Sample records for model cell membranes

  1. Model cell membranes

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


    The high complexity of biological membranes has motivated the development and application of a wide range of model membrane systems to study biochemical and biophysical aspects of membranes in situ under well defined conditions. The aim is to provide fundamental understanding of processes...... controlled by membrane structure, permeability and curvature as well as membrane proteins by using a wide range of biochemical, biophysical and microscopic techniques. This review gives an overview of some currently used model biomembrane systems. We will also discuss some key membrane protein properties...... that are relevant for protein-membrane interactions in terms of protein structure and how it is affected by membrane composition, phase behavior and curvature....

  2. Interaction of Defensins with Model Cell Membranes

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


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

  3. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells modeling

    Gao, Fengge; Miraoui, Abdellatif


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

  4. Modeling Of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems

    Nielsen, Mads Pagh

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

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

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


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

  6. Modeling Of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Systems

    Nielsen, Mads Pagh

    The objective of this doctoral thesis was to develop reliable steady-state and transient component models suitable to asses-, develop- and optimize proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems. Several components in PEM fuel cell systems were characterized and modeled. The developed component...... cell systems. Consequences of indirectly fueling PEM stacks with hydrocarbons using reforming technology were investigated using a PEM stack model including CO poisoning kinetics and a transient Simulink steam reforming system model. Aspects regarding the optimization of PEM fuel cell systems...

  7. Mathematical and Computational Modeling of Polymer Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    Ulusoy, Sehribani

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

  8. New hybrid model of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

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


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

  9. Modeling and Simulation for Fuel Cell Polymer Electrolyte Membrane

    Takahiro Hayashi


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

  13. Modeling of interactions between nanoparticles and cell membranes

    Ban, Young-Min

    containing the nanoparticles exhibit localized perturbation around the nanoparticle. The nanoparticles are not likely to affect membrane protein function by the weak perturbation of the internal stress in the membrane. Due to the short-ranged interactions between the nanoparticles, the nanoparticles would not form aggregates inside membranes. The effect of lipid peroxidation on cell membrane deformation is assessed. The peroxidized lipids introduce a perturbation to the internal structure of the membrane leading to higher amplitude of the membrane fluctuations. Higher concentration of the peroxidized lipids induces more significant perturbation. Cumulative effects of lipid peroxidation caused by nanoparticles are examined for the first time. The considered amphiphilic particle appears to reduce the perturbation of the membrane structure at its equilibrium position inside the peroxidized membrane. This suggests a possibility of antioxidant effect of the nanoparticle.

  14. Understanding Peptide Dendrimer Interactions with Model Cell Membrane Mimics

    Lind, Tania Kjellerup

    membranes or highly conserved motifs, effectively making resistance due to mutations less likely to develop and spread. For this we studied the conditions to form supported lipid bilayers with basic systems and further established a protocol for producing biomimetic bacterial model membranes via the vesicle...... fusion method, which presents improved means for studying drug-membrane interactions in the future. The interaction mechanism of a family of dendrimers was examined and in particular one dendrimer (BALY) was extensively studied by the combined use of quartz crystal microbalance, atomic force microscopy...... and neutron reection. The application of several complementary surface-sensitive techniques allowed for systematically addressing the interface-related processes and gain insights into different aspects of the interaction. BALY was found to interact via a uidity-dependent mechanism. It inserted into the outer...

  15. Cell-free synthesis of membrane proteins: tailored cell models out of microsomes.

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


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

  16. Key factors regulating the mass delivery of macromolecules to model cell membranes

    Campbell, Richard A.; Watkins, Erik B.; Jagalski, Vivien


    We show that both gravity and electrostatics are key factors regulating interactions between model cell membranes and self-assembled liquid crystalline aggregates of dendrimers and phospholipids. The system is a proxy for the trafficking of reservoirs of therapeutic drugs to cell membranes for slow...... diffusion and continuous delivery. Neutron reflectometry measurements were carried out on supported lipid bilayers of varying charge and on hydrophilic silica surfaces. Translocation of the macromolecule across the membrane and adsorption of the lamellar aggregates occur only when the membrane (1...... of the aggregates to activate endocytosis pathways on specific cell types is discussed in the context of targeted drug delivery applications....

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

    N. V. Menshutina


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

  18. Establishment of the model of vascular endothelial cell membrane chromatography and its preliminary application

    LI YiPing; HE LangChong


    A model of vascular endothelial cell membrane chromatography was established by using an ECV304 cell membrane stationary phase (ECV304 CMSP) prepared by immobilizing the ECV304 cell membrane onto the surface of silica carrier. The surface and chromatographic characteristics of ECV304 CMSP were studied. The active component from Caulophyllum robustum was screened by using the model of vascular endothelial cell membrane chromatography. The interaction between the active component and membrane receptor was determined by using a replace experiments. The effect of the active component was tested by using tube formation of ECV304 cell. The results indicated that the model of ECV304 cell membrane chromatograph (ECV304 CMC) can stimulate the interaction between drug and receptor in vitro and the retention characteristics of taspine as active component was similar to that of model molecule in the model of ECV304 CMC. And therefore, taspine acted on VEGFR2 and inhibited the tube formation of ECV304 cell induced by VEGF. This model can be used to screen definite active component as a screening model.

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

    Huang, Jin

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

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

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


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

  1. An Equivalent Electrical Circuit Model of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Based on Mathematical Modelling

    Dinh An Nguyen


    Full Text Available Many of the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC models proposed in the literature consist of mathematical equations. However, they are not adequately practical for simulating power systems. The proposed model takes into account phenomena such as activation polarization, ohmic polarization, double layer capacitance and mass transport effects present in a PEM fuel cell. Using electrical analogies and a mathematical modeling of PEMFC, the circuit model is established. To evaluate the effectiveness of the circuit model, its static and dynamic performances under load step changes are simulated and compared to the numerical results obtained by solving the mathematical model. Finally, the applicability of our model is demonstrated by simulating a practical system.

  2. From biological membranes to biomimetic model membranes

    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.

  3. Modeling hydrogen starvation conditions in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    Ohs, Jan Hendrik; Sauter, Ulrich; Maass, Sebastian; Stolten, Detlef

    In this study, a steady state and isothermal 2D-PEM fuel cell model is presented. By simulation of a single cell along the channel and in through-plane direction, its behaviour under hydrogen starvation due to nitrogen dilution is analysed. Under these conditions, carbon corrosion and water electrolysis are observed on the cathode side. This phenomenon, causing severe cell degradation, is known as reverse current decay mechanism in literature. Butler-Volmer equations are used to model the electrochemical reactions. In addition, we account for permeation of gases through the membrane and for the local water content within the membrane. The results show that the membrane potential locally drops in areas starved from hydrogen. This leads to potential gradients >1.2 V between electrode and membrane on the cathode side resulting in significant carbon corrosion and electrolysis reaction rates. The model enables the analysis of sub-stoichiometric states occurring during anode gas recirculation or load transients.

  4. Modeling hydrogen starvation conditions in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    Ohs, Jan Hendrik; Sauter, Ulrich; Maass, Sebastian [Robert Bosch GmbH, Robert-Bosch-Platz 1, 70839 Gerlingen-Schillerhoehe (Germany); Stolten, Detlef [Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH, IEF-3: Fuel Cells, 52425 Juelich (Germany)


    In this study, a steady state and isothermal 2D-PEM fuel cell model is presented. By simulation of a single cell along the channel and in through-plane direction, its behaviour under hydrogen starvation due to nitrogen dilution is analysed. Under these conditions, carbon corrosion and water electrolysis are observed on the cathode side. This phenomenon, causing severe cell degradation, is known as reverse current decay mechanism in literature. Butler-Volmer equations are used to model the electrochemical reactions. In addition, we account for permeation of gases through the membrane and for the local water content within the membrane. The results show that the membrane potential locally drops in areas starved from hydrogen. This leads to potential gradients >1.2 V between electrode and membrane on the cathode side resulting in significant carbon corrosion and electrolysis reaction rates. The model enables the analysis of sub-stoichiometric states occurring during anode gas recirculation or load transients. (author)

  5. Resveratrol induces chain interdigitation in DPPC cell membrane model systems.

    Longo, Elena; Ciuchi, Federica; Guzzi, Rita; Rizzuti, Bruno; Bartucci, Rosa


    Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol found in various plants with potential therapeutic activity as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective and anti-tumoral. Lipid membranes are among cellular components that are targets of its action. In this work ESR of chain labeled lipids, calorimetry, X-ray diffraction and molecular docking are used to study the interaction of resveratrol with membrane model systems of dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) as a function of resveratrol concentration (0-30 mol% of the lipid) and temperature (10-50°C). Resveratrol incorporated in DPPC bilayers induces considerable motional restriction at the lipid tail termini, removing the gradient of increasing mobility along the chain found in DPPC bilayers in the gel phase. In contrast, it leaves unperturbed the DPPC chain flexibility profile in the liquid-crystalline phase. At low concentration, resveratrol progressively reduces the pre-transition temperature and eliminates the pre-transition for content ≥5mol%. A reduced cooperativity and a downshift of the main transition temperature are observed, especially at high content. The typical diffraction pattern of DPPC multibilayers in the Lβ' phase is converted to a lamellar pattern with reduced d-spacing of untilted lipid chain in a hexagonal packing at 30 mol% of resveratrol. Molecular docking indicates that the energetically favoured anchoring site is the polar headgroup region, where resveratrol acts as a spacer. The overall results are consistent with the formation in DPPC of an interdigitated Lβi gel phase induced by 30 mol% resveratrol. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Dynamics of dye release from nanocarriers of different types in model cell membranes and living cells

    Tkacheva T. N.


    Full Text Available Aim. To study the dynamics of lipophilic content release from nanocarriers of different types, organic molecular ensembles and inorganic nanoparticles (NPs in vitro experiments. Methods. Two-channel ratiometric fluorescence detection method based on Forster Resonance Energy Transfer, fluorescent spectroscopy and micro-spectroscopy have been used. Results. It has been found that the profiles of lipophilic dyes release from organic nanocarriers (PC liposomes and SDS micelles and inorganic ones (GdYVO4:Eu3+ and CeO2 NPs are well fitted by the first-order reaction kinetics in both model cell membranes and living cells (rat hepatocytes. The dye release constants (K and half-lives (t1/2 were analyzed. Conclusions. GdYVO4:Eu3+ and CeO2 NPs have been shown to provide faster lipophilic content release in model cell membranes as compared to PC liposomes. Negatively charged or lipophilic compounds added into nanocarriers can decrease the rate of lipophilic dyes release. Specific interaction of GdYVO4:Eu3+ NPs with rat hepatocytes has been observed.

  7. [Membrane-based photochemical systems as models for photosynthetic cells

    Hurst, J.K.


    The objectives of this research are to improve our conceptual view of the ways in which membranes and interfaces can be used to control chemical reactivity. We have focused on understanding three elementary processes that are central to developing membrane-based integrated chemical systems for water photolysis or related photoconversion/photostorage processes. Specifically, we have sought to identify: the influence of interfaces upon charge separation/recombination reactions, pathways for transmembrane charge separation across hydrocarbon bilayer membranes, and mechanisms of water oxidation catalyzed by transition metal coordination complexes. Historically, the chemical dynamics of each of these processes has been poorly understood, with numerous unresolved issues and conflicting viewpoints appearing in the literature. As described in this report our recent research has led to considerable clarification of the underlying reaction mechanisms.

  8. Anion exchange membranes for fuel cells and flow batteries : transport and stability of model systems

    Marino, Michael G


    Polymeric anion exchange materials in membrane form can be key components in emerging energy storage and conversions systems such as the alkaline fuel cell and the RedOx flow battery. For these applications the membrane properties need to include good ionic conductivity and sufficient chemical stability, two aspects, that are not sufficiently understood in terms of materials science. Materials fulfilling both criteria are currently not available. The transport of ions and water in a model...

  9. Spreading of a chain macromolecule onto a cell membrane by a computer simulation Model

    Xie, Jun; Pandey, Ras


    Computer simulations are performed to study conformation and dynamics of a relatively large chain macromolecule at the surface of a model membrane - a preliminary attempt to ultimately realistic model for protein on a cell membrane. We use a discrete lattice of size Lx × L × L. The chain molecule of length Lc is modeled by consecutive nodes connected by bonds on the trail of a random walk with appropriate constraints such as excluded volume, energy dependent configurational bias, etc. Monte Carlo method is used to move chains via segmental dynamics, i.e., end-move, kink-jump, crank-shaft, reptation, etc. Membrane substrate is designed by a self-assemble biased short chains on a substrate. Large chain molecule is then driven toward the membrane by a field. We investigate the dynamics of chain macromolecule, spread of its density, and conformation.

  10. Predictive model of transport properties of fuel cell membrane : from microscopic to macroscopic level

    Colinart, T.; Lottin, O.; Maranzana, G.; Didierjean, S.; Moyne, C. [Nancy-Univ., Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy (France). Laboratoire d' Energetique et de Mecanique Theorique et Appliquee


    Because of their attractiveness as efficient and clean energy producers, proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) can be used in automotive and small stationary applications. The electrochemical reaction takes place on two electrodes separated by a ionomer membrane. An important component of fuel cell water management and a problem for fuel cell performances involves the transport of protons from the anode to the cathode as its' transport properties are highly water dependent. Nafion membranes are widely used as an electrolyte for PEMFC. This paper presented a model to predict transport properties of polymer membranes such as Nafion used as electrolytes in a low temperature fuel cell. The paper discussed the electrical double layer that was used to determine surface charge density. The paper then discussed the analytical solution to the physical problem in the diffuse part of a cylindrical pore which involved solving the Poisson-Boltzmann, the Navier-Stokes and the Nernst-Planck equations. The properties of the electrolytic solution were equal to those of water and they were considered to be constant within the pore. A literature comparison with other models was also presented. It was concluded that in order to supplement the model, it is necessary to investigate the mechanics of the membrane, particularly the swelling behaviour, and the adsorption phenomena of the ions in the stern layer. 15 refs., 1 tab., 3 figs.

  11. Computational fluid dynamics modelling of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell under transient automotive operations

    Choopanya, Pattarapong


    A polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell is probably the most promising technology that will replace conventional internal combustion engines in the near future. As a primary power source for an automobile, the transient performance of a PEM fuel cell is of prime importance. In this thesis, a comprehensive, three-dimensional, two-phase, multi-species computational fuel cell dynamics model is developed in order to investigate the effect of flow-field design on the magnitude of current ov...

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

    Andoh, Yoshimichi; Okazaki, Susumu; Ueoka, Ryuichi


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

  13. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Modeling Based on Seeker Optimization Algorithm

    LI Qi; DAI Chao-hua; Chen Wei-rong; JIA Jun-bo; HAN Ming


    Seeker optimization algorithm (SOA) has applications in continuous space of swarm intelligence. In the fields of proton ex-change membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) modeling, SOA was proposed to research a set of optimized parameters in PEMFC polariza-tion curve model. Experimental result showed that the mean square error of the optimization modeling strategy was only 6.9 × 10-23. Hence, the optimization model could fit the experiment data with high precision.

  14. Modeling the dynamic behavior of proton-exchange membrane fuel cell

    Llapade, Peter O [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Mukundan, Rangachary [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Davey, John R [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Borup, Rodney L [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Meyers, Jeremy P [UNIV OF TEXAS-AUSTIN


    A two-phase transient model that incorporates the permanent hysteresis observed in the experimentally measured capillary pressure of GDL has been developed. The model provides explanation for the difference in time constant between membrane hydration and dehydration observed in the HFR experiment conducted at LANL. When there is liquid water at the cathode catalyst layer, time constant of the water content in the membrane is closely tied to that of liquid water saturation in the CCL, as the vapor is already saturated. The water content in the membrane will not reach steady state as long as the liquid water flow in the CCL is not at steady state. Also, Increased resistance to proton transport in the membrane is observed when the cell voltage is stepped down to a very low value.

  15. Rate equation model of phototransduction into the membranous disks of mouse rod cells

    Takamoto, Rei; Awazu, Akinori


    A theoretical model was developed to investigate the rod phototransduction process in the mouse. In particular, we explored the biochemical reactions of several chemical components that contribute to the signaling process into/around the membranous disks in the outer segments of the rod cells. We constructed a rate equation model incorporating the molecular crowding effects of rhodopsin according to experimental results, which may hinder the diffusion of molecules on the disk mem- brane. The present model could effectively reproduce and explain the mechanisms of the following phenomena observed in experiments. First, the activations and relaxation of the wild-type mouse rod cell progressed more slowly than those of mutant cells containing half the amount of rhodopsin on the disk membrane. Second, the strong photoactivated state of the cell was sustained for a longer period when the light stimuli were strong. Finally, the lifetime of photoactivation exhibited a logarithmic increase with increasing light streng...

  16. Dynamic Thermal Model and Temperature Control of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack

    邵庆龙; 卫东; 曹广益; 朱新坚


    A dynamic thermal transfer model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack is developed based on energy conservation in order to reach better temperature control of PEMFC stack. Considering its uncertain parameters and disturbance, we propose a robust adaptive controller based on backstepping algorithm of Lyaponov function. Numerical simulations indicate the validity of the proposed controller.

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

    Johnson, Cameron; Luft, Julie A.


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

  18. Two-dimensional, isothermal, multi-component model for a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Mahinpey, N.; Jagannathan, A.; Idem, R. [Regina Univ., SK (Canada). Faculty of Engineering


    A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device which is more efficient than an internal combustion engine in converting fuel to power. Numerous fuel cell models have been developed by a number of authors accounting for the various physical processes. Earlier models were restricted to being one dimensional, steady-state, and isothermal while more recent two-dimensional models had several limitations. This paper presented the results of a study that developed a two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics model of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell using a finite element method to solve a multi-component transport model coupled with flow in porous media, charge balance, electrochemical kinetics, and rigorous water balance in the membrane. The mass transport, momentum transport, and electrochemical processes occurring in the membrane electrolyte and catalyst layers were modeled. The local equilibrium was assumed at the interfaces and the model was combined with the kinetics and was analytically solved for the anodic and cathodic current using an agglomerate spherical catalyst pellet. The paper compared the modeling results with previously published experimental data. The study investigated the effects of channel and bipolar plate shoulder size, porosity of the electrodes, temperature, relative humidity and current densities on the cell performance. It was concluded that smaller sized channels and bipolar plate shoulders were required to obtain higher current densities, although larger channels were satisfactory at moderate current densities. 13 refs., 5 figs.

  19. Two-dimensional modeling of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell with long flow channel. Part I. Model development


    A two-dimensional single-phase model is developed for the steady-state and transient analysis of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Based on diluted and concentrated solution theories, viscous flow is introduced into a phenomenological multi-component modeling framework in the membrane. Characteristic variables related to the water uptake are discussed. A ButlereVolmer formulation of the current-overpotential relationship is developed based on an elementary mechanism of elect...

  20. A macroscopic model of proton transport through the membrane-ionomer interface of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Kumar, Milan; Edwards, Brian J.; Paddison, Stephen J.


    The membrane-ionomer interface is the critical interlink of the electrodes and catalyst to the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM); together forming the membrane electrode assembly in current state-of-the-art PEM fuel cells. In this paper, proton conduction through the interface is investigated to understand its effect on the performance of a PEM fuel cell. The water containing domains at this interface were modeled as cylindrical pores/channels with the anionic groups (i.e., -SO3-) assumed to be fixed on the pore wall. The interactions of each species with all other species and an applied external field were examined. Molecular-based interaction potential energies were computed in a small test element of the pore and were scaled up in terms of macroscopic variables. Evolution equations of the density and momentum of the species (water molecules and hydronium ions) were derived within a framework of nonequilibrium thermodynamics. The resulting evolution equations for the species were solved analytically using an order-of-magnitude analysis to obtain an expression for the proton conductivity. Results show that the conductivity increases with increasing water content and pore radius, and strongly depends on the separation distance between the sulfonate groups and their distribution on the pore wall. It was also determined that the conductivity of two similar pores of different radii in series is limited by the pore with the smaller radius.

  1. Lipid rafts-mediated endocytosis and physiology-based cell membrane traffic models of doxorubicin liposomes.

    Li, Yinghuan; Gao, Lei; Tan, Xi; Li, Feiyang; Zhao, Ming; Peng, Shiqi


    The clathrin-mediated endocytosis is likely a major mechanism of liposomes' internalization. A kinetic approach was used to assess the internalization mechanism of doxorubicin (Dox) loaded cationic liposomes and to establish physiology-based cell membrane traffic mathematic models. Lipid rafts-mediated endocytosis, including dynamin-dependent or -independent endocytosis of noncaveolar structure, was a dominant process. The mathematic models divided Dox loaded liposomes binding lipid rafts (B) into saturable binding (SB) and nonsaturable binding (NSB) followed by energy-driven endocytosis. The intracellular trafficking demonstrated early endosome-late endosome-lysosome or early/late endosome-cytoplasm-nucleus pathways. The three properties of liposome structures, i.e., cationic lipid, fusogenic lipid, and pegylation, were investigated to compare their contributions to cell membrane and intracellular traffic. The results revealed great contribution of cationic lipid DOTAP and fusogenic lipid DOPE to cell membrane binding and internalization. The valid Dox in the nuclei of HepG2 and A375 cells treated with cationic liposomes containing 40mol% of DOPE were 1.2-fold and 1.5-fold higher than that in the nuclei of HepG2 and A375 cells treated with liposomes containing 20mol% of DOPE, respectively, suggesting the dependence of cell type. This tendency was proportional to the increase of cell-associated total liposomal Dox. The mathematic models would be useful to predict intracellular trafficking of liposomal Dox.

  2. A review on the performance and modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Boucetta, A., E-mail:; Ghodbane, H., E-mail:; Bahri, M., E-mail: [Department of Electrical Engineering, MSE Laboratory, Mohamed khider Biskra University (Algeria); Ayad, M. Y., E-mail: [R& D, Industrial Hybrid Vehicle Applications (France)


    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC), are energy efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional energy conversion for various applications in stationary power plants, portable power device and transportation. PEM fuel cells provide low operating temperature and high-energy efficiency with near zero emission. A PEM fuel cell is a multiple distinct parts device and a series of mass, energy, transport through gas channels, electric current transport through membrane electrode assembly and electrochemical reactions at the triple-phase boundaries. These processes play a decisive role in determining the performance of the Fuel cell, so that studies on the phenomena of gas flows and the performance modelling are made deeply. This paper gives a comprehensive overview of the state of the art on the Study of the phenomena of gas flow and performance modelling of PEMFC.

  3. A review on the performance and modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Boucetta, A.; Ghodbane, H.; Ayad, M. Y.; Bahri, M.


    Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFC), are energy efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional energy conversion for various applications in stationary power plants, portable power device and transportation. PEM fuel cells provide low operating temperature and high-energy efficiency with near zero emission. A PEM fuel cell is a multiple distinct parts device and a series of mass, energy, transport through gas channels, electric current transport through membrane electrode assembly and electrochemical reactions at the triple-phase boundaries. These processes play a decisive role in determining the performance of the Fuel cell, so that studies on the phenomena of gas flows and the performance modelling are made deeply. This paper gives a comprehensive overview of the state of the art on the Study of the phenomena of gas flow and performance modelling of PEMFC.

  4. Development of the model of pancreatic β-cell membrane chromatography and its chromatographiccharacteristics

    YANG Guangde; HE Langchong; BIAN Xiaoli; ZHAO Liang


    A new model of pancreatic β-cell membrane chromatography has been established by using a β-cell membrane stationary phase (β-CMSP) prepared by immobilizing the β-cell membrane onto the surface of silica carrier. The protein level and K+, Na+-ATP enzymatic activity of the β-CMSP were detected respectively. The surface characteristics of the β-CMSP were tested by using the scanning electron microscope and surface energy spectrometer. In this model, the column (10 mm × 2 mm, I.D.) packed with β-CMSP, 25 mmo1/L ammonium sulfate buffer solution (pH 7.4) as mobile phase with the flow rate of 0.2 mL/min at 37 ± 0.5℃ were used in the following studies. The retention characteristics of the sulfonylureas (gliquidone, glibenclamide, gliclazide and glipizide) were investigated under the chromatographic conditions above. The affinities of the sulfonylureas on β-cell membrane and receptor will be expressed by using the logk′ values (the logarithm of capacity factor of a solute) in the model. The correlation of the affinity with the pharmacological effect of the sulfonylureas was analyzed also.

  5. Water balance simulations of a polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cell using a two-fluid model

    Berning, Torsten; Odgaard, M.; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    A previously published computational multi-phase model of a polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cell cathode has been extended in order to account for the anode side and the electrolyte membrane. The model has been applied to study the water balance of a fuel cell during operation under various hum...

  6. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells modeling based on artificial neural networks

    Yudong Tian; Xinjian Zhu; Guangyi Cao


    To understand the complexity of the mathematical models of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) and their shortage of practical PEMFC control, the PEMFC complex mechanism and the existing PEMFC models are analyzed, and artificial neural networks based PEMFC modeling is advanced. The structure, algorithm, training and simulation of PEMFC modeling based on improved BP networks are given out in detail. The computer simulation and conducted experiment verify that this model is fast and accurate, and can be used as a suitable operational model for PEMFC real-time control.

  7. Modeling a Membrane: Using Engineering Design to Simulate Cell Transport Processes

    Mason, Kevin; Evans, Brian

    The "plasma membrane," which controls what comes in and goes out of a cell, is integral to maintaining homeostasis. Cell transport of small molecules across the cell membrane happens in several different ways. Some small, nonpolar molecules cross the plasma membrane along the concentration gradient directly through the "phospholipid…

  8. Modeling and simulation of the dynamic behavior of portable proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Ziegler, C.


    In order to analyze the operational behavior, a mathematical model of planar self-breathing fuel cells is developed and validated in Chapter 3 of this thesis. The multicomponent transport of the species is considered as well as the couplings between the transport processes of heat, charge, and mass and the electrochemical reactions. Furthermore, to explain the oxygen mass transport limitation in the porous electrode of the cathode side an agglomerate model for the oxygen reduction reaction is developed. In Chapter 4 the important issue of liquid water generation and transport in PEMFCs is addressed. One of the major tasks when operating this type of fuel cell is avoiding the complete flooding of the PEMFC during operation. A one-dimensional and isothermal model is developed that is based on a coupled system of partial differential equations. The model contains a dynamic and two-phase description of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell. The mass transport in the gas phase and in the liquid phase is considered as well as the phase transition between liquid water and water vapor. The transport of charges and the electrochemical reactions are part of the model. Flooding effects that are caused by liquid water accumulation are described by this model. Moreover, the model contains a time-dependent description of the membrane that accounts for Schroeder's paradox. The model is applied to simulate cyclic voltammograms. Chapter 5 is focused on the dynamic investigation of PEMFC stacks. Understanding the dynamic behavior of fuel cell stacks is important for the operation and control of fuel cell stacks. Using the single cell model of Chapter 3 and the dynamic model of Chapter 4 as basis, a mathematical model of a PEMFC stack is developed. However, due to the complexity of a fuel cell stack, the spatial resolution and dynamic description of the liquid water transport are not accounted for. These restrictions allow for direct comparison between the solution variables of

  9. An non-uniformity voltage model for proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Li, Kelei; Li, Yankun; Liu, Jiawei; Guo, Ai


    The fuel cell used in transportation has environmental protection, high efficiency and no line traction power system which can greatly reduce line construction investment. That makes it a huge potential. The voltage uniformity is one of the most important factors affecting the operation life of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). On the basis of principle and classical model of the PEMFC, single cell voltage is calculated and the location coefficients are introduced so as to establish a non-uniformity voltage model. These coefficients are estimated with the experimental datum at stack current 50 A. The model is validated respectively with datum at 60 A and 100 A. The results show that the model reflects the basic characteristics of voltage non-uniformity and provides the beneficial reference for fuel cell control and single cell voltage detection.

  10. Modelling multiphase flow inside the porous media of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Berning, Torsten; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    Transport processes inside polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC’s) are highly complex and involve convective and diffusive multiphase, multispecies flow through porous media along with heat and mass transfer and electrochemical reactions in conjunction with water transport through...... an electrolyte membrane. We will present a computational model of a PEMFC with focus on capillary transport of water through the porous layers and phase change and discuss the impact of the liquid phase boundary condition between the porous gas diffusion layer and the flow channels, where water droplets can...

  11. A High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Model for Reformate Gas

    M. Mamlouk


    Full Text Available A one-dimensional model of a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell using polybenzimidazole (PBI membranes is described. The model considers mass transport through a thin film electrolyte covering the catalyst particles as well as through the porous media. The incorporation of a thin film model describing reactant gas mass transport through electrolyte covering the electrocatalyst is shown to be an essential requirement for accurate simulation. The catalyst interface is represented using a macrohomogeneous model. The influence of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane, which would be present in a reformate gas, is considered in terms of the effect on the anode polarisation/kinetics behaviour. The model simulates the influence of operating conditions, cell parameters, and fuel gas compositions on the cell voltage current density characteristics. The model gives good predictions of the effect of oxygen and air pressures on cell behaviour and correctly simulates the mass transport behaviour of the cell. The model with reformate gas shows that additional voltage losses associated with CO poisoning can lead to loss in voltage of tens of mV and thus reduction in power.

  12. Deformation of Two-Dimensional Nonuniform-Membrane Red Blood Cells Simulated by a Lattice Boltzmann Model

    LI Hua-Bing; JIN Li; QIU Bing


    To study two-dimensional red blood cells deforming in a shear flow with the membrane nonuniform on the rigidity and mass, the membrane is discretized into equilength segments. The fluid inside and outside the red blood cell is simulated by the D2Q9 lattice Boltzmann model and the hydrodynamic forces exerted on the membrane from the inner and outer of the red blood cell are calculated by a stress-integration method. Through the global deviation from the curvature of uniform-membrane, we find that when the membrane is nonuniform on the rigidity, the deviation first decreases with the time increases and implies that the terminal profile of the red blood cell is static. To a red blood cell with the mass nonuniform on the membrane, the deviation becomes more large, and the mass distribution affects the profile of the two sides of the flattened red blood cell in a shear flow.

  13. Dynamic Model of the High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack Temperature

    Andreasen, Søren Juhl; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    consists of a prototype cathode air cooled 30 cell HTPEM fuel cell stack developed at the Institute of Energy Technology at Aalborg University. This fuel cell stack uses PEMEAS Celtec P-1000 membranes and runs on pure hydrogen in a dead-end anode configuration with a purge valve. The cooling of the stack...... elements for start-up, heat conduction through stack insulation, cathode air convection, and heating of the inlet gases in the manifold. Various measurements are presented to validate the model predictions of the stack temperatures....

  14. Pseudo-2D model of a cross-flow membrane humidifier for a PEM fuel cell under multiphase conditions

    Dalet, C.; Diny, M. [Peugeot Citroen Automobile, Carrieres sous Poissy (France). Fuel Cell Program; Maranzana, G.; Lottin, O.; Dillet, J. [Nancy Univ., Vanoeuvre les Nancy (France). Centre national de la recherche scientifique


    Membrane dehydration can reduce the performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). However, excessive water at the inlet of the fuel cells can flood cathodes. An understanding of the coupled mass and heat transfer processes involved in membrane humidifiers is needed in order to successfully manage water in PEMFCs. This paper discussed a pseudo-2D model of a cross-flow membrane humidifier for PEMFCs. The model was used to test correlations of the water transport coefficient through a Nafion 115 membrane. The study showed that results obtained using the model differed from experimental results. The effects of inlet operating conditions, flow rates, and temperature on the performance of a planar membrane humidifier under both single- and multi-phase conditions were also investigated.

  15. Small unilamellar liposomes as a membrane model for cell inactivation by cold atmospheric plasma treatment

    Maheux, S.; Frache, G.; Thomann, J. S.; Clément, F.; Penny, C.; Belmonte, T.; Duday, D.


    Cold atmospheric plasma is thought to be a promising tool for numerous biomedical applications due to its ability to generate a large diversity of reactive species in a controlled way. In some cases, it can also generate pulsed electric fields at the zone of treatment, which can induce processes such as electroporation in cell membranes. However, the interaction of these reactive species and the pulse electric field with cells in a physiological medium is very complex, and we still need a better understanding in order to be useful for future applications. A way to reach this goal is to work with model cell membranes such as liposomes, with the simplest physiological liquid and in a controlled atmosphere in order to limit the number of parallel reactions and processes. In this paper, where this approach has been chosen, 1,2-Dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) small unilamellar vesicles (SUV) have been synthesized in a phosphate buffered aqueous solution, and this solution has been treated by a nanosecond pulsed plasma jet under a pure nitrogen atmosphere. It is only the composition of the plasma gas that has been changed in order to generate different cocktails of reactive species. After the quantification of the main plasma reactive species in the phosphate buffered saline (PBS) solution, structural, surface charge state, and chemical modifications generated on the plasma treated liposomes, due to the interaction with the plasma reactive species, have been carefully characterized. These results allow us to further understand the effect of plasma reactive species on model cell membranes in physiological liquids. The permeation through the liposomal membrane and the reaction of plasma reactive species with molecules encapsulated inside the liposomes have also been evaluated. New processes of degradation are finally presented and discussed, which come from the specific conditions of plasma treatment under the pure nitrogen atmosphere.

  16. Mesenchymal stem cells enhance ovarian cancer cell infiltration through IL6 secretion in an amniochorionic membrane based 3D model

    Touboul Cyril


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The early peritoneal invasion of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC by tumoral aggregates presents in ascites is a major concern. The role of the microenvironment seems to be important in this process but the lack of adequate models to study cellular interactions between cancer cells and stromal cells does not allow to uncover the molecular pathways involved. Our goal was to study the interactions between ovarian cancer cells (OCC and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC using a 3D model. Methods We used millimetric pieces of amniochorionic membrane - referred to as amniotic membrane scaffold (AMS - to create 3D peritoneal nodules mimicking EOC early invasion. We were able to measure the distribution and the depth of infiltration using confocal microsopy. We extracted MSC from the amniochorionic membrane using the markers CD34-, CD45-, CD73+, CD90+, CD105+ and CD29+ at the Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS analysis. We used transwell and wound healing tests to test OCC migration and invasion in vitro. Results Here we show that OCC tumors were located in regions rich in MSC (70%. The tumors infiltrated deeper within AMS in regions rich in MSC (p Conclusions The use of tridimensional models using AMS could be a useful tool to decipher early molecular events in ovarian cancer metastasis. Cytokine inhibitors interrupting the cross-talk between OCCs and MSCs such as IL6 should be investigated as a new therapeutic approach in ovarian cancer.

  17. Development of Novel PEM Membrane and Multiphase CD Modeling of PEM Fuel Cell

    K. J. Berry; Susanta Das


    To understand heat and water management phenomena better within an operational proton exchange membrane fuel cell's (PEMFC) conditions, a three-dimensional, two-phase computational fluid dynamic (CFD) flow model has been developed and simulated for a complete PEMFC. Both liquid and gas phases are considered in the model by taking into account the gas flow, diffusion, charge transfer, change of phase, electro-osmosis, and electrochemical reactions to understand the overall dynamic behaviors of species within an operating PEMFC. The CFD model is solved numerically under different parametric conditions in terms of water management issues in order to improve cell performance. The results obtained from the CFD two-phase flow model simulations show improvement in cell performance as well as water management under PEMFCs operational conditions as compared to the results of a single phase flow model available in the literature. The quantitative information obtained from the two-phase model simulation results helped to develop a CFD control algorithm for low temperature PEM fuel cell stacks which opens up a route in designing improvement of PEMFC for better operational efficiency and performance. To understand heat and water management phenomena better within an operational proton exchange membrane fuel cell's (PEMFC) conditions, a three-dimensional, two-phase computational fluid dynamic (CFD) flow model has been developed and simulated for a complete PEMFC. Both liquid and gas phases are considered in the model by taking into account the gas flow, diffusion, charge transfer, change of phase, electro-osmosis, and electrochemical reactions to understand the overall dynamic behaviors of species within an operating PEMFC. The CFD model is solved numerically under different parametric conditions in terms of water management issues in order to improve cell performance. The results obtained from the CFD two-phase flow model simulations show improvement in cell

  18. Water balance simulations of a polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cell using a two-fluid model

    Berning, Torsten; Odgaard, M.; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    A previously published computational multi-phase model of a polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cell cathode has been extended in order to account for the anode side and the electrolyte membrane. The model has been applied to study the water balance of a fuel cell during operation under various...... humidification conditions. It was found that the specific surface area of the electrolyte in the catalyst layers close to the membrane is of critical importance for the overall water balance. Applying a high specific electrolyte surface area close to the membrane (a water-uptake layer) can prevent drying out...... of the anode and flooding at the cathode while the average membrane water content is only weakly affected. The results also indicate that in contrast to common presumption membrane dehydration may occur at either anode or cathode side, entirely depending on the direction of the net water transport because...

  19. Evaluation of the Photodynamic Therapy effect using a tumor model in Chorioallantoic Membrane with Melanoma cells

    Buzzá, Hilde H.; Pires, Layla; Bagnato, Vanderlei S.; Kurachi, Cristina


    Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a type of cancer treatment that is based on the interaction of light (with specific wavelength), a photosensitizing agent and molecular oxygen. The photosensitizer (PS) is activated by light and reacts with oxygen resulting in the production of singlet oxygen that is highly reactive and responsible for the cell death. The Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) model is a transparent membrane that allows visualization and evaluation of blood vessels and structural changes, where a tumor model was developed. Two induction tumor models were investigated: tumor biopsy or cell culture. It was used a murine melanoma cell B16F10 in culture and a biopsy from a xenograft tumor in hairless mouse. Two PS were tested: Photodithazine® and Photogem®, a chlorine and porphyrin compounds, respectively. Using intravenous administration, the light-drug interval was of 30 minutes, 1 and 3 hours. Illumination was performed at 630 nm and 660 nm, and the vascular and tumor response was monitored and analyzed. The PS distribution was checked with confocal microscopy. This model can be useful to study several parameters of PDT and the effect of this therapy in the cancer treatment since it allows direct visualization of its effects.

  20. Issues associated with modelling of proton exchange membrane fuel cell by computational fluid dynamics

    Bednarek, Tomasz; Tsotridis, Georgios


    The objective of the current study is to highlight possible limitations and difficulties associated with Computational Fluid Dynamics in PEM single fuel cell modelling. It is shown that an appropriate convergence methodology should be applied for steady-state solutions, due to inherent numerical instabilities. A single channel fuel cell model has been taken as numerical example. Results are evaluated for quantitative as well qualitative points of view. The contribution to the polarization curve of the different fuel cell components such as bi-polar plates, gas diffusion layers, catalyst layers and membrane was investigated via their effects on the overpotentials. Furthermore, the potential losses corresponding to reaction kinetics, due to ohmic and mas transport limitations and the effect of the exchange current density and open circuit voltage, were also investigated. It is highlighted that the lack of reliable and robust input data is one of the issues for obtaining accurate results.

  1. Membrane regulation of the stress response from prokaryotic models to mammalian cells.

    Vigh, Laszlo; Nakamoto, Hitoshi; Landry, Jacques; Gomez-Munoz, Antonio; Harwood, John L; Horvath, Ibolya


    "Membrane regulation" of stress responses in various systems is widely studied. In poikilotherms, membrane rigidification could be the first reaction to cold perception: reducing membrane fluidity of membranes at physiological temperatures is coupled with enhanced cold inducibility of a number of genes, including desaturases (see J.L. Harwood's article in this Proceedings volume). A similar role of changes in membrane physical state in heat (oxidative stress, etc.) sensing- and signaling gained support recently from prokaryotes to mammalian cells. Stress-induced remodeling of membrane lipids could influence generation, transduction, and deactivation of stress signals, either through global effects on the fluidity of the membrane matrix, or by specific interactions of boundary (or raft) lipids with receptor proteins, lipases, ion channels, etc. Our data point to membranes not only as targets of stress, but also as sensors in activating a stress response.

  2. A multi-objective optimisation model for a general polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell system

    Ang, Sheila Mae C.; Brett, Daniel J. L.; Fraga, Eric S.

    This paper presents an optimisation model for a general polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell system suitable for efficiency and size trade-offs investigation. Simulation of the model for a base case shows that for a given output power, a more efficient system is bigger and vice versa. Using the weighting method to perform a multi-objective optimisation, the Pareto sets were generated for different stack output powers. A Pareto set, presented as a plot of the optimal efficiency and area of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), gives a quantitative description of the compromise between efficiency and size. Overall, our results indicate that, to make the most of the size-efficiency trade-off behaviour, the system must be operated at an efficiency of at least 40% but not more than 47%. Furthermore, the MEA area should be at least 3 cm 2 W -1 for the efficiency to be practically useful. Subject to the constraints imposed on the model, which are based on technical practicalities, a PEM fuel cell system such as the one presented in this work cannot operate at an efficiency above 54%. The results of this work, specifically the multi-objective model, will form a useful and practical basis for subsequent techno-economic studies for specific applications.

  3. Computational modeling study on polymer electrolyte membranes for fuel cell applications

    Choe, Yoong-Kee; Tsuchida, Eiji


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

  4. Transient computation fluid dynamics modeling of a single proton exchange membrane fuel cell with serpentine channel

    Hu, Guilin; Fan, Jianren

    The proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has become a promising candidate for the power source of electrical vehicles because of its low pollution, low noise and especially fast startup and transient responses at low temperatures. A transient, three-dimensional, non-isothermal and single-phase mathematical model based on computation fluid dynamics has been developed to describe the transient process and the dynamic characteristics of a PEMFC with a serpentine fluid channel. The effects of water phase change and heat transfer, as well as electrochemical kinetics and multicomponent transport on the cell performance are taken into account simultaneously in this comprehensive model. The developed model was employed to simulate a single laboratory-scale PEMFC with an electrode area about 20 cm 2. The dynamic behavior of the characteristic parameters such as reactant concentration, pressure loss, temperature on the membrane surface of cathode side and current density during start-up process were computed and are discussed in detail. Furthermore, transient responses of the fuel cell characteristics during step changes and sinusoidal changes in the stoichiometric flow ratio of the cathode inlet stream, cathode inlet stream humidity and cell voltage are also studied and analyzed and interesting undershoot/overshoot behavior of some variables was found. It was also found that the startup and transient response time of a PEM fuel cell is of the order of a second, which is similar to the simulation results predicted by most models. The result is an important guide for the optimization of PEMFC designs and dynamic operation.

  5. Modeling of cold start processes and performance optimization for proton exchange membrane fuel cell stacks

    Zhou, Yibo; Luo, Yueqi; Yu, Shuhai; Jiao, Kui


    In this study, a cold start model for proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stacks is developed, and a novel start-up method, variable heating and load control (VHLC), is proposed and evaluated. The main idea is to only apply load to the neighboring still-active cells, and to apply external heating to certain cells inside the stack simultaneously (load is not applied to the cells fully blocked by ice, although these cells can gain heat from neighboring cells). With the VHLC method, it is found that the stack voltage first increases, then decreases due to the full blockage of ice in some of the individual cells, and finally the dead cells are heated by the other active cells and activated again one by one. Based on this method, the external heating power and the stack self-heating ability are utilized more efficiently. With proper implementation of the VHLC method, it is demonstrated that the cold stat performance can be improved significantly, which is critically important for PEMFC in automotive applications.

  6. Membrane Cells for Brine Electrolysis.

    Tingle, M.


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

  7. Membrane Cells for Brine Electrolysis.

    Tingle, M.


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

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

    Atrazhev, Vadim V


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

  9. Syringotoxin pore formation and inactivation in human red blood cell and model bilayer lipid membranes.

    Szabó, Zsófia; Gróf, Pál; Schagina, Ludmila V; Gurnev, Philip A; Takemoto, Jon Y; Mátyus, Edit; Blaskó, Katalin


    The effect of syringotoxin (ST), a member of the cyclic lipodepsipeptides family (CLPs) produced by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae on the membrane permeability of human red blood cells (RBCs) and model bilayer lipid membranes (BLMs) was studied and compared to that of two recently investigated CLPs, syringomycin E (SRE) and syringopeptin 22A (SP22A) [Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1466 (2000) 79 and Bioelectrochemistry 52 (2000) 161]. The permeability-increasing effect of ST on RBCs was the least among the three CLPs. A time-dependent ST pore inactivation was observed on RBCs at 20 and 37 degrees C but not at 8 degrees C. From the kinetic model worked out parameters as permeability coefficient of RBC membrane for 86Rb(+) and pores mean lifetime were calculated. A shorter pores mean lifetime was calculated at 37 degrees C then at 20 degrees C, which gave us an explanation for the unusual slower rate of tracer efflux measured at 37 degrees C then that at 20 degrees C. The results obtained on BLM showed that the pore inactivation was due to a decrease in the number of pores but not to a change of their dwell time or conductance.

  10. Neural network modeling and control of proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    CHEN Yue-hua; CAO Guang-yi; ZHU Xin-jian


    A neural network model and fuzzy neural network controller was designed to control the inner impedance of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell(PEMFC)stack. A radial basis function(RBF)neural network model was trained by the input-output data of impedance. A fuzzy neural network controller Was designed to control the impedance response.The RBF neural network model was used to test the fuzzy neural network controller.The results show that the RBF model output Can imitate actual output well, themaximal errorisnotbeyond 20 mΩ, thetrainingtime is about 1 s by using 20 neurons, and the mean squared errors is 141.9 mΩ2.The impedance of the PEMFC stack is controlled within the optimum range when the load changes, and the adjustive time is ahnllt 3 rain.

  11. Nano composite membrane-electrode assembly formation for fuel cell-modeling aspects

    Vaivars, G.; Linkov, V.


    Long term stability is an essential requirement for fuel cell applications in automobile and stationary energy systems. In these systems the agglomeration of the catalyst nanoparticles is a well-known phenomenon which cannot be easily overcome or compensated for by re-designing the system. A direct result of this occurrence is the irreversible decrease of the electrochemical performance. Irregularities in electric field distribution are one root cause for migration and subsequent agglomeration of the catalyst nanoparticle. In this work, the impact of the electrode mechanical deformation on electric field distribution was studied using a computer modeling approach. Model of a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell with interdigitated flow field from Comsol Chemical Engineering/Electrochemical Engineering Module library was used for simulations. It was established that by minimizing the backing layer deformation it is possible to achieve some improvement in current distribution.

  12. Nano composite membrane-electrode assembly formation for fuel cell-modeling aspects

    Vaivars, G [Institute of Solid State Physics of University of Latvia, Riga (Latvia); Linkov, V [University of the Western Cape, South African Institute of Advanced Material Chemistry, Cape Town, Western Cape (South Africa)


    Long term stability is an essential requirement for fuel cell applications in automobile and stationary energy systems. In these systems the agglomeration of the catalyst nanoparticles is a well-known phenomenon which cannot be easily overcome or compensated for by re-designing the system. A direct result of this occurrence is the irreversible decrease of the electrochemical performance. Irregularities in electric field distribution are one root cause for migration and subsequent agglomeration of the catalyst nanoparticle. In this work, the impact of the electrode mechanical deformation on electric field distribution was studied using a computer modeling approach. Model of a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell with interdigitated flow field from Comsol Chemical Engineering/Electrochemical Engineering Module library was used for simulations. It was established that by minimizing the backing layer deformation it is possible to achieve some improvement in current distribution.

  13. Contact behavior modelling and its size effect on proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Qiu, Diankai; Peng, Linfa; Yi, Peiyun; Lai, Xinmin; Janßen, Holger; Lehnert, Werner


    Contact behavior between the gas diffusion layer (GDL) and bipolar plate (BPP) is of significant importance for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Most current studies on contact behavior utilize experiments and finite element modelling and focus on fuel cells with graphite BPPs, which lead to high costs and huge computational requirements. The objective of this work is to build a more effective analytical method for contact behavior in fuel cells and investigate the size effect resulting from configuration alteration of channel and rib (channel/rib). Firstly, a mathematical description of channel/rib geometry is outlined in accordance with the fabrication of metallic BPP. Based on the interface deformation characteristic and Winkler surface model, contact pressure between BPP and GDL is then calculated to predict contact resistance and GDL porosity as evaluative parameters of contact behavior. Then, experiments on BPP fabrication and contact resistance measurement are conducted to validate the model. The measured results demonstrate an obvious dependence on channel/rib size. Feasibility of the model used in graphite fuel cells is also discussed. Finally, size factor is proposed for evaluating the rule of size effect. Significant increase occurs in contact resistance and porosity for higher size factor, in which channel/rib width decrease.

  14. Computational modeling of transport and electrochemical reactions in proton-exchange membrane fuel cells

    Um, Sukkee

    A comprehensive, multi-physics computational fuel cell dynamics (CFCD) model integrating electrochemical kinetics, charge transport, mass transport (particularly water transport), and flow dynamics is developed in this thesis. The numerical model is validated against published experimental data and utilized to generate results that reveal the internal operation of a PEM fuel cell. A number of model applications are demonstrated in the present work. First, the CFCD model is applied to explore hydrogen dilution effects in the anode feed. Detailed two-dimensional electrochemical and flow/transport simulations are provided to examine substantial anode concentration polarization due to hydrogen depletion at the reaction sites. A transient simulation of the cell current response to a step change in cell voltage is also attempted to elucidate characteristics of the dynamic response of a fuel cell for the first time. After the two-dimensional computational study, the CFCD model is applied to illustrate three-dimensional interactions between mass transfer and electrochemical kinetics. Emphasis is placed on obtaining a fundamental understanding of fully three-dimensional flow in the air cathode with interdigitated flowfield design and how it impacts the transport and electrochemical reaction processes. The innovative design concept for enhanced oxygen transport to, and effective water removal from the cathode, is explored numerically. Next, an analytical study of water transport is performed to investigate various water transport regimes of practical interest. The axial locations characteristic of anode water loss and cathode flooding are predicted theoretically and compared with numerical results. A continuous stirred fuel cell reactor (CSFCR) model is also proposed for the limiting situation where the anode and cathode sides reach equilibrium in water concentration with a thin ionomer membrane in between. In addition to the analytical solutions, a detailed water transport

  15. The Matrix protein M1 from influenza C virus induces tubular membrane invaginations in an in vitro cell membrane model

    Saletti, David; Radzimanowski, Jens; Effantin, Gregory; Midtvedt, Daniel; Mangenot, Stéphanie; Weissenhorn, Winfried; Bassereau, Patricia; Bally, Marta


    Matrix proteins from enveloped viruses play an important role in budding and stabilizing virus particles. In order to assess the role of the matrix protein M1 from influenza C virus (M1-C) in plasma membrane deformation, we have combined structural and in vitro reconstitution experiments with model membranes. We present the crystal structure of the N-terminal domain of M1-C and show by Small Angle X-Ray Scattering analysis that full-length M1-C folds into an elongated structure that associates laterally into ring-like or filamentous polymers. Using negatively charged giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs), we demonstrate that M1-C full-length binds to and induces inward budding of membrane tubules with diameters that resemble the diameter of viruses. Membrane tubule formation requires the C-terminal domain of M1-C, corroborating its essential role for M1-C polymerization. Our results indicate that M1-C assembly on membranes constitutes the driving force for budding and suggest that M1-C plays a key role in facilitating viral egress. PMID:28120862

  16. Modeling the electric potential across neuronal membranes: the effect of fixed charges on spinal ganglion neurons and neuroblastoma cells.

    Thiago M Pinto

    Full Text Available We present a model for the electric potential profile across the membranes of neuronal cells. We considered the resting and action potential states, and analyzed the influence of fixed charges of the membrane on its electric potential, based on experimental values of membrane properties of the spinal ganglion neuron and the neuroblastoma cell. The spinal ganglion neuron represents a healthy neuron, and the neuroblastoma cell, which is tumorous, represents a pathological neuron. We numerically solved the non-linear Poisson-Boltzmann equation for the regions of the membrane model we have adopted, by considering the densities of charges dissolved in an electrolytic solution and fixed on both glycocalyx and cytoplasmic proteins. Our model predicts that there is a difference in the behavior of the electric potential profiles of the two types of cells, in response to changes in charge concentrations in the membrane. Our results also describe an insensitivity of the neuroblastoma cell membrane, as observed in some biological experiments. This electrical property may be responsible for the low pharmacological response of the neuroblastoma to certain chemotherapeutic treatments.

  17. Modeling the electric potential across neuronal membranes: the effect of fixed charges on spinal ganglion neurons and neuroblastoma cells.

    Pinto, Thiago M; Wedemann, Roseli S; Cortez, Célia M


    We present a model for the electric potential profile across the membranes of neuronal cells. We considered the resting and action potential states, and analyzed the influence of fixed charges of the membrane on its electric potential, based on experimental values of membrane properties of the spinal ganglion neuron and the neuroblastoma cell. The spinal ganglion neuron represents a healthy neuron, and the neuroblastoma cell, which is tumorous, represents a pathological neuron. We numerically solved the non-linear Poisson-Boltzmann equation for the regions of the membrane model we have adopted, by considering the densities of charges dissolved in an electrolytic solution and fixed on both glycocalyx and cytoplasmic proteins. Our model predicts that there is a difference in the behavior of the electric potential profiles of the two types of cells, in response to changes in charge concentrations in the membrane. Our results also describe an insensitivity of the neuroblastoma cell membrane, as observed in some biological experiments. This electrical property may be responsible for the low pharmacological response of the neuroblastoma to certain chemotherapeutic treatments.

  18. Interaction of Clostridium perfringens epsilon-toxin with biological and model membranes: A putative protein receptor in cells.

    Manni, Marco M; Sot, Jesús; Goñi, Félix M


    Epsilon-toxin (ETX) is a powerful toxin produced by some strains of Clostridium perfringens (classified as types B and D) that is responsible for enterotoxemia in animals. ETX forms pores through the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells, consisting of a β-barrel of 14 amphipathic β-strands. ETX shows a high specificity for certain cell lines, of which Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) is the first sensitive cell line identified and the most studied one. The aim of this study was to establish the role of lipids in the toxicity caused by ETX and the correlation of its activity in model and biological membranes. In MDCK cells, using cell counting and confocal microscopy, we have observed that the toxin causes cell death mediated by toxin binding to plasma membrane. Moreover, ETX binds and permeabilizes the membranes of giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMV). However, little effect is observed on protein-free vesicles. The data suggest the essential role of a protein receptor for the toxin in cell membranes.

  19. Control-oriented dynamic fuzzy model and predictive control for proton exchange membrane fuel cell stack

    LI Xi; DENG Zhong-hua; CAO Guang-yi; ZHU Xin-jian; WEI Dong


    Proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack temperature and cathode stoichiometric oxygen are very important control parameters. The performance and lifespan of PEMFC stack are greatly dependent on the parameters. So, in order to improve the performance index, tight control of two parameters within a given range and reducing their fluctuation are indispensable.However, control-oriented models and control strategies are very weak junctures in the PEMFC development. A predictive control algorithm was presented based on their model established by input-output data and operating experiences. It adjusts the operating temperature to 80 ℃. At the same time, the optimized region of stoichiometric oxygen is kept between 1.8-2.2. Furthermore, the control algorithm adjusts the variants quickly to the destination value and makes the fluctuation of the variants the least. According to the test results, compared with traditional fuzzy and PID controllers, the designed controller shows much better performance.

  20. Dynamic Model of the High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack Temperature

    Andreasen, Søren Juhl; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    consists of a prototype cathode air cooled 30 cell HTPEM fuel cell stack developed at the Institute of Energy Technology at Aalborg University. This fuel cell stack uses PEMEAS Celtec P-1000 membranes and runs on pure hydrogen in a dead-end anode configuration with a purge valve. The cooling of the stack...

  1. An analytical model and parametric study of electrical contact resistance in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Wu, Zhiliang; Wang, Shuxin; Zhang, Lianhong; Hu, S. Jack

    This paper presents an analytical model of the electrical contact resistance between the carbon paper gas diffusion layers (GDLs) and the graphite bipolar plates (BPPs) in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The model is developed based on the classical statistical contact theory for a PEM fuel cell, using the same probability distributions of the GDL structure and BPP surface profile as previously described in Wu et al. [Z. Wu, Y. Zhou, G. Lin, S. Wang, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 182 (2008) 265-269] and Zhou et al. [Y. Zhou, G. Lin, A.J. Shih, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 163 (2007) 777-783]. Results show that estimates of the contact resistance compare favorably with experimental data by Zhou et al. [Y. Zhou, G. Lin, A.J. Shih, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 163 (2007) 777-783]. Factors affecting the contact behavior are systematically studied using the analytical model, including the material properties of the two contact bodies and factors arising from the manufacturing processes. The transverse Young's modulus of chopped carbon fibers in the GDL and the surface profile of the BPP are found to be significant to the contact resistance. The factor study also sheds light on the manufacturing requirements of carbon fiber GDLs for a better contact performance in PEM fuel cells.

  2. An analytical model and parametric study of electrical contact resistance in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Wu, Zhiliang; Wang, Shuxin; Zhang, Lianhong [School of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072 (China); Hu, S. Jack [Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2125 (United States)


    This paper presents an analytical model of the electrical contact resistance between the carbon paper gas diffusion layers (GDLs) and the graphite bipolar plates (BPPs) in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The model is developed based on the classical statistical contact theory for a PEM fuel cell, using the same probability distributions of the GDL structure and BPP surface profile as previously described in Wu et al. [Z. Wu, Y. Zhou, G. Lin, S. Wang, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 182 (2008) 265-269] and Zhou et al. [Y. Zhou, G. Lin, A.J. Shih, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 163 (2007) 777-783]. Results show that estimates of the contact resistance compare favorably with experimental data by Zhou et al. [Y. Zhou, G. Lin, A.J. Shih, S.J. Hu, J. Power Sources 163 (2007) 777-783]. Factors affecting the contact behavior are systematically studied using the analytical model, including the material properties of the two contact bodies and factors arising from the manufacturing processes. The transverse Young's modulus of chopped carbon fibers in the GDL and the surface profile of the BPP are found to be significant to the contact resistance. The factor study also sheds light on the manufacturing requirements of carbon fiber GDLs for a better contact performance in PEM fuel cells. (author)

  3. Mathematical modeling and simulation of thermal management in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stacks

    Amirfazli, Amir; Asghari, Saeed; Koosha, Morteza


    The narrow range of operating temperature and small temperature differences between the stack and the ambient have made the fuel cell thermal management as one of the key factors that influence the performance and durability of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stacks. In the present study, an analytical model is developed to investigate coolant flow and temperature distributions within a PEMFC stack. The model consists of a coolant flow distribution submodel and a thermal submodel for determination of coolant mass flow distribution between different cooling flow fields of the stack and the temperature distribution within the stack, respectively. The coolant mass flow rate and the temperature distributions in stacks with U and Z configurations are compared with each other using the developed model. The test results of two 65-cells stacks are presented to verify the simulation. The results indicate that the Z configuration results in more uniform temperature distribution than the U configuration in low values of the manifold cross sectional area. However, the Z configuration cannot be applied in the stacks with very small manifold sizes. A parametric analysis is also conducted to assess the effects of some parameters on the temperature distribution in a stack.

  4. Three-dimensional dynamic modelling of Polymer-Electrolyte-Membrane-Fuel-Cell-Systems; Dreidimensionale dynamische Modellierung und Berechnung von Polymer-Elektrolyt-Membran-Brennstoffzellen

    Vath, Andreas


    This thesis deals with dynamic and multi-dimensional modelling of Polymer- Electrolyte-Membrane-Fuel-Cells (PEMFC). The developed models include all the different layers of the fuel cell e.g. flow field, gas diffusion layer, catalyst layer and membrane with their particular physical, chemical and electrical characteristics. The simulation results have been verified by detailed measurements performed at the research centre for hydrogen and solar energy in Ulm (ZSW Ulm). The developed three dimensional model describes the time- and spatial-dependent charge and mass transport in a fuel cell. Additionally, this model allows the analysis of critical operating conditions. For example, the current density distribution for different membranes is shown during insufficient humidification which results in local overstraining and degradation. The model also allows to analyse extreme critical operating conditions, e.g. short time breakdown of the humidification. Furthermore, the model shows the available potential of improvement opportunities in power density and efficiency of PEMFC due to optimisation of the gas diffusion layer, the catalyst and membrane. In the second part of the work the application of PEMFC systems for combined heat and power units is described by one-dimensional models for an electrical power range between 1 kW and 5 kW. This model contains the necessary components, e.g. gas processing, humidification, gas supply, fuel cell stack, heat storage, pumps, auxiliary burner, power inverter und additional aggregates. As a main result, it is possible to distinctly reduce the energy demand and the carbon dioxide exhaust for different load profiles. Today the costs for fuel cell systems are considerably higher than that of the conventional electrical energy supply. (orig.)

  5. Modeling electrically active viscoelastic membranes.

    Sitikantha Roy

    Full Text Available The membrane protein prestin is native to the cochlear outer hair cell that is crucial to the ear's amplification and frequency selectivity throughout the whole acoustic frequency range. The outer hair cell exhibits interrelated dimensional changes, force generation, and electric charge transfer. Cells transfected with prestin acquire unique active properties similar to those in the native cell that have also been useful in understanding the process. Here we propose a model describing the major electromechanical features of such active membranes. The model derived from thermodynamic principles is in the form of integral relationships between the history of voltage and membrane resultants as independent variables and the charge density and strains as dependent variables. The proposed model is applied to the analysis of an active force produced by the outer hair cell in response to a harmonic electric field. Our analysis reveals the mechanism of the outer hair cell active (isometric force having an almost constant amplitude and phase up to 80 kHz. We found that the frequency-invariance of the force is a result of interplay between the electrical filtering associated with prestin and power law viscoelasticity of the surrounding membrane. Paradoxically, the membrane viscoelasticity boosts the force balancing the electrical filtering effect. We also consider various modes of electromechanical coupling in membrane with prestin associated with mechanical perturbations in the cell. We consider pressure or strains applied step-wise or at a constant rate and compute the time course of the resulting electric charge. The results obtained here are important for the analysis of electromechanical properties of membranes, cells, and biological materials as well as for a better understanding of the mechanism of hearing and the role of the protein prestin in this mechanism.

  6. Observing a model ion channel gating action in model cell membranes in real time in situ: membrane potential change induced alamethicin orientation change.

    Ye, Shuji; Li, Hongchun; Wei, Feng; Jasensky, Joshua; Boughton, Andrew P; Yang, Pei; Chen, Zhan


    Ion channels play crucial roles in transport and regulatory functions of living cells. Understanding the gating mechanisms of these channels is important to understanding and treating diseases that have been linked to ion channels. One potential model peptide for studying the mechanism of ion channel gating is alamethicin, which adopts a split α/3(10)-helix structure and responds to changes in electric potential. In this study, sum frequency generation vibrational spectroscopy (SFG-VS), supplemented by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), has been applied to characterize interactions between alamethicin (a model for larger channel proteins) and 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) lipid bilayers in the presence of an electric potential across the membrane. The membrane potential difference was controlled by changing the pH of the solution in contact with the bilayer and was measured using fluorescence spectroscopy. The orientation angle of alamethicin in POPC lipid bilayers was then determined at different pH values using polarized SFG amide I spectra. Assuming that all molecules adopt the same orientation (a δ distribution), at pH = 6.7 the α-helix at the N-terminus and the 3(10)-helix at the C-terminus tilt at about 72° (θ(1)) and 50° (θ(2)) versus the surface normal, respectively. When pH increases to 11.9, θ(1) and θ(2) decrease to 56.5° and 45°, respectively. The δ distribution assumption was verified using a combination of SFG and ATR-FTIR measurements, which showed a quite narrow distribution in the angle of θ(1) for both pH conditions. This indicates that all alamethicin molecules at the surface adopt a nearly identical orientation in POPC lipid bilayers. The localized pH change in proximity to the bilayer modulates the membrane potential and thus induces a decrease in both the tilt and the bend angles of the two helices in alamethicin. This is the first reported application of SFG

  7. Giant plasma membrane vesicles: models for understanding membrane organization.

    Levental, Kandice R; Levental, Ilya


    The organization of eukaryotic membranes into functional domains continues to fascinate and puzzle cell biologists and biophysicists. The lipid raft hypothesis proposes that collective lipid interactions compartmentalize the membrane into coexisting liquid domains that are central to membrane physiology. This hypothesis has proven controversial because such structures cannot be directly visualized in live cells by light microscopy. The recent observations of liquid-liquid phase separation in biological membranes are an important validation of the raft hypothesis and enable application of the experimental toolbox of membrane physics to a biologically complex phase-separated membrane. This review addresses the role of giant plasma membrane vesicles (GPMVs) in refining the raft hypothesis and expands on the application of GPMVs as an experimental model to answer some of key outstanding problems in membrane biology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Modeling the phenomena of dehydration and flooding of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Gerteisen, Dietmar; Heilmann, Timothy; Ziegler, Christoph

    A one-dimensional, two-phase, transient PEM fuel cell model including gas diffusion layer, cathode catalyst layer and membrane is developed. The electrode is assumed to consist of a network of dispersed Pt/C forming spherically shaped agglomerated zones that are filled with electrolyte. Water is modeled in all three phases: vapor, liquid and dissolved in the ionomer to capture the effect of dehydration of the ionomer as well as flooding of the porous media. The anode is modeled as a sophisticated spatially reduced interface. Motivated by environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) images of contact angles for microscopic water droplets on fibers of the gas diffusion layer, we introduce the feature of immobile saturation. A step change of the saturation between the catalyst layer and the gas diffusion layer is modeled based on the assumption of a continuous capillary pressure at the interface. The model is validated against voltammetry experiments under various humidification conditions which all show hysteresis effects in the mass transport limited region. The transient saturation profiles clearly show that insufficient liquid water removal causes pore flooding, which is responsible for the oxygen mass transport limitation at high current density values. The simulated and measured current responses from chronoamperometry experiments are compared and analyzed.

  9. Dielectric breakdown of cell membranes.

    Zimmermann, U; Pilwat, G; Riemann, F


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

  10. Dietary Phenolic Acids Act as Effective Antioxidants in Membrane Models and in Cultured Cells, Exhibiting Proapoptotic Effects in Leukaemia Cells

    Laura Zambonin


    Full Text Available Caffeic, syringic, and protocatechuic acids are phenolic acids derived directly from food intake or come from the gut metabolism of polyphenols. In this study, the antioxidant activity of these compounds was at first evaluated in membrane models, where caffeic acid behaved as a very effective chain-breaking antioxidant, whereas syringic and protocatechuic acids were only retardants of lipid peroxidation. However, all three compounds acted as good scavengers of reactive species in cultured cells subjected to exogenous oxidative stress produced by low level of H2O2. Many tumour cells are characterised by increased ROS levels compared with their noncancerous counterparts. Therefore, we investigated whether phenolic acids, at low concentrations, comparable to those present in human plasma, were able to decrease basal reactive species. Results show that phenolic acids reduced ROS in a leukaemia cell line (HEL, whereas no effect was observed in normal cells, such as HUVEC. The compounds exhibited no toxicity to normal cells while they decreased proliferation in leukaemia cells, inducing apoptosis. In the debate on optimal ROS-manipulating strategies in cancer therapy, our work in leukaemia cells supports the antioxidant ROS-depleting approach.

  11. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Engineering Model Powerplant. Test Report: Benchmark Tests in Three Spatial Orientations

    Loyselle, Patricia; Prokopius, Kevin


    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology is the leading candidate to replace the aging alkaline fuel cell technology, currently used on the Shuttle, for future space missions. This test effort marks the final phase of a 5-yr development program that began under the Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Program, transitioned into the Next Generation Launch Technologies (NGLT) Program, and continued under Constellation Systems in the Exploration Technology Development Program. Initially, the engineering model (EM) powerplant was evaluated with respect to its performance as compared to acceptance tests carried out at the manufacturer. This was to determine the sensitivity of the powerplant performance to changes in test environment. In addition, a series of tests were performed with the powerplant in the original standard orientation. This report details the continuing EM benchmark test results in three spatial orientations as well as extended duration testing in the mission profile test. The results from these tests verify the applicability of PEM fuel cells for future NASA missions. The specifics of these different tests are described in the following sections.

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

    Liso, Vincenzo; Nielsen, Mads Pagh


    propose a novel mathematical zero-dimensional model for water mass balance of a polymer electrolyte membrane. Physical and electrochemical processes occurring in the membrane electrolyte are included; water adsorption/desorption phenomena are also considered. The effect of diffusivity, surface roughness...... and water content driving force is considered. We validate the model against experimental data. The water balance calculated by this model shows better fit with experimental data-points compared to other models such as the one by Springer et al.. We conclude that this discrepancy is due a different rate...

  13. Three-dimensional two-phase flow model of proton exchange membrane fuel cell with parallel gas distributors

    Liu, Xunliang; Lou, Guofeng; Wen, Zhi

    A non-isothermal, steady-state, three-dimensional (3D), two-phase, multicomponent transport model is developed for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with parallel gas distributors. A key feature of this work is that a detailed membrane model is developed for the liquid water transport with a two-mode water transfer condition, accounting for the non-equilibrium humidification of membrane with the replacement of an equilibrium assumption. Another key feature is that water transport processes inside electrodes are coupled and the balance of water flux is insured between anode and cathode during the modeling. The model is validated by the comparison of predicted cell polarization curve with experimental data. The simulation is performed for water vapor concentration field of reactant gases, water content distribution in the membrane, liquid water velocity field and liquid water saturation distribution inside the cathode. The net water flux and net water transport coefficient values are obtained at different current densities in this work, which are seldom discussed in other modeling works. The temperature distribution inside the cell is also simulated by this model.

  14. Biological Fuel Cells and Membranes.

    Ghassemi, Zahra; Slaughter, Gymama


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

  15. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Qi, Zhigang


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

  16. Interaction of capsaicinoids with cell membrane models does not correlate with pungency of peppers

    Geraldo, Vananélia P. N.; Ziglio, Analine C.; Gonçalves, Débora; Oliveira, Osvaldo N.


    Mixed monolayers were prepared using phospholipids in order to mimic cell membranes and fractions of capsaicinoids (extracted from Malagueta, Caps-M, and Bhut Jolokia, Caps-B, peppers). According to their surface-pressure isotherms and polarization-modulated infrared reflection absorption spectra (PM-IRRAS), weak molecular-level interactions were observed between Caps and phospholipids. Both Caps-M and Caps-B penetrated into the alkyl tail region of the monolayer, interacted with the phosphate group of the phospholipids and affected hydration of their Cdbnd O groups. Since the physiological activity of Caps is not governed solely by interaction with cell membranes, it should require participation of a neuronal membrane receptor, e.g. vanilloid receptor (TRPV1).

  17. Dispersion of atmospheric fine particulate matters in simulated lung fluid and their effects on model cell membranes.

    Zhou, Qiuhua; Wang, Lixin; Cao, Zhaoyu; Zhou, Xuehua; Yang, Fan; Fu, Pingqing; Wang, Zhenhua; Hu, Jingtian; Ding, Lei; Jiang, Wei


    Atmospheric fine particulate matter (PM2.5) was collected to investigate its dispersion in simulated lung fluid (SLF) and its interaction with model cell membranes. Organic acids, NH4(+), SO4(2-) and NO3(-) were detected in PM2.5 soluble fraction, and heavy metals were detected from the total mass. The insoluble fraction contained kaolinite, CaCO3, aliphatic carbons, aromatic rings, carboxyl and hydroxyl groups reflected by the infrared spectra. Proteins dispersed PM2.5 in SLF, resulted in smaller hydrodynamic diameter (dH) and slower sedimentation rate. Conversely, phospholipids increased dH value and accelerated sedimentation rate. Giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) and supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) were used as model cell membranes. PM2.5 adhered on and disrupted the membrane containing positively-charged lipids but not the membrane containing neutrally- and negatively-charged lipids, which was monitored by microscopy and a quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D). The cationic sites on membrane were necessary for PM2.5 adhesion, but membrane should be disrupted by the combined action of electrostatic forces and hydrogen bonds between PM2.5 oxygen containing groups and the lipid phosphate groups. Our results specified the roles of proteins and phospholipids in PM2.5 dispersion and transport, highly suggested that the health hazard of PM2.5 was related to the biomolecules in the lung fluid and the particle surface groups.

  18. Interaction of S-layer proteins of Lactobacillus kefir with model membranes and cells.

    Hollmann, Axel; Delfederico, Lucrecia; Santos, Nuno Correia; Disalvo, E Anibal; Semorile, Liliana


    In previous works, it was shown that S-layer proteins from Lactobacillus kefir were able to recrystallize and stabilize liposomes, this feature reveling a great potential for developing liposomal-based carriers. Despite previous studies on this subject are important milestones, a number of questions remain unanswered; In this context, the feasibility of S-layer proteins as a biomaterial for drug delivery was evaluated in this work. First, S-layer proteins were fully characterized by Electron microscopy, 2D-electrophoresis, and HPAEC-PAD. Afterward, interactions of S-layer proteins with model lipid membranes were evaluated, showing that proteins adsorb to the lipid surface following a non-fickean or anomalous diffusion, when positively charged lipid were employed, suggesting that electrostatic interaction is a key factor in the recrystallization process on these proteins. Finally, the interaction of S-layer coated liposomes with CACO-2 cell line was assessed, First cytotoxicity of formulations was tested showing noncytotoxic effects in S-layer coated vesicles. Second, by flow cytometry, it was observed an increased ability to transfer cargo molecules into CACO-2 cells from S-layer coated liposomes in comparison to control ones. All data put together, supporting the idea that a combination of adhesive properties of S-layer proteins concomitant with higher stability of S-layer coated liposomes represents an exciting starting point in the development of new drug carriers.

  19. Modelling multiphase flow inside the porous media of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    Berning, Torsten; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    Transport processes inside polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC’s) are highly complex and involve convective and diffusive multiphase, multispecies flow through porous media along with heat and mass transfer and electrochemical reactions in conjunction with water transport through an el...

  20. Cell Membrane Softening in Cancer Cells

    Schmidt, Sebastian; Händel, Chris; Käs, Josef

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

  1. Application of a Coated Film Catalyst Layer Model to a High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell with Low Catalyst Loading Produced by Reactive Spray Deposition Technology

    Myles, Timothy D.; Siwon Kim; Radenka Maric; Mustain, William E.


    In this study, a semi-empirical model is presented that correlates to previously obtained experimental overpotential data for a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC). The goal is to reinforce the understanding of the performance of the cell from a modeling perspective. The HT-PEMFC membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) were constructed utilizing an 85 wt. % phosphoric acid doped Advent TPS® membranes for the electrolyte and gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs) manufactu...

  2. Full membrane spanning self-assembled monolayers as model systems for UHV-based studies of cell-penetrating peptides

    Franz, Johannes [Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz (Germany); Graham, Daniel J. [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). NESAC/BIO; Schmüser, Lars [Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz (Germany); Baio, Joe E. [Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States); Lelle, Marco [Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz (Germany); Peneva, Kalina [Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz (Germany); Müllen, Klaus [Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz (Germany); Castner, David G. [Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States). NESAC/BIO; Bonn, Mischa [Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz (Germany); Weidner, Tobias [Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz (Germany)


    Biophysical studies of the interaction of peptides with model membranes provide a simple yet effective approach to understand the transport of peptides and peptide based drug carriers across the cell membrane. Therein, the authors discuss the use of self-assembled monolayers fabricated from the full membrane-spanning thiol (FMST) 3-((14-((4'-((5-methyl-1-phenyl-35-(phytanyl)oxy-6,9,12,15,18,21,24,27,30,33,37-undecaoxa-2,3-dithiahenpentacontan-51-yl)oxy)-[1,1'-biphenyl]-4-yl)oxy)tetradecyl)oxy)-2-(phytanyl)oxy glycerol for ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) based experiments. UHV-based methods such as electron spectroscopy and mass spectrometry can provide important information about how peptides bind and interact with membranes, especially with the hydrophobic core of a lipid bilayer. Moreover, near-edge x-ray absorption fine structure spectra and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) data showed that FMST forms UHV-stable and ordered films on gold. XPS and time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry depth profiles indicated that a proline-rich amphipathic cell-penetrating peptide, known as sweet arrow peptide is located at the outer perimeter of the model membrane.

  3. AC impedance modelling study on porous electrodes of proton exchange membrane fuel cells using an agglomerate model

    Gerteisen, Dietmar; Hakenjos, Alex; Schumacher, Jürgen O.

    A one-dimensional model of the PEM fuel cell cathode is developed to analyse ac impedance spectra and polarisation curves. The porous gas diffusion electrode is assumed to consist of a network of dispersed catalyst (Pt/C) forming spherically shaped agglomerated zones that are filled with electrolyte. The coupled differential equation system describes: ternary gas diffusion in the backing (O2 , N2 , water vapour), Fickian diffusion and Tafel kinetics for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) inside the agglomerates, proton migration with ohmic losses and double-layer charging in the electrode. Measurements are made of a temperature-controlled fuel cell with a geometric area of 1.4 cm × 1.4 cm. Lateral homogeneity is ensured by using a high stoichiometry of λmin . The model predicts the behaviour of measured polarisation curves and impedance spectra. It is found that a better humidification of the electrode leads to a higher volumetric double-layer capacity. The catalyst layer resistance shows the same behaviour depending on the humidification as the membrane resistance. Model parameters, e.g. Tafel slope, ionic resistance and agglomerate radius are varied. A sensitivity analysis of the model parameters is conducted.

  4. Modeling and simulation of membrane process

    Staszak, Maciej


    The article presents the different approaches to polymer membrane mathematical modeling. Traditional models based on experimental physicochemical correlations and balance models are presented in the first part. Quantum and molecular mechanics models are presented as they are more popular for polymer membranes in fuel cells. The initial part is enclosed by neural network models which found their use for different types of processes in polymer membranes. The second part is devoted to models of fluid dynamics. The computational fluid dynamics technique can be divided into solving of Navier-Stokes equations and into Boltzmann lattice models. Both approaches are presented focusing on membrane processes.

  5. Modeling of a Membrane Based Humidifier for Fuel Cell Applications Subject to End-Of-Life Conditions

    Nielsen, Mads Pagh; Olesen, Anders Christian; Menard, Alan


    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Stacks efficiently convert the chemical energy in hydrogen to electricity through electrochemical reactions occurring on either side of a proton conducting electrolyte. This is a promising and very robust energy conversion process which can be used in many...... applications. For instance for automotive applications and various backup power systems substituting batteries. Humidification of the inlet air of PEM fuel cell stacks is essential to obtain optimum proton conductivity. Operational humidities of the anode and cathode streams having dew points close to the fuel...... cell operating temperature are required. These conditions must be met at the Beginning-Of-Life (BOL) as well as at the End-Of-Life (EOL) of the fuel cell system. This paper presents results of a numerical 1D model of the heat- and mass transport phenomena in a membrane humidifier with a Nafion...

  6. Modeling of a Membrane Based Humidifier for Fuel Cell Applications Subject to End-Of-Life Conditions

    Nielsen, Mads Pagh; Olesen, Anders Christian; Menard, Alan


    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell Stacks efficiently convert the chemical energy in hydrogen to electricity through electrochemical reactions occurring on either side of a proton conducting electrolyte. This is a promising and very robust energy conversion process which can be used in many...... applications. For instance for automotive applications and various backup power systems substituting batteries. Humidification of the inlet air of PEM fuel cell stacks is essential to obtain optimum proton conductivity. Operational humidities of the anode and cathode streams having dew points close to the fuel...... cell operating temperature are required. These conditions must be met at the Beginning-Of-Life (BOL) as well as at the End-Of-Life (EOL) of the fuel cell system. This paper presents results of a numerical 1D model of the heat- and mass transport phenomena in a membrane humidifier with a Nafion...

  7. Development of bioluminescent chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) models for primary pancreatic cancer cells: a platform for drug testing.

    Rovithi, Maria; Avan, Amir; Funel, Niccola; Leon, Leticia G; Gomez, Valentina E; Wurdinger, Thomas; Griffioen, Arjan W; Verheul, Henk M W; Giovannetti, Elisa


    The aim of the present study was to develop chick-embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) bioluminescent tumor models employing low passage cell cultures obtained from primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells. Primary PDAC cells transduced with lentivirus expressing Firefly-luciferase (Fluc) were established and inoculated onto the CAM membrane, with >80% engraftment. Fluc signal reliably correlated with tumor growth. Tumor features were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and genetic analyses, including analysis of mutations and mRNA expression of PDAC pivotal genes, as well as microRNA (miRNA) profiling. These studies showed that CAM tumors had histopathological and genetic characteristic comparable to the original tumors. We subsequently tested the modulation of key miRNAs and the activity of gemcitabine and crizotinib on CAM tumors, showing that combination treatment resulted in 63% inhibition of tumor growth as compared to control (p testing, providing insights on molecular mechanisms underlying antitumor activity of new drugs/combinations.

  8. Fluidity evaluation of cell membrane model formed on graphene oxide with single particle tracking using quantum dot

    Okamoto, Yoshiaki; Motegi, Toshinori; Iwasa, Seiji; Sandhu, Adarsh; Tero, Ryugo


    The lipid bilayer is the fundamental structure of plasma membranes, and artificial lipid bilayer membranes are used as model systems of cell membranes. Recently we reported the formation of a supported lipid bilayer (SLB) on graphene oxide (GO) by the vesicle fusion method. In this study, we conjugated a quantum dot (Qdot) on the SLB surface as a fluorescence probe brighter than dye-labeled lipid molecules, to qualitatively evaluate the fluidity of the SLB on GO by the single particle tracking method. We obtained the diffusion coefficient of the Qdot-conjugated lipids in the SLB on GO. We also performed the Qdot conjugation on the SLB containing a lipid conjugated with polyethylene glycol, to prevent the nonspecific adsorption of Qdots. The difference in the diffusion coefficients between the SLBs on the GO and the bare SiO2 regions was evaluated from the trajectory of single Qdot-conjugated lipid diffusing between the two regions.

  9. A multiphase model for chemically- and mechanically- induced cell differentiation in a hollow fibre membrane bioreactor: minimising growth factor consumption.

    Pearson, Natalie C; Oliver, James M; Shipley, Rebecca J; Waters, Sarah L


    We present a simplified two-dimensional model of fluid flow, solute transport, and cell distribution in a hollow fibre membrane bioreactor. We consider two cell populations, one undifferentiated and one differentiated, with differentiation stimulated either by growth factor alone, or by both growth factor and fluid shear stress. Two experimental configurations are considered, a 3-layer model in which the cells are seeded in a scaffold throughout the extracapillary space (ECS), and a 4-layer model in which the cell-scaffold construct occupies a layer surrounding the outside of the hollow fibre, only partially filling the ECS. Above this is a region of free-flowing fluid, referred to as the upper fluid layer. Following previous models by the authors (Pearson et al. in Math Med Biol, 2013, Biomech Model Mechanbiol 1-16, 2014a, we employ porous mixture theory to model the dynamics of, and interactions between, the cells, scaffold, and fluid in the cell-scaffold construct. We use this model to determine operating conditions (experiment end time, growth factor inlet concentration, and inlet fluid fluxes) which result in a required percentage of differentiated cells, as well as maximising the differentiated cell yield and minimising the consumption of expensive growth factor.

  10. Model-Based Design of Energy Efficient Palladium Membrane Water Gas Shift Fuel Processors for PEM Fuel Cell Power Plants

    Gummalla, Mallika; Vanderspurt, Thomas Henry; Emerson, Sean; She, Ying; Dardas, Zissis; Olsommer, Benoît

    An integrated, palladium alloy membrane Water-Gas Shift (WGS) reactor can significantly reduce the size, cost and complexity of a fuel processor for a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell power system.



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

  12. Complete budding and asymmetric division of primitive model cells to produce daughter vesicles with different interior and membrane compositions.

    Andes-Koback, Meghan; Keating, Christine D


    Asymmetric cell division is common in biology and plays critical roles in differentiation and development. Unicellular organisms are often used as model systems for understanding the origins and consequences of asymmetry during cell division. Although basic as compared to mammalian cells, these are already quite complex. We report complete budding and asymmetric fission of very simple nonliving model cells to produce daughter vesicles that are chemically distinct in both interior and membrane compositions. Our model cells are based on giant lipid vesicles (GVs, 10-30 μm) encapsulating a polyethylene glycol (PEG)/dextran aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) as a crowded and compartmentalized cytoplasm mimic. Ternary lipid compositions were used to provide coexisting micrometer-scale liquid disordered (L(d)) and liquid ordered (L(o)) domains in the membranes. ATPS-containing vesicles formed buds when sucrose was added externally to provide increased osmotic pressure, such that they became not only morphologically asymmetric but also asymmetric in both their interior and their membrane compositions. Further increases in osmolality drove formation of two chemically distinct daughter vesicles, which were in some cases connected by a lipid nanotube (complete budding), and in others were not (fission). In all cases, separation occurred at the aqueous-aqueous phase boundary, such that one daughter vesicle contained the PEG-rich aqueous phase and the other contained the dextran-rich aqueous phase. PEGylated lipids localized in the L(o) domain resulted in this membrane domain preferentially coating the PEG-rich bud prior to division, and subsequently the PEG-rich daughter vesicle. Varying the mole ratio of lipids resulted in excess surface area of L(o) or L(d) membrane domains such that, upon division, this excess portion was inherited by one of the daughter vesicles. In some cases, a second "generation" of aqueous phase separation and budding could be induced in these daughter

  13. Tracking membrane protein association in model membranes.

    Myriam Reffay

    Full Text Available Membrane proteins are essential in the exchange processes of cells. In spite of great breakthrough in soluble proteins studies, membrane proteins structures, functions and interactions are still a challenge because of the difficulties related to their hydrophobic properties. Most of the experiments are performed with detergent-solubilized membrane proteins. However widely used micellar systems are far from the biological two-dimensions membrane. The development of new biomimetic membrane systems is fundamental to tackle this issue.We present an original approach that combines the Fluorescence Recovery After fringe Pattern Photobleaching technique and the use of a versatile sponge phase that makes it possible to extract crucial informations about interactions between membrane proteins embedded in the bilayers of a sponge phase. The clear advantage lies in the ability to adjust at will the spacing between two adjacent bilayers. When the membranes are far apart, the only possible interactions occur laterally between proteins embedded within the same bilayer, whereas when membranes get closer to each other, interactions between proteins embedded in facing membranes may occur as well.After validating our approach on the streptavidin-biotinylated peptide complex, we study the interactions between two membrane proteins, MexA and OprM, from a Pseudomonas aeruginosa efflux pump. The mode of interaction, the size of the protein complex and its potential stoichiometry are determined. In particular, we demonstrate that: MexA is effectively embedded in the bilayer; MexA and OprM do not interact laterally but can form a complex if they are embedded in opposite bilayers; the population of bound proteins is at its maximum for bilayers separated by a distance of about 200 A, which is the periplasmic thickness of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We also show that the MexA-OprM association is enhanced when the position and orientation of the protein is restricted by the

  14. Modelling static and dynamic behaviour of proton exchange membrane fuel cells on the basis of electro-chemical description

    Ceraolo, M.; Miulli, C.; Pozio, A.

    A simplified dynamical model of a fuel cell of the proton exchange membrane (PEM) type, based on physical-chemical knowledge of the phenomena occurring inside the cell has been developed by the authors. The model has been implemented in the MATLAB/SIMULINK environment. Lab tests have been carried out at ENEA's laboratories; and a good agreement has been found between tests and simulations, both in static and dynamic conditions. In a previous study [M. Ceraolo, R. Giglioli, C. Miulli, A. Pozio, in: Proceedings of the 18th International Electric Fuel Cell and Hybrid Vehicle Symposium (EVS18), Berlin, 20-24 October 2001, p. 306] the basic ideas of the model, as well as its experimental validation have been published. In the present paper, the full implementation of the model is reported in detail. Moreover, a procedure for evaluating all the needed numerical parameters is presented.

  15. Modeling and simulations of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with poroelastic approach for coupled liquid water transport and deformation in the membrane


    Performance degradation and durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells depend strongly on transport and deformation characteristics of their components especially the polymer membrane. Physical properties of membranes, such as ionic conductivity and Young's modulus, depend on the water content that varies significantly with operating conditions and during transients. Recent studies indicate that cyclic transients may induce hygrothermal fatigue that leads to the ultimate fail...

  16. Allogeneic amniotic membrane-derived mesenchymal stromal cell transplantation in a porcine model of chronic myocardial ischemia

    Kimura M


    Full Text Available Introduction. Amniotic membrane contains a multipotential stem cell population and is expected to possess the machinery to regulate immunological reactions. We investigated the safety and efficacy of allogeneic amniotic membrane-derived mesenchymal stromal cell (AMSC transplantation in a porcine model of chronic myocardial ischemia as a preclinical trial. Methods. Porcine AMSCs were isolated from amniotic membranes obtained by cesarean section just before delivery and were cultured to increase their numbers before transplantation. Chronic myocardial ischemia was induced by implantation of an ameroid constrictor around the left circumflex coronary artery. Four weeks after ischemia induction, nine swine were assigned to undergo either allogeneic AMSC transplantation or normal saline injection. Functional analysis was performed by echocardiography, and histological examinations were carried out by immunohistochemistry 4 weeks after AMSC transplantation. Results. Echocardiography demonstrated that left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly improved and left ventricular dilatation was well attenuated 4 weeks after AMSC transplantation. Histological assessment showed a significant reduction in percentage of fibrosis in the AMSC transplantation group. Injected allogeneic green fluorescent protein (GFP-expressing AMSCs were identified in the immunocompetent host heart without the use of any immunosuppressants 4 weeks after transplantation. Immunohistochemistry revealed that GFP colocalized with cardiac troponin T and cardiac troponin I. Conclusions. We have demonstrated that allogeneic AMSC transplantation produced histological and functional improvement in the impaired myocardium in a porcine model of chronic myocardial ischemia. The transplanted allogeneic AMSCs survived without the use of any immunosuppressants and gained cardiac phenotype through either their transdifferentiation or cell fusion.

  17. A model for the biosynthesis and transport of plasma membrane-associated signaling receptors to the cell surface

    Sorina Claudia Popescu


    Full Text Available Intracellular protein transport is emerging as critical in determining the outcome of receptor-activated signal transduction pathways. In plants, relatively little is known about the nature of the molecular components and mechanisms involved in coordinating receptor synthesis and transport to the cell surface. Recent advances in this field indicate that signaling pathways and intracellular transport machinery converge and coordinate to render receptors competent for signaling at their plasma membrane activity sites. The biogenesis and transport to the cell surface of signaling receptors appears to require both general trafficking and receptor-specific factors. Several molecular determinants, residing or associated with compartments of the secretory pathway and known to influence aspects in receptor biogenesis, are discussed and integrated into a predictive cooperative model for the functional expression of signaling receptors at the plasma membrane.

  18. Model-Based Control of a Continuous Coating Line for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Electrode Assembly

    Vikram Devaraj


    Full Text Available The most expensive component of a fuel cell is the membrane electrode assembly (MEA, which consists of an ionomer membrane coated with catalyst material. Best-performing MEAs are currently fabricated by depositing and drying liquid catalyst ink on the membrane; however, this process is limited to individual preparation by hand due to the membrane’s rapid water absorption that leads to shape deformation and coating defects. A continuous coating line can reduce the cost and time needed to fabricate the MEA, incentivizing the commercialization and widespread adoption of fuel cells. A pilot-scale membrane coating line was designed for such a task and is described in this paper. Accurate process control is necessary to prevent manufacturing defects from occurring in the coating line. A linear-quadratic-Gaussian (LQG controller was developed based on a physics-based model of the coating process to optimally control the temperature and humidity of the drying zones. The process controller was implemented in the pilot-scale coating line proving effective in preventing defects.

  19. Modelling and Evaluation of Heating Strategies for High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Stacks

    Andreasen, Søren Juhl; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    Experiments were conducted on two different cathode air cooled high temperature PEM (HTPEM) fuel cell stacks; a 30 cell 400W prototype stack using two bipolar plates per cell, and a 65 cell 1 kW commercial stack using one bipolar plate per cell. The work seeks to examine the use of different...... heating strategies and find a strategy suited for fast startup of the HTPEM fuel cell stacks. Fast start-up of these high temperature systems enables use in a wide range of applications, such as automotive and auxiliary power units, where immediate system response is needed. The development of a dynamic...... model to simulate the temperature development of a fuel cell stack during heating can be used for assistance in system and control design. The heating strategies analyzed and tested reduced the startup time of one of the fuel cell stacks from 1 h to about 6 min....

  20. Effect of Structure on the Interactions between Five Natural Antimicrobial Compounds and Phospholipids of Bacterial Cell Membrane on Model Monolayers

    Stella W. Nowotarska


    Full Text Available Monolayers composed of bacterial phospholipids were used as model membranes to study interactions of the naturally occurring phenolic compounds 2,5-dihydroxybenzaldehyde and 2-hydroxy-5-methoxybenzaldehyde, and the plant essential oil compounds carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, and geraniol, previously found to be active against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogenic microorganisms. The lipid monolayers consist of 1,2-dihexadecanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DPPE, 1,2-dihexa- decanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1'-rac-glycerol (DPPG, and 1,1',2,2'-tetratetradecanoyl cardiolipin (cardiolipin. Surface pressure–area (π-A and surface potential–area (Δψ-A isotherms were measured to monitor changes in the thermodynamic and physical properties of the lipid monolayers. Results of the study indicated that the five compounds modified the three lipid monolayer structures by integrating into the monolayer, forming aggregates of antimicrobial –lipid complexes, reducing the packing effectiveness of the lipids, increasing the membrane fluidity, and altering the total dipole moment in the monolayer membrane model. The interactions of the five antimicrobial compounds with bacterial phospholipids depended on both the structure of the antimicrobials and the composition of the monolayers. The observed experimental results provide insight into the mechanism of the molecular interactions between naturally-occurring antimicrobial compounds and phospholipids of the bacterial cell membrane that govern activities.

  1. Nonlinear modelling of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell stack using nonlinear cancellation technique

    Barus, R. P. P., E-mail: [Engineering Physics, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jalan Ganesa 10 Bandung and Centre for Material and Technical Product, Jalan Sangkuriang No. 14 Bandung (Indonesia); Tjokronegoro, H. A.; Leksono, E. [Engineering Physics, Faculty of Industrial Technology, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jalan Ganesa 10 Bandung (Indonesia); Ismunandar [Chemistry Study, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Jalan Ganesa 10 Bandung (Indonesia)


    Fuel cells are promising new energy conversion devices that are friendly to the environment. A set of control systems are required in order to operate a fuel cell based power plant system optimally. For the purpose of control system design, an accurate fuel cell stack model in describing the dynamics of the real system is needed. Currently, linear model are widely used for fuel cell stack control purposes, but it has limitations in narrow operation range. While nonlinear models lead to nonlinear control implemnetation whos more complex and hard computing. In this research, nonlinear cancellation technique will be used to transform a nonlinear model into a linear form while maintaining the nonlinear characteristics. The transformation is done by replacing the input of the original model by a certain virtual input that has nonlinear relationship with the original input. Then the equality of the two models is tested by running a series of simulation. Input variation of H2, O2 and H2O as well as disturbance input I (current load) are studied by simulation. The error of comparison between the proposed model and the original nonlinear model are less than 1 %. Thus we can conclude that nonlinear cancellation technique can be used to represent fuel cell nonlinear model in a simple linear form while maintaining the nonlinear characteristics and therefore retain the wide operation range.

  2. Dynamic modeling and simulation of air-breathing proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Yalcinoz, T. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688 (United States); Nigde University, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nigde 51245 (Turkey); Alam, M.S. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688 (United States)


    Small fuel cells have shown excellent potential as alternative energy sources for portable applications. One of the most promising fuel cell technologies for portable applications is air-breathing fuel cells. In this paper, a dynamic model of an air-breathing PEM fuel cell (AB-PEMFC) system is presented. The analytical modeling and simulation of the air-breathing PEM fuel cell system are verified using Matlab, Simulink and SimPowerSystems Blockset. To show the effectiveness of the proposed AB-PEMFC model, two case studies are carried out using the Matlab software package. In the first case study, the dynamic behavior of the proposed AB-PEMFC system is compared with that of a planar air-breathing PEM fuel cell model. In the second case study, the validation of the air-breathing PEM fuel cell-based power source is carried out for the portable application. Test results show that the proposed AB-PEMFC system can be considered as a viable alternative energy sources for portable applications. (author)

  3. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell model for aging predictions: Simulated equivalent active surface area loss and comparisons with durability tests

    Robin, C.; Gérard, M.; Quinaud, M.; d'Arbigny, J.; Bultel, Y.


    The prediction of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) lifetime is one of the major challenges to optimize both material properties and dynamic control of the fuel cell system. In this study, by a multiscale modeling approach, a mechanistic catalyst dissolution model is coupled to a dynamic PEMFC cell model to predict the performance loss of the PEMFC. Results are compared to two 2000-h experimental aging tests. More precisely, an original approach is introduced to estimate the loss of an equivalent active surface area during an aging test. Indeed, when the computed Electrochemical Catalyst Surface Area profile is fitted on the experimental measures from Cyclic Voltammetry, the computed performance loss of the PEMFC is underestimated. To be able to predict the performance loss measured by polarization curves during the aging test, an equivalent active surface area is obtained by a model inversion. This methodology enables to successfully find back the experimental cell voltage decay during time. The model parameters are fitted from the polarization curves so that they include the global degradation. Moreover, the model captures the aging heterogeneities along the surface of the cell observed experimentally. Finally, a second 2000-h durability test in dynamic operating conditions validates the approach.

  4. Disorders of red cell membrane

    An, Xiuli; Mohandas, Narla


    Summary Studies during the last three decades have enabled the development of detailed molecular insights into the structural basis of altered function in various inherited red cell membrane disorders...

  5. Development of bioluminescent chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) models for primary pancreatic cancer cells: a platform for drug testing

    Rovithi, Maria; Avan, Amir; Funel, Niccola; Leon, Leticia G.; Gomez, Valentina E.; Wurdinger, Thomas; Griffioen, Arjan W.; Verheul, Henk M. W.; Giovannetti, Elisa


    The aim of the present study was to develop chick-embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) bioluminescent tumor models employing low passage cell cultures obtained from primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells. Primary PDAC cells transduced with lentivirus expressing Firefly-luciferase (Fluc) were established and inoculated onto the CAM membrane, with >80% engraftment. Fluc signal reliably correlated with tumor growth. Tumor features were evaluated by immunohistochemistry and genetic analyses, including analysis of mutations and mRNA expression of PDAC pivotal genes, as well as microRNA (miRNA) profiling. These studies showed that CAM tumors had histopathological and genetic characteristic comparable to the original tumors. We subsequently tested the modulation of key miRNAs and the activity of gemcitabine and crizotinib on CAM tumors, showing that combination treatment resulted in 63% inhibition of tumor growth as compared to control (p < 0.01). These results were associated with reduced expression of miR-21 and increased expression of miR-155. Our study provides the first evidence that transduced primary PDAC cells can form tumors on the CAM, retaining several histopathological and (epi)genetic characteristics of original tumors. Moreover, our results support the use of these models for drug testing, providing insights on molecular mechanisms underlying antitumor activity of new drugs/combinations. PMID:28304379



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

  7. The Molecules of the Cell Membrane.

    Bretscher, Mark S.


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

  8. The model of stress distribution in polymer electrolyte membrane

    Atrazhev, Vadim V; Dmitriev, Dmitry V; Erikhman, Nikolay S; Sultanov, Vadim I; Patterson, Timothy; Burlatsky, Sergei F


    An analytical model of mechanical stress in a polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) of a hydrogen/air fuel cell with porous Water Transfer Plates (WTP) is developed in this work. The model considers a mechanical stress in the membrane is a result of the cell load cycling under constant oxygen utilization. The load cycling causes the cycling of the inlet gas flow rate, which results in the membrane hydration/dehydration close to the gas inlet. Hydration/dehydration of the membrane leads to membrane swelling/shrinking, which causes mechanical stress in the constrained membrane. Mechanical stress results in through-plane crack formation. Thereby, the mechanical stress in the membrane causes mechanical failure of the membrane, limiting fuel cell lifetime. The model predicts the stress in the membrane as a function of the cell geometry, membrane material properties and operation conditions. The model was applied for stress calculation in GORE-SELECT.

  9. The neural networks based modeling of a polybenzimidazole-based polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell: Effect of temperature

    Lobato, Justo; Cañizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.; Linares, José J.; Piuleac, Ciprian-George; Curteanu, Silvia

    Neural network models represent an important tool of Artificial Intelligence for fuel cell researchers in order to help them to elucidate the processes within the cells, by allowing optimization of materials, cells, stacks, and systems and support control systems. In this work three types of neural networks, that have as common characteristic the supervised learning control (Multilayer Perceptron, Generalized Feedforward Network and Jordan and Elman Network), have been designed to model the performance of a polybenzimidazole-polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells operating upon a temperature range of 100-175 °C. The influence of temperature of two periods was studied: the temperature in the conditioning period and temperature when the fuel cell was operating. Three inputs variables: the conditioning temperature, the operating temperature and current density were taken into account in order to evaluate their influence upon the potential, the cathode resistance and the ohmic resistance. The Multilayer Perceptron model provides good predictions for different values of operating temperatures and potential and, hence, it is the best choice among the study models, recommended to investigate the influence of process variables of PEMFCs.

  10. The neural networks based modeling of a polybenzimidazole-based polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell: Effect of temperature

    Lobato, Justo; Canizares, Pablo; Rodrigo, Manuel A.; Linares, Jose J. [Chemical Engineering Department, University of Castilla-La Mancha, Campus Universitario s/n. 13004, Ciudad Real (Spain); Piuleac, Ciprian-George; Curteanu, Silvia [Gh. Asachi Technical University Iasi, Department of Chemical Engineering (Romania)


    Neural network models represent an important tool of Artificial Intelligence for fuel cell researchers in order to help them to elucidate the processes within the cells, by allowing optimization of materials, cells, stacks, and systems and support control systems. In this work three types of neural networks, that have as common characteristic the supervised learning control (Multilayer Perceptron, Generalized Feedforward Network and Jordan and Elman Network), have been designed to model the performance of a polybenzimidazole-polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells operating upon a temperature range of 100-175 C. The influence of temperature of two periods was studied: the temperature in the conditioning period and temperature when the fuel cell was operating. Three inputs variables: the conditioning temperature, the operating temperature and current density were taken into account in order to evaluate their influence upon the potential, the cathode resistance and the ohmic resistance. The Multilayer Perceptron model provides good predictions for different values of operating temperatures and potential and, hence, it is the best choice among the study models, recommended to investigate the influence of process variables of PEMFCs. (author)

  11. On "spinning" membrane models

    Bergshoeff, E.; Sezgin, E.; Townsend, P.K.


    Several alternative actions for a bosonic membrane have recently been proposed. We show that a linearly realized locally world-volume-supersymmetric (spinning membrane) extension of any of these actions implies an analogous extension of the standard Dirac membrane action. We further show that a

  12. Artificial cell membranes for diagnostics and therapeutics

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


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

  13. Simulation Model of Membrane Gas Separator Using Aspen Custom Modeler

    Song, Dong-keun [Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of); Shin, Gahui; Yun, Jinwon; Yu, Sangseok [Chungnam Nat’l Univ., Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)


    Membranes are used to separate pure gas from gas mixtures. In this study, three different types of mass transport through a membrane were developed in order to investigate the gas separation capabilities of a membrane. The three different models typically used are a lumped model, a multi-cell model, and a discretization model. Despite the multi-cell model producing similar results to a discretization model, the discretization model was selected for this investigation, due to the cell number dependence of a multi-cell model. The mass transport model was then used to investigate the effects of pressure difference, flow rate, total exposed area, and permeability. The results showed that the pressure difference increased with the stage cut, but the selectivity was a trade-off for the increasing pressure difference. Additionally, even though permeability is an important parameter, the selectivity and stage cut of the membrane converged as permeability increased.

  14. Modeling of Membrane-Electrode-Assembly Degradation in Proton-Exchange-Membrane Fuel Cells - Local H2 Starvation and Start-Stop Induced Carbon-Support Corrosion

    Gu, Wenbin; Yu, Paul T.; Carter, Robert N.; Makharia, Rohit; Gasteiger, Hubert A.

    Carbon-support corrosion causes electrode structure damage and thus electrode degradation. This chapter discusses fundamental models developed to predict cathode carbon-support corrosion induced by local H2 starvation and start-stop in a proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) fuel cell. Kinetic models based on the balance of current among the various electrode reactions are illustrative, yielding much insight on the origin of carbon corrosion and its implications for future materials developments. They are particularly useful in assessing carbon corrosion rates at a quasi-steady-state when an H2-rich region serves as a power source that drives an H2-free region as a load. Coupled kinetic and transport models are essential in predicting when local H2 starvation occurs and how it affects the carbon corrosion rate. They are specifically needed to estimate length scales at which H2 will be depleted and time scales that are valuable for developing mitigation strategies. To predict carbon-support loss distributions over an entire active area, incorporating the electrode pseudo-capacitance appears necessary for situations with shorter residence times such as start-stop events. As carbon-support corrosion is observed under normal transient operations, further model improvement shall be focused on finding the carbon corrosion kinetics associated with voltage cycling and incorporating mechanisms that can quantify voltage decay with carbon-support loss.

  15. Modeling anisotropic elasticity of fluid membranes

    Ramakrishnan, N; Ipsen, John H; 10.1002/mats.201100002


    The biological membrane, which compartmentalizes the cell and its organelles, exhibit wide variety of macroscopic shapes of varying morphology and topology. A systematic understanding of the relation of membrane shapes to composition, external field, environmental conditions etc. have important biological relevance. Here we review the triangulated surface model, used in the macroscopic simulation of membranes and the associated Monte Carlo (DTMC) methods. New techniques to calculate surface quantifiers, that will facilitate the study of additional in-plane orientational degrees of freedom, has been introduced. The mere presence of a polar and nematic fields in the ordered phase drives the ground state conformations of the membrane to a cylinder and tetrahedron respectively.

  16. Three-Dimensional Transport Modeling for Proton Exchange Membrane(PEM Fuel Cell with Micro Parallel Flow Field

    Sang Soon Hwang


    Full Text Available Modeling and simulation for heat and mass transport in micro channel are beingused extensively in researches and industrial applications to gain better understanding of thefundamental processes and to optimize fuel cell designs before building a prototype forengineering application. In this study, we used a single-phase, fully three dimensionalsimulation model for PEMFC that can deal with both anode and cathode flow field forexamining the micro flow channel with electrochemical reaction. The results show thathydrogen and oxygen were solely supplied to the membrane by diffusion mechanism ratherthan convection transport, and the higher pressure drop at cathode side is thought to becaused by higher flow rate of oxygen at cathode. And it is found that the amount of water incathode channel was determined by water formation due to electrochemical reaction pluselectro-osmotic mass flux directing toward the cathode side. And it is very important tomodel the back diffusion and electro-osmotic mass flux accurately since the two flux wasclosely correlated each other and greatly influenced for determination of ionic conductivityof the membrane which directly affects the performance of fuel cell.

  17. Diffusion through thin membranes: Modeling across scales

    Aho, Vesa; Mattila, Keijo; Kühn, Thomas; Kekäläinen, Pekka; Pulkkinen, Otto; Minussi, Roberta Brondani; Vihinen-Ranta, Maija; Timonen, Jussi


    From macroscopic to microscopic scales it is demonstrated that diffusion through membranes can be modeled using specific boundary conditions across them. The membranes are here considered thin in comparison to the overall size of the system. In a macroscopic scale the membrane is introduced as a transmission boundary condition, which enables an effective modeling of systems that involve multiple scales. In a mesoscopic scale, a numerical lattice-Boltzmann scheme with a partial-bounceback condition at the membrane is proposed and analyzed. It is shown that this mesoscopic approach provides a consistent approximation of the transmission boundary condition. Furthermore, analysis of the mesoscopic scheme gives rise to an expression for the permeability of a thin membrane as a function of a mesoscopic transmission parameter. In a microscopic model, the mean waiting time for a passage of a particle through the membrane is in accordance with this permeability. Numerical results computed with the mesoscopic scheme are then compared successfully with analytical solutions derived in a macroscopic scale, and the membrane model introduced here is used to simulate diffusive transport between the cell nucleus and cytoplasm through the nuclear envelope in a realistic cell model based on fluorescence microscopy data. By comparing the simulated fluorophore transport to the experimental one, we determine the permeability of the nuclear envelope of HeLa cells to enhanced yellow fluorescent protein.

  18. Development of a mathematical model for a single alkaline membrane fuel cell (AMFC) with fixed volume and general square section

    Sommer, Elise Meister; Vargas, Jose Viriato Coelho [Universidade Federal do Parana (UFPR), Curitiba, PR (Brazil). Centro Politecnico. Setor de Tecnologia], Email:; Martins, Lauber de Souza; Ordonez, Juan Carlos [Florida State University, Tallahasse, FL (United States). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and Center for Advanced Power Systems], Emails:,


    The Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cell (AMFC) is a recently developed fuel cell type, which has shown good experimental results in the laboratory. This paper introduces a mathematical model for the single AMFC with fixed volume and general square section. The main objective is to produce a reliable model (and computationally fast) to predict the response of the single AMFC according to variations of the physical properties of manufacturing materials and operating and design parameters. The model is based on mass, momentum, energy and species conservation, and electrochemical principles, and takes into account pressure drops in the gas channels and temperature gradients with respect to space in the flow direction. The simulation results comprise the AMFC temperature distribution, net power and polarization curves. It is shown that temperature spatial gradients and gas channels pressure drops significantly affect fuel cell performance. Such effects are not usually investigated in the models available in the literature, with most of them assuming uniform pressure and temperature operation. Therefore, the model is expected to be a useful tool for AMFC design and optimization. (author)

  19. Pyranoxanthones: Synthesis, growth inhibitory activity on human tumor cell lines and determination of their lipophilicity in two membrane models

    Goncalves de Azavedo, Carlos M. B. P.; Afonso, C. M.; Soares, J. X.;


    The benzopyran and dihydrobenzopyran moieties can be considered as "privileged motifs" in drug discovery being good platforms for the search of new bioactive compounds. These moieties are commonly found fused to the xanthonic scaffold belonging to the biologically important family of the generally...... hard to be established. Accordingly, with the aim of rationalizing the importance of the fused ring orientation and oxygenation pattern in pyranoxanthones, this study describes the synthesis of 14 new pyranoxanthones and evaluation of their cell growth inhibitory activity in four human tumor cell lines...... as well as their lipophilicity in two membrane models. This systematic approach allowed establishing structure-activity and structure-lipophilicity relationships for the obtained compounds in combination with 6 previously described compounds. From this work an angular pyranoxanthone scaffold emerged...

  20. A model for hydrogen sulfide poisoning in proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Shah, A. A.; Walsh, F. C.

    A polymer-electrolyte fuel cell model that incorporates the effects of hydrogen sulfide contaminant on performance is developed. The model is transient, fully two-phase and non-isothermal and includes a complex kinetic mechanism to describe the electrode reactions. Comparisons between the simulation results and data in the literature demonstrate that known trends are well captured. The effects of temperature and relative humidity variations in the anode stream are investigated, with further comparisons to experimental data and a proposed explanation for the nonlinear behaviour observed in the experiments of Mohtadi et al. [R. Mohatadi, W.-K. Lee, J. van Zee, Appl. Catal. B 56 (2005) 37-42)]. Extensions to the model and future work are discussed.

  1. Membrane fouling in microfiltration used for cell harvesting

    Kaghazchi, Tahereh; Zokaee, Farzin; Zare, Abbas


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

  2. Membrane Fouling in Microfiltration used for Cell Harvesting

    Tahereh Kaghazchi; Farzin Zokaee; Abbas Zare


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

  3. Corrugated Membrane Fuel Cell Structures

    Grot, Stephen [President, Ion Power Inc.


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

  4. Coupled modeling of water transport and air-droplet interaction in the electrode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell

    Esposito, Angelo; Pianese, Cesare; Guezennec, Yann G.

    In this work, an accurate and computationally fast model for liquid water transport within a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) electrode is developed by lumping the space-dependence of the relevant variables. Capillarity is considered as the main transport mechanism within the gas diffusion layer (GDL). The novelty of the model lies in the coupled simulation of the water transport at the interface between gas diffusion layer and gas flow channel (GFC). This is achieved with a phenomenological description of the process that allows its simulation with relative simplicity. Moreover, a detailed two-dimensional visualization of such interface is achieved via geometric simulation of water droplets formation, growth, coalescence and detachment on the surface of the GDL. The model is useful for optimization analysis oriented to both PEMFC design and balance of plant. Furthermore, the accomplishment of reduced computational time and good accuracy makes the model suitable for control strategy implementation to ensure PEM fuel cells operation within optimal electrode water content.

  5. Membrane Tether Formation on a Cell Surface with Reservoir

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


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

  6. Modelling of proteins in membranes

    Sperotto, Maria Maddalena; May, S.; Baumgaertner, A.


    This review describes some recent theories and simulations of mesoscopic and microscopic models of lipid membranes with embedded or attached proteins. We summarize results supporting our understanding of phenomena for which the activities of proteins in membranes are expected to be significantly...... affected by the lipid environment. Theoretical predictions are pointed out, and compared to experimental findings, if available. Among others, the following phenomena are discussed: interactions of interfacially adsorbed peptides, pore-forming amphipathic peptides, adsorption of charged proteins onto...... oppositely charged lipid membranes, lipid-induced tilting of proteins embedded in lipid bilayers, protein-induced bilayer deformations, protein insertion and assembly, and lipid-controlled functioning of membrane proteins....

  7. Quantitative modeling of viable cell density, cell size, intracellular conductivity, and membrane capacitance in batch and fed-batch CHO processes using dielectric spectroscopy.

    Opel, Cary F; Li, Jincai; Amanullah, Ashraf


    Dielectric spectroscopy was used to analyze typical batch and fed-batch CHO cell culture processes. Three methods of analysis (linear modeling, Cole-Cole modeling, and partial least squares regression), were used to correlate the spectroscopic data with routine biomass measurements [viable packed cell volume, viable cell concentration (VCC), cell size, and oxygen uptake rate (OUR)]. All three models predicted offline biomass measurements accurately during the growth phase of the cultures. However, during the stationary and decline phases of the cultures, the models decreased in accuracy to varying degrees. Offline cell radius measurements were unsuccessfully used to correct for the deviations from the linear model, indicating that physiological changes affecting permittivity were occurring. The beta-dispersion was analyzed using the Cole-Cole distribution parameters Deltaepsilon (magnitude of the permittivity drop), f(c) (critical frequency), and alpha (Cole-Cole parameter). Furthermore, the dielectric parameters static internal conductivity (sigma(i)) and membrane capacitance per area (C(m)) were calculated for the cultures. Finally, the relationship between permittivity, OUR, and VCC was examined, demonstrating how the definition of viability is critical when analyzing biomass online. The results indicate that the common assumptions of constant size and dielectric properties used in dielectric analysis are not always valid during later phases of cell culture processes. The findings also demonstrate that dielectric spectroscopy, while not a substitute for VCC, is a complementary measurement of viable biomass, providing useful auxiliary information about the physiological state of a culture.

  8. Modelling of proteins in membranes

    Sperotto, Maria Maddalena; May, S.; Baumgaertner, A.


    This review describes some recent theories and simulations of mesoscopic and microscopic models of lipid membranes with embedded or attached proteins. We summarize results supporting our understanding of phenomena for which the activities of proteins in membranes are expected to be significantly ...

  9. Modeling two-phase flow in three-dimensional complex flow-fields of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    Kim, Jinyong; Luo, Gang; Wang, Chao-Yang


    3D fine-mesh flow-fields recently developed by Toyota Mirai improved water management and mass transport in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks, suggesting their potential value for robust and high-power PEM fuel cell stack performance. In such complex flow-fields, Forchheimer's inertial effect is dominant at high current density. In this work, a two-phase flow model of 3D complex flow-fields of PEMFCs is developed by accounting for Forchheimer's inertial effect, for the first time, to elucidate the underlying mechanism of liquid water behavior and mass transport inside 3D complex flow-fields and their adjacent gas diffusion layers (GDL). It is found that Forchheimer's inertial effect enhances liquid water removal from flow-fields and adds additional flow resistance around baffles, which improves interfacial liquid water and mass transport. As a result, substantial improvements in high current density cell performance and operational stability are expected in PEMFCs with 3D complex flow-fields, compared to PEMFCs with conventional flow-fields. Higher current density operation required to further reduce PEMFC stack cost per kW in the future will necessitate optimizing complex flow-field designs using the present model, in order to efficiently remove a large amount of product water and hence minimize the mass transport voltage loss.

  10. Near-infrared imaging of adoptive immune cell therapy in breast cancer model using cell membrane labeling.

    Fatma M Youniss

    Full Text Available The overall objective of this study is to non-invasively image and assess tumor targeting and retention of directly labeled T-lymphocytes following their adoptive transfer in mice. T-lymphocytes obtained from draining lymph nodes of 4T1 (murine breast cancer cell sensitized BALB/C mice were activated in-vitro with Bryostatin/Ionomycin for 18 hours, and were grown in the presence of Interleukin-2 for 6 days. T-lymphocytes were then directly labeled with 1,1-dioctadecyltetramethyl indotricarbocyanine Iodide (DiR, a lipophilic near infrared fluorescent dye that labels the cell membrane. Assays for viability, proliferation, and function of labeled T-lymphocytes showed that they were unaffected by DiR labeling. The DiR labeled cells were injected via tail vein in mice bearing 4T1 tumors in the flank. In some cases labeled 4T1 specific T-lymphocytes were injected a week before 4T1 tumor cell implantation. Multi-spectral in vivo fluorescence imaging was done to subtract the autofluorescence and isolate the near infrared signal carried by the T-lymphocytes. In recipient mice with established 4T1 tumors, labeled 4T1 specific T-lymphocytes showed marked tumor retention, which peaked 6 days post infusion and persisted at the tumor site for up to 3 weeks. When 4T1 tumor cells were implanted 1-week post-infusion of labeled T-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes responded to the immunologic challenge and accumulated at the site of 4T1 cell implantation within two hours and the signal persisted for 2 more weeks. Tumor accumulation of labeled 4T1 specific T-lymphocytes was absent in mice bearing Meth A sarcoma tumors. When lysate of 4T1 specific labeled T-lymphocytes was injected into 4T1 tumor bearing mice the near infrared signal was not detected at the tumor site. In conclusion, our validated results confirm that the near infrared signal detected at the tumor site represents the DiR labeled 4T1 specific viable T-lymphocytes and their response to immunologic challenge

  11. Modeling the Liquid Water Transport in the Gas Diffusion Layer for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells Using a Water Path Network

    Dietmar Gerteisen; Robert Alink


    In order to model the liquid water transport in the porous materials used in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells, the pore network models are often applied. The presented model is a novel approach to further develop these models towards a percolation model that is based on the fiber structure rather than the pore structure. The developed algorithm determines the stable liquid water paths in the gas diffusion layer (GDL) structure and the transitions from the paths to the subsequent ...

  12. Mechanisms and modeling development of water transport/phase change in catalyst layers of portion exchange membrane fuel cells

    Xiao, Yexiang [Dept. of Thermal Engineering, Tsinghua University Beijing (China)], email:; Yuan, Jinliang; Sunden, Bengt [Dept. of Energy Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University (Sweden)], email:, email:


    Research on proton exchange membrane fuel cells has shown that incorporation of nanosized catalysts can effectively increase active areas and catalyst activity and make a great contribution to development in performance and catalyst utilization. Multiphase transport processes are as significant and complicated as water generation/transfer processes which occur in nano-structured catalyst layers. A review project has been launched aimed at gaining a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of water generation or transport phenomena. It covers catalytic reactions and water-phase change within the catalyst layers. The review proceeds in three main stages: Firstly, it characterizes and reconstructs the nano/micro-structured pores and solid-phases; secondly, it emphasises the importance of sensitive and consistent analysis of various water-phase change and transport schemes; and thirdly, it recommends development of microscopic models for multi-phase transport processes in the pores and the solid phases.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

  16. Molecular machines open cell membranes

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


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

  17. Boundary model-based reference control of blower cooled high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Jensen, Hans-Christian Becker; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    Fuel cells have, by design, a limited effective life time, which depends on how they are operated. The general consent is that operation of the fuel cell at the extreme of the operational range, or operation of the fuel cell without sufficient reactants (a.k.a. starvation), will lower the effective...... life time of a fuel cell significantly. On air cooled HTPEMFCs, the blower, which supplies the fuel cell with oxygen for the chemical process, also functions as the cooling system. This makes the blower bi-functional and as a result a higher supply of oxygen is often available, hence changes...... in the fuel cell output can be optimised by the knowledge of how much oxygen is supplied to the fuel cell at any given time, without reducing the effective life time of a fuel cell by starvation....

  18. Boundary model-based reference control of blower cooled high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Jensen, Hans-Christian Becker; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    Fuel cells have, by design, a limited effective life time, which depends on how they are operated. The general consent is that operation of the fuel cell at the extreme of the operational range, or operation of the fuel cell without sufficient reactants (a.k.a. starvation), will lower the effective...... life time of a fuel cell significantly. On air cooled HTPEMFCs, the blower, which supplies the fuel cell with oxygen for the chemical process, also functions as the cooling system. This makes the blower bi-functional and as a result a higher supply of oxygen is often available, hence changes...... in the fuel cell output can be optimised by the knowledge of how much oxygen is supplied to the fuel cell at any given time, without reducing the effective life time of a fuel cell by starvation....

  19. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    This book is a comprehensive review of high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). PEMFCs are the preferred fuel cells for a variety of applications such as automobiles, cogeneration of heat and power units, emergency power and portable electronics. The first 5 chapters...... of the book describe rationalization and illustration of approaches to high temperature PEM systems. Chapters 6 - 13 are devoted to fabrication, optimization and characterization of phosphoric acid-doped polybenzimidazole membranes, the very first electrolyte system that has demonstrated the concept...... of and motivated extensive research activity in the field. The last 11 chapters summarize the state-of-the-art of technological development of high temperature-PEMFCs based on acid doped PBI membranes including catalysts, electrodes, MEAs, bipolar plates, modelling, stacking, diagnostics and applications....

  20. Membrane lipidome of an epithelial cell line

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


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

  1. Numerical modeling of bi-polar (AC) pulse electroporation of single cell in microchannel to create nanopores on its membrane.

    Movahed, Saeid; Bazargan-Lari, Yousef; Daneshmad, Farhang; Mashhoodi, Mashhood


    AC electroporation of a single cell in a microchannel was numerically studied. A 15 μm diameter cell was considered in a microchannel 25 μm in height and the influences of AC electric pulse on its membrane were numerically investigated. The cell was assumed to be suspended between two electroporative electrodes embedded on the walls of a microchannel. An amplitude and a time span of applied electric pulse were chosen to be 80 kV/m and 10 μs, respectively. For different frequency values (50, 100, 200, and 500 kHz), simulations were performed to show how the cell membrane was electroporated and the creation of nanopores. Obtained numerical results show that the most and the largest nanopores are created around poles of cell (nearest points of cell membrane to the electrodes). The numerical simulations also demonstrate that increased frequency will slightly decrease electroporated area of the cell membrane; additionally, growth of the created nanopores will be stabilized. It has also been proven that size and number of the created nanopores will be decreased by moving from the poles to the equator of the cell. There is almost no nanopore created in the vicinity of the equator. Frequency affects the rate of generation of nanopores. In case of AC electroporation, creation of nanopores has two phases that periodically repeat over time. In each period, the pore density sharply increases and then becomes constant. Enhancement of the frequency will result in decrease in time span of the periods. In each period, size of the created nanopores sharply increases and then slightly decreases. However, until the AC electric pulse is present, overall trends of creation and development of nanopores will be ascending. Variation of the size and number of created nanopores can be explained by considering time variation of transmembrane potential (difference of electric potential on two sides of cell membrane) which is clear in the results presented in this study.

  2. Application of a Coated Film Catalyst Layer Model to a High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell with Low Catalyst Loading Produced by Reactive Spray Deposition Technology

    Timothy D. Myles


    Full Text Available In this study, a semi-empirical model is presented that correlates to previously obtained experimental overpotential data for a high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (HT-PEMFC. The goal is to reinforce the understanding of the performance of the cell from a modeling perspective. The HT-PEMFC membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs were constructed utilizing an 85 wt. % phosphoric acid doped Advent TPS® membranes for the electrolyte and gas diffusion electrodes (GDEs manufactured by Reactive Spray Deposition Technology (RSDT. MEAs with varying ratios of PTFE binder to carbon support material (I/C ratio were manufactured and their performance at various operating temperatures was recorded. The semi-empirical model derivation was based on the coated film catalyst layer approach and was calibrated to the experimental data by a least squares method. The behavior of important physical parameters as a function of I/C ratio and operating temperature were explored.

  3. Mathematical modelling of membrane separation

    Vinther, Frank

    This thesis concerns mathematical modelling of membrane separation. The thesis consists of introductory theory on membrane separation, equations of motion, and properties of dextran, which will be the solute species throughout the thesis. Furthermore, the thesis consist of three separate mathemat......This thesis concerns mathematical modelling of membrane separation. The thesis consists of introductory theory on membrane separation, equations of motion, and properties of dextran, which will be the solute species throughout the thesis. Furthermore, the thesis consist of three separate....... It is found that the probability of entering the pore is highest when the largest of the radii in the ellipse is equal to half the radius of the pore, in case of molecules with circular radius less than the pore radius. The results are directly related to the macroscopic distribution coefficient...

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

    Liso, Vincenzo; Nielsen, Mads Pagh


    and water content driving force is considered. We validate the model against experimental data. The water balance calculated by this model shows better fit with experimental data-points compared to other models such as the one by Springer et al.. We conclude that this discrepancy is due a different rate...

  5. Angiogenic Potential of Human Neonatal Foreskin Stromal Cells in the Chick Embryo Chorioallantoic Membrane Model

    Radhakrishnan Vishnubalaji


    Full Text Available Several studies have demonstrated the multipotentiality of human neonatal foreskin stromal cells (hNSSCs as being able to differentiate into adipocytes and osteoblasts and potentially other cell types. Recently, we demonstrated that hNSSCs play a role during in vitro angiogenesis and appear to possess a capacity to differentiate into endothelial-like cells; however, their angiogenic potential within an ex vivo environment remains unclear. Current study shows hNSSCs to display significant migration potential in the undifferentiated state and high responsiveness in the in vitro wound healing scratch assay. When hNSSCs were seeded onto the top of the CAM, human von Willebrand factor (hVWF, CD31, smooth muscle actin (SMA, and factor XIIIa positive cells were observed in the chick endothelium. CAMs transplanted with endothelial-differentiated hNSSCs displayed a higher number of blood vessels containing hNSSCs compared to CAMs transplanted with undifferentiated hNSSCs. Interestingly, undifferentiated hNSSCs showed a propensity to differentiate towards ectoderm with indication of epidermal formation with cells positive for CD1a, CK5/6, CK19, FXIIIa, and S-100 cells, which warrant further investigation. Our findings imply a potential angiogenic role for hNSSCs ex vivo in the differentiated and undifferentiated state, with potential contribution to blood vessel formation and potential application in tissue regeneration and vascularization.

  6. Membrane Compartmentalization Reducing the Mobility of Lipids and Proteins within a Model Plasma Membrane.

    Koldsø, Heidi; Reddy, Tyler; Fowler, Philip W; Duncan, Anna L; Sansom, Mark S P


    The cytoskeleton underlying cell membranes may influence the dynamic organization of proteins and lipids within the bilayer by immobilizing certain transmembrane (TM) proteins and forming corrals within the membrane. Here, we present coarse-grained resolution simulations of a biologically realistic membrane model of asymmetrically organized lipids and TM proteins. We determine the effects of a model of cytoskeletal immobilization of selected membrane proteins using long time scale coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. By introducing compartments with varying degrees of restraints within the membrane models, we are able to reveal how compartmentalization caused by cytoskeletal immobilization leads to reduced and anomalous diffusional mobility of both proteins and lipids. This in turn results in a reduced rate of protein dimerization within the membrane and of hopping of membrane proteins between compartments. These simulations provide a molecular realization of hierarchical models often invoked to explain single-molecule imaging studies of membrane proteins.

  7. The interaction of mefloquine hydrochloride with cell membrane models at the air-water interface is modulated by the monolayer lipid composition.

    Goto, Thiago Eichi; Caseli, Luciano


    The antiparasitic properties of antiparasitic drugs are believed to be associated with their interactions with the protozoan membrane, encouraging research on the identification of membrane sites capable of drug binding. In this study, we investigated the interaction of mefloquine hydrochloride, known to be effective against malaria, with cell membrane models represented by Langmuir monolayers of selected lipids. It is shown that even small amounts of the drug affect the surface pressure-area isotherms as well as surface vibrational spectra of some lipid monolayers, which points to a significant interaction. The effects on the latter depend on the electrical charge of the monolayer-forming molecules, with the drug activity being particularly distinctive for negatively charged lipids. Therefore, the lipid composition of the monolayer modulates the interaction with the lipophilic drug, which may have important implications in understanding how the drug acts on specific sites of the protozoan membrane.

  8. Geometry of Membrane Sigma Models

    Vysoky, Jan


    String theory still remains one of the promising candidates for a unification of the theory of gravity and quantum field theory. One of its essential parts is relativistic description of moving multi-dimensional objects called membranes (or p-branes) in a curved spacetime. On the classical field theory level, they are described by an action functional extremalising the volume of a manifold swept by a propagating membrane. This and related field theories are collectively called membrane sigma models. Differential geometry is an important mathematical tool in the study of string theory. It turns out that string and membrane backgrounds can be conveniently described using objects defined on a direct sum of tangent and cotangent bundles of the spacetime manifold. Mathematical field studying such object is called generalized geometry. Its integral part is the theory of Leibniz algebroids, vector bundles with a Leibniz algebra bracket on its module of smooth sections. Special cases of Leibniz algebroids are better ...

  9. A Carbon Corrosion Model to Evaluate the Effect of Steady State and Transient Operation of a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    Pandy, Arun; Gummalla, Mallika; Atrazhev, Vadim V; Kuzminyh, Nikolay Yu; Sultanov, Vadim I; Burlatsky, Sergei F


    A carbon corrosion model is developed based on the formation of surface oxides on carbon and platinum of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell electrode. The model predicts the rate of carbon corrosion under potential hold and potential cycling conditions. The model includes the interaction of carbon surface oxides with transient species like OH radicals to explain observed carbon corrosion trends under normal PEM fuel cell operating conditions. The model prediction agrees qualitatively with the experimental data supporting the hypothesis that the interplay of surface oxide formation on carbon and platinum is the primary driver of carbon corrosion.

  10. Modeling of ion conductivity in Nafion membranes

    YANG Zhen; PENG Xiaofeng; WANG Buxuan; LEE Duujong; DUAN Yuanyuan


    A theoretical investigation was conducted to describe the ion transport behavior in a Nafion Membrane of proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC).By analyzing the surface energy configuration of the ionic clusters in a Nafion membrane,an equivalent field intensity,Ee,was introduced to facilitate the analysis of surface resistance against ion conduction in the central region of clusters.An expression was derived for ionic conductivity incorporating the influence of surface resistance.A face-centered cubic (FCC)lattice model for a spatial cluster distribution was used to modify the effect of water content on ionic conductivity in the polymeric matrix,i.e.,the regions between clusters.Compared with the available empirical correlations,the new expression showed much better agreement with the available experimental results,which indicates the rationality to consider the structural influence on ion conduction in water-swollen Nation membranes.

  11. Steady-state solutions of cell volume in a cardiac myocyte model elaborated for membrane excitation, ion homeostasis and Ca2+ dynamics.

    Cha, Chae Young; Noma, Akinori


    The cell volume continuously changes in response to varying physiological conditions, and mechanisms underlying volume regulation have been investigated in both experimental and theoretical studies. Here, general formulations concerning cell volume change are presented in the context of developing a comprehensive cell model which takes Ca(2+) dynamics into account. Explicit formulas for charge conservation and steady-state volumes of the cytosol and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are derived in terms of membrane potential, amount of ions, Ca(2+)-bound buffer molecules, and initial cellular conditions. The formulations were applied to a ventricular myocyte model which has plasma-membrane Ca(2+) currents with dynamic gating mechanisms, Ca(2+)-buffering reactions with diffusive and non-diffusive buffer proteins, and Ca(2+) uptake into or release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) accompanied by compensatory cationic or anionic currents through the SR membrane. Time-dependent volume changes in cardiac myocytes induced by varying extracellular osmolarity or by action potential generation were successfully simulated by the novel formulations. Through application of bifurcation analysis, the existence and uniqueness of steady-state solutions of the cell volume were validated, and contributions of individual ion channels and transporters to the steady-state volume were systematically analyzed. The new formulas are consistent with previous fundamental theory derived from simple models of minimum compositions. The new formulations may be useful for examination of the relationship between cell function and volume change in other cell types.

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

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


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

  13. A Model for Membrane Fusion

    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.

  14. Investigation of Ion Channel Activities of Gramicidin A in the Presence of Ionic Liquids Using Model Cell Membranes.

    Ryu, Hyunil; Lee, Hwankyu; Iwata, Seigo; Choi, Sangbaek; Kim, Moon Ki; Kim, Young-Rok; Maruta, Shinsaku; Kim, Sun Min; Jeon, Tae-Joon


    Ionic liquids (ILs) are considered to be green solvents because of their non-volatility. Although ILs are relatively safe in the atmospheric environment, they may be toxic in other environments. Our previous research showed that the cytotoxicity of ILs to biological organisms is attributable to interference with cell membranes by IL insertion. However, the effects of ILs on ion channels, which play important roles in cell homeostasis, have not been comprehensively studied to date. In this work, we studied the interactions between ILs and lipid bilayer membranes with gramicidin A ion channels. We used two methods, namely electrical and fluorescence measurements of ions that permeate the membrane. The lifetimes of channels were increased by all the ILs tested in this work via stabilizing the compressed structure of the lipid bilayer and the rate of ion flux through gA channels was decreased by changing the membrane surface charge. The former effect, which increased the rate of ion flux, was dominant at high salt concentrations, whereas the latter, which decreased the rate of ion flux, was dominant at low salt concentrations. The effects of ILs increased with increasing concentration and alkyl chain length. The experimental results were further studied using molecular dynamics simulations.

  15. Structural Elucidation of the Cell-Penetrating Penetratin Peptide in Model Membranes at the Atomic Level: Probing Hydrophobic Interactions in the Blood-Brain Barrier.

    Bera, Swapna; Kar, Rajiv K; Mondal, Susanta; Pahan, Kalipada; Bhunia, Anirban


    Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have shown promise in nonpermeable therapeutic drug delivery, because of their ability to transport a variety of cargo molecules across the cell membranes and their noncytotoxicity. Drosophila antennapedia homeodomain-derived CPP penetratin (RQIKIWFQNRRMKWKK), being rich in positively charged residues, has been increasingly used as a potential drug carrier for various purposes. Penetratin can breach the tight endothelial network known as the blood-brain barrier (BBB), permitting treatment of several neurodegenerative maladies, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease. However, a detailed structural understanding of penetratin and its mechanism of action is lacking. This study defines structural features of the penetratin-derived peptide, DK17 (DRQIKIWFQNRRMKWKK), in several model membranes and describes a membrane-induced conformational transition of the DK17 peptide in these environments. A series of biophysical experiments, including high-resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, provides the three-dimensional structure of DK17 in different membranes mimicking the BBB or total brain lipid extract. Molecular dynamics simulations support the experimental results showing preferential binding of DK17 to particular lipids at atomic resolution. The peptide conserves the structure of the subdomain spanning residues Ile6-Arg11, despite considerable conformational variation in different membrane models. In vivo data suggest that the wild type, not a mutated sequence, enters the central nervous system. Together, these data highlight important structural and functional attributes of DK17 that could be utilized in drug delivery for neurodegenerative disorders.

  16. In-membrane micro fuel cell

    Omosebi, Ayokunle; Besser, Ronald


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

  17. Establishment of the model of white blood cell membrane chromatography and screening of antagonizing TLR4 receptor component from Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz


    A model of white blood cell membrane chromatography (WB-CMC) was established to screen active component from Atractylodes macrocephala Koidz. The component can antagonize Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and inhibit inflammatory reaction. In the model of WB-CMC, cell membrane stationary phase (CMSP) was prepared by immobilizing the rabbit white blood cell membrane (WBCM) onto the surface of silica carrier and taxinol was used as a model molecule. The active component which can act on WBCM and its receptor (such as TLR4) as an effective target in A. macrocephala was determined by using a replacement experiment. The anti-inflammatory effects of the active component were tested by using pharmacological methods in vivo. The results indicated that the retention characteristics of atractylenolide I as active component was similar to that of taxinol in the model of WB-CMC. And so, atractylenolide I acted on the WBCM and TLR4 and its anti-inflammatory activity was related with antagonizing TLR4. Therefore, the interaction between the active component and WBCM and its receptor can be simulated by the model of WB-CMC in vitro. This model can be used to screen active components and to study effective characteristics for acting on definite targets.

  18. Molecular dynamics of leucine and dopamine transporter proteins in a model cell membrane lipid bilayer.

    Gedeon, Patrick C; Indarte, Martín; Surratt, Christopher K; Madura, Jeffry D


    The dopamine transporter (DAT) operates via facilitated diffusion, harnessing an inward Na(+) gradient to drive dopamine from the extracellular synaptic cleft to the neuron interior. The DAT is relevant to central nervous system disorders such as Parkinson disease and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and is the primary site of action for the abused psychostimulants cocaine and amphetamines. Crystallization of a DAT homolog, the bacterial leucine transporter LeuT, provided the first reliable 3-D DAT template. Here, the LeuT crystal structure and the DAT molecular model have been combined with their respective substrates, leucine and dopamine, in lipid bilayer molecular dynamics simulations toward tracking substrate movement along the protein's substrate/ion permeation pathway. Specifically, movement of residue pairs that comprise the "external gate" was followed as a function of substrate presence. The transmembrane (TM) 1 arginine-TM 10 aspartate strut formed less readily in DAT compared with LeuT, with or without substrate present. For LeuT but not DAT, the addition of substrate enhanced the chances of forming the TM 1-10 bridge. Also, movement of the fourth extracellular loop EL-4 in the presence of substrate was more pronounced for DAT, the EL-4 unwinding to a degree. The overall similarity between the LeuT and DAT molecular dynamics simulations indicated that LeuT was a legitimate model to guide DAT structure-function predictions. There were, nevertheless, differences significant enough to allow for DAT-unique insights, which may include how cocaine, methylphenidate (Ritalin, NIDA Drug Supply, Rockville, MD), and other DAT blockers are not recognized as substrates even though they can access the primary substrate binding pocket. Proteins 2010. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Interaction of Artepillin C with model membranes.

    Pazin, Wallance Moreira; Olivier, Danilo da Silva; Vilanova, Neus; Ramos, Ana Paula; Voets, Ilja Karina; Soares, Ademilson Espencer Egea; Ito, Amando Siuiti


    Green propolis, a mixture of beeswax and resinous compounds processed by Apis mellifera, displays several pharmacological properties. Artepillin C, the major compound in green propolis, consists of two prenylated groups bound to a phenyl group. Several studies have focused on the therapeutic effects of Artepillin C, but there is no evidence that it interacts with amphiphilic aggregates to mimic cell membranes. We have experimentally and computationally examined the interaction between Artepillin C and model membranes composed of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) because phosphatidylcholine (PC) is one of the most abundant phospholipids in eukaryotic cell membranes. PC is located in both outer and inner leaflets and has been used as a simplified membrane model and a non-specific target to study the action of amphiphilic molecules with therapeutic effects. Experimental results indicated that Artepillin C adsorbed onto the DMPC monolayers. Its presence in the lipid suspension pointed to an increased tendency toward unilamellar vesicles and to decreased bilayer thickness. Artepillin C caused point defects in the lipid structure, which eliminated the ripple phase and the pre-transition in thermotropic chain melting. According to molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, (1) Artepillin C aggregated in the aqueous phase before it entered the bilayer; (2) Artepillin C was oriented along the direction normal to the surface; (3) the negatively charged group on Artepillin C was accommodated in the polar region of the membrane; and (4) thinner regions emerged around the Artepillin C molecules. These results help an understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the biological action of propolis.

  20. Modeling and High-Resolution-Imaging Studies of Water-Content Profiles in a Polymer-Electrolyte-Fuel-Cell Membrane-Electrode Assembly

    Stevenson, Cynthia; Weber, A.Z.; Hickner, M.A.


    Water-content profiles across the membrane electrode assembly of a polymer-electrolyte fuel cell were measured using high-resolution neutron imaging and compared to mathematical-modeling predictions. It was found that the membrane held considerably more water than the other membrane-electrode constituents (catalyst layers, microporous layers, and macroporous gas-diffusion layers) at low temperatures, 40 and 60 C. The water content in the membrane and the assembly decreased drastically at 80 C where vapor transport and a heat-pipe effect began to dominate the water removal from the membrane-electrode assembly. In the regimes where vapor transport was significant, the through-plane water-content profile skewed towards the cathode. Similar trends were observed as the relative humidity of the inlet gases was lowered. This combined experimental and modeling approach has been beneficial in rationalizing the results of each and given insight into future directions for new experimental work and refinements to currently available models.

  1. Polymer electrolyte membrane assembly for fuel cells

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


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

  2. [Germ cell membrane lipids in spermatogenesis].

    Wang, Ting; Shi, Xiao; Quan, Song


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

  3. In vitro generated Rh(null) red cells recapitulate the in vivo deficiency: a model for rare blood group phenotypes and erythroid membrane disorders.

    Cambot, Marie; Mazurier, Christelle; Canoui-Poitrine, Florence; Hebert, Nicolas; Picot, Julien; Clay, Denis; Picard, Véronique; Ripoche, Pierre; Douay, Luc; Dubart-Kupperschmitt, Anne; Cartron, Jean-Pierre


    Lentiviral modification combined with ex vivo erythroid differentiation was used to stably inhibit RhAG expression, a critical component of the Rh(rhesus) membrane complex defective in the Rh(null) syndrome. The cultured red cells generated recapitulate the major alterations of native Rh(null) cells regarding antigen expression, membrane deformability, and gas transport function, providing the proof of principle for their use as model of Rh(null) syndrome and to investigate Rh complex biogenesis in human primary erythroid cells. Using this model, we were able to reveal for the first time that RhAG extinction alone is sufficient to explain ICAM-4 and CD47 loss observed on native Rh(null) RBCs. Together with the effects of RhAG forced expression in Rh(null) progenitors, this strongly strengthens the hypothesis that RhAG is critical to Rh complex formation. The strategy is also promising for diagnosis purpose in order to overcome the supply from rare blood donors and is applicable to other erythroid defects and rare phenotypes, providing models to dissect membrane biogenesis of multicomplex proteins in erythroid cells, with potential clinical applications in transfusion medicine.

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

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


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

  5. Advanced composite polymer electrolyte fuel cell membranes

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


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

  6. Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell grade hydrogen production by methanol steam reforming: A comparative multiple reactor modeling study

    Katiyar, Nisha; Kumar, Shashi; Kumar, Surendra


    Analysis of a fuel processor based on methanol steam reforming has been carried out to produce fuel cell grade H2. Six reactor configurations namely FBR1 (fixed bed reactor), MR1 (H2 selective membrane reactor with one reaction tube), MR2 (H2 selective membrane reactor with two reaction tubes), FBR2 (FBR1 + preferential CO oxidation (PROX) reactor), MR3 (MR1 + PROX), and MR4 (MR2 + PROX) are evaluated by simulation to identify the suitable processing scheme. The yield of H2 is significantly affected by H2 selective membrane, residence time, temperature, and pressure conditions at complete methanol conversion. The enhancement in residence time in MR2 by using two identical reaction tubes provides H2 yield of 2.96 with 91.25 mol% recovery at steam/methanol ratio of 1.5, pressure of 2 bar and 560 K temperature. The exit retentate gases from MR2 are further treated in PROX reactor of MR4 to reduce CO concentration to 4.1 ppm to ensure the safe discharge to the environment. The risk of carbon deposition on reforming catalyst is highly reduced in MR4, and MR4 reactor configuration generates 7.4 NL min-1 of CO free H2 from 0.12 mol min-1 of methanol which can provide 470 W PEMFC feedstock requirement. Hence, process scheme in MR4 provides a compact and innovative fuel cell grade H2 generating unit.

  7. Fuel cell and membrane therefore

    Aindow, Tai-Tsui


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

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


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

  9. Model biogas steam reforming in a thin Pd-supported membrane reactor to generate clean hydrogen for fuel cells

    Iulianelli, A.; Liguori, S.; Huang, Y.; Basile, A.


    Steam reforming of a model biogas mixture is studied for generating clean hydrogen by using an inorganic membrane reactor, in which a composite Pd/Al2O3 membrane separates part of the produced hydrogen through its selective permeation. The characteristics of H2 perm-selectivity of the fresh membrane is expressed in terms of H2/N2 ideal selectivity, in this case equal to 4300. Concerning biogas steam reforming reaction, at 380 °C, 2.0 bar H2O:CH4 = 3:1, GHSV = 9000 h-1 the permeate purity of the recovered hydrogen is around 96%, although the conversion (15%) and hydrogen recovery (>20%) are relatively low; on the contrary, at 450 °C, 3.5 bar H2O:CH4 = 4:1, GHSV = 11000 h-1 the conversion is increased up to more than 30% and the recovery of hydrogen to about 70%. This novel work constitutes a reference study for new developments on biogas steam reforming reaction in membrane reactors.

  10. Pore network model of the cathode catalyst layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Analysis of water management and electrical performance

    El Hannach, Mohamed; Prat, Marc; Pauchet, Joël


    International audience; A pore network modeling approach is developed to study multiphase transport phenomena inside a porous structure representative of the Cathode Catalyst Layer (CCL) of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell. A full coupling between two-phase transport, charge transport and heat transport is considered. The liquid water evaporation is also taken into account. The current density profile and the liquid water distribution and production are investigated to understand the liquid...

  11. Modelling Of Manufacturing Processes With Membranes

    Crăciunean, Daniel Cristian; Crăciunean, Vasile


    The current objectives to increase the standards of quality and efficiency in manufacturing processes can be achieved only through the best combination of inputs, independent of spatial distance between them. This paper proposes modelling production processes based on membrane structures introduced in [4]. Inspired from biochemistry, membrane computation [4] is based on the concept of membrane represented in its formalism by the mathematical concept of multiset. The manufacturing process is the evolution of a super cell system from its initial state according to the given actions of aggregation. In this paper we consider that the atomic production unit of the process is the action. The actions and the resources on which the actions are produced, are distributed in a virtual network of companies working together. The destination of the output resources is specified by corresponding output events.

  12. Anion permselective membrane. [For redox fuel cells

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


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

  13. Red cell membrane: past, present, and future

    Mohandas, Narla; Gallagher, Patrick G


    .... The non-nucleated red cell is unique among human cell type in that the plasma membrane, its only structural component, accounts for all of its diverse antigenic, transport, and mechanical characteristics...

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

  17. A Characeae Cells Plasma Membrane as a Model for Selection of Bioactive Compounds and Drugs: Interaction of HAMLET-Like Complexes with Ion Channels of Chara corallina Cells Plasmalemma.

    Kataev, Anatoly; Zherelova, Olga; Grishchenko, Valery


    Interaction of a HAMLET-like La-OA cytotoxic complex (human α-lactalbumin-oleic acid) and its constituents with the excitable plasmalemma of giant Chara corallina cells was investigated. The voltage-clamp technique was used to study Ca(2+) and Cl(-) transient currents in the plasmalemma of intact cells. The action of the complex and OA on the target cell membrane has a dose-dependent character. It was found that the La-OA complex has an inhibiting effect on Ca(2+) current across the plasmalemma, while α-lactalbumin alone does not affect the electrophysiological characteristics of the cellular membrane. However, oleic acid blocks Ca(2+) current across the plasmalemma. This is accompanied by the induction of a non-selective conductivity in the cellular membrane, a decrease in the resting potential and plasma membrane resistance of algal cells. We propose that the cytotoxicity of La-OA and other HAMLET-like complexes is determined by oleic acid acting as a blocker of potential-dependent Ca(2+) channels in the plasma membrane of target cells. The presented results show that the study model of green algae C. corallina cells plasmalemma is a convenient tool for the investigation of ion channels in many animal cells.

  18. Computational modeling of membrane proteins.

    Koehler Leman, Julia; Ulmschneider, Martin B; Gray, Jeffrey J


    The determination of membrane protein (MP) structures has always trailed that of soluble proteins due to difficulties in their overexpression, reconstitution into membrane mimetics, and subsequent structure determination. The percentage of MP structures in the protein databank (PDB) has been at a constant 1-2% for the last decade. In contrast, over half of all drugs target MPs, only highlighting how little we understand about drug-specific effects in the human body. To reduce this gap, researchers have attempted to predict structural features of MPs even before the first structure was experimentally elucidated. In this review, we present current computational methods to predict MP structure, starting with secondary structure prediction, prediction of trans-membrane spans, and topology. Even though these methods generate reliable predictions, challenges such as predicting kinks or precise beginnings and ends of secondary structure elements are still waiting to be addressed. We describe recent developments in the prediction of 3D structures of both α-helical MPs as well as β-barrels using comparative modeling techniques, de novo methods, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The increase of MP structures has (1) facilitated comparative modeling due to availability of more and better templates, and (2) improved the statistics for knowledge-based scoring functions. Moreover, de novo methods have benefited from the use of correlated mutations as restraints. Finally, we outline current advances that will likely shape the field in the forthcoming decade.

  19. Peculiarity of Porcine Amniotic Membrane and Its Derived Cells: A Contribution to the Study of Cell Therapy from a Large Animal Model.

    Lange-Consiglio, Anna; Corradetti, Bruna; Bertani, Sabrina; Notarstefano, Valentina; Perrini, Claudia; Marini, Maria Giovanna; Arrighi, Silvana; Bosi, Giampaolo; Belloli, Angelo; Pravettoni, Davide; Locatelli, Valentina; Cremonesi, Fausto; Bizzaro, Davide


    The aim of this work was to provide, for the first time, a protocol for isolation and characterization of stem cells from porcine amniotic membrane in view of their potential uses in regenerative medicine. From three samples of allanto-amnion recovered at delivery, the amniotic membrane was stripped from overlying allantois and digested with trypsin and collagenase to isolate epithelial (amniotic epithelial cells [AECs]) and mesenchymal cells, respectively. Proliferation, differentiation, and characterization studies by molecular biology and flow cytometry were performed. Histological examination revealed very few mesenchymal cells in the stromal layer, and a cellular yield of AECs of 10 × 10(6)/gram of digested tissue was achieved. AECs readily attached to plastic culture dishes displaying typical cuboidal morphology and, although their proliferative capacity decreased to the fifth passage, AECs showed a mean doubling time of 24.77 ± 6 h and a mean frequency of one fibroblast colony-forming unit (CFU-F) for every 116.75 plated cells. AECs expressed mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) mRNA markers (CD29, CD166, CD90, CD73, CD117) and pluripotent markers (Nanog and Oct 4), whereas they were negative for CD34 and MHCII. Mesodermic, ectodermic, and endodermic differentiation was confirmed by staining and expression of specific markers. We conclude that porcine amniotic membrane can provide an attractive source of stem cells that may be a useful tool for biomedical research.

  20. High temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell

    K.Scott; M. Mamlouk


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

  1. Modeling and simulation of anion-exchange membrane chromatography for purification of Sf9 insect cell-derived virus-like particles.

    Ladd Effio, Christopher; Hahn, Tobias; Seiler, Julia; Oelmeier, Stefan A; Asen, Iris; Silberer, Christine; Villain, Louis; Hubbuch, Jürgen


    Recombinant protein-based virus-like particles (VLPs) are steadily gaining in importance as innovative vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases. Multiple VLPs are currently evaluated in clinical phases requiring a straightforward and rational process design. To date, there is no generic platform process available for the purification of VLPs. In order to accelerate and simplify VLP downstream processing, there is a demand for novel development approaches, technologies, and purification tools. Membrane adsorbers have been identified as promising stationary phases for the processing of bionanoparticles due to their large pore sizes. In this work, we present the potential of two strategies for designing VLP processes following the basic tenet of 'quality by design': High-throughput experimentation and process modeling of an anion-exchange membrane capture step. Automated membrane screenings allowed the identification of optimal VLP binding conditions yielding a dynamic binding capacity of 5.7 mg/mL for human B19 parvovirus-like particles derived from Spodoptera frugiperda Sf9 insect cells. A mechanistic approach was implemented for radial ion-exchange membrane chromatography using the lumped-rate model and stoichiometric displacement model for the in silico optimization of a VLP capture step. For the first time, process modeling enabled the in silico design of a selective, robust and scalable process with minimal experimental effort for a complex VLP feedstock. The optimized anion-exchange membrane chromatography process resulted in a protein purity of 81.5%, a DNA clearance of 99.2%, and a VLP recovery of 59%.

  2. The effect of membrane-regulated actin polymerization on a two-phase flow model for cell motility

    Kimpton, L. S.


    Two-phase flow models have been widely used to model cell motility and we have previously demonstrated that even the simplest, stripped-down, 1D model displays many observed features of cell motility [Kimpton, L.S., Whiteley, J.P., Waters, S.L., King, J.R. & Oliver, J.M. (2013) Multiple travelling-wave solutions in a minimal model for cell motility. Math. Med. Biol. 30, 241 - 272]. In this paper, we address a limitation of the previous model.We show that the two-phase flow framework can exhibit travelling-wave solutions with biologically plausible actin network profiles in two simple models that enforce polymerization or depolymerization of the actin network at the ends of the travelling, 1D strip of cytoplasm. © 2014 The authors 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. All rights reserved.

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

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


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

  4. Modeling and control of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell with the air compressor according to requested electrical current

    Malekbala Mohammad Rahim


    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to design and investigate the dynamic behavior of a PEM fuel cell system. Dynamic analysis of a PEM fuel cell system has been done in Matlab\\Simulink software according to electrical current that has been applied from hybrid system. In addition, dynamical fuel cell system has been explained according to oriented control that is started from air injection compressor model. Also hydrogen valve actuator has been controlled according to the compressor model. The results of the fuel cell dynamic model as well as the applied compressor model are fully validated based on the available results in the open literature. Finally, the effects of several operating parameters of the fuel cell system such as anode and cathode pressures, cell voltage, compressor voltage, compressor mass flow rate variation with respect to inlet pressure ratio, net and stack powers on the dynamic behavior of the hybrid system are investigated. The results show that the model can predict the dynamic behavior of the fuel cell system accurately and it can be used directly for any control purposes.

  5. Final report on LDRD project : elucidating performance of proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells via computational modeling with experimental discovery and validation.

    Wang, Chao Yang (Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA); Pasaogullari, Ugur (Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA); Noble, David R.; Siegel, Nathan P.; Hickner, Michael A.; Chen, Ken Shuang


    In this report, we document the accomplishments in our Laboratory Directed Research and Development project in which we employed a technical approach of combining experiments with computational modeling and analyses to elucidate the performance of hydrogen-fed proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). In the first part of this report, we document our focused efforts on understanding water transport in and removal from a hydrogen-fed PEMFC. Using a transparent cell, we directly visualized the evolution and growth of liquid-water droplets at the gas diffusion layer (GDL)/gas flow channel (GFC) interface. We further carried out a detailed experimental study to observe, via direct visualization, the formation, growth, and instability of water droplets at the GDL/GFC interface using a specially-designed apparatus, which simulates the cathode operation of a PEMFC. We developed a simplified model, based on our experimental observation and data, for predicting the onset of water-droplet instability at the GDL/GFC interface. Using a state-of-the-art neutron imaging instrument available at NIST (National Institute of Standard and Technology), we probed liquid-water distribution inside an operating PEMFC under a variety of operating conditions and investigated effects of evaporation due to local heating by waste heat on water removal. Moreover, we developed computational models for analyzing the effects of micro-porous layer on net water transport across the membrane and GDL anisotropy on the temperature and water distributions in the cathode of a PEMFC. We further developed a two-phase model based on the multiphase mixture formulation for predicting the liquid saturation, pressure drop, and flow maldistribution across the PEMFC cathode channels. In the second part of this report, we document our efforts on modeling the electrochemical performance of PEMFCs. We developed a constitutive model for predicting proton conductivity in polymer electrolyte membranes and compared

  6. Mesoscopic models of biological membranes

    Venturoli, M.; Sperotto, Maria Maddalena; Kranenburg, M.;


    , as model systems to understand the fundamental properties of biomembranes. The properties of lipid bilayers can be studied at different time and length scales. For some properties it is sufficient to envision a membrane as an elastic sheet, while for others it is important to take into account the details...... of the individual atoms. In this review, we focus on an intermediate level, where groups of atoms are lumped into pseudo-particles to arrive at a coarse-grained, or mesoscopic, description of a bilayer, which is subsequently studied using molecular simulation. The aim of this review is to compare various strategies...

  7. Effects of Chuanxiongqin hydrochloride on increasing the fluidity of brain cell membrane and scavenging free radicals in model rats with ischemia/reperfusion injury

    Chenxu Li


    BACKGROUND: The fluidity of cell membrane can be affected by various factors. Many experiments have confirmed that the ischemia/reperfusion of organic tissue can increase the contents of free radicals, which lead to high rigidity and Iow fluidity of cell membrane, and the conditions can be changed by Chuanxiongqin.OBJECTIVE: To observe the effect and mechanism of Chuanxiongqin hydrochloride on the fluidity of brain cell membrane in rat models of ischemia/reperfusion.DESIGN: A completely randomized controlled animal trial.SETTINGS: Institute of Brain Sciences; Department of Physiology, Medical College, Datong University.MATERIALS: Twenty male grade I Wistar rats of 170-220 g were randomly divided into model group (n =10)and control group (n =10). Chuanxiongqin hydrochloride (molecular mass was 172.2) was purchased from the National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological Products (batch number; 0817-9803); Spin labelers: 5-cfoxyl-stearlic acid methylester (5DS), 16-doxyl-stearlic acid methylester (16DS), xanthine, xanthine oxidase (XOD) and 5,5-dimeth-1-pyrroline- N-oxide (DMPO) from Sigma Company; Bruker ESP 300 electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer by Bruker Company (Germany).METHODS: The experiments were carried out in the State Key Laboratory of Natural and Biomimetic Drugs,Peking University from June 2001 to July 2002. In the model group, rats were made into models of cerebral ischemia by 30-minute ligation and 2-hour reperfusion of common carotid arteries; The rats in the control group were not made into models. The order parameter (S) and rotational correlation time (тc) were detected with the ESR spectrometer by means of spin labeling. The greater the S and тc, the smaller the fluidity. Meanwhile, the clearance rate of free radicals was detected with ESR spin trapping. The measurement data were compared using the ttest.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The S, тc and clearance rates of O2 and OH free radicals were compared between the

  8. Pseudo-2D polarization model of polymer exchange membrane fuel cell including mass transport limitation due to flooding : numerical simulation and comparison with experimental results

    Maranzana, G.; Chupin, S.; Colinart, T.; Lottin, O.; Didierjean, S. [Nancy-Univ., Vandoeuvre (France). Laboratoire d' Energetique et de Mecanique Theorique et Appliquee


    The electrodes of proton membrane exchange (PEM) fuel cells are fed by gases, whose properties are changing during their transition from the inlet to the outlet of the channels. For example, the reactant concentration decreases and the water concentration increases, the total pressure diminishes, the temperature is dependent on the local current density, and liquid water may appear or disappear. The electrode performances are not uniform, which can have impacts on the entire performances of the cell or on its durability. In order to observe and model these non-homogeneities, this paper presented an experimental study that involved designing, building, and testing a single PEM fuel cell that allowed measurement of both current density and temperature fields along the gas channels. The fuel cell was made of transparent polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) so that the location of liquid water appearance in the channels could be observed. The first experimental results were compared with the predictions of a pseudo-2D model which assumed mass transfer to occur in the direction perpendicular to the membrane, but took into account the variations in concentrations, in total pressure, and in temperatures along the gas channels. It was concluded that the current density distribution depended greatly on water management. 10 refs., 3 figs.

  9. Membrane elastic properties and cell function.

    Bruno Pontes

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

  10. A life-like virtual cell membrane using discrete automata.

    Broderick, Gordon; Ru'aini, Melania; Chan, Eugene; Ellison, Michael J


    A framework is presented that captures the discrete and probabilistic nature of molecular transport and reaction kinetics found in a living cell as well as formally representing the spatial distribution of these phenomena. This particle or agent-based approach is computationally robust and complements established methods. Namely it provides a higher level of spatial resolution than formulations based on ordinary differential equations (ODE) while offering significant advantages in computational efficiency over molecular dynamics (MD). Using this framework, a model cell membrane has been constructed with discrete particle agents that respond to local component interactions that resemble flocking or herding behavioural cues in animals. Results from simulation experiments are presented where this model cell exhibits many of the characteristic behaviours associated with its biological counterpart such as lateral diffusion, response to osmotic pressure gradients, membrane growth and cell division. Lateral diffusion rates and estimates for the membrane modulus of elasticity derived from these simple experiments fall well within a biologically relevant range of values. More importantly, these estimates were obtained by applying a simple qualitative tuning of the model membrane. Membrane growth was simulated by injecting precursor molecules into the proto-cell at different rates and produced a variety of morphologies ranging from a single large cell to a cluster of cells. The computational scalability of this methodology has been tested and results from benchmarking experiments indicate that real-time simulation of a complete bacterial cell will be possible within 10 years.

  11. Liposome Model Systems to Study the Endosomal Escape of Cell-Penetrating Peptides: Transport across Phospholipid Membranes Induced by a Proton Gradient

    Fatemeh Madani


    Full Text Available Detergent-mediated reconstitution of bacteriorhodopsin (BR into large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs was investigated, and the effects were carefully characterized for every step of the procedure. LUVs were prepared by the extrusion method, and their size and stability were examined by dynamic light scattering. BR was incorporated into the LUVs using the detergent-mediated reconstitution method and octyl glucoside (OG as detergent. The result of measuring pH outside the LUVs suggested that in the presence of light, BR pumps protons from the outside to the inside of the LUVs, creating acidic pH inside the vesicles. LUVs with 20% negatively charged headgroups were used to model endosomes with BR incorporated into the membrane. The fluorescein-labeled cell-penetrating peptide penetratin was entrapped inside these BR-containing LUVs. The light-induced proton pumping activity of BR has allowed us to observe the translocation of fluorescein-labeled penetratin across the vesicle membrane.

  12. Advanced membrane electrode assemblies for fuel cells

    Kim, Yu Seung; Pivovar, Bryan S


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

  13. Spatiotemporal Organization of Spin-Coated Supported Model Membranes

    Simonsen, Adam Cohen

    All cells of living organisms are separated from their surroundings and organized internally by means of flexible lipid membranes. In fact, there is consensus that the minimal requirements for self-replicating life processes include the following three features: (1) information carriers (DNA, RNA), (2) a metabolic system, and (3) encapsulation in a container structure [1]. Therefore, encapsulation can be regarded as an essential part of life itself. In nature, membranes are highly diverse interfacial structures that compartmentalize cells [2]. While prokaryotic cells only have an outer plasma membrane and a less-well-developed internal membrane structure, eukaryotic cells have a number of internal membranes associated with the organelles and the nucleus. Many of these membrane structures, including the plasma membrane, are complex layered systems, but with the basic structure of a lipid bilayer. Biomembranes contain hundreds of different lipid species in addition to embedded or peripherally associated membrane proteins and connections to scaffolds such as the cytoskeleton. In vitro, lipid bilayers are spontaneously self-organized structures formed by a large group of amphiphilic lipid molecules in aqueous suspensions. Bilayer formation is driven by the entropic properties of the hydrogen bond network in water in combination with the amphiphilic nature of the lipids. The molecular shapes of the lipid constituents play a crucial role in bilayer formation, and only lipids with approximately cylindrical shapes are able to form extended bilayers. The bilayer structure of biomembranes was discovered by Gorter and Grendel in 1925 [3] using monolayer studies of lipid extracts from red blood cells. Later, a number of conceptual models were developed to rationalize the organization of lipids and proteins in biological membranes. One of the most celebrated is the fluid-mosaic model by Singer and Nicolson (1972) [4]. According to this model, the lipid bilayer component of

  14. Alternative membranes for polymer electrolyte fuel cells

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


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

  15. Stability of Model Membranes in Extreme Environments

    Namani, Trishool; Deamer, David W.


    The first forms of cellular life required a source of amphiphilic compounds capable of assembling into stable boundary structures. Membranes composed of fatty acids have been proposed as model systems of primitive membranes, but their bilayer structure is stable only within a narrow pH range and low ionic strength. They are particularly sensitive to aggregating effects of divalent cations (Mg+2, Ca+2, Fe+2) that would be present in Archaean sea water. Here we report that mixtures of alkyl amines and fatty acids form vesicles at strongly basic and acidic pH ranges which are resistant to the effects of divalent cations up to 0.1 M. Vesicles formed by mixtures of decylamine and decanoic acid (1:1 mole ratio) are relatively permeable to pyranine, a fluorescent anionic dye, but permeability could be reduced by adding 2 mol% of a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon such as pyrene. Permeability to the dye was also reduced by increasing the chain length of the amphiphiles. For instance, 1:1 mole ratio mixtures of dodecylamine and dodecanoic acid were able to retain pyranine dye during and following gel filtration. We conclude that primitive cell membranes were likely to be composed of mixtures of amphiphilic and hydrophobic molecules that manifested increased stability over pure fatty acid membranes.

  16. A novel bioactive membrane by cell electrospinning.

    Chen, Haiping; Liu, Yuanyuan; Hu, Qingxi


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

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

    Ehrig, Jens; Schwille, Petra


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

  18. Sterion membranes in Direct Methanol fuel cells

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


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

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

    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.

  20. Three-Dimensional Transport Modeling for Proton Exchange Membrane(PEM) Fuel Cell with Micro Parallel Flow Field

    Sang Soon Hwang; Sang Seok Han; Pil Hyong Lee


    Modeling and simulation for heat and mass transport in micro channel are being used extensively in researches and industrial applications to gain better understanding of the fundamental processes and to optimize fuel cell designs before building a prototype for engineering application. In this study, we used a single-phase, fully three dimensional simulation model for PEMFC that can deal with both anode and cathode flow field for examining the micro flow channel with electrochemical reaction....

  1. Three-Dimensional Transport Modeling for Proton Exchange Membrane(PEM) Fuel Cell with Micro Parallel Flow Field

    Lee, Pil Hyong; Han, Sang Seok; Hwang, Sang Soon


    Modeling and simulation for heat and mass transport in micro channel are beingused extensively in researches and industrial applications to gain better understanding of thefundamental processes and to optimize fuel cell designs before building a prototype forengineering application. In this study, we used a single-phase, fully three dimensionalsimulation model for PEMFC that can deal with both anode and cathode flow field forexamining the micro flow channel with electrochemical reaction. The ...

  2. Brush border membrane vesicle and Caco-2 cell line: Two experimental models for evaluation of absorption enhancing effects of saponins, bile salts, and some synthetic surfactants

    Eskandar Moghimipour


    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of absorption enhancers in the uptake of hydrophilic compounds. The permeation of the two hydrophilic drug models gentamicin and 5 (6-carboxyfluorescein (CF across the brush border membrane vesicles and Caco-2 cell lines were evaluated using total saponins of Acanthophyllum squarrosum, Quillaja saponaria, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium glycocholate, sodium taurodeoxycholate , and Tween 20 as absorption enhancers. Transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER measurement was utilized to assess the paracellular permeability of cell lines. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM was performed to obtain images of the distribution of CF in Caco-2 cells. These compounds were able to loosen tight junctions, thus increasing paracellular permeability. CLSM confirmed the effect of these absorption enhancers on CF transport across Caco-2 lines and increased the Caco-2 permeability via transcellular route. It was also confirmed that the decrease in TEER was transient and reversible after removal of permeation enhancers.

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

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


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

  4. Stretching micropatterned cells on a PDMS membrane.

    Carpi, Nicolas; Piel, Matthieu


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

  5. Binding equilibrium and kinetics of membrane-anchored receptors and ligands in cell adhesion: Insights from computational model systems and theory.

    Weikl, Thomas R; Hu, Jinglei; Xu, Guang-Kui; Lipowsky, Reinhard


    The adhesion of cell membranes is mediated by the binding of membrane-anchored receptor and ligand proteins. In this article, we review recent results from simulations and theory that lead to novel insights on how the binding equilibrium and kinetics of these proteins is affected by the membranes and by the membrane anchoring and molecular properties of the proteins. Simulations and theory both indicate that the binding equilibrium constant [Formula: see text] and the on- and off-rate constants of anchored receptors and ligands in their 2-dimensional (2D) membrane environment strongly depend on the membrane roughness from thermally excited shape fluctuations on nanoscales. Recent theory corroborated by simulations provides a general relation between [Formula: see text] and the binding constant [Formula: see text] of soluble variants of the receptors and ligands that lack the membrane anchors and are free to diffuse in 3 dimensions (3D).

  6. N-3 fatty acids and membrane microdomains: from model membranes to lymphocyte function.

    Shaikh, Saame Raza; Teague, Heather


    This article summarizes the author's research on fish oil derived n-3 fatty acids, plasma membrane organization and B cell function. We first cover basic model membrane studies that investigated how docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) targeted the organization of sphingolipid-cholesterol enriched lipid microdomains. A key finding here was that DHA had a relatively poor affinity for cholesterol. This work led to a model that predicted DHA acyl chains in cells would manipulate lipid-protein microdomain organization and thereby function. We then review how the predictions of the model were tested with B cells in vitro followed by experiments using mice fed fish oil. These studies reveal a highly complex picture on how n-3 fatty acids target lipid-protein organization and B cell function. Key findings are as follows: (1) n-3 fatty acids target not just the plasma membrane but also endomembrane organization; (2) DHA, but not eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), disrupts microdomain spatial distribution (i.e. clustering), (3) DHA alters protein lateral organization and (4) changes in membrane organization are accompanied by functional effects on both innate and adaptive B cell function. Altogether, the research over the past 10 years has led to an evolution of the original model on how DHA reorganizes membrane microdomains. The work raises the intriguing possibility of testing the model at the human level to target health and disease. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Computational modeling of adherent cell growth in a hollow-fiber membrane bioreactor for large-scale 3-D bone tissue engineering.

    Mohebbi-Kalhori, Davod; Behzadmehr, Amin; Doillon, Charles J; Hadjizadeh, Afra


    The use of hollow-fiber membrane bioreactors (HFMBs) has been proposed for three-dimensional bone tissue growth at the clinical scale. However, to achieve an efficient HFMB design, the relationship between cell growth and environmental conditions must be determined. Therefore, in this work, a dynamic double-porous media model was developed to determine nutrient-dependent cell growth for bone tissue formation in a HFMB. The whole hollow-fiber scaffold within the bioreactor was treated as a porous domain in this model. The domain consisted of two interpenetrating porous regions, including a porous lumen region available for fluid flow and a porous extracapillary space filled with a collagen gel that contained adherent cells for promoting long-term growth into tissue-like mass. The governing equations were solved numerically and the model was validated using previously published experimental results. The contributions of several bioreactor design and process parameters to the performance of the bioreactor were studied. The results demonstrated that the process and design parameters of the HFMB significantly affect nutrient transport and thus cell behavior over a long period of culture. The approach presented here can be applied to any cell type and used to develop tissue engineering hollow-fiber scaffolds.

  8. A Comprehensive Review on Measurement and Correlation Development of Capillary Pressure for Two-Phase Modeling of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

    Chao Si


    Full Text Available Water transport and the corresponding water management strategy in proton exchange membrane (PEM fuel cells are quite critical for the improvement of the cell performance. Accuracy modeling of water transport in porous electrodes strongly depends on the appropriate constitutive relationship for capillary pressure which is referred to as pc-s correlation, where pc is the capillary pressure and s is the fraction of saturation in the pores. In the present PEM fuel cell two-phase models, the Leverett-Udell pc-s correlation is widely utilized which is proposed based on fitting the experimental data for packed sands. However, the size and structure of pores for the commercial porous electrodes used in PEM fuel cells differ from those for the packed sands significantly. As a result, the Leverett-Udell correlation should be improper to characterize the two-phase transport in the porous electrodes. In the recent decade, many efforts were devoted to measuring the capillary pressure data and developing new pc-s correlations. The objective of this review is to review the most significant developments in recent years concerning the capillary pressure measurements and the developed pc-s correlations. It is expected that this review will be beneficial to develop the improved PEM fuel cell two-phase model.

  9. A pore-scale model for the cathode electrode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell by lattice Boltzmann method

    Molaeimanesh, Gholam Reza; Akbari, Mohammad Hadi [Shiraz University, Shiraz (Iran, Islamic Republic of)


    A pore-scale model based on the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) is proposed for the cathode electrode of a PEM fuel cell with heterogeneous and anisotropic porous gas diffusion layer (GDL) and interdigitated flow field. An active approach is implemented to model multi-component transport in GDL, which leads to enhanced accuracy, especially at higher activation over-potentials. The core of the paper is the implementation of an electrochemical reaction with an active approach in a multi-component lattice Boltzmann model for the first time. After model validation, the capability of the presented model is demonstrated through a parametric study. Effects of activation over-potential, pressure differential between inlet and outlet gas channels, land width to channel width ratio, and channel width are investigated. The results show the significant influence of GDL microstructure on the oxygen distribution and current density profile.

  10. Geometry and Topology of Cell Membranes

    Bouligand, Y.

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

  11. A three-dimensional pore-scale model of the cathode electrode in polymer-electrolyte membrane fuel cell by lattice Boltzmann method

    Molaeimanesh, G. R.; Akbari, M. H.


    High power density, low operation temperature, high efficiency and low emissions have granted proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells the most promising future among all types of fuel cells. The porous electrodes of PEM fuel cells have a complicated, non-homogeneous, anisotropic microstructure. Therefore, pore-scale modeling techniques such as lattice Boltzmann method, which can capture non-homogeneous and anisotropic microstructures, have recently gained a great attention. In the present study, a three-dimensional lattice Boltzmann model of a PEM fuel cell cathode electrode is proposed in which electrochemical reaction on the catalyst layer and microstructure of GDL are taken into account. The model enables us to simulate single-phase, multi-species reactive flow in a heterogeneous, anisotropic gas diffusion layer through an active approach. To show the capability of the proposed model, reactive flow in three reconstructed GDLs with different anisotropic characteristics is simulated to investigate the effects of GDL microstructure on species and current density distributions. The results demonstrate that when carbon fibers are more likely oriented normal to the catalyst layer, species density distribution is thicker and more disturbed. Current density also experiences a larger variation on the catalyst layer in such a case.

  12. Modeling branching pore structures in membrane filters

    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.

  13. Cell membrane softening in human breast and cervical cancer cells

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


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

  14. Shedding of cell membrane-bound proteoglycans.

    Nam, Eon Jeong; Park, Pyong Woo


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

  15. Metric dynamics for membrane transformation through regulated cell proliferation

    Ito, Hiroshi C.


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

  16. General aspects of peptide selectivity towards lipid bilayers and cell membranes studied by variation of the structural parameters of amphipathic helical model peptides.

    Dathe, Margitta; Meyer, Jana; Beyermann, Michael; Maul, Björn; Hoischen, Christian; Bienert, Michael


    Model compounds of modified hydrophobicity (Eta), hydrophobic moment (mu) and angle subtended by charged residues (Phi) were synthesized to define the general roles of structural motifs of cationic helical peptides for membrane activity and selectivity. The peptide sets were based on a highly hydrophobic, non-selective KLA model peptide with high antimicrobial and hemolytic activity. Variation of the investigated parameters was found to be a suitable method for modifying peptide selectivity towards either neutral or highly negatively charged lipid bilayers. Eta and mu influenced selectivity preferentially via modification of activity on 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylcholine (POPC) bilayers, while the size of the polar/hydrophobic angle affected the activity against 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoylphosphatidyl-DL-glycerol (POPG). The influence of the parameters on the activity determining step was modest in both lipid systems and the activity profiles were the result of the parameters' influence on the second less pronounced permeabilization step. Thus, the activity towards POPC vesicles was determined by the high permeabilizing efficiency, however, changes in the structural parameters preferentially influenced the relatively moderate affinity. In contrast, intensive peptide accumulation via electrostatic interactions was sufficient for the destabilization of highly negatively charged POPG lipid membranes, but changes in the activity profile, as revealed by the modification of Phi, seem to be preferentially caused by variation of the low permeabilizing efficiency. The parameters proved very effective also in modifying antimicrobial and hemolytic activity. However, their influence on cell selectivity was limited. A threshold value of hydrophobicity seems to exist which restricted the activity modifying potential of mu and Phi on both lipid bilayers and cell membranes.

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

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


    A summary is presented of membrane differentiation in the prokaryotic cell, with an emphasis on the organization of proteins in the plasma/cell membrane. Many species belonging to the Eubacteria and Archaea have special membrane domains and/or membrane proliferation, which are vital for different cellular processes. Typical membrane domains are found in bacteria where a specific membrane protein is abundantly expressed. Lipid rafts form another example. Despite the rareness of conventional or...

  18. Membrane dynamics

    Bendix, Pól Martin


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

  19. Prebiotic cell membranes that survive extreme environmental pressure conditions.

    Kapoor, Shobhna; Berghaus, Melanie; Suladze, Saba; Prumbaum, Daniel; Grobelny, Sebastian; Degen, Patrick; Raunser, Stefan; Winter, Roland


    Attractive candidates for compartmentalizing prebiotic cells are membranes comprised of single-chain fatty acids. It is generally believed that life may have originated in the depth of the protoocean, that is, under high hydrostatic pressure conditions, but the structure and physical-chemical properties of prebiotic membranes under such conditions have not yet been explored. We report the temperature- and pressure-dependent properties of membranes composed of prebiotically highly-plausible lipids and demonstrate that prebiotic membranes could not only withstand extreme temperatures, but also serve as robust models of protocells operating in extreme pressure environments. We show that pressure not only increases the stability of vesicular systems but also limits their flexibility and permeability to solutes, while still keeping the membrane in an overall fluid-like and thus functional state. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. Theory on Plasmon Modes of the Cell Membranes

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


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

  1. Macroscopic Modeling of Polymer-Electrolyte Membranes

    Weber, A.Z.; Newman, J.


    In this chapter, the various approaches for the macroscopic modeling of transport phenomena in polymer-electrolyte membranes are discussed. This includes general background and modeling methodologies, as well as exploration of the governing equations and some membrane-related topic of interest.

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

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

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

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud


    In this study a general PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) model has been developed to take into account the effect of pressure losses, water crossovers, humidity aspects and voltage over potentials in the cells. The model is zero dimensional and it is assumed to be steady state. The effect...... in order to account for water back diffusion. Further Membrane water content is assumed to be a linear function of thickness. PEM fuel cell is working at rather low operating conditions which makes it suitable for the automotive systems. In this paper motive power part of a lift truck has been investigated...... of concentration loss is neglected while the effect of activation and ohmic losses is investigated in the system. Some semi-empirical equations are required to predict the amount of exchange current density for calculation of ohmic loss and water diffusion coefficient through membrane. These equations are applied...

  4. Development and Validation of a Simple Analytical Model of the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (Pemfc) in a Fork-Lift Truck Power System

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud


    for the auxilary components depending on the stack power or current. Further, at the higher current densities, heat losses and net power of the system increase, while system efficiency decreases. Furthermore, the system performance was not sensitive to the coolant temperature when water is used as the coolant....... management, system sensitivity to coolant inlet temperature, air and fuel stoichiometry, anode inlet pressure, stack operating conditions, etc. System efficiency and electrical power at different operating conditions are also discussed. The results show that 12–30% of stack power is allocated......In this study, a general proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) model has been developed in order to investigate the balance of plant of a fork-lift truck thermodynamically. The model takes into account the effects of pressure losses, water crossovers, humidity aspects, and voltage...

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

    Boekema, E.J.; Scheffers, D.-J.; van Bezouwen, L.S.; Bolhuis, H.; Folea, I.M.


    A summary is presented of membrane differentiation in the prokaryotic cell, with an emphasis on the organization of proteins in the plasma/cell membrane. Many species belonging to the Eubacteria and Archaea have special membrane domains and/or membrane proliferation, which are vital for different

  6. Membrane Mechanics of Endocytosis in Cells with Turgor

    Dmitrieff, Serge


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

  7. Alternate Fuel Cell Membranes for Energy Independence

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


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

  8. Model of the initiation of signal transduction by ligands in a cell culture: Simulation of molecules near a plane membrane comprising receptors

    Plante, Ianik; Cucinotta, Francis A.


    Cell communication is a key mechanism in tissue responses to radiation. Several molecules are implicated in radiation-induced signaling between cells, but their contributions to radiation risk are poorly understood. Meanwhile, Green's functions for diffusion-influenced reactions have appeared in the literature, which are applied to describe the diffusion of molecules near a plane membrane comprising bound receptors with the possibility of reversible binding of a ligand and activation of signal transduction proteins by the ligand-receptor complex. We have developed Brownian dynamics algorithms to simulate particle histories in this system which can accurately reproduce the theoretical distribution of distances of a ligand from the membrane, the number of reversibly bound particles, and the number of receptor complexes activating signaling proteins as a function of time, regardless of the number of time steps used for the simulation. These simulations will be of great importance to model interactions at low doses where stochastic effects induced by a small number of molecules or interactions come into play.

  9. Modeling the cathode in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell using density functional theory How the carbon support can affect durability and activity of a platinum catalyst

    Groves, Michael Nelson

    The current global energy and environmental challenges need to be addressed by developing a new portfolio of clean power producing devices. The proton exchange membrane fuel cell has the potential to be included and can fit into a variety of niches ranging from portable electronics to stationary residential applications. One of the many barriers to commercial viability is the cost of the cathode layer which requires too much platinum metal to achieve a comparable power output as well as would need to be replaced more frequently when compared to conventional sources for most applications. Using density functional theory, an ab initio modeling technique, these durability and activity issues are examined for platinum catalysts on graphene and carbon nanotube supports. The carbon supports were also doped by replacing individual carbon atoms with other second row elements (beryllium, boron, nitrogen, and oxygen) and the effect on the platinum-surface interaction along with the interaction between the platinum and the oxygen reduction reaction intermediates are discussed. Keywords: proton exchange membrane fuel cell, density functional theory, platinum catalyst, oxygen reduction reaction, doped carbon surfaces

  10. Alkaline fuel cell with nitride membrane

    Sun, Shen-Huei; Pilaski, Moritz; Wartmann, Jens; Letzkus, Florian; Funke, Benedikt; Dura, Georg; Heinzel, Angelika


    The aim of this work is to fabricate patterned nitride membranes with Si-MEMS-technology as a platform to build up new membrane-electrode-assemblies (MEA) for alkaline fuel cell applications. Two 6-inch wafer processes based on chemical vapor deposition (CVD) were developed for the fabrication of separated nitride membranes with a nitride thickness up to 1 μm. The mechanical stability of the perforated nitride membrane has been adjusted in both processes either by embedding of subsequent ion implantation step or by optimizing the deposition process parameters. A nearly 100% yield of separated membranes of each deposition process was achieved with layer thickness from 150 nm to 1 μm and micro-channel pattern width of 1μm at a pitch of 3 μm. The process for membrane coating with electrolyte materials could be verified to build up MEA. Uniform membrane coating with channel filling was achieved after the optimization of speed controlled dip-coating method and the selection of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) as electrolyte solvent. Finally, silver as conductive material was defined for printing a conductive layer onto the MEA by Ink-Technology. With the established IR-thermography setup, characterizations of MEAs in terms of catalytic conversion were performed successfully. The results of this work show promise for build up a platform on wafer-level for high throughput experiments.

  11. Derivation of feline vaccine-associated fibrosarcoma cell line and its growth on chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane - a new in vivo model for veterinary oncological studies.

    Zabielska, K; Lechowski, R; Król, M; Pawłowski, K M; Motyl, T; Dolka, I; Zbikowski, A


    Feline vaccine associated fibrosarcomas are the second most common skin tumor in cats. Methods of treatment are: surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Nevertheless, the usage of cytostatics in feline vaccine associated sarcoma therapy is limited due to their adverse side effects, high toxicity and low biodistribution after i.v. injection. Therefore, much research on new therapeutic drugs is being conducted. In human medicine, the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) model is used as a cheap and easy to perform assay to assess new drug effectiveness in cancer treatment. Various human cell lines have different tumors growth on CAM. In veterinary medicine such model has not been described yet. In the present article derivation of feline vaccine associated fibrosarcoma cell line and its growth on CAM is described. The cell line and the tumor grown were confirmed by histopathological and immunohistochemical examination. As far as we believe, this is the first attempt to create such model, which may be used for further in vivo studies in veterinary oncology.

  12. Two-dimensional modeling of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell with long flow channel. Part II. Physics-based electrochemical impedance analysis

    Bao, Cheng; Bessler, Wolfgang G.


    The state-of-the-art electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) calculations have not yet started from fully multi-dimensional modeling. For a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) with long flow channel, the impedance plot shows a multi-arc characteristic and some impedance arcs could merge. By using a step excitation/Fourier transform algorithm, an EIS simulation is implemented for the first time based on the full 2D PEMFC model presented in the first part of this work. All the dominant transient behaviors are able to be captured. A novel methodology called 'configuration of system dynamics', which is suitable for any electrochemical system, is then developed to resolve the physical meaning of the impedance spectra. In addition to the high-frequency arc due to charge transfer, the Nyquist plots contain additional medium/low-frequency arcs due to mass transfer in the diffusion layers and along the channel, as well as a low-frequency arc resulting from water transport in the membrane. In some case, the impedance spectra appear partly inductive due to water transport, which demonstrates the complexity of the water management of PEMFCs and the necessity of physics-based calculations.

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

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


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

  14. Cholesterol transport in model membranes

    Garg, Sumit; Porcar, Lionel; Butler, Paul; Perez-Salas, Ursula


    Physiological processes distribute cholesterol unevenly within the cell. The levels of cholesterol are maintained by intracellular transport and a disruption in the cell's ability to keep these normal levels will lead to disease. Exchange rates of cholesterol are generally studied in model systems using labeled lipid vesicles. Initially donor vesicles have all the cholesterol and acceptor vesicles are devoid of it. They are mixed and after some time the vesicles are separated and cholesterol is traced in each vesicle. The studies performed up to date have significant scatter indicating that the methodologies are not consistent. The present work shows in-situ Time-Resolved SANS studies of cholesterol exchange rates in unsaturated PC lipid vesicles. Molecular dynamics simulations were done to investigate the energetic and kinetic behavior of cholesterol in this system. This synergistic approach will provide insight into our efforts to understand cholesterol traffic.

  15. [Membrane-based photochemical systems as models for photosynthetic cells]. Progress report, February 15, 1990--August 31, 1992

    Hurst, J.K.


    The objectives of this research are to improve our conceptual view of the ways in which membranes and interfaces can be used to control chemical reactivity. We have focused on understanding three elementary processes that are central to developing membrane-based integrated chemical systems for water photolysis or related photoconversion/photostorage processes. Specifically, we have sought to identify: the influence of interfaces upon charge separation/recombination reactions, pathways for transmembrane charge separation across hydrocarbon bilayer membranes, and mechanisms of water oxidation catalyzed by transition metal coordination complexes. Historically, the chemical dynamics of each of these processes has been poorly understood, with numerous unresolved issues and conflicting viewpoints appearing in the literature. As described in this report our recent research has led to considerable clarification of the underlying reaction mechanisms.

  16. Cell or Cell Membrane-Based Drug Delivery Systems

    Tan, Songwei; Wu, Tingting; Zhang, Dan; Zhang, Zhiping


    Natural cells have been explored as drug carriers for a long period. They have received growing interest as a promising drug delivery system (DDS) until recently along with the development of biology and medical science. The synthetic materials, either organic or inorganic, are found to be with more or less immunogenicity and/or toxicity. The cells and extracellular vesicles (EVs), are endogenous and thought to be much safer and friendlier. Furthermore, in view of their host attributes, they may achieve different biological effects and/or targeting specificity, which can meet the needs of personalized medicine as the next generation of DDS. In this review, we summarized the recent progress in cell or cell membrane-based DDS and their fabrication processes, unique properties and applications, including the whole cells, EVs and cell membrane coated nanoparticles. We expect the continuing development of this cell or cell membrane-based DDS will promote their clinic applications. PMID:26000058

  17. Tethered bimolecular lipid membranes - A novel model membrane platform

    Knoll, Wolfgang; Koeper, Ingo; Naumann, Renate; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin [Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Ackermannweg 10, 55128 Mainz (Germany)


    stabilization of lipid bilayers, i.e., the protein-tethered membrane. Our efforts in experimentally characterizing the resulting membrane functions and correlating the data with the structural details of the bilayer architectures are complemented by theoretical studies modeling the electrical and electrochemical response of functional tethered lipid bilayer membranes by extended SPICE simulations. (author)

  18. Modelling and simulation of affinity membrane adsorption.

    Boi, Cristiana; Dimartino, Simone; Sarti, Giulio C


    A mathematical model for the adsorption of biomolecules on affinity membranes is presented. The model considers convection, diffusion and adsorption kinetics on the membrane module as well as the influence of dead end volumes and lag times; an analysis of flow distribution on the whole system is also included. The parameters used in the simulations were obtained from equilibrium and dynamic experimental data measured for the adsorption of human IgG on A2P-Sartoepoxy affinity membranes. The identification of a bi-Langmuir kinetic mechanisms for the experimental system investigated was paramount for a correct process description and the simulated breakthrough curves were in good agreement with the experimental data. The proposed model provides a new insight into the phenomena involved in the adsorption on affinity membranes and it is a valuable tool to assess the use of membrane adsorbers in large scale processes.

  19. Evaluation of membrane models and their composition for islet amyloid polypeptide-membrane aggregation.

    Caillon, Lucie; Lequin, Olivier; Khemtémourian, Lucie


    Human islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) forms amyloid fibrils in the pancreatic islets of patients suffering from type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The formation of IAPP fibrils has been shown to cause membrane damage which most likely is responsible for the death of pancreatic islet β-cells during the pathogenesis of T2DM. Several studies have demonstrated a clear interaction between IAPP and lipid membranes. However the effect of different lipid compositions and of various membrane mimetics (including micelles, bicelles, SUV and LUV) on fibril formation kinetics and fibril morphology has not yet systematically been analysed. Here we report that the interaction of IAPP with various membrane models promoted different processes of fibril formation. Our data reveal that in SDS and DPC micelles, IAPP adopts a stable α-helical structure for several days, suggesting that the micelle models may stabilize monomeric or small oligomeric species of IAPP. In contrast, zwitterionic DMPC/DHPC bicelles and DOPC SUV accelerate the fibril formation compared to zwitterionic DOPC LUV, indicating that the size of the membrane model and its curvature influence the fibrillation process. Negatively charged membranes decrease the lag-time of the fibril formation kinetics while phosphatidylethanolamine and cholesterol have an opposite effect, probably due to the modulation of the physical properties of the membrane and/or due to direct interactions with IAPP within the membrane core. Finally, our results show that the modulation of lipid composition influences not only the growth of fibrils at the membrane surface but also the interactions of β-sheet oligomers with membranes.

  20. Lithium. Effects on excitable cell membranes

    Ploeger, Egbert Johan


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

  1. Membrane electrode assembly for a fuel cell

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


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

  2. Modeling the Liquid Water Transport in the Gas Diffusion Layer for Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells Using a Water Path Network

    Dietmar Gerteisen


    Full Text Available In order to model the liquid water transport in the porous materials used in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM fuel cells, the pore network models are often applied. The presented model is a novel approach to further develop these models towards a percolation model that is based on the fiber structure rather than the pore structure. The developed algorithm determines the stable liquid water paths in the gas diffusion layer (GDL structure and the transitions from the paths to the subsequent paths. The obtained water path network represents the basis for the calculation of the percolation process with low calculation efforts. A good agreement with experimental capillary pressure-saturation curves and synchrotron liquid water visualization data from other literature sources is found. The oxygen diffusivity for the GDL with liquid water saturation at breakthrough reveals that the porosity is not a crucial factor for the limiting current density. An algorithm for condensation is included into the model, which shows that condensing water is redirecting the water path in the GDL, leading to an improved oxygen diffusion by a decreased breakthrough pressure and changed saturation distribution at breakthrough.

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

    Gelare Hajsalimi


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

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


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

  5. The interaction of eugenol with cell membrane models at the air-water interface is modulated by the lipid monolayer composition.

    Gonçalves, Giulia E G; de Souza, Fernanda S; Lago, João Henrique G; Caseli, Luciano


    Eugenol, a natural phenylpropanoid derivative with possible action in biological surfaces as microbicide, anesthetic and antioxidant, was incorporated in lipid monolayers of selected lipids at the air-water interface, representing cell membrane models. Interaction of eugenol with the lipids dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC), dioctadecyldimethylammonium bromide (DODAB), and dipalmitoylphosphatidylserine (DPPS) could be inferred by means of surface pressure-area isotherms and Polarization-Modulation Reflection-Absorption Spectroscopy. The interaction showed different effects on the different lipids. A higher monolayer expansion was observed for DPPS and DODAB, while more significant effects on the polar groups of the lipids were observed for DPPS and DPPC. These results pointed to the fact that the interaction of eugenol with lipid monolayers at the air-water interface is modulated by the lipid composition, which may be important to comprehend at the molecular level the interaction of this drug with biological surfaces.

  6. Quantitative measurement of cell membrane receptor internalization by the nanoluciferase reporter: Using the G protein-coupled receptor RXFP3 as a model.

    Liu, Yu; Song, Ge; Shao, Xiao-Xia; Liu, Ya-Li; Guo, Zhan-Yun


    Nanoluciferase (NanoLuc) is a newly developed small luciferase reporter with the brightest bioluminescence to date. In the present work, we developed NanoLuc as a sensitive bioluminescent reporter to measure quantitatively the internalization of cell membrane receptors, based on the pH dependence of the reporter activity. The G protein-coupled receptor RXFP3, the cognate receptor of relaxin-3/INSL7, was used as a model receptor. We first generated stable HEK293T cells that inducibly coexpressed a C-terminally NanoLuc-tagged human RXFP3 and a C-terminally enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-tagged human RXFP3. The C-terminal EGFP-tag and NanoLuc-tag had no detrimental effects on the ligand-binding potency and intracellular trafficking of RXFP3. Based on the fluorescence of the tagged EGFP reporter, the ligand-induced RXFP3 internalization was visualized directly under a fluorescence microscope. Based on the bioluminescence of the tagged NanoLuc reporter, the ligand-induced RXFP3 internalization was measured quantitatively by a convenient bioluminescent assay. Coexpression of an EGFP-tagged inactive [E141R]RXFP3 had no detrimental effect on the ligand-binding potency and ligand-induced internalization of the NanoLuc-tagged wild-type RXFP3, suggesting that the mutant RXFP3 and wild-type RXFP3 worked independently. The present bioluminescent internalization assay could be extended to other G protein-coupled receptors and other cell membrane receptors to study ligand-receptor and receptor-receptor interactions.

  7. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

    Antonino S. Aricò


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

  8. Selectivity of Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Membranes

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


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

  9. Membrane techniques in the periphery of fuel cell powered vehicles; Membrantechnik im Peripheriebereich von Brennstoffzellenfahrzeugen

    Matthias, Carsten Herbert


    The publication intends to make a contribution to the advancement of mobile fuel cell systems and to outline the potential applications of membrane techniques. There are three different approaches: 1. Characterisation of membranes and design of membrane moisturizers for water management in low-temperature PEFC. 2. Use of metal membranes in a shift membrane reactor or a membrane/reformer unit for on-board hydrogen production in APU systems. 3. System modelling for assessing the potential of components involving membrane techniques as compared to alternative techniques. (orig.)

  10. Stability properties of elementary dynamic models of membrane transport.

    Hernández, Julio A


    Living cells are characterized by their capacity to maintain a stable steady state. For instance, cells are able to conserve their volume, internal ionic composition and electrical potential difference across the plasma membrane within values compatible with the overall cell functions. The dynamics of these cellular variables is described by complex integrated models of membrane transport. Some clues for the understanding of the processes involved in global cellular homeostasis may be obtained by the study of the local stability properties of some partial cellular processes. As an example of this approach, I perform, in this study, the neighborhood stability analysis of some elementary integrated models of membrane transport. In essence, the models describe the rate of change of the intracellular concentration of a ligand subject to active and passive transport across the plasma membrane of an ideal cell. The ligand can be ionic or nonionic, and it can affect the cell volume or the plasma membrane potential. The fundamental finding of this study is that, within the physiological range, the steady states are asymptotically stable. This basic property is a necessary consequence of the general forms of the expressions employed to describe the active and passive fluxes of the transported ligand.

  11. Aging of cell membranes: facts and theories.

    Zs-Nagy, Imre


    This chapter is intended to outline the main results of a research trend realized by the author during the last 45 years, focused on the main role played by the cell membrane in the aging process. It is a very wide field; therefore, the reader cannot expect in this limited space a detailed description, but will be given a wide, interdisciplinary insight into the main facts and theories regarding cellular aging. The central idea described here is the concept called the membrane hypothesis of aging (MHA). The history, the chemical roots, physicochemical facts, biophysical processes, as well as the obligatory biochemical consequences are all touched in by indicating the most important sources of detailed knowledge for those who are more interested in the basic biology of the aging process. This chapter covers also the available anti-aging interventions on the cell membrane by means of the centrophenoxine treatment based on the MHA. It also briefly interprets the possibilities of a just developing anti-aging method by using the recombinant human growth hormone, essential basis of which is the species specificity, and the general presence of receptors of this hormone in the plasma membrane of all types of cells.

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

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


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

  13. Blend Concepts for Fuel Cell Membranes

    J. Kerres


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

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

    Cheah, May Jean

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

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

    Carton, James


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

  16. Rigid proteins and softening of biological membranes-with application to HIV-induced cell membrane softening.

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


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

  17. Voltage-dependent changes in specific membrane capacitance caused by prestin, the outer hair cell lateral membrane motor.

    Santos-Sacchi, Joseph; Navarrete, Enrique


    In the outer hair cell (OHC), membrane capacitance principally derives from two components - that associated with lateral membrane sensor/motor charge movement, and that proportional to the membrane surface area (C(sa)). We used measures of membrane capacitance to test a model hypothesis that OHC lateral membrane molecular motors, recently identified as the protein prestin, fluctuate between two area states. By measuring membrane capacitance in native OHCs or prestin-transfected HEK cells at extreme voltages (+/-200 mV) where motor-derived charge movement is small or absent, we observed that C(sa) depends on the state of the motors, or correspondingly on membrane voltage. Deiters cells or control HEK cells, which lack motors, do not show this dependence. We modeled the voltage-dependent change in C(sa) as a Boltzmann process with the same parameters that describe the charge movement of the motors' voltage sensors. C(sa) is 3.28+/-0.75 pF (mean +/-SD; n=23) larger during extreme hyperpolarization, and the number of motors in OHCs and prestin-transfected HEK cells correlates with the magnitude of Delta C(sa)( r=0.78). Although these data are consistent with the area motor model, the corresponding area change, assuming 0.5 microF/cm(2) under constant membrane thickness, is unphysiologically large, and indicates that the capacitance change must result from changes not only in lateral membrane area but also specific capacitance. Thus, we conclude that a conformational change in the lateral membrane motor, prestin, additionally alters the dielectric constant and/or thickness of the lateral plasma membrane.

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

    Sens, Pierre; Gov, Nir


    During the aging of the red-blood cell, or under conditions of extreme echinocytosis, membrane is shed from the cell plasma membrane in the form of nano-vesicles. We propose that this process is the result of the self-adaptation of the membrane surface area to the elastic stress imposed by the spectrin cytoskeleton, via the local buckling of membrane under increasing cytoskeleton stiffness. This model introduces the concept of force balance as a regulatory process at the cell membrane, and qu...

  19. Use of hybrid chitosan membranes and human mesenchymal stem cells from the Wharton jelly of umbilical cord for promoting nerve regeneration in an axonotmesis rat model

    Andrea G(a)rtner; Yuri Nakamura; Satoshi Hayakawa; Akiyoshi Osakah; Beatriz Porto; Ana Lúcia Luís; Artur SP Varej(a)o; Ana Colette Maurício; Tiago Pereira; Maria Jo(a)o Sim(o)es; Paulo AS Armada-da-Silva; Miguel L Fran(c)a; Rosa Sousa; Simone Bompasso; Stefania Raimondo; Yuki Shirosaki


    Many studies have been dedicated to the development of scaffolds for improving post-traumatic nerve regeneration.The goal of this study was to assess the effect on nerve regeneration,associating a hybrid chitosan membrane with non-differentiated human mesenchymal stem cells isolated from Wharton's jelly of umbilical cord,in peripheral nerve reconstruction after crush injury.Chromosome analysis on human mesenchymal stem cell line from Wharton's jelly was carried out and no structural alterations were found in metaphase.Chitosan membranes were previously tested in vitro,to assess their ability in supporting human mesenchymal stem cell survival,expansion,and differentiation.For the in vivo testing,Sasco Sprague adult rats were divided in 4 groups of 6 or 7 animals each:Group 1,sciatic axonotmesis injury without any other intervention (Group 1-Crush); Group 2,the axonotmesis lesion of 3 mm was infiltrated with a suspension of 1 250- 1 500 human mesenchymal stem cells (total volume of 50 μL) (Group 2-CrushCell); Group 3,axonotmesis lesion of 3 mm was enwrapped with a chitosan type Ⅲ membrane covered with a monolayer of non-differentiated human mesenchymal stem cells (Group 3-CrushChitlllCell) and Group 4,axonotmesis lesion of 3 mm was enwrapped with a chitosan type Ⅲ membrane (Group 4-CrushChitlll).Motor and sensory functional recovery was evaluated throughout a healing period of 12 weeks using sciatic functional index,static sciatic index,extensor postural thrust,and withdrawal reflex latency.Stereological analysis was carried out on regenerated nerve fibers.Results showed that infiltration of human mesenchymal stem cells,or the combination of chitosan membrane enwrapment and human mesenchymal stem cell enrichment after nerve crush injury provide a slight advantage to post-traumatic nerve regeneration.Results obtained with chitosan type Ⅲ membrane alone confirmed that they significantly improve post-traumatic axonal regrowth and may represent a very promising

  20. Fuel cell membranes and crossover prevention

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


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

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

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


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

  2. Use of hybrid chitosan membranes and human mesenchymal stem cells from the Wharton jelly of umbilical cord for promoting nerve regeneration in an axonotmesis rat model.

    Gärtner, Andrea; Pereira, Tiago; Simões, Maria João; Armada-da-Silva, Paulo As; França, Miguel L; Sousa, Rosa; Bompasso, Simone; Raimondo, Stefania; Shirosaki, Yuki; Nakamura, Yuri; Hayakawa, Satoshi; Osakah, Akiyoshi; Porto, Beatriz; Luís, Ana Lúcia; Varejão, Artur Sp; Maurício, Ana Colette


    Many studies have been dedicated to the development of scaffolds for improving post-traumatic nerve regeneration. The goal of this study was to assess the effect on nerve regeneration, associating a hybrid chitosan membrane with non-differentiated human mesenchymal stem cells isolated from Wharton's jelly of umbilical cord, in peripheral nerve reconstruction after crush injury. Chromosome analysis on human mesenchymal stem cell line from Wharton's jelly was carried out and no structural alterations were found in metaphase. Chitosan membranes were previously tested in vitro, to assess their ability in supporting human mesenchymal stem cell survival, expansion, and differentiation. For the in vivo testing, Sasco Sprague adult rats were divided in 4 groups of 6 or 7 animals each: Group 1, sciatic axonotmesis injury without any other intervention (Group 1-Crush); Group 2, the axonotmesis lesion of 3 mm was infiltrated with a suspension of 1 250-1 500 human mesenchymal stem cells (total volume of 50 μL) (Group 2-CrushCell); Group 3, axonotmesis lesion of 3 mm was enwrapped with a chitosan type III membrane covered with a monolayer of non-differentiated human mesenchymal stem cells (Group 3-CrushChitIIICell) and Group 4, axonotmesis lesion of 3 mm was enwrapped with a chitosan type III membrane (Group 4-CrushChitIII). Motor and sensory functional recovery was evaluated throughout a healing period of 12 weeks using sciatic functional index, static sciatic index, extensor postural thrust, and withdrawal reflex latency. Stereological analysis was carried out on regenerated nerve fibers. Results showed that infiltration of human mesenchymal stem cells, or the combination of chitosan membrane enwrapment and human mesenchymal stem cell enrichment after nerve crush injury provide a slight advantage to post-traumatic nerve regeneration. Results obtained with chitosan type III membrane alone confirmed that they significantly improve post-traumatic axonal regrowth and may

  3. Understanding transport in model water desalination membranes

    Chan, Edwin

    Polyamide based thin film composites represent the the state-of-the-art nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes used in water desalination. The performance of these membranes is enabled by the ultrathin (~100 nm) crosslinked polyamide film in facilitating the selective transport of water over salt ions. While these materials have been refined over the last several decades, understanding the relationships between polyamide structure and membrane performance remains a challenge because of the complex and heterogeneous nature of the polyamide film. In this contribution, we present our approach to addressing this challenge by studying the transport properties of model polyamide membranes synthesized via molecular layer-by-layer (mLbL) assembly. First, we demonstrate that mLbL can successfully construct polyamide membranes with well-defined nanoscale thickness and roughness using a variety of monomer formulations. Next, we present measurement tools for characterizing the network structure and transport of these model polyamide membranes. Specifically, we used X-ray and neutron scattering techniques to characterize their structure as well as a recently-developed indentation based poromechanics approach to extrapolate their water diffusion coefficient. Finally, we illustrate how these measurements can provide insight into the original problem by linking the key polyamide network properties, i.e. water-polyamide interaction parameter and characteristic network mesh size, to the membrane performance.

  4. Polyarylenethioethersulfone Membranes for Fuel Cells (Postprint)


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

  5. Epithelial cell-cell junctions and plasma membrane domains

    Giepmans, Ben N. G.; van Ijzendoorn, Sven C. D.

    Epithelial cells form a barrier against the environment, but are also required for the regulated exchange of molecules between an organism and its surroundings. Epithelial cells are characterised by a remarkable polarization of their plasma membrane, evidenced by the appearance of structurally,

  6. Epithelial cell-cell junctions and plasma membrane domains

    Giepmans, Ben N. G.; van Ijzendoorn, Sven C. D.


    Epithelial cells form a barrier against the environment, but are also required for the regulated exchange of molecules between an organism and its surroundings. Epithelial cells are characterised by a remarkable polarization of their plasma membrane, evidenced by the appearance of structurally, comp

  7. 质子交换膜燃料电池电堆的动态热模型及其温度控制%Dynamic Thermal Model and Temperature Control of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell Stack

    邵庆龙; 卫东; 曹广益; 朱新坚


    A dynamic thermal transfer model of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack is developed based on energy conservation in order to reach better temperature control of PEMFC stack. Considering its uncertain parameters and disturbance, we propose a robust adaptive controller based on backstepping algorithm of Lyaponov function. Numerical simulations indicate the validity of the proposed controller.

  8. Computational model for amoeboid motion: Coupling membrane and cytosol dynamics.

    Moure, Adrian; Gomez, Hector


    A distinguishing feature of amoeboid motion is that the migrating cell undergoes large deformations, caused by the emergence and retraction of actin-rich protrusions, called pseudopods. Here, we propose a cell motility model that represents pseudopod dynamics, as well as its interaction with membrane signaling molecules. The model accounts for internal and external forces, such as protrusion, contraction, adhesion, surface tension, or those arising from cell-obstacle contacts. By coupling the membrane and cytosol interactions we are able to reproduce a realistic picture of amoeboid motion. The model results are in quantitative agreement with experiments and show how cells may take advantage of the geometry of their microenvironment to migrate more efficiently.

  9. Membrane Phospholipid Redistribution in Cytokinesis: A Theoretical Model

    Mei-Wen AN; Wen-Zhou WU; Wei-Yi CHEN


    In cell mitosis, cytokinesis is a major deformation process, during which the site of the contractile ring is determined by the biochemical stimulus from asters of the mitotic apparatus, actin and myosin assembly is related to the motion of membrane phospholipids, and local distribution and arrangement of the microfilament cytoskeleton are different at different cytokinesis stages. Based on the Zinemanas-Nir model, a new model is proposed in this study to simulate the entire process by coupling the biochemical stimulus with the mechanical actions. There were three assumptions in this model: the movements of phospholipid proteins are driven by gradients of biochemical stimulus on the membrane surface; the local assembly of actin and myosin filament depends on the amount of phospholipid proteins at the same location;and the surface tension includes membrane tensions due to both the passive deformation of the membrane and the active contraction of actin filament, which is determined by microfilament redistribution and rearrangement. This model could explain the dynamic movement of microfilaments during cytokinesis and predict cell deformation. The calculated results from this model demonstrated that the reorientation of phospholipid proteins and the redistribution and reorientation of microfilaments may play a crucial role in cell division. This model may better represent the cytokinesis process by the introduction of biochemical stimulus.

  10. Modelling and essay or the polarization curve of a polymeric membrane fuel cell; Modelagem e ensaio da curva de polarizacao de uma celula a combustivel de membrana polimerica

    Almeida, Silvio Carlos Anibal de; Xavier, Bruno Domont; Gatti, George Cassani; Ribeiro, Rodrigo Minguita [Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), RJ (Brazil). Coordenacao dos Programas de Pos-graduacao de Engenharia (COPPE). Programa de Engenharia Mecanica]. E-mails:;;;; Furtado, Jose Geraldo de Melo [Centro de Pesquisas de Energia Eletrica (CEPEL), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil). Dept. de Tecnologias Especiais]. E-mail:


    This paper describes the essays performed with a polymeric membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) at the test laboratories of the ELETROBRAS Electric Energy Research Center (CEPEL/ELETROBRAS) manufactured by the Eletrocell, which allows to study the influence of some functional parameters (voltage, current, mass and pressure fluxes)

  11. Phlorhizin protects against erythrocyte cell membrane scrambling.

    Gatidis, Sergios; Meier, Anja; Jilani, Kashif; Lang, Elisabeth; Zelenak, Christine; Qadri, Syed M; Lang, Florian


    Phlorhizin interferes with glucose transport. Glucose depletion triggers suicidal erythrocyte death or eryptosis, characterized by cell shrinkage and cell membrane scrambling. Eryptosis is further triggered by oxidative stress. The present study explored whether phlorhizin influences eryptosis following glucose depletion or oxidative stress. Cell membrane scrambling was estimated from annexin binding, cell volume from forward scatter (FSC), and cytosolic Ca(2+) concentration from Fluo-3 fluorescence. Phlorhizin (10-100 μM) added alone did not modify scrambling, FSC, or Fluo-3 fluorescence. Glucose depletion (48 h) significantly increased Fluo-3 fluorescence, decreased FSC, and increased annexin binding, effects in part significantly blunted by phlorhizin (annexin binding ≥ 10 μM, FSC ≥ 50 μM). Oxidative stress (30 min 0.3 mM tert-butylhydroperoxide) again significantly increased Fluo-3 fluorescence and triggered annexin binding, effects again in part significantly blunted by phlorhizin (Fluo-3 fluorescence ≥ 50 μM, annexin-binding ≥ 10 μM). Phlorhizin did not blunt the cell shrinkage induced by oxidative stress. The present observations disclose a novel effect of phlorhizin, that is, an influence on suicidal erythrocyte death following energy depletion and oxidative stress.

  12. Sodium selectivity of Reissner's membrane epithelial cells

    Kim Kyunghee X


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

  13. Measuring the diffusion coefficient of ganglioside on cell membrane by fluorescence correlation spectroscopy

    Dong, Shiqing; You, Minghai; Chen, Jianling; Zhou, Jie; Xie, Shusen; Yang, Hongqin


    The fluidity of proteins and lipids on cell membrane plays an important role in cell’s physiological functions. Fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) is an effective technique to detect the rapid dynamic behaviors of proteins and/or lipids in living cells. In this study, we used the rhodamine6G solution to optimize the FCS system. And, cholera toxin B subunit (CT-B) was used to label ganglioside on living Hela cell membranes. The diffusion time and coefficients of ganglioside can be obtained through fitting the autocorrelation curve based on the model of two-dimensional cell membrane. The results showed that the diffusion coefficients of ganglioside distributed within a wide range. It revealed the lateral diffusion of lipids on cell membrane was inhomogeneous, which was due to different microstructures of cytoplasmic membrane. The study provides a helpful method for further studying the dynamic characteristics of proteins and lipids molecules on living cell membrane.

  14. Membrane Purification Cell for Aluminum Recycling

    David DeYoung; James Wiswall; Cong Wang


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

  15. Cell membrane-camouflaged nanoparticles for drug delivery.

    Luk, Brian T; Zhang, Liangfang


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

  16. How to Evaluate the Electric Noise in a Cell Membrane?

    Bier, M.


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

  17. Dendronized Polymer Architectures for Fuel Cell Membranes

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


    Multi‐step synthetic pathways to low‐ion exchange capacity (IEC) polysulfone (PSU) with sulfonic acid functionalized aliphatic dendrons and sulfonated comb‐type PSU structures are developed and investigated in a comparative study as non‐fluorinated proton exchange membrane (PEM) candidates. In each...... case the side chains are synthesized and introduced in their sulfonated form onto an azide‐functionalized PSU via click chemistry. Three degrees of substitution of each architecture were prepared in order to evaluate the dependence on number of sulfonated side chains. Solution cast membranes were...... evaluated as PEMs for use in fuel cells by proton conductivity measurements, and in the case of dendronized architectures: thermal stability. The proposed synthetic strategy facilitates exploration of a non‐fluorous system with various flexible side chains where IEC is tunable by the degree of substitution....

  18. Membrane Proteins : The Key Players of a Cancer Cell

    Kampen, Kim R.


    Membrane proteins are involved in the prognosis of the most common forms of cancer. Membrane proteins are the hallmark of a cancer cell. The overexpressed membrane receptors are becoming increasingly important in cancer cell therapy. Current renewing therapy approaches based on receptor overexpressi

  19. Membrane Proteins : The Key Players of a Cancer Cell

    Kampen, Kim R.

    Membrane proteins are involved in the prognosis of the most common forms of cancer. Membrane proteins are the hallmark of a cancer cell. The overexpressed membrane receptors are becoming increasingly important in cancer cell therapy. Current renewing therapy approaches based on receptor

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

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


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

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

    Yoon, Wonseok

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

  2. Collaboration between primitive cell membranes and soluble catalysts.

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


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

  3. Triangle-hinge models for unoriented membranes

    Fukuma, Masafumi; Sugishita, Sotaro; Umeda, Naoya


    Triangle-hinge models [M. Fukuma, S. Sugishita, and N. Umeda, J. High Energy Phys. 1507, 088 (2015)] are introduced to describe worldvolume dynamics of membranes. The Feynman diagrams consist of triangles glued together along hinges and can be restricted to tetrahedral decompositions in a large-N limit. In this paper, after clarifying that all the tetrahedra resulting in the original models are orientable, we define a version of triangle-hinge models that can describe the dynamics of unoriented membranes. By regarding each triangle as representing a propagation of an open membrane of disk topology, we introduce a local worldvolume parity transformation which inverts the orientation of a triangle, and define unoriented triangle-hinge models by gauging the transformation. Unlike two-dimensional cases, this local transformation generally relates a manifold to a nonmanifold, but still is a well-defined manipulation among tetrahedral decompositions. We further show that matter fields can be introduced in the same way as in the original oriented models. In particular, the models will describe unoriented membranes in a target spacetime by taking matter fields to be the target space coordinates.

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

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


    Composite membranes based on poly(2,2′(m-phenylene)-5,5́bibenzimidazole) (PBI) and sulfonated polyhedral oligosilsesquioxane (S-POSS) with S-POSS contents of 5 and 10wt.% were prepared by solution casting as base materials for high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. With membranes...

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

    Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda


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

  6. A Membrane Model from Implicit Elasticity Theory

    Freed, A. D.; Liao, J.; Einstein, D. R.


    A Fungean solid is derived for membranous materials as a body defined by isotropic response functions whose mathematical structure is that of a Hookean solid where the elastic constants are replaced by functions of state derived from an implicit, thermodynamic, internal-energy function. The theory utilizes Biot’s (1939) definitions for stress and strain that, in 1-dimension, are the stress/strain measures adopted by Fung (1967) when he postulated what is now known as Fung’s law. Our Fungean membrane model is parameterized against a biaxial data set acquired from a porcine pleural membrane subjected to three, sequential, proportional, planar extensions. These data support an isotropic/deviatoric split in the stress and strain-rate hypothesized by our theory. These data also demonstrate that the material response is highly non-linear but, otherwise, mechanically isotropic. These data are described reasonably well by our otherwise simple, four-parameter, material model. PMID:24282079

  7. Interaction of Mastoparan with Model Membranes

    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.

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

    LI Qiong; WANG Guangjin; YE Hong; YAN Shilin


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

  9. Plasma membranes from insect midgut cells

    Walter R. Terra


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

  12. Interaction of tea tree oil with model and cellular membranes.

    Giordani, Cristiano; Molinari, Agnese; Toccacieli, Laura; Calcabrini, Annarica; Stringaro, Annarita; Chistolini, Pietro; Arancia, Giuseppe; Diociaiuti, Marco


    Tea tree oil (TTO) is the essential oil steam-distilled from Melaleuca alternifolia, a species of northern New South Wales, Australia. It exhibits a broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and an antifungal activity. Only recently has TTO been shown to inhibit the in vitro growth of multidrug resistant (MDR) human melanoma cells. It has been suggested that the effect of TTO on tumor cells could be mediated by its interaction with the plasma membrane, most likely by inducing a reorganization of lipid architecture. In this paper we report biophysical and structural results obtained using simplified planar model membranes (Langmuir films) mimicking lipid "rafts". We also used flow cytometry analysis (FCA) and freeze-fracturing transmission electron microscopy to investigate the effects of TTO on actual MDR melanoma cell membranes. Thermodynamic (compression isotherms and adsorption kinetics) and structural (Brewster angle microscopy) investigation of the lipid monolayers clearly indicates that TTO interacts preferentially with the less ordered DPPC "sea" and that it does not alter the more ordered lipid "rafts". Structural observations, performed by freeze fracturing, confirm that TTO interacts with the MDR melanoma cell plasma membrane. Moreover, experiments performed by FCA demonstrate that TTO does not interfere with the function of the MDR drug transporter P-gp. We therefore propose that the effect exerted on MDR melanoma cells is mediated by the interaction with the fluid DPPC phase, rather than with the more organized "rafts" and that this interaction preferentially influences the ATP-independent antiapoptotic activity of P-gp likely localized outside "rafts".

  13. Durability aspects of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells

    Sethuraman, Vijay Anand

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

  14. Nanoporous Aluminium Oxide Membranes as Cell Interfaces

    Dorothea Brüggemann


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

  15. Advanced membranes for alkaline primary and rechargeable alkaline cells with zinc anodes

    Lewis, Harlan; Jackson, Patricia; Salkind, Alvin; Danko, Thomas; Bell, Roger

    Several advanced cellulosic and radiation grafted polypropylene membrane materials are currently under evaluation in the laboratories at Navsea Crane and Rutgers University, for application to alkaline primary and rechargeable cell chemistries which employ zinc as the anode material. A portion of these tests involve model cell evaluations of cellulosic membranes for silver migration rates through the membranes as a function of separation layers and changes in the degree of polymerisation (DP), wet tensile strength (WTS) and voltage changes at both electrodes as a function of model rechargeable cell life cycle. Other testing on the actual membranes is generating data for both cellulosic and polypropylene materials on impedance, swelling properties, and silver and zinc penetration rates. The overall goal of these investigations is to obtain candidate separation membranes which will reduce zinc anode shape change and shedding and resist alkaline oxidative degradation to extend the active wet life in primary cells and both wet and life cycle in rechargeable cells.

  16. Helfrich model of membrane bending: from Gibbs theory of liquid interfaces to membranes as thick anisotropic elastic layers.

    Campelo, Felix; Arnarez, Clement; Marrink, Siewert J; Kozlov, Michael M


    Helfrich model of membrane bending elasticity has been most influential in establishment and development of Soft-Matter Physics of lipid bilayers and biological membranes. Recently, Helfrich theory has been extensively used in Cell Biology to understand the phenomena of shaping, fusion and fission of cellular membranes. The general background of Helfrich theory on the one hand, and the ways of specifying the model parameters on the other, are important for quantitative treatment of particular biologically relevant membrane phenomena. Here we present the origin of Helfrich model within the context of the general Gibbs theory of capillary interfaces, and review the strategies of computing the membrane elastic moduli based on considering a lipid monolayer as a three-dimensional thick layer characterized by trans-monolayer profiles of elastic parameters. We present the results of original computations of these profiles by a state-of-the-art numerical approach.

  17. Cytocompatibility of Three Corneal Cell Types with Amniotic Membrane

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


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

  18. Model-building codes for membrane proteins.

    Shirley, David Noyes; Hunt, Thomas W.; Brown, W. Michael; Schoeniger, Joseph S. (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA); Slepoy, Alexander; Sale, Kenneth L. (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA); Young, Malin M. (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA); Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Gray, Genetha Anne (Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, CA)


    We have developed a novel approach to modeling the transmembrane spanning helical bundles of integral membrane proteins using only a sparse set of distance constraints, such as those derived from MS3-D, dipolar-EPR and FRET experiments. Algorithms have been written for searching the conformational space of membrane protein folds matching the set of distance constraints, which provides initial structures for local conformational searches. Local conformation search is achieved by optimizing these candidates against a custom penalty function that incorporates both measures derived from statistical analysis of solved membrane protein structures and distance constraints obtained from experiments. This results in refined helical bundles to which the interhelical loops and amino acid side-chains are added. Using a set of only 27 distance constraints extracted from the literature, our methods successfully recover the structure of dark-adapted rhodopsin to within 3.2 {angstrom} of the crystal structure.

  19. The organochlorine herbicide chloridazon interacts with cell membranes.

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


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

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

    Sébastien eHouy


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

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

    Nicolson, Garth L


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

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

    Moeller-Holst, S.


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

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

    Moeller-Holst, S.


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

  4. A theory for the membrane potential of cells

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


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

  5. Fluctuations of coupled fluid and solid membranes with application to red blood cells

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

  9. Low-cost non-fluorinated membranes for fuel cells

    Luo, H


    Full Text Available the driver of the next growth wave of the world’s economy. A proton conductive membrane is the core of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). Presently, Nafion® membranes are widely used in PEMFC. However, the high cost, low operation temperature...

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

    Shil, Pratip; Vidyasagar, Pandit B


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

  11. Self-Segregation of Myelin Membrane Lipids in Model Membranes

    Yurlova, Larisa; Kahya, Nicoletta; Aggarwal, Shweta; Kaiser, Hermann-Josef; Chiantia, Salvatore; Bakhti, Mostafa; Pewzner-Jung, Yael; Ben-David, Oshrit; Futerman, Anthony H.; Bruegger, Britta; Simons, Mikael


    Rapid conduction of nerve impulses requires coating of axons by myelin sheaths, which are multilamellar, lipid-rich membranes produced by oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system. To act as an insulator, myelin has to form a stable and firm membrane structure. In this study, we have analyzed t

  12. Physical principles of membrane remodelling during cell mechanoadaptation.

    Kosmalska, Anita Joanna; Casares, Laura; Elosegui-Artola, Alberto; Thottacherry, Joseph Jose; Moreno-Vicente, Roberto; González-Tarragó, Víctor; del Pozo, Miguel Ángel; Mayor, Satyajit; Arroyo, Marino; Navajas, Daniel; Trepat, Xavier; Gauthier, Nils C; Roca-Cusachs, Pere


    Biological processes in any physiological environment involve changes in cell shape, which must be accommodated by their physical envelope--the bilayer membrane. However, the fundamental biophysical principles by which the cell membrane allows for and responds to shape changes remain unclear. Here we show that the 3D remodelling of the membrane in response to a broad diversity of physiological perturbations can be explained by a purely mechanical process. This process is passive, local, almost instantaneous, before any active remodelling and generates different types of membrane invaginations that can repeatedly store and release large fractions of the cell membrane. We further demonstrate that the shape of those invaginations is determined by the minimum elastic and adhesive energy required to store both membrane area and liquid volume at the cell-substrate interface. Once formed, cells reabsorb the invaginations through an active process with duration of the order of minutes.

  13. Selective effect of cell membrane on synaptic neurotransmission

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


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

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

    Dung-An Wang


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

  17. Membrane tension and cytoskeleton organization in cell motility

    Sens, Pierre; Plastino, Julie


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

  18. Molecular modeling of the morphology and transport properties of two direct methanol fuel cell membranes: phenylated sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone ketone) versus Nafion

    Devanathan, Ramaswami; Idupulapati, Nagesh B.; Dupuis, Michel


    We have used molecular dynamics simulations to examine membrane morphology and the transport of water, methanol and hydronium in phenylated sulfonated poly ether ether ketone ketone (Ph-SPEEKK) and Nafion membranes at 360 K for a range of hydration levels. At comparable hydration levels, the pore diameter is smaller, the sulfonate groups are more closely packed, the hydronium ions are more strongly bound to sulfonate groups, and the diffusion of water and hydronium is slower in Ph-SPEEKK relative to the corresponding properties in Nafion. The aromatic carbon backbone of Ph-SPEEKK is less hydrophobic than the fluorocarbon backbone of Nafion. Water network percolation occurs at a hydration level ({lambda}) of {approx}8 H{sub 2}O/SO{sub 3}{sup -}. At {lambda} = 20, water, methanol and hydronium diffusion coefficients were 1.4 x 10{sup -5}, 0.6 x 10{sup -5} and 0.2 x 10{sup -5} cm{sup 2}/s, respectively. The pore network in Ph-SPEEKK evolves dynamically and develops wide pores for {lambda} > 20, which leads to a jump in methanol crossover and ion transport. This study demonstrates the potential of aromatic membranes as low-cost challengers to Nafion for direct methanol fuel cell applications and the need to develop innovative strategies to combat methanol crossover at high hydration levels.

  19. Fault tolerance control for proton exchange membrane fuel cell systems

    Wu, Xiaojuan; Zhou, Boyang


    Fault diagnosis and controller design are two important aspects to improve proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) system durability. However, the two tasks are often separately performed. For example, many pressure and voltage controllers have been successfully built. However, these controllers are designed based on the normal operation of PEMFC. When PEMFC faces problems such as flooding or membrane drying, a controller with a specific design must be used. This paper proposes a unique scheme that simultaneously performs fault diagnosis and tolerance control for the PEMFC system. The proposed control strategy consists of a fault diagnosis, a reconfiguration mechanism and adjustable controllers. Using a back-propagation neural network, a model-based fault detection method is employed to detect the PEMFC current fault type (flooding, membrane drying or normal). According to the diagnosis results, the reconfiguration mechanism determines which backup controllers to be selected. Three nonlinear controllers based on feedback linearization approaches are respectively built to adjust the voltage and pressure difference in the case of normal, membrane drying and flooding conditions. The simulation results illustrate that the proposed fault tolerance control strategy can track the voltage and keep the pressure difference at desired levels in faulty conditions.

  20. Thin Robust Anion Exchange Membranes for Fuel Cell Applications


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

  1. Development of a computational model applied to a unitary 144 CM{sup 2} proton exchange membrane fuel cell; Desenvolvimento de um modelo numerico computacional aplicado a uma celula a combustivel unitaria de 144 CM{sup 2} tipo PEM

    Robalinho, Eric


    This work presents the development of a numerical computer model and methodology to study and design polymeric exchange membrane fuel cell - PEM. For the validation of experimental results, a sequence of routines, appropriate to fit the data obtained in the laboratory, was described. At the computational implementation it was created a new strategy of coupling two 3-dimensional models to satisfy the requirements of the comprehensive model of the fuel cell, including its various geometries and materials, as well as the various physical and chemical processes simulated. To effective assessment of the real cell analogy with numerical model, numerical studies were carried out. Comparisons with values obtained in the literature, characterization of variables through laboratory experiments and estimates from models already tested in the literature were also performed. Regarding the experimental part, a prototype of a fuel cell unit of 144 cm{sup 2} of geometric area was designed, produced and operated at laboratory with the purpose of validating the numerical computer model proposed, with positive results. The results of simulations for the 2D and 3D geometries proposed are presented in the form of polarization curves, highlighting the catalytic layer model based on the geometry of agglomerates. Parametric and sensitivity studies are presented to illustrate the change in performance of the fuel cell studied. The final model is robust and useful as a tool for design and optimization of PEM type fuel cells in a wide range of operating conditions. (author)

  2. Development of a computational model applied to a unitary 144 cm{sup 2} proton exchange membrane fuel cell; Desenvolvimento de um modelo numerico computacional aplicado a uma celula a combustivel unitaria de 144 CM{sup 2} tipo PEM

    Robalinho, Eric


    This work presents the development of a numerical computer model and methodology to study and design polymeric exchange membrane fuel cell - PEM. For the validation of experimental results, a sequence of routines, appropriate to fit the data obtained in the laboratory, was described. At the computational implementation it was created a new strategy of coupling two 3-dimensional models to satisfy the requirements of the comprehensive model of the fuel cell, including its various geometries and materials, as well as the various physical and chemical processes simulated. To effective assessment of the real cell analogy with numerical model, numerical studies were carried out. Comparisons with values obtained in the literature, characterization of variables through laboratory experiments and estimates from models already tested in the literature were also performed. Regarding the experimental part, a prototype of a fuel cell unit of 144 cm of geometric area was designed, produced and operated at laboratory with the purpose of validating the numerical computer model proposed, with positive results. The results of simulations for the 2D and 3D geometries proposed are presented in the form of polarization curves, highlighting the catalytic layer model based on the geometry of agglomerates. Parametric and sensitivity studies are presented to illustrate the change in performance of the fuel cell studied. The final model is robust and useful as a tool for design and optimization of PEM type fuel cells in a wide range of operating conditions. (author)

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

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


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

  4. Computational analysis of the tether-pulling experiment to probe plasma membrane-cytoskeleton interaction in cells

    Schumacher, Kristopher R.; Popel, Aleksander S.; Anvari, Bahman; Brownell, William E.; Spector, Alexander A.


    Tethers are thin membrane tubes that can be formed when relatively small and localized forces are applied to cellular membranes and lipid bilayers. Tether pulling experiments have been used to better understand the fine membrane properties. These include the interaction between the plasma membrane and the underlying cytoskeleton, which is an important factor affecting membrane mechanics. We use a computational method aimed at the interpretation and design of tether pulling experiments in cells with a strong membrane-cytoskeleton attachment. In our model, we take into account the detailed information in the topology of bonds connecting the plasma membrane and the cytoskeleton. We compute the force-dependent piecewise membrane deflection and bending as well as modes of stored energy in three major regions of the system: body of the tether, membrane-cytoskeleton attachment zone, and the transition zone between the two. We apply our method to three cells: cochlear outer hair cells (OHCs), human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells, and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. OHCs have a special system of pillars connecting the membrane and the cytoskeleton, and HEK and CHO cells have the membrane-cytoskeleton adhesion arrangement via bonds (e.g., PIP2), which is common to many other cells. We also present a validation of our model by using experimental data on CHO and HEK cells. The proposed method can be an effective tool in the analyses of experiments to probe the properties of cellular membranes.

  5. Why Do Some T Cell Receptor Cytoplasmic Domains Associate with the Plasma Membrane?

    Philip Anton evan der Merwe; Hao eZhang; Shaun-Paul eCordoba


    Based on studies in model systems it has been proposed that the cytoplasmic domains of T cell receptor signaling subunits that have polybasic motifs associate with the plasma membrane, and that this regulates their phosphorylation. Recent experiments in more physiological systems have confirmed membrane association but raised questions as to its function.

  6. C8-glycosphingolipids preferentially insert into tumor cell membranes and promote chemotherapeutic drug uptake.

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


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

  7. Study of Raft Domains in Model Membrane of DPPC/PE/Cholesterol

    Lor, Chai; Hirst, Linda


    Raft domains in bilayer membrane are thought to play an important role in many cell functions such as cell signaling or trans-membrane protein activation. Here we use a model membrane consisting of DPPC/PE/cholesterol to examine the structure of membrane rafts and phase interactions. In particular we are interested in lipids containing the highly polyunsaturated fatty acid DHA. We use both atomic force microscopy (AFM) and fluorescence microscopy to obtain information on the structural properties of raft regions and track cholesterol. As expected, we find phase separation of raft regions between saturated and unsaturated lipids. Moreover, we find that the roughness of the domains change with varying cholesterol concentration possibly due to overpacking. This model study provides further understanding of the role of cholesterol in bilayer membrane leading towards a better knowledge of cell membranes.

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

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


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

  9. Functional motor microdomains of the outer hair cell lateral membrane.

    Santos-Sacchi, Joseph


    The outer hair cell (OHC) of the mammalian inner ear is a highly partitioned neuroepithelial cell whose lateral membrane is devoted to electromotility, a fast mechanical length change owing to the motor protein, prestin. Spatially restricted measures of prestin-derived nonlinear capacitance or gating charge, using either electrical amputation or discrete membrane mechanical deformation, were used to determine that functional variation exists within the extensive lateral membrane of the cell. This was evidenced by variation in the motor's operating voltage range and sensitivity among microdomains within the lateral membrane. That is, localized regions of the membrane evidenced Boltzmann distributions of motor charge whose midpoint voltage and slope differed from those obtained for the whole cell. These data highlight the functional independence of microdomains and imply that measured whole cell characteristics may differ from the microscopic characteristics of elementary motors.

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

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


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

  11. Heat sources in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells

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

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

  12. Promoting Nerve Regeneration in a Neurotmesis Rat Model Using Poly(DL-lactide-ε-caprolactone Membranes and Mesenchymal Stem Cells from the Wharton’s Jelly: In Vitro and In Vivo Analysis

    T. Pereira


    Full Text Available In peripheral nerves MSCs can modulate Wallerian degeneration and the overall regenerative response by acting through paracrine mechanisms directly on regenerating axons or upon the nerve-supporting Schwann cells. In the present study, the effect of human MSCs from Wharton’s jelly (HMSCs, differentiated into neuroglial-like cells associated to poly (DL-lactide-ε-caprolactone membrane, on nerve regeneration, was evaluated in the neurotmesis injury rat sciatic nerve model. Results in vitro showed successful differentiation of HMSCs into neuroglial-like cells, characterized by expression of specific neuroglial markers confirmed by immunocytochemistry and by RT-PCR and qPCR targeting specific genes expressed. In vivo testing evaluated during the healing period of 20 weeks, showed no evident positive effect of HMSCs or neuroglial-like cell enrichment at the sciatic nerve repair site on most of the functional and nerve morphometric predictors of nerve regeneration although the nociception function was almost normal. EPT on the other hand, recovered significantly better after HMSCs enriched membrane employment, to values of residual functional impairment compared to other treated groups. When the neurotmesis injury can be surgically reconstructed with an end-to-end suture or by grafting, the addition of a PLC membrane associated with HMSCs seems to bring significant advantage, especially concerning the motor function recovery.

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

    Dylan Myers Owen


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

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

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


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

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

    Noutsi, Pakiza


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

  16. Interaction of Cytotoxic and Cytoprotective Bile Acids with Model Membranes: Influence of the Membrane Composition.

    Esteves, M; Ferreira, M J; Kozica, A; Fernandes, A C; Gonçalves da Silva, A; Saramago, B


    To understand the role of bile acids (BAs) in cell function, many authors have investigated their effect on biomembrane models which are less complex systems, but there are still many open questions. The present study aims to contribute for the deepening of the knowledge of the interaction between BAs and model membranes, in particular, focusing on the effect of BA mixtures. The cytotoxic deoxycholic acid (DCA), the cytoprotective ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), and the equimolar mixture (DCA + UDCA) were investigated. Monolayers and liposomes were taken as model membranes with two lipid compositions: an equimolar mixture of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), sphingomyelin (SM), and cholesterol (Chol)) traditionally associated with the formation of lipid rafts and an equimolar POPC/SM binary mixture. The obtained results showed that DCA causes the fluidization of monolayers and bilayers, leading to the eventual rupture of POPC/SM liposomes at high concentration. UDCA may provide a stabilization of POPC/SM membranes but has a negligible effect on the Chol-containing liposomes. In the case of equimolar mixture DCA/UDCA, the interactions depend not only on the lipid composition but also on the design of the experiment. The BA mixture has a greater impact on the monolayers than do pure BAs, suggesting a cooperative DCA-UDCA interaction that enhances the penetration of UDCA in both POPC/SM and POPC/SM/Chol monolayers. For the bilayers, the presence of UDCA in the mixture decreases the disturbing effect of DCA.

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

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


    A novel acid–base polymer membrane is prepared by doping of imidazolium polysulfone with phosphoric acid for high temperature proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Polysulfone is first chloromethylated, followed by functionalization of the chloromethylated polysulfone with alkyl imidazoles i.e. me...

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

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


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

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

    Alexander Panchenko; Elena Aleksandrova; Emil Roduner


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

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

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


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

  1. Isolation of mitochondria by gentle cell membrane disruption, and their subsequent characterization.

    Shibata, Takahiro; Yamashita, Saki; Hirusaki, Kotoe; Katoh, Kaoru; Ohta, Yoshihiro


    Mitochondria play a key role in several physiological processes as in integrating signals in the cell. However, understanding of the mechanism by which mitochondria sense and respond to signals has been limited due to the lack of an appropriate model system. In this study, we developed a method to isolate and characterize mitochondria without cell homogenization. By gently pipetting cells treated with streptolysin-O, a pore-forming membrane protein, we disrupted the cell membrane and were able to isolate both elongated and spherical mitochondria. Fluorescence imaging combined with super resolution microscopy showed that both the outer and inner membranes of the elongated mitochondria isolated using the newly developed method were intact. In addition, a FRET-based ATP sensor expressed in the mitochondrial matrix demonstrated that ATP generation by FoF1-ATPase in the isolated elongated mitochondria was as high as that in intracellular mitochondria. On the other hand, some of the spherical mitochondria isolated with this method had the outer membrane that no longer encapsulated the inner membrane. In addition, all mitochondria isolated using conventional procedures involving homogenization were spherical, many of them had damaged membranes, and low levels of ATP generation. Our results suggest that elongated mitochondria isolated from cells through gentle cell membrane disruption using a pore-forming protein tend to be more similar to intracellular mitochondria, having an intact membrane system and higher activity than spherical mitochondria. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Cell membrane fluid-mosaic structure and cancer metastasis.

    Nicolson, Garth L


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

  3. Analysis performance of proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC)

    Mubin, A. N. A.; Bahrom, M. H.; Azri, M.; Ibrahim, Z.; Rahim, N. A.; Raihan, S. R. S.


    Recently, the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) has gained much attention to the technology of renewable energy due to its mechanically ideal and zero emission power source. PEMFC performance reflects from the surroundings such as temperature and pressure. This paper presents an analysis of the performance of the PEMFC by developing the mathematical thermodynamic modelling using Matlab/Simulink. Apart from that, the differential equation of the thermodynamic model of the PEMFC is used to explain the contribution of heat to the performance of the output voltage of the PEMFC. On the other hand, the partial pressure equation of the hydrogen is included in the PEMFC mathematical modeling to study the PEMFC voltage behaviour related to the input variable input hydrogen pressure. The efficiency of the model is 33.8% which calculated by applying the energy conversion device equations on the thermal efficiency. PEMFC’s voltage output performance is increased by increasing the hydrogen input pressure and temperature.

  4. Detecting Nanodomains in Living Cell Membrane by Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy

    He, Hai-Tao; Marguet, Didier


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

  5. Cell invasion through basement membrane: the anchor cell breaches the barrier.

    Hagedorn, Elliott J; Sherwood, David R


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

  6. A general model for membrane-based separation processes

    Soni, Vipasha; Abildskov, Jens; Jonsson, Gunnar Eigil;


    behaviour will play an important role. In this paper, modelling of membrane-based processes for separation of gas and liquid mixtures are considered. Two general models, one for membrane-based liquid separation processes (with phase change) and another for membrane-based gas separation are presented...

  7. How the antimicrobial peptides destroy bacteria cell membrane: Translocations vs. membrane buckling

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


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

  8. Crucial Role of Mesangial Cell-derived Connective Tissue Growth Factor in a Mouse Model of Anti-Glomerular Basement Membrane Glomerulonephritis

    Toda, Naohiro; Mori, Kiyoshi; Kasahara, Masato; Ishii, Akira; Koga, Kenichi; Ohno, Shoko; Mori, Keita P.; Kato, Yukiko; Osaki, Keisuke; Kuwabara, Takashige; Kojima, Katsutoshi; Taura, Daisuke; Sone, Masakatsu; Matsusaka, Taiji; Nakao, Kazuwa; Mukoyama, Masashi; Yanagita, Motoko; Yokoi, Hideki


    Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) coordinates the signaling of growth factors and promotes fibrosis. Neonatal death of systemic CTGF knockout (KO) mice has hampered analysis of CTGF in adult renal diseases. We established 3 types of CTGF conditional KO (cKO) mice to investigate a role and source of CTGF in anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) glomerulonephritis. Tamoxifen-inducible systemic CTGF (Rosa-CTGF) cKO mice exhibited reduced proteinuria with ameliorated crescent formation and mesangial expansion in anti-GBM nephritis after induction. Although CTGF is expressed by podocytes at basal levels, podocyte-specific CTGF (pod-CTGF) cKO mice showed no improvement in renal injury. In contrast, PDGFRα promoter-driven CTGF (Pdgfra-CTGF) cKO mice, which predominantly lack CTGF expression by mesangial cells, exhibited reduced proteinuria with ameliorated histological changes. Glomerular macrophage accumulation, expression of Adgre1 and Ccl2, and ratio of M1/M2 macrophages were all reduced both in Rosa-CTGF cKO and Pdgfra-CTGF cKO mice, but not in pod-CTGF cKO mice. TGF-β1-stimulated Ccl2 upregulation in mesangial cells and macrophage adhesion to activated mesangial cells were decreased by reduction of CTGF. These results reveal a novel mechanism of macrophage migration into glomeruli with nephritis mediated by CTGF derived from mesangial cells, implicating the therapeutic potential of CTGF inhibition in glomerulonephritis. PMID:28191821

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

    Hasan Ferdi Gerçel


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

  10. Membrane curvature in cell biology: An integration of molecular mechanisms.

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


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

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

    Gao, Weiwei; Zhang, Liangfang


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

  12. Specificity and mechanism of action of alpha-helical membrane-active peptides interacting with model and biological membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy.

    Sun, Shiyu; Zhao, Guangxu; Huang, Yibing; Cai, Mingjun; Shan, Yuping; Wang, Hongda; Chen, Yuxin


    In this study, to systematically investigate the targeting specificity of membrane-active peptides on different types of cell membranes, we evaluated the effects of peptides on different large unilamellar vesicles mimicking prokaryotic, normal eukaryotic, and cancer cell membranes by single-molecule force spectroscopy and spectrum technology. We revealed that cationic membrane-active peptides can exclusively target negatively charged prokaryotic and cancer cell model membranes rather than normal eukaryotic cell model membranes. Using Acholeplasma laidlawii, 3T3-L1, and HeLa cells to represent prokaryotic cells, normal eukaryotic cells, and cancer cells in atomic force microscopy experiments, respectively, we further studied that the single-molecule targeting interaction between peptides and biological membranes. Antimicrobial and anticancer activities of peptides exhibited strong correlations with the interaction probability determined by single-molecule force spectroscopy, which illustrates strong correlations of peptide biological activities and peptide hydrophobicity and charge. Peptide specificity significantly depends on the lipid compositions of different cell membranes, which validates the de novo design of peptide therapeutics against bacteria and cancers.

  13. Modeling of membrane processes for air revitalization and water recovery

    Lange, Kevin E.; Foerg, Sandra L.; Dall-Bauman, Liese A.


    Gas-separation and reverse-osmosis membrane models are being developed in conjunction with membrane testing at NASA JSC. The completed gas-separation membrane model extracts effective component permeabilities from multicomponent test data, and predicts the effects of flow configuration, operating conditions, and membrane dimensions on module performance. Variable feed- and permeate-side pressures are considered. The model has been applied to test data for hollow-fiber membrane modules with simulated cabin-air feeds. Results are presented for a membrane designed for air drying applications. Extracted permeabilities are used to predict the effect of operating conditions on water enrichment in the permeate. A first-order reverse-osmosis model has been applied to test data for spiral wound membrane modules with a simulated hygiene water feed. The model estimates an effective local component rejection coefficient under pseudosteady-state conditions. Results are used to define requirements for a detailed reverse-osmosis model.

  14. Improved Membrane Materials for PEM Fuel Cell Application

    Kenneth A. Mauritz; Robert B. Moore


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

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

    Koopman, Marjolein


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

  16. Understanding the Effects of Compression and Constraints on Water Uptake of Fuel-Cell Membranes

    Kusoglu, Ahmet; Kienitz, Brian L.; Weber, Adam Z.


    Accurate characterization of polymer-electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) requires understanding the impact of mechanical and electrochemical loads on cell components. An essential aspect of this relationship is the effect of compression on the polymer membrane?s water-uptake behavior and transport properties. However, there is limited information on the impact of physical constraints on membrane properties. In this paper, we investigate both theoretically and experimentally how the water uptake of Nafion membrane changes under external compression loads. The swelling of a compressed membrane is modeled by modifying the swelling pressure in the polymer backbone which relies on the changes in the microscopic volume of the polymer. The model successfully predicts the water content of the compressed membrane measured through in-situ swelling-compression tests and neutron imaging. The results show that external mechanical loads could reduce the water content and conductivity of the membrane, especially at lower temperatures, higher humidities, and in liquid water. The modeling framework and experimental data provide valuable insight for the swelling and conductivity of constrained and compressed membranes, which are of interest in electrochemical devices such as batteries and fuel cells.

  17. Protective immunity against Rickettsia heilongjiangensis in a C3H/HeN mouse model mediated by outer membrane protein B-pulsed dendritic cells.

    Meng, YanFen; Xiong, XiaoLu; Qi, Yong; Duan, ChangSong; Gong, WenPing; Jiao, Jun; Wen, BoHai


    Rickettsia heilongjiangensis is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes Far-Eastern tick-borne spotted fever. Outer membrane protein B (OmpB) is an important surface protein antigen of rickettsiae. In the present study, the ompB gene of R. heilongjiangensis was divided into four fragments, resulting in four recombinant proteins (OmpB-p1, OmpB-p2, OmpB-p3, and OmpB-p4). Each OmpB was used in vitro to stimulate murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) of C3H/HeN mice, and the OmpB-pulsed BMDCs were transferred to naïve C3H/HeN mice. On day 14 post-transfer of BMDCs, the mice were challenged with R. heilongjiangensis and the rickettsial loads in the mice were quantitatively determined on day 7 post-challenge. Mice receiving BMDCs pulsed with OmpB-p2, OmpB-p3, or OmpB-p4 exhibited significantly lower bacterial load compared with mice receiving OmpB-p1-pulsed BMDCs. CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells isolated from the spleen of C3H/HeN mice receiving BMDCs pulsed with each OmpB were co-cultured with BMDCs pulsed with the respective cognate protein. In flow cytometric analysis, the expression level of CD69 on CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells from mice receiving BMDCs pulsed with OmpB-p2, OmpB-p3, or OmpB-p4 was higher than that on cells from mice receiving OmpB-p1-pulsed BMDCs, while the expression level of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α on CD8(+) T cells and interferon (IFN)-γ on the CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells from mice receiving OmpB-p2, -p3, or -p4 was significantly higher than on cells from mice receiving OmpB-p1-pulsed BMDCs. Our results suggest that the protective OmpBs could activate CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and drive their differentiation toward CD4(+) Th1 and CD8(+) Tcl cells, respectively, which produce greater amounts of TNF-α and, in particular, IFN-γ, to enhance rickettsicidal activity of host cells.

  18. Pore network modeling to explore the effects of compression on multiphase transport in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell gas diffusion layers

    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.

  19. Homotypic fusion of endoplasmic reticulum membranes in plant cells

    Junjie eHu


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

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

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


    Perurnal Bhavani; Dharmalingam Sangeetha


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

  2. Toughness of membranes applied in polymer electrolyte fuel cells

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


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

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

    Prieto, V G; Woodruff, J M


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

  4. Recombinant Dengue virus protein NS2B alters membrane permeability in different membrane models

    León-Juárez, Moisés; Martínez-Castillo, Macario; Shrivastava, Gaurav; García-Cordero, Julio; Villegas-Sepulveda, Nicolás; Mondragón-Castelán, Mónica; Mondragón-Flores, Ricardo; Cedillo-Barrón, Leticia


    Background One of the main phenomena occurring in cellular membranes during virus infection is a change in membrane permeability. It has been observed that numerous viral proteins can oligomerize and form structures known as viroporins that alter the permeability of membranes. Previous findings have identified such proteins in cells infected with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a member of the same family that Dengue virus (DENV) belongs to (Flaviviridae). In the present work, we investiga...

  5. Design of efficient methanol impermeable membranes for fuel cell applications.

    Lufrano, F; Baglio, V; Di Blasi, O; Staiti, P; Antonucci, V; Aricò, A S


    In this paper, the design of efficient composite membranes based on sulfonated polysulfone and acidic silica material with characteristics and properties such as methanol barrier, high proton conductivity and suitable fuel cells performance is presented. A positive influence of nanosized acidic silica powders, used as an additive filler in the preparation of composite membranes, due to an efficient hydrophilic inter-distribution inside the membrane when compared to pure silica, is found. A series of different techniques such as XRF, FT-IR, TGA, DSC, IEC and conductivity measurements are used to highlight the properties of acidic silica material and composite membranes. The composite membrane based on acidic silica (SPSf-SiO(2)-S) shows the lowest crossover current (only 8 mA cm(-2)), which is 43% lower than that of a pure SPSf membrane and 33% lower compared to a composite membrane based on bare silica (SPSf-SiO(2)). These significant differences are attributed to the increasing diffusion path length of MeOH/H(2)O clusters in the composite membranes. The maximum DMFC performance at 30 °C is achieved with the SPSf-SiO(2)-S membrane (23 mW cm(-2)), whereas the MEAs based on SPSf-SiO(2) and pure SPSf membranes reached 21 and 16 mW cm(-2), respectively. These significant results of the composite SPSf-SiO(2)-S membrane are ascribed at a good compromise among high proton conductivity, low swelling and low methanol crossover compared to pure SPSf and (unmodified silica)-SPSf membranes. A preliminary short durability test of 100 h performed in a cell with the composite SPSf-SiO(2)-S membrane shows remarkable performance stability during chrono-voltammetric measurements (60 mA cm(-2)) at 30 °C.

  6. The surface charge of a cell lipid membrane

    Pekker, M


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

  7. Measuring dynamic membrane fluctuations in cell membrane using quantitative phase imaging (Conference Presentation)

    Lee, SangYun; Kim, Kyoohyun; Park, YongKeun


    There is a strong correlation between the dynamic membrane fluctuations and the biomechanical properties of living cells. The dynamic membrane fluctuation consists of submicron displacements, and can be altered by changing the cells' pathophysiological conditions. These results have significant relevance to the understanding of RBC biophysics and pathology, as follows. RBCs must withstand large mechanical deformations during repeated passages through the microvasculature and the fenestrated walls of the splenic sinusoids. This essential ability is diminished with senescence, resulting in physiological destruction of the aging RBCs. Pathological destruction of the red cells, however, occurs in cells affected by a host of diseases such as spherocytosis, malaria, and Sickle cell disease, as RBCs depart from their normal discoid shape and lose their deformability. Therefore, quantifying the RBC deformability insight into a variety of problems regarding the interplay of cell structure, dynamics, and function. Furthermore, the ability to monitor mechanical properties of RBCs is of vital interest in monitoring disease progression or response to treatment as molecular and pharmaceutical approaches for treatment of chronic diseases. Here, we present the measurements of dynamic membrane fluctuations in live cells using quantitative phase imaging techniques. Measuring both the 3-D refractive index maps and the dynamic phase images of live cells are simultaneously measured, from which dynamic membrane fluctuation and deformability of cells are precisely calculated. We also present its applications to various diseases ranging from sickle cell diseases, babesiosis, and to diabetes.

  8. Innovative membrane development for fuel cells

    Vaivars, G


    Full Text Available The innovative membranes for alternative energy devices will be presented. An electrical car is long waited solution to environmental and fuel supply problems in transport. Most probably, the shift from a combustion engine to an electrical car...

  9. Molecular Modeling of Interfacial Proton Transport in Polymer Electrolyte Membranes


    The proton conductivity of polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) plays a crucial role for the performance of polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). High hydration of Nafion-like membranes is crucial to high proton conduction across the PEM, which limits the operation temperature of PEFCs to <100o C. At elevated temperatures (>100o C) and minimal hydration, interfacial proton transport becomes vital for membrane operation. Along with fuel cell systems, interfacial proton conduction is of...

  10. Cell-free system for synthesizing membrane proteins cell free method for synthesizing membrane proteins

    Laible, Philip D; Hanson, Deborah K


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

  11. A Coarse Grained Model for a Lipid Membrane with Physiological Composition and Leaflet Asymmetry.

    Satyan Sharma

    Full Text Available The resemblance of lipid membrane models to physiological membranes determines how well molecular dynamics (MD simulations imitate the dynamic behavior of cell membranes and membrane proteins. Physiological lipid membranes are composed of multiple types of phospholipids, and the leaflet compositions are generally asymmetric. Here we describe an approach for self-assembly of a Coarse-Grained (CG membrane model with physiological composition and leaflet asymmetry using the MARTINI force field. An initial set-up of two boxes with different types of lipids according to the leaflet asymmetry of mammalian cell membranes stacked with 0.5 nm overlap, reliably resulted in the self-assembly of bilayer membranes with leaflet asymmetry resembling that of physiological mammalian cell membranes. Self-assembly in the presence of a fragment of the plasma membrane protein syntaxin 1A led to spontaneous specific positioning of phosphatidylionositol(4,5bisphosphate at a positively charged stretch of syntaxin consistent with experimental data. An analogous approach choosing an initial set-up with two concentric shells filled with different lipid types results in successful assembly of a spherical vesicle with asymmetric leaflet composition. Self-assembly of the vesicle in the presence of the synaptic vesicle protein synaptobrevin 2 revealed the correct position of the synaptobrevin transmembrane domain. This is the first CG MD method to form a membrane with physiological lipid composition as well as leaflet asymmetry by self-assembly and will enable unbiased studies of the incorporation and dynamics of membrane proteins in more realistic CG membrane models.

  12. Investigating cellular electroporation using planar membrane models and miniaturized devices

    Uitert, van Iris


    This thesis focuses on increasing our understanding of the electroporation process. Electroporation is a technique employed to introduce foreign molecules into cells that can normally not pass the cell membrane. By applying a short but high electric field, pores appear in the membrane through which

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

    Hase, M


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

  14. Membrane Protein Mobility and Orientation Preserved in Supported Bilayers Created Directly from Cell Plasma Membrane Blebs.

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


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

  15. Seeing the Forest in Lieu of the Trees: Continuum Simulations of Cell Membranes at Large Length Scales.

    Sapp, Kayla; Shlomovitz, Roie; Maibaum, Lutz

    Biological membranes exhibit long-range spatial structure in both chemical composition and geometric shape, which gives rise to remarkable physical phenomena and important biological functions. Continuum models that describe these effects play an important role in our understanding of membrane biophysics at large length scales. We review the mathematical framework used to describe both composition and shape degrees of freedom, and present best practices to implement such models in a computer simulation. We discuss in detail two applications of continuum models of cell membranes: the formation of microemulsion and modulated phases, and the effect of membrane-mediated interactions on the assembly of membrane proteins.

  16. Novel Membrane for Highly Efficient Fuel Cells Project

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

  17. Novel High Temperature Membrane for PEM Fuel Cells Project

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

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

    Jodie Lopez


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

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

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


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

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


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

  1. Elastic thickness compressibilty of the red cell membrane.

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


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

  2. Catalyst Degradation in High Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Based on Acid Doped Polybenzimidazole Membranes

    Cleemann, Lars Nilausen; Buazar, F.; Li, Qingfeng;


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

  3. Molecular sieving action of the cell membrane during gradual osmotic hemolysis

    MacGregor, R.D. II


    Rat erythrocytes were hemolyzed by controlled gradual osmotic hemolysis to study cell morphology and hemoglobin loss from individual cells. Results suggest that each increase in the rate of loss of a protein from the cells during the initial phases of controlled gradual osmotic hemolysis is caused by the passage of a previously impermeable species across the stressed membrane. Similarly, during the final stages of controlled gradual osmotic hemolysis, each sharp decrease in the rate of loss of a protein corresponds to the termination of a molecular flow. A theoretical model is described that predicts the molecular sieving of soluble globular proteins across the stressed red cell membrane. Hydrophobic interactions occur between the soluble proteins and the lipid bilayer portion of the cell membrane. A spectrin network subdivides the bilayer into domains that restrict the insertion of large molecules into the membrane. Other membrane proteins affect soluble protein access to the membrane. Changes in the loss curves caused by incubation of red cells are discussed in terms of the model.

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

    Simon W Fogarty

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

  7. Local Entropy Production Rates in a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell

    Siemer, Marc; Marquardt, Tobias; Valadez Huerta, Gerardo; Kabelac, Stephan


    A modeling study on a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell by means of non-equilibrium thermodynamics is presented. The developed model considers a one-dimensional cell in steady-state operation. The temperature, concentration and electric potential profiles are calculated for every domain of the cell. While the gas diffusion and the catalyst layers are calculated with established classical modeling approaches, the transport processes in the membrane are calculated with the phenomenological equations as dictated by the non-equilibrium thermodynamics. This approach is especially instructive for the membrane as the coupled transport mechanisms are dominant. The needed phenomenological coefficients are approximated on the base of conventional transport coefficients. Knowing the fluxes and their intrinsic corresponding forces, the local entropy production rate is calculated. Accordingly, the different loss mechanisms can be detected and quantified, which is important for cell and stack optimization.

  8. Atomic force microscopy of model lipid membranes.

    Morandat, Sandrine; Azouzi, Slim; Beauvais, Estelle; Mastouri, Amira; El Kirat, Karim


    Supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) are biomimetic model systems that are now widely used to address the biophysical and biochemical properties of biological membranes. Two main methods are usually employed to form SLBs: the transfer of two successive monolayers by Langmuir-Blodgett or Langmuir-Schaefer techniques, and the fusion of preformed lipid vesicles. The transfer of lipid films on flat solid substrates offers the possibility to apply a wide range of surface analytical techniques that are very sensitive. Among them, atomic force microscopy (AFM) has opened new opportunities for determining the nanoscale organization of SLBs under physiological conditions. In this review, we first focus on the different protocols generally employed to prepare SLBs. Then, we describe AFM studies on the nanoscale lateral organization and mechanical properties of SLBs. Lastly, we survey recent developments in the AFM monitoring of bilayer alteration, remodeling, or digestion, by incubation with exogenous agents such as drugs, proteins, peptides, and nanoparticles.

  9. Quantitative Fluorescence Studies in Living Cells: Extending Fluorescence Fluctuation Spectroscopy to Peripheral Membrane Proteins

    Smith, Elizabeth Myhra

    The interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with both membrane lipids and proteins are vital for many cellular processes including membrane trafficking, cellular signaling, and cell growth/regulation. Building accurate biophysical models of these processes requires quantitative characterization of the behavior of peripheral membrane proteins, yet methods to quantify their interactions inside living cells are very limited. Because peripheral membrane proteins usually exist both in membrane-bound and cytoplasmic forms, the separation of these two populations is a key challenge. This thesis aims at addressing this challenge by extending fluorescence fluctuation spectroscopy (FFS) to simultaneously measure the oligomeric state of peripheral membrane proteins in the cytoplasm and at the plasma membrane. We developed a new method based on z-scan FFS that accounts for the fluorescence contributions from cytoplasmic and membrane layers by incorporating a fluorescence intensity z-scan through the cell. H-Ras-EGFP served as a model system to demonstrate the feasibility of the technique. The resolvability and stability of z-scanning was determined as well as the oligomeric state of H-Ras-EGFP at the plasma membrane and in the cytoplasm. Further, we successfully characterized the binding affinity of a variety of proteins to the plasma membrane by quantitative analysis of the z-scan fluorescence intensity profile. This analysis method, which we refer to as z-scan fluorescence profile deconvoution, was further used in combination with dual-color competition studies to determine the lipid specificity of protein binding. Finally, we applied z-scan FFS to provide insight into the early assembly steps of the HTLV-1 retrovirus.

  10. Graphene-Induced Pore Formation on Cell Membranes

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


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

  11. The lipid organisation of the cell membrane

    Ladha, S.


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

  12. The Effect of Tethers on Artificial Cell Membranes: A Coarse-Grained Molecular Dynamics Study

    Hoiles, William; Gupta, Rini; Cornell, Bruce; Krishnamurthy, Vikram


    Tethered bilayer lipid membranes (tBLMs) provide a stable platform for modeling the dynamics and order of biological membranes where the tethers mimic the cytoskeletal supports present in biological cell membranes. In this paper coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) is applied to study the effects of tethers on lipid membrane properties. Using results from the CGMD model and the overdamped Fokker-Planck equation, we show that the diffusion tensor and particle density of water in the tBLM is spatially dependent. Further, it is shown that the membrane thickness, lipid diffusion, defect density, free energy of lipid flip-flop, and membrane dielectric permittivity are all dependent on the tether density. The numerically computed results from the CGMD model are in agreement with the experimentally measured results from tBLMs containing different tether densities and lipids derived from Archaebacteria. Additionally, using experimental measurements from Escherichia coli bacteria and Saccharomyces Cerevisiae yeast tethered membranes, we illustrate how previous molecular dynamics results can be combined with the proposed model to estimate the dielectric permittivity and defect density of these membranes as a function of tether density. PMID:27736860

  13. Low stoichiometry operation of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell employing the interdigitated flow field

    Berning, Torsten; Kær, Søren Knudsen


    A multiphase fuel cell model based on computational fluid dynamics is used to investigate the possibility of operating a proton exchange membrane fuel cell at low stoichiometric flow ratios (ξ < 1.5) employing the interdigitated flow field design and using completely dry inlet gases. A case study...

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



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

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

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


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

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

    Yang, Jingshuai; Li, Xueyuan; Xu, Yizin


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

  17. Analysis of Heat Transport in a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM Fuel Cell

    E. Afshari


    Full Text Available In this study a two-phases, single-domain and non-isothermal model of a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM fuel cell has been studied to investigate thermal management effects on fuel cell performance. A set of governing equations, conservation of mass, momentum, species, energy and charge for gas diffusion layers, catalyst layers and the membrane regions are considered. These equations are solved numerically in a single domain, using finite-volume-based computational fluid dynamics technique. Also the effects of four critical parameters that are thermal conductivity of gas diffusion layer, relative humidity, operating temperature and current density on the PEM fuel cell performance is investigated. In low operating temperatures the resistance within the membrane increases and this could cause rapid decrease in potential. High operating temperature would also reduce transport losses and it would lead to increase in electrochemical reaction rate. This could virtually result in decreasing the cell potential due to an increasing water vapor partial pressure and the membrane water dehydration. Another significant result is that the temperature distribution in GDL is almost linear but within membrane is highly non-linear. However at low current density the temperature across all regions of the cell dose not change significantly. The cell potential increases with relative humidity and improved hydration which reduces ohmic losses. Also the temperature within the cell is much higher with reduced GDL thermal conductivities. The numerical model which is developed is validated with published experimental data and the results are in good agreement.

  18. Kinetic Evaluation of Cell Membrane Hydrolysis during Apoptosis by Human Isoforms of Secretory Phospholipase A2*

    Olson, Erin D.; Nelson, Jennifer; Griffith, Katalyn; Nguyen, Thaothanh; Streeter, Michael; Wilson-Ashworth, Heather A.; Gelb, Michael H.; Judd, Allan M.; Bell, John D.


    Some isoforms of secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) distinguish between healthy and damaged or apoptotic cells. This distinction reflects differences in membrane physical properties. Because various sPLA2 isoforms respond differently to properties of artificial membranes such as surface charge, they should also behave differently as these properties evolve during a dynamic physiological process such as apoptosis. To test this idea, S49 lymphoma cell death was induced by glucocorticoid (6–48 h) or calcium ionophore. Rates of membrane hydrolysis catalyzed by various concentrations of snake venom and human groups IIa, V, and X sPLA2 were compared after each treatment condition. The data were analyzed using a model that evaluates the adsorption of enzyme to the membrane surface and subsequent binding of substrate to the active site. Results were compared temporally to changes in membrane biophysics and composition. Under control conditions, membrane hydrolysis was confined to the few unhealthy cells present in each sample. Increased hydrolysis during apoptosis and necrosis appeared to reflect substrate access to adsorbed enzyme for the snake venom and group X isoforms corresponding to weakened lipid-lipid interactions in the membrane. In contrast, apoptosis promoted initial adsorption of human groups V and IIa concurrent with phosphatidylserine exposure on the membrane surface. However, this observation was inadequate to explain the behavior of the groups V and IIa enzymes toward necrotic cells where hydrolysis was reduced or absent. Thus, a combination of changes in cell membrane properties during apoptosis and necrosis capacitates the cell for hydrolysis differently by each isoform. PMID:20139082

  19. Study of interactions between polymer nanoparticles and cell membranes at atomistic levels.

    Yong, Chin W


    Knowledge of how the structure of nanoparticles and the interactions with biological cell membranes is important not only for understanding nanotoxicological effects on human, animal health and the environment, but also for better understanding of nanoparticle fabrication for biomedical applications. In this work, we use molecular modelling techniques, namely molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, to explore how polymer nanoparticles interact with 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) lipid cell membranes. Two different polymers have been considered: 100 monomer units of polyethylene (approx. 2.83 kDa) and polystyrene (approx. 10.4 kDa), both of which have wide industrial applications. We found that, despite the polar lipid head groups acting as an effective barrier to prevent the nanoparticles from interacting with the membrane surface, irreversible adhesion can be initiated by insertion of dangling chain ends from the polymer into the hydrophobic interior of the membrane. In addition, alignment of chain segments from the polymers with that of hydrocarbon chains in the interior of the membrane facilitates the complete immersion of the nanoparticles into the cell membrane. These findings highlight the importance of the surface and the topological structures of the polymer particles that dictate the absorption behaviour into the membrane and, subsequently, induce the possible translocation into the cell. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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

    Siegel, J H; Brownell, W E


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

  1. 3D visualization of membrane failures in fuel cells

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


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

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

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


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

  3. Electrophorus electricus as a model system for the study of membrane excitability.

    Gotter, A L; Kaetzel, M A; Dedman, J R


    The stunning sensations produced by electric fish, particularly the electric eel, Electrophorus electricus, have fascinated scientists for centuries. Within the last 50 years, however, electric cells of Electrophorus have provided a unique model system that is both specialized and appropriate for the study of excitable cell membrane electrophysiology and biochemistry. Electric tissue generates whole animal electrical discharges by means of membrane potentials that are remarkably similar to those of mammalian neurons, myocytes and secretory cells. Electrocytes express ion channels, ATPases and signal transduction proteins common to these other excitable cells. Action potentials of electrocytes represent the specialized end function of electric tissue whereas other excitable cells use membrane potential changes to trigger sophisticated cellular processes, such as myofilament cross-bridging for contraction, or exocytosis for secretion. Because electric tissue lacks these functions and the proteins associated with them, it provides a highly specialized membrane model system. This review examines the basic mechanisms involved in the generation of the electrical discharge of the electric eel and the membrane proteins involved. The valuable contributions that electric tissue continues to make toward the understanding of excitable cell physiology and biochemistry are summarized, particularly those studies using electrocytes as a model system for the study of the regulation of membrane excitability by second messengers and signal transduction pathways.

  4. Modeling the pharmacodynamics of passive membrane permeability

    Swift, Robert V.; Amaro, Rommie E.


    Small molecule permeability through cellular membranes is critical to a better understanding of pharmacodynamics and the drug discovery endeavor. Such permeability may be estimated as a function of the free energy change of barrier crossing by invoking the barrier domain model, which posits that permeation is limited by passage through a single "barrier domain" and assumes diffusivity differences among compounds of similar structure are negligible. Inspired by the work of Rezai and co-workers (JACS 128:14073-14080, 2006), we estimate this free energy change as the difference in implicit solvation free energies in chloroform and water, but extend their model to include solute conformational affects. Using a set of eleven structurally diverse FDA approved compounds and a set of thirteen congeneric molecules, we show that the solvation free energies are dominated by the global minima, which allows solute conformational distributions to be effectively neglected. For the set of tested compounds, the best correlation with experiment is obtained when the implicit chloroform global minimum is used to evaluate the solvation free energy difference.


    S. Mulijani


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

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

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


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

  7. Model of a vanadium redox flow battery with an anion exchange membrane and a Larminie-correction

    Wandschneider, F. T.; Finke, D.; Grosjean, S.; Fischer, P.; Pinkwart, K.; Tübke, J.; Nirschl, H.


    Membranes are an important part of vanadium redox flow battery cells. Most cell designs use Nafion®-type membranes which are cation exchange membranes. Anion exchange membranes are reported to improve cell performance. A model for a vanadium redox flow battery with an anion exchange membrane is developed. The model is then used to calculate terminal voltages for open circuit and charge-discharge conditions. The results are compared to measured data from a laboratory test cell with 40 cm2 active membrane area. For higher charge and discharge currents, an empirical correction for the terminal voltage is proposed. The model geometry comprises the porous electrodes and the connected pipes, allowing a study of the flow in the entrance region for different state-of-charges.

  8. Eicosapentaenoic acid reduces membrane fluidity, inhibits cholesterol domain formation, and normalizes bilayer width in atherosclerotic-like model membranes.

    Mason, R Preston; Jacob, Robert F; Shrivastava, Sandeep; Sherratt, Samuel C R; Chattopadhyay, Amitabha


    Cholesterol crystalline domains characterize atherosclerotic membranes, altering vascular signaling and function. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce membrane lipid peroxidation and subsequent cholesterol domain formation. We evaluated non-peroxidation-mediated effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), other TG-lowering agents, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and other long-chain fatty acids on membrane fluidity, bilayer width, and cholesterol domain formation in model membranes. In membranes prepared at 1.5:1 cholesterol-to-phospholipid (C/P) mole ratio (creating pre-existing domains), EPA, glycyrrhizin, arachidonic acid, and alpha linolenic acid promoted the greatest reductions in cholesterol domains (by 65.5%, 54.9%, 46.8%, and 45.2%, respectively) compared to controls; other treatments had modest effects. EPA effects on cholesterol domain formation were dose-dependent. In membranes with 1:1 C/P (predisposing domain formation), DHA, but not EPA, dose-dependently increased membrane fluidity. DHA also induced cholesterol domain formation without affecting temperature-induced changes in-bilayer unit cell periodicity relative to controls (d-space; 57Å-55Å over 15-30°C). Together, these data suggest simultaneous formation of distinct cholesterol-rich ordered domains and cholesterol-poor disordered domains in the presence of DHA. By contrast, EPA had no effect on cholesterol domain formation and produced larger d-space values relative to controls (60Å-57Å; pmembrane bilayer width, membrane fluidity, and cholesterol crystalline domain formation; suggesting omega-3 fatty acids with differing chain length or unsaturation may differentially influence membrane lipid dynamics and structural organization as a result of distinct phospholipid/sterol interactions.

  9. Cell Membrane-Cloaked Nanoparticles for Targeted Therapeutics

    Luk, Brian Tsengchi

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

  10. Direct Cytoskeleton Forces Cause Membrane Softening in Red Blood Cells

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


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

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

    Foged, Camilla; Nielsen, Hanne Moerck


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

  12. Lipid-packing perturbation of model membranes by pH-responsive antimicrobial peptides.

    Alvares, Dayane S; Viegas, Taisa Giordano; Ruggiero Neto, João


    The indiscriminate use of conventional antibiotics is leading to an increase in the number of resistant bacterial strains, motivating the search for new compounds to overcome this challenging problem. Antimicrobial peptides, acting only in the lipid phase of membranes without requiring specific membrane receptors as do conventional antibiotics, have shown great potential as possible substituents of these drugs. These peptides are in general rich in basic and hydrophobic residues forming an amphipathic structure when in contact with membranes. The outer leaflet of the prokaryotic cell membrane is rich in anionic lipids, while the surface of the eukaryotic cell is zwitterionic. Due to their positive net charge, many of these peptides are selective to the prokaryotic membrane. Notwithstanding this preference for anionic membranes, some of them can also act on neutral ones, hampering their therapeutic use. In addition to the electrostatic interaction driving peptide adsorption by the membrane, the ability of the peptide to perturb lipid packing is of paramount importance in their capacity to induce cell lysis, which is strongly dependent on electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. In the present research, we revised the adsorption of antimicrobial peptides by model membranes as well as the perturbation that they induce in lipid packing. In particular, we focused on some peptides that have simultaneously acidic and basic residues. The net charges of these peptides are modulated by pH changes and the lipid composition of model membranes. We discuss the experimental approaches used to explore these aspects of lipid membranes using lipid vesicles and lipid monolayer as model membranes.

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

    Mamlouk, M.; Scott, K.


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

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

    Yildirim, Mustafa Hakan


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

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

    Yildirim, M.H.


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

  16. Towards Extrusion of Ionomers to Process Fuel Cell Membranes

    Jean-Yves Sanchez


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

  17. Nanodomain stabilization dynamics in plasma membranes of biological cells

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


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

  18. Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt2Aa2 toxin disrupts cell membranes by forming large protein aggregates

    Tharad, Sudarat; Toca-Herrera, José L.; Promdonkoy, Boonhiang; Krittanai, Chartchai


    Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cyt2Aa2 showed toxicity against Dipteran insect larvae and in vitro lysis activity on several cells. It has potential applications in the biological control of insect larvae. Although pore-forming and/or detergent-like mechanisms were proposed, the mechanism underlying cytolytic activity remains unclear. Analysis of the haemolytic activity of Cyt2Aa2 with osmotic stabilizers revealed partial toxin inhibition, suggesting a distinctive mechanism from the putative pore formation model. Membrane permeability was studied using fluorescent dye entrapped in large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) at various protein/lipid molar ratios. Binding of Cyt2Aa2 monomer to the lipid membrane did not disturb membrane integrity until the critical protein/lipid molar ratio was reached, when Cyt2Aa2 complexes and cytolytic activity were detected. The complexes are large aggregates that appeared as a ladder when separated by agarose gel electrophoresis. Interaction of Cyt2Aa2 with Aedes albopictus cells was investigated by confocal microscopy and total internal reflection fluorescent microscopy (TIRF). The results showed that Cyt2Aa2 binds on the cell membrane at an early stage without cell membrane disruption. Protein aggregation on the cell membrane was detected later which coincided with cell swelling. Cyt2Aa2 aggregations on supported lipid bilayers (SLBs) were visualized by AFM. The AFM topographic images revealed Cyt2Aa2 aggregates on the lipid bilayer at low protein concentration and subsequently disrupts the lipid bilayer by forming a lesion as the protein concentration increased. These results supported the mechanism whereby Cyt2Aa2 binds and aggregates on the lipid membrane leading to the formation of non-specific hole and disruption of the cell membrane. PMID:27612497

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

    Hammami, Sofia; Willumsen, Niels J; Olsen, Hervør L; Morera, Francisco J; Latorre, Ramón; Klaerke, Dan A


    A number of potassium channels including members of the KCNQ family and the Ca(2+) activated IK and SK, but not BK, are strongly and reversibly regulated by small changes in cell volume. It has been argued that this general regulation is mediated through sensitivity to changes in membrane stretch. To test this hypothesis we have studied the regulation of KCNQ1 and BK channels after expression in Xenopus oocytes. Results from cell-attached patch clamp studies (approximately 50 microm(2) macropatches) in oocytes expressing BK channels demonstrate that the macroscopic volume-insensitive BK current increases with increasing negative hydrostatic pressure (suction) applied to the pipette. Thus, at a pipette pressure of -5.0 +/- 0.1 mmHg the increase amounted to 381 +/- 146% (mean +/- S.E.M., n = 6, P < 0.025). In contrast, in oocytes expressing the strongly volume-sensitive KCNQ1 channel, the current was not affected by membrane stretch. The results indicate that (1) activation of BK channels by local membrane stretch is not mimicked by membrane stress induced by cell swelling, and (2) activation of KCNQ1 channels by cell volume increase is not mediated by local tension in the cell membrane. We conclude that stretch and volume sensitivity can be considered two independent regulatory mechanisms.

  20. Cell-cell adhesion interface: rise of the lateral membrane [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Vivian Tang


    Full Text Available The lateral membrane plays an important role in the mechanical stability of epithelial cell sheet in steady state. In addition, the lateral membrane is continuously remodeled during dynamic processes such as cell extrusion, cytokinesis, and intercellular cell movement. In wound healing, the lateral membrane must be built from flat and spread cells that had crawled into the area of the wound. Thus, forming the lateral membrane is a phenomenon that occurs not only in development but also during homeostatic maintenance and regeneration of differentiated epithelial tissues.

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

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


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

  2. Measuring cell viability with membrane impermeable zinc fluorescent indicator.

    Stork, Christian J; Li, Yang V


    Recent findings suggest that the accumulation of cytoplasmic zinc [Zn2+]i is a ubiquitous component in the cell death cascade. Zn2+ can be liberated from intracellular stores following oxidative stress and contribute to cell death processes. Here we show that the membrane/cell impermeable Zn2+ fluorescent indicator Newport Green (NG), which is non-toxic and impermeable to the membranes of healthy cells, can label unhealthy cells in tissue slices in a manner comparable to the traditional viability indicator propidium iodide (PI). Using confocal microscopy, we detected PI labeled nuclei colocalized with NG fluorescence. Our results indicate that cells which absorbed PI into their nuclei also allowed cell-impermeable Zn2+ dye to penetrate their plasma membranes, subsequently exhibiting cytosolic and nuclear fluorescence. As in PI staining, we observed marked increases in NG fluorescence in damaged/dead cells of tissue slices. Two other cell impermeable fluorescent Zn2+ dyes, Fluozin-3 and Zinpyr-4, also stained cytosolic Zn2+ in PI labeled cells. Our data indicates that the application of a Zn2+ fluorescent indicator is a fast, simple, non-toxic and reliable method for visualizing cell viability within in vitro tissue preparations. Accordingly, we demonstrate that intracellular accumulation of Zn2+ correlates with neuronal death.

  3. Sizes of lipid domains: What do we know from artificial lipid membranes? What are the possible shared features with membrane rafts in cells?

    Rosetti, Carla M; Mangiarotti, Agustín; Wilke, Natalia


    In model lipid membranes with phase coexistence, domain sizes distribute in a very wide range, from the nanometer (reported in vesicles and supported films) to the micrometer (observed in many model membranes). Domain growth by coalescence and Ostwald ripening is slow (minutes to hours), the domain size being correlated with the size of the capture region. Domain sizes thus strongly depend on the number of domains which, in the case of a nucleation process, depends on the oversaturation of the system, on line tension and on the perturbation rate in relation to the membrane dynamics. Here, an overview is given of the factors that affect nucleation or spinodal decomposition and domain growth, and their influence on the distribution of domain sizes in different model membranes is discussed. The parameters analyzed respond to very general physical rules, and we therefore propose a similar behavior for the rafts in the plasma membrane of cells, but with obstructed mobility and with a continuously changing environment.

  4. Reconstituting ring-rafts in bud-mimicking topography of model membranes

    Ryu, Yong-Sang; Lee, In-Ho; Suh, Jeng-Hun; Park, Seung Chul; Oh, Soojung; Jordan, Luke R.; Wittenberg, Nathan J.; Oh, Sang-Hyun; Jeon, Noo Li; Lee, Byoungho; Parikh, Atul N.; Lee, Sin-Doo


    During vesicular trafficking and release of enveloped viruses, the budding and fission processes dynamically remodel the donor cell membrane in a protein- or a lipid-mediated manner. In all cases, in addition to the generation or relief of the curvature stress, the buds recruit specific lipids and proteins from the donor membrane through restricted diffusion for the development of a ring-type raft domain of closed topology. Here, by reconstituting the bud topography in a model membrane, we demonstrate the preferential localization of cholesterol- and sphingomyelin-enriched microdomains in the collar band of the bud-neck interfaced with the donor membrane. The geometrical approach to the recapitulation of the dynamic membrane reorganization, resulting from the local radii of curvatures from nanometre-to-micrometre scales, offers important clues for understanding the active roles of the bud topography in the sorting and migration machinery of key signalling proteins involved in membrane budding.

  5. Constant Power Control of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell through Adaptive Fuzzy Sliding Mode

    Minxiu Yan


    Full Text Available Fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. The paper describes a mathematical model of proton exchange membrane fuel cells by analyzing the working mechanism of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell. Furthermore, an adaptive fuzzy sliding mode controller is designed for the constant power output of PEMFC system. Simulation results prove that adaptive fuzzy sliding mode control has better control effect than conventional fuzzy sliding mode control.

  6. Membranous nephropathy: from models to man

    Beck, Laurence H.; Salant, David J.


    As recently as 2002, most cases of primary membranous nephropathy (MN), a relatively common cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults, were considered idiopathic. We now recognize that MN is an organ-specific autoimmune disease in which circulating autoantibodies bind to an intrinsic antigen on glomerular podocytes and form deposits of immune complexes in situ in the glomerular capillary walls. Here we define the clinical and pathological features of MN and describe the experimental models that enabled the discovery of the major target antigen, the M-type phospholipase A2 receptor 1 (PLA2R). We review the pathophysiology of experimental MN and compare and contrast it with the human disease. We discuss the diagnostic value of serological testing for anti-PLA2R and tissue staining for the redistributed antigen, and their utility for differentiating between primary and secondary MN, and between recurrent MN after kidney transplant and de novo MN. We end with consideration of how knowledge of the antigen might direct future therapeutic strategies. PMID:24892704

  7. Studies on the interactions of bisphenols with anionic phospholipids of decomposer membranes in model systems.

    Broniatowski, Marcin; Sobolewska, Katarzyna; Flasiński, Michał; Wydro, Paweł


    Bisphenol A (BPA) and other bisphenols constitute a class of organic pollutants, which because of their estrogenic properties, low dose activity and bioaccumulation pose considerable risk for public health as well as for the environment. Accumulated in the sediment bisphenols can endanger the decomposers' populations being incorporated into their cellular membranes; however, the mechanism of their membrane activity is unknown. Therefore, to study these phenomena we applied anionic phospholipid Langmuir monolayers as simple but versatile models of decomposers biomembranes. Phosphatidylglycerols and cardiolipins are not only the main components of bacterial membranes but also of crucial importance in mitochondrial and thylakoid membranes in eukaryotic cells. In our investigations we applied five compounds of the bisphenol class most commonly detected in the environment. To characterize the bisphenols-model membrane interactions we applied multiple mutually independent methods of physical chemistry; namely: the Langmuir monolayer technique, surface potential measurements, Brewster angle microscopy for the visualization of the monolayers' texture and grazing incidence X-ray diffraction for the discussion of the phospholipids packing within the monolayers. Our studies indicated that all the investigated bisphenols interact with the model membrane, but the strength of the interactions is dependent on the bisphenol structure and hydrophobicity and the fluidity of the model membranes. We proved that bisphenol S often treated as the least toxic BPA analog can also be incorporated to the model membranes changing their structure and fluidity.

  8. Membrane-elasticity model of Coatless vesicle budding induced by ESCRT complexes.

    Bartosz Różycki

    Full Text Available The formation of vesicles is essential for many biological processes, in particular for the trafficking of membrane proteins within cells. The Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport (ESCRT directs membrane budding away from the cytosol. Unlike other vesicle formation pathways, the ESCRT-mediated budding occurs without a protein coat. Here, we propose a minimal model of ESCRT-induced vesicle budding. Our model is based on recent experimental observations from direct fluorescence microscopy imaging that show ESCRT proteins colocalized only in the neck region of membrane buds. The model, cast in the framework of membrane elasticity theory, reproduces the experimentally observed vesicle morphologies with physically meaningful parameters. In this parameter range, the minimum energy configurations of the membrane are coatless buds with ESCRTs localized in the bud neck, consistent with experiment. The minimum energy configurations agree with those seen in the fluorescence images, with respect to both bud shapes and ESCRT protein localization. On the basis of our model, we identify distinct mechanistic pathways for the ESCRT-mediated budding process. The bud size is determined by membrane material parameters, explaining the narrow yet different bud size distributions in vitro and in vivo. Our membrane elasticity model thus sheds light on the energetics and possible mechanisms of ESCRT-induced membrane budding.

  9. Nafion/PTFE composite membranes for direct methanol fuel cell applications

    Lin, Hsiu-Li; Yu, T. Leon; Chen, Li-Chung [Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Yuan Ze University, Nei-Li, Taoyuan 32026 (Taiwan); Huang, Li-Ning; Shen, Kun-Sheng; Jung, Guo-Bin [Fuel Cell Center, Yuan Ze University, Nei-Li, Taoyuan 32026 (Taiwan)


    Using dynamic light scattering and scanning electron microscope (SEM), it is shown that a high-carbon-number alcohol/water, i.e., 2-propanol/water, mixed solvent is more effective than low-carbon-number alcohol/water, i.e., ethanol/water and methanol/water, mixed solvents in dispersing Nafion molecules. Thus, it is a better solvent for the preparation of Nafion/PTFE (poly(tetrafluoroethylene)) composite membranes. The performance of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) with a Nafion/PTFE composite membrane, which was prepared in-house, a commercial Nafion-117 membrane, or a commercial Nafion-112 membrane were investigated by feeding various concentrations, i.e., 2-5M, of methanol to the anode. The Nafion/PTFE composite membrane gave a better DMFC performance than that obtained with Nafion-117 or Nafion-112 membranes. Using a DMFC model and varying the methanol concentration at the anode, cell voltage data were analyzed with respect to methanol concentration and cell current. The results indicate that inserting porous PTFE into Nafion polymer causes a reduction not only in methanol diffusion cross-over but also in the electro-osmosis of methanol cross-over in the membrane. (author)

  10. Impact of liquid water on oxygen reaction in cathode catalyst layer of proton exchange membrane fuel cell: A simple and physically sound model

    Zhang, Xiaoxian; Gao, Yuan


    When cells work at high current density, liquid water accumulates in their catalyst layer (CL) and the gaseous oxygen could dissolve into the water and the ionomer film simultaneously; their associated dissolved concentrations in equilibrium with the gaseous oxygen are also different. Based on a CL acquired using tomography, we present new methods in this paper to derive agglomerate models for partly saturated CL by viewing the movement and reaction of the dissolved oxygen in the two liquids (water and ionomer) and the agglomerate as two independent random processes. Oxygen dissolved in the water moves differently from oxygen dissolved in the ionomer, and to make the analysis tractable, we use an average distribution function to describe the average movement of all dissolved oxygen. A formula is proposed to describe this average distribution function, which, in combination with the exponential distribution assumed in the literature for oxygen reaction, leads to a simple yet physically sound agglomerate model. The model has three parameters which can be directly calculated from CL structure rather than by calibration. We explain how to calculate these parameters under different water contents for a given CL structure, and analyse the impact of liquid water on cell performance.

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

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


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

  12. Difference in membrane repair capacity between cancer cell lines and a normal cell line

    Frandsen, Stine Krog; McNeil, Anna K.; Novak, Ivana


    Electroporation-based treatments and other therapies that permeabilize the plasma membrane have been shown to be more devastating to malignant cells than to normal cells. In this study, we asked if a difference in repair capacity could explain this observed difference in sensitivity. Membrane...... repair was investigated by disrupting the plasma membrane using laser followed by monitoring fluorescent dye entry over time in seven cancer cell lines, an immortalized cell line, and a normal primary cell line. The kinetics of repair in living cells can be directly recorded using this technique...... cancer cell lines (p cell line (p membrane permeabilization by electroporation. Viability in the primary normal cell line (98 % viable cells) was higher...

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

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


    , the membrane of which PEMFCs are made of tends to dry out when not in use. This increases the time interval required to start the system up and could lead to the destruction of the fuel cell. In this article a start-up time measurement setup is presented, which is part of a larger project, the membrane......Fuel cells are getting growing interest in industrial areas like backup systems for telecom applications or power source for electric vehicles. Although these systems are characterized by long periods of inactivity, they must be able to start at any instant in the shortest time. However...... hydration status estimator for monitoring the humidity of a fuel cell stack during standby. The fuel cell has been placed in a climatic chamber, connected to hydrogen and the start-up time has been measured with different environmental conditions. Based on the previous results and the ones presented...

  14. The Acinar Cage: Basement Membranes Determine Molecule Exchange and Mechanical Stability of Human Breast Cell Acini.

    Aljona Gaiko-Shcherbak

    Full Text Available The biophysical properties of the basement membrane that surrounds human breast glands are poorly understood, but are thought to be decisive for normal organ function and malignancy. Here, we characterize the breast gland basement membrane with a focus on molecule permeation and mechanical stability, both crucial for organ function. We used well-established and nature-mimicking MCF10A acini as 3D cell model for human breast glands, with ether low- or highly-developed basement membrane scaffolds. Semi-quantitative dextran tracer (3 to 40 kDa experiments allowed us to investigate the basement membrane scaffold as a molecule diffusion barrier in human breast acini in vitro. We demonstrated that molecule permeation correlated positively with macromolecule size and intriguingly also with basement membrane development state, revealing a pore size of at least 9 nm. Notably, an intact collagen IV mesh proved to be essential for this permeation function. Furthermore, we performed ultra-sensitive atomic force microscopy to quantify the response of native breast acini and of decellularized basement membrane shells against mechanical indentation. We found a clear correlation between increasing acinar force resistance and basement membrane formation stage. Most important native acini with highly-developed basement membranes as well as cell-free basement membrane shells could both withstand physiologically relevant loads (≤ 20 nN without loss of structural integrity. In contrast, low-developed basement membranes were significantly softer and more fragile. In conclusion, our study emphasizes the key role of the basement membrane as conductor of acinar molecule influx and mechanical stability of human breast glands, which are fundamental for normal organ function.

  15. The molecular face of lipid rafts in model membranes

    Risselada, H. Jelger; Marrink, Siewert J.


    Cell membranes contain a large number of different lipid species. Such a multicomponent mixture exhibits a complex phase behavior with regions of structural and compositional heterogeneity. Especially domains formed in ternary mixtures, composed of saturated and unsaturated lipids together with

  16. Magnetic resonance imaging of water content across the Nafion membrane in an operational PEM fuel cell

    Zhang, Ziheng; Martin, Jonathan; Wu, Jinfeng; Wang, Haijiang; Promislow, Keith; Balcom, Bruce J.


    Water management is critical to optimize the operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. At present, numerical models are employed to guide water management in such fuel cells. Accurate measurements of water content variation in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are required to validate these models and to optimize fuel cell behavior. We report a direct water content measurement across the Nafion membrane in an operational polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, employing double half k-space spin echo single point imaging techniques. The MRI measurements with T2 mapping were undertaken with a parallel plate resonator to avoid the effects of RF screening. The parallel plate resonator employs the electrodes inherent to the fuel cell to create a resonant circuit at RF frequencies for MR excitation and detection, while still operating as a conventional fuel cell at DC. Three stages of fuel cell operation were investigated: activation, operation and dehydration. Each profile was acquired in 6 min, with 6 μm nominal resolution and a SNR of better than 15.

  17. Kinetics of plasma membrane and mitochondrial alterations in cells undergoing apoptosis

    Lizard, G; Fournel, S; Genestier, L; Dhedin, N; Chaput, C; Flacher, M; Mutin, M; Panaye, G; Revillard, J P


    ... of the nucleus, whereas integrity of the plasma membrane and organelles is preserved. Conversely cells undergoing necrosis display an early desintegration of cytoplasmic membrane and swelling of mitochondria...

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

    Treekamol, Yaowapa


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

    Amanda eCarroll-Portillo


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

  2. Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells Applied for Transport Sector

    Hosseinzadeh, Elham; Rokni, Masoud


    A thermodynamic analysis of a PEMFC (proton exchange membrane fuel cell) is investigated. PEMFC may be the most promising technology for fuel cell automotive systems, which is operating at quite low temperatures, (between 60 to 80℃). In this study the fuel cell motive power part of a lift truck has...... investigated. In addition, different stack design schemes have been proposed and their effect on system efficiency has been investigated....

  3. Superresolution measurement on the minute fluctuation of cell membrane

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


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

  4. Arenavirus budding resulting from viral-protein-associated cell membrane curvature.

    Schley, David; Whittaker, Robert J; Neuman, Benjamin W


    Viral replication occurs within cells, with release (and onward infection) primarily achieved through two alternative mechanisms: lysis, in which virions emerge as the infected cell dies and bursts open; or budding, in which virions emerge gradually from a still living cell by appropriating a small part of the cell membrane. Virus budding is a poorly understood process that challenges current models of vesicle formation. Here, a plausible mechanism for arenavirus budding is presented, building on recent evidence that viral proteins embed in the inner lipid layer of the cell membrane. Experimental results confirm that viral protein is associated with increased membrane curvature, whereas a mathematical model is used to show that localized increases in curvature alone are sufficient to generate viral buds. The magnitude of the protein-induced curvature is calculated from the size of the amphipathic region hypothetically removed from the inner membrane as a result of translation, with a change in membrane stiffness estimated from observed differences in virion deformation as a result of protein depletion. Numerical results are based on experimental data and estimates for three arenaviruses, but the mechanisms described are more broadly applicable. The hypothesized mechanism is shown to be sufficient to generate spontaneous budding that matches well both qualitatively and quantitatively with experimental observations.

  5. Performance modeling of direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) seawater desalination process using a commercial composite membrane

    Lee, Junggil


    This paper presents the development of a rigorous theoretical model to predict the transmembrane flux of a flat sheet hydrophobic composite membrane, comprising both an active layer of polytetrafluoroethylene and a scrim-backing support layer of polypropylene, in the direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) process. An integrated model includes the mass, momentum, species and energy balances for both retentate and permeate flows, coupled with the mass transfer of water vapor through the composite membrane and the heat transfer across the membrane and through the boundary layers adjacent to the membrane surfaces. Experimental results and model predictions for permeate flux and performance ratio are compared and shown to be in good agreement. The permeate flux through the composite layer can be ignored in the consideration of mass transfer pathways at the composite membrane. The effect of the surface porosity and the thickness of active and support layers on the process performance of composite membrane has also been studied. Among these parameters, surface porosity is identified to be the main factor significantly influencing the permeate flux and performance ratio, while the relative influence of the surface porosity on the performance ratio is less than that on flux.

  6. CHARMM-GUI HMMM Builder for Membrane Simulations with the Highly Mobile Membrane-Mimetic Model.

    Qi, Yifei; Cheng, Xi; Lee, Jumin; Vermaas, Josh V; Pogorelov, Taras V; Tajkhorshid, Emad; Park, Soohyung; Klauda, Jeffery B; Im, Wonpil


    Slow diffusion of the lipids in conventional all-atom simulations of membrane systems makes it difficult to sample large rearrangements of lipids and protein-lipid interactions. Recently, Tajkhorshid and co-workers developed the highly mobile membrane-mimetic (HMMM) model with accelerated lipid motion by replacing the lipid tails with small organic molecules. The HMMM model provides accelerated lipid diffusion by one to two orders of magnitude, and is particularly useful in studying membrane-protein associations. However, building an HMMM simulation system is not easy, as it requires sophisticated treatment of the lipid tails. In this study, we have developed CHARMM-GUI HMMM Builder ( to provide users with ready-to-go input files for simulating HMMM membrane systems with/without proteins. Various lipid-only and protein-lipid systems are simulated to validate the qualities of the systems generated by HMMM Builder with focus on the basic properties and advantages of the HMMM model. HMMM Builder supports all lipid types available in CHARMM-GUI and also provides a module to convert back and forth between an HMMM membrane and a full-length membrane. We expect HMMM Builder to be a useful tool in studying membrane systems with enhanced lipid diffusion.

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

    Lofthouse, J


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

  8. Electromediated formation of DNA complexes with cell membranes and its consequences for gene delivery

    Escoffre, Jean-Michel; Favard, Cyril; Teissié, Justin; Dean, David S; Rols, Marie-Pierre


    Electroporation is a physical method to induce the uptake of therapeutic drugs and DNA, by eukaryotic cells and tissues. The phenomena behind electro-mediated membrane permeabilization to plasmid DNA have been shown to be significantly more complex than those for small molecules. Small molecules cross the permeabilized membrane by diffusion whereas plasmid DNA first interacts with the electropermeabilized part of the cell surface, forming localized aggregates. The dynamics of this process is still poorly understood because direct observations have been limited to scales of the order of seconds. Here, cells are electropermeabilized in the presence of plasmid DNA and monitored with a temporal resolution of 2 ms. This allows us to show that during the first pulse application, plasmid complexes, or aggregates, start to form at distinct sites on the cell membrane. FRAP measurements show that the positions of these sites are remarkably immobile during the application of further pluses. A theoretical model is propos...

  9. Mathematical modelling of dextran filtration through hollow fibre membranes

    Vinther, Frank; Pinelo, Manuel; Brøns, Morten


    In this paper we present a mathematical model of an ultrafiltration process. The results of the model are produced using standard numerical techniques with Comsol Multiphysics. The model describes the fluid flow and separation in hollow fibre membranes. The flow of solute and solvent within...... of the solute permeability the concentration dependent viscosity decreases the volumetric flux through the membrane at high pressures. This effect is due to a very high concentration at the membrane surface. The model is related to experimental data. There is a good qualitative and a reasonable quantitative...

  10. An Integrated Framework Advancing Membrane Protein Modeling and Design.

    Rebecca F Alford


    Full Text Available Membrane proteins are critical functional molecules in the human body, constituting more than 30% of open reading frames in the human genome. Unfortunately, a myriad of difficulties in overexpression and reconstitution into membrane mimetics severely limit our ability to determine their structures. Computational tools are therefore instrumental to membrane protein structure prediction, consequently increasing our understanding of membrane protein function and their role in disease. Here, we describe a general framework facilitating membrane protein modeling and design that combines the scientific principles for membrane protein modeling with the flexible software architecture of Rosetta3. This new framework, called RosettaMP, provides a general membrane representation that interfaces with scoring, conformational sampling, and mutation routines that can be easily combined to create new protocols. To demonstrate the capabilities of this implementation, we developed four proof-of-concept applications for (1 prediction of free energy changes upon mutation; (2 high-resolution structural refinement; (3 protein-protein docking; and (4 assembly of symmetric protein complexes, all in the membrane environment. Preliminary data show that these algorithms can produce meaningful scores and structures. The data also suggest needed improvements to both sampling routines and score functions. Importantly, the applications collectively demonstrate the potential of combining the flexible nature of RosettaMP with the power of Rosetta algorithms to facilitate membrane protein modeling and design.

  11. Flavivirus cell entry and membrane fusion

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


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

  12. Flavivirus cell entry and membrane fusion

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


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

  13. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance

    Wei, Xue

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


    Ming-ming Zong; Yong-kuan Gong


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

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

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


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

  16. Flow-Through Electroporation of HL-60 White Blood Cell Suspensions using Nanoporous Membrane Electrodes.

    Chen, Zhiqiang; Akenhead, Michael A; Sun, Xinghua; Sapper, Harrison; Shin, Hainsworth Y; Hinds, Bruce J


    A flow-through electroporation system, based on a novel nanoporous membrane/electrode design, for the delivery of cell wall-impermeant molecules into model leukocytes, HL-60 promyelocytes, was demonstrated. The ability to apply low voltages to cell populations, with nm-scale concentrated electric field in a periodic array, contributes to high cell viability. With applied biases of 1-4V, delivery of target molecules was achieved with 90% viability and up to 65% transfection efficiency. More importantly, the system allowed electrophoretic pumping of molecules from a microscale reservoir across the membrane/electrode system into a microfluidic flow channel for transfection of cells, a design that can reduce reagent amount by eightfold compared to current strategies. The flow-through system, which forces intimate membrane/electrode contact by using a 10μm channel height, can be easily scaled-up by adjusting the microfluidic channel geometry and/or the applied voltage pulse frequency to control cell residence times at the cell membrane/electrode interface. The demonstrated system shows promise in clinical applications where low-cost, high cell viability and high volume transfection methods are needed without the risk of viral vectors. In particular genetic modification of freely mobile white blood cells to either target disease cells or to express desired protein/enzyme biomolecules is an important target platform enabled by this device system. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Neutron diffraction of cell membranes (myelin).

    Parsons, D F; Akers, C K


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

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

    Wang, Jimin, E-mail:; Li, Yue; Modis, Yorgo, E-mail:


    The membrane anchors of viral envelope proteins play essential roles in cell entry. Recent crystal structures of the ectodomain of envelope protein E2 from a pestivirus suggest that E2 belongs to a novel structural class of membrane fusion machinery. Based on geometric constraints from the E2 structures, we generated atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors using computational approaches. The E1 anchor contains two amphipathic perimembrane helices and one transmembrane helix; the E2 anchor contains a short helical hairpin stabilized in the membrane by an arginine residue, similar to flaviviruses. A pair of histidine residues in the E2 ectodomain may participate in pH sensing. The proposed atomic models point to Cys987 in E2 as the site of disulfide bond linkage with E1 to form E1–E2 heterodimers. The membrane anchor models provide structural constraints for the disulfide bonding pattern and overall backbone conformation of the E1 ectodomain. - Highlights: • Structures of pestivirus E2 proteins impose constraints on E1, E2 membrane anchors. • Atomic models of the E1 and E2 membrane anchors were generated in silico. • A “snorkeling” arginine completes the short helical hairpin in the E2 membrane anchor. • Roles in pH sensing and E1–E2 disulfide bond formation are proposed for E1 residues. • Implications for E1 ectodomain structure and disulfide bonding pattern are discussed.

  19. A Complete Transport Validated Model on a Zeolite Membrane for Carbon Dioxide Permeance and Capture

    Gkanas, Evangelos I; Stubos, Athanasios K; Makridis, Sofoklis S


    The CO2 emissions from major industries cause serious global environment problems and their mitigation is urgently needed. The use of zeolite membranes is a very efficient way in order to capture CO2 from some flue gases. The dominant transport mechanism at low temperature andor high pressure is the diffusion through the membrane. This procedure can be divided in three steps: Adsorption of the molecules of the species in the surface of the membrane, then a driving force gives a path where the species follow inside the membrane and finally the species desorbed from the surface of the membrane. The current work is aimed at developing a simulation model for the CO2 transport through a zeolite membrane and estimate the diffusion phenomenon through a very thin membrane of 150 nm in a Wicke-Kallenbach cell. The cell is cylindrical in shape with diameter of 19 mm and consists of a retentate gas chamber, a permeate gas chamber which are separated by a cylindrical zeolite membrane. This apparatus have been modeled wit...

  20. Membrane Tolerance to Ethanol is Rapidly Lost after Withdrawal: A Model for Studies of Membrane Adaptation

    Taraschi, Theodore F.; Ellingson, John S.; Wu, Alice; Zimmerman, Robert; Rubin, Emanuel


    The structural properties of liver microsomes and erythrocytes obtained from rats that had been chronically administered ethanol were examined by electron spin resonance (ESR) following ethanol withdrawal for 1-10 days. Membranes obtained from control animals exhibited considerable molecular disordering upon the addition of ethanol in vitro (50-100 mM). Conversely, microsomal and erythrocyte membranes from alcoholic animals were resistant to this disordering by ethanol (membrane tolerance). These membrane properties were also apparent in lipid bilayers comprised of either total lipids or phospholipids isolated from the control and alcoholic animals. While several weeks of ethanol administration were required for both erythrocytes and microsomes to develop membrane tolerance, erythrocytes from alcoholic animals were disordered by ethanol in vitro after the animals had been withdrawn from ethanol for only 1 day. The same rapid loss of tolerance was observed in microsomes after 2 days of withdrawal. The same time course for the loss of tolerance was observed in lipid bilayers prepared from the total lipid and phospholipid extracts. No significant differences in the cholesterol/phospholipid ratio were observed between the microsomal or erythrocyte membranes isolated before and after withdrawal. Thus, alterations in the microsomal and erythrocyte phospholipids, and not cholesterol content, were responsible for conveying membrane tolerance. Membrane structural properties can be rapidly adjusted in a mammalian system in response to the withdrawal of the external membrane perturbant ethanol. The withdrawal model, which begins with established membrane tolerance and leads to rapid and complete loss of tolerance, provides a model to analyze the compositional changes responsible for this tolerance to disordering by ethanol.

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

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


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

  2. Synthesis and deposition of basement membrane proteins by primary brain capillary endothelial cells in a murine model of the blood-brain barrier

    Thomsen, Maj Schneider; Birkelund, Svend; Burkhart, Annette;


    basement membrane proteins such as laminin-411, laminin-511, collagen IV [α1(IV)2 α2(IV)], agrin, perlecan, and nidogen 1 and 2 in vitro. Increased expression of the laminin α5 subunit correlated to the addition of BBB inducing factors (hydrocortisone, Ro 20-1724, and pCPT-cAMP), whereas increased...... expression of collagen IV α1 primarily correlated to increased levels of cAMP. In conclusion, BCECs cultured in vitro coherently form a BBB and express basement membrane proteins as a feature of maturation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved....

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

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


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

  4. Electrospun fiber membranes enable proliferation of genetically modified cells

    Borjigin M


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

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

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


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

  6. Perturbation of red blood cell membrane rigidity by extracellular ligands.

    Paulitschke, M; Nash, G B; Anstee, D J; Tanner, M J; Gratzer, W B


    It is known that binding of extracellular antibodies against the major sialoglycoprotein, glycophorin A, reduced the deformability of the red blood cell membrane. This has been taken to result from new or altered interactions between the glycophorin A and the membrane skeleton. We have shown by means of the micropipette aspiration technique that antibodies against the preponderant transmembrane protein, band 3, induce similar effects. A definite but much smaller reduction in elasticity of the membrane is engendered by univalent Fab fragments of the anti-band 3 antibodies. By examining cells genetically devoid of glycophorin A or containing a variant of this constituent, truncated at the inner membrane surface, we have shown that the anti-band 3 antibodies do not act through the band 3-associated glycophorin A. We examined the effect of anti-glycophorin A antibodies on homozygous Wr(a+b-) cells, in which an amino acid replacement in band 3 annihilates the Wright b (Wrb) epitope (comprising sequence elements of glycophorin A and band 3) and thus, by implication disrupts or perturbs the band 3-glycophorin A interaction; these cells show a much smaller response to an anti-glycophorin A antibody than do normal controls. We infer that in this case anti-glycophorin A antibodies exert their rigidifying effect through the associated band 3. Another anti-glycophorin A antibody, directed against an epitope remote from the membrane surface, however, increases the rigidity of both Wr(a+b-) and normal cells. This implies that not all antibodies act in the same manner in modifying the membrane mechanical properties. The effect exerted by anti-band 3 antibodies appears not to be transmitted through the band 3-ankyrin-spectrin pathway because the rigidifying effect of the intact antibody persists at alkaline pH, at which there is evidence that the ankyrin-band 3 link is largely dissociated. The large difference between the effects of saturating concentrations of the divalent and

  7. Optical Trapping Techniques Applied to the Study of Cell Membranes

    Morss, Andrew J.

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

  8. Antimicrobial mechanism of flavonoids against Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 by model membrane study

    He, Mengying; Wu, Ting; Pan, Siyi; Xu, Xiaoyun, E-mail:


    Antimicrobial mechanism of four flavonoids (kaempferol, hesperitin, (+)-catechin hydrate, biochanin A) against Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 was investigated through cell membranes and a liposome model. The release of bacterial protein and images from transmission electron microscopy demonstrated damage to the E. coli ATCC 25922 membrane. A liposome model with dipalmitoylphosphatidylethanolamine (DPPE) (0.6 molar ratio) and dipalmitoylphosphatidylglycerol (DPPG) (0.4 molar ratio), representative of the phospholipid membrane of E. coli ATCC 25922, was used to specify the mode of action of four selected flavonoids through Raman spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. It is suggested that for flavonoids, to be effective antimicrobials, interaction with the polar head-group of the model membrane followed by penetration into the hydrophobic regions must occur. The antimicrobial efficacies of the flavonoids were consistent with liposome interaction activities, kaempferol > hesperitin > (+)-catechin hydrate > biochanin A. This study provides a liposome model capable of mimicking the cell membrane of E. coli ATCC 25922. The findings are important in understanding the antibacterial mechanism on cell membranes.

  9. Network modeling of membrane-based artificial cellular systems

    Freeman, Eric C.; Philen, Michael K.; Leo, Donald J.


    Computational models are derived for predicting the behavior of artificial cellular networks for engineering applications. The systems simulated involve the use of a biomolecular unit cell, a multiphase material that incorporates a lipid bilayer between two hydrophilic compartments. These unit cells may be considered building blocks that enable the fabrication of complex electrochemical networks. These networks can incorporate a variety of stimuli-responsive biomolecules to enable a diverse range of multifunctional behavior. Through the collective properties of these biomolecules, the system demonstrates abilities that recreate natural cellular phenomena such as mechanotransduction, optoelectronic response, and response to chemical gradients. A crucial step to increase the utility of these biomolecular networks is to develop mathematical models of their stimuli-responsive behavior. While models have been constructed deriving from the classical Hodgkin-Huxley model focusing on describing the system as a combination of traditional electrical components (capacitors and resistors), these electrical elements do not sufficiently describe the phenomena seen in experiment as they are not linked to the molecular scale processes. From this realization an advanced model is proposed that links the traditional unit cell parameters such as conductance and capacitance to the molecular structure of the system. Rather than approaching the membrane as an isolated parallel plate capacitor, the model seeks to link the electrical properties to the underlying chemical characteristics. This model is then applied towards experimental cases in order that a more complete picture of the underlying phenomena responsible for the desired sensing mechanisms may be constructed. In this way the stimuli-responsive characteristics may be understood and optimized.

  10. Task 1: Modeling Study of CO Effects on Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Anodes Task 2: Study of Ac Impedance as Membrane/Electrode Manufacturing Diagnostic Tool

    Thomas E. Springer


    Carbon monoxide poisoning of polymer electrolyte fuel cell anodes is a key problem to be overcome when operating a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) on reformed fuels. CO adsorbs preferentially on the precious metal surface leading to substantial performance losses. Some recent work has explored this problem, primarily using various Pt alloys in attempts to lower the degree of surface deactivation. In their studies of hydrogen oxidation on Pt and Pt alloy (Pt/Sn, Pt/Ru) rotating disk electrodes exposed to H{sub 2}/CO mixtures, Gasteiger et al. showed that a small hydrogen oxidation current is observed well before the onset of major CO oxidative stripping (ca. 0.4 V) on Pt/Ru. However, these workers concluded that such current observed at low anode overpotentials was too low to be of practical value. Nonetheless, MST-11 researchers and others have found experimentally that it is possible to run a PEFC, e.g., with a Pt/Ru anode, in the presence of CO levels in the range 10--100 ppm with little voltage loss. Such experimental results suggest that, in fact, PEFC operation at significant current densities under low anode overpotentials is possible in the presence of such levels of CO, even before resorting to air bleeding into the anode feed stream. The latter approach has been shown to be effective in elimination of Pt anode catalyst poisoning effects at CO levels of 20--50 ppm for cells operating at 80 C with low Pt catalyst loading. The effect of oxygen bleeding is basically to lower P{sub CO} down to extremely low levels in the anode plenum thanks to the catalytic (chemical) oxidation of CO by dioxygen at the anode catalyst. In this modeling work the authors do not include specific description of oxygen bleeding effects and concentrate on the behavior of the anode with feed streams of H{sub 2} or reformate containing low levels of CO. The anode loss is treated in this work as a hydrogen and carbon monoxide electrode kinetics problem, but includes the effects of

  11. Human Airway Primary Epithelial Cells Show Distinct Architectures on Membrane Supports Under Different Culture Conditions.

    Min, Kyoung Ah; Rosania, Gus R; Shin, Meong Cheol


    To facilitate drug development for lung delivery, it is highly demanding to establish appropriate airway epithelial cell models as transport barriers to evaluate pharmacokinetic profiles of drug molecules. Besides the cancer-derived cell lines, as the primary cell model, normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells have been used for drug screenings because of physiological relevance to in vivo. Therefore, to accurately interpret drug transport data in NHBE measured by different laboratories, it is important to know biophysical characteristics of NHBE grown on membranes in different culture conditions. In this study, NHBE was grown on the polyester membrane in a different medium and its transport barrier properties as well as cell architectures were fully characterized by functional assays and confocal imaging throughout the days of cultures. Moreover, NHBE cells on inserts in a different medium were subject to either of air-interfaced culture (AIC) or liquid-covered culture (LCC) condition. Cells in the AIC condition were cultivated on the membrane with medium in the basolateral side only, whereas cells with medium in apical and basolateral sides under the LCC condition. Quantitative microscopic imaging with biophysical examination revealed distinct multilayered architectures of differentiated NHBE cells, suggesting NHBE as functional cell barriers for the lung-targeting drug transport.

  12. Mathematical modeling of polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    Sousa, Ruy; Gonzalez, Ernesto R.

    Fuel cells with a polymer electrolyte membrane have been receiving more and more attention. Modeling plays an important role in the development of fuel cells. In this paper, the state-of-the-art regarding modeling of fuel cells with a polymer electrolyte membrane is reviewed. Modeling has allowed detailed studies concerning the development of these cells, e.g. in discussing the electrocatalysis of the reactions and the design of water-management schemes to cope with membrane dehydration. Two-dimensional models have been used to represent reality, but three-dimensional models can cope with some important additional aspects. Consideration of two-phase transport in the air cathode of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell seems to be very appropriate. Most fuel cells use hydrogen as a fuel. Besides safety concerns, there are problems associated with production, storage and distribution of this fuel. Methanol, as a liquid fuel, can be the solution to these problems and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) are attractive for several applications. Mass transport is a factor that may limit the performance of the cell. Adsorption steps may be coupled to Tafel kinetics to describe methanol oxidation and methanol crossover must also be taken into account. Extending the two-phase approach to the DMFC modeling is a recent, important point.

  13. Numerical Poisson-Boltzmann Model for Continuum Membrane Systems.

    Botello-Smith, Wesley M; Liu, Xingping; Cai, Qin; Li, Zhilin; Zhao, Hongkai; Luo, Ray


    Membrane protein systems are important computational research topics due to their roles in rational drug design. In this study, we developed a continuum membrane model utilizing a level set formulation under the numerical Poisson-Boltzmann framework within the AMBER molecular mechanics suite for applications such as protein-ligand binding affinity and docking pose predictions. Two numerical solvers were adapted for periodic systems to alleviate possible edge effects. Validation on systems ranging from organic molecules to membrane proteins up to 200 residues, demonstrated good numerical properties. This lays foundations for sophisticated models with variable dielectric treatments and second-order accurate modeling of solvation interactions.

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

    Smith, Aaron D; Wilks, Angela


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

  15. Significance of the plasma membrane for the nerve cell function, development and plasticity.

    Mourek, Jindrich; Langmeier, Milos; Pokorny, Jaroslav


    Lipoid character of plasma membrane namely the presence of polyenic fatty acids enables to interact with membrane proteins and in certain extent also to modulate their function. During the development, molecules of membrane fatty acids become more and more complex, and the ratio of polyenic fatty acids/saturated fatty acids in the brain rises, while the concentration of monoenic fatty acids remained relatively stable. This phenomenon is apparent also in the ratio of unsaturated fatty acids OMEGA-3 in plasma of newborns which correlates with the birth weight. Plasma membrane reflects local specializations of nerve cells. Its composition varies in functionally specialized regions called domains. Specialized domains of nerve cells determine the function of dendrites, soma, axon, axon hillock ect. Premature weaning of laboratory rats results in structural changes and in the increase of excitability of neuronal circuits in hypothalamus, septum and hippocampus which indicate the possibility of membrane composition changes. In synapses, transport proteins of synaptic vesicles, act together with the specific proteins of the presynaptic membrane. Membrane proteins determine the release of neurotransmitter at different conditions of synaptic activity, and they can contribute to the recovery of neurotransmitter content after the repeated hyperactivity. In the model of experimental kindling, repeated seizures bring about decreases and distribution changes of synaptic vesicles.

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

    Chris Roger; David Mountz; Wensheng He; Tao Zhang


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

  17. A dynamin-like protein involved in bacterial cell membrane surveillance under environmental stress.

    Sawant, Prachi; Eissenberger, Kristina; Karier, Laurence; Mascher, Thorsten; Bramkamp, Marc


    In ever-changing natural environments, bacteria are continuously challenged with numerous biotic and abiotic stresses. Accordingly, they have evolved both specific and more general mechanisms to counteract stress-induced damage and ensure survival. In the soil habitat of Bacillus subtilis, peptide antibiotics and bacteriophages are among the primary stressors that affect the integrity of the cytoplasmic membrane. Dynamin-like proteins (DLPs) play a major role in eukaryotic membrane re-modelling processes, including antiviral activities, but the function of the corresponding bacterial homologues was so far poorly understood. Here, we report on the protective function of a bacterial DLP, DynA from B. subtilis. We provide evidence that DynA plays an important role in a membrane surveillance system that counteracts membrane pore formation provoked by antibiotics and phages. In unstressed cells, DynA is a highly dynamic membrane-associated protein. Upon membrane damage, DynA localizes into large and static assemblies, where DynA acts locally to counteract stress-induced pores, presumably by inducing lipid bilayer fusion and sealing membrane gaps. Thus, lack of DynA increases the sensitivity to antibiotic exposure and phage infection. Taken together, our work suggests that DynA, and potentially other bacterial DLPs, contribute to the innate immunity of bacteria against membrane stress.

  18. GPI-anchored proteins do not reside in ordered domains in the live cell plasma membrane

    Sevcsik, Eva; Brameshuber, Mario; Fölser, Martin; Weghuber, Julian; Honigmann, Alf; Schütz, Gerhard J.


    The organization of proteins and lipids in the plasma membrane has been the subject of a long-lasting debate. Membrane rafts of higher lipid chain order were proposed to mediate protein interactions, but have thus far not been directly observed. Here we use protein micropatterning combined with single-molecule tracking to put current models to the test: we rearranged lipid-anchored raft proteins (glycosylphosphatidylinositol(GPI)-anchored-mGFP) directly in the live cell plasma membrane and measured the effect on the local membrane environment. Intriguingly, this treatment does neither nucleate the formation of an ordered membrane phase nor result in any enrichment of nanoscopic-ordered domains within the micropatterned regions. In contrast, we find that immobilized mGFP-GPIs behave as inert obstacles to the diffusion of other membrane constituents without influencing their membrane environment over distances beyond their physical size. Our results indicate that phase partitioning is not a fundamental element of protein organization in the plasma membrane.

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

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


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

  20. Water transport modeling of three dimensional polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell%三维聚合物电解质膜燃料电池中水的输运模拟

    Alhussan Khaled


    针对新型螺旋形加压聚合物电解质膜燃料电池,提出了一种液态水生成和输运效应的数值模型.该数值模型基于燃料电池的物理机理、流体流动、传热导、多孔介质中的传质、电化学反应、含相变的多相流动、电流输运、多孔介质和固体导电区域中的位势场以及穿过聚合物膜的水的输运设计优化过程.在分析中还使用了燃料电池模型.例如,电化学模型--用于预测局部电流密度和电压分布;位势场模型--用于预测多孔介质以及固体导电区中的电流和电压;多相混合物模型--用于预测在多孔扩散层中的液态水和气体流;薄膜多相模型--用于研究气体流道中的液态水流.最后给出了聚合物电解质膜燃料电池液态水生成和输运的理论模型的数值结果,包括催化层和膜中的H2,O2和H2O的质量和克分子数的等值线图.%A numerical modeling of liquid water formation and transport effects of a new spiral-shape design of pressurized polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell was proposed. Based on the physical principles of fuel cells, fluid flow, heat transfer, mass transfer in porous media, electrochemical reactions, multiphase flow with phase change, transport of current and potential field in porous media and solid conducting regions, and water transport across the polymer membrane, the optimal process was designed in this numberical modeling, and fuel cell models were used to do analysis. For example, an electrochemical model was used to predict local current density and voltage distributions, a potential field model was used to predict current and voltage in porous and solid conducting regions, a multiphase mixture model was used to predict liquid water and gas flow in the porous diffusion layers, and a thin film multiphase model was used to track liquid water flow in gas flow passages. The numerical results of the theoretical modeling of liquid water formation and transport