Sample records for membrane pores

  1. Modeling branching pore structures in membrane filters (United States)

    Sanaei, Pejman; Cummings, Linda J.


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

  2. The Effect of the Pore Entrance on Particle Motion in Slit Pores: Implications for Ultrathin Membranes. (United States)

    Delavari, Armin; Baltus, Ruth


    Membrane rejection models generally neglect the effect of the pore entrance on intrapore particle transport. However, entrance effects are expected to be particularly important with ultrathin membranes, where membrane thickness is typically comparable to pore size. In this work, a 2D model was developed to simulate particle motion for spherical particles moving at small Re and infinite Pe from the reservoir outside the pore into a slit pore. Using a finite element method, particles were tracked as they accelerated across the pore entrance until they reached a steady velocity in the pore. The axial position in the pore where particle motion becomes steady is defined as the particle entrance length (PEL). PELs were found to be comparable to the fluid entrance length, larger than the pore size and larger than the thickness typical of many ultrathin membranes. Results also show that, in the absence of particle diffusion, hydrodynamic particle-membrane interactions at the pore mouth result in particle "funneling" in the pore, yielding cross-pore particle concentration profiles focused at the pore centerline. The implications of these phenomena on rejection from ultrathin membranes are examined.

  3. Fusion Pore Diameter Regulation by Cations Modulating Local Membrane Anisotropy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Doron Kabaso


    Full Text Available The fusion pore is an aqueous channel that is formed upon the fusion of the vesicle membrane with the plasma membrane. Once the pore is open, it may close again (transient fusion or widen completely (full fusion to permit vesicle cargo discharge. While repetitive transient fusion pore openings of the vesicle with the plasma membrane have been observed in the absence of stimulation, their frequency can be further increased using a cAMP-increasing agent that drives the opening of nonspecific cation channels. Our model hypothesis is that the openings and closings of the fusion pore are driven by changes in the local concentration of cations in the connected vesicle. The proposed mechanism of fusion pore dynamics is considered as follows: when the fusion pore is closed or is extremely narrow, the accumulation of cations in the vesicle (increased cation concentration likely leads to lipid demixing at the fusion pore. This process may affect local membrane anisotropy, which reduces the spontaneous curvature and thus leads to the opening of the fusion pore. Based on the theory of membrane elasticity, we used a continuum model to explain the rhythmic opening and closing of the fusion pore.

  4. Microfiltration of distillery stillage: Influence of membrane pore size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasić Vesna M.


    Full Text Available Stillage is one of the most polluted waste products of the food industry. Beside large volume, the stillage contains high amount of suspended solids, high values of chemical oxygen demand and biological oxygen demand, so it should not be discharged in the nature before previous purification. In this work, three ceramic membranes for microfiltration with different pore sizes were tested for stillage purification in order to find the most suitable membrane for the filtration process. Ceramic membranes with a nominal pore size of 200 nm, 450 nm and 800 nm were used for filtration. The influence of pore size on permeate flux and removal efficiency was investigated. A membrane with the pore size of 200 nm showed the best filtration performance so it was chosen for the microfiltration process.

  5. The Effect of Membrane Material and Surface Pore Size on the Fouling Properties of Submerged Membranes

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    Sungil Jeon


    Full Text Available We aimed to investigate the relationship between membrane material and the development of membrane fouling in a membrane bioreactor (MBR using membranes with different pore sizes and hydrophilicities. Batch filtration tests were performed using submerged single hollow fiber membrane ultrafiltration (UF modules with different polymeric membrane materials including cellulose acetate (CA, polyethersulfone (PES, and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF with activated sludge taken from a municipal wastewater treatment plant. The three UF hollow fiber membranes were prepared by a non-solvent-induced phase separation method and had similar water permeabilities and pore sizes. The results revealed that transmembrane pressure (TMP increased more sharply for the hydrophobic PVDF membrane than for the hydrophilic CA membrane in batch filtration tests, even when membranes with similar permeabilities and pore sizes were used. PVDF hollow fiber membranes with smaller pores had greater fouling propensity than those with larger pores. In contrast, CA hollow fiber membranes showed good mitigation of membrane fouling regardless of pore size. The results obtained in this study suggest that the surface hydrophilicity and pore size of UF membranes clearly affect the fouling properties in MBR operation when using activated sludge.

  6. Factors Determining the Pore Shape in Polycarbonate Track Membranes

    CERN Document Server

    Apel, P Yu; Orelovich, O L; Akimenko, S N; Sartowska, B; Dmitriev, S N


    The process of pore formation in ion-irradiated polycarbonate films on treatment with alkali solutions in the presence of a surfactant is studied. It is found that the pore shape depends on both the structure of the initial films and the peculiarities of the interaction of the surfactant with the polymer surface and the transport of the surfactant into tracks. Due to heterogeneity of the films the cross-section of a track pore channel changes along its length. The presence of the surfactant results in a further effect. Surfactant molecules adsorb on the polymer surface at the pore entries and reduce the etch rate which leads to formation of cigar-like pore channels. The use of surfactant as a component of chemical etchant enables one to control the pore shape in track membranes thus optimizing their retention and permeation characteristics.

  7. Effect of membrane polymeric materials on relationship between surface pore size and membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors (United States)

    Miyoshi, Taro; Yuasa, Kotaku; Ishigami, Toru; Rajabzadeh, Saeid; Kamio, Eiji; Ohmukai, Yoshikage; Saeki, Daisuke; Ni, Jinren; Matsuyama, Hideto


    We investigated the effect of different membrane polymeric materials on the relationship between membrane pore size and development of membrane fouling in a membrane bioreactor (MBR). Membranes with different pore sizes were prepared using three different polymeric materials, cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB), polyvinyl butyral (PVB), and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF), and the development of membrane fouling in each membrane was evaluated by batch filtration tests using a mixed liquor suspension obtained from a laboratory-scale MBR. The results revealed that the optimal membrane pore size to mitigate membrane fouling differed depending on membrane polymeric material. For PVDF membranes, the degree of membrane fouling decreased as membrane pore size increased. In contrast, CAB membranes with smaller pores had less fouling propensity than those with larger ones. Such difference can be attributed to the difference in major membrane foulants in each membrane; in PVDF, they were small colloids or dissolved organics in which proteins are abundant, and in CAB, microbial flocs. The results obtained in this study strongly suggested that optimum operating conditions of MBRs differ depending on the characteristics of the used membrane.

  8. Membranes with functionalized carbon nanotube pores for selective transport (United States)

    Bakajin, Olgica; Noy, Aleksandr; Fornasiero, Francesco; Park, Hyung Gyu; Holt, Jason K; Kim, Sangil


    Provided herein composition and methods for nanoporous membranes comprising single walled, double walled, or multi-walled carbon nanotubes embedded in a matrix material. Average pore size of the carbon nanotube can be 6 nm or less. These membranes are a robust platform for the study of confined molecular transport, with applications in liquid and gas separations and chemical sensing including desalination, dialysis, and fabric formation.

  9. In situ temperature tunable pores of shape memory polyurethane membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahn, Joon-Sung; Yu, Woong-Ryeol; Youk, Ji Ho; Ryu, Hee Youk


    Conventional shape memory polymers, such as shape memory polyurethanes (SMPU), can exhibit net two-way shape memory behavior (2WSM), i.e., upon heating and subsequent cooling, their macroscopic shapes change reversibly under an applied bias load. This paper is aimed at reporting similar 2WSM behavior, especially by focusing on the size of nanopores/micropores in SMPU membranes, i.e., the size of the pores can be reversibly changed by up to about 300 nm upon repeated heating and cooling. The SMPU membranes were prepared by electrospinning and elongated at temperatures higher than the transition temperature of the SMPU. Under the constant stress, the size change of the pores in the membranes was measured by applying cyclic temperature change. It was observed that the pore size changed from 150 to 440 nm according to the temperature change, demonstrating that the SMPU membrane can be utilized as a smart membrane to selectively separate substances according to their sizes by just controlling temperature

  10. Influence factors on etching rate of PET nuclear pore membrane

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuo Zhenzhong; Wu Zhendong; Liang Haiying; Ju Wei; Chen Dongfeng; Fu Yuanyong; Qu Guopu


    Background: The nuclear pore membrane is a kind of liquid filtration material manufactured by irradiation and chemical etching. Various conditions in etch process have a great influence on etch rate. Purpose: The influence factors of concentration and temperature of etch solution and the irradiation energy of heavy ions on etch rate was studied. Methods: Four layers of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) films were stacked together and were irradiated with 140-MeV 32 S ions at room temperature under vacuum conditions. Utilizing conductivity measurement technique, the electrical current changes through the u:radiated PET film were monitored during etching, from which the breakthrough time and therefore the track etching rate was calculated. Results: The results show that there is an exponential correlation between etch rate and temperature, and a linear correlation between etch rate and concentration. The track etching rate increases linearly with energy loss rate. Empirical formula for the bulk etching rate as a function of etchant concentration and temperature was also established via fitting of measurements. Conclusion: It is concluded that by using 1.6-MeV·u -1 32 S ions, PET nuclear pore membrane with cylindrical pore shape can be prepared at 85℃ with etchant concentration of l mol·L -1 . (authors)

  11. Effect of pore size on gas resistance of nanofiber membrane by the bubble electrospinning

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    Shen Jing


    Full Text Available This paper explores the influence of pore size on gas resistance by comparing micron non-woven and nanofiber membrane. The result shows that membrane with a higher filtration and lower gas resistance can be received by controlling the pore size of nanofiber membrane.

  12. Calcitonin Forms Oligomeric Pore-Like Structures in Lipid Membranes (United States)

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


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

  13. Membrane fouling mechanism of biofilm-membrane bioreactor (BF-MBR): Pore blocking model and membrane cleaning. (United States)

    Zheng, Yi; Zhang, Wenxiang; Tang, Bing; Ding, Jie; Zheng, Yi; Zhang, Zhien


    Biofilm membrane bioreactor (BF-MBR) is considered as an important wastewater treatment technology that incorporates advantages of both biofilm and MBR process, as well as can alleviate membrane fouling, with respect to the conventional activated sludge MBR. But, to be efficient, it necessitates the establishment of proper methods for the assessment of membrane fouling. Four Hermia membrane blocking models were adopted to quantify and evaluate the membrane fouling of BF-MBR. The experiments were conducted with various operational conditions, including membrane types, agitation speeds and transmembrane pressure (TMP). Good agreement between cake formation model and experimental data was found, confirming the validity of the Hermia models for assessing the membrane fouling of BF-MBR and that cake layer deposits on membrane. Moreover, the influences of membrane types, agitation speeds and transmembrane pressure on the Hermia pore blocking coefficient of cake layer were investigated. In addition, the permeability recovery after membrane cleaning at various operational conditions was studied. This work confirms that, unlike conventional activated sludge MBR, BF-MBR possesses a low degree of membrane fouling and a higher membrane permeability recovery after cleaning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Nanofiber based triple layer hydro-philic/-phobic membrane - a solution for pore wetting in membrane distillation (United States)

    Prince, J. A.; Rana, D.; Matsuura, T.; Ayyanar, N.; Shanmugasundaram, T. S.; Singh, G.


    The innovative design and synthesis of nanofiber based hydro-philic/phobic membranes with a thin hydro-phobic nanofiber layer on the top and a thin hydrophilic nanofiber layer on the bottom of the conventional casted micro-porous layer which opens up a solution for membrane pore wetting and improves the pure water flux in membrane distillation.

  15. Diode-like properties of single- and multi-pore asymmetric track membranes (United States)

    Zielinska, K.; Gapeeva, A. R.; Orelovich, O. L.; Apel, P. Yu.


    In this work, we investigated the ionic transport properties of asymmetric polyethylene terephthalate (PET) track membranes with the thickness of 5 μm. The samples containing single pores and arrays of many pores were fabricated by irradiation with accelerated ions and subsequent physicochemical treatment. The method of etching in the presence of a surface-active agent was used to prepare the pores with highly-tapered tip. The transport of monovalent inorganic ions through the nano-scale holes was studied in a conductivity cell. The effective pore radii, electrical conductance and rectification ratios of pores were measured. The geometric characteristics of nanopores were investigated using FESEM.

  16. Self-assembled isoporous block copolymer membranes with tuned pore sizes

    KAUST Repository

    Yu, Haizhou


    The combination of nonsolvent-induced phase separation and the self-assembly of block copolymers can lead to asymmetric membranes with a thin highly ordered isoporous skin layer. The effective pore size of such membranes is usually larger than 15 nm. We reduced the pore size of these membranes by electroless gold deposition. We demonstrate that the pore sizes can be controlled precisely between 3 and 20 nm leading to a tunable sharp size discrimination in filtration processes. Besides fractionation of nanoparticles and biomaterials, controlled drug delivery is an attractive potential application. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Self-assembled isoporous block copolymer membranes with tuned pore sizes. (United States)

    Yu, Haizhou; Qiu, Xiaoyan; Nunes, Suzana P; Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor


    The combination of nonsolvent-induced phase separation and the self-assembly of block copolymers can lead to asymmetric membranes with a thin highly ordered isoporous skin layer. The effective pore size of such membranes is usually larger than 15 nm. We reduced the pore size of these membranes by electroless gold deposition. We demonstrate that the pore sizes can be controlled precisely between 3 and 20 nm leading to a tunable sharp size discrimination in filtration processes. Besides fractionation of nanoparticles and biomaterials, controlled drug delivery is an attractive potential application. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Comparison of Polytetrafluoroethylene Flat-Sheet Membranes with Different Pore Sizes in Application to Submerged Membrane Bioreactor

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    Manabu Motoori


    Full Text Available This study focused on phase separation of activated sludge mixed liquor by flat-sheet membranes of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE. A 20 liter working volume lab-scale MBR incorporating immersed PTFE flat-sheet membrane modules with different pore sizes (0.3, 0.5 and 1.0 μm was operated for 19 days treating a synthetic wastewater. The experiment was interrupted twice at days 5 and 13 when the modules were removed and cleaned physically and chemically in sequence. The pure water permeate flux of each membrane module was measured before and after each cleaning step to calculate membrane resistances. Results showed that fouling of membrane modules with 0.3 μm pore size was more rapid than other membrane modules with different pore sizes (0.5 and 1.0 μm. On the other hand, it was not clear whether fouling of the 0.5 μm membrane module was more severe than that of the 1.0 μm membrane module. This was partly because of the membrane condition after chemical cleaning, which seemed to determine the fouling of those modules over the next period. When irreversible resistance (Ri i.e., differences in membrane resistance before use and after chemical cleaning was high, the transmembrane pressure increased quickly during the next period irrespective of membrane pore size.

  19. Pore-Filled Scintillating Membrane as Sensing Matrix for α-Emitting Actinides. (United States)

    Chavan, Vivek; Agarwal, Chhavi; Pandey, A K


    Pore-filled membranes with scintillating properties have been synthesized for sensing α-emitting radionuclides. The membranes have been prepared by in situ UV-initiator-induced polymerization of monomer bis[2-(methacryloxy)ethyl] phosphate in pores of the host membranes, poly(propylene) and poly(ethersulfone). The polymerization has been carried out in the presence of scintillating molecules, 2,5-diphenyloxazole. These scintillating molecules are physically trapped in the thus formed microgel in the membrane. Much higher α-scintillation efficiency has been obtained for the (241)Am-loaded poly(ethersulfone)-based grafted membrane compared to poly(propylene)-based membrane. This was attributed to the aromatic backbone of the poly(ethersulfone) membrane. The scintillation response of poly(ethersulfone)-based membranes has been found to be linear over the range of (241)Am activity studied. The pore-filled scintillating membranes have been found to be selective toward Pu(4+) ions at higher HNO3 concentration compared to Am(3+). The analytical performance of the pore-filled scintillating membranes has been evaluated. The membranes have been found to be stable and reusable. The scintillating membrane with optimized composition has been applied for quantification of Pu in a soil sample.

  20. Bacteriocins : mechanism of membrane insertion and pore formation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moll, G.N.; Konings, W.N; Driessen, A.J.M.


    Lactic acid bacteria produce several types of pore forming peptides. Class I bacteriocins are lantibiotics that contain (methyl)lanthionine residues that may form intramolecular thioether rings. These peptides generally have a broad spectrum of activity and form unstable pores. Class II bacteriocins

  1. Molecular mechanism of pore creation in bacterial membranes by amyloid proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsigelny, I F; Sharikov, Y; Miller, M A; Masliah, E


    This study explores the mechanism of pore creation in cellular membranes by MccE92 bacterial proteins. The results of this study are then compared with the mechanism of alpha-synuclein (aS)-based pore formation in mammalian cells, and its role in Parkinson's disease.

  2. Inner/Outer nuclear membrane fusion in nuclear pore assembly: biochemical demonstration and molecular analysis. (United States)

    Fichtman, Boris; Ramos, Corinne; Rasala, Beth; Harel, Amnon; Forbes, Douglass J


    Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are large proteinaceous channels embedded in double nuclear membranes, which carry out nucleocytoplasmic exchange. The mechanism of nuclear pore assembly involves a unique challenge, as it requires creation of a long-lived membrane-lined channel connecting the inner and outer nuclear membranes. This stabilized membrane channel has little evolutionary precedent. Here we mapped inner/outer nuclear membrane fusion in NPC assembly biochemically by using novel assembly intermediates and membrane fusion inhibitors. Incubation of a Xenopus in vitro nuclear assembly system at 14°C revealed an early pore intermediate where nucleoporin subunits POM121 and the Nup107-160 complex were organized in a punctate pattern on the inner nuclear membrane. With time, this intermediate progressed to diffusion channel formation and finally to complete nuclear pore assembly. Correct channel formation was blocked by the hemifusion inhibitor lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC), but not if a complementary-shaped lipid, oleic acid (OA), was simultaneously added, as determined with a novel fluorescent dextran-quenching assay. Importantly, recruitment of the bulk of FG nucleoporins, characteristic of mature nuclear pores, was not observed before diffusion channel formation and was prevented by LPC or OA, but not by LPC+OA. These results map the crucial inner/outer nuclear membrane fusion event of NPC assembly downstream of POM121/Nup107-160 complex interaction and upstream or at the time of FG nucleoporin recruitment.

  3. Membrane separation using nano-pores; Nano poa wo riyoshita makubunri

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    Manabe, S. [Fukuoka Women`s Univ., Fukuoka (Japan)


    The membrane constituted by nano-pore only (NF membrane) is sold on the market recently as the membranes used for the matter separations in addition to the reverse osmosis membrane for changing seawater into fresh water, dialysis membrane used for artificial kidney, ultrafiltration membrane used for the separation and condensation of protein and the micro-filter used for removing microbe. It is possible for the membrane constituted by nano-pore to remove the virus with the size being from 20 to 300 nm. In this paper, the pore structure of NF membrane is explained, and then its application as the membrane for removing virus is described. Especially, it is possible for NF membrane to remove the virus with smallest size (parvovirus, etc.), prion albumen (bovine serum pathogen, etc.) and the special gene such as cancer, and it is further applied to the condensation and refining of virus and genes. The broader application of nano-pore to the control of the transportation of micro-particles in the future is expected. 3 refs., 2 figs.

  4. Interaction of amphipathic α-helical peptides with a lipid membrane: Adsorption and pore formation (United States)

    Zhdanov, Vladimir P.


    Amphipathic α-helical peptides often exhibit antimicrobial or antiviral properties. Adsorption of such peptides at a lipid membrane may result in pore formation. Current phenomenological models of the latter process imply that the peptide-peptide lateral interaction is repulsive and that the conditions for pore formation depend on the difference of the peptide energies at the membrane surface and in a pore. There is, however, experimental evidence that the kinetics of peptide adsorption at small vesicles (about 100 nm diameter) may be cooperative and accordingly the peptide-peptide lateral interaction may be attractive. In addition, the experiments indicate that the peptide-induced pore formation is often observed at the conditions close to those corresponding to pore formation under externally induced tensile stress where the difference of the peptide energies at the membrane surface and in a pore is irrelevant. Here, a model describing both types of peptide-peptide lateral interactions at a membrane is proposed. In addition, a new scenario of peptide-induced pore formation naturally explaining the similarity of this process under different conditions is suggested.

  5. Fabrication and Characterization of Polymeric Hollow Fiber Membranes with Nano-scale Pore Sizes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amir Mansourizadeh; Ahmad Fauzi Ismail


    Porous polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and polysulfide (PSF) hollow fiber membranes were fabricated via a wet spinning method. The membranes were characterized in terms of gas permeability, wetting pressure, overall porosity and water contact angle. The morphology of the membranes was examined by FESEM. From gas permeation test, mean pore sizes of 7.3 and 9.6 nm were obtained for PSF and PVDF membrane, respectively. Using low polymer concentration in the dopes, the membranes demonstrated a relatively high overall porosity of 77 %. From FESEM examination, the PSF membrane presented a denser outer skin layer, which resulted in significantly lower N 2 permeance. Therefore, due to the high hydrophobicity and nano-scale pore sizes of the PVDF membrane, a good wetting pressure of 4.5x10 -5 Pa was achieved. (author)

  6. Formation of protein induced micro-pores in Chitosan membranes (United States)

    Begum, S. N. Suraiya; Aswal, V. K.; Ramasamy, Radha Perumal


    Polymer based nanocomposites are important class of materials and have wide applications. Blending two biopolymers can lead to the development of new materials with tailored properties. Chitosan is a naturally occurring polysaccharide with useful properties such as biodegradability and excellent film forming capacity. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) is a abundantly available globular protein. In our research the interaction of chitosan with BSA and the effect of formation of Au nanoparticles on chitosan-BSA system were investigated. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) of the films showed formation of micron sized pores and these pores were hindered with formation of Au nanoparticles. Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) analysis showed that BSA interacts with chitosan chain and affects the Rg value of chitosan. The formation of micro pores decreases the conductivity values (σ'), while the formation of Au nanoparticles increases σ'.

  7. SV40 late protein VP4 forms toroidal pores to disrupt membranes for viral release. (United States)

    Raghava, Smita; Giorda, Kristina M; Romano, Fabian B; Heuck, Alejandro P; Hebert, Daniel N


    Nonenveloped viruses are generally released from the cell by the timely lysis of host cell membranes. SV40 has been used as a model virus for the study of the lytic nonenveloped virus life cycle. The expression of SV40 VP4 at later times during infection is concomitant with cell lysis. To investigate the role of VP4 in viral release and its mechanism of action, VP4 was expressed and purified from bacteria as a fusion protein for use in membrane disruption assays. Purified VP4 perforated membranes as demonstrated by the release of fluorescent markers encapsulated within large unilamellar vesicles or liposomes. Dynamic light scattering results revealed that VP4 treatment did not cause membrane lysis or change the size of the liposomes. Liposomes encapsulated with 4,4-difluoro-5,7-dimethyl-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-3-indacene-labeled streptavidin were used to show that VP4 formed stable pores in membranes. These VP4 pores had an inner diameter of 1-5 nm. Asymmetrical liposomes containing pyrene-labeled lipids in the outer monolayer were employed to monitor transbilayer lipid diffusion. Consistent with VP4 forming toroidal pore structures in membranes, VP4 induced transbilayer lipid diffusion or lipid flip-flop. Altogether, these studies support a central role for VP4 acting as a viroporin in the disruption of cellular membranes to trigger SV40 viral release by forming toroidal pores that unite the outer and inner leaflets of membrane bilayers.

  8. Asymmetric block copolymer membranes with ultrahigh porosity and hierarchical pore structure by plain solvent evaporation

    KAUST Repository

    Yu, H.


    Membranes with a hierarchical porous structure could be manufactured from a block copolymer blend by pure solvent evaporation. Uniform pores in a 30 nm thin skin layer supported by a macroporous structure were formed. This new process is attractive for membrane production because of its simplicity and the lack of liquid waste.

  9. Nuclear Track-Etched Pore Membrane Production Using OAEP's Research Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chittrakarn, Thawat; Bhongsuwan, Tripob; Wanichapichart, Pikul; Nuanuin, Paiboon; Chongkum, Somporn; Khonduangkaew, Areerat; Bordeepong, Sunaree


    Result of this study shows that the OAEP's nuclear research reactor is a good source of both fast and thermal neutrons for pore piercing process on polycarbonate thin film. With our experimental design, the fast neutron provides better results in pore piercing comparing with thermal neutron bombardment. This can be explained that most of the latent tracks that occur by thermal neutron bombardment do not piercing through the thin film. Chemical etching process using NaOH solution with an appropriated time, concentration and temperature was employed to enlarge the latent tracks in the bombarded film by fast neutrons. Fast neutron bombardment with 5, 10 and 20 minutes bombarding time successfully produces the nuclear track membrane. Pore size and pore density of the produced membranes examined by SEM were 0.24-1.01 μm and 4.67 - 245 x 10 6 pore/cm 2 , respectively. Bubble point test showed the maximum pore diameter of the produced membrane ranged between 1.18 - 3.25 μm. Water permeability was studied and compared between the produced and commercial membranes

  10. Stochastic approach to model fouling in membrane filters with complex pore morphology (United States)

    Sanaei, Pejman; Gu, Binan; Kondic, Lou; Cummings, Linda J.


    Membrane filters are widely used in industrial applications to remove contaminants and undesired impurities (particles) from a solvent. During the filtration process the membrane internal void area becomes fouled with impurities and as a consequence the filter performance deteriorates, a process that depends on filter internal structure, particle concentration and flow dynamics. The complexity of membrane internal morphology and the random nature of the particle dynamics in the flow make the filtration and fouling challenging to predict; nonetheless, mathematical modeling can play a key role in investigating filter fouling, and in suggesting design modifications for more efficient filtration. To date, many models have been proposed to describe the effects of complexity of membrane structure, and the stochasticity of particle dynamics individually but very few studies focus on both together. In this work, we present an idealized mathematical model, in which a membrane consists of a series of bifurcating pores. Pores decrease in size as the membrane is traversed and particles are removed from the feed by adsorption within pores (which shrinks them) and stochastic sieving (pore blocking by large particles). NSF DMS 1615719.

  11. Fabrication of a membrane filter with controlled pore shape and its application to cell separation and strong single cell trapping

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choi, Dong-Hoon; Yoon, Gun-Wook; Yoon, Jun-Bo; Park, Jeong Won; Lee, Dae-Sik; Ihm, Chunhwa


    A porous membrane filter is one of the key components for sample preparation in lab-on-a-chip applications. However, most of the membranes reported to date have only been used for size-based separation since it is difficult to provide functionality to the membrane or improve the performance of the membrane. In this work, as a method to functionalize the membrane filter, controlling the shape of the membrane pores is suggested, and a convenient and mass-producible fabrication method is provided. With the proposed method, membrane filters with round, conical and funnel shape pores were successfully fabricated, and we demonstrated that the sidewall slope of the conical shape pores could be precisely controlled. To verify that the membrane filter can be functionalized by controlled pore shape, we investigated filtration and trapping performance of the membrane filter with conical shape pores. In a filtration test of 1000 cancer cells (MCF-7, a breast cancer cell line) spiked in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) solution, 77% of the total cancer cells were retained on the membrane, and each cell from among 99.3% of the retained cells was automatically isolated in a single conical pore during the filtration process. Thanks to its engineered pore shape, trapping ability of the membrane with conical pores is dramatically improved. Microparticles trapped in the conical pores maintain their locations without any losses even at a more than 30 times faster external flow rate com-pared with those mounted on conventional cylindrical pores. Also, 78% of the cells trapped in the conical pores withstand an external flow of over 300 μl min −1 whereas only 18% of the cells trapped in the cylindrical pores remain on the membrane after 120 μl min −1 of an external flow is applied. (paper)

  12. Pores of the inner limiting membrane in flat-mounted surgical specimens. (United States)

    Gandorfer, Arnd; Schumann, Ricarda; Scheler, Renate; Haritoglou, Christos; Kampik, Anselm


    To demonstrate the incidence of pores in the inner limiting membrane (ILM) in flat-mounted ILM specimens and to show the immunocytochemical properties of cellular proliferation associated with them. One hundred and twelve ILM specimens from patients with idiopathic macular holes were flat mounted and screened for pores. The ILM was assessed by phase-contrast and interference microscopy. Various antibodies were used against glial cells, hyalocytes, and retinal pigment epithelial cells. In total, only three pores were found. They were characterized by a full-thickness defect of the ILM with irregular borders and cellular proliferation on the ILM. Glial cells were seen in direct association with the ILM pore. Glial cell and hyalocyte markers were the main immunologic features observed. Inner limiting membrane pores are a rare finding. Glial cells are likely to cross the ILM through these pores on their way from the retina to the vitreoretinal border. Given the frequency of cellular proliferation and the rare finding of ILM pores, other pathways have to be considered in playing the leading role in epiretinal proliferation. They might include migration of cells through ILM thinning along retinal vessels and proliferation of vitreous cortex hyalocytes at the vitreoretinal border.

  13. Cytosol-dependent membrane fusion in ER, nuclear envelope and nuclear pore assembly: biological implications. (United States)

    Rafikova, Elvira R; Melikov, Kamran; Chernomordik, Leonid V


    Endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear envelope rearrangements after mitosis are often studied in the reconstitution system based on Xenopus egg extract. In our recent work we partially replaced the membrane vesicles in the reconstitution mix with protein-free liposomes to explore the relative contributions of cytosolic and transmembrane proteins. Here we discuss our finding that cytosolic proteins mediate fusion between membranes lacking functional transmembrane proteins and the role of membrane fusion in endoplasmic reticulum and nuclear envelope reorganization. Cytosol-dependent liposome fusion has allowed us to restore, without adding transmembrane nucleoporins, functionality of nuclear pores, their spatial distribution and chromatin decondensation in nuclei formed at insufficient amounts of membrane material and characterized by only partial decondensation of chromatin and lack of nuclear transport. Both the mechanisms and the biological implications of the discovered coupling between spatial distribution of nuclear pores, chromatin decondensation and nuclear transport are discussed.

  14. Measure of pore size in micro filtration polymeric membrane using ultrasonic technique and artificial neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lucas, Carla de Souza


    This work presents a study of the pore size in micro filtration polymeric membranes, used in the nuclear area for the filtration of radioactive liquid effluent, in the residual water treatment of the petrochemical industry, in the electronic industry for the ultrapure water production for the manufacture of conductors and laundering of microcircuits and in many other processes of separation. Diverse processes for measures of pores sizes in membranes exist, amongst these, electronic microscopy, of bubble point and mercury intrusion porosimetry, however the majority of these uses destructive techniques, of high cost or great time of analysis. The proposal of this work is to measure so great of pore being used ultrasonic technique in the time domain of the frequency and artificial neural networks. A receiving/generator of ultrasonic pulses, a immersion transducer of 25 MHz was used, a tank of immersion and microporous membranes of pores sizes of 0,2 μm, 0,4 μm, 0,6 μm, 8 μm, 10 μm and 12 μm. The ultrasonic signals after to cover the membrane, come back to the transducer (emitting/receiving) bringing information of the interaction of the signal with the membranes. These signals had been used for the training of neural networks, and these had supplied the necessary precision the distinction of the same ones. Soon after, technique with the one of electronic microscopy of sweepings was made the comparison of this. The experiment showed very resulted next to the results gotten with the MEV, what it indicated that the studied technique is ideal for measure of pore size in membranes for being not destructive and of this form to be able to be used also on-line of production. (author)

  15. In vitro and in vivo activation of mitochondrial membrane permeability transition pore using triiodothyronine

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Endlicher, R.; Drahota, Zdeněk; Červinková, Z.


    Roč. 65, č. 2 (2016), s. 321-331 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GB14-36804G Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : rat liver mitochondria * membrane permeability transition pore * thyroid hormones Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.461, year: 2016

  16. Membrane-Pore Forming Characteristics of the Bordetella pertussis CyaA-Hemolysin Domain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chattip Kurehong


    Full Text Available Previously, the 126-kDa Bordetella pertussis CyaA pore-forming/hemolysin (CyaA-Hly domain was shown to retain its hemolytic activity causing lysis of susceptible erythrocytes. Here, we have succeeded in producing, at large quantity and high purity, the His-tagged CyaA-Hly domain over-expressed in Escherichia coli as a soluble hemolytically-active form. Quantitative assays of hemolysis against sheep erythrocytes revealed that the purified CyaA-Hly domain could function cooperatively by forming an oligomeric pore in the target cell membrane with a Hill coefficient of ~3. When the CyaA-Hly toxin was incorporated into planar lipid bilayers (PLBs under symmetrical conditions at 1.0 M KCl, 10 mM HEPES buffer (pH 7.4, it produced a clearly resolved single channel with a maximum conductance of ~35 pS. PLB results also revealed that the CyaA-Hly induced channel was unidirectional and opened more frequently at higher negative membrane potentials. Altogether, our results first provide more insights into pore-forming characteristics of the CyaA-Hly domain as being the major pore-forming determinant of which the ability to induce such ion channels in receptor-free membranes could account for its cooperative hemolytic action on the target erythrocytes.

  17. Production of multi-, oligo- and single-pore membranes using a continuous ion beam

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Apel, P.Yu., E-mail: [Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Joliot-Curie Str. 6, 141980 Dubna (Russian Federation); Dubna International University, Universitetskaya Str. 19, 141980 Dubna (Russian Federation); Ivanov, O.M.; Lizunov, N.E.; Mamonova, T.I.; Nechaev, A.N. [Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Joliot-Curie Str. 6, 141980 Dubna (Russian Federation); Olejniczak, K. [Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Joliot-Curie Str. 6, 141980 Dubna (Russian Federation); Faculty of Chemistry, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Gagarina Str. 7, 87-100 Torun (Poland); Vacik, J. [Nuclear Physics Institute, ASCR, v.v.i., 25068 Řež (Czech Republic); Dmitriev, S.N. [Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Joliot-Curie Str. 6, 141980 Dubna (Russian Federation)


    Ion track membranes (ITM) have attracted significant interest over the past two decades due to their numerous applications in physical, biological, chemical, biochemical and medical experimental works. A particular feature of ITM technology is the possibility to fabricate samples with a predetermined number of pores, including single-pore membranes. The present report describes a procedure that allowed for the production of multi-, oligo- and single-pore membranes using a continuous ion beam from an IC-100 cyclotron. The beam was scanned over a set of small diaphragms, from 17 to ∼1000 μm in diameter. Ions passed through the apertures and impinged two sandwiched polymer foils, with the total thickness close to the ion range in the polymer. The foils were pulled across the ion beam at a constant speed. The ratio between the transport speed and the scanning frequency determined the distance between irradiation spots. The beam intensity and the aperture diameters were adjusted such that either several, one or no ions passed through the diaphragms during one half-period of scanning. After irradiation, the lower foil was separated from the upper foil and was etched to obtain pores 6–8 μm in diameter. The pores were found using a color chemical reaction between two reagents placed on opposite sides of the foil. The located pores were further confirmed using SEM and optical microscopy. The numbers of tracks in the irradiation spots were consistent with the Poisson statistics. Samples with single or few tracks obtained in this way were employed to study fine phenomena in ion track nanopores.

  18. Fabrication of beta-PVDF membranes by track etching and specific functionalization of nano-pores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cuscito, O.


    Poly(vinylidene fluoride)(β-PVDF) nano-porous membranes were made by chemical revealing of tracks induced from swift heavy ions irradiation. Pore opening and radii can be varied in a controllable manner with the etching time. nano-pores size in nano-meter scale (from 12 nm to 50 nm) appears to be linearly dependent to the etching time. It was then necessary to adapt the characterization tools to these membranes. Consequently, we resorted to the use of structural analysis methods (Scanning Electron Microscopy, Small Angle Neutron Scattering) and developed evaluation methods of the membranes transport properties like gas permeation and ionic diffusion. Results obtained confirm the pores opening (break through) and the hydrophobicity of material, which we have modified with hydrophilic molecules. In this precise case, the grafting of acrylic acid was initiated by the radicals still remains after track-etching (called radio-grafting). This key result was obtained by a study of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance. The labelling of introduced chemical functionalities with fluorescent probes was a very effective mean to visualize very few amounts of molecules by confocal microscopy. The radio-grafting was found specifically localized inside etched tracks. The protocol offers the possibility to create a double functionality, the one localized inside the nano-pores and the other on the surface of membranes. The modification of radio-grafting parameters (the acrylic acid concentration, solvent nature, use of transfer agent) and the chemical properties of the nano-pore walls have a direct incidence on the transport properties. (author) [fr

  19. Effect of Graphene and Fullerene Nanofillers on Controlling the Pore Size and Physicochemical Properties of Chitosan Nanocomposite Mesoporous Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene S. Fahim


    Full Text Available Chitosan (CS nanocomposite mesoporous membranes were fabricated by mixing CS with graphene (G and fullerene (F nanofillers, and the diffusion properties through CS membranes were studied. In addition, in order to enhance the binding between the internal CS chains, physical cross-linking of CS by sodium tripolyphosphate (TPP was carried out. F and G with different weight percentages (0.1, 0.5, and 1 wt.% were added on physically cross-linked chitosan (CLCS and non-cross-linked chitosan (NCLCS membranes by wet mixing. Permeability and diffusion time of CLCS and NCLCS membranes at different temperatures were investigated. The results revealed that the pore size of all fabricated CS membranes is in the mesoporous range (i.e., 2–50 nm. Moreover, the addition of G and F nanofillers to CLCS and NCLCS solutions aided in controlling the CS membranes’ pore size and was found to enhance the barrier effect of the CS membranes either by blocking the internal pores or decreasing the pore size. These results illustrate the significant possibility of controlling the pore size of CS membranes by cross-linking and more importantly the careful selection of nanofillers and their percentage within the CS membranes. Controlling the pore size of CS membranes is a fundamental factor in packaging applications and membrane technology.

  20. Cordierite containing ceramic membranes from smectetic clay using natural organic wastes as pore-forming agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Misrar


    Full Text Available Cordierite ceramic membranes were manufactured from natural clay, oxides and organic wastes as pore forming agents. Mixtures aforementioned materials with the pore-forming agents (up to 10 wt.% were investigated in the range 1000–1200 °C using thermal analysis, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, mercury porosimetry and filtration tests. Physical properties (density, water absorption and bending strength were correlated to the processing factors (pore-forming agent addition, firing temperature and soaking time. The results showed that cordierite together with spinel, diopside and clinoenstatite neoformed. SEM analysis revealed heterogeneous aspects. The results of the response surface methodology showed that the variations of physical properties versus processing parameters were well described by the used polynomial model. The addition of pore forming agent and temperature were the most influential factors. Filtration tests were performed on the best performing sample. The results allowed to testify that these membranes could be used in waste water treatment.

  1. Conflicting views on the membrane fusion machinery and the fusion pore

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Jakob B


    of the assembly of the fusogenic SNARE-complex. Here, I review conflicting views on the function of the core fusion machinery consisting of the SNAREs, Munc18, complexin, and synaptotagmin. Munc18 controls docking of vesicles to the plasma membrane and initial SNARE-complex assembly, whereas complexin...... of the water-soluble vesicle content. The fusion pore remains the most elusive part of the exocytosis pathway, owing to its short lifetime....

  2. Chemically Stable Covalent Organic Framework (COF)-Polybenzimidazole Hybrid Membranes: Enhanced Gas Separation through Pore Modulation. (United States)

    Biswal, Bishnu P; Chaudhari, Harshal D; Banerjee, Rahul; Kharul, Ulhas K


    Highly flexible, TpPa-1@PBI-BuI and TpBD@PBI-BuI hybrid membranes based on chemically stable covalent organic frameworks (COFs) could be obtained with the polymer. The loading obtained was substantially higher (50 %) than generally observed with MOFs. These hybrid membranes show an exciting enhancement in permeability (about sevenfold) with appreciable separation factors for CO2/N2 and CO2/CH4. Further, we found that with COF pore modulation, the gas permeability can be systematically enhanced. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Pore formation mechanism of porous poly(DL-lactic acid) matrix membrane

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phaechamud, Thawatchai, E-mail:; Chitrattha, Sasiprapa, E-mail:


    Porous PLA structure has been widely used in cell transplantation, drug carrier and wound dressing. The porous structure can be controlled depending on the choice of the polymer, solvent, nonsolvent and preparation parameters. In this study, the porous PLA matrix membranes were prepared by adding PEG 400 in PLA solution using dichloromethane (DCM) as solvent prior to casting. The influence of other liquids as co-solvent on pore formation and the structural change during membrane formation were evaluated. The co-solvents affected both porous topography and mechanical properties of PLA membrane. The porous matrix were produced when the non-solvent of PLA was used as co-solvent. Cryo-SEM micrographs revealed that PEG 400 still remained in the PLA porous matrix membrane. From the tracking of the structural change during film formation, the PLA–PEG solution changed into porous structure by liquid liquid phase separation and solidification processes, respectively. Thermogravimetric analysis revealed that PLA–PEG in DCM solution exhibited the two-step of weight loss, the first step occurred from DCM evaporation and the second step occurred from the degradation of PLA–PEG matrix. The liquid–liquid phase separation and solidification started when the amount of DCM was higher than PEG 400 for 2.67 folds and DCM amount was equal to that of PEG 400, respectively. These results could clarify the pore formation mechanism of porous PLA membrane and will be useful for the further investigation and application. - Highlights: • Pore formation mechanism of PLA matrix membrane inducing by PEG 400 addition was investigated. • Cryo-scanning electron microscopy revealed the embedded PEG 400 in matrix membrane. • Tracking of structural change during membrane formation with stereomicroscope and thermogravimetric analysis could explain the pore formation mechanism. • Liquid-liquid phase separation of PLA-PEG 400 solution started when the amount of dichloromethane remained 2

  4. Effect of support material pore size on the filtration behavior of dynamic membrane bioreactor. (United States)

    Cai, Donglong; Huang, Ju; Liu, Guoqiang; Li, Mingyu; Yu, Yang; Meng, Fangang


    The effect of support material pore size on the filtration behaviors during start-up and stabilized stages in the dynamic membrane bioreactors (DMBR) was studied. Before the dynamic membrane (DM) was formed, the turbidity at 50-μm could be more than 250 NTU, while it was less than 40 and 10 NTU at 25- and 10-μm, respectively. After the DM was formed, the stabilized stage lasted for 61 days with low transmembrane pressure pressure filtration, a mesh size of ∼25 μm is more suitable for DMBR. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Electrochemical characterization of pore formation by bacterial protein toxins on hybrid supported membranes. (United States)

    Wilkop, Thomas; Xu, Danke; Cheng, Quan


    The interaction of pore-forming streptolysin O (SLO) with biomimetic lipid membranes has been studied by electrochemical methods. Phosphatidylcholine lipid vesicles were deposited onto gold electrodes modified with supporting layers of hexyl thioctate (HT) or thioctic acid tri(ethylene glycol) ester (TA-TEGE), and integrity and permeability of the resulting membranes were characterized by cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy. Both positively and negatively charged electrochemical probes, potassium ferrocyanide, hexaammineruthenium(III) chloride, and ferrocene carboxylic acid (FCA), were employed to evaluate their suitability to probe the membrane permeability properties, with FCA exhibiting ideal behavior and thus employed throughout the work. Fusion of vesicles incubated with SLO on the electrodes yielded membranes that showed a distinctive response pattern for FCA as a function of SLO concentration. A direct dependence of both the currents and peak separation of FCA in the cyclic voltammograms was observed over a concentration range of 0-10 hemolytic units (HU)/microL of the toxin. The interaction of SLO with preformed supported lipid membranes was also investigated, and much lower response was observed, suggesting a different extent of membrane-toxin interactions on such an interface. Nonionic surfactant Triton was found to disrupt the vesicle structure but could not completely remove a preformed membrane to fully restore the electrode response. The information reported here offers some unique insight into toxin-surface interactions on a hybrid membrane, facilitating the development of electrochemically based sensing platforms for detecting trace amounts of bacterial toxins via the perforation process.

  6. Micron-Sized Pored Membranes Based on Polyvinylidene Difluoride Hexafluoropropylene Prepared by Phase Inversion Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Hofmann


    Full Text Available In this study, micron-sized pored membranes, based on the co-polymer polyvinylidene difluoride hexafluoropropylene (PVdF-HFP were prepared via phase inversion techniques. The aim of the approach was to find less harmful and less toxic solvents to fabricate such films. Therefore, the Hansen solubility approach was used to identify safer and less toxic organic solvents for the phase inversion process, relative to present solvent mixtures, based on acetone, dimethyl formamide, dimethyl acetamide or methanol. With this approach, it was possible to identify cyclopentanone, ethylene glycol and benzyl alcohol as suitable solvents for the membrane preparation process. Physicochemical and mechanical properties were analyzed and compared, which revealed a uniform membrane structure through the cross section. Differences were observed at the top surface, in dependence of both preparation approaches, which are described in detail.

  7. Beer Clarification by Novel Ceramic Hollow-Fiber Membranes: Effect of Pore Size on Product Quality. (United States)

    Cimini, Alessio; Moresi, Mauro


    In this work, the crossflow microfiltration performance of rough beer samples was assessed using ceramic hollow-fiber (HF) membrane modules with a nominal pore size ranging from 0.2 to 1.4 μm. Under constant operating conditions (that is, transmembrane pressure difference, TMP = 2.35 bar; feed superficial velocity, v S = 2.5 m/s; temperature, T = 10 °C), quite small steady-state permeation fluxes (J * ) of 32 or 37 L/m 2 /h were achieved using the 0.2- or 0.5-μm symmetric membrane modules. Both permeates exhibited turbidity beer quality parameters. Moreover, it exhibited J * values of the same order of magnitude of those claimed for the polyethersulfone HF membrane modules currently commercialized. The 1.4-μm asymmetric membrane module yielded quite a high steady-state permeation flux (196 ± 38 L/m 2 /h), and a minimum decline in permeate quality parameters, except for the high levels of turbidity at room temperature and chill haze. In the circumstances, such a membrane module might be regarded as a real valid alternative to conventional powder filters on condition that the resulting permeate were submitted to a final finishing step using 0.45- or 0.65-μm microbially rated membrane cartridges prior to aseptic bottling. A novel combined beer clarification process was thus outlined. © 2016 Institute of Food Technologists®.

  8. Hydraulically irreversible fouling on ceramic MF/UF membranes: comparison of fouling indices, foulant composition and irreversible pore narrowing

    KAUST Repository

    Shang, Ran


    The application of ceramic membranes in water treatment is becoming increasing attractive because of their long life time and excellent chemical, mechanical and thermal stability. However, fouling of ceramic membranes, especially hydraulically irreversible fouling, is still a critical aspect affecting the operational cost and energy consumption in water treatment plants. In this study, four ceramic membranes with pore sizes or molecular weight cut-off (MWCO) of 0.20 μm, 0.14 μm, 300 kDa and 50 kDa were compared during natural surface water filtration with respect to hydraulically irreversible fouling index (HIFI), foulant composition and narrowing of pore size due to the irreversible fouling. Our results showed that the hydraulically irreversible fouling index (HIFI) was proportional to the membrane pore size (r2=0.89) when the same feed water was filtrated. The UF membranes showed lower HIFI values than the MF membranes. Pore narrowing (internal fouling) was found to be a main fouling pattern of the hydraulically irreversible fouling. The internal fouling was caused by monolayer adsorption of foulants with different sizes that is dependent on the size of the membrane pore.

  9. Chemotherapy Drugs Thiocolchicoside and Taxol Permeabilize Lipid Bilayer Membranes by Forming Ion Pores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashrafuzzaman, Md; Tuszynski, J A; Duszyk, M


    We report ion channel formation by chemotherapy drugs: thiocolchicoside (TCC) and taxol (TXL) which primarily target tubulin but not only. For example, TCC has been shown to interact with GABA A , nuclear envelope and strychnine-sensitive glycine receptors. TXL interferes with the normal breakdown of microtubules inducing mitotic block and apoptosis. It also interacts with mitochondria and found significant chemotherapeutic applications for breast, ovarian and lung cancer. In order to better understand the mechanisms of TCC and TXL actions, we examined their effects on phospholipid bilayer membranes. Our electrophysiological recordings across membranes constructed in NaCl aqueous phases consisting of TCC or TXL under the influence of an applied transmembrane potential (V) indicate that both molecules induce stable ion flowing pores/channels in membranes. Their discrete current versus time plots exhibit triangular shapes which is consistent with a spontaneous time-dependent change of the pore conductance in contrast to rectangular conductance events usually induced by ion channels. These events exhibit conductance (∼0.01-0.1 pA/mV) and lifetimes (∼5-30 ms) within the ranges observed in e.g., gramicidin A and alamethicin channels. The channel formation probability increases linearly with TCC/TXL concentration and V and is not affected by pH (5.7 - 8.4). A theoretical explanation on the causes of chemotherapy drug induced ion pore formation and the pore stability has also been found using our recently discovered binding energy between lipid bilayer and the bilayer embedded ion channels using gramicidin A channels as tools. This picture of energetics suggests that as the channel forming agents approach to the lipids on bilayer the localized charge properties in the constituents of both channel forming agents (e.g., chemotherapy drugs in this study) and the lipids determine the electrostatic drug-lipid coupling energy through screened Coulomb interactions between

  10. Modelling Ser129 phosphorylation inhibits membrane binding of pore-forming alpha-synuclein oligomers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georg Sebastian Nübling

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In several neurodegenerative diseases, hyperphosphorylation at position Ser129 is found in fibrillar deposits of alpha-synuclein (asyn, implying a pathophysiological role of asyn phosphorylation in neurodegeneration. However, recent animal models applying asyn phosphorylation mimics demonstrated a protective effect of phosphorylation. Since metal-ion induced asyn oligomers were identified as a potential neurotoxic aggregate species with membrane pore-forming abilities, the current study was undertaken to determine effects of asyn phosphorylation on oligomer membrane binding. METHODS: We investigated the influence of S129 phosphorylation on interactions of metal-ion induced asyn oligomers with small unilamellar lipid vesicles (SUV composed of POPC and DPPC applying the phosphorylation mimic asyn129E. Confocal single-particle fluorescence techniques were used to monitor membrane binding at the single-particle level. RESULTS: Binding of asyn129E monomers to gel-state membranes (DPPC-SUV is slightly reduced compared to wild-type asyn, while no interactions with membranes in the liquid-crystalline state (POPC-SUV are seen for both asyn and asyn129E. Conversely, metal-ion induced oligomer formation is markedly increased in asyn129E. Surprisingly, membrane binding to POPC-SUV is nearly absent in Fe(3+ induced asyn129E oligomers and markedly reduced in Al(3+ induced oligomers. CONCLUSION: The protective effect of pseudophosphorylation seen in animal models may be due to impeded oligomer membrane binding. Phosphorylation at Ser129 may thus have a protective effect against neurotoxic asyn oligomers by preventing oligomer membrane binding and disruption of the cellular electrophysiological equilibrium. Importantly, these findings put a new complexion on experimental pharmaceutical interventions against POLO-2 kinase.

  11. Nanocomposite MFI-alumina membranes via pore-plugging synthesis. Preparation and morphological characterization

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Miachon, S.; Landrivon, E.; Aouine, M.; Sun, Y.; Kumakiri, I.; Li, Y.; Prokopová, Olga; Guilhaume, N.; Giroir-Fendler, A.; Mozzanega, H.; Dalmon, J. A.


    Roč. 281, 1-2 (2006), s. 228-238 ISSN 0376-7388 R&D Projects: GA ČR GP104/03/D183 Grant - others:The European Union(FR) CT95 0018; The European Union(FR) G1RD-CT1999-00078 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40400503 Keywords : MFI zeolite * membrane * nanocomposite * pore-plugging * transmission electron microscopy Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 3.442, year: 2006

  12. Enhanced membrane pore formation through high-affinity targeted antimicrobial peptides.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J Arnusch

    Full Text Available Many cationic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs target the unique lipid composition of the prokaryotic cell membrane. However, the micromolar activities common for these peptides are considered weak in comparison to nisin, which follows a targeted, pore-forming mode of action. Here we show that AMPs can be modified with a high-affinity targeting module, which enables membrane permeabilization at low concentration. Magainin 2 and a truncated peptide analog were conjugated to vancomycin using click chemistry, and could be directed towards specific membrane embedded receptors both in model membrane systems and whole cells. Compared with untargeted vesicles, a gain in permeabilization efficacy of two orders of magnitude was reached with large unilamellar vesicles that included lipid II, the target of vancomycin. The truncated vancomycin-peptide conjugate showed an increased activity against vancomycin resistant Enterococci, whereas the full-length conjugate was more active against a targeted eukaryotic cell model: lipid II containing erythrocytes. This study highlights that AMPs can be made more selective and more potent against biological membranes that contain structures that can be targeted.

  13. Molecular Architecture of the Major Membrane Ring Component of the Nuclear Pore Complex. (United States)

    Upla, Paula; Kim, Seung Joong; Sampathkumar, Parthasarathy; Dutta, Kaushik; Cahill, Sean M; Chemmama, Ilan E; Williams, Rosemary; Bonanno, Jeffrey B; Rice, William J; Stokes, David L; Cowburn, David; Almo, Steven C; Sali, Andrej; Rout, Michael P; Fernandez-Martinez, Javier


    The membrane ring that equatorially circumscribes the nuclear pore complex (NPC) in the perinuclear lumen of the nuclear envelope is composed largely of Pom152 in yeast and its ortholog Nup210 (or Gp210) in vertebrates. Here, we have used a combination of negative-stain electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, and small-angle X-ray scattering methods to determine an integrative structure of the ∼120 kDa luminal domain of Pom152. Our structural analysis reveals that the luminal domain is formed by a flexible string-of-pearls arrangement of nine repetitive cadherin-like Ig-like domains, indicating an evolutionary connection between NPCs and the cell adhesion machinery. The 16 copies of Pom152 known to be present in the yeast NPC are long enough to form the observed membrane ring, suggesting how interactions between Pom152 molecules help establish and maintain the NPC architecture. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Nanofiltration Membranes with Narrow Pore Size Distribution via Contra-Diffusion-Induced Mussel-Inspired Chemistry. (United States)

    Du, Yong; Qiu, Wen-Ze; Lv, Yan; Wu, Jian; Xu, Zhi-Kang


    Nanofiltration membranes (NFMs) are widely used in saline water desalination, wastewater treatment, and chemical product purification. However, conventional NFMs suffer from broad pore size distribution, which limits their applications for fine separation, especially in complete separation of molecules with slight differences in molecular size. Herein, defect-free composite NFMs with narrow pore size distribution are fabricated using a contra-diffusion method, with dopamine/polyethylenimine solution on the skin side and ammonium persulfate solution on the other side of the ultrafiltration substrate. Persulfate ions can diffuse through the ultrafiltration substrate into the other side and in situ trigger dopamine to form a codeposited coating with polyethylenimine. The codeposition is hindered on those sites completely covered by the polydopamine/polyethylenimine coating, although it is promoted at the defects or highly permeable regions because it is induced by the diffused persulfate ions. Such a "self-completion" process results in NFMs with highly uniform structures and narrow pore size distribution, as determined by their rejection of neutral solutes. These near electrically neutral NFMs show a high rejection of divalent ions with a low rejection of monovalent ions (MgCl 2 rejection = 96%, NaCl rejection = 23%), majorly based on a steric hindrance effect. The as-prepared NFMs can be applied in molecular separation such as isolating cellulose hydrogenation products.

  15. Calcium influx rescues adenylate cyclase-hemolysin from rapid cell membrane removal and enables phagocyte permeabilization by toxin pores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radovan Fiser

    Full Text Available Bordetella adenylate cyclase toxin-hemolysin (CyaA penetrates the cytoplasmic membrane of phagocytes and employs two distinct conformers to exert its multiple activities. One conformer forms cation-selective pores that permeabilize phagocyte membrane for efflux of cytosolic potassium. The other conformer conducts extracellular calcium ions across cytoplasmic membrane of cells, relocates into lipid rafts, translocates the adenylate cyclase enzyme (AC domain into cells and converts cytosolic ATP to cAMP. We show that the calcium-conducting activity of CyaA controls the path and kinetics of endocytic removal of toxin pores from phagocyte membrane. The enzymatically inactive but calcium-conducting CyaA-AC⁻ toxoid was endocytosed via a clathrin-dependent pathway. In contrast, a doubly mutated (E570K+E581P toxoid, unable to conduct Ca²⁺ into cells, was rapidly internalized by membrane macropinocytosis, unless rescued by Ca²⁺ influx promoted in trans by ionomycin or intact toxoid. Moreover, a fully pore-forming CyaA-ΔAC hemolysin failed to permeabilize phagocytes, unless endocytic removal of its pores from cell membrane was decelerated through Ca²⁺ influx promoted by molecules locked in a Ca²⁺-conducting conformation by the 3D1 antibody. Inhibition of endocytosis also enabled the native B. pertussis-produced CyaA to induce lysis of J774A.1 macrophages at concentrations starting from 100 ng/ml. Hence, by mediating calcium influx into cells, the translocating conformer of CyaA controls the removal of bystander toxin pores from phagocyte membrane. This triggers a positive feedback loop of exacerbated cell permeabilization, where the efflux of cellular potassium yields further decreased toxin pore removal from cell membrane and this further enhances cell permeabilization and potassium efflux.

  16. Calculations of helium separation via uniform pores of stanene-based membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoping Gao


    Full Text Available The development of low energy cost membranes to separate He from noble gas mixtures is highly desired. In this work, we studied He purification using recently experimentally realized, two-dimensional stanene (2D Sn and decorated 2D Sn (SnH and SnF honeycomb lattices by density functional theory calculations. To increase the permeability of noble gases through pristine 2D Sn at room temperature (298 K, two practical strategies (i.e., the application of strain and functionalization are proposed. With their high concentration of large pores, 2D Sn-based membrane materials demonstrate excellent helium purification and can serve as a superior membrane over traditionally used, porous materials. In addition, the separation performance of these 2D Sn-based membrane materials can be significantly tuned by application of strain to optimize the He purification properties by taking both diffusion and selectivity into account. Our results are the first calculations of He separation in a defect-free honeycomb lattice, highlighting new interesting materials for helium separation for future experimental validation.

  17. Fabrication of different pore shapes by multi-step etching technique in ion-irradiated PET membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mo, D.; Liu, J.D.; Duan, J.L.; Yao, H.J.; Latif, H.; Cao, D.L.; Chen, Y.H.; Zhang, S.X.; Zhai, P.F.; Liu, J.


    Highlights: •A new multi-step etching process for pore fabrication was proposed. •The etching process relies on variation of etchant and track annealing. •Various new pore shapes in track etched PET membranes were obtained. -- Abstract: A method for the fabrication of different pore shapes in polyethylene terephthalate (PET)-based track etched membranes (TEMs) is reported. A multi-step etching technique involving etchant variation and track annealing was applied to fabricate different pore shapes in PET membranes. PET foils of 12-μm thickness were irradiated with Bi ions (kinetic energy 9.5 MeV/u, fluence 10 6 ions/cm 2 ) at the Heavy Ion Research Facility (HIRFL, Lanzhou). The cross-sections of fundamental pore shapes (cylinder, cone, and double cone) were analyzed. Funnel-shaped and pencil-shaped pores were obtained using a two-step etching process. Track annealing was carried out in air at 180 °C for 120 min. After track annealing, the selectivity of the etching process decreased, which resulted in isotropic etching in subsequent etching steps. Rounded cylinder and rounded cone shapes were obtained by introducing a track-annealing step in the etching process. Cup and spherical funnel-shaped pores were fabricated using a three- and four-step etching process, respectively. The described multi-step etching technique provides a controllable method to fabricate new pore shapes in TEMs. Introduction of a variety of pore shapes may improve the separation properties of TEMs and enrich the series of TEM products

  18. A Model of Electrostimulation Based on the Membrane Capacitance as Electromechanical Transducer for Pore Gating. (United States)

    Irnich, Werner; Kroll, Mark W


    Electrostimulation has gained enormous importance in modern medicine, for example, in implantable pacemakers and defibrillators, pain stimulators, and cochlear implants. Most electrostimulation macromodels use the electrical current as the primary parameter to describe the conventional strength-duration relationship of the output of a generator. These models normally assume that the stimulation pulse charges up the passive cell membrane capacitance, and then the increased (less-negative) transmembrane potential activates voltage-gated sodium channels. However, this model has mechanistic and accuracy limitations. Our model assumes that the membrane capacitance is an electromechanical transducer and that the membrane is compressed by the endogenous electric field. The pressure is quadratically correlated with the transmembrane voltage. If the pressure is reduced by an exogenous field, the compression is released and, thus, opening the pores for Na(+) influx initiates excitation. The exogenous electric field must always be equal to or greater than the rheobase field strength (rheobase condition). This concept yields a final result that the voltage-pulse-content produced by the exogenous field between the two ends of a cell is a linear function of the pulse duration at threshold level. Thus, the model yields mathematical formulations that can describe and explain the characteristic features of electrostimulation. Our model of electrostimulation can describe and explain electrostimulation at cellular level. The model's predictions are consistent with published experimental studies. Practical applications in cardiology are discussed in the light of this model of electrostimulation. ©2015 The Authors. Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Cytolytic pore-forming protein associated with the surface membrane of Naegleria fowleri

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lowrey, D.M.


    Whole cell homogenates of Naegleria fowleri were examined by hemolytic and /sup 51/Cr-release assays for the presence of cytolytic molecules which may participate in the cytopathogenic action of this amoeba. Two distinct cytolytic activities were found. A surface membrane cytolysin was identified which was found to be avidly associated with membranes possessing an equilibrium density of 1.135 g/cm/sup 3/ in isopycnic sucrose gradients. The activity of the surface membrane cytolysin was not affected by heating at 75/sup 0/C for 30 min. The second cytolytic activity was found in putative lysosomes possessing an equilibrium density of 1.162 g/cm/sup 3/ and was completely inactivated by heating at 75/sup 0/C for 30 min. Cytolysis produced in the presence of both cytolysins was consistently synergistic with respect to the activity of either cytolysin alone. The lesions produced on erythrocytes by this cooperative process were characterized by electron microscopy as transmembrane pores resembling a number of other cytolytic effector molecules including the ninth component of complement, perforins of cytolytic T lymphocytes, and the alphatoxin of Staphylococcus aureus.

  20. Biophysical and biochemical strategies to understand membrane binding and pore formation by sticholysins, pore-forming proteins from a sea anemone. (United States)

    Alvarez, Carlos; Ros, Uris; Valle, Aisel; Pedrera, Lohans; Soto, Carmen; Hervis, Yadira P; Cabezas, Sheila; Valiente, Pedro A; Pazos, Fabiola; Lanio, Maria E


    Actinoporins constitute a unique class of pore-forming toxins found in sea anemones that are able to bind and oligomerize in membranes, leading to cell swelling, impairment of ionic gradients and, eventually, to cell death. In this review we summarize the knowledge generated from the combination of biochemical and biophysical approaches to the study of sticholysins I and II (Sts, StI/II), two actinoporins largely characterized by the Center of Protein Studies at the University of Havana during the last 20 years. These approaches include strategies for understanding the toxin structure-function relationship, the protein-membrane association process leading to pore formation and the interaction of toxin with cells. The rational combination of experimental and theoretical tools have allowed unraveling, at least partially, of the complex mechanisms involved in toxin-membrane interaction and of the molecular pathways triggered upon this interaction. The study of actinoporins is important not only to gain an understanding of their biological roles in anemone venom but also to investigate basic molecular mechanisms of protein insertion into membranes, protein-lipid interactions and the modulation of protein conformation by lipid binding. A deeper knowledge of the basic molecular mechanisms involved in Sts-cell interaction, as described in this review, will support the current investigations conducted by our group which focus on the design of immunotoxins against tumor cells and antigen-releasing systems to cell cytosol as Sts-based vaccine platforms.

  1. Tailor-made pore controlled poly (arylene ether ketone) membranes as a lithium-ion battery separator (United States)

    Le Mong, Anh; Kim, Dukjoon


    Porous poly(arylene ether ketone) (PAEK) membranes are prepared by selective removal of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) molecules from self-assembled PAEK-PLA block copolymers. The pore size and porosity of the membranes are precisely controlled by adjusting PLA concentration. The synthesis of the PAEK-PLA copolymer is confirmed by FTIR and NMR spectroscopies and the morphology of the membrane is examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Several important properties such as liquid electrolyte uptake, contact angle, thermal and mechanical stability, and lithium ion conductivity are measured and compared with those of commercial poly(propylene) (PP) membranes to investigate their application feasibility as a separator. The porous PAEK membrane shows improved thermal and dimensional stability compared to the PP membrane. The EC/DEC/EMC (1:1:1, v/v/v) soaked PAEK membrane with a pore diameter of 50 nm shows the highest lithium ion conductivity, higher than that of PP membrane. More importantly, the porous PAEK membranes show superior liquid electrolyte holding capacity to the PP membrane.

  2. Contribution of liver mitochondrial membrane-bound glutathione transferase to mitochondrial permeability transition pores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hossain, Quazi Sohel; Ulziikhishig, Enkhbaatar; Lee, Kang Kwang; Yamamoto, Hideyuki; Aniya, Yoko


    We recently reported that the glutathione transferase in rat liver mitochondrial membranes (mtMGST1) is activated by S-glutathionylation and the activated mtMGST1 contributes to the mitochondrial permeability transition (MPT) pore and cytochrome c release from mitochondria [Lee, K.K., Shimoji, M., Quazi, S.H., Sunakawa, H., Aniya, Y., 2008. Novel function of glutathione transferase in rat liver mitochondrial membrane: role for cytochrome c release from mitochondria. Toxcol. Appl. Pharmacol. 232, 109-118]. In the present study we investigated the effect of reactive oxygen species (ROS), generator gallic acid (GA) and GST inhibitors on mtMGST1 and the MPT. When rat liver mitochondria were incubated with GA, mtMGST1 activity was increased to about 3 fold and the increase was inhibited with antioxidant enzymes and singlet oxygen quenchers including 1,4-diazabicyclo [2,2,2] octane (DABCO). GA-mediated mtMGST1 activation was prevented by GST inhibitors such as tannic acid, hematin, and cibacron blue and also by cyclosporin A (CsA). In addition, GA induced the mitochondrial swelling which was also inhibited by GST inhibitors, but not by MPT inhibitors CsA, ADP, and bongkrekic acid. GA also released cytochrome c from the mitochondria which was inhibited completely by DABCO, moderately by GST inhibitors, and somewhat by CsA. Ca 2+ -mediated mitochondrial swelling and cytochrome c release were inhibited by MPT inhibitors but not by GST inhibitors. When the outer mitochondrial membrane was isolated after treatment of mitochondria with GA, mtMGST1 activity was markedly increased and oligomer/aggregate of mtMGST1 was observed. These results indicate that mtMGST1 in the outer mitochondrial membrane is activated by GA through thiol oxidation leading to protein oligomerization/aggregation, which may contribute to the formation of ROS-mediated, CsA-insensitive MPT pore, suggesting a novel mechanism for regulation of the MPT by mtMGST1

  3. Prediction of the filtrate particle size distribution from the pore size distribution in membrane filtration: Numerical correlations from computer simulations (United States)

    Marrufo-Hernández, Norma Alejandra; Hernández-Guerrero, Maribel; Nápoles-Duarte, José Manuel; Palomares-Báez, Juan Pedro; Chávez-Rojo, Marco Antonio


    We present a computational model that describes the diffusion of a hard spheres colloidal fluid through a membrane. The membrane matrix is modeled as a series of flat parallel planes with circular pores of different sizes and random spatial distribution. This model was employed to determine how the size distribution of the colloidal filtrate depends on the size distributions of both, the particles in the feed and the pores of the membrane, as well as to describe the filtration kinetics. A Brownian dynamics simulation study considering normal distributions was developed in order to determine empirical correlations between the parameters that characterize these distributions. The model can also be extended to other distributions such as log-normal. This study could, therefore, facilitate the selection of membranes for industrial or scientific filtration processes once the size distribution of the feed is known and the expected characteristics in the filtrate have been defined.

  4. Effect of non-solvent additives on the morphology, pore structure, and direct contact membrane distillation performance of PVDF-CTFE hydrophobic membranes. (United States)

    Zheng, Libing; Wu, Zhenjun; Zhang, Yong; Wei, Yuansong; Wang, Jun


    Four common types of additives for polymer membrane preparation including organic macromolecule and micromolecule additives, inorganic salts and acids, and the strong non-solvent H2O were used to prepare poly (vinylidene fluoride-co-chlorotrifluoroethylene) (PVDF-CTFE) hydrophobic flat-sheet membranes. Membrane properties including morphology, porosity, hydrophobicity, pore size and pore distribution were investigated, and the permeability was evaluated via direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) of 3.5g/L NaCl solution in a DCMD configuration. Both inorganic and organic micromolecule additives were found to slightly influence membrane hydrophobicity. Polyethylene glycol (PEG), organic acids, LiCl, MgCl2, and LiCl/H2O mixtures were proved to be effective additives to PVDF-CTFE membranes due to their pore-controlling effects and the capacity to improve the properties and performance of the resultant membranes. The occurrence of a pre-gelation process showed that when organic and inorganic micromolecules were added to PVDF-CTFE solution, the resultant membranes presented a high interconnectivity structure. The membrane prepared with dibutyl phthalate (DBP) showed a nonporous surface and symmetrical cross-section. When H2O and LiCl/H2O mixtures were also used as additives, they were beneficial for solid-liquid demixing, especially when LiCl/H2O mixed additives were used. The membrane prepared with 5% LiCl+2% H2O achieved a flux of 24.53kg/(m(2)·hr) with 99.98% salt rejection. This study is expected to offer a reference not only for PVDF-CTFE membrane preparation but also for other polymer membranes. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Surprising transformation of a block copolymer into a high performance polystyrene ultrafiltration membrane with a hierarchically organized pore structure

    KAUST Repository

    Shevate, Rahul


    We describe the preparation of hierarchical polystyrene nanoporous membranes with a very narrow pore size distribution and an extremely high porosity. The nanoporous structure is formed as a result of unusual degradation of the poly(4-vinyl pyridine) block from self-assembled poly(styrene)-b-poly(4-vinyl pyridine) (PS-b-P4VP) membranes through the formation of an unstable pyridinium intermediate in an alkaline medium. During this process, the confined swelling and controlled degradation produced a tunable pore size. We unequivocally confirmed the successful elimination of the P4VP block from a PS-b-P4VPVP membrane using 1D/2D NMR spectroscopy and other characterization techniques. Surprisingly, the long range ordered surface porosity was preserved even after degradation of the P4VP block from the main chain of the diblock copolymer, as revealed by SEM. Aside from a drastically improved water flux (∼67% increase) compared to the PS-b-P4VP membrane, the hydraulic permeability measurements validated pH independent behaviour of the isoporous PS membrane over a wide pH range from 3 to 10. The effect of the pore size on protein transport rate and selectivity (a) was investigated for lysozyme (Lys), bovine serum albumin (BSA) and globulin-γ (IgG). A high selectivity of 42 (Lys/IgG) and 30 (BSA/IgG) was attained, making the membranes attractive for size selective separation of biomolecules from their synthetic model mixture solutions.

  6. Pore-scale modeling and simulation of flow, transport, and adsorptive or osmotic effects in membranes: the influence of membrane microstructure

    KAUST Repository

    Calo, Victor M.


    The selection of an appropriate membrane for a particular application is a complex and expensive process. Computational modeling can significantly aid membrane researchers and manufacturers in this process. The membrane morphology is highly influential on its efficiency within several applications, but is often overlooked in simulation. Two such applications which are very important in the provision of clean water are forward osmosis and filtration using functionalized micro/ultra/nano-filtration membranes. Herein, we investigate the effect of the membrane morphology in these two applications. First we present results of the separation process using resolved finger- and sponge-like support layers. Second, we represent the functionalization of a typical microfiltration membrane using absorptive pore walls, and illustrate the effect of different microstructures on the reactive process. Such numerical modeling will aid manufacturers in optimizing operating conditions and designing efficient membranes.

  7. Smart polymer brush nanostructures guide the self-assembly of pore-spanning lipid bilayers with integrated membrane proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Groot, G.W.; Demarche, S.; Santonicola, M.G.; Tiefenauer, L.; Vancso, Gyula J.


    Nanopores in arrays on silicon chips are functionalized with pH-responsive poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) brushes and used as supports for pore-spanning lipid bilayers with integrated membrane proteins. Robust platforms are created by the covalent grafting of polymer brushes using surface-initiated

  8. Simulations of the Pore Structures for a M2GlyR Derived Channel Forming Peptide in Different Membrane Environments (United States)

    Al-Rawi, A.; Herrera, A.; Tomich, J.; Rahman, T.


    As part of an effort to develop a peptide-based compound suitable for clinical use as a channel replacement therapeutic for treating channelopathies such as cystic fibrosis, we present a reductionist model that appears to grasp the characteristics of ion channeling peptides. In particular we present the observed changes in the functional characteristics of NK4-M2GlyR p22 (KKKKPARVGLGITTVLTMTTQS), a M2 GlyR derived channel forming peptide. Starting with a structure determined by multidimensional NMR (800 MHz) in SDS, a potential from CHARMM force-field was used to relax the structure of NK4-M2GlyR p22. Following the relaxation, numerous pore structures were generated for the symmetric five-helix assembly with geometries varying from cylindrical to conical. As it is difficult a priori to assign accurately the orientation of the hydrophilic portion of M2GlyR derived amphipath towards the inside of the pore, we tilted and rotated the helical structure by five different angles about the backbone axis before forming the pore. Energy minimization of the channel was performed in vacuum, in phosphotidylcholine (POPC) membrane, and 60% POPC 30% phosphotidylethanolamine (POPE) in order to determine the effect of the environment surrounding on the structure on its energy minimization. We will present the various pore assemblies, in the different membrane environments, used to predict the most probably membrane bound structure.

  9. The SV40 late protein VP4 is a viroporin that forms pores to disrupt membranes for viral release.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Smita Raghava


    Full Text Available Nonenveloped viruses are generally released by the timely lysis of the host cell by a poorly understood process. For the nonenveloped virus SV40, virions assemble in the nucleus and then must be released from the host cell without being encapsulated by cellular membranes. This process appears to involve the well-controlled insertion of viral proteins into host cellular membranes rendering them permeable to large molecules. VP4 is a newly identified SV40 gene product that is expressed at late times during the viral life cycle that corresponds to the time of cell lysis. To investigate the role of this late expressed protein in viral release, water-soluble VP4 was expressed and purified as a GST fusion protein from bacteria. Purified VP4 was found to efficiently bind biological membranes and support their disruption. VP4 perforated membranes by directly interacting with the membrane bilayer as demonstrated by flotation assays and the release of fluorescent markers encapsulated into large unilamellar vesicles or liposomes. The central hydrophobic domain of VP4 was essential for membrane binding and disruption. VP4 displayed a preference for membranes comprised of lipids that replicated the composition of the plasma membranes over that of nuclear membranes. Phosphatidylethanolamine, a lipid found at high levels in bacterial membranes, was inhibitory against the membrane perforation activity of VP4. The disruption of membranes by VP4 involved the formation of pores of ∼3 nm inner diameter in mammalian cells including permissive SV40 host cells. Altogether, these results support a central role of VP4 acting as a viroporin in the perforation of cellular membranes to trigger SV40 viral release.

  10. Porous glass membranes for vanadium redox-flow battery application - Effect of pore size on the performance (United States)

    Mögelin, H.; Yao, G.; Zhong, H.; dos Santos, A. R.; Barascu, A.; Meyer, R.; Krenkel, S.; Wassersleben, S.; Hickmann, T.; Enke, D.; Turek, T.; Kunz, U.


    The improvement of redox-flow batteries requires the development of chemically stable and highly conductive separators. Porous glass membranes can be an attractive alternative to the nowadays most common polymeric membranes. Flat porous glass membranes with a pore size in the range from 2 to 50 nm and a thickness of 300 and 500 μm have been used for that purpose. Maximum values for voltage efficiency of 85.1%, coulombic efficiency of 97.9% and energy efficiency of 76.3% at current densities in the range from 20 to 60 mA cm-2 have been achieved. Furthermore, a maximum power density of 95.2 mW cm-2 at a current density of 140 mA cm-2 was gained. These results can be related to small vanadium crossover, high conductivity and chemical stability, confirming the great potential of porous glass membranes for vanadium redox-flow applications.

  11. A direct gateway into the extracellular space: Unconventional secretion of FGF2 through self-sustained plasma membrane pores. (United States)

    Steringer, Julia P; Nickel, Walter


    As illustrated by a diverse set of examples in this special issue, multiple mechanisms of protein secretion have been identified in eukaryotes that do not involve the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus. Here we focus on the type I pathway with Fibroblast Growth Factor 2 (FGF2) being the most prominent example. Unconventional secretion of FGF2 from cells is mediated by direct protein translocation across the plasma membrane. A unique feature of this process is the ability of FGF2 to form its own membrane translocation intermediate through oligomerization and membrane insertion. This process depends on the phosphoinositide PI(4,5)P 2 at the inner leaflet and results in the formation of lipidic membrane pores in the plasma membrane. Various lines of evidence suggest that these pores are characterized by a toroidal architecture with FGF2 oligomers being accommodated in the center of these structures. At the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane, membrane proximal heparan sulfate proteoglycans are required for the final step of FGF2 translocation into the extracellular space. Based upon mutually exclusive interactions of FGF2 with PI(4,5)P 2 versus heparan sulfates, an assembly/disassembly pathway has been proposed to be the underlying principle of directional transport of FGF2 across the plasma membrane. Thus, the core mechanism of unconventional secretion of FGF2 is based upon three discrete steps with (i) PI(4,5)P 2 dependent oligomerization of FGF2 at the inner leaflet, (ii) insertion of membrane spanning FGF2 oligomers into the plasma membrane and (iii) disassembly at the outer leaflet mediated by heparan sulfates that subsequently retain FGF2 on cell surfaces. This process has recently been reconstituted with an inside-out membrane model system using giant unilamellar vesicles providing a compelling explanation of how FGF2 reaches the extracellular space in an ER/Golgi independent manner. This review is part of a Special Issue of SCDB on

  12. Characterization of anisotropic UF-membranes: top layer thickness and pore structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cuperus, F.P.; Cuperus, F.P.; Bargeman, D.; Bargeman, D.; Smolders, C.A.; Smolders, C.A.


    Anisotropic poly(2,6-dimethyl-, 1,4-phenylene oxide) (PPO) ultrafiltration membranes are characterized by means of two techniques. A new method for the determination of skin thicknesses, the gold sol method, is introduced and applied to these membranes. The membranes appeared to have a well-defined

  13. Membrane pore architecture of the CslF6 protein controls (1-3,1-4)-β-glucan structure. (United States)

    Jobling, Stephen A


    The cereal cell wall polysaccharide (1-3,1-4)-β-glucan is a linear polymer of glucose containing both β1-3 and β1-4 bonds. The structure of (1-3,1-4)-β-glucan varies between different cereals and during plant growth and development, but little is known about how this is controlled. The cellulose synthase-like CslF6 protein is an integral membrane protein and a major component of the (1-3,1-4)-β-glucan synthase. I show that a single amino acid within the predicted transmembrane pore domain of CslF6 controls (1-3,1-4)-β-glucan structure. A new mechanism for the control of the polysaccharide structure is proposed where membrane pore architecture and the translocation of the growing polysaccharide across the membrane control how the acceptor glucan is coordinated at the active site and thus the proportion of β1-3 and β1-4 bonds within the polysaccharide.

  14. Connecting membrane fluidity and surface charge to pore-forming antimicrobial peptides resistance by an ANN-based predictive model. (United States)

    Mehla, Jitender; Sood, S K


    Efficiency of antibacterial chemotherapy is gradually more challenged by the emergence of pathogenic strains exhibiting high levels of antibiotic resistance. Pore-forming antimicrobial peptides (PF-AMPs) such as alamethicin (Alm) are therefore in the focus of extensive research efforts. In the present study, an artificial neural network (ANN)-based quantitative structure-activity relationship (SAR) modeling of membrane phospholipids vs. PF-AMPs, in context to membrane fluidity and surface charge, was carried out. We observed that the potency of PF-AMPs depends on the fatty acyl chain and polar head group of phospholipids. Alm showed surface interactions with zwitterionic phospholipids however could penetrate deeper inside the hydrophobic core of anionic membranes. Here, the resistance developed in bacterial cells was coupled to membrane fluidity and surface charge, and simultaneously, these principles could be applied for combating resistance against PF-AMPs. The correlation coefficient between observed CR and predicted CR using ANN was found to be 0.757. Thus, ANN could be used as a reliable modeling method for predicting CR, given the structure of the biomimetic membrane in terms of membrane fluidity and surface charge. Fully explored mechanisms of resistance, a forward modeling step in the design cycle of AMPs, can be cross-linked to the inward modeling using ANN to complete the peptide design cycle. The SAR between membrane phospholipids and PF-AMPs could furnish valuable information regarding their design to provide us efficacious peptides against premier pathogens. So far, this is the only report available to predict and quantify interactions of PF-AMPs with membrane phospholipids.

  15. Lipids on the move : Simulations of membrane pores, domains, stalks and curves

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marrink, Siewert J.; de Vries, Alex H.; Tieleman, D. Peter

    In this review we describe the state-of-the-art of computer simulation studies of lipid membranes. We focus on collective lipid-lipid and lipid-protein interactions that trigger deformations of the natural lamellar membrane state, showing that many important biological processes including

  16. A comparative study of techniques used for porous membrane characterization: pore characterization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broek, A.P.; Kim, K.J.; Fane, A.G.; Ben aim, R.; Liu, M.G.; Jonsson, G.; Tessaro, I.C.; Broek, A.P.; Bargeman, D.; Bargeman, D.


    A range of commerical UF membranes have been characterized by thermoporometry, biliquid permporometry and molecular weight cut-off experiments. A comparison of results from these three independent techniques for the same types of membrane shows an indication of the strength and weakness of the

  17. Influences of the calcination temperature and polymethyl methacrylate templates to characteristic pore membrane of bioceramic titanium dioxide (United States)

    Ady, Jan; Viandari, Eka; Hasanah, Dewi W.


    The synthesis of the bioceramics titanium dioxide on its template by polymethyl methacrylate to be a sample with forming TiO2/PMMA was made with sol-gel process, and its pore membrane characteristics has also been studied. Different calcination temperatures 500°C, 550°C, and 600°C were given to sample for 17 hours. This purpose themselves was to fill TiO2 fissures with PMMA on different concentrations of 0.0, 2.0 wt%, 3.0 wt%, 4.0 wt%. Template leaching technique was used to remove PMMA from samples, and it was then sequentially found of the pore size of the membrane in approximate ranges (1900 nm - 2000 nm), (860.5 nm - 1669 nm), (312.8 nm-382.5 nm), and (136.1 nm - 269.7 nm). SEM test using and fourth it has average thickness in about 6.7 nm with Ellipsometer measurement. The percentage values of titanium and oxygen atoms are found by SEM-EDX from 3.03 at.% up to 66.81 at.% and there is amount 99.99% of the sample in anatase phase forming at 550 0C with angle of diffraction is 25.410 and it was prepared by XRD measurement.

  18. Influence of pore structure and architecture of photo-grafted functional layers on separation performance of cellulose-based macroporous membrane adsorbers. (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Faber, Rene; Ulbricht, Mathias


    New weak cation-exchange membrane adsorbers were prepared via UV-initiated heterogeneous graft copolymerization on Hydrosart macroporous regenerated cellulose membranes. The dynamic performance was investigated in detail with respect to the pore size and pore size distribution of the base membranes, ion-exchange capacity and architecture of the grafted functional layers as well as binding of target proteins. Main characterization methods were pore analysis (BET and permporometry), titration, analysis of protein binding under static conditions including visualization by confocal laser scanning microscopy and chromatographic analysis of dynamic protein binding and system dispersion. The trade-off between static binding capacity of the membrane adsorber and its permeability has partially been overcome by adapted architecture of the grafted functional layer achieved via the introduction of uncharged moieties as spacers and via stabilization of the binding layer by chemical cross-linking. The resulting membranes show only negligible effects of flow rate on dynamic binding capacity. There is no considerable size exclusion effect for large proteins due to mesh size of functional cross-linked layers. Investigation of system dispersion based on breakthrough curves confirms that the adapted grafted layer architecture has drastically reduced the contribution of the membrane to total system dispersion. The optimum pore structure of base membranes in combination with the best suited architecture of functional layers was identified in this study.

  19. Folding and membrane insertion of the pore-forming peptide gramicidin occur as a concerted process. (United States)

    Hicks, Matthew R; Damianoglou, Angeliki; Rodger, Alison; Dafforn, Timothy R


    Many antibiotic peptides function by binding and inserting into membranes. Understanding this process provides an insight into the fundamentals of both membrane protein folding and antibiotic peptide function. For the first time, in this work, flow-aligned linear dichroism (LD) is used to study the folding of the antibiotic peptide gramicidin. LD provides insight into the combined processes of peptide folding and insertion and has the advantage over other similar techniques of being insensitive to off-membrane aggregation events. By combining LD data with conventional measurements of protein fluorescence and circular dichroism, the mechanism of gramicidin insertion is elucidated. The mechanism consists of five separately assignable steps that include formation of a water-insoluble gramicidin aggregate, dissociation from the aggregate, partitioning of peptide to the membrane surface, oligomerisation on the surface and concerted insertion and folding of the peptide to the double-helical form of gramicidin. Measurement of the rates of each step shows that although changes in the fluorescence signal cease 10 s after the initiation of the process, the insertion of the peptide into the membrane is actually not complete for a further 60 min. This last membrane insertion phase is only apparent by measurement of LD and circular dichroism signal changes. In summary, this study demonstrates the importance of multi-technique approaches, including LD, in studies of membrane protein folding.

  20. Synthesis of Silicalite Membrane with an Aluminum-Containing Surface for Controlled Modification of Zeolitic Pore Entries for Enhanced Gas Separation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaowei Yang


    Full Text Available The separation of small molecule gases by membrane technologies can help performance enhancement and process intensification for emerging advanced fossil energy systems with CO2 capture capacity. This paper reports the demonstration of controlled modification of zeolitic channel size for the MFI-type zeolite membranes to enhance the separation of small molecule gases such as O2 and N2. Pure-silica MFI-type zeolite membranes were synthesized on porous α-alumina disc substrates with and without an aluminum-containing thin skin on the outer surface of zeolite membrane. The membranes were subsequently modified by on-stream catalytic cracking deposition (CCD of molecular silica to reduce the effective openings of the zeolitic channels. Such a pore modification caused the transition of gas permeation from the N2-selective gaseous diffusion mechanism in the pristine membrane to the O2-selective activated diffusion mechanism in the modified membrane. The experimental results indicated that the pore modification could be effectively limited within the aluminum-containing surface of the MFI zeolite membrane to minimize the mass transport resistance for O2 permeation while maintaining its selectivity. The implications of pore modification on the size-exclusion-enabled gas selectivity were discussed based on the kinetic molecular theory. In light of the theoretical analysis, experimental investigation was performed to further enhance the membrane separation selectivity by chemical liquid deposition of silica into the undesirable intercrystalline spaces.

  1. Hybrid organic-inorganic anion-exchange pore-filled membranes for the recovery of nitric acid from highly acidic aqueous waste streams. (United States)

    Chavan, Vivek; Agarwal, Chhavi; Adya, V C; Pandey, Ashok K


    Recycling of acid from aqueous waste streams is highly important not only from the environmental point of view but also for developing the sustainable technology. One of the effective ways to recover acid from aqueous waste streams is the anion-exchange membrane based diffusion-dialysis. The work presents the synthesis and characterization of anion-exchange pore-filled membranes for the objective of recovery of high concentration of acid by diffusion dialysis. The membranes were prepared by anchoring the guest organic-inorganic anionic gel in the pores of the host poly(propylene) membrane by in situ UV-initiator induced polymerization of the appropriate monomers along with cross-linker. The removal of nitric acid in the presence of different representative monovalent, divalent and trivalent nitrates and the leakage of these ions through anion exchange membrane have been studied by DD technique for optimizing the chemical composition of the membrane. The nitric acid permeation rate of the membrane with the optimized composition has been found to be considerably faster than the commercial Selemion membrane without sacrificing salt leakage. The performance of the optimized pore-filled anion exchange membranes has been found to be independent of the acid concentration, nature of the anion and substrate and has been observed to be solely dependent on the guest inorganic-organic hybrid anionic gel component. The membranes have been found to be stable and reusable for the acid recovery. Removal of nitric acid as high as 90% from the simulated high level nuclear waste with the optimized grafted pore-filled membrane has been achieved with negligible salt transport. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Precise small-angle X-ray scattering evaluation of the pore structures in track-etched membranes: Comparison with other convenient evaluation methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miyazaki, Tsukasa, E-mail: [Neutron Science and Technology Center, Comprehensive Research Organization for Science and Society, 162-1, Shirakata, Tokai-mura, Naka-gun, Ibaraki 319-1106 (Japan); Takenaka, Mikihito [Department of Polymer Chemistry, Gradual School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyotodaigaku-katsura, Kyoto 615-8510 (Japan)


    Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET)-based track-etched membranes (TMs) with pore sizes ranging from few nanometers to approximately 1 μm are used in various applications in the biological field, and their pore structures are determined by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). These TMs with the nanometer-sized cylindrical pores aligned parallel to the film thickness direction are produced by chemical etching of the track in the PET films irradiated by heavy ions with the sodium hydroxide aqueous solution. It is well known that SAXS allows us to precisely and statistically estimate the pore size and the pore size distribution in the TMs by using the form factor of a cylinder with the extremely long pore length relative to the pore diameter. The results obtained were compared with those estimated with scanning electron microscopy and gas permeability measurements. The result showed that the gas permeability measurement is convenient to evaluate the pore size of TMs within a wide length scale, and the SEM observation is also suited to estimate the pore size, although SEM observation is usually limited above approximately 30 nm.

  3. Combined Effects of Surface Charge and Pore Size on Co-enhanced Permeability and Ion Selectivity through RGO-OCNT Nanofiltration Membranes. (United States)

    Zhang, Haiguang; Quan, Xie; Chen, Shuo; Fan, Xinfei; Wei, Gaoliang; Yu, Hongtao


    Nanofiltration (NF) has received much attention for wastewater treatment and desalination. However, NF membranes generally suffer from the trade-off between permeability and selectivity. In this work, the co-enhancement of permeability and ion selectivity was achieved through tuning the surface charge and pore size of oxidized carbon nanotube (OCNT) intercalated reduced graphene oxide (RGO) membranes. With the increase of OCNT content from 0 to 83%, the surface charge and the pore size are increased. The permeability increased to 10.6 L m-2 h-1 bar-1 and rejection rate reached 78.1% for Na2SO4 filtration at a transmembrane pressure of 2 bar, which were 11.8 and 1.3 times higher than those of pristine RGO membrane. The composite membrane also showed 11.1 times higher permeability (11.1 L m-2 h-1 bar-1) and 2.9 times higher rejection rate (35.3%) for NaCl filtration. The analyses based on Donnan steric pore model suggest that the increased permeability is attributed to the combined effects of enlarged pore size and increased surface charge, while the enhanced ion selectivity is mainly dependent on the electrostatic interaction between the membrane and target ions. This finding provides a new insight for the development of high-performance NF membranes in water treatment and desalination.

  4. Mesoporous Silica Gel–Based Mixed Matrix Membranes for Improving Mass Transfer in Forward Osmosis: Effect of Pore Size of Filler (United States)

    Lee, Jian-Yuan; Wang, Yining; Tang, Chuyang Y.; Huo, Fengwei


    The efficiency of forward osmosis (FO) process is generally limited by the internal concentration polarization (ICP) of solutes inside its porous substrate. In this study, mesoporous silica gel (SG) with nominal pore size ranging from 4–30 nm was used as fillers to prepare SG-based mixed matrix substrates. The resulting mixed matrix membranes had significantly reduced structural parameter and enhanced membrane water permeability as a result of the improved surface porosity of the substrates. An optimal filler pore size of ~9 nm was observed. This is in direct contrast to the case of thin film nanocomposite membranes, where microporous nanoparticle fillers are loaded to the membrane rejection layer and are designed in such a way that these fillers are able to retain solutes while allowing water to permeate through them. In the current study, the mesoporous fillers are designed as channels to both water and solute molecules. FO performance was enhanced at increasing filler pore size up to 9 nm due to the lower hydraulic resistance of the fillers. Nevertheless, further increasing filler pore size to 30 nm was accompanied with reduced FO efficiency, which can be attributed to the intrusion of polymer dope into the filler pores. PMID:26592565

  5. Simulations of the pore structures for a M2G1yR derived channel forming peptide in membrane (United States)

    Al-Rawi, Ahlam N.; Al-Rawi, Asma; Chen, Jianhan; Herrera, Alvaro; Tomich, John; Rahman, Talat S.


    In an effort to develop a peptide-based compound suitable for clinical use as a channel replacement therapeutic for treating channelopathies such as cystic fibrosis, we present a reductionist model that appears to capture many of the biophysical properties of an intact ion channel using short channel-forming peptides. We have developed two anion selective channel-forming peptides with near native and altered properties from the peptides derived from the glycine receptor: NK4-M2GlyR-p22 WT (KKKKPAR-VGLGITTVLTMTTQS) and NK4-M2GlyR-p22 S22W (KKKKPARVGLGITTVLTMTTQW), respectively. Starting with the two structures determined by solution multidimensional NMR (800 MHz) in SDS, we used CHARMM and NAMD to perform molecular dynamics simulations on the monomers. Using the existing experimental data, we then built an initial 5- helix assembly by altering the tilted angle, rotational angle and pore radius. We investigated the impact of the single mutation at position 22 on the structure and dynamics of the pore formed in a membrane build in a hydrated POPC lipid bilayer. Probable structures for both assemblies are presented.

  6. Sticholysin II: a pore-forming toxin as a probe to recognize sphingomyelin in artificial and cellular membranes. (United States)

    Garcia, Paloma Sanchez; Chieppa, Gabriele; Desideri, Alessandro; Cannata, Stefano; Romano, Elena; Luly, Paolo; Rufini, Stefano


    Sphingomyelin is a major component of membrane rafts, and also is a precursor of many bioactive molecules. The sphingomyelin plays important biological roles and alterations of its metabolism are the basis of some genetic disorders such as the Niemann Pick disease. A complete understanding of its biological role is frustrated by the lack of efficient tools for its recognition in the cell. Sticholysin II (StnII) is a 20 kDa protein from the sea-anemone Stichodactyla helianthus which shows a cytotoxic activity by forming oligomeric aqueous pores in the cell plasma membrane. A recent NMR analysis indicates that the sticholysin II binds specifically to sphingomyelin by two domains that recognize respectively the hydrophilic (i.e. phosphorylcholine) and the hydrophobic (i.e. ceramide) moieties of the molecule. Aim of our research has been to verify the possible employ of an antibody against the StnII to investigate the localization and the dynamics of sphingomyelin in cell membranes. For this purpose, we developed a monoclonal antibody (named A10) against the toxin and we tested its ability to bind StnII after binding to sphingomyelin. A10 antibody is able to recognize the sticholysin II both in its native form and after SDS treatment, being the protein still suitable for many analytic techniques such as ELISA, western blotting and immunofluorescence. The high affinity of the toxin for the sphingomyelin in cell membranes has been demonstrated by microscopic immuno-localization and western blot analysis; both methods confirmed that sphingomyelin is the molecular acceptor for StnII also in cell membranes. Finally, we studied the specificity of the toxin for sphingomyelin by a cell membrane-double labelling method, using cholera toxin, specific for the ganglioside GM1, and sticholysin II. The results obtained show that there is no cross-reactivity between the two toxins, confirming that sticholysin II is able to discriminate among membrane domains with sphingomyelin with

  7. Membrane-coating lattice scaffolds in the nuclear pore and vesicle coats (United States)

    Leksa, Nina C


    The nuclear pore complex (NPC) regulates all traffic between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. It is a large protein assembly composed of multiple copies of ∼30 nucleoporins (nups). Structural studies of the NPC have been limited by its considerable size and complexity. Progress toward understanding the structure of this nanomachine has benefited from its modular nature, which allows for this 40–60 MDa assembly to be broken down into subcomplexes that can be studied individually. While recent work by both crystallographers and electron microscopists has greatly enhanced our model of the NPC, the resolution gap between crystal and EM structures remains too large to confidently place individual proteins within the context of the fully assembled NPC. In an effort to arrive at a veritable model of the NPC, we solved the structure of several scaffold nups and defined the ancestral coatomer element (ACE1) common to a set of nucleoporins and COPII vesicle coat proteins. Subsequently, we proposed a lattice-like model of the NPC, analogous to the COPII lattice, in which ACE1 proteins form the edge elements and β-propellers form the vertex elements. Here, we review our recent studies, speculate on how interactions between subcomplexes of the NPC are mediated, and outline the steps and challenges that lay ahead on the path to understanding this enormous assembly in molecular detail. PMID:21327078

  8. Segments Crucial for Membrane Translocation and Pore-forming Activity of Bordetella Adenylate Cyclase Toxin

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Basler, Marek; Knapp, O.; Mašín, Jiří; Fišer, R.; Maier, E.; Benz, R.; Šebo, Peter; Osička, Radim


    Roč. 282, č. 17 (2007), s. 12419-12429 ISSN 0021-9258 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1M0506; GA AV ČR IAA5020406 Grant - others:XE(XE) European Union 6th FP contract LSHB-CT-2003-503582 THERAVAC Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Source of funding: R - rámcový projekt EK Keywords : bordetella * adenylate cyclase toxin * ac membrane translocation Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 5.581, year: 2007

  9. Incorporating Embedded Microporous Layers into Topologically Equivalent Pore Network Models for Oxygen Diffusivity Calculations in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Gas Diffusion Layers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fazeli, Mohammadreza; Hinebaugh, James; Bazylak, Aimy


    Highlights: • Pore network model for modeling PEMFC MPL-coated GDL effective diffusivity. • Bilayered GDL (substrate and MPL) is modeled with a hybrid network of block MPL elements combined with discrete substrate pores. • Diffusivities of MPL-coated GDLs agree with analytical solutions. - Abstract: In this work, a voxel-based methodology is introduced for the hybridization of a pore network with interspersed nano-porous material elements allowing pore network based oxygen diffusivity calculations in a 3D image of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell gas diffusion layer (GDL) with an embedded microporous layer (MPL). The composite GDL is modeled by combining a hybrid network of block MPL elements with prescribed bulk material properties and a topologically equivalent network of larger discrete pores and throats that are directly derived from the 3D image of the GDL substrate. This hybrid network was incorporated into a pore network model, and effective diffusivity predictions of GDL materials with MPL coatings were obtained. Stochastically generated numerical models of carbon paper substrates with and without MPLs were used, and the pore space was directly extracted from this realistic geometry as the input for the pore network model. The effective diffusion coefficient of MPL-coated GDL materials was predicted from 3D images in a pore network modeling environment without resolving the nano-scale structure of the MPL. This method is particularly useful due to the disparate length scales that are involved when attempting to capture pore-scale transport in the GDL. Validation was performed by comparing our predicted diffusivity values to analytical predictions, and excellent agreement was observed. Upon conducting a mesh sensitivity study, it was determined that an MPL element size of 7 μm provided sufficiently high resolution for accurately describing the MPL nano-structure.

  10. Tl(+) induces both cationic and transition pore permeability in the inner membrane of rat heart mitochondria. (United States)

    Korotkov, Sergey M; Nesterov, Vladimir P; Brailovskaya, Irina V; Furaev, Viktor V; Novozhilov, Artemy V


    Effects of Tl(+) were studied in experiments with isolated rat heart mitochondria (RHM) injected into 400 mOsm medium containing TlNO3 and a nitrate salt (KNO3 or NH4NO3) or TlNO3 and sucrose. Tl(+) increased permeability of the inner membrane of the RHM to K(+) and H(+). This manifested as an increase of the non-energized RHM swelling, in the order of sucrose rat heart mitochondria increased both the swelling and the inner membrane potential dissipation, as well as decreased basal state and 2,4-dinitrophenol-stimulated respiration. These effects of Tl(+) were suppressed by the MPTP inhibitors (cyclosporine A, ADP, bongkrekic acid, and n-ethylmaleimide), activated in the presence of the MPTP inducer (carboxyatractyloside) or mitoKATP inhibitor (5-hydroxydecanoate), but were not altered in the presence of mitoKATP agonists (diazoxide or pinacidil). We suggest that the greater sensitivity of heart and striated muscles, versus liver, to thallium salts in vivo can result in more vigorous Tl(+) effects on muscle cell mitochondria.

  11. Application of the charge regulation model to transport of ions through hydrophilic membranes : one-dimensional transport model for narrow pores (nanofiltration)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Samuel de Lint, W.B.; Biesheuvel, P.M.; Verweij, H.


    The charge regulation concept is combined with the Navier-Stokes and Nernst-Planck equations to describe the ion retention of nanofiltration membranes consisting of narrow cylindrical pores. The charge regulation approach replaces the assumption of a constant charge or a constant potential at the

  12. Application of the charge regulation model to transport of ions through hydrophilic membranes: one-dimensional transport model for narrow pores (nanofiltration)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Lint, W.B.S.; Biesheuvel, Pieter Maarten; Biesheuvel, P.M.; Verweij, H.


    The charge regulation concept is combined with the Navier-Stokes and Nernst-Planck equations to describe the ion retention of nanofiltration membranes consisting of narrow cylindrical pores. The charge regulation approach replaces the assumption of a constant charge or a constant potential at the

  13. Surface characterisation and photocatalytic performance of N-doped TiO2 thin films deposited onto 200 nm pore size alumina membranes by sol–gel methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grilli, R.; Di Camillo, D.; Lozzi, L.; Horovitz, I.; Mamane, H.; Avisar, D.; Baker, M.A.


    Membrane filtration is employed for water treatment and wastewater reclamation purposes, but membranes alone are unable to remove pollutant molecules and certain pathogens. Photocatalytically active N-doped TiO 2 coatings have been deposited by sol–gel onto 200 nm pore size alumina membranes for water treatment applications using two different methods, via pipette droplets or spiral bar applicator. The uncoated and coated membranes were characterised by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX). Both coatings showed the presence of N-doped anatase, with a surface coverage between 84 and 92%, and nitrogen concentration (predominantly interstitial) of 0.9 at.%. The spiral bar applicator deposited coatings exhibit a thicker mud-cracked surface layer with limited penetration of the porous membrane, whilst the pipette deposited coatings have mostly penetrated into the bulk of the membrane and a thinner layer is present at the surface. The photocatalytic activity (PCA), measured through the degradation of carbamazepine (CBZ), under irradiation of a solar simulator was 58.6% for the pipette coating and 63.3% for the spiral bar coating. These photocatalytically active N-doped sol–gel coated membranes offer strong potential in forming the fundamental basis of a sunlight based water treatment system. - Highlights: • Sol gel N-doped TiO 2 thin films were deposited on 200 nm pore size Al 2 O 3 membranes. • Two sol–gel methods have been compared – pipette drop and spiral bar deposition. • The coatings showed a similar microstructure and composition but different morphology. • The PCA (degradation of carbamazepine) was ∼60% for both sol–gel coatings. • The coated membranes are promising for use in a membrane based water treatment system

  14. Trichoderma viride cellulase induces resistance to the antibiotic pore-forming peptide alamethicin associated with changes in the plasma membrane lipid composition of tobacco BY-2 cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreasson Erik


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alamethicin is a membrane-active peptide isolated from the beneficial root-colonising fungus Trichoderma viride. This peptide can insert into membranes to form voltage-dependent pores. We have previously shown that alamethicin efficiently permeabilises the plasma membrane, mitochondria and plastids of cultured plant cells. In the present investigation, tobacco cells (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv Bright Yellow-2 were pre-treated with elicitors of defence responses to study whether this would affect permeabilisation. Results Oxygen consumption experiments showed that added cellulase, already upon a limited cell wall digestion, induced a cellular resistance to alamethicin permeabilisation. This effect could not be elicited by xylanase or bacterial elicitors such as flg22 or elf18. The induction of alamethicin resistance was independent of novel protein synthesis. Also, the permeabilisation was unaffected by the membrane-depolarising agent FCCP. As judged by lipid analyses, isolated plasma membranes from cellulase-pretreated tobacco cells contained less negatively charged phospholipids (PS and PI, yet higher ratios of membrane lipid fatty acid to sterol and to protein, as compared to control membranes. Conclusion We suggest that altered membrane lipid composition as induced by cellulase activity may render the cells resistant to alamethicin. This induced resistance could reflect a natural process where the plant cells alter their sensitivity to membrane pore-forming agents secreted by Trichoderma spp. to attack other microorganisms, and thus adding to the beneficial effect that Trichoderma has for plant root growth. Furthermore, our data extends previous reports on artificial membranes on the importance of lipid packing and charge for alamethicin permeabilisation to in vivo conditions.

  15. Reconstituted Fusion Pore


    Jeremic, Aleksandar; Kelly, Marie; Cho, Sang-Joon; Stromer, Marvin H.; Jena, Bhanu P.


    Fusion pores or porosomes are basket-like structures at the cell plasma membrane, at the base of which, membrane-bound secretory vesicles dock and fuse to release vesicular contents. Earlier studies using atomic force microscopy (AFM) demonstrated the presence of fusion pores at the cell plasma membrane in a number of live secretory cells, revealing their morphology and dynamics at nm resolution and in real time. ImmunoAFM studies demonstrated the release of vesicular contents through the por...

  16. Two conformational states of the membrane-associated Bacillus thuringiensis Cry4Ba δ-endotoxin complex revealed by electron crystallography: Implications for toxin-pore formation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ounjai, Puey; Unger, Vinzenz M.; Sigworth, Fred J.; Angsuthanasombat, Chanan


    The insecticidal nature of Cry δ-endotoxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis is generally believed to be caused by their ability to form lytic pores in the midgut cell membrane of susceptible insect larvae. Here we have analyzed membrane-associated structures of the 65-kDa dipteran-active Cry4Ba toxin by electron crystallography. The membrane-associated toxin complex was crystallized in the presence of DMPC via detergent dialysis. Depending upon the charge of the adsorbed surface, 2D crystals of the oligomeric toxin complex have been captured in two distinct conformations. The projection maps of those crystals have been generated at 17 A resolution. Both complexes appeared to be trimeric; as in one crystal form, its projection structure revealed a symmetrical pinwheel-like shape with virtually no depression in the middle of the complex. The other form revealed a propeller-like conformation displaying an obvious hole in the center region, presumably representing the toxin-induced pore. These crystallographic data thus demonstrate for the first time that the 65-kDa activated Cry4Ba toxin in association with lipid membranes could exist in at least two different trimeric conformations, conceivably implying the closed and open states of the pore

  17. Proof of pore formation and biophysical perturbations through a 2D amoxicillin-lipid membrane interaction approach. (United States)

    Lopes, Daniela; Nunes, Cláudia; Fontaine, Philippe; Sarmento, Bruno; Reis, Salette


    Amoxicillin is a worldwide used antibiotic, and it is classified as a first-line drug against Helicobacter pylori gastric infections. However, the current treatment of these infections has several limitations, such as the side effects and the low therapeutic compliance. Amoxicillin has been associated with gastrointestinal and renal side effects, with higher toxicity when the pH is lower. By considering this association and the well-known pH gradient of the gastric mucosa, this work aims to evaluate the influence of pH on the toxicity of amoxicillin. For that purpose, 1,2-dipalmitoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPPC) monolayers were used since phosphatidylcholines are the most common phospholipid headgroup of biological membranes. To have insight of the effects of amoxicillin, different techniques were employed, namely, isotherm measurements, infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy, grazing incident X-ray diffraction and Brewster angle microscopy. The monolayers of DPPC spread onto different buffer solutions (pH1.2, pH5 and pH7.4) showed different structural and packing properties. The interaction with amoxicillin also depended on the pH. At pH7.4, the highest effect was visualized at lower pressures, with partial restoration of the biophysical properties of the monolayer at 30 mN.m -1 . A higher perturbation is shown at acidic pH, in which pores were visualized by Brewster angle microscopy. These perturbations may ultimately be related with amoxicillin toxicity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Ion-exchange composite membranes pore-filled with sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) and Engelhard titanosilicate-10 for improved performance of vanadium redox flow batteries (United States)

    Kim, Jihoon; Lee, Yongkyu; Jeon, Jae-Deok; Kwak, Seung-Yeop


    A series of ion-exchange membranes for vanadium redox flow batteries (VRBs) are prepared by filling the pores of a poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) substrate with sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) and microporous Engelhard titanosilicate-10 (ETS-10). The effects of ETS-10 incorporation and PTFE reinforcement on membrane properties and VRB single-cell performance are investigated using various characterization tools. The results show that these composite membranes exhibit improved mechanical properties and reduced vanadium-ion permeabilities owing to the interactions between ETS-10 and SPEEK, the suppressed swelling of PTFE, and the unique ETS-10 framework. The composite membrane with 3 wt% ETS-10 (referred to as "SE3/P") exhibits the best membrane properties and highest ion selectivity. The VRB system with the SE3/P membrane exhibits higher cell capacity, higher cell efficiency, and lower capacity decay than that with a Nafion membrane. These results indicate that this composite membrane has potential as an alternative to Nafion in VRB systems.

  19. Insights into the role of wettability in cathode catalyst layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cell; pore scale immiscible flow and transport processes (United States)

    Fathi, H.; Raoof, A.; Mansouri, S. H.


    The production of liquid water in cathode catalyst layer, CCL, is a significant barrier to increase the efficiency of proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Here we present, for the first time, a direct three-dimensional pore-scale modelling to look at the complex immiscible two-phase flow in CCL. After production of the liquid water at the surface of CCL agglomerates due to the electrochemical reactions, water spatial distribution affects transport of oxygen through the CCL as well as the rate of reaction at the agglomerate surfaces. To explore the wettability effects, we apply hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties using different surface contact angles. Effective diffusivity is calculated under several water saturation levels. Results indicate larger diffusive transport values for hydrophilic domain compared to the hydrophobic media where the liquid water preferentially floods the larger pores. However, hydrophobic domain showed more available surface area and higher oxygen consumption rate at the reaction sites under various saturation levels, which is explained by the effect of wettability on pore-scale distribution of water. Hydrophobic domain, with a contact angle of 150, reveals efficient water removal where only 28% of the pore space stays saturated. This condition contributes to the enhanced available reaction surface area and oxygen diffusivity.

  20. Effects of the leaf decoction of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) on Mitochondrial Membrane Permeability Transition Pore (MMPTP) and fertility in normal male albino rats. (United States)

    Odewusi, A F; Oyeyemi, M O; Olayemi, F O; Emikpe, B; Ehigie, L O; Adisa, R A; Olorunsogo, O O


    Momordica charantia (M. charantia), a medicinal plant of the family, Cucurbitaceae, is used in treating an array of ailments including diabetes, heamorrhoids, fevers and various cancers. Programmed cell death may be modulated by an intrinsic pathway involving the release of cytochrome C when the mitochondrial membrane permeability transition (MMPTP) pore is opened. Opening of MMPT pore was assayed using the method of Lapidus and Sokolove. The results obtained revealed that there was a dose-dependent and significant increase in the opening of the MMPT pore in rats orally administered the decoction with maximum induction (11-fold increase) at 55mg/100g body weight (bw), although the extent of opening of the pore was reduced at 65mg/100g bw (9-fold increase). An assessment of the blood parameters of animals orally exposed to the decoction showed significant decrease (pcharantia in albino rats and may therefore pose some danger to humans especially in regard to male fertility in individuals who rely on oral administration of the decoction in treating various ailments.

  1. Ion and water transport in a Nafion{reg_sign} membrane pore: A statistical mechanical model with molecular structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paddison, S.J.; Zawodzinski, T.A. Jr. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States). Electronic and Electrochemical Materials and Devices Group; Paul, R. [Univ. of Calgary, Alberta (Canada). Dept. of Chemistry


    With the well established importance of the coupling of water and protons through electroosmotic drag in operating PEFCs the authors present here a derivation of a mathematical model that focuses on the computation of the mobility of an hydronium ion through an arbitrary cylindrical pore of a PEM with a non-uniform charge distribution on the walls of the pore. The total Hamiltonian is derived for the hydronium ion as it moves through the hydrated pore and is effected by the net potential due to interaction with the solvent molecules and the pendant side chains. The corresponding probability density is derived through solution of the Liouville equation. This probability density is then used to compute the friction tensor for the hydronium ion. The authors find two types of contributions: (a) due to the solvent-ion interactions for which they adopt the conventional continuum model; (b) due to the interaction between the pendant charges and the hydronium ion. The latter is a new result and displays the role of the non-uniform nature of the charge distribution on the pore wall.

  2. NSF- and SNARE-mediated membrane fusion is required for nuclear envelope formation and completion of nuclear pore complex assembly in Xenopus laevis egg extracts. (United States)

    Baur, Tina; Ramadan, Kristijan; Schlundt, Andreas; Kartenbeck, Jürgen; Meyer, Hemmo H


    Despite the progress in understanding nuclear envelope (NE) reformation after mitosis, it has remained unclear what drives the required membrane fusion and how exactly this is coordinated with nuclear pore complex (NPC) assembly. Here, we show that, like other intracellular fusion reactions, NE fusion in Xenopus laevis egg extracts is mediated by SNARE proteins that require activation by NSF. Antibodies against Xenopus NSF, depletion of NSF or the dominant-negative NSF(E329Q) variant specifically inhibited NE formation. Staging experiments further revealed that NSF was required until sealing of the envelope was completed. Moreover, excess exogenous alpha-SNAP that blocks SNARE function prevented membrane fusion and caused accumulation of non-flattened vesicles on the chromatin surface. Under these conditions, the nucleoporins Nup107 and gp210 were fully recruited, whereas assembly of FxFG-repeat-containing nucleoporins was blocked. Together, we define NSF- and SNARE-mediated membrane fusion events as essential steps during NE formation downstream of Nup107 recruitment, and upstream of membrane flattening and completion of NPC assembly.

  3. Temperature and concentration effects on electrolyte transport across porous thin-film composite nanofiltration membranes: Pore transport mechanisms and energetics of permeation. (United States)

    Sharma, Ramesh R; Chellam, Shankararaman


    The influence of temperature and concentration on nanofilter charge density and electrolyte pore transport mechanisms is reported. Crossflow filtration experiments were performed to measure transport of several electrolytes (NaCl, NaNO3, NaClO4, CaCl2, MgCl2, and MgSO4) across two commercially available thin-film composite nanofiltration membranes in the range 5-41 degrees C. Experiments were also performed with selected salts in the range 1-50 meq/L to quantify concentration effects. Three different approaches, irreversible thermodynamics, extended Nernst-Planck formulation, and theory of rate processes, were employed to interpret retentions of these symmetric and asymmetric electrolytes at varying temperature and concentration. Increasing feed water temperature slightly increased electrolyte reflection coefficients and only weakly increased permeability compared with neutral solutes. Electromigration and convection tended to counteract each other at high fluxes explaining the weak temperature dependence of the reflection coefficient. Changes in membrane surface charge density with temperature were attributed to increased adsorption of electrolytes on the polymer constituting the active layer. Activation energy of permeation for charged solutes was primarily determined by the Donnan potential at the membrane-feed water interface. Electrolyte permeation was shown to be an enthalpy-driven process that resulted in small entropy changes. Increasing sorption capacity with temperature and low sorption energies indicated that co-ion sorption on polymeric membranes was an endothermic physicosorption process, which appears to determine temperature dependence of electrolyte permeation at increased feed concentrations.

  4. Salicylate-inducible antibiotic resistance in Pseudomonas cepacia associated with absence of a pore-forming outer membrane protein.


    Burns, J L; Clark, D K


    The most common mechanism of antibiotic resistance in multiply resistant Pseudomonas cepacia is decreased porin-mediated outer membrane permeability. In some gram-negative organisms this form of antibiotic resistance can be induced by growth in the presence of weak acids, such as salicylates, which suppress porin synthesis. To determine the effects of salicylates on outer membrane permeability of P. cepacia, a susceptible laboratory strain, 249-2, was grown in 10 mM sodium salicylate. Antibio...

  5. A non-inactivating high-voltage-activated two-pore Na+ channel that supports ultra-long action potentials and membrane bistability (United States)

    Cang, Chunlei; Aranda, Kimberly; Ren, Dejian


    Action potentials (APs) are fundamental cellular electrical signals. The genesis of short APs lasting milliseconds is well understood. Ultra-long APs (ulAPs) lasting seconds to minutes also occur in eukaryotic organisms, but their biological functions and mechanisms of generation are largely unknown. Here, we identify TPC3, a previously uncharacterized member of the two-pore channel protein family, as a new voltage-gated Na+ channel (NaV) that generates ulAPs, and that establishes membrane potential bistability. Unlike the rapidly inactivating NaVs that generate short APs in neurons, TPC3 has a high activation threshold, activates slowly and does not inactivate—three properties that help generate long-lasting APs and guard the membrane against unintended perturbation. In amphibian oocytes, TPC3 forms a channel similar to channels induced by depolarization and sperm entry into eggs. TPC3 homologues are present in plants and animals, and they may be important for cellular processes and behaviours associated with prolonged membrane depolarization.

  6. Pore network modeling to explore the effects of compression on multiphase transport in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell gas diffusion layers (United States)

    Fazeli, Mohammadreza; Hinebaugh, James; Fishman, Zachary; Tötzke, Christian; Lehnert, Werner; Manke, Ingo; Bazylak, Aimy


    Understanding how compression affects the distribution of liquid water and gaseous oxygen in the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell gas diffusion layer (GDL) is vital for informing the design of improved porous materials for effective water management strategies. Pore networks extracted from synchrotron-based micro-computed tomography images of compressed GDLs were employed to simulate liquid water transport in GDL materials over a range of compression pressures. The oxygen transport resistance was predicted for each sample under dry and partially saturated conditions. A favorable GDL compression value for a preferred liquid water distribution and oxygen diffusion was found for Toray TGP-H-090 (10%), yet an optimum compression value was not recognized for SGL Sigracet 25BC. SGL Sigracet 25BC exhibited lower transport resistance values compared to Toray TGP-H-090, and this is attributed to the additional diffusion pathways provided by the microporous layer (MPL), an effect that is particularly significant under partially saturated conditions.

  7. Graphite and PMMA as pore formers for thermoplastic extrusion of porous 3Y-TZP oxygen transport membrane supports

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørnetun Haugen, Astri; Gurauskis, Jonas; Kaiser, Andreas


    A gas permeable porous support is a crucial part of an asymmetric oxygen transport membrane (OTM). Here, we develop feedstocks for thermoplastic extrusion of tubular, porous 3Y-TZP (partially stabilized zirconia polycrystals, (Y2O3)0.03(ZrO2)0.97)) ceramics, using graphite and/or polymethyl...... with gas permeability exceeding the target of 10−14m2 are obtained. In the temperature range 1250–1400°C the support gas permeability is insensitive to the sintering temperature, and the feedstocks shrink more than 15% during sintering, making them ideal for co-sintering with functional OTM layers....... This demonstrates the suitability of thermoplastic extrusion for fabrication of porous 3Y-TZP OTM supports, or for other technologies requiring porous ceramics....

  8. Short, Synthetic Cationic Peptides Have Antibacterial Activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis by Forming Pores in Membrane and Synergizing with Antibiotics. (United States)

    Gupta, Kajal; Singh, Sameer; van Hoek, Monique L


    Multicellular organisms are constantly exposed to a multitude of pathogenic microbes. Infection is inhibited in vivo by the innate and adaptive immune system. Mycobacterium species have emerged that are resistant to most antibiotics. We identified several naturally occurring cationic antimicrobial peptides that were active at low micromolar concentrations against Mycobacterium smegmatis. Human-derived cathelicidin LL-37 is well characterized and studied against M. smegmatis; we compared LL-37 with Chinese cobra-derived cathelicidin NA-CATH and mouse cathelicidin (mCRAMP). Two synthetic 11-residue peptides (ATRA-1A and ATRA-2) containing variations of a repeated motif within NA-CATH were tested for their activity against M. smegmatis along with a short synthetic peptide derivative from the human beta-defensin hBD3 (hBD3-Pep4). We hypothesized that these smaller synthetic peptides may demonstrate antimicrobial effectiveness with shorter length (and at less cost), making them strong potential candidates for development into broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds or use in combination with antibiotics. These peptides have antimicrobial activity with EC50 ranging from 0.05 to 1.88 μg/mL against Mycobacterium smegmatis. The ATRA-1A short peptide was found to be the most effective antimicrobial peptide (AMP) (EC50 = 0.05 μg/mL). High bactericidal activity correlated with bacterial membrane depolarization and permeabilization activities. The efficacy of the peptides was further analyzed through Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) assays. The MICs were determined by the microdilution method. The peptide mCRAMP showed the best MIC activity at 15.6 μg/mL. Neither of the effective short synthetic peptides demonstrated synergy with the antibiotic rifampicin, although both demonstrated synergy with the cyclic peptide antibiotic polymyxin B. The peptides LL-37 and mCRAMP displayed synergism with rifampicin in MIC assays, whereas antibiotic polymyxin B displayed synergism

  9. Short, Synthetic Cationic Peptides Have Antibacterial Activity against Mycobacterium smegmatis by Forming Pores in Membrane and Synergizing with Antibiotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kajal Gupta


    Full Text Available Multicellular organisms are constantly exposed to a multitude of pathogenic microbes. Infection is inhibited in vivo by the innate and adaptive immune system. Mycobacterium species have emerged that are resistant to most antibiotics. We identified several naturally occurring cationic antimicrobial peptides that were active at low micromolar concentrations against Mycobacterium smegmatis. Human-derived cathelicidin LL-37 is well characterized and studied against M. smegmatis; we compared LL-37 with Chinese cobra-derived cathelicidin NA-CATH and mouse cathelicidin (mCRAMP. Two synthetic 11-residue peptides (ATRA-1A and ATRA-2 containing variations of a repeated motif within NA-CATH were tested for their activity against M. smegmatis along with a short synthetic peptide derivative from the human beta-defensin hBD3 (hBD3-Pep4. We hypothesized that these smaller synthetic peptides may demonstrate antimicrobial effectiveness with shorter length (and at less cost, making them strong potential candidates for development into broad-spectrum antimicrobial compounds or use in combination with antibiotics. These peptides have antimicrobial activity with EC50 ranging from 0.05 to 1.88 μg/mL against Mycobacterium smegmatis. The ATRA-1A short peptide was found to be the most effective antimicrobial peptide (AMP (EC50 = 0.05 μg/mL. High bactericidal activity correlated with bacterial membrane depolarization and permeabilization activities. The efficacy of the peptides was further analyzed through Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC assays. The MICs were determined by the microdilution method. The peptide mCRAMP showed the best MIC activity at 15.6 μg/mL. Neither of the effective short synthetic peptides demonstrated synergy with the antibiotic rifampicin, although both demonstrated synergy with the cyclic peptide antibiotic polymyxin B. The peptides LL-37 and mCRAMP displayed synergism with rifampicin in MIC assays, whereas antibiotic polymyxin B displayed

  10. Effect of morphology and pore size of sulfonated mesoporous benzene-silicas in the preparation of poly(vinyl alcohol)-based hybrid nanocomposite membranes for direct methanol fuel cell application. (United States)

    Cho, Eun-Bum; Kim, Hoyoung; Kim, Dukjoon


    Sulfonated mesoporous benzene-silicas were introduced into a poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) polymer matrix to act as a barrier for methanol crossover, to prepare composite electrolyte membranes for direct methanol fuel cell applications. Highly ordered 2D hexagonal mesoporous benzene-silicas were prepared using 1,4-bis(triethoxysilyl)benzene (BTEB) organosilica precursor and two kinds of organic templates, such as an octadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (ODTMA) and a Pluronic P123 poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(propylene oxide)-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-PPO-PEO) triblock copolymer, to investigate the effect of the morphology and the pore size on the methanol permeability and the proton conductivity of the membranes. The sulfonated mesoporous benzene-silica and PVA were mixed with a sulfosuccinic acid (SSA) cross-linker to improve the membrane stability from mechanical and conductive viewpoints. The physical and chemical characterization of the hybrid electrolyte membranes was performed by varying the contents of sulfonated mesoporous benzene-silicas and SSA. All the hybrid membranes studied showed good performance in lowering the methanol crossover (i.e., approximately 68% reduction in comparison with the Nafion117 membrane), and mesoporous benzene-silica with smaller particle morphology and pores (2-3 nm) was observed to be a more effective additive.

  11. Lattice Boltzmann Pore-Scale Investigation of Coupled Physical-electrochemical Processes in C/Pt and Non-Precious Metal Cathode Catalyst Layers in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Li; Wu, Gang; Holby, Edward F; Zelenay, Piotr; Tao, Wen-Quan; Kang, Qinjun


    Highlights: • Nanoscale structures of catalyst layer are reconstructed. • Pore-scale simulation is performed to predict macroscopic transport properties. • Reactive transport in catalyst layer with non-precious metal and Pt catalysts is studied. • Mesopores rather than micropores are required to enhance mass transport. - Abstract: High-resolution porous structures of catalyst layers (CLs) including non-precious metal catalysts (NPMCs) or Pt for proton exchange membrane fuel cells are reconstructed using the quartet structure generation set. The nanoscale structures are analyzed in terms of pore size distribution, specific surface area, and phase connectivity. Pore-scale simulation methods based on the lattice Boltzmann method are developed to predict the macroscopic transport properties in CLs. The non-uniform distribution of ionomer in CL generates more tortuous pathways for reactant transport, greatly reducing the effective diffusivity. The tortuosity of CLs is much higher than that adopted by the Bruggeman equation. Knudsen diffusion plays a significant role in oxygen diffusion and significantly reduces the effective diffusivity. Reactive transport inside the CLs is also investigated. Although the reactive surface area of the non-precious metal catalyst (NPMC) CL is much higher than that of the Pt CL, the oxygen reaction rate is lower in the NPMC CL due to the much lower reaction rate coefficient. Although pores of a few nanometers in size can increase the number of reactive sites in NPMC CLs, they contribute little to enhance the mass transport. Mesopores, which are a few tens of nanometers or larger in size, are shown to be required in order to increase the mass transport rate

  12. Rab Interacting Molecules 2 and 3 Directly Interact with the Pore-Forming CaV1.3 Ca2+ Channel Subunit and Promote Its Membrane Expression


    Maria M. Picher; Maria M. Picher; Maria M. Picher; Ana-Maria Oprişoreanu; SangYong Jung; SangYong Jung; SangYong Jung; Katrin Michel; Susanne Schoch; Tobias Moser; Tobias Moser; Tobias Moser; Tobias Moser


    Rab interacting molecules (RIMs) are multi-domain proteins that positively regulate the number of Ca2+ channels at the presynaptic active zone (AZ). Several molecular mechanisms have been demonstrated for RIM-binding to components of the presynaptic Ca2+ channel complex, the key signaling element at the AZ. Here, we report an interaction of the C2B domain of RIM2α and RIM3γ with the C-terminus of the pore-forming α–subunit of CaV1.3 channels (CaV1.3α1), which mediate stimulus-secretion coupli...

  13. Acid Rock Drainage Treatment Using Membrane Distillation: Impacts of Chemical-Free Pretreatment on Scale Formation, Pore Wetting, and Product Water Quality. (United States)

    Hull, Eric J; Zodrow, Katherine R


    Acid rock drainage (ARD) is a metal-rich wastewater that forms upon oxidation of sulfidic minerals. Although ARD impacts >12,000 miles of rivers in the U.S. and has an estimated cleanup cost of $32-$72 billion, the low pH and high metal concentrations in ARD make rapid, high volume treatment without chemical addition difficult. This research focuses on a novel method of ARD treatment, membrane distillation (MD). In MD, heated ARD is separated from a cooled distillate by a hydrophobic, water-excluding membrane. Because water only passes through the membrane in the vapor phase, nonvolatile sulfate and heavy metals are retained in the concentrate stream. A preliminary in silico analysis using an electrolyte thermodynamic model indicated that MD of 10 different mine wastes yields product water containing no contaminants at concentrations >0.2 ppm. MD tests of synthetic ARD used a ∼34 °C temperature difference, operated at 80% recovery, and produced an initial flux of 38.4 ± 1.1 L·m -2 ·h -1 . This flux decreased slightly after scaling by iron oxyhydroxide; however, membranes maintained >99% dissolved solids rejection. Both flux decline and membrane scale formation decreased after a chemical-free, thermal precipitation pretreatment. These results indicate that MD can purify contaminated, acidic wastewater using low-grade heat sources, such as geothermal energy, without chemical addition.

  14. Single Particle Tracking to Characterize the Mechanism of Pore Formation by Pore Forming Proteins


    Subburaj, Yamunadevi


    Pore formation is a common natural mechanism occurring in large number of organisms where proteins are involved as toxins, effectors in immune response or apoptosis. Despite intense research, the structural and dynamic aspects of oligomerization and membrane permeabilization by pore forming proteins remains poorly understood. In this work we have aimed to provide a better understanding on dynamics, oligomerization and pore forming process of two proteins; a) Equinatoxin II, b) Bax (Bcl2 famil...

  15. Membrane inlet laser spectroscopy to measure H and O stable isotope compositions of soil and sediment pore water with high sample throughput. (United States)

    Oerter, Erik J; Perelet, Alexei; Pardyjak, Eric; Bowen, Gabriel


    The fast and accurate measurement of H and O stable isotope compositions (δ 2 H and δ 18 O values) of soil and sediment pore water remains an impediment to scaling-up the application of these isotopes in soil and vadose hydrology. Here we describe a method and its calibration to measuring soil and sediment pore water δ 2 H and δ 18 O values using a water vapor-permeable probe coupled to an isotope ratio infrared spectroscopy analyzer. We compare the water vapor probe method with a vapor direct equilibration method, and vacuum extraction with liquid water analysis. At a series of four study sites in a managed desert agroecosystem in the eastern Great Basin of North America, we use the water vapor probe to measure soil depth profiles of δ 2 H and δ 18 O values. We demonstrate the accuracy of the method to be equivalent to direct headspace equilibration and vacuum extraction techniques, with increased ease of use in its application, and with analysis throughput rates greater than 7 h -1 . The soil depth H and O stable isotope profiles show that soil properties such as contrasting soil texture and pedogenic soil horizons control the shape of the isotope profiles, which are reflective of local evaporation conditions within the soils. We conclude that this water vapor probe method has potential to yield large numbers of H and O stable isotope analyses of soil and sediment waters within shorter timeframes and with increased ease than with currently existing methods. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Role of the synaptobrevin C terminus in fusion pore formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ngatchou, Annita N; Kisler, Kassandra; Fang, Qinghua


    stimulation, the SNARE complex pulls the C terminus of sybII deeper into the vesicle membrane. We propose that this movement disrupts the vesicular membrane continuity leading to fusion pore formation. In contrast to current models, the experiments suggest that fusion pore formation begins with molecular......Neurotransmitter release is mediated by the SNARE proteins synaptobrevin II (sybII, also known as VAMP2), syntaxin, and SNAP-25, generating a force transfer to the membranes and inducing fusion pore formation. However, the molecular mechanism by which this force leads to opening of a fusion pore...

  17. Fiscal 1998 research report. Survey on development and application of membranes with pores of micron to nano-meter sizes; 1998 nendo chosa kenkyu hokokusho. Makuro kara mikuro (nano mezo dai) size wo motsu, menburenmaku no kaihatsu narabi ni oyo ni kansuru chosa kenkyu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    Researches on preparation of membranes of various materials have been promoted by not systematic technique but separate techniques according to needs of concerned fields. To establish the efficient technique for membranes with pores of required uniform size according to needs of various industries, survey and study were made on process optimization and low-cost production method. Porous membrane is the leading candidate for new separation systems as separation medium in chemical industry, hot gas filtration for energy production and environmental purification engineering. The electrode, separator and gas storage medium of fuel cell vehicles and next-generation batteries require effective porous materials. The workshop on engineering porous materials held in May 1993 confirmed the time of following materials: High-efficiency gas separation membrane, chemical catalytic membrane, fuel cell electrode and absorbent for environmental purification. Development of inorganic membranes more excellent in high-temperature stability, strength, catalytic activity and corrosion resistance than previous polymer membranes is important. (NEDO)

  18. Curcumin Pretreatment Prevents Potassium Dichromate-Induced Hepatotoxicity, Oxidative Stress, Decreased Respiratory Complex I Activity, and Membrane Permeability Transition Pore Opening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wylly Ramsés García-Niño


    Full Text Available Curcumin is a polyphenol derived from turmeric with recognized antioxidant properties. Hexavalent chromium is an environmental toxic and carcinogen compound that induces oxidative stress. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential protective effect of curcumin on the hepatic damage generated by potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7 in rats. Animals were pretreated daily by 9-10 days with curcumin (400 mg/kg b.w. before the injection of a single intraperitoneal of K2Cr2O7 (15 mg/kg b.w.. Groups of animals were sacrificed 24 and 48 h later. K2Cr2O7-induced damage to the liver was evident by histological alterations and increase in the liver weight and in the activity of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and alkaline phosphatase in plasma. In addition, K2Cr2O7 induced oxidative damage in liver and isolated mitochondria, which was evident by the increase in the content of malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl and decrease in the glutathione content and in the activity of several antioxidant enzymes. Moreover, K2Cr2O7 induced decrease in mitochondrial oxygen consumption, in the activity of respiratory complex I, and permeability transition pore opening. All the above-mentioned alterations were prevented by curcumin pretreatment. The beneficial effects of curcumin against K2Cr2O7-induced liver oxidative damage were associated with prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction.

  19. Curcumin Pretreatment Prevents Potassium Dichromate-Induced Hepatotoxicity, Oxidative Stress, Decreased Respiratory Complex I Activity, and Membrane Permeability Transition Pore Opening (United States)

    García-Niño, Wylly Ramsés; Tapia, Edilia; Zazueta, Cecilia; Zatarain-Barrón, Zyanya Lucía; Hernández-Pando, Rogelio; Vega-García, Claudia Cecilia; Pedraza-Chaverrí, José


    Curcumin is a polyphenol derived from turmeric with recognized antioxidant properties. Hexavalent chromium is an environmental toxic and carcinogen compound that induces oxidative stress. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential protective effect of curcumin on the hepatic damage generated by potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7) in rats. Animals were pretreated daily by 9-10 days with curcumin (400 mg/kg b.w.) before the injection of a single intraperitoneal of K2Cr2O7 (15 mg/kg b.w.). Groups of animals were sacrificed 24 and 48 h later. K2Cr2O7-induced damage to the liver was evident by histological alterations and increase in the liver weight and in the activity of alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and alkaline phosphatase in plasma. In addition, K2Cr2O7 induced oxidative damage in liver and isolated mitochondria, which was evident by the increase in the content of malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl and decrease in the glutathione content and in the activity of several antioxidant enzymes. Moreover, K2Cr2O7 induced decrease in mitochondrial oxygen consumption, in the activity of respiratory complex I, and permeability transition pore opening. All the above-mentioned alterations were prevented by curcumin pretreatment. The beneficial effects of curcumin against K2Cr2O7-induced liver oxidative damage were associated with prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction. PMID:23956771

  20. Electroosmotic pore transport in human skin. (United States)

    Uitto, Olivia D; White, Henry S


    To determine the pathways and origin of electroosmotic flow in human skin. Iontophoretic transport of acetaminophen in full thickness human cadaver skin was visualized and quantified by scanning electrochemical microscopy. Electroosmotic flow in the shunt pathways of full thickness skin was compared to flow in the pores of excised stratum corneum and a synthetic membrane pore. The penetration of rhodamine 6G into pore structures was investigated by laser scanning confocal microscopy. Electroosmotic transport is observed in shunt pathways in full thickness human skin (e.g., hair follicles and sweat glands), but not in pore openings of freestanding stratum corneum. Absolute values of the diffusive and iontophoretic pore fluxes of acetaminophen in full thickness human skin are also reported. Rhodamine 6G is observed to penetrate to significant depths (approximately 200 microm) along pore pathways. Iontophoresis in human cadaver skin induces localized electroosmotic flow along pore shunt paths. Electroosmotic forces arise from the passage of current through negatively charged mesoor nanoscale pores (e.g., gap functions) within cellular regions that define the pore structure beneath the stratum corneum.

  1. DipA, a pore-forming protein in the outer membrane of Lyme disease spirochetes exhibits specificity for the permeation of dicarboxylates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcus Thein

    Full Text Available Lyme disease Borreliae are highly dependent on the uptake of nutrients provided by their hosts. Our study describes the identification of a 36 kDa protein that functions as putative dicarboxylate-specific porin in the outer membrane of Lyme disease Borrelia. The protein was purified by hydroxyapatite chromatography from Borrelia burgdorferi B31 and designated as DipA, for dicarboxylate-specific porin A. DipA was partially sequenced, and corresponding genes were identified in the genomes of B. burgdorferi B31, Borrelia garinii PBi and Borrelia afzelii PKo. DipA exhibits high homology to the Oms38 porins of relapsing fever Borreliae. B. burgdorferi DipA was characterized using the black lipid bilayer assay. The protein has a single-channel conductance of 50 pS in 1 M KCl, is slightly selective for anions with a permeability ratio for cations over anions of 0.57 in KCl and is not voltage-dependent. The channel could be partly blocked by different di- and tricarboxylic anions. Particular high stability constants up to about 28,000 l/mol (in 0.1 M KCl were obtained among the 11 tested anions for oxaloacetate, 2-oxoglutarate and citrate. The results imply that DipA forms a porin specific for dicarboxylates which may play an important role for the uptake of specific nutrients in different Borrelia species.

  2. Why liquid displacement methods are sometimes wrong in estimating the pore-size distribution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gijsbertsen-Abrahamse, A.J.; Boom, R.M.; Padt, van der A.


    The liquid displacement method is a commonly used method to determine the pore size distribution of micro- and ultrafiltration membranes. One of the assumptions for the calculation of the pore sizes is that the pores are parallel and thus are not interconnected. To show that the estimated pore size

  3. Fabrication of electrospun nanofibrous membranes for membrane distillation application

    KAUST Repository

    Francis, Lijo


    Nanofibrous membranes of Matrimid have been successfully fabricated using an electrospinning technique under optimized conditions. Nanofibrous membranes are found to be highly hydrophobic with a high water contact angle of 130°. Field emission scanning electron microscopy and pore size distribution analysis revealed the big pore size structure of electrospun membranes to be greater than 2 μm and the pore size distribution is found to be narrow. Flat sheet Matrimid membranes were fabricated via casting followed by phase inversion. The morphology, pore size distribution, and water contact angle were measured and compared with the electrospun membranes. Both membranes fabricated by electrospinning and phase inversion techniques were tested in a direct contact membrane distillation process. Electrospun membranes showed high water vapor flux of 56 kg/m2-h, which is very high compared to the casted membrane as well as most of the fabricated and commercially available highly hydrophobic membranes. ©2013 Desalination Publications.

  4. TprC/D (Tp0117/131), a Trimeric, Pore-Forming Rare Outer Membrane Protein of Treponema pallidum, Has a Bipartite Domain Structure (United States)

    Anand, Arvind; Luthra, Amit; Dunham-Ems, Star; Caimano, Melissa J.; Karanian, Carson; LeDoyt, Morgan; Cruz, Adriana R.; Salazar, Juan C.


    Identification of Treponema pallidum rare outer membrane proteins (OMPs) has been a longstanding objective of syphilis researchers. We recently developed a consensus computational framework that employs a battery of cellular localization and topological prediction tools to generate ranked clusters of candidate rare OMPs (D. L. Cox et al., Infect. Immun. 78:5178–5194, 2010). TP0117/TP0131 (TprC/D), a member of the T. pallidum repeat (Tpr) family, was a highly ranked candidate. Circular dichroism, heat modifiability by SDS-PAGE, Triton X-114 phase partitioning, and liposome incorporation confirmed that full-length, recombinant TprC (TprCFl) forms a β-barrel capable of integrating into lipid bilayers. Moreover, TprCFl increased efflux of terbium-dipicolinic acid complex from large unilamellar vesicles and migrated as a trimer by blue-native PAGE. We found that in T. pallidum, TprC is heat modifiable, trimeric, expressed in low abundance, and, based on proteinase K accessibility and opsonophagocytosis assays, surface exposed. From these collective data, we conclude that TprC is a bona fide rare OMP as well as a functional ortholog of Escherichia coli OmpF. We also discovered that TprC has a bipartite architecture consisting of a soluble N-terminal portion (TprCN), presumably periplasmic and bound directly or indirectly to peptidoglycan, and a C-terminal β-barrel (TprCC). Syphilitic rabbits generate antibodies exclusively against TprCC, while secondary syphilis patients fail to mount a detectable antibody response against either domain. The syphilis spirochete appears to have resolved a fundamental dilemma arising from its extracellular lifestyle, namely, how to enhance OM permeability without increasing its vulnerability to the antibody-mediated defenses of its natural human host. PMID:22389487

  5. P2X7R large pore is partially blocked by pore forming proteins antagonists in astrocytes. (United States)

    Faria, Robson X; Reis, Ricardo A M; Ferreira, Leonardo G B; Cezar-de-Mello, Paula F T; Moraes, Milton O


    The ATP-gated P2X7R (P2X7R) is a channel, which is involved in events, such as inflammation, cell death, and pain. The most intriguing event concerning P2X7R functions is the phenomenon of pore dilation. Once P2X7R is activated, the permeability of the plasma membrane becomes higher, leading to the permeation of 1000 Da-weight solutes. The mechanisms involved in this process remain unclear. Nevertheless, this event is not exclusively through P2X7R, as other proteins may form large pores in the plasma membrane. Recent evidence concerning pore formation reveals putative P2X7R and other pores-associated protein complexes, revealing cross-interactive pharmacological and biophysical issues. In this work, we showed results that corroborated with cross-interactive aspects with P2X7R and pores in astrocytes. These cells expressed most of the pores, including P2X7R. We discovered that different pore types open with peculiar characteristics, as both anionic and cationic charged solutes permeate the plasma membrane, following P2X7R activation. Moreover, we showed that both synergic and additive relationships are found within P2X7, cationic, and anionic large pores. Therefore, our data suggest that other protein-related pores are assembled following the formation of P2X7R pore.

  6. Effect of pore size on the calculated pressure at biological cells pore wall. (United States)

    El-Hag, Ayman H; Zheng, Zhong; Boggs, Steven A; Jayaram, Shesha H


    A transient nonlinear finite-element program has been used to calculate the electric field distribution as a function of time for a spherical cell with a pore in a conducting medium during application of a subnanosecond rise time "step" wave, including the effects of dipolar saturation in the water-based cytoplasm and cell medium. The time-dependent pressure on the pore wall has been computed as a function of time as the system polarizes from the change of the energy in the electric field to the left (inside the pore) and to the right (inside the membrane) of the pore wall. The computations suggest that dipolar saturation, while significant, has little effect on the time-dependent electric field distribution but a substantial effect on the field-induced pore wall pressure. Also, the effect of pore size on both the computed electric field and field-induced pressure was studied. As the pore size increases, a collapse in both the electric field and field-induced pressure has been noticed. This suggests that as the pore size increases, the driving force for further opening the pore is not electrical.

  7. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Hydrophilic Pores in Lipid Bilayers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leontiadou, Hari; Mark, Alan E.; Marrink, Siewert J.

    Hydrophilic pores are formed in peptide free lipid bilayers under mechanical stress. It has been proposed that the transport of ionic species across such membranes is largely determined by the existence of such meta-stable hydrophilic pores. To study the properties of these structures and understand

  8. Inverse colloidal crystal membranes for hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography. (United States)

    Vu, Anh T; Wang, Xinying; Wickramasinghe, S Ranil; Yu, Bing; Yuan, Hua; Cong, Hailin; Luo, Yongli; Tang, Jianguo


    Hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography has gained interest due to its excellent performance in the purification of humanized monoclonal antibodies. The membrane material used in hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography has typically been commercially available polyvinylidene fluoride. In this contribution, newly developed inverse colloidal crystal membranes that have uniform pores, high porosity and, therefore, high surface area for protein binding are used as hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography membranes for humanized monoclonal antibody immunoglobulin G purification. The capacity of the inverse colloidal crystal membranes developed here is up to ten times greater than commercially available polyvinylidene fluoride membranes with a similar pore size. This work highlights the importance of developing uniform pore size high porosity membranes in order to maximize the capacity of hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Nuclear pore complex tethers to the cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Goldberg, Martin W


    The nuclear envelope is tethered to the cytoskeleton. The best known attachments of all elements of the cytoskeleton are via the so-called LINC complex. However, the nuclear pore complexes, which mediate the transport of soluble and membrane bound molecules, are also linked to the microtubule network, primarily via motor proteins (dynein and kinesins) which are linked, most importantly, to the cytoplasmic filament protein of the nuclear pore complex, Nup358, by the adaptor BicD2. The evidence for such linkages and possible roles in nuclear migration, cell cycle control, nuclear transport and cell architecture are discussed. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. The Pore Structure of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Electrodes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lund, Peter Brilner


    The pore structure and morphology of direct methanol fuel cell electrodes are characterized using mercury intrusion porosimetry and scanning electron microscopy. It is found that the pore size distributions of printed primer and catalyst layers are largely dictated by the powders used to make...... the printing ink. The extent to which the pore structure is modified by changing several parameters in the membrane electrode assembly MEA manufacturing process is discussed. The pore structure of the printed layers is found to be invariant with respect to changes in powder loading or in choice of printing...... substrate, and is relatively undisturbed by MEA hot-pressing. Changing the source of the primer powder and adding a pore-forming agent to the catalyst ink are found to be successful methods of creating a more open pore structure in the printed layers....

  11. On the Mechanism of Pore Formation by Melittin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bogaart, Geert; Guzman, Jeanette Velasquez; Mika, Jacek T.; Poolman, Bert


    The mechanism of pore formation of lytic peptides, such as melittin from bee venom, is thought to involve binding to the membrane surface, followed by insertion at threshold levels of bound peptide. We show that in membranes composed of zwitterionic lipids, i.e. phosphatidylcholine, melittin not

  12. Realization of asymmetrical microporous membranes by double irradiation and membranes obtained

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balanzat, E.; Bieth, C.


    The membrane is irradiated twice, especially with heavy ions, once with an energy to low to pass through, then with enough energy. Molecular defects created by irradiation are preferentially attached by chemicals. Two pore networks are obtained: blind large diameter pores and fine pores through the membrane which can be used in filtration [fr

  13. Transport through track etched polymeric blend membrane

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Polymer blends of polycarbonate (PC) and polysulphone (PSF) having thickness, 27 m, are prepared by solution cast method. The transport properties of pores in a blend membrane are examined. The pores were produced in this membrane by a track etching technique. For this purpose, a thin polymer membrane was ...

  14. Emulsification using microporous membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goran T. Vladisavljević


    Full Text Available Membrane emulsification is a process of injecting a pure dispersed phase or pre-emulsion through a microporous membrane into the continuous phase. As a result of the immiscibility of the two phases, droplets of the dispersed phase are formed at the outlets of membrane pores. The droplets formed in the process are removed from the membrane surface by applying cross-flow or stirring of the continuous phase or using a dynamic (rotating or vibrating membrane. The most commonly used membrane for emulsification is the Shirasu Porous Glass (SPG membrane, fabricated through spinodal decomposition in a melt consisting of Japanese volcanic ash (Shirasu, boric acid and calcium carbonate. Microsieve membranes are increasingly popular as an alternative to highly tortuous glass and ceramic membranes. Microsieves are usually fabricated from nickel by photolithography and electroplating or they can be manufactured from silicon nitride via Reactive Ion Etching (RIE. An advantage of microsieves compared to the SPG membrane is in much higher transmembrane fluxes and higher tolerance to fouling by the emulsion ingredients due to the existence of short, straight through pores. Unlike conventional emulsification devices such as high-pressure valve homogenisers and rotor-stator devices, membrane emulsification devices permit a precise control over the mean pore size over a wide range and during the process insignificant amount of energy is dissipated as heat. The drop size is primarily determined by the pore size, but it depends also on other parameters, such as membrane wettability, emulsion formulation, shear stress on the membrane surface, transmembrane pressure, etc.

  15. Integrative structure and functional anatomy of a nuclear pore complex (United States)

    Kim, Seung Joong; Fernandez-Martinez, Javier; Nudelman, Ilona; Shi, Yi; Zhang, Wenzhu; Raveh, Barak; Herricks, Thurston; Slaughter, Brian D.; Hogan, Joanna A.; Upla, Paula; Chemmama, Ilan E.; Pellarin, Riccardo; Echeverria, Ignacia; Shivaraju, Manjunatha; Chaudhury, Azraa S.; Wang, Junjie; Williams, Rosemary; Unruh, Jay R.; Greenberg, Charles H.; Jacobs, Erica Y.; Yu, Zhiheng; de La Cruz, M. Jason; Mironska, Roxana; Stokes, David L.; Aitchison, John D.; Jarrold, Martin F.; Gerton, Jennifer L.; Ludtke, Steven J.; Akey, Christopher W.; Chait, Brian T.; Sali, Andrej; Rout, Michael P.


    Nuclear pore complexes play central roles as gatekeepers of RNA and protein transport between the cytoplasm and nucleoplasm. However, their large size and dynamic nature have impeded a full structural and functional elucidation. Here we determined the structure of the entire 552-protein nuclear pore complex of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae at sub-nanometre precision by satisfying a wide range of data relating to the molecular arrangement of its constituents. The nuclear pore complex incorporates sturdy diagonal columns and connector cables attached to these columns, imbuing the structure with strength and flexibility. These cables also tie together all other elements of the nuclear pore complex, including membrane-interacting regions, outer rings and RNA-processing platforms. Inwardly directed anchors create a high density of transport factor-docking Phe-Gly repeats in the central channel, organized into distinct functional units. This integrative structure enables us to rationalize the architecture, transport mechanism and evolutionary origins of the nuclear pore complex.

  16. A mechanistic view of mitochondrial death decision pores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.E. Belizário


    Full Text Available Mitochondria increase their outer and inner membrane permeability to solutes, protons and metabolites in response to a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic signaling events. The maintenance of cellular and intraorganelle ionic homeostasis, particularly for Ca2+, can determine cell survival or death. Mitochondrial death decision is centered on two processes: inner membrane permeabilization, such as that promoted by the mitochondrial permeability transition pore, formed across inner membranes when Ca2+ reaches a critical threshold, and mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization, in which the pro-apoptotic proteins BID, BAX, and BAK play active roles. Membrane permeabilization leads to the release of apoptogenic proteins: cytochrome c, apoptosis-inducing factor, Smac/Diablo, HtrA2/Omi, and endonuclease G. Cytochrome c initiates the proteolytic activation of caspases, which in turn cleave hundreds of proteins to produce the morphological and biochemical changes of apoptosis. Voltage-dependent anion channel, cyclophilin D, adenine nucleotide translocase, and the pro-apoptotic proteins BID, BAX, and BAK may be part of the molecular composition of membrane pores leading to mitochondrial permeabilization, but this remains a central question to be resolved. Other transporting pores and channels, including the ceramide channel, the mitochondrial apoptosis-induced channel, as well as a non-specific outer membrane rupture may also be potential release pathways for these apoptogenic factors. In this review, we discuss the mechanistic models by which reactive oxygen species and caspases, via structural and conformational changes of membrane lipids and proteins, promote conditions for inner/outer membrane permeabilization, which may be followed by either opening of pores or a rupture of the outer mitochondrial membrane.

  17. Self-assembled Block Copolymer Membrane

    KAUST Repository

    Peinemann, Klaus-Viktor


    Embodiments of the invention include methods for the production of porous membranes. In certain aspects the methods are directed to producing polymeric porous membranes having a narrow pore size distribution.

  18. The pore space scramble (United States)

    Gormally, Alexandra; Bentham, Michelle; Vermeylen, Saskia; Markusson, Nils


    Climate change and energy security continue to be the context of the transition to a secure, affordable and low carbon energy future, both in the UK and beyond. This is reflected in for example, binding climate policy targets at the EU level, the introduction of renewable energy targets, and has also led to an increasing interest in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology with its potential to help mitigate against the effects of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning. The UK has proposed a three phase strategy to integrate CCS into its energy system in the long term focussing on off-shore subsurface storage (DECC, 2014). The potential of CCS therefore, raises a number of challenging questions and issues surrounding the long-term storage of CO2 captured and injected into underground spaces and, alongside other novel uses of the subsurface, contributes to opening a new field for discussion on the governance of the subsurface. Such 'novel' uses of the subsurface have lead to it becoming an increasingly contested space in terms of its governance, with issues emerging around the role of ownership, liability and property rights of subsurface pore space. For instance, questions over the legal ownership of pore space have arisen with ambiguity over the legal standpoint of the surface owner and those wanting to utilise the pore space for gas storage, and suggestions of whether there are depths at which legal 'ownership' becomes obsolete (Barton, 2014). Here we propose to discuss this 'pore space scramble' and provide examples of the competing trajectories of different stakeholders, particularly in the off-shore context given its priority in the UK. We also propose to highlight the current ambiguity around property law of pore space in the UK with reference to approaches currently taken in different national contexts. Ultimately we delineate contrasting models of governance to illustrate the choices we face and consider the ethics of these models for the common good

  19. Development and applications of very high flux microfiltration membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kuiper, S.; van Rijn, C.J.M.; Nijdam, W.; Elwenspoek, Michael Curt


    Inorganic microfiltration membranes with a pore size down to 0.1 µm have been made using laser interference lithography and silicon micro machining technology. The membranes have an extremely small flow resistance due to a thickness smaller than the pore size, a high porosity and a very narrow pore

  20. Silica incorporated membrane for wastewater based filtration (United States)

    Fernandes, C. S.; Bilad, M. R.; Nordin, N. A. H. M.


    Membrane technology has long been applied for waste water treatment industries due to its numerous advantages compared to other conventional processes. However, the biggest challenge in pressure driven membrane process is membrane fouling. Fouling decreases the productivity and efficiency of the filtration, reduces the lifespan of the membrane and reduces the overall efficiency of water treatment processes. In this study, a novel membrane material is developed for water filtration. The developed membrane incorporates silica nanoparticles mainly to improve its structural properties. Membranes with different loadings of silica nanoparticles were applied in this study. The result shows an increase in clean water permeability and filterability of the membrane for treating activated sludge, microalgae solution, secondary effluent and raw sewage as feed. Adding silica into the membrane matrix does not significantly alter contact angle and membrane pore size. We believe that silica acts as an effective pore forming agent that increases the number of pores without significantly altering the pore sizes. A higher number of small pores on the surface of the membrane could reduce membrane fouling because of a low specific loading imposed to individual pores.

  1. Rab interacting molecules 2 and 3 directly interact with the pore-forming CaV1.3 Ca2+ channel subunit and promote its membrane expression.


    Picher, M.; Oprişoreanu, A.; Jung, S.; Michel, K.; Schoch, S.; Moser, T.


    Rab interacting molecules (RIMs) are multi-domain proteins that positively regulate the number of Ca2+ channels at the presynaptic active zone (AZ). Several molecular mechanisms have been demonstrated for RIM-binding to components of the presynaptic Ca2+ channel complex, the key signaling element at the AZ. Here, we report an interaction of the C2B domain of RIM2? and RIM3? with the C-terminus of the pore-forming ??subunit of CaV1.3 channels (CaV1.3?1), which mediate stimulus-secretion coupli...

  2. Fouling in Membrane Distillation, Osmotic Distillation and Osmotic Membrane Distillation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mourad Laqbaqbi


    Full Text Available Various membrane separation processes are being used for seawater desalination and treatment of wastewaters in order to deal with the worldwide water shortage problem. Different types of membranes of distinct morphologies, structures and physico-chemical characteristics are employed. Among the considered membrane technologies, membrane distillation (MD, osmotic distillation (OD and osmotic membrane distillation (OMD use porous and hydrophobic membranes for production of distilled water and/or concentration of wastewaters for recovery and recycling of valuable compounds. However, the efficiency of these technologies is hampered by fouling phenomena. This refers to the accumulation of organic/inorganic deposits including biological matter on the membrane surface and/or in the membrane pores. Fouling in MD, OD and OMD differs from that observed in electric and pressure-driven membrane processes such electrodialysis (ED, membrane capacitive deionization (MCD, reverse osmosis (RO, nanofiltration (NF, ultrafiltration (UF, microfiltration (MF, etc. Other than pore blockage, fouling in MD, OD and OMD increases the risk of membrane pores wetting and reduces therefore the quantity and quality of the produced water or the concentration efficiency of the process. This review deals with the observed fouling phenomena in MD, OD and OMD. It highlights different detected fouling types (organic fouling, inorganic fouling and biofouling, fouling characterization techniques as well as various methods of fouling reduction including pretreatment, membrane modification, membrane cleaning and antiscalants application.

  3. Characterization of polyacrylonitrile ultrafiltration membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Germic, J.; Germic, J.; Ebert, K.; Ebert, K.; Bouma, R.H.B.; Bouma, R.H.B.; Borneman, Zandrie; Mulder, M.H.V.; Strathmann, H.


    Various methods have been used to characterize ultrafiltration membranes, such as gas flux measurements, (field emission) scanning electron microscopy, permporometry and liquid-liquid displacement. Significant differences in the pore size distributions determined from permporometry and liquid-liquid

  4. Composite membrane with integral rim (United States)

    Routkevitch, Dmitri; Polyakov, Oleg G


    Composite membranes that are adapted for separation, purification, filtration, analysis, reaction and sensing. The composite membranes can include a porous support structure having elongate pore channels extending through the support structure. The composite membrane also includes an active layer comprising an active layer material, where the active layer material is completely disposed within the pore channels between the surfaces of the support structure. The active layer is intimately integrated within the support structure, thus enabling great robustness, reliability, resistance to mechanical stress and thermal cycling, and high selectivity. Methods for the fabrication of composite membranes are also provided.

  5. Hybrid Filter Membrane (United States)

    Laicer, Castro; Rasimick, Brian; Green, Zachary


    Cabin environmental control is an important issue for a successful Moon mission. Due to the unique environment of the Moon, lunar dust control is one of the main problems that significantly diminishes the air quality inside spacecraft cabins. Therefore, this innovation was motivated by NASA s need to minimize the negative health impact that air-suspended lunar dust particles have on astronauts in spacecraft cabins. It is based on fabrication of a hybrid filter comprising nanofiber nonwoven layers coated on porous polymer membranes with uniform cylindrical pores. This design results in a high-efficiency gas particulate filter with low pressure drop and the ability to be easily regenerated to restore filtration performance. A hybrid filter was developed consisting of a porous membrane with uniform, micron-sized, cylindrical pore channels coated with a thin nanofiber layer. Compared to conventional filter media such as a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, this filter is designed to provide high particle efficiency, low pressure drop, and the ability to be regenerated. These membranes have well-defined micron-sized pores and can be used independently as air filters with discreet particle size cut-off, or coated with nanofiber layers for filtration of ultrafine nanoscale particles. The filter consists of a thin design intended to facilitate filter regeneration by localized air pulsing. The two main features of this invention are the concept of combining a micro-engineered straight-pore membrane with nanofibers. The micro-engineered straight pore membrane can be prepared with extremely high precision. Because the resulting membrane pores are straight and not tortuous like those found in conventional filters, the pressure drop across the filter is significantly reduced. The nanofiber layer is applied as a very thin coating to enhance filtration efficiency for fine nanoscale particles. Additionally, the thin nanofiber coating is designed to promote capture of

  6. Surfactant-enhanced control of track-etch pore morphology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apel', P.Yu.; Blonskaya, I.V.; Didyk, A.Yu.; Dmitriev, S.N.; Orelovich, O.L.; Samojlova, L.I.; Vutsadakis, V.A.; Root, D.


    The influence of surfactants on the process of chemical development of ion tracks in polymers is studied. Based on the experimental data, a mechanism of the surfactant effect on the track-etch pore morphology is proposed. In the beginning of etching the surfactant is adsorbed on the surface and creates a layer that is quasi-solid and partially protects the surface from the etching agent. However, some etchant molecules diffuse through the barrier and react with the polymer surface. This results in the formation of a small hole at the entrance to the ion track. After the hole has attained a few annometers in diameter, the surfactant molecules penetrate into the track and cover its walls. Further diffusion of the surfactant into the growing pore is hindered. The adsorbed surfactant layer is not permeable for large molecules. In contrast, small alkali molecules and water molecules diffuse into the track and provide the etching process enlarging the pore. At this stage the transport of the surfactant into the pore channel can proceed only due to the lateral diffusion in the adsorbed layer. The volume inside the pore is free of surfactant molecules and grows at a higher rate than pore entrance. After a more prolonged etching the bottle-like (or 'cigar-like') pore channels are formed. The bottle-like shape of the pore channels depends on the etching conditions such as alkali and surfactant concentration, temperature, and type of the surfactant. The use of surfactants enables one to produce track-etch membranes with improved flow rate characteristics compared with those having cylindrical pores with the same nominal pore diameters


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erhan Bat


    Full Text Available Hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA based hydrogels have found increasing number of applications in areas such as chromatographic separations, controlled drug release, biosensing, and membrane separations. In all these applications, the pore size and pore interconnectivity are crucial for successful application of these materials as they determine the rate of diffusion through the matrix. 2-Hydroxyethyl methacrylate is a water soluble monomer but its polymer, polyHEMA, is not soluble in water. Therefore, during polymerization of HEMA in aqueous media, a porous structure is obtained as a result of phase separation. Pore size and interconnectivity in these hydrogels is a function of several variables such as monomer concentration, cross-linker concentration, temperature etc. In this study, we investigated the effect of monomer concentration, graphene oxide addition or clay addition on hydrogel pore size, pore interconnectivity, water uptake, and thermal properties. PolyHEMA hydrogels have been prepared by redox initiated free radical polymerization of the monomer using ethylene glycol dimethacrylate as a cross-linker. As a nanofiller, a synthetic hectorite Laponite® XLG and graphene oxide were used. Graphene oxide was prepared by the Tour Method. Pore morphology of the pristine HEMA based hydrogels and nanocomposite hydrogels were studied by scanning electron microscopy. The formed hydrogels were found to be highly elastic and flexible. A dramatic change in the pore structure and size was observed in the range between 22 to 24 wt/vol monomer at 0.5 % of cross-linker. In this range, the hydrogel morphology changes from typical cauliflower architecture to continuous hydrogel with dispersed water droplets forming the pores where the pores are submicron in size and show an interconnected structure. Such controlled pore structure is highly important when these hydrogels are used for solute diffusion or when there’s flow through monolithic hydrogels

  8. From biological membranes to biomimetic model membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eeman, M.


    Full Text Available Biological membranes play an essential role in the cellular protection as well as in the control and the transport of nutrients. Many mechanisms such as molecular recognition, enzymatic catalysis, cellular adhesion and membrane fusion take place into the biological membranes. In 1972, Singer et al. provided a membrane model, called fluid mosaic model, in which each leaflet of the bilayer is formed by a homogeneous environment of lipids in a fluid state including globular assembling of proteins and glycoproteins. Since its conception in 1972, many developments were brought to this model in terms of composition and molecular organization. The main development of the fluid mosaic model was made by Simons et al. (1997 and Brown et al. (1997 who suggested that membrane lipids are organized into lateral microdomains (or lipid rafts with a specific composition and a molecular dynamic that are different to the composition and the dynamic of the surrounding liquid crystalline phase. The discovery of a phase separation in the plane of the membrane has induced an explosion in the research efforts related to the biology of cell membranes but also in the development of new technologies for the study of these biological systems. Due to the high complexity of biological membranes and in order to investigate the biological processes that occur on the membrane surface or within the membrane lipid bilayer, a large number of studies are performed using biomimicking model membranes. This paper aims at revisiting the fundamental properties of biological membranes in terms of membrane composition, membrane dynamic and molecular organization, as well as at describing the most common biomimicking models that are frequently used for investigating biological processes such as membrane fusion, membrane trafficking, pore formation as well as membrane interactions at a molecular level.

  9. Enhanced water transport and salt rejection through hydrophobic zeolite pores (United States)

    Humplik, Thomas; Lee, Jongho; O’Hern, Sean; Laoui, Tahar; Karnik, Rohit; Wang, Evelyn N.


    The potential of improvements to reverse osmosis (RO) desalination by incorporating porous nanostructured materials such as zeolites into the selective layer in the membrane has spurred substantial research efforts over the past decade. However, because of the lack of methods to probe transport across these materials, it is still unclear which pore size or internal surface chemistry is optimal for maximizing permeability and salt rejection. We developed a platform to measure the transport of water and salt across a single layer of zeolite crystals, elucidating the effects of internal wettability on water and salt transport through the ≈5.5 Å pores of MFI zeolites. MFI zeolites with a more hydrophobic (i.e., less attractive) internal surface chemistry facilitated an approximately order of magnitude increase in water permeability compared to more hydrophilic MFI zeolites, while simultaneously fully rejecting both potassium and chlorine ions. However, our results also demonstrated approximately two orders of magnitude lower permeability compared to molecular simulations. This decreased performance suggests that additional transport resistances (such as surface barriers, pore collapse or blockages due to contamination) may be limiting the performance of experimental nanostructured membranes. Nevertheless, the inclusion of hydrophobic sub-nanometer pores into the active layer of RO membranes should improve both the water permeability and salt rejection of future RO membranes (Fasano et al 2016 Nat. Commun. 7 12762).

  10. Host defenses against bacterial pore-forming toxins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Los, F.C.O.


    Pore-forming toxins (PFTs), the most common bacterial toxins, contribute to infection by perforating host cell membranes. Excessive use and lack of new development of antibiotics are causing increasing numbers of drug-resistant bacteria, like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and

  11. Pore roller filtration apparatus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)


    The present invention relates to the field of filtering, more precisely the present invention concerns an apparatus and a method for the separation of dry matter from a medium and the use of said apparatus. One embodiment discloses an apparatus for the separation of dry matter from a medium, comp...... of a pore roller and one other roller, means for establishing a pressure difference across the filter, means for passing filter and filter cake through the set of rollers, and a closure mechanism configured to control the transverse tension between the rollers......., comprising a pressure regulated separation chamber defined, in cross section, by a plurality of rollers mounted between opposing sidewalls, each of said rollers having a shaft adapted to be engaged with the sidewalls, a filter arranged so that it passes between at least one set of said rollers consisting...

  12. Pore size matters for potassium channel conductance (United States)

    Moldenhauer, Hans; Pincuntureo, Matías


    Ion channels are membrane proteins that mediate efficient ion transport across the hydrophobic core of cell membranes, an unlikely process in their absence. K+ channels discriminate K+ over cations with similar radii with extraordinary selectivity and display a wide diversity of ion transport rates, covering differences of two orders of magnitude in unitary conductance. The pore domains of large- and small-conductance K+ channels share a general architectural design comprising a conserved narrow selectivity filter, which forms intimate interactions with permeant ions, flanked by two wider vestibules toward the internal and external openings. In large-conductance K+ channels, the inner vestibule is wide, whereas in small-conductance channels it is narrow. Here we raise the idea that the physical dimensions of the hydrophobic internal vestibule limit ion transport in K+ channels, accounting for their diversity in unitary conductance. PMID:27619418

  13. Impedance nanopore biosensor: influence of pore dimensions on biosensing performance. (United States)

    Kant, Krishna; Yu, Jingxian; Priest, Craig; Shapter, Joe G; Losic, Dusan


    Knowledge about electrochemical and electrical properties of nanopore structures and the influence of pore dimensions on these properties is important for the development of nanopore biosensing devices. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of nanopore dimensions (diameter and length) on biosensing performance using non-faradic electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). Nanoporous alumina membranes (NPAMs) prepared by self-ordered electrochemical anodization of aluminium were used as model nanopore sensing platforms. NPAMs with different pore diameters (25-65 nm) and lengths (4-18 μm) were prepared and the internal pore surface chemistry was modified by covalently attaching streptavidin and biotin. The performance of this antibody nanopore biosensing platform was evaluated using various concentrations of biotin as a model analyte. EIS measurements of pore resistivity and conductivity were carried out for pores with different diameters and lengths. The results showed that smaller pore dimensions of 25 nm and pore lengths up to 10 μm provide better biosensing performance.

  14. Pore formation by actinoporins, cytolysins from sea anemones. (United States)

    Rojko, Nejc; Dalla Serra, Mauro; Maček, Peter; Anderluh, Gregor


    Actinoporins (APs) from sea anemones are ~20 kDa pore forming toxins with a β-sandwich structure flanked by two α-helices. The molecular mechanism of APs pore formation is composed of several well-defined steps. APs bind to membrane by interfacial binding site composed of several aromatic amino acid residues that allow binding to phosphatidylcholine and specific recognition of sphingomyelin. Subsequently, the N-terminal α-helix from the β-sandwich has to be inserted into the lipid/water interphase in order to form a functional pore. Functional studies and single molecule imaging revealed that only several monomers, 3-4, oligomerise to form a functional pore. In this model the α-helices and surrounding lipid molecules build toroidal pore. In agreement, AP pores are transient and electrically heterogeneous. On the contrary, crystallized oligomers of actinoporin fragaceatoxin C were found to be composed of eight monomers with no lipids present between the adjacent α-helices. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Pore-Forming Toxins edited by Maur Dalla Serra and Franco Gambale. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Ångstrom-size exocytotic fusion pore: Implications for pituitary hormone secretion. (United States)

    Kreft, Marko; Jorgačevski, Jernej; Stenovec, Matjaž; Zorec, Robert


    In the past, vesicle content release was thought to occur immediately and completely after triggering of exocytosis. However, vesicles may merge with the plasma membrane to form an Ångstrom diameter fusion pore that prevents the exit of secretions from the vesicle lumen. The advantage of such a narrow pore is to minimize the delay between the trigger and the release. Instead of stimulating a sequence of processes, leading to vesicle merger with the plasma membrane and a formation of a fusion pore, the stimulus only widens the pre-established fusion pore. The fusion pore may be stable and may exhibit repetitive opening of the vesicle lumen to the cell exterior accompanied by a content discharge. Such release of vesicle content is partial (subquantal), and depends on fusion pore open time, diameter and the diffusibility of the cargo. Such transient mode of fusion pore opening was not confirmed until the development of the membrane capacitance patch-clamp technique, which enables high-resolution measurement of changes in membrane surface area. It allows millisecond dwell-time measurements of fusion pores with subnanometer diameters. Currently, the soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor-attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins are considered to be key entities in end-stage exocytosis, and the SNARE complex assembly/disassembly may regulate the fusion pore. Moreover, lipids or other membrane constituents with anisotropic (non-axisymmetric) geometry may also favour the establishment of stable narrow fusion pores, if positioned in the neck of the fusion pore. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. A Microfluidic Pore Network Approach to Investigate Water Transport in Fuel Cell Porous Transport Layers


    Bazylak, A.; Berejnov, V.; Markicevic, B.; Sinton, D.; Djilali, N.


    Pore network modelling has traditionally been used to study displacement processes in idealized porous media related to geological flows, with applications ranging from groundwater hydrology to enhanced oil recovery. Very recently, pore network modelling has been applied to model the gas diffusion layer (GDL) of a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Discrete pore network models have the potential to elucidate transport phenomena in the GDL with high computational efficiency, in cont...

  17. 3D Membrane Imaging and Porosity Visualization

    KAUST Repository

    Sundaramoorthi, Ganesh


    Ultrafiltration asymmetric porous membranes were imaged by two microscopy methods, which allow 3D reconstruction: Focused Ion Beam and Serial Block Face Scanning Electron Microscopy. A new algorithm was proposed to evaluate porosity and average pore size in different layers orthogonal and parallel to the membrane surface. The 3D-reconstruction enabled additionally the visualization of pore interconnectivity in different parts of the membrane. The method was demonstrated for a block copolymer porous membrane and can be extended to other membranes with application in ultrafiltration, supports for forward osmosis, etc, offering a complete view of the transport paths in the membrane.


    The Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District retrofitted two quadrants of their activated sludge aeration system with ceramic and membrane fine pore diffusers to provide savings in energy usage compared to the sparged turbine aerators originally installed. Because significant di...

  19. A pore water conductivity sensor

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilhorst, M.A.


    The electrical permittivity and conductivity of the bulk soil are a function of the permittivity and conductivity of the pore water. For soil water contents higher than 0.10 both functions are equal, facilitating in situ conductivity measurements of the pore water. A novel method is described, based

  20. Dimensionally Stable Membrane for High Pressure Electrolyzers, Phase I (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Utilizing high strength polymers with controlled pore dimensions as a support, a customized membrane electrode assembly (MEA) can be generated for NASA's...

  1. Dimensionally Stable Membrane for High Pressure Electrolyzers, Phase II (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Utilizing high strength polymers with controlled pore dimensions as a support, a customized membrane electrode assembly (MEA) can be generated for NASA's...

  2. Pore formation by T3SS translocators: liposome leakage assay. (United States)

    Faudry, Eric; Perdu, Caroline; Attrée, Ina


    Gram-negative bacteria utilize a dedicated membrane-embedded apparatus, the type III secretion system (T3SS), to inject proteins into host cells. The passage of the proteins across the target membrane is accomplished by a proteinaceous pore-the translocon-formed within the host-cell cytoplasmic membrane. Translocators bound to their chaperones can be expressed in Escherichia coli and subsequently dissociated from the chaperone by guanidine treatment. The pore formation properties of the translocators can then be studied by an in-vitro liposome leakage assay. Sulforhodamine-B is encapsulated within lipid vesicles during liposome preparation. At high concentration, this fluorochrome exhibits self-quenching limiting fluorescence emission. Upon pore formation, liposome leakage leads to the dilution of Sulforhodamine-B in the medium and fluorescence emission increases. Alternatively, fluorochromes coupled to large dextran molecules can be encapsulated in order to estimate pore dimensions. Here we describe protein expression and purification, dye-liposome preparation, and leakage assay conditions.

  3. Building membrane nanopores (United States)

    Howorka, Stefan


    Membrane nanopores--hollow nanoscale barrels that puncture biological or synthetic membranes--have become powerful tools in chemical- and biosensing, and have achieved notable success in portable DNA sequencing. The pores can be self-assembled from a variety of materials, including proteins, peptides, synthetic organic compounds and, more recently, DNA. But which building material is best for which application, and what is the relationship between pore structure and function? In this Review, I critically compare the characteristics of the different building materials, and explore the influence of the building material on pore structure, dynamics and function. I also discuss the future challenges of developing nanopore technology, and consider what the next-generation of nanopore structures could be and where further practical applications might emerge.

  4. Laboratory characterization of shale pores (United States)

    Nur Listiyowati, Lina


    To estimate the potential of shale gas reservoir, one needs to understand the characteristics of pore structures. Characterization of shale gas reservoir microstructure is still a challenge due to ultra-fine grained micro-fabric and micro level heterogeneity of these sedimentary rocks. The sample used in the analysis is a small portion of any reservoir. Thus, each measurement technique has a different result. It raises the question which methods are suitable for characterizing pore shale. The goal of this paper is to summarize some of the microstructure analysis tools of shale rock to get near-real results. The two analyzing pore structure methods are indirect measurement (MIP, He, NMR, LTNA) and direct observation (SEM, TEM, Xray CT). Shale rocks have a high heterogeneity; thus, it needs multiscale quantification techniques to understand their pore structures. To describe the complex pore system of shale, several measurement techniques are needed to characterize the surface area and pore size distribution (LTNA, MIP), shapes, size and distribution of pore (FIB-SEM, TEM, Xray CT), and total porosity (He pycnometer, NMR). The choice of techniques and methods should take into account the purpose of the analysis and also the time and budget.

  5. Modification of porosity in the catalyst layer of membrane electrode assemblies using pore-forming agents; Modificacion de la porosidad en la capa catalitica de ensambles membrana-electrodo empleando agentes formadores de poros

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flores Hernandez, J. Roberto [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas Cuernavaca, Morelos (Mexico)] e-mail:; Reyes, Brenda [UNAM. Facultad de Quimica, Mexico D.F. (Mexico); Barbosa P., Romeli [Centro de Investigacion en Energia, UNAM, Temixco, Morelos (Mexico); Cano Castillo, Ulises; Albarran, Lorena [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas Cuernavaca, Morelos (Mexico)


    Membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) are the most important part of PEM fuel cells since their interface results in the electrochemical reactions that make the generation of electricity possible. The MEA is composed of a proton exchange membrane, both sides of which are impregnated with a catalyst layer, normally of carbon-supported platinum. Depending on the technique used for its fabrication (atomization, serigraphy, brush methods, chemical reduction, etc.), the properties of the MEA can be different in terms of porosity, distribution of the catalyst, thickness and structure of the catalyst layer, and the quality of the union between the catalyst layer and the membrane, etc. Currently, the porosity of the electrodes is generated by isopropanol evaporation (solvent used in the dye) during the fabrication process conducted in the Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas (IIE). This document presents the results obtained from adding a porous agent to the catalytic dye base composition used in the fabrication of MEA at the IIE. [Spanish] Los Ensambles Membrana-Electrodo (MEA's) son la parte mas importante en las celdas de combustibles tipo PEM, ya que en su interfaz se llevan a cabo las reacciones electroquimicas que hacen posible la generacion de electricidad. El MEA esta compuesto de una membrana de intercambio protonico a la cual se le impregna en ambos lados una capa catalitica normalmente de platino soportado en carbon. Dependiendo de la tecnica empleada en su fabricacion (atomizado, serigrafia, brocha, reduccion quimica, etc.), las propiedades del MEA pueden ser diferentes en cuanto a porosidad, distribucion del catalizador, grosor y estructura de la capa catalitica, asi como la calidad de la union entre la capa catalizadora y la membrana, etc. Actualmente, la porosidad de los electrodos es generada por la evaporacion del isopropanol (solvente utilizado en la tinta) durante el proceso de fabricacion que se realiza en el Instituto de Investigaciones

  6. Pore opening dynamics in the exocytosis of serotonin (United States)

    Ramirez-Santiago, Guillermo; Cercos, Montserrat G.; Martinez-Valencia, Alejandro; Salinas Hernandez, Israel; Rodríguez-Sosa, Leonardo; de-Miguel, Francisco F.


    The current view of the exocytosis of transmitter molecules is that it starts with the formation of a fusion pore that connects the intravesicular and the extracellular spaces, and is completed by the release of the rest of the transmitter contained in the vesicle upon the full fusion and collapse of the vesicle with the plasma membrane. However, under certain circumstances, a rapid closure of the pore before the full vesicle fusion produces only a partial release of the transmitter. Here we show that whole release of the transmitter occurs through fusion pores that remain opened for tens of milliseconds without vesicle collapse. This was demonstrated through amperometric measurements of serotonin release from electrodense vesicles in the axon of leech Retzius neurons and mathematical modelling. By modeling transmitter release with a diffusion equation subjected to boundary conditions that are defined by the experiment, we showed that those pores with a fast half rise time constant remained opened and allowed the full quantum release without vesicle collapse, whereas pores with a slow rise time constant closed rapidly, thus producing partial release. We conclude that a full transmitter release may occur through the fusion pore in the absence of vesicle collapse. This work was founded by a DGAPA-UNAM grants IN200914 and IN118410 CONACYT GRANT 130031, and CONACyT doctoral fellowships.

  7. The effect of ethylene glycol on pore arrangement of anodic aluminium oxide prepared by hard anodization (United States)

    Guo, Yang; Zhang, Li; Han, Mangui; Wang, Xin; Xie, Jianliang; Deng, Longjiang


    The influence of the addition of ethylene glycol (EG) on the pore self-ordering process in anodic aluminium oxide (AAO) membranes prepared by hard anodization (HA) was investigated. It was illustrated that EG has a substantial effect on the pore arrangement of AAO, and it was found that a smaller pore size can be obtained with an EG concentration reaching 20 wt% in aqueous electrolyte. The number of estimated defects of AAO increases significantly with an increase in EG concentration to 50 wt%. Excellent ordering of pores was realized when the samples were anodized in the 30 wt%-EG-containing aqueous electrolyte.

  8. A multiscale approach to accelerate pore-scale simulation of porous electrodes (United States)

    Zheng, Weibo; Kim, Seung Hyun


    A new method to accelerate pore-scale simulation of porous electrodes is presented. The method combines the macroscopic approach with pore-scale simulation by decomposing a physical quantity into macroscopic and local variations. The multiscale method is applied to the potential equation in pore-scale simulation of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) catalyst layer, and validated with the conventional approach for pore-scale simulation. Results show that the multiscale scheme substantially reduces the computational cost without sacrificing accuracy.

  9. Metal structures with parallel pores (United States)

    Sherfey, J. M.


    Four methods of fabricating metal plates having uniformly sized parallel pores are studied: elongate bundle, wind and sinter, extrude and sinter, and corrugate stack. Such plates are suitable for electrodes for electrochemical and fuel cells.

  10. Spontaneous formation of structurally diverse membrane channel architectures from a single antimicrobial peptide (United States)

    Wang, Yukun; Chen, Charles H.; Hu, Dan; Ulmschneider, Martin B.; Ulmschneider, Jakob P.


    Many antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) selectively target and form pores in microbial membranes. However, the mechanisms of membrane targeting, pore formation and function remain elusive. Here we report an experimentally guided unbiased simulation methodology that yields the mechanism of spontaneous pore assembly for the AMP maculatin at atomic resolution. Rather than a single pore, maculatin forms an ensemble of structurally diverse temporarily functional low-oligomeric pores, which mimic integral membrane protein channels in structure. These pores continuously form and dissociate in the membrane. Membrane permeabilization is dominated by hexa-, hepta- and octamers, which conduct water, ions and small dyes. Pores form by consecutive addition of individual helices to a transmembrane helix or helix bundle, in contrast to current poration models. The diversity of the pore architectures--formed by a single sequence--may be a key feature in preventing bacterial resistance and could explain why sequence-function relationships in AMPs remain elusive.

  11. Characterization of graphene membranes (United States)

    O'Hern, Sean; Lee, Jongho; Jain, Tarun; Karnik, Rohit; Idrobo, Juan; Laoui, Tahar; Atieh, Motaz


    Graphene, which exhibits very high breaking strength, atomistic thickness, and the ability to maintain stable nanometer-scale pores, has the potential to be a superior membrane material in both liquid- and gas-phase separation processes. We have recently demonstrated high-quality transfer of ~1 cm2 LPCVD graphene from copper foil to 200 nm polycarbonate track etch membranes with less than 0.3% of the area constituting holes or tears in the graphene, which is essential for characterizing transport through graphene. Through gallium ion bombardment we have introduced nanometer-scale pores in the transferred graphene and will report on the molecular and ionic transport through these membranes. Funded by the Center for Clean Energy and Water at MIT and KFUPM.

  12. Water desalination using carbon-nanotube-enhanced membrane distillation. (United States)

    Gethard, Ken; Sae-Khow, Ornthida; Mitra, Somenath


    Carbon nanotube (CNT) enhanced membrane distillation is presented for water desalination. It is demonstrated that the immobilization of the CNTs in the pores of a hydrophobic membrane favorably alters the water-membrane interactions to promote vapor permeability while preventing liquid penetration into the membrane pores. For a salt concentration of 34 000 mg L(-1) and at 80 °C, the nanotube incorporation led to 1.85 and 15 times increase in flux and salt reduction, respectively.

  13. Ion track pores in intelligent films

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asano, Masaharu; Yoshida, Masaru; Omichi, Hideki; Nagaoka, Noriyasu; Kubota, Hitoshi; Katakai, Ryoichi; Reber, N.; Spohr, R.


    To create an intelligent chemical valve which behaves to biological membranes, we combined the following technologies: (1) creation of intelligent gels based on pendant α-amino acids or their oligomers, (2) preparation of nuclear track films by etching chemically after heavy ion irradiation, especially preparation of cylindrical pores passed through the film, and (3) a combination of (1) and (2). The two factors, REL (Restricted Energy Loss) and radiation sensitivity [(V t /V b )-1] play an important role in formation of such cylindrical track films. In the case of CR-39 film, there were found to be REL>1.6x10 4 MeV cm 2 g -1 and (V t /V b )-1>100, respectively. The cylindrical tracks films with intelligent functions, which consist of a combination of (1) and (2), can be fabricated by two techniques, copolymerization and grafting. (author)

  14. All the same: isoporous membranes for water purification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vriezekolk, Erik


    In this thesis, the focus is on three approaches that allow fabrication of films and membranes that contain ordered and uniform pores with pore sizes in the ultrafiltration range. Special attention is given to the tuning of pore sizes by varying simple parameters during the fabrication process.

  15. Structural Insights into Clostridium perfringens Delta Toxin Pore Formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Huyet

    Full Text Available Clostridium perfringens Delta toxin is one of the three hemolysin-like proteins produced by C. perfringens type C and possibly type B strains. One of the others, NetB, has been shown to be the major cause of Avian Nectrotic Enteritis, which following the reduction in use of antibiotics as growth promoters, has become an emerging disease of industrial poultry. Delta toxin itself is cytotoxic to the wide range of human and animal macrophages and platelets that present GM2 ganglioside on their membranes. It has sequence similarity with Staphylococcus aureus β-pore forming toxins and is expected to heptamerize and form pores in the lipid bilayer of host cell membranes. Nevertheless, its exact mode of action remains undetermined. Here we report the 2.4 Å crystal structure of monomeric Delta toxin. The superposition of this structure with the structure of the phospholipid-bound F component of S. aureus leucocidin (LukF revealed that the glycerol molecules bound to Delta toxin and the phospholipids in LukF are accommodated in the same hydrophobic clefts, corresponding to where the toxin is expected to latch onto the membrane, though the binding sites show significant differences. From structure-based sequence alignment with the known structure of staphylococcal α-hemolysin, a model of the Delta toxin pore form has been built. Using electron microscopy, we have validated our model and characterized the Delta toxin pore on liposomes. These results highlight both similarities and differences in the mechanism of Delta toxin (and by extension NetB cytotoxicity from that of the staphylococcal pore-forming toxins.

  16. Mechanism and Prediction of Gas Permeation through Sub-Nanometer Graphene Pores: Comparison of Theory and Simulation. (United States)

    Yuan, Zhe; Govind Rajan, Ananth; Misra, Rahul Prasanna; Drahushuk, Lee W; Agrawal, Kumar Varoon; Strano, Michael S; Blankschtein, Daniel


    Due to its atomic thickness, porous graphene with sub-nanometer pore sizes constitutes a promising candidate for gas separation membranes that exhibit ultrahigh permeances. While graphene pores can greatly facilitate gas mixture separation, there is currently no validated analytical framework with which one can predict gas permeation through a given graphene pore. In this work, we simulate the permeation of adsorptive gases, such as CO 2 and CH 4 , through sub-nanometer graphene pores using molecular dynamics simulations. We show that gas permeation can typically be decoupled into two steps: (1) adsorption of gas molecules to the pore mouth and (2) translocation of gas molecules from the pore mouth on one side of the graphene membrane to the pore mouth on the other side. We find that the translocation rate coefficient can be expressed using an Arrhenius-type equation, where the energy barrier and the pre-exponential factor can be theoretically predicted using the transition state theory for classical barrier crossing events. We propose a relation between the pre-exponential factor and the entropy penalty of a gas molecule crossing the pore. Furthermore, on the basis of the theory, we propose an efficient algorithm to calculate CO 2 and CH 4 permeances per pore for sub-nanometer graphene pores of any shape. For the CO 2 /CH 4 mixture, the graphene nanopores exhibit a trade-off between the CO 2 permeance and the CO 2 /CH 4 separation factor. This upper bound on a Robeson plot of selectivity versus permeance for a given pore density is predicted and described by the theory. Pores with CO 2 /CH 4 separation factors higher than 10 2 have CO 2 permeances per pore lower than 10 -22 mol s -1 Pa -1 , and pores with separation factors of ∼10 have CO 2 permeances per pore between 10 -22 and 10 -21 mol s -1 Pa -1 . Finally, we show that a pore density of 10 14 m -2 is required for a porous graphene membrane to exceed the permeance-selectivity upper bound of polymeric

  17. Simulations of skin barrier function: free energies of hydrophobic and hydrophilic transmembrane pores in ceramide bilayers. (United States)

    Notman, Rebecca; Anwar, Jamshed; Briels, W J; Noro, Massimo G; den Otter, Wouter K


    Transmembrane pore formation is central to many biological processes such as ion transport, cell fusion, and viral infection. Furthermore, pore formation in the ceramide bilayers of the stratum corneum may be an important mechanism by which penetration enhancers such as dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) weaken the barrier function of the skin. We have used the potential of mean constraint force (PMCF) method to calculate the free energy of pore formation in ceramide bilayers in both the innate gel phase and in the DMSO-induced fluidized state. Our simulations show that the fluid phase bilayers form archetypal water-filled hydrophilic pores similar to those observed in phospholipid bilayers. In contrast, the rigid gel-phase bilayers develop hydrophobic pores. At the relatively small pore diameters studied here, the hydrophobic pores are empty rather than filled with bulk water, suggesting that they do not compromise the barrier function of ceramide membranes. A phenomenological analysis suggests that these vapor pores are stable, below a critical radius, because the penalty of creating water-vapor and tail-vapor interfaces is lower than that of directly exposing the strongly hydrophobic tails to water. The PMCF free energy profile of the vapor pore supports this analysis. The simulations indicate that high DMSO concentrations drastically impair the barrier function of the skin by strongly reducing the free energy required for pore opening.

  18. Tension-induced vesicle fusion: pathways and pore dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shillcock, Julian C.


    The dynamics of tension-induced fusion of two vesicles is studied using dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations. The vesicle membranes use an improved DPD parameter set that results in their sustaining only a 10–30% relative area stretch before rupturing on the microsecond timescale...... fusion time on membrane tension implies that the fusion process is completed by overcoming two energy barriers with scales of 13kBT and 11kBT. The fusion pore radius as a function of time has also been extracted from the simulations, and provides a quantitative measure of the fusion dynamics which...

  19. The Bicomponent Pore-Forming Leucocidins of Staphylococcus aureus (United States)

    Alonzo, Francis


    SUMMARY The ability to produce water-soluble proteins with the capacity to oligomerize and form pores within cellular lipid bilayers is a trait conserved among nearly all forms of life, including humans, single-celled eukaryotes, and numerous bacterial species. In bacteria, some of the most notable pore-forming molecules are protein toxins that interact with mammalian cell membranes to promote lysis, deliver effectors, and modulate cellular homeostasis. Of the bacterial species capable of producing pore-forming toxic molecules, the Gram-positive pathogen Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most notorious. S. aureus can produce seven different pore-forming protein toxins, all of which are believed to play a unique role in promoting the ability of the organism to cause disease in humans and other mammals. The most diverse of these pore-forming toxins, in terms of both functional activity and global representation within S. aureus clinical isolates, are the bicomponent leucocidins. From the first description of their activity on host immune cells over 100 years ago to the detailed investigations of their biochemical function today, the leucocidins remain at the forefront of S. aureus pathogenesis research initiatives. Study of their mode of action is of immediate interest in the realm of therapeutic agent design as well as for studies of bacterial pathogenesis. This review provides an updated perspective on our understanding of the S. aureus leucocidins and their function, specificity, and potential as therapeutic targets. PMID:24847020

  20. Composite membranes and methods for making same (United States)

    Routkevitch, Dmitri; Polyakov, Oleg G


    Composite membranes that are adapted for separation, purification, filtration, analysis, reaction and sensing. The composite membranes can include a porous support structure having elongate pore channels extending through the support structure. The composite membrane also includes an active layer comprising an active layer material, where the active layer material is completely disposed within the pore channels between the surfaces of the support structure. The active layer is intimately integrated within the support structure, thus enabling great robustness, reliability, resistance to mechanical stress and thermal cycling, and high selectivity. Methods for the fabrication of composite membranes are also provided.

  1. Antera 3D capabilities for pore measurements. (United States)

    Messaraa, C; Metois, A; Walsh, M; Flynn, J; Doyle, L; Robertson, N; Mansfield, A; O'Connor, C; Mavon, A


    The cause of enlarged pores remains obscure but still remains of concern for women. To complement subjective methods, bioengineered methods are needed for quantification of pores visibility following treatments. The study objective was to demonstrate the suitability of pore measurements from the Antera 3D. Pore measurements were collected on 22 female volunteers aged 18-65 years with the Antera 3D, the DermaTOP and image analysis on photographs. Additionally, 4 raters graded pore size on photographs on a scale 0-5. Repeatability of Antera 3D parameters was ascertained and the benefit of a pore minimizer product on the cheek was assessed on a sub panel of seven female volunteers. Pore parameters using the Antera were shown to depict pore severity similar to raters on photographs, except for Max Depth. Mean pore volume, mean pore area and count were moderately correlated with DermaTOP parameters (up to r = .50). No relationship was seen between the Antera 3D and pore visibility analysis on photographs. The most repeatable parameters were found to be mean pore volume, mean pore area and max depth, especially for the small and medium filters. The benefits of a pore minimizer product were the most striking for mean pore volume and mean pore area when using the small filter for analysis, rather than the medium/large ones. Pore measurements with the Antera 3D represent a reliable tool for efficacy and field studies, with an emphasis of the small filter for analysis for the mean pore volume/mean pore area parameters. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Photoresponsive nanostructured membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Madhavan, Poornima


    The perspective of adding stimuli-response to isoporous membranes stimulates the development of separation devices with pores, which would open or close under control of environment chemical composition, temperature or exposure to light. Changes in pH and temperature have been previously investigated. In this work, we demonstrate for the first time the preparation of photoresponsive isoporous membranes, applying self-assembly non-solvent induced phase separation to a new light responsive block copolymer. First, we optimized the membrane formation by using poly(styrene-b-anthracene methyl methacrylate-b-methylmethacrylate) (PS-b-PAnMMA-b-PMMA) copolymer, identifying the most suitable solvent, copolymer block length, and other parameters. The obtained final triblock copolymer membrane morphologies were characterized using atomic force and electron microscopy. The microscopic analysis reveals that the PS-b-PAnMMA-b-PMMA copolymer can form both lamellar and ordered hexagonal nanoporous structures on the membrane top layer in appropriate solvent compositions. The nanostructured membrane emits fluorescence due to the presence of the anthracene mid-block. On irradiation of light the PS-b-PAnMMA-b-PMMA copolymer membranes has an additional stimuli response. The anthracene group undergoes conformational changes by forming [4 + 4] cycloadducts and this alters the membrane\\'s water flux and solute retention. © 2016 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  3. Filtration behavior of casein glycomacropeptide (CGMP) in an enzymatic membrane reactor: fouling control by membrane selection and threshold flux operation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Jianquan; Morthensen, Sofie Thage; Meyer, Anne S.


    to be the most suitable membrane for this application. Low pH increased CGMP retention but produced more fouling. Higher agitation and lower CGMP concentration induced larger permeate flux and higher CGMP retention. Adsorption fouling and pore blocking by CGMP in/on membranes could be controlled by selecting...... a highly hydrophilic membrane with appropriate pore size. Operating under threshold flux could minimize the concentration polarization and cake/gel/scaling layers, but might not avoid irreversible fouling caused by adsorption and pore blocking. The effects of membrane properties, pH, agitation and CGMP...

  4. A new model for pore formation by cholesterol-dependent cytolysins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyril F Reboul


    Full Text Available Cholesterol Dependent Cytolysins (CDCs are important bacterial virulence factors that form large (200-300 Å membrane embedded pores in target cells. Currently, insights from X-ray crystallography, biophysical and single particle cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM experiments suggest that soluble monomers first interact with the membrane surface via a C-terminal Immunoglobulin-like domain (Ig; Domain 4. Membrane bound oligomers then assemble into a prepore oligomeric form, following which the prepore assembly collapses towards the membrane surface, with concomitant release and insertion of the membrane spanning subunits. During this rearrangement it is proposed that Domain 2, a region comprising three β-strands that links the pore forming region (Domains 1 and 3 and the Ig domain, must undergo a significant yet currently undetermined, conformational change. Here we address this problem through a systematic molecular modeling and structural bioinformatics approach. Our work shows that simple rigid body rotations may account for the observed collapse of the prepore towards the membrane surface. Support for this idea comes from analysis of published cryo-EM maps of the pneumolysin pore, available crystal structures and molecular dynamics simulations. The latter data in particular reveal that Domains 1, 2 and 4 are able to undergo significant rotational movements with respect to each other. Together, our data provide new and testable insights into the mechanism of pore formation by CDCs.

  5. Components of coated vesicles and nuclear pore complexes share a common molecular architecture.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damien Devos


    Full Text Available Numerous features distinguish prokaryotes from eukaryotes, chief among which are the distinctive internal membrane systems of eukaryotic cells. These membrane systems form elaborate compartments and vesicular trafficking pathways, and sequester the chromatin within the nuclear envelope. The nuclear pore complex is the portal that specifically mediates macromolecular trafficking across the nuclear envelope. Although it is generally understood that these internal membrane systems evolved from specialized invaginations of the prokaryotic plasma membrane, it is not clear how the nuclear pore complex could have evolved from organisms with no analogous transport system. Here we use computational and biochemical methods to perform a structural analysis of the seven proteins comprising the yNup84/vNup107-160 subcomplex, a core building block of the nuclear pore complex. Our analysis indicates that all seven proteins contain either a beta-propeller fold, an alpha-solenoid fold, or a distinctive arrangement of both, revealing close similarities between the structures comprising the yNup84/vNup107-160 subcomplex and those comprising the major types of vesicle coating complexes that maintain vesicular trafficking pathways. These similarities suggest a common evolutionary origin for nuclear pore complexes and coated vesicles in an early membrane-curving module that led to the formation of the internal membrane systems in modern eukaryotes.

  6. Confocal pore size measurement based on super-resolution image restoration. (United States)

    Liu, Dali; Wang, Yun; Qiu, Lirong; Mao, Xinyue; Zhao, Weiqian


    A confocal pore size measurement based on super-resolution image restoration is proposed to obtain a fast and accurate measurement for submicrometer pore size of nuclear track-etched membranes (NTEMs). This method facilitates the online inspection of the pore size evolution during etching. Combining confocal microscopy with super-resolution image restoration significantly improves the lateral resolution of the NTEM image, yields a reasonable circle edge-setting criterion of 0.2408, and achieves precise pore edge detection. Theoretical analysis shows that the minimum measuring diameter can reach 0.19 μm, and the root mean square of the residuals is only 1.4 nm. Edge response simulation and experiment reveal that the edge response of the proposed method is better than 80 nm. The NTEM pore size measurement results obtained by the proposed method agree well with that obtained by scanning electron microscopy.

  7. Active membrane having uniform physico-chemically functionalized ion channels (United States)

    Gerald, II, Rex E; Ruscic, Katarina J; Sears, Devin N; Smith, Luis J; Klingler, Robert J; Rathke, Jerome W


    The present invention relates to a physicochemically-active porous membrane for electrochemical cells that purports dual functions: an electronic insulator (separator) and a unidirectional ion-transporter (electrolyte). The electrochemical cell membrane is activated for the transport of ions by contiguous ion coordination sites on the interior two-dimensional surfaces of the trans-membrane unidirectional pores. One dimension of the pore surface has a macroscopic length (1 nm-1000 .mu.m) and is directed parallel to the direction of an electric field, which is produced between the cathode and the anode electrodes of an electrochemical cell. The membrane material is designed to have physicochemical interaction with ions. Control of the extent of the interactions between the ions and the interior pore walls of the membrane and other materials, chemicals, or structures contained within the pores provides adjustability of the ionic conductivity of the membrane.

  8. Regulation of Exocytotic Fusion Pores by SNARE Protein Transmembrane Domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhenyong Wu


    Full Text Available Calcium-triggered exocytotic release of neurotransmitters and hormones from neurons and neuroendocrine cells underlies neuronal communication, motor activity and endocrine functions. The core of the neuronal exocytotic machinery is composed of soluble N-ethyl maleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs. Formation of complexes between vesicle-attached v- and plasma-membrane anchored t-SNAREs in a highly regulated fashion brings the membranes into close apposition. Small, soluble proteins called Complexins (Cpx and calcium-sensing Synaptotagmins cooperate to block fusion at low resting calcium concentrations, but trigger release upon calcium increase. A growing body of evidence suggests that the transmembrane domains (TMDs of SNARE proteins play important roles in regulating the processes of fusion and release, but the mechanisms involved are only starting to be uncovered. Here we review recent evidence that SNARE TMDs exert influence by regulating the dynamics of the fusion pore, the initial aqueous connection between the vesicular lumen and the extracellular space. Even after the fusion pore is established, hormone release by neuroendocrine cells is tightly controlled, and the same may be true of neurotransmitter release by neurons. The dynamics of the fusion pore can regulate the kinetics of cargo release and the net amount released, and can determine the mode of vesicle recycling. Manipulations of SNARE TMDs were found to affect fusion pore properties profoundly, both during exocytosis and in biochemical reconstitutions. To explain these effects, TMD flexibility, and interactions among TMDs or between TMDs and lipids have been invoked. Exocytosis has provided the best setting in which to unravel the underlying mechanisms, being unique among membrane fusion reactions in that single fusion pores can be probed using high-resolution methods. An important role will likely be played by methods that can probe single fusion pores

  9. Dimensional analysis of membrane distillation flux through fibrous membranes (United States)

    Mauter, Meagan

    We developed a dimensional-analysis-based empirical modeling method for membrane distillation (MD) flux that is adaptable for novel membrane structures. The method makes fewer simplifying assumptions about membrane pore geometry than existing theoretical (i.e. mechanistic) models, and allows selection of simple, easily-measureable membrane characteristics as structural parameters. Furthermore, the model does not require estimation of membrane surface temperatures; it accounts for convective heat transfer to the membrane surface without iterative fitting of mass and heat transfer equations. The Buckingham-Pi dimensional analysis method is tested for direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) using non-woven/fibrous structures as the model membrane material. Twelve easily-measured variables to describe DCMD operating conditions, fluid properties, membrane structures, and flux were identified and combined into eight dimensionless parameters. These parameters were regressed using experimentally-collected data for multiple electrospun membrane types and DCMD system conditions, achieving R2 values >95%. We found that vapor flux through isotropic fibrous membranes can be estimated using only membrane thickness, solid fraction, and fiber diameter as structural parameters. Buckingham-Pi model DCMD flux predictions compare favorably with previously-developed empirical and theoretical models, and suggest this simple yet theoretically-grounded empirical modeling method can be used practically for predicting MD vapor flux from membrane structural parameters.

  10. Design of Microporosity in Membrane Distillation (United States)

    Zhao, Tom; Patankar, Neelesh


    Membrane Distillation (MD) is a desalination method where only vapor can pass through pores in a hydrophobic membrane. Unlike reverse osmosis, MD is insensitive to feed salinity (osmotic pressure) and demonstrates near 100% salt rejection in processing wastewater with a high concentration of nonvolatile impurities. To maximize vapor flux and maintain salt rejection, we demonstrate using molecular dynamics the critical pore radius below which the liquid feed will not intrude or nucleate inside the pores for cylindrical, re-entrant and conical pore geometries. We note that re-entrant structures not only can process low surface-tension wastewater due to its inherent oleophobicity, but can also be optimized to achieve maximum vapor transport compared to all other pore geometries as a function of the material hydrophobicity.

  11. Pore volume is most highly correlated with the visual assessment of skin pores. (United States)

    Kim, S J; Shin, M K; Back, J H; Koh, J S


    Many studies have been focused on evaluating assessment techniques for facial pores amid growing attention on skin care. Ubiquitous techniques used to assess the size of facial pores include visual assessment, cross-section images of the skin surface, and profilometric analysis of silicone replica of the facial skin. In addition, there are indirect assessment methods, including observation of pores based on confocal laser scanning microscopy and the analysis of sebum secretion and skin elasticity. The aim of this study was to identify parameters useful in estimating pore of surface in normal skin. The severity of pores on the cheek area by frontal optical images was divided on a 0-6 scale with '0' being faint and small pore and '6' being obvious and large pore. After the photos of the frontal cheek of 32 women aged between 35 and 49 were taken, the size of their pores was measured on a 0-6 scale; and the correlation between visual grading of pore and various evaluations (pore volume by 3-D image, pore area and number by Optical Image Analyzer) contributing to pore severity investigated using direct, objective, and noninvasive evaluations. The visual score revealed that the size of pores was graded on a 1-6 scale. Visual grading of pore was highly correlated with pore volume measured from 3-D images and pore area measured from 2-D optical images in the order (P pore was also slightly correlated with the number of pores in size of over 0.04 mm(2) (P pore score and pore volume can be explained by 3-D structural characteristics of pores. It is concluded that pore volume and area serve as useful parameters in estimating pore of skin surface. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Baxalpha5 at lipid membranes: structure, assembly and pore formation


    Fuertes Vives, Gustavo


    Las proteínas de la familia Bcl-2 controlan la liberación de citocromo c, y otros factores apotogénicos, desde la mitocondria hacia el citosol. Los miembros proapoptóticos de la familia, como Bax, facilitan dicha liberación probablemente a través de la formación de poros proteolipídicos a nivel de la membrana mitocondrial externa. Por el contrario, los miembros antiapoptóticos, como Bcl-xL, bloquean la acción de Bax. Con el objetivo de mejorar nuestro conocimiento sobre la estructura y formac...

  13. Polymeric molecular sieve membranes for gas separation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dai, Sheng; Qiao, Zhenan; Chai, Songhai


    A porous polymer membrane useful in gas separation, the porous polymer membrane comprising a polymeric structure having crosslinked aromatic groups and a hierarchical porosity in which micropores having a pore size less than 2 nm are present at least in an outer layer of the porous polymer membrane, and macropores having a pore size of over 50 nm are present at least in an inner layer of the porous polymer membrane. Also described are methods for producing the porous polymer membrane in which a non-porous polymer membrane containing aromatic rings is subjected to a Friedel-Crafts crosslinking reaction in which a crosslinking molecule crosslinks the aromatic rings in the presence of a Friedel-Crafts catalyst and organic solvent under sufficiently elevated temperature, as well as methods for using the porous polymer membranes for gas or liquid separation, filtration, or purification.

  14. Pore Pressure Measurements Inside Rubble Mound Breakwaters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Helgason, Einar; Burcharth, H. F.; Grüne, Joachim


    The present paper presents pore pressure measurements from large scale model tests performed at the Large Wave Channel, Hannover, Germany and small scale model test performed at the Hydraulic & Coastal Engineering Laboratory, Aalborg University, Denmark. Information on pore pressure attenuation...

  15. Alumina ceramics prepared with new pore-forming agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzana Živcová


    Full Text Available Porous ceramics have a wide range of applications at all length scales, ranging from fi ltration membranes and catalyst supports to biomaterials (scaffolds for bone ingrowths and thermally or acoustically insulating bulk materials or coating layers. Organic pore-forming agents (PFAs of biological origin can be used to control porosity, pore size and pore shape. This work concerns the characterization and testing of several less common pore-forming agents (lycopodium, coffee, fl our and semolina, poppy seed, which are of potential interest from the viewpoint of size, shape or availability. The performance of these new PFAs is compared to that of starch, which has become a rather popular PFA for ceramics during the last decade. The PFAs investigated in this work are in the size range from 5 μm (rice starch to approximately 1 mm (poppy seed, all with more or less isometric shape. The burnout behavior of PFAs is studied by thermal analysis, i.e. thermogravimetry and differential thermal analysis. For the preparation of porous alumina ceramics from alumina suspensions containing PFAs traditional slip casting (into plaster molds and starch consolidation casting (using metal molds are used in this work. The resulting microstructures are investigated using optical microscopy, combined with image analysis, as well as other methods (Archimedes method of double-weighing in water, mercury intrusion porosimetry.

  16. Multi-Material Tissue Engineering Scaffold with Hierarchical Pore Architecture. (United States)

    Morgan, Kathy Ye; Sklaviadis, Demetra; Tochka, Zachary L; Fischer, Kristin M; Hearon, Keith; Morgan, Thomas D; Langer, Robert; Freed, Lisa E


    Multi-material polymer scaffolds with multiscale pore architectures were characterized and tested with vascular and heart cells as part of a platform for replacing damaged heart muscle. Vascular and muscle scaffolds were constructed from a new material, poly(limonene thioether) (PLT32i), which met the design criteria of slow biodegradability, elastomeric mechanical properties, and facile processing. The vascular-parenchymal interface was a poly(glycerol sebacate) (PGS) porous membrane that met different criteria of rapid biodegradability, high oxygen permeance, and high porosity. A hierarchical architecture of primary (macroscale) and secondary (microscale) pores was created by casting the PLT32i prepolymer onto sintered spheres of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) within precisely patterned molds followed by photocuring, de-molding, and leaching out the PMMA. Pre-fabricated polymer templates were cellularized, assembled, and perfused in order to engineer spatially organized, contractile heart tissue. Structural and functional analyses showed that the primary pores guided heart cell alignment and enabled robust perfusion while the secondary pores increased heart cell retention and reduced polymer volume fraction.

  17. Solid polymer electrolyte composite membrane comprising laser micromachined porous support (United States)

    Liu, Han [Waltham, MA; LaConti, Anthony B [Lynnfield, MA; Mittelsteadt, Cortney K [Natick, MA; McCallum, Thomas J [Ashland, MA


    A solid polymer electrolyte composite membrane and method of manufacturing the same. According to one embodiment, the composite membrane comprises a rigid, non-electrically-conducting support, the support preferably being a sheet of polyimide having a thickness of about 7.5 to 15 microns. The support has a plurality of cylindrical pores extending perpendicularly between opposing top and bottom surfaces of the support. The pores, which preferably have a diameter of about 5 microns, are made by laser micromachining and preferably are arranged in a defined pattern, for example, with fewer pores located in areas of high membrane stress and more pores located in areas of low membrane stress. The pores are filled with a first solid polymer electrolyte, such as a perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer. A second solid polymer electrolyte, which may be the same as or different than the first solid polymer electrolyte, may be deposited over the top and/or bottom of the first solid polymer electrolyte.

  18. Multifractal Characterization of Soil Pore Shapes (United States)

    Gimenez, Daniel; Posadas, Adolfo; Cooper, Miguel


    Two dimensional (2-D) images representing pores and solids are used for direct quantification of soil structure using tools that are sensitive to the spatial arrangement of pores or by grouping pores by morphological properties such as shape and size. Pore shapes and sizes are related and have been used to interpret soil processes. Fractal and multifractal methods of pore characterization have been applied separately to spatial arrangement of soil pores and to pore size distributions derived from 2-D images. The objective of this work was to estimate fractal dimensions of spatial arrangement of soil pores of predetermined shapes. Images covering a range of soil structures were analyzed. Pore shape was classified using a shape factor S that quantifies the circularity of pores (S=1 for circular pores). Images containing only pores with S values smaller than 0.1, between 0.1 and 0.2, 0.2 and 0.5, 0.5 and 0.7 and greater than 0.7 were derived from the initial images and analyzed with a multifractal algorithm. The findings of this work will be discussed in relation to models of soil hydraulic properties.

  19. Facial Pores: Definition, Causes, and Treatment Options. (United States)

    Lee, Sang Ju; Seok, Joon; Jeong, Se Yeong; Park, Kui Young; Li, Kapsok; Seo, Seong Jun


    Enlarged skin pores refer to conditions that present with visible topographic changes of skin surfaces. Although not a medical concern, enlarged pores are a cosmetic concern for a large number of individuals. Moreover, clear definition and possible causes of enlarged pores have not been elucidated. To review the possible causes and treatment options for skin pores. This article is based on a review of the medical literature and the authors' clinical experience in investigating and treating skin pores. There are 3 major clinical causes of enlarged facial pores, namely high sebum excretion, decreased elasticity around pores, and increased hair follicle volume. In addition, chronic recurrent acne, sex hormones, and skin care regimen can affect pore size. Given the different possible causes for enlarged pores, therapeutic modalities must be individualized for each patient. Potential factors that contribute to enlarged skin pores include excessive sebum, decreased elasticity around pores, and increased hair follicle volume. Because various factors cause enlarged facial pores, it might be useful to identify the underlying causes to be able to select the appropriate treatment.

  20. Mass transport in thin supported silica membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benes, Nieck Edwin


    In this thesis multi-component mass transport in thin supported amorphous silica membranes is discussed. These membranes are micro-porous, with pore diameters smaller than 4Å and show high fluxes for small molecules (such as hydrogen) combined with high selectivities for these molecules with respect

  1. A general route towards defect and pore engineering in graphene. (United States)

    Xie, Guibai; Yang, Rong; Chen, Peng; Zhang, Jing; Tian, Xuezeng; Wu, Shuang; Zhao, Jing; Cheng, Meng; Yang, Wei; Wang, Duoming; He, Congli; Bai, Xuedong; Shi, Dongxia; Zhang, Guangyu


    Defect engineering in graphene is important for tailoring graphene's properties thus applicable in various applications such as porous membranes and ultra-capacitors. In this paper, we report a general route towards defect- and pore- engineering in graphene through remote plasma treatments. Oxygen plasma irradiation was employed to create homogenous defects in graphene with controllable density from a few to ≈10(3) (μm(-2)). The created defects can be further enlarged into nanopores by hydrogen plasma anisotropic etching with well-defined pore size of a few nm or above. The achieved smallest nanopores are ≈2 nm in size, showing the potential for ultra-small graphene nanopores fabrication. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Pore formation by human stefin B in its native and oligomeric states and the consequent amyloid induced toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregor eAnderluh


    Full Text Available It is well documented that amyloid forming peptides and proteins interact with membranes and that this correlates with cytotoxicity. To introduce the theme we give a brief description of some amyloidogenic proteins and note their similarities with pore forming toxins and cell penetrating peptides. Human stefin B, a member of the family of cystatins, is an amyloidogenic protein in vitro. This review describes our studies of the interaction of stefin B oligomers and prefibrillar aggregates with model membranes leading to pore formation. We have studied the interaction between human stefin B and artificial membranes of various compositions. We also have prepared distinct sizes and morphologies of stefin B prefibrillar states and assessed their toxicity. Furthermore, we have measured electrical currents through pores formed by stefin B prefibrillar oligomers in a planar lipid bilayer setup. We finally discuss the possible functional and pathological significance of such pores formed by human stefin B.

  3. Stability of supported liquid membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Neplenbroek, Antonius Maria


    This thesis deals with the stability of supported liquid membranes (SLMs). The use of SLMs, in which an extraction liquid containing a carrier is immobilized in the pores of a microporous support, has recently been introduced as a promising new separation technique. Some advantages ascribed to this

  4. Modulation of Asymmetric Flux in Heterotypic Gap Junctions by Pore Shape, Particle Size and Charge. (United States)

    Mondal, Abhijit; Sachse, Frank B; Moreno, Alonso P


    Gap junction channels play a vital role in intercellular communication by connecting cytoplasm of adjoined cells through arrays of channel-pores formed at the common membrane junction. Their structure and properties vary depending on the connexin isoform(s) involved in forming the full gap junction channel. Lack of information on the molecular structure of gap junction channels has limited the development of computational tools for single channel studies. Currently, we rely on cumbersome experimental techniques that have limited capabilities. We have earlier reported a simplified Brownian dynamics gap junction pore model and demonstrated that variations in pore shape at the single channel level can explain some of the differences in permeability of heterotypic channels observed in in vitro experiments. Based on this computational model, we designed simulations to study the influence of pore shape, particle size and charge in homotypic and heterotypic pores. We simulated dye diffusion under whole cell voltage clamping. Our simulation studies with pore shape variations revealed a pore shape with maximal flux asymmetry in a heterotypic pore. We identified pore shape profiles that match the in silico flux asymmetry results to the in vitro results of homotypic and heterotypic gap junction formed out of Cx43 and Cx45. Our simulation results indicate that the channel's pore-shape established flux asymmetry and that flux asymmetry is primarily regulated by the sizes of the conical and/or cylindrical mouths at each end of the pore. Within the set range of particle size and charge, flux asymmetry was found to be independent of particle size and directly proportional to charge magnitude. While particle charge was vital to creating flux asymmetry, charge magnitude only scaled the observed flux asymmetry. Our studies identified the key factors that help predict asymmetry. Finally, we suggest the role of such flux asymmetry in creating concentration imbalances of messenger

  5. Polyazole hollow fiber membranes for direct contact membrane distillation

    KAUST Repository

    Maab, Husnul


    Porous hollow fiber membranes were fabricated from fluorinated polyoxadiazole and polytriazole by a dry-wet spinning method for application in desalination of Red Sea water by direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD). The data were compared with commercially available hollow fiber MD membranes prepared from poly(vinylidene fluoride). The membranes were characterized by electron microscopy, liquid entry pressure (LEP), and pore diameter measurements. Finally, the hollow fiber membranes were tested for DCMD. Salt selectivity as high as 99.95% and water fluxes as high as 35 and 41 L m -2 h-1 were demonstrated, respectively, for polyoxadiazole and polytriazole hollow fiber membranes, operating at 80 C feed temperature and 20 C permeate. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

  6. Transport phenomena in gas-selective silica membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boffa, Vittorio

    Upcoming technology platforms for green fuel production require the development of advanced molecular separation processes for recovering dry liquid biofuels [1,2], biomethane [2] and hydrogen [3]. Replacement of extractive distillation, cryodistillation and adsorption processes by membrane units...... may lead to vast energy savings [2,3]. In this context, ultramicroporous silica membranes, that is, silica membranes with pores smaller than 1 nm [4], appear to be able to play a determinant role. Indeed, in reason of their extremely small pore size, these membranes can be used as sieves to recover...... fluxes than zeolite membranes. Ultramicroporous silica membranes typical typically an asymmetric structure, consisting of few millimeters thick macroporous tubes or disks, which confer mechanical strength to the membrane, and one or more mesoporous intermediate layers with subsequently smaller pore sizes...

  7. Microporous Organic Materials for Membrane-Based Gas Separation. (United States)

    Zou, Xiaoqin; Zhu, Guangshan


    Membrane materials with excellent selectivity and high permeability are crucial to efficient membrane gas separation. Microporous organic materials have evolved as an alternative candidate for fabricating membranes due to their inherent attributes, such as permanent porosity, high surface area, and good processability. Herein, a unique pore-chemistry concept for the designed synthesis of microporous organic membranes, with an emphasis on the relationship between pore structures and membrane performances, is introduced. The latest advances in microporous organic materials for potential membrane application in gas separation of H 2 , CO 2 , O 2 , and other industrially relevant gases are summarized. Representative examples of the recent progress in highly selective and permeable membranes are highlighted with some fundamental analyses from pore characteristics, followed by a brief perspective on future research directions. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. A Novel Non-Planar Transverse Stretching Process for Micro-Porous PTFE Membranes and Resulting Characteristics

    KAUST Repository

    Chang, Y.-H.


    Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) micro-porous membranes were prepared from PTFE fine powder through extruding, rolling, and uniaxial longitudinally stretching. In contrast to conventional planar transverse stretching, a novel 3D mold design of non-planar transverse stretching process was employed in this study to produce micro-porous structure. The morphology, membrane thickness, mean pore size, and porosity of the PTFE membrane were investigated. The results show that the non-planar transverse stretched membranes exhibit more uniform average pore diameter with thinner membrane thickness. Morphological changes induced by planar and non-planar transverse stretching for pore characteristics were investigated. The stretching conditions, stretching temperature and rate, affect the stretched membrane. Increasing temperature facilitated the uniformity of pore size and uniformity of membrane thickness. Moreover, increase in stretching rate resulted in finer pore size and thinner membrane.

  9. New membranes made of sintered clay application to crossflow ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The new mineral membranes made of sintered clay are performed and characterized in terms of porosity, hydraulic resistance, pore diameter and mechanical resistance. It is shown that these membranes can be used as microfiltration membrane. The variations of the filtrate flux as a function of time are measured during the ...

  10. Hydrothermal stability of microporous silica and niobia-silica membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boffa, V.; Blank, David H.A.; ten Elshof, Johan E.


    The hydrothermal stability of microporous niobia–silica membranes was investigated and compared with silica membranes. The membranes were exposed to hydrothermal conditions at 150 and 200 °C for 70 h. The change of pore structure before and after exposure to steam was probed by single-gas permeation

  11. Synthetic molecular evolution of pore-forming peptides by iterative combinatorial library screening. (United States)

    Krauson, Aram J; He, Jing; Wimley, Andrew W; Hoffmann, Andrew R; Wimley, William C


    We previously reported the de novo design of a combinatorial peptide library that was subjected to high-throughput screening to identify membrane-permeabilizing antimicrobial peptides that have β-sheet-like secondary structure. Those peptides do not form discrete pores in membranes but instead partition into membrane interfaces and cause transient permeabilization by membrane disruption, but only when present at high concentration. In this work, we used a consensus sequence from that initial screen as a template to design an iterative, second generation library. In the 24-26-residue, 16,200-member second generation library we varied six residues. Two diad repeat motifs of alternating polar and nonpolar amino acids were preserved to maintain a propensity for non-helical secondary structure. We used a new high-throughput assay to identify members that self-assemble into equilibrium pores in synthetic lipid bilayers. This screen was done at a very stringent peptide to lipid ratio of 1:1000 where most known membrane-permeabilizing peptides, including the template peptide, are not active. In a screen of 10,000 library members we identified 16 (~0.2%) that are equilibrium pore-formers at this high stringency. These rare and highly active peptides, which share a common sequence motif, are as potent as the most active pore-forming peptides known. Furthermore, they are not α-helical, which makes them unusual, as most of the highly potent pore-forming peptides are amphipathic α-helices. Here we demonstrate that this synthetic molecular evolution-based approach, taken together with the new high-throughput tools we have developed, enables the identification, refinement, and optimization of unique membrane active peptides.

  12. Environment-sensitive ion-track membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshida, Masaru


    Development of an environment-sensitive porous membrane from ion-track membranes may realize by combining the techniques of ion beam radiation and those of molecular designing and synthesis for intelligent materials. Now, the development of such membrane is progressing with an aim at selecting some specific substances and accurately control its pore size in response to any small environmental stimulus such as temperature change. The authors have been studying the molecular design, synthesis and functional expression of intelligent materials, which are called here as environment-sensitive gels. In this report, the outlines of the apparatus for the production of such porous membrane was described. An organic polymer membrane was irradiated with an ion beam and followed by chemical etching to make ion track pores. Scanning electron microscopic observation for the cross section of the membrane showed that the pore shape varies greatly depending on the ion nuclide used. The characteristics of newly produced porous membranes consisting of CR-30/A-ProDMe and polyethylene-telephtharate were investigated in respect of pore size change responding to temperature. These studies of design, synthesis and functions of such gels would enable to substitute artificial materials for the functions of human sensors. (M.N.). 54 refs

  13. Comparison of the Volume Charge Density of Nanofiltration Membranes Obtained from Retention and Conductivity Experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benavente, J.; Silva, V.; Pradanos, P.


    A version of the Donnan steric-partitioning pore model with dielectrical exclusion (DSPM-DE) has been used to get information on the pore size and charge density of a commercial membrane, NF45 from FilmTec, from its retention of KCl solutions. The conductivity inside the pores has been measured b...

  14. Biomolecular Transport through Hemofiltration Membranes (United States)

    Datta, Subhra; Fissell, William H.; Roy, Shuvo


    A theoretical model for filtration of large solutes through a pore in the presence of transmembrane pressures, applied/induced electric fields, and dissimilar interactions at the pore entrance and exit is developed to characterize and predict the experimental performance of a hemofiltration membrane with nanometer scale pores designed for a proposed implantable Renal Assist Device (RAD). The model reveals that the sieving characteristics of the membrane can be improved by applying an external electric field, and ensuring a smaller ratio of the pore-feed and pore-permeate equilibrium partitioning coefficients when diffusion is present. The model is then customized to study the sieving characteristics for both charged and uncharged solutes in the slit-shaped nanopores of the hemofiltration device for the RAD. The effect of streaming potential or induced fields are found to be negligible under representative operating conditions. Experimental data on the sieving coefficient of bovine serum albumin, carbonic anhydrase and thyroglobulin are reported and compared with the theoretical predictions. Both steric and electrostatic partitioning are considered and the comparison suggests that in general electrostatic effects are present in the filtration of proteins though some data, particularly those recorded in a strongly hypertonic solution (10×PBS), show better agreement with the steric partitioning theory. PMID:19184436

  15. Activation, Permeability, and Inhibition of Astrocytic and Neuronal Large Pore (Hemi)channels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Daniel Bloch; Ye, Zu-Cheng; Calloe, Kirstine


    overlapping sensitivity to the inhibitors Brilliant Blue, gadolinium, and carbenoxolone. These results demonstrated isoform-specific characteristics among the large pore membrane channels; an open (hemi)channel is not a nonselective channel. With these isoform-specific properties in mind, we characterized...

  16. Early localization of NPA58, a rat nuclear pore-associated protein, to ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    and assembled using Adobe Photoshop 5⋅0. 3. Results. 3.1 Association of NPA58 with the nuclear pore complex. The vertebrate nucleoporins that have been identified so far exhibit characteristic punctate staining of the peri- phery of the nucleus due to the perforation of the nuclear membranes at intervals by the NPCs.

  17. Structure and function of a unique pore-forming protein from a pathogenic acanthamoeba

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Michalek, M.; Sönnichsen, F.D.; Wechselberger, R.W.; Wienk, H.L.J.; Leippe, M.; et al., [No Value


    Human pathogens often produce soluble protein toxins that generate pores inside membranes, resulting in the death of target cells and tissue damage. In pathogenic amoebae, this has been exemplified with amoebapores of the enteric protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. Here we characterize

  18. Coating of silicon pore optics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cooper-Jensen, Carsten P.; Ackermann, M.; Christensen, Finn Erland


    For the International X-ray observatory (IXO), a mirror module with an effective area of 3 m2 at 1.25 keV and at least 0.65 m2 at 6 keV has to be realized. To achieve this goal, coated silicon pore optics has been developed over the last years. One of the challenges is to coat the Si plates...... and still to realize Si-Si bonding. It has been demonstrated that ribbed silicon plates can be produced and assembled into stacks. All previously work has been done using uncoated Si plates. In this paper we describe how to coat the ribbed Si plates with an Ir coating and a top C coating through a mask so...

  19. Effect of membrane characteristics on the performance of membrane bioreactors for oily wastewater treatment. (United States)

    Mafirad, S; Mehrnia, M R; Sarrafzadeh, M H


    Influence of membrane material and pore size on the performance of a submerged membrane bioreactor (sMBR) for oily wastewater treatment was investigated. The sMBR had a working volume of about 19 L with flat sheet modules at the same hydrodynamic conditions. Five types of micro- and ultra-polymeric membranes containing cellulose acetate (CA), cellulose nitrate (CN), polyamide (PA), polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) and polyethersulfone (PES) were used and their filtration performance in terms of permeability, permeate quality and fouling intensity were evaluated. Characterization of the membranes was done by performing some analysis such as pore size distribution; contact angle and scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) microphotograph on all membranes. The quality of permeates from each membrane was identified by measuring chemical oxygen demand (COD). The results showed more irreversible fouling intensity for membranes with larger pore size which can be due to more permeation of bioparticles and colloids inside the pores. Membrane characteristics have a major role in the preliminary time of the filtration before cake layer formation so that the PA with the highest hydrophilicity had the lowest permeability decline by fouling in this period. Also, the PVDF and PES membranes had better performance according to better permeate quality in the preliminary time of the filtration related to smaller pore size and also their better fouling resistance and chemical stability properties. However, all membranes resulted in the same permeability and permeate quality after cake layer formation. An overall efficiency of about 95% in COD removal was obtained for oily wastewater treatment by the membranes used in this study.

  20. Wet winter pore pressures in railway embankments


    Briggs, Kevin M; Smethurst, Joel A; Powrie, William; O'Brien, Anthony S


    This paper demonstrates the influence of extreme wet winter weather on pore water pressures within clay fill railway embankments, using field monitoring data and numerical modelling. Piezometer readings taken across the London Underground Ltd network following the wet winter of 2000/2001 were examined, and showed occurrences of hydrostatic pore water pressure within embankments but also many readings below this. A correlation was found between the maximum pore water pressures and the permeabi...

  1. The influence of extraction procedure on ion concentrations in sediment pore water (United States)

    Winger, P.V.; Lasier, P.J.; Jackson, B.P.


    Sediment pore water has the potential to yield important information on sediment quality, but the influence of isolation procedures on the chemistry and toxicity are not completely known and consensus on methods used for the isolation from sediment has not been reached. To provide additional insight into the influence of collection procedures on pore water chemistry, anion (filtered only) and cation concentrations were measured in filtered and unfiltered pore water isolated from four sediments using three different procedures: dialysis, centrifugation and vacuum. Peepers were constructed using 24-cell culture plates and cellulose membranes, and vacuum extractors consisted of fused-glass air stones attached with airline tubing to 60cc syringes. Centrifugation was accomplished at two speeds (2,500 and 10,000 x g) for 30 min in a refrigerated centrifuge maintained at 4?C. Only minor differences in chemical characteristics and cation and anion concentrations were found among the different collecting methods with differences being sediment specific. Filtering of the pore water did not appreciably reduce major cation concentrations, but trace metals (Cu and Pb) were markedly reduced. Although the extraction methods evaluated produced pore waters of similar chemistries, the vacuum extractor provided the following advantages over the other methods: (1) ease of extraction, (2) volumes of pore water isolated, (3) minimal preparation time and (4) least time required for extraction of pore water from multiple samples at one time.

  2. Flux Enhancement in Membrane Distillation Using Nanofiber Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Jiříček


    Full Text Available Membrane distillation (MD is an emerging separation technology, whose largest application potential lies in the desalination of highly concentrated solutions, which are out of the scope of reverse osmosis. Despite many attractive features, this technology is still awaiting large industrial application. The main reason is the lack of commercially available membranes with fluxes comparable to reverse osmosis. MD is a thermal separation process driven by a partial vapour pressure difference. Flux, distillate purity, and thermal efficiency are always in conflict, all three being strictly connected with pore size, membrane hydrophobicity, and thickness. The world has not seen the ideal membrane yet, but nanofibers may offer a solution to these contradictory requirements. Membranes of electrospun PVDF were tested under various conditions on a direct contact (DCMD unit, in order to determine the optimum conditions for maximum flux. In addition, their performance was compared to commonly available PTFE, PE, and PES membranes. It was confirmed that thinner membranes have higher fluxes and a lower distillate purity and also higher energy losses via conduction across the membrane. As both mass and heat transfer are connected, it is best to develop new membranes with a target application in mind, for the specific membrane module and operational conditions.

  3. Structure of Staphylococcal α-Hemolysin, a Heptameric Transmembrane Pore (United States)

    Song, Langzhou; Hobaugh, Michael R.; Shustak, Christopher; Cheley, Stephen; Bayley, Hagan; Gouaux, J. Eric


    The structure of the Staphylococcus aureus α-hemolysin pore has been determined to 1.9 overset{circ}{mathrm A} resolution. Contained within the mushroom-shaped homo-oligomeric heptamer is a solvent-filled channel, 100 overset{circ}{mathrm A} in length, that runs along the sevenfold axis and ranges from 14 overset{circ}{mathrm A} to 46 overset{circ}{mathrm A} in diameter. The lytic, transmembrane domain comprises the lower half of a 14-strand antiparallel β barrel, to which each protomer contributes two β strands, each 65 overset{circ}{mathrm A} long. The interior of the β barrel is primarily hydrophilic, and the exterior has a hydrophobic belt 28 overset{circ}{mathrm A} wide. The structure proves the heptameric subunit stoichiometry of the α-hemolysin oligomer, shows that a glycine-rich and solvent-exposed region of a water-soluble protein can self-assemble to form a transmembrane pore of defined structure, and provides insight into the principles of membrane interaction and transport activity of β barrel pore-forming toxins.

  4. Damage of eukaryotic cells by the pore-forming toxin sticholysin II: Consequences of the potassium efflux. (United States)

    Cabezas, Sheila; Ho, Sylvia; Ros, Uris; Lanio, María E; Alvarez, Carlos; van der Goot, F Gisou


    Pore-forming toxins (PFTs) form holes in membranes causing one of the most catastrophic damages to a target cell. Target organisms have evolved a regulated response against PFTs damage including cell membrane repair. This ability of cells strongly depends on the toxin concentration and the properties of the pores. It has been hypothesized that there is an inverse correlation between the size of the pores and the time required to repair the membrane, which has been for long a non-intuitive concept and far to be completely understood. Moreover, there is a lack of information about how cells react to the injury triggered by eukaryotic PFTs. Here, we investigated some molecular events related with eukaryotic cells response against the membrane damage caused by sticholysin II (StII), a eukaryotic PFT produced by a sea anemone. We evaluated the change in the cytoplasmic potassium, identified the main MAPK pathways activated after pore-formation by StII, and compared its effect with those from two well-studied bacterial PFTs: aerolysin and listeriolysin O (LLO). Strikingly, we found that membrane recovery upon StII damage takes place in a time scale similar to LLO in spite of the fact that they form pores by far different in size. Furthermore, our data support a common role of the potassium ion, as well as MAPKs in the mechanism that cells use to cope with these toxins injury. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Studies on hydrogen separation membrane for IS process. Membrane preparation with porous α-alumina tube

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hwang, Gab-Jin; Onuki, Kaoru; Shimizu, Saburo


    It was investigated the preparation technique of hydrogen separation membrane to enhance the decomposition ratio of hydrogen iodide in the thermochemical IS process. Hydrogen separation membranes based on porous α-alumina tubes having pore size of 100 nm and 10 nm were prepared by chemical vapor deposition using tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) as the Si source. In the hydrogen separation membrane, its pore was closed by the deposited silica and then the permeation of gas was affected by the hindrance diffusion. At 600degC, the selectivity ratios (H 2 /N 2 ) were 5.2 and 160 for the membranes based on porous α-alumina tube having pore size of 100 nm and 10 nm, respectively. (author)


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ni Nyoman Putri Windari


    Full Text Available The study of the extraction and characterization of chitosan from skin waste of Bamboo Lobster (Panulirus versicolor has been done. Chitosan is extracted using conventional method, namely the initial process: cleaning and drying (pretreatment, demineralization, deproteination, and deacetylation. The chitosan obtained has been used to prepare chitosan membrane 2% with acetic acid 1% as solvent. The membrane prepared by phase inversion method withprecipitation through solvent evaporation. The prepared membranes were characterized by FTIR spectrophotometer, Nova 1200e by BJH method and filtration method. The results obtained that degree of deacetylation (DD of chitosan is 70.016%. The thickness of the membrane is 0.361 mm. The FTIR spectra show that functional groups obtained are -NH, -CH, C=O, C-O and -CN. From BJH method obtained that the pore radius is 1.69 nm and pore density is 8.95 x 105pores/m3. From the filtration method obtained that at each pressure, 80-85 kPa and 90-100 kPa, the PWF values are 381.232 and 454.545 L/m2.h, respectively.

  7. 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...

  8. Modeling and Simulating Asymmetrical Conductance Changes in Gramicidin Pores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xu Shixin


    Full Text Available Gramicidin A is a small and well characterized peptide that forms an ion channel in lipid membranes. An important feature of gramicidin A (gA pore is that its conductance is affected by the electric charges near the its entrance. This property has led to the application of gramicidin A as a biochemical sensor for monitoring and quantifying a number of chemical and enzymatic reactions. Here, a mathematical model of conductance changes of gramicidin A pores in response to the presence of electrical charges near its entrance, either on membrane surface or attached to gramicidin A itself, is presented. In this numerical simulation, a two dimensional computational domain is set to mimic the structure of a gramicidin A channel in the bilayer surrounded by electrolyte. The transport of ions through the channel is modeled by the Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP equations that are solved by Finite Element Method (FEM. Preliminary numerical simulations of this mathematical model are in qualitative agreement with the experimental results in the literature. In addition to the model and simulations, we also present the analysis of the stability of the solution to the boundary conditions and the convergence of FEM method for the two dimensional PNP equations in our model.

  9. PVDF hollow fiber and nanofiber membranes for fresh water reclamation using membrane distillation

    KAUST Repository

    Francis, Lijo


    Polyvinylidene fluoride hollow fiber and nanofibrous membranes are engineered and successfully fabricated using dry-jet wet spinning and electrospinning techniques, respectively. Fabricated membranes are characterized for their morphology, average pore size, pore size distribution, nanofiber diameter distribution, thickness, and water contact angle. Direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) performances of the fabricated membranes have been investigated using a locally designed and fabricated, fully automated MD bench scale unit and DCMD module. Electrospun nanofibrous membranes showed a water flux as high as 36 L m-2 h-1 whereas hollow fiber membranes showed a water flux of 31.6 L m-2 h-1, at a feed inlet temperature of 80 °C and at a permeate inlet temperature of 20 °C.

  10. Automatic facial pore analysis system using multi-scale pore detection. (United States)

    Sun, J Y; Kim, S W; Lee, S H; Choi, J E; Ko, S J


    As facial pore widening and its treatments have become common concerns in the beauty care field, the necessity for an objective pore-analyzing system has been increased. Conventional apparatuses lack in usability requiring strong light sources and a cumbersome photographing process, and they often yield unsatisfactory analysis results. This study was conducted to develop an image processing technique for automatic facial pore analysis. The proposed method detects facial pores using multi-scale detection and optimal scale selection scheme and then extracts pore-related features such as total area, average size, depth, and the number of pores. Facial photographs of 50 subjects were graded by two expert dermatologists, and correlation analyses between the features and clinical grading were conducted. We also compared our analysis result with those of conventional pore-analyzing devices. The number of large pores and the average pore size were highly correlated with the severity of pore enlargement. In comparison with the conventional devices, the proposed analysis system achieved better performance showing stronger correlation with the clinical grading. The proposed system is highly accurate and reliable for measuring the severity of skin pore enlargement. It can be suitably used for objective assessment of the pore tightening treatments. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Gas transport and subsoil pore characteristics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berisso, Feto Esimo; Schjønning, Per; Keller, Thomas


    Arrangements of elementary soil particles during soil deposition and subsequent biological and physical processes in long-term pedogenesis are expected to lead to anisotropy of the non-tilled subsoil pore system. Soil compaction by agricultural machinery is known to affect soil pore characteristi...

  12. Nuclear pore structure: warming up the core. (United States)

    Harel, Amnon; Gruenbaum, Yosef


    Structural determination of the nuclear pore complex has been limited by the complexity and size of this cellular megalith. By taking advantage of exceptionally stable nucleoporins from the thermophilic fungus Chaetomium thermophilum, Amlacher et al. (2011) provide new insight into a core element of the nuclear pore scaffold. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Ceramic membranes for gas separation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vincente-Mingarro, I.M. de; Pitarch, J.A. [Tecnologia y Gestion de la Innovacion, Madrid (Spain)


    The project is being carried out jointly by TGI, S.A., CIEMAT and CSIC-ICM to develop and evaluate new inorganic membranes of a ceramic type, with nanometric pore size for separation of contaminants and fuel enrichment, in gas mixtures from coal gasification. In order to achieve both the highest active and selective surface, a candle (150 mm length and 60 mm in diameter), with 30-40 % porosity and pore sizes of {lt}1 {mu}m was developed. The processing steps include the slip-casting of the first layer (porous support) in a way than after thermal treatment (1400-1600{degree}C) the desirable shape dimensions, strength, porosity and pore size were obtained. Then the support was dipped successively (colloidal filtration over the casting porous piece) in an appropriate suspension of alumina with lower grain size. The top layer was obtained by the sol-gel process so that through successive setting and heat treatment the pores were reduced to the nanometre size. CVD and CVI techniques were set up to develop membranes for gas separation with a high selectivity level. Experimental chemical infiltration `Membranes Development` on porous substrates has been achieved on disk and candle-shaped materials. Characterisation was by spectrophotometry (IRS). Kinetic studies of coating in order to find out reproducible conditions at low temperature were also carried out. Uniform recovery over the whole membrane surface is wanted. The CIEMAT`s Hot Gas Separation Plant (HGSP) works with gas mixtures at a maximum design temperature 773 K and pressures up to 50 bar. It comprises: a gas supply unit equipped with flow, temperature and pressure measuring and control systems; a heating system within the membrane which must be leak proof for high pressures; and an in-line gas chromatography system thus allowing the chemical composition of the gas entering, permeated and retained to be measured. 7 figs.

  14. Ion Exclusion by Sub 2-nm Carbon Nanotube Pores

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fornasiero, F; Park, H G; Holt, J K; Stadermann, M; Grigoropoulos, C P; Noy, A; Bakajin, O


    Carbon nanotubes offer an outstanding platform for studying molecular transport at nanoscale, and have become promising materials for nanofluidics and membrane technology due to their unique combination of physical, chemical, mechanical, and electronic properties. In particular, both simulations and experiments have proved that fluid flow through carbon nanotubes of nanometer size diameter is exceptionally fast compared to what continuum hydrodynamic theories would predict when applied on this length scale, and also, compared to conventional membranes with pores of similar size, such as zeolites. For a variety of applications such as separation technology, molecular sensing, drug delivery, and biomimetics, selectivity is required together with fast flow. In particular, for water desalination, coupling the enhancement of the water flux with selective ion transport could drastically reduce the cost of brackish and seawater desalting. In this work, we study the ion selectivity of membranes made of aligned double-walled carbon nanotubes with sub-2 nm diameter. Negatively charged groups are introduced at the opening of the carbon nanotubes by oxygen plasma treatment. Reverse osmosis experiments coupled with capillary electrophoresis analysis of permeate and feed show significant anion and cation rejection. Ion exclusion declines by increasing ionic strength (concentration) of the feed and by lowering solution pH; also, the highest rejection is observed for the A{sub m}{sup Z{sub A}} C{sub n}{sup Z{sub C}} salts (A=anion, C=cation, z= valence) with the greatest Z{sub A}/Z{sub C} ratio. Our results strongly support a Donnan-type rejection mechanism, dominated by electrostatic interactions between fixed membrane charges and mobile ions, while steric and hydrodynamic effects appear to be less important. Comparison with commercial nanofiltration membranes for water softening reveals that our carbon nanotube membranes provides far superior water fluxes for similar ion


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Malathi


    Full Text Available In recent years there has been exponential growth in the use of bio- metrics for user authentication applications. Automated Fingerprint Identification systems have become popular tool in many security and law enforcement applications. Most of these systems rely on minutiae (ridge ending and bifurcation features. With the advancement in sensor technology, high resolution fingerprint images (1000 dpi pro- vide micro level of features (pores that have proven to be useful fea- tures for identification. In this paper, we propose a new strategy for fingerprint matching based on pores by reliably extracting the pore features The extraction of pores is done by Marker Controlled Wa- tershed segmentation method and the centroids of each pore are con- sidered as feature vectors for matching of two fingerprint images. Experimental results shows that the proposed method has better per- formance with lower false rates and higher accuracy.

  16. Flexoelectric effects in model and native membranes containing ion channels. (United States)

    Petrov, A G; Miller, B A; Hristova, K; Usherwood, P N


    An experimental study of flexoelectricity in model membranes containing ion pores and native membranes containing ion channels has been undertaken with the objective of determining the relationship, if any, between flexoelectricity and ion transport. Model membrane patches containing ion pores induced by a blue-green algal toxin, microcystin-LR, and locust muscle membrane patches containing potassium channels were studied using patch-clamp techniques. A correspondence was established between the presence of open channels and pores and the amplitude of the 1st harmonic of the total membrane current when the membranes or patches were subjected to pressure oscillations. The 2nd harmonic of the membrane current provided a measure of the amplitude of a membrane curvature induced by pressure, thus making it possible to determine the membrane flexoelectric coefficient. This study shows that flexoelectricity could be an effective driving force for ion transport through membrane pores and channels, thus further highlighting the possible biological significance of this mechano-electric phenomenon.

  17. Evaluation method of membrane performance in membrane distillation process for seawater desalination. (United States)

    Chung, Seungjoon; Seo, Chang Duck; Choi, Jae-Hoon; Chung, Jinwook


    Membrane distillation (MD) is an emerging desalination technology as an energy-saving alternative to conventional distillation and reverse osmosis method. The selection of appropriate membrane is a prerequisite for the design of an optimized MD process. We proposed a simple approximation method to evaluate the performance of membranes for MD process. Three hollow fibre-type commercial membranes with different thicknesses and pore sizes were tested. Experimental results showed that one membrane was advantageous due to the highest flux, whereas another membrane was due to the lowest feed temperature drop. Regression analyses and multi-stage calculations were used to account for the trade-offeffects of flux and feed temperature drop. The most desirable membrane was selected from tested membranes in terms of the mean flux in a multi-stage process. This method would be useful for the selection of the membranes without complicated simulation techniques.

  18. Killing machines: three pore-forming proteins of the immune system (United States)

    McCormack, Ryan; de Armas, Lesley; Shiratsuchi, Motoaki


    The evolution of early multicellular eukaryotes 400–500 million years ago required a defensive strategy against microbial invasion. Pore-forming proteins containing the membrane-attack-complex-perforin (MACPF) domain were selected as the most efficient means to destroy bacteria or virally infected cells. The mechanism of pore formation by the MACPF domain is distinctive in that pore formation is purely physical and unspecific. The MACPF domain polymerizes, refolds, and inserts itself into bilayer membranes or bacterial outer cell walls. The displacement of surface lipid/carbohydrate molecules by the polymerizing MACPF domain creates clusters of large, water-filled holes that destabilize the barrier function and provide access for additional anti-bacterial or anti-viral effectors to sensitive sites that complete the destruction of the invader via enzymatic or chemical attack. The highly efficient mechanism of anti-microbial defense by a combined physical and chemical strategy using pore-forming MACPF-proteins has been retargeted during evolution of vertebrates and mammals for three purposes: (1) to kill extracellular bacteria C9/polyC9 evolved in conjunction with complement, (2) to kill virus infected and cancer cells perforin-1/polyperforin-1 CTL evolved targeted by NK and CTL, and (3) to kill intracellular bacteria transmembrane perforin-2/putative polyperforin-2 evolved targeted by phagocytic and nonphagocytic cells. Our laboratory has been involved in the discovery and description of each of the three pore-formers that will be reviewed here. PMID:24293008

  19. Functions of phenylalanine residues within the beta-barrel stem of the anthrax toxin pore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Wang


    Full Text Available A key step of anthrax toxin action involves the formation of a protein-translocating pore within the endosomal membrane by the Protective Antigen (PA moiety. Formation of this transmembrane pore by PA involves interaction of the seven 2beta2-2beta3 loops of the heptameric precursor to generate a 14-strand transmembrane beta barrel.We examined the effects on pore formation, protein translocation, and cytotoxicity, of mutating two phenylalanines, F313 and F314, that lie at the tip the beta barrel, and a third one, F324, that lies part way up the barrel.Our results show that the function of these phenylalanine residues is to mediate membrane insertion and formation of stable transmembrane channels. Unlike F427, a key luminal residue in the cap of the pore, F313, F314, and F324 do not directly affect protein translocation through the pore. Our findings add to our knowledge of structure-function relationships of a key virulence factor of the anthrax bacillus.

  20. Effect of operating parameters and membrane characteristics on air gap membrane distillation performance for the treatment of highly saline water

    KAUST Repository

    Xu, Jingli


    In this study, ten different commercially available PTFE, PP and PVDF membranes were tested in desalination of highly saline water by air gap membrane distillation (AGMD). Process performance was investigated under different operating parameters, such as feed temperatures, feed flow velocities and salt concentrations reaching 120 g/L, and different membrane characteristics, such as membrane material, thickness, pore size and support layer, using a locally designed and fabricatd AGMD module and spacer. Results showed that increasing feed temperature increases permeate flux regardless of the feed concentration. However, feed flow velocity does not significantly affect the flux, especially at low feed temperatures. The PP membrane showed a better performance than the PVDF and PTFE membranes. Permeate flux decreases with the increase of salt concentration of feed solution, especially at higher concentrations above 90 g/L. The existence of membrane support layer led to a slight decrease of permeate flux. Membranes with pore sizes of 0.2 and 0.45 μm gave the best performance. Smaller pore size led to lower flux and larger pore size led to pore wetting due to lower LEP values. The effect of concentration polarization and temperature polarization has also been studied and compared.

  1. Support influence on the properties of the alumina ceramic membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clar, C.; Scian, A.N.; Aglietti, E.F.


    The ceramic substrates used as supports for the formation of a top layer membrane must meet several requirements.Some of them are: have an average pore size and a suitable surface rugosity to obtain a homogenous top layer preventing the penetration of the membrane precursor particles into the support pores.This work analyzes the performance of the three α-Al 2 O 3 supports, with different average pore sizes and surface textures, for the formation of a membrane top layer by the dipcoating technique from colloids in suspension of aluminum basic acetate and later thermal treatment at 1000degC.The pore size distribution of the supports, the support-membrane systems and the top layer membrane was obtained by the mercury intrusion porosimetry technique.The microstructural differences of the supports and the top layer thickness were observed by MEB.It could be observed that for numerous deposits the membrane layer pore size obtained is independent on the support used and that the thickness of the last layer is lower for the greater pore size supports.The possibility of an intermediate layer between the support and the top layer was considered in every case

  2. Characterization of Polymeric Nanofiltration Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simoncic, B.


    Full Text Available As membrane processes are increasingly used in industrial applications, there is a growing interest in methods of membrane characterization. Traditional membrane characteristics, such as cut-off value and pore size distribution, are being supplemented by membrane surface characteristics, such as charge density or zeta potential and hydrophobicity. This study, therefore, characterizes the three different polymeric membranes used (NFT-50, DL and DK. The molecular mass cut-off (MMCO value was determined using a set of reference solutes within the molecular range 150-600 Da, whereas streaming potential measurements enabled quantification of the surface charge characteristics. Hydrophobicity was studied using contact angle measurements. The results indicated that even though all three membranes had very similar layer compositions which consisted of poly(piperazneamide, as top layers they showed different values of measured quantitive. The NFT-50 membrane had the lowest MMCO value and the most hydrophilic membrane surface, followed by DK and DL. Membrane fouling as measured by flux reduction was determined by streaming potential measurements and accompanied by a positive change in zeta potential.

  3. Mutagenesis and functional analysis of the pore-forming toxin HALT-1 from Hydra magnipapillata. (United States)

    Liew, Yvonne Jing Mei; Soh, Wai Tuck; Jiemy, William Febry; Hwang, Jung Shan


    Actinoporins are small 18.5 kDa pore-forming toxins. A family of six actinoporin genes has been identified in the genome of Hydra magnipapillata, and HALT-1 (Hydra actinoporin-like toxin-1) has been shown to have haemolytic activity. In this study, we have used site-directed mutagenesis to investigate the role of amino acids in the pore-forming N-terminal region and the conserved aromatic cluster required for cell membrane binding. A total of 10 mutants of HALT-1 were constructed and tested for their haemolytic and cytolytic activity on human erythrocytes and HeLa cells, respectively. Insertion of 1-4 negatively charged residues in the N-terminal region of HALT-1 strongly reduced haemolytic and cytolytic activity, suggesting that the length or charge of the N-terminal region is critical for pore-forming activity. Moreover, substitution of amino acids in the conserved aromatic cluster reduced haemolytic and cytolytic activity by more than 80%, suggesting that these aromatic amino acids are important for attachment to the lipid membrane as shown for other actinoporins. The results suggest that HALT-1 and other actinoporins share similar mechanisms of pore formation and that it is critical for HALT-1 to maintain an amphipathic helix at the N-terminus and an aromatic amino acid-rich segment at the site of membrane binding.

  4. Mutagenesis and Functional Analysis of the Pore-Forming Toxin HALT-1 from Hydra magnipapillata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yvonne Jing Mei Liew


    Full Text Available Actinoporins are small 18.5 kDa pore-forming toxins. A family of six actinoporin genes has been identified in the genome of Hydra magnipapillata, and HALT-1 (Hydra actinoporin-like toxin-1 has been shown to have haemolytic activity. In this study, we have used site-directed mutagenesis to investigate the role of amino acids in the pore-forming N-terminal region and the conserved aromatic cluster required for cell membrane binding. A total of 10 mutants of HALT-1 were constructed and tested for their haemolytic and cytolytic activity on human erythrocytes and HeLa cells, respectively. Insertion of 1–4 negatively charged residues in the N-terminal region of HALT-1 strongly reduced haemolytic and cytolytic activity, suggesting that the length or charge of the N-terminal region is critical for pore-forming activity. Moreover, substitution of amino acids in the conserved aromatic cluster reduced haemolytic and cytolytic activity by more than 80%, suggesting that these aromatic amino acids are important for attachment to the lipid membrane as shown for other actinoporins. The results suggest that HALT-1 and other actinoporins share similar mechanisms of pore formation and that it is critical for HALT-1 to maintain an amphipathic helix at the N-terminus and an aromatic amino acid-rich segment at the site of membrane binding.

  5. Modeling a Conventional Electroporation Pulse Train: Decreased Pore Number, Cumulative Calcium Transport and an Example of Electrosensitization. (United States)

    Son, Reuben S; Gowrishankar, Thiruvallur R; Smith, Kyle C; Weaver, James C


    Pulse trains are widely used in electroporation (EP) for both general biomedical research and clinical applications such as nonthermal tumor ablation. Here we use a computational method based on a meshed transport network to investigate a cell system model's response to a train of identical, evenly spaced electric field pulses. We obtain an unexpected result: the number of membrane pores decreases during the application of twenty 1.0 kV/cm, 100 μs pulses, delivered at 1 Hz. This pulse train initially creates 13,000 membrane pores, but pore number decreases by a factor of 15 to about 830 pores throughout subsequent pulses. We conclude that pore number can greatly diminish during a train of identical pulses, with direct consequences for the transport of solutes across an electroporated membrane. Although application of additional pulses is generally intended to increase the effects of EP, we show that these pulses do not significantly enhance calcium delivery into the cell. Instead, calcium delivery can be significantly increased by varying inter-pulse intervals. We show that inserting a 300-s interruption midway in a widely used eight-pulse train (a protocol for electrosensitization) yields a ∼ twofold delivery increase. Overall, our modeling shows support for electrosensitization, in which multiple pulse protocols that maximize pore number over time can yield significant increase of transport of calcium compared to standard pulse trains.

  6. Submicroscopic pores grafted using the residual sites produced by swift heavy ions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mazzei, R.; Betz, N.; Bermudez, G. Garcia; Massa, G.; Smolko, E.


    To produce nuclear track membranes (NTM) with submicroscopic pores poly(vinylidene difluoride) (PVDF) foils were irradiated with Cl, Ag and Pb ions. Then they were chemically etched for different times and grafted with acrylic acid. The grafting yields were determined by weight measurements as a function of ion fluence, etching time and also analysed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Both measurements suggest that the acrylic acid was grafted on the pore wall of the NTM using the active sites left by the ion beam

  7. Mutagenesis and Functional Analysis of the Pore-Forming Toxin HALT-1 from Hydra magnipapillata


    Liew, Yvonne Jing Mei; Soh, Wai Tuck; Jiemy, William Febry; Hwang, Jung Shan


    Actinoporins are small 18.5 kDa pore-forming toxins. A family of six actinoporin genes has been identified in the genome of Hydra magnipapillata, and HALT-1 (Hydra actinoporin-like toxin-1) has been shown to have haemolytic activity. In this study, we have used site-directed mutagenesis to investigate the role of amino acids in the pore-forming N-terminal region and the conserved aromatic cluster required for cell membrane binding. A total of 10 mutants of HALT-1 were constructed and teste...

  8. Stabilized ultrathin liquid membranes for gas separations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deetz, D.W.


    Although immobilized liquid membranes have the desirable properties of high selectivity and permeability, their practical application to gas phase separations is hindered because of the instability of the liquid phase and the relative thickness of current membranes. The problem of liquid instability, which is due to both liquid volatilization and flooding, can be reduced, or eliminated, by immobilizing the liquid phase in pores small enough to significantly reduce the molar free energy of the solution via the Kelvin effect. The obstacle of membrane thickness can be overcome by selectively immobilizing the liquid phase into the skin of a porous asymmetric membranes

  9. Manufacture and study of osmotic metallic membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deschamps, Richard


    The manufacture of metallic membranes, which are semi-permeable to salt water, was investigated. The best results were obtained with nickel which had been deposited 'in situ' on sintered nickel, whose pore spectrum was sharp. The investigation showed that in the case of metallic membranes reverse osmosis is only a filtration. The large quantities of water produced and the low salt rejection rate compared to that with cellulose acetate membranes demonstrated that metallic membranes are better suited to depollution than desalination. (author) [fr

  10. Driven translocation of a polymer: Role of pore friction and crowding (United States)

    Dubbeldam, J. L. A.; Rostiashvili, V. G.; Vilgis, T. A.


    Force-driven translocation of a macromolecule through a nanopore is investigated systematically by taking into account the monomer-pore friction as well as the "crowding" of monomers on the trans-side of the membrane which counterbalance the driving force acting in the pore. The problem is treated self-consistently, so that the resulting force in the pore and the dynamics on the cis and trans sides mutually influence each other. The set of governing differential-algebraic equations for the translocation dynamics is derived and solved numerically. The analysis of this solution shows that the crowding of monomers on the trans side hardly affects the dynamics, but the monomer-pore friction can substantially slow down the translocation process. Moreover, the translocation exponent α in the translocation time-vs.-chain length scaling law, τ ∝ Nα, becomes smaller for relatively small chain lengths as the monomer-pore friction coefficient increases. This is most noticeable for relatively strong forces. Our findings show that the variety of values for α reported in experiments and computer simulations, may be attributed to different pore frictions, whereas crowding effects can generally be neglected.

  11. Filter clogging in coarse pore filtration activated sludge process under high MLSS concentration. (United States)

    Moghaddam, M R Alavi; Guan, Y; Satoh, H; Mino, T


    Coarse pore filtration activated sludge process is a type of hybrid process in which the secondary settling tank of the conventional activated sludge process is replaced by non- woven and coarse pore filter modules. The filter has pores, which are irregular in shape, and much bigger than micro-filtration membrane pores in size. The objective of the study is to find out the effect of the microbial community structure on filter clogging in the coarse pore filtration activated sludge process under high MLSS concentration in aerobic and anoxic/aerobic (A/A) conditions. Filter clogging started from day 65 and 70 in the A/A and aerobic process, respectively, but it was more severe in the A/A process compared to that in the aerobic process. EPS contents of sludge did not change significantly during the operation in both processes, and did not have a crucial effect on the observed filter clogging. There was no strong evidence for direct effect of the type and number of metazoa on filter clogging. The main difference between aerobic sludge and A/A sludge during the filter clogging period was the relative abundance of filamentous bacteria. According to the obtained results, it can be concluded that a higher presence of filamentous bacteria could reduce the severity of filter clogging in a coarse pore filtration activated sludge process.

  12. Pore size distribution effect on rarefied gas transport in porous media (United States)

    Hori, Takuma; Yoshimoto, Yuta; Takagi, Shu; Kinefuchi, Ikuya


    Gas transport phenomena in porous media are known to strongly influence the performance of devices such as gas separation membranes and fuel cells. Knudsen diffusion is a dominant flow regime in these devices since they have nanoscale pores. Many experiments have shown that these porous media have complex structures and pore size distributions; thus, the diffusion coefficient in these media cannot be easily assessed. Previous studies have reported that the characteristic pore diameter of porous media can be defined in light of the pore size distribution; however, tortuosity factor, which is necessary for the evaluation of diffusion coefficient, is still unknown without gas transport measurements or simulations. Thus, the relation between pore size distributions and tortuosity factors is required to obtain the gas transport properties. We perform numerical simulations to prove the relation between them. Porous media are numerically constructed while satisfying given pore size distributions. Then, the mean-square displacement simulation is performed to obtain the tortuosity factors of the constructed porous media.. This paper is based on results obtained from a project commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Development Organization (NEDO).

  13. Pore structure and function of synthetic nanopores with fixed charges: tip shape and rectification properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    RamIrez, Patricio [Departament de Fisica Aplicada, Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, E-46022 Valencia (Spain); Apel, Pavel Yu [Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Joliot-Curie street 6, 141980 Dubna (Russian Federation); Cervera, Javier; Mafe, Salvador [Departament de Fisica de la Terra i Termodinamica, Universitat de Valencia, E-46100 Burjassot (Spain)], E-mail:


    We present a complete theoretical study of the relationship between the structure (tip shape and dimensions) and function (selectivity and rectification) of asymmetric nanopores on the basis of previous experimental studies. The theoretical model uses a continuum approach based on the Nernst-Planck equations. According to our results, the nanopore transport properties, such as current-voltage (I-V) characteristics, conductance, rectification ratio, and selectivity, are dictated mainly by the shape of the pore tip (we have distinguished bullet-like, conical, trumpet-like, and hybrid shapes) and the concentration of pore surface charges. As a consequence, the nanopore performance in practical applications will depend not only on the base and tip openings but also on the pore shape. In particular, we show that the pore opening dimensions estimated from the pore conductance can be very different, depending on the pore shape assumed. The results obtained can also be of practical relevance for the design of nanopores, nanopipettes, and nanoelectrodes, where the electrical interactions between the charges attached to the nanostructure and the mobile charges confined in the reduced volume of the inside solution dictate the device performance in practical applications. Because single tracks are the elementary building blocks for nanoporous membranes, the understanding and control of their individual properties should also be crucial in protein separation, water desalination, and bio-molecule detection using arrays of identical nanopores.

  14. Block copolymer membranes for aqueous solution applications

    KAUST Repository

    Nunes, Suzana Pereira


    Block copolymers are known for their intricate morphology. We review the state of the art of block copolymer membranes and discuss perspectives in this field. The main focus is on pore morphology tuning with a short introduction on non-porous membranes. The two main strategies for pore formation in block copolymer membranes are (i) film casting and selective block sacrifice and (ii) self-assembly and non-solvent induced phase separation (SNIPS). Different fundamental aspects involved in the manufacture of block copolymer membranes are considered, including factors affecting the equilibrium morphology in solid films, self-assembly of copolymer in solutions and macrophase separation by solvent-non-solvent exchange. Different mechanisms are proposed for different depths of the SNIPS membrane. Block copolymer membranes can be prepared with much narrower pore size distribution than homopolymer membranes. Open questions and indications of what we consider the next development steps are finally discussed. They include the synthesis and application of new copolymers and specific functionalization, adding characteristics to respond to stimuli and chemical environment, polymerization-induced phase separation, and the manufacture of organic-inorganic hybrids.

  15. Plasma membrane changes during programmed cell deaths. (United States)

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


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

  16. Single channel analysis of membrane proteins in artificial bilayer membranes. (United States)

    Bartsch, Philipp; Harsman, Anke; Wagner, Richard


    The planar lipid bilayer technique is a powerful experimental approach for electrical single channel recordings of pore-forming membrane proteins in a chemically well-defined and easily modifiable environment. Here we provide a general survey of the basic materials and procedures required to set up a robust bilayer system and perform electrophysiological single channel recordings of reconstituted proteins suitable for the in-depth characterization of their functional properties.

  17. Silver-enhanced block copolymer membranes with biocidal activity

    KAUST Repository

    Madhavan, Poornima


    Silver nanoparticles were deposited on the surface and pore walls of block copolymer membranes with highly ordered pore structure. Pyridine blocks constitute the pore surfaces, complexing silver ions and promoting a homogeneous distribution. Nanoparticles were then formed by reduction with sodium borohydride. The morphology varied with the preparation conditions (pH and silver ion concentration), as confirmed by field emission scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Silver has a strong biocide activity, which for membranes can bring the advantage of minimizing the growth of bacteria and formation of biofilm. The membranes with nanoparticles prepared under different pH values and ion concentrations were incubated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and compared with the control. The strongest biocidal activity was achieved with membranes containing membranes prepared under pH 9. Under these conditions, the best distribution with small particle size was observed by microscopy.

  18. Membrane fusion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bendix, Pól Martin


    At Stanford University, Boxer lab, I worked on membrane fusion of small unilamellar lipid vesicles to flat membranes tethered to glass surfaces. This geometry closely resembles biological systems in which liposomes fuse to plasma membranes. The fusion mechanism was studied using DNA zippering...... between complementary strands linked to the two apposing membranes closely mimicking the zippering mechanism of SNARE fusion complexes....

  19. Biobased Membrane

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koenders, E.A.B.; Zlopasa, J.; Picken, S.J.


    The present invention is in the field of a composition for forming a bio-compatible membrane applicable to building material, such as concrete, cement, etc., to a meth od of applying said composition for forming a bio-compatible membrane, a biocompatible membrane, use of said membrane for various

  20. Enlarged facial pores: an update on treatments. (United States)

    Dong, Joanna; Lanoue, Julien; Goldenberg, Gary


    Enlarged facial pores remain a common dermatologic and cosmetic concern from acne and rosacea, among other conditions, that is difficult to treat due to the multifactorial nature of their pathogenesis and negative impact on patients' quality of life. Enlarged facial pores are primarily treated through addressing associative factors, such as increased sebum production and cutaneous aging. We review the current treatment modalities for enlarged or dense facial pores, including topical retinoids, chemical peels, oral antiandrogens, and lasers and devices, with a focus on newer therapies.

  1. Particle diffusion in complex nanoscale pore networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Müter, Dirk; Sørensen, Henning Osholm; Bock, H.


    We studied the diffusion of particles in the highly irregular pore networks of chalk, a very fine-grained rock, by combining three-dimensional X-ray imaging and dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) simulations. X-ray imaging data were collected at 25 nm voxel dimension for two chalk samples...... with very different porosities (4% and 26%). The three-dimensional pore systems derived from the tomograms were imported into DPD simulations and filled with spherical particles of variable diameter and with an optional attractive interaction to the pore surfaces. We found that diffusion significantly...

  2. Control of pore size in epoxy systems.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sawyer, Patricia Sue; Lenhart, Joseph Ludlow (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND); Lee, Elizabeth (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND); Kallam, Alekhya (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND); Majumdar, Partha (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND); Dirk, Shawn M.; Gubbins, Nathan; Chisholm, Bret J. (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND); Celina, Mathias C.; Bahr, James (North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND); Klein, Robert J.


    Both conventional and combinatorial approaches were used to study the pore formation process in epoxy based polymer systems. Sandia National Laboratories conducted the initial work and collaborated with North Dakota State University (NDSU) using a combinatorial research approach to produce a library of novel monomers and crosslinkers capable of forming porous polymers. The library was screened to determine the physical factors that control porosity, such as porogen loading, polymer-porogen interactions, and polymer crosslink density. We have identified the physical and chemical factors that control the average porosity, pore size, and pore size distribution within epoxy based systems.

  3. Membrane fouling and wetting in membrane distillation and their mitigation by novel membranes with special wettability. (United States)

    Wang, Zhangxin; Lin, Shihong


    Membrane distillation (MD) has been identified as a promising technology to desalinate the hypersaline wastewaters from fracking and other industries. However, conventional hydrophobic MD membranes are highly susceptible to fouling and/or wetting by the hydrophobic and/or amphiphilic constituents in these wastewaters of complex compositions. This study systematically investigates the impact of the surface wetting properties on the membrane wetting and/or fouling behaviors in MD. Specifically, we compare the wetting and fouling resistance of three types of membranes of different wetting properties, including hydrophobic and omniphobic membranes as well as composite membranes with a hydrophobic substrate and a superhydrophilic top surface. We challenged the MD membranes with hypersaline feed solutions that contained a relatively high concentration of crude oil with and without added synthetic surfactants, Triton X-100. We found that the composite membranes with superhydrophilic top surface were robustly resistant to oil fouling in the absence of Triton X-100, but were subject to pore wetting in the presence of Triton X-100. On the other hand, the omniphobic membranes were easily fouled by oil-in-water emulsion without Triton X-100, but successfully sustained stable MD performance with Triton X-100 stabilized oil-in-water emulsion as the feed solution. In contrast, the conventional hydrophobic membranes failed readily regardless whether Triton X-100 was present, although via different mechanisms. These findings are corroborated by contact angle measures as well as oil-probe force spectroscopy. This study provides a holistic picture regarding how a hydrophobic membrane fails in MD and how we can leverage membranes with special wettability to prevent membrane failure in MD operations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Designing block copolymer architectures for targeted membrane performance

    KAUST Repository

    Dorin, Rachel Mika


    Using a combination of block copolymer self-assembly and non-solvent induced phase separation, isoporous ultrafiltration membranes were fabricated from four poly(isoprene-b-styrene-b-4-vinylpyridine) triblock terpolymers with similar block volume fractions but varying in total molar mass from 43 kg/mol to 115 kg/mol to systematically study the effect of polymer size on membrane structure. Small-angle X-ray scattering was used to probe terpolymer solution structure in the dope. All four triblocks displayed solution scattering patterns consistent with a body-centered cubic morphology. After membrane formation, structures were characterized using a combination of scanning electron microscopy and filtration performance tests. Membrane pore densities that ranged from 4.53 × 1014 to 1.48 × 1015 pores/m 2 were observed, which are the highest pore densities yet reported for membranes using self-assembly and non-solvent induced phase separation. Hydraulic permeabilities ranging from 24 to 850 L m-2 h-1 bar-1 and pore diameters ranging from 7 to 36 nm were determined from permeation and rejection experiments. Both the hydraulic permeability and pore size increased with increasing molar mass of the parent terpolymer. The combination of polymer characterization and membrane transport tests described here demonstrates the ability to rationally design macromolecular structures to target specific performance characteristics in block copolymer derived ultrafiltration membranes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Theoretical investigation of gas separation in functionalized nanoporous graphene membranes (United States)

    Wang, Yong; Yang, Qingyuan; Zhong, Chongli; Li, Jinping


    Graphene has enormous potential as a membrane-separation material with ultrahigh permeability and selectivity. The understanding of mass-transport mechanism in graphene membranes is crucial for applications in gas separation field. We computationally investigated the capability and mechanisms of functionalized nanoporous graphene membranes for gas separation. The functionalized graphene membranes with appropriate pore size and geometry possess excellent high selectivity for separating CO2/N2, CO2/CH4 and N2/CH4 gas mixtures with a gas permeance of ∼103-105 GPU, compared with ∼100 GPU for typical polymeric membranes. More important, we found that, for ultrathin graphene membranes, the gas separation performance has a great dependence not only with the energy barrier for gas getting into the pore of the graphene membranes, but also with the energy barrier for gas escaping from the pore to the other side of the membranes. The gas separation performance can be tuned by changing the two energy barriers, which can be realized by varying the chemical functional groups on the pore rim of the graphene. The novel mass-transport mechanism obtained in current study may provide a theoretical foundation for guiding the future design of graphene membranes with outstanding separation performance.

  6. Photo-switchable membrane and method (United States)

    Marshall, Kenneth L; Glowacki, Eric


    Switchable gas permeation membranes in which a photo-switchable low-molecular-weight liquid crystalline (LC) material acts as the active element, and a method of making such membranes. Different LC eutectic mixtures were doped with mesogenic azo dyes and infused into track-etched porous membranes with regular cylindrical pores. Photo-induced isothermal phase changes in the imbibed mesogenic material afforded large, reversible changes in the permeability of the photo-switchable membrane to nitrogen. For example, membranes imbibed with a photo-switchable cyanobiphenyl LC material demonstrated low permeability in the nematic state, while the photo-generated isotropic state demonstrated a 16.times.-greater sorption coefficient. Both states obey a high linear sorption behavior in accordance with Henry's Law. In contrast, membranes imbibed with a photo-switchable phenyl benzoate LC material showed the opposite permeability behavior to the biphenyl-imbibed membrane, along with nonlinear sorption behavior.

  7. Estimation of pore pressure from seismic velocities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perez, Zayra; Ojeda, German Y; Mateus, Darwin


    On pore pressure calculations it is common to obtain a profile in a well bore, which is then extrapolated toward offset wells. This practice might generate mistakes on pore pressure measurements, since geological conditions may change from a well bore to another, even into the same basin. Therefore, it is important to use other tools which allow engineers not only to detect and estimate in an indirect way overpressure zones, but also to keep a lateral tracking of possible changes that may affect those values in the different formations. Taking into account this situation, we applied a methodology that estimates formation pressure from 3D seismic velocities by using the Eaton method. First, we estimated formation pore pressure; then, we identified possible overpressure zones. Finally, those results obtained from seismic information were analyzed involving well logs and pore pressure tests, in order to compare real data with prediction based on seismic information from the Colombian foothill.

  8. Block copolymer structures in nano-pores (United States)

    Pinna, Marco; Guo, Xiaohu; Zvelindovsky, Andrei


    We present results of coarse-grained computer modelling of block copolymer systems in cylindrical and spherical nanopores on Cell Dynamics Simulation. We study both cylindrical and spherical pores and systematically investigate structures formed by lamellar, cylinders and spherical block copolymer systems for various pore radii and affinity of block copolymer blocks to the pore walls. The obtained structures include: standing lamellae and cylinders, ``onions,'' cylinder ``knitting balls,'' ``golf-ball,'' layered spherical, ``virus''-like and mixed morphologies with T-junctions and U-type defects [1]. Kinetics of the structure formation and the differences with planar films are discussed. Our simulations suggest that novel porous nano-containers can be formed by confining block copolymers in pores of different geometries [1,2]. [4pt] [1] M. Pinna, X. Guo, A.V. Zvelindovsky, Polymer 49, 2797 (2008).[0pt] [2] M. Pinna, X. Guo, A.V. Zvelindovsky, J. Chem. Phys. 131, 214902 (2009).

  9. Pore structure in blended cement pastes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Canut, Mariana Moreira Cavalcanti

    Supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs), such as slag and fly ash, are increasingly used as a substitute for Portland cement in the interests of improvement of engineering properties and sustainability of concrete. According to studies improvement of engineering properties can be explained...... supplement each other. Cement pastes (w/b=0.4) with and without slag and fly ash cured at two moisture (sealed and saturated) and temperature (20 and 55ºC) conditions were used to investigate the combined impact of SCMs addition and curing on the pore structure of pastes cured up to two years. Also...... volume and threshold pore size were found when comparing with plain cement paste at the same curing conditions. The porosity methods MIP, LTC and SEM have been shown to be suitable to characterise pore parameters of the pastes. MIP is a simple and fast method which covers a large range of pore sizes...

  10. Flame assisted synthesis of catalytic ceramic membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansen, Johnny; Mosleh, Majid; Johannessen, Tue


    Membranes consisting of one or more metal oxides can be synthesized by flame pyrolysis. The general principle behind flame pyrolysis is the decomposition and oxidation of evaporated organo-metallic precursors in a flame, thereby forming metal oxide monomers. Because of the extreme supersaturation...... technology it is possible to make supported catalysts, composite metal oxides, catalytically active surfaces, and porous ceramic membranes. Membrane layers can be formed by using a porous substrate tube (or surface) as a nano-particle filter. The aerosol gas from the flame is led through a porous substrate......, membranes with pore sizes below 5 nm have been produced by this continuous filtration of nano-particles. In this way, top-layers with Knudsen separation have been achieved by a reduction of the pore size of three orders of magnitude within an hour. It has previously been shown that it also is possible...

  11. Conical Nanopore PC Membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clochard, M. C.


    Template synthesis can be considered an alternative to conventional lithography methods. It is one way of providing a panel of nanoscale metallic wires, tubes or organic polymeric devices. Our interest is focused on track-etched membranes produced from swift heavy ions bombardment of polymer films. In comparison with self-assembly of block copolymers, this bottom-up approach has the advantage of being economic, it is not time-consuming and it allows track formation of diverse geometries. Tailoring of the conical nanopore tip opening would have a tremendous impact on sensing domain, as well as on fundamental understanding of perpendicular giant magneto Resistance properties observed in metallic multilayered cylindrical nanowires. By combining low-energy heavy ion beam radiation effects with asymmetric etching, the etching temperature and time can be tuned to prepare conical nanopores of controlled geometry from 0.5 to 1μm at the base to a few nanometers at the top. Asymmetric etching onto PC films was pH-monitored at various temperatures in the range of 65 degree to 80 degree. Fluence impact onto track etch pores was also investigated. The pore shape characterization was achieved by electronic microscopy measurements on membrane surfaces and on electrodeposited nanowires. We have also observed a difference in the conical shape of replicated nanowires. Some showed sting shapes and others displayed shell shapes depending on whether a neutralizing agent was used during etching or not

  12. Preparation of poly(2-chloroaniline) membrane and plasma surface modification

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kir, E.; Oksuz, L.; Helhel, S.


    P2ClAn membranes were obtained from chemically synthesized poly(2-chloroaniline) (P2ClAn) by casting method. These membranes were cast from dimethyl formamide (DMF) and were in the undoped state. P2ClAn membranes were characterized by Fourier infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Measurements of water content capacity, membrane thickness and ion-exchange capacity of the cast membranes were carried out. P2ClAn membranes were treated by electron cylotron resonance (ECR) plasma for surface modification. Plasma treatment has been successfully utilized for improving the surface properties of P2ClAn membranes such as increasing pore diameters and number of pores for better anion or molecule transportation

  13. Gas Permeation Characteristics across Nano-Porous Inorganic Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.R Othman, H. Mukhtar


    Full Text Available An overview of parameters affecting gas permeation in inorganic membranes is presented. These factors include membrane physical characteristics, operational parameters and gas molecular characteristics. The membrane physical characteristics include membrane materials and surface area, porosity, pore size and pore size distribution and membrane morphology. The operational parameters include feed flow rate and concentration, stage cut, temperature and pressure. The gas molecular characteristics include gas molecular weight, diameter, critical temperature, critical pressure, Lennard-Jones parameters and diffusion volumes. The current techniques of material characterization may require complementary method in describing microscopic heterogeneity of the porous ceramic media. The method to be incorporated in the future will be to apply a stochastic model and/or fractal dimension. Keywords: Inorganic membrane, surface adsorption, Knudsen diffusion, Micro-porous membrane, permeation, gas separation.

  14. Cell membrane structures during exocytosis. (United States)

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


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

  15. Visualization of enzyme activities inside earthworm pores (United States)

    Hoang, Duyen; Razavi, Bahar S.


    In extremely dynamic microhabitats as bio-pores made by earthworm, the in situ enzyme activities are assumed as a footprint of complex biotic interactions. Our study focused on the effect of earthworm on the enzyme activities inside bio-pores and visualizing the differences between bio-pores and earthworm-free soil by zymography technique (Spohn and Kuzyakov, 2013). For the first time, we aimed at quantitative imaging of enzyme activities in bio-pores. Lumbricus terrestris L. was placed into transparent box (15×20×15cm). After two weeks when bio-pore systems were formed by earthworms, we visualized in situ enzyme activities of five hydrolytic enzymes (β-glucosidase, cellobiohydrolase, chitinase, xylanase, leucine-aminopeptidase, and phosphatase. Zymography showed higher activity of β-glucosidase, chitinase, xylanase and phosphatase in biopores comparing to bulk soil. However, the differences in activity of cellobiohydrolase and leucine aminopeptidase between bio-pore and bulk soil were less pronounced. This demonstrated an applicability of zymography approach to monitor and to distinguish the in situ activity of hydrolytic enzymes in soil biopores.

  16. Electrical trapping mechanism of single-microparticles in a pore sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akihide Arima


    Full Text Available Nanopore sensing via resistive pulse technique are utilized as a potent tool to characterize physical and chemical property of single –molecules and –particles. In this article, we studied the influence of particle trajectory to the ionic conductance through a pore. We performed the optical/electrical simultaneous sensing of electrophoretic capture dynamics of single-particles at a pore using a microchannel/nanopore system. We detected ionic current drops synchronous to a fluorescently dyed particle being electrophoretically drawn and become immobilized at a pore in the optical imaging. We also identified anomalous trapping events wherein particles were captured at nanoscale pin-holes formed unintentionally in a SiN membrane that gave rise to relatively small current drops. This method is expected to be a useful platform for testing novel nanopore sensor design wherein current behaves in unpredictable manner.

  17. Functional characterization of sticholysin I and W111C mutant reveals the sequence of the actinoporin's pore assembly.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valeria Antonini

    Full Text Available The use of pore-forming toxins in the construction of immunotoxins against tumour cells is an alternative for cancer therapy. In this protein family one of the most potent toxins are the actinoporins, cytolysins from sea anemones. We work on the construction of tumour proteinase-activated immunotoxins using sticholysin I (StI, an actinoporin isolated from the sea anemone Stichodactyla helianthus. To accomplish this objective, recombinant StI (StIr with a mutation in the membrane binding region has been employed. In this work, it was evaluated the impact of mutating tryptophan 111 to cysteine on the toxin pore forming capability. StI W111C is still able to permeabilize erythrocytes and liposomes, but at ten-fold higher concentration than StI. This is due to its lower affinity for the membrane, which corroborates the importance of residue 111 for the binding of actinoporins to the lipid bilayer. In agreement, other functional characteristics not directly associated to the binding, are essentially the same for both variants, that is, pores have oligomeric structures with similar radii, conductance, cation-selectivity, and instantaneous current-voltage behavior. In addition, this work provides experimental evidence sustaining the toroidal protein-lipid actinoporins lytic structures, since the toxins provoke the trans-bilayer movement (flip-flop of a pyrene-labeled analogue of phosphatidylcholine in liposomes, indicating the existence of continuity between the outer and the inner membrane leaflet. Finally, our planar lipid membranes results have also contributed to a better understanding of the actinoporin's pore assembly mechanism. After the toxin binding and the N-terminal insertion in the lipid membrane, the pore assembly occurs by passing through different transient sub-conductance states. These states, usually 3 or 4, are due to the successive incorporation of N-terminal α-helices and lipid heads to the growing pores until a stable toroidal

  18. Pore REconstruction and Segmentation (PORES) method for improved porosity quantification of nanoporous materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Eyndhoven, G., E-mail: [iMinds-Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Kurttepeli, M. [EMAT, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Van Oers, C.J.; Cool, P. [Laboratory of Adsorption and Catalysis, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Bals, S. [EMAT, University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Batenburg, K.J. [iMinds-Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Centrum Wiskunde and Informatica, Science Park 123, NL-1090 GB Amsterdam (Netherlands); Mathematical Institute, Universiteit Leiden, Niels Bohrweg 1, NL-2333 CA Leiden (Netherlands); Sijbers, J. [iMinds-Vision Lab, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, B-2610 Wilrijk (Belgium)


    Electron tomography is currently a versatile tool to investigate the connection between the structure and properties of nanomaterials. However, a quantitative interpretation of electron tomography results is still far from straightforward. Especially accurate quantification of pore-space is hampered by artifacts introduced in all steps of the processing chain, i.e., acquisition, reconstruction, segmentation and quantification. Furthermore, most common approaches require subjective manual user input. In this paper, the PORES algorithm “POre REconstruction and Segmentation” is introduced; it is a tailor-made, integral approach, for the reconstruction, segmentation, and quantification of porous nanomaterials. The PORES processing chain starts by calculating a reconstruction with a nanoporous-specific reconstruction algorithm: the Simultaneous Update of Pore Pixels by iterative REconstruction and Simple Segmentation algorithm (SUPPRESS). It classifies the interior region to the pores during reconstruction, while reconstructing the remaining region by reducing the error with respect to the acquired electron microscopy data. The SUPPRESS reconstruction can be directly plugged into the remaining processing chain of the PORES algorithm, resulting in accurate individual pore quantification and full sample pore statistics. The proposed approach was extensively validated on both simulated and experimental data, indicating its ability to generate accurate statistics of nanoporous materials. - Highlights: • An electron tomography reconstruction/segmentation method for nanoporous materials. • The method exploits the porous nature of the scanned material. • Validated extensively on both simulation and real data experiments. • Results in increased image resolution and improved porosity quantification.

  19. Dynamics of polynucleotide transport through nanometre-scale pores

    CERN Document Server

    Meller, A


    The transport of biopolymers through large membrane channels is a ubiquitous process in biology. It is central to processes such as gene transfer by transduction and RNA transport through nuclear pore complexes. The transport of polymers through nanoscopic channels is also of interest to physicists and chemists studying the effects of steric, hydrodynamic, and electrostatic interactions between polymers and confining walls. Single-channel ion current measurements have been recently used to study the transport of biopolymers, and in particular single-stranded DNA and RNA molecules, through nanometre-size channels. Under the influence of an electric field, the negatively charged polynucleotides can be captured and drawn through the channel in a process termed 'translocation'. During translocation, the ion current flowing through the channel is mostly blocked, indicating the presence of the polymer inside the channel. The current blockades were found to be sensitive to the properties of the biopolymers such as t...

  20. The mitochondrial permeability transition pore: a mystery solved? (United States)

    Bernardi, Paolo


    The permeability transition (PT) denotes an increase of the mitochondrial inner membrane permeability to solutes with molecular masses up to about 1500 Da. It is presumed to be mediated by opening of a channel, the permeability transition pore (PTP), whose molecular nature remains a mystery. Here I briefly review the history of the PTP, discuss existing models, and present our new results indicating that reconstituted dimers of the FOF1 ATP synthase form a channel with properties identical to those of the mitochondrial megachannel (MMC), the electrophysiological equivalent of the PTP. Open questions remain, but there is now promise that the PTP can be studied by genetic methods to solve the large number of outstanding problems. PMID:23675351

  1. Lipopeptide surfactants: Production, recovery and pore forming capacity. (United States)

    Inès, Mnif; Dhouha, Ghribi


    Lipopeptides are microbial surface active compounds produced by a wide variety of bacteria, fungi and yeast. They are characterized by highly structural diversity and have the ability to decrease the surface and interfacial tension at the surface and interface, respectively. Surfactin, iturin and fengycin of Bacillus subtilis are among the most studied lipopeptides. This review will present the main factors encountering lipopeptides production along with the techniques developed for their extraction and purification. Moreover, we will discuss their ability to form pores and destabilize biological membrane permitting their use as antimicrobial, hemolytic and antitumor agents. These open great potential applications in biomediacal, pharmaceutic and agriculture fields. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Toward highly stable electrocatalysts via nanoparticle pore confinement. (United States)

    Galeano, Carolina; Meier, Josef C; Peinecke, Volker; Bongard, Hans; Katsounaros, Ioannis; Topalov, Angel A; Lu, Anhui; Mayrhofer, Karl J J; Schüth, Ferdi


    The durability of electrode materials is a limiting parameter for many electrochemical energy conversion systems. In particular, electrocatalysts for the essential oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) present some of the most challenging instability issues shortening their practical lifetime. Here, we report a mesostructured graphitic carbon support, Hollow Graphitic Spheres (HGS) with a specific surface area exceeding 1000 m(2) g(-1) and precisely controlled pore structure, that was specifically developed to overcome the long-term catalyst degradation, while still sustaining high activity. The synthetic pathway leads to platinum nanoparticles of approximately 3 to 4 nm size encapsulated in the HGS pore structure that are stable at 850 °C and, more importantly, during simulated accelerated electrochemical aging. Moreover, the high stability of the cathode electrocatalyst is also retained in a fully assembled polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Identical location scanning and scanning transmission electron microscopy (IL-SEM and IL-STEM) conclusively proved that during electrochemical cycling the encapsulation significantly suppresses detachment and agglomeration of Pt nanoparticles, two of the major degradation mechanisms in fuel cell catalysts of this particle size. Thus, beyond providing an improved electrocatalyst, this study describes the blueprint for targeted improvement of fuel cell catalysts by design of the carbon support.

  3. NMDA receptor structures reveal subunit arrangement and pore architecture. (United States)

    Lee, Chia-Hsueh; Lü, Wei; Michel, Jennifer Carlisle; Goehring, April; Du, Juan; Song, Xianqiang; Gouaux, Eric


    N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are Hebbian-like coincidence detectors, requiring binding of glycine and glutamate in combination with the relief of voltage-dependent magnesium block to open an ion conductive pore across the membrane bilayer. Despite the importance of the NMDA receptor in the development and function of the brain, a molecular structure of an intact receptor has remained elusive. Here we present X-ray crystal structures of the Xenopus laevis GluN1-GluN2B NMDA receptor with the allosteric inhibitor, Ro25-6981, partial agonists and the ion channel blocker, MK-801. Receptor subunits are arranged in a 1-2-1-2 fashion, demonstrating extensive interactions between the amino-terminal and ligand-binding domains. The transmembrane domains harbour a closed-blocked ion channel, a pyramidal central vestibule lined by residues implicated in binding ion channel blockers and magnesium, and a ∼twofold symmetric arrangement of ion channel pore loops. These structures provide new insights into the architecture, allosteric coupling and ion channel function of NMDA receptors.

  4. NMDA receptor structures reveal subunit arrangement and pore architecture (United States)

    Lee, Chia-Hsueh; Lü, Wei; Michel, Jennifer Carlisle; Goehring, April; Du, Juan; Song, Xianqiang; Gouaux, Eric


    Summary N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are Hebbian-like coincidence detectors, requiring binding of glycine and glutamate in combination with the relief of voltage-dependent magnesium block to open an ion conductive pore across the membrane bilayer. Despite the importance of the NMDA receptor in the development and function of the brain, a molecular structure of an intact receptor has remained elusive. Here we present x-ray crystal structures of the GluN1/GluN2B NMDA receptor with the allosteric inhibitor, Ro25-6981, partial agonists and the ion channel blocker, MK-801. Receptor subunits are arranged in a 1-2-1-2 fashion, demonstrating extensive interactions between the amino terminal and ligand binding domains. The transmembrane domains harbor a closed-blocked ion channel, a pyramidal central vestibule lined by residues implicated in binding ion channel blockers and magnesium, and a ~2-fold symmetric arrangement of ion channel pore loops. These structures provide new insights into the architecture, allosteric coupling and ion channel function of NMDA receptors. PMID:25008524

  5. In situ structural analysis of the human nuclear pore complex. (United States)

    von Appen, Alexander; Kosinski, Jan; Sparks, Lenore; Ori, Alessandro; DiGuilio, Amanda L; Vollmer, Benjamin; Mackmull, Marie-Therese; Banterle, Niccolo; Parca, Luca; Kastritis, Panagiotis; Buczak, Katarzyna; Mosalaganti, Shyamal; Hagen, Wim; Andres-Pons, Amparo; Lemke, Edward A; Bork, Peer; Antonin, Wolfram; Glavy, Joseph S; Bui, Khanh Huy; Beck, Martin


    Nuclear pore complexes are fundamental components of all eukaryotic cells that mediate nucleocytoplasmic exchange. Determining their 110-megadalton structure imposes a formidable challenge and requires in situ structural biology approaches. Of approximately 30 nucleoporins (Nups), 15 are structured and form the Y and inner-ring complexes. These two major scaffolding modules assemble in multiple copies into an eight-fold rotationally symmetric structure that fuses the inner and outer nuclear membranes to form a central channel of ~60 nm in diameter. The scaffold is decorated with transport-channel Nups that often contain phenylalanine-repeat sequences and mediate the interaction with cargo complexes. Although the architectural arrangement of parts of the Y complex has been elucidated, it is unclear how exactly it oligomerizes in situ. Here we combine cryo-electron tomography with mass spectrometry, biochemical analysis, perturbation experiments and structural modelling to generate, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive architectural model of the human nuclear pore complex to date. Our data suggest previously unknown protein interfaces across Y complexes and to inner-ring complex members. We show that the transport-channel Nup358 (also known as Ranbp2) has a previously unanticipated role in Y-complex oligomerization. Our findings blur the established boundaries between scaffold and transport-channel Nups. We conclude that, similar to coated vesicles, several copies of the same structural building block--although compositionally identical--engage in different local sets of interactions and conformations.

  6. New bimodal pore catalysts for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shinoda, Misao; Zhang, Yi; Yoneyama, Yoshiharu; Hasegawa, Kiyoshi; Tsubaki, Noritatsu [Department of Material System and Life Science, School of Engineering, Toyama University, Gofuku 3190, Toyama 930-8555 (Japan)


    A simple preparation method of bimodal pore supports was developed by introducing SiO{sub 2} or ZrO{sub 2} sols into large pores of SiO{sub 2} gel pellets directly. The pores of the obtained bimodal pore supports distributed distinctly as two kinds of main pores. On the other hand, the increased BET surface area and decreased pore volume, compared to those of original silica gel, indicated that the obtained bimodal pore supports formed according to the designed route. The obtained bimodal pore supports were applied in liquid-phase Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) where cobalt was supported. The bimodal pore catalysts presented the best reaction performance in liquid-phase Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) as higher reaction rate and lower methane selectivities, because the spatial promotional effect of bimodal pore structure and chemical effect of the porous zirconia behaved inside the large pores of original silica gel.

  7. Structural basis for pore-forming mechanism of staphylococcal α-hemolysin. (United States)

    Sugawara, Takaki; Yamashita, Daichi; Kato, Koji; Peng, Zhao; Ueda, Junki; Kaneko, Jun; Kamio, Yoshiyuki; Tanaka, Yoshikazu; Yao, Min


    Staphylococcal α-hemolysin (α-HL) is a β-barrel pore-forming toxin (PFT) expressed by Staphylococcus aureus. α-HL is secreted as a water-soluble monomeric protein, which binds to target membranes and forms membrane-inserted heptameric pores. To explore the pore-forming mechanism of α-HL in detail, we determined the crystal structure of the α-HL monomer and prepore using H35A mutant and W179A/R200A mutant, respectively. Although the overall structure of the monomer was similar to that of other staphylococcal PFTs, a marked difference was observed in the N-terminal amino latch, which bent toward the prestem. Moreover, the prestem was fastened by the cap domain with a key hydrogen bond between Asp45 and Tyr118. Prepore structure showed that the transmembrane region is roughly formed with flexibility, although the upper half of the β-barrel is formed appropriately. Structure comparison among monomer, prepore and pore revealed a series of motions, in which the N-terminal amino latch released upon oligomerization destroys its own key hydrogen bond between Asp45-Tyr118. This action initiated the protrusion of the prestem. Y118F mutant and the N-terminal truncated mutant markedly decreased in the hemolytic activity, indicating the importance of the key hydrogen bond and the N-terminal amino latch on the pore formation. Based on these observations, we proposed a dynamic molecular mechanism of pore formation for α-HL. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Highly Hydrothermally Stable Microporous Membranes for Hydroge Separation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wei, Qi; Wang, Fei; Wang, F.; Nie, Zuo-Ren; Song, C.; Wang, Yan-Li; Li, Qun-Yan


    Fluorocarbon-modified silica membranes were deposited on γ-Al2O3/α-Al2O3 supports by the sol−gel technique for hydrogen separation. The hydrophobic property, pore structure, gas transport and separation performance, and hydrothermal stability of the modified membranes were investigated. It is


    Zeolite membranes are well suited for separating liquid-phase mixtures by pervaporation because of their molecular-sized pores and their hydrophilic/hydrophobic nature, and the first commercial application of zeolite membranes has been for dehydrating organics [1]. Because of ...

  10. Facial skin pores: a multiethnic study. (United States)

    Flament, Frederic; Francois, Ghislain; Qiu, Huixia; Ye, Chengda; Hanaya, Tomoo; Batisse, Dominique; Cointereau-Chardon, Suzy; Seixas, Mirela Donato Gianeti; Dal Belo, Susi Elaine; Bazin, Roland


    Skin pores (SP), as they are called by laymen, are common and benign features mostly located on the face (nose, cheeks, etc) that generate many aesthetic concerns or complaints. Despite the prevalence of skin pores, related literature is scarce. With the aim of describing the prevalence of skin pores and anatomic features among ethnic groups, a dermatoscopic instrument, using polarized lighting, coupled to a digital camera recorded the major features of skin pores (size, density, coverage) on the cheeks of 2,585 women in different countries and continents. A detection threshold of 250 μm, correlated to clinical scorings by experts, was input into a specific software to further allow for automatic counting of the SP density (N/cm(2)) and determination of their respective sizes in mm(2). Integrating both criteria also led to establishing the relative part of the skin surface (as a percentage) that is actually covered by SP on cheeks. The results showed that the values of respective sizes, densities, and skin coverage: 1) were recorded in all studied subjects; 2) varied greatly with ethnicity; 3) plateaued with age in most cases; and 4) globally refected self-assessment by subjects, in particular those who self-declare having "enlarged pores" like Brazilian women. Inversely, Chinese women were clearly distinct from other ethnicities in having very low density and sizes. Analyzing the present results suggests that facial skin pore's morphology as perceived by human eye less result from functional criteria of associated appendages such as sebaceous glands. To what extent skin pores may be viewed as additional criteria of a photo-altered skin is an issue to be further addressed.

  11. Pore fluid pressure and the seismic cycle (United States)

    French, M. E.; Zhu, W.; Hirth, G.; Belzer, B.


    In the brittle crust, the critical shear stress required for fault slip decreases with increasing pore fluid pressures according to the effective stress criterion. As a result, higher pore fluid pressures are thought to promote fault slip and seismogenesis, consistent with observations that increasing fluid pressure as a result of wastewater injection is correlated with increased seismicity. On the other hand, elevated pore fluid pressure is also proposed to promote slow stable failure rather than seismicity along some fault zones, including during slow slip in subduction zones. Here we review recent experimental evidence for the roles that pore fluid pressure and the effective stress play in controlling fault slip behavior. Using two sets of experiments on serpentine fault gouge, we show that increasing fluid pressure does decrease the shear stress for reactivation under brittle conditions. However, under semi-brittle conditions as expected near the base of the seismogenic zone, high pore fluid pressures are much less effective at reducing the shear stress of reactivation even though deformation is localized and frictional. We use an additional study on serpentinite to show that cohesive fault rocks, potentially the product of healing and cementation, experience an increase in fracture energy during faulting as fluid pressures approach lithostatic, which can lead to more stable failure. Structural observations show that the increased fracture energy is associated with a greater intensity of transgranular fracturing and delocalization of deformation. Experiments on several lithologies indicate that the stabilizing effect of fluid pressure occurs independent of rock composition and hydraulic properties. Thus, high pore fluid pressures have the potential to either enhance seismicity or promote stable faulting depending on pressure, temperature, and fluid pressure conditions. Together, the results of these studies indicate that pore fluid pressure promotes

  12. The Role of Ion Selectivity of the Fusion Pore on Transmission and the Exocytosis of Neurotransmitters and Hormones (United States)

    Delacruz, Joannalyn Bongar

    Healthy nervous system function depends on proper transmission. Synaptic transmission occurs by the release of transmitters from vesicles that fuse to the plasma membrane of a pre-synaptic cell. Regulated release of neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and hormones occurs by exocytosis, initiated by the formation of the fusion pore. The initial fusion pore has molecular dimensions with a diameter of 1-2 nm and a rapid lifetime on the millisecond time scale. It connects the vesicular lumen and extracellular space, serving as an important step for regulating the release of charged transmitters. Comprehending the molecular structure and biophysical properties of the fusion pore is essential for a mechanistic understanding of vesicle-plasma membrane fusion and transmitter release. Release of charged transmitter molecules such as glutamate, acetylcholine, dopamine, or noradrenaline through a narrow fusion pore requires compensation of change in charge. Transmitter release through the fusion pore is therefore an electrodiffusion process. If the fusion pore is selective for specific ions, then its selectivity will affect the rate of transmitter release via the voltage gradient that develops across the fusion pore. The elucidation of these mechanisms can lead to a better understanding of nervous system cell biology, neural and endocrine signaling, learning, memory, motor control, sensory function and integration, and in particular synaptic transmission. This investigation can advance our understanding of neurological disorders in which noradrenergic and dopaminergic exocytosis is disturbed, leading to neurological consequences of developmental disorders, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Ultimately, understanding the role of selectivity in the fusion pore and its effects on exocytosis can contribute to the development of more effective therapies. This study investigates the selectivity of the fusion pore by observing the effects of ion

  13. Membranes and theoretical modeling of membrane distillation: a review. (United States)

    Khayet, Mohamed


    Membrane distillation (MD) is one of the non-isothermal membrane separation processes used in various applications such desalination, environmental/waste cleanup, food, etc. It is known since 1963 and is still being developed at laboratory stage for different purposes and not fully implemented in industry. An abrupt increase in the number of papers on MD membrane engineering (i.e. design, fabrication and testing in MD) is seen since only 6 years ago. The present paper offers a comprehensive MD state-of-the-art review covering a wide range of commercial membranes, MD membrane engineering, their MD performance, transport mechanisms, experimental and theoretical modeling of different MD configurations as well as recent developments in MD. Improved MD membranes with specific morphology, micro- and nano-structures are highly demanded. Membranes with different pore sizes, porosities, thicknesses and materials as well as novel structures are required in order to carry out systematic MD studies for better understanding mass transport in different MD configurations, thereby improving the MD performance and looking for MD industrialization. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. In-situcross-linked PVDF membranes with enhanced mechanical durability for vacuum membrane distillation

    KAUST Repository

    Zuo, Jian


    A novel and effective one-step method has been demonstrated to fabricate cross-linked polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membranes with better mechanical properties and flux for seawater desalination via vacuum membrane distillation (VMD). This method involves the addition of two functional nonsolvent additives; namely, water and ethylenediamine (EDA), into the polymer casting solution. The former acts as a pore forming agent, while the latter performs as a cross-linking inducer. The incorporation of water tends to increase membrane flux via increasing porosity and pore size but sacrifices membrane mechanical properties. Conversely, the presence of EDA enhances membrane mechanical properties through in-situ cross-linking reaction. Therefore, by synergistically combining the effects of both functional additives, the resultant PVDF membranes have shown good MD performance and mechanical properties simultaneously. The parameters that affect the cross-link reaction and membrane mechanical properties such as reaction duration and EDA concentration have been systematically studied. The membranes cast from an optimal reaction condition comprising 0.8 wt % EDA and 3-hour reaction not only shows a 40% enhancement in membrane Young\\'s Modulus compared to the one without EDA but also achieves a good VMD flux of 43.6 L/m2-h at 60°C. This study may open up a totally new approach to design next-generation high performance MD membranes. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 62: 4013–4022, 2016

  15. Porous organic cage membranes for water desalination: a simulation exploration. (United States)

    Kong, Xian; Jiang, Jianwen


    Porous organic cages (POCs) have emerged as a new class of porous materials and received considerable interest for their potential applications. Herein we report the first proof-of-concept simulation study on POC membranes for water desalination. Five [4+6] POCs (CC1, CC2, CC3, CC16, and CC17) are considered with similar crystal structures, but different periphery groups and pore morphologies. CC1 is found to be impermeable to water due to disconnected pores. With an interconnected tetrahedral pore network, CC3 and CC16 have an intermediate water permeability of 1-5 × 10 -7 kg m (m 2 h bar) -1 . CC2 and CC17 contain straight pores and a widely open pore network, respectively, thus exhibit a high water permeability of 2-3 × 10 -6 kg m (m 2 h bar) -1 ; nevertheless, salt rejection in CC17 is only 89%. Among the five POC membranes, CC2 is the best for water desalination with performance superior to other membranes reported in the literature. The membrane flexibility is revealed to have a weak effect on water permeation. To provide further microscopic understanding, the permeation duration, diffusion and hydrogen bonding of water in the POC membranes are quantitatively analyzed. From this simulation study, the key factors governing water permeation in the POC membranes are unraveled and CC2 is identified to be an interesting candidate for water desalination.

  16. Membranous nephropathy (United States)

    ... check for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis Complement levels Cryoglobulin test Treatment The goal of treatment ... not as helpful for people with membranous nephropathy. Medicines used treat membranous nephropathy include: Angiotensin-converting enzyme ( ...

  17. Pore Structure Characterization of Indiana Limestone and Pink Dolomite from Pore Network Reconstructions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freire-Gormaly Marina


    Full Text Available Carbon sequestration in deep underground saline aquifers holds significant promise for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions (CO2. However, challenges remain in predicting the long term migration of injected CO2. Addressing these challenges requires an understanding of pore-scale transport of CO2 within existing brine-filled geological reservoirs. Studies on the transport of fluids through geological porous media have predominantly focused on oil-bearing formations such as sandstone. However, few studies have considered pore-scale transport within limestone and other carbonate formations, which are found in potential storage sites. In this work, high-resolution micro-Computed Tomography (microCT was used to obtain pore-scale structural information of two model carbonates: Indiana Limestone and Pink Dolomite. A modified watershed algorithm was applied to extract pore network from the reconstructed microCT volumetric images of rock samples and compile a list of pore-scale characteristics from the extracted networks. These include statistical distributions of pore size and radius, pore-pore separation, throat radius, and network coordination. Finally, invasion percolation algorithms were applied to determine saturation-pressure curves for the rock samples. The statistical distributions were comparable to literature values for the Indiana Limestone. This served as validation for the network extraction approach for Pink Dolomite, which has not been considered previously. Based on the connectivity and the pore-pore separation, formations such as Pink Dolomite may present suitable storage sites for carbon storage. The pore structural distributions and saturation curves obtained in this study can be used to inform core- and reservoir-scale modeling and experimental studies of sequestration feasibility.

  18. Clay nanoparticles effects on performance and morphology of poly(vinylidene fluoride membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. C. D. Morihama


    Full Text Available In this study, a comparison between neat poly(vinylidene fluoride (PVDF membrane and composite (PVDF-Nanoclay and PVDF-PVP-Nanoclay membranes is presented. All membranes were synthesized by the phase inversion process, using 18% PVDF, n-methylpyrrolidone as solvent and water as the non-solvent. Demineralized water cross-flow permeation tests were conducted to evaluate the membranes performance. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM images of the membranes surface and cross-section and water contact angle measurements were used to estimate additives effects on membranes morphology. The results indicate that dopant addition affected membrane permeate flux and morphology. The 4% nanoclay composite membrane resulted in the highest ultrapure water permeability (0.9130 m³.m-2.h-1.MPa-1, lower hydraulic resistance (3.27´10+12.m-1, lower contact angle (87.1º and highest surface porosity (0.95%. Furthermore, it was verified that the membrane surface porosity increased with increasing clay nanoparticles concentrations. It was observed that the morphology of the membranes with clay nanoparticle addition is characterized by a thin surface layer, with macro-pores, a thin bottom layer, which has a sponge-like structure with micro-pores and a thick intermediate layer, with finger-like pores and macro-pores. It was also verified that the introduction of PVP promotes a denser morphology compared with membranes without it. Based on the SEM surface and cross-sectional images and permeability tests, it became evident that the internal pore morphology plays an important role in membrane performance, because the higher the frequency and extent of the finger-like pores in the intermediate layer the higher is the membrane permeability. These preliminary results indicated that the use of nanoclay as an additive for membrane casting is a promising procedure for improving membrane performance for water and wastewater treatment.

  19. Two separate interfaces between the voltage sensor and pore are required for the function of voltage-dependent K(+ channels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seok-Yong Lee


    Full Text Available Voltage-dependent K(+ (Kv channels gate open in response to the membrane voltage. To further our understanding of how cell membrane voltage regulates the opening of a Kv channel, we have studied the protein interfaces that attach the voltage-sensor domains to the pore. In the crystal structure, three physical interfaces exist. Only two of these consist of amino acids that are co-evolved across the interface between voltage sensor and pore according to statistical coupling analysis of 360 Kv channel sequences. A first co-evolved interface is formed by the S4-S5 linkers (one from each of four voltage sensors, which form a cuff surrounding the S6-lined pore opening at the intracellular surface. The crystal structure and published mutational studies support the hypothesis that the S4-S5 linkers convert voltage-sensor motions directly into gate opening and closing. A second co-evolved interface forms a small contact surface between S1 of the voltage sensor and the pore helix near the extracellular surface. We demonstrate through mutagenesis that this interface is necessary for the function and/or structure of two different Kv channels. This second interface is well positioned to act as a second anchor point between the voltage sensor and the pore, thus allowing efficient transmission of conformational changes to the pore's gate.

  20. Perfluorinated Compounds as Test Media for Porous Membranes. (United States)

    Clodt, Juliana I; Filiz, Volkan; Shishatskiy, Sergey


    We suggest a failure-free method of porous membranes characterization that gives the researcher the opportunity to compare and characterize properties of any porous membrane. This proposal is supported by an investigation of eight membranes made of different organic and inorganic materials, with nine different perfluorinated compounds. It was found that aromatic compounds, perfluorobenzene, and perfluorotoluene, used in the current study show properties different from other perfluorinated aliphatics. They demonstrate extreme deviation from the general sequence indicating the existence of π-π-interaction on the pore wall. The divergence of the flow for cyclic compounds from ideal e.g., linear compounds can be an indication of the pore dimension.

  1. High flux and antifouling properties of negatively charged membrane for dyeing wastewater treatment by membrane distillation. (United States)

    An, Alicia Kyoungjin; Guo, Jiaxin; Jeong, Sanghyun; Lee, Eui-Jong; Tabatabai, S Assiyeh Alizadeh; Leiknes, TorOve


    This study investigated the applicability of membrane distillation (MD) to treat dyeing wastewater discharged by the textile industry. Four different dyes containing methylene blue (MB), crystal violet (CV), acid red 18 (AR18), and acid yellow 36 (AY36) were tested. Two types of hydrophobic membranes made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) were used. The membranes were characterized by testing against each dye (foulant-foulant) and the membrane-dye (membrane-foulant) interfacial interactions and their mechanisms were identified. The MD membranes possessed negative charges, which facilitated the treatment of acid and azo dyes of the same charge and showed higher fluxes. In addition, PTFE membrane reduced the wettability with higher hydrophobicity of the membrane surface. The PTFE membrane evidenced especially its resistant to dye absorption, as its strong negative charge and chemical structure caused a flake-like (loose) dye-dye structure to form on the membrane surface rather than in the membrane pores. This also enabled the recovery of flux and membrane properties by water flushing (WF), thereby direct-contact MD with PTFE membrane treating 100 mg/L of dye mixtures showed stable flux and superior color removal during five days operation. Thus, MD shows a potential for stable long-term operation in conjunction with a simple membrane cleaning process, and its suitability in dyeing wastewater treatment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Modeling Tissue Growth Within Nonwoven Scaffolds Pores (United States)

    Church, Jeffrey S.; Alexander, David L.J.; Russell, Stephen J.; Ingham, Eileen; Ramshaw, John A.M.; Werkmeister, Jerome A.


    In this study we present a novel approach for predicting tissue growth within the pores of fibrous tissue engineering scaffolds. Thin nonwoven polyethylene terephthalate scaffolds were prepared to characterize tissue growth within scaffold pores, by mouse NR6 fibroblast cells. On the basis of measurements of tissue lengths at fiber crossovers and along fiber segments, mathematical models were determined during the proliferative phase of cell growth. Tissue growth at fiber crossovers decreased with increasing interfiber angle, with exponential relationships determined on day 6 and 10 of culture. Analysis of tissue growth along fiber segments determined two growth profiles, one with enhanced growth as a result of increased tissue lengths near the fiber crossover, achieved in the latter stage of culture. Derived mathematical models were used in the development of a software program to visualize predicted tissue growth within a pore. This study identifies key pore parameters that contribute toward tissue growth, and suggests models for predicting this growth, based on fibroblast cells. Such models may be used in aiding scaffold design, for optimum pore infiltration during the tissue engineering process. PMID:20687775

  3. Membrane manufacture for peptide separations

    KAUST Repository

    Kim, Dooli


    Nanostructured polymeric membranes are key tools in biomedical applications such as hemodialysis, protein separations, in the food industry, and drinking water supply from seawater. Despite of the success in different separation processes, membrane manufacture itself is at risk, since the most used solvents are about to be banned in many countries due to environmental and health issues. We propose for the first time the preparation of polyethersulfone membranes based on dissolution in the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium dimethylphosphate ([EMIM]DEP). We obtained a series of membranes tailored for separation of solutes with molecular weight of 30, 5, 1.3, and 1.25 kg mol-1 with respective water permeances of 140, 65, 30 and 20 Lm-2h-1bar-1. We demonstrate their superior efficiency in the separation of complex mixtures of peptides with molecular weights in the range of 800 to 3500 gmol-1. Furthermore, the thermodynamics and kinetics of phase separation leading to the pore formation in the membranes were investigated. The rheology of the solutions and the morphology of the prepared membranes were examed and compared to those of polyethersulfone in organic solvents currently used for membrane manufacture.

  4. Nanometer-Scale Pores: Potential Applications for Analyte Detection and DNA Characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J. Kasianowicz


    Full Text Available Several classes of transmembrane protein ion channels function in vivo as sensitive and selective detection elements for analytes. Recent studies on single channels reconstituted into planar lipid bilayer membranes suggest that nanometer-scale pores can be used to detect, quantitate and characterize a wide range of analytes that includes small ions and single stranded DNA. We briefly review here these studies and identify leaps in technology that, if realized, might lead to innovations for the early detection of cancer.

  5. Characterization of the Respiration-Induced Yeast Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore


    Bradshaw, Patrick C.; Pfeiffer, Douglas R.


    When isolated mitochondria from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae oxidize respiratory substrates in the absence of phosphate and ADP, the yeast mitochondrial unselective channel, also called the yeast permeability transition pore (yPTP), opens in the inner membrane dissipating the electrochemical gradient. ATP also induces yPTP opening. yPTP opening allows mannitol transport into isolated mitochondria of laboratory yeast strains, but mannitol is not readily permeable throug...

  6. Evolution of the Cytolytic Pore-Forming Proteins (Actinoporins) in Sea Anemones


    Macrander, Jason; Daly, Marymegan


    Sea anemones (Cnidaria, Anthozoa, and Actiniaria) use toxic peptides to incapacitate and immobilize prey and to deter potential predators. Their toxin arsenal is complex, targeting a variety of functionally important protein complexes and macromolecules involved in cellular homeostasis. Among these, actinoporins are one of the better characterized toxins; these venom proteins form a pore in cellular membranes containing sphingomyelin. We used a combined bioinformatic and phylogenetic approach...

  7. Oligomerization is involved in pore formation by Bordetella adenylate cyclase toxin

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vojtová, Jana; Basler, Marek; Osička, Radim; Knapp, O.; Maier, E.; Černý, J.; Benada, Oldřich; Benz, R.; Šebo, Peter


    Roč. 23, - (2009), s. 2831-2843 ISSN 0892-6638 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA500200914; GA MŠk 1M0506 Grant - others:-(XE) LSHB-CT-2003-503582 THERAVAC Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : blue native electrophoresis * planar lipid bilayer membranes * pore-forming activity Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 6.401, year: 2009

  8. Molecular mobility and transport in polymer membranes and polyelectrolyte multilayers. (United States)

    Sagidullin, Alexandr; Meier-Haack, Jochen; Scheler, Ulrich


    Polyelectrolyte multilayers prepared by the layer-by-layer technique provide an efficient way to generate planar structures of tailored surface charge and hydrophobicity, which are used as membranes for pervaporation. The use of polyelectrolyte multilayers to form the membrane permits tailoring the surface charge of the membrane and, thus, selectivity; at the same time, it reduces fouling of the membrane by adsorption of organic matter. Pulsed field gradient (PFG) nuclear magnetic resonance has been used to investigate the diffusion of probe molecules into polymer systems. Evaluation of the apparent diffusion coefficient in porous poly(amide) results in a pore size of 4 microm, as found in electron micrographs. For the pore size obtained for polyelectrolyte multilayers, no equivalent pores could be found in microscopy. Propagators for the diffusion of propanol and propanol-water mixture into multilayers reveal that there might be selective interaction of probe molecules with the polyelectrolyte system.

  9. Porous polyoxadiazole membranes for harsh environment

    KAUST Repository

    Maab, Husnul


    A series of polyoxadiazoles with exceptionally high stability at temperatures as high as 370°C and in oxidative medium has been synthesized by polycondensation and manufactured into porous membranes by phase inversion. The membranes were characterized by thermal analysis (TGA), chemical stability was measured by immersion test, oxidative stability by Fenton\\'s test, pore diameter by porosimetry and the morphology by FESEM. The polymers are soluble only in sulfuric acid and are stable in organic solvents like NMP, THF and isopropanol. The membranes selectivity was confirmed by separation of polystyrene standards with different molecular weights. Most membranes were characterized as having a cut-off of 60,000. g/mol. Being stable under harsh environments, the membranes have incomparable characteristics with perspectives of application in chemical and pharmaceutical industry, catalytic reactors, in combination with oxidative processes and other applications so far envisioned only for ceramic membranes. © 2013.

  10. Lignin-based membranes for electrolyte transference

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Xiao; Garcia-Valls, Ricard [Departament d' Enginyeria Quimica, Escola Tecnica Superior d' Enginyeria Quimica, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Av. Paisos Catalans 26, 43007 Tarragona (Spain); Benavente, Juana [Department of Applied Fisics, Faculty of Science, University of Malaga, Malaga (Spain)


    Homogeneous PSf-LS membranes are formed by incorporating Lignosulfonate (LS) into the Polysulfone (PSf) network. LS obtained from sulfite pulping process contains sulfonic acid groups that will act as proton transport media. PSf-LS membranes were characterized by reflectance Infrared and scanning electron microscopy. LS showed significant influence on membrane morphology. Higher LS concentration caused a decrease in macrovoid formation and induced larger pores. Precipitation temperature was investigated as influencing parameter. Proton fluxes through PSf-LS membranes were measured by transport experiments. Impedance analysis confirmed that PSf-LS membranes possess ion conductivity. The selected PSf-LS membranes exhibited high selectivity for proton over methanol, which indicates their potential applicability in direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC). (author)

  11. Tensile deformation of polytetrafluoroethylene hollow fiber membranes used for water purification. (United States)

    Yonezu, Akio; Iio, Shouichi; Itonaga, Takehiro; Yamamura, Hiroshi; Chen, Xi


    The tensile deformation behavior of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) hollow fiber membranes is studied. PTFE membranes at present have sub-micron pores with an open cell structure, which plays a critical role in water purification. One of the main challenges in water purification is that the pore structure becomes covered with biofouling, leading to blocked pores. To maintain the capacity for water purification, physical cleaning along with mechanical deformation is usually conducted. Thus, it is crucial to understand the mechanical properties, in particular the deformation behavior, of the membrane fibers. Using uniaxial tension experiments, we established a fundamental discrete model to describe the deformation behavior of a porous structure using a finite element method. The present model enables the prediction of the macroscopic deformation behavior of the membrane, by taking into account the changes of pore structure. The insight may be useful for porous membrane fabrication and provide insights for the reliable operation of water purification.

  12. Coupling of voltage sensors to the channel pore: a comparative view

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vitya eVardanyan


    Full Text Available The activation of voltage-dependent ion channels is initiated by potential-induced conformational rearrangements in the voltage-sensor domains that propagates to the pore domain and finally opens the ion conduction pathway. In potassium channels voltage-sensors are covalently linked to the pore via S4-S5 linkers at the cytoplasmic site of the pore domain. Transformation of membrane electric energy into the mechanical work required for the opening or closing of the channel pore is achieved through an electromechanical coupling mechanism, which involves local interaction between residues in S4-S5 linker and pore-forming alpha helices.In this review we discuss present knowledge and open questions related to the electromechanical coupling mechanism in most intensively studied voltage-gated Shaker potassium channel and compare structure-functional aspects of coupling with those observed in distantly-related ion channels. We focus particularly on the role of electromechanical coupling in modulation of the constitutive conductance of ion channels.

  13. Fabrication of ultra thin anodic aluminium oxide membranes by low anodization voltages (United States)

    Pastore, I.; Poplausks, R.; Apsite, I.; Pastare, I.; Lombardi, F.; Erts, D.


    Formation of ultrathin anodised aluminium oxide (AAO) membranes with high aspect ratio by Al anodization in sulphuric and oxalic acids at low potentials was investigated. Low anodization potentials ensure slow electrochemical reaction speeds and formation of AAO membranes with pore diameter and thickness below 20 nm and 70 nm respectively. Minimum time necessary for formation of continuous AAO membranes was determined. AAO membrane pore surface was covered with polymer Paraloid B72TM to transport it to the selected substrate. The fabricated ultra thin AAO membranes could be used to fabricate nanodot arrays on different surfaces.

  14. Single-molecule conductance measurements of biomolecule translocation across biomimetic nuclear pores (United States)

    Dekker, Cees


    After a brief overview of our recent work on solid-state nanopores, I will present single-molecule transport data across biomimetic nanopores that contain the key regulating parts of the nuclear pore complex (NPC). The mechanism for the remarkable selectivity of NPCs has remained unclear in a large part due to difficulties in designing experiments that can probe the transport at the relevant length and time scales. Building and measuring on biomimetic NPCs provides new opportunities to address this long-standing problem. covalently tether the natively unfolded Phe-Gly rich domains (FG-domains) of human nuclear binding proteins to a solid-state nanopore (a 10-100 nm sized hole in a SiN membrane). Ionic current measurements provide a probe to monitor single molecules that traverse the pore. Translocation events are observed for transport receptors (Impβ), whereas transport of passive molecules (BSA) is found to be blocked. Interestingly, a single type of nuclear pore proteins appears already sufficient to form a selective barrier for transport. A translocation time of about 2.5 ms is measured for Impβ. This time is found to be similar for transport across Nup153 and Nup98 coated pores, although the observed ionic conductance differs between these two types of pores. We compare two simple models for the pore conductance and find, for both Nups, that the data fits best to a model with an open central channel and a condensed layer along the outer circumference of the pore. reproducing the key features of the NPC, our biomimetic approach opens the way to study a wide variety of nucleo-cytoplasmic transport processes at the single-molecule level in vitro.

  15. Membrane Biophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Ashrafuzzaman, Mohammad


    Physics, mathematics and chemistry all play a vital role in understanding the true nature and functioning of biological membranes, key elements of living processes. Besides simple spectroscopic observations and electrical measurements of membranes we address in this book the phenomena of coexistence and independent existence of different membrane components using various theoretical approaches. This treatment will be helpful for readers who want to understand biological processes by applying both simple observations and fundamental scientific analysis. It provides a deep understanding of the causes and effects of processes inside membranes, and will thus eventually open new doors for high-level pharmaceutical approaches towards fighting membrane- and cell-related diseases.

  16. Unplugging the callose plug from sieve pores. (United States)

    Xie, Bo; Hong, Zonglie


    The presence of callose in sieve plates has been known for a long time, but how this polysaccharide plug is synthesized has remained unsolved. Two independent laboratories have recently reported the identification of callose synthase 7 (CalS7), also known as glucan synthase-like 7 (GSL7), as the enzyme responsible for callose deposition in sieve plates. Mutant plants defective in this enzyme failed to synthesize callose in developing sieve plates during phloem formation and were unable to accumulate callose in sieve pores in response to stress treatments. The mutant plants developed less open pores per sieve plate and the pores were smaller in diameter. As a result, phloem conductivity was reduced significantly and the mutant plants were shorter and set fewer seeds.

  17. Pore-forming toxins in Cnidaria. (United States)

    Podobnik, Marjetka; Anderluh, Gregor


    The ancient phylum of Cnidaria contains many aquatic species with peculiar lifestyle. In order to survive, these organisms have evolved attack and defense mechanisms that are enabled by specialized cells and highly developed venoms. Pore-forming toxins are an important part of their venomous arsenal. Along some other types, the most representative are examples of four protein families that are commonly found in other kingdoms of life: actinoporins, Cry-like proteins, aerolysin-like toxins and MACPF/CDC toxins. Some of the homologues of pore-forming toxins may serve other functions, such as in food digestion, development and response against pathogenic organisms. Due to their interesting physico-chemical properties, the cnidarian pore-forming toxins may also serve as tools in medical research and nanobiotechnological applications. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Moving Magnetic Features Around a Pore

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaithakkal, A. J.; Riethmüller, T. L.; Solanki, S. K.; Lagg, A.; Barthol, P.; Gandorfer, A.; Gizon, L.; Hirzberger, J.; VanNoort, M. [Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, Göttingen D-37077 (Germany); Rodríguez, J. Blanco [Grupo de Astronomía y Ciencias del Espacio, Universidad de Valencia, E-46980 Paterna, Valencia (Spain); Iniesta, J. C. Del Toro; Suárez, D. Orozco [Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Apartado de Correos 3004, E-18080 Granada (Spain); Schmidt, W. [Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Schöneckstr. 6, D-79104 Freiburg (Germany); Pillet, V. Martínez [National Solar Observatory, 3665 Discovery Drive, Boulder, CO 80303 (United States); Knölker, M., E-mail: [High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000 (United States)


    Spectropolarimetric observations from Sunrise/IMaX, obtained in 2013 June, are used for a statistical analysis to determine the physical properties of moving magnetic features (MMFs) observed near a pore. MMFs of the same and opposite polarity, with respect to the pore, are found to stream from its border at an average speed of 1.3 km s{sup −1} and 1.2 km s{sup −1}, respectively, with mainly same-polarity MMFs found further away from the pore. MMFs of both polarities are found to harbor rather weak, inclined magnetic fields. Opposite-polarity MMFs are blueshifted, whereas same-polarity MMFs do not show any preference for up- or downflows. Most of the MMFs are found to be of sub-arcsecond size and carry a mean flux of ∼1.2 × 10{sup 17} Mx.

  19. Enhanced performance of PVDF nanocomposite membrane by nanofiber coating: A membrane for sustainable desalination through MD. (United States)

    Efome, Johnson E; Rana, Dipak; Matsuura, Takeshi; Lan, Christopher Q


    Membrane distillation (MD) is a promising separation technique capable of being used in the desalination of marine and brackish water. Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) flat sheet nano-composite membranes were surface modified by coating with electro-spun PVDF nano-fibres to increase the surface hydrophobicity. For this purpose, the nano-composite membrane containing 7 wt.% superhydrophobic SiO2 nano-particles, which showed the highest flux in our previous work, was first subjected to pore size augmentation by increasing the concentration of the pore forming agent (Di-ionized water). Then, the prepared flat sheet membranes were subjected to nanofibres coating by electro-spinning. The uncoated and coated composite fabricated membranes were characterized using contact angle, liquid entry pressure of water, and scanning electron microscopy. The membranes were further tested for 6 h desalination by direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) and vacuum membrane distillation (VMD), with a 3.5 wt.% synthetic NaClaq as the feed. In DCMD the feed liquid and permeate side temperature were maintained at 27.5 °C and 15 °C, respectively. For VMD, the feed liquid temperature was 27 °C and a vacuum of 94.8 kPa was applied on the permeate side. The maximum permeate flux achieved was 3.2 kg/m(2).h for VMD and 6.5 kg/m(2).h for DCMD. The salt rejection obtained was higher than 99.98%. The coated membranes showed a more stable flux than the uncoated membranes indicating that the double layered membranes have great potential in solving the pore wetting problem in MD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. A new way to parameterize hydraulic conductances of pore elements: A step towards creating pore-networks without pore shape simplifications (United States)

    Miao, Xiuxiu; Gerke, Kirill M.; Sizonenko, Timofey O.


    Pore-network models were found useful in describing important flow and transport mechanisms and in predicting flow properties of different porous media relevant to numerous fundamental and industrial applications. Pore-networks provide very fast computational framework and permit simulations on large volumes of pores. This is possible due to significant pore space simplifications and linear/exponential relationships between effective properties and geometrical characteristics of the pore elements. To make such relationships work, pore-network elements are usually simplified by circular, triangular, square and other basic shapes. However, such assumptions result in inaccurate prediction of transport properties. In this paper, we propose that pore-networks can be constructed without pore shape simplifications. To test this hypothesize we extracted 3292 2D pore element cross-sections from 3D X-ray microtomography images of sandstone and carbonate rock samples. Based on the circularity, convexity and elongation of each pore element we trained neural networks to predict the dimensionless hydraulic conductance. The optimal neural network provides 90% of predictions lying within the 20% error bounds compared against direct numerical simulation results. Our novel approach opens a new way to parameterize pore-networks and we outlined future improvements to create a new class of pore-network models without pore shape simplifications.

  1. Porous media fluid transport and pore structure

    CERN Document Server

    Dullien, F A L


    This book examines the relationship between transport properties and pore structure of porous material. Models of pore structure are presented with a discussion of how such models can be used to predict the transport properties of porous media. Portions of the book are devoted to interpretations of experimental results in this area and directions for future research. Practical applications are given where applicable, and are expected to be useful for a large number of different fields, including reservoir engineering, geology, hydrogeology, soil science, chemical process engineering, biomedica

  2. Pore-scale modeling of pore structure effects on P-wave scattering attenuation in dry rocks. (United States)

    Wang, Zizhen; Wang, Ruihe; Li, Tianyang; Qiu, Hao; Wang, Feifei


    Underground rocks usually have complex pore system with a variety of pore types and a wide range of pore size. The effects of pore structure on elastic wave attenuation cannot be neglected. We investigated the pore structure effects on P-wave scattering attenuation in dry rocks by pore-scale modeling based on the wave theory and the similarity principle. Our modeling results indicate that pore size, pore shape (such as aspect ratio), and pore density are important factors influencing P-wave scattering attenuation in porous rocks, and can explain the variation of scattering attenuation at the same porosity. From the perspective of scattering attenuation, porous rocks can safely suit to the long wavelength assumption when the ratio of wavelength to pore size is larger than 15. Under the long wavelength condition, the scattering attenuation coefficient increases as a power function as the pore density increases, and it increases exponentially with the increase in aspect ratio. For a certain porosity, rocks with smaller aspect ratio and/or larger pore size have stronger scattering attenuation. When the pore aspect ratio is larger than 0.5, the variation of scattering attenuation at the same porosity is dominantly caused by pore size and almost independent of the pore aspect ratio. These results lay a foundation for pore structure inversion from elastic wave responses in porous rocks.

  3. 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.

  4. Effect of geometrical dimension, shape, thickness, material & applied pressure on nanopore thin filtration membrane strength (United States)

    Mustafa, Kamarul Asyikin; Yunas, Jumril; Hamzah, Azrul Azlan; Majlis, Burhanuddin Yeop


    Filtration membrane is an essential part in an artificial kidney device functioning as a channel to pass through all wastes from blood. This paper focuses on the effect of dimension, shape, thickness, material and applied pressure on the artificial filtration membrane to be used in terms of its mechanical strength. Studied parameters important for consideration of an actual filtration membrane design for the artificial kidney. The stress and deflection at the center of the membrane is studied using COMSOL Multiphysics simulation tool using "Solid Mechanics" physics module. The results shows that maximum deflection happens at the center of the membrane. Higher applied pressure causes more membrane deflection from the initial state while thicker membrane shows a better withstand towards applied pressure. Circle shape pores has lower stress and deflection compared to slit pores whereas filtration pore size does not give much impact on the stress and deflection of the membrane. Silicon Nitride filtration membrane is the most robust compared to Silicon and Silicon Dioxide membrane evaluated. To conclude, thicker Silicon Nitride membrane with arrays of uniform circle pores will result to a more stable filtration membrane that would be able to withstand simulated blood stream pressure of 10 until 55 mmHg in an artificial kidney.

  5. Transport phenomena in gas-selective silica membranes


    Boffa, Vittorio


    Upcoming technology platforms for green fuel production require the development of advanced molecular separation processes for recovering dry liquid biofuels [1,2], biomethane [2] and hydrogen [3]. Replacement of extractive distillation, cryodistillation and adsorption processes by membrane units may lead to vast energy savings [2,3]. In this context, ultramicroporous silica membranes, that is, silica membranes with pores smaller than 1 nm [4], appear to be able to play a determinant role. In...

  6. Production and properties of polypropylene track membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kravets, L.I.; Dmitriev, S.N.; Apel', P.Yu.


    The results of the method of manufacturing the polypropylene track membranes produced by physico-chemical treatment under irradiation of accelerated heavy ions of polymer films are given. The 'Torayfan' (Japan) biaxially oriented polypropylene films 10 μm in thickness have been used. The developed method allows to produce membranes 0.1-0.2 μm in diameter and with more enhanced structural and physico-chemical properties. Polypropylene track membranes of a novel sample are characterized by high uniformity of pore sizes in magnitude, significant mechanical strength, increased thermostability and resistance in agressive media. It opens new fields for their usage. (author). 16 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs

  7. Progress in surface and membrane science

    CERN Document Server

    Cadenhead, D A


    Progress in Surface and Membrane Science, Volume 14 covers the advances in the study of surface and membrane science. The book discusses statistical thermodynamics of monolayer adsorption from gas and liquid mixtures on homogeneous and heterogeneous solid surfaces; and the structure of the boundary layers of liquids and its influence on the mass transfer in fine pores. The text then describes the coupling of ionic and non-electrolyte fluxes in ion selective membranes; the electrocatalytic properties of matalloporphins at the interface; and the adsorption from binary gas and liquid phases. Phas

  8. Hierarchically structured, nitrogen-doped carbon membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Hong


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

  9. Nano filter from sintered rice husk silica membrane. (United States)

    Lee, Soo Young; Han, Chong Soo


    A nano filter showing the Knudsen flow was demonstrated by a modification of a membrane constructed from rice husk silica. The membrane was prepared by pressing and sintering micron sized rice husk silica with 4 nm pores. The membrane showed a permeability of 5.2 x 10(-8) mol m(-1) sec(-1) Pa(-1) for H2 and ratios of gas permeability 2.1 and 3.2 for k(H2)/k(CH4) and k(H2)/k(CO2), respectively. When the membrane was treated by filtration of approximately 100 nm sized rice husk silica particles, the permeability decreased to 4.9 x 10(-8) mol m(-1) sec(-1) Pa(-1) and the ratios increased to 2.2 and 3.4. In the case of the membrane after treatments with the dispersion and chemical deposition of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS), the corresponding permeability and ratios of the membrane were 1.8 x 10(-8) mol m(-1) sec(-1) Pa(-1), and 2.9 and 4.5, respectively. From the change of the ratio of gas permeability for the membrane with modifications, it is suggested that approximately 100 nm sized rice husk silica particles pack the large pores among the micron sized rice husk silica particles while the chemical deposition of tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) reveals the gas flow through 4 nm pores in the rice husk silica by blocking large pores.

  10. High flux and antifouling properties of negatively charged membrane for dyeing wastewater treatment by membrane distillation

    KAUST Repository

    An, Alicia Kyoungjin


    This study investigated the applicability of membrane distillation (MD) to treat dyeing wastewater discharged by the textile industry. Four different dyes containing methylene blue (MB), crystal violet (CV), acid red 18 (AR), and acid yellow 36 (AY) were tested. Two types of hydrophobic membranes made of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) were used. The membranes were characterized by testing against each dye (foulant-foulant) and the membrane–dye (membrane-foulant) interfacial interactions and their mechanisms were identified. The MD membranes possessed negative charges, which facilitated the treatment of acid and azo dyes of the same charge and showed higher fluxes. In addition, PTFE membrane reduced the wettability with higher hydrophobicity of the membrane surface. The PTFE membrane evidenced especially its resistant to dye absorption, as its strong negative charge and chemical structure caused a flake-like (loose) dye–dye structure to form on the membrane surface rather than in the membrane pores. This also enabled the recovery of flux and membrane properties by water flushing (WF), thereby direct-contact MD with PTFE membrane treating 100 mg/L of dye mixtures showed stable flux and superior color removal during five days operation. Thus, MD shows a potential for stable long-term operation in conjunction with a simple membrane cleaning process, and its suitability in dyeing wastewater treatment.

  11. Electrospun superhydrophobic membranes with unique structures for membrane distillation. (United States)

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


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

  12. Fouling-induced enzyme immobilization for membrane reactors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Luo, Jianquan; Meyer, Anne S.; Jonsson, Gunnar Eigil


    A simple enzyme immobilization method accomplished by promoting membrane fouling formation is proposed. The immobilization method is based on adsorption and entrapment of the enzymes in/on the membrane. To evaluate the concept, two membrane orientations, skin layer facing feed (normal mode......, but the reverse mode allowed for higher enzyme loading and stability, and irreversible fouling (i.e. pore blocking) developed more readily in the support structure than in the skin layer. Compared with an enzymatic membrane reactor (EMR) with free enzymes, the novel EMR with enzymes immobilized in membrane...... support improved the enzyme reusability (especially for ADH), and reduced the product inhibition (especially for GDH). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd....

  13. Synthesis and characterization of ceramic membranes for micro filtration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohammad Idrees; Lim Yan Ne; Hamdani Saidi


    This paper presents the results of a preliminary research work in the development of ceramic membranes by moulding process. The two major objectives were to determine the effect of operating parameters ori- the membrane sheet and membrane characterization. The starting material for the membrane was powdered aluminum oxide and alumina granules. Alumina granules were obtained by spray drying of mixture of alumina with additives and binders under specific conditions. The membrane sheet was produced by mould pressing at various pressures and then sintering at different temperatures. Membrane characterization was done based on microstructure using SEM, pore size distribution, density, and porosity. Strong and porous membranes were produced at pressing force of 120 -140 kN and sintering temperature of 1400 -1500 'C. Pore size and porosity obtained was in the range of 2 -10 μ m, and 13 - 48% respectively. These membranes can be used for, microfiltration at elevated temperature and under extreme environmental condition. They can also be used as porous support for the production qf composite asymmetric UF/hyperfiltration, and gas separation membranes. Further work in the refinement of' pore-size and permeation studies is envisaged

  14. Graphene membranes with nanoslits for seawater desalination via forward osmosis. (United States)

    Dahanayaka, Madhavi; Liu, Bo; Hu, Zhongqiao; Pei, Qing-Xiang; Chen, Zhong; Law, Adrian Wing-Keung; Zhou, Kun


    Stacked graphene (GE) membranes with cascading nanoslits can be synthesized economically compared to monolayer nanoporous GE membranes, and have potential for molecular separation. This study focuses on investigating the seawater desalination performance of these stacked GE layers as forward osmosis (FO) membranes by using molecular dynamics simulations. The FO performance is evaluated in terms of water flux and salt rejection and is explained by analysing the water density distribution and radial distribution function. The water flow displays an Arrhenius type relation with temperature and the activation energy for the stacked GE membrane is estimated to be 8.02 kJ mol -1 , a value much lower than that of commercially available FO membranes. The study reveals that the membrane characteristics including the pore width, offset, interlayer separation distance and number of layers have significant effects on the desalination performance. Unlike monolayer nanoporous GE membranes, at an optimum layer separation distance, the stacked GE membranes with large pore widths and completely misaligned pore configuration can retain complete ion rejection and maintain a high water flux. Findings from the present study are helpful in developing GE-based membranes for seawater desalination via FO.

  15. Perforin rapidly induces plasma membrane phospholipid flip-flop.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil S Metkar

    Full Text Available The cytotoxic cell granule secretory pathway is essential for host defense. This pathway is fundamentally a form of intracellular protein delivery where granule proteases (granzymes from cytotoxic lymphocytes are thought to diffuse through barrel stave pores generated in the plasma membrane of the target cell by the pore forming protein perforin (PFN and mediate apoptotic as well as additional biological effects. While recent electron microscopy and structural analyses indicate that recombinant PFN oligomerizes to form pores containing 20 monomers (20 nm when applied to liposomal membranes, these pores are not observed by propidium iodide uptake in target cells. Instead, concentrations of human PFN that encourage granzyme-mediated apoptosis are associated with pore structures that unexpectedly favor phosphatidylserine flip-flop measured by Annexin-V and Lactadherin. Efforts that reduce PFN mediated Ca influx in targets did not reduce Annexin-V reactivity. Antigen specific mouse CD8 cells initiate a similar rapid flip-flop in target cells. A lipid that augments plasma membrane curvature as well as cholesterol depletion in target cells enhance flip-flop. Annexin-V staining highly correlated with apoptosis after Granzyme B (GzmB treatment. We propose the structures that PFN oligomers form in the membrane bilayer may include arcs previously observed by electron microscopy and that these unusual structures represent an incomplete mixture of plasma membrane lipid and PFN oligomers that may act as a flexible gateway for GzmB to translocate across the bilayer to the cytosolic leaflet of target cells.

  16. Double urine circulation: importance of pores. (United States)

    Antonello, Augusto; D'Angelo, Angela; Nalesso, Federico; Capezzi, Maria; Malagoli, Andrea; Pastori, Giordano; Lazzarin, Roberta; Calò, Lorenzo; Bonfante, Luciana; Gambaro, Giovanni


    The authors examine a presentation to the Royal Academy of Sciences of Paris by L. Morin, French physician and meteorologist. In this communication the presence of "pores" in the stomach and the bladder, which would allow a quick elimination of the urines on the occasion of an abundant fluid intake.

  17. Mimicking the nuclear pore complex using nanopores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ananth, A.N.


    Nuclear pore complexes acts as a gatekeeper for molecular transport between the nucleus and the cytoplasm in eukaryotic cells. The central NPC channel is filled with intrinsically disordered FG domains (phenylalanine (F), glycine (G)) that are responsible for the fascinating selectivity of NPCs, for

  18. Induction of nano pore in Agrobacterial hemoglobin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mojtaba Tousheh


    Full Text Available Introduction: A variety of oxygen-transport and -binding proteins exist in organisms including bacteria, protozoans, and fungi all have hemoglobin-like proteins. In addition to dealing with transport and sensing of oxygen, they may also deal with NO2, CO2, sulfide compounds, and even O2 scavenging in environments. Also they detoxified chlorinated materials like P450 enzymes and peroxidases and use as a detector of nitrate and hydrogen peroxide. Pore-forming bacterial globins are interested for filtration. Materials and methods: Although there are data for bacterial toxin as a filter, here we used Agrobacterial hem to induce nano pore in the heme structure using point mutation. Results: Investigations showed that three amino acids leucine 76, alanine 83 and histidine 80 are important for pore formation in Agrobacterium hemoglobin. A point mutation on leucine 76 to glycine, histidine 80 to asparagine and alanine 83 to lysine step by step led to create the nano pore 0.7- 0.8 nm in the globin. Discussion and conclusion: These mutations in bacterial hemoglobin increase the stability when mutation is with it’s at pH7. This mutation decreases the aliphatic index however increase the stability index.

  19. Advanced Hydrogen Transport Membrane for Coal Gasification

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwartz, Joseph [Praxair, Inc., Tonawanda, NY (United States); Porter, Jason [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Patki, Neil [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Kelley, Madison [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Stanislowski, Josh [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States); Tolbert, Scott [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States); Way, J. Douglas [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Makuch, David [Praxair, Inc., Tonawanda, NY (United States)


    A pilot-scale hydrogen transport membrane (HTM) separator was built that incorporated 98 membranes that were each 24 inches long. This separator used an advanced design to minimize the impact of concentration polarization and separated over 1000 scfh of hydrogen from a hydrogen-nitrogen feed of 5000 scfh that contained 30% hydrogen. This mixture was chosen because it was representative of the hydrogen concentration expected in coal gasification. When tested with an operating gasifier, the hydrogen concentration was lower and contaminants in the syngas adversely impacted membrane performance. All 98 membranes survived the test, but flux was lower than expected. Improved ceramic substrates were produced that have small surface pores to enable membrane production and large pores in the bulk of the substrate to allow high flux. Pd-Au was chosen as the membrane alloy because of its resistance to sulfur contamination and good flux. Processes were developed to produce a large quantity of long membranes for use in the demonstration test.

  20. Electro-osmotic flow through nanopores in thin and ultrathin membranes (United States)

    Melnikov, Dmitriy V.; Hulings, Zachery K.; Gracheva, Maria E.


    We theoretically study how the electro-osmotic fluid velocity in a charged cylindrical nanopore in a thin solid state membrane depends on the pore's geometry, membrane charge, and electrolyte concentration. We find that when the pore's length is comparable to its diameter, the velocity profile develops a concave shape with a minimum along the pore axis unlike the situation in very long nanopores with a maximum velocity along the central pore axis. This effect is attributed to the induced pressure along the nanopore axis due to the fluid flow expansion and contraction near the exit or entrance to the pore and to the reduction of electric field inside the nanopore. The induced pressure is maximal when the pore's length is about equal to its diameter while decreasing for both longer and shorter nanopores. A model for the fluid velocity incorporating these effects is developed and shown to be in a good agreement with numerically computed results.

  1. Preparation of novel poly(vinylidene fluoride)/TiO2 photocatalysis membranes for use in direct contact membrane distillation (United States)

    Li, Yukun; Dong, Shuying; Zhu, Liang


    Immobilization of TiO2 is a potential approach to obtain photocatalytic membranes that could eliminate concentration polarization in sewage disposal for direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) process. A simple non-solvent-induced phase separation (NIPS) method was proposed to prepare poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) membrane, and the double-coating technology was further used to prepare the self-cleaning membranes with different TiO2 content. The effects of TiO2 nano-particles on membrane crystal form, morphology, porosity, pore size, pore size distribution, hydrophobicity, permeation, and photocatalytic efficiency were investigated, respectively. The flux of the prepared membranes is higher than the membrane (MS) provided by Membrane Solutions, LLC, in DCMD process. The contact angle between water and membrane could be increased 22° by introducing photocatalytic layer containing TiO2. During the photocatalytic test, 65.78-96.31% degrading rate of 15 mg/L Rhodamine B (RhB) was achieved. The relative flux of the membrane T-3 can be recovered to 0.96 in photocatalysis-membrane reactor for 8 h UV radiation. The fabricated membrane has great potential in high-salty dyeing wastewater treatment due to its high hydrophobicity and photocatalytic capability. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  2. Temperature and Pressure from Collapsing Pores in HMX (United States)

    Hardin, D. Barrett


    The thermal and mechanical response of collapsing voids in HMX is analyzed. In this work, the focus is simulating the temperature and pressure fields arising from isolated, idealized pores as they collapse in the presence of a shock. HMX slabs are numerically generated which contain a single pore, isolated from the boundaries to remove all wave reflections. In order to understand the primary pore characteristics leading to temperature rise, a series of 2D, plane strain simulations are conducted on HMX slabs containing both cylindrical and elliptical pores of constant size equal to the area of a circular pore with a 1 micron diameter. Each of these pore types is then subjected to shock pressures ranging from a weak shock that is unable to fully collapse the pore to a strong shock which overwhelms the tendency for localization. Results indicate that as shock strength increases, pore collapse phenomenology for a cylindrical pore transitions from a mode dominated by localized melt cracking to an idealized hydrodynamic pore collapse. For the case of elliptical pores, the orientation causing maximum temperature and pressure rise is found. The relative heating in elliptical pores is then quantified as a function of pore orientation and aspect ratio for a pore of a given area. Distribution A: Distribution unlimited. (96TW 2017-0036).

  3. The influence of different membrane components on the electrical stability of bilayer lipid membranes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Uitert, I.; le Gac, Severine; van den Berg, Albert

    A good understanding of cell membrane properties is crucial for better controlled and reproducible experiments, particularly for cell electroporation where the mechanism of pore formation is not fully elucidated. In this article we study the influence on that process of several constituents found in

  4. Permeability of peritoneal and glomerular capillaries: what are the differences according to pore theory? (United States)

    Rippe, Bengt; Davies, Simon


    Pore and fiber-matrix theory can both be used to model the peritoneal and glomerular filtration barriers in an attempt to shed light on their differing structure-function relationships. The glomerular filtration barrier (GFB) is structurally more specialized, morphologically complex, and also highly dynamic; but paradoxically, because of its uniformity, it conforms more closely to the predictions of pore theory than does the peritoneum, and it in fact resembles a more simple synthetic membrane. Compared with the peritoneal capillary wall, the GFB has no transcellular "third" pores (aquaporins), and it is far less leaky and more size-selective to proteins, mainly as a result of having far fewer "large" pores. It does have charge-selective properties, although these are considered much less important in excluding albumin than was once thought, and it is also able to select polymers according to their shape and flexibility. Even this property might reflect the relative uniformity of the GFB, which has a high diffusion area and short diffusion distances, compared with the peritoneal barrier, which behaves more like a gel filtration column. Furthermore, the length of the diffusion path across the peritoneal membrane is much greater for small solutes, given the relatively high ultrafiltration coefficient for that membrane compared with the GFB--a situation that reflects both the tortuosity of the interendothelial clefts and the distribution of peritoneal capillaries within the interstitium. These comparisons reveal the peritoneal barrier as a relatively complex structure to model; and yet this model may be more representative of the general microcirculation, and thus shed light on systemic endothelial function in renal failure.

  5. Catalyst containing oxygen transport membrane (United States)

    Christie, Gervase Maxwell; Wilson, Jamie Robyn; van Hassel, Bart Antonie


    A composite oxygen transport membrane having a dense layer, a porous support layer and an intermediate porous layer located between the dense layer and the porous support layer. Both the dense layer and the intermediate porous layer are formed from an ionic conductive material to conduct oxygen ions and an electrically conductive material to conduct electrons. The porous support layer has a high permeability, high porosity, and a high average pore diameter and the intermediate porous layer has a lower permeability and lower pore diameter than the porous support layer. Catalyst particles selected to promote oxidation of a combustible substance are located in the intermediate porous layer and in the porous support adjacent to the intermediate porous layer. The catalyst particles can be formed by wicking a solution of catalyst precursors through the porous support toward the intermediate porous layer.

  6. Comparison of porosity assessment techniques for low-cost ceramic membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lorente-Ayza, M.M.; Perez-Fernandez, O.; Alcala, R.; Sanchez, A.; Mestre, S.; Coronas, J.; Menendez, M.


    Several characterization methods were applied to low cost ceramic membranes developed for wastewater treatment in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) and/or tertiary treatments. The membranes were prepared by four different procedures (uniaxial pressing and extrusion, both with and without starch addition to generate pores). The pore size of these symmetric ceramic membranes was measured by two different methods: bubble point and intrusion mercury porosimetry. A good agreement between both methods was achieved, confirming the validity of the bubble point method for the measurement of the mean pore size of membranes. Air and water permeations of these ceramic membranes were also studied. The relationship between the permeation of both fluids is consistent with the ratio of viscosities, according to the Hagen–Poiseuille equation. (Author)

  7. Self-Assembled Asymmetric Block Copolymer Membranes: Bridging the Gap from Ultra- to Nanofiltration

    KAUST Repository

    Yu, Haizhou


    The self-assembly of block copolymers is an emerging strategy to produce isoporous ultrafiltration membranes. However, thus far, it has not been possible to bridge the gap from ultra- to nanofiltration and decrease the pore size of self-assembled block copolymer membranes to below 5 nm without post-treatment. It is now reported that the self-assembly of blends of two chemically interacting copolymers can lead to highly porous membranes with pore diameters as small as 1.5 nm. The membrane containing an ultraporous, 60 nm thin separation layer can fully reject solutes with molecular weights of 600 g mol−1 in aqueous solutions with a water flux that is more than one order of magnitude higher than the permeance of commercial nanofiltration membranes. Simulations of the membrane formation process by dissipative particle dynamics (DPD) were used to explain the dramatic observed pore size reduction combined with an increase in water flux.

  8. Fabrication of nanoporous nuclear track membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peng Liangqiang; Wang Shicheng; Ju Xin; Masaru Yoshida; Yasunari Maekawa


    Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate (PC) films were irradiated by S, Kr and Xe ions and were illuminated with ultraviolet light. The normalized track etch rate for PET and PC films etched in different conditions were measured by conductometric experiments. It is shown that normalized track etch rate can be over 1000 for PET films, 2000 for PC films under optimized condition. TEM photographs of copper nanowires electroplated into nanoporous nuclear track membranes show that the narrowest wire diameter of copper nanowires is 20 nm and that the pore diameter calculated by conductometric experiments is in agreement with the wire diameter measured by TEM when the pore diameter is over 30 nm

  9. Flux recovery of ceramic tubular membranes fouled with whey proteins: Some aspects of membrane cleaning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popović Svetlana S.


    Full Text Available Efficiency of membrane processes is greatly affected by the flux reduction due to the deposits formation at the surface and/or in the pores of the membrane. Efficiency of membrane processes is affected by cleaning procedure applied to regenerate flux. In this work, flux recovery of ceramic tubular membranes with 50 and 200 nm pore size was investigated. The membranes were fouled with reconstituted whey solution for 1 hour. After that, the membranes were rinsed with clean water and then cleaned with sodium hydroxide solutions or formulated detergents (combination of P3 Ultrasil 67 and P3 Ultrasil 69. Flux recovery after the rinsing step was not satisfactory although fouling resistance reduction was significant so that chemical cleaning was necessary. In the case of 50 nm membrane total flux recovery was achieved after cleaning with 1.0% (w/w sodium hydroxide solution. In the case of 200 nm membrane total flux recovery was not achieved irrespective of the cleaning agent choice and concentration. Cleaning with commercial detergent was less efficient than cleaning with the sodium hydroxide solution.

  10. Immobilized fluid membranes for gas separation (United States)

    Liu, Wei; Canfield, Nathan L; Zhang, Jian; Li, Xiaohong Shari; Zhang, Jiguang


    Provided herein are immobilized liquid membranes for gas separation, methods of preparing such membranes and uses thereof. In one example, the immobilized membrane includes a porous metallic host matrix and an immobilized liquid fluid (such as a silicone oil) that is immobilized within one or more pores included within the porous metallic host matrix. The immobilized liquid membrane is capable of selective permeation of one type of molecule (such as oxygen) over another type of molecule (such as water). In some examples, the selective membrane is incorporated into a device to supply oxygen from ambient air to the device for electrochemical reactions, and at the same time, to block water penetration and electrolyte loss from the device.

  11. Gyroid Nanoporous Membranes with Tunable Permeability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Li; Schulte, Lars; Clausen, Lydia D.


    -linked 1,2-polybutadiene (1,2-PB) membranes with uniform pores that, if needed, can be rendered hydrophilic. The gyroid porosity has the advantage of isotropic percolation with no need for structure prealignment. Closed (skin) or opened (nonskin) outer surface can be simply realized by altering...... the interface energy in the process of membrane fabrication. The morphology of the membranes’ outer surface was investigated by scanning electron microscopy, contact angle, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The effective diffusion coefficient of glucose decreases from nonskin, to one-sided skin to two......-sided skin membranes, much faster than expected by a naive resistance-in-series model; the flux through the two-sided skin membranes even increases with the membrane thickness. We propose a model that captures the physics behind the observed phenomena, as confirmed by flow visualization experiments...

  12. Multilayer Nanoporous Graphene Membranes for Water Desalination. (United States)

    Cohen-Tanugi, David; Lin, Li-Chiang; Grossman, Jeffrey C


    While single-layer nanoporous graphene (NPG) has shown promise as a reverse osmosis (RO) desalination membrane, multilayer graphene membranes can be synthesized more economically than the single-layer material. In this work, we build upon the knowledge gained to date toward single-layer graphene to explore how multilayer NPG might serve as a RO membrane in water desalination using classical molecular dynamic simulations. We show that, while multilayer NPG exhibits similarly promising desalination properties to single-layer membranes, their separation performance can be designed by manipulating various configurational variables in the multilayer case. This work establishes an atomic-level understanding of the effects of additional NPG layers, layer separation, and pore alignment on desalination performance, providing useful guidelines for the design of multilayer NPG membranes.

  13. The current-voltage relation of a pore and its asymptotic behavior in a Nernst-Planck model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marius Birlea


    Full Text Available A model for current-voltage nonlinearity and asymmetry is a good starting point for explaining the electrical behavior of the nanopores in synthetic or biological membranes. Using a Nernst-Planck model, we found three behaviors for the current density in a membrane's pore as a function of voltage: a quasi-ohmic, slow rising linear current at low voltages, a nonlinear current at intermediate voltages, and a non-ohmic, fast rising linear current at large voltages. The slope of the quasi-ohmic current depends mainly on the height of energy barrier inside the pore, w, through an exponential term, ew. The magnitude of the non-ohmic linear current is controlled by the potential energy gradient at the pore entrance, w/r. The current-voltage relation is asymmetric if the ion's potential energy inside the pore has an asymmetric triangular profile. The model has only two assumed parameters, the energy barrier height, w, and the relative size of the entrance region of the pore, r, which is a useful feature for fitting and interpreting experimental data.

  14. Hydralysins, a new category of beta-pore-forming toxins in cnidaria. (United States)

    Sher, Daniel; Fishman, Yelena; Zhang, Mingliang; Lebendiker, Mario; Gaathon, Ariel; Mancheño, José-Miguel; Zlotkin, Eliahu


    Cnidaria are venomous animals that produce diverse protein and polypeptide toxins, stored and delivered into the prey through the stinging cells, the nematocytes. These include pore-forming cytolytic toxins such as well studied actinoporins. In this work, we have shown that the non-nematocystic paralytic toxins, hydralysins, from the green hydra Chlorohydra viridissima comprise a highly diverse group of beta-pore-forming proteins, distinct from other cnidarian toxins but similar in activity and structure to bacterial and fungal toxins. Functional characterization of hydralysins reveals that as soluble monomers they are rich in beta-structure, as revealed by far UV circular dichroism and computational analysis. Hydralysins bind erythrocyte membranes and form discrete pores with an internal diameter of approximately 1.2 nm. The cytolytic effect of hydralysin is cell type-selective, suggesting a specific receptor that is not a phospholipid or carbohydrate. Multiple sequence alignment reveals that hydralysins share a set of conserved sequence motifs with known pore-forming toxins such as aerolysin, epsilon-toxin, alpha-toxin, and LSL and that these sequence motifs are found in and around the poreforming domains of the toxins. The importance of these sequence motifs is revealed by the cloning, expression, and mutagenesis of three hydralysin isoforms that strongly differ in their hemolytic and paralytic activities. The correlation between the paralytic and cytolytic activities of hydralysin suggests that both are a consequence of receptor-mediated pore formation. Hydralysins and their homologues exemplify the wide distribution of beta-pore formers in biology and provide a useful model for the study of their molecular mode of action.

  15. Gas transmission through microporous membranes (United States)

    Turel, Tacibaht


    An ideal protective clothing material should be a good barrier against harmful gases or vapor while allowing moisture vapor and air passage through the material. In the study and design of barrier materials, one of the critical issues is to balance these requirements, which may sometimes be mutually exclusive. Therefore it is critical to understand the macroscopic and microscopic structure of the attack mechanisms as well as the barrier materials and the transport phenomena in such systems. In this study, air and gas transmission through barrier systems consisting of porous membranes was investigated experimentally and a molecular-level probabilistic model was constructed to evaluate the effect of various parameters on the gas flow. The effect of membrane parameters such as porosity, pore size distribution, thickness as well as gas parameters such as molecule diameters were examined at single layer as well as multiple layers. To understand the gas behavior for harmful chemicals and to ensure safety during experimental studies, mimics of such gases were obtained which were comparable to the actual gases in shape, molecular weight and other chemical properties. Air, ammonia and several mimic gases of harmful chemical agents were studied. Beta-pinene was used as a mimic of sarin and prenol was used as a mimic of nitrogen mustard. Gas transmission experiments were conducted on polyester, nylon and polypropylene membranes each of which had different porosity and pore size distributions. Experiments were done at different pressure values and a comparison was made between permeability testing machines based on volumetric and manometric principles as to their ability to accommodate high permeability membranes. Physical and chemical adsorption of such gases on porous membranes was also investigated after the addition of active elements on the membrane surfaces which can interact with the gas molecules. An experimental setup was developed to measure concentration changes

  16. MCO Membranes: Enhanced Selectivity in High-Flux Class (United States)

    Boschetti-de-Fierro, Adriana; Voigt, Manuel; Storr, Markus; Krause, Bernd


    Novel MCO high-flux membranes for hemodialysis have been developed with optimized permeability, allowing for filtration close to that of the natural kidney. A comprehensive in vitro characterization of the membrane properties by dextran filtration is presented. The sieving profile of pristine membranes, as well as that of membranes exposed to blood for 40 minutes, are described. The effective pore size (Stokes-Einstein radius) was estimated from filtration experiments before and after blood exposure, and results were compared to hydrodynamic radii of middle and large uremic toxins and essential proteins. The results indicate that the tailored pore sizes of the MCO membranes promote removal of large toxins while ensuring the retention of albumin. PMID:26669756

  17. Membrane paradigm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Price, R.H.; Thorne, K.S.


    The membrane paradigm is a modified frozen star approach to modeling black holes, with particles and fields assuming a complex, static, boundary-layer type structure (membrane) near the event horizon. The membrane has no effects on the present or future evolution of particles and fields above itself. The mathematical representation is a combination of a formalism containing terms for the shear and bulk viscosity, surface pressure, momentum, temperature, entropy, etc., of the horizon and the 3+1 formalism. The latter model considers a family of three-dimensional spacelike hypersurfaces in one-dimensional time. The membrane model considers a magnetic field threading the hole and undergoing torque from the hole rotation. The field is cleaned by the horizon and distributed over the horizon so that ohmic dissipation is minimized. The membrane paradigm is invalid inside the horizon, but is useful for theoretically probing the properties of slowly evolving black holes

  18. Membrane processes (United States)

    Staszak, Katarzyna


    The membrane processes have played important role in the industrial separation process. These technologies can be found in all industrial areas such as food, beverages, metallurgy, pulp and paper, textile, pharmaceutical, automotive, biotechnology and chemical industry, as well as in water treatment for domestic and industrial application. Although these processes are known since twentieth century, there are still many studies that focus on the testing of new membranes' materials and determining of conditions for optimal selectivity, i. e. the optimum transmembrane pressure (TMP) or permeate flux to minimize fouling. Moreover the researchers proposed some calculation methods to predict the membrane processes properties. In this article, the laboratory scale experiments of membrane separation techniques, as well their validation by calculation methods are presented. Because membrane is the "heart" of the process, experimental and computational methods for its characterization are also described.

  19. Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Membranes for CO2 Separation Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyung-Ju Kim


    Full Text Available Mesoporous silica molecular sieves are emerging candidates for a number of potential applications involving adsorption and molecular transport due to their large surface areas, high pore volumes, and tunable pore sizes. Recently, several research groups have investigated the potential of functionalized mesoporous silica molecular sieves as advanced materials in separation devices, such as membranes. In particular, mesoporous silica with a two- or three-dimensional pore structure is one of the most promising types of molecular sieve materials for gas separation membranes. However, several important challenges must first be addressed regarding the successful fabrication of mesoporous silica membranes. First, a novel, high throughput process for the fabrication of continuous and defect-free mesoporous silica membranes is required. Second, functionalization of mesopores on membranes is desirable in order to impart selective properties. Finally, the separation characteristics and performance of functionalized mesoporous silica membranes must be further investigated. Herein, the synthesis, characterization, and applications of mesoporous silica membranes and functionalized mesoporous silica membranes are reviewed with a focus on CO2 separation.

  20. Longitudinally Controlled Modification of Cylindrical and Conical Track-Etched Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Pores Using an Electrochemically Assisted Click Reaction. (United States)

    Coceancigh, Herman; Tran-Ba, Khanh-Hoa; Siepser, Natasha; Baker, Lane A; Ito, Takashi


    In this study, the longitudinally controlled modification of the inner surfaces of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) track-etched pores was explored using an electrochemically assisted Cu(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) click reaction. Cylindrical or conical PET track-etched pores were first decorated with ethynyl groups via the amidation of surface -COOH groups, filled with a solution containing Cu(II) and azide-tagged fluorescent dye, and then sandwiched between comb-shaped and planar gold electrodes. Cu(I) was produced at the comb-shaped working electrode by the reduction of Cu(II); it diffused along the pores toward the other electrode and catalyzed CuAAC between an azide-tagged fluorescent dye and a pore-tethered ethynyl group. The modification efficiency of cylindrical pores (ca. 1 μm in diameter) was assessed from planar and cross-sectional fluorescence microscope images of modified membranes. Planar images showed that pore modification took place only above the teeth of the comb-shaped electrode with a higher reaction yield for longer Cu(II) reduction times. Cross-sectional images revealed micrometer-scale gradient modification along the pore axis, which reflected a Cu(I) concentration profile within the pores, as supported by finite-element computer simulations. The reported approach was applicable to the asymmetric modification of cylindrical pores with two different fluorescent dyes in the opposite directions and also for the selective visualization of the tip and base openings of conical pores (ca. 3.5 μm in base diameter and ca. 1 μm in tip diameter). The method based on electrochemically assisted CuAAC provides a controlled means to fabricate asymmetrically modified nanoporous membranes and, in the future, will be applicable for chemical separations and the development of sequential catalytic reactors.

  1. Longitudinally Controlled Modification of Cylindrical and Conical Track-Etched Poly(ethylene terephthalate) Pores Using an Electrochemically Assisted Click Reaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coceancigh, Herman; Tran-Ba, Khanh-Hoa; Columbia University, New York, NY; Siepser, Natasha; Baker, Lane A.; Ito, Takashi


    Here in this study, the longitudinally controlled modification of the inner surfaces of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) track-etched pores was explored using an electrochemically assisted Cu(I)-catalyzed azide–alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC) click reaction. Cylindrical or conical PET track-etched pores were first decorated with ethynyl groups via the amidation of surface -COOH groups, filled with a solution containing Cu(II) and azide-tagged fluorescent dye, and then sandwiched between comb-shaped and planar gold electrodes. Cu(I) was produced at the comb-shaped working electrode by the reduction of Cu(II); it diffused along the pores toward the other electrode and catalyzed CuAAC between an azide-tagged fluorescent dye and a pore-tethered ethynyl group. The modification efficiency of cylindrical pores (ca. 1 μm in diameter) was assessed from planar and cross-sectional fluorescence microscope images of modified membranes. Planar images showed that pore modification took place only above the teeth of the comb-shaped electrode with a higher reaction yield for longer Cu(II) reduction times. Cross-sectional images revealed micrometer-scale gradient modification along the pore axis, which reflected a Cu(I) concentration profile within the pores, as supported by finite-element computer simulations. The reported approach was applicable to the asymmetric modification of cylindrical pores with two different fluorescent dyes in the opposite directions and also for the selective visualization of the tip and base openings of conical pores (ca. 3.5 μm in base diameter and ca. 1 μm in tip diameter). Lastly, the method based on electrochemically assisted CuAAC provides a controlled means to fabricate asymmetrically modified nanoporous membranes and, in the future, will be applicable for chemical separations and the development of sequential catalytic reactors.

  2. Pores and Void in Asclepiades’ Physical Theory (United States)

    Leith, David


    This paper examines a fundamental, though relatively understudied, aspect of the physical theory of the physician Asclepiades of Bithynia, namely his doctrine of pores. My principal thesis is that this doctrine is dependent on a conception of void taken directly from Epicurean physics. The paper falls into two parts: the first half addresses the evidence for the presence of void in Asclepiades’ theory, and concludes that his conception of void was basically that of Epicurus; the second half focuses on the precise nature of Asclepiadean pores, and seeks to show that they represent void interstices between the primary particles of matter which are the constituents of the human body, and are thus exactly analogous to the void interstices between atoms within solid objects in Epicurus’ theory. PMID:22984299

  3. Mechanosensitivity of cell membranes. Ion channels, lipid matrix and cytoskeleton. (United States)

    Petrov, A G; Usherwood, P N


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

  4. Pore-Scale Model for Microbial Growth (United States)

    Tartakovsky, G.; Tartakovsky, A. M.; Scheibe, T. D.


    A lagrangian particle model based on smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) is used to simulate pore-scale flow, reactive transport and biomass growth which is controlled by the mixing of an electron donor and acceptor, in a microfluidic porous cell. The experimental results described in Ch. Zhang et al "Effects of pore-scale heterogeneity and transverse mixing on bacterial growth in porous media" were used for this study. The model represents the homogeneous pore structure of a uniform array of cylindrical posts with microbes uniformly distributed on the grain surfaces. Each one of the two solutes (electron donor and electron acceptor) enters the domain unmixed through separate inlets. In the model, pair-wise particle-particle interactions are used to simulate interactions within the biomass, and both biomass-fluid and biomass-soil grain interactions. The biomass growth rate is described by double Monod kinetics. For the set of parameters used in the simulations the model predicts that: 1) biomass grows in the shape of bridges connecting soil grains and oriented in the direction of flow so as to minimize resistance to the fluid flow; and 2) the biomass growth occurs only in the mixing zone. Using parameters available in the literature, the biomass growth model agrees qualitatively with the experimental results. In order to achieve quantitative agreement, model calibration is required.

  5. Design and optimization of porous ceramic supports for asymmetric ceria-based oxygen transport membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaiser, Andreas; Foghmoes, Søren Preben Vagn; Pećanac, G.


    The microstructure, mechanical properties and gas permeability of porous supports of Ce0.9Gd0.1O1.95−δ (CGO) were investigated as a function of sintering temperature and volume fraction of pore former for use in planar asymmetric oxygen transport membranes (OTMs). With increasing the pore former ...... activity of the CGO membrane was reduced by Fe2O3 addition (replacing Co3O4 as sintering additive)....

  6. The pore forming capacity of Sticholysin I in dipalmitoyl phosphatidyl vesicles is tuned by osmotic stress. (United States)

    Ahumada, M; Calderon, C; Lissi, E; Alvarez, C; Lanio, M E; Pazos, F


    The osmotic condition modulates the properties of liposomes, particularly those related to their stability and response to external agents such as membrane-active proteins or peptides. In a previous work, we have demonstrated that an osmotic shock can increase, per se, water influx/efflux and the exit of the fluorophore calcein entrapped in the aqueous pool of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and DPPC:sphingomyelin (SM) large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs), suggesting a loss of integrity of the liposome bilayer. In the present work, we have extended our study in order to assess how an osmotic imbalance prior to or synchronous with the addition of a recombinant variant of the pore-forming toxin sticholysin I (rSt I) modifies its pore forming capacity in DPPC and DPPC:SM (1:1) LUVs. Our results conclusively show the capacity of hypotonic gradients to improve the pore forming capacity of rSt I molecules, even in pure DPPC liposomes, rendering pore-formation less dependent on the presence of sphyngomyelin. In fact, non-active toxins in DPPC liposomes become active by a hypotonic imbalance in a similar way to those containing SM as a second component. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Hydration properties of mechanosensitive channel pores define the energetics of gating

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anishkin, A; Akitake, B; Kamaraju, K; Chiang, C-S; Sukharev, S


    Opening of ion channels directly by tension in the surrounding membrane appears to be the most ancient and simple mechanism of gating. Bacterial mechanosensitive channels MscL and MscS are the best-studied tension-gated nanopores, yet the key physical factors that define their gating are still hotly debated. Here we present estimations, simulations and experimental results showing that hydration of the pore might be one of the major parameters defining the thermodynamics and kinetics of mechanosensitive channel gating. We associate closing of channel pores with complete dehydration of the hydrophobic gate (occlusion by 'vapor lock') and formation of two water-vapor interfaces above and below the constriction. The opening path is the expansion of these interfaces, ultimately leading to wetting of the hydrophobic pore, which does not appear to be the exact reverse of the closing path, thus producing hysteresis. We discuss specifically the role of polar groups (glycines) buried in narrow closed conformations but exposed in the open states that change the wetting characteristics of the pore lining and stabilize conductive states of the channels.

  8. Diffusive Silicon Nanopore Membranes for Hemodialysis Applications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Kim

    Full Text Available Hemodialysis using hollow-fiber membranes provides life-sustaining treatment for nearly 2 million patients worldwide with end stage renal disease (ESRD. However, patients on hemodialysis have worse long-term outcomes compared to kidney transplant or other chronic illnesses. Additionally, the underlying membrane technology of polymer hollow-fiber membranes has not fundamentally changed in over four decades. Therefore, we have proposed a fundamentally different approach using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS fabrication techniques to create thin-flat sheets of silicon-based membranes for implantable or portable hemodialysis applications. The silicon nanopore membranes (SNM have biomimetic slit-pore geometry and uniform pores size distribution that allow for exceptional permeability and selectivity. A quantitative diffusion model identified structural limits to diffusive solute transport and motivated a new microfabrication technique to create SNM with enhanced diffusive transport. We performed in vitro testing and extracorporeal testing in pigs on prototype membranes with an effective surface area of 2.52 cm2 and 2.02 cm2, respectively. The diffusive clearance was a two-fold improvement in with the new microfabrication technique and was consistent with our mathematical model. These results establish the feasibility of using SNM for hemodialysis applications with additional scale-up.

  9. Ultrafiltration by gyroid nanoporous polymer membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Li; Szewczykowski, Piotr Przemyslaw; Clausen, Lydia D.


    Gyroid nanoporous cross-linked 1,2-polybutadiene membranes with uniform pores were developed for ultrafiltration applications. The gyroid porosity has the advantage of isotropic percolation with no need for structure pre-alignment. The effects of solvent and surface photo-hydrophilization on perm......Gyroid nanoporous cross-linked 1,2-polybutadiene membranes with uniform pores were developed for ultrafiltration applications. The gyroid porosity has the advantage of isotropic percolation with no need for structure pre-alignment. The effects of solvent and surface photo......-hydrophilization on permeation and molecular weight cut-off were investigated. Gas permeation followed the Knudsen diffusion scheme, while water flux across the originally hydrophobic membrane could be described by a generalized Hagen–Poiseuille equation. A series of PEGs of different molecular weights were used to explore...... the effect of membrane fouling on the flux decline and rejection profiles. Significant fouling occurred in the case of hydrophobic membranes in contact with water solutions, while in the presence of high concentration of ethanol in the filtration solution and in the case of hydrophilized membranes...

  10. Recent Developments in Carbon Nanotube Membranes for Water Purification and Gas Separation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Gray


    Full Text Available Carbon nanotubes (CNTs are nanoscale cylinders of graphene with exceptional properties such as high mechanical strength, high aspect ratio and large specific surface area. To exploit these properties for membranes, macroscopic structures need to be designed with controlled porosity and pore size. This manuscript reviews recent progress on two such structures: (i CNT Bucky-papers, a non-woven, paper like structure of randomly entangled CNTs, and (ii isoporous CNT membranes, where the hollow CNT interior acts as a membrane pore. The construction of these two types of membranes will be discussed, characterization and permeance results compared, and some promising applications presented.

  11. Real-Time Pore Pressure Detection: Indicators and Improved Methods


    Jincai Zhang; Shangxian Yin


    High uncertainties may exist in the predrill pore pressure prediction in new prospects and deepwater subsalt wells; therefore, real-time pore pressure detection is highly needed to reduce drilling risks. The methods for pore pressure detection (the resistivity, sonic, and corrected d-exponent methods) are improved using the depth-dependent normal compaction equations to adapt to the requirements of the real-time monitoring. A new method is proposed to calculate pore pressure from the connecti...

  12. Solid polymer electrolyte composite membrane comprising plasma etched porous support (United States)

    Liu, Han; LaConti, Anthony B.


    A solid polymer electrolyte composite membrane and method of manufacturing the same. According to one embodiment, the composite membrane comprises a rigid, non-electrically-conducting support, the support preferably being a sheet of polyimide having a thickness of about 7.5 to 15 microns. The support has a plurality of cylindrical pores extending perpendicularly between opposing top and bottom surfaces of the support. The pores, which preferably have a diameter of about 0.1 to 5 microns, are made by plasma etching and preferably are arranged in a defined pattern, for example, with fewer pores located in areas of high membrane stress and more pores located in areas of low membrane stress. The pores are filled with a first solid polymer electrolyte, such as a perfluorosulfonic acid (PFSA) polymer. A second solid polymer electrolyte, which may be the same as or different than the first solid polymer electrolyte, may be deposited over the top and/or bottom of the first solid polymer electrolyte.

  13. Fabrication of bioinspired composite nanofiber membranes with robust superhydrophobicity for direct contact membrane distillation. (United States)

    Liao, Yuan; Wang, Rong; Fane, Anthony G


    The practical application of membrane distillation (MD) for water purification is hindered by the absence of desirable membranes that can fulfill the special requirements of the MD process. Compared to the membranes fabricated by other methods, nanofiber membranes produced by electrospinning are of great interest due to their high porosity, low tortuosity, large surface pore size, and high surface hydrophobicity. However, the stable performance of the nanofiber membranes in the MD process is still unsatisfactory. Inspired by the unique structure of the lotus leaf, this study aimed to develop a strategy to construct superhydrophobic composite nanofiber membranes with robust superhydrophobicity and high porosity suitable for use in MD. The newly developed membrane consists of a superhydrophobic silica-PVDF composite selective skin formed on a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) porous nanofiber scaffold via electrospinning. This fabrication method could be easily scaled up due to its simple preparation procedures. The effects of silica diameter and concentration on membrane contact angle, sliding angle, and MD performance were investigated thoroughly. For the first time, the direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) tests demonstrate that the newly developed membranes are able to present stable high performance over 50 h of testing time, and the superhydrophobic selective layer exhibits excellent durability in ultrasonic treatment and a continuous DCMD test. It is believed that this novel design strategy has great potential for MD membrane fabrication.

  14. Facial skin pores: a multiethnic study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flament F


    Full Text Available Frederic Flament,1 Ghislain Francois,1 Huixia Qiu,2 Chengda Ye,2 Tomoo Hanaya,3 Dominique Batisse,3 Suzy Cointereau-Chardon,1 Mirela Donato Gianeti Seixas,4 Susi Elaine Dal Belo,4 Roland Bazin5 1Department of Applied Research and Development, L’Oreal Research and Innovation, Paris, France; 2Department of Applied Research and Development, L’Oreal Research and Innovation, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Applied Research and Development, L’Oreal Research and Innovation, Tokyo, Japan; 4Department of Applied Research and Development, L’Oreal Research and Innovation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 5RB Consult, Bievres, France Abstract: Skin pores (SP, as they are called by laymen, are common and benign features mostly located on the face (nose, cheeks, etc that generate many aesthetic concerns or complaints. Despite the prevalence of skin pores, related literature is scarce. With the aim of describing the prevalence of skin pores and anatomic features among ethnic groups, a dermatoscopic instrument, using polarized lighting, coupled to a digital camera recorded the major features of skin pores (size, density, coverage on the cheeks of 2,585 women in different countries and continents. A detection threshold of 250 µm, correlated to clinical scorings by experts, was input into a specific software to further allow for automatic counting of the SP density (N/cm2 and determination of their respective sizes in mm2. Integrating both criteria also led to establishing the relative part of the skin surface (as a percentage that is actually covered by SP on cheeks. The results showed that the values of respective sizes, densities, and skin coverage: 1 were recorded in all studied subjects; 2 varied greatly with ethnicity; 3 plateaued with age in most cases; and 4 globally reflected self-assessment by subjects, in particular those who self-declare having “enlarged pores” like Brazilian women. Inversely, Chinese women were clearly

  15. Development of silica RO membranes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikeda, Ayumi; Kawamoto, Takashi; Matsuyama, Emi; Utsumi, Keisuke; Nomura, Mikihiro; Sugimoto, Masaki; Yoshikawa, Masato


    Silica based membranes have been developed by using a counter diffusion CVD method. Effects of alkyl groups in the silica precursors and deposition temperatures had investigated in order to control pore sizes of the silica membranes. In this study, this type of a silica membrane was applied for RO separation. Effects of silica sources, deposition temperatures and post treatments had been investigated. Tetramethoxysilane (TMOS), Ethyltrimethoxysilane (ETMOS) and Phenyltrimethoxysilane (PhTMOS) were used as silica precursors. A counter diffusion CVD method was carried out for 90 min at 270 - 600degC on γ-alumina capillary substrates (effective length: 50 mm, φ: 4 nm: NOK Co.). O 3 or O 2 was introduced into the inside of the substrate at the O 2 rate of 0.2 L min -1 . Ion beam irradiation was carried out for a post treatment using Os at 490 MeV for 1.0 x 10 10 ions cm -2 or 3.0 x 10 10 ions cm -2 . Single gas permeance was measured by using H 2 , N 2 and SF 6 . RO tests were employed at 3.0 or 5.4 MPa for 100 mg L -1 of feed NaCl solution. First, effects of the silica sources were investigated. The total fluxes increased by increasing N 2 permeance through the silica membrane deposited by ETMOS. The maximum NaCl rejection was 28.2% at 12.2 kg m -2 h -1 of the total flux through the membrane deposited at 270degC. N 2 permeance was 9.6 x 10 -9 mol m -2 s -1 Pa -1 . While, total fluxes through the membrane deposited by using PhTMOS were smaller than those through the ETMOS membranes. The phenyl groups for the PhTMOS membrane must be important for the hydrophobic properties through the membrane. Next, effects of ion beam irradiation were tested for the TMOS membranes. Water is difficult to permeate through the TMOS membranes due to the low N 2 permeance through the membrane (3.1 x 10 -11 mol m -2 s -1 Pa -1 ). N 2 permeance increased to 7.3 x 10 -9 mol m -2 s -1 Pa -1 by the irradiation. Irradiation amounts had little effects on N 2 permeance. However, NaCl rejections

  16. Primordial membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hanczyc, Martin M; Monnard, Pierre-Alain


    Cellular membranes, which are self-assembled bilayer structures mainly composed of lipids, proteins and conjugated polysaccharides, are the defining feature of cell physiology. It is likely that the complexity of contemporary cells was preceded by simpler chemical systems or protocells during...... the various evolutionary stages that led from inanimate to living matter. It is also likely that primitive membranes played a similar role in protocell 'physiology'. The composition of such ancestral membranes has been proposed as mixtures of single hydrocarbon chain amphiphiles, which are simpler versions...

  17. Estimation of adsorption-induced pore pressure and confinement in a nanoscopic slit pore by a density functional theory (United States)

    Grégoire, David; Malheiro, Carine; Miqueu, Christelle


    This study aims at characterising the adsorption-induced pore pressure and confinement in nanoscopic pores by molecular non-local density functional theory (DFT). Considering its important potential industrial applications, the adsorption of methane in graphitic slit pores has been selected as the test case. While retaining the accuracy of molecular simulations at pore scale, DFT has a very low computational cost that allows obtaining highly resolved pore pressure maps as a function of both pore width and thermodynamic conditions. The dependency of pore pressure on these parameters (pore width, pressure and temperature) is carefully analysed in order to highlight the effect of each parameter on the confined fluid properties that impact the solid matrix.

  18. Controlling the porosity of a polyethersulfone membrane surface with an XeCl laser

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pazokian, Hedieh; Mehrabadi, Adeleh H P; Mollabashi, Mahmoud; Barzin, Jalal


    Pure and polyvinyl pyrrolidone blend polyethersulfone (PES) membranes were irradiated by an XeCl laser with various numbers of pulses at different fluences to investigate the changes in the surface morphology and the porosity. The results show that the membrane pore size and distribution on the surface can be modified following irradiation dependent on the laser fluence, the number of pulses and the membrane composition. These changes are very attractive for improving the membrane surface in filtration processes and biological applications. (paper)

  19. Poisson-Nernst-Planck models of nonequilibrium ion electrodiffusion through a protegrin transmembrane pore.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan S Bolintineanu


    Full Text Available Protegrin peptides are potent antimicrobial agents believed to act against a variety of pathogens by forming nonselective transmembrane pores in the bacterial cell membrane. We have employed 3D Poisson-Nernst-Planck (PNP calculations to determine the steady-state ion conduction characteristics of such pores at applied voltages in the range of -100 to +100 mV in 0.1 M KCl bath solutions. We have tested a variety of pore structures extracted from molecular dynamics (MD simulations based on an experimentally proposed octomeric pore structure. The computed single-channel conductance values were in the range of 290-680 pS. Better agreement with the experimental range of 40-360 pS was obtained using structures from the last 40 ns of the MD simulation, where conductance values range from 280 to 430 pS. We observed no significant variation of the conductance with applied voltage in any of the structures that we tested, suggesting that the voltage dependence observed experimentally is a result of voltage-dependent channel formation rather than an inherent feature of the open pore structure. We have found the pore to be highly selective for anions, with anionic to cationic current ratios (I(Cl-/I(K+ on the order of 10(3. This is consistent with the highly cationic nature of the pore but surprisingly in disagreement with the experimental finding of only slight anionic selectivity. We have additionally tested the sensitivity of our PNP model to several parameters and found the ion diffusion coefficients to have a significant influence on conductance characteristics. The best agreement with experimental data was obtained using a diffusion coefficient for each ion set to 10% of the bulk literature value everywhere inside the channel, a scaling used by several other studies employing PNP calculations. Overall, this work presents a useful link between previous work focused on the structure of protegrin pores and experimental efforts aimed at investigating their

  20. Crosslinked polytriazole membranes for organophilic filtration

    KAUST Repository

    Chisca, Stefan


    We report the preparation of crosslinked membranes for organophilic filtration, by reacting a new polytriazole with free OH groups, using non-toxic poly (ethylene glycol) diglycidyl ether (PEGDE). The OH-functionalized polymer was obtained by converting the oxadiazole to triazole rings with high yield (98%). The maximum degree of crosslinking is achieved after 6 h of reaction. The crosslinked polytriazole membranes are stable in a wide range of organic solvents and show high creep recovery, indicating the robustness of crosslinked membranes. The influence of different casting solutions and different crosslinking time on the membrane morphology and membrane performance was investigated. The membranes performance was studied in dimethylformamide (DMF) and (tetrahydrofuran) THF. We achieved a permeance for THF of 49 L m−2 h−1 bar−1 for membranes with molecular weight cut off (MWCO) of 7 kg mol−1 and a permeance for THF of 17.5 L m−2 h−1 bar−1 for membranes with MWCO of 3 kg mol−1. Our data indicate that by using the new polytriazole is possible to adjust the pore dimensions of the membranes to have a MWCO, which covers ultra- and nanofiltration range.

  1. Development of Nanoporous Polymer Membranes by Swift Heavy Ion Irradiation (United States)

    Dinesh, Divya; Predeep, P.


    This study reveals the preparation of conical pores in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) by track etching. The polymer membrane is etched from one side by keeping between the clamps of conductivity cell followed by irradiation with swift heavy ion of 197Au. Electrical stopping supports chemical stopping. During etching process current is measured as a function of time till a sharp increase -breakthrough-observed. After etching membranes are thoroughly washed with stopping solution and water. Resultant films are characterized using Optical microscope and field emission scanning electron microscopy. Polymer films with uniform pores can be a cheaper templating material in the fields of photonic crystals and micro- electronics.

  2. 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.

  3. Modeling flow in nanoporous, membrane reservoirs and interpretation of coupled fluxes (United States)

    Geren, Filiz

    The average pore size in unconventional, tight-oil reservoirs is estimated to be less than 100 nm. At this pore size, Darcy flow is no longer the dominating flow mechanism and a combination of diffusive flows determines the flow characteristics. Concentration driven self-diffusion has been well known and included in the flow and transport models in porous media. However, when the sizes of the pores and pore-throats decrease down to the size of the hydrocarbon molecules, the porous medium acts like a semi-permeable membrane, and the size of the pore openings dictates the direction of transport between adjacent pores. Accordingly, characterization of flow and transport in tight unconventional plays requires understanding of their membrane properties. This Master of Science thesis first highlights the membrane properties of nanoporous, unconventional reservoirs and then discusses how filtration effects can be incorporated into the models of transport in nanoporous media within the coupled flux concept. The effect of filtration on fluid composition and its impact on black-oil fluid properties like bubble point pressure is also demonstrated. To define filtration and filtration pressure in unconventional, tight-oil reservoirs, analogy to chemical osmosis is applied two pore systems connected with a pore throat, which shows membrane properties. Because the pore throat selectivity permits the passage of fluid molecules by their sizes, given a filtration pressure difference between the two pore systems, the concentration difference between the systems is determined by flash calculations. The results are expressed in the form of filtration (membrane) efficiency, which is essential parameter to define coupled fluxes for porous media flow.

  4. Capillary pressure in a porous medium with distinct pore surface and pore volume fractal dimensions. (United States)

    Deinert, M R; Dathe, A; Parlange, J-Y; Cady, K B


    The relationship between capillary pressure and saturation in a porous medium often exhibits a power-law dependence. The physical basis for this relation has been substantiated by assuming that capillary pressure is directly related to the pore radius. When the pore space of a medium exhibits fractal structure this approach results in a power-law relation with an exponent of 3-D(v), where D(v) is the pore volume fractal dimension. However, larger values of the exponent than are realistically allowed by this result have long been known to occur. Using a thermodynamic formulation for equilibrium capillary pressure we show that the standard result is a special case of the more general exponent (3-D(v))(3-D(s)) where D(s) is the surface fractal dimension of the pores. The analysis reduces to the standard result when D(s)=2, indicating a Euclidean relationship between a pore's surface area and the volume it encloses, and allows for a larger value for the exponent than the standard result when D(s)>2 .

  5. Redistribution of Cholesterol in Model Lipid Membranes in Response to the Membrane-Active Peptide Alamethicin (United States)

    Heller, William; Qian, Shuo


    The cellular membrane is a heterogeneous, dynamic mixture of molecules and macromolecules that self-assemble into a tightly-regulated functional unit that provides a semipermeable barrier between the cell and its environment. Among the many compositional differences between mammalian and bacterial cell membranes that impact its physical properties, one key difference is cholesterol content, which is more prevalent in mammals. Cholesterol is an amphiphile that associates with membranes and serves to maintain its fluidity and permeability. Membrane-active peptides, such as the alpha-helical peptide alamethicin, interact with membranes in a concentration- and composition-dependent manner to form transmembrane pores that are responsible for the lytic action of the peptide. Through the use of small-angle neutron scattering and deuterium labeling, it was possible to observe a redistribution of the lipid and cholesterol in unilamellar vesicles in response to the presence of alamethicin at a peptide-to-lipid ratio of 1/200. The results demonstrate that the membrane remodeling powers of alamethicin reach beyond the membrane thinning effect to altering the localization of specific components in the bilayer, complementing the accepted two-state mechanism of pore formation. Research was supported by U. S. DOE-OBER (CSMB; FWP ERKP291) and the U. S. DOE-BES Scientific User Facilities Division (ORNL's SNS and HFIR).

  6. Hydrogen purification performance of a nanoporous hexagonal boron nitride membrane: molecular dynamics and first-principle simulations. (United States)

    Darvish Ganji, Masoud; Dodangeh, Razieh


    Membranes have attracted much attention for the efficient separation of gas mixtures, due to their specific structural and unique properties. In this work, density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamic (MD) simulations have been employed to evaluate the performance of nanoporous hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) monolayers for hydrogen purification. Various porous membranes were designed, and full structural relaxation was carried out by using DFT calculations and then MD simulations to investigate the H 2 purification performance of the nanoporous h-BN membranes. It was found that the selectivity for H 2 gas over N 2 gas was highly sensitive to the type and width of the pores. The h-BN membrane containing pores with short and long sides both of about 3 Å (pore 1B-3N) demonstrated optimal selectivity for H 2 molecules, while the permeability of the pore 5B-5N + 4H membrane (short side of about 4.4 Å) was much higher than that of other counterparts. Furthermore, DFT calculations were performed to validate the MD simulation observations as well as to explain the selectivity performance of the most desirable pore membrane. We demonstrated that the 1B-3N pore is a far superior membrane to other counterparts and exhibits an excellent potential for applications in hydrogen purification, clean energy combustion, and the design of novel membranes for gas separation.

  7. Nuclear pores and perinuclear expression sites of var and ribosomal DNA genes correspond to physically distinct regions in Plasmodium falciparum. (United States)

    Guizetti, Julien; Martins, Rafael Miyazawa; Guadagnini, Stéphanie; Claes, Aurélie; Scherf, Artur


    The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum modifies the erythrocyte it infects by exporting variant proteins to the host cell surface. The var gene family that codes for a large, variant adhesive surface protein called P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) plays a particular role in this process, which is linked to pathogenesis and immune evasion. A single member of this gene family is highly transcribed while the other 59 members remain silenced. Importantly, var gene transcription occurs at a spatially restricted, but yet undefined, perinuclear site that is distinct from repressed var gene clusters. To advance our understanding of monoallelic expression, we investigated whether nuclear pores associate with the var gene expression site. To this end, we studied the nuclear pore organization during the asexual blood stage using a specific antibody directed against a subunit of the nuclear pore, P. falciparum Nup116 (PfNup116). Ring and schizont stage parasites showed highly polarized nuclear pore foci, whereas in trophozoite stage nuclear pores redistributed over the entire nuclear surface. Colocalization studies of var transcripts and anti-PfNup116 antibodies showed clear dissociation between nuclear pores and the var gene expression site in ring stage. Similar results were obtained for another differentially transcribed perinuclear gene family, the ribosomal DNA units. Furthermore, we show that in the poised state, the var gene locus is not physically linked to nuclear pores. Our results indicate that P. falciparum does form compartments of high transcriptional activity at the nuclear periphery which are, unlike the case in yeast, devoid of nuclear pores.

  8. A Biomedical Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering Substrate: Functionalized Three-Dimensional Porous Membrane Decorated with Silver Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Yuan


    Full Text Available We fabricated a simple, cheap, and functional surface enhanced Raman scattering substrate for biomedical application. Hot spots between two close silver nanoparticles distributed in the skeleton of a three-dimensional porous membrane, especially in the pores, were formed. The dual poles of micropores in the membrane were discussed. The pores could protect the silver nanoparticles in the pores from being oxidized, which makes the membrane effective for a longer period of time. In addition, Staphylococcus aureus cells could be trapped by the micropores and then the Raman signal became stronger, indicating that the functional surface enhanced Raman scattering substrate is reliable.

  9. Assessment of nylon 6, 6 nanofibre membrane for microalgae harvesting (United States)

    Azizo, Amar Shafrin; Wirzal, Mohd Dzul Hakim; Bilad, Muhammad Roil; Yusoff, Abdull Rahim Mohd


    Pressure driven membrane processes have been proven suitable for the separation of microorganisms in many of biotechnical applications. In this paper, we report the preparation and characterization of a novel nylon 6, 6 nanofibers membranes and applied it for filtration of Chlorella vulgaris broth. Its performance is compared with a phase inverted polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) membrane, an established membrane material for this application. The tests on the filterability of both membranes and their harvesting efficiency were conducted. Results show that nanofiber membrane is more hydrophilic (contact angle of zero), and has 45% higher surface pore size and 20% surface pore population that contribute significantly into its higher clean water permeability (of 1018 and 493 l/m2hbar for nanofiber and PVDF membranes respectively). Filterability results show that nanofiber membrane has superior advantages over the phase inverted one: 2-5 times higher in productivity while maintaining similar rejection of 92%. Those results were consistent for three independent filterability tests. This finding confirms the potential application of nanofiber membrane. However, further development with respect to improving its mechanical strength and its ability to be assembled into a membrane module should be critical to serve its promise in this particular application.

  10. Earthworm-Derived Pore-Forming Toxin Lysenin and Screening of Its Inhibitors (United States)

    Sukumwang, Neelanun; Umezawa, Kazuo


    Lysenin is a pore-forming toxin from the coelomic fluid of earthworm Eisenia foetida. This protein specifically binds to sphingomyelin and induces erythrocyte lysis. Lysenin consists of 297 amino acids with a molecular weight of 41 kDa. We screened for cellular signal transduction inhibitors of low molecular weight from microorganisms and plants. The purpose of the screening was to study the mechanism of diseases using the obtained inhibitors and to develop new chemotherapeutic agents acting in the new mechanism. Therefore, our aim was to screen for inhibitors of Lysenin-induced hemolysis from plant extracts and microbial culture filtrates. As a result, we isolated all-E-lutein from an extract of Dalbergia latifolia leaves. All-E-lutein is likely to inhibit the process of Lysenin-membrane binding and/or oligomer formation rather than pore formation. Additionally, we isolated tyrosylproline anhydride from the culture filtrate of Streptomyces as an inhibitor of Lysenin-induced hemolysis. PMID:23965430

  11. Pore size engineering applied to the design of separators for nickel-hydrogen cells and batteries (United States)

    Abbey, K. M.; Britton, D. L.


    Pore size engineering in starved alkaline multiplate cells involves adopting techniques to widen the volume tolerance of individual cells. Separators with appropriate pore size distributions and wettability characteristics (capillary pressure considerations) to have wider volume tolerances and an ability to resist dimensional changes in the electrodes were designed. The separators studied for potential use in nickel-hydrogen cells consist of polymeric membranes as well as inorganic microporous mats. In addition to standard measurements, the resistance and distribution of electrolyte as a function of total cell electrolyte content were determined. New composite separators consisting of fibers, particles and/or binders deposited on Zircar cloth were developed in order to engineer the proper capillary pressure characteristics in the separator. These asymmetric separators were prepared from a variety of fibers, particles and binders. Previously announced in STAR as N83-24571

  12. Tuning of Block Copolymer Membrane Morphology through Water Induced Phase Inversion Technique

    KAUST Repository

    Madhavan, Poornima


    Isoporous membranes are attractive for the regulation and detection of transport at the molecular level. A well-defined asymmetric membranes from diblock copolymers with an ordered nanoporous membrane morphologies were fabricated by the combination of block copolymer self-assembly and non-solvent-induced phase separation (NIPS) technique. This is a straightforward and fast one step procedure to develop integrally anisotropic (“asymmetric”) membranes having isoporous top selective layer. Membranes prepared via this method exhibit an anisotropic cross section with a thin separation layer supported from underneath a macroporous support. These membrane poses cylindrical pore structure with ordered nanopores across the entire membrane surfaces with pore size in the range from 20 to 40 nm. Tuning the pore morphology of the block copolymer membranes before and after fabrication are of great interest. In this thesis, we first investigated the pore morphology tuning of asymmetric block copolymer membrane by complexing with small organic molecules. We found that the occurrence of hydrogen-bond formation between PS-b-P4VP block copolymer and –OH/ –COOH functionalized organic molecules significantly tunes the pore morphology of asymmetric nanoporous membranes. In addition, we studied the complexation behavior of ionic liquids with PS-b-P4VP block copolymer in solutions and investigated their effect on final membrane morphology during the non-solvent induced phase separation process. We found that non-protic ionic liquids facilitate the formation of hexagonal nanoporous block copolymer structure, while protic ionic liquids led to a lamella-structured membrane. Secondly, we demonstrated the catalytic activity of the gold nanoparticle-enhanced hollow fiber membranes by the reduction of nitrophenol. Also, we systematically investigated the pore morphology of isoporous PS-b-P4VP using 3D imaging technique. Thirdly, we developed well-distributed silver nanoparticles on the

  13. Atomic force microscopy analysis of synthetic membranes applied in release studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olejnik, Anna; Nowak, Izabela


    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • We compare eight synthetic membranes by atomic force microscopy. • We predict the behavior of membranes in the release experiments. • The polymeric synthetic membranes varied in shape and size. • We detect substructures in pores of cellulose esters and nylon membranes. • Substructures limit the release rate of active compound. - Abstract: Synthetic membranes are commonly used in drug release studies and are applied mostly in quality control. They contain pores through which the drug can be diffused directly into the receptor fluid. Investigation of synthetic membranes permits determination of their structure and characterization of their properties. We suggest that the preliminary characterization of the membranes can be relevant to the interpretation of the release results. The aim of this study was to compare eight synthetic membranes by using atomic force microscopy in order to predict and understand their behavior in the release experiments. The results proved that polytetrafluoroethylene membrane was not suitable for the release study of tetrapeptide due to its hydrophobic nature, thickness and the specific structure with high trapezoid shaped blocks. The additional substructures in pores of mixed cellulose esters and nylon membranes detected by AFM influenced the diffusion rate of the active compound. These findings indicate that the selection of the membrane for the release studies should be performed cautiously by taking into consideration the membrane properties and by analyzing them prior the experiment.

  14. Energy conversion device with support member having pore channels (United States)

    Routkevitch, Dmitri [Longmont, CO; Wind, Rikard A [Johnstown, CO


    Energy devices such as energy conversion devices and energy storage devices and methods for the manufacture of such devices. The devices include a support member having an array of pore channels having a small average pore channel diameter and having a pore channel length. Material layers that may include energy conversion materials and conductive materials are coaxially disposed within the pore channels to form material rods having a relatively small cross-section and a relatively long length. By varying the structure of the materials in the pore channels, various energy devices can be fabricated, such as photovoltaic (PV) devices, radiation detectors, capacitors, batteries and the like.

  15. Tuning the ion selectivity of two-pore channels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, Jiangtao; Zeng, Weizhong; Jiang, Youxing (UTSMC)


    Organellar two-pore channels (TPCs) contain two copies of a Shaker-like six-transmembrane (6-TM) domain in each subunit and are ubiquitously expressed in plants and animals. Interestingly, plant and animal TPCs share high sequence similarity in the filter region, yet exhibit drastically different ion selectivity. Plant TPC1 functions as a nonselective cation channel on the vacuole membrane, whereas mammalian TPC channels have been shown to be endo/lysosomal Na+-selective or Ca2+-release channels. In this study, we performed systematic characterization of the ion selectivity of TPC1 from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtTPC1) and compared its selectivity with the selectivity of human TPC2 (HsTPC2). We demonstrate that AtTPC1 is selective for Ca2+ over Na+, but nonselective among monovalent cations (Li+, Na+, and K+). Our results also confirm that HsTPC2 is a Na+-selective channel activated by phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate. Guided by our recent structure of AtTPC1, we converted AtTPC1 to a Na+-selective channel by mimicking the selectivity filter of HsTPC2 and identified key residues in the TPC filters that differentiate the selectivity between AtTPC1 and HsTPC2. Furthermore, the structure of the Na+-selective AtTPC1 mutant elucidates the structural basis for Na+ selectivity in mammalian TPCs.

  16. Primary Biliary Cirrhosis and the Nuclear Pore Complex (United States)

    Duarte-Rey, Carolina; Bogdanos, Dimitrios; Yang, Chen-Yen; Roberts, Krista; Leung, Patrick S.C.; Anaya, Juan-Manuel; Worman, Howard J.; Gershwin, M. Eric


    Experimental models of autoimmune diseases have led to the conclusion that an immune response to nuclear antigens is a sentinel marker for loss of tolerance and potential tissue damage. Various proteins are targets of antinuclear antibodies in a variety of autoimmune diseases, ranging from systemic rheumatologic disorders to diseases affecting specific organs such as the liver. Autoantibodies against specific nuclear constituents have also been used as probes to understand the structure and the function of the targeted components and their relevance to disease pathogenesis. Approximately a quarter of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) have antibodies targeting proteins of the nuclear pore complex (NPC), a multi-protein structure that mediates molecular transport across the nuclear envelope. Autoantibodies against the integral membrane glycoprotein gp210 and nucleoporin p62 appear to be highly specific for PBC, an autoimmune disease characterized by progressive destruction of intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells. This review discusses the diagnostic and clinical relevance of anti-NPC antibodies in PBC and the possibility that this autoimmune response may arise as a result of molecular mimicry. PMID:22487189

  17. Reactive transport in porous media: Pore-network model approach compared to pore-scale model (United States)

    Varloteaux, Clément; Vu, Minh Tan; Békri, Samir; Adler, Pierre M.


    Accurate determination of three macroscopic parameters governing reactive transport in porous media, namely, the apparent solute velocity, the dispersion, and the apparent reaction rate, is of key importance for predicting solute migration through reservoir aquifers. Two methods are proposed to calculate these parameters as functions of the Péclet and the Péclet-Dahmköhler numbers. In the first method called the pore-scale model (PSM), the porous medium is discretized by the level set method; the Stokes and convection-diffusion equations with reaction at the wall are solved by a finite-difference scheme. In the second method, called the pore-network model (PNM), the void space of the porous medium is represented by an idealized geometry of pore bodies joined by pore throats; the flow field is computed by solving Kirchhoff's laws and transport calculations are performed in the asymptotic regime where the solute concentration undergoes an exponential evolution with time. Two synthetic geometries of porous media are addressed by using both numerical codes. The first geometry is constructed in order to validate the hypotheses implemented in PNM. PSM is also used for a better understanding of the various reaction patterns observed in the asymptotic regime. Despite the PNM approximations, a very good agreement between the models is obtained, which shows that PNM is an accurate description of reactive transport. PNM, which can address much larger pore volumes than PSM, is used to evaluate the influence of the concentration distribution on macroscopic properties of a large irregular network reconstructed from microtomography images. The role of the dimensionless numbers and of the location and size of the largest pore bodies is highlighted.

  18. Quantifying similarity of pore-geometry in nanoporous materials (United States)

    Lee, Yongjin; Barthel, Senja D.; Dłotko, Paweł; Moosavi, S. Mohamad; Hess, Kathryn; Smit, Berend


    In most applications of nanoporous materials the pore structure is as important as the chemical composition as a determinant of performance. For example, one can alter performance in applications like carbon capture or methane storage by orders of magnitude by only modifying the pore structure. For these applications it is therefore important to identify the optimal pore geometry and use this information to find similar materials. However, the mathematical language and tools to identify materials with similar pore structures, but different composition, has been lacking. We develop a pore recognition approach to quantify similarity of pore structures and classify them using topological data analysis. This allows us to identify materials with similar pore geometries, and to screen for materials that are similar to given top-performing structures. Using methane storage as a case study, we also show that materials can be divided into topologically distinct classes requiring different optimization strategies.

  19. Rock Physics of Reservoir Rocks with Varying Pore Water Saturation and Pore Water Salinity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Katika, Konstantina

    the mechanical or physical properties of the rock during waterflooding experiments. The phenomena include decreased pore stiffness and subsequent compaction and can be related to a variety of parameters; including precipitation and dissolution reactions, as well as adsorption reactions and changes in wettability...... to understand the potential mechanisms behind the action of ions in high concentration on the chalk surface; such as precipitation and dissolution. The effect of the divalent ions on the elasticity and pore collapse of this rock was observed and validated from the ultrasonic velocity data. Low field NMR...

  20. Silicon pore optics developments and status

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bavdaz, Marcos; Wille, Eric; Wallace, Kotska


    Silicon Pore Optics (SPO) is a lightweight high performance X-ray optics technology being developed in Europe, driven by applications in observatory class high energy astrophysics missions. An example of such application is the former ESA science mission candidate ATHENA (Advanced Telescope...... for High Energy Astrophysics), which uses the SPO technology for its two telescopes, in order to provide an effective area exceeding 1 m2 at 1 keV, and 0.5 m2 at 6 keV, featuring an angular resolution of 10" or better [1 to 24]. This paper reports on the development activities led by ESA, and the status...

  1. Effects of dissolved organic matters (DOMs) on membrane fouling in anaerobic ceramic membrane bioreactors (AnCMBRs) treating domestic wastewater. (United States)

    Yue, Xiaodi; Koh, Yoong Keat Kelvin; Ng, How Yong


    Anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) have been regarded as a potential solution to achieve energy neutrality in the future wastewater treatment plants. Coupling ceramic membranes into AnMBRs offers great potential as ceramic membranes are resistant to corrosive chemicals such as cleaning reagents and harsh environmental conditions such as high temperature. In this study, ceramic membranes with pore sizes of 80, 200 and 300 nm were individually mounted in three anaerobic ceramic membrane bioreactors (AnCMBRs) treating real domestic wastewater to examine the treatment efficiencies and to elucidate the effects of dissolved organic matters (DOMs) on fouling behaviours. The average overall chemical oxygen demands (COD) removal efficiencies could reach around 86-88%. Although CH4 productions were around 0.3 L/g CODutilised, about 67% of CH4 generated was dissolved in the liquid phase and lost in the permeate. When filtering mixed liquor of similar properties, smaller pore-sized membranes fouled slower in long-term operations due to lower occurrence of pore blockages. However, total organic removal efficiencies could not explain the fouling behaviours. Liquid chromatography-organic carbon detection, fluorescence spectrophotometer and high performance liquid chromatography coupled with fluorescence and ultra-violet detectors were used to analyse the DOMs in detail. The major foulants were identified to be biopolymers that were produced in microbial activities. One of the main components of biopolymers--proteins--led to different fouling behaviours. It is postulated that the proteins could pass through porous cake layers to create pore blockages in membranes. Hence, concentrations of the DOMs in the soluble fraction of mixed liquor (SML) could not predict membrane fouling because different components in the DOMs might have different interactions with membranes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. New Polymeric Membranes for Organic Solvent Nanofiltration

    KAUST Repository

    Aburabie, Jamaliah


    The focus of this dissertation was the development, synthesis and modification of polymers for the preparation of membranes for organic solvent nanofiltration. High chemical stability in a wide range of solvents was a key requirement. Membranes prepared from synthesized polymers as well as from commercial polymers were designed and chemically modified to reach OSN requirements. A solvent stable thin-film composite (TFC) membrane is reported, which is fabricated on crosslinked polythiosemicarbazide (PTSC) as substrate. The membranes exhibited high fluxes towards solvents like THF, DMF and DMSO ranging around 20 L/m2 h at 5 bar with a MWCO of around 1000 g/mol. Ultrafiltration PTSC membranes were prepared by non-solvent induced phase separation and crosslinked with GPTMS. The crosslinking reaction was responsible for the formation of an inorganic-type-network that tuned the membrane pore size. The crosslinked membranes acquired high solvent stability in DMSO, DMF and THF with a MWCO above 1300 g/mol. Reaction Induced Phase Separation (RIPS) was introduced as a new method for the preparation of skinned asymmetric membranes. These membranes have two distinctive layers with different morphologies both from the same polymer. The top dense layer is composed of chemically crosslinked polymer chains while the bottom layer is a porous structure formed by non-crosslinked polymer chains. Such membranes were tested for vitamin B12 in solvents after either crosslinking the support or dissolving the support and fixing the freestanding membrane on alumina. Pebax® 1657 was utilized for the preparation of composite membranes by simple coating. Porous PAN membranes were coated with Pebax® 1657 which was then crosslinked using TDI. Crosslinked Pebax® membranes show high stability towards ethanol, propanol and acetone. The membranes were also stable in DMF once crosslinked PAN supports were used. Sodium alginate polymer was investigated for the preparation of thin film composite

  3. Reovirus FAST Proteins Drive Pore Formation and Syncytiogenesis Using a Novel Helix-Loop-Helix Fusion-Inducing Lipid Packing Sensor (United States)

    Sarker, Muzaddid; de Antueno, Roberto; Langelaan, David N.; Parmar, Hiren B.; Shin, Kyungsoo; Rainey, Jan K.; Duncan, Roy


    Pore formation is the most energy-demanding step during virus-induced membrane fusion, where high curvature of the fusion pore rim increases the spacing between lipid headgroups, exposing the hydrophobic interior of the membrane to water. How protein fusogens breach this thermodynamic barrier to pore formation is unclear. We identified a novel fusion-inducing lipid packing sensor (FLiPS) in the cytosolic endodomain of the baboon reovirus p15 fusion-associated small transmembrane (FAST) protein that is essential for pore formation during cell-cell fusion and syncytiogenesis. NMR spectroscopy and mutational studies indicate the dependence of this FLiPS on a hydrophobic helix-loop-helix structure. Biochemical and biophysical assays reveal the p15 FLiPS preferentially partitions into membranes with high positive curvature, and this partitioning is impeded by bis-ANS, a small molecule that inserts into hydrophobic defects in membranes. Most notably, the p15 FLiPS can be functionally replaced by heterologous amphipathic lipid packing sensors (ALPS) but not by other membrane-interactive amphipathic helices. Furthermore, a previously unrecognized amphipathic helix in the cytosolic domain of the reptilian reovirus p14 FAST protein can functionally replace the p15 FLiPS, and is itself replaceable by a heterologous ALPS motif. Anchored near the cytoplasmic leaflet by the FAST protein transmembrane domain, the FLiPS is perfectly positioned to insert into hydrophobic defects that begin to appear in the highly curved rim of nascent fusion pores, thereby lowering the energy barrier to stable pore formation. PMID:26061049

  4. Reovirus FAST Proteins Drive Pore Formation and Syncytiogenesis Using a Novel Helix-Loop-Helix Fusion-Inducing Lipid Packing Sensor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolene Read


    Full Text Available Pore formation is the most energy-demanding step during virus-induced membrane fusion, where high curvature of the fusion pore rim increases the spacing between lipid headgroups, exposing the hydrophobic interior of the membrane to water. How protein fusogens breach this thermodynamic barrier to pore formation is unclear. We identified a novel fusion-inducing lipid packing sensor (FLiPS in the cytosolic endodomain of the baboon reovirus p15 fusion-associated small transmembrane (FAST protein that is essential for pore formation during cell-cell fusion and syncytiogenesis. NMR spectroscopy and mutational studies indicate the dependence of this FLiPS on a hydrophobic helix-loop-helix structure. Biochemical and biophysical assays reveal the p15 FLiPS preferentially partitions into membranes with high positive curvature, and this partitioning is impeded by bis-ANS, a small molecule that inserts into hydrophobic defects in membranes. Most notably, the p15 FLiPS can be functionally replaced by heterologous amphipathic lipid packing sensors (ALPS but not by other membrane-interactive amphipathic helices. Furthermore, a previously unrecognized amphipathic helix in the cytosolic domain of the reptilian reovirus p14 FAST protein can functionally replace the p15 FLiPS, and is itself replaceable by a heterologous ALPS motif. Anchored near the cytoplasmic leaflet by the FAST protein transmembrane domain, the FLiPS is perfectly positioned to insert into hydrophobic defects that begin to appear in the highly curved rim of nascent fusion pores, thereby lowering the energy barrier to stable pore formation.

  5. Molecular Properties of Globin Channels and Pores: Role of Cholesterol in Ligand Binding and Movement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gene A Morrill


    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Globins contain one or more cavities that control or affect such functions as ligand movement and ligand binding. Here we report that the extended globin family [cytoglobin (Cygb; neuroglobin (Ngb; myoglobin (Mb; hemoglobin (Hb subunits Hba(α and Hbb(β] contain either a transmembrane (TM helix or pore-lining region as well as internal cavities. Protein motif/domain analyses indicate that Ngb and Hbb each contain 5 cholesterol-binding (CRAC/CARC domains and 1 caveolin binding motif, whereas the Cygb dimer has 6 cholesterol-binding domains but lacks caveolin-binding motifs. Mb and Hba each exhibit 2 cholesterol-binding domains and also lack caveolin-binding motifs. The Hb αβ-tetramer contains 14 cholesterol-binding domains. Computer algorithms indicate that Cygb and Ngb cavities display multiple partitions and C-terminal pore-lining regions, whereas Mb has three major cavities plus a C-terminal pore-lining region. The Hb tetramer exhibits a large internal cavity but the subunits differ in that they contain a C-terminal TM helix (Hba and pore-lining region (Hbb. The cavities include 43 of 190 Cygb residues, 38 of 151 of Ngb residues, 55 of 154 Mb residues and 137 of 688 residues in the Hb tetramer. Each cavity complex includes 6 to 8 residues of the TM helix or pore-lining region and CRAC/CARC domains exist within all cavities. Erythrocyte Hb αβ-tetramers are largely cytosolic but also bind to a membrane anion exchange protein, band 3, which contains a large internal cavity and 12 TM helices (5 being pore-lining regions. The Hba TM helix may be the erythrocyte membrane band 3 attachment site. Band 3 contributes 4 caveolin binding motifs and 10 CRAC/CARC domains. Cholesterol binding may create lipid-disordered phases that alter globin cavities and facilitate ligand movement, permitting ion channel formation and conformational changes that orchestrate anion and ligand (O2, CO2, NO movement within the large internal cavities and

  6. Exploring the potential of commercial polyethylene membranes for desalination by membrane distillation

    KAUST Repository

    Zuo, Jian


    The potential of utilizing polyethylene (PE) membranes in membrane distillation (MD) for sea water desalination has been explored in this study. The advantages of using PE membranes are (1) their intrinsic hydrophobicity with low surface energy of 28-33×10N/m, (2) good chemical stability and low thermal conductivity and (3) their commercial availability that may expedite the MD commercialization process. Several commercial PE membranes with different physicochemical properties are employed to study the capability and feasibility of PE membrane application in an MD process. The effect of membrane pore size, porosity, thickness and wetting resistance on MD performance and energy efficiency have been investigated. The PE membranes demonstrate impressive separation performance with permeation fluxes reaching 123.0L/mh for a 3.5wt% sodium chloride (NaCl) feed solution at 80°C. This superior performance surpasses most of the prior commercial and lab-made flat sheet and hollow fiber membranes. A long term MD testing of 100h is also performed to evaluate the durability of PE membranes, and a relatively stable performance is observed during the entire experiment. This long term stability signifies the suitability of PE membranes for MD applications.

  7. Dual-biomimetic superhydrophobic electrospun polystyrene nanofibrous membranes for membrane distillation. (United States)

    Li, Xiong; Wang, Ce; Yang, Yin; Wang, Xuefen; Zhu, Meifang; Hsiao, Benjamin S


    A new type of dual-biomimetic hierarchically rough polystyrene (PS) superhydrophobic micro/nano-fibrous membrane was fabricated via a one-step electrospinning technique at various polymer concentrations from 15 to 30 wt %. The obtained micro/nano-fibers exhibited a nanopapillose, nanoporous, and microgrooved surface morphology that originated from mimicking the micro/nanoscale hierarchical structures of lotus leaf and silver ragwort leaf, respectively. Superhydrophobicity and high porosity of such resultant electrospun nanofibrous membranes make them attractive candidates for membrane distillation (MD) application with low energy water recovery. In this study, two kinds of optimized PS nanofibrous membranes with different thicknesses were applied for desalination via direct contact MD. The membranes maintained a high and stable permeate water vapor flux (104.8 ± 4.9 kg/m(2)·h, 20 g/L NaCl salt feed for a thinner PS nanofibrous membrane with thickness of 60 μm; 51 ± 4.5 kg/m(2)·h, 35 g/L NaCl salt feed for the thicker sample with thickness of 120 μm; ΔT = 50 °C) for a test period of 10 h without remarkable membrane pores wetting detected. These results were better than those of typical commercial polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) MD membranes or related PVDF nanofibrous membranes reported in literature, suggesting excellent competency of PS nanofibrous membranes for MD applications.

  8. Improving Nanofiber Membrane Characteristics and Membrane Distillation Performance of Heat-Pressed Membranes via Annealing Post-Treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minwei Yao


    Full Text Available Electrospun membranes are gaining interest for use in membrane distillation (MD due to their high porosity and interconnected pore structure; however, they are still susceptible to wetting during MD operation because of their relatively low liquid entry pressure (LEP. In this study, post-treatment had been applied to improve the LEP, as well as its permeation and salt rejection efficiency. The post-treatment included two continuous procedures: heat-pressing and annealing. In this study, annealing was applied on the membranes that had been heat-pressed. It was found that annealing improved the MD performance as the average flux reached 35 L/m2·h or LMH (>10% improvement of the ones without annealing while still maintaining 99.99% salt rejection. Further tests on LEP, contact angle, and pore size distribution explain the improvement due to annealing well. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction analyses of the membranes showed that there was an increase in the crystallinity of the polyvinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene (PVDF-HFP membrane; also, peaks indicating the α phase of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF became noticeable after annealing, indicating some β and amorphous states of polymer were converted into the α phase. The changes were favorable for membrane distillation as the non-polar α phase of PVDF reduces the dipolar attraction force between the membrane and water molecules, and the increase in crystallinity would result in higher thermal stability. The present results indicate the positive effect of the heat-press followed by an annealing post-treatment on the membrane characteristics and MD performance.

  9. Xenobiotics removal by membrane technology: an overview


    Semião, Andrea J.C.; Schäfer, Andrea


    Small molecular weight xenobiotics are compounds of extreme concern in potable water applications due to their adverse human health and environmental effects. However, conventional water treatment processes cannot fully and systematically remove them due to their low concentrations in natural waters and wastewaters. Biological limitation to degrade such compounds is another cause for inefficient removal. Physical barriers like membranes possessing pore sizes smaller than the compounds to be r...

  10. Metal oxide membranes for gas separation (United States)

    Anderson, Marc A.; Webster, Elizabeth T.; Xu, Qunyin


    A method for permformation of a microporous ceramic membrane onto a porous support includes placing a colloidal suspension of metal oxide particles on one side of the porous support and exposing the other side of the porous support to a drying stream of gas or a reactive gas stream so that the particles are deposited on the drying side of the support as a gel. The gel so deposited can be sintered to form a supported ceramic membrane having mean pore sizes less than 30 Angstroms and useful for ultrafiltration, reverse osmosis, or gas separation.

  11. Unique battery with an active membrane separator having uniform physico-chemically functionalized ion channels and a method making the same (United States)

    Gerald, II, Rex E.; Ruscic, Katarina J [Chicago, IL; Sears, Devin N [Spruce Grove, CA; Smith, Luis J [Natick, MA; Klingler, Robert J [Glenview, IL; Rathke, Jerome W [Homer Glen, IL


    The invention relates to a unique battery having an active, porous membrane and method of making the same. More specifically the invention relates to a sealed battery system having a porous, metal oxide membrane with uniform, physicochemically functionalized ion channels capable of adjustable ionic interaction. The physicochemically-active porous membrane purports dual functions: an electronic insulator (separator) and a unidirectional ion-transporter (electrolyte). The electrochemical cell membrane is activated for the transport of ions by contiguous ion coordination sites on the interior two-dimensional surfaces of the trans-membrane unidirectional pores. The membrane material is designed to have physicochemical interaction with ions. Control of the extent of the interactions between the ions and the interior pore walls of the membrane and other materials, chemicals, or structures contained within the pores provides adjustability of the ionic conductivity of the membrane.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gholamreza Bakeri


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

  13. Effectiveness of Water Desalination by Membrane Distillation Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Gryta


    Full Text Available The membrane distillation process constitutes one of the possibilities for a new method for water desalination. Four kinds of polypropylene membranes with different diameters of capillaries and pores, as well as wall thicknesses were used in studied. The morphology of the membrane used and the operating parameters significantly influenced process efficiency. It was found that the membranes with lower wall thickness and a larger pore size resulted in the higher yields. Increasing both feed flow rate and temperature increases the permeate flux and simultaneously the process efficiency. However, the use of higher flow rates also enhanced heat losses by conduction, which decreases the thermal efficiency. This efficiency also decreases when the salt concentration in the feed was enhanced. The influence of fouling on the process efficiency was considered.

  14. Effectiveness of Water Desalination by Membrane Distillation Process (United States)

    Gryta, Marek


    The membrane distillation process constitutes one of the possibilities for a new method for water desalination. Four kinds of polypropylene membranes with different diameters of capillaries and pores, as well as wall thicknesses were used in studied. The morphology of the membrane used and the operating parameters significantly influenced process efficiency. It was found that the membranes with lower wall thickness and a larger pore size resulted in the higher yields. Increasing both feed flow rate and temperature increases the permeate flux and simultaneously the process efficiency. However, the use of higher flow rates also enhanced heat losses by conduction, which decreases the thermal efficiency. This efficiency also decreases when the salt concentration in the feed was enhanced. The influence of fouling on the process efficiency was considered. PMID:24958289

  15. Characterising antimicrobial protein-membrane complexes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xun, Gloria; Dingley, Andrew; Tremouilhac, Pierre


    Full text: Antimicrobial proteins (AMPs) are host defence molecules that protect organisms from microbial infection. A number of hypotheses for AMP activity have been proposed which involve protein membrane interactions. However, there is a paucity of information describing AMP-membrane complexes in detail. The aim of this project is to characterise the interactions of amoebapore-A (APA-1) with membrane models using primarily solution-state NMR spectroscopy. APA-1 is an AMP which is regulated by a pH-dependent dimerisation event. Based on the atomic resolution solution structure of monomeric APA-1, it is proposed that this dimerisation is a prerequisite for ring-like hexameric pore formation. Due to the cytotoxicity of APA-1, we have developed a cell-free system to produce this protein. To facilitate our studies, we have adapted the cell-free system to isotope label APA-1. 13 C /15 N -enriched APA-1 sample was achieved and we have begun characterising APA-1 dimerisation and membrane interactions using NMR spectroscopy and other biochemical/biophysical methods. Neutron reflectometry is a surface-sensitive technique and therefore represents an ideal technique to probe how APA-1 interacts with membranes at the molecular level under different physiological conditions. Using Platypus, the pH-induced APA-1-membrane interactions should be detectable as an increase of the amount of protein adsorbed at the membrane surface and changes in the membrane properties. Specifically, detailed information of the structure and dimensions of the protein-membrane complex, the position and amount of the protein in the membrane, and the perturbation of the membrane phospholipids on protein incorporation can be extracted from the neutron reflectometry measurement. Such information will enable critical assessment of current proposed mechanisms of AMP activity in bacterial membranes and complement our NMR studies

  16. [A photographic scale for evaluating facial pores and analysis of factors associated with pore widening in Chengdu]. (United States)

    Wang, Qing; Zhou, Cheng-xia; Meng, Hui-min; Wang, Xi; Li, Li


    To develop a photographic scale for grading widening of pores, and to identify the factors associated with pore widening. People with widened pores were recruited, with photographs taken on their nasal tips, nasal alas and cheeks. A questionnaire survey was undertaken by dermatologists to assess the severity of pore widening. A Cumulative Logit Model was established to identify factors that were associated with pore widening. A total of 115 people participated in the study and 562 photographs were taken. The photographic scale was highly consistent with the clinical judgment. Another 1011 residents aged from 18 to 70 years old in Chengdu were surveyed. The logit model revealed that facial pore widening were associated with gender, age, oily skin, sun protection and anti-aging cosmetic. The photographic scale is reliable and easy to use. Gender, age and oily skin are risk factors, and sun protection and anti-aging cosmetic are protective factors with related to pore widening.

  17. Performance characterization of silicon pore optics (United States)

    Collon, M. J.; Kraft, S.; Günther, R.; Maddox, E.; Beijersbergen, M.; Bavdaz, M.; Lumb, D.; Wallace, K.; Krumrey, M.; Cibik, L.; Freyberg, M.


    The characteristics of the latest generation of assembled silicon pore X-ray optics are discussed in this paper. These very light, stiff and modular high performance pore optics (HPO) have been developed [1] for the next generation of astronomical X-ray telescopes, which require large collecting areas whilst achieving angular resolutions better than 5 arcseconds. The suitability of 12 inch silicon wafers as high quality optical mirrors and the automated assembly process are discussed elsewhere in this conference. HPOs with several tens of ribbed silicon plates are assembled by bending the plates into an accurate cylindrical shape and directly bonding them on top of each other. The achievable figure accuracy is measured during assembly and in test campaigns at X-ray testing facilities like BESSY-II and PANTER. Pencil beam measurements allow gaining information on the quality achieved by the production process with high spatial resolution. In combination with full beam illumination a complete picture of the excellent performance of these optics can be derived. Experimental results are presented and discussed in detail. The results of such campaigns are used to further improve the production process in order to match the challenging XEUS requirements [2] for imaging resolution and mass.

  18. Fabrication of Greener Membranes from Ionic Liquid Solutions

    KAUST Repository

    Kim, DooLi


    Membrane technology plays a crucial role in different separation processes such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and food industries, drinking water supply, and wastewater treatment. However, there is a growing concern that solvents commonly used for membrane fabrication, such as dimethylformamide (DMF), dimethylacetamide (DMAc), and 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), are toxic to the environment and human health. To explore the possibility of substituting these toxic solvents by less toxic or safer solvents, polymers commonly used for membrane fabrication, such as polyacrylonitrile (PAN), cellulose acetate (CA), polyethersulfone (PES), and poly(ether imide sulfone) (EXTEMTM), were dissolved in ionic liquids. Flat sheet and hollow fiber membranes were then fabricated. The thermodynamics of the polymer solutions, the kinetics of phase inversion and other factors, which resulted in significant differences in the membrane structure, compared to those of membranes fabricated from more toxic solvents, were investigated. Higher water permeance with smaller pores, unique and uniform morphologies, and narrower pore size distribution, were observed in the ionic liquid-based membranes. Furthermore, comparable performance on separation of peptides and proteins with various molecular weights was achieved with the membranes fabricated from ionic liquid solutions. In summary, we propose less hazardous polymer solutions to the environment, which can be used for the membrane fabrication with better performance and more regular morphology.

  19. Smart membranes for nitrate removal, water purification, and selective ion transportation (United States)

    Wilson, William D [Pleasanton, CA; Schaldach, Charlene M [Pleasanton, CA; Bourcier, William L [Livermore, CA; Paul, Phillip H [Livermore, CA


    A computer designed nanoengineered membrane for separation of dissolved species. One embodiment provides an apparatus for treatment of a fluid that includes ions comprising a microengineered porous membrane, a system for producing an electrical charge across the membrane, and a series of nanopores extending through the membrane. The nanopores have a pore size such that when the fluid contacts the membrane, the nanopores will be in a condition of double layer overlap and allow passage only of ions opposite to the electrical charge across the membrane.

  20. A Model for Membrane Fusion (United States)

    Ngatchou, Annita


    Pheochromocytoma is a tumor of the adrenal gland which originates from chromaffin cells and is characterized by the secretion of excessive amounts of neurotransmitter which lead to high blood pressure and palpitations. Pheochromocytoma contain membrane bound granules that store neurotransmitter. The release of these stored molecules into the extracellular space occurs by fusion of the granule membrane with the cell plasma membrane, a process called exocytosis. The molecular mechanism of this membrane fusion is not well understood. It is proposed that the so called SNARE proteins [1] are the pillar of vesicle fusion as their cleavage by clostridial toxin notably, Botulinum neurotoxin and Tetanus toxin abrogate the secretion of neurotransmitter [2]. Here, I describe how physical principles are applied to a biological cell to explore the role of the vesicle SNARE protein synaptobrevin-2 in easing granule fusion. The data presented here suggest a paradigm according to which the movement of the C-terminal of synaptobrevin-2 disrupts the lipid bilayer to form a fusion pore through which molecules can exit.

  1. Comparison between moving bed-membrane bioreactor (MB-MBR) and membrane bioreactor (MBR) systems: influence of wastewater salinity variation. (United States)

    Di Trapani, Daniele; Di Bella, Gaetano; Mannina, Giorgio; Torregrossa, Michele; Viviani, Gaspare


    Two pilot plant systems were investigated for the treatment of wastewater subject to a gradual increase of salinity. In particular, a membrane bioreactor (MBR) and a moving bed biofilm membrane bioreactor (MB-MBR) were analyzed. Carbon and ammonium removal, kinetic constants and membranes fouling rates have been assessed. Both plants showed very high efficiency in terms of carbon and ammonium removal and the gradual salinity increase led to a good acclimation of the biomass, as confirmed by the respirometric tests. Significant biofilm detachments from carriers were experienced, which contributed to increase the irreversible superficial cake deposition. However, this aspect prevented the pore fouling tendency in the membrane module of MB-MBR system. On the contrary, the MBR pilot, even showing a lower irreversible cake deposition, was characterized by a higher pore fouling tendency. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Natural Organic Matter Removal and Fouling in a Low Pressure Hybrid Membrane Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vedat Uyak


    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to investigate powdered activated carbon (PAC contribution to natural organic matter (NOM removal by a submerged MF and UF hybrid systems. It was found that filtration of surface waters by a bare MF and UF membranes removed negligible TOC; by contrast, significant amounts of TOC were removed when daily added PAC particles were predeposited on the membrane surfaces. These results support the assumption that the membranes surface properties and PAC layer structure might have considerably influential factor on NOM removal. Moreover, it was concluded that the dominant removal mechanism of hybrid membrane system is adsorption of NOM within PAC layer rather than size exclusion of NOM by both of membrane pores. Transmembrane pressure (TMP increases with PAC membrane systems support the view that PAC adsorption pretreatment will not prevent the development of membrane pressure; on the contrary, PAC particles themselves caused membrane fouling by blocking the entrance of pores of MF and UF membranes. Although all three source waters have similar HPI content, it appears that the PAC interaction with the entrance of membrane pores was responsible for offsetting the NOM fractional effects on membrane fouling for these source waters.

  3. Multiple Approaches to Characterizing Pore Structure in Natural Rock (United States)

    Hu, Q.; Dultz, S.; Hamamoto, S.; Ewing, R. P.


    Microscopic characteristics of porous media - pore shape, pore-size distribution, and pore connectivity - control fluid flow and chemical transport, and are important in hydrogeological studies of rock formations in the context of energy, environmental, and water resources management. This presentation discusses various approaches to investigating pore structure of rock, with a particular focus on the Barnett Shale in north Texas used for natural gas production. Approaches include imbibition, tracer diffusion, porosimetry (MIP, vapor adsorption/desorption isotherms, NMR cyroporometry), and imaging (μ-tomography, Wood's metal impregnation, FIB/SEM). Results show that the Barnett Shale pores are predominantly in the nm size range, with a measured median pore-throat diameter of 6.5 nm. But small pore size is not the major contributor to low gas recovery; rather, the low gas diffusivity appears to be caused by low pore connectivity. Chemical diffusion in sparsely-connected pore spaces is not well described by classical Fickian behavior; anomalous behavior is suggested by percolation theory, and confirmed by results of imbibition tests. Our evolving complementary approaches, with their several advantages and disadvantages, provide a rich toolbox for tackling the pore structure characteristics in the Barnett Shale and other natural rocks.

  4. A novel TFC forward osmosis (FO) membrane supported by polyimide (PI) microporous nanofiber membrane (United States)

    Chi, Xiang-Yu; Zhang, Ping-Yun; Guo, Xue-Jiao; Xu, Zhen-Liang


    A novel interfacial polymerization (IP) procedure on polyimide (PI) microporous nanofiber membrane support with mean pore size 1.27 μm was reported. Using m-phenylenediamine (MPD) as aqueous phase monomer, trimesoyl chloride (TMC) as organic phase monomer, ethanol as aqueous phase co-solvent, thin-film composite (TFC) forward osmosis (FO) membrane was fabricated by two IP procedures. The first IP procedure with the unconventional order (ie, the membrane was immersed in the TMC organic phase first, then in the co-solvent ethanol-water MPD aqueous phase) was used to diminish the pore size of PI microporous nanofiber membrane support for the formation of the polyamide layer. The secondary IP procedure was employed to form the relatively dense polyamide layer with conventional order (ie, the membrane was immersed in the co-solvent ethanol-water MPD aqueous phase first, then in the TMC organic phase). The experimental results showed that higher ethanol concentration led to the relatively higher pure water permeability in RO process and osmotic water flux in FO process, whereas NaCl rejection in RO process decreased and reverse salt flux increased. The specific salt flux (Js/Jv) of TFC FO PI nanofiber membrane (PIN-2-4) could be as low as 0.095 g/L in FO mode. These results could be attributed to influence of the addition of ethanol into aqueous phase on the surface morphology, hydrophilicity and polyamide layer structure.

  5. High Flux, Fouling Resistant Membranes for RO Pretreatment (United States)


    sea water. Basic performance criteria used during development included water flux and retention of bovine serum albumin (BSA) as a benchmark of pore...PAN-g-PEO blend hollow fiber membrane Pure water permeability (L/m2 h MPa) 695 Bovine serum albumin (BSA) rejection (%) 95% Estimated molecular...encounter during coastal operations. The test system at the USBR, including the PgP membrane module in operation on this skid, is shown in Figure 11

  6. Selective capillary diffusion of equimolar H2/D2 gas mixtures through etched ion track membranes prepared from polyethylene terephthalate and polyimide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmidt, K.; Angert, N.; Trautmann, C.


    The selective capillary diffusion of equimolar H 2 /D 2 gas mixtures through ion track membranes prepared from polyethylene terephthalate and polyimide was investigated at a temperature of 293 K, a primary pressure of 0.15 MPa and a secondary pressure of 10 -4 MPa. Different values of the separation factor Z(H 2 /D 2 ) between experiment and computer simulation exists in the case of polyethylene terephthalate ion track membranes because of multiple pores. Membranes for which multiple pores were reduced by varying the irradiation angle showed an increased separation factor. The separation factor is a function of the pore diameter. This is shown for polyimide ion track membranes with a pore size in the range of 0.17 and 0.5 μm. After grafting with styrene the separation factor increased, indicating grafting within the pores. (orig.)

  7. PDMS/PVDF hybrid electrospun membrane with superhydrophobic property and drop impact dynamics for dyeing wastewater treatment using membrane distillation

    KAUST Repository

    An, Alicia Kyoungjin


    Fouling in membrane distillation (MD) results in an increase in operation costs and deterioration in a water quality. In this work, a poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropene) (PVDF-HFP) electrospun (E-PH) membrane was fabricated by hybridizing polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymeric microspheres with superhydrophobicity onto the E-PH membrane via electrospinning. The resulting hybrid PDMS with E-PH (E-PDMS) membrane showed a significant enhancement in surface hydrophobicity (contact angle, CA = 155.4°) and roughness (Ra = 1,285mm). The zeta potential of E-PDMS membrane surface showed a higher negative value than that of a commercial PVDF (C-PVDF) membrane. These properties of E-PDMS membrane provided an antifouling in treating of differently-charged dyes and generated a flake-like dye–dye (loosely bound foulant) structure on the membrane surface rather than in the membrane pores. This also led to a high productivity of E-PDMS membrane (34 Lm-2h-1, 50% higher than that of C-PVDF membrane) without fouling or wetting. In addition, complete color removal and pure water production were achieved during a long-term operation. An application of intermittent water flushing (WF) in direct contact MD (DCMD) operation led to a 99% CA recovery of E-PDMS membrane indicating its sustainability. Therefore, the E-PDMS membrane is a promising candidate for MD application in dyeing wastewater treatment.

  8. A Stereolithography Pore-Throat Model (United States)

    Crandall, D.; Ahmadi, G.; Ferer, M.; Smith, D. H.


    A new experimental, heterogeneous pore-throat model has been designed and fabricated using stereolithography (SL). In SL production, a laser cures a thin layer of photo-sensitive resin on the surface of a vat of liquid resin; a moveable platform then submerges the cured layer and a new layer is cured on top of the previous one, creating a physical model from a computer generated model. This layered fabrication of a computer generated model has enabled the production of an experimental porous medium with improved fluid resistance properties, as compared to previously studied, constant-height etched cells. A uniform distribution of throat widths was randomly placed throughout the pore-throat matrix and the throat height of each throat was assigned to increase the range of viscous and capillary resistances within the physical model. This variation in both throat height and width generated a porous medium with fairly low porosity (43%), permeability (~400 D), and wide range of geometric resistance properties. Experimental, two-phase immiscible drainage studies in the porous flowcell were performed. Analysis of the captured images was performed with open-source image processing software. These analysis techniques utilized the capability of both ImageJ and the Gnu Image Manipulation Program to be customized with ancillary codes. This enabled batch procedures to be created that converted the original grey-scale bitmaps to binary data sets, which were then analyzed with in-house codes. The fractal dimension, Df, (measured with box-counting) and percent saturation of these experiments were calculated and shown to compare favorably to fractal predictions and previous flowcell studies. Additionally, using the computer generated pore-throat geometry, a computational fluid dynamics model of two- phase flow through the porous medium was created. This model was created using FLUENT code and the Volume of Fluid method. The percent saturation of the less-viscous invading fluid

  9. Nup98 Localizes to Both Nuclear and Cytoplasmic Sides of the Nuclear Pore and Binds to Two Distinct Nucleoporin Subcomplexes (United States)

    Griffis, Eric R.; Xu, Songli; Powers, Maureen A.


    The vertebrate nuclear pore is an enormous structure that spans the double membrane of the nuclear envelope. In yeast, most nucleoporins are found symmetrically on both the nuclear and cytoplasmic sides of the structure. However, in vertebrates most nucleoporins have been localized exclusively to one side of the nuclear pore. Herein, we show, by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy, that Nup98 is found on both sides of the pore complex. Additionally, we find that the pore-targeting domain of Nup98 interacts directly with the cytoplasmic nucleoporin Nup88, a component of the Nup214, Nup88, Nup62 subcomplex. Nup98 was previously described to interact with the nuclear-oriented Nup160, 133, 107, 96 complex through direct binding to Nup96. Interestingly, the same site within Nup98 is involved in binding to both Nup88 and Nup96. Autoproteolytic cleavage of the Nup98 C terminus is required for both of these binding interactions. When cleavage is blocked by a point mutation, a minimal eight amino acids downstream of the cleavage site is sufficient to prevent most binding to either Nup96 or Nup88. Thus, Nup98 interacts with both faces of the nuclear pore, a localization in keeping with its previously described nucleocytoplasmic shuttling activity. PMID:12589057

  10. The role of callose in guard-cell wall differentiation and stomatal pore formation in the fern Asplenium nidus. (United States)

    Apostolakos, P; Livanos, P; Nikolakopoulou, T L; Galatis, B


    The pattern of callose deposition was followed in developing stomata of the fern Asplenium nidus to investigate the role of this polysaccharide in guard cell (GC) wall differentiation and stomatal pore formation. Callose was localized by aniline blue staining and immunolabelling using an antibody against (1 --> 3)-beta-d-glucan. The study was carried out in stomata of untreated material as well as of material treated with: (1) 2-deoxy-d-glucose (2-DDG) or tunicamycin, which inhibit callose synthesis; (2) coumarin or 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile (dichlobenil), which block cellulose synthesis; (3) cyclopiazonic acid (CPA), which disturbs cytoplasmic Ca(2+) homeostasis; and (d) cytochalasin B or oryzalin, which disintegrate actin filaments and microtubules, respectively. In post-cytokinetic stomata significant amounts of callose persisted in the nascent ventral wall. Callose then began degrading from the mid-region of the ventral wall towards its periphery, a process which kept pace with the formation of an 'internal stomatal pore' by local separation of the partner plasmalemmata. In differentiating GCs, callose was consistently localized in the developing cell-wall thickenings. In 2-DDG-, tunicamycin- and CPA-affected stomata, callose deposition and internal stomatal pore formation were inhibited. The affected ventral walls and GC wall thickenings contained membranous elements. Stomata recovering from the above treatments formed a stomatal pore by a mechanism different from that in untreated stomata. After coumarin or dichlobenil treatment, callose was retained in the nascent ventral wall for longer than in control stomata, while internal stomatal pore formation was blocked. Actin filament disintegration inhibited internal stomatal pore formation, without any effect on callose deposition. In A. nidus stomata the time and pattern of callose deposition and degradation play an essential role in internal stomatal pore formation, and callose participates in deposition of the

  11. Bcl-2 apoptosis proteins, mitochondrial membrane curvature, and cancer (United States)

    Hwee Lai, Ghee; Schmidt, Nathan; Sanders, Lori; Mishra, Abhijit; Wong, Gerard; Ivashyna, Olena; Christenson, Eric; Schlesinger, Paul; Akabori, Kiyotaka; Santangelo, Christian


    Critical interactions between Bcl-2 family proteins permeabilize the outer mitochondrial membrane, a common decision point early in the intrinsic apoptotic pathway that irreversibly commits the cell to death. However, a unified picture integrating the essential non-passive role of lipid membranes with the contested dynamics of Bcl-2 regulation remains unresolved. Correlating results between synchrotron x-ray diffraction and microscopy in cell-free assays, we report activation of pro-apoptotic Bax induces strong pure negative Gaussian membrane curvature topologically necessary for pore formation and membrane remodeling events. Strikingly, Bcl-xL suppresses not only Bax-induced pore formation, but also membrane remodeling by disparate systems including cell penetrating, antimicrobial or viral fusion peptides, and bacterial toxin, none of which have BH3 allosteric domains to mediate direct binding. We propose a parallel mode of Bcl-2 pore regulation in which Bax and Bcl-xL induce antagonistic and mutually interacting Gaussian membrane curvatures. The universal nature of curvature-mediated interactions allows synergy with direct binding mechanisms, and potentially accounts for the Bcl-2 family modulation of mitochondrial fission/fusion dynamics.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paul K.T. Liu


    The porous stainless steel substrate commercially available from Pall offers great potential for large-scale membrane based high temperature gas separations. Our proposed project involves the deposition of the M&P carbon molecular sieve-based hydrogen membrane on AccuSep substrate as a membrane to reactor water-gas-shift reaction. However, the AccuSep substrate was originally designed for liquid phase applications . During the 1st half, this commercial substrate has been modified and improved with regard to its surface topography and end seals. The substrate is now suitable for the deposition of the CMS membrane for hydrogen separation according to the characterization we preformed. In addition, 40{angstrom} Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} membrane layers have been deposited on the improved AccuSep substrate successfully. The SEM, EDX and pore size distribution analysis indicate that the 40{angstrom} membrane is extremely thin, and defect free with a narrow pore size distribution around 40{angstrom} primarily. As the above results suggest, we have made significant progress in preparing a high quality nominal 40{angstrom} (actually 50{angstrom}) layer on the Pall substrate. During the 2nd half of Year 1, we will (1) continue this development work with a focus on eliminating the high pore size peak and (2) begin the CMS layer deposition on the 40{angstrom} deposited AccuSep.

  13. Robotic membranes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramsgaard Thomsen, Mette


    , Vivisection and Strange Metabolisms, were developed at the Centre for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen as a means of engaging intangible digital data with tactile physical material. As robotic membranes, they are a dual examination...

  14. Preparation of micro-pored silicone elastomer through radiation crosslinking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Xiaoling; Gu Mei; Xie Xubing; Huang Wei


    The radiation crosslinking was adopted to prepare the micro-pored silicone elastomer, which was performed by vulcanization and foaming respectively. Radiation crosslinking is a new method to prepare micro-pored material with high performance by use of radiation technology. Silicon dioxide was used as filler, and silicone elastomer was vulcanized by electron beams, then the micro-pored material was made by heating method at a high temperature. The effects of absorbed dose and filler content on the performance and morphology were investigated. The structure and distribution of pores were observed by SEM. The results show that the micro-pored silicon elastomer can be prepared successfully by controlling the absorbed dose and filler content. It has a smooth surface similar to a rubber meanwhile the pores are round and unconnected to each other with the minimum size of 14 μm. And the good mechanical performance can be suitable for further uses. (authors)

  15. AFM visualization of sub-50nm polyplex disposition to the nuclear pore complex without compromising the integrity of the nuclear envelope

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Helene; Parhamifar, Ladan; Hunter, A Christy


    that were microinjected into the oocytes of Xenopus laevis, as an example of a non-dividing cell, is exclusive to the nuclear pore complex (NPC). AFM images show NPCs clogged only with sub-50nm polyplexes. This mode of disposition neither altered the morphology/integrity of the nuclear membrane nor the NPC...

  16. Deciphering pore-level precipitation mechanisms. (United States)

    Prasianakis, N I; Curti, E; Kosakowski, G; Poonoosamy, J; Churakov, S V


    Mineral precipitation and dissolution in aqueous solutions has a significant effect on solute transport and structural properties of porous media. The understanding of the involved physical mechanisms, which cover a large range of spatial and temporal scales, plays a key role in several geochemical and industrial processes. Here, by coupling pore scale reactive transport simulations with classical nucleation theory, we demonstrate how the interplay between homogeneous and heterogeneous precipitation kinetics along with the non-linear dependence on solute concentration affects the evolution of the system. Such phenomena are usually neglected in pure macroscopic modelling. Comprehensive parametric analysis and comparison with laboratory experiments confirm that incorporation of detailed microscale physical processes in the models is compulsory. This sheds light on the inherent coupling mechanisms and bridges the gap between atomistic processes and macroscopic observations.

  17. Preferential flow from pore to landscape scales (United States)

    Koestel, J. K.; Jarvis, N.; Larsbo, M.


    In this presentation, we give a brief personal overview of some recent progress in quantifying preferential flow in the vadose zone, based on our own work and those of other researchers. One key challenge is to bridge the gap between the scales at which preferential flow occurs (i.e. pore to Darcy scales) and the scales of interest for management (i.e. fields, catchments, regions). We present results of recent studies that exemplify the potential of 3-D non-invasive imaging techniques to visualize and quantify flow processes at the pore scale. These studies should lead to a better understanding of how the topology of macropore networks control key state variables like matric potential and thus the strength of preferential flow under variable initial and boundary conditions. Extrapolation of this process knowledge to larger scales will remain difficult, since measurement technologies to quantify macropore networks at these larger scales are lacking. Recent work suggests that the application of key concepts from percolation theory could be useful in this context. Investigation of the larger Darcy-scale heterogeneities that generate preferential flow patterns at the soil profile, hillslope and field scales has been facilitated by hydro-geophysical measurement techniques that produce highly spatially and temporally resolved data. At larger regional and global scales, improved methods of data-mining and analyses of large datasets (machine learning) may help to parameterize models as well as lead to new insights into the relationships between soil susceptibility to preferential flow and site attributes (climate, land uses, soil types).

  18. Preparation of mixed matrix PES-based nanofiltration membrane filled with PANI-co-MWCNT composite nanoparticles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bagheripour, Ehsan; Moghadassi, Abdolreza; Hosseini, Sayed Mohsen


    Mixed matrix polyethersulfone/PANI-co-MWCNTs composite nanoparticle nanofiltration membrane was prepared by casting solution technique. Polyvinylpyrrolidone was also used as membrane pore former in membrane fabrication. The effect of polyaniline-co-multi walled carbon nanotubes composite nanoparticle concentration in the casting solution on membrane structure and performance was investigated. Scanning optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, FTIR analysis, porosity, mean pore size, contact angle, water content, NaCl/Na2SO4 rejection, water flux, tensile strength measurements and 3D surface image were also carried out in membrane characterization. SOM images showed nanoparticle agglomeration at high additive loading ratio. SEM images showed the membrane sub-layer porosity and thickness were changed by use of nanoparticles in membrane matrix. The membrane water content, porosity and pore size were increased by increase of nanoparticle concentration, except for 1%wt. Use of PANI-co- MWCNT nanoparticles in the membrane matrix caused a decrease of membrane contact angle from 63.43 to 46.76o. Salt rejection and water flux were improved initially by increase of nanoparticle concentration up to 0.1%wt and then decreased by more additive concentration. In addition, the membranes tensile strength was reduced by increase of PANI-co-MWCNTs composite nanoparticle concentration. 3D surface images showed a smoother surface for mixed matrix membrane filled with 0.1wt% PANI-co-MWCNTs. Modified membrane containing 0.1wt% composite nanoparticles showed better performance compared to others.

  19. Preparation of mixed matrix PES-based nanofiltration membrane filled with PANI-co-MWCNT composite nanoparticles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bagheripour, Ehsan; Moghadassi, Abdolreza; Hosseini, Sayed Mohsen [Faculty of Engineering, Arak University, Arak (Iran, Islamic Republic of)


    Mixed matrix polyethersulfone/PANI-co-MWCNTs composite nanoparticle nanofiltration membrane was prepared by casting solution technique. Polyvinylpyrrolidone was also used as membrane pore former in membrane fabrication. The effect of polyaniline-co-multi walled carbon nanotubes composite nanoparticle concentration in the casting solution on membrane structure and performance was investigated. Scanning optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, FTIR analysis, porosity, mean pore size, contact angle, water content, NaCl/Na2SO4 rejection, water flux, tensile strength measurements and 3D surface image were also carried out in membrane characterization. SOM images showed nanoparticle agglomeration at high additive loading ratio. SEM images showed the membrane sub-layer porosity and thickness were changed by use of nanoparticles in membrane matrix. The membrane water content, porosity and pore size were increased by increase of nanoparticle concentration, except for 1%wt. Use of PANI-co- MWCNT nanoparticles in the membrane matrix caused a decrease of membrane contact angle from 63.43 to 46.76o. Salt rejection and water flux were improved initially by increase of nanoparticle concentration up to 0.1%wt and then decreased by more additive concentration. In addition, the membranes tensile strength was reduced by increase of PANI-co-MWCNTs composite nanoparticle concentration. 3D surface images showed a smoother surface for mixed matrix membrane filled with 0.1wt% PANI-co-MWCNTs. Modified membrane containing 0.1wt% composite nanoparticles showed better performance compared to others.

  20. X-ray microtomography application in pore space reservoir rock. (United States)

    Oliveira, M F S; Lima, I; Borghi, L; Lopes, R T


    Characterization of porosity in carbonate rocks is important in the oil and gas industry since a major hydrocarbons field is formed by this lithology and they have a complex media porous. In this context, this research presents a study of the pore space in limestones rocks by x-ray microtomography. Total porosity, type of porosity and pore size distribution were evaluated from 3D high resolution images. Results show that carbonate rocks has a complex pore space system with different pores types at the same facies. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Atomistic and continuum scale modeling of functionalized graphyne membranes for water desalination. (United States)

    Raju, Muralikrishna; Govindaraju, Pavan B; van Duin, Adri C T; Ihme, Matthias


    Recent theoretical and experimental studies reported ultra-high water permeability and salt rejection in nanoporous single-layer graphene. However, creating and controlling the size and distribution of nanometer-scale pores pose significant challenges to application of these membranes for water desalination. Graphyne and hydrogenated graphyne have tremendous potential as ultra-permeable membranes for desalination and wastewater reclamation due to their uniform pore-distribution, atomic thickness and mechano-chemical stability. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and upscale continuum analysis, the desalination performance of bare and hydrogenated α-graphyne and γ-{2,3,4}-graphyne membranes is evaluated as a function of pore size, pore geometry, chemical functionalization and applied pressure. MD simulations show that pores ranging from 20 to 50 Å 2 reject in excess of 90% of the ions for pressures up to 1 GPa. Water permeability is found to range up to 85 L cm -2 day -1 MPa -1 , which is up to three orders of magnitude larger than commercial seawater reverse osmosis (RO) membranes and up to ten times that of nanoporous graphene. Pore chemistry, functionalization and geometry are shown to play a critical role in modulating the water flux, and these observations are explained by water velocity, density, and energy barriers in the pores. The atomistic scale investigations are complemented by upscale continuum analysis to examine the performance of these membranes in application to cross-flow RO systems. This upscale analysis, however, shows that the significant increase in permeability, observed from MD simulations, does not fully translate to current RO systems due to transport limitations. Nevertheless, upscale calculations predict that the higher permeability of graphyne membranes would allow up to six times higher permeate recovery or up to 6% less energy consumption as compared to thin-film composite membranes at currently accessible operating conditions

  2. Experimental study on pore structure and performance of sintered porous wick (United States)

    He, Da; Wang, Shufan; Liu, Rutie; Wang, Zhubo; Xiong, Xiang; Zou, Jianpeng


    Porous wicks were prepared via powder metallurgy using NH4HCO3 powders as pore-forming agent. The pore-forming agent particle size was varied to control the pore structure and equivalent pore size distribution feature of porous wick. The effect of pore-forming agent particle size on the porosity, pore structures, equivalent pore size distribution and capillary pumping performance were investigated. Results show that with the particle size of pore-forming agent decrease, the green density and the volume shrinkage of the porous wicks gradually increase and the porosity reduces slightly. There are two types of pores inside the porous wick, large-sized prefabricated pores and small-sized gap pores. With the particle size of pore-forming agent decrease, the size of the prefabricated pores becomes smaller and the distribution tends to be uniform. Gap pores and prefabricated pores inside the wick can make up different types of pore channels. The equivalent pore size of wick is closely related to the structure of pore channels. Furthermore, the equivalent pore size distribution of wick shows an obvious double-peak feature when the pore-forming agent particle size is large. With the particle size of pore-forming agent decrease, the two peaks of equivalent pore size distribution approach gradually to each other, resulting in a single-peak feature. Porous wick with single-peak feature equivalent pore size distribution possesses the better capillary pumping performances.

  3. Reversal of charge selectivity in transmembrane protein pores by using noncovalent molecular adapters (United States)

    Gu, Li-Qun; Dalla Serra, Mauro; Vincent, J. Bryan; Vigh, Gyula; Cheley, Stephen; Braha, Orit; Bayley, Hagan


    In this study, the charge selectivity of staphylococcal α-hemolysin (αHL), a bacterial pore-forming toxin, is manipulated by using cyclodextrins as noncovalent molecular adapters. Anion-selective versions of αHL, including the wild-type pore and various mutants, become more anion selective when β-cyclodextrin (βCD) is lodged within the channel lumen. By contrast, the negatively charged adapter, hepta-6-sulfato-β-cyclodextrin (s7βCD), produces cation selectivity. The cyclodextrin adapters have similar effects when placed in cation-selective mutant αHL pores. Most probably, hydrated Cl− ions partition into the central cavity of βCD more readily than K+ ions, whereas s7βCD introduces a charged ring near the midpoint of the channel lumen and confers cation selectivity through electrostatic interactions. The molecular adapters generate permeability ratios (PK+/PCl−) over a 200-fold range and should be useful in the de novo design of membrane channels both for basic studies of ion permeation and for applications in biotechnology. PMID:10760267

  4. Microfiltration membranes prepared from polyethersulfone powder grafted with acrylic acid by simultaneous irradiation and their pH dependence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deng Bo; Li Jingye; Hou Zhengchi; Yao Side; Shi Liuqing; Liang Guoming; Sheng Kanglong


    Polyethersulfone (PES) powder was grafted with acrylic acid (AAc) by simultaneous γ-ray irradiation. The kinetics of the radiation induced graft polymerization was studied and the grafted PES powder was characterized. Then, microfiltration (MF) membranes were prepared from PES-g-PAAc powder with different degrees of grafting (DG) under phase inversion method. The swelling behavior and the mean pore size of MF membranes were measured, and the filtration property was tested. The results showed that the pore size and the flux of MF membranes increased with the increase in DG. And, MF membranes' properties were dependent on the pH value

  5. Coupling Metallic Nanostructures to Thermally Responsive Polymers Allows the Development of Intelligent Responsive Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Rubén Morones-Ramírez


    Full Text Available Development of porous membranes capable of controlling flow or changing their permeability to specific chemical entities, in response to small changes in environmental stimuli, is an area of appealing research, since these membranes present a wide variety of applications. The synthesis of these membranes has been mainly approached through grafting of environmentally responsive polymers to the surface walls of polymeric porous membranes. This synergizes the chemical stability and mechanical strength of the polymer membrane with the fast response times of the bonded polymer chains. Therefore, different composite membranes capable of changing their effective pore size with environmental triggers have been developed. A recent interest has been the development of porous membranes responsive to light, since these can achieve rapid, remote, noninvasive, and localized flow control. This work describes the synthesis pathway to construct intelligent optothermally responsive membranes. The method followed involved the grafting of optothermally responsive polymer-metal nanoparticle nanocomposites to polycarbonate track-etched porous membranes (PCTEPMs. The nanoparticles coupled to the polymer grafts serve as the optothermal energy converters to achieve optical switching of the pores. The results of the paper show that grafting of the polymer and in situ synthesis of the metallic particles can be easily achieved. In addition, the composite membranes allow fast and reversible switching of the pores using both light and heat permitting control of fluid flow.


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    George R. Gavalas


    The preparation and performance of membranes for application to hydrogen separation from coal-derived gas is described. The membrane material investigated was dense amorphous silica deposited on a suitable support by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Two types of support materials were pursued. One type consisted of a two-layer composite, zeolite silicalite/{alpha}-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}, in the form of tubes approximately 0.7 cm in diameter. The other type was porous glass tubes of diameter below 0.2 cm. The first type of support was prepared starting from {alpha}-Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} tubes of 1{micro}m mean pore diameter and growing by hydrothermal reaction a zeolite silicalite layer inside the pores of the alumina at the OD side. After calcination to remove the organic template used in the hydrothermal reaction, CVD was carried out to deposit the final silica layer. CVD was carried out by alternating exposure of the surface with silicon tetrachloride and water vapor. SEM and N2 adsorption measurements were employed to characterize the membranes at several stages during their preparation. Permeation measurements of several gases yielded H{sub 2}:N{sub 2} ideal selectivity of 150-200 at room temperature declining to 110 at 250 C. The second type of support pursued was porous glass tubes prepared by a novel extrusion technique. A thick suspension of borosilicate glass powder in a polyethersulfone solution was extruded through a spinneret and after gelation the glass-polymer tube was heat treated to obtain a gas-tight glass tube. Leaching of the glass tube in hot water yielded connected pores with diameter on the order of 100 nm. CVD of the final silica layer was not carried out on these tubes on account of their large pore size.

  7. Hybrid membranes of polyamide applied in treatment of waste water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Medeiros, Keila Machado de; Araujo, Edcleide Maria; Lira, Helio de Lucena; Lima, Diego de Farias; Lima, Carlos Antonio Pereira de


    In this work, it was prepared hybrid membranes of polyamide6 (PA6) with montmorillonite (MMT) and porogenic agent (CaCl 2 ). The hybrid membranes with CaCl 2 were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), porosimetry by mercury intrusion (PMI), flux measurements and rejection. By means of X-ray diffraction, it was revealed that the hybrid membranes with CaCl 2 have an exfoliated and/or partially exfoliated structure. For FTIR and DSC of hybrid membranes with CaCl 2 , it was found that the spectra and the crystalline melting temperature remained virtually unchanged compared to PA6 membrane. From the SEM images, it was observed that the addition of the MMT and the CaCl 2 in the membrane of PA6 caused an increase in the amount of pores the surface and cross section of these membranes. By PMI, it was observed that the presence of MMT and CaCl 2 in the membrane caused an increase in the average diameters of pores. The water-oil separation tests, indicated a significant reduction of oil in the permeate, allowing treatment of wastewater contaminated with oil. (author)

  8. Hybrid membranes of polyamide applied in treatment of waste water

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Medeiros, Keila Machado de; Araujo, Edcleide Maria; Lira, Helio de Lucena, E-mail: [Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UFCG), PB (Brazil). Departamento de Engenharia de Materiais; Lima, Diego de Farias; Lima, Carlos Antonio Pereira de [Universidade Estadual da Paraiba (UEPB), Campina Grande, PB (Brazil). Departamento de Engenharia Sanitaria e Ambiental


    In this work, it was prepared hybrid membranes of polyamide6 (PA6) with montmorillonite (MMT) and porogenic agent (CaCl{sub 2} ). The hybrid membranes with CaCl{sub 2} were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), porosimetry by mercury intrusion (PMI), flux measurements and rejection. By means of X-ray diffraction, it was revealed that the hybrid membranes with CaCl{sub 2} have an exfoliated and/or partially exfoliated structure. For FTIR and DSC of hybrid membranes with CaCl{sub 2} , it was found that the spectra and the crystalline melting temperature remained virtually unchanged compared to PA6 membrane. From the SEM images, it was observed that the addition of the MMT and the CaCl{sub 2} in the membrane of PA6 caused an increase in the amount of pores the surface and cross section of these membranes. By PMI, it was observed that the presence of MMT and CaCl{sub 2} in the membrane caused an increase in the average diameters of pores. The water-oil separation tests, indicated a significant reduction of oil in the permeate, allowing treatment of wastewater contaminated with oil. (author)

  9. Development and modification of glass membranes for aggressive gas separations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindbraaten, Arne


    Chlorine as a chemical is widespread in industry and found in a great variety of processes ranging from water purification to plastic production. In this thesis, a magnesium production factory was chosen as an example because it involved both chlorine - air separation and hydrogen -hydrogen chloride separation. Previously, various types of membrane materials have been tested out for their applicability in the chosen process. The materials previously tested either lacked sufficient membrane performance or sufficient membrane stability. As an attempt to improve both the membrane performance and stability, glass membranes are used in this thesis. Glass membranes are prepared from a borosilicate glass, via a phase separation followed by an acid leaching route. By choosing the appropriate phase separation temperature and acid to glass ratio, the membrane can be produced with an average pore diameter of 2 nm (or 4 nm). However, the 2 nm average pore size is still too large to separate gases with separation selectivities beyond the selectivities predicted from Knudsen diffusion theory. If the pores are narrowed, the selectivity may be raised while the flux hopefully is maintained. The narrowing of the pores was done by a silane coupling to the surface OH-groups on the glass. The silane coupling agent is of the dimethyl-acyl-chlorosilane type, where the length of the acyl chain varies from 1 carbon up to 18 carbons. Glass fibres are also tested in this work, which are produced without phase separation and their average pore size is smaller than the surface-modified glasses. To be able to compare the performance of the various membranes, performance measurements are performed and these measurements are evaluated by the separation power (product of the selectivity and the permeability of the fastest permeating compound). Because of the harsh chlorine or hydrogen chloride environment, to which the membranes are exposed in this work, the membrane stability is at least as

  10. Entropy of Shortest Distance (ESD as Pore Detector and Pore-Shape Classifier

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaudia Oleschko


    Full Text Available The entropy of shortest distance (ESD between geographic elements (“elliptical intrusions”, “lineaments”, “points” on a map, or between "vugs", "fractures" and "pores" in the macro- or microscopic images of triple porosity naturally fractured vuggy carbonates provides a powerful new tool for the digital processing, analysis, classification and space/time distribution prognostic of mineral resources as well as the void space in carbonates, and in other rocks. The procedure is applicable at all scales, from outcrop photos, FMI, UBI, USI (geophysical imaging techniques to micrographs, as we shall illustrate through some examples. Out of the possible applications of the ESD concept, we discuss in details the sliding window entropy filtering for nonlinear pore boundary enhancement, and propose this procedure as unbiased thresholding technique.

  11. Crystallinity and order of poly(ethylene oxide)/lithium triflate complex confined in nanoporous membranes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bishop, Christina [Department of Chemical Engineering, The University of Tulsa, 800 S. Tucker Drive, Tulsa, OK 74104 (United States); Teeters, Dale [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Tulsa, 800 S. Tucker Drive, Tulsa, OK 74104 (United States)], E-mail:


    The confinement of poly(ethylene oxide), PEO, electrolyte in pores of 13, 35, 55 and 100 nm in diameter in nanoporous alumina membranes was seen to have effects on the ionic conduction properties. Specific conductivity values for the PEO/lithium triflate complex in the 13 and 35 nm pores, for temperatures below the melt temperatures, were increased by a factor of four compared to the non-confined polymer and the 55 and 100 nm pore systems. Thermal analysis data indicate the melting temperature for the PEO electrolyte in the pores is directly proportional to the pore size such that as the pore size of confinement is decreased, the T{sub m} decreases as well. The same behavior is seen for the amount of crystallinity, with less crystallinity being observed as the pores become smaller. Perhaps the observed conduction behavior could be attributed to less crystallinity. However, it is known that confinement of polyethers in pores results in stretching and ordering of the backbone and that such ordering can increase ion conduction. This ordering would seem to be the major factor involved in these results. The enhanced conduction only being seen in the 13 and 35 nm pores and not the 55 and 100 nm pores is attributed to the larger size for the latter which allows a more bulk-like behavior with less ordering.

  12. Membranes for nanometer-scale mass fast transport (United States)

    Bakajin, Olgica [San Leandro, CA; Holt, Jason [Berkeley, CA; Noy, Aleksandr [Belmont, CA; Park, Hyung Gyu [Oakland, CA


    Nanoporous membranes comprising single walled, double walled, and multiwalled carbon nanotubes embedded in a matrix material were fabricated for fluid mechanics and mass transfer studies on the nanometer scale and commercial applications. Average pore size can be 2 nm to 20 nm, or seven nm or less, or two nanometers or less. The membrane can be free of large voids spanning the membrane such that transport of material such as gas or liquid occurs exclusively through the tubes. Fast fluid, vapor, and liquid transport are observed. Versatile micromachining methods can be used for membrane fabrication. A single chip can comprise multiple membranes. These membranes are a robust platform for the study of confined molecular transport, with applications in liquid and gas separations and chemical sensing including desalination, dialysis, and fabric formation.

  13. Photo-oxidative enhancement of polymeric molecular sieve membranes. (United States)

    Song, Qilei; Cao, Shuai; Zavala-Rivera, Paul; Lu, Li Ping; Li, Wei; Ji, Yan; Al-Muhtaseb, Shaheen A; Cheetham, Anthony K; Sivaniah, Easan


    High-performance membranes are attractive for molecular-level separations in industrial-scale chemical, energy and environmental processes. The next-generation membranes for these processes are based on molecular sieving materials to simultaneously achieve high throughput and selectivity. Membranes made from polymeric molecular sieves such as polymers of intrinsic microporosity (pore size<2 nm) are especially interesting in being solution processable and highly permeable but currently have modest selectivity. Here we report photo-oxidative surface modification of membranes made of a polymer of intrinsic microporosity. The ultraviolet light field, localized to a near-surface domain, induces reactive ozone that collapses the microporous polymer framework. The rapid, near-surface densification results in asymmetric membranes with a superior selectivity in gas separation while maintaining an apparent permeability that is two orders of magnitude greater than commercially available polymeric membranes. The oxidative chain scission induced by ultraviolet irradiation also indicates the potential application of the polymer in photolithography technology.

  14. Pore morphologies of root induced biopores from single pore to network scale investigated by XRCT (United States)

    Peth, Stephan; Wittig, Marlen C.; Uteau Puschmann, Daniel; Pagenkemper, Sebastian; Haas, Christoph; Holthusen, Dörthe; Horn, Rainer


    Biopores are assumed to be an important factor for nutrient acquisition by providing biologically highly active soil-root interfaces to re-colonizing roots and controlling oxygen and water flows at the pedon scale and within the rhizosphere through the formation of branching channel networks which potentially enhance microbial turnover processes. Characteristic differences in pore morphologies are to be expected depending on the genesis of biopores which, for example, can be earthworm-induced or root-induced or subsequently modified by one of the two. Our understanding of biophysical interactions between plants and soil can be significantly improved by quantifying 3D biopore architectures across scales ranging from single biopores to pedon scale pore networks and linking pore morphologies to microscale measurements of transport processes (e.g. oxygen diffusion). While a few studies in the past have investigated biopore networks on a larger scale yet little is known on the micro-morphology of root-induces biopores and their associated rhizosphere. Also little data is available on lateral transport of oxygen through the rhizosphere which will strongly influence microbial turnover processes and consequently control the release and uptake of nutrients. This paper highlights results gathered within a research unit on nutrient acquisition from the subsoil. Here we focus on X-ray microtomography (XRCT) studies ranging from large soil columns (70 cm length and 20 cm diameter) to individual biopores and its surrounding rhizosphere. Samples were collected from sites with different preceding crops (fescue, chicory, alfalfa) and various cropping durations (1-3 years). We will present an approach for quantitative image analysis combined with micro-sensor measurements of oxygen diffusion and spatial gradients of O2 partial pressures to relate pore structure with transport functions. Implications of various biopore architectures for the accessibility of nutrient resources in

  15. Smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates (United States)

    Luo, Feng; Xie, Rui; Liu, Zhuang; Ju, Xiao-Jie; Wang, Wei; Lin, Shuo; Chu, Liang-Yin


    Smart gating membranes, inspired by the gating function of ion channels across cell membranes, are artificial membranes composed of non-responsive porous membrane substrates and responsive gates in the membrane pores that are able to dramatically regulate the trans-membrane transport of substances in response to environmental stimuli. Easy fabrication, high flux, significant response and strong mechanical strength are critical for the versatility of such smart gating membranes. Here we show a novel and simple strategy for one-step fabrication of smart gating membranes with three-dimensionally interconnected networks of functional gates, by self-assembling responsive nanogels on membrane pore surfaces in situ during a vapor-induced phase separation process for membrane formation. The smart gating membranes with in situ self-assembled responsive nanogels as functional gates show large flux, significant response and excellent mechanical property simultaneously. Because of the easy fabrication method as well as the concurrent enhancement of flux, response and mechanical property, the proposed smart gating membranes will expand the scope of membrane applications, and provide ever better performances in their applications. PMID:26434387

  16. A method to modify PVDF microfiltration membrane via ATRP with low-temperature plasma pretreatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Han, Yu [School of Marine Science, Ningbo University, Fenghua Road 818, Ningbo, 315211 (China); Ningbo University of Technology, Fenghua Road 201, Ningbo, 315211 (China); Song, Shuijun [School of Marine Science, Ningbo University, Fenghua Road 818, Ningbo, 315211 (China); Zhejiang University of Science Technology, Liuhe Road 318, Hangzhou, 310023 (China); Lu, Yin, E-mail: [School of Marine Science, Ningbo University, Fenghua Road 818, Ningbo, 315211 (China); Zhu, Dongfa [School of Marine Science, Ningbo University, Fenghua Road 818, Ningbo, 315211 (China)


    Highlights: • We report a simple method to modify hydrophobic PVDF modification membrane. • Surface modification of PVDF membrane via ATRP with plasma pre-treatment. • ATRP grafting of SBMA onto the PVDF membrane surface form PVDF-g-SBMA membrane. • PVDF-g-SBMA membrane shows superior antifouling properties and hydrophilic. - Abstract: The hydrophilic modification of a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) microfiltration membrane via pretreatment with argon plasma and direct surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) was studied. Both modified and unmodified PVDF membranes were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), water contact angle, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and pore size distribution measurements. FTIR and XPS spectra confirmed that sulfobetaine methacrylate (SBMA) had been grafted onto the membrane surface. The initial contact angle decreased from 87.0° to 29.8° and a water drop penetrated into the modified membrane completely in 8 s. The pore size distribution of the modified membrane exhibited a smaller mean value than that of the original membrane. The antifouling properties of the modified PVDF membrane were evaluated by a filtration test using bovine serum albumin (BSA) solution. The results showed that the initial flux of the modified membrane increased from 2140.1 L/m{sup 2} h to 2812.7 L/m{sup 2} h and the equilibrium flux of BSA solution increased from 31 L/m{sup 2} h to 53 L/m{sup 2} h.

  17. Atomic force microscopy of bacteria reveals the mechanobiology of pore forming peptide action. (United States)

    Mularski, Anna; Wilksch, Jonathan J; Hanssen, Eric; Strugnell, Richard A; Separovic, Frances


    Time-resolved AFM images revealed that the antimicrobial peptide (AMP) caerin 1.1 caused localised defects in the cell walls of lysed Klebsiella pneumoniae cells, corroborating a pore-forming mechanism of action. The defects continued to grow during the AFM experiment, in corroboration with large holes that were visualised by scanning electron microscopy. Defects in cytoplasmic membranes were visualised by cryo-EM using the same peptide concentration as in the AFM experiments. At three times the minimum inhibitory concentration of caerin, 'pores' were apparent in the outer membrane. The capsule of K. pneumoniae AJ218 was unchanged by exposure to caerin, indicating that the ionic interaction of the positively charged peptide with the negatively charged capsular polysaccharide is not a critical component of AMP interaction with K. pneumoniae AJ218 cells. Further, the presence of a capsule confers no advantage to wild-type over capsule-deficient cells when exposed to the AMP caerin. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Pore-forming Activity of the Escherichia coli Type III Secretion System Protein EspD. (United States)

    Chatterjee, Abhishek; Caballero-Franco, Celia; Bakker, Dannika; Totten, Stephanie; Jardim, Armando


    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli is a causative agent of gastrointestinal and diarrheal diseases. Pathogenesis associated with enterohemorrhagic E. coli involves direct delivery of virulence factors from the bacteria into epithelial cell cytosol via a syringe-like organelle known as the type III secretion system. The type III secretion system protein EspD is a critical factor required for formation of a translocation pore on the host cell membrane. Here, we show that recombinant EspD spontaneously integrates into large unilamellar vesicle (LUV) lipid bilayers; however, pore formation required incorporation of anionic phospholipids such as phosphatidylserine and an acidic pH. Leakage assays performed with fluorescent dextrans confirmed that EspD formed a structure with an inner diameter of ∼2.5 nm. Protease mapping indicated that the two transmembrane helical hairpin of EspD penetrated the lipid layer positioning the N- and C-terminal domains on the extralumenal surface of LUVs. Finally, a combination of glutaraldehyde cross-linking and rate zonal centrifugation suggested that EspD in LUV membranes forms an ∼280-320-kDa oligomeric structure consisting of ∼6-7 subunits. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  19. Preparation, Characterization and Performance Studies of Active PVDF Ultrafiltration-Surfactants Membranes Containing PVP as Additive

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nur Izzah Md Fadilah; Abdul Rahman Hassan


    The role of surfactants in the formation of active Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) ultrafiltration (AUF) membranes was studied. The effect combination of surfactants that are Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)/ Tween 80 and Tween 80/ Triton X-100 formulations on performance and morphological structures were investigated for the first time. The influence of surfactants blends on the membrane pores was also examined. Experimental data showed that combination of Tween 80/ Triton X-100 give the highest BSA permeation flux with a value of 285.51 Lm -2 h -1 . With combination of SDS/ Tween 80, the AUF membrane showed the highest protein rejection up to 93 % and 79 % for Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) and Egg Albumin (EA), respectively. Moreover, membranes characterization demonstrated that the addition of SDS/ Tween 80 and Tween 80/ Triton X-100 were found to affect the performance, surface morphologies and membrane pores of AUF PVDF membranes. (author)

  20. YaxAB, a Yersinia enterocolitica Pore-Forming Toxin Regulated by RovA (United States)

    Wagner, Nikki J.; Lin, Carolina P.; Borst, Luke B.


    The transcriptional regulator RovA positively regulates transcription of the Yersinia enterocolitica virulence gene inv. Invasin, encoded by inv, is important for establishment of Y. enterocolitica infection. However, a rovA mutant is more attenuated for virulence than an inv mutant, implying that RovA regulates additional virulence genes. When the Y. enterocolitica RovA regulon was defined by microarray analysis, YE1984 and YE1985 were among the genes identified as being upregulated by RovA. Since these genes are homologous to Xenorhabdus nematophila cytotoxin genes xaxA and xaxB, we named them yaxA and yaxB, respectively. In this work, we demonstrate the effects of YaxAB on the course of infection in the murine model. While a yaxAB mutant (ΔyaxAB) is capable of colonizing mice at the same level as the wild type, it slightly delays the course of infection and results in differing pathology in the spleen. Further, we found that yaxAB encode a probable cytotoxin capable of lysing mammalian cells, that both YaxA and YaxB are required for cytotoxic activity, and that the two proteins associate. YaxAB-mediated cell death occurs via osmotic lysis through the formation of distinct membrane pores. In silico tertiary structural analysis identified predicted structural homology between YaxA and proteins in pore-forming toxin complexes from Bacillus cereus (HBL-B) and Escherichia coli (HlyE). Thus, it appears that YaxAB function as virulence factors by inducing cell lysis through the formation of pores in the host cell membrane. This characterization of YaxAB supports the hypothesis that RovA regulates expression of multiple virulence factors in Y. enterocolitica. PMID:24002058

  1. pH regulates pore formation of a protease activated Vip3Aa from Bacillus thuringiensis. (United States)

    Kunthic, Thittaya; Watanabe, Hirokazu; Kawano, Ryuji; Tanaka, Yoshikazu; Promdonkoy, Boonhiang; Yao, Min; Boonserm, Panadda


    Vip3Aa insecticidal protein is produced from Bacillus thuringiensis and exerts a broad spectrum of toxicity against lepidopteran insect species. Although Vip3Aa has been effectively used as part of integrated pest management strategies, the mechanism of the toxin remains unclear. Here, we investigated the effect of pH in a range from 5.0 to 10.0 on the pore-forming activity of the trypsin activated Vip3Aa (actVip3Aa) by in vitro pore-forming assays. Based on calcein release assay, actVip3Aa could permeabilize the artificial neutral liposomes under all the pH tested, except pH10.0. The maximum membrane permeability of actVip3Aa was detected at pH8.0 and the permeability decreased and abolished when exposing to acidic and alkaline conditions, respectively. The planar lipid bilayer experiment revealed that actVip3Aa formed ion channels at pH5.0-8.0 but no current signals were detected at pH10.0, consistent with the observation from calcein release assay. The toxin formed ion channels with a diameter of 1.4nm at pH8.0 and pore size was gradually decreased when reducing the pH. This study provided a view of the molecular mechanism of Vip3Aa by which the pore-forming activity is regulated by pH. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. A distributed solute model: an extended two-pore model with application to the glomerular sieving of Ficoll. (United States)

    Öberg, Carl M; Groszek, Joseph J; Roy, Shuvo; Fissell, William H; Rippe, Bengt


    One of the many unresolved questions regarding the permeability of the glomerular filtration barrier is the reason behind the marked difference in permeability between albumin and polysaccharide probe molecules such as Ficoll and dextran of the same molecular size. Although the differences in permeability have been mainly attributed to charge effects, we have previously shown that this would require a highly charged filtration barrier, having a charge density that is ~10 times more than that on the albumin molecule. In this article, the classic two-pore model was extended by introducing size distributions on the solute molecules, making them conformationally flexible. Experimental sieving data for Ficoll from the rat glomerulus and from precision-made silicon nanopore membranes were analyzed using the model. For the rat glomerulus a small pore radius of 36.2 Å and a geometric standard deviation (gSD) for the Ficoll size-distribution of 1.16 was obtained. For the nanopore membranes, a gSD of 1.24 and a small-pore radius of 43 Å was found. Interestingly, a variation of only ~16% in the size of the polysaccharide molecule is sufficient to explain the difference in permeability between albumin and Ficoll. Also, in line with previous data, the effects of applying a size-distribution on the solute molecule are only evident when the molecular size is close to the pore size. Surely there is at least some variation in the pore radii and, likely, the gSD obtained in the current study is an overestimation of the "true" variation in the size of the Ficoll molecule.

  3. Effects of alternating current frequency and permeation enhancers upon human epidermal membrane. (United States)

    Xu, Qingfang; Kochambilli, Rajan P; Song, Yang; Hao, Jinsong; Higuchi, William I; Li, S Kevin


    Previous studies have demonstrated the ability of AC iontophoresis to control skin resistance in different transdermal iontophoresis applications. The objectives of the present study were to (a) identify the alternating current (AC) frequency for the optimization of AC pore induction of human epidermal membrane (HEM) and (b) determine the effects of chemical permeation enhancers upon the extent of pore induction under AC conditions. Experiments with a synthetic membrane system were first conducted as the control. In these synthetic membrane experiments, the electrical resistance of the membrane remained essentially constant, suggesting constant electromobility of the background electrolyte ions under the AC conditions studied. In the HEM experiments, the electrical resistance data showed that higher applied voltages were required to induce the same extent of pore induction in HEM at AC frequency of 1kHz compared with those at 30Hz. Even higher voltages were needed at AC frequencies of 10kHz and higher. AC frequency also influenced the recovery of HEM electrical resistance after AC iontophoresis application. An optimal AC frequency region for effective pore induction and least sensation was proposed. Permeation enhancers were shown to enhance pore induction in HEM during AC iontophoresis. The enhancers reversibly reduced the AC voltage required to sustain a constant state of pore induction in HEM during AC iontophoresis, consistent with the mechanism of lipid lamellae electroporation in the stratum corneum.

  4. Carbon nanotube embedded PVDF membranes: Effect of solvent composition on the structural morphology for membrane distillation (United States)

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


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

  5. The study of the relationship between pore structure and ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Two kinds of channels, straight channels made of cylindrical capillaries and curved channels made of slit-shaped pores, exist in the bulk materials. The influence of the pore structure of mesoporous TiO2 on its photocatalytic performance was studied. The sample with higher porosity, better textural properties and straight ...

  6. Significant improvement in the pore properties of SBA-15 brought ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Presence of carboxylic acids as well as hydrothermal treatment improves the pore properties of SBA-15. Keywords. SBA-15; mesoporous; carboxylic acids; adsorption; hydrothermal treatment; morphology. 1. Introduction. Molecular sieves with large pores have been of great use in carrying out reactions and separation proc-.

  7. Pore fluids from the argillaceous rocks of the Harwell region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brightman, M.A.; Bath, A.H.; Cave, M.R.; Darling, W.G.


    The aim of this work was to obtain samples of pore water from argillaceous formations in the Harwell area for chemical analysis to provide a background for radionuclide migration studies and regional groundwater flow pattern. This report describes the samples, development of a pore-water squeezing cell and its operation. Chemical and analytical studies are summarized. (UK)

  8. The study of the relationship between pore structure and ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Abstract. Mesoporous titania was synthesized by a sol–gel method using the surfactants Span85 and. X114 as the template. The pore structure was determined by the N2 adsorption/desorption method below. 73 K and calculated using the BJH model. TEM characterizations show that the pores are formed through.

  9. Pore size determination from charged particle energy loss measurement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brady, F.P.; Armitage, B.H.


    A new method aimed at measuring porosity and mean pore size in materials has been developed at Harwell. The energy width or variance of a transmitted or backscattered charged particle beam is measured and related to the mean pore size via the assumption that the variance in total path length in the porous material is given by (Δx 2 )=na 2 , where n is the mean number of pores and a the mean pore size. It is shown on the basis of a general and rigorous theory of total path length distribution that this approximation can give rise to large errors in the mean pore size determination particularly in the case of large porosities (epsilon>0.5). In practice it is found that it is not easy to utilize fully the general theory because accurate measurements of the first four moments are required to determine the means and variances of the pore and inter-pore length distributions. Several models for these distributions are proposed. When these are incorporated in the general theory the determinations of mean pore size from experimental measurements on powder samples are in good agreement with values determined by other methods. (Auth.)

  10. Small angle neutron scattering study of pore microstructure in ceria ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    fractal morphology of the pore space with fractal dimensionality lying between 2.70 and. 2.76. Keywords. Ceria; sintering ... This paper deals with SANS investigation of internal pore microstructure of sintered compacts of ceria over ... compaction pressure of 200 MPa and sintered at 1250◦C for 2 h. Pramana – J. Phys., Vol.

  11. Analysis Of Pore Pressure Using Geophysical Methods | Dosumnu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Many methods have been devised for predicting and evaluating the values of pore pressure in oil and gas formations. The present work employs geophysical approach for prediction of formation pore pressure in Niger Delta. This involved the use of seismic derived data before drilling operation, which was correlated with ...

  12. Pore structure and growth kinetics in carbon materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bose, S.


    Pore structure of glassy carbon (GC) and pyrolytic graphite (PG) have been investigated. GC is one of the most impervious of solids finding applications in prosthetic devices and fuel cells while PG is used extensively in the aerospace industry. One third of the microstructure of GC consists of closed pores inaccessible to fluids. The microstructure of this material has been characterized using x-ray diffraction (XRD) and high resolution electron microscopy. Small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) has been used to measure the angstrom sized pores and to follow the evolution of pore surface area as a function of heat treatment temperature (HTT) and heat treatment time (HTt) at constant temperature. From these measurements an analysis of the surface area kinetics was made to find out if rate processes are involved and to locate graphitization occurring at pore surfaces. PG on the other hand has been found to have larger sized pores that comprise five percent of its volume. In addition to being closed these pores are oriented. Some pore models are proposed for PG and the existing scattering theory from oriented ellipsoids is modified to include the proposed shapes.

  13. Surfactant-controlled etching of ion track nanopores and its practical applications in membrane technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apel, P.Yu.; Blonskaya, I.V.; Dmitriev, S.N.; Mamonova, T.I.; Orelovitch, O.L.; Sartowska, B.; Yamauchi, Yu.


    The effect of surfactants on chemical development of ion tracks in polymers has been studied. It has been shown that surface-active agents added to an alkaline etching solution adsorb on the polymer surface at the pore entrances. This reduces the etch rate, which leads to the formation of pores tapered toward the surface. Self-assembly of surfactant molecules at the pore entrance creates a barrier for their penetration into the etched-out nanopores, whereas hydroxide ions diffuse freely. Due to this, the internal pore volume grows faster than the pore surface diameter. The ability to control pore shape is demonstrated with the fabrication of profiled nano- and micropores in polyethylene terephthalate, polycarbonate. Some earlier published data on small track-etched pores in polycarbonate (in particular, the pore diameter vs. etching time curves measured conductometrically) have been revised in light of the above findings. Adding surfactants to chemical etchants makes it possible to optimize the structure of track membranes, thus improving their retention and permeation properties. Asymmetric membranes with thin skin retention layers have been produced and their performance studied

  14. Surfactant-controlled etching of ion track nanopores and its practical applications in membrane technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Apel, P.Yu. [Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 141980 Dubna (Russian Federation)], E-mail:; Blonskaya, I.V.; Dmitriev, S.N.; Mamonova, T.I.; Orelovitch, O.L. [Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 141980 Dubna (Russian Federation); Sartowska, B. [Institute of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology, Dorodna Street 16, 03-195 Warsaw (Poland); Yamauchi, Yu. [Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 141980 Dubna (Russian Federation)


    The effect of surfactants on chemical development of ion tracks in polymers has been studied. It has been shown that surface-active agents added to an alkaline etching solution adsorb on the polymer surface at the pore entrances. This reduces the etch rate, which leads to the formation of pores tapered toward the surface. Self-assembly of surfactant molecules at the pore entrance creates a barrier for their penetration into the etched-out nanopores, whereas hydroxide ions diffuse freely. Due to this, the internal pore volume grows faster than the pore surface diameter. The ability to control pore shape is demonstrated with the fabrication of profiled nano- and micropores in polyethylene terephthalate, polycarbonate. Some earlier published data on small track-etched pores in polycarbonate (in particular, the pore diameter vs. etching time curves measured conductometrically) have been revised in light of the above findings. Adding surfactants to chemical etchants makes it possible to optimize the structure of track membranes, thus improving their retention and permeation properties. Asymmetric membranes with thin skin retention layers have been produced and their performance studied.

  15. Crude biodiesel refining using membrane ultra-filtration process: An environmentally benign process


    I.M. Atadashi; M.K. Aroua; A.R. Abdul Aziz; N.M.N. Sulaiman


    Ceramic membrane separation system was developed to simultaneously remove free glycerol and soap from crude biodiesel. Crude biodiesel produced was ultra-filtered by multi-channel tubular membrane of the pore size of 0.05 μm. The effects of process parameters: transmembrane pressure (TMP, bar), temperature (°C) and flow rate (L/min) on the membrane system were evaluated. The process parameters were then optimized using Central Composite Design (CCD) coupled with Response Surface Methodology (...

  16. Method of making a hydrogen transport membrane, and article (United States)

    Schwartz, Joseph M.; Corpus, Joseph M.; Lim, Hankwon


    The present invention relates to a method of manufacturing a hydrogen transport membrane and the composite article itself. More specifically, the invention relates to producing a membrane substrate, wherein the ceramic substrate is coated with a metal oxide slurry, thereby eliminating the need for an activation step prior to plating the ceramic membrane through an electroless plating process. The invention also relates to modifying the pore size and porosity of the substrate by oxidation or reduction of the particles deposited by the metal oxide slurry.

  17. Interaction of Mastoparan with Model Membranes (United States)

    Haloot, Justin


    The use of antimicrobial agents began during the 20th century to reduce the effects of infectious diseases. Since the 1990s, antimicrobial resistance has become an ever-increasing global problem. Our laboratory recently found that small antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have potent antimicrobial activity against a wide range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive organisms including antibiotic resistant organisms. These AMPs are potential therapeutic agents against the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance. AMPs are small peptides produced by plants, insects and animals. Several hypotheses concede that these peptides cause some type of structural perturbations and increased membrane permeability in bacteria however, how AMPs kill bacteria remains unclear. The goal of this study was to design an assay that would allow us to evaluate and monitor the pore forming ability of an AMP, Mastoparan, on model membrane structures called liposomes. Development of this model will facilitate the study of how mastoparan and related AMPs interact with the bacterial membrane.

  18. The pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O mediates a novel entry pathway of L. monocytogenes into human hepatocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Vadia


    Full Text Available Intracellular pathogens have evolved diverse strategies to invade and survive within host cells. Among the most studied facultative intracellular pathogens, Listeria monocytogenes is known to express two invasins-InlA and InlB-that induce bacterial internalization into nonphagocytic cells. The pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O (LLO facilitates bacterial escape from the internalization vesicle into the cytoplasm, where bacteria divide and undergo cell-to-cell spreading via actin-based motility. In the present study we demonstrate that in addition to InlA and InlB, LLO is required for efficient internalization of L. monocytogenes into human hepatocytes (HepG2. Surprisingly, LLO is an invasion factor sufficient to induce the internalization of noninvasive Listeria innocua or polystyrene beads into host cells in a dose-dependent fashion and at the concentrations produced by L. monocytogenes. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying LLO-induced bacterial entry, we constructed novel LLO derivatives locked at different stages of the toxin assembly on host membranes. We found that LLO-induced bacterial or bead entry only occurs upon LLO pore formation. Scanning electron and fluorescence microscopy studies show that LLO-coated beads stimulate the formation of membrane extensions that ingest the beads into an early endosomal compartment. This LLO-induced internalization pathway is dynamin-and F-actin-dependent, and clathrin-independent. Interestingly, further linking pore formation to bacteria/bead uptake, LLO induces F-actin polymerization in a tyrosine kinase-and pore-dependent fashion. In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time that a bacterial pathogen perforates the host cell plasma membrane as a strategy to activate the endocytic machinery and gain entry into the host cell.

  19. The pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O mediates a novel entry pathway of L. monocytogenes into human hepatocytes. (United States)

    Vadia, Stephen; Arnett, Eusondia; Haghighat, Anne-Cécile; Wilson-Kubalek, Elisabeth M; Tweten, Rodney K; Seveau, Stephanie


    Intracellular pathogens have evolved diverse strategies to invade and survive within host cells. Among the most studied facultative intracellular pathogens, Listeria monocytogenes is known to express two invasins-InlA and InlB-that induce bacterial internalization into nonphagocytic cells. The pore-forming toxin listeriolysin O (LLO) facilitates bacterial escape from the internalization vesicle into the cytoplasm, where bacteria divide and undergo cell-to-cell spreading via actin-based motility. In the present study we demonstrate that in addition to InlA and InlB, LLO is required for efficient internalization of L. monocytogenes into human hepatocytes (HepG2). Surprisingly, LLO is an invasion factor sufficient to induce the internalization of noninvasive Listeria innocua or polystyrene beads into host cells in a dose-dependent fashion and at the concentrations produced by L. monocytogenes. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying LLO-induced bacterial entry, we constructed novel LLO derivatives locked at different stages of the toxin assembly on host membranes. We found that LLO-induced bacterial or bead entry only occurs upon LLO pore formation. Scanning electron and fluorescence microscopy studies show that LLO-coated beads stimulate the formation of membrane extensions that ingest the beads into an early endosomal compartment. This LLO-induced internalization pathway is dynamin-and F-actin-dependent, and clathrin-independent. Interestingly, further linking pore formation to bacteria/bead uptake, LLO induces F-actin polymerization in a tyrosine kinase-and pore-dependent fashion. In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time that a bacterial pathogen perforates the host cell plasma membrane as a strategy to activate the endocytic machinery and gain entry into the host cell.

  20. Mechanism of membrane damage by El Tor hemolysin of Vibrio cholerae O1. (United States)

    Ikigai, H; Akatsuka, A; Tsujiyama, H; Nakae, T; Shimamura, T


    El Tor hemolysin (ETH; molecular mass, 65 kDa) derived from Vibrio cholerae O1 spontaneously assembled oligomeric aggregates on the membranes of rabbit erythrocyte ghosts and liposomes. Membrane-associated oligomers were resolved by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting into two to nine bands with apparent molecular masses of 170 to 350 kDa. ETH assembled oligomers on a liposomal membrane consisting of phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol, but not on a membrane of phosphatidylcholine alone. Cholesterol could be replaced with diosgenin or ergosterol but not with 5alpha-cholestane-3-one, suggesting that sterol is essential for the oligomerization. The treatment of carboxyfluorescein-encapsulated liposomes with ETH caused a rapid release of carboxyfluorescein into the medium. Because dextrin 20 (molecular mass, 900 Da) osmotically protected ETH-mediated hemolysis, this hemolysis is likely to be caused by pore formation on the membrane. The pore size(s) estimated from osmotic protection assays was in the range of 1.2 to 1.6 nm. The pore formed on a rabbit erythrocyte membrane was confirmed morphologically by electron microscopy. Thus, we provide evidence that ETH damages the target by the assembly of hemolysin oligomers and pore formation on the membrane.

  1. Preparation of solid lipid nanoparticles using a membrane contactor. (United States)

    Charcosset, Catherine; El-Harati, Assma; Fessi, Hatem


    Solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) were introduced at the beginning of the 1990s, as an alternative to solid nanoparticles, emulsions and liposomes in cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations. The present study investigates a new process for the preparation of SLN using a membrane contactor. The lipid phase is pressed, at a temperature above the melting point of the lipid, through the membrane pores allowing the formation of small droplets. The aqueous phase circulates inside the membrane module, and sweeps away the droplets forming at the pore outlets. SLN are formed by the following cooling of the preparation to room temperature. The influence of process parameters (aqueous phase and lipid phase temperatures, aqueous phase cross-flow velocity and lipid phase pressure, membrane pore size) on the SLN size and on the lipid phase flux is investigated. It is shown that the membrane contactor allows the preparation of SLN with a lipid phase flux between 0.15 and 0.35 m3/h m2, and a mean SLN size between 70 and 215 nm. The advantages of this new process are its facility of use, the control of the SLN size by an appropriate choice of process parameters, and its scaling-up abilities.

  2. Performance of multilayer coated silicon pore optics (United States)

    Ackermann, M. D.; Collon, M. J.; Jensen, C. P.; Christensen, F. E.; Krumrey, M.; Cibik, L.; Marggraf, S.; Bavdaz, M.; Lumb, D.; Shortt, B.


    The requirements for the IXO (International X-ray Observatory) telescope are very challenging in respect of angular resolution and effective area. Within a clear aperture with 1.7 m > R > 0.25 m that is dictated by the spacecraft envelope, the optics technology must be developed to satisfy simultaneously requirements for effective area of 2.5 m2 at 1.25 keV, 0.65 m2 at 6 keV and 150 cm2 at 30 keV. The reflectivity of the bare mirror substrate materials does not allow these requirements to be met. As such the IXO baseline design contains a coating layout that varies as a function of mirror radius and in accordance with the variation in grazing incidence angle. The higher energy photon response is enhanced through the use of depth-graded multilayer coatings on the inner radii mirror modules. In this paper we report on the first reflectivity measurements of wedged ribbed silicon pore optics mirror plates coated with a depth graded W/Si multilayer. The measurements demonstrate that the deposition and performance of the multilayer coatings is compatible with the SPO production process.

  3. Current concepts in nuclear pore electrophysiology. (United States)

    Bustamante, José Omar


    Over 4 decades ago, microelectrode studies of in situ nuclei showed that, under certain conditions, the nuclear envelope (NE) behaves as a barrier opposing the nucleocytoplasmic flow of physiological ions. As the nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) of the NE are the only pathways for direct nucleocytoplasmic flow, those experiments implied that the NPCs are capable of restricting ion flow. These early studies validated electrophysiology as a useful approach to quantify some of the mechanisms by which NPCs mediate gene activity and expression. Since electron microscopy (EM) and other non-electrophysiological investigations, showed that the NPC lumen is a nanochannel, the opinion prevailed that the NPC could not oppose the flow of ions and, therefore, that electrophysiological observations resulted from technical artifacts. Consequently, the initial enthusiasm with nuclear electrophysiology faded out in less than a decade. In 1990, nuclear electrophysiology was revisited with patch-clamp, the most powerful electrophysiological technique to date. Patch-clamp has consistently demonstrated that the NE has intrinsic ion channel activity. Direct demonstrations of the NPC on-off ion channel gating behavior were published for artificial conditions in 1995 and for intact living nuclei in 2002. This on-off switching/gating behavior can be interpreted in terms of a metastable energy barrier. In the hope of advancing nuclear electrophysiology, and to complement the other papers contained in this special issue of the journal, here I review some of the main technical, experimental, and theoretical issues of the field, with special focus on NPCs.

  4. Water nanodroplets confined in zeolite pores. (United States)

    Coudert, François-Xavier; Cailliez, Fabien; Vuilleumier, Rodolphe; Fuchs, Alain H; Boutin, Anne


    We provide a comprehensive depiction of the behaviour of a nanodroplet of approximately equal to 20 water molecules confined in the pores of a series of 3D-connected isostructural zeolites with varying acidity, by means of molecular simulations. Both grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations using classical interatomic forcefields and first-principles Car-Parrinello molecular dynamics were used in order to characterise the behaviour of confined water by computing a range of properties, from thermodynamic quantities to electronic properties such as dipole moment, including structural and dynamical information. From the thermodynamic point of view, we have identified the all-silica zeolite as hydrophobic, and the cationic zeolites as hydrophilic; the condensation transition in the first case was demonstrated to be of first order. Furthermore, in-depth analysis of the dynamical and electronic properties of water showed that water in the hydrophobic zeolite behaves as a nanodroplet trying to close its hydrogen-bond network onto itself, with a few short-lived dangling OH groups, while water in hydrophilic zeolites "opens up" to form weak hydrogen bonds with the zeolite oxygen atoms. Finally, the dipole moment of confined water is studied and the contributions of water self-polarisation and the zeolite electric field are discussed.

  5. Outer capsid proteins induce the formation of pores in epithelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruiz, M; Abad M; Michelangely, F; Charpilienne, A; Cohen, J


    Two mechanisms of entrance in cell of the rotavirus, during the infection, were proposed: a direct entrance through the plasmatic membrane or by means of endocytosis. In the two cases, a permeabilization mechanism of the membrane (cellular or of the endocytic vesicle, respectively) should occur. It has been shown that the rotavirus induces permeabilization of liposomes and of membrane vesicles. In this work, are studied the changes of intact cells permeability, measuring the entrance of e tide bromides. Viral particles of double capsid of the RF stump produce an increase of the cells membrane MA104 permeability, while the simple capsid ones don't induce effect. This phenomenon requires the particles trypsinization, and occurs in a means where the concentration of free Ca is lower to 1 micromolar. The temporary course of the fluorescence increase is sigmoid. The latency, the speed and the width depend on the relationship of virus / cell, and it can be observed up to 100% of permeabilization in relation to the effect of digitonin. The pores induced in the membrane by the rotavirus are irreversible. The permeabilizer effect of the rotavirus on the membrane was observed in other cellular lines as Hela and HT29, but not in the L929 ones. These results suggest that one or more proteins of the external capsid are responsible s of the effect. These could be involved in the penetration process of the virus towards the cytoplasm and could be one of the restrictive factor of the cell infection by means of the virus [es

  6. Measurements of pore-scale flow through apertures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chojnicki, Kirsten [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)


    Pore-scale aperture effects on flow in pore networks was studied in the laboratory to provide a parameterization for use in transport models. Four cases were considered: regular and irregular pillar/pore alignment with and without an aperture. The velocity field of each case was measured and simulated, providing quantitatively comparable results. Two aperture effect parameterizations were considered: permeability and transmission. Permeability values varied by an order of magnitude between the cases with and without apertures. However, transmission did not correlate with permeability. Despite having much greater permeability the regular aperture case permitted less transmission than the regular case. Moreover, both irregular cases had greater transmission than the regular cases, a difference not supported by the permeabilities. Overall, these findings suggest that pore-scale aperture effects on flow though a pore-network may not be adequately captured by properties such as permeability for applications that are interested in determining particle transport volume and timing.

  7. Characterization of pore volume of cumulative water injection distribution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoqing Feng


    Full Text Available Pore volume of Cumulative water injection is one of the factors for evaluating water flood effect in a water flood oil field. In previous study, there were limited lab studies for evaluating oil displacement efficiency. A method to characterize the distribution of pore volume of cumulative water injection is proposed in this paper, and it is verified by a five-spot water flooding streamline simulation model. The logarithmic relation between pore volume of cumulative water injection and water saturation is established by regression. An inflection point and limit point of cumulative water injection pore volume are identified. Current simulation model indicates inflection point appears after 2–5 pore volume (PV injection, and limit point appears after 15–25 PV injection. Both inflection and limit point vary in different regions of reservoir.

  8. From micelle supramolecular assemblies in selective solvents to isoporous membranes

    KAUST Repository

    Nunes, Suzana Pereira


    The supramolecular assembly of PS-b-P4VP copolymer micelles induced by selective solvent mixtures was used to manufacture isoporous membranes. Micelle order in solution was confirmed by cryo-scanning electron microscopy in casting solutions, leading to ordered pore morphology. When dioxane, a solvent that interacts poorly with the micelle corona, was added to the solution, polymer-polymer segment contact was preferential, increasing the intermicelle contact. Immersion in water gave rise to asymmetric porous membranes with exceptional pore uniformity and high porosity. The introduction of a small number of carbon nanotubes to the casting solution improved the membrane stability and the reversibility of the gate response in the presence of different pH values. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

  9. Biophysics, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology of Ion Channel Gating Pores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrien eMoreau


    Full Text Available Voltage sensor domain (VSDs are a feature of voltage gated ion channel (VGICs and voltage sensitive proteins. They are composed of four transmembrane (TM segments (S1 to S4. Currents leaking through VSDs are called omega or gating pore currents.Gating pores are caused by mutations of the highly conserved positively charged amino acids in the S4 segment that disrupt interactions between the S4 segment and the gating charge transfer center (GCTC. The GCTC separates the intracellular and extracellular water crevices. The disruption of S4–GCTC interactions allows these crevices to communicate and create a fast activating and non-inactivating alternative cation-selective permeation pathway of low conductance, or a gating pore.Gating pore currents have recently been shown to cause periodic paralysis phenotypes. There is also increasing evidence that gating pores are linked to several other familial diseases. For example, gating pores in Nav1.5 and Kv7.2 channels may underlie mixed arrhythmias associated with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM phenotypes and peripheral nerve hyperexcitability (PNH respectively. There is little evidence for the existence of gating pore blockers. Moreover, it is known that a number of toxins bind to the VSD of a specific domain of Na+ channels. These toxins may thus modulate gating pore currents. This focus on the VSD motif opens up a new area of research centered on developing molecules to treat a number of cell excitability disorders such as epilepsy, cardiac arrhythmias, and pain.The purpose of the present review is to summarize existing knowledge of the pathophysiology, biophysics, and pharmacology of gating pore currents and to serve as a guide for future studies aimed at improving our understanding of gating pores and their pathophysiological roles.

  10. Physiologic upper limits of pore size of different blood capillary types and another perspective on the dual pore theory of microvascular permeability. (United States)

    Sarin, Hemant


    Much of our current understanding of microvascular permeability is based on the findings of classic experimental studies of blood capillary permeability to various-sized lipid-insoluble endogenous and non-endogenous macromolecules. According to the classic small pore theory of microvascular permeability, which was formulated on the basis of the findings of studies on the transcapillary flow rates of various-sized systemically or regionally perfused endogenous macromolecules, transcapillary exchange across the capillary wall takes place through a single population of small pores that are approximately 6 nm in diameter; whereas, according to the dual pore theory of microvascular permeability, which was formulated on the basis of the findings of studies on the accumulation of various-sized systemically or regionally perfused non-endogenous macromolecules in the locoregional tissue lymphatic drainages, transcapillary exchange across the capillary wall also takes place through a separate population of large pores, or capillary leaks, that are between 24 and 60 nm in diameter. The classification of blood capillary types on the basis of differences in the physiologic upper limits of pore size to transvascular flow highlights the differences in the transcapillary exchange routes for the transvascular transport of endogenous and non-endogenous macromolecules across the capillary walls of different blood capillary types. The findings and published data of studies on capillary wall ultrastructure and capillary microvascular permeability to lipid-insoluble endogenous and non-endogenous molecules from the 1950s to date were reviewed. In this study, the blood capillary types in different tissues and organs were classified on the basis of the physiologic upper limits of pore size to the transvascular flow of lipid-insoluble molecules. Blood capillaries were classified as non-sinusoidal or sinusoidal on the basis of capillary wall basement membrane layer continuity or lack thereof

  11. Fluorescence interference contrast based approach to study real time interaction of melittin with plasma membranes (United States)

    Gupta, Sharad; Gui, Dong; Zandi, Roya; Gill, Sarjeet; Mohideen, Umar


    Melittin is an anti-bacterial and hemolytic toxic peptide found in bee venom. Cell lysis behavior of peptides has been widely investigated, but the exact interaction mechanism of lytic peptides with lipid membranes and its constituents has not been understood completely. In this paper we study the melittin interaction with lipid plasma membranes in real time using non-invasive and non-contact fluorescence interference contrast microscopy (FLIC). Particularly the interaction of melittin with plasma membranes was studied in a controlled molecular environment, where these plasma membrane were composed of saturated lipid, 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DPhPC) and unsaturated lipid, 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine(DOPC) with and without cholesterol. We found out that melittin starts to form nanometer size pores in the plasma membranes shortly after interacting with membranes. But the addition of cholesterol in plasma membrane slows down the pore formation process. Our results show that inclusion of cholesterol to the plasma membranes make them more resilient towards pore formation and lysis of membrane.

  12. Voltage-Gated Transport of Nanoparticles across Free-Standing All-Carbon-Nanotube-Based Hollow-Fiber Membranes. (United States)

    Wei, Gaoliang; Quan, Xie; Chen, Shuo; Fan, Xinfei; Yu, Hongtao; Zhao, Huimin


    Understanding the mechanism underlying controllable transmembrane transport observed in biological membranes benefits the development of next-generation separation membranes for a variety of important applications. In this work, on the basis of common structural features of cell membranes, a very simple biomimetic membrane system exhibiting gated transmembrane performance has been constructed using all-carbon-nanotube (CNT)-based hollow-fiber membranes. The conductive CNT membranes with hydrophobic pore channels can be positively or negatively charged and are consequently capable of regulating the transport of nanoparticles across their pore channels by their "opening" or "closing". The switch between penetration and rejection of nanoparticles through/by CNT membranes is of high efficiency and especially allows dynamic control. The underlying mechanism is that CNT pore channels with different polarities can prompt or prevent the formation of their noncovalent interactions with charged nanoparticles, resulting in their rejection or penetration by/through the CNT membranes. The theory about noncovalent interactions and charged pore channels may provide new insight into understanding the complicated ionically and bimolecularly gated transport across cell membranes and can contribute to many other important applications beyond the water purification and resource recovery demonstrated in this study.

  13. Effects of pore size on the adsorption of hydrogen in slit pores of constant width and varying height

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Culp, J.T.; Natesakhawat, S.; Smith, M.R.; Bittner, E.W.; Matranga, C.S.; Bockrath, B.C.


    The effects of pore size on the hydrogen storage properties of a series of pillared layered solids were investigated at 77 K and 87 K up to a pressure of 1 atm. The isotherms were fit to the Langmuir-Freundlich equation and extrapolated to determine saturation values. The materials studied are based on the M(L)[M'(CN)4] structural motif, where M = Co or Ni, L = pyrazine (pyz), 4,4'bipyridine (bpy) or 4,4'-dipyridylacetylene (dpac), and M' = Ni, Pd or Pt. The compounds all possess slit like pores with constant inplane dimensions and pore heights that vary as a function of (L). The pyz pillared materials with the smallest pore dimensions store hydrogen at a pore density similar to the bulk liquid. The adsorbed hydrogen density drops by a factor of two as the relative pore size is tripled in the dpac material. The decreased storage efficiency diminishes the expected gravimetric gain in capacity for the larger pore materials. The heats of adsorption were found to range from 6 to 8 kJ/mol in the series, and weakly correlate with pore size.

  14. Mechano-capacitive properties of polarized membranes and the application to conductance measurements of lipid membrane patches (United States)

    Zecchi, Karis A.; Mosgaard, Lars D.; Heimburg, Thomas


    Biological membranes are capacitors that can be charged by applying an electric field across the membrane. The charges on the capacitor exert a force on the membrane that leads to electrostriction, i.e., a thinning of the membrane. This effect is especially strong close to chain melting transitions. A consequence is voltage induced pore formation in the lipid membrane. Since the force is quadratic in voltage, negative and positive voltages have an identical influence on the physics of symmetric membranes. This is not the case for a membrane with an asymmetry leading to a permanent electric polarization. Positive and negative voltages of identical magnitude lead to different physical properties. Such an asymmetry can originate from a lipid composition that is different on the two monolayers of the membrane, or from membrane curvature. The latter effect is called flexoelectricity. It was investigated in detail by A.G. Petrov in the recent decades. As a consequence of permanent polarization, the membrane capacitor is discharged at a voltage different from zero. This leads to interesting electrical phenomena such as outward or inward rectification of membrane permeability. The changes in current-voltage relationships are consistent with the known magnitude of the flexoelectric effect.

  15. Free-energy calculation methods for collective phenomena in membranes (United States)

    Smirnova, Yuliya G.; Fuhrmans, Marc; Barragan Vidal, Israel A.; Müller, Marcus


    Collective phenomena in membranes are those which involve the co-operative reorganization of many molecules. Examples of these are membrane fusion, pore formation, bending, adhesion or fission. The time and length scales, on which these processes occur, pose a challenge for atomistic simulations. Therefore, in order to solve the length scale problem it is popular to introduce a coarse-grained representation. To facilitate sampling of the relevant states additional computational techniques, which encourage the system to explore the free-energy landscape far from equilibrium and visit transition states, are needed. These computational techniques provide insights about the free-energy changes involved in collective transformations of membranes, yielding information about the rate limiting states, the transformation mechanism and the influence of architectural, compositional and interaction parameters. A common approach is to identify an order parameter (or reaction coordinate), which characterizes the pathway of membrane reorganization. However, no general strategy exists to define such an order parameter that can properly describe cooperative reorganizations in membranes. Recently developed methods can overcome this problem of the order-parameter choice and allow us to study collective phenomena in membranes. We will discuss such methods as thermodynamic integration, umbrella sampling, and the string method and results provided by their applications to particle-based simulations, particularly focusing on membrane fusion and pore formation.

  16. Tuning Liposome Membrane Permeability by Competitive Peptide Dimerization and Partitioning-Folding Interactions Regulated by Proteolytic Activity (United States)

    Lim, Seng Koon; Sandén, Camilla; Selegård, Robert; Liedberg, Bo; Aili, Daniel


    Membrane active peptides are of large interest for development of drug delivery vehicles and therapeutics for treatment of multiple drug resistant infections. Lack of specificity can be detrimental and finding routes to tune specificity and activity of membrane active peptides is vital for improving their therapeutic efficacy and minimize harmful side effects. We describe a de novo designed membrane active peptide that partition into lipid membranes only when specifically and covalently anchored to the membrane, resulting in pore-formation. Dimerization with a complementary peptide efficiently inhibits formation of pores. The effect can be regulated by proteolytic digestion of the inhibitory peptide by the matrix metalloproteinase MMP-7, an enzyme upregulated in many malignant tumors. This system thus provides a precise and specific route for tuning the permeability of lipid membranes and a novel strategy for development of recognition based membrane active peptides and indirect enzymatically controlled release of liposomal cargo.

  17. Nanocomposite Membrane via Magnetite Nanoparticle Assembly

    KAUST Repository

    Xie, Yihui


    Membrane technology is one of the most promising technologies for addressing the global water crisis as well as in many other applications. One of the drawbacks of current ultra- and nanofiltration membranes is the relatively broad pore size distribution. Block copolymer membranes with ultrahigh permeability and very regular pore sizes have been recently demonstrated with pores being formed by the supramolecular assembly of core/shell micelles. Our study aimed at developing an innovative and economically efficient alternative method to fabricate isoporous membrane by self-assembly of magnetic nanoparticle with a polystyrene shell, mimicking the behavior of block copolymer micelle. Fe3O4 nanoparticles of ~13 nm diameter were prepared by co-precipitation as cores. The initiator for ATRP was covalently bonded onto the surface of magnetic nanoparticles with two strategies. Then the surface initiated ATRP of styrene was carried out to functionalize nanoparticles with polystyrene through a “grafting from” method. Finally, the nanocomposite membrane was cast from 50 wt % Fe3O4@PS brush polymer solution in DMF via non solvent phase inversion. Microscopies reveal an asymmetric membrane with a dense thin layer on top of a porous sponge-like layer. This novel class of asymmetric membrane, based on the pure assembly of functionalized nanoparticles was prepared for the first time. The nanoparticles are well distributed however with no preferential order yet in the as-cast film.I would like to thank my committee chair and advisor, Prof. Suzana Nunes, and other committee members, Prof. Klaus-Viktor Peinemann and Prof. Gary Amy, for their guidance and support throughout the course of this research. My appreciation also goes to my colleagues in our group for useful discussions and suggestions. I also want to extend my gratitude to the staff from the KAUST Core Lab for Advanced Nanofabrication, Imaging and Characterization, especially Dr. Ali Reza Behzad, Dr. Rachid Sougrat, and

  18. Impact of pore and pore-throat distributions on porosity-permeability evolution in heterogeneous mineral dissolution and precipitation scenarios (United States)

    Beckingham, L. E.; Bensinger, J.; Steinwinder, J.


    Porosity and permeability in porous media can be altered by mineral dissolution and precipitation reactions, such as those following CO2 injection in saline aquifers. While the extent of reaction controls changes in porosity, the spatial location of geochemical reactions in individual pores and throats and in the greater pore network controls the evolution of permeability. Geochemical reactions have been observed to occur uniformly on all grain surfaces and non-uniformly, controlled by pore size, PeDa, or mineral distribution, for example. These discrete reaction patterns result in variations in pore scale porosity and corresponding differences in permeability. Macroscopic porosity-permeability relationships are often used to predict the evolution of permeability. These relationships, however, are unable to reflect non-uniform structure modifications. Using pore network modeling simulations, the permeability evolution for a range of uniform and non-uniform mineral reaction scenarios and the applicability of common macroscopic porosity—permeability relationships is investigated. The impact of variations in pore and pore-throat size distributions is evaluated using distributions for real sandstone samples complemented with synthetic distributions. Simulated permeability varies greatly for different reaction patterns. For an Alberta basin sandstone sample, macroscopic relationships are only able to reflect permeability alteration given a uniform reaction scenario where the extent of reaction is related to pore and pore-throat size. For this same sample, simulated permeability for uniform reactions with a fixed reaction thickness and all non-uniform reaction scenarios are unable to be captured using common porosity-permeability relationships. Size-dependent reaction scenarios, where reactions initiate in small or large pores, have the largest disagreement with the porosity-permeability relationships. In these scenarios, porosity-permeability resembles a step function

  19. Structure-based membrane dome mechanism for Piezo mechanosensitivity. (United States)

    Guo, Yusong R; MacKinnon, Roderick


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

  20. Membrane-spacer assembly for flow-electrode capacitive deionization (United States)

    Lee, Ki Sook; Cho, Younghyun; Choo, Ko Yeon; Yang, SeungCheol; Han, Moon Hee; Kim, Dong Kook