen, Li; Li, Na; Yu, Weiting; Ma, Xiaojun

    Cell microencapsulation is one of the promising strategies for in vitro production of proteins or in vivo delivery of therapeutic products. Membrane thickness controls microcapsule strength and permeability, which may in return affect cell growth and metabolism. In this study, the strength......, permeability, and encapsulated Chinese hamster ovary cell proliferation and metabolism of four groups of microcapsules with different membrane thicknesses were investigated. It was found that increasing membrane thickness increases microcapsule strength, whereas decreases membrane permeability. During the...

  19. Electron-Beam Induced Grafting of Isopropylacrylamide to a Poly(Ethylene-Terephthalate) Membrane for Cell Sheet Detachment, and Fuel Cell Membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Using high-energy irradiation initiation, isopropylacrylamide (IPAA) was grafted to a porous membrane dish composed of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET). IPPA demonstrates a transition from a hydrophobic to a hydrophilic structure with a simple change in temperature. The dishes were used for cell grow. Cells generally grow in an environment set at 37 deg. C, at which the IPAA polymer exhibits its hydrophobic structure. IPAA was attached uniformly to a cell culture surface, and cells were able to grow on top of the IPAA while it was in its hydrophobic state. Cells were easily removed from the surface of the dishes after changing the temperature below the LCST of IPAA. By changing the temperature polymer altered its structure to a hydrophilic state and no longer provided a suitable surface for the cells to adhere to. This caused the cells to lift off the culture surface without the use of a destructive enzyme such as trypsin or dispase. These cell sheets are useful to cell sheet engineering because the cells will retain both their extracellular matrix (ECM) and cell-to-cell junctions, which are normally lost in the harvest of cells. Poly(tetrafluoroethylene-co-hexefluoropropylene) (FEP) is a material under investigation as a polymer electrolyte membrane for fuel cells. In order to make it ionically conductive, styrene was grafted to it and then subsequently sulfonated. Grafting of styrene to FEP was performed by simultaneous irradiation of the monomer and substrate to initiate the reaction, followed by a heat treatment to allow the reaction to undergo propagation. The effects of dose rate and heat treatment time on the weight percent yield of grafting and uniformity as a function of depth in the substrate was investigated. A 38.5 wt% graft was obtained after a 50 kGy dose of electron irradiation at a dose rate of 2,8 Gy/pulse and post-irradiation heat treatment of 60 deg. C for three hours. FTIR analysis of 10 μm sections of material grafted under these conditions

  20. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hyoung-Juhn Kim

    2005-01-01

    @@ 1Introduction Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) have been spotlighted because they are clean and highly efficient power generation system. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs), which use reformate gases or pure H2 for a fuel, have been employed for automotives and residential usages. Also, liquid-feed fuel cells such as direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) and direct formic acid fuel cell (DFAFC) were studied for portable power generation.

  3. Fault tolerance control for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaojuan; Zhou, Boyang

    2016-08-01

    Fault diagnosis and controller design are two important aspects to improve proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system durability. However, the two tasks are often separately performed. For example, many pressure and voltage controllers have been successfully built. However, these controllers are designed based on the normal operation of PEMFC. When PEMFC faces problems such as flooding or membrane drying, a controller with a specific design must be used. This paper proposes a unique scheme that simultaneously performs fault diagnosis and tolerance control for the PEMFC system. The proposed control strategy consists of a fault diagnosis, a reconfiguration mechanism and adjustable controllers. Using a back-propagation neural network, a model-based fault detection method is employed to detect the PEMFC current fault type (flooding, membrane drying or normal). According to the diagnosis results, the reconfiguration mechanism determines which backup controllers to be selected. Three nonlinear controllers based on feedback linearization approaches are respectively built to adjust the voltage and pressure difference in the case of normal, membrane drying and flooding conditions. The simulation results illustrate that the proposed fault tolerance control strategy can track the voltage and keep the pressure difference at desired levels in faulty conditions.

  4. 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.

  5. Basement membrane and interstitial proteoglycans produced by MDCK cells correspond to those expressed in the kidney cortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erickson, A C; Couchman, J R

    2001-01-01

    Multiple proteoglycans (PGs) are present in all basement membranes (BM) and may contribute to their structure and function, but their effects on cell behavior are not well understood. Their postulated functions include: a structural role in maintaining tissue histoarchitecture, or aid in selectiv...

  6. 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.

  7. Modelling and Fabrication of Micro-SOFC Membrane Structure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brigita ABAKEVIČIENĖ

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Fabrication process of micro-SOFC membrane structure using the bulk micromachining of silicon technique with SiO2 and Si3N4 sacrificial layers is presented in this study. The process involves back side photolithography, magnetron sputtering of platinum thin films, thermal evaporation of YSZ electrolyte, deep reactive ion etching of silicon, and, finally, release of free-standing membrane using CF4/O2 plasma etching.X-ray analysis shows the cubic phase of YSZ electrolyte and platinum electrodes. Modelling of normal stress distribution in the micro-SOFC structure with the Si3N4 sacrificial layer shows that at high temperatures the substrate expands less than the coating, causing tensile stresses in the substrate area next to the coating and compressive stresses in the coating, as the substrate material has a lower coefficient of thermal expansion than the layered Pt/YSZ/Pt coating. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ms.20.2.5585

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Alkaline direct alcohol fuel cells using an anion exchange membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsuoka, Koji; Iriyama, Yasutoshi; Abe, Takeshi; Ogumi, Zempachi [Department of Energy and Hydrocarbon Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Katsura, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8510 (Japan); Matsuoka, Masao [Faculty of Science and Engineering, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, Shiga 525-8577 (Japan)

    2005-10-04

    Alkaline direct alcohol fuel cells using an OH-form anion exchange membrane and polyhydric alcohols were studied. A high open circuit voltage of ca. 800mV was obtained for a cell using Pt-Ru/C (anode) and Pt/C (cathode) at 323K, which was about 100-200mV higher than that for a DMFC using Nafion{sup R}. The maximum power densities were in the order of ethylene glycol>glycerol>methanol>erythritol>xylitol. Silver catalysts were used as a cathode catalyst to fabricate alkaline fuel cells, since silver catalyst is almost inactive in the oxidation of polyhydric alcohols. Alkaline direct ethylene glycol fuel cells using silver as a cathode catalyst gave excellent performance because higher concentrations of fuel could be supplied to the anode. (author)

  11. 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.

  12. Expression of recombinant dystrophin and its localization to the cell membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, C C; Pearlman, J A; Chamberlain, J S; Caskey, C T

    1991-01-24

    Duchenne's muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-linked progressive myopathy caused by a defect in the DMD gene locus. The gene corresponding to the DMD locus produces a 14-kilobase (kb) messenger RNA that codes for a large cytoskeletal membrane protein, dystrophin. DMD and Becker's muscular dystrophy are the consequences of dystrophin mutations. The exact biological function of dystrophin remains unknown but it has been demonstrated that it is localized to the cytoplasmic face of the cell membrane and has direct interaction with several other membrane proteins. We report here the synthesis of a 14-kb full-length complementary DNA for the mouse muscle dystrophin mRNA and the expression of this cDNA in COS cells. The recombinant dystrophin is indistinguishable from mouse muscle dystrophin by western blot analysis with anti-dystrophin antibodies and was shown by an immunofluorescent technique to be localized in the cell membrane. Our successful construction of a functional full-length cDNA opens opportunities for the study of structure and function of dystrophin and provides an opportunity to initiate gene therapy studies. PMID:1824797

  13. Membrane-based electrolyte sheets for facile fabrication of flexible dye-sensitized solar cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: → A new electrolyte sheet was developed for flexible dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs). → It is composed of a porous polyethylene membranes and ionic liquid electrolytes. → The electrochemical properties of the electrolyte sheets were evaluated. → High-performance flexible DSCs with the electrolyte sheets were facilely fabricated. - Abstract: New electrolyte sheets based on porous polyethylene membranes for flexible dye-sensitized solar cells have been developed. Ionic liquid electrolytes are accommodated in commercial polyethylene membranes to form the electrolyte sheets. The morphology of membranes and iodine concentrations in ionic liquid are varied. The electrochemical measurement results show that the morphology, pore structure, and iodine concentration affect mass transport in electrolyte sheet, as well as charge transfer between platinum electrode and electrolyte sheet greatly. Based on these electrolyte sheets, lamination method instead of conventional vacuum injection of electrolyte is used to fabricate flexible dye-sensitized solar cells. Optimal device with an open-circuit voltage (Voc) of 0.63 V, a fill factor of 0.58, and a short-circuit current density (Jsc) of 6.17 mA cm-2 at an incident light intensity of 100 mW cm-2 is obtained, which yields a light-to-electricity conversion efficiency of 2.25%.

  14. Dynamic assessment of Amyloid oligomers - cell membrane interaction by advanced impedance spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gheorghiu, M.; David, S.; Polonschii, C.; Bratu, D.; Gheorghiu, E.

    2013-04-01

    The amyloid β (Aβ) peptides are believed to be pivotal in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis and onset of vascular dysfunction. Recent studies indicate that Aβ1-42 treatment influences the expression of tight junction protein complexes, stress fibre formation, disruption and aggregation of actin filaments and cellular gap formation. Aiming for functional characterization of model cells upon Aβ1-42 treatment, we deployed an advanced Electric Cell-substrate Impedance Sensing for monitoring cell evolution. A precision Impedance Analyzer with a multiplexing module developed in house was used for recording individual electrode sets in the 40 Hz - 100 KHz frequency range. In a step forward from the classical ECIS assays, we report on a novel data analysis algorithm that enables access to cellular and paracellular electrical parameters and cell surface interaction with fully developed cell monolayers. The evolution of the impedance at selected frequencies provides evidence for a dual effect of Aβ42 exposure, at both paracellular permeability and cell adherence level, with intricate dynamics that open up new perspectives on Aβ1-42 oligomers - cell membrane interaction. Validation of electrical impedance assays of the amyloid fibrils effect on cell membrane structure is achieved by both AFM analysis and Surface Plasmon Resonance studies. The capabilities of this noninvasive, real time platform for cell analysis in a wider applicative context are outlined.

  15. Reassessing ecdysteroidogenic cells from the cell membrane receptors’ perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Alexandros Alexandratos; Panagiotis Moulos; Ioannis Nellas; Konstantinos Mavridis; Dedos, Skarlatos G.

    2016-01-01

    Ecdysteroids secreted by the prothoracic gland (PG) cells of insects control the developmental timing of their immature life stages. These cells have been historically considered as carrying out a single function in insects, namely the biochemical conversion of cholesterol to ecdysteroids and their secretion. A growing body of evidence shows that PG cells receive multiple cues during insect development so we tested the hypothesis that they carry out more than just one function in insects. We ...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Porous polybenzimidazole membrane was prepared with glucose as porogen. • Phosphoric acid content was as high as 15.7 mol H3PO4 per PBI repeat unit. • 200 h Constant current density test was carried out at 150 °C. • Degradation was due to the gap between membrane and catalyst layer. - Abstract: In this paper, the preparation and characterization of porous polybenzimidazole membranes doped with phosphoric acid were reported. For the preparation of porous polybenzimidazole membranes, glucose and saccharose were selected as porogen and added into PBI resin solution before solvent casting. The prepared porous PBI membranes had high proton conductivity and high content of acid doping at room temperature with 15.7 mol H3PO4 per PBI repeat unit, much higher than pure PBI membrane at the same condition. Further, the performance and stability of the porous PBI membrane in high-temperature proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells was tested. It was found that the cell performance remained stable during 200 h stability test under a constant current discharge of 0.5 A cm−2 except for the last fifty hours. The decay in the last fifty hours was ascribed to the delamination between the catalyst layer and membrane increasing the charge-transfer resistance

  17. Optimization of fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies for transition metal ion-chelating ordered mesoporous carbon cathode catalysts

    OpenAIRE

    Johanna K. Dombrovskis; Cathrin Prestel; Anders E. C. Palmqvist

    2014-01-01

    Transition metal ion-chelating ordered mesoporous carbon (TM-OMC) materials were recently shown to be efficient polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) catalysts. The structure and properties of these catalysts are largely different from conventional catalyst materials, thus rendering membrane electrode assembly (MEA) preparation parameters developed for conventional catalysts not useful for applications of TM-OMC catalysts. This necessitates development of a methodology to incorporate...

  18. 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.

  19. Heat Denaturation of Protein Structures and Chlorophyll States in PSII Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李冬海; 阮翔; 许强; 王可玢; 公衍道; 匡廷云; 赵南明

    2002-01-01

    Heat denaturation is an important technique in the study of the structure and function of photosynthetic proteins. Heat denaturation of photosystem II (PSII) membrane was studied using circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and oxygen electrode. Complete loss of oxygen-evolving activity of the PSII membrane was observed at temperatures below 45℃. The decrease of excitonic interaction between chlorophyll molecules occurred more rapidly than the change of the protein secondary structure of the PSII membrane at temperatures above 45℃. The results indicate that the protein secondary structure of the membrane proteins in PSII membranes is more stable than the excitonic interaction between chlorophyll molecules during heat denaturation.

  20. Force Balance and Membrane Shedding at the Red-Blood-Cell Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sens, Pierre; Gov, Nir

    2007-01-01

    During the aging of the red-blood cell, or under conditions of extreme echinocytosis, membrane is shed from the cell plasma membrane in the form of nanovesicles. We propose that this process is the result of the self-adaptation of the membrane surface area to the elastic stress imposed by the spectrin cytoskeleton, via the local buckling of membrane under increasing cytoskeleton stiffness. This model introduces the concept of force balance as a regulatory process at the cell membrane and quantitatively reproduces the rate of area loss in aging red-blood cells.