Sample records for cell membrane

  1. Membrane Cells for Brine Electrolysis. (United States)

    Tingle, M.


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

  2. Biological Fuel Cells and Membranes. (United States)

    Ghassemi, Zahra; Slaughter, Gymama


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

  3. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    CERN Document Server

    Qi, Zhigang


    Preface Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel CellsFuel CellsTypes of Fuel CellsAdvantages of Fuel CellsProton Exchange Membrane Fuel CellsMembraneCatalystCatalyst LayerGas Diffusion MediumMicroporous LayerMembrane Electrode AssemblyPlateSingle CellStackSystemCell Voltage Monitoring Module (CVM)Fuel Supply Module (FSM)Air Supply Module (ASM)Exhaust Management Module (EMM)Heat Management Module (HMM)Water Management Module (WMM)Internal Power Supply Module (IPM)Power Conditioning Module (PCM)Communications Module (COM)Controls Module (CM)SummaryThermodynamics and KineticsTheoretical EfficiencyVoltagePo

  4. Cell Membrane Softening in Cancer Cells (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.

  5. Model cell membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    The high complexity of biological membranes has motivated the development and application of a wide range of model membrane systems to study biochemical and biophysical aspects of membranes in situ under well defined conditions. The aim is to provide fundamental understanding of processes control...


    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)


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

  7. The Molecules of the Cell Membrane. (United States)

    Bretscher, Mark S.


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

  8. Dielectric breakdown of cell membranes. (United States)

    Zimmermann, U; Pilwat, G; Riemann, F


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

  9. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grot, Stephen [President, Ion Power Inc.


    One of the most challenging aspects of traditional PEM fuel cell stacks is the difficulty achieving the platinum catalyst utilization target of 0.2 gPt/kWe set forth by the DOE. Good catalyst utilization can be achieved with state-of-the-art catalyst coated membranes (CCM) when low catalyst loadings (<0.3 mg/cm2) are used at a low current. However, when low platinum loadings are used, the peak power density is lower than conventional loadings, requiring a larger total active area and a larger bipolar plate. This results in a lower overall stack power density not meeting the DOE target. By corrugating the fuel cell membrane electrode structure, Ion Power?s goal is to realize both the Pt utilization targets as well as the power density targets of the DOE. This will be achieved by demonstrating a fuel cell single cell (50 cm2) with a twofold increase in the membrane active area over the geometric area of the cell by corrugating the MEA structure. The corrugating structure must be able to demonstrate the target properties of < 10 mOhm-cm2 electrical resistance at > 20 psi compressive strength over the active area, in combination with offering at least 80% of power density that can be achieved by using the same MEA in a flat plate structure. Corrugated membrane fuel cell structures also have the potential to meet DOE power density targets by essentially packaging more membrane area into the same fuel cell volume as compared to conventional stack constructions.

  10. 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)


    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. In-membrane micro fuel cell

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Omosebi, Ayokunle; Besser, Ronald


    An in-membrane micro fuel cell comprises an electrically-insulating membrane that is permissive to the flow of cations, such as protons, and a pair of electrodes deposited on channels formed in the membrane. The channels are arranged as conduits for fluids, and define a membrane ridge between the channels. The electrodes are porous and include catalysts for promoting the liberation of a proton and an electron from a chemical species and/or or the recombination of a proton and an electron with a chemical specie. The fuel cell may be provided a biosensor, an electrochemical sensor, a microfluidic device, or other microscale devices fabricated in the fuel cell membrane.

  12. [Germ cell membrane lipids in spermatogenesis]. (United States)

    Wang, Ting; Shi, Xiao; Quan, Song


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

  13. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells (United States)

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


    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.

  14. Advanced composite polymer electrolyte fuel cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  15. Fuel cell and membrane therefore

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aindow, Tai-Tsui


    A fuel cell includes first and second flow field plates, and an anode electrode and a cathode electrode between the flow field plates. A polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) is arranged between the electrodes. At least one of the flow field plates influences, at least in part, an in-plane anisotropic physical condition of the PEM that varies in magnitude between a high value direction and a low value direction. The PEM has an in-plane physical property that varies in magnitude between a high value direction and a low value direction. The PEM is oriented with its high value direction substantially aligned with the high value direction of the flow field plate.

  16. Interaction of Defensins with Model Cell Membranes (United States)

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


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

  17. Anion permselective membrane. [For redox fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  18. Membrane alterations in irreversibly sickled cells: hemoglobin--membrane interaction. (United States)

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


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

  19. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells (United States)

    Kim, Yu Seung; Pivovar, Bryan S


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

  20. Alternative membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  1. A novel bioactive membrane by cell electrospinning. (United States)

    Chen, Haiping; Liu, Yuanyuan; Hu, Qingxi


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

  2. Artificial cell membranes for diagnostics and therapeutics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  3. Sterion membranes in Direct Methanol fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  4. Stretching micropatterned cells on a PDMS membrane. (United States)

    Carpi, Nicolas; Piel, Matthieu


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

  5. Geometry and Topology of Cell Membranes (United States)

    Bouligand, Y.

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

  6. Cell membrane softening in human breast and cervical cancer cells (United States)

    Händel, Chris; Schmidt, B. U. Sebastian; Schiller, Jürgen; Dietrich, Undine; Möhn, Till; Kießling, Tobias R.; Pawlizak, Steve; Fritsch, Anatol W.; Horn, Lars-Christian; Briest, Susanne; Höckel, Michael; Zink, Mareike; Käs, Josef A.


    Biomechanical properties are key to many cellular functions such as cell division and cell motility and thus are crucial in the development and understanding of several diseases, for instance cancer. The mechanics of the cellular cytoskeleton have been extensively characterized in cells and artificial systems. The rigidity of the plasma membrane, with the exception of red blood cells, is unknown and membrane rigidity measurements only exist for vesicles composed of a few synthetic lipids. In this study, thermal fluctuations of giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) directly derived from the plasma membranes of primary breast and cervical cells, as well as breast cell lines, are analyzed. Cell blebs or GPMVs were studied via thermal membrane fluctuations and mass spectrometry. It will be shown that cancer cell membranes are significantly softer than their non-malignant counterparts. This can be attributed to a loss of fluid raft forming lipids in malignant cells. These results indicate that the reduction of membrane rigidity promotes aggressive blebbing motion in invasive cancer cells.

  7. Metric dynamics for membrane transformation through regulated cell proliferation


    Ito, Hiroshi C.


    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. Shedding of cell membrane-bound proteoglycans. (United States)

    Nam, Eon Jeong; Park, Pyong Woo


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

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

  10. Alternate Fuel Cell Membranes for Energy Independence

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


    The overall objective of this project was the development and evaluation of novel hydrocarbon fuel cell (FC) membranes that possess high temperature performance and long term chemical/mechanical durability in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells (FC). The major research theme was synthesis of aromatic hydrocarbon polymers of the poly(arylene ether sulfone) (PAES) type containing sulfonic acid groups tethered to the backbone via perfluorinated alkylene linkages and in some cases also directly attached to the phenylene groups along the backbone. Other research themes were the use of nitrogen-based heterocyclics instead of acid groups for proton conduction, which provides high temperature, low relative humidity membranes with high mechanical/thermal/chemical stability and pendant moieties that exhibit high proton conductivities in the absence of water, and synthesis of block copolymers consisting of a proton conducting block coupled to poly(perfluorinated propylene oxide) (PFPO) blocks. Accomplishments of the project were as follows: 1) establishment of a vertically integrated program of synthesis, characterization, and evaluation of FC membranes, 2) establishment of benchmark membrane performance data based on Nafion for comparison to experimental membrane performance, 3) development of a new perfluoroalkyl sulfonate monomer, N,N-diisopropylethylammonium 2,2-bis(p-hydroxyphenyl) pentafluoropropanesulfonate (HPPS), 4) synthesis of random and block copolymer membranes from HPPS, 5) synthesis of block copolymer membranes containing high-acid-concentration hydrophilic blocks consisting of HPPS and 3,3'-disulfonate-4,4'-dichlorodiphenylsulfone (sDCDPS), 6) development of synthetic routes to aromatic polymer backbones containing pendent 1H-1,2,3-triazole moieties, 7) development of coupling strategies to create phase-separated block copolymers between hydrophilic sulfonated prepolymers and commodity polymers such as PFPO, 8) establishment of basic

  11. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

  12. Hereditary spherocytosis, elliptocytosis, and other red cell membrane disorders. (United States)

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


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

  13. Membrane lipidome of an epithelial cell line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    Tissue differentiation is an important process that involves major cellular membrane remodeling. We used Madin-Darby canine kidney cells as a model for epithelium formation and investigated the remodeling of the total cell membrane lipidome during the transition from a nonpolarized morphology...... to an epithelial morphology and vice versa. To achieve this, we developed a shotgun-based lipidomics workflow that enabled the absolute quantification of mammalian membrane lipidomes with minimal sample processing from low sample amounts. Epithelial morphogenesis was accompanied by a major shift from sphingomyelin...... to glycosphingolipid, together with an increase in plasmalogen, phosphatidylethanolamine, and cholesterol content, whereas the opposite changes took place during an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Moreover, during polarization, the sphingolipids became longer, more saturated, and more hydroxylated as required...

  14. Membrane electrode assembly for a fuel cell (United States)

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


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

  15. Lithium. Effects on excitable cell membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ploeger, Egbert Johan


    LITHIUM: Effects on excitable cell membranes. Lithium salts have been used in the treatment of manic-depressive psychosis for many years but their mechanism of action is not well understood. Many workers assume that the action of lithium on catecholamine metabolism and/or on electrolyte distribution

  16. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes (United States)

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


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

  17. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonino S. Aricò


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

  18. Microfluidic microbial fuel cells: from membrane to membrane free (United States)

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


    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.

  19. Blend Concepts for Fuel Cell Membranes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    J. Kerres


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

  20. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells modeling

    CERN Document Server

    Gao, Fengge; Miraoui, Abdellatif


    The fuel cell is a potential candidate for energy storage and conversion in our future energy mix. It is able to directly convert the chemical energy stored in fuel (e.g. hydrogen) into electricity, without undergoing different intermediary conversion steps. In the field of mobile and stationary applications, it is considered to be one of the future energy solutions.Among the different fuel cell types, the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell has shown great potential in mobile applications, due to its low operating temperature, solid-state electrolyte and compactness.This book pre

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

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


    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.

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


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

  3. Cell membrane-camouflaged nanoparticles for drug delivery. (United States)

    Luk, Brian T; Zhang, Liangfang


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

  4. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    K.Scott; M. Mamlouk


    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.

  5. Membrane tension feedback on shape and motility of eukaryotic cells (United States)

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


    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.

  6. Membrane Tether Formation on a Cell Surface with Reservoir

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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


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

  7. Dendronized Polymer Architectures for Fuel Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  8. 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


    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.

  9. Plasma membranes from insect midgut cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Walter R. Terra


    Full Text Available Plasma membranes from insect midgut cells are separated into apical and basolateral domains. The apical domain is usually modified into microvilli with a molecular structure similar to other animals. Nevertheless, the microvillar structure should differ in some insects to permit the traffic inside them of secretory vesicles that may budd laterally or pinch-off from the tips of microvilli. Other microvillar modifications are associated with proton-pumping or with the interplay with an ensheathing lipid membrane (the perimicrovilllar membrane observed in the midgut cells of hemipterans (aphids and bugs. The perimicrovillar membranes are thought to be involved in amino acid absorption from diluted diets. The microvillar and perimicrovillar membranes have densities (and protein content that depend on the insect taxon. The role played by the microvillar and perimicrovillar proteins in insect midgut physiology is reviewed here trying to provide a coherent picture of data and highlighting further research areas.As membranas plasmáticas das células intestinais dos insetos apresentam um domínio apical e outro basal. O domínio apical é geralmente modificado em microvilosidades com organização molecular similar a de outros animais, embora possam diferir naqueles insetos que apresentam vesículas secretoras em trânsito que brotam lateralmente ou destacam-se das extremidades das microvilosidades. Outras modificações microvilares estão associadas a bombeamento de prótons ou a interrelações com uma membrana lipídica (a membrana perimicrovilar que reveste as microvilosidades de células intestinais de hemípteros (pulgões e percevejos. Admite-se que as membranas perimicrovilares estejam envolvidas na absorção de aminoácidos a partir de dietas diluídas. As membranas microvilares e perimicrovilares tem densidades distintas (e conteúdo protéico que dependem do táxon do inseto. O papel desempenhado pelas proteínas microvilares e

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  11. Focus on membrane differentiation and membrane domains in the prokaryotic cell. (United States)

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


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

  12. Nanoporous Aluminium Oxide Membranes as Cell Interfaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorothea Brüggemann


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

  13. Cytocompatibility of Three Corneal Cell Types with Amniotic Membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien eHouy


    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


    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.

  17. Membrane Fouling in Microfiltration used for Cell Harvesting

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tahereh Kaghazchi; Farzin Zokaee; Abbas Zare


    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.

  18. Membrane fouling in microfiltration used for cell harvesting (United States)

    Kaghazchi, Tahereh; Zokaee, Farzin; Zare, Abbas


    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aili, David; Allward, Todd; Alfaro, Silvia Martinez


    Composite membranes based on poly(2,2′(m-phenylene)-5,5́bibenzimidazole) (PBI) and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (S-POSS) with S-POSS contents of 5 and 10wt.% were prepared by solution casting as base materials for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. With membranes...... humidified conditions in the 120-180°C temperature range. The conductivity improvements were also confirmed by in situ fuel cell tests at 160°C and further supported by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy data based on the operating membrane electrode assemblies, demonstrating the technical...... feasibility of the novel electrolyte materials....

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  1. Thin Robust Anion Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications (United States)


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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  4. Cytotoxicity of bovine and porcine collagen membranes in mononuclear cells. (United States)

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


    This study compared the cytotoxicity and the release of nitric oxide induced by collagen membranes in human mononuclear cells. Peripheral blood was collected from each patient and the separation of mononuclear cells was performed by Ficoll. Then, 2x10(5) cells were plated in 48-well culture plates under the membranes in triplicate. The polystyrene surface was used as negative control. Cell viability was assessed by measuring mitochondrial activity (MTT) at 4, 12 and 24 h, with dosage levels of nitrite by the Griess method for the same periods. Data had non-normal distribution and were analyzed by the Kruskal-Wallis test (pporcine membrane induced a higher release of nitrite compared with the control and bovine membrane, respectively (pporcine collagen membrane induces an increased production of proinflammatory mediators by mononuclear cells in the first hours of contact, decreasing with time.

  5. Durability of symmetrically and asymmetrically porous polybenzimidazole membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (United States)

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


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

  6. Studying the Nucleated Mammalian Cell Membrane by Single Molecule Approaches (United States)

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


    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

  7. Correlation between membrane fluidity cellular development and stem cell differentiation

    KAUST Repository

    Noutsi, Pakiza


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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    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.

  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


    @@ 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 fluid-mosaic structure and cancer metastasis. (United States)

    Nicolson, Garth L


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

  11. Detecting Nanodomains in Living Cell Membrane by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (United States)

    He, Hai-Tao; Marguet, Didier


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

  12. How the antimicrobial peptides destroy bacteria cell membrane: Translocations vs. membrane buckling (United States)

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


    In this study, coarse grained Dissipative Particle Dynamics simulation with implementation of electrostatic interactions is developed in constant pressure and surface tension ensemble to elucidate how the antimicrobial peptide molecules affect bilayer cell membrane structure and kill bacteria. We find that peptides with different chemical-physical properties exhibit different membrane obstructing mechanisms. Peptide molecules can destroy vital functions of the affected bacteria by translocating across their membranes via worm-holes, or by associating with membrane lipids to form hydrophilic cores trapped inside the hydrophobic domain of the membranes. In the latter scenario, the affected membranes are strongly corrugated (buckled) in accord with very recent experimental observations [G. E. Fantner et al., Nat. Nanotech., 5 (2010), pp. 280-285].

  13. Exploring the inhibitory effect of membrane tension on cell polarization. (United States)

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


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

  14. The Flocculating Cationic Polypetide from Moringa oleifera Seeds Damages Bacterial Cell Membranes by Causing Membrane Fusion. (United States)

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


    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan Ferdi Gerçel


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

  16. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms. (United States)

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


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

  17. Coating nanoparticles with cell membranes for targeted drug delivery. (United States)

    Gao, Weiwei; Zhang, Liangfang


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

  18. Improved Membrane Materials for PEM Fuel Cell Application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kenneth A. Mauritz; Robert B. Moore


    The overall goal of this project is to collect and integrate critical structure/property information in order to develop methods that lead to significant improvements in the durability and performance of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) materials. This project is focused on the fundamental improvement of PEMFC membrane materials with respect to chemical, mechanical and morphological durability as well as the development of new inorganically-modified membranes.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopman, Marjolein


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

  20. Homotypic fusion of endoplasmic reticulum membranes in plant cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junjie eHu


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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

  2. Toughness of membranes applied in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


    Since several years we apply the radiation-grafting technique to prepare polymeric membranes for application in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). Our investigations presented here focus on changes in toughness of these materials after the various synthesis steps and the importance of membrane toughness for their application in PEFCs. (author) 2 figs., 4 refs.

  3. Expression of basement membrane antigens in spindle cell melanoma. (United States)

    Prieto, V G; Woodruff, J M


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


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Perurnal Bhavani; Dharmalingam Sangeetha


    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.

  5. Cell-free system for synthesizing membrane proteins cell free method for synthesizing membrane proteins (United States)

    Laible, Philip D; Hanson, Deborah K


    The invention provides an in vitro method for producing proteins, membrane proteins, membrane-associated proteins, and soluble proteins that interact with membrane-associated proteins for assembly into an oligomeric complex or that require association with a membrane for proper folding. The method comprises, supplying intracytoplasmic membranes from organisms; modifying protein composition of intracytoplasmic membranes from organism by modifying DNA to delete genes encoding functions of the organism not associated with the formation of the intracytoplasmic membranes; generating appropriate DNA or RNA templates that encode the target protein; and mixing the intracytoplasmic membranes with the template and a transcription/translation-competent cellular extract to cause simultaneous production of the membrane proteins and encapsulation of the membrane proteins within the intracytoplasmic membranes.

  6. Novel Membrane for Highly Efficient Fuel Cells Project (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...

  7. Novel High Temperature Membrane for PEM Fuel Cells Project (United States)

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

  8. Membrane Protein Mobility and Orientation Preserved in Supported Bilayers Created Directly from Cell Plasma Membrane Blebs. (United States)

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


    Membrane protein interactions with lipids are crucial for their native biological behavior, yet traditional characterization methods are often carried out on purified protein in the absence of lipids. We present a simple method to transfer membrane proteins expressed in mammalian cells to an assay-friendly, cushioned, supported lipid bilayer platform using cell blebs as an intermediate. Cell blebs, expressing either GPI-linked yellow fluorescent proteins or neon-green fused transmembrane P2X2 receptors, were induced to rupture on glass surfaces using PEGylated lipid vesicles, which resulted in planar supported membranes with over 50% mobility for multipass transmembrane proteins and over 90% for GPI-linked proteins. Fluorescent proteins were tracked, and their diffusion in supported bilayers characterized, using single molecule tracking and moment scaling spectrum (MSS) analysis. Diffusion was characterized for individual proteins as either free or confined, revealing details of the local lipid membrane heterogeneity surrounding the protein. A particularly useful result of our bilayer formation process is the protein orientation in the supported planar bilayer. For both the GPI-linked and transmembrane proteins used here, an enzymatic assay revealed that protein orientation in the planar bilayer results in the extracellular domains facing toward the bulk, and that the dominant mode of bleb rupture is via the "parachute" mechanism. Mobility, orientation, and preservation of the native lipid environment of the proteins using cell blebs offers advantages over proteoliposome reconstitution or disrupted cell membrane preparations, which necessarily result in significant scrambling of protein orientation and typically immobilized membrane proteins in SLBs. The bleb-based bilayer platform presented here is an important step toward integrating membrane proteomic studies on chip, especially for future studies aimed at understanding fundamental effects of lipid interactions

  9. Hybrid proton-conducting membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jodie Lopez


    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.

  11. Elastic thickness compressibilty of the red cell membrane.


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


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

  12. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Applied for Transport Sector

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud


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

  13. 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;


    Degradation of carbon supported platinum catalysts is a major failure mode for the long term durability of high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells based on phosphoric acid doped polybenzimidazole membranes. With Vulcan carbon black as a reference, thermally treated carbon black...... and multi‐walled carbon nanotubes were used as supports for electrode catalysts and evaluated in accelerated durability tests under potential cycling at 150 °C. Measurements of open circuit voltage, area specific resistance and hydrogen permeation through the membrane were carried out, indicating little...... contribution of the membrane degradation to the performance losses during the potential cycling tests. As the major mechanism of the fuel cell performance degradation, the electrochemical active area of the cathodic catalysts showed a steady decrease in the cyclic voltammetric measurements, which was also...

  14. Stability and rupture of archaebacterial cell membrane: a model study. (United States)

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


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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  16. Spray deposition of Nafion membranes: Electrode-supported fuel cells (United States)

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


    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.

  17. 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.


    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...

  18. Effect of gas diffusion layer and membrane properties in an annular proton exchange membrane fuel cell (United States)

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


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

  19. Graphene-Induced Pore Formation on Cell Membranes (United States)

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


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Jingshuai; Li, Xueyuan; Xu, Yizin


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

  2. Synaptic and Golgi membrane recycling in cochlear hair cells. (United States)

    Siegel, J H; Brownell, W E


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

  3. 3D visualization of membrane failures in fuel cells (United States)

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


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

  4. Anion selective membrane. [ion exchange resins and ion exchange membrane electrolytes for electrolytic cells (United States)

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


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


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Mulijani


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

  6. Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoparticles for Targeted Therapeutics (United States)

    Luk, Brian Tsengchi

    The advent of nanoparticle-based delivery systems has made a significant impact on clinical patient outcomes. In recent decades, myriad nanoparticle-based therapeutic agents have been developed for the treatment and management of ailments such as cancer, diabetes, pain, bacterial infections, and asthma, among many others. Nanotherapeutics offer many distinct advantages over conventional free drug formulations. For example, nanoparticles are able to accumulate at tumor sites by extravasation through leaky vasculature at tumor sites via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect; nanoparticles can also be tailored to have desirable characteristics, such as prolonged circulation in the blood stream, improved drug encapsulation, and sustained or triggered drug release. Currently, a growing number of nanoformulations with favorable pharmacological profiles and promising efficacy are being used in clinical trials for the treatment of various cancers. Building on the success of these encouraging clinical results, new engineering strategies have emerged that combine synthetic nanoparticles with natural biomaterials to create nature-inspired biomimetic delivery systems. The work presented in this dissertation focuses on the biointerfacing between synthetic and natural materials, namely in the manifestation of cell membrane-coated nanoparticles. By exploiting the natural functionalities of source cell membranes, cell membrane-cloaked nanoparticles have huge potential in the delivery of therapeutic agents for a variety of applications. The first portion of this thesis will focus on understanding the fundamentals underlying cell membrane coating on synthetic nanoparticles. First introduced in 2011, cell membrane-cloaked nanoparticles showed immediate promise in drug delivery applications, but further understanding was necessary to be able to harness the full potential of the membrane coating platform. The first section provides further insight into the interfacial

  7. Direct Cytoskeleton Forces Cause Membrane Softening in Red Blood Cells (United States)

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


    Erythrocytes are flexible cells specialized in the systemic transport of oxygen in vertebrates. This physiological function is connected to their outstanding ability to deform in passing through narrow capillaries. In recent years, there has been an influx of experimental evidence of enhanced cell-shape fluctuations related to metabolically driven activity of the erythroid membrane skeleton. However, no direct observation of the active cytoskeleton forces has yet been reported to our knowledge. Here, we show experimental evidence of the presence of temporally correlated forces superposed over the thermal fluctuations of the erythrocyte membrane. These forces are ATP-dependent and drive enhanced flickering motions in human erythrocytes. Theoretical analyses provide support for a direct force exerted on the membrane by the cytoskeleton nodes as pulses of well-defined average duration. In addition, such metabolically regulated active forces cause global membrane softening, a mechanical attribute related to the functional erythroid deformability. PMID:26083919

  8. Membrane Mechanics of Endocytosis in Cells with Turgor

    CERN Document Server

    Dmitrieff, Serge


    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...

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

    KAUST Repository

    Deng, Peigang


    A nonlinear electroporation (EP) model is proposed to study the electro-mechanobiological behavior of cell membrane during EP, by taking the nonlinear large deformation of the membrane into account. The proposed model predicts the critical transmembrane potential and the activation energy for EP, the equilibrium pore size, and the resealing process of the pore. Single-cell EP experiments using a micro EP chip were conducted on chicken red blood cells at different temperatures to determine the activation energy and the critical transmembrane potential for EP. The experimental results are in good agreement with the theoretical predictions. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foged, Camilla; Nielsen, Hanne Moerck


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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  12. A boron phosphate-phosphoric acid composite membrane for medium temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Mamlouk, M.; Scott, K.


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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    A novel acid–base polymer membrane is prepared by doping of imidazolium polysulfone with phosphoric acid for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Polysulfone is first chloromethylated, followed by functionalization of the chloromethylated polysulfone with alkyl imidazoles i.......e. methyl (MePSU), ethyl (EtPSU) and butyl (BuPSU) imidazoliums, as revealed by 1H NMR spectra. The imidazolium polysulfone membranes are then doped with phosphoric acid and used as a proton exchange membrane electrolyte in fuel cells. An acid doping level of about 10–11mol H3PO4 per mole of the imidazolium...... group is achieved in 85wt% H3PO4 at room temperature. The membranes exhibit a proton conductivity of 0.015–0.022Scm−1 at 130–150°C under 15mol% water vapor in air, and a tensile strength of 5–6MPa at 130°C under ambient humidity. Fuel cell tests show an open circuit voltage as high as 0.96V and a peak...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yildirim, Mustafa Hakan


    Development of new membrane materials for direct methanol fuel cells Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) can convert the chemical energy of a fuel directly into electrical energy with high efficiency and low emission of pollutants. DMFCs can be used as the power sources to portable electronic devices

  15. Modeling Of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Mads Pagh

    The objective of this doctoral thesis was to develop reliable steady-state and transient component models suitable to asses-, develop- and optimize proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems. Several components in PEM fuel cell systems were characterized and modeled. The developed component...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud


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

  17. Theory on Plasmon Modes of the Cell Membranes

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  18. Towards Extrusion of Ionomers to Process Fuel Cell Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Yves Sanchez


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

  19. Nanodomain stabilization dynamics in plasma membranes of biological cells (United States)

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


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

  20. Scalable nanostructured membranes for solid-oxide fuel cells. (United States)

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


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

  1. Understanding the transport processes in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Cheah, May Jean

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    Fuel cells are getting growing interest in both backup systems and electric vehicles. Although these systems are characterized by long periods of inactivity, they must be able to start at any instant in the shortest time. However, the membrane of which PEMFCs are made tends to dry out when...

  3. Indole prevents Escherichia coli cell division by modulating membrane potential. (United States)

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


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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Treekamol, Yaowapa


    A series of composite membranes were prepared by dispersing fluorinated polyoxadiazole oligomer (ODF)-functionalized silica nanoparticles in a Nafion matrix. Both melt-extrusion and solvent casting processes were explored. Ion exchange capacity, conductivity, water uptake and dimensional stability, thermal stability and morphology were characterized. The inclusion of functionalized nanoparticles proved advantageous, mainly due to a physical crosslinking effect and better water retention, with functionalized nanoparticles performing better than the pristine silica particles. For the same filler loading, better nanoparticle dispersion was achieved for solvent-cast membranes, resulting in higher proton conductivity. Filler agglomeration, however,was more severe for solvent-castmembranes at loadings beyond 5wt.%. The composite membranes showed excellent thermal stability, allowing for operation in medium temperature PEM fuel cells. Fuel cell performance of the compositemembranesdecreaseswithdecreasing relativehumidity, but goodperformance values are still obtained at 34% RHand 90 °C,with the best results obtained for solvent castmembranes loaded with 10 wt.% ODF-functionalized silica. Hydrogen crossover of the composite membranes is higher than that forpureNafion membranes,possiblydue toporosityresulting fromsuboptimalparticle- matrixcompatibility. © 2013 Crown Copyright and Elsevier BV. All rights reserved.

  5. Effects of chronic kidney disease on blood cells membrane properties. (United States)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda eCarroll-Portillo


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

  7. Superresolution measurement on the minute fluctuation of cell membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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


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


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ming-ming Zong; Yong-kuan Gong


    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.

  9. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance (United States)

    Wei, Xue

    Fuel cells, with the advantages of high efficiency, low greenhouse gas emission, and long lifetime are a promising technology for both portable power and stationary power sources. The development of efficient electrolyte membranes with high ionic conductivity, good mechanical durability and dense structure at low cost remains a challenge to the commercialization of fuel cells. This thesis focuses on exploring novel composite polymer membranes and ceramic electrolytes with the microstructure engineered to improve performance in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), respectively. Polymer/particle composite membranes hold promise to meet the demands of DMFCs at lower cost. The structure of composite membranes was controlled by aligning proton conducting particles across the membrane thickness under an applied electric field. The field-induced structural changes caused the membranes to display an enhanced water uptake, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability in comparison to membranes prepared without an applied field. Although both methanol permeability and proton conductivity are enhanced by the applied field, the permeability increase is relatively lower than the proton conductivity improvement, which results in enhanced proton/methanol selectivity and improved DMFC performance. Apatite ceramics are a new class of fast ion conductors being studied as alternative SOFC electrolytes in the intermediate temperature range. An electrochemical/hydrothermal deposition method was developed to grow fully dense apatite membranes containing well-developed crystals with c-axis alignment to promote ion conductivity. Hydroxyapatite seed crystals were first deposited onto a metal substrate electrochemically. Subsequent ion substitution during the hydrothermal growth process promoted the formation of dense, fully crystalline films with microstructure optimal for ion transport. The deposition parameters were systematically investigated, such as

  10. Flavivirus cell entry and membrane fusion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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


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

  13. Neutron diffraction of cell membranes (myelin). (United States)

    Parsons, D F; Akers, C K


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

  14. 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


    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.

  15. PIG7 promotes leukemia cell chemosensitivity via lysosomal membrane permeabilization. (United States)

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


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

  16. Electrospun fiber membranes enable proliferation of genetically modified cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borjigin M


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

  17. Optical Trapping Techniques Applied to the Study of Cell Membranes (United States)

    Morss, Andrew J.

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

  18. Extracellular heme uptake and the challenges of bacterial cell membranes. (United States)

    Smith, Aaron D; Wilks, Angela


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chris Roger; David Mountz; Wensheng He; Tao Zhang


    The development of low cost, durable membranes and membranes electrode assemblies (MEAs) that operate under reduced relative humidity (RH) conditions remain a critical challenge for the successful introduction of fuel cells into mass markets. It was the goal of the team lead by Arkema, Inc. to address these shortages. Thus, this project addresses the following technical barriers from the fuel cells section of the Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program Multi-Year Research, Development and Demonstration Plan: (A) Durability (B) Cost Arkema’s approach consisted of using blends of polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF) and proprietary sulfonated polyelectrolytes. In the traditional approach to polyelectrolytes for proton exchange membranes (PEM), all the required properties are “packaged” in one macromolecule. The properties of interest include proton conductivity, mechanical properties, durability, and water/gas transport. This is the case, for example, for perfluorosulfonic acid-containing (PFSA) membranes. However, the cost of these materials is high, largely due to the complexity and the number of steps involved in their synthesis. In addition, they suffer other shortcomings such as mediocre mechanical properties and insufficient durability for some applications. The strength and originality of Arkema’s approach lies in the decoupling of ion conductivity from the other requirements. Kynar® PVDF provides an exceptional combination of properties that make it ideally suited for a membrane matrix (Kynar® is a registered trademark of Arkema Inc.). It exhibits outstanding chemical resistance in highly oxidative and acidic environments. In work with a prior grant, a membrane known as M41 was developed by Arkema. M41 had many of the properties needed for a high performance PEM, but had a significant deficiency in conductivity at low RH. In the first phase of this work, the processing parameters of M41 were explored as a means to increase its proton

  20. Difference in Membrane Repair Capacity Between Cancer Cell Lines and a Normal Cell Line. (United States)

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


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

  1. Binding of white spot syndrome virus to Artemia sp. cell membranes. (United States)

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


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

  2. Lipid signalling dynamics at the β-cell plasma membrane. (United States)

    Wuttke, Anne


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

  3. Characterisation of cell-wall polysaccharides from mandarin segment membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coll-Almela, L.; Saura-Lopez, D.; Laencina-Sanchez, J.; Schols, H.A.; Voragen, A.G.J.; Ros-García, J.M.


    In an attempt to develop a process of enzymatic peeling of mandarin segments suitable for use on an industrial scale, the cell wall fraction of the segment membrane of Satsuma mandarin fruits was extracted to obtain a chelating agent-soluble pectin fraction (ChSS), a dilute sodium hydroxide-soluble

  4. Hereditary red cell membrane disorders and laboratory diagnostic testing. (United States)

    King, M-J; Zanella, A


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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  6. How to Evaluate the Electric Noise in a Cell Membrane? (United States)

    Bier, M.


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

  7. Porous silicon membrane for micro fuel cell applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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


    Carton, James


    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...

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


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


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

  10. Chemical Imaging of the Cell Membrane by NanoSIMS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, P K; Kraft, M L; Frisz, J F; Carpenter, K J; Hutcheon, I D


    The existence of lipid microdomains and their role in cell membrane organization are currently topics of great interest and controversy. The cell membrane is composed of a lipid bilayer with embedded proteins that can flow along the two-dimensional surface defined by the membrane. Microdomains, known as lipid rafts, are believed to play a central role in organizing this fluid system, enabling the cell membrane to carry out essential cellular processes, including protein recruitment and signal transduction. Lipid rafts are also implicated in cell invasion by pathogens, as in the case of the HIV. Therefore, understanding the role of lipid rafts in cell membrane organization not only has broad scientific implications, but also has practical implications for medical therapies. One of the major limitations on lipid organization research has been the inability to directly analyze lipid composition without introducing artifacts and at the relevant length-scales of tens to hundreds of nanometers. Fluorescence microscopy is widely used due to its sensitivity and specificity to the labeled species, but only the labeled components can be observed, fluorophores can alter the behavior of the lipids they label, and the length scales relevant to imaging cell membrane domains are between that probed by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) imaging (<10 nm) and the diffraction limit of light. Topographical features can be imaged on this length scale by atomic force microscopy (AFM), but the chemical composition of the observed structures cannot be determined. Immuno-labeling can be used to study the distribution of membrane proteins at high resolution, but not lipid composition. We are using imaging mass spectrometry by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) in concert with other high resolution imaging methods to overcome these limitations. The experimental approach of this project is to combine molecule-specific stable isotope labeling with high-resolution SIMS using a

  11. Durability aspects of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Sethuraman, Vijay Anand

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

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

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


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


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ya. A. Udalova


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

  14. A polybenzimidazole/ionic-liquid-graphite-oxide composite membrane for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

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


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

  15. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells. (United States)

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


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

  16. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells (United States)

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


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

  17. Mass Spectrometry of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viktor Johánek


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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


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

  19. Gold Nanoparticles-Enhanced Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell (United States)

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

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

  20. 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


    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.

  1. 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


    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.

  2. Development of structured polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications (United States)

    Gasa, Jeffrey

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

  3. Deoxygenation affects tyrosine phosphoproteome of red cell membrane from patients with sickle cell disease. (United States)

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


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

  4. Creating transient cell membrane pores using a standard inkjet printer. (United States)

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


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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojesen, Inge Norby; Bojesen, Eigil


    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...

  6. Modeling and Simulation for Fuel Cell Polymer Electrolyte Membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahiro Hayashi


    Full Text Available We have established methods to evaluate key properties that are needed to commercialize polyelectrolyte membranes for fuel cell electric vehicles such as water diffusion, gas permeability, and mechanical strength. These methods are based on coarse-graining models. For calculating water diffusion and gas permeability through the membranes, the dissipative particle dynamics–Monte Carlo approach was applied, while mechanical strength of the hydrated membrane was simulated by coarse-grained molecular dynamics. As a result of our systematic search and analysis, we can now grasp the direction necessary to improve water diffusion, gas permeability, and mechanical strength. For water diffusion, a map that reveals the relationship between many kinds of molecular structures and diffusion constants was obtained, in which the direction to enhance the diffusivity by improving membrane structure can be clearly seen. In order to achieve high mechanical strength, the molecular structure should be such that the hydrated membrane contains narrow water channels, but these might decrease the proton conductivity. Therefore, an optimal design of the polymer structure is needed, and the developed models reviewed here make it possible to optimize these molecular structures.

  7. Modified SPEEK membranes for direct ethanol fuel cell

    KAUST Repository

    Maab, Husnul


    Membranes with low ethanol crossover were prepared aiming their application for direct ethanol fuel cell (DEFC). They were based on (1) sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) coated with carbon molecular sieves (CMS) and (2) on SPEEK/PI homogeneous blends. The membranes were characterized concerning their water and ethanol solution uptake, water and ethanol permeability in pervaporation experiments and their performance in DEFC tests. The ethanol permeabilities for the CMS-coated (180 nm and 400 nm thick layers) SPEEK were 8.5 and 3.1 x 10(-10) kg m s(-1) m(-2) and for the homogeneous SPEEK/PI blends membranes with 10, 20 and 30 wt.% of PI were 4.4, 1.0 and 0.4 x 10(-10) kg m s(-1) m(-2) respectively, which is 2- to 50-fold lower than that for plain SPEEK (19 x 10(-10) kg m s(-1) m(-2)). Particularly the SPEEK/PI membranes had substantially better performance than Nafion 117 membranes in DEFC tests at 60 degrees C and 90 degrees C. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Modified SPEEK membranes for direct ethanol fuel cell (United States)

    Maab, Husnul; Nunes, Suzana Pereira

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

  9. Rigid proteins and softening of biological membranes-with application to HIV-induced cell membrane softening. (United States)

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


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  11. Membraner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bach, Finn


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Ehrig, Jens; Schwille, Petra


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

  14. The organochlorine herbicide chloridazon interacts with cell membranes. (United States)

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


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

  15. Multi-layer graphene membrane based memory cell (United States)

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


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

  16. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for transportation applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  17. Solid Polymer Fuel Cells. Electrode and membrane performance studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moeller-Holst, S.


    This doctoral thesis studies aspects of fuel cell preparation and performance. The emphasis is placed on preparation and analysis of low platinum-loading solid polymer fuel cell (SPEC) electrodes. A test station was built and used to test cells within a wide range of real operating conditions, 40-150{sup o}C and 1-10 bar. Preparation and assembling equipment for single SPFCs was designed and built, and a new technique of spraying the catalyst layer directly onto the membrane was successfully demonstrated. Low Pt-loading electrodes (0.1 mg Pt/cm{sup 2}) prepared by the new technique exhibited high degree of catalyst utilization. The performance of single cells holding these electrodes is comparable to state-of-the-art SPFCs. Potential losses in single cell performance are ascribed to irreversibilities by analysing the efficiency of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell by means of the second law of thermodynamics. The water management in membranes is discussed for a model system and the results are relevant to fuel cell preparation and performance. The new spray deposition technique should be commercially interesting as it involves few steps as well as techniques that are adequate for larger scale production. 115 refs., 43 figs., 18 tabs.

  18. Sterol-Rich Membrane Domains Define Fission Yeast Cell Polarity. (United States)

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


    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.

  19. Study of the effect of membrane thickness on microcapsule strength, permeability, and cell proliferation. (United States)

    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 first 6 days, cells within microcapsules with 10 μm thickness membrane proliferated fast and could reach a cell density of 1.9 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with 92% cell density. A cell density of 5.5 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with >85% cell density was achieved within microcapsules with 15 μm membrane thickness and these microcapsules kept over 88% integrity ratio after 11 days, which was much higher than that of microcapsules with 10 μm membrane thickness. Membrane with more than 20 μm thickness was not suited for encapsulated cell culture owing to low-protein diffusion rate. These results indicated that cells survived shortly within the thinnest membrane thickness. There was a specific membrane thickness more suitable for cell growth for a long-time culture. These findings will be useful for preparing microcapsules with the desired membrane thickness for microencapsulated cell culture dependent on various purposes.

  20. Evaluation of stem cell components in retrocorneal membranes. (United States)

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


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

  1. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts. (United States)

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


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

  2. Membrane associated qualitative differences in cell ultrastructure of chemically and high pressure cryofixed plant cells. (United States)

    Zechmann, Bernd; Müller, Maria; Zellnig, Günther


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

  3. The insecticide DDT decreases membrane potential and cell input resistance of cultured human liver cells. (United States)

    Schefczik, K; Buff, K


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

  4. Polybenzimidazole membranes for zero gap alkaline electrolysis cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraglund, Mikkel Rykær; Aili, David; Christensen, Erik;

    Membranes of m-PBI doped in KOH (aq), 15-35 wt%, show high ionic conductivity in the temperature range 20-80 ºC. In electrolysis cells with nickel foam electrodes m-PBI membranesprovide low internal resistance. With a 60 µm membraneat 80ºC in 20 wt% KOH,1000 mA/cm2 is achieved at 2.25....

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  6. Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells Modeling and Optimization (United States)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bing-Joe Hwang


    Full Text Available The relentless increase in the demand for useable power from energy-hungry economies continues to drive energy-material related research. Fuel cells, as a future potential power source that provide clean-at-the-point-of-use power offer many advantages such as high efficiency, high energy density, quiet operation, and environmental friendliness. Critical to the operation of the fuel cell is the proton exchange membrane (polymer electrolyte membrane responsible for internal proton transport from the anode to the cathode. PEMs have the following requirements: high protonic conductivity, low electronic conductivity, impermeability to fuel gas or liquid, good mechanical toughness in both the dry and hydrated states, and high oxidative and hydrolytic stability in the actual fuel cell environment. Water soluble polymers represent an immensely diverse class of polymers. In this comprehensive review the initial focus is on those members of this group that have attracted publication interest, principally: chitosan, poly (ethylene glycol, poly (vinyl alcohol, poly (vinylpyrrolidone, poly (2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid and poly (styrene sulfonic acid. The paper then considers in detail the relationship of structure to functionality in the context of polymer blends and polymer based networks together with the effects of membrane crosslinking on IPN and semi IPN architectures. This is followed by a review of pore-filling and other impregnation approaches. Throughout the paper detailed numerical results are given for comparison to today’s state-of-the-art Nafion® based materials.

  8. Graphene-doped electrospun nanofiber membrane electrodes and proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance (United States)

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


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

  9. Quantitative analysis of cell surface membrane proteins using membrane-impermeable chemical probe coupled with 18O labeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Haizhen; Brown, Roslyn N.; Qian, Weijun; Monroe, Matthew E.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Moore, Ronald J.; Gritsenko, Marina A.; Shi, Liang; Romine, Margaret F.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Pasa-Tolic, Ljiljana; Smith, Richard D.; Lipton, Mary S.


    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 environmental electron receptors. LC/MS/MS analysis resulted in the identification of about 79% membrane proteins among all proteins identified from the enriched sample. To illustrate the quantification of membrane proteome changes, enriched membrane protein samples from wild-type and mutant cells (generated from deletion of a type II secretion protein, GspD) were further labeled with 16O and 18O at the peptide level prior to LC-MS analysis. A chemical-probe-labeled pure protein has also been used as an internal standard for normalization purpose. The quantitative data revealed reduced abundances of many outer membrane proteins such as OmcA and MtrC in ΔgspD mutant cells, which agreed well with previously published studies.

  10. Quantitative analysis of cell surface membrane proteins using membrane-impermeable chemical probe coupled with 18O labeling (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.


    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

  11. Quantitative analysis of cell surface membrane proteins using membrane-impermeable chemical probe coupled with 18O labeling. (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; Pasa-Tolić, Ljiljana; Smith, Richard D; Lipton, Mary S


    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 (18)O 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 (16)O and (18)O 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 Delta gspD mutant cells of many outer membrane proteins including the outer membrane c-type cytochromes OmcA and MtrC, in agreement with a previous report that these proteins are substrates of the type II secretion system.

  12. Dynamic analysis of magnetic nanoparticles crossing cell membrane (United States)

    Pedram, Maysam Z.; Shamloo, Amir; Ghafar-Zadeh, Ebrahim; Alasty, Aria


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

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

    KAUST Repository

    Malaeb, Lilian


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher T. Saeui


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

  15. Fault tolerance control for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems (United States)

    Wu, Xiaojuan; Zhou, Boyang


    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  17. Better Proton-Conducting Polymers for Fuel-Cell Membranes (United States)

    Narayan, Sri; Reddy, Prakash


    Polyoxyphenylene triazole sulfonic acid has been proposed as a basis for development of improved proton-conducting polymeric materials for solid-electrolyte membranes in hydrogen/air fuel cells. Heretofore, the proton-conducting membrane materials of choice have been exemplified by a family of perfluorosulfonic acid-based polymers (Nafion7 or equivalent). These materials are suitable for operation in the temperature of 75 to 85 C, but in order to reduce the sizes and/or increase the energy-conversion efficiencies of fuel-cell systems, it would be desirable to increase temperatures to as high as 120 C for transportation applications, and to as high as 180 C for stationary applications. However, at 120 C and at relative humidity values below 50 percent, the loss of water from perfluorosulfonic acid-based polymer membranes results in fuel-cell power densities too low to be of practical value. Therefore, membrane electrolyte materials that have usefully high proton conductivity in the temperature range of 180 C at low relative humidity and that do not rely on water for proton conduction at 180 C would be desirable. The proposed polyoxyphenylene triazole sulfonic acid-based materials have been conjectured to have these desirable properties. These materials would be free of volatile or mobile acid constituents. The generic molecular structure of these materials is intended to exploit the fact, demonstrated in previous research, that materials that contain ionizable acid and base groups covalently attached to thermally stable polymer backbones exhibit proton conduction even in the anhydrous state.

  18. Membrane currents of spiking cells isolated from turtle retina. (United States)

    Lasater, E M; Witkovsky, P


    We examined the membrane properties of spiking neurons isolated from the turtle (Pseudemys scripta) retina. The cells were maintained in culture for 1-7 days and were studied with the whole cell patch clamp technique. We utilized cells whose perikaryal diameters were greater than 15 microns since Kolb (1982) reported that ganglion cell perikarya in Pseudemys retina are 13-25 microns, whereas amacrine perikarya are less than 14 microns in diameter. We identified 5 currents in the studied cells: (1) a transient sodium current (INa) blocked by TTX, (2) a sustained calcium current (ICa) blocked by cobalt and enhanced by Bay-K 8644, (3) a calcium-dependent potassium current (IK(Ca)), (4) an A-type transient potassium current (IA) somewhat more sensitive to 4-AP than TEA, (5) a sustained potassium current (IK) more sensitive to TEA than 4-AP. The estimated average input resistance of the cells at -70 mV was 720 +/- 440 M omega. When all active currents were blocked, the membrane resistance between -130 and +20 mV was 2.5 G omega. When examined under current clamp, some cells produced multiple spikes to depolarizing steps of 0.1-0.3 nA, whereas other cells produced only a single spike irrespective of the strength of the current pulse. Most single spikers had an outward current that rose to a peak relatively slowly, whereas multiple spikers tend to have a more rapidly activating outward current. Under current clamp, 4-AP slowed the repolarization phase of the spike thus broadening it, but did not always abolish the ability to produce multiple spikes. TEA induced a depolarized plateau following the initial spike which precluded further spikes. It thus appears that the spiking patterns of the retinal cells are shaped primarily by the kinetics of INa, IK and IA and to a lesser extent by IK(Ca).

  19. Mathematical and Computational Modeling of Polymer Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (United States)

    Ulusoy, Sehribani

    In this thesis a comprehensive review of fuel cell modeling has been given and based on the review, a general mathematical fuel cell model has been developed in order to understand the physical phenomena governing the fuel cell behavior and in order to contribute to the efforts investigating the optimum performance at different operating conditions as well as with different physical parameters. The steady state, isothermal model presented here accounts for the combined effects of mass and species transfer, momentum conservation, electrical current distribution through the gas channels, the electrodes and the membrane, and the electrochemical kinetics of the reactions in the anode and cathode catalyst layers. One of the important features of the model is that it proposes a simpler modified pseudo-homogeneous/agglomerate catalyst layer model which takes the advantage of the simplicity of pseudo-homogenous modeling while taking into account the effects of the agglomerates in the catalyst layer by using experimental geometric parameters published. The computation of the general mathematical model can be accomplished in 3D, 2D and 1D with the proper assumptions. Mainly, there are two computational domains considered in this thesis. The first modeling domain is a 2D Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) model including the modified agglomerate/pseudo-homogeneous catalyst layer modeling with consistent treatment of water transport in the MEA while the second domain presents a 3D model with different flow filed designs: straight, stepped and tapered. COMSOL Multiphysics along with Batteries and Fuel Cell Module have been used for 2D & 3D model computations while ANSYS FLUENT PEMFC Module has been used for only 3D two-phase computation. Both models have been validated with experimental data. With 2D MEA model, the effects of temperature and water content of the membrane as well as the equivalent weight of the membrane on the performance have been addressed. 3D COMSOL simulation

  20. New proton conducting membranes for fuel cell applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sukumar, P.R.


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

  1. 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


    @@ 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.

  2. The mechanism of the NH4 ion oscillatory transport across the excitable cell membrane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radenović Čedomir N.


    Full Text Available This paper presents results on typical oscillations of the membrane potential induced by the excitation of the cell membrane by different concentrations of the NH4Cl solution. The existence of four classes of oscillations of the membrane potential and several different single and local impulses rhythmically occurring were determined. It is known that the oscillatory processes of the membrane potential are in direct dependence on oscillatory transport processes of NH4 and Cl ions across the excitable cell membrane. A hypothesis on a possible mechanism of oscillatory transport processes of NH4 and Cl ions across the excitable cell membrane is also presented.

  3. Dual Split Protein (DSP) Assay to Monitor Cell-Cell Membrane Fusion. (United States)

    Nakane, Shuhei; Matsuda, Zene


    Fusion between viral and cellular membranes is the essential first step in infection of enveloped viruses. This step is mediated by viral envelope glycoproteins (Env) that recognize cellular receptors. The membrane fusion between the effector cells expressing viral Env and the target cells expressing its receptors can be monitored by several methods. We have recently developed a pair of chimeric reporter protein composed of split Renilla luciferase (RL) and split GFP. We named this reporter dual split protein (DSP), since it recovers both RL and GFP activities upon self reassociation. By using DSP, pore formation and content mixing between the effector and target cells can be monitored upon the recovery of RL and GFP activities after the membrane fusion. This quick assay provides quantitative as well as spatial information about membrane fusion mediated by viral Env.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jurado Ramon Jose


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

  5. The Mechanism of Budding of Retroviruses from Cell Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Pincetic


    Full Text Available Retroviruses have evolved a mechanism for the release of particles from the cell membrane that appropriates cellular protein complexes, referred to as ESCRT-I, -II, -III, normally involved in the biogenesis of multivesicular bodies. Three different classes of late assembly (L domains encoded in Gag, with core sequences of PPXY, PTAP, and YPXL, recruit different components of the ESCRT machinery to form a budding complex for virus release. Here, we highlight recent progress in identifying the role of different ESCRT complexes in facilitating budding, ubiquitination, and membrane targeting of avian sarcoma and leukosis virus (ASLV and human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1. These findings show that retroviruses may adopt parallel budding pathways by recruiting different host factors from common cellular machinery for particle release.

  6. Nanocomposite membranes based on polybenzimidazole and ZrO2 for high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. (United States)

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


    Owing to the numerous benefits obtained when operating proton exchange membrane fuel cells at elevated temperature (>100 °C), the development of thermally stable proton exchange membranes that demonstrate conductivity under anhydrous conditions remains a significant goal for fuel cell technology. This paper presents composite membranes consisting of poly[2,2'-(m-phenylene)-5,5'-bibenzimidazole] (PBI4N) impregnated with a ZrO2 nanofiller of varying content (ranging from 0 to 22 wt %). The structure-property relationships of the acid-doped and undoped composite membranes have been studied using thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, wide-angle X-ray scattering, infrared spectroscopy, and broadband electrical spectroscopy. Results indicate that the level of nanofiller has a significant effect on the membrane properties. From 0 to 8 wt %, the acid uptake as well as the thermal and mechanical properties of the membrane increase. As the nanofiller level is increased from 8 to 22 wt % the opposite effect is observed. At 185 °C, the ionic conductivity of [PBI4N(ZrO2 )0.231 ](H3 PO4 )13 is found to be 1.04×10(-1)  S cm(-1) . This renders membranes of this type promising candidates for use in high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells.

  7. Water free proton conducting membranes based on poly-4-vinylpyridinebisulfate for fuel cells (United States)

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


    Disclosed are methods for forming a water-free electrolyte membrane useful in fuel cells. Also provided is a water-free electrolyte membrane comprising a quaternized amine salt including poly-4-vinylpyridinebisulfate, a poly-4-vinylpyridinebisulfate silica composite, and a combination thereof and a fuel cell comprising the membrane.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.G. Marianowski


    The objectives of this program were: (a) to develop and demonstrate a new polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system that operates up to 160 C temperatures and at ambient pressures for stationary power applications, and (b) to determine if the GTI-molded composite graphite bipolar separator plate could provide long term operational stability at 160 C or higher. There are many reasons that fuel cell research has been receiving much attention. Fuel cells represent environmentally friendly and efficient sources of electrical power generation that could use a variety of fuel sources. The Gas Technology Institute (GTI), formerly Institute of Gas Technology (IGT), is focused on distributed energy stationary power generation systems. Currently the preferred method for hydrogen production for stationary power systems is conversion of natural gas, which has a vast distribution system in place. However, in the conversion of natural gas into a hydrogen-rich fuel, traces of carbon monoxide are produced. Carbon monoxide present in the fuel gas will in time cumulatively poison, or passivate the active platinum catalysts used in the anodes of PEMFC's operating at temperatures of 60 to 80 C. Various fuel processors have incorporated systems to reduce the carbon monoxide to levels below 10 ppm, but these require additional catalytic section(s) with sensors and controls for effective carbon monoxide control. These CO cleanup systems must also function especially well during transient load operation where CO can spike 300% or more. One way to circumvent the carbon monoxide problem is to operate the fuel cell at a higher temperature where carbon monoxide cannot easily adsorb onto the catalyst and poison it. Commercially available polymer membranes such as Nafion{trademark} are not capable of operation at temperatures sufficiently high to prevent this. Hence this project investigated a new polymer membrane alternative to Nafion{trademark} that is capable of operation at

  9. Heat sources in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells (United States)

    Ramousse, Julien; Lottin, Olivier; Didierjean, Sophie; Maillet, Denis

    In order to model accurately heat transfer in PEM fuel cell, a particular attention had to be paid to the assessment of heat sources in the cell. Although the total amount of heat released is easily computed from its voltage, local heat sources quantification and localization are not simple. This paper is thus a discussion about heat sources/sinks distribution in a single cell, for which many bold assumptions are encountered in the literature. The heat sources or sinks under consideration are: (1) half-reactions entropy, (2) electrochemical activation, (3) water sorption/desorption at the GDL/membrane interfaces, (4) Joule effect in the membrane and (5) water phase change in the GDL. A detailed thermodynamic study leads to the conclusion that the anodic half-reaction is exothermic (Δ Sr ev a = - 226 J mo l-1 K-1) , instead of being athermic as supposed in most of the thermal studies. As a consequence, the cathodic half-reaction is endothermic (Δ Sr ev c = + 62.8 J mo l-1 K-1) , which results in a heat sink at the cathode side, proportional to the current. In the same way, depending on the water flux through the membrane, sorption can create a large heat sink at one electrode and an equivalent heat source at the other. Water phase change in the GDL - condensation/evaporation - results in heat sources/sinks that should also be taken into account. All these issues are addressed in order to properly set the basis of heat transfer modeling in the cell.

  10. Triggering of erythrocyte cell membrane scrambling by salinomycin. (United States)

    Bissinger, Rosi; Malik, Abaid; Jilani, Kashif; Lang, Florian


    Salinomycin, a polyether ionophore antibiotic effective against a variety of pathogens, has been shown to trigger apoptosis of cancer cells and cancer stem cells. The substance is thus considered for the treatment of malignancy. Salinomycin compromises tumour cell survival at least in part by interference with mitochondrial function. Erythrocytes lack mitochondria but may undergo apoptosis-like suicidal cell death or eryptosis, which is characterized by scrambling of the cell membrane with phosphatidylserine exposure at the erythrocyte surface. Signalling involved in the triggering of eryptosis includes activation of oxidant-sensitive Ca(2+) permeable cation channels with subsequent increase in cytosolic Ca(2+) activity ([Ca(2+)]i). This study explored whether salinomycin stimulates eryptosis. Phosphatidylserine-exposing erythrocytes were identified by measurement of annexin-V binding, cell volume was estimated from forward scatter, haemolysis determined from haemoglobin release, [Ca(2+)]i quantified utilizing Fluo3-fluorescence and oxidative stress from 2',7' dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFDA) fluorescence in flow cytometry. A 48-hr exposure to salinomycin (5-100 nM) was followed by a significant increase in Fluo3-fluorescence, DCFDA fluorescence and annexin-V binding, as well as a significant decrease in forward scatter (at 5-10 nM, but not at 50 and 100 nM). The annexin-V binding after salinomycin treatment was significantly blunted but not abrogated in the nominal absence of extracellular Ca(2+) or in the presence of antioxidant n-acetyl cysteine (1 mM). Salinomycin triggers cell membrane scrambling, an effect at least partially due to oxidative stress and entry of extracellular Ca(2+).

  11. Triggering of Erythrocyte Cell Membrane Scrambling by Emodin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morena Mischitelli


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

  12. 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

  13. Process for recycling components of a PEM fuel cell membrane electrode assembly (United States)

    Shore, Lawrence [Edison, NJ


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

  14. Investigation of interaction between the drug and cell membrane by capillary electrophoresis

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    By introducing cell membrane into electrophoretic buffer as pseudo-stationary phase,a novel capillary electrophoresis method was established to explore the interaction between drugs and cell membrane,where the interaction between citalopram and rabbit red blood cell membrane was used as an example. A series of concentrations of cell membrane were suspended into the running buffer by peak-shift method. The binding constant of citalopram to rabbit red blood cell membrane of 0.977 g-1·L was obtained after treatment of Scatchard plot. This method could provide not only a new way for the investigation on the interactions between drugs and cell membrane,but also a new approach for high throughput screening of the drug membrane permeability,biological activity,and evaluating drugs in vivo.

  15. Cell dualism: presence of cells with alternative membrane potentials in growing populations of bacteria and yeasts. (United States)

    Ivanov, Volodymyr; Rezaeinejad, Saeid; Chu, Jian


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

  16. Ionic Liquids and New Proton Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cells (United States)

    Belieres, Jean-Philippe


    There is currently a great surge of activity in fuel cell research as laboratories across the world seek to take advantage of the high energy capacity provided by &el cells relative to those of other portable electrochemical power systems. Much of this activity is aimed at high temperature fie1 cells, and a vital component of such &el cells must be the availability of a high temperature stable proton-permeable membrane. NASA Glenn Research Center is greatly involved in developing this technology. Other approaches to the high temperature fuel cell involve the use of single- component or almost-single-component electrolytes that provide a path for protons through the cell. A heavily researched case is the phosphoric acid fuel cell, in which the electrolyte is almost pure phosphoric acid and the cathode reaction produces water directly. The phosphoric acid fie1 cell delivers an open circuit voltage of 0.9 V falling to about 0.7 V under operating conditions at 170 C. The proton transport mechanism is mainly vehicular in character according to the viscosity/conductance relation. Here we describe some Proton Transfer Ionic Liquids (PTILs) with low vapor pressure and high temperature stability that have conductivities of unprecedented magnitude for non-aqueous systems. The first requirement of an ionic liquid is that, contrary to experience with most liquids consisting of ions, it must have a melting point that is not much above room temperature. The limit commonly suggested is 100 C. PTILs constitute an interesting class of non-corrosive proton-exchange electrolyte, which can serve well in high temperature (T = 100 - 250 C) fuel cell applications. We will present cell performance data showing that the open circuit voltage output, and the performance of a simple H2(g)Pt/PTIL/Pt/O2(g) fuel cell may be superior to those of the equivalent phosphoric acid electrolyte fuel cell both at ambient temperature and temperatures up to and above 200 C. My work at NASA Glenn Research

  17. A theory for the membrane potential of cells

    CERN Document Server

    Endresen, L P; Endresen, Lars Petter; Hall, Kevin


    We give an explicit formula for the membrane potential of cells in terms of the intracellular and extracellular ionic concentrations, and derive equations for the ionic currents that flow through channels, exchangers and electrogenic pumps based on simple energy considerations and conservation laws. We demonstrate that the work done by the pump is equal to the potential energy of the cell plus the energy loss due to the downhill ionic fluxes through the channels and the exchanger. Our equations predict osmotic pressure variations. The theory is illustrated in a simple model of spontaneously active cells in the cardiac pacemaker. The simulated action potential and the five currents in the model are in excellent agreement with experiments. The model predicts the experimental observed intracellular ionic concentration of potassium, calcium and sodium. We do not see any drift of the values for the concentrations in a long time simulation, instead we can obtain the same asymptotic values starting with equal intrac...

  18. A hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell using an ion-exchange membrane as an electrolyte

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duin, P.J. van; Kruissink, C.A.


    Using an acidic type of water leached ion exchange membrane, cell current outputs of the order of 100 mA▪cm-2 at 0,6 V cell voltage have been obtained; the removal of produced water largely limits the cell performance. Cells using the alkaline type of membrane exhibit much smaller current densities,

  19. Nafion and modified-Nafion membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells: An overview

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A K Sahu; S Pitchumani; P Sridhar; A K Shukla


    Polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) employ membrane electrolytes for proton transport during the cell reaction. The membrane forms a key component of the PEFC and its performance is controlled by several physical parameters, viz. water up-take, ion-exchange capacity, proton conductivity and humidity. The article presents an overview on Nafion membranes highlighting their merits and demerits with efforts on modified-Nafion membranes.

  20. Tandem cathode for proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    The efficiency of proton exchange membrane fuel cells is limited mainly by the oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode. The large cathodic overpotential is caused by correlations between binding energies of reaction intermediates in the reduction of oxygen to water. This work introduces a novel...... reaction intermediate each, and they occur on different catalyst surfaces. As a result they can be optimized independently and the fundamental problem associated with the four-electron catalysis is avoided. A combination of density functional theory calculations and published experimental data is used...

  1. 2011 Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cell Workshop Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pivovar, B.


    A workshop addressing the current state-of-the-art in alkaline membrane fuel cells (AMFCs) was held May 8-9, 2011, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. This workshop was the second of its kind, with the first being held December 11-13, 2006, in Phoenix, Arizona. The 2011 workshop and associated workshop report were created to assess the current state of AMFC technology (taking into account recent advances), investigate the performance potential of AMFC systems across all possible power ranges and applications, and identify the key research needs for commercial competitiveness in a variety of areas.

  2. Ultrasonic Bonding of Membrane-Electrode-Assemblies of Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dung-An Wang


    Full Text Available Ultrasonic bonding has a great potential for manufacturing of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs of fuel cells (FCs due to its short process cycle time and low energy consumption.  Before introduction of the bonding process into the industry, a detailed and elaborate investigation of the effects of the processing parameters on the bonding quality is necessary.  We develop a finite element model of the ultrasonic bonding for MEAs of FCs.  The model can be used as a computational framework for initial evaluation of the effectiveness of ultrasonic boding for MEAs of FCs.

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


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


    Indole is a bacterial signalling molecule that blocks E. coli cell division at concentrations of 3–5 mM. We have shown that indole is a proton ionophore and that this activity is key to the inhibition of division. By reducing the electrochemical potential across the cytoplasmic membrane of E. coli, indole deactivates MinCD oscillation and prevents formation of the FtsZ ring that is a prerequisite for division. This is the first example of a natural ionophore regulating a key biological proces...

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

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


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

  5. Study of the effect of membrane thickness on microcapsule strength, permeability, and cell proliferation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Ying; Zhang, Ying; Wang, Yu;


    Cell microencapsulation is one of the promising strategies for in vitro production of proteins or in vivo delivery of therapeutic products. Membrane thickness controls microcapsule strength and permeability, which may in return affect cell growth and metabolism. In this study, the strength......, permeability, and encapsulated Chinese hamster ovary cell proliferation and metabolism of four groups of microcapsules with different membrane thicknesses were investigated. It was found that increasing membrane thickness increases microcapsule strength, whereas decreases membrane permeability. During...... the first 6 days, cells within microcapsules with 10 μm thickness membrane proliferated fast and could reach a cell density of 1.9 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with 92% cell density. A cell density of 5.5 × 10(7) cells/mL microcapsule with >85% cell density was achieved within microcapsules with 15 μm...

  6. 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.

  7. Elisidepsin Interacts Directly with Glycosylceramides in the Plasma Membrane of Tumor Cells to Induce Necrotic Cell Death (United States)

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


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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  9. Evidence for Transfer of Membranes from Mesenchymal Stem Cells to HL-1 Cardiac Cells. (United States)

    Boomsma, Robert A; Geenen, David L


    This study examined the interaction of mouse bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) with cardiac HL-1 cells during coculture by fluorescent dye labeling and then flow cytometry. MSC were layered onto confluent HL-1 cell cultures in a 1 : 4 ratio. MSC gained gap junction permeant calcein from HL-1 cells after 4 hours which was partially reduced by oleamide. After 20 hours, 99% MSC gained calcein, unaffected by oleamide. Double-labeling HL-1 cells with calcein and the membrane dye DiO resulted in transfer of both calcein and DiO to MSC. When HL-1 cells were labeled with calcein and MSC with DiO, MSC gained calcein while HL-1 cells gained DiO. Very little fusion was observed since more than 90% Sca-1 positive MSC gained DiO from HL-1 cells while less than 9% gained gap junction impermeant CMFDA after 20 hours with no Sca-1 transfer to HL-1 cells. Time dependent transfer of membrane DiD was observed from HL-1 cells to MSC (100%) and vice versa (50%) after 20 hours with more limited transfer of CMFDA. These results demonstrate that MSC and HL-1 cells exchange membrane components which may account for some of the beneficial effect of MSC in the heart after myocardial infarction.

  10. A Mathematical Model for Predicting the Life of PEM Fuel Cell Membranes Subjected to Hydration Cycling

    CERN Document Server

    Burlatsky, S F; O'Neill, J; Atrazhev, V V; Varyukhin, A N; Dmitriev, D V; Erikhman, N S


    Under typical PEM fuel cell operating conditions, part of membrane electrode assembly is subjected to humidity cycling due to variation of inlet gas RH and/or flow rate. Cyclic membrane hydration/dehydration would cause cyclic swelling/shrinking of the unconstrained membrane. In a constrained membrane, it causes cyclic stress resulting in mechanical failure in the area adjacent to the gas inlet. A mathematical modeling framework for prediction of the lifetime of a PEM FC membrane subjected to hydration cycling is developed in this paper. The model predicts membrane lifetime as a function of RH cycling amplitude and membrane mechanical properties. The modeling framework consists of three model components: a fuel cell RH distribution model, a hydration/dehydration induced stress model that predicts stress distribution in the membrane, and a damage accrual model that predicts membrane life-time. Short descriptions of the model components along with overall framework are presented in the paper. The model was used...

  11. Force balance and membrane shedding at the Red Blood Cell surface


    Sens, Pierre; Gov, Nir


    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 nano-vesicles. 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 qu...

  12. The Effect of Platinum Electrocatalyst on Membrane Degradation in Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells. (United States)

    Bodner, Merit; Cermenek, Bernd; Rami, Mija; Hacker, Viktor


    Membrane degradation is a severe factor limiting the lifetime of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. Therefore, obtaining a deeper knowledge is fundamental in order to establish fuel cells as competitive product. A segmented single cell was operated under open circuit voltage with alternating relative humidity. The influence of the catalyst layer on membrane degradation was evaluated by measuring a membrane without electrodes and a membrane-electrode-assembly under identical conditions. After 100 h of accelerated stress testing the proton conductivity of membrane samples near the anode and cathode was investigated by means of ex situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The membrane sample near the cathode inlet exhibited twofold lower membrane resistance and a resulting twofold higher proton conductivity than the membrane sample near the anode inlet. The results from the fluoride ion analysis have shown that the presence of platinum reduces the fluoride emission rate; which supports conclusions drawn from the literature.

  13. Penetration of living cell membranes with fortified carbon nanotube tips. (United States)

    Vakarelski, Ivan U; Brown, Scott C; Higashitani, Ko; Moudgil, Brij M


    We have fabricated robust nanosurgical needles suitable for single cell operations by modifying multiwalled carbon nanotube (MCNT)-terminated atomic force microscopy (AFM) tips. Extra-long MCNT AFM tips were prepared and fortified with molecular layers of carbon to overcome mechanical instabilities and then coated with an outer shell of gold to promote chemical versatility. The terminal diameters of the final fabricated tips were approximately 30-40 nm, and the MCNT probes were several micrometers in length. We illustrate the capability of these modified MCNT tips to carry nanoparticulate payloads and to penetrate the plasma membrane of living pleural mesothelial cells at the smallest indentation depths (100-200 nm) and lowest penetration forces (100-200 pN) currently reported for these procedures.

  14. Cell-Culture Reactor Having a Porous Organic Polymer Membrane (United States)

    Koontz, Steven L. (Inventor)


    A method for making a biocompatible polymer article using a uniform atomic oxygen treatment is disclosed. The substrate may be subsequently optionally grated with a compatibilizing compound. Compatibilizing compounds may include proteins, phosphory1choline groups, platelet adhesion preventing polymers, albumin adhesion promoters, and the like. The compatibilized substrate may also have a living cell layer adhered thereto. The atomic oxygen is preferably produced by a flowing afterglow microwave discharge, wherein the substrate resides in a sidearm out of the plasma. Also, methods for culturing cells for various purposes using the various membranes are disclosed as well. Also disclosed are porous organic polymers having a distributed pore chemistry (DPC) comprising hydrophilic and hydrophobic regions, and a method for making the DPC by exposing the polymer to atomic oxygen wherein the rate of hydrophilization is greater than the rate of mass loss.

  15. New hybrid model of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Rui-min; CAO Guang-yi; ZHU Xin-jian


    Model and simulation are good tools for design optimization of fuel cell systems. This paper proposes a new hybrid model of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). The hybrid model includes physical component and black-box component. The physical component represents the well-known part of PEMFC, while artificial neural network (ANN) component estimates the poorly known part of PEMFC. The ANN model can compensate the performance of the physical model. This hybrid model is implemented on Matlab/Simulink software. The hybrid model shows better accuracy than that of the physical model and ANN model. Simulation results suggest that the hybrid model can be used as a suitable and accurate model for PEMFC.

  16. Intravital multiphoton photoconversion with a cell membrane dye. (United States)

    Turcotte, Raphaël; Wu, Juwell W; Lin, Charles P


    Photoconversion, an irreversible shift in a fluorophore emission spectrum after light exposure, is a powerful tool for marking cellular and subcellular compartments and tracking their dynamics in vivo. This paper reports on the photoconversion properties of Di-8-ANEPPS, a commercially available membrane dye. When illuminated with near-infrared femtosecond laser pulses, Di-8-ANEPPS undergoes multiphoton photoconversion as indicated by the supralinear dependence of the conversion rate ρpc on the incident power (ρpc∝Iexc2.27), and by the ability to photoconvert a thin optical section in a three-dimensional matrix. The characteristic emission spectrum changed from red to blue, and ratiometric analysis on single cells in vitro revealed a 65-fold increase in the blue to red wavelength ratio after photoconversion. The spectral shift is preserved in vivo for hours, making Di-8-ANEPPS a useful dye for intravital cell marking and tracking applications.

  17. Composite materials for polymer electrolyte membrane microbial fuel cells. (United States)

    Antolini, Ermete


    Recently, the feasibility of using composite metal-carbon, metal-polymer, polymer-carbon, polymer-polymer and carbon-carbon materials in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) has been investigated. These materials have been tested as MFC anode catalyst (microorganism) supports, cathode catalysts and membranes. These hybrid materials, possessing the properties of each component, or even with a synergistic effect, would present improved characteristics with respect to the bare components. In this paper we present an overview of the use of these composite materials in microbial fuel cells. The characteristics of the composite materials as well as their effect on MFC performance were compared with those of the individual component and/or the conventionally used materials.

  18. Pyro-electrification of polymer membranes for cell patterning (United States)

    Rega, R.; Gennari, O.; Mecozzia, L.; Grilli, S.; Pagliarulo, V.; Ferraro, P.


    In the recent years, much attention has been devoted to the possibility of charging polymer-based materials, due to their potential in developing large-scale and inexpensive flexible thin-film technology. The availability of localized electrostatic fields is in of great interest for a huge amount of applications such as distribution of biomolecules and cells from the liquid phase. Here we report a voltage-free pyro-electrification (PE) process able to induce permanent dipoles into polymer layers; the lithium niobate (LN) crystal is the key component that plays the multi-purpose role of sustaining, heating and poling the polymer layer that is then peeled-off easily in order to have a free-standing charged membrane. The results show the fascinating application for the living cell patterning. It well known that cell behaviour is affected by chemical and topographical cues of substrate. In fact, polymers, such as polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), are naturally cytophobic and require specific functionalization treatments in order to promote cell adhesion. Through our proposal technique, it's possible to obtain spontaneous organization and a driven growth of SH-SY5Y cells that is solely dictated by the nature of the charge polymer surface, opening, in this way, the innovative chance to manipulate and transfer biological samples on a free-standing polymer layer [1].

  19. Nafion/Silicon Oxide Composite Membrane for High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membranes were produced via in situ sol-gel reaction of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) in Nafion membranes. The physicochemical properties of the membranes were studied by FT-IR, TG-DSC and tensile strength. The results show that the silicon oxide is compatible with the Nafion membrane and the thermo stability of Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane is higher than that of Nafion membrane. Furthermore, the tensile strength of Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane is similar to that of the Nafion membrane. The proton conductivity of Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane is higher than that of Nafion membrane. When the Nafion/Silicon oxide composite membrane was employed as an electrolyte in H2/O2 PEMFC, a higher current density value (1 000 mA/cm2 at 0.38 V) than that of the Nafion 1135 membrane (100 mA/cm2 at 0.04 V) was obtained at 110 ℃.

  20. Development of a living membrane comprising a functional human renal proximal tubule cell monolayer on polyethersulfone polymeric membrane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schophuizen, Carolien M S; De Napoli, Ilaria E; Jansen, Jitske; Teixeira, Sandra; Wilmer, Martijn J; Hoenderop, Joost G J; Van den Heuvel, Lambert P W; Masereeuw, R.; Stamatialis, Dimitrios


    The need for improved renal replacement therapies has stimulated innovative research for the development of a cell-based renal assist device. A key requirement for such a device is the formation of a "living membrane", consisting of a tight kidney cell monolayer with preserved functional organic ion

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

    CERN Document Server

    Huang, Heng


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

  2. Quantum theory analysis on microscopic mechanism of the interaction of laser with cell membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Lin; ZHANG Can-bang; WANG Sheng-yu; LI Ling; WANG Rui-li; ZHOU Ling-yun


    On the basis of liquid crystal model with the electric dipole moment of cell membrane,the microscopic mechanism of the electricity and thermology effects of interaction of laser with cell membrane is researched by electromagnetic, quantum mechanics and quantum statistics. We derive the formulas on the polarization effects and "temperature-rising effect" of laser-cell membrane interaction. The results of the theoretical research can explain some experiments.

  3. Sampling membrane potential, membrane resistance and electrode resistance with a glass electrode impaled into a single cell. (United States)

    Schiebe, M; Jaeger, U


    A method is demonstrated to measure membrane resistances and membrane potentials of single cells during impalement by a single glass microelectrode. The intention was to develop a procedure which would provide data almost continuously. Therefore, a frequency-dependent voltage divider network has been chosen to represent the basic electrical properties of the electrode and cell membrane, and used to explore its voltage response to a current stimulus, consisting of two rectangular pulses of different widths. It can be shown that the resolution of the method can be improved by inverting this stimulus so that each polarization becomes a relaxation and vice versa. In order to generate, analyze and display this signal continuously, a device has been designed which has been called 'Electrophysiological Monitor, (E1M2)'. E1M2 provides a current stimulus as input into a standard bridge network and can analyze the summed response of the electrode and cell by a set of sample-hold amplifiers. It then decodes and displays the data continuously, as membrane potential (Em), input resistance of the cell (Rinp) and the electrode resistance (Re) respectively. From Rinp the membrane resistance (Rm) can be deduced. The validity of the method has been examined by measuring these parameters in frog muscle cells. Technical design considerations, the accuracy and possible pitfalls with the suggested procedure are discussed.

  4. Influence of Silica/Sulfonated Polyether-Ether Ketone as Polymer Electrolyte Membrane for Hydrogen Fueled Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Handayani


    Full Text Available The operation of non-humidified condition of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC using composite sPEEK-silica membrane is reported. Sulfonated membrane of PEEK is known as hydrocarbon polyelectrolyte membrane for PEMFC and direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC. The state of the art of fuel cells is based on the perluorosulfonic acid membrane (Nafion. Nafion has been the most used in both PEMFC and DMFC due to good performance although in low humidified condition showed poor current density. Here we reported the effect of silica in hydrocarbon sPEEK membrane that contributes for a better water management system inside the cell, and showed 0.16 W/cm2 of power density which is 78% higher than that of non-silica modified [Keywords: composite membrane, polyether-ether ketone, silica, proton exchange membrane fuel cell].

  5. Enhancement of the fuel cell performance of a high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell running with titanium composite polybenzimidazole-based membranes (United States)

    Lobato, Justo; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.; Úbeda, Diego; Pinar, F. Javier


    The fuel cell performance of a composite PBI-based membrane with TiO2 has been studied. The behaviour of the membrane has been evaluated by comparison with the fuel cell performance of other PBI-based membranes, all of which were cast from the same polymer with the same molecular weight. The PBI composite membrane incorporating TiO2 showed the best performance and reached 1000 mW cm-2 at 175 °C. Moreover, this new titanium composite PBI-based membrane also showed the best stability during the preliminary long-term test under our operation conditions. Thus, the slope of the increase in the ohmic resistance of the composite membrane was 0.041 mΩ cm2 h-1 and this is five times lower than that of the standard PBI membrane. The increased stability was due to the high phosphoric acid retention capacity - as confirmed during leaching tests, in which the Ti-based composite PBI membrane retained 5 mol of H3PO4/PBI r.u. whereas the PBI standard membrane only retained 1 mol H3PO4/PBI r.u. Taking into account the results obtained in this study, the TiO2-PBI based membranes are good candidates as electrolytes for high temperature PEMFCs.

  6. Lipid-protein interactions in plasma membranes of fiber cells isolated from the human eye lens. (United States)

    Raguz, Marija; Mainali, Laxman; O'Brien, William J; Subczynski, Witold K


    The protein content in human lens membranes is extremely high, increases with age, and is higher in the nucleus as compared with the cortex, which should strongly affect the organization and properties of the lipid bilayer portion of intact membranes. To assess these effects, the intact cortical and nuclear fiber cell plasma membranes isolated from human lenses from 41- to 60-year-old donors were studied using electron paramagnetic resonance spin-labeling methods. Results were compared with those obtained for lens lipid membranes prepared from total lipid extracts from human eyes of the same age group [Mainali, L., Raguz, M., O'Brien, W. J., and Subczynski, W. K. (2013) Biochim. Biophys. Acta]. Differences were considered to be mainly due to the effect of membrane proteins. The lipid-bilayer portions of intact membranes were significantly less fluid than lipid bilayers of lens lipid membranes, prepared without proteins. The intact membranes were found to contain three distinct lipid environments termed the bulk lipid domain, boundary lipid domain, and trapped lipid domain. However, the cholesterol bilayer domain, which was detected in cortical and nuclear lens lipid membranes, was not detected in intact membranes. The relative amounts of bulk and trapped lipids were evaluated. The amount of lipids in domains uniquely formed due to the presence of membrane proteins was greater in nuclear membranes than in cortical membranes. Thus, it is evident that the rigidity of nuclear membranes is greater than that of cortical membranes. Also the permeability coefficients for oxygen measured in domains of nuclear membranes were significantly lower than appropriate coefficients measured in cortical membranes. Relationships between the organization of lipids into lipid domains in fiber cells plasma membranes and the organization of membrane proteins are discussed.

  7. Modelling membrane hydration and water balance of a pem fuel cell

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liso, Vincenzo; Nielsen, Mads Pagh


    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells requires an appropriate hydration in order to ensure high efficiency and long durability. As water is essential for promoting proton conductivity in the membrane, it is important to control membrane water hydration to avoid flooding. In this study we...

  8. Two-dimensional simulation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hum, B.; Li, X. [Waterloo Univ., ON (Canada). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering


    Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells have fast startup, are highly energy efficient and have high power density, rendering them very suitable for use in zero-emission vehicles and on-site power cogeneration. Before the PEM fuel cell can reach widespread commercial use, the performance has to be improved regarding the minimization of all transport resistances. This can be done by considering the electrochemical reactions in the catalyst layers along with the physical transport of reactant gas flows, product and process water, heat and the charged particles in the individual cells and stacks. This paper presents the results of a two-dimensional numerical simulation of a steady, isothermal, fully humidified PEM fuel cell which was conducted to examine what happens in the catalyst layers. The finite volume method was used together with the alternating direction implicit algorithm. It was determined that the cathode catalyst layer has more pronounced changes in potential, reaction rate and current density generation compared to the anode catalyst layer. This is because of the large cathode activation overpotential and the low diffusion coefficient of oxygen. It was demonstrated that catalyst layers, by nature, are 2 dimensional, particularly in areas of low reactant concentrations. Maximum power density is limited by the depletion of one of the reactants in the catalyst layer. Both the fuel and oxidant supply must be managed simultaneously for optimal cell performance. It was concluded that cell performance is not greatly affected by flow direction. It was noted that this analysis can also be used for more complex cell design, such as cross flow between reactant streams and practical serpentine flow channel design. 11 refs., 2 tabs., 10 figs.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shamsuddin Ilias


    Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the available chemical free energy directly into electrical energy, without going through heat exchange process. Of all different types of fuel cells, the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is one of the most promising power sources for stand-alone utility and electric vehicle applications. Platinum (Pt) Catalyst is used for both fuel and air electrodes in PEMFCs. However, carbon monoxide (CO) contamination of H{sub 2} greatly affects electro catalysts used at the anode of PEMFCs and decreases cell performance. The irreversible poisoning of the anode can occur even in CO concentrations as low as few parts per million (ppm). In this work, we have synthesized several novel elctrocatalysts (Pt/C, Pt/Ru/C, Pt/Mo/C, Pt/Ir and Pt/Ru/Mo) for PEMFCs. These catalysts have been tested for CO tolerance in the H{sub 2}/air fuel cell, using CO concentrations in the H{sub 2} fuel that varies from 10 to 100 ppm. The performance of the electrodes was evaluated by determining the cell potential against current density. The effects of catalyst composition and electrode film preparation method on the performance of PEM fuel cell were also studied. It was found that at 70 C and 3.5 atm pressure at the cathode, Pt-alloy catalyst (10 wt% Pt/Ru/C, 20 wt% Pt/Mo/C) were more CO tolerant than the 20 wt% Pt/C catalyst alone. It was also observed that spraying method was better than the brushing technique for the preparation of electrode film.

  10. Membrane cholesterol regulates lysosome-plasma membrane fusion events and modulates Trypanosoma cruzi invasion of host cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bárbara Hissa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Trypomastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi are able to invade several types of non-phagocytic cells through a lysosomal dependent mechanism. It has been shown that, during invasion, parasites trigger host cell lysosome exocytosis, which initially occurs at the parasite-host contact site. Acid sphingomyelinase released from lysosomes then induces endocytosis and parasite internalization. Lysosomes continue to fuse with the newly formed parasitophorous vacuole until the parasite is completely enclosed by lysosomal membrane, a process indispensable for a stable infection. Previous work has shown that host membrane cholesterol is also important for the T. cruzi invasion process in both professional (macrophages and non-professional (epithelial phagocytic cells. However, the mechanism by which cholesterol-enriched microdomains participate in this process has remained unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDING: In the present work we show that cardiomyocytes treated with MβCD, a drug able to sequester cholesterol from cell membranes, leads to a 50% reduction in invasion by T. cruzi trypomastigotes, as well as a decrease in the number of recently internalized parasites co-localizing with lysosomal markers. Cholesterol depletion from host membranes was accompanied by a decrease in the labeling of host membrane lipid rafts, as well as excessive lysosome exocytic events during the earlier stages of treatment. Precocious lysosomal exocytosis in MβCD treated cells led to a change in lysosomal distribution, with a reduction in the number of these organelles at the cell periphery, and probably compromises the intracellular pool of lysosomes necessary for T. cruzi invasion. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Based on these results, we propose that cholesterol depletion leads to unregulated exocytic events, reducing lysosome availability at the cell cortex and consequently compromise T. cruzi entry into host cells. The results also suggest that two different pools of

  11. Effect of cell-membrane composition on the growth and composition of a nonlytic enveloped mycoplasmavirus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Putzrath, R.M.; Cadden, S.P.; Maniloff, J.


    The effect of host cell membrane composition on viral growth and membrane composition was studied using MVL2, an enveloped nonlytic mycoplasmavirus. MVL2 contains seven proteins, with molecular weights of 67,800; 63,600; 60,900; 58,000; 52,400; 20,600; and 19,100. Cells grown in a medium which altered the fatty acid composition of the cell membrane lipids gave rise to viruses with similarly altered lipids. Near the lower limit of the membrane lipid phase transition cell growth was reduced, but no effect on viral adsorption or maturation could be found.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaljot, K.T.; Shaw, R.D.; Greenberg, H.B. (Stanford Univ. School of Medicine, CA (USA) Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical Center, CA (USA)); Rubin, D.H. (Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (USA))


    Rotaviruses are icosahedral viruses with a segmented, double-stranded RNA genome. They are the major cause of severe infantile infectious diarrhea. Rotavirus growth in tissue culture is markedly enhanced by pretreatment of virus with trypsin. Trypsin activation is associated with cleavage of the viral hemagglutinin (viral protein 3 (VP3); 88 kilodaltons) into two fragments (60 and 28 kilodaltons). The mechanism by which proteolytic cleavage leads to enhanced growth is unknown. To determine whether trypsin treatment affected rotavirus internalization, the authors studied the kinetics of entry of infectious rhesus rotavirus (RRV) into MA104 cells. Trypsin-activated RRV was internalized with a half-time of 3 to 5 min, while nonactivated virus disappeared from the cell surface with a half-time of 30 to 50 min. In contrast to trypsin-activated RRV, loss of nonactivated RRV from the cell surface did not result in the appearance of infection, as measured by plaque formation. Purified trypsin-activated RRV added to cell monolayers at pH 7.4 mediated {sup 51}Cr, ({sup 14}C)choline, and ({sup 3}H)inositol released from prelabeled MA104 cells. This release could be specifically blocked by neutralizing antibodies to VP3. These results suggest that MA104 cell infection follows the rapid entry of trypsin-activated RRV by direct cell membrane penetration. Cell membrane penetration of infectious RRV is initiated by trypsin cleavage of VP3. Neutralizing antibodies can inhibit this direct membrane penetration.

  13. Homeostatic restitution of cell membranes. Nuclear membrane lipid biogenesis and transport of protein from cytosol to intranuclear spaces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amalia Slomiany, Maria Grabska, Bronislaw L. Slomiany


    Full Text Available Our studies on homeostatic restitution of cellular and subcellular membranes showed that vesicular intracellular transport is engaged in systematic and coordinated replacement of lipids and proteins in the membranes of the secretory, non-dividing epithelial cells (Slomiany et al., J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 2004; 55: 837-860. In this report, we present evidence on the homeostatic restitution of lipids in the biomembranes that constitute nuclear envelopes. We investigated nuclear membranes lipid synthesis by employing purified intact nuclei (IN, the outer nuclear membrane (ONM, the inner nuclear membrane (INM and the cell cytosol (CC. In contrast to Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER which in the presence of CC generates new biomembrane that forms ER vesicles transporting ER products to Golgi, the IN, ONM and INM are not producing transport vesicles. Instead, the newly synthesized lipids remain in the nuclear membranes. The membranes (INM, ONM of IN incubated with CC become enriched with newly synthesized phosphatidylcholine (PC, phosphatidylinositol (PI, phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs and phosphatidic acid (PA. The incubation of separated ONM and INM with CC also enriched the membranes with IN specific lipids identified above. Moreover, the incubation of IN or its membranes with CC afforded retention of numerous CC proteins on the nuclear membrane. Here, we concentrated on 30kDa CC protein that displayed affinity to nuclear membrane PIP2. The 30kDa CC protein bound to PIP2 of IN, INM, and ONM. With IN, initially the PIP2-30kDa CC protein complex was detected on ONM, after 30-120 min of incubation, was found on INM and in nuclear contents. At the same time when the 30 kDa protein was released from INM and found in nuclear contents, the PIP2 of INM and ONM became undetectable, while the lipid extract from the membrane displaced from IN contained labeled PI only. Since ONM is an uninterrupted continuum of ER and INM, we speculate that the synthesis of

  14. Measurement of the cell membrane capacitance and conductance of colonic crypt cells of the rat using the patch clamp technique

    CERN Document Server

    Schill, C


    Using the patch clamp technique the membrane capacitance and membrane conductance of colonic crypt cells of the rat was measured. The influence of the intracellular agonists Ca++, cAMP and of osmotic changes on the membrane capacitance and conductance was studied.

  15. FOS-1 promotes basement-membrane removal during anchor-cell invasion in C. elegans. (United States)

    Sherwood, David R; Butler, James A; Kramer, James M; Sternberg, Paul W


    Cell invasion through basement membranes is crucial during morphogenesis and cancer metastasis. Here, we genetically dissect this process during anchor-cell invasion into the vulval epithelium in C. elegans. We have identified the fos transcription factor ortholog fos-1 as a critical regulator of basement-membrane removal. In fos-1 mutants, the gonadal anchor cell extends cellular processes normally toward vulval cells, but these processes fail to remove the basement membranes separating the gonad from the vulval epithelium. fos-1 is expressed in the anchor cell and controls invasion cell autonomously. We have identified ZMP-1, a membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase, CDH-3, a Fat-like protocadherin, and hemicentin, a fibulin family extracellular matrix protein, as transcriptional targets of FOS-1 that promote invasion. These results reveal a key genetic network that controls basement-membrane removal during cell invasion.

  16. Endogenously generated amyloid β increases membrane fluidity in neural 2a cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    NIU Ying; SHENG BaiYang; SONG Bo; LIU LingLing; ZHANG XiuFang; ZHAO NanMing; GONG YanDao


    The effect of endogenously generated amyloid β on membrane fluidity was investigated in Neural 2a cells stably expressing Swedish mutant amyloid precursor protein (APPswe). Membrane fluidity was studied by fluorescence polarizability using 1,6-Diphenyl-1,3,5-Hexatriene (DPH) as the fluorescence probe. It was found that the membrane fluidity in APPswe cells was significantly higher than that in its wild type counterparts. Alleviating the effect of amyloid β either by y secretase activity inhibition or by amyloid antibody treatment decreased membrane fluidity, which indicated an important role of amyloid β in increasing membrane fluidity. Treatment using amyloid β channel blocker, tromethamine and NA4 suggested that channel formed by amyloid β on the cell membrane is a way through which amyloid β takes its membrane fluidizing effect.

  17. Purinergically induced membrane fluidization in ciliary cells: characterization and control by calcium and membrane potential. (United States)

    Alfahel, E; Korngreen, A; Parola, A H; Priel, Z


    To examine the role of membrane dynamics in transmembrane signal transduction, we studied changes in membrane fluidity in mucociliary tissues from frog palate and esophagus epithelia stimulated by extracellular ATP. Micromolar concentrations of ATP induced strong changes in fluorescence polarization, possibly indicating membrane fluidization. This effect was dosage dependent, reaching a maximum at 10-microM ATP. It was dependent on the presence of extracellular Ca2+ (or Mg2+), though it was insensitive to inhibitors of voltage-gated calcium channels. It was inhibited by thapsigargin and by ionomycin (at low extracellular Ca2+ concentration), both of which deplete Ca2+ stores. It was inhibited by the calcium-activated potassium channel inhibitors quinidine, charybdotoxin, and apamine and was reduced considerably by replacement of extracellular Na+ with K+. Hyperpolarization, or depolarization, of the mucociliary membrane induced membrane fluidization. The degree of membrane fluidization depended on the degree of hyperpolarization or depolarization of the ciliary membrane potential and was considerably lower than the effect induced by extracellular ATP. These results indicate that appreciable membrane fluidization induced by extracellular ATP depends both on an increase in intracellular Ca2+, mainly from its internal stores, and on hyperpolarization of the membrane. Calcium-dependent potassium channels couple the two effects. In light of recent results on the enhancement of ciliary beat frequency, it would appear that extracellular ATP-induced changes both in ciliary beat frequency and in membrane fluidity are triggered by similar signal transduction pathways.

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

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


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

  19. Cell invasion through basement membrane: the anchor cell breaches the barrier. (United States)

    Hagedorn, Elliott J; Sherwood, David R


    Cell invasion through basement membrane (BM) is a specialized cellular behavior critical to many normal developmental events, immune surveillance, and cancer metastasis. A highly dynamic process, cell invasion involves a complex interplay between cell-intrinsic elements that promote the invasive phenotype, and cell-cell and cell-BM interactions that regulate the timing and targeting of BM transmigration. The intricate nature of these interactions has made it challenging to study cell invasion in vivo and model in vitro. Anchor cell invasion in Caenorhabditis elegans is emerging as an important experimental paradigm for comprehensive analysis of BM invasion, revealing the gene networks that specify invasive behavior and the interactions that occur at the cell-BM interface.

  20. 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...... corrosion, in turn, triggers the agglomeration of platinum particles resulting in reduction of the active surface area and catalytic activity. This is a major mechanism of the catalyst degradation and a key challenge to the PEMFC long-term durability. High temperature PEMFC, on the other hand, has attached...... significant attention in recent years because of its potential advantages such as high CO tolerance, easy cooling, better heat utilization and possible integration with fuel processing units. However, the high temperature obviously aggravates the carbon corrosion and catalyst degradation. Based on thermally...

  1. Segmented polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells - A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez, Luis C.; Brandao, Lucia; Mendes, Adelio [LEPAE, Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto (Portugal); Sousa, Jose M. [LEPAE, Chemical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, Rua Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto (Portugal); Chemistry Department, University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Apartado 202, 5001-911 Vila-Real Codex (Portugal)


    A complex interaction of many design, assembling and operating parameters as well as the properties of the materials used in the construction of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) result in an uneven electrochemical performance over the MEA active area. For more than one decade, segmented PEMFC (SFC) have been used to study the factors responsible for that uneven performance. This paper reviews relevant literature related to SFC published since 1998 focusing on the three most important SFC design techniques: (1) printed circuit board, (2) resistors network and (3) Hall effect sensors. First, the three techniques are described and fundamental considerations for its design, construction and electrochemical characterization are provided. After that, the effect of most important parameters on the current density distribution is highlighted. Finally, representative results combining current density distribution measurements with other analytical techniques for distributed analysis are presented. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Xiao


    Full Text Available As a solution of high efficiency and clean energy, fuel cell technologies, especially proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC, have caught extensive attention. However, after decades of development, the performances of PEMFCs are far from achieving the target from the Department of Energy (DOE. Thus, further understanding of the degradation mechanism is needed to overcome this obstacle. Due to the importance of proton exchange membrane in a PEMFC, the degradation of the membrane, such as hygrothermal aging effect on its properties, are particularly necessary. In this work, a thick membrane (Nafion N117, which is always used as an ionic polymer for the PEMFCs, has been analyzed. Experimental investigation is performed for understanding the mechanical endurance of the bare membranes under different loading conditions. Tensile tests are conducted to compare the mechanical property evolution of two kinds of bare-membrane specimens including the dog-bone and the deeply double edge notched (DDEN types. Both dog-bone and DDEN specimens were subjected to a series of degradation tests with different cycling times and wide humidity ranges. The tensile tests are repeated for both kinds of specimens to assess the strain-stress relations. Furthermore, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR, X-ray diffraction (XRD and Scanning electron microscope (SEM observation and water absorption measurement were conducted to speculate the cause of this variation. The initial cracks along with the increasing of bound water content were speculated as the primary cause.

  3. Meninges: from protective membrane to stem cell niche. (United States)

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


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

  4. Membrane dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendix, Pól Martin


    Current topics include membrane-protein interactions with regard to membrane deformation or curvature sensing by BAR domains. Also, we study the dynamics of membrane tubes of both cells and simple model membrane tubes. Finally, we study membrane phase behavior which has important implications...... for the lateral organization of membranes as wells as for physical properties like bending, permeability and elasticity...

  5. Spatial proton exchange membrane fuel cell performance under bromomethane poisoning (United States)

    Reshetenko, Tatyana V.; Artyushkova, Kateryna; St-Pierre, Jean


    The poisoning effects of 5 ppm CH3Br in the air on the spatial performance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) were studied using a segmented cell system. The presence of CH3Br caused performance loss from 0.650 to 0.335 V at 1 A cm-2 accompanied by local current density redistribution. The observed behavior was explained by possible bromomethane hydrolysis with the formation of Br-. Bromide and bromomethane negatively affected the oxygen reduction efficiency over a wide range of potentials because of their adsorption on Pt, which was confirmed by XPS. Moreover, the PEMFC exposure to CH3Br led to a decrease in the anode and cathode electrochemical surface area (∼52-57%) due to the growth of Pt particles through agglomeration and Ostwald ripening. The PEMFC did not restore its performance after stopping bromomethane introduction to the air stream. However, the H2/N2 purge of the anode/cathode and CV scans almost completely recovered the cell performance. The observed final loss of ∼50 mV was due to an increased activation overpotential. PEMFC exposure to CH3Br should be limited to concentrations much less than 5 ppm due to serious performance loss and lack of self-recovery.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Noutsi, Pakiza


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pakiza Noutsi

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

  8. Nanoporous gold membranes: From morphological control to fuel cell catalysis (United States)

    Ding, Yi

    stable, low Pt usage, and better tolerance to CO poisoning. We incorporated it as a membrane electrode into a working proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Preliminary results show that Pt/NPG has very good fuel cell performance at a very low platinum loading.

  9. Performance of polymer nano composite membrane electrode assembly using Alginate as a dopant in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (United States)

    Mulijani, S.


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

  10. Performance of polymer nano composite membrane electrode assembly using Alginate as a dopant in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (United States)

    Mulijani, S.


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

  11. In situ single molecule imaging of cell membranes: linking basic nanotechniques to cell biology, immunology and medicine. (United States)

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


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

  12. Multiphase transport in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Gauthier, Eric D.

    Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) enable efficient conversion of fuels to electricity. They have enormous potential due to the high energy density of the fuels they utilize (hydrogen or alcohols). Power density is a major limitation to wide-scale introduction of PEMFCs. Power density in hydrogen fuel cells is limited by accumulation of water in what is termed fuel cell `flooding.' Flooding may occur in either the gas diffusion layer (GDL) or within the flow channels of the bipolar plate. These components comprise the electrodes of the fuel cell and balance transport of reactants/products with electrical conductivity. This thesis explores the role of electrode materials in the fuel cell and examines the fundamental connection between material properties and multiphase transport processes. Water is generated at the cathode catalyst layer. As liquid water accumulates it will utilize the largest pores in the GDL to go from the catalyst layer to the flow channels. Water collects to large pores via lateral transport at the interface between the GDL and catalyst layer. We have shown that water may be collected in these large pores from several centimeters away, suggesting that we could engineer the GDL to control flooding with careful placement and distribution of large flow-directing pores. Once liquid water is in the flow channels it forms slugs that block gas flow. The slugs are pushed along the channel by a pressure gradient that is dependent on the material wettability. The permeable nature of the GDL also plays a major role in slug growth and allowing bypass of gas between adjacent channels. Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) have analogous multiphase flow issues where carbon dioxide bubbles accumulate, `blinding' regions of the fuel cell. This problem is fundamentally similar to water management in hydrogen fuel cells but with a gas/liquid phase inversion. Gas bubbles move laterally through the porous GDL and emerge to form large bubbles within the

  13. Influence of preparative procedures on the membrane viscoelasticity of human red cell ghosts. (United States)

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

  16. Effects of nitrogen ion implantation on Ca2+ concentration and membrane potential of pollen cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The effects of low energy nitrogen ion implantation on Ca2+ concentration and membrane potential of lily (lilium davidii Duch) pollen cell have been studied. The results showed that the Ca2+ concentration was increased when pollen grain was implanted by nitrogen ion with energy 100keV and dose 1013 ions/cra2. However, the increase of Ca2+ concentration was partly inhibited by the addition of Ca2+channel inhibitor depending on dose. And nitrogen ion implantation caused depolarization of pollen cell membrane potential. In other words, membrane potential was increased,but the effect decreased by adding Ca2+ channel inhibitor.However, it was still significantly higher than the membrane potential of control cells. It was indicated that the depolarization of cell membrane potential opened the calcium channel on the membrane that caused the increasing of intraceilular calcium concentration. This might be an earlier step of the effect of low energy nitrogen ion implantation on pollen germination.

  17. Cell-free synthesis of membrane proteins: tailored cell models out of microsomes. (United States)

    Fenz, Susanne F; Sachse, Rita; Schmidt, Thomas; Kubick, Stefan


    Incorporation of proteins in biomimetic giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) is one of the hallmarks towards cell models in which we strive to obtain a better mechanistic understanding of the manifold cellular processes. The reconstruction of transmembrane proteins, like receptors or channels, into GUVs is a special challenge. This procedure is essential to make these proteins accessible to further functional investigation. Here we describe a strategy combining two approaches: cell-free eukaryotic protein expression for protein integration and GUV formation to prepare biomimetic cell models. The cell-free protein expression system in this study is based on insect lysates, which provide endoplasmic reticulum derived vesicles named microsomes. It enables signal-induced translocation and posttranslational modification of de novo synthesized membrane proteins. Combining these microsomes with synthetic lipids within the electroswelling process allowed for the rapid generation of giant proteo-liposomes of up to 50 μm in diameter. We incorporated various fluorescent protein-labeled membrane proteins into GUVs (the prenylated membrane anchor CAAX, the heparin-binding epithelial growth factor like factor Hb-EGF, the endothelin receptor ETB, the chemokine receptor CXCR4) and thus presented insect microsomes as functional modules for proteo-GUV formation. Single-molecule fluorescence microscopy was applied to detect and further characterize the proteins in the GUV membrane. To extend the options in the tailoring cell models toolbox, we synthesized two different membrane proteins sequentially in the same microsome. Additionally, we introduced biotinylated lipids to specifically immobilize proteo-GUVs on streptavidin-coated surfaces. We envision this achievement as an important first step toward systematic protein studies on technical surfaces.

  18. Translocation of annexin Ⅰ from cellular membrane to the nuclear membrane in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yu Liu; Xiao-Hang Zhao; Hui-Xin Wang; Ning Lu; You-Sheng Mao; Fang Liu; Ying Wang; Hai-Rong Zhang; Kun Wang; Min Wu


    AIM: To investigate the alteration of the annexin I subcellular localization in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC)and the correlation between the translocation and the tumorigenesis of ESCC.METHODS: The protein localization of annexin I was detected in both human ESCC tissues and cell line via the indirect immunofiuorescence strategy.RESULTS: In the normal esophageal epithelia the annexin I was mainly located on the plasma membrane and formed a consecutive typical trammels net. Annexin I protein also expressed dispersively in cytoplasm and the nuclei without specific localization on the nuclear membrane. In esophageal cancer annexin I decreased very sharply with scattered disappearance on the cellular membrane, however it translocated and highly expressed on the nuclear membrane,which was never found in normal esophageal epithelia. In cultured esophageal cancer cell line annexin I protein was also focused on the nuclear membrane, which was consistent with the result from esophageal cancer tissues.CONCLUSION: This observation suggests that the translocation of annexin I protein in ESCC may correlate with the tumorigenesis of the esophageal cancer.

  19. Self-assembly and function of primitive cell membranes. (United States)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Deamer, David


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

  20. Fabrication Method for Laboratory-Scale High-Performance Membrane Electrode Assemblies for Fuel Cells. (United States)

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


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

  1. Both Freshly Prepared and Frozen-Stored Amniotic Membrane Cells Express the Complement Inhibitor CD59

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ágnes Füst


    Full Text Available Amniotic membrane proved to be very effective tool in the treatment of a number of ocular surface diseases. The amniotic membrane, however, has to be stored before its transplantation onto the ocular surface followed by mandatory serologic control in order to exclude the transmission of certain viruses. Therefore it is most important to study if cryopreservation of the membrane affects cell surface expression of the molecules. We measured cell surface expression of CD59, a membrane-bound complement inhibitor on the cells of freshly prepared and cryopreserved amniotic membrane. Cells of amniotic membrane were separated mechanically. Epithelial and mesenchymal cells were identified by the intracellular expression of nanog and the cell surface ICAM1 positivity, respectively. Multicolor flow cytometric immunophenotyping was used for determination of the CD59 expression. CellQuest-Pro software program (Becton Dickinson was used both for measurements and analysis. CD59-positive cells could be detected in all investigated samples and in all investigated cell types, although the expression level of CD59 differed. CD59 was expressed both on freshly prepared and frozen-stored samples. Higher level of CD59 was detected on ICAM1+ mesenchymal cells than on nanog+ epithelial cells. Our findings indicate that amniotic membranes maintain their complement inhibiting capacity after cryopreservation.

  2. Design and Development of Membrane Electrode Assembly for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (United States)

    Kasat, Harshal Anil

    This work aimed to characterize and optimize the variables that influence the Gas Diffusion Layer (GDL) preparation using design of experiment (DOE) approach. In the process of GDL preparation, the quantity of carbon support and Teflon were found to have significant influence on the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). Characterization methods like surface roughness, wetting characteristics, microstructure surface morphology, pore size distribution, thermal conductivity of GDLs were examined using laser interferometer, Goniometer, SEM, porosimetry and thermal conductivity analyzer respectively. The GDLs were evaluated in single cell PEMFC under various operating conditions of temperature and relative humidity (RH) using air as oxidant. Electrodes were prepared with different PUREBLACKRTM and poly-tetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) content in the diffusion layer and maintaining catalytic layer with a Pt-loading (0.4 mg cm-2). In the study, a 73.16 wt.% level of PB and 34 wt.% level of PTFE was the optimal compositions for GDL at 70°C for 70% RH under air atmosphere. For most electrochemical processes the oxygen reduction is very vita reaction. Pt loading in the electrocatalyst contributes towards the total cost of electrochemical devices. Reducing the Pt loading in electrocatalysts with high efficiency is important for the development of fuel cell technologies. To this end, this thesis work reports the approach to lower down the Pt loading in electrocatalyst based on N-doped carbon nanotubes derived from Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks (ZIF-67) for oxygen reduction. This electrocatalyst perform with higher electrocatalytic activity and stability for oxygen reduction in fuel cell testing. The electrochemical properties are mainly due to the synergistic effect from N-doped carbon nanotubes derived from ZIF and Pt loading. The strategy with low Pt loading forecasts in emerging highly active and less expensive electrocatalysts in electrochemical energy devices. This

  3. Fundamental study of mechanical and chemical degradation mechanisms of PEM fuel cell membranes (United States)

    Yoon, Wonseok

    One of the important factors determining the lifetime of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) is membrane degradation and failure. The lack of effective mitigation methods is largely due to the currently very limited understanding of the underlying mechanisms for mechanical and chemical degradations of fuel cell membranes. In order to understand degradation of membranes in fuel cells, two different experimental approaches were developed; one is fuel cell testing under open circuit voltage (OCV) with bi-layer configuration of the membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and the other is a modified gas phase Fenton's test. Accelerated degradation tests for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells are frequently conducted under open circuit voltage (OCV) conditions at low relative humidity (RH) and high temperature. With the bi-layer MEA technique, it was found that membrane degradation is highly localized across thickness direction of the membrane and qualitatively correlated with location of platinum (Pt) band through mechanical testing, Infrared (IR) spectroscopy, fluoride emission, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) measurement. One of the critical experimental observations is that mechanical behavior of membranes subjected to degradation via Fenton's reaction exhibit completely different behavior with that of membranes from the OCV testing. This result led us to believe that other critical factors such as mechanical stress may affect on membrane degradation and therefore, a modified gas phase Fenton's test setup was developed to test the hypothesis. Interestingly, the results showed that mechanical stress directly accelerates the degradation rate of ionomer membranes, implying that the rate constant for the degradation reaction is a function of mechanical stress in addition to commonly known factors such as temperature and humidity. Membrane degradation induced by

  4. Nafion®/H-ZSM-5 composite membranes with superior performance for direct methanol fuel cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yildirim, Mustafa Hakan; Curos, Anna Roca; Motuzas, Julius; Julbe, Anne; Stamatialis, Dimitrios; Wessling, Matthias


    Solution cast composite direct methanol fuel cell membranes (DEZ) based on DE2020 Nafion® dispersion and in-house prepared H-ZSM-5 zeolites with different Si/Al ratios were prepared and thoroughly characterized for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) applications. All composite membranes have indeed l

  5. (poly)Phosphoinositide phosphorylation is a marker for plasma membrane in Friend erythroleukaemic cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rawyler, A.J.; Roelofsen, B.; Wirtz, K.W.A.; Kamp, J.A.F. op den


    Upon subcellular fractionation of (murine) Friend erythroleukaemic cells (FELCs), purified plasma membranes were identified by their high enrichment in specific marker enzymes and typical plasma membrane lipids. When FELCs were incubated for short periods with 32Pi before cell fractionation, the lip

  6. Enzymatic Oxidation of Cholesterol: Properties and Functional Effects of Cholestenone in Cell Membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Neuvonen, M.; Manna, M.; Mokkila, S.


    of cholestenone using simulations and cell biological experiments and assessed the functional effects of cholestenone in human cells. Atomistic simulations predicted that cholestenone reduces membrane order, undergoes faster flip-flop and desorbs more readily from membranes than cholesterol. In primary human...

  7. Cellular reactions of osteoblast-like cells to a novel nanocomposite membrane for guided bone regeneration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meng Yao [State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Department of Orthodontics, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Liu Man [State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Stomatology Health Care Center, Shenzhen Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital, Shenzhen 518048 (China); Wang Shaoan [State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Mo Anchun [State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China)], E-mail:; Huang, Cui [State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China Stomatology Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China); Zuo Yi; Li Jidong [Research Center for Nano-biomaterials, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041 (China)


    This study investigated the bioactivity and biocompatibility of hydroxyapatite nanoparticles (n-HA)/Polyamide-66 (PA66) nanocomposite membrane and expanded-polytetrafluoroethylene (e-PTFE) membrane (as control) to MG63 osteoblast-like cells. The attachment and proliferation of the cells on the porous surface of nHA/PA66 membrane and the surface of e-PTFE membrane were evaluated by scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation and the MTT assay. The bioactivity of the cells on the surface of the two membranes was evaluated by testing cell viability and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities. The results suggested that the bioresponse of MG63 osteoblast-like cells on the porous surface of nHA/PA66 membrane was better than the bioresponse on the opposite surface of e-PTFE membrane. Because of a better cell attachment manner, there is a potential utilization of the guided bone regeneration (GBR) membrane to substitute nHA/PA66 membrane for e-PTFE membra0008.

  8. Changes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell membrane components and promotion to ethanol tolerance during the bioethanol fermentation. (United States)

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


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

  9. Long-term testing of a high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell short stack operated with improved polybenzimidazole-based composite membranes (United States)

    Pinar, F. Javier; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.; Úbeda, Diego; Lobato, Justo


    In this work, the feasibility of a 150 cm2 high-temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) stack operated with modified proton exchange membranes is demonstrated. The short fuel cell stack was manufactured using a total of three 50 cm2 membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). The PEM technology is based on a polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane. The obtained results were compared with those obtained using a HT-PEMFC stack with unmodified membranes. The membranes were cast from a PBI polymer synthesized in the laboratory, and the modified membranes contained 2 wt.% micro-sized TiO2 as a filler. Long-term tests were performed in both constant and dynamic loading modes. The fuel cell stack with 2 wt.% TiO2 composite PBI membranes exhibited an irreversible voltage loss of less than 2% after 1100 h of operation. In addition, the acid loss was reduced from 2% for the fuel cell stack with unmodified membranes to 0.6% for the fuel cell stack with modified membranes. The results demonstrate that introducing filler into the membranes enhances the durability and stability of this type of fuel cell technology. Moreover, the fuel cell stack system also exhibits very rapid and stable power and voltage output responses under dynamic load regimes.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    To achieve high temperature operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), preferably under ambient pressure, acid–base polymer membranes represent an effective approach. The phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole membrane seems so far the most successful system in the field. It has...... in recent years motivated extensive research activities with great progress. This treatise is devoted to updating the development, covering polymer synthesis, membrane casting, physicochemical characterizations and fuel cell technologies. To optimize the membrane properties, high molecular weight polymers...... with synthetically modified or N-substituted structures have been synthesized. Techniques for membrane casting from organic solutions and directly from acid solutions have been developed. Ionic and covalent cross-linking as well as inorganic–organic composites has been explored. Membrane characterizations...

  11. Fluctuations of coupled fluid and solid membranes with application to red blood cells (United States)

    Auth, Thorsten; Safran, S. A.; Gov, Nir S.


    The fluctuation spectra and the intermembrane interaction of two membranes at a fixed average distance are investigated. Each membrane can either be a fluid or a solid membrane, and in isolation, its fluctuations are described by a bare or a wave-vector-dependent bending modulus, respectively. The membranes interact via their excluded-volume interaction; the average distance is maintained by an external, homogeneous pressure. For strong coupling, the fluctuations can be described by a single, effective membrane that combines the elastic properties. For weak coupling, the fluctuations of the individual, noninteracting membranes are recovered. The case of a composite membrane consisting of one fluid and one solid membrane can serve as a microscopic model for the plasma membrane and cytoskeleton of the red blood cell. We find that, despite the complex microstructure of bilayers and cytoskeletons in a real cell, the fluctuations with wavelengths λ≳400nm are well described by the fluctuations of a single, polymerized membrane (provided that there are no inhomogeneities of the microstructure). The model is applied to the fluctuation data of discocytes (“normal” red blood cells), a stomatocyte, and an echinocyte. The elastic parameters of the membrane and an effective temperature that quantifies active, metabolically driven fluctuations are extracted from the experiments.

  12. C8-glycosphingolipids preferentially insert into tumor cell membranes and promote chemotherapeutic drug uptake. (United States)

    Cordeiro Pedrosa, Lília R; van Cappellen, Wiggert A; Steurer, Barbara; Ciceri, Dalila; ten Hagen, Timo L M; Eggermont, Alexander M M; Verheij, Marcel; Goñi, Felix María; Koning, Gerben A; Contreras, F-Xabier


    Insufficient drug delivery into tumor cells limits the therapeutic efficacy of chemotherapy. Co-delivery of liposome-encapsulated drug and synthetic short-chain glycosphingolipids (SC-GSLs) significantly improved drug bioavailability by enhancing intracellular drug uptake. Investigating the mechanisms underlying this SC-GSL-mediated drug uptake enhancement is the aim of this study. Fluorescence microscopy was used to visualize the cell membrane lipid transfer intracellular fate of fluorescently labeled C6-NBD-GalCer incorporated in liposomes in tumor and non-tumor cells. Additionally click chemistry was applied to image and quantify native SC-GSLs in tumor and non-tumor cell membranes. SC-GSL-mediated flip-flop was investigated in model membranes to confirm membrane-incorporation of SC-GSL and its effect on membrane remodeling. SC-GSL enriched liposomes containing doxorubicin (Dox) were incubated at 4°C and 37°C and intracellular drug uptake was studied in comparison to standard liposomes and free Dox. SC-GSL transfer to the cell membrane was independent of liposomal uptake and the majority of the transferred lipid remained in the plasma membrane. The transfer of SC-GSL was tumor cell-specific and induced membrane rearrangement as evidenced by a transbilayer flip-flop of pyrene-SM. However, pore formation was measured, as leakage of hydrophilic fluorescent probes was not observed. Moreover, drug uptake appeared to be mediated by SC-GSLs. SC-GSLs enhanced the interaction of doxorubicin (Dox) with the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane of tumor cells at 4°C. Our results demonstrate that SC-GSLs preferentially insert into tumor cell plasma membranes enhancing cell intrinsic capacity to translocate amphiphilic drugs such as Dox across the membrane via a biophysical process.

  13. The surface charge of a cell lipid membrane

    CERN Document Server

    Pekker, M


    In this paper the problem of surface charge of the lipid membrane is considered. It is shown that the membrane surface is negatively charged. Negative ions are in potential wells formed by the dipole heads of membrane phospholipids. The binding energy of the ion with the membrane surface is much greater than its thermal energy. A self-consistent model of the potential in solution is developed, and a stationary charge density on the membrane surface is found. The estimates given in the paper show that the potential difference across the membrane of the unexcited axon (resting potential) can be explained by the difference in surface densities of the bound charges on the inner and outer surfaces of the membrane.

  14. Investigation of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for efficient and optimum performance of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Okafor, A.C.; Mogbo, H.M.C. [Missouri Univ. of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO (United States). Dept. of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


    The core component of a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell is the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) which includes an assembled stack of ion exchange membrane reaction catalysts, and the electrodes that converts hydrogen ions into electricity. This study investigated various MEAs in an effort to improve fuel cell performance and durability. First, a literature review of different commercially available and innovative PEM fuel cell MEAs was conducted. The best performing MEAs were then investigated in terms of fuel cell output voltage, operating temperature, thermal and chemical stability, methanol permeability, proton conductivity, and hydrogen crossover. The selected MEAs based on their high output voltage, ability to withstand chemical/radical attacks, overall fuel cell performance, and other excellent physical properties were identified as phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole (PBI/H{sub 3}PO{sub 4}), disulfonated poly(sulfide sulfone)s (SPSSF), and Nafion 212. Finally, in-house designed and manufactured bipolar plates of different materials and flow field configurations are being used to validate these 3 identified MEAs in a single fuel cell and 3 fuel cell stacks.

  15. Cell degeneration and mitosis in the buccopharyngeal and branchial membranes in the mouse embryo. (United States)

    Poelmann, R E; Dubois, S V; Hermsen, C; Smits-van Prooije, A E; Vermeij-Keers, C


    The frequencies of cell degeneration and mitosis were investigated in the rupturing buccopharyngeal membrane (BPM) and in the persistent first branchial membrane (BM). In the BPM, cell degeneration starts many hours before rupture is visible, but mitotic figures are absent. In the BM this situation is reversed: mitotic figures are regularly observed, but a degenerating cell only occasionally. It is concluded that the ratio between the numbers of degenerating and dividing cells regulates the fate of both the BPM and the BM.

  16. Membrane crystallinity and fuel crossover in direct ethanol fuel cells with Nafion composite membranes containing phosphotungstic acid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Hongjun; Lee, Sunghwan; Kim, Suran; Oh, Chungik; Ryu, Jeongjae; Kim, Jaegyu; Park, Eugene; Hong, Seungbum; No, Kwangsoo


    Interest has been growing in direct ethanol fuel cells (DEFCs) due to their non-toxicity, low cost and potential contribution to energy issues in third world countries. A reduction in fuel cross-over is of key importance to enhance the performance of DEFCs that operate at low temperatures (<100 °C). We report on the effect of the addition of phosphotungstic acid (PWA) in Nafion membrane on the ethanol-crossover for DEFC application. A set of PWANafion composite membranes (PWA 0, 5, 10, 15, 20 wt%) was prepared by solution casting and their microstructures, diffraction patterns and permeability were systematically characterized. The significant reduction in ethanol-crossover was observed with increasing PWA concentration in PWA-Nafion membranes, which was mainly attributed to an improvement in crystallinity of the membrane. PWA provides additional nucleation sites during solidification leading to higher crystallinity, which is supported by the membrane permeability tests. These PWA-Nafion composites were implemented in proto-type DEFC devices as a membrane and the maximum power density achieved was 22% higher than that of commercial Nafion-117 device.

  17. Wrapping of a deformable nanoparticle by the cell membrane: Insights into the flexibility-regulated nanoparticle-membrane interaction (United States)

    Tang, Huayuan; Zhang, Hongwu; Ye, Hongfei; Zheng, Yonggang


    Although many researches have been conducted on the interaction of the cell membrane with the rigid nanoparticle (NP), relatively little is known about the interaction of the membrane with the deformable NP, which is a promising kind of drug delivery carrier. In this paper, we investigate the wrapping of a deformable NP by the membrane, with particular attention paid to the location of the NP. Phase diagrams with respect to the normalized NP-membrane adhesion strength and the bending stiffness ratio between the NP and membrane are presented. The results show that the NP is easier to be fully wrapped but harder to be shallowly wrapped when the NP locates outside than inside the vesicle. For the system with an outside NP, there are three distinct stages separated by two critical bending stiffness ratios as the NP becomes softer. Moreover, the critical normalized adhesion strength required for a deformable NP to be fully wrapped is the same as that for a rigid NP when the bending stiffness ratio is higher than a critical value, which is different from the wrapping behavior by an initially flat membrane. In addition, a larger vesicle size facilitates the full wrapping configuration when the NP is inside, whereas it prohibits it when the NP is outside. These results are consistent with the previous research and can provide guidelines for the design of drug delivery systems based on the flexibility-tunable NPs.

  18. Performance enhancement of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells by dual-layered membrane electrode assembly structures with carbon nanotubes. (United States)

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


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

  19. Phosphatidic acid phosphatase and phospholipdase A activities in plasma membranes from fusing muscle cells. (United States)

    Kent, C; Vagelos, P R


    Plasma membrane from fusing embryonic muscle cells were assayed for phospholipase A activity to determine if this enzyme plays a role in cell fusion. The membranes were assayed under a variety of conditions with phosphatidylcholine as the substrate and no phospholipase A activity was found. The plasma membranes did contain a phosphatidic acid phosphatase which was optimally active in the presence of Triton X-100 and glycerol. The enzyme activity was constant from pH 5.2 to 7.0, and did not require divalent cations. Over 97% of the phosphatidic acid phosphatase activity was in the particulate fraction. The subcellular distribution of the phosphatidic acid phosphatase was the same as the distributions of the plasma membrane markers, (Na+ + k+)-ATPase and the acetylcholine receptor, which indicates that this phosphatase is located exclusively in the plasma membranes. There was no detectable difference in the phosphatidic acid phosphatase activities of plasma membranes from fusing and non-fusing cells.

  20. Hydrostatic pressure decreases membrane fluidity and lipid desaturase expression in chondrocyte progenitor cells. (United States)

    Montagne, Kevin; Uchiyama, Hiroki; Furukawa, Katsuko S; Ushida, Takashi


    Membrane biomechanical properties are critical in modulating nutrient and metabolite exchange as well as signal transduction. Biological membranes are predominantly composed of lipids, cholesterol and proteins, and their fluidity is tightly regulated by cholesterol and lipid desaturases. To determine whether such membrane fluidity regulation occurred in mammalian cells under pressure, we investigated the effects of pressure on membrane lipid order of mouse chondrogenic ATDC5 cells and desaturase gene expression. Hydrostatic pressure linearly increased membrane lipid packing and simultaneously repressed lipid desaturase gene expression. We also showed that cholesterol mimicked and cholesterol depletion reversed those effects, suggesting that desaturase gene expression was controlled by the membrane physical state itself. This study demonstrates a new effect of hydrostatic pressure on mammalian cells and may help to identify the molecular mechanisms involved in hydrostatic pressure sensing in chondrocytes.

  1. Cat amniotic membrane multipotent cells are nontumorigenic and are safe for use in cell transplantation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vidane AS


    Full Text Available Atanasio S Vidane,1 Aline F Souza,1 Rafael V Sampaio,1 Fabiana F Bressan,2 Naira C Pieri,1 Daniele S Martins,2 Flavio V Meirelles,2 Maria A Miglino,1 Carlos E Ambrósio2 1Department of Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 2Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Animal Sciences and Food Engineering, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil Abstract: Amnion-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AMSCs are multipotent cells with an enhanced ability to differentiate into multiple lineages. AMSCs can be acquired through noninvasive methods, and therefore are exempt from the typical ethical issues surrounding stem cell use. The objective of this study was to isolate and characterize AMSCs from a cat amniotic membrane for future application in regenerative medicine. The cat AMSCs were harvested after mechanical and enzymatic digestion of amnion. In culture medium, the cat AMSCs adhered to a plastic culture dish and displayed a fibroblast-like morphology. Immunophenotyping assays were positive for the mesenchymal stem cell-specific markers CD73 and CD90 but not the hematopoietic markers CD34, CD45, and CD79. Under appropriate conditions, the cat AMSCs differentiated into osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic cell lineages. One advantage of cat AMSCs was nonteratogenicity, assessed 4 weeks post injection of undifferentiated AMSCs into immunodeficient mice. These findings suggest that cat amniotic membranes may be an important and useful source of mesenchymal stem cells for clinical applications, especially for cell or tissue replacement in chronic and degenerative diseases. Keywords: amnion, cats, cell differentiation, fetal membranes, mesenchymal cells

  2. [Radiation-induced changes in structural state of membranes of human blood cells]. (United States)

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


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

  3. Computational modeling study on polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications (United States)

    Choe, Yoong-Kee; Tsuchida, Eiji


    Properties of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) for use in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEFCs) were investigated using the first-principles molecular dynamics simulations. One important issue in PEMs is how to improve the proton conductivity of PEMs under low hydration conditions. Results of the simulation show that perfluorinated type membranes such as Nafion exhibit excellent hydrophilic/hydrophobic phase separation while a hydrocarbon membrane has a relatively poor phase separation property. We found that such a poor phase separation behavior of a hydrocarbon membrane arise from hydrophilic functional groups attached to the PEMs.

  4. Red Blood Cell Susceptibility to Pneumolysin: CORRELATION WITH MEMBRANE BIOCHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PROPERTIES. (United States)

    Bokori-Brown, Monika; Petrov, Peter G; Khafaji, Mawya A; Mughal, Muhammad K; Naylor, Claire E; Shore, Angela C; Gooding, Kim M; Casanova, Francesco; Mitchell, Tim J; Titball, Richard W; Winlove, C Peter


    This study investigated the effect of the biochemical and biophysical properties of the plasma membrane as well as membrane morphology on the susceptibility of human red blood cells to the cholesterol-dependent cytolysin pneumolysin, a key virulence factor of Streptococcus pneumoniae, using single cell studies. We show a correlation between the physical properties of the membrane (bending rigidity and surface and dipole electrostatic potentials) and the susceptibility of red blood cells to pneumolysin-induced hemolysis. We demonstrate that biochemical modifications of the membrane induced by oxidative stress, lipid scrambling, and artificial cell aging modulate the cell response to the toxin. We provide evidence that the diversity of response to pneumolysin in diabetic red blood cells correlates with levels of glycated hemoglobin and that the mechanical properties of the red blood cell plasma membrane are altered in diabetes. Finally, we show that diabetic red blood cells are more resistant to pneumolysin and the related toxin perfringolysin O relative to healthy red blood cells. Taken together, these studies indicate that the diversity of cell response to pneumolysin within a population of human red blood cells is influenced by the biophysical and biochemical status of the plasma membrane and the chemical and/or oxidative stress pre-history of the cell.

  5. Cell membrane and cell junctions in differentiation of preimplanted mouse embryos. (United States)

    Izquierdo, L; Fernández, S; López, T


    Cell membrane and cell junctions in differentiation of preimplanted mouse embryos, (membrana celular y uniones celulares en la diferenciación del embrión de ratón antes de la implantación). Arch. Biol. Med. Exper. 10: 130-134, 1976. The development of cell junctions that seal the peripheral blastomeres could be a decisive step in the differentiation of morulae into blastocysts. The appearance of these junctions is studied by electron microscopy of late morulae and initial blastocysts. Zonulae occludentes as well as impermeability to lanthanum emulsion precedes the appearance of the blastocel and hence might be considered as one of its necessary causes.

  6. Electropermeabilization mediates a stable insertion of glycophorin A with Chinese hamster ovary cell membranes. (United States)

    el Ouagari, K; Benoist, H; Sixou, S; Teissie, J


    Electropulsation allowed us to incorporate glycophorin A, an integral membrane protein, into mammalian nucleated cell membranes (Chinese hamster ovary cells). The induction of stable protein association is effective only when the field intensity is higher than its threshold value, creating membrane permeabilization to small molecules. Under controlled conditions, cell viability was only slightly altered by this treatment. Pulse number and duration controlled both the number of modified cells and incorporated molecules. The phenomena was temperature dependent. An average of 5 x 10(4) molecules/cell was bound. About 80% of cells in the pulsed population were observed to incorporate glycophorin. The protein incorporation was shown to be stable 48 h after electroassociation. Electrically bound proteins were shared between the cells after each division. As enhanced binding is detected if glycophorin is added after the pulses, it is the long-lived alteration of the membrane mediated by the pulses which supports the association.

  7. Liposome-based engineering of cells to package hydrophobic compounds in membrane vesicles for tumor penetration. (United States)

    Lee, Junsung; Kim, Jiyoung; Jeong, Moonkyoung; Lee, Hyoungjin; Goh, Unbyeol; Kim, Hyaeyeong; Kim, Byungji; Park, Ji-Ho


    Natural membrane vesicles (MVs) derived from various types of cells play an essential role in transporting biological materials between cells. Here, we show that exogenous compounds are packaged in the MVs by engineering the parental cells via liposomes, and the MVs mediate autonomous intercellular migration of the compounds through multiple cancer cell layers. Hydrophobic compounds delivered selectively to the plasma membrane of cancer cells using synthetic membrane fusogenic liposomes were efficiently incorporated into the membrane of MVs secreted from the cells and then transferred to neighboring cells via the MVs. This liposome-mediated MV engineering strategy allowed hydrophobic photosensitizers to significantly penetrate both spheroids and in vivo tumors, thereby enhancing the therapeutic efficacy. These results suggest that innate biological transport systems can be in situ engineered via synthetic liposomes to guide the penetration of chemotherapeutics across challenging tissue barriers in solid tumors.

  8. Estimation of Membrane Hydration Status for Standby Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems by Impedance Measurement: First Results on Variable Temperature Stack Characterization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bidoggia, Benoit; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    Fuel cells are getting growing interest in both backup systems and electric vehicles. Although these systems are characterized by periods of standby, they must be able to start at any instant in the shortest possible time. However, the membranes of which proton exchange membrane fuel cells are made...... way for estimating the hydration status and the temperature of its membrane before the system is started up. A summarizing table with the complete characterization of the fuel cell stack is included in this article....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ye J


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

  10. Dysferlin and other non-red cell proteins accumulate in the red cell membrane of Diamond-Blackfan Anemia patients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esther N Pesciotta

    Full Text Available Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA is a congenital anemia usually caused by diverse mutations in ribosomal proteins. Although the genetics of DBA are well characterized, the mechanisms that lead to macrocytic anemia remain unclear. We systematically analyzed the proteomes of red blood cell membranes from multiple DBA patients to determine whether abnormalities in protein translation or erythropoiesis contribute to the observed macrocytosis or alterations in the mature red blood cell membrane. In depth proteome analysis of red cell membranes enabled highly reproducible identification and quantitative comparisons of 1100 or more proteins. These comparisons revealed clear differences between red cell membrane proteomes in DBA patients and healthy controls that were consistent across DBA patients with different ribosomal gene mutations. Proteins exhibiting changes in abundance included those known to be increased in DBA such as fetal hemoglobin and a number of proteins not normally found in mature red cell membranes, including proteins involved in the major histocompatibility complex class I pathway. Most striking was the presence of dysferlin in the red blood cell membranes of DBA patients but absent in healthy controls. Immunoblot validation using red cell membranes isolated from additional DBA patients and healthy controls confirmed a distinct membrane protein signature specific to patients with DBA.

  11. Modeling of durability of polyelectrolyte membrane of O2/H2 fuel cell

    CERN Document Server

    Atrazhev, Vadim V


    In this paper, we discuss critical aspects of the mechanisms and features of polymer proton exchange membrane (PEM) degradation in low-temperature H2/O2 fuel cell. In this paper, we focused on chemical mechanism of OH radical generation and their distribution in operational fuel cell. According to the current concept, free radicals are generated from hydrogen and oxygen crossover gases at the surface of Pt particles that precipitated in the membrane. We explicitly calculate Pt precipitation rate and electrochemical potential distribution in the membrane that controls it. Based on radical generation rate and Pt distribution we calculate degradation rate of the membrane taking advantage of simple kinetics equations.

  12. Measurement of the permeability and resealing time constant of the electroporated mammalian cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shirakashi, Ryo [Tokyo Univ., Inst. of Industrial Science, Tokyo (Japan); Sukhorukov, Vladimir L.; Zimmermann, Ulrich [Wuerzburg Univ. Biozentrum, Lehrstuhl fuer Biotechnologie, Wuerzburg (Germany); Tanasawa, Ichiro [Nihon Univ., Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Koriyama (Japan)


    In this study a new method is presented for measuring the transient permeability of mammalian cell membranes to sugar and electrolyte molecules based on the volumetric response of cells subjected to electroporation. The time constant of membrane resealing was determined independently by flow cytometry using a fluorescent dye as the reporter molecule. The volumetric and dye uptake data were analyzed with a model relating the cell volume changes to the solute transport across the reversibly permeabilized cell membrane. The experimental approach developed here might be useful for estimating the amount of electroinjected molecules, which are difficult to measure directly. (Author)

  13. Low-cost polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel membrane electrolyte for PEM fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sahai, Y. [Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH (United States). Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering


    This paper presented a newly developed polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) chemical hydrogel membrane electrolyte (PCHME) for use in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The method of PCHME preparation was described along with its properties. The membrane is much less expensive than the commonly used Nafion membrane. A direct borohydride fuel cell (DBFC) using a polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) chemical hydrogel membrane electrolyte and a nickel-based composite anode was assembled in order to test the performance of the new membrane. The cathode catalysts were carbon-supported platinum and sputtered gold. Oxygen, air, and acidified hydrogen peroxide were used as oxidants in the DBFC. Performance characteristics of the PCHME-based DBFC were obtained at different temperatures and compared with similar DBFCs using Nafion membrane electrolytes under the same operating conditions. The peak power density of the PCHME-based DBFC was somewhat higher than that of the Nafion membrane electrolyte based DBFC at 60 degrees C. The borohydride-oxygen fuel cell with PCHME yielded a maximum peak power density of 242 mW cm{sup -2} at 60 degrees C. It was concluded that the membrane presents an inexpensive alternative to widely used polymer membrane electrolytes.

  14. Cell-based capacitance sensor for analysis of EGFR expression on cell membrane (United States)

    Shin, Dong-Myeong; Shin, Yong-Cheol; Ha, Ji Hye; Lee, Jong-Ho; Han, Dong-Wook; Kim, Jong-Man; Kim, Hyung Kook; Hwang, Yoon-Hwae


    Cancer cells have many kinds of cancer biomarkers. Among them, the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptors can show a possibility for a cancer marker because the over-expression of EGF receptor is related with fibrous, colorectal, cervical and gastric tumorigenesis. We fabricated the capacitance sensor with a gap area of 50 μm × 200 μm by using photolithography and lift-off method. Using the capacitance sensor, we investigated the time dependent capacitance changes of different kinds of fibrous cells, such as HT1080 fibrosarcoma, L-929 fibroblast cell line and nHDF dermal fibroblast primary cell. We found that when we put the EGF, the capacitance decreased due to the immobilization of EGF to EGF receptor on the cell membrane. The quantitative determination of EGF receptor level for various fibrous cells was carried out and the results showed good correlation with conventional method. Based on our results, we suggest that the capacitance sensor can measure the expression level of the EGF receptor on cell membrane and be a good candidate as a cancer diagnosis.

  15. Arsenic (V) induces a fluidization of algal cell and liposome membranes. (United States)

    Tuan, Le Quoc; Huong, Tran Thi Thanh; Hong, Pham Thi Anh; Kawakami, Tomonori; Shimanouchi, Toshinori; Umakoshi, Hiroshi; Kuboi, Ryoichi


    Arsenate is one of the most poisonous elements for living cells. When cells are exposed to arsenate, their life activities are immediately affected by various biochemical reactions, such as the binding of arsenic to membranes and the substitution of arsenic for phosphate or the choline head of phospholipids in the biological membranes. The effects of arsenate on the life activities of algae Chlorella vulgaris were investigated at various concentrations and exposure times. The results demonstrated that the living activities of algal cells (10(10)cells/L) were seriously affected by arsenate at a concentration of more than 7.5mg As/L within 24h. Algal cells and the artificial membranes (liposomes) were exposed to arsenate to evaluate its effects on the membrane fluidization. In the presence of arsenate, the membranes were fluidized due to the binding and substitution of arsenate groups for phosphates or the choline head on the their membrane surface. This fluidization of the biological membranes was considered to enhance the transport of toxicants across the membrane of algal cells.

  16. Evaluation of drug-muscarinic receptor affinities using cell membrane chromatography and radioligand binding assay in guinea pig jejunum membrane

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bing-xiang YUAN; Jin HOU; Lang-chong HE; Guang-de YANG


    Aim: To study if cell membrane chromatography (CMC) could reflect drug-receptor interaction and evaluate the affinity and competitive binding to muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR). Methods: The cell membrane stationary phase(CMSP) was prepared by immobilizing guinea pig jejunum cell membrane on the surface of a silica carrier, and was used for the rapid on-line chromatographic evaluation of ligand binding affinities to mAChR. The affinity to mAChR was also evaluated from radioligand binding assays (RBA) using the same jejunum membrane preparation. Results: The capacity factor (k') profiles in guinea pig jejunum CMSP were: (-)QNB (15.4)>(+)QNB (11.5)>atropine (5.35)>pirenzepine(5.26)>4-DAMP (4.45)>AF-DX 116 (4.18)>pilocarpine (3.93)>acetylcholine(1.31). These results compared with the affinity rank orders obtained from radioligand binding assays indicated that there wasa positive correlation (r2=0.8525, P<0.0001) between both data sets. Conclusion: The CMC method can be used to evaluate drug-receptor affinities for drug candidates.

  17. Imaging lipid domains in cell membranes: the advent of super-resolution fluorescence microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan Myers Owen


    Full Text Available The lipid bilayer of model membranes, liposomes reconstituted from cell lipids, and plasma membrane vesicles and spheres can separate into two distinct liquid phases to yield lipid domains with liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered properties. These observations are the basis of the lipid raft hypothesis that postulates the existence of cholesterol-enriched ordered-phase lipid domains in cell membranes that could regulate protein mobility, localization and interaction. Here we review the evidence that nano-scaled lipid complexes and meso-scaled lipid domains exist in cell membranes and how new fluorescence microscopy techniques that overcome the diffraction limit provide new insights into lipid organization in cell membranes.

  18. Adhesion and receptor clustering stabilizes lateral heterogeneity in cell plasma membranes (United States)

    Veatch, Sarah


    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.

  19. The silica-doped sulfonated poly(fluorenyl ether ketone)s membrane using hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose as dispersant for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Y.F.; Wang, S.J.; Xiao, M.; Bian, S.G.; Meng, Y.Z. [State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Institute of Optoelectronic and Functional Composite Materials, Sun Yat-sen University, Xingangxi Road, Guangzhou 510275 (China)


    The sulfonated poly(fluorenyl ether ketone)s (SPFEK) membranes doped with SiO{sub 2} and dispersed by hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC) were prepared and investigated for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) used at high temperature and low relative humidity (RH). The above membrane was prepared by solution dispersion of SPFEK and SiO{sub 2} using HPMC as dispersant. The physio-chemical properties of the hybrid membrane were studied by means of scanning electron microscope (SEM), ion-exchange capacity (IEC), proton conductivity, and single cell performance tests. The hybrid membranes dispersed by HPMC were well dispersed when compared with common organic/inorganic hybrid membranes. The hybrid membranes showed superior characteristics as a proton exchange membrane (PEM) for PEMFC application, such as high ionic exchange content (IEC) of 1.51 equiv/g, high temperature operation properties, and the satisfactory ability of anti-H{sub 2} crossover. The single cell performances of the hybrid membranes were examined in a 5 cm{sup 2} commercial single cell at both 80 C and 120 C under different relative humidity (RH) conditions. The hybrid membrane dispersed by HPMC gave the best performance of 260 mW/cm{sup 2} under conditions of 0.4 V, 120 C, 50% RH and ambient pressure. The results demonstrated HPMC being an efficient dispersant for the organic/inorganic hybrid membrane used for PEM fuel cell. (author)

  20. The structure and function of cell membranes examined by atomic force microscopy and single-molecule force spectroscopy. (United States)

    Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda


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

  1. Vascular endothelial cell membranes differentiate between stretch and shear stress through transitions in their lipid phases. (United States)

    Yamamoto, Kimiko; Ando, Joji


    Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) respond to the hemodynamic forces stretch and shear stress by altering their morphology, functions, and gene expression. However, how they sense and differentiate between these two forces has remained unknown. Here we report that the plasma membrane itself differentiates between stretch and shear stress by undergoing transitions in its lipid phases. Uniaxial stretching and hypotonic swelling increased the lipid order of human pulmonary artery EC plasma membranes, thereby causing a transition from the liquid-disordered phase to the liquid-ordered phase in some areas, along with a decrease in membrane fluidity. In contrast, shear stress decreased the membrane lipid order and increased membrane fluidity. A similar increase in lipid order occurred when the artificial lipid bilayer membranes of giant unilamellar vesicles were stretched by hypotonic swelling, indicating that this is a physical phenomenon. The cholesterol content of EC plasma membranes significantly increased in response to stretch but clearly decreased in response to shear stress. Blocking these changes in the membrane lipid order by depleting membrane cholesterol with methyl-β-cyclodextrin or by adding cholesterol resulted in a marked inhibition of the EC response specific to stretch and shear stress, i.e., phosphorylation of PDGF receptors and phosphorylation of VEGF receptors, respectively. These findings indicate that EC plasma membranes differently respond to stretch and shear stress by changing their lipid order, fluidity, and cholesterol content in opposite directions and that these changes in membrane physical properties are involved in the mechanotransduction that activates membrane receptors specific to each force.

  2. Biocompatibility Assessment of PLCL-Sericin Copolymer Membranes Using Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kewalin Inthanon


    Full Text Available Stem cells based tissue engineering requires biocompatible materials, which allow the cells to adhere, expand, and differentiate in a large scale. An ideal biomaterial for clinical application should be free from mammalian products which cause immune reactivities and pathogen infections. We invented a novel biodegradable poly(L-lactic-co-ε-caprolactone-sericin (PLCL-SC copolymer membrane which was fabricated by electrospinning. Membranes with concentrations of 2.5 or 5% (w/v SC exhibited qualified texture characteristics with a noncytotoxic release profile. The hydrophilic properties of the membranes were 35–40% higher than those of a standard PLCL and commercial polystyrene (PS. The improved characteristics of the membranes were due to an addition of new functional amide groups, C=O, N–H, and C–N, onto their surfaces. Degradation of the membranes was controllable, depending on the content proportion of SC. Results of thermogram indicated the superior stability and crystallinity of the membranes. These membranes enhanced human Wharton’s jelly mesenchymal stem cells (hWJMSC proliferation by increasing cyclin A and also promoted cell adhesion by upregulating focal adhesion kinase (FAK. On the membranes, hWJMSC differentiated into a neuronal lineage with the occurrence of nestin. These data suggest that PLCL-SC electrospun membrane represents some properties which will be useful for tissue engineering and medical applications.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    Degradation tests of two phosphoric acid (PA) doped PBI membrane based HT-PEM fuel cells were reported in this paper to investigate the effects of start/stop and the presence of methanol in the fuel to the performance degradation of the HT-PEM fuel cell. Continuous tests with pure dry H2...... and methanol containing H2 which was composed of H2, steam and methanol as the fuel were performed on both single cells. After the continuous tests, 12-h-startup/12-h-shutdown dynamic tests were performed on the first single cell with H2 as the fuel and on the second single cell with methanol containing H2...... as the fuel. Along with the degradation tests, electrochemical techniques such as polarization curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) were employed to study the degradation mechanisms of the fuel cells. The results of the tests showed that both single cells experienced an increase...

  4. Bacillus thuringiensis membrane-damaging toxins acting on mammalian cells. (United States)

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


    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.

  5. Simulation of nanostructured electrodes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Rao, Sanjeev M.; Xing, Yangchuan

    Aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) with Pt uniformly deposited on them are being considered in fabricating the catalyst layer of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell electrodes. When coated with a proton conducting polymer (e.g., Nafion) on the Pt/CNTs, each Pt/CNT acts as a nanoelectrode and a collection of such nanoelectrodes constitutes the proposed nanostructured electrodes. Computer modeling was performed for the cathode side, in which both multicomponent and Knudsen diffusion were taken into account. The effect of the nanoelectrode lengths was also studied with catalyst layer thicknesses of 2, 4, 6, and 10 μm. It was observed that shorter lengths produce better electrode performance due to lower diffusion barriers and better catalyst utilization. The effect of spacing between the nanoelectrodes was studied. Simulation results showed the need to have sufficiently large gas pores, i.e., large spacing, for good oxygen transport. However, this is at the cost of obtaining large electrode currents due to reduction of the number of nanoelectrodes per unit geometrical area of the nanostructured electrode. An optimization of the nanostructured electrodes was obtained when the spacing was at about 400 nm that produced the best limiting current density.

  6. Amniotic membrane and amniotic fluid-derived cells: potential tools for regenerative medicine? (United States)

    Parolini, Ornella; Soncini, Maddalena; Evangelista, Marco; Schmidt, Dörthe


    Human amniotic membranes and amniotic fluid have attracted increasing attention in recent years as a possible reserve of stem cells that may be useful for clinical application in regenerative medicine. Many studies have been conducted to date in terms of the differentiation potential of these cells, with several reports demonstrating that cells from both the amniotic fluid and membrane display high plasticity. In addition, cells from the amniotic membrane have also been shown to display immunomodulatory characteristics both in vivo and in vitro, which could make them useful in an allotransplantation setting. Here, we provide an overview comparing the latest findings regarding the stem characteristics of cells from both the amniotic membrane and amniotic fluid, as well as on the potential utility of these cells for future clinical application in regenerative medicine.

  7. Facilitated Anion Transport Induces Hyperpolarization of the Cell Membrane That Triggers Differentiation and Cell Death in Cancer Stem Cells. (United States)

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


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

  8. Construction of a dead-end type micro- to R.O. membrane test cell and performance test with the laboratory- made and commercial membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darunee Bhongsuwan


    Full Text Available A dead-end type membrane stirred cell for an RO filtration test has been designed and constructed. Magnetic stirring system is applied to overcome a pressure-induced concentration polarization occurred over a membrane surface in the test cell. A high pressure N2 tank is used as a pressure source.Feed container is designed for 2.5 l feed solution and a stirred cell volume is 0.5 l . The test cell holds a magnetic stirrer freely moved over the membrane surface. All units are made of stainless steel. A porous SS316L disc is used as a membrane support. The dead-end stirred cell is tested to work properly in an operating pressure ranged 0 - 400 psi. It means that the dead-end cell can be used to test a membrane of different filtration modes, from micro- to Reverse Osmosis filtration. Tests performed at 400 psi for 3 hours are safe but tests at a 500 psi increase leakage possibility. The cell is used to test the performance of both commercial and laboratory-made membranes. It shows that the salt rejection efficiency of the nano- and RO membranes, NTR759HR and LES90, determined by using the new test cell, is closely similar to those reported from the manufacture. Result of the tests for our own laboratory-made membrane shows a similar performance to the nanofiltration membrane LES90.

  9. Translocation mechanism of C60 and C60 derivations across a cell membrane (United States)

    Liang, Lijun; Kang, Zhengzhong; Shen, Jia-Wei


    Carbon-based nanoparticles (NPs) such as fullerenes and nanotubes have been extensively studied for drug delivery in recent years. The permeation process of fullerene and its derivative molecules through membrane is essential to the utilization of fullerene-based drug delivery system, but the mechanism and the dynamics of permeation through cell membrane are still unclear. In this study, coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations were performed to investigate the permeation process of functionalized fullerene molecules (ca. 0.72 nm) through the membrane. Our results show that single functionalized fullerene molecule in such nanoscale could permeate the lipid membrane in micro-second time scale. Pristine C60 molecules prefer to aggregate into several small clusters while C60OH15 molecules could aggregate into one big cluster to permeate through the lipid membrane. After permeation of C60 or its derivatives into membrane, all C60 and C60OH15 molecules disaggregated and monodispersed in the lipid membrane.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Gaowen; JIANG Jiuxin; LIU Jianing


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

  11. Advances in the high performance polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cells. (United States)

    Zhang, Hongwei; Shen, Pei Kang


    This critical review tersely and concisely reviews the recent development of the polymer electrolyte membranes and the relationship between their properties and affecting factors like operation temperature. In the first section, the advantages and shortcomings of the corresponding polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are analyzed. Then, the limitations of Nafion membranes and their alternatives to large-scale commercial applications are discussed. Secondly, the concepts and approaches of the alternative proton exchange membranes for low temperature and high temperature fuel cells are described. The highlights of the current scientific achievements are given for various aspects of approaches. Thirdly, the progress of anion exchange membranes is presented. Finally, the perspectives of future trends on polymer electrolyte membranes for different applications are commented on (400 references).

  12. Detection of anti-liver cell membrane antibody using a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lobo-Yeo, A.; McSorley, C.; McFarlane, B.M.; Mieli-Vergani, G.; Mowat, A.P.; Vergani, D.


    A radioimmunometric technique for the detection of autoantibodies to liver membrane antigens has been developed using Alexander cells, a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line. After incubation of Alexander cells with serum, antimembrane antibodies were detected by addition of /sup 125/I-labeled Protein A. Binding ratios in 15 children with uncontrolled autoimmune chronic active hepatitis and in seven children with primary sclerosing cholangitis were significantly higher than in 18 age-matched normal controls. Nine patients with inactive autoimmune chronic active hepatitis, 13 with alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency and five with fulminant hepatic failure had ratios similar to controls. In nine patients with Wilson's disease, there was a modest but significant increase in binding ratio. In four children with autoimmune chronic active hepatitis, binding ratios fell during effective immunosuppressive therapy. Sera from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis gave normal results, excluding that binding derives from Fc-mediated immune complex capture. A positive correlation was found between Alexander cell binding values and anti-liver-specific protein antibody titers, suggesting that the two assays detect antibodies against shared antigenic determinants. The Alexander cell assay is a simple, rapid and sensitive technique to detect antibody to liver cell membrane antigens.

  13. Tracking single cells in live animals using a photoconvertible near-infrared cell membrane label.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alicia L Carlson

    Full Text Available We describe a novel photoconversion technique to track individual cells in vivo using a commercial lipophilic membrane dye, DiR. We show that DiR exhibits a permanent fluorescence emission shift (photoconversion after light exposure and does not reacquire the original color over time. Ratiometric imaging can be used to distinguish photoconverted from non-converted cells with high sensitivity. Combining the use of this photoconvertible dye with intravital microscopy, we tracked the division of individual hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells within the calvarium bone marrow of live mice. We also studied the peripheral differentiation of individual T cells by tracking the gain or loss of FoxP3-GFP expression, a marker of the immune suppressive function of CD4(+ T cells. With the near-infrared photoconvertible membrane dye, the entire visible spectral range is available for simultaneous use with other fluorescent proteins to monitor gene expression or to trace cell lineage commitment in vivo with high spatial and temporal resolution.

  14. Cell Membrane Capsules for Encapsulation of Chemotherapeutic and Cancer Cell Targeting in Vivo. (United States)

    Peng, Li-Hua; Zhang, Yuan-Hong; Han, Li-Jie; Zhang, Chen-Zhen; Wu, Jia-He; Wang, Xia-Rong; Gao, Jian-Qing; Mao, Zheng-Wei


    Systemic administration of chemotherapeutic agents can cause indiscriminate drug distribution and severe toxicity. Until now, encapsulation and targeting of drugs have typically relied on synthetic vehicles, which cannot minimize the clearance by the renal system and may also increase the risk of chemical side effects. Cell membrane capsules (CMCs) provide a generic and far more natural approach to the challenges of drug encapsulation and delivery in vivo. Here aptamer AS1411, which can recognize and bind overexpressed nucleolin on a cancer cell membrane, was chemically conjugated onto CMCs. As a result, AS1411 modified CMCs showed enhanced ingestion in certain cancer cells in vitro and accumulation in mouse cancer xenografts in vivo. Chemotherapeutics and contrast agents with therapeutically significant concentrations can be packaged into CMCs by reversible permeating their plasma membranes. The systematic administration of cancer targeting CMCs loaded with doxorubicin hydrochloride can significantly inhibit tumor growth in mouse xenografts, with significantly reduced toxicity compared to free drug. These findings suggest that cancer targeting CMCs may have considerable benefits in drug delivery and cancer treatment.

  15. How Does Carbon Dioxide Permeate Cell Membranes?A discussion of concepts, results and methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Volker eEndeward


    Full Text Available We review briefly how the thinking about the permeation of gases, especially CO2, across cell and artificial lipid membranes has evolved during the last hundred years. We then describe how the recent finding of a drastic effect of cholesterol on CO2 permeability of both biological and artificial membranes fundamentally alters the long-standing idea that CO2 – as well as other gases – permeates all membranes with great ease. This requires revision of the widely accepted paradigm that membranes never offer a serious diffusion resistance to CO2 or other gases. Earlier observations of CO2-impermeable membranes can now be explained by the high cholesterol content of some membranes. Thus, cholesterol is a membrane component that nature can use to adapt membrane CO2 permeability to the functional needs of the cell. Since cholesterol serves many other cellular functions, it cannot be reduced indefinitely. We show, however, that cells that possess a high metabolic rate and/or a high rate of O2 and CO2 exchange, do require very high CO2 permeabilities that may not be achievable merely by reduction of membrane cholesterol. The article then discusses the alternative possibility of raising the CO2 permeability of a membrane by incorporating protein CO2 channels. The highly controversial issue of gas and CO2 channels is systematically and critically reviewed. It is concluded that a majority of the results considered to be reliable, is in favour of the concept of existence and functional relevance of protein gas channels. The effect of intracellular carbonic anhydrase, which has recently been proposed as an alternative mechanism to a membrane CO2 channel, is analysed quantitatively and the idea considered untenable. After a brief review of the knowledge on permeation of O2 and NO through membranes, we present a summary of the 18O method used to measure the CO2 permeability of membranes and discuss quantitatively critical questions that may be addressed to

  16. Accumulation of raft lipids in T-cell plasma membrane domains engaged in TCR signalling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zech, Tobias; Ejsing, Christer S.; Gaus, Katharina;


    domains were also enriched in plasmenyl phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylserine. Modulating the T-cell lipidome with polyunsaturated fatty acids impaired the plasma membrane condensation at TCR signalling foci and resulted in a perturbed molecular lipid composition. These results correlate...... and saturated phosphatidylcholine species as compared with control plasma membrane fragments. This provides, for the first time, direct evidence that TCR activation domains comprise a distinct molecular lipid composition reminiscent of liquid-ordered raft phases in model membranes. Interestingly, TCR activation...

  17. Characterization of PEM fuel cell membrane-electrode-assemblies by electrochemical methods and microanalysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borup, R.L.; Vanderborgh, N.E.


    Hydrogen adsorption/desorption and CO oxidation are used to evaluate the active Pt surface area of fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies. The membrane electrode assemblies are evaluated for useful catalyst life and are examined for relative CO and CO{sub 2} tolerance. The electrochemical measurements combined with microanalysis of membrane electrode assemblies, including SEM and EDS allow a greater understanding and optimization of process variables.

  18. The novel role of peroxiredoxin-2 in red cell membrane protein homeostasis and senescence. (United States)

    Matté, Alessandro; Pantaleo, Antonella; Ferru, Emanuela; Turrini, Franco; Bertoldi, Mariarita; Lupo, Francesca; Siciliano, Angela; Ho Zoon, Chae; De Franceschi, Lucia


    Peroxiredoxin-2 (Prx2), a typical two-cysteine peroxiredoxin, is the third most abundant protein in red cells. Although progress has been made in the functional characterization of Prx2, its role in red cell membrane protein homeostasis is still under investigation. Here, we studied Prx2(-/-) mouse red cells. The absence of Prx2 promotes (i) activation of the oxidative-induced Syk pathway; (ii) increased band 3 Tyr phosphorylation, with clustered band 3; and (iii) increased heat shock protein (HSP27 and HSP70) membrane translocation. This was associated with enhanced in vitro erythrophagocytosis of Prx2(-/-) red cells and reduced Prx2(-/-) red cell survival, indicating the possible role of Prx2 membrane recruitment in red cell aging and in the clearance of oxidized hemoglobin and damaged proteins through microparticles. Indeed, we observed an increased release of microparticles from Prx2(-/-) mouse red cells. The mass spectrometric analysis of erythroid microparticles found hemoglobin chains, membrane proteins, and HSPs. To test these findings, we treated Prx2(-/-) mice with antioxidants in vivo. We observed that N-acetylcysteine reduced (i) Syk activation, (ii) band 3 clusterization, (iii) HSP27 membrane association, and (iv) erythroid microparticle release, resulting in increased Prx2(-/-) mouse red cell survival. Thus, we propose that Prx2 may play a cytoprotective role in red cell membrane protein homeostasis and senescence.

  19. Nanosecond pulsed electric field induced cytoskeleton, nuclear membrane and telomere damage adversely impact cell survival. (United States)

    Stacey, M; Fox, P; Buescher, S; Kolb, J


    We investigated the effects of nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF) on three human cell lines and demonstrated cell shrinkage, breakdown of the cytoskeleton, nuclear membrane and chromosomal telomere damage. There was a differential response between cell types coinciding with cell survival. Jurkat cells showed cytoskeleton, nuclear membrane and telomere damage that severely impacted cell survival compared to two adherent cell lines. Interestingly, disruption of the actin cytoskeleton in adherent cells prior to nsPEF exposure significantly reduced cell survival. We conclude that nsPEF applications are able to induce damage to the cytoskeleton and nuclear membrane. Telomere sequences, regions that tether and stabilize DNA to the nuclear membrane, are severely compromised as measured by a pan-telomere probe. Internal pore formation following nsPEF applications has been described as a factor in induced cell death. Here we suggest that nsPEF induced physical changes to the cell in addition to pore formation need to be considered as an alternative method of cell death. We suggest nsPEF electrochemical induced depolymerization of actin filaments may account for cytoskeleton and nuclear membrane anomalies leading to sensitization.

  20. Physico-chemical study of the degradation of membrane-electrode assemblies in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack (United States)

    Ferreira-Aparicio, P.; Gallardo-López, B.; Chaparro, A. M.; Daza, L.

    A proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack integrated by 8-elements has been evaluated in an accelerated stress test. The application of techniques such as TEM analyses of ultramicrotome-sliced sections of some samples and XRD, XPS and TGA of spent electrodes reveal the effects of several degradation processes contributing to reduce the cells performance. The reduction of the Pt surface area at the cathode is favored by the oxidation of carbon black agglomerates in the catalytic layer, the agglomeration of Pt particles and by the partial dissolution of Pt, which migrates towards the anode and precipitates within the membrane. In the light of the TEM, EDAX and XPS results, two combined effects are probably responsible of the increase of the internal resistance of the stack cells: (i) a lower proton conductivity of the membranes due to the high affinity of the sulfonic acid groups for ions originated from Pt crystallites and other peripherical elements such as the silicone elastomeric gaskets and (ii) the increment of electrically isolated islands in the cathode gas diffusion electrodes resulting from carbon corrosion and the degradation of the perfluorinated polymers. Water accumulation and inhomogeneous gas distribution throughout the stack cells originate different degradation rates in them.

  1. Radiation-grafted membranes based on polyethylene for direct methanol fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sherazi, Tauqir A. [Department of Chemistry, Government College University, Lahore 54000 (Pakistan); Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology, National Research Council Canada, 1200 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6 (Canada); Guiver, Michael D.; Kingston, David; Xue, Xinzhong [Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology, National Research Council Canada, 1200 Montreal Road, Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6 (Canada); Ahmad, Shujaat [PIEAS/PINSTECH, P O Nilore, Islamabad 45650 (Pakistan); Kashmiri, M. Akram [Department of Chemistry, Government College University, Lahore 54000 (Pakistan); Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Lahore 54000 (Pakistan)


    Styrene was grafted onto ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene powder (UHMWPE) by gamma irradiation using a {sup 60}Co source. Compression moulded films of selected pre-irradiated styrene-grafted ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE-g-PS) were post-sulfonated to the sulfonic acid derivative (UHMWPE-g-PSSA) for use as proton exchange membranes (PEMs). The sulfonation was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The melting and flow properties of UHMWPE and UHMWPE-g-PS are conducive to forming homogeneous pore-free membranes. Both the ion conductivity and methanol permeability coefficient increased with degree of grafting, but the grafted membranes showed comparable or higher ion conductivity and lower methanol permeability than Nafion {sup registered} 117 membrane. One UHMWPE-g-PS membrane was fabricated into a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) and tested as a single cell direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). Low membrane cost and acceptable fuel cell performance indicate that UHMWPE-g-PSSA membranes could offer an alternative approach to perfluorosulfonic acid-type membranes for DMFC. (author)

  2. Radiation-grafted membranes based on polyethylene for direct methanol fuel cells (United States)

    Sherazi, Tauqir A.; Guiver, Michael D.; Kingston, David; Ahmad, Shujaat; Kashmiri, M. Akram; Xue, Xinzhong

    Styrene was grafted onto ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene powder (UHMWPE) by gamma irradiation using a 60Co source. Compression moulded films of selected pre-irradiated styrene-grafted ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE-g-PS) were post-sulfonated to the sulfonic acid derivative (UHMWPE-g-PSSA) for use as proton exchange membranes (PEMs). The sulfonation was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The melting and flow properties of UHMWPE and UHMWPE-g-PS are conducive to forming homogeneous pore-free membranes. Both the ion conductivity and methanol permeability coefficient increased with degree of grafting, but the grafted membranes showed comparable or higher ion conductivity and lower methanol permeability than Nafion ® 117 membrane. One UHMWPE-g-PS membrane was fabricated into a membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) and tested as a single cell direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). Low membrane cost and acceptable fuel cell performance indicate that UHMWPE-g-PSSA membranes could offer an alternative approach to perfluorosulfonic acid-type membranes for DMFC.

  3. Free energy difference in indolicidin attraction to eukaryotic and prokaryotic model cell membranes. (United States)

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


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

  4. Intrinsic potential of cell membranes: opposite effects of lipid transmembrane asymmetry and asymmetric salt ion distribution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gurtovenko, Andrey A; Vattulainen, Ilpo


    Using atomic-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we consider the intrinsic cell membrane potential that is found to originate from a subtle interplay between lipid transmembrane asymmetry and the asymmetric distribution of monovalent salt ions on the two sides of the cell membrane. It turns out......Cl saline solution and the PE leaflet is exposed to KCl, the outcome is that the effects of asymmetric lipid and salt ion distributions essentially cancel one another almost completely. Overall, our study highlights the complex nature of the intrinsic potential of cell membranes under physiological...

  5. Attachment, proliferation and differentiation of periodontal ligament cells on various guided tissue regeneration membranes. (United States)

    Takata, T; Wang, H L; Miyauchi, M


    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the biological effects of guided tissue regeneration (GTR) membrane materials, per se, on the periodontal tissue regeneration. Rat periodontal ligament (PDL)-derived cells were used to study the attachment, proliferation and differentiation, in vitro, on various GTR membranes. Five commercially available membranes bovine type I collagen (BioMend; BM), bovine type I atelocollagen (Tissue Guide; TG), polylactic acid (Epi-Guide; EG), co-polymer of polylactic acid and polyglycolic acid (Resolute; RL) and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene: e-PTFE (Gore Tex; GT)-were examined. A 3 x 3 mm section of the membrane was fixed to the bottom of a 35 x 10 mm style culture dish and plated with 2 ml of cell suspension at an initial density of 5 x 10(4) cells/ml in culture medium with 10% fetal bovine serum. For cell growth analysis, the specimens were fixed with 10% buffered formalin and stained with hematoxylin at 1.5 hours and 1, 3 and 5 days after cell seeding. The number of cells included in a unit area of 0.25 mm2 were counted under light microscopy. As a comparative scaffold of cell proliferation, a plastic cover for cell culture slip (Celldesk; CD) was used. For analysis of cell differentiation, activity of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and calcification were histochemically revealed after 2-week cultivation. The initial number of PDL cells attached to the membrane at 1.5 hours after cell seeding was different among membranes. RL, TG and EG had the same level of attached cell numbers as that on CD, while the cell numbers on GT and BM were significantly lower than that on CD (p membranes examined. RL and BM demonstrated a significantly higher number of cells at 5 days than at 1.5 hours (p 0.1). EG had a similar number of cell attachments to that at 1.5 hours throughout the experimental period. There was almost no cell proliferation on GT. Cell clusters of ALP positive cells and foci of calcification were seen on all membranes except for

  6. Patterned ion exchange membranes for improved power production in microbial reverse-electrodialysis cells

    KAUST Repository

    Liu, Jia


    Power production in microbial reverse-electrodialysis cells (MRCs) can be limited by the internal resistance of the reverse electrodialysis stack. Typical MRC stacks use non-conductive spacers that block ion transport by the so-called spacer shadow effect. These spacers can be relatively thick compared to the membrane, and thus they increase internal stack resistance due to high solution (ohmic) resistance associated with a thick spacer. New types of patterned anion and cation exchange membranes were developed by casting membranes to create hemispherical protrusions on the membranes, enabling fluid flow between the membranes without the need for a non-conductive spacer. The use of the patterned membrane decreased the MRC stack resistance by ∼22 Ω, resulting in a 38% increase in power density from 2.50 ± 0.04 W m-2 (non-patterned membrane with a non-conductive spacer) to 3.44 ± 0.02 W m-2 (patterned membrane). The COD removal rate, coulombic efficiency, and energy efficiency of the MRC also increased using the patterned membranes compared to the non-patterned membranes. These results demonstrate that these patterned ion exchange membranes can be used to improve performance of an MRC. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Diagnostic tool for red blood cell membrane disorders: Assessment of a new generation ektacytometer. (United States)

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


    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.

  8. Chromium(VI)—induces Production of Reactive Oxygen Species,Change of Plasma Membrane Potential and Dissipation of Mitochondria Membrane otential in Chinese Hamster Lung Cell Cultures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Objective:To examine whether Reactive Oxygen Species(ROS) is generated,and whether plasma membrane potential and mitochnodrial membrane potential are depolarized in Chinese Hamster Lung(CHL)cell lines exposed to Cr(VI),Methods:CHL Cells were incubated with Cr(VI) at 10 umol/L,2.5umol/L,0.65umol/L for 3 and 6 hours,respectively.The rpoduction of ROS was performed by using 2,7-dichlorofluorescin discetate;The changes in plasma membrane potential were performed by using 2,7-dichlorofluorescin discetate;The changes in plasma membrane potential were performed by using 2,7-dichlorofluorescin diacetate;The changes in plasma membrane potential were estimated using fluorescent cationic dye DiBAC4;And the changes in mitochondria membrane potential were estimated using fluorescent dye Rhodamine 123,Results:The ROS levels in CHL cells increased in all treated groups compared with the control group(P<0.01);The plasma membrane potential and mitochondrial membrane potential in CHL cells dissipated after incubated with Cr(VI) at 10umol/L for 3 hours and 6 hours(P<0.01),at 2.5umol/L for 6 hours(P<0.01 or 0.05),Conclusion:Cr(VI) causes the dissipation of plasma membrane potential and mitochnodrial membrane otential in CHL cell cultrues,and Cr(VI)-induced ROS may play a role in the injuries.

  9. 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


    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.

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

  11. Molecular dynamics study of lipid bilayers modeling the plasma membranes of normal murine thymocytes and leukemic GRSL cells. (United States)

    Andoh, Yoshimichi; Okazaki, Susumu; Ueoka, Ryuichi


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

  12. Modeling of hydrodynamics in hollow fiber membrane bioreactor for mammalian cells cultivation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. V. Menshutina


    Full Text Available The mathematical modelling in CFD-packages are powerfull instrument for design and calculation of any engineering tasks. CFD-package contains the set of programs that allow to model the different objects behavior based on the mathematical lows. ANSYS Fluent are widely used for modelling of biotechnological and chemical-technological processes. This package is convenient to describe their hydrodynamics. As cell cultivation is one of the actual scientific direction in modern biotechnology ANSYS Fluent was used to create the model of hollow fiber membrane bioreactor. The fibers are hollow cylindrical membrane to be used for cell cultivation. The criterion of process effectiveness for cell growth is full filling of the membrane surface by cells in the bioreactor. While the cell growth the fiber permeability is decreased which effects to feed flow through membrane pores. The specific feature of this process is to ensure such feed flow to deliver the optimal nutrition for the cells on the external membrane surface. The velocity distribution inside the fiber and in all bioreactor as a whole has been calculated based on mass an impulse conservation equations taking into account the mathematical model assumptions. The hydrodynamics analysis in hollow fiber membrane bioreactor is described by the three-dimensional model created in ANSYS Fluent. The specific features of one membrane model are considered and for whole bioreactor too.

  13. Comparison of Characteristics of Human Amniotic Membrane and Human Adipose Tissue Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells (United States)

    Dizaji Asl, Khadijeh; Shafaei, Hajar; Soleimani Rad, Jafar; Nozad, Hojjat Ollah


    BACKGROUND Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are ideal candidates for treatment of diseases. Amniotic membranes are an inexpensive source of MSCs (AM-MSC) without any donor site morbidity in cell therapy. Adipose tissue derived stem cells (ASCs) are also suitable cells for cell therapy. There is discrepancy in CD271 expression among MSCs from different sources. In this study, the characteristics of AM-MSC and ASCs and CD271 expression were compared. METHODS Adult adipose tissue samples were obtained from patients undergoing elective surgical procedure, and samples of amniotic membrane were collected immediately after caesarean operation. After isolation and expansion of MSCs, the proliferation rate and viability of cells were evaluated through calculating DT and MTT assay. Expression of routine mesenchymal specific surface antigens of MSCs and CD271 was evaluated by flow cytometry for both types of cells. RESULTS The growth rate and viability of the MSCs from the amniotic membrane was significantly higher compared with the ASCs. The low expression of CD14 and CD45 indicated that AM-MSC and ASCs are non hematopoietic cells, and both cell types expressed high percentages of CD44, CD105. The results revealed that AM-MSC and ASCs expressed no CD271 on their surfaces. CONCLUSION This study showed that amniotic membrane is a suitable cell source for cell therapy, and CD271 is a negative marker for MSCs identification from amniotic membrane and adipose tissue.

  14. Ion transport resistance in Microbial Electrolysis Cells with anion and cation exchange membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sleutels, T.H.J.A.; Hamelers, H.V.M.; Rozendal, R.A.; Buisman, C.J.N.


    Previous studies have shown that Microbial Electrolysis Cells (MECs) perform better when an anion exchange membrane (AEM) than when a cation exchange membrane (CEM) separates the electrode chambers. Here, we have further studied this phenomenon by comparing two analysis methods for bio-electrochemic

  15. Covalently Cross-Linked Sulfone Polybenzimidazole Membranes with Poly(Vinylbenzyl Chloride) for Fuel Cell Applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    Covalently cross-linked polymer membranes were fabricated from poly(aryl sulfone benzimidazole) (SO(2) PBI) and poly(vinylbenzyl chloride) (PVBCl) as electrolytes for high-temperature proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. The cross-linking imparted organo insolubility and chemical stability against...

  16. Water Uptake and Acid Doping of Polybenzimidazoles as Electrolyte Membranes for Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Qingfeng, Li; He, R.; Berg, Rolf W.


    Acid-doped polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes have been demonstrated for fuel cell applications with advanced features such as high operating temperatures, little humidification, excellent CO tolerance, and promising durability. The water uptake and acid doping of PBI membranes have been studied...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Hase, M


    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...

  18. Enhanced assembly of basement membrane matrix by endodermal cells in response to fibronectin substrata

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Austria, M R; Couchman, J R


    Basement membranes are complex extracellular matrices contributing to the regulation of growth, migration and differentiation of many cell types. However, little is known about the mechanisms regulating the deposition and assembly of basement membrane from its constituents. We have investigated t...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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


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

  20. Fresh and cultured human lens epithelial cells: an electrophysiological study of cell coupling and membrane properties. (United States)

    Jacob, T J


    Microelectrode studies of fresh human and rabbit lens epithelia revealed stable membrane potentials [VR (human) = -36 mV; VR (rabbit) = -45 mV] and low input resistances [Ri (human) = 10 M omega; Ri (rabbit) = 20 M omega]. Coupling studies, using two voltage microelectrodes, demonstrated that the low input resistance of the fresh epithelial tissue was due to electrotonic coupling, which was found to be extremely labile and sensitive to perfusion of the apical (fibrefacing) surface of the epithelium. The intercellular coupling could be stabilized by raising the calcium concentration of the perfusate. Studies performed on confluent monolayers of cultured human lens epithelial (HLE) cells demonstrated a membrane potential (VR = -33 mV) and input resistance (Ri = 29 M omega) similar to their fresh counterparts. The intercellular coupling of these cells was found to be much more robust. Ultrastructural studies revealed that the apical junction of cultured HLE cells was less complex than that found in fresh tissue, the latter exhibiting multiple interdigitations and folds. The cultured monolayer was dissociated into single cells by a variety of methods and the membrane properties of individual cells were studied. Single cells were found to have a lower membrane potential (-20 to -25 mV) and an input resistance in the range 110-170 M omega, depending on the method of dissociation. Channel blocking and ion replacement studies revealed significant conductance pathways for potassium, sodium and chloride and a cell-attached patch clamp investigation revealed three distinct channel types. Of the two channels with inward currents at the resting potential, one, with a conductance of 25 pS, is identified as a non-selective cation channel, and the other, with a conductance of 14 pS and reversal potential of - 14 mV, is a possible candidate for a chloride channel but has yet to be characterized. A third channel with an outward current at the resting potential is identified as a

  1. Analyzing the effects of surface distribution of pores in cell electroporation for a cell membrane containing cholesterol

    CERN Document Server

    Shil, Pratip; Vidyasagar, Pandit B


    This paper presents a model and numerical analysis of transmembrane potential induced in biological cell membrane under the influence of externally applied electric field (i.e., electroporation). This model differs from the established models in two distinct ways. Firstly, it incorporates the presence of cholesterol (~20% mole-fraction) in the membrane. Secondly, it considers the dependence of pore distribution on the variation of transmembrane potential from one region of the cell to the other. Formulation is based on the role of membrane tension and electrical forces in the formation of pores in a cell membrane, which is considered as an infinitesimally thin insulator. The model has been used to explore the creation and evolution of pores and to determine the number and size of pores as function of applied electric field (magnitude & duration). Results show that the presence of cholesterol enhances poration by changing the membrane tension. Analysis indicate that the number of pores, average pore radii ...

  2. Repair of Nerve Cell Membrane Damage by Calcium-Dependent, Membrane-Binding Proteins (Revised) (United States)


    Alzheimer disease amyloid beta protein forms calcium channels in bilayer membranes: blockade by tromethamine and aluminum , Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A...Calcium signaling and amyloid toxicity in Alzheimer disease, J Biol Chem 285 (2010) 12463-12468. [14] H.A. Lashuel, P.T. Lansbury, Are amyloid

  3. Develpment of Higher Temperature Membrane and Electrode Assembly (MEA) for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Devices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Susan Agro, Anthony DeCarmine, Shari Williams


    Our work will fucus on developing higher temperature MEAs based on SPEKK polymer blends. Thse MEAs will be designed to operatre at 120 degrees C Higher temperatures, up to 200 degrees C will also be explored. This project will develop Nafion-free MEAs using only SPEKK blends in both membrane and catalytic layers.

  4. Stretch-activated nonselective cation, Cl- and K+ channels in apical membrane of epithelial cells of Reissner's membrane. (United States)

    Yeh, T H; Tsai, M C; Lee, S Y; Hsu, M M; Tran Ba Huy, P


    Ion channels on the apical membrane of epithelial cells (the surface facing the endolymph) of acutely isolated Reissner's membrane from guinea-pig cochlea were investigated by using patch-clamp technique in cell-attached and inside-out configurations. Three types of ion channel were identified: namely, a stretch-activated nonselective cation, a chloride and a potassium channel. When the pipette was filled with high-K+ endolymph-like solution, the most significant channel activity was nonselective cation channels (85/110, 77% patches). The current versus voltage relationship was linear with a unitary conductance of 22.1 +/- 0.4 pS and reversal potential (Vr) of 2.3 +/- 0.8 mV (n = 18). The channel exhibited a lower conductance (14.0 +/- 0.6 pS, n = 8) to Ca2+. The open probability was low (NPo approximately 0.1) in cell-attached configuration under +60 mV pipette potential and increased when the membrane was stretched with negative pressure. The channel was blocked by 10 microM extracellular Gd3+. The two other types of channels were a small voltage-sensitive Cl- channel (6.0 +/- 0.3 pS; 91/99, 92% patches) and a K+ channel (approximately 30 pS; 29/191, 15% patches). These channels might play roles in the regulation of cell volume, in balancing the hydrostatic pressure across Reissner's membrane and in maintaining the electrochemical composition of endolymph.

  5. Cell proliferation in human epiretinal membranes: characterization of cell types and correlation with disease condition and duration


    Lesnik Oberstein, S.Y.; Byun, J; Herrera, D; Chapin, E.A.; Fisher, S K; Lewis, G.P.


    Purpose To quantify the extent of cellular proliferation and immunohistochemically characterize the proliferating cell types in epiretinal membranes (ERMs) from four different conditions: proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), proliferative diabetic retinopathy, post–retinal detachment, and idiopathic ERM. Methods Forty-six ERMs were removed from patients undergoing vitrectomy and immediately fixed in paraformaldehyde. The membranes were processed whole and immunolabeled with either anti-MIB-...

  6. An AFM-based pit-measuring method for indirect measurements of cell-surface membrane vesicles. (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaojun; Chen, Yuan; Chen, Yong


    Circulating membrane vesicles, which are shed from many cell types, have multiple functions and have been correlated with many diseases. Although circulating membrane vesicles have been extensively characterized, the status of cell-surface membrane vesicles prior to their release is less understood due to the lack of effective measurement methods. Recently, as a powerful, micro- or nano-scale imaging tool, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been applied in measuring circulating membrane vesicles. However, it seems very difficult for AFM to directly image/identify and measure cell-bound membrane vesicles due to the similarity of surface morphology between membrane vesicles and cell surfaces. Therefore, until now no AFM studies on cell-surface membrane vesicles have been reported. In this study, we found that air drying can induce the transformation of most cell-surface membrane vesicles into pits that are more readily detectable by AFM. Based on this, we developed an AFM-based pit-measuring method and, for the first time, used AFM to indirectly measure cell-surface membrane vesicles on cultured endothelial cells. Using this approach, we observed and quantitatively measured at least two populations of cell-surface membrane vesicles, a nanoscale population (AFM-based pit-measuring method is potentially useful for studying cell-surface membrane vesicles and for investigating the mechanisms of membrane vesicle formation/release.

  7. Meninges: from protective membrane to stem cell niche


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


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

  8. Membrane Properties Involved in Calcium-Stimulated Microparticle Release from the Plasma Membranes of S49 Lymphoma Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauryl E. Campbell


    Full Text Available This study answered the question of whether biophysical mechanisms for microparticle shedding discovered in platelets and erythrocytes also apply to nucleated cells: cytoskeletal disruption, potassium efflux, transbilayer phospholipid migration, and membrane disordering. The calcium ionophore, ionomycin, disrupted the actin cytoskeleton of S49 lymphoma cells and produced rapid release of microparticles. This release was significantly inhibited by interventions that impaired calcium-activated potassium current. Microparticle release was also greatly reduced in a lymphocyte cell line deficient in the expression of scramblase, the enzyme responsible for calcium-stimulated dismantling of the normal phospholipid transbilayer asymmetry. Rescue of the scrambling function at high ionophore concentration also resulted in enhanced particle shedding. The effect of membrane physical properties was addressed by varying the experimental temperature (32–42°C. A significant positive trend in the rate of microparticle release as a function of temperature was observed. Fluorescence experiments with trimethylammonium diphenylhexatriene and Patman revealed significant decrease in the level of apparent membrane order along that temperature range. These results demonstrated that biophysical mechanisms involved in microparticle release from platelets and erythrocytes apply also to lymphocytes.

  9. Microbial responses to membrane cleaning using sodium hypochlorite in membrane bioreactors: Cell integrity, key enzymes and intracellular reactive oxygen species. (United States)

    Han, Xiaomeng; Wang, Zhiwei; Wang, Xueye; Zheng, Xiang; Ma, Jinxing; Wu, Zhichao


    Sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) is a commonly used reagent for membrane cleaning in membrane bioreactors (MBRs), while it, being a kind of disinfectant (oxidant), may impair viability of microbes or even totally inactivate them upon its diffusion into mixed liquor during membrane cleaning. In this study, we systematically examine the effects of NaClO on microorganisms in terms of microbial cell integrity, metabolism behaviours (key enzymes), and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) under various NaClO concentrations. Different proportions of microbial cells in activated sludge were damaged within several minutes dependent on NaClO dosages (5-50 mg/g-SS), and correspondingly organic matters were released to bulk solution. Inhibition of key enzymes involved in organic matter biodegradation, nitrification and denitrification was observed in the presence of NaClO above 1 mg/g-SS, and thus organic matter and nitrogen removal efficiencies were decreased. It was also demonstrated that intracellular ROS production was increased with the NaClO dosage higher than 1 mg/g-SS, which likely induced further damage to microbial cells.

  10. 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


    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.

  11. On the dielectric relaxation of biological cell suspensions: the effect of the membrane electrical conductivity. (United States)

    Di Biasio, A; Cametti, C


    Due to the mismatch of the electrical parameters (the permittivity ϵ' and the electrical conductivity σ) of the membrane of a biological cell with the ones of the cytosol and the extracellular medium, biological cell suspensions are the site, under the influence of an external electric field, of large dielectric relaxations in the radiowave frequency range. However, a point still remains controversial, i.e., whether or not the value of membrane conductivity σ(s) might be extracted from the de-convolution of the dielectric spectra or otherwise if it would be more reasonable to assign to the membrane conductivity a value equal to zero. This point is not to be considered with superficiality since it concerns an a priori choice which ultimately influences the values of the electrical parameters deduced from this technique. As far as this point is concerned, the opinion of the researchers in this field diverges. We believe that, at least within certain limits, the membrane conductivity can be deduced from the shape of the relaxation spectra. We substantiate this thesis with two different examples concerning the first a suspension of human normal erythrocyte cells and the second a suspension of human lymphocyte cells. In both cases, by means of an accurate fitting procedure based on the Levenberg-Marquardt method for complex functions, we can evaluate the membrane conductivity σ(s) with its associated uncertainty. The knowledge of the membrane electrical conductivity will favor the investigation of different ion transport mechanisms across the cell membrane.

  12. Human amniotic membrane-derived stromal cells (hAMSC) interact depending on breast cancer cell type through secreted molecules. (United States)

    Kim, Sun-Hee; Bang, So Hee; Kang, So Yeong; Park, Ki Dae; Eom, Jun Ho; Oh, Il Ung; Yoo, Si Hyung; Kim, Chan-Wha; Baek, Sun Young


    Human amniotic membrane-derived stromal cells (hAMSC) are candidates for cell-based therapies. We examined the characteristics of hAMSC including the interaction between hAMSC and breast cancer cells, MCF-7, and MDA-MB-231. Human amniotic membrane-derived stromal cells showed typical MSC properties, including fibroblast-like morphology, surface antigen expression, and mesodermal differentiation. To investigate cell-cell interaction via secreted molecules, we cultured breast cancer cells in hAMSC-conditioned medium (hAMSC-CM) and analyzed their proliferation, migration, and secretome profiles. MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells exposed to hAMSC-CM showed increased proliferation and migration. However, in hAMSC-CM, MCF-7 cells proliferated significantly faster than MDA-MB-231 cells. When cultured in hAMSC-CM, MCF-7 cells migrated faster than MDA-MB-231 cells. Two cell types showed different profiles of secreted factors. MCF-7 cells expressed much amounts of IL-8, GRO, and MCP-1 in hAMSC-CM. Human amniotic membrane-derived stromal cells interact with breast cancer cells through secreted molecules. Factors secreted by hAMSCs promote the proliferation and migration of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. For much safe cell-based therapies using hAMSC, it is necessary to study carefully about interaction between hAMSC and cancer cells.

  13. Establishment of the model of vascular endothelial cell membrane chromatography and its preliminary application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI YiPing; HE LangChong


    A model of vascular endothelial cell membrane chromatography was established by using an ECV304 cell membrane stationary phase (ECV304 CMSP) prepared by immobilizing the ECV304 cell membrane onto the surface of silica carrier. The surface and chromatographic characteristics of ECV304 CMSP were studied. The active component from Caulophyllum robustum was screened by using the model of vascular endothelial cell membrane chromatography. The interaction between the active component and membrane receptor was determined by using a replace experiments. The effect of the active component was tested by using tube formation of ECV304 cell. The results indicated that the model of ECV304 cell membrane chromatograph (ECV304 CMC) can stimulate the interaction between drug and receptor in vitro and the retention characteristics of taspine as active component was similar to that of model molecule in the model of ECV304 CMC. And therefore, taspine acted on VEGFR2 and inhibited the tube formation of ECV304 cell induced by VEGF. This model can be used to screen definite active component as a screening model.

  14. High Performance Fuel Cell and Electrolyzer Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) for Space Energy Storage Systems (United States)

    Valdez, Thomas I.; Billings, Keith J.; Kisor, Adam; Bennett, William R.; Jakupca, Ian J.; Burke, Kenneth; Hoberecht, Mark A.


    Regenerative fuel cells provide a pathway to energy storage system development that are game changers for NASA missions. The fuel cell/ electrolysis MEA performance requirements 0.92 V/ 1.44 V at 200 mA/cm2 can be met. Fuel Cell MEAs have been incorporated into advanced NFT stacks. Electrolyzer stack development in progress. Fuel Cell MEA performance is a strong function of membrane selection, membrane selection will be driven by durability requirements. Electrolyzer MEA performance is catalysts driven, catalyst selection will be driven by durability requirements. Round Trip Efficiency, based on a cell performance, is approximately 65%.

  15. Development of cesium phosphotungstate salt and chitosan composite membrane for direct methanol fuel cells. (United States)

    Xiao, Yanxin; Xiang, Yan; Xiu, Ruijie; Lu, Shanfu


    A novel composite membrane has been developed by doping cesium phosphotungstate salt (CsxH3-xPW12O40 (0≤x≤3), Csx-PTA) into chitosan (CTS/Csx-PTA) for application in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). Uniform distribution of Csx-PTA nanoparticles has been achieved in the chitosan matrix. The proton conductivity of the composite membrane is significantly affected by the Csx-PTA content in the composite membrane as well as the Cs substitution in PTA. The highest proton conductivity for the CTS/Csx-PTA membranes was obtained with x=2 and Cs2-PTA content of 5 wt%. The value is 6×10(-3) S cm(-1) and 1.75×10(-2) S cm(-1) at 298 K and 353 K, respectively. The methanol permeability of CTS/Cs2-PTA membrane is about 5.6×10(-7), 90% lower than that of Nafion-212 membrane. The highest selectivity factor (φ) was obtained on CTS/Cs2-PTA-5 wt% composite membrane, 1.1×10(4)/Scm(-3)s. The present study indicates the promising potential of CTS/Csx-PTA composite membrane as alternative proton exchange membranes in direct methanol fuel cells.

  16. Plasma membrane ubiquinone controls ceramide production and prevents cell death induced by serum withdrawal. (United States)

    Barroso, M P; Gómez-Díaz, C; Villalba, J M; Burón, M I; López-Lluch, G; Navas, P


    Serum provides cultured cells with survival factors required to maintain growth. Its withdrawal induces the development of programmed cell death. HL-60 cells were sensitive to serum removal, and an increase of lipid peroxidation and apoptosis was observed. Long-term treatment with ethidium bromide induced the mitochondria-deficient rho(o)HL-60 cell line. These cells were surprisingly more resistant to serum removal, displaying fewer apoptotic cells and lower lipid peroxidation. HL-60 cells contained less ubiquinone at the plasma membrane than rho(o)HL-60 cells. Both cell types increased plasma membrane ubiquinone in response to serum removal, although this increase was much higher in rho(o) cells. Addition of ubiquinone to both cell cultures in the absence of serum improved cell survival with decreasing lipid peroxidation and apoptosis. Ceramide was accumulated after serum removal in HL-60 but not in rho(o)HL-60 cells, and exogenous ubiquinone reduced this accumulation. These results demonstrate a relationship between ubiquinone levels in the plasma membrane and the induction of serum withdrawal-induced apoptosis, and ceramide accumulation. Thus, ubiquinone, which is a central component of the plasma membrane electron transport system, can represent a first level of protection against oxidative damage caused by serum withdrawal.

  17. 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)


    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.

  18. Isolation of a Kell-reactive protein from red cell membranes. (United States)

    Wallas, C; Simon, R; Sharpe, M A; Byler, C


    A red cell membrane protein which exhibits Kell blood group antigen activity has been identified with a purified anti-Kell bound to a Protein-A agarose column and eluting with lithium diiodosalicylate (LIS). Although anti-Kell as well as the Kell-reactive membrane protein were eluted from the column, the eluate was capable of reducing the titer of added anti-Kell from 64 to 4. In addition, the eluate was shown to possess Kell reactivity by binding I125 Protein A after incubation with anti-Kell. Electrophoresis (SDS gel polyacrylamide 5-20% gradient) showed a band at approximately 90,000 daltons when solubilized membranes from Kell-positive red cells were used but not when membranes from dithiothreitol- and papain-treated Kell-positive red cells or Kell-negative red cells were used. A band isolated with unreduced conditions was capable of neutralizing anti-Kell.

  19. Binding of concanavalin A by the cell membrane of a unicellular organism, Paramecium aurelia. (United States)

    Wyroba, E


    As demonstrated by electron microscopy, Concanavalin A receptors exist on the cell membrane of Paramecium aurelia. The interpretation of the cytochemical detection of Con A binding is not very precise because of a slight, unspecific peroxidase adsorption.

  20. Evaluation of Proliferation and Development of Mesenchymal Stem Cell on Nanoporous PLLA Membrane Scaffold

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MH Porghara


    Conclusion: Due to the biodegradable and non-toxic properties of nano PLLA membrane, it could increase the adhesion and proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells and these effects will exacerbated over time.

  1. Invited: A Stability Study of Alkali Doped PBI Membranes for Alkaline Electrolyzer Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jens Oluf; Aili, David; Hansen, Martin Kalmar;


    Alkaline fuel cells and electrolyzers are attracting increasing interest. This is to a large extent due to the broad selection of catalyst materials not based on resource limited and expensive noble metals. The first fuel cells in practical use were Francis Thomas Bacon’s based on an alkaline...... or a porous diaphragm is used instead in direct contact with both electrodes (zero gap). In proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers proton conducting membranes like in PEM fuel cells have been very successful, but for the equivalent anion exchange membranes a similar conductivity has not yet been...... demonstrated; in contrast it is typically about an order of magnitude lower, which is insufficient [1]. The aromatic fluorine free polymer polybenzimidazole (PBI) has been very successful as a high temperature fuel cell membrane when doped with phosphoric acid [2] and it has been shown by Xing and Savadogo [3...

  2. Diffusion-driven proton exchange membrane fuel cell for converting fermenting biomass to electricity. (United States)

    Malati, P; Mehrotra, P; Minoofar, P; Mackie, D M; Sumner, J J; Ganguli, R


    A membrane-integrated proton exchange membrane fuel cell that enables in situ fermentation of sugar to ethanol, diffusion-driven separation of ethanol, and its catalytic oxidation in a single continuous process is reported. The fuel cell consists of a fermentation chamber coupled to a direct ethanol fuel cell. The anode and fermentation chambers are separated by a reverse osmosis (RO) membrane. Ethanol generated from fermented biomass in the fermentation chamber diffuses through the RO membrane into a glucose solution contained in the DEFC anode chamber. The glucose solution is osmotically neutral to the biomass solution in the fermentation chamber preventing the anode chamber from drying out. The fuel cell sustains >1.3 mW cm(-2) at 47°C with high discharge capacity. No separate purification or dilution is necessary, resulting in an efficient and portable system for direct conversion of fermenting biomass to electricity.


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-jun Huang; Xiao-dan Huang; Ai-fu Che; Zhi-kang Xu; Ke Yao


    In this work, the membrane surface of poly(acrylonitrile-co-2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (PANCHEMA) waschemically modified by anchoring of phospholipid moieties. The process involved the reaction of hydroxyl groups on the membrane surface with 2-chloro-2-oxo-1,3,2-dioxaphospholane (COP) followed by the ring-opening reaction of COP with trimethylamine. Chemical differences between the original and the modified membranes were characterized by FT-IR and XPS. It was found that the amount of macrophage adhered on the modified membrane surface is substantially lower than that on polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and PANCHEMA membranes under the same condition. The morphological change of the adherent cell is also suppressed by the generation ofphospholipid moieties on the membrane surface.

  4. Preparation of Sulfonated PVA-TMSP Membranes for Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Novel preparation and characterization of sulfonated polyvinyl alcohol (PVA–trimethoxysilyl propanethiol (TMSP membranes for direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC application have been investigated. Preparation of sulfonated PVA-TMSP membrane was conducted by crosslinking steps using sol-gel method and a catalyst of concentrated HCl. TMSP concentrations were varied from 1% to 3%. The gel solution was cast on to the membrane metal plate to obtain membrane sheets. The membrane was then oxidized in H2O2 concentrations of (10-30% to convert the mercapto groups into sulfonate group. Investigations of the cross-linking process and the existence of sulfonate group were conducted by infrared spectroscopy as shown for frequencies at 1140–1200/cm and 1200–1145/cm respectively. The scanning electron microscope–energy dispersive X-rays (SEM–EDX of the membranes indicated that the distribution of silica particles from sol–gel reaction products was uneven due to the fast exchange rate of condensation. The degree of swelling decreased as methanol concentrations increase for sulfonated PVA–TMSP membrane which opposed toward the value of commercial Nafion membrane. The maximum value of ion exchange capacity of the membrane was 1.82 mmol/g whereas the highest proton conductivity was 3.9 x 10-4 S/cm. Therefore it can be concluded that the membrane was a potential candidate for application in DMFC.

  5. The reasons for the high power density of fuel cells fabricated with directly deposited membranes (United States)

    Vierrath, Severin; Breitwieser, Matthias; Klingele, Matthias; Britton, Benjamin; Holdcroft, Steven; Zengerle, Roland; Thiele, Simon


    In a previous study, we reported that polymer electrolyte fuel cells prepared by direct membrane deposition (DMD) produced power densities in excess of 4 W/cm2. In this study, the underlying origins that give rise to these high power densities are investigated and reported. The membranes of high power, DMD-fabricated fuel cells are relatively thin (12 μm) compared to typical benchmark, commercially available membranes. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, at high current densities (2.2 A/cm2) reveals that mass transport resistance was half that of reference, catalyst-coated-membranes (CCM). This is attributed to an improved oxygen supply in the cathode catalyst layer by way of a reduced propensity of flooding, and which is facilitated by an enhancement in the back diffusion of water from cathode to anode through the thin directly deposited membrane. DMD-fabricated membrane-electrode-assemblies possess 50% reduction in ionic resistance (15 mΩcm2) compared to conventional CCMs, with contributions of 9 mΩcm2 for the membrane resistance and 6 mΩcm2 for the contact resistance of the membrane and catalyst layer ionomer. The improved mass transport is responsible for 90% of the increase in power density of the DMD fuel cell, while the reduced ionic resistance accounts for a 10% of the improvement.

  6. Electrospun Nafion®/Polyphenylsulfone Composite Membranes for Regenerative Hydrogen Bromine Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Woo Park


    Full Text Available The regenerative H2/Br2-HBr fuel cell, utilizing an oxidant solution of Br2 in aqueous HBr, shows a number of benefits for grid-scale electricity storage. The membrane-electrode assembly, a key component of a fuel cell, contains a proton-conducting membrane, typically based on the perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA ionomer. Unfortunately, the high cost of PFSA membranes and their relatively high bromine crossover are serious drawbacks. Nanofiber composite membranes can overcome these limitations. In this work, composite membranes were prepared from electrospun dual-fiber mats containing Nafion® PFSA ionomer for facile proton transport and an uncharged polymer, polyphenylsulfone (PPSU, for mechanical reinforcement, and swelling control. After electrospinning, Nafion/PPSU mats were converted into composite membranes by softening the PPSU fibers, through exposure to chloroform vapor, thus filling the voids between ionomer nanofibers. It was demonstrated that the relative membrane selectivity, referenced to Nafion® 115, increased with increasing PPSU content, e.g., a selectivity of 11 at 25 vol% of Nafion fibers. H2-Br2 fuel cell power output with a 65 μm thick membrane containing 55 vol% Nafion fibers was somewhat better than that of a 150 μm Nafion® 115 reference, but its cost advantage due to a four-fold decrease in PFSA content and a lower bromine species crossover make it an attractive candidate for use in H2/Br2-HBr systems.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


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

  8. Understanding the Effects of Compression and Constraints on Water Uptake of Fuel-Cell Membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kusoglu, Ahmet; Kienitz, Brian L.; Weber, Adam Z.


    Accurate characterization of polymer-electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) requires understanding the impact of mechanical and electrochemical loads on cell components. An essential aspect of this relationship is the effect of compression on the polymer membrane?s water-uptake behavior and transport properties. However, there is limited information on the impact of physical constraints on membrane properties. In this paper, we investigate both theoretically and experimentally how the water uptake of Nafion membrane changes under external compression loads. The swelling of a compressed membrane is modeled by modifying the swelling pressure in the polymer backbone which relies on the changes in the microscopic volume of the polymer. The model successfully predicts the water content of the compressed membrane measured through in-situ swelling-compression tests and neutron imaging. The results show that external mechanical loads could reduce the water content and conductivity of the membrane, especially at lower temperatures, higher humidities, and in liquid water. The modeling framework and experimental data provide valuable insight for the swelling and conductivity of constrained and compressed membranes, which are of interest in electrochemical devices such as batteries and fuel cells.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chulsung Bae


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

  10. Fabrication of Pt deposited on carbon nanotubes and performance of its polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    A new method of depositing nano-sized Pt particles on the surface of the carbon nano-tubes was introduced, and the performance of Pt/carbon nanotube compound on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells was measured. The experimental results show that the fine platinum particles (about 3 nm) were well dispersed on carbon nanotubes, which demonstrates the excellent catalytic properties of the Pt/CNTs compound in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells.

  11. Poly(imide benzimidazole)s for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yuan, Sen; Guo, Xiaoxia; Aili, David


    is an order of magnitude higher than that of the common polybenzimidazole membranes with similar acid contents. A preliminary H2/air fuel cell test at 180°C showed a peak power density of 350mWcm-2 of the fuel cell equipped with the phosphoric acid doped PIBI-1/1 membrane with a 300wt% acid uptake......, demonstrating the technical feasibility of the novel electrolyte materials. © 2013 Elsevier B.V....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    in recent years motivated extensive research activities with great progress. This treatise is devoted to updating the development, covering polymer synthesis, membrane casting, physicochemical characterizations and fuel cell technologies. To optimize the membrane properties, high molecular weight polymers...... havebeenmadeincluding spectroscopy,wateruptake and acid doping, thermal and oxidative stability, conductivity, electro-osmoticwater drag, methanol crossover, solubility and permeability of gases, and oxygen reduction kinetics. Related fuel cell technologies such as electrode and MEA fabrication have been developed...

  13. Kinetic evaluation of cell membrane hydrolysis during apoptosis by human isoforms of secretory phospholipase A2.


    Olson, Erin D.; Nelson, Jennifer; Griffith, Katalyn; Nguyen, Thaothanh; Streeter, Michael; Wilson-Ashworth, Heather A.; Michael H Gelb; Judd, Allan M.; Bell, John D.


    Some isoforms of secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) distinguish between healthy and damaged or apoptotic cells. This distinction reflects differences in membrane physical properties. Because various sPLA2 isoforms respond differently to properties of artificial membranes such as surface charge, they should also behave differently as these properties evolve during a dynamic physiological process such as apoptosis. To test this idea, S49 lymphoma cell death was induced by glucocorticoid (6–48 h...

  14. Imidazolium-Based Polymeric Materials as Alkaline Anion-Exchange Fuel Cell Membranes (United States)

    Narayan, Sri R.; Yen, Shiao-Ping S.; Reddy, Prakash V.; Nair, Nanditha


    Polymer electrolyte membranes that conduct hydroxide ions have potential use in fuel cells. A variety of polystyrene-based quaternary ammonium hydroxides have been reported as anion exchange fuel cell membranes. However, the hydrolytic stability and conductivity of the commercially available membranes are not adequate to meet the requirements of fuel cell applications. When compared with commercially available membranes, polystyrene-imidazolium alkaline membrane electrolytes are more stable and more highly conducting. At the time of this reporting, this has been the first such usage for imidazolium-based polymeric materials for fuel cells. Imidazolium salts are known to be electrochemically stable over wide potential ranges. By controlling the relative ratio of imidazolium groups in polystyrene-imidazolium salts, their physiochemical properties could be modulated. Alkaline anion exchange membranes based on polystyrene-imidazolium hydroxide materials have been developed. The first step was to synthesize the poly(styrene-co-(1-((4-vinyl)methyl)-3- methylimidazolium) chloride through a free-radical polymerization. Casting of this material followed by in situ treatment of the membranes with sodium hydroxide solutions provided the corresponding hydroxide salts. Various ratios of the monomers 4-chloromoethylvinylbenzine (CMVB) and vinylbenzine (VB) provided various compositions of the polymer. The preferred material, due to the relative ease of casting the film, and its relatively low hygroscopic nature, was a 2:1 ratio of CMVB to VB. Testing confirmed that at room temperature, the new membranes outperformed commercially available membranes by a large margin. With fuel cells now in use at NASA and in transportation, and with defense potential, any improvement to fuel cell efficiency is a significant development.

  15. Kinetic Evaluation of Cell Membrane Hydrolysis during Apoptosis by Human Isoforms of Secretory Phospholipase A2* (United States)

    Olson, Erin D.; Nelson, Jennifer; Griffith, Katalyn; Nguyen, Thaothanh; Streeter, Michael; Wilson-Ashworth, Heather A.; Gelb, Michael H.; Judd, Allan M.; Bell, John D.


    Some isoforms of secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) distinguish between healthy and damaged or apoptotic cells. This distinction reflects differences in membrane physical properties. Because various sPLA2 isoforms respond differently to properties of artificial membranes such as surface charge, they should also behave differently as these properties evolve during a dynamic physiological process such as apoptosis. To test this idea, S49 lymphoma cell death was induced by glucocorticoid (6–48 h) or calcium ionophore. Rates of membrane hydrolysis catalyzed by various concentrations of snake venom and human groups IIa, V, and X sPLA2 were compared after each treatment condition. The data were analyzed using a model that evaluates the adsorption of enzyme to the membrane surface and subsequent binding of substrate to the active site. Results were compared temporally to changes in membrane biophysics and composition. Under control conditions, membrane hydrolysis was confined to the few unhealthy cells present in each sample. Increased hydrolysis during apoptosis and necrosis appeared to reflect substrate access to adsorbed enzyme for the snake venom and group X isoforms corresponding to weakened lipid-lipid interactions in the membrane. In contrast, apoptosis promoted initial adsorption of human groups V and IIa concurrent with phosphatidylserine exposure on the membrane surface. However, this observation was inadequate to explain the behavior of the groups V and IIa enzymes toward necrotic cells where hydrolysis was reduced or absent. Thus, a combination of changes in cell membrane properties during apoptosis and necrosis capacitates the cell for hydrolysis differently by each isoform. PMID:20139082

  16. Preparation and analysis of new proton conducting membranes for fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Peter Brilner


    A range of potential new fuel cell membranes were prepared by inserting zirconium phosphate (ZrP) into divinylbenzene (DVB) crosslinked, sulfonated, polystyrene grafted poly(ethylene-alt-tetrafluoroethylene) and poly(vinyl difluoride) membranes using an ion exchange procedure. In short, the prefo......A range of potential new fuel cell membranes were prepared by inserting zirconium phosphate (ZrP) into divinylbenzene (DVB) crosslinked, sulfonated, polystyrene grafted poly(ethylene-alt-tetrafluoroethylene) and poly(vinyl difluoride) membranes using an ion exchange procedure. In short....... Additional zirconium phosphate treatment resulted in composite ETFE samples containing up to 15 wt.% ZrP and composite PVdF samples containing up to 27 wt.%. TG analyses of the ETFE-g-PSSA and PVdF-g-PSSA composite membranes indicated no significant changes of the thermal stability in comparison...

  17. Doping phosphoric acid in polybenzimidazole membranes for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    He, Ronghuan; Li, Qingfeng; Jensen, Jens Oluf;


    Polybenzimidazole (PBI) membranes were doped in phosphoric acid solutions of different concentrations at room temperature. The doping chemistry was studied using the Scatchard method. The energy distribution of the acid complexation in polymer membranes is heterogeneous, that is, there are two...... different types of sites in PBI for the acid doping. The protonation constants of PBI by phosphoric acid are found to be 12.7 L mol(-1) (K-1) for acid complexing sites with higher affinity, and 0.19 L mol(-1) (K-2) for the sites with lower affinity. The dissociation constants for the complexing acid onto...... these two types of PBI sites are found to be 5.4 X 10(-4) and 3.6 X 10(-2), respectively, that is, about 10 times smaller than that of aqueous phosphoric acid in the first case but 5 times higher in the second. The proton conducting mechanism is also discussed....

  18. Quantitative Fluorescence Studies in Living Cells: Extending Fluorescence Fluctuation Spectroscopy to Peripheral Membrane Proteins (United States)

    Smith, Elizabeth Myhra

    The interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with both membrane lipids and proteins are vital for many cellular processes including membrane trafficking, cellular signaling, and cell growth/regulation. Building accurate biophysical models of these processes requires quantitative characterization of the behavior of peripheral membrane proteins, yet methods to quantify their interactions inside living cells are very limited. Because peripheral membrane proteins usually exist both in membrane-bound and cytoplasmic forms, the separation of these two populations is a key challenge. This thesis aims at addressing this challenge by extending fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy (FFS) to simultaneously measure the oligomeric state of peripheral membrane proteins in the cytoplasm and at the plasma membrane. We developed a new method based on z-scan FFS that accounts for the fluorescence contributions from cytoplasmic and membrane layers by incorporating a fluorescence intensity z-scan through the cell. H-Ras-EGFP served as a model system to demonstrate the feasibility of the technique. The resolvability and stability of z-scanning was determined as well as the oligomeric state of H-Ras-EGFP at the plasma membrane and in the cytoplasm. Further, we successfully characterized the binding affinity of a variety of proteins to the plasma membrane by quantitative analysis of the z-scan fluorescence intensity profile. This analysis method, which we refer to as z-scan fluorescence profile deconvoution, was further used in combination with dual-color competition studies to determine the lipid specificity of protein binding. Finally, we applied z-scan FFS to provide insight into the early assembly steps of the HTLV-1 retrovirus.

  19. Cell proliferation in human epiretinal membranes: characterization of cell types and correlation with disease condition and duration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lesnik Oberstein, S.Y.; Byun, J.; Herrera, D.; Chapin, E.A.; Fisher, S.K.; Lewis, G.P.


    To quantify the extent of cellular proliferation and immunohistochemically characterize the proliferating cell types in epiretinal membranes (ERMS) from four different conditions: proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR), proliferative diabetic retinopathy, post-retinal detachment, and idiopathic ERM.

  20. Alkaline Exchange Membrane (AEM) for High-Efficiency Fuel Cells, Electrolyzers and Regenerative Fuel Cell Systems Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Develop an alkaline exchange membrane (AEM)for use as a polymer electrolyte in both fuel cell and electrolyzer systems.  The ultimate goal in AEM development is...

  1. On the importance of electrostatic interactions between cell penetrating peptides and membranes: a pathway toward tumor cell selectivity? (United States)

    Jobin, Marie-Lise; Alves, Isabel D


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

  2. Dynamic Model of the High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack Temperature

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andreasen, Søren Juhl; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    consists of a prototype cathode air cooled 30 cell HTPEM fuel cell stack developed at the Institute of Energy Technology at Aalborg University. This fuel cell stack uses PEMEAS Celtec P-1000 membranes and runs on pure hydrogen in a dead-end anode configuration with a purge valve. The cooling of the stack...

  3. Unchanged binding of /sup 99/Molybdenum to red cell membrane proteins in hereditary spherocytosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marik, T.; Kselikova, M.; Bibr, B.; Brabec, V.; Lener, J. (Ceskoslovenska Akademie Ved, Prague. Ustav Nuklearni Biologie a Radiochemie; Institut Hygieny a Epidemiologie, Prague (Czechoslovakia))


    The interaction of /sup 99/Mo with red cell membrane proteins was found specific for spectrin both in normal red cells and those of hereditary spherocytosis. In addition, no significant quantitative differences were observed in labelling patterns between these two types of red cells, thus indicating no major alterations in the spectrin molecules of hereditary spherocytosis.

  4. Polarized membrane traffic and cell polarity development is dependent on dihydroceramide synthase-regulated sphinganine turnover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Ijzendoorn, SCD; van der Wouden, JM; Liebisch, G; Schmitz, G; Hoekstra, D


    Sphingoid bases have been implicated in various cellular processes including cell growth, apoptosis and cell differentiation. Here, we show that the regulated turnover of sphingoid bases is crucial for cell polarity development, i.e., the biogenesis of apical plasma membrane domains, in well-differe

  5. Uncovering homo-and hetero-interactions on the cell membrane using single particle tracking approaches (United States)

    Torreno-Pina, Juan A.; Manzo, Carlo; Garcia-Parajo, Maria F.


    The plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells is responsible for a myriad of functions that regulate cell physiology and plays a crucial role in a multitude of processes that include adhesion, migration, signaling recognition and cell-cell communication. This is accomplished by specific interactions between different membrane components such as lipids and proteins on the lipid bilayer but also through interactions with the underlying cortical actin cytoskeleton on the intracellular side and the glycocalyx matrix in close proximity to the extracellular side. Advanced biophysical techniques, including single particle tracking (SPT) have revealed that the lateral diffusion of molecular components on the plasma membrane represents a landmark manifestation of such interactions. Indeed, by studying changes in the diffusivity of individual membrane molecules, including sub-diffusion, confined diffusion and/or transient arrest of molecules in membrane compartments, it has been possible to gain insight on the nature of molecular interactions and to infer on its functional role for cell response. In this review, we will revise some exciting results where SPT has been crucial to reveal homo- and hetero-interactions on the cell membrane.

  6. Molecular sieving action of the cell membrane during gradual osmotic hemolysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacGregor, R.D. II


    Rat erythrocytes were hemolyzed by controlled gradual osmotic hemolysis to study cell morphology and hemoglobin loss from individual cells. Results suggest that each increase in the rate of loss of a protein from the cells during the initial phases of controlled gradual osmotic hemolysis is caused by the passage of a previously impermeable species across the stressed membrane. Similarly, during the final stages of controlled gradual osmotic hemolysis, each sharp decrease in the rate of loss of a protein corresponds to the termination of a molecular flow. A theoretical model is described that predicts the molecular sieving of soluble globular proteins across the stressed red cell membrane. Hydrophobic interactions occur between the soluble proteins and the lipid bilayer portion of the cell membrane. A spectrin network subdivides the bilayer into domains that restrict the insertion of large molecules into the membrane. Other membrane proteins affect soluble protein access to the membrane. Changes in the loss curves caused by incubation of red cells are discussed in terms of the model.

  7. Influence of Low-Energy Ion Irradiation on Plasma MembranePermeability of Cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Dong-Mei; CUI Fu-Zhai; SUN Su-Qin; LIN You-Bo; TIAN Min-Bo; CHEN Guo-Qiang


    Effect of low-energy ion irradiation on plasma membrane permeability has been investigated by using electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy of spin probe technique. The investigated system is plumule cells of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seeds implanted by 30keV N+ ions. ESR spectra indicated that plasmalemma permeability is sensitive to low-energyion irradiation. Ion irradiations with increasing fluences up to semi-lethal dose lead to gradual increase in plasmalemma permeability of the plumule cells. The possible factors relevant to the changes in membrane permeability are discussed in relation to the changes in the physical state and chemical nature of membranes.

  8. Elastic cell membranes induce long-lived anomalous thermal diffusion on nearby particles

    CERN Document Server

    Daddi-Moussa-Ider, Abdallah; Gekle, Stephan


    The physical approach of a small particle (virus, medical drug) to the cell membrane represents the crucial first step before active internalization and is governed by thermal diffusion. Using a fully analytical theory we show that the stretching and bending of the elastic membrane by the approaching particle induces a memory in the system which leads to anomalous diffusion, even though the particle is immersed in a purely Newtonian liquid. For typical cell membranes the transient subdiffusive regime extends beyond 10ms and can enhance residence times and binding rates up to 50\\%. Our analytical predictions are validated by numerical simulations.

  9. Cell membrane conformation at vertical nanowire array interface revealed by fluorescence imaging (United States)

    Berthing, Trine; Bonde, Sara; Rostgaard, Katrine R.; Hannibal Madsen, Morten; Sørensen, Claus B.; Nygård, Jesper; Martinez, Karen L.


    The perspectives offered by vertical arrays of nanowires for biosensing applications in living cells depend on the access of individual nanowires to the cell interior. Recent results on electrical access and molecular delivery suggest that direct access is not always obtained. Here, we present a generic approach to directly visualize the membrane conformation of living cells interfaced with nanowire arrays, with single nanowire resolution. The method combines confocal z-stack imaging with an optimized cell membrane labelling strategy which was applied to HEK293 cells interfaced with 2-11 μm long and 3-7 μm spaced nanowires with various surface coatings (bare, aminosilane-coated or polyethyleneimine-coated indium arsenide). We demonstrate that, for all commonly used nanowire lengths, spacings and surface coatings, nanowires generally remain enclosed in a membrane compartment, and are thereby not in direct contact with the cell interior.

  10. Yeast cell wall integrity sensors form specific plasma membrane microdomains important for signalling. (United States)

    Kock, Christian; Arlt, Henning; Ungermann, Christian; Heinisch, Jürgen J


    The cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae relies on the detection of cell surface stress by five sensors (Wsc1, Wsc2, Wsc3, Mid2, Mtl1). Each sensor contains a single transmembrane domain and a highly mannosylated extracellular region, and probably detects mechanical stress in the cell wall or the plasma membrane. We here studied the distribution of the five sensors at the cell surface by using fluorescently tagged variants in conjunction with marker proteins for established membrane compartments. We find that each of the sensors occupies a specific microdomain at the plasma membrane. The novel punctate 'membrane compartment occupied by Wsc1' (MCW) shows moderate overlap with other Wsc-type sensors, but not with those of the Mid-type sensors or other established plasma membrane domains. We further observed that sensor density and formation of the MCW compartment depends on the cysteine-rich head group near the N-terminus of Wsc1. Yet, signalling capacity depends more on the sensor density in the plasma membrane than on clustering within its microcompartment. We propose that the MCW microcompartment provides a quality control mechanism for retaining functional sensors at the plasma membrane to prevent them from endocytosis.

  11. New composite membranes based on modified Nafion or Flemion for PEM fuel cell application (United States)

    Tian, Huimin

    Nafion and Flemion during the procedure of casting composite membrane and there was the interaction between the sulphonic acid group and STA. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy shows the existence of W-S and W-C bonds in composite membrane. This can be used to explain the previous experimental observation that the composite membrane with STA has higher conductivity and water uptake than the composite membrane without STA. The above studies allowed us to conclude that the improvements in ionic conductivity and water uptake are due to the change of the chemical composition of the composite membranes by the addition of silicotungstic acid. The current-potential polarization characterization of composite Nafion/STA and Flemion/STA membranes was measured using H2/O2 single polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell system. The performance based on composite Nafion/STA and Flemion/STA membranes is always better than that based on cast Nafion or cast Flemion without STA membranes. The improvement in the fuel cell characteristics for the composite Nafion/STA and Flemion/STAmembrane is due to a combined effect of the polymer and STA. The existence of STA improves the fuel cell performance and make this operation feasible under high temperature.

  12. Cells cultured on microgrooves with or without surface coating: Correlation between cell alignment, spreading and local membrane deformation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Xiongtu [Ecole Normale Superieure, CNRS-ENS-UPMC UMR 8640, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris (France); College of physics and information engineering, Fuzhou University, 350002 Fuzhou (China); Shi, Jian; Hu, Jie [Ecole Normale Superieure, CNRS-ENS-UPMC UMR 8640, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris (France); Chen, Yong, E-mail: [Ecole Normale Superieure, CNRS-ENS-UPMC UMR 8640, 24 rue Lhomond, 75231 Paris (France); Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8507 (Japan)


    The behaviors of cells cultured on patterned substrates vary with the material stiffness, the geometry and the biochemical properties of the pattern. By using a reversed cell imprinting (RCI) technique, together with phase contrast microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), we have exploited reversed side cellular morphology on patterned microgrooves of different geometries with or without surface coating of adhesion molecules. We have shown a close correlation between the effect of contact guidance and penetration of cellular membrane. Without surface coating, roughly 80% of HeLa cells were aligned along the groove direction regardless of the groove spacing. When the microgrooves were coated with fibronectin, the area of cell spreading was increased but the percentage of aligned cells was significantly decreased. In both cases, the deformation of cell membrane at the cell-pattern interfaces could be measured. We found that the local penetration of the cellular membrane into the grooves was correlated to the cellular alignment for both HeLa and NIH 3T3 cells, and that such a correlation was cell-type dependent. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Quantitatively assessment of cell deformation was obtained using RCI technique. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cell alignment is correlated to the cell penetration into microgrooves. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cell spreading is also correlated to the cell penetration into microgrooves. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The cell penetration and the cell alignment are cell-type dependent.

  13. Helicobacter pylori Disrupts Host Cell Membranes, Initiating a Repair Response and Cell Proliferation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsueh-Fen Juan


    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori, the human stomach pathogen, lives on the inner surface of the stomach and causes chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer, and gastric cancer. Plasma membrane repair response is a matter of life and death for human cells against physical and biological damage. We here test the hypothesis that H. pylori also causes plasma membrane disruption injury, and that not only a membrane repair response but also a cell proliferation response are thereby activated. Vacuolating cytotoxin A (VacA and cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA have been considered to be major H. pylori virulence factors. Gastric cancer cells were infected with H. pylori wild type (vacA+/cagA+, single mutant (ΔvacA or ΔcagA or double mutant (ΔvacA/ΔcagA strains and plasma membrane disruption events and consequent activation of membrane repair components monitored. H. pylori disrupts the host cell plasma membrane, allowing localized dye and extracellular Ca2+ influx. Ca2+-triggered members of the annexin family, A1 and A4, translocate, in response to injury, to the plasma membrane, and cell surface expression of an exocytotic maker of repair, LAMP-2, increases. Additional forms of plasma membrane disruption, unrelated to H. pylori exposure, also promote host cell proliferation. We propose that H. pylori activation of a plasma membrane repair is pro-proliferative. This study might therefore provide new insight into potential mechanisms of H. pylori-induced gastric carcinogenesis.

  14. Performance of a 1 kW Class Nafion-PTFE Composite Membrane Fuel Cell Stack

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pattabiraman Krishnamurthy


    Full Text Available Composite membranes have been prepared by impregnation of Nafion into the expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (EPTFE matrix. Nafion loading in the composite membranes was kept constant at 2 mg/cm2. The lower amount of electrolyte per unit area in the composite membranes offers cost advantages compared to conventional membrane of 50 μm thickness with an electrolyte loading of ~9 mg/cm2. Composite membranes (30 μm thickness were found to have higher thermal stability and mechanical strength compared to the conventional membranes (50 μm thickness. The performance of the membrane electrode assembly made with these composite membranes was comparable to that of the conventional membranes. Single cells fabricated from these MEAs were tested for their performance and durability before scaling them up for large area. The performance of a 20-cell stack of active area 330 cm2 fabricated using these membranes is reported.

  15. 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: [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)


    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.

  16. Dynamics of dye release from nanocarriers of different types in model cell membranes and living cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tkacheva T. N.


    Full Text Available Aim. To study the dynamics of lipophilic content release from nanocarriers of different types, organic molecular ensembles and inorganic nanoparticles (NPs in vitro experiments. Methods. Two-channel ratiometric fluorescence detection method based on Forster Resonance Energy Transfer, fluorescent spectroscopy and micro-spectroscopy have been used. Results. It has been found that the profiles of lipophilic dyes release from organic nanocarriers (PC liposomes and SDS micelles and inorganic ones (GdYVO4:Eu3+ and CeO2 NPs are well fitted by the first-order reaction kinetics in both model cell membranes and living cells (rat hepatocytes. The dye release constants (K and half-lives (t1/2 were analyzed. Conclusions. GdYVO4:Eu3+ and CeO2 NPs have been shown to provide faster lipophilic content release in model cell membranes as compared to PC liposomes. Negatively charged or lipophilic compounds added into nanocarriers can decrease the rate of lipophilic dyes release. Specific interaction of GdYVO4:Eu3+ NPs with rat hepatocytes has been observed.

  17. Chondrogenic potential of subpopulations of cells expressing mesenchymal stem cell markers derived from human synovial membranes. (United States)

    Arufe, M C; De la Fuente, A; Fuentes, I; de Toro, F J; Blanco, F J


    In this study we analyzed the chondrogenic potential of subpopulations of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from human synovial membranes enriched for CD73, CD106, and CD271 markers. Subpopulations of human synovial membrane MSCs enriched for CD73, CD106, and CD271 markers were isolated using a cytometry sorter and characterized by flow cytometry for MSC markers. The expression of Sox9, Nanog, and Runx2 genes by these cells was measured by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The chondrogenesis of each subpopulation was assessed by culturing the cells in a defined medium to produce spontaneous spheroid formation and differentiation towards chondrocyte-like cells. The examination of the spheroids by histological and immunohistochemical analyses for collagen type II (COL2), aggrecan, collagen type I (COL1), metalloprotease 13 (MMP13), and collagen type X (COLX) levels were performed to assess their chondrogenesis capacity. The adipogenesis and osteogenesis potential of each subpopulation was determined using commercial media; the resulting cells were stained with oil red O or red alizarin to test the degree of differentiation. The subpopulations had different profiles of cells positive for the MSC markers CD44, CD69, CD73, CD90, and CD105 and showed different expression levels of the genes Sox9, Nanog, and Runx2 involved in chondrogenesis, undifferentiation, and osteoblastogenesis, respectively. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that COL1, COL2, COLX, MMP13, and aggrecan were expressed in the spheroids as soon as 14 days of culture. The CD271(+) subpopulation expressed the highest levels of COL2 staining compared to the other subpopulations. CD105 and Runx2 were shown by immunohistochemistry and genetic analysis to have significantly higher expression CD271(+) subpopulation than the other subpopulations. Spheroids formed from CD271-enriched and CD73-enriched MSCs from normal human synovial membranes mimic the native cartilage extracellular

  18. Computational analysis of the tether-pulling experiment to probe plasma membrane-cytoskeleton interaction in cells (United States)

    Schumacher, Kristopher R.; Popel, Aleksander S.; Anvari, Bahman; Brownell, William E.; Spector, Alexander A.


    Tethers are thin membrane tubes that can be formed when relatively small and localized forces are applied to cellular membranes and lipid bilayers. Tether pulling experiments have been used to better understand the fine membrane properties. These include the interaction between the plasma membrane and the underlying cytoskeleton, which is an important factor affecting membrane mechanics. We use a computational method aimed at the interpretation and design of tether pulling experiments in cells with a strong membrane-cytoskeleton attachment. In our model, we take into account the detailed information in the topology of bonds connecting the plasma membrane and the cytoskeleton. We compute the force-dependent piecewise membrane deflection and bending as well as modes of stored energy in three major regions of the system: body of the tether, membrane-cytoskeleton attachment zone, and the transition zone between the two. We apply our method to three cells: cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs), human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells, and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. OHCs have a special system of pillars connecting the membrane and the cytoskeleton, and HEK and CHO cells have the membrane-cytoskeleton adhesion arrangement via bonds (e.g., PIP2), which is common to many other cells. We also present a validation of our model by using experimental data on CHO and HEK cells. The proposed method can be an effective tool in the analyses of experiments to probe the properties of cellular membranes.

  19. Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt2Aa2 toxin disrupts cell membranes by forming large protein aggregates (United States)

    Tharad, Sudarat; Toca-Herrera, José L.; Promdonkoy, Boonhiang; Krittanai, Chartchai


    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cyt2Aa2 showed toxicity against Dipteran insect larvae and in vitro lysis activity on several cells. It has potential applications in the biological control of insect larvae. Although pore-forming and/or detergent-like mechanisms were proposed, the mechanism underlying cytolytic activity remains unclear. Analysis of the haemolytic activity of Cyt2Aa2 with osmotic stabilizers revealed partial toxin inhibition, suggesting a distinctive mechanism from the putative pore formation model. Membrane permeability was studied using fluorescent dye entrapped in large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) at various protein/lipid molar ratios. Binding of Cyt2Aa2 monomer to the lipid membrane did not disturb membrane integrity until the critical protein/lipid molar ratio was reached, when Cyt2Aa2 complexes and cytolytic activity were detected. The complexes are large aggregates that appeared as a ladder when separated by agarose gel electrophoresis. Interaction of Cyt2Aa2 with Aedes albopictus cells was investigated by confocal microscopy and total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy (TIRF). The results showed that Cyt2Aa2 binds on the cell membrane at an early stage without cell membrane disruption. Protein aggregation on the cell membrane was detected later which coincided with cell swelling. Cyt2Aa2 aggregations on supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) were visualized by AFM. The AFM topographic images revealed Cyt2Aa2 aggregates on the lipid bilayer at low protein concentration and subsequently disrupts the lipid bilayer by forming a lesion as the protein concentration increased. These results supported the mechanism whereby Cyt2Aa2 binds and aggregates on the lipid membrane leading to the formation of non-specific hole and disruption of the cell membrane. PMID:27612497

  20. A macroscopic model of proton transport through the membrane-ionomer interface of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (United States)

    Kumar, Milan; Edwards, Brian J.; Paddison, Stephen J.


    The membrane-ionomer interface is the critical interlink of the electrodes and catalyst to the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM); together forming the membrane electrode assembly in current state-of-the-art PEM fuel cells. In this paper, proton conduction through the interface is investigated to understand its effect on the performance of a PEM fuel cell. The water containing domains at this interface were modeled as cylindrical pores/channels with the anionic groups (i.e., -SO3-) assumed to be fixed on the pore wall. The interactions of each species with all other species and an applied external field were examined. Molecular-based interaction potential energies were computed in a small test element of the pore and were scaled up in terms of macroscopic variables. Evolution equations of the density and momentum of the species (water molecules and hydronium ions) were derived within a framework of nonequilibrium thermodynamics. The resulting evolution equations for the species were solved analytically using an order-of-magnitude analysis to obtain an expression for the proton conductivity. Results show that the conductivity increases with increasing water content and pore radius, and strongly depends on the separation distance between the sulfonate groups and their distribution on the pore wall. It was also determined that the conductivity of two similar pores of different radii in series is limited by the pore with the smaller radius.

  1. [Membrane-based photochemical systems as models for photosynthetic cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hurst, J.K.


    The objectives of this research are to improve our conceptual view of the ways in which membranes and interfaces can be used to control chemical reactivity. We have focused on understanding three elementary processes that are central to developing membrane-based integrated chemical systems for water photolysis or related photoconversion/photostorage processes. Specifically, we have sought to identify: the influence of interfaces upon charge separation/recombination reactions, pathways for transmembrane charge separation across hydrocarbon bilayer membranes, and mechanisms of water oxidation catalyzed by transition metal coordination complexes. Historically, the chemical dynamics of each of these processes has been poorly understood, with numerous unresolved issues and conflicting viewpoints appearing in the literature. As described in this report our recent research has led to considerable clarification of the underlying reaction mechanisms.

  2. Phospholipid flippase associates with cisplatin resistance in plasma membrane of lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The fusion of the liposomes containing N-(7-nitro-2, 1, 3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl)-i ,2-hexadecanoylSn-glycero-3-1abeled phosphatidylethanolamine (NBD-PE) with A549 and A549/DDP cells was performed, and the activity of the phospholipid flippase in the plasma membrane of the cells was measured by fluorescence intensity change of NBDPE in the outer membrane. When A549 or A549/DDP cells containing N BD-PE were incubated at 37 C for 0, 30, 60 and 90 min, the fluorescence intensities in the outer membrane of the cells were 0%, 1.4%, 2.9% and 7.8% for A59cells, and 0%, 10.5 %, 15. 5 % and 18.3 % for A549/DDP cells respectively, demonstrating that the phospholipid flippase was distributed in the plasma membrane of As49 cells, but its activity in the drug-resistant A549/DDP cells was much higher than that in the A549 cells. When the A549/DDP cells were incubated with a multidrug resistance reverse agent, verapamil, for 60 min at 37C, the results showed that the NBD-PE in outer membrane decreased by 25.0% compared with the control's. Furthermore, when A549/DDP cells were incubated with 25 μmol/L cisplatin, which is a specific anticancer drug, the flippase activity decreased by 31.6%, and it further decreased with the increase of cisplatin concentration, suggesting that phospholipid flippase in the membrane might be related to the cisplatin-resistance of human lung adenocarcinoma cancer cells.

  3. Development of a Low-Cost, Durable Membrane and Membrane Electrode Assemby for Stationary and Mobile Fuel Cell Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foure, Michel; Gaboury, Scott; Goldbach, Jim; Mountz, David; Yi, Jung


    The development of low cost, durable membranes and membranes electrode assemblies (MEAs) 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. (formerly Atofina, 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 in using blends of polyvinylidenefluoride (PVDF) and proprietary sulfonated polyelectrolytes. The strength and originality of Arkema’s approach lies in the decoupling of ion conductivity from the other requirements. Kynar® (Arkema trade name for PVDF) provides an exceptional combination of properties that make it ideally suited for a membrane matrix. In a first phase, Arkema demonstrated the feasibility of the concept with the M31 membrane generation. After MEA optimization, it was shown that the beginning-of-life (BOL) performance of M31 MEAs was essentially on a par with that of PFSA MEAs at 60ºC under fully humidified conditions. On the other hand, long-term durability studies showed a high decay rate of 45µV/h over a 2100 hr. test. Arkema then designed several families of polyelectrolyte candidates, which, in principle, could not undergo the same failure mechanisms. A new membrane candidate was developed: M41. It offered the same generally good mechanical, ex-situ conductivity and gas barrier properties as M31. In addition, ex-situ accelerated testing suggested a several orders of magnitude improvement in chemical stability. M41 based MEAs showed comparable BOL performance with that of PFSA (80ºC, 100% RH). M41 MEAs were further shown to be able to withstand several hours temperature excursions at 120ºC without apparent damage. Accelerated studies were carried out using the DOE and/or US Fuel Cell Council

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiantian eSun


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel Baumann

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

  6. Modeling hydrogen starvation conditions in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ohs, Jan Hendrik; Sauter, Ulrich; Maass, Sebastian [Robert Bosch GmbH, Robert-Bosch-Platz 1, 70839 Gerlingen-Schillerhoehe (Germany); Stolten, Detlef [Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH, IEF-3: Fuel Cells, 52425 Juelich (Germany)


    In this study, a steady state and isothermal 2D-PEM fuel cell model is presented. By simulation of a single cell along the channel and in through-plane direction, its behaviour under hydrogen starvation due to nitrogen dilution is analysed. Under these conditions, carbon corrosion and water electrolysis are observed on the cathode side. This phenomenon, causing severe cell degradation, is known as reverse current decay mechanism in literature. Butler-Volmer equations are used to model the electrochemical reactions. In addition, we account for permeation of gases through the membrane and for the local water content within the membrane. The results show that the membrane potential locally drops in areas starved from hydrogen. This leads to potential gradients >1.2 V between electrode and membrane on the cathode side resulting in significant carbon corrosion and electrolysis reaction rates. The model enables the analysis of sub-stoichiometric states occurring during anode gas recirculation or load transients. (author)

  7. Modeling hydrogen starvation conditions in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (United States)

    Ohs, Jan Hendrik; Sauter, Ulrich; Maass, Sebastian; Stolten, Detlef

    In this study, a steady state and isothermal 2D-PEM fuel cell model is presented. By simulation of a single cell along the channel and in through-plane direction, its behaviour under hydrogen starvation due to nitrogen dilution is analysed. Under these conditions, carbon corrosion and water electrolysis are observed on the cathode side. This phenomenon, causing severe cell degradation, is known as reverse current decay mechanism in literature. Butler-Volmer equations are used to model the electrochemical reactions. In addition, we account for permeation of gases through the membrane and for the local water content within the membrane. The results show that the membrane potential locally drops in areas starved from hydrogen. This leads to potential gradients >1.2 V between electrode and membrane on the cathode side resulting in significant carbon corrosion and electrolysis reaction rates. The model enables the analysis of sub-stoichiometric states occurring during anode gas recirculation or load transients.

  8. Mass and Heat Transfer in Ion-Exchange Membranes Applicable to Solid Polymer Fuel Cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Otteroey, M.


    In this doctoral thesis, an improved emf method for determination of transference numbers of two counter ions in ion-exchange membranes is presented. Transference numbers were obtained as a continuous function of the composition. The method avoids problems with diffusion by using a stack of membranes. Water transference coefficients in ion-exchange membranes is discussed and reversible and irreversible water transfer is studied by emf methods. Efforts were made to get data relevant to the solid polymer fuel cell. The results support the findings of other researchers that the reversible water transfer is lower than earlier predicted. A chapter on the conductivity of ion-exchange membranes establishes a method to separate the very thin liquid layers surrounding the membranes in a stack. Using the method it was found that the conductivity is obtained with high accuracy and that the liquid layer in a membrane stack can contribute significantly to the total measured resistance. A four point impedance method was tested to measure the conductivity of membranes under fuel cell conditions. Finally, there is a discussion of reversible heat effects and heat transfer in ion-exchange membranes. 155 refs., 45 figs., 13 tabs.

  9. Proton conductive montmorillonite-Nafion composite membranes for direct ethanol fuel cells (United States)

    Wu, Xiu-Wen; Wu, Nan; Shi, Chun-Qing; Zheng, Zhi-Yuan; Qi, Hong-Bin; Wang, Ya-Fang


    The preparation of Nafion membranes modified with montmorillonites is less studied, and most relative works mainly applied in direct methanol fuel cells, less in direct ethanol fuel cells. Organic/inorganic composite membranes are prepared with different montmorillonites (Ca-montmorillonite, Na-montmorillonite, K-montmorillonite, Mg-montmorillonite, and H-montmorillonite) and Nafion solution via casting method at 293 K in air, and with balance of their proton conductivity and ethanol permeability. The ethanol permeability and proton conductivity of the membranes are comparatively studied. The montmorillonites can well decrease the ethanol permeability of the membranes via inserted them in the membranes, while less decrease the proton conductivities of the membranes depending on the inserted amount and type of montmorillonites. The proton conductivities of the membranes are between 36.0 mS/cm and 38.5 mS/cm. The ethanol permeability of the membranes is between 0.69 × 10-6 cm2/s and 2.67 × 10-6 cm2/s.

  10. Determination of membrane degradation products in the product water of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zedda, Marco


    The predominant long term failure of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) is caused by hydroxyl radicals generated during fuel cell operation. These radicals attack the polymer, leading to chain scission, unzipping and consequently to membrane decomposition products. The present work has investigated decomposition products of novel sulfonated aromatic hydrocarbon membranes on the basis of a product water analysis. Degradation products from the investigated membrane type and the possibility to detect these compounds in the product water for diagnostic purposes have not been discovered yet. This thesis demonstrates the potential of solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (SPE-LC-MS/MS) for the extraction, separation, characterization, identification and quantification of membrane degradation products in the product water of fuel cells. For this purpose, several polar aromatic hydrocarbons with different functional groups were selected as model compounds for the development of reliable extraction, separation and detection methods. The results of this thesis have shown that mixed mode sorbent materials with both weak anion exchange and reversed phase retention properties are well suited for reproducible extraction of both molecules and ions from the product water. The chromatographic separation of various polar aromatic hydrocarbons was achieved by means of phase optimized liquid chromatography using a solvent gradient and on a C18 stationary phase. Sensitive and selective detection of model compounds could be successfully demonstrated by the analysis of the product water using tandem mass spectrometry. The application of a hybrid mass spectrometer (Q Trap) for the characterization of unknown polar aromatic hydrocarbons has led to the identification and confirmation of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid in the product water. In addition, 4-HBA could be verified as a degradation product resulting from PEM decomposition by hydroxyl radicals using an

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Delakas Dimitrios


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

  12. Wuweizisu C from Schisandra chinensis decreases membrane potential in C6 glioma cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Young-whan CHOI; Kyeok KIM; Ji-yeong JO; Hyo-lim KIM; You-jin LEE; Woo-jung SHIN; Santosh J SACKET; Mijin HAN; Dong-soon IM


    Aim:To study the effects of dibenzocyclooctadiene lignans isolated from Schi-sandra chinensis, such as wuweizisu C, gomisin N, gomisin A, and schisandrin, on the membrane potential in C6 glioma cells. Methods: The membrane po-tential was estimated by measuring the fluorescence change in DiBAC-loaded glioma cells. Results: Wuweizisu C decreased the membrane potential in a concentration-dependent manner. Gomisin N and gomisin A, however, showed differential modulation and no change was induced by schisandrin or dimethyl-4,4'-dimethoxy-5,6,5',6'-dimethylene dioxybiphenyl-2,2'-dicarboxylate, a syn-thetic drug derived from dibenzocyclooctadiene lignans. We found no involve-ment of Gi/o proteins, phospholipase C, and extracellular Na+ on the wuweizisu C-indueed decrease of the membrane potential. Wuweizisu C by itself did not change the intracellular Ca2+ [Ca2+]I concentration, but decreased the ATP-indu-ted Ca2+ increase in C6 glioma cells. The 4 lignans at all concentrations used in this study did not induce any effect on cell viability. Furthermore, we found a similar decrease of the membrane potential by wuweizisu C in PC12 neuronal cells. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the decrease in the membrane poten-tial and the modulation of [Ca2+]I concentration by wuweizisu C could be impor-tant action mechanisms ofwuweizisu C.

  13. 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.

  14. Pancreatic acinar cells: effects of micro-ionophoretic polypeptide application on membrane potential and resistance. (United States)

    Petersen, O H; Philpott, H G


    1. Acinar cell membrane potential and resistance were measured from superfused segments of mouse pancreas, in vitro, using intracellular glass micro-electrodes. One or two extracellular micropipettes containing caerulein, bombesin nonapeptide (Bn) or acetylcholine (ACh) were placed near to the surface of the impaled acinus. The secretagogues were ejected rapidly from the micropipettes by ionophoresis.2. Each secretagogue evoked a similar electrical response from the impaled acinar cell: membrane depolarization and a simultaneous reduction in input resistance. The duration of cell activation from caerulein ionophoresis was longer than that observed for ACh and Bn. The cell response to the peptide hormone applications could be repeated in the presence of atropine.3. The minimum interval before the onset of cell depolarization after caerulein ionophoresis was determined. Values ranged between 500 and 1000 msec. The minimum latencies after Bn ionophoresis were 500-1400 msec.4. With two electrodes inserted into electrically coupled acinar cells, direct measurements of the caerulein and Bn null potentials were made. At high negative membrane potentials an enhanced depolarization was evoked by caerulein ionophoresis. At low negative membrane potentials the caerulein stimulation produced a diminished depolarization, and at membrane potentials less than - 10 mV acinar cell hyperpolarizations were observed. A similar series of responses was obtained in experiments where Bn ionophoresis was used. The caerulein and the Bn null potentials were always contained within - 10 to - 15 mV.5. The results describe the almost identical electrical response of acinar cells to stimulation by ACh, caerulein and bombesin. All three secretagogues have similar null potentials and latencies of activation on acinar cells. The bombesin latency responses appear as short as those measured for caerulein and provide electro-physiological evidence that Bn acts directly on acinar cells. The findings

  15. PBI-based polymer electrolyte membranes fuel cells. Temperature effects on cell performance and catalyst stability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lobato, Justo; Canizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.; Linares, Jose J. [Chemical Engineering Department, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario s/n, 13004 Ciudad Real (Spain)


    In this work, it has been shown that the temperature (ranging from 100 to 175 C) greatly influences the performance of H{sub 3}PO{sub 4}-doped polybenzimidazole-based high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells by several and complex processes. The temperature, by itself, increases H{sub 3}PO{sub 4}-doped PBI conductivity and enhances the electrodic reactions as it rises. Nevertheless, high temperatures reduce the level of hydration of the membrane, above 130-140 C accelerate the self-dehydration of H{sub 3}PO{sub 4}, and they may boost the process of catalyst particle agglomeration that takes place in strongly acidic H{sub 3}PO{sub 4} medium (as checked by multi-cycling sweep voltammetry), reducing the overall electrochemical active surface. The first process seems to have a rapid response to changes in the temperature and controls the cell performance immediately after them. The second process seems to develop slower, and influences the cell performance in the 'long-term'. The predominant processes, at each moment and temperature, determine the effect of the temperature on the cell performance, as potentiostatic curves display. 'Long-term' polarization curves grow up to 150 C and decrease at 175 C. 'Short-term' ones continuously increase as the temperature does after 'conditioning' the cell at 125 C. On the contrary, when compared the polarization curves at 175 C a continuous decrease is observed with the 'conditioning' temperature. A discussion of the observed trends is proposed in this work. (author)

  16. An ultrathin self-humidifying membrane for PEM fuel cell application: fabrication, characterization, and experimental analysis. (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaobing; Zhang, Huamin; Zhang, Yu; Liang, Yongmin; Wang, Xiaoli; Yi, Baolian


    An ultrathin poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE)-reinforced multilayer self-humidifying composite membrane (20 microm, thick) is developed. The membrane is composed of Nafion-impregnated porous PTFE composite as the central layer, and SiO2 supported nanosized Pt particles (Pt-SiO2) imbedded into the Nafion as the two side layers. The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell employing the self-humidifying membrane (Pt-SiO2/NP) turns out a peak power density of 1.40 W cm(-2) and an open circuit voltage (OCV) of 1.032 V under dry H2/O2 condition. The excellent performance is attributed to the combined result of both the accelerated water back-diffusion in the thin membrane and the adsorbing/releasing water properties of the Pt-SiO2 catalyst in the side layers. Moreover, the inclusion of the hygroscopic Pt-SiO2 catalyst inside the membrane results in an enhanced anode self-humidification capability and also the decreased cathode polarization (accordingly an improved cell OCV). Several techniques, such as transmission electronic microscopy, scanning electronic microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, thermal analysis and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy etc., are employed to characterize the Pt-SiO2/NP membrane. The results are discussed in comparison with the plain Nafion/PTFE membrane (NP). It is established that the reverse net water drag (from the cathode to the anode) across the Pt-SiO2/NP membrane reaches 0.16 H2O/H+. This implies a good hydration of the Pt-SiO2/NP membrane and thus ensures an excellent PEM fuel cell performance under self-humidification operation.

  17. SPEEK/epoxy resin composite membranes in situ polymerization for direct methanol fell cell usages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fu, Tiezhu; Zhao, Chengji; Zhong, Shuangling; Zhang, Gang; Shao, Ke; Zhang, Haiqiu; Wang, Jing; Na, Hui [Alan G. MacDiarmid Institute, College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Qianwei Road 2699, Changchun 130012 (China)


    Sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK)/4,4'-diglycidyl(3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbiphenyl) epoxy resin (TMBP) composite membranes in situ polymerization were prepared for the purpose of improving the methanol resistance and mechanical properties of SPEEK membranes with high ion-exchange capacities (IEC) for the usage in the direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs). The effects of introduction of TMBP content on the properties of the composite membranes were investigated in detail. The composite membranes have good mechanical, thermal properties, lower swelling ratio, lower water diffusion coefficient (0.87 x 10{sup -5} cm{sup 2} s{sup -1} at 80 C) and better methanol resistance (5.26 x 10{sup -7} cm{sup 2} s{sup -1} at 25 C) than SPEEK membranes. The methanol diffusion coefficients of the composite membranes are much lower than that of SPEEK membrane (17.5 x 10{sup -7} cm{sup 2} s{sup -1} at 25 C). Higher selectivity was been found for the composite membranes in comparison with SPEEK. Therefore, the SPEEK/TMBP composite membranes show a good potential in DMFCs usages. (author)

  18. Aqueous two-phase partition applied to the isolation of plasma membranes and Golgi apparatus from cultured mammalian cells (United States)

    Morre, D. M.; Morre, D. J.


    Partitioning in dextran-poly(ethylene)glycol (PEG) aqueous-aqueous phase systems represents a mature technology with many applications to separations of cells and to the preparation of membranes from mammalian cells. Most applications to membrane isolation and purification have focused on plasma membranes, plasma membrane domains and separation of right side-out and inside-out plasma membrane vesicles. The method exploits a combination of membrane properties, including charge and hydrophobicity. Purification is based upon differential distributions of the constituents in a sample between the two principal compartments of the two phases (upper and lower) and at the interface. The order of affinity of animal cell membranes for the upper phase is: endoplasmic reticulum Golgi apparatusGolgi apparatus from transformed mammalian cells that combines aqueous two-phase partition and centrifugation. Also described is a periodic NADH oxidase, a new enzyme marker for right side-out plasma membrane vesicles not requiring detergent disruptions for measurement of activity.

  19. Model-Based Design of Energy Efficient Palladium Membrane Water Gas Shift Fuel Processors for PEM Fuel Cell Power Plants (United States)

    Gummalla, Mallika; Vanderspurt, Thomas Henry; Emerson, Sean; She, Ying; Dardas, Zissis; Olsommer, Benoît

    An integrated, palladium alloy membrane Water-Gas Shift (WGS) reactor can significantly reduce the size, cost and complexity of a fuel processor for a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell power system.

  20. Cell surface area and membrane folding in glioblastoma cell lines differing in PTEN and p53 status.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Memmel

    Full Text Available Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM is characterized by rapid growth, invasion and resistance to chemo-/radiotherapy. The complex cell surface morphology with abundant membrane folds, microvilli, filopodia and other membrane extensions is believed to contribute to the highly invasive behavior and therapy resistance of GBM cells. The present study addresses the mechanisms leading to the excessive cell membrane area in five GBM lines differing in mutational status for PTEN and p53. In addition to scanning electron microscopy (SEM, the membrane area and folding were quantified by dielectric measurements of membrane capacitance using the single-cell electrorotation (ROT technique. The osmotic stability and volume regulation of GBM cells were analyzed by video microscopy. The expression of PTEN, p53, mTOR and several other marker proteins involved in cell growth and membrane synthesis were examined by Western blotting. The combined SEM, ROT and osmotic data provided independent lines of evidence for a large variability in membrane area and folding among tested GBM lines. Thus, DK-MG cells (wild type p53 and wild type PTEN exhibited the lowest degree of membrane folding, probed by the area-specific capacitance C m = 1.9 µF/cm(2. In contrast, cell lines carrying mutations in both p53 and PTEN (U373-MG and SNB19 showed the highest C m values of 3.7-4.0 µF/cm(2, which corroborate well with their heavily villated cell surface revealed by SEM. Since PTEN and p53 are well-known inhibitors of mTOR, the increased membrane area/folding in mutant GBM lines may be related to the enhanced protein and lipid synthesis due to a deregulation of the mTOR-dependent downstream signaling pathway. Given that membrane folds and extensions are implicated in tumor cell motility and metastasis, the dielectric approach presented here provides a rapid and simple tool for screening the biophysical cell properties in studies on targeting chemo- or radiotherapeutically the

  1. Single-Molecule Imaging Reveals the Activation Dynamics of Intracellular Protein Smad3 on Cell Membrane (United States)

    Li, Nan; Yang, Yong; He, Kangmin; Zhang, Fayun; Zhao, Libo; Zhou, Wei; Yuan, Jinghe; Liang, Wei; Fang, Xiaohong


    Smad3 is an intracellular protein that plays a key role in propagating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signals from cell membrane to nucleus. However whether the transient process of Smad3 activation occurs on cell membrane and how it is regulated remains elusive. Using advanced live-cell single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to image and track fluorescent protein-labeled Smad3, we observed and quantified, for the first time, the dynamics of individual Smad3 molecules docking to and activation on the cell membrane. It was found that Smad3 docked to cell membrane in both unstimulated and stimulated cells, but with different diffusion rates and dissociation kinetics. The change in its membrane docking dynamics can be used to study the activation of Smad3. Our results reveal that Smad3 binds with type I TGF-β receptor (TRI) even in unstimulated cells. Its activation is regulated by TRI phosphorylation but independent of receptor endocytosis. This study offers new information on TGF-β/Smad signaling, as well as a new approach to investigate the activation of intracellular signaling proteins for a better understanding of their functions in signal transduction.

  2. Cell membrane-anchored biosensors for real-time monitoring of the cellular microenvironment. (United States)

    Qiu, Liping; Zhang, Tao; Jiang, Jianhui; Wu, Cuichen; Zhu, Guizhi; You, Mingxu; Chen, Xigao; Zhang, Liqin; Cui, Cheng; Yu, Ruqin; Tan, Weihong


    Cell membrane-anchored biochemical sensors that allow real-time monitoring of the interactions of cells with their microenvironment would be powerful tools for studying the mechanisms underlying various biological processes, such as cell metabolism and signaling. Despite the significance of these techniques, unfortunately, their development has lagged far behind due to the lack of a desirable membrane engineering method. Here, we propose a simple, efficient, biocompatible, and universal strategy for one-step self-construction of cell-surface sensors using diacyllipid-DNA conjugates as the building and sensing elements. The sensors exploit the high membrane-insertion capacity of a diacyllipid tail and good sensing performance of the DNA probes. Based on this strategy, we have engineered specific DNAzymes on the cell membrane for metal ion assay in the extracellular microspace. The immobilized DNAzyme showed excellent performance for reporting and semiquantifying both exogenous and cell-extruded target metal ions in real time. This membrane-anchored sensor could also be used for multiple target detection by having different DNA probes inserted, providing potentially useful tools for versatile applications in cell biology, biomedical research, drug discovery, and tissue engineering.

  3. Analysis of Heat Transport in a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM Fuel Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Afshari


    Full Text Available In this study a two-phases, single-domain and non-isothermal model of a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM fuel cell has been studied to investigate thermal management effects on fuel cell performance. A set of governing equations, conservation of mass, momentum, species, energy and charge for gas diffusion layers, catalyst layers and the membrane regions are considered. These equations are solved numerically in a single domain, using finite-volume-based computational fluid dynamics technique. Also the effects of four critical parameters that are thermal conductivity of gas diffusion layer, relative humidity, operating temperature and current density on the PEM fuel cell performance is investigated. In low operating temperatures the resistance within the membrane increases and this could cause rapid decrease in potential. High operating temperature would also reduce transport losses and it would lead to increase in electrochemical reaction rate. This could virtually result in decreasing the cell potential due to an increasing water vapor partial pressure and the membrane water dehydration. Another significant result is that the temperature distribution in GDL is almost linear but within membrane is highly non-linear. However at low current density the temperature across all regions of the cell dose not change significantly. The cell potential increases with relative humidity and improved hydration which reduces ohmic losses. Also the temperature within the cell is much higher with reduced GDL thermal conductivities. The numerical model which is developed is validated with published experimental data and the results are in good agreement.

  4. Chromium(VI)-induced Production of Reactive Oxygen Species, Change of Plasma Membrane Potential and Dissipation of Mitochondria Membrane Potential in Chinese Hamster Lung Cell Cultures

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    Objective To examine whether Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) is generated, and whether plasma membrane potential and mitochondrial membrane potential are depolarized in Chinese Hamster Lung (CHL) cell lines exposed to Cr (VI). Methods CHL cells were incubated with Cr(VI) at 10 μmol/L, 2.5 μmol/L, 0.65 μmol/L for 3 and 6 hours, respectively. The production of ROS was performed by using 2,7_dichlorofluorescin diacetate; The changes in plasma membrane potential were estimated using fluorescent cationic dye DiBAC4; And the changes in mitochondria membrane potential were estimated using fluorescent dye Rhodamine 123. Results The ROS levels in CHL cells increased in all treated groups compared with the control group (P<0.01); The plasma membrane potential and mitochondrial membrane potential in CHL cells dissipated after incubated with Cr(VI) at 10 μmol/L for 3 hours and 6 hours (P<0.01), at 2.5 μmol/L for 6 hours (P<0.01 or 0.05). Conclusion Cr(VI) causes the dissipation of plasma membrane potential and mitochondrial membrane potential in CHL cell cultures, and Cr(VI)_induced ROS may play a role in the injuries.

  5. Novel Blend Membranes Based on Acid-Base Interactions for Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongzhu Fu


    Full Text Available Fuel cells hold great promise for wide applications in portable, residential, and large-scale power supplies. For low temperature fuel cells, such as the proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs, proton-exchange membranes (PEMs are a key component determining the fuel cells performance. PEMs with high proton conductivity under anhydrous conditions can allow PEMFCs to be operated above 100 °C, enabling use of hydrogen fuels with high-CO contents and improving the electrocatalytic activity. PEMs with high proton conductivity and low methanol crossover are critical for lowering catalyst loadings at the cathode and improving the performance and long-term stability of DMFCs. This review provides a summary of a number of novel acid-base blend membranes consisting of an acidic polymer and a basic compound containing N-heterocycle groups, which are promising for PEMFCs and DMFCs.

  6. Functional expression of mammalian receptors and membrane channels in different cells. (United States)

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


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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavlović Ksenija


    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


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ni Zhang; Hui-ling Liu; Jun-jing Li; Zhi Xia


    Sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (SPAES) copolymer with degree of sulfonation of 1.0 was synthesized and characterized. A series of SPAES-TiO_2 hybrid membranes with various contents of nano-sized TiO_2 particles were prepared and characterized through sol-gel reactions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images indicated the TiO_2 particles were well dispersed within polymer matrix. These composite membranes were evaluated for proton exchange membranes (PEMs) in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). These membranes showed good thermal stability and mechanical properties. It was found that the water uptake of these membranes increased with the increase of the TiO_2 contents in the hybrid membranes. Meanwhile, the introduction of inorganic particles increased the proton conductivity and reduced the methanol permeability. The proton conductivities (0.118-0.162 S/cm) of SPAES-TiO_2 hybrid membranes with 8% TiO_2 particles are much higher than those of Nation 117 membrane (0.095-0.117 S/cm) and pure SPAES membrane (0.100-0.124 S/cm) with degree of sulfonation of 1.0 at all temperatures (25-100℃). Especially, the methanol diffusion coefficient (8.4×10~(-7) cm~2/s) of SPAES-TiO_2 hybrid membranes with 8% TiO_2 is much lower than that of Nation 117 membrane (2.1 ×10~(-6) cm~2/s). SPAES-TiO_2 hybrid membranes were therefore proposed as candidates of material for PEM in DMFC.

  9. Mouse endometrial stromal cells produce basement-membrane components

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    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 dec...

  10. Modeling and simulations of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with poroelastic approach for coupled liquid water transport and deformation in the membrane



    Performance degradation and durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells depend strongly on transport and deformation characteristics of their components especially the polymer membrane. Physical properties of membranes, such as ionic conductivity and Young's modulus, depend on the water content that varies significantly with operating conditions and during transients. Recent studies indicate that cyclic transients may induce hygrothermal fatigue that leads to the ultimate fail...

  11. Novel proton exchange membrane fuel cell electrodes to improve performance of reversible fuel cell systems (United States)

    Brown, Tim Matthew

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

  12. Biophoton emissions from cell cultures: biochemical evidence for the plasma membrane as the primary source. (United States)

    Dotta, Blake T; Buckner, Carly A; Cameron, Dianne; Lafrenie, Robert F; Persinger, Michael A


    Photon emissions were measured at ambient temperature (21°C) in complete darkness once per min from cultures of 10(6) cells during the 12 h following removal from 37°C. The energy of emission was about 10(-20) J/s/cell. Of 8 different cell lines, B16-BL6 (mouse melanoma cells) demonstrated the most conspicuous emission profile. Acridine orange and ethidium bromide indicated the membranes were intact with no indication of (trypan blue) cell necrosis. Treatments with EGF and ionomycin produced rapid early (first 3 h) increases in energy emission while glutamine-free, sodium azide and wortmanin-treated cells showed a general diminishment 3 to 9 h later. The results suggested the most probable origin of the photon emission was the plasma cell membrane. Measures from cells synchronized at the M- and S-phase supported this inference.

  13. Al2O3 Disk Supported Si3N4 Hydrogen Purification Membrane for Low Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoteng Liu


    Full Text Available Reformate gas, a commonly employed fuel for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs, contains carbon monoxide, which poisons Pt-containing anodes in such devices. A novel, low-cost mesoporous Si3N4 selective gas separation material was tested as a hydrogen clean-up membrane to remove CO from simulated feed gas to single-cell PEMFC, employing Nafion as the polymer electrolyte membrane. Polarization and power density measurements and gas chromatography showed a clear effect of separating the CO from the gas mixture; the performance and durability of the fuel cell was thereby significantly improved.

  14. Nuclear Membrane-Targeted Gold Nanoparticles Inhibit Cancer Cell Migration and Invasion. (United States)

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


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


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    叶纹; 沈玺; 钟一声


    Objective To study the effect of the amniotic membrane on enhancing the proliferation of corneal epithelia and YAC 1 cell.MethodsAfter the primary culture of the rabbits corneal epithelia and YAC 1 cells, they were seeded on the upper surface or stromal matrix side of amniotic membrane respectively. The proliferation results were observed by MTT test.ResultsThe amniotic membrane was found significantly enhancing the proliferation of corneal epithelia on the d1,d3,and d5 after culture. The proliferation rate was 28.93%,23.32%,23.41%(P<0.05)respectively, but the d7 proliferation rate was 20.72%(P>0.05).On the d1,d3,d7 after culture,the YAC 1 cells proliferation rate was 34.87%,36.28%,33.86%(P<0.01)respectively.ConclusionOur results demonstrated that the amniotic membrane could enhance the prolifera tion of both corneal epithelia and YAC 1 cells significantly. Although amniotic membrane has been suggested as an ideal material for reconstruction of ocular surface, special attention should be paid during amniotic membrane transplantation for treating ocular surface lesion resulted from epibulbar tumors.

  16. Activation of Endothelial Nitric Oxide (eNOS Occurs through Different Membrane Domains in Endothelial Cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Tran

    Full Text Available Endothelial cells respond to a large range of stimuli including circulating lipoproteins, growth factors and changes in haemodynamic mechanical forces to regulate the activity of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS and maintain blood pressure. While many signalling pathways have been mapped, the identities of membrane domains through which these signals are transmitted are less well characterized. Here, we manipulated bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAEC with cholesterol and the oxysterol 7-ketocholesterol (7KC. Using a range of microscopy techniques including confocal, 2-photon, super-resolution and electron microscopy, we found that sterol enrichment had differential effects on eNOS and caveolin-1 (Cav1 colocalisation, membrane order of the plasma membrane, caveolae numbers and Cav1 clustering. We found a correlation between cholesterol-induced condensation of the plasma membrane and enhanced high density lipoprotein (HDL-induced eNOS activity and phosphorylation suggesting that cholesterol domains, but not individual caveolae, mediate HDL stimulation of eNOS. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-induced and shear stress-induced eNOS activity was relatively independent of membrane order and may be predominantly controlled by the number of caveolae on the cell surface. Taken together, our data suggest that signals that activate and phosphorylate eNOS are transmitted through distinct membrane domains in endothelial cells.

  17. Internalization of components of the host cell plasma membrane during infection by Trypanosoma cruzi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carvalho TMU


    Full Text Available Epimastigote and trypomastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi attach to the macrophage surface and are internalized with the formation of a membrane bounded vacuole, known as the parasitophorous vacuole (PV. In order to determine if components of the host cell membrane are internalized during formation of the PV we labeled the macrophage surface with fluorescent probes for proteins, lipids and sialic acid residues and then allowed the labeled cells to interact with the parasites. The interaction process was interrupted after 1 hr at 37ºC and the distribution of the probes analyzed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. During attachment of the parasites to the macrophage surface an intense labeling of the attachment regions was observed. Subsequently labeling of the membrane lining the parasitophorous vacuole containing epimastigote and trypomastigote forms was seen. Labeling was not uniform, with regions of intense and light or no labeling. The results obtained show that host cell membrane lipids, proteins and sialoglycoconjugates contribute to the formation of the membrane lining the PV containing epimastigote and trypomastigote T. cruzi forms. Lysosomes of the host cell may participate in the process of PV membrane formation.

  18. The membrane disordering effect of ethanol on neural crest cells in vitro and the protective role of GM1 ganglioside. (United States)

    Chen, S Y; Yang, B; Jacobson, K; Sulik, K K


    The teratogenic effect of ethanol appears to be related to excessive cell death in selected cell populations including craniofacial neural crest. Because there is a large body of evidence suggesting that a primary site of action of ethanol is at the membrane level, the current study was designed to examine and attempt to ameliorate ethanol-induced neural crest cell membrane changes that proceed cell death. To this end, neural crest cells were grown as primary cultures from mouse cranial neural tube be explants. In these cultured cells, the relationships between changes in membrane lipid lateral mobility (a measure of membrane fluidity) as determined using the technique of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), ethanol-induced cell death, and the protective role of GM1 ganglioside were examined. A dose-response study showed that treatment with 50, 100, 150, or 200 mM ethanol respectively, for 24 h was positively correlated with membrane lipid lateral mobility and negatively correlated with cell viability. Pre- or co-treatment of the cells with GM1 ganglioside diminished the ethanol-induced increases in membrane fluidity and decreases in cell viability. The results of this study suggest that change in membrane fluidity can account, in part, for ethanol-induced neural crest cell death and that the protection conferred by GM1 ganglioside may result from membrane stabilization and subsequent preservation of the biophysical properties and biological function of the ethanol-exposed cell membranes.

  19. The Plasma Membrane Ca2+ ATPase and the Plasma Membrane Sodium Calcium Exchanger Cooperate in the Regulation of Cell Calcium (United States)

    Brini, Marisa; Carafoli, Ernesto


    Calcium is an ambivalent signal: it is essential for the correct functioning of cell life, but may also become dangerous to it. The plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPase (PMCA) and the plasma membrane Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) are the two mechanisms responsible for Ca2+ extrusion. The NCX has low Ca2+ affinity but high capacity for Ca2+ transport, whereas the PMCA has a high Ca2+ affinity but low transport capacity for it. Thus, traditionally, the PMCA pump has been attributed a housekeeping role in maintaining cytosolic Ca2+, and the NCX the dynamic role of counteracting large cytosolic Ca2+ variations (especially in excitable cells). This view of the roles of the two Ca2+ extrusion systems has been recently revised, as the specific functional properties of the numerous PMCA isoforms and splicing variants suggests that they may have evolved to cover both the basal Ca2+ regulation (in the 100 nM range) and the Ca2+ transients generated by cell stimulation (in the μM range). PMID:21421919

  20. Membrane-to-membrane transfer of tocopherol in red blood cells. (United States)

    Tanaka, H; Mino, M


    The direct cell-to-cell transfer of tocopherol between red blood cells (RBCs) was examined. Two kinds of RBCs were provided; 1) Tocopherol-deficient ones showing complete dialuric acid-hemolysis and 2) tocopherol-supplemented ones showing no dialuric acid-hemolysis. The two kinds of RBCs were mixed and incubated with gentle swirling in a buffer solution. If no tocopherol transfer occurred between the two kinds of RBCs in the cell suspensions, hemolysis should not change during incubation because hemolysis is limited only in the -deficient cells in the suspensions. However, it was actually observed that when RBCs with adequate amounts of tocopherol were incubated with tocopherol-deficient RBCs, dialuric acid-induced hemolysis decreased during a 3-h incubation period. Contrarily, when an inadequate amount of tocopherol constituting a limiting level for inhibition of hemolysis, existed in RBCs which were mixed with -deficient ones, hemolysis increased after incubation. This indicates that tocopherol is transferred from the tocopherol-rich RBCs to the -deficient RBCs. The transfer was greater as the hematocrit of cell suspensions increased. Gum arabic contained in the suspensions inhibited the transfer, while bromelain (a protease which lowers the electric charge on the cell surface) increased it. These findings indicate that the transfer of tocopherol is related to the frequency of collision between cells.

  1. Effects of vegetable oils on biochemical and biophysical properties of membrane retinal pigment epithelium cells. (United States)

    Said, Toihiri; Tremblay-Mercier, Jennifer; Berrougui, Hicham; Rat, Patrice; Khalil, Abdelouahed


    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of vegetable oil enrichment of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells on their biochemical and biophysical properties. For this, RPE cells were incubated with 4 different vegetables oils (olive oil, corn oil, argan oil, and camelina oil). The cytotoxicity of these vegetable oils was assessed in vivo on 8-week-old mice and in vitro by using the neutral red and YO-PRO-1 tests. Membrane fluidity was evaluated by fluorescence anisotropy using the fluorescent probe diphenylhexatriene, and membrane fatty acid composition was assessed by gas chromatography. None of the oils tested displayed cytotoxic effects. In vitro, omega-3 rich oils improved membrane fluidity by 47% compared with the control cells. The omega-3 PUFA content within membranes decreased by 38% to 55% when cells were incubated separately with olive oil, corn oil, or argan oil, and increased when cells were incubated with a mixture of those oils, or with camelina oil alone (50% and 103% increase, respectively). Our results show that the fatty acids in vegetable oil incorporate into retinal cells and increase the plasma membrane fluidity.

  2. Isolation and partial characterization of antigens from basement membranes and streptococcal cell membrane (SCM) employing anti-SCM monoclonal antibody. (United States)

    Zelman, M E; Lange, C F


    Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) against streptococcal cell membrane (SCM) antigen were used to identify specific cross-reactive peptides prepared by trypsin digestion of purified glomerular basement membrane (GBM) and lung basement membrane (LBM). Anti-SCM mAb-coupled HPLC columns were used to affinity isolate soluble LBM, GBM, and SCM antigens which then were sized by HPLC. Alternatively, SCM, GBM, and LBM digests were subjected to an initial separation by HPLC into component polypeptides, followed by affinity purification and ELISA of these fractions using anti-SCM mAb. Comparison of the antigenic reactivities by ELISA of the sized polypeptides on a nanomolar basis permitted the estimation of their individual relative epitope densities. The results for SCM antigens showed increasing epitope density with increasing molecular size, which suggests that intact SCM consists of repeating epitopes. Low mol. wt GBM polypeptides in nanogram amounts inhibited mAb binding to SCM, indicating that these small GBM polypeptides may similarly contain more than a single cross-reactive epitope. The identification of these cross-reactive epitopes in LBM and GBM has important implications for the etiology of post-streptococcal sequelae.

  3. Mechanisms of Granule Membrane Recapture following Exocytosis in Intact Mast Cells* (United States)

    Cabeza, Jose M.; Acosta, Jorge; Alés, Eva


    In secretory cells, several exocytosis-coupled forms of endocytosis have been proposed including clathrin-mediated endocytosis, kiss-and-run endocytosis, cavicapture, and bulk endocytosis. These forms of endocytosis can be induced under different conditions, but their detailed molecular mechanisms and functions are largely unknown. We studied exocytosis and endocytosis in mast cells with both perforated-patch and whole-cell configurations of the patch clamp technique using cell capacitance measurements in combination with amperometric serotonin detection. We found that intact mast cells exhibit an early endocytosis that follows exocytosis induced by compound 48/80. Direct observation of individual exocytic and endocytic events showed a higher percentage of capacitance flickers (27.3%) and off-steps (11.4%) in intact mast cells than in dialyzed cells (5.4% and 2.9%, respectively). Moreover, we observed a type of endocytosis of large pieces of membrane that were likely formed by cumulative fusion of several secretory granules with the cell membrane. We also identified “large-capacitance flickers” that occur after large endocytosis events. Pore conductance analysis indicated that these transient events may represent “compound cavicapture,” most likely due to the flickering of a dilated fusion pore. Using fluorescence imaging of individual exocytic and endocytic events we observed that granules can fuse to granules already fused with the plasma membrane, and then the membranes and dense cores of fused granules are internalized. Altogether, our results suggest that stimulated exocytosis in intact mast cells is followed by several forms of compensatory endocytosis, including kiss-and-run endocytosis and a mechanism for efficient retrieval of the compound membrane of several secretory granules through a single membrane fission event. PMID:23709219

  4. Antibody-membrane switch (AMS) technology for facile cell line development. (United States)

    Yu, Bo; Wages, John M; Larrick, James W


    Generation of high-productivity cell lines remains a major bottleneck in therapeutic antibody development. Conventional cell line development often depends on gene amplification methodologies using dihydrofolate reductase or glutamine synthetase. Higher productivity is associated with an increased gene copy number. However, lack of selection pressure under the conditions of large-scale manufacturing leads to clonal instability. We have developed a novel method for cell line development, antibody-membrane switch (AMS) technology, that does not rely on gene amplification. This fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS)-based, high-throughput method is facilitated by cell-surface antibody expression to rapidly and efficiently isolate high-producing cells. The switch between membrane expression and secretion is achieved by alternative splicing and specific DNA recombination. The antibody of interest is initially displayed on the cell surface to facilitate FACS. Isolated high-producing cells are then seamlessly transformed into production cells after removing the membrane-anchoring domain sequence with a DNA recombinase. AMS technology has been applied in a number of antibody cell line development projects, which typically last 2-3 months. The top production cell lines exhibit very high specific productivity of 40-60 pg/cell/day resulting in production titers of 2-4 g/l in 10-day batch culture.

  5. Proof of Concept for the Dual Membrane Cell. Part I: Fabrication and Electrochemical Testing of First Prototypes


    Thorel, Alain; Ilhan, Zeynep; Viviani, Massimo; Asif, Ansar; Vladikova, Daria; Barbucci, Antonio


    The Dual Membrane Cell (DM-Cell) is an innovative concept for solid state fuel cells operating in the temperature range 600-700°C. It is based on a junction between the cathode/electrolyte part of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) and the anode/electrolyte part of a protonic SOFC (PCFC) via a mixed H+ and O2- conducting porous ceramic membrane, named Dual Membrane (DM). This Dual Membrane is the key feature of the DM-Cell architecture and constitutes a third independent gas compartment for water...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuo Szu-Cheng


    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

  7. Membranes for hydrogen and fuel cell technology; Membranas para celula combustivel e separacao de hidrogenio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nunes, Suzana Pereira [GKSS-Forschungszentrum, Geesthacht (Germany)]. E-mail:


    Membranes for fuel cell were prepared using as polymer matrix sulfonated polyether ketones. New sulfonated copolymers (poly oxazoles, poly imides and poly ketones) were synthesized. Nano composites using zirconium oxide and phosphates, as well as modified silicates were obtained aiming the application on direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). The performances of membranes containing fillers with different aspects (spherical, layers, tubular, networks) and surface modification (hydroxy, imidazole, acid oligomers) were compared. The effect of surface modification was much more pronounced than that of the aspect. A good balance of proton conductivity and methanol permeability was obtained with silicates modified with imidazole groups. Good performance in DMFC were obtained with membranes containing zirconium phosphate. Acid oligomers also led to particularly high conductivity values above 100 deg C. Polyimide membranes with H{sub 2}/CH{sub 4} larger than 100 were obtained. (author )

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


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


    The M-band technique was used to assess the number of attachment points of DNA to the cell membrane of Streptococcus faecalis grown at three different rates. Cells were X irradiated in liquid nitrogen and then analyzed simultaneously for the introduction of double-strand breaks into the chromosome and the degree of removal of DNA from the cell membrane (M band). Consideration of the data from these experiments and of the topology of the bacterial chromosome resulted in a reevaluation of forme...

  9. Influence of ethanolic extract of Tephrosia purpurea Linn. on mast cells and erythrocytes membrane integrity. (United States)

    Gokhale, A B; Dikshit, V J; Damre, A S; Kulkarni, K R; Saraf, M N


    The ethanolic extract of T. purpurea Linn. was studied for its in vitro effect on rat mast cell degranulation and erythrocyte membrane integrity in vitro. The extract in concentration of 25-200 microg/ml showed a dose-dependant inhibition of rat mast cell degranulation induded by compound 48/80 and egg albumin. T. purpurea extract was found to inhibit haemolysis of erythrocytes induced by hypotonic solution but accelerated haemolysis induced by heat at a concentration of 100 microg/ml. The studies reveal that the ethanolic extract of T. purpurea may inhibit degranulation of mast cells by a mechanism other than membrane stabilization.

  10. Constant Power Control of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell through Adaptive Fuzzy Sliding Mode

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minxiu Yan


    Full Text Available Fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. The paper describes a mathematical model of proton exchange membrane fuel cells by analyzing the working mechanism of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Furthermore, an adaptive fuzzy sliding mode controller is designed for the constant power output of PEMFC system. Simulation results prove that adaptive fuzzy sliding mode control has better control effect than conventional fuzzy sliding mode control.

  11. Combined ion conductance and fluorescence confocal microscopy for biological cell membrane transport studies (United States)

    Shevchuk, A. I.; Novak, P.; Velazquez, M. A.; Fleming, T. P.; Korchev, Y. E.


    Optical visualization of nanoscale morphological changes taking place in living biological cells during such important processes as endo- and exocytosis is challenging due to the low refractive index of lipid membranes. In this paper we summarize and discuss advances in the powerful combination of two complementary live imaging techniques, ion conductance and fluorescence confocal microscopy, that allows cell membrane topography to be related with molecular-specific fluorescence at high spatial and temporal resolution. We demonstrate the feasibility of the use of ion conductance microscopy to image apical plasma membrane of mouse embryo trophoblast outgrowth cells at a resolution sufficient to depict single endocytic pits. This opens the possibility to study individual endocytic events in embryo trophoblast outgrowth cells where endocytosis plays a crucial role during early stages of embryo development.

  12. Improved Performance of Sulfonated Polyarylene Ethers for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    D. Xing; J. Kerres; F. Sch(o)nberger


    @@ 1Introduction The proton exchange membrane (PEM) is one of key components in fuel cell system. Its properties are very important in determining PEMFC performance. The membranes presently used in fuel cell are perfluorosulfonic polymers, such as Nafion(R) from Dupont. Although they have high proton conductivity and excellent chemical stability, their too high production cast and methanol permeability lead to failure of fuel cell application. Therefore, various partially fluorinated and non-fluorinated polymer electrolytes are under development for PEMFC application since one decade. In the middle of non-fluorinated polymer electrolytes, sulfonated poly(arylene ether)s display high thermal stability, good mechanical properties and exceptional resistance to oxidation and acid catalyzed hydrolysis. They have been regarded as well-suited proton exchange membrane candidates for fuel cells.

  13. Calcium phosphate nanoparticles as versatile carrier for small and large molecules across cell membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sokolova, Viktoriya; Rotan, Olga; Klesing, Jan [University of Duisburg-Essen, Inorganic Chemistry and Center for Nanointegration Duisburg-Essen (CeNIDE) (Germany); Nalbant, Perihan [University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty of Biology, Institute of Molecular Cell Biology (Germany); Buer, Jan; Knuschke, Torben; Westendorf, Astrid M. [University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of Medical Microbiology (Germany); Epple, Matthias, E-mail: [University of Duisburg-Essen, Inorganic Chemistry and Center for Nanointegration Duisburg-Essen (CeNIDE) (Germany)


    The successful transport of molecules across the cell membrane is a key point in biology and medicine. In most cases, molecules alone cannot penetrate the cell membrane, therefore an efficient carrier is needed. Calcium phosphate nanoparticles (diameter: 100-250 nm, depending on the functionalization) were loaded with fluorescent oligonucleotides, peptide, proteins, antibodies, polymers or porphyrins and characterized by dynamic light scattering, nanoparticle tracking analysis and scanning electron microscopy. Any excess of molecules was removed by ultracentrifugation, and the dissolved molecules at the same concentration were used as control. The uptake of such fluorescence-labeled nanoparticles into HeLa cells was monitored by fluorescence microscopy and confocal laser scanning microscopy. Calcium phosphate nanoparticles were able to transport all molecules across the cell membrane, whereas the dissolved molecules alone were taken up only to a very small extent or even not at all.

  14. Simulation and in situ measurement of stress distribution in a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack (United States)

    de la Cruz, Javier; Cano, Ulises; Romero, Tatiana


    A critical parameter for PEM fuel cell's electric contact is the nominal clamping pressure. Predicting the mechanical behavior of all components in a fuel cell stack is a very complex task due to the diversity of materials properties. Prior to the integration of a 3 kW PEMFC power plant, a numerical simulation was performed in order to obtain the mechanical stress distribution for two of the most pressure sensitive components of the stack: the membrane, and the graphite plates. The stress distribution of the above mentioned components was numerically simulated by finite element analysis and the stress magnitude for the membrane was confirmed using pressure films. Stress values were found within the elastic zone which guarantees mechanical integrity of fuel cell components. These low stress levels particularly for the membrane will allow prolonging the life and integrity of the fuel cell stack according to its design specifications.

  15. Electromediated formation of DNA complexes with cell membranes and its consequences for gene delivery

    CERN Document Server

    Escoffre, Jean-Michel; Favard, Cyril; Teissié, Justin; Dean, David S; Rols, Marie-Pierre


    Electroporation is a physical method to induce the uptake of therapeutic drugs and DNA, by eukaryotic cells and tissues. The phenomena behind electro-mediated membrane permeabilization to plasmid DNA have been shown to be significantly more complex than those for small molecules. Small molecules cross the permeabilized membrane by diffusion whereas plasmid DNA first interacts with the electropermeabilized part of the cell surface, forming localized aggregates. The dynamics of this process is still poorly understood because direct observations have been limited to scales of the order of seconds. Here, cells are electropermeabilized in the presence of plasmid DNA and monitored with a temporal resolution of 2 ms. This allows us to show that during the first pulse application, plasmid complexes, or aggregates, start to form at distinct sites on the cell membrane. FRAP measurements show that the positions of these sites are remarkably immobile during the application of further pluses. A theoretical model is propos...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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


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

  17. Local Entropy Production Rates in a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (United States)

    Siemer, Marc; Marquardt, Tobias; Huerta, Gerardo Valadez; Kabelac, Stephan


    A modeling study on a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell by means of non-equilibrium thermodynamics is presented. The developed model considers a one-dimensional cell in steady-state operation. The temperature, concentration and electric potential profiles are calculated for every domain of the cell. While the gas diffusion and the catalyst layers are calculated with established classical modeling approaches, the transport processes in the membrane are calculated with the phenomenological equations as dictated by the non-equilibrium thermodynamics. This approach is especially instructive for the membrane as the coupled transport mechanisms are dominant. The needed phenomenological coefficients are approximated on the base of conventional transport coefficients. Knowing the fluxes and their intrinsic corresponding forces, the local entropy production rate is calculated. Accordingly, the different loss mechanisms can be detected and quantified, which is important for cell and stack optimization.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix Dempwolff

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

  19. A Nafion-Ceria Composite Membrane Electrolyte for Reduced Methanol Crossover in Direct Methanol Fuel Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parthiban Velayutham


    Full Text Available An alternative Nafion composite membrane was prepared by incorporating various loadings of CeO2 nanoparticles into the Nafion matrix and evaluated its potential application in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs. The effects of CeO2 in the Nafion matrix were systematically studied in terms of surface morphology, thermal and mechanical stability, proton conductivity and methanol permeability. The composite membrane with optimum filler content (1 wt. % CeO2 exhibits a proton conductivity of 176 mS·cm−1 at 70 °C, which is about 30% higher than that of the unmodified membrane. Moreover, all the composite membranes possess a much lower methanol crossover compared to pristine Nafion membrane. In a single cell DMFC test, MEA fabricated with the optimized composite membrane delivered a peak power density of 120 mW·cm−2 at 70 °C, which is about two times higher in comparison with the pristine Nafion membrane under identical operating conditions.

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

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


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

  1. Protein nanocoatings on synthetic polymeric nanofibrous membranes designed as carriers for skin cells (United States)

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


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

  2. Study of basic biopolymer as proton membrane for fuel cell systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramirez-Salgado, Joel [Programa de Ingenieria Molecular, Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo, Eje Lazaro Cardenas No. 152, CP 07730, Mexico D.F. (Mexico)


    Up to now, many research groups work to improve the electrical and mechanical properties of membranes with a low cost of production. The biopolymers could be an answer to produce proton membranes at low cost. This work demonstrates that the intrinsic membrane polymer and clays properties can help to develop a novel proton exchange membranes. Biopolymer composites (chitosan-oxide compounds) present conductivity between 10{sup -3} and 10{sup -2} S cm{sup -1}. The measurements were calculated by EIS (1 MHz-0.05 Hz) using the two-electrode configuration. Different oxides were used: MgO, CaO, SiO{sub 2}, Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}. The ionic conductivities were compared with Nafion {sup registered} 's in the same conditions of P and T. The catalyst layer/membrane ensemble was made during the design with the subsequent demonstration as membrane electrode assemblies and finally the fuel cell was built. Our focus was to increase the compatibility between the proton basic polymer exchange membrane and basic clays as CaO and test a new kind of fuel cell. (author)

  3. STED microscopy of living cells--new frontiers in membrane and neurobiology. (United States)

    Eggeling, Christian; Willig, Katrin I; Barrantes, Francisco J


    Recent developments in fluorescence far-field microscopy such as STED microscopy have accomplished observation of the living cell with a spatial resolution far below the diffraction limit. Here, we briefly review the current approaches to super-resolution optical microscopy and present the implementation of STED microscopy for novel insights into live cell mechanisms, with a focus on neurobiology and plasma membrane dynamics.

  4. Low stoichiometry operation of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell employing the interdigitated flow field

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berning, Torsten; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    A multiphase fuel cell model based on computational fluid dynamics is used to investigate the possibility of operating a proton exchange membrane fuel cell at low stoichiometric flow ratios (ξ interdigitated flow field design and using completely dry inlet gases. A case study...

  5. Magnetic resonance imaging of water content across the Nafion membrane in an operational PEM fuel cell (United States)

    Zhang, Ziheng; Martin, Jonathan; Wu, Jinfeng; Wang, Haijiang; Promislow, Keith; Balcom, Bruce J.


    Water management is critical to optimize the operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. At present, numerical models are employed to guide water management in such fuel cells. Accurate measurements of water content variation in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are required to validate these models and to optimize fuel cell behavior. We report a direct water content measurement across the Nafion membrane in an operational polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, employing double half k-space spin echo single point imaging techniques. The MRI measurements with T2 mapping were undertaken with a parallel plate resonator to avoid the effects of RF screening. The parallel plate resonator employs the electrodes inherent to the fuel cell to create a resonant circuit at RF frequencies for MR excitation and detection, while still operating as a conventional fuel cell at DC. Three stages of fuel cell operation were investigated: activation, operation and dehydration. Each profile was acquired in 6 min, with 6 μm nominal resolution and a SNR of better than 15.

  6. A micropatterned cell array with an integrated oxygen-sensitive fluorescent membrane. (United States)

    Montagne, Kevin; Komori, Kikuo; Yang, Fei; Tatsuma, Tetsu; Fujii, Teruo; Sakai, Yasuyuki


    We propose a simple method for producing micropatterned cell spots by photocatalytic lithography on a Pt porphyrin-based oxygen-sensitive polystyrene membrane that enables real-time imaging of oxygen consumption of patterned cell spots with sub-millimetre resolution.

  7. An Application of Microcapsules Having Enzyme-degradable Gel Membrane to Cell Culture (United States)

    Dobashi, Toshiaki; Koike, Michiru; Kobayashi, Kentaro; Maki, Yasuyuki; Yamamoto, Takao; Tanaka, Susumu

    Newly developed microcapsules having gelatin wall membrane was applied as a scaffold for suspension cell culture. The optimum preparation condition was determined, and the stability of the cultured human fibroblast cells using the microcapsules was examined at both protein and gene levels.

  8. GPI-anchored proteins do not reside in ordered domains in the live cell plasma membrane (United States)

    Sevcsik, Eva; Brameshuber, Mario; Fölser, Martin; Weghuber, Julian; Honigmann, Alf; Schütz, Gerhard J.


    The organization of proteins and lipids in the plasma membrane has been the subject of a long-lasting debate. Membrane rafts of higher lipid chain order were proposed to mediate protein interactions, but have thus far not been directly observed. Here we use protein micropatterning combined with single-molecule tracking to put current models to the test: we rearranged lipid-anchored raft proteins (glycosylphosphatidylinositol(GPI)-anchored-mGFP) directly in the live cell plasma membrane and measured the effect on the local membrane environment. Intriguingly, this treatment does neither nucleate the formation of an ordered membrane phase nor result in any enrichment of nanoscopic-ordered domains within the micropatterned regions. In contrast, we find that immobilized mGFP-GPIs behave as inert obstacles to the diffusion of other membrane constituents without influencing their membrane environment over distances beyond their physical size. Our results indicate that phase partitioning is not a fundamental element of protein organization in the plasma membrane.

  9. The Effect of Tethers on Artificial Cell Membranes: A Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics Study (United States)

    Hoiles, William; Gupta, Rini; Cornell, Bruce; Krishnamurthy, Vikram


    Tethered bilayer lipid membranes (tBLMs) provide a stable platform for modeling the dynamics and order of biological membranes where the tethers mimic the cytoskeletal supports present in biological cell membranes. In this paper coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) is applied to study the effects of tethers on lipid membrane properties. Using results from the CGMD model and the overdamped Fokker-Planck equation, we show that the diffusion tensor and particle density of water in the tBLM is spatially dependent. Further, it is shown that the membrane thickness, lipid diffusion, defect density, free energy of lipid flip-flop, and membrane dielectric permittivity are all dependent on the tether density. The numerically computed results from the CGMD model are in agreement with the experimentally measured results from tBLMs containing different tether densities and lipids derived from Archaebacteria. Additionally, using experimental measurements from Escherichia coli bacteria and Saccharomyces Cerevisiae yeast tethered membranes, we illustrate how previous molecular dynamics results can be combined with the proposed model to estimate the dielectric permittivity and defect density of these membranes as a function of tether density. PMID:27736860

  10. Improved performance of single-chamber microbial fuel cells through control of membrane deformation

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Xiaoyuan


    Cation (CEMs) and anion exchange membrane (AEMs) are commonly used in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) to enhance Coulombic efficiencies (CEs) by reducing thefluxof oxygen through the cathode to bacteriaonthe anode. AEMs typically work better than CEMs, but in initial experiments we observed the opposite using a membrane electrode assembly MFC. The reason was identified to be membrane deformation, which resulted in water and gas trapped between the membrane and cathode. To correct this, stainless steel mesh was used to press the membrane flat against the cathode. With the steel mesh, AEM performance increased to 46±4W/m3 in a single cathode MFC, and 98±14W/m3 in a double-cathode MFC. These power densities were higher than those using a CEM of 32±2W/m3 (single cathode) and 63±6W/m3 (double cathode). Higher pH gradients across the membrane and salt precipitation on the cathode were responsible for the reduced performance of the CEM compared to the AEM. CEs reached over 90% for both membranes at >2A/m2. These results demonstrate the importance of avoiding water accumulation in thin films between membranes and electrodes, and explain additional reasons for poorer performance of CEMs compared to AEMs. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.

  11. A dynamin-like protein involved in bacterial cell membrane surveillance under environmental stress. (United States)

    Sawant, Prachi; Eissenberger, Kristina; Karier, Laurence; Mascher, Thorsten; Bramkamp, Marc


    In ever-changing natural environments, bacteria are continuously challenged with numerous biotic and abiotic stresses. Accordingly, they have evolved both specific and more general mechanisms to counteract stress-induced damage and ensure survival. In the soil habitat of Bacillus subtilis, peptide antibiotics and bacteriophages are among the primary stressors that affect the integrity of the cytoplasmic membrane. Dynamin-like proteins (DLPs) play a major role in eukaryotic membrane re-modelling processes, including antiviral activities, but the function of the corresponding bacterial homologues was so far poorly understood. Here, we report on the protective function of a bacterial DLP, DynA from B. subtilis. We provide evidence that DynA plays an important role in a membrane surveillance system that counteracts membrane pore formation provoked by antibiotics and phages. In unstressed cells, DynA is a highly dynamic membrane-associated protein. Upon membrane damage, DynA localizes into large and static assemblies, where DynA acts locally to counteract stress-induced pores, presumably by inducing lipid bilayer fusion and sealing membrane gaps. Thus, lack of DynA increases the sensitivity to antibiotic exposure and phage infection. Taken together, our work suggests that DynA, and potentially other bacterial DLPs, contribute to the innate immunity of bacteria against membrane stress.

  12. Production of an ion-exchange membrane-catalytic electrode bonded material for electrolytic cells (United States)

    Takenaka, H.; Torikai, E.


    A good bond is achieved by placing a metal salt in solution on one side of a membrane and a reducing agent on the other side so that the reducing agent penetrates the membrane and reduces the metal. Thus, a solution containing Pt, Rh, etc., is placed on one side of the membrane and a reducing agent such as NaBH, is placed on the other side. The bonded metal layer obtained is superior in catalytic activity and is suitable as an electrode in a cell such as for solid polymer electrolyte water electrolysis.

  13. A Stability Study of Alkali Doped PBI Membranes for Alkaline Electrolyzer Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jens Oluf; Aili, David; Hansen, Martin Kalmar;


    Polybenzimidazole membranes in a linear, a crosslinked and a thermally cured form were subjected to aging in 6 M aqueous KOH at 85 ºC for periods of up to 176 days. The aged membranes were characterized with respect to weight loss, mechanical properties and ionic conductivity. The area specific...... conductivity was similar to a commercial Zirfon membrane and suitable for a water electrolyzer. Some chemical degradation was seen during the aging period, but the crosslinked and the cured materials were both integral after 176 days of aging. A simplified electrolyzer test cell was operated successfully....

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


    The plant Golgi apparatus has a central role in the secretory pathway and is the principal site within the cell for the assembly and processing of macromolecules. The stacked membrane structure of the Golgi apparatus along with its interactions with the cytoskeleton and endoplasmic reticulum has...... historically made the isolation and purification of this organelle difficult. Density centrifugation has typically been used to enrich Golgi membranes from plant microsomal preparations, and aside from minor adaptations, the approach is still widely employed. Here we outline the enrichment of Golgi membranes...


    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    Sulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)(SPAES) copolymer with degree of sulfonation of 1.0 was synthesized and characterized.A series of SPAES-TiO_2 hybrid membranes with various contents of nano-sized TiO_2 particles were prepared and characterized through sol-gel reactions.Scanning electron microscopy(SEM) images indicated the TiO_2 particles were well dispersed within polymer matrix.These composite membranes were evaluated for proton exchange membranes(PEMs) in direct methanol fuel cell(DMFC).These mem...

  16. Preparation of Stable Pt-Clay Nanocatalysts for Self-humidifying Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Wenjing

    ultrasonication and a rigorous mechanical agitation of Ptclay in the Nafion solution during the membrane casting process. Planar and hygroscopic clay reduced fuel crossover and balanced the water content. In situ water production for humidification of the dry membranes without any external humidification......One of the critical challenges in making proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells commercially viable is the inability of Nafi