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Sample records for active biopolymer network

  1. Coupled biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwarz, J. M.; Zhang, Tao

    2015-03-01

    The actin cytoskeleton provides the cell with structural integrity and allows it to change shape to crawl along a surface, for example. The actin cytoskeleton can be modeled as a semiflexible biopolymer network that modifies its morphology in response to both external and internal stimuli. Just inside the inner nuclear membrane of a cell exists a network of filamentous lamin that presumably protects the heart of the cell nucleus--the DNA. Lamins are intermediate filaments that can also be modeled as semiflexible biopolymers. It turns out that the actin cytoskeletal biopolymer network and the lamin biopolymer network are coupled via a sequence of proteins that bridge the outer and inner nuclear membranes. We, therefore, probe the consequences of such a coupling via numerical simulations to understand the resulting deformations in the lamin network in response to perturbations in the cytoskeletal network. Such study could have implications for mechanical mechanisms of the regulation of transcription, since DNA--yet another semiflexible polymer--contains lamin-binding domains, and, thus, widen the field of epigenetics.

  2. Heterogeneous Force Chains in Cellularized Biopolymer Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Long; Jones, Christopher Allen Rucksack; Sun, Bo; Jiao, Yang

    Biopolymer Networks play an important role in coordinating and regulating collective cellular dynamics via a number of signaling pathways. Here, we investigate the mechanical response of a model biopolymer network due to the active contraction of embedded cells. Specifically, a graph (bond-node) model derived from confocal microscopy data is used to represent the network microstructure, and cell contraction is modeled by applying correlated displacements at specific nodes, representing the focal adhesion sites. A force-based stochastic relaxation method is employed to obtain force-balanced network under cell contraction. We find that the majority of the forces are carried by a small number of heterogeneous force chains emerged from the contracting cells. The force chains consist of fiber segments that either possess a high degree of alignment before cell contraction or are aligned due to the reorientation induced by cell contraction. Large fluctuations of the forces along different force chains are observed. Importantly, the decay of the forces along the force chains is significantly slower than the decay of radially averaged forces in the system, suggesting that the fibreous nature of biopolymer network structure could support long-range mechanical signaling between cells.

  3. SOAX: A software for quantification of 3D biopolymer networks

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Tsai, Feng-Ching; Koenderink, Gijsje H.; Nie, Wei; Yusuf, Eddy; I-Ju Lee; Wu, Jian-Qiu; Huang, Xiaolei

    2015-01-01

    Filamentous biopolymer networks in cells and tissues are routinely imaged by confocal microscopy. Image analysis methods enable quantitative study of the properties of these curvilinear networks. However, software tools to quantify the geometry and topology of these often dense 3D networks and to localize network junctions are scarce. To fill this gap, we developed a new software tool called “SOAX”, which can accurately extract the centerlines of 3D biopolymer networks and identify network junctions using Stretching Open Active Contours (SOACs). It provides an open-source, user-friendly platform for network centerline extraction, 2D/3D visualization, manual editing and quantitative analysis. We propose a method to quantify the performance of SOAX, which helps determine the optimal extraction parameter values. We quantify several different types of biopolymer networks to demonstrate SOAX's potential to help answer key questions in cell biology and biophysics from a quantitative viewpoint. PMID:25765313

  4. Equilibrium & Nonequilibrium Fluctuation Effects in Biopolymer Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kachan, Devin Michael

    Fluctuation-induced interactions are an important organizing principle in a variety of soft matter systems. In this dissertation, I explore the role of both thermal and active fluctuations within cross-linked polymer networks. The systems I study are in large part inspired by the amazing physics found within the cytoskeleton of eukaryotic cells. I first predict and verify the existence of a thermal Casimir force between cross-linkers bound to a semi-flexible polymer. The calculation is complicated by the appearance of second order derivatives in the bending Hamiltonian for such polymers, which requires a careful evaluation of the the path integral formulation of the partition function in order to arrive at the physically correct continuum limit and properly address ultraviolet divergences. I find that cross linkers interact along a filament with an attractive logarithmic potential proportional to thermal energy. The proportionality constant depends on whether and how the cross linkers constrain the relative angle between the two filaments to which they are bound. The interaction has important implications for the synthesis of biopolymer bundles within cells. I model the cross-linkers as existing in two phases: bound to the bundle and free in solution. When the cross-linkers are bound, they behave as a one-dimensional gas of particles interacting with the Casimir force, while the free phase is a simple ideal gas. Demanding equilibrium between the two phases, I find a discontinuous transition between a sparsely and a densely bound bundle. This discontinuous condensation transition induced by the long-ranged nature of the Casimir interaction allows for a similarly abrupt structural transition in semiflexible filament networks between a low cross linker density isotropic phase and a higher cross link density bundle network. This work is supported by the results of finite element Brownian dynamics simulations of semiflexible filaments and transient cross-linkers. I

  5. Micromechanics of cellularized biopolymer networks

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Christopher A. R.; Cibula, Matthew; Feng, Jingchen; Krnacik, Emma A.; McIntyre, David H.; Levine, Herbert; Sun, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Collagen gels are widely used in experiments on cell mechanics because they mimic the extracellular matrix in physiological conditions. Collagen gels are often characterized by their bulk rheology; however, variations in the collagen fiber microstructure and cell adhesion forces cause the mechanical properties to be inhomogeneous at the cellular scale. We study the mechanics of type I collagen on the scale of tens to hundreds of microns by using holographic optical tweezers to apply pN forces to microparticles embedded in the collagen fiber network. We find that in response to optical forces, particle displacements are inhomogeneous, anisotropic, and asymmetric. Gels prepared at 21 °C and 37 °C show qualitative difference in their micromechanical characteristics. We also demonstrate that contracting cells remodel the micromechanics of their surrounding extracellular matrix in a strain- and distance-dependent manner. To further understand the micromechanics of cellularized extracellular matrix, we have constructed a computational model which reproduces the main experiment findings. PMID:26324923

  6. Nonlinear Mechanics of Athermal Branched Biopolymer Networks.

    PubMed

    Rens, R; Vahabi, M; Licup, A J; MacKintosh, F C; Sharma, A

    2016-07-01

    Naturally occurring biopolymers such as collagen and actin form branched fibrous networks. The average connectivity in branched networks is generally below the isostatic threshold at which central force interactions marginally stabilize the network. In the submarginal regime, for connectivity below this threshold, such networks are unstable toward small deformations unless stabilized by additional interactions such as bending. Here we perform a numerical study on the elastic behavior of such networks. We show that the nonlinear mechanics of branched networks is qualitatively similar to that of filamentous networks with freely hinged cross-links. In agreement with a recent theoretical study,1 we find that branched networks also exhibit nonlinear mechanics consistent with athermal critical phenomena controlled by strain. We obtain the critical exponents capturing the nonlinear elastic behavior near the critical point by performing scaling analysis of the stiffening curves. We find that the exponents evolve with the connectivity in the network. We show that the nonlinear mechanics of disordered networks, independent of the detailed microstructure, can be characterized by a strain-driven second-order phase transition, and that the primary quantitative differences among different architectures are in the critical exponents describing the transition. PMID:26901575

  7. Mechanically Induced Helix-Coil Transition in Biopolymer Networks

    PubMed Central

    Courty, Sebastien; Gornall, Joanne L.; Terentjev, Eugene M.

    2006-01-01

    The quasi-equilibrium evolution of the helical fraction occurring in a biopolymer network (gelatin gel) under an applied stress has been investigated by observing modulation in its optical activity. Its variation with the imposed chain extension is distinctly nonmonotonic and corresponds to the transition of initially coiled strands to induced left-handed helices. The experimental results are in qualitative agreement with theoretical predictions of helices induced on chain extension. This new effect of mechanically stimulated helix-coil transition has been studied further as a function of the elastic properties of the polymer network: crosslink density and network aging. PMID:16239334

  8. Constitutive modelling of composite biopolymer networks.

    PubMed

    Fallqvist, B; Kroon, M

    2016-04-21

    The mechanical behaviour of biopolymer networks is to a large extent determined at a microstructural level where the characteristics of individual filaments and the interactions between them determine the response at a macroscopic level. Phenomena such as viscoelasticity and strain-hardening followed by strain-softening are observed experimentally in these networks, often due to microstructural changes (such as filament sliding, rupture and cross-link debonding). Further, composite structures can also be formed with vastly different mechanical properties as compared to the individual networks. In this present paper, we present a constitutive model presented in a continuum framework aimed at capturing these effects. Special care is taken to formulate thermodynamically consistent evolution laws for dissipative effects. This model, incorporating possible anisotropic network properties, is based on a strain energy function, split into an isochoric and a volumetric part. Generalisation to three dimensions is performed by numerical integration over the unit sphere. Model predictions indicate that the constitutive model is well able to predict the elastic and viscoelastic response of biological networks, and to an extent also composite structures. PMID:26851172

  9. Coupled actin-lamin biopolymer networks and protecting DNA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Tao; Rocklin, D. Zeb; Mao, Xiaoming; Schwarz, J. M.

    The mechanical properties of cells are largely determined by networks of semiflexible biopolymers forming the cytoskeleton. Similarly, the mechanical properties of cell nuclei are also largely determined by networks of semiflexible biopolymers forming the nuclear cytoskeleton. In particular, a network of filamentous lamin sits just inside the inner nuclear membrane to presumably protect the heart of the cell nucleus--the DNA. It has been demonstrated over the past decade that the actin cytoskeletal biopolymer network and the lamin biopolymer network are coupled via a sequence of proteins bridging the outer and inner nuclear membranes, known as the LINC complex. We, therefore, probe the consequences of such a coupling in a model biopolymer network system via numerical simulations to understand the resulting deformations in the lamin network in response to perturbations in the actin cytoskeletal network. We find, for example, that the force transmission across the coupled system can depend sensitively on the concentration of LINC complexes. Such study could have implications for mechanical mechanisms of the regulation of transcription since DNA couples to lamin via lamin-binding domains so that deformations in the lamin network may result in deformations in the DNA.

  10. [Neutrophil activation by sea hydrobiont biopolymers].

    PubMed

    Zaporozhets, T S

    2003-01-01

    Biopolymers of sea hydrobionts such as mytilan, alpha-1,4;1,6-D-glycan isolated from the muntle of the mussel Crenomytilus grayanus; translam, beta-1,3;1,6-D-glucan isolated from the seaweed Laminaria cichorioides; fucoidan, a sulfated polysccharide isolated from the algae Fucus evanescens; zosterin, a pectin isolated from sea grass of the family Zosteraceae were comparatively studied. The mechanisms of the phagocyte activation were investigated and the dose-dependent ability of the biopolymers to increase in vitro adhesion of the intact cells and to restore the neutrophil functions at cyclophosphamide-induced immunodepression was detected. The neutrophil activation by mytilan, zosterin and fucoidan linked with the adhesion potentiation was shown to be associated with their ability to increase the number of the adhesion receptors and in particular CD116b on the cell surface. The lower potential of the neutrophils preincubated in vitro with high doses of translam beta-glucan could be due to blockade of the beta-glucan receptors participating in the complex multicomponent adhesion process. The use of the biopolymers of the sea hydrobionts of the glycobiological nature for modulation of the immunity processes provided rather convenient in vivo management of intracellular processes through direct and competing carbohydrate specific interactions of the modifiers with the membrane receptors and formation of active and inactive lectin-glycoligand and carbohydrate-carbohydrate complexes. PMID:15002173

  11. Investigation of biopolymer networks by means of AFM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keresztes, Z.; Rigó, T.; Telegdi, J.; Kálmán, E.

    Natural hydrogel alginate was investigated by means of atomic force microscopy (AFM) to gain microscale information on the morphological and rheological properties of the biopolymer network cross-linked by various cations. Local rheological properties of the gels measured by force spectroscopy gave correlation between increasing ion selectivity and increasing polymer elasticity. Adhesive forces acting between the surface of the gel and the probe, and also the intrinsic rheological properties of bulk polymers affect the microscopical image formation.

  12. Mechanical response of biopolymer double networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, Joshua; Das, Moumita

    We investigate a double network model of articular cartilage (AC) and characterize its equilibrium mechanical response. AC has very few cells and the extracellular matrix mainly determines its mechanical response. This matrix can be thought of as a double polymer network made of collagen and aggrecan. The collagen fibers are stiff and resist tension and compression forces, while aggrecans are flexible and control swelling and hydration. We construct a microscopic model made of two interconnected disordered polymer networks, with fiber elasticity chosen to qualitatively mimic the experimental system. We study the collective mechanical response of this double network as a function of the concentration and stiffness of the individual components as well as the strength of the connection between them using rigidity percolation theory. Our results may provide a better understanding of mechanisms underlying the mechanical resilience of AC, and more broadly may also lead to new perspectives on the mechanical response of multicomponent soft materials. This work was partially supported by a Cottrell College Science Award.

  13. Stretching and bending in cross-linked biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heussinger, Claus; Frey, Erwin

    2007-03-01

    The elastic response of cross-linked biopolymer networks is usually interpreted in terms of affine stretching models, adopted from the theory of rubber-elasticity valid for flexible polymer gels. Unlike flexible polymers, however, stiff polymers have a highly anisotropic elastic response, where the low-energy elastic excitations are actually of bending nature. As a consequence, similar to springs connected in series, one would expect the softer bending mode to dominate the elastic energy rather than the stiff stretching mode. We propose a theory that, unlike recent affine models, properly accounts for the soft bending response of stiff polymers. It allows calculating the macroscopic elastic moduli starting from a microscopic characterization of the (non-affine) deformation field. The calculated scaling properties for the shear modulus are in excellent agreement with the results of recent simulations obtained in simple two-dimensional model networks, and can also be applied to rationalize bulk rheological data in reconstituted actin networks.

  14. Nonlinear and heterogeneous elasticity of multiply-crosslinked biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amuasi, H. E.; Heussinger, C.; Vink, R. L. C.; Zippelius, A.

    2015-08-01

    We simulate randomly crosslinked networks of biopolymers, characterizing linear and nonlinear elasticity under different loading conditions (uniaxial extension, simple shear, and pure shear). Under uniaxial extension, and upon entering the nonlinear regime, the network switches from a dilatant to contractile response. Analogously, under isochoric conditions (pure shear), the normal stresses change their sign. Both effects are readily explained with a generic weakly nonlinear elasticity theory. The elastic moduli display an intermediate super-stiffening regime, where moduli increase much stronger with applied stress σ than predicted by the force-extension relation of a single wormlike-chain ({G}{wlc}∼ {σ }3/2). We interpret this super-stiffening regime in terms of the reorientation of filaments with the maximum tensile direction of the deformation field. A simple model for the reorientation response gives an exponential stiffening, G∼ {{{e}}}σ , in qualitative agreement with our data. The heterogeneous, anisotropic structure of the network is reflected in correspondingly heterogeneous and anisotropic elastic properties. We provide a coarse-graining scheme to quantify the local anisotropy, the fluctuations of the elastic moduli, and the local stresses as a function of coarse-graining length. Heterogeneities of the elastic moduli are strongly correlated with the local density and increase with applied strain.

  15. Network and Nakamura tridiagonal computational simulation of electrically-conducting biopolymer micro-morphic transport phenomena.

    PubMed

    Anwar Bég, O; Zueco, J; Norouzi, M; Davoodi, M; Joneidi, A A; Elsayed, Assma F

    2014-01-01

    Magnetic fields have been shown to achieve excellent fabrication control and manipulation of conductive bio-polymer characteristics. To simulate magnetohydrodynamic effects on non-Newtonian electro-conductive bio-polymers (ECBPs) we present herein a theoretical and numerical simulation of free convection magneto-micropolar biopolymer flow over a horizontal circular cylinder (an "enrobing" problem). Eringen's robust micropolar model (a special case of the more general micro-morphic or "microfluid" model) is implemented. The transformed partial differential conservation equations are solved numerically with a powerful and new code based on NSM (Network Simulation Method) i.e. PSPICE. An extensive range of Hartmann numbers, Grashof numbers, micropolar parameters and Prandtl numbers are considered. Excellent validation is also achieved with earlier non-magnetic studies. Furthermore the present PSPICE code is also benchmarked with an implicit tridiagonal solver based on Nakamura's method (BIONAK) again achieving close correlation. The study highlights the excellent potential of both numerical methods described in simulating nonlinear biopolymer micro-structural flows. PMID:24377688

  16. Macrophage-stimulating activity of exo-biopolymer from cultured rice bran with Monascus pilosus.

    PubMed

    Yu, K W; Kim, Y S; Shin, K S; Kim, J M; Suh, H J

    2005-07-01

    To find a new use of rice bran, five fungi were examined for the production of exo-biopolymer with macrophage-stimulating activity from rice bran. Among the exo-biopolymers produced from the cultures, Monascus pilosus had the most potent macrophage stimulating activity in a liquid culture rather than in a solid culture. In order to improve the yield of exo-biopolymer with macrophage-stimulating activity, a suitable medium for exo-biopolymer was tested in submerged culture of M. pilosus. The highest amount of exo-biopolymer (13.9 mg/mL) was obtained in a medium containing rice bran as an only carbon source followed by media with additional maltose and sucrose (13.8 and 13.7 mg/mL, respectively). The addition of peptone resulted in the production of high amount of exo-biopolymer (15.1 mg/mL), meanwhile the addition of ammonium chloride resulted in 264.0 microg/mL of glucosamine content. Among eight different kinds of inorganic salts tested, potassium phosphate (0.1%) was the most effective inorganic salt for the mycelial growth and exo-biopolymer production. Therefore the optimal medium composition was as follows (g/L): 20 g of rice bran, 5 g of peptone, and 1 g of KH2PO4. The optimal culture pH and time for mycelial growth and exo-biopolymer production was pH 5.0 and 25 degrees C, respectively. The maximum exo-biopolymer (20.1 mg/mL) was observed at the fourth day of cultivation. Exo-biopolymer, a crude polysaccharide fraction, mainly contained neutral sugar (81.8%) with considerable amounts of uronic acid (18.2%). Component sugar analysis showed that the active fraction consisted mainly of arabinose, galactose, glucose, which was digested from starch of rice bran during cultivation, and uronic acid (molar ratio; 0.8:1.0:0.7:0.8). PMID:16014997

  17. Frequency-dependent micromechanics of cellularized biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Chris; Kim, Jihan; McIntyre, David; Sun, Bo

    Mechanical interactions between cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM) influence many cellular behaviors such as growth, differentiation, and migration. These are dynamic processes in which the cells actively remodel the ECM. Reconstituted collagen gel is a common model ECM for studying cell-ECM interactions in vitro because collagen is the most abundant component of mammalian ECM and gives the ECM its material stiffness. We embed micron-sized particles in collagen and use holographic optical tweezers to apply forces to the particles in multiple directions and over a range of frequencies up to 10 Hz. We calculate the local compliance and show that it is dependent on both the direction and frequency of the applied force. Performing the same measurement on many particles allows us to characterize the spatial inhomogeneity of the mechanical properties and shows that the compliance decreases at higher frequencies. Performing these measurements on cell-populated collagen gels shows that cellular remodeling of the ECM changes the mechanical properties of the collagen and we investigate whether this change is dependent on the local strain and distance from nearby cells.

  18. Biphasic response of cell invasion to matrix stiffness in 3-dimensional biopolymer networks

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Nadine R.; Skodzek, Kai; Hurst, Sebastian; Mainka, Astrid; Steinwachs, Julian; Schneider, Julia; Aifantis, Katerina E.; Fabry, Ben

    2015-01-01

    When cells come in contact with an adhesive matrix, they begin to spread and migrate with a speed that depends on the stiffness of the extracellular matrix. On a flat surface, migration speed decreases with matrix stiffness mainly due to an increased stability of focal adhesions. In a 3-dimensional (3D) environment, cell migration is thought to be additionally impaired by the steric hindrance imposed by the surrounding matrix. For porous 3D biopolymer networks such as collagen gels, however, the effect of matrix stiffness on cell migration is difficult to separate from effects of matrix pore size and adhesive ligand density, and is therefore unknown. Here we used glutaraldehyde as a crosslinker to increase the stiffness of self-assembled collagen biopolymer networks independently of collagen concentration or pore size. Breast carcinoma cells were seeded onto the surface of 3D collagen gels, and the invasion depth was measured after 3 days of culture. Cell invasion in gels with pore sizes larger than 5 μm increased with higher gel stiffness, whereas invasion in gels with smaller pores decreased with higher gel stiffness. These data show that 3D cell invasion is enhanced by higher matrix stiffness, opposite to cell behavior in 2D, as long as the pore size does not fall below a critical value where it causes excessive steric hindrance. These findings may be important for optimizing the recellularization of soft tissue implants or for the design of 3D invasion models in cancer research. PMID:25462839

  19. Uncoupling shear and uniaxial elastic moduli of semiflexible biopolymer networks: compression-softening and stretch-stiffening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Oosten, Anne S. G.; Vahabi, Mahsa; Licup, Albert J.; Sharma, Abhinav; Galie, Peter A.; Mackintosh, Fred C.; Janmey, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Gels formed by semiflexible filaments such as most biopolymers exhibit non-linear behavior in their response to shear deformation, e.g., with a pronounced strain stiffening and negative normal stress. These negative normal stresses suggest that networks would collapse axially when subject to shear stress. This coupling of axial and shear deformations can have particularly important consequences for extracellular matrices and collagenous tissues. Although measurements of uniaxial moduli have been made on biopolymer gels, these have not directly been related to the shear response. Here, we report measurements and simulations of axial and shear stresses exerted by a range of hydrogels subjected to simultaneous uniaxial and shear strains. These studies show that, in contrast to volume-conserving linearly elastic hydrogels, the Young’s moduli of networks formed by the biopolymers are not proportional to their shear moduli and both shear and uniaxial moduli are strongly affected by even modest degrees of uniaxial strain.

  20. Uncoupling shear and uniaxial elastic moduli of semiflexible biopolymer networks: compression-softening and stretch-stiffening

    PubMed Central

    van Oosten, Anne S. G.; Vahabi, Mahsa; Licup, Albert J.; Sharma, Abhinav; Galie, Peter A.; MacKintosh, Fred C.; Janmey, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Gels formed by semiflexible filaments such as most biopolymers exhibit non-linear behavior in their response to shear deformation, e.g., with a pronounced strain stiffening and negative normal stress. These negative normal stresses suggest that networks would collapse axially when subject to shear stress. This coupling of axial and shear deformations can have particularly important consequences for extracellular matrices and collagenous tissues. Although measurements of uniaxial moduli have been made on biopolymer gels, these have not directly been related to the shear response. Here, we report measurements and simulations of axial and shear stresses exerted by a range of hydrogels subjected to simultaneous uniaxial and shear strains. These studies show that, in contrast to volume-conserving linearly elastic hydrogels, the Young’s moduli of networks formed by the biopolymers are not proportional to their shear moduli and both shear and uniaxial moduli are strongly affected by even modest degrees of uniaxial strain. PMID:26758452

  1. Biopolymers Regulate Silver Nanoparticle under Microwave Irradiation for Effective Antibacterial and Antibiofilm Activities.

    PubMed

    Velusamy, Palaniyandi; Su, Chia-Hung; Venkat Kumar, Govindarajan; Adhikary, Shritama; Pandian, Kannaiyan; Gopinath, Subash C B; Chen, Yeng; Anbu, Periasamy

    2016-01-01

    In the current study, facile synthesis of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and sodium alginate capped silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was examined using microwave radiation and aniline as a reducing agent. The biopolymer matrix embedded nanoparticles were synthesized under various experimental conditions using different concentrations of biopolymer (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2%), volumes of reducing agent (50, 100, 150 μL), and duration of heat treatment (30 s to 240 s). The synthesized nanoparticles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for identification of AgNPs synthesis, crystal nature, shape, size, and type of capping action. In addition, the significant antibacterial efficacy and antibiofilm activity of biopolymer capped AgNPs were demonstrated against different bacterial strains, Staphylococcus aureus MTCC 740 and Escherichia coli MTCC 9492. These results confirmed the potential for production of biopolymer capped AgNPs grown under microwave irradiation, which can be used for industrial and biomedical applications. PMID:27304672

  2. Biopolymers Regulate Silver Nanoparticle under Microwave Irradiation for Effective Antibacterial and Antibiofilm Activities

    PubMed Central

    Velusamy, Palaniyandi; Su, Chia-Hung; Venkat Kumar, Govindarajan; Adhikary, Shritama; Pandian, Kannaiyan; Gopinath, Subash C. B.; Chen, Yeng; Anbu, Periasamy

    2016-01-01

    In the current study, facile synthesis of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and sodium alginate capped silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) was examined using microwave radiation and aniline as a reducing agent. The biopolymer matrix embedded nanoparticles were synthesized under various experimental conditions using different concentrations of biopolymer (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2%), volumes of reducing agent (50, 100, 150 μL), and duration of heat treatment (30 s to 240 s). The synthesized nanoparticles were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for identification of AgNPs synthesis, crystal nature, shape, size, and type of capping action. In addition, the significant antibacterial efficacy and antibiofilm activity of biopolymer capped AgNPs were demonstrated against different bacterial strains, Staphylococcus aureus MTCC 740 and Escherichia coli MTCC 9492. These results confirmed the potential for production of biopolymer capped AgNPs grown under microwave irradiation, which can be used for industrial and biomedical applications. PMID:27304672

  3. Complex Coacervate Core Micelles with Spectroscopic Labels for Diffusometric Probing of Biopolymer Networks.

    PubMed

    Bourouina, Nadia; de Kort, Daan W; Hoeben, Freek J M; Janssen, Henk M; Van As, Henk; Hohlbein, Johannes; van Duynhoven, John P M; Kleijn, J Mieke

    2015-11-24

    We present the design, preparation, and characterization of two types of complex coacervate core micelles (C3Ms) with cross-linked cores and spectroscopic labels and demonstrate their use as diffusional probes to investigate the microstructure of percolating biopolymer networks. The first type consists of poly(allylamine hydrochloride) (PAH) and poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(methacrylic acid) (PEO-b-PMAA), labeled with ATTO 488 fluorescent dyes. We show that the size of these probes can be tuned by choosing the length of the PEO-PMAA chains. ATTO 488-labeled PEO113-PMAA15 micelles are very bright with 18 dye molecules incorporated into their cores. The second type is a (19)F-labeled micelle, for which we used PAH and a (19)F-labeled diblock copolymer tailor-made from poly(ethylene oxide)-poly(acrylic acid) (mPEO79-b-PAA14). These micelles contain approximately 4 wt % of (19)F and can be detected by (19)F NMR. The (19)F labels are placed at the end of a small spacer to allow for the necessary rotational mobility. We used these ATTO- and (19)F-labeled micelles to probe the microstructures of a transient gel (xanthan gum) and a cross-linked, heterogeneous gel (κ-carrageenan). For the transient gel, sensitive optical diffusometry methods, including fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, and super-resolution single nanoparticle tracking, allowed us to measure the diffusion coefficient in networks with increasing density. From these measurements, we determined the diameters of the constituent xanthan fibers. In the heterogeneous κ-carrageenan gels, bimodal nanoparticle diffusion was observed, which is a signpost of microstructural heterogeneity of the network. PMID:26535962

  4. Antibacterial and Antifungal Activity of Biopolymers Modified with Ionic Liquid and Laponite.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Anshu; Prakash, Prem; Rawat, Kamla; Solanki, Pratima R; Bohidar, H B

    2015-09-01

    In the present study, the antimicrobial properties of modified biopolymers such as gelatin and agar have been investigated. These biopolymers (agar and gelatin) are modified by dissolving in ionic liquid (IL) [1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([C2mim][Cl]) and 1-octyl-3-methyl imidazolium chloride ([C8mim][Cl])] solutions. It was noticed that agar-ionogel (Ag-IL), gelatin-ionogel (GB-IL), and gelatin organogel (gelatin-glycerol solution along with laponite, nanoclay) nanocomposite (GA-NC) formed are highly stable, optically clear, and transparent without any air bubbles. The antimicrobial activity of these (Ag-IL), (GB-IL), and GA-NC were analyzed for both gram-negative (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae) and gram-positive bacterial strains (Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus pyogenes) and fungus A. niger, C. albicans. Antibacterial and antifungal activity studies were carried out at different dilutions such as 100, 99, and 90 % (v/v). It was found that Ag-IL, GB-IL, and individual IL ([C8mim][Cl]) exhibited superior antimicrobial activities, indicating that longer IL chain enhance the cell membrane permeability of S. aureus, S. pyogenes, and E. coli cells. However, GA-NC nanocomposite and [C2mim][Cl]-based composites does not exhibit any bacterial inhibition activity for all bacterial strains. PMID:26142901

  5. Biopolymer-Activated Graphitic Carbon Nitride towards a Sustainable Photocathode Material

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuanjian; Schnepp, Zoë; Cao, Junyu; Ouyang, Shuxin; Li, Ying; Ye, Jinhua; Liu, Songqin

    2013-01-01

    Photoelectrochemical (PEC) conversion of solar light into chemical fuels is one of the most promising solutions to the challenge of sustainable energy. Graphitic carbon (IV) nitride polymer (g-CN) is an interesting sustainable photocathode material due to low-cost, visible-light sensitivity, and chemical stability up to 500°C in air. However, grain boundary effects and limited active sites greatly hamper g-CN activity. Here, we demonstrate biopolymer-activation of g-CN through simultaneous soft-templating of a sponge-like structure and incorporation of active carbon-dopant sites. This facile approach results in an almost 300% increase in the cathodic PEC activity of g-CN under simulated solar-irradiation. PMID:23831846

  6. Inorganic nanoparticles for the spatial and temporal control of organic reactions: Applications to radical degradation of biopolymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Joan Marie

    Nanoparticles of gold and iron oxide not only possess remarkable optical and magnetic properties, respectively, but are also capable of influencing their local environment with an astounding degree of precision. Using nanoparticles to direct the reactivity of organic molecules near their surface provides a unique method of spatial and temporal control. Enediynes represent an exceptional class of compounds that are thermally reactive to produce a diradical intermediate via Bergman cycloaromatization. While natural product enediynes are famously cytotoxic, a rich chemistry of synthetic enediynes has developed utilizing creative means to control this reactivity through structure, electronics, metal chelation, and external triggering mechanisms. In a heretofore unexplored arena for Bergman cyclization, we have investigated the reactivity of enediynes in connection with inorganic nanoparticles in which the physical properties of the nanomaterial are directly excited to thermally promote aromatization. As the first example of this methodology, gold nanoparticles conjugated with (Z)-octa-4-en-2,6-diyne-1,8-dithiol were excited with 514 nm laser irradiation. The formation of aromatic and polymeric products was confirmed through Raman spectroscopy and electron microscopy. Water soluble analogues Au-PEG-EDDA and Fe3O4-PEG-EDDA (EDDA = (Z)-octa-4-en-2,6-diyne-1,8-diamine) show similar reactivity under laser irradiation or alternating magnetic field excitation, respectively. Furthermore, we have used these functionalized nanoparticles to attack proteinaceous substrates including fibrin and extracellular matrix proteins, capitalizing on the ability of diradicals to disrupt peptidic bonds. By delivering a locally high payload of reactive molecules and thermal energy to the large biopolymer, network restructuring and collapse is achieved. As a synthetic extension towards multifunctional nanoparticles, noble metal seed-decorated iron oxides have also been prepared and assessed for

  7. The Impact of Invasive Earthworm Activity on Biopolymer Character of ýDecayed Litter ý

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Filley, T.; Crow, S.; Johnston, C.; McCormick, M.; Szlavecz, K.

    2007-12-01

    Over the last 400-500 years invasive European earthworm populations have ýmoved steadily into North American forests either previously devoid of ýearthworms or that contained their own native populations. This has profound ýimpacts upon litter decay and soil organic matter dynamics. To determine the ýimpact of earthworm activity on the biopolymer and stable isotope chemistry of ýlitter residues and the nature of organic carbon moved to the soil profile we ýanalyzed tulip poplar leaves from a multi-year addition experiment in open ýsurface decay litter and litter bag decay experiments, as well as the associated ýsoils among forest plots that varied in non-native earthworm density and ýbiomass. The chemical alteration of biopolymers was tracked with FTIR ýspectroscopy, 13C-TMAH thermochemolysis, alkaline CuO extraction, and stable ýisotope mass spectrometry. Earthworm activity resulted in residues and soil ýparticulate organic matter depleted in cuticular aliphatic components and ýpolyphenols but highly enriched in ether-linked lignin with respect to initial litter ýmaterial. Decay in low earthworm abundance plots, as well as all experiments ýwith earthworm-excluding litter bags, resulted in enrichment in cutin aliphatics ýand only minor increases in ether linked lignin phenols which was also reflected ýin the soils below the amendments. Additionally, the stable carbon and nitrogen ýisotope composition of tulip poplar residues became isotopically distinct. The ýresults from litter bag decays were only reflective of the chemistry at sites with ývery low earthworm abundances. ý

  8. Resolution of sub-element length scales in Brownian dynamics simulations of biopolymer networks with geometrically exact beam finite elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, Kei W.; Meier, Christoph; Wall, Wolfgang A.

    2015-12-01

    Networks of crosslinked biopolymer filaments such as the cytoskeleton are the subject of intense research. Oftentimes, mechanics on the scale of single monomers (∼ 5 nm) govern the mechanics of the entire network (∼ 10 μm). Until now, one either resolved the small scales and lost the big (network) picture or focused on mechanics above the single-filament scale and neglected the molecular architecture. Therefore, the study of network mechanics influenced by the entire spectrum of relevant length scales has been infeasible so far. We propose a method that reconciles both small and large length scales without the otherwise inevitable loss in either numerical efficiency or geometrical (molecular) detail. Both explicitly modeled species, filaments and their crosslinkers, are discretized with geometrically exact beam finite elements of Simo-Reissner type. Through specific coupling conditions between the elements of the two species, mechanical joints can be established anywhere along a beam's centerline, enabling arbitrary densities of chemical binding sites. These binding sites can be oriented to model the monomeric architecture of polymers. First, we carefully discuss the method and then demonstrate its capabilities by means of a series of numerical examples.

  9. Response of biopolymer networks governed by the physical properties of cross-linking molecules.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xi; Zhu, Qian; Qian, Jin; Lin, Yuan; Shenoy, V B

    2016-02-23

    In this study, we examine how the physical properties of cross-linking molecules affect the bulk response of bio-filament networks, an outstanding question in the study of biological gels and the cytoskeleton. We show that the stress-strain relationship of such networks typically undergoes linear increase - strain hardening - stress serration - total fracture transitions due to the interplay between the bending and stretching of individual filaments and the deformation and breakage of cross-linkers. Interestingly, the apparent network modulus is found to scale with the linear and rotational stiffness of the crosslinks to a power exponent of 0.78 and 0.13, respectively. In addition, the network fracture energy will reach its minimum at intermediate rotational compliance values, reflecting the fact that most of the strain energy will be stored in the distorted filaments with rigid cross-linkers while the imposed deformation will be "evenly" distributed among significantly more crosslinking molecules with high rotational compliance. PMID:26760315

  10. Active biopolymers in green non-conventional media: a sustainable tool for developing clean chemical processes.

    PubMed

    Lozano, Pedro; Bernal, Juana M; Nieto, Susana; Gomez, Celia; Garcia-Verdugo, Eduardo; Luis, Santiago V

    2015-12-21

    The greenness of chemical processes turns around two main axes: the selectivity of catalytic transformations, and the separation of pure products. The transfer of the exquisite catalytic efficiency shown by enzymes in nature to chemical processes is an important challenge. By using appropriate reaction systems, the combination of biopolymers with supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) and ionic liquids (ILs) resulted in synergetic and outstanding platforms for developing (multi)catalytic green chemical processes, even under flow conditions. The stabilization of biocatalysts, together with the design of straightforward approaches for separation of pure products including the full recovery and reuse of enzymes/ILs systems, are essential elements for developing clean chemical processes. By understanding structure-function relationships of biopolymers in ILs, as well as for ILs themselves (e.g. sponge-like ionic liquids, SLILs; supported ionic liquids-like phases, SILLPs, etc.), several integral green chemical processes of (bio)catalytic transformation and pure product separation are pointed out (e.g. the biocatalytic production of biodiesel in SLILs, etc.). Other developments based on DNA/ILs systems, as pathfinder studies for further technological applications in the near future, are also considered. PMID:26497761

  11. Biopolymer-prebiotic carbohydrate blends and their effects on the retention of bioactive compounds and maintenance of antioxidant activity.

    PubMed

    Silva, Eric Keven; Zabot, Giovani L; Cazarin, Cinthia B B; Maróstica, Mário R; Meireles, M Angela A

    2016-06-25

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of inulin (IN), a prebiotic carbohydrate without superficial activity, as an encapsulating matrix of lipophilic bioactive compounds. For achieving the encapsulation, IN was associated with biopolymers that present superficial activity: modified starch (HiCap), whey protein isolate (WPI) and gum acacia (GA). Encapsulation was performed through emulsification assisted by ultrasound followed by freeze-drying (FD) process to dry the emulsions. All blends retained geranylgeraniol. GA-IN blend yielded the highest geranylgeraniol retention (96±2wt.%) and entrapment efficiency (94±3wt.%), whilst WPI-IN blend yielded the highest encapsulation efficiency (88±2wt.%). After encapsulation, composition of geranylgeraniol in the annatto seed oil was maintained (23.0±0.5g/100g of oil). Such findings indicate that the method of encapsulation preserved the active compound. All blends were also effective for maintaining the antioxidant activity of the oil through ORAC and DPPH analyses. PMID:27083804

  12. Electrodeposition of chitosan/gelatin/nanosilver: A new method for constructing biopolymer/nanoparticle composite films with conductivity and antibacterial activity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yifeng; Guo, Xuecheng; Pan, Ruihao; Han, Di; Chen, Tao; Geng, Zenghua; Xiong, Yanfei; Chen, Yanjun

    2015-08-01

    Electrodeposition of chitosan provides a controllable means to simultaneously assemble biological materials and nanoparticles for various applications. Here, we present a new method to construct biopolymer/nanoparticle composite films with conductivity and antibacterial activity by electrodeposition of chitosan/gelatin/nanosilver. Besides, this method can be employed to build biopolymer/nanoparticle composite hydrogels or coatings on various electrodes or conductive substrates. We initially use a simple approach to prepare the aqueous nanosilver that can be well-dispersed in water. Then, the codeposition mixture containing chitosan, gelatin and nanosilver is prepared, and it can be electrodeposited onto different electrodes or conductive substrates in response to imposed electrical signals. After electrodeposition, it is found that the deposited hydrogels and their dried films are smooth and homogeneous due to the elimination of H2 bubbles by addition of H2O2 in electrodeposition process. Importantly, the composite films are strong enough to completely and readily peel from the electrodes after they reacted with 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide (EDC), which can build a type of biopolymer/nanoparticle film for further applications. Furthermore, the electrodeposition technique is able to offer controllable and convenient method to construct the composite films with diverse shapes. The composite films display improved conductivity and in vitro antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, which may provide attractive applications in biomedical fields such as artificial muscles, skin biomaterials and neuroprosthetic implants. PMID:26042710

  13. Abiotic origin of biopolymers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oro, J.; Stephen-Sherwood, E.

    1976-01-01

    A variety of methods have been investigated in different laboratories for the polymerization of amino acids and nucleotides under abiotic conditions. They include (1) thermal polymerization; (2) direct polymerization of certain amino acid nitriles, amides, or esters; (3) polymerization using polyphosphate esters; (4) polymerization under aqueous or drying conditions at moderate temperatures using a variety of simple catalysts or condensing agents like cyanamide, dicyandiamide, or imidazole; and (5) polymerization under similar mild conditions but employing activated monomers or abiotically synthesized high-energy compounds such as adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP). The role and significance of these methods for the synthesis of oligopeptides and oligonucleotides under possible primitive-earth conditions is evaluated. It is concluded that the more recent approach involving chemical processes similar to those used by contemporary living organisms appears to offer a reasonable solution to the prebiotic synthesis of these biopolymers.

  14. Antimicrobial activity of biopolymer-antibiotic thin films fabricated by advanced pulsed laser methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cristescu, R.; Popescu, C.; Dorcioman, G.; Miroiu, F. M.; Socol, G.; Mihailescu, I. N.; Gittard, S. D.; Miller, P. R.; Narayan, R. J.; Enculescu, M.; Chrisey, D. B.

    2013-08-01

    We report on thin film deposition by matrix assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) of two polymer-drug composite thin film systems. A pulsed KrF* excimer laser source (λ = 248 nm, τ = 25 ns, ν = 10 Hz) was used to deposit composite thin films of poly(D,L-lactide) (PDLLA) containing several gentamicin concentrations. FTIR spectroscopy was used to demonstrate that MAPLE-transferred materials exhibited chemical structures similar to those of drop cast materials. Scanning electron microscopy data indicated that MAPLE may be used to fabricate thin films of good morphological quality. The activity of PDLLA-gentamicin composite thin films against Staphylococcus aureus bacteria was demonstrated using drop testing. The influence of drug concentration on microbial viability was also assessed. Our studies indicate that polymer-drug composite thin films prepared by MAPLE may be used to impart antimicrobial activity to implants, medical devices, and other contact surfaces.

  15. Broken Detailed Balance of Filament Dynamics in Active Networks.

    PubMed

    Gladrow, J; Fakhri, N; MacKintosh, F C; Schmidt, C F; Broedersz, C P

    2016-06-17

    Myosin motor proteins drive vigorous steady-state fluctuations in the actin cytoskeleton of cells. Endogenous embedded semiflexible filaments such as microtubules, or added filaments such as single-walled carbon nanotubes are used as novel tools to noninvasively track equilibrium and nonequilibrium fluctuations in such biopolymer networks. Here, we analytically calculate shape fluctuations of semiflexible probe filaments in a viscoelastic environment, driven out of equilibrium by motor activity. Transverse bending fluctuations of the probe filaments can be decomposed into dynamic normal modes. We find that these modes no longer evolve independently under nonequilibrium driving. This effective mode coupling results in nonzero circulatory currents in a conformational phase space, reflecting a violation of detailed balance. We present predictions for the characteristic frequencies associated with these currents and investigate how the temporal signatures of motor activity determine mode correlations, which we find to be consistent with recent experiments on microtubules embedded in cytoskeletal networks. PMID:27367410

  16. Broken Detailed Balance of Filament Dynamics in Active Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladrow, J.; Fakhri, N.; MacKintosh, F. C.; Schmidt, C. F.; Broedersz, C. P.

    2016-06-01

    Myosin motor proteins drive vigorous steady-state fluctuations in the actin cytoskeleton of cells. Endogenous embedded semiflexible filaments such as microtubules, or added filaments such as single-walled carbon nanotubes are used as novel tools to noninvasively track equilibrium and nonequilibrium fluctuations in such biopolymer networks. Here, we analytically calculate shape fluctuations of semiflexible probe filaments in a viscoelastic environment, driven out of equilibrium by motor activity. Transverse bending fluctuations of the probe filaments can be decomposed into dynamic normal modes. We find that these modes no longer evolve independently under nonequilibrium driving. This effective mode coupling results in nonzero circulatory currents in a conformational phase space, reflecting a violation of detailed balance. We present predictions for the characteristic frequencies associated with these currents and investigate how the temporal signatures of motor activity determine mode correlations, which we find to be consistent with recent experiments on microtubules embedded in cytoskeletal networks.

  17. The influence of hydrolysis induced biopolymers from recycled aerobic sludge on specific methanogenic activity and sludge filterability in an anaerobic membrane bioreactor.

    PubMed

    Buntner, D; Spanjers, H; van Lier, J B

    2014-03-15

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate the impact of excess aerobic sludge on the specific methanogenic activity (SMA), in order to establish the maximum allowable aerobic sludge loading. In batch tests, different ratios of aerobic sludge to anaerobic inoculum were used, i.e. 0.03, 0.05, 0.10 and 0.15, showing that low ratios led to an increased SMA. However, the ratio 0.15 caused more than 20% SMA decrease. In addition to the SMA tests, the potential influence of biopolymers and extracellular substances, that are generated as a result of excess aerobic sludge hydrolysis, on membrane performance was determined by assessing the fouling potential of the liquid broth, taking into account parameters such as specific resistance to filtration (SRF) and supernatant filterability (SF). Addition of aerobic sludge to the anaerobic biomass resulted in a high membrane fouling potential. The increase in biopolymers could be ascribed to aerobic sludge hydrolysis. A clear positive correlation between the concentration of the colloidal fraction of biopolymer clusters (cBPC) and the SRF was observed and a negative correlation between the cBPC and the SF measured at the end of the above described SMA tests. The latter implies that sludge filtration resistance increases when more aerobic sludge is hydrolyzed, and thus more cBPC is released. During AnMBR operation, proteins significantly contributed to sludge filterability decrease expressed as SRF and SF, whereas the carbohydrate fraction of SMP was of less importance due to low concentrations. On the contrary, carbohydrates seemed to improve filterability and diminish SRF of the sludge. Albeit, cBPC increase caused an increase in mean TMP during the AnMBR operation, confirming that cBPC is positively correlated to membrane fouling. PMID:24284260

  18. Recent advances and future challenges in the explanation and exploitation of the network glass transition of high sugar/biopolymer mixtures.

    PubMed

    Kasapis, Stefan

    2008-02-01

    Through the years, the concept of glassy phenomena evolved from non-science to a highly specialized subject following the appreciation that structural properties or product defects could be rationalized on the basis of this amorphous vitreous transition. Special reference will be made in this review to sugar glasses in the presence of biopolymers which, increasingly, are used to innovate (e.g., replace gelatin) in confections, ice cream, boiled down sweets, etc. Keeping in mind that the subject cuts across several conventional fields, this manuscript is written with several objectives in view. I deemed it necessary to provide a historic itinerary of the nature of the rubber-to-glass transition in association with the concepts of plasticizing and unfreezable water. That should facilitate comprehension and hopefully encourage young scientists to take an interest in the field that continues to offer considerable challenges, as well as opportunities. Second, the food scientist is exposed to the "sophisticated" synthetic polymer approach pioneered by J.D. Ferry and his colleagues via the WLF equation/free volume theoretical framework. Extension of this school of thought to biomaterials introduces the concept of mechanical or network glass transition temperature, which is contrasted to data obtained using differential scanning calorimetry. Applications of the network T(g) as a relevant indicator for evaluating the stability criteria and the quality-control aspects of foodstuffs are also discussed. All along, information available in the literature is critically presented ranging from the misuse of the WLF equation to a recent challenge to the theory mounted by the coupling model, which addresses in some detail the physics of interactions and the cooperativity of molecular mobility at the vicinity of T(g). PMID:18274972

  19. Fiber networks amplify active stress.

    PubMed

    Ronceray, Pierre; Broedersz, Chase P; Lenz, Martin

    2016-03-15

    Large-scale force generation is essential for biological functions such as cell motility, embryonic development, and muscle contraction. In these processes, forces generated at the molecular level by motor proteins are transmitted by disordered fiber networks, resulting in large-scale active stresses. Although these fiber networks are well characterized macroscopically, this stress generation by microscopic active units is not well understood. Here we theoretically study force transmission in these networks. We find that collective fiber buckling in the vicinity of a local active unit results in a rectification of stress towards strongly amplified isotropic contraction. This stress amplification is reinforced by the networks' disordered nature, but saturates for high densities of active units. Our predictions are quantitatively consistent with experiments on reconstituted tissues and actomyosin networks and shed light on the role of the network microstructure in shaping active stresses in cells and tissue. PMID:26921325

  20. Fiber networks amplify active stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenz, Martin; Ronceray, Pierre; Broedersz, Chase

    Large-scale force generation is essential for biological functions such as cell motility, embryonic development, and muscle contraction. In these processes, forces generated at the molecular level by motor proteins are transmitted by disordered fiber networks, resulting in large-scale active stresses. While fiber networks are well characterized macroscopically, this stress generation by microscopic active units is not well understood. I will present a comprehensive theoretical study of force transmission in these networks. I will show that the linear, small-force response of the networks is remarkably simple, as the macroscopic active stress depends only on the geometry of the force-exerting unit. In contrast, as non-linear buckling occurs around these units, local active forces are rectified towards isotropic contraction and strongly amplified. This stress amplification is reinforced by the networks' disordered nature, but saturates for high densities of active units. I will show that our predictions are quantitatively consistent with experiments on reconstituted tissues and actomyosin networks, and that they shed light on the role of the network microstructure in shaping active stresses in cells and tissue.

  1. Fate of organic matter during moderate heat treatment of sludge: kinetics of biopolymer and hydrolytic activity release and impact on sludge reduction by anaerobic digestion.

    PubMed

    Lefebvre, D; Dossat-Létisse, V; Lefebvre, X; Girbal-Neuhauser, E

    2014-01-01

    Temperature-phased anaerobic digestion with a 50-70 °C pre-treatment is widely proposed for sludge. Here, such a sludge pre-treatment (65 °C) was studied against the physical, enzymatic and biodegradation processes. The soluble and particulate fractions were analysed in terms of biochemical composition and hydrolytic enzymatic activities. Two kinetics of organic matter solubilisation were observed: a rapid transfer of the weak-linked biopolymers to the water phase, including sugars, proteins or humic acid-like substances, to the water phase, followed by a slow and long-term solubilisation of proteins and humic acid-like substances. In addition, during the heat treatment a significant pool of thermostable hydrolytic enzymes including proteases, lipases and glucosidases remains active. Consequently, a global impact on organic matter was the transfer of the biodegradable chemical oxygen demand (COD) from the particulate to the soluble fraction as evaluated by the biological methane potential test. However, the total biodegradable COD content of the treated sludge remained constant. The heat process improves the bio-accessibility of the biodegradable molecules but doesn't increase the inherent sludge biodegradability, suggesting that the chemistry of the refractory proteins and humic acids seems to be the real limit to sludge digestion. PMID:24804656

  2. Theorizing Network-Centric Activity in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    HaLevi, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Networks and network-centric activity are increasingly prevalent in schools and school districts. In addition to ubiquitous social network tools like Facebook and Twitter, educational leaders deal with a wide variety of network organizational forms that include professional development, advocacy, informational networks and network-centric reforms.…

  3. Production of novel microbial biopolymers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microorganisms are well known to produce a wide variety of biobased polymers. These biopolymers have found a wide range of commercial uses, including food, feed, and consumer and industrial products. The production and possible uses of several novel biopolymers from both bacteria and fungi will be d...

  4. Active contraction of microtubule networks.

    PubMed

    Foster, Peter J; Fürthauer, Sebastian; Shelley, Michael J; Needleman, Daniel J

    2015-01-01

    Many cellular processes are driven by cytoskeletal assemblies. It remains unclear how cytoskeletal filaments and motor proteins organize into cellular scale structures and how molecular properties of cytoskeletal components affect the large-scale behaviors of these systems. Here, we investigate the self-organization of stabilized microtubules in Xenopus oocyte extracts and find that they can form macroscopic networks that spontaneously contract. We propose that these contractions are driven by the clustering of microtubule minus ends by dynein. Based on this idea, we construct an active fluid theory of network contractions, which predicts a dependence of the timescale of contraction on initial network geometry, a development of density inhomogeneities during contraction, a constant final network density, and a strong influence of dynein inhibition on the rate of contraction, all in quantitative agreement with experiments. These results demonstrate that the motor-driven clustering of filament ends is a generic mechanism leading to contraction. PMID:26701905

  5. Active Contraction of Microtubule Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, Peter; Fürthauer, Sebastian; Shelley, Michael; Needleman, Daniel

    Many cellular processes are driven by cytoskeletal assemblies. It remains unclear how cytoskeletal filaments and motor proteins organize into cellular scale structures and how molecular properties of cytoskeletal components affect the large scale behaviors of these systems. Here we investigate the self-organization of stabilized microtubules in Xenopus oocyte extracts and find that they can form macroscopic networks that spontaneously contract. We propose that these contractions are driven by the clustering of microtubule minus ends by dynein. Based on this idea, we construct an active fluid theory of network contractions which predicts a dependence of the timescale of contraction on initial network geometry, a development of density inhomogeneities during contraction, a constant final network density, and a strong influence of dynein inhibition on the rate of contraction, all in quantitative agreement with experiments. These results demonstrate that the motor-driven clustering of filament ends is a generic mechanism leading to contraction.

  6. Effects of polyacrylamide, biopolymer, and biochar on decomposition of soil organic matter and 14C-labeled plant residues as determined by enzyme activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmoud Awad, Yasser; Ok, Young Sik; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2014-05-01

    Application of polymers for the improvement of aggregate structure and reduction of soil erosion may alter the availability and decomposition of plant residues. In this study, we assessed the effects of anionic polyacrylamide (PAM), synthesized biopolymer (BP), and biochar (BC) on the decomposition of 14C-labeled maize residue in sandy and sandy loam soils. Specifically, PAM and BP with or without 14C-labeled plant residue were applied at 400 kg ha-1, whereas BC was applied at 5000 kg ha-1, after which the soils were incubated for 80 days at 22 oC. Initially, plant residue decomposition was much higher in untreated sandy loam soil than in sandy soil. Nevertheless, the stimulating effects of BP and BC on the decomposition of plant residue were more pronounced in sandy soil, where it accounted for 13.4% and 23.4% of 14C input, respectively, whereas in sandy loam soil, the acceleration of plant residue decomposition by BP and BC did not exceed 2.6% and 14.1%, respectively, compared to untreated soil with plant residue. The stimulating effects of BP and BC on the decomposition of plant residue were confirmed based on activities of β-cellobiohydrolase, β-glucosidase, and chitinase in both soils. In contrast to BC and BP, PAM did not increase the decomposition of native or added C in both soils.

  7. Conformational changes in biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanov, Vassili

    2005-12-01

    Biopolymer conformational changes are involved in many biological processes. This thesis summarizes some theoretical and experimental approaches which I have taken at UCLA to explore conformational changes in biopolymers. The reversible thermal denaturation of the DNA double helix is, perhaps, the simplest example of biopolymer conformational change. I have developed a statistical mechanics model of DNA melting with reduced degrees of freedom, which allows base stacking interaction to be taken into account and treat base pairing and stacking separately. Unlike previous models, this model describes both the unpairing and unstacking parts of the experimental melting curves and explains the observed temperature dependence of the effective thermodynamic parameters used in models of the nearest neighbor type. I developed a basic kinetic model for irreversible thermal denaturation of F-actin, which incorporates depolymerization of F-actin from the ends and breaking of F-actin fiber in the middle. The model explains the cooperativity of F-actin thermal denaturation observed by D. Pavlov et al. in differential calorimetry measurements. CG-rich DNA sequences form left-handed Z-DNA at high ionic strength or upon binding of polyvalent ions and some proteins. I studied experimentally the B-to-Z transition of the (CG)6 dodecamer. Improvement of the locally linearized model used to interpret the data gives evidence for an intermediate state in the B-to-Z transition of DNA, contrary to previous research on this subject. In the past 15 years it has become possible to study the conformational changes of biomolecules using single-molecule techniques. In collaboration with other lab members I performed a single-molecule experiment, where we monitored the displacement of a micrometer-size bead tethered to a surface by a DNA probe undergoing the conformational change. This technique allows probing of conformational changes with subnanometer accuracy. We applied the method to detect

  8. Adsorption of lead ions on composite biopolymer adsorbent

    SciTech Connect

    Seki, Hideshi; Suzuki, Akira

    1996-04-01

    A fundamental study about the application of biopolymers to the recovery of lead from dilute solution was carried out. A membranous composite biopolymer adsorbent containing two kind of biopolymers, alginic acid (AA) and humic acid (HA), was prepared. HA, which has high solubility in water, was almost completely immobilized in the adsorbent by a combination of calcium alginate gel and activated carbon powder. A general model for complexation between divalent metal ions and acidic sites on biopolymers was applied to explain the adsorption mechanism of lead on the adsorbent (HA-M). The results showed that the complexation constants and the complexation capacities of lead-AA and lead-HA systems were scarcely influenced by immobilization.

  9. Chemical stability of biopolymer solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Ash, S.G.; Calvert, R.; Clarke-Sturman, A.J.

    1983-10-01

    Biopolymers such as xanthan are being used increasingly in oilfield operations where the stability of the biopolymer is a prime consideration. The stability of xanthan depends on the brine salinity. Good viscosity retention over many months is observed in sea water at 90/sup 0/C. The successful application of xanthan at temperatures higher than 90/sup 0/C requires an understanding of the factors that limit stability. These factors include the nature of the polymer and the mechanisms of degradation. The stability features of a novel biopolymer are also described.

  10. Chemical stability of biopolymer solutions

    SciTech Connect

    Ash, S.G.; Clarke-Sturman, A.J.; Calvert, R.; Nisbet, T.M.

    1983-01-01

    Biopolymers such as xanthan are being used increasingly in oil field operations where the stability of the biopolymer is a prime consideration. The stability of xanthan depends on the brine salinity. Good viscosity retention over many months is observed in seawater at 90 C. The successful application of xanthan at temperatures higher than 90 C requires an understanding of the factors that limit stability. These factors include the nature of the polymer and the mechanisms of degradation. The stability features of a novel biopolymer are described also. 11 references.

  11. Polyanionic heteropolysaccharide biopolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Gutnick, D.L.; Rosenberg, E.; Belsky, I.; Zinaida, Z.

    1983-07-26

    Growth of Acinetobacter Sp. ATCC 31012 on various substrates and under varying conditions is used to produce 2 classes of extra cellular, microbial protein-associated lipopolysaccharides (the emulsans) which possess characteristics that permit them to be used in cleaning oil- contaminated vessels, oil spill management, and enhanced oil recovery by chemical flooding. Emulsans and apoemulsans, both of which biopolymers are strongly anionic, exhibit a high degree of specificity in the emulsification of hydrocarbon substrates which contain both aliphatic and cyclic components. In addition, these polysaccharides as well as their O-deacylated and N-deacylated derivatives are adsorbed on and capable of flocculating aluminosilicate ion-exchangers, such as kaolin and bentonite. 10 claims.

  12. An unnatural biopolymer

    SciTech Connect

    Cho, C.Y.; Moran, E.J.; Cherry, S.R.; Stephans, J.C.; Schultz, P.G. ); Fodor, S.P.A.; Adams, C.L.; Sundaram, A.; Jacobs, J.W. )

    1993-09-03

    A highly efficient method has been developed for the solid-phase synthesis of an [open quotes]unnatural biopolymer[close quotes] consisting of chiral aminocarbonate monomers linked via a carbamate backbone. Oligocarbamates were synthesized from N-protected p-nitrophenyl carbonate monomers, substituted with a variety of side chains, with greater than 99 percent overall coupling efficiencies per step. A spatially defined library of oligocarbamates was generated by using photochemical methods and screened for binding affinity to a monoclonal antibody. A number of high-affinity ligands were than synthesized and analyzed in solution with respect to their inhibition concentration values, water/octanol partitioning coefficients, and proteolytic stability. These and other unnatural polymers may provide new frameworks for drug development and for testing theories of protein and peptide folding and structure.

  13. Fluorescent derivatization of polysaccharides and carbohydrate-containing biopolymers for measurement of enzyme activities in complex media.

    PubMed

    Arnosti, C

    2003-08-01

    Fluorescence derivatization provides a means of tracing the dynamics of polysaccharides even in the presence of high concentrations of other organic compounds or salts. A method of labeling polysaccharides with fluoresceinamine was extended to polysaccharides of a wide range of chemical composition, and alternative means of preparation were established for polysaccharides not initially amenable to column chromatography. The polysaccharides were activated with cyanogen bromide, coupled to fluoresceinamine, and separated from unreacted fluorophore via gel filtration chromatography or dialysis. Since the resulting derivatized polysaccharides proved to be stable to further physical and chemical manipulation, methods were also developed for re-activation and labeling with a second fluorophore, as well as for tethering the labeled polysaccharides to agarose beads. As an example of the application of this approach, five distinct fluorescently-labeled polysaccharides (pullulan, laminarin, xylan, chondroitin sulfate, and alginic acid) were used to investigate the activities and structural specificities of extracellular enzymes produced in situ by marine microbial communities, providing a means of measuring specifically the activities of endo-acting extracellular enzymes and avoiding use of low molecular mass substrate proxies. These labeled polysaccharides could be used to explore the dynamics of polysaccharides in other types of complex media, as well as to investigate the activities and specificities of endo-acting enzymes in other systems. PMID:12880865

  14. How Sleep Activates Epileptic Networks?

    PubMed Central

    Halász, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Background. The relationship between sleep and epilepsy has been long ago studied, and several excellent reviews are available. However, recent development in sleep research, the network concept in epilepsy, and the recognition of high frequency oscillations in epilepsy and more new results may put this matter in a new light. Aim. The review address the multifold interrelationships between sleep and epilepsy networks and with networks of cognitive functions. Material and Methods. The work is a conceptual update of the available clinical data and relevant studies. Results and Conclusions. Studies exploring dynamic microstructure of sleep have found important gating mechanisms for epileptic activation. As a general rule interictal epileptic manifestations seem to be linked to the slow oscillations of sleep and especially to the reactive delta bouts characterized by A1 subtype in the CAP system. Important link between epilepsy and sleep is the interference of epileptiform discharges with the plastic functions in NREM sleep. This is the main reason of cognitive impairment in different forms of early epileptic encephalopathies affecting the brain in a special developmental window. The impairment of cognitive functions via sleep is present especially in epileptic networks involving the thalamocortical system and the hippocampocortical memory encoding system. PMID:24159386

  15. Active contraction of microtubule networks

    PubMed Central

    Foster, Peter J; Fürthauer, Sebastian; Shelley, Michael J; Needleman, Daniel J

    2015-01-01

    Many cellular processes are driven by cytoskeletal assemblies. It remains unclear how cytoskeletal filaments and motor proteins organize into cellular scale structures and how molecular properties of cytoskeletal components affect the large-scale behaviors of these systems. Here, we investigate the self-organization of stabilized microtubules in Xenopus oocyte extracts and find that they can form macroscopic networks that spontaneously contract. We propose that these contractions are driven by the clustering of microtubule minus ends by dynein. Based on this idea, we construct an active fluid theory of network contractions, which predicts a dependence of the timescale of contraction on initial network geometry, a development of density inhomogeneities during contraction, a constant final network density, and a strong influence of dynein inhibition on the rate of contraction, all in quantitative agreement with experiments. These results demonstrate that the motor-driven clustering of filament ends is a generic mechanism leading to contraction. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10837.001 PMID:26701905

  16. Antifungal activity, experimental infections and nail permeation of an innovative ciclopirox nail lacquer based on a water-soluble biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Togni, Giuseppe; Mailland, Federico

    2010-05-01

    P-3051 is an innovative 8% ciclopirox nail lacquer, based on hydroxypropyl chitosan (HPCH) as a film-forming agent. The authors' aim was to investigate P-3051's in vitro antifungal activity, as well as its in vitro and in vivo nail permeation. The dilution susceptibility tests performed for Trichophyton rubrum (T. rubrum) and Candida parapsilosis (C. parapsilosis) showed that the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of P-3051, as percent of ciclopirox, was for both fungi < or = 0.0015% (equivalent to a concentration of 15.6 mg/ ml). In the biological assay of in vitro nail permeation and fungal inhibition, the authors observed that P-3051 permeated well through bovine hoof membranes and produced dose-dependent inhibitory effects on dermatophyte, yeast and mold strains. Moreover, the inhibition effects were higher than those obtained by equal amounts of the ciclopirox reference nail lacquer. P-3051 and the reference showed the same protective activity in experimental infections with strains of dermatophytes isolated from clinical samples. The amount of ciclopirox remained in cut fingernails washed six hours after in vivo application of P-3051 ranged between 18 and 35% of the applied dose. After in vitro application to cut human nails, 40-50% of the applied ciclopirox penetrated during the first six hours, independent of nails being infected or uninfected, intact or filed. In both experiments, the concentration of ciclopirox is largely higher (three to four orders of magnitude) than the MICs for nail pathogens. PMID:20480796

  17. Conformon-driven biopolymer shape changes in cell modeling.

    PubMed

    Ji, Sungchul; Ciobanu, Gabriel

    2003-07-01

    Conceptual models of the atom preceded the mathematical model of the hydrogen atom in physics in the second decade of the 20th century. The computer modeling of the living cell in the 21st century may follow a similar course of development. A conceptual model of the cell called the Bhopalator was formulated in the mid-1980s, along with its twin theories known as the conformon theory of molecular machines and the cell language theory of biopolymer interactions [Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 227 (1974) 211; BioSystems 44 (1997) 17; Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 870 (1999a) 411; BioSystems 54 (2000) 107; Semiotica 138 (1-4) (2002a) 15; Fundamenta Informaticae 49 (2002b) 147]. The conformon theory accounts for the reversible actions of individual biopolymers coupled to irreversible chemical reactions, while the cell language theory provides a theoretical framework for understanding the complex networks of dynamic interactions among biopolymers in the cell. These two theories are reviewed and further elaborated for the benefit of both computational biologists and computer scientists who are interested in modeling the living cell and its functions. One of the critical components of the mechanisms of cell communication and cell computing has been postulated to be space- and time-organized teleonomic (i.e. goal-directed) shape changes of biopolymers that are driven by exergonic (free energy-releasing) chemical reactions. The generalized Franck-Condon principle is suggested to be essential in resolving the apparent paradox arising when one attempts to couple endergonic (free energy-requiring) biopolymer shape changes to the exergonic chemical reactions that are catalyzed by biopolymer shape changes themselves. Conformons, defined as sequence-specific mechanical strains of biopolymers first invoked three decades ago to account for energy coupling in mitochondria, have been identified as shape changers, the agents that cause shape changes in biopolymers. Given a set of space- and time

  18. Characterization of actin filament deformation in response to actively driven microspheres propagated through entangled actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falzone, Tobias; Blair, Savanna; Robertson-Anderson, Rae

    2014-03-01

    The semi-flexible biopolymer actin is a ubiquitous component of nearly all biological organisms, playing an important role in many biological processes such as cell structure and motility, cancer invasion and metastasis, muscle contraction, and cell signaling. Concentrated actin networks possess unique viscoelastic properties that have been the subject of much theoretical and experimental work. However, much is still unknown regarding the correlation of the applied stress on the network to the induced filament strain at the molecular level. Here, we use dual optical traps alongside fluorescence microscopy to carry out active microrheology measurements that link mechanical stress to structural response at the micron scale. Specifically, we actively drive microspheres through entangled actin networks while simultaneously measuring the force the surrounding filaments exert on the sphere and visualizing the deformation and subsequent relaxation of fluorescent labeled filaments within the network. These measurements, which provide much needed insight into the link between stress and strain in actin networks, are critical for clarifying our theoretical understanding of the complex viscoelastic behavior exhibited in actin networks.

  19. Complex networks in brain electrical activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, C.; Ruffini, G.; Marco-Pallarés, J.; Fuentemilla, L.; Grau, C.

    2007-08-01

    This letter reports a method to extract a functional network of the human brain from electroencephalogram measurements. A network analysis was performed on the resultant network and the statistics of the cluster coefficient, node degree, path length, and physical distance of the links, were studied. Even given the low electrode count of the experimental data the method was able to extract networks with network parameters that clearly depend on the type of stimulus presented to the subject. This type of analysis opens a door to studying the cerebral networks underlying brain electrical activity, and links the fields of complex networks and cognitive neuroscience.

  20. The spatial response of nonlinear strain propagation in response to actively driven microspheres through entangled actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falzone, Tobias; Blair, Savanna; Robertson-Anderson, Rae

    2015-03-01

    The semiflexible biopolymer actin, a ubiquitous component of nearly all biological organisms, plays an important role in many mechanically-driven processes such as muscle contraction, cancer invasion and cell motility. As such, entangled actin networks, which possess unique and complex viscoelastic properties, have been the subject of much theoretical and experimental work. However, due to this viscoelastic complexity, much is still unknown regarding the correlation of the applied stress on actin networks to the induced filament strain at the molecular and micro scale. Here, we use simultaneous optical trapping and fluorescence microscopy to characterize the link between applied microscopic forces and strain propagation as a function of strain rate and concentration. Specifically, we track fiduciary markers on entangled actin filaments before, during and after actively driving embedded microspheres through the network. These measurements provide much needed insight into the molecular-level dynamics connecting stress and strain in semiflexible polymer networks.

  1. Proton conduction in biopolymer exopolysaccharide succinoglycan

    SciTech Connect

    Kweon, Jin Jung; Lee, Kyu Won; Kim, Hyojung; Lee, Cheol Eui; Jung, Seunho; Kwon, Chanho

    2014-07-07

    Protonic currents play a vital role in electrical signalling in living systems. It has been suggested that succinoglycan plays a specific role in alfalfa root nodule development, presumably acting as the signaling molecules. In this regard, charge transport and proton dynamics in the biopolymer exopolysaccharide succinoglycan have been studied by means of electrical measurements and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In particular, a dielectric dispersion in the system has revealed that the electrical conduction is protonic rather electronic. Besides, our laboratory- and rotating-frame {sup 1}H NMR measurements have elucidated the nature of the protonic conduction, activation of the protonic motion being associated with a glass transition.

  2. Stochastic cycle selection in active flow networks.

    PubMed

    Woodhouse, Francis G; Forrow, Aden; Fawcett, Joanna B; Dunkel, Jörn

    2016-07-19

    Active biological flow networks pervade nature and span a wide range of scales, from arterial blood vessels and bronchial mucus transport in humans to bacterial flow through porous media or plasmodial shuttle streaming in slime molds. Despite their ubiquity, little is known about the self-organization principles that govern flow statistics in such nonequilibrium networks. Here we connect concepts from lattice field theory, graph theory, and transition rate theory to understand how topology controls dynamics in a generic model for actively driven flow on a network. Our combined theoretical and numerical analysis identifies symmetry-based rules that make it possible to classify and predict the selection statistics of complex flow cycles from the network topology. The conceptual framework developed here is applicable to a broad class of biological and nonbiological far-from-equilibrium networks, including actively controlled information flows, and establishes a correspondence between active flow networks and generalized ice-type models. PMID:27382186

  3. Dynamics of active actin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehler, Simone

    2014-03-01

    Local mechanical and structural properties of a eukaryotic cell are determined by its cytoskeleton. To adapt to their environment, cells rely on constant self-organized rearrangement processes of their actin cytoskeleton. To shed light on the principles underlying these dynamic self-organization processes we investigate a minimal reconstituted active system consisting of actin filaments, crosslinking molecules and molecular motor filaments. Using quantitative fluorescence microscopy and image analysis, we show, that these minimal model systems exhibit a generic structure formation mechanism. The competition between force generation by molecular motors and the stabilization of the network by crosslinking proteins results in a highly dynamic reorganization process which is characterized by anomalous transport dynamics with a superdiffusive behavior also found in intracellular dynamics. In vitro, these dynamics are governed by chemical and physical parameters that alter the balance of motor and crosslinking proteins, such as pH. These findings can be expected to have broad implications in our understanding of cytoskeletal regulation in vivo.

  4. Shaping Neuronal Network Activity by Presynaptic Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Ashery, Uri

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal microcircuits generate oscillatory activity, which has been linked to basic functions such as sleep, learning and sensorimotor gating. Although synaptic release processes are well known for their ability to shape the interaction between neurons in microcircuits, most computational models do not simulate the synaptic transmission process directly and hence cannot explain how changes in synaptic parameters alter neuronal network activity. In this paper, we present a novel neuronal network model that incorporates presynaptic release mechanisms, such as vesicle pool dynamics and calcium-dependent release probability, to model the spontaneous activity of neuronal networks. The model, which is based on modified leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, generates spontaneous network activity patterns, which are similar to experimental data and robust under changes in the model's primary gain parameters such as excitatory postsynaptic potential and connectivity ratio. Furthermore, it reliably recreates experimental findings and provides mechanistic explanations for data obtained from microelectrode array recordings, such as network burst termination and the effects of pharmacological and genetic manipulations. The model demonstrates how elevated asynchronous release, but not spontaneous release, synchronizes neuronal network activity and reveals that asynchronous release enhances utilization of the recycling vesicle pool to induce the network effect. The model further predicts a positive correlation between vesicle priming at the single-neuron level and burst frequency at the network level; this prediction is supported by experimental findings. Thus, the model is utilized to reveal how synaptic release processes at the neuronal level govern activity patterns and synchronization at the network level. PMID:26372048

  5. Monitoring Malware Activity on the LAN Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skrzewski, Mirosław

    Many security related organizations periodically publish current network and systems security information, with the lists of top malware programs. These lists raises the question how these threats spreads out, if the worms (the only threat with own communication abilities) are low or missing on these lists. The paper discuss the research on malware network activity, aimed to deliver the answer to the question, what is the main infection channel of modern malware, done with the usage of virtual honeypot systems on dedicated, unprotected network. Systems setup, network and systems monitoring solutions, results of over three months of network traffic and malware monitoring are presented, along with the proposed answer to our research question.

  6. Crosslinking biopolymers for biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Reddy, Narendra; Reddy, Roopa; Jiang, Qiuran

    2015-06-01

    Biomaterials made from proteins, polysaccharides, and synthetic biopolymers are preferred but lack the mechanical properties and stability in aqueous environments necessary for medical applications. Crosslinking improves the properties of the biomaterials, but most crosslinkers either cause undesirable changes to the functionality of the biopolymers or result in cytotoxicity. Glutaraldehyde, the most widely used crosslinking agent, is difficult to handle and contradictory views have been presented on the cytotoxicity of glutaraldehyde-crosslinked materials. Recently, poly(carboxylic acids) that can crosslink in both dry and wet conditions have been shown to provide the desired improvements in tensile properties, increase in stability under aqueous conditions, and also promote cell attachment and proliferation. Green chemicals and newer crosslinking approaches are necessary to obtain biopolymeric materials with properties desired for medical applications. PMID:25887334

  7. Scleroglucan biopolymer enhances WMB performances

    SciTech Connect

    Gallino, G.; Guarneri, A.; Poli, O.G.

    1996-12-31

    Xanthan Gum is the most popular biopolymer used today to provide hole cleaning and suspension capabilities to water based drilling fluids but it presents some limitations as regards temperature sensitivity and tolerance to field contaminants. In this paper a Scleroglucan is proposed as a better alternative to Xanthan Gum for drilling fluid compositions. Superior benefits offered by Scleroglucan on hole cleaning, rate of penetration, temperature sensitivity and mud tolerance to shale have been demonstrated by successful field applications and by extensive laboratory studies.

  8. Biocompatibility of plasma nanostructured biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slepičková Kasálková, N.; Slepička, P.; Bačáková, L.; Sajdl, P.; Švorčík, V.

    2013-07-01

    Many areas of medicine such as tissue engineering requires not only mastery of modification techniques but also thorough knowledge of the interaction of cells with solid state substrates. Plasma treatment can be used to effective modification, nanostructuring and therefore can significantly change properties of materials. In this work the biocompatibility of the plasma nanostructured biopolymers substrates was studied. Changes in surface chemical structure were studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The morphology pristine and modified samples were determined using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The surface wettability was determined by goniometry from contact angle. Biocompatibility was determined by in vitro tests, the rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) were cultivated on the pristine and plasma modified biopolymer substrates. Their adhesion, proliferation, spreading and homogeneous distribution on polymers was monitored. It was found that the plasma treatment leads to rapid decrease of contact angle for all samples. Contact angle decreased with increasing time of modification. XPS measurements showed that plasma treatment leads to changes in ratio of polar and non-polar groups. Plasma modification was accompanied by a change of surface morphology. Biological tests found that plasma treatment have positive effect on cells adhesion and proliferation cells and affects the size of cell's adhesion area. Changes in plasma power or in exposure time influences the number of adhered and proliferated cells and their distribution on biopolymer surface.

  9. Competing activation mechanisms in epidemics on networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castellano, Claudio; Pastor-Satorras, Romualdo

    2012-04-01

    In contrast to previous common wisdom that epidemic activity in heterogeneous networks is dominated by the hubs with the largest number of connections, recent research has pointed out the role that the innermost, dense core of the network plays in sustaining epidemic processes. Here we show that the mechanism responsible of spreading depends on the nature of the process. Epidemics with a transient state are boosted by the innermost core. Contrarily, epidemics allowing a steady state present a dual scenario, where either the hub independently sustains activity and propagates it to the rest of the system, or, alternatively, the innermost network core collectively turns into the active state, maintaining it globally. In uncorrelated networks the former mechanism dominates if the degree distribution decays with an exponent larger than 5/2, and the latter otherwise. Topological correlations, rife in real networks, may perturb this picture, mixing the role of both mechanisms.

  10. Biopolymers as a flexible resource for nanochemistry.

    PubMed

    Schnepp, Zoe

    2013-01-21

    Biomass is an abundant source of chemically diverse macromolecules, including polysaccharides, polypeptides, and polyaromatics. Many of these biological polymers (biopolymers) are highly evolved for specific functions through optimized chain length, functionalization, and monomer sequence. As biopolymers are a chemical resource, much current effort is focused on the breakdown of these molecules into fuels or platform chemicals. However there is growing interest in using biopolymers directly to create functional materials. This Minireview uses recent examples to show how biopolymers are providing new directions in the synthesis of nanostructured materials. PMID:23239557

  11. Enhancing Biopolymer Dynamics through Destruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Jennifer

    2012-02-01

    Microtubules are cytoskeletal filaments that organize intracellular space structurally and through active transport along their lengths. They need to be organized and remodeled quickly during development of differentiated cells or in mitosis. Much work has focused on remodeling from the ends because these long polymers can stochastically disassemble through dynamic instability or be actively disassembled. Microtubule-severing enzymes are a novel class of microtubule regulators that create new ends by cutting the filament. Thus, these proteins add a new dimension to microtubule regulation by their ability to create new microtubule ends. Interestingly, despite their destructive capabilities, severing has the ability to create new microtubule networks in cells. We are interested in the inherent biophysical activities of these proteins and their ability to remodel cellular microtubule networks. Interestingly, despite their destructive capabilities, severing has the ability to create new microtubule networks in cells. We use two-color single molecule total internal reflection fluorescence imaging to visualize purified severing enzymes and microtubules in vitro. We have examined two families of severing enzymes to find that their biophysical activities are distinct giving them different network-regulating abilities.

  12. Controlling Contagion Processes in Activity Driven Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Suyu; Perra, Nicola; Karsai, Márton; Vespignani, Alessandro

    2014-03-01

    The vast majority of strategies aimed at controlling contagion processes on networks consider the connectivity pattern of the system either quenched or annealed. However, in the real world, many networks are highly dynamical and evolve, in time, concurrently with the contagion process. Here, we derive an analytical framework for the study of control strategies specifically devised for a class of time-varying networks, namely activity-driven networks. We develop a block variable mean-field approach that allows the derivation of the equations describing the coevolution of the contagion process and the network dynamic. We derive the critical immunization threshold and assess the effectiveness of three different control strategies. Finally, we validate the theoretical picture by simulating numerically the spreading process and control strategies in both synthetic networks and a large-scale, real-world, mobile telephone call data set.

  13. Earthquake networks based on similar activity patterns.

    PubMed

    Tenenbaum, Joel N; Havlin, Shlomo; Stanley, H Eugene

    2012-10-01

    Earthquakes are a complex spatiotemporal phenomenon, the underlying mechanism for which is still not fully understood despite decades of research and analysis. We propose and develop a network approach to earthquake events. In this network, a node represents a spatial location while a link between two nodes represents similar activity patterns in the two different locations. The strength of a link is proportional to the strength of the cross correlation in activities of two nodes joined by the link. We apply our network approach to a Japanese earthquake catalog spanning the 14-year period 1985-1998. We find strong links representing large correlations between patterns in locations separated by more than 1000 kilometers, corroborating prior observations that earthquake interactions have no characteristic length scale. We find network characteristics not attributable to chance alone, including a large number of network links, high node assortativity, and strong stability over time. PMID:23214652

  14. Biomedical Biopolymers, their Origin and Evolution in Biomedical Sciences: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Harsh; Shah, Veena Gowri; Shah, Gaurav; Dhaka, Gaurav

    2015-01-01

    Biopolymers provide a plethora of applications in the pharmaceutical and medical applications. A material that can be used for biomedical applications like wound healing, drug delivery and tissue engineering should possess certain properties like biocompatibility, biodegradation to non-toxic products, low antigenicity, high bio-activity, processability to complicated shapes with appropriate porosity, ability to support cell growth and proliferation and appropriate mechanical properties, as well as maintaining mechanical strength. This paper reviews biodegradable biopolymers focusing on their potential in biomedical applications. Biopolymers most commonly used and most abundantly available have been described with focus on the properties relevant to biomedical importance. PMID:26501034

  15. Temporal percolation in activity-driven networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starnini, Michele; Pastor-Satorras, Romualdo

    2014-03-01

    We study the temporal percolation properties of temporal networks by taking as a representative example the recently proposed activity-driven-network model [N. Perra et al., Sci. Rep. 2, 469 (2012), 10.1038/srep00469]. Building upon an analytical framework based on a mapping to hidden variables networks, we provide expressions for the percolation time Tp marking the onset of a giant connected component in the integrated network. In particular, we consider both the generating function formalism, valid for degree-uncorrelated networks, and the general case of networks with degree correlations. We discuss the different limits of the two approaches, indicating the parameter regions where the correlated threshold collapses onto the uncorrelated case. Our analytical predictions are confirmed by numerical simulations of the model. The temporal percolation concept can be fruitfully applied to study epidemic spreading on temporal networks. We show in particular how the susceptible-infected-removed model on an activity-driven network can be mapped to the percolation problem up to a time given by the spreading rate of the epidemic process. This mapping allows us to obtain additional information on this process, not available for previous approaches.

  16. Chirality and equilibrium biopolymer bundles.

    PubMed

    Grason, Gregory M; Bruinsma, Robijn F

    2007-08-31

    We use continuum theory to show that chirality is a key thermodynamic control parameter for the aggregation of biopolymers: chirality produces a stable disperse phase of hexagonal bundles under moderately poor solvent conditions, as has been observed in in vitro studies of F actin [O. Pelletier et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 148102 (2003)]. The large characteristic radius of these chiral bundles is not determined by a mysterious long-range molecular interaction but by in-plane shear elastic stresses generated by the interplay between a chiral torque and an unusual, but universal, nonlinear gauge term in the strain tensor of ordered chains that is imposed by rotational invariance. PMID:17931038

  17. Biopolymer protected silver nanoparticles on the support of carbon nanotube as interface for electrocatalytic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satyanarayana, M.; Kumar, V. Sunil; Gobi, K. Vengatajalabathy

    2016-04-01

    In this research, silver nanoparticles (SNPs) are prepared on the surface of carbon nanotubes via chitosan, a biopolymer linkage. Here chitosan act as stabilizing agent for nanoparticles and forms a network on the surface of carbon nanotubes. Synthesized silver nanoparticles-MWCNT hybrid composite is characterized by UV-Visible spectroscopy, XRD analysis, and FESEM with EDS to evaluate the structural and chemical properties of the nanocomposite. The electrocatalytic activity of the fabricated SNP-MWCNT hybrid modified glassy carbon electrode has been evaluated by cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance analysis. The silver nanoparticles are of size ˜35 nm and are well distributed on the surface of carbon nanotubes with chitosan linkage. The prepared nanocomposite shows efficient electrocatalytic properties with high active surface area and excellent electron transfer behaviour.

  18. Spontaneous network activity and synaptic development

    PubMed Central

    Kerschensteiner, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Throughout development, the nervous system produces patterned spontaneous activity. Research over the last two decades has revealed a core group of mechanisms that mediate spontaneous activity in diverse circuits. Many circuits engage several of these mechanisms sequentially to accommodate developmental changes in connectivity. In addition to shared mechanisms, activity propagates through developing circuits and neuronal pathways (i.e. linked circuits in different brain areas) in stereotypic patterns. Increasing evidence suggests that spontaneous network activity shapes synaptic development in vivo. Variations in activity-dependent plasticity may explain how similar mechanisms and patterns of activity can be employed to establish diverse circuits. Here, I will review common mechanisms and patterns of spontaneous activity in emerging neural networks and discuss recent insights into their contribution to synaptic development. PMID:24280071

  19. NETWORK ACTIVATION DURING BIMANUAL MOVEMENTS IN HUMANS

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, RR; Small, SL; Chen, EE; Solodkin, A.

    2008-01-01

    The coordination of movement between the upper limbs is a function highly distributed across the animal kingdom. How the central nervous system generates such bilateral, synchronous movements, and how this differs from the generation of unilateral movements, remains uncertain. Electrophysiologic and functional imaging studies support that the activity of many brain regions during bimanual and unimanual movement are quite similar. Thus, the same brain regions (and indeed the same neurons) respond similarly during unimanual and bimanual movements as measured by electrophysiological responses. How then are different motor behaviors generated? To address this question, we studied unimanual and bimanual movements using fMRI and constructed networks of activation using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Our results suggest that (1) the dominant hemisphere appears to initiate activity responsible for bimanual movement; (2) activation during bimanual movement does not reflect the sum of right and left unimanual activation; (3) production of unimanual movement involves a network that is distinct from, and not a mirror of, the network for contralateral unimanual movement; and (4) using SEM, it is possible to obtain robust group networks representative of a population and to identify individual networks which can be used to detect subtle differences both between subjects as well as within a single subject over time. In summary, these results highlight a differential role for the dominant and non-dominant hemispheres during bimanual movements, further elaborating the concept of handedness and dominance. This knowledge increases our understanding of cortical motor physiology in health and after neurological damage. PMID:18718872

  20. Film forming microbial biopolymers for commercial applications--a review.

    PubMed

    Vijayendra, S V N; Shamala, T R

    2014-12-01

    Microorganisms synthesize intracellular, structural and extracellular polymers also referred to as biopolymers for their function and survival. These biopolymers play specific roles as energy reserve materials, protective agents, aid in cell functioning, the establishment of symbiosis, osmotic adaptation and support the microbial genera to function, adapt, multiply and survive efficiently under changing environmental conditions. Viscosifying, gelling and film forming properties of these have been exploited for specific significant applications in food and allied industries. Intensive research activities and recent achievements in relevant and important research fields of global interest regarding film forming microbial biopolymers is the subject of this review. Microbial polymers such as pullulan, kefiran, bacterial cellulose (BC), gellan and levan are placed under the category of exopolysaccharides (EPS) and have several other functional properties including film formation, which can be used for various applications in food and allied industries. In addition to EPS, innumerable bacterial genera are found to synthesis carbon energy reserves in their cells known as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), microbial polyesters, which can be extruded into films with excellent moisture and oxygen barrier properties. Blow moldable biopolymers like PHA along with polylactic acid (PLA) synthesized chemically in vitro using lactic acid (LA), which is produced by LA bacteria through fermentation, are projected as biodegradable polymers of the future for packaging applications. Designing and creating of new property based on requirements through controlled synthesis can lead to improvement in properties of existing polysaccharides and create novel biopolymers of great commercial interest and value for wider applications. Incorporation of antimicrobials such as bacteriocins or silver and copper nanoparticles can enhance the functionality of polymer films especially in food packaging

  1. Reconstructing Causal Biological Networks through Active Learning.

    PubMed

    Cho, Hyunghoon; Berger, Bonnie; Peng, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Reverse-engineering of biological networks is a central problem in systems biology. The use of intervention data, such as gene knockouts or knockdowns, is typically used for teasing apart causal relationships among genes. Under time or resource constraints, one needs to carefully choose which intervention experiments to carry out. Previous approaches for selecting most informative interventions have largely been focused on discrete Bayesian networks. However, continuous Bayesian networks are of great practical interest, especially in the study of complex biological systems and their quantitative properties. In this work, we present an efficient, information-theoretic active learning algorithm for Gaussian Bayesian networks (GBNs), which serve as important models for gene regulatory networks. In addition to providing linear-algebraic insights unique to GBNs, leading to significant runtime improvements, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on data simulated with GBNs and the DREAM4 network inference challenge data sets. Our method generally leads to faster recovery of underlying network structure and faster convergence to final distribution of confidence scores over candidate graph structures using the full data, in comparison to random selection of intervention experiments. PMID:26930205

  2. Reconstructing Causal Biological Networks through Active Learning

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Hyunghoon; Berger, Bonnie; Peng, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Reverse-engineering of biological networks is a central problem in systems biology. The use of intervention data, such as gene knockouts or knockdowns, is typically used for teasing apart causal relationships among genes. Under time or resource constraints, one needs to carefully choose which intervention experiments to carry out. Previous approaches for selecting most informative interventions have largely been focused on discrete Bayesian networks. However, continuous Bayesian networks are of great practical interest, especially in the study of complex biological systems and their quantitative properties. In this work, we present an efficient, information-theoretic active learning algorithm for Gaussian Bayesian networks (GBNs), which serve as important models for gene regulatory networks. In addition to providing linear-algebraic insights unique to GBNs, leading to significant runtime improvements, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on data simulated with GBNs and the DREAM4 network inference challenge data sets. Our method generally leads to faster recovery of underlying network structure and faster convergence to final distribution of confidence scores over candidate graph structures using the full data, in comparison to random selection of intervention experiments. PMID:26930205

  3. Preparation of Biopolymer Aerogels Using Green Solvents.

    PubMed

    Subrahmanyam, Raman; Gurikov, Pavel; Meissner, Imke; Smirnova, Irina

    2016-01-01

    Although the first reports on aerogels made by Kistler(1) in the 1930s dealt with aerogels from both inorganic oxides (silica and others) and biopolymers (gelatin, agar, cellulose), only recently have biomasses been recognized as an abundant source of chemically diverse macromolecules for functional aerogel materials. Biopolymer aerogels (pectin, alginate, chitosan, cellulose, etc.) exhibit both specific inheritable functions of starting biopolymers and distinctive features of aerogels (80-99% porosity and specific surface up to 800 m(2)/g). This synergy of properties makes biopolymer aerogels promising candidates for a wide gamut of applications such as thermal insulation, tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, drug delivery systems, functional foods, catalysts, adsorbents and sensors. This work demonstrates the use of pressurized carbon dioxide (5 MPa) for the ionic cross linking of amidated pectin into hydrogels. Initially a biopolymer/salt dispersion is prepared in water. Under pressurized CO2 conditions, the pH of the biopolymer solution is lowered to 3 which releases the crosslinking cations from the salt to bind with the biopolymer yielding hydrogels. Solvent exchange to ethanol and further supercritical CO2 drying (10 - 12 MPa) yield aerogels. Obtained aerogels are ultra-porous with low density (as low as 0.02 g/cm(3)), high specific surface area (350 - 500 m(2)/g) and pore volume (3 - 7 cm(3)/g for pore sizes less than 150 nm). PMID:27403649

  4. Anaerobic digestion of starch-polyvinyl alcohol biopolymer packaging: biodegradability and environmental impact assessment.

    PubMed

    Guo, M; Trzcinski, A P; Stuckey, D C; Murphy, R J

    2011-12-01

    The digestibility of a starch-polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) biopolymer insulated cardboard coolbox was investigated under a defined anaerobic digestion (AD) system with key parameters characterized. Laboratory results were combined with industrial operational data to develop a site-specific life cycle assessment (LCA) model. Inoculated with active bacterial trophic groups, the anaerobic biodegradability of three starch-PVOH biopolymers achieved 58-62%. The LCA modeling showed that the environmental burdens of the starch-PVOH biopolymer packaging under AD conditions on acidification, eutrophication, global warming and photochemical oxidation potential were dominated by atmospheric emissions released from substrate degradation and fuel combustion, whereas energy consumption and infrastructure requirements were the causes of abiotic depletion, ozone depletion and toxic impacts. Nevertheless, for this bio-packaging, AD of the starch-PVOH biopolymer combined with recycling of the cardboard emerged as the environmentally superior option and optimization of the energy utilization system could bring further environmental benefits to the AD process. PMID:22001054

  5. Coordinated network activity in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Draguhn, Andreas; Keller, Martin; Reichinnek, Susanne

    2014-01-01

    The hippocampus expresses a variety of highly organized network states which bind its individual neurons into collective modes of activity. These patterns go along with characteristic oscillations of extracellular potential known as theta, gamma, and ripple oscillations. Such network oscillations share some important features throughout the entire central nervous system of higher animals: they are restricted to a defined behavioral state, they are mostly generated by subthreshold synaptic activity, and they entrain active neurons to fire action potentials at strictly defined phases of the oscillation cycle, thereby providing a unifying 'zeitgeber' for coordinated multineuronal activity. Recent work from the hippocampus of rodents and humans has revealed how the resulting spatiotemporal patterns support the formation of neuronal assemblies which, in our present understanding, form the neuronal correlate of spatial, declarative, or episodic memories. In this review, we introduce the major types of spatiotemporal activity patterns in the hippocampus, describe the underlying neuronal mechanisms, and illustrate the concept of memory formation within oscillating networks. Research on hippocampus-dependent memory has become a key model system at the interface between cellular and cognitive neurosciences. The next step will be to translate our increasing insight into the mechanisms and systemic functions of neuronal networks into urgently needed new therapeutic strategies. PMID:24777128

  6. Topology and geometry of biopolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Janse Van Rensburg, E.J.; Orlandini, E.; Tesi, M.C.

    1996-12-31

    This paper is concerned with some simple lattice models of the entanglement complexity of polymers in dilute solution, with special reference to biopolymers such as DNA. We review a number of rigorous results about the asymptotic behavior of the knot probability, the entanglement complexity and the writhe of a lattice polygon (as a model of a ring polymer) and discuss Monte Carlo results for intermediate length polygons. In addition we discuss how this model can be augmented to include the effect of solvent quality and ionic strength. We also describe a lattice ribbon model which is able to capture the main properties of an oriented ribbon-like molecule (such as duplex DNA). 47 refs., 1 fig.

  7. Biopolymers Containing Unnatural Building Blocks

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, Peter G.

    2013-06-30

    Although the main chain structure of polymers has a profound effect on their materials properties, the side groups can also have dramatic effects on their properties including conductivity, liquid crystallinity, hydrophobicity, elasticity and biodegradability. Unfortunately control over the side chain structure of polymers remains a challenge – it is difficult to control the sequence of chain elongation when mixtures of monomers are polymerized, and postpolymerization side chain modification is made difficult by polymer effects on side chain reactivity. In contrast, the mRNA templated synthesis of polypeptides on the ribosome affords absolute control over the primary sequence of the twenty amino acid monomers. Moreover, the length of the biopolymer is precisely controlled as are sites of crosslinking. However, whereas synthetic polymers can be synthesized from monomers with a wide range of chemically defined structures, ribosomal biosynthesis is largely limited to the 20 canonical amino acids. For many applications in material sciences, additional building blocks would be desirable, for example, amino acids containing metallocene, photoactive, and halogenated side chains. To overcome this natural constraint we have developed a method that allows unnatural amino acids, beyond the common twenty, to be genetically encoded in response to nonsense or frameshift codons in bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells with high fidelity and good yields. Here we have developed methods that allow identical or distinct noncanonical amino acids to be incorporated at multiple sites in a polypeptide chain, potentially leading to a new class of templated biopolymers. We have also developed improved methods for genetically encoding unnatural amino acids. In addition, we have genetically encoded new amino acids with novel physical and chemical properties that allow selective modification of proteins with synthetic agents. Finally, we have evolved new metal-ion binding sites in proteins

  8. Sloppiness in Spontaneously Active Neuronal Networks

    PubMed Central

    Panas, Dagmara; Amin, Hayder; Maccione, Alessandro; Muthmann, Oliver; van Rossum, Mark; Berdondini, Luca

    2015-01-01

    Various plasticity mechanisms, including experience-dependent, spontaneous, as well as homeostatic ones, continuously remodel neural circuits. Yet, despite fluctuations in the properties of single neurons and synapses, the behavior and function of neuronal assemblies are generally found to be very stable over time. This raises the important question of how plasticity is coordinated across the network. To address this, we investigated the stability of network activity in cultured rat hippocampal neurons recorded with high-density multielectrode arrays over several days. We used parametric models to characterize multineuron activity patterns and analyzed their sensitivity to changes. We found that the models exhibited sloppiness, a property where the model behavior is insensitive to changes in many parameter combinations, but very sensitive to a few. The activity of neurons with sloppy parameters showed faster and larger fluctuations than the activity of a small subset of neurons associated with sensitive parameters. Furthermore, parameter sensitivity was highly correlated with firing rates. Finally, we tested our observations from cell cultures on an in vivo recording from monkey visual cortex and we confirm that spontaneous cortical activity also shows hallmarks of sloppy behavior and firing rate dependence. Our findings suggest that a small subnetwork of highly active and stable neurons supports group stability, and that this endows neuronal networks with the flexibility to continuously remodel without compromising stability and function. PMID:26041916

  9. Mixed biopolymer systems based on starch.

    PubMed

    Abd Elgadir, M; Akanda, Md Jahurul Haque; Ferdosh, Sahena; Mehrnoush, Amid; Karim, Alias A; Noda, Takahiro; Sarker, Md Zaidul Islam

    2012-01-01

    A binary mixture of starch-starch or starch with other biopolymers such as protein and non-starch polysaccharides could provide a new approach in producing starch-based food products. In the context of food processing, a specific adjustment in the rheological properties plays an important role in regulating production processing and optimizing the applicability, stability, and sensory of the final food products. This review examines various biopolymer mixtures based on starch and the influence of their interaction on physicochemical and rheological properties of the starch-based foods. It is evident that the physicochemical and rheological characteristics of the biopolymers mixture are highly dependent on the type of starch and other biopolymers that make them up mixing ratios, mixing procedure and presence of other food ingredients in the mixture. Understanding these properties will lead to improve the formulation of starch-based foods and minimize the need to resort to chemically modified starch. PMID:22231495

  10. Use of succinoglycan biopolymer for gravel packing

    SciTech Connect

    Sanz, G.P.; Gunningham, M.C.; Samuel, A.J. . E P Lab.); Lau, H.C.

    1994-06-01

    This paper presents the results of laboratory experiments and field trials on a polysaccharide biopolymer, succinoglycan, for use in gravel packing. This biopolymer causes minimal formation damage and has unique rheological properties that combine high shear-thinning behavior with temperature-induced viscosity breakback; thus, it can be used without breakers. A scouting study has been carried out at KSEPL to identify new viscosifiers with better rheological properties that cause minimal formation damage. Ideally, breakers should not be required and on-site polymer preparation procedures should be simple enough to give reliable, repeatable performances. For slurry-pack-type operations, the polysaccharide biopolymer succinoglycan was identified as the best candidate. The biopolymer was developed for EOR during 1980--83 at the Sittingbourne Research Centre, Shell Research Ltd., U.K., and is marketed by Shell Intl. Chemical Co. Ltd. as Shellflo-S.''

  11. Pathological tau disrupts ongoing network activity.

    PubMed

    Menkes-Caspi, Noa; Yamin, Hagar G; Kellner, Vered; Spires-Jones, Tara L; Cohen, Dana; Stern, Edward A

    2015-03-01

    Pathological tau leads to dementia and neurodegeneration in tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease. It has been shown to disrupt cellular and synaptic functions, yet its effects on the function of the intact neocortical network remain unknown. Using in vivo intracellular and extracellular recordings, we measured ongoing activity of neocortical pyramidal cells during various arousal states in the rTg4510 mouse model of tauopathy, prior to significant cell death, when only a fraction of the neurons show pathological tau. In transgenic mice, membrane potential oscillations are slower during slow-wave sleep and under anesthesia. Intracellular recordings revealed that these changes are due to longer Down states and state transitions of membrane potentials. Firing rates of transgenic neurons are reduced, and firing patterns within Up states are altered, with longer latencies and inter-spike intervals. By changing the activity patterns of a subpopulation of affected neurons, pathological tau reduces the activity of the neocortical network. PMID:25704951

  12. Networks of Task Co-Activations

    PubMed Central

    Laird, Angela R.; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Rottschy, Claudia; Bzdok, Danilo; Ray, Kimberly L.; Fox, Peter T.

    2013-01-01

    Recent progress in neuroimaging informatics and meta-analytic techniques has enabled a novel domain of human brain connectomics research that focuses on task-dependent co-activation patterns across behavioral tasks and cognitive domains. Here, we review studies utilizing the BrainMap database to investigate data trends in the activation literature using methods such as meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM), connectivity-based parcellation (CPB), and independent component analysis (ICA). We give examples of how these methods are being applied to learn more about the functional connectivity of areas such as the amygdala, the default mode network, and visual area V5. Methods for analyzing the behavioral metadata corresponding to regions of interest and to their intrinsically connected networks are described as a tool for local functional decoding. We finally discuss the relation of observed co-activation connectivity results to resting state connectivity patterns, and provide implications for future work in this domain. PMID:23631994

  13. Motor Behavior Activates Bergmann Glial Networks

    PubMed Central

    Nimmerjahn, Axel; Mukamel, Eran A.; Schnitzer, Mark J.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Although it is firmly established neuronal activity is a prime determinant of animal behavior, relationships between astrocytic excitation and animal behavior have remained opaque. Cerebellar Bergmann glia are radial astrocytes that are implicated in motor behavior and exhibit Ca2+-excitation. However, Ca2+-excitation in these cells has not previously been studied in behaving animals. Using two-photon microscopy we found that Bergmann glia exhibit three forms of Ca2+-excitation in awake behaving mice. Two of these are ongoing within the cerebellar vermis. During locomotor performance concerted Ca2+-excitation arises in networks of at least hundreds of Bergmann glia extending across several hundred microns or more. Concerted Ca2+-excitation was abolished by anesthesia or blockade of either neural activity or glutamatergic transmission. Thus, large networks of Bergmann glia can be activated by specific animal behaviors and undergo excitation of sufficient magnitude to potentially initiate macroscopic changes in brain dynamics or blood flow. PMID:19447095

  14. System for measuring radioactivity of labelled biopolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Gross, V.

    1980-07-08

    A system is described for measuring radioactivity of labelled biopolymers, comprising: a set of containers adapted for receiving aqueous solutions of biological samples containing biopolymers which are subsequently precipitated in said containers on particles of diatomite in the presence of a coprecipitator, then filtered, dissolved, and mixed with a scintillator; radioactivity measuring means including a detection chamber to which is fed the mixture produced in said set of containers; an electric drive for moving said set of containers in a stepwise manner; means for proportional feeding of said coprecipitator and a suspension of diatomite in an acid solution to said containers which contain the biological sample for forming an acid precipitation of biopolymers; means for the removal of precipitated samples from said containers; precipitated biopolymer filtering means for successively filtering the precipitate, suspending the precipitate, dissolving the biopolymers mixed with said scintillator for feeding of the mixture to said detection chamber; a system of pipelines interconnecting said above-recited means; and said means for measuring radioactivity of labelled biopolymers including, a measuring cell arranged in a detection chamber and communicating with said means for filtering precipitated biopolymers through one pipeline of said system of pipelines; a program unit electrically connected to said electric drive, said means for acid precipatation of biopolymers, said means for the removal of precipitated samples from said containers, said filtering means, and said radioactivity measuring device; said program unit adapted to periodically switch on and off the above-recited means and check the sequence of the radioactivity measuring operations; and a control unit for controlling the initiation of the system and for selecting programs.

  15. Position paper on active countermeasures for computer networks.

    SciTech Connect

    Van Randwyk, Jamie A.

    2003-07-01

    Computer security professionals have used passive network countermeasures for several years in order to secure computer networks. Passive countermeasures such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems are effective but their use alone is not enough to protect a network. Active countermeasures offer new ways of protecting a computer network. Corporations and government entities should adopt active network countermeasures as a means of protecting their computer networks.

  16. Intruder Activity Analysis under Unreliable Sensor Networks

    SciTech Connect

    Tae-Sic Yoo; Humberto E. Garcia

    2007-09-01

    This paper addresses the problem of counting intruder activities within a monitored domain by a sensor network. The deployed sensors are unreliable. We characterize imperfect sensors with misdetection and false-alarm probabilities. We model intruder activities with Markov Chains. A set of Hidden Markov Models (HMM) models the imperfect sensors and intruder activities to be monitored. A novel sequential change detection/isolation algorithm is developed to detect and isolate a change from an HMM representing no intruder activity to another HMM representing some intruder activities. Procedures for estimating the entry time and the trace of intruder activities are developed. A domain monitoring example is given to illustrate the presented concepts and computational procedures.

  17. The activation of interactive attentional networks.

    PubMed

    Xuan, Bin; Mackie, Melissa-Ann; Spagna, Alfredo; Wu, Tingting; Tian, Yanghua; Hof, Patrick R; Fan, Jin

    2016-04-01

    Attention can be conceptualized as comprising the functions of alerting, orienting, and executive control. Although the independence of these functions has been demonstrated, the neural mechanisms underlying their interactions remain unclear. Using the revised attention network test and functional magnetic resonance imaging, we examined cortical and subcortical activity related to these attentional functions and their interactions. Results showed that areas in the extended frontoparietal network (FPN), including dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, frontal eye fields (FEF), areas near and along the intraparietal sulcus, anterior cingulate and anterior insular cortices, basal ganglia, and thalamus were activated across multiple attentional functions. Specifically, the alerting function was associated with activation in the locus coeruleus (LC) in addition to regions in the FPN. The orienting functions were associated with activation in the superior colliculus (SC) and the FEF. The executive control function was mainly associated with activation of the FPN and cerebellum. The interaction effect of alerting by executive control was also associated with activation of the FPN, while the interaction effect of orienting validity by executive control was mainly associated with the activation in the pulvinar. The current findings demonstrate that cortical and specific subcortical areas play a pivotal role in the implementation of attentional functions and underlie their dynamic interactions. PMID:26794640

  18. Evolutionary optimization of biopolymers and sequence structure maps

    SciTech Connect

    Reidys, C.M.; Kopp, S.; Schuster, P.

    1996-06-01

    Searching for biopolymers having a predefined function is a core problem of biotechnology, biochemistry and pharmacy. On the level of RNA sequences and their corresponding secondary structures we show that this problem can be analyzed mathematically. The strategy will be to study the properties of the RNA sequence to secondary structure mapping that is essential for the understanding of the search process. We show that to each secondary structure s there exists a neutral network consisting of all sequences folding into s. This network can be modeled as a random graph and has the following generic properties: it is dense and has a giant component within the graph of compatible sequences. The neutral network percolates sequence space and any two neutral nets come close in terms of Hamming distance. We investigate the distribution of the orders of neutral nets and show that above a certain threshold the topology of neutral nets allows to find practically all frequent secondary structures.

  19. Recurrent network activity drives striatal synaptogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kozorovitskiy, Yevgenia; Saunders, Arpiar; Johnson, Caroline A; Lowell, Bradford B; Sabatini, Bernardo L

    2012-05-31

    Neural activity during development critically shapes postnatal wiring of the mammalian brain. This is best illustrated by the sensory systems, in which the patterned feed-forward excitation provided by sensory organs and experience drives the formation of mature topographic circuits capable of extracting specific features of sensory stimuli. In contrast, little is known about the role of early activity in the development of the basal ganglia, a phylogenetically ancient group of nuclei fundamentally important for complex motor action and reward-based learning. These nuclei lack direct sensory input and are only loosely topographically organized, forming interlocking feed-forward and feed-back inhibitory circuits without laminar structure. Here we use transgenic mice and viral gene transfer methods to modulate neurotransmitter release and neuronal activity in vivo in the developing striatum. We find that the balance of activity between the two inhibitory and antagonist pathways in the striatum regulates excitatory innervation of the basal ganglia during development. These effects indicate that the propagation of activity through a multi-stage network regulates the wiring of the basal ganglia, revealing an important role of positive feedback in driving network maturation. PMID:22660328

  20. In vitro assessment of biopolymer-modified porous silicon microparticles for wound healing applications.

    PubMed

    Mori, Michela; Almeida, Patrick V; Cola, Michela; Anselmi, Giulia; Mäkilä, Ermei; Correia, Alexandra; Salonen, Jarno; Hirvonen, Jouni; Caramella, Carla; Santos, Hélder A

    2014-11-01

    The wound healing stands as very complex and dynamic process, aiming the re-establishment of the damaged tissue's integrity and functionality. Thus, there is an emerging need for developing biopolymer-based composites capable of actively promoting cellular proliferation and reconstituting the extracellular matrix. The aims of the present work were to prepare and characterize biopolymer-functionalized porous silicon (PSi) microparticles, resulting in the development of drug delivery microsystems for future applications in wound healing. Thermally hydrocarbonized PSi (THCPSi) microparticles were coated with both chitosan and a mixture of chondroitin sulfate/hyaluronic acid, and subsequently loaded with two antibacterial model drugs, vancomycin and resveratrol. The biopolymer coating, drug loading degree and drug release behavior of the modified PSi microparticles were evaluated in vitro. The results showed that both the biopolymer coating and drug loading of the THCPSi microparticles were successfully achieved. In addition, a sustained release was observed for both the drugs tested. The viability and proliferation profiles of a fibroblast cell line exposed to the modified THCPSi microparticles and the subsequent reactive oxygen species (ROS) production were also evaluated. The cytotoxicity and proliferation results demonstrated less toxicity for the biopolymer-coated THCPSi microparticles at different concentrations and time points comparatively to the uncoated counterparts. The ROS production by the fibroblasts exposed to both uncoated and biopolymer-coated PSi microparticles showed that the modified PSi microparticles did not induce significant ROS production at the concentrations tested. Overall, the biopolymer-based PSi microparticles developed in this study are promising platforms for wound healing applications. PMID:25305585

  1. Seismic active control by neural networks.

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Y.

    1998-01-01

    A study on the application of artificial neural networks (ANNs) to activate structural control under seismic loads is carried out. The structure considered is a single-degree-of-freedom (SDF) system with an active bracing device. The control force is computed by a trained neural network. The feed-forward neural network architecture and an adaptive back-propagation training algorithm is used in the study. The neural net is trained to reproduce the function that represents the response-excitation relationship of the SDF system under seismic loads. The input-output training patterns are generated randomly. In the back-propagation training algorithm, the learning rate is determined by ensuring the decrease of the error function at each epoch. The computer program implemented is validated by solving the classification of the XOR problem. Then, the trained ANN is used to compute the control force according to the control strategy. If the control force exceeds the actuator's capacity limit, it is set equal to that limit. The concept of the control strategy employed herein is to apply the control force at every time step to cancel the system velocity induced at the preceding time step so that the gradual rhythmic buildup of the response is destroyed. The ground motions considered in the numerical example are the 1940 El Centro earthquake and the 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake in California. The system responses with and without the control are calculated and compared. The feasibility and potential of applying ANNs to seismic active control is asserted by the promising results obtained from the numerical examples studied.

  2. Seismic active control by neutral networks

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Yu

    1995-12-31

    A study on the application of artificial neural networks (ANNs) to active structural control under seismic loads is carried out. The structure considered is a single-degree-of-freedom (SDF) system with an active bracing device. The control force is computed by a trained neural network. The feedforward neural network architecture and an adaptive backpropagation training algorithm is used in the study. The neural net is trained to reproduce the function that represents the response-excitation relationship of the SDF system under seismic loads. The input-output training patterns are generated randomly. In the backpropagation training algorithm, the learning rate is determined by ensuring the decrease of the error function at each epoch. The computer program implemented is validated by solving the classification of the XOR problem. Then, the trained ANN is used to compute the control force according to the control strategy. If the control force exceeds the actuator`s capacity limit, it is set equal to that limit. The concept of the control strategy employed herein is to apply the control force at every time step to cancel the system velocity induced at the preceding time step so that the gradual rhythmic buildup of the response is destroyed. The ground motions considered in the numerical example are the 1940 El Centro earthquake and the 1979 Imperial Valley earthquake in California. The system responses with and without the control are calculated and compared. The feasibility and potential of applying ANNs to seismic active control is asserted by the promising results obtained from the numerical examples studied.

  3. Separation of biopolymer from fermentation broths

    SciTech Connect

    Griffith, W.L.; Compere, A.L.; Westmoreland, C.G.; Johnson, J.S. Jr.

    1981-01-01

    Application of recent developments in filtration separations have been applied to separation of biopolymers from fermentation broths. More economical production of biopolymers near the site of use would be especially attractive for use in micellar flood programs for enhanced oil recovery. Solutions of the organisms Sclerotium rolfsii producing scleroglucans were used for the tests because the organisms are genetically more stable than the organisms that produce xanthan gums and because their more acid broths are less apt to become contaminated. Three types of filtration, axial filtration, pleated ultrafiltration module, and microscreens were tested on the broth. Filtration results are reported for broths with various preparation histories. An economic comparison is presented for processing of a ton of biopolymer per day, and the microscreening process is shown to be the most efficient, but a polishing step would have to be added. (BLM)

  4. Alignment and nonlinear elasticity in biopolymer gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Jingchen; Levine, Herbert; Mao, Xiaoming; Sander, Leonard M.

    2015-04-01

    We present a Landau-type theory for the nonlinear elasticity of biopolymer gels with a part of the order parameter describing induced nematic order of fibers in the gel. We attribute the nonlinear elastic behavior of these materials to fiber alignment induced by strain. We suggest an application to contact guidance of cell motility in tissue. We compare our theory to simulation of a disordered lattice model for biopolymers. We treat homogeneous deformations such as simple shear, hydrostatic expansion, and simple extension, and obtain good agreement between theory and simulation. We also consider a localized perturbation which is a simple model for a contracting cell in a medium.

  5. Deep Neural Networks with Multistate Activation Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Chenghao; Xu, Yanyan; Ke, Dengfeng; Su, Kaile

    2015-01-01

    We propose multistate activation functions (MSAFs) for deep neural networks (DNNs). These MSAFs are new kinds of activation functions which are capable of representing more than two states, including the N-order MSAFs and the symmetrical MSAF. DNNs with these MSAFs can be trained via conventional Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) as well as mean-normalised SGD. We also discuss how these MSAFs perform when used to resolve classification problems. Experimental results on the TIMIT corpus reveal that, on speech recognition tasks, DNNs with MSAFs perform better than the conventional DNNs, getting a relative improvement of 5.60% on phoneme error rates. Further experiments also reveal that mean-normalised SGD facilitates the training processes of DNNs with MSAFs, especially when being with large training sets. The models can also be directly trained without pretraining when the training set is sufficiently large, which results in a considerable relative improvement of 5.82% on word error rates. PMID:26448739

  6. Micellar solubilization of biopolymers in organic solvents. Part 5. Activity and conformation of. cap alpha. -chymotrypsin in isooctane-aot reverse micelles

    SciTech Connect

    Barbaric, S.; Luisi, P.L.

    1981-07-15

    The enzymatic activity of ..cap alpha..-chymotrypsin solubilized in reverse micelles formed in isooctane by bis(2-ethylhexyl)sodium sulfosuccinate and water (0.6 to 2.5% v:v) has been investigated with the use of n-glutaryl-l-phenylalanine p-nitroanilide as the substrate. The enzyme obeys Michaelis-Menten kinetics in the investigated concentration range, with Km values which are considerably higher than those in bulk water (when concentrations are referred to as water pools). Under certain conditions, there is an enhanced turnover number (up to a factor of 6) in micelles with respect to the aqueous solution. The pH profile of the enzyme activity in the hydrocarbon micellar solution is different from that in water, being shifted to higher pH values and the more so the lower the water content. Under conditions of low water content (0.6 to 1% v:v) the enzyme's stability is greater than in aqueous solution. Structure and activity changes are discussed in terms of the size and structure of the micellar aggregate. 29 references.

  7. Sum Product Networks for Activity Recognition.

    PubMed

    Amer, Mohamed R; Todorovic, Sinisa

    2016-04-01

    This paper addresses detection and localization of human activities in videos. We focus on activities that may have variable spatiotemporal arrangements of parts, and numbers of actors. Such activities are represented by a sum-product network (SPN). A product node in SPN represents a particular arrangement of parts, and a sum node represents alternative arrangements. The sums and products are hierarchically organized, and grounded onto space-time windows covering the video. The windows provide evidence about the activity classes based on the Counting Grid (CG) model of visual words. This evidence is propagated bottom-up and top-down to parse the SPN graph for the explanation of the video. The node connectivity and model parameters of SPN and CG are jointly learned under two settings, weakly supervised, and supervised. For evaluation, we use our new Volleyball dataset, along with the benchmark datasets VIRAT, UT-Interactions, KTH, and TRECVID MED 2011. Our video classification and activity localization are superior to those of the state of the art on these datasets. PMID:26390445

  8. ''Green'' Biopolymers for Improved Decontamination of Metals from Surfaces: Sorptive Characterization and Coating Properties

    SciTech Connect

    Davison, Brian H.; Kuritz, Tanya

    2000-06-01

    The proposed research aims to develop a fundamental understanding of important biological and physical chemical parameters for effective decontamination of metal surfaces using environmentally benign aqueous-based biopolymer solutions. Understanding how heavy metal-chelating biopolymers coat and interact with contaminated surfaces will benefit the development of novel, safe, easy-to-apply decontamination methodologies for removal of radionuclides and heavy metals. The benefits of these methodologies will include the following: (1) decreased exposure hazards for workers; (2) decreased secondary waste generation; (3) increased efficiency of decontamination; (4) positive public appeal and development of novel, nature-friendly business opportunities; and (5) lower cost of cleanup to the government. We propose to use aqueous biopolymer solutions to coat a contaminated metal surface (i.e., steel), solubilize the heavy metals (e.g., uranium) from the surface, and bind the heavy metals into the biopolymer. The biopolymer coating (containing the immobilized hazardous metal contaminants) will then be removed as a viscous film, as a dry powder, or by washing. This ''apply, wait, and remove'' procedure will reduce the amount of worker time spent in decontamination activities.

  9. ''Green'' Biopolymers for Improved Decontamination of Metals from Surfaces: Sorptive Characterization and Coating Properties

    SciTech Connect

    Davison, Brian H.; Kurtiz,Tanya

    1999-06-01

    The proposed research aims to develop a fundamental understanding of important biological and physical chemical parameters for effective decontamination of metal surfaces using environmentally benign aqueous-based biopolymer solutions. Understanding how heavy metal-chelating biopolymers coat and interact with contaminated surfaces will benefit the development of novel, safe, easy-to-apply decontamination methodologies for removal of radionuclides and heavy metals. The benefits of these methodologies will include the following: (1) decreased exposure hazards for workers; (2) decreased secondary waste generation; (3) increased efficiency of decontamination; (4) positive public appeal and development of novel, nature-friendly business opportunities; and (5) lower cost of cleanup to the government. We propose to use aqueous biopolymer solutions to coat a contaminated metal surface (i.e., steel), solubilize the heavy metals (e.g., uranium) from the surface, and bind the heavy metals into the biopolymer. The biopolymer coating (containing the immobilized hazardous metal contaminants) will then be removed as a viscous film, as a dry powder, or by washing. This ''apply, wait, and remove'' procedure will reduce the amount of worker time spent in decontamination activities.

  10. ''Green'' Biopolymers for Improved Decontamination of Metals from Surfaces: Sorptive Characterization and Coating Properties

    SciTech Connect

    Davison, Brian H.

    2002-04-30

    The proposed research aimed to develop a fundamental understanding of important biological and physical chemical parameters for effective decontamination of metal surfaces using environmentally benign aqueous-based biopolymer solutions. Understanding how heavy metal-chelating biopolymers coat and interact with contaminated surfaces will benefit the development of novel, safe, easy-to-apply decontamination methodologies for removal of radionuclides and heavy metals. The benefits of these methodologies include the following: decreased exposure hazards for workers; decreased secondary waste generation; increased efficiency of decontamination; positive public appeal and development of novel, nature-friendly business opportunities; and lower cost of cleanup to the government. We proposed to use aqueous biopolymer solutions to coat a contaminated metal surface (i.e., steel), solubilize the heavy metals (e.g., uranium) from the surface, and bind the heavy metals into the biopolymer. The biopolymer coating (containing the immobilized hazardous metal contaminants) was to be removed as a viscous film, as a dry powder, or by washing. This ''apply, wait, and remove'' procedure will reduce the amount of worker time spent in decontamination activities.

  11. Production of biopolymer composites by particle bonding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This report describes a new technology to produce biopolymer composites at room temperature. During the process, micrometer-scale raw material is coated with zein that has strong adhesive property, which is then compressed to form a rigid material. Since this technology does not require purificati...

  12. Exploring Modifications of Cotton with Biopolymers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biopolymers including starch, alginate, and chitosan were grafted on to both nonwoven and woven cotton fabrics to examine their hemostatic and antimcrobial properties. The development of cotton-based health care fabrics that promote blood clotting and prevent microbial growth have wide applicability...

  13. Production of biopolymer composites by particle bonding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This article describes a new process, particle-bonding technology, to produce biopolymer composites from agricultural commodities. In this technology, matrix-protein complexes are formed by the interaction of micrometer-scale matrix material with an adhesive protein, zein. This spontaneous process m...

  14. Nanostructured Materials Utilized in Biopolymer-based Plastics for Food Packaging Applications.

    PubMed

    Ghanbarzadeh, Babak; Oleyaei, Seyed Amir; Almasi, Hadi

    2015-01-01

    Most materials currently used for food packaging are nondegradable, generating environmental problems. Several biopolymers have been exploited to develop materials for ecofriendly food packaging. However, the use of biopolymers has been limited because of their usually poor mechanical and barrier properties, which may be improved by adding reinforcing compounds (fillers), forming composites. Most reinforced materials present poor matrix-filler interactions, which tend to improve with decreasing filler dimensions. The use of fillers with at least one nanoscale dimension (nanoparticles) produces nanocomposites. Nanoparticles have proportionally larger surface area than their microscale counterparts, which favors the filler-matrix interactions and the performance of the resulting material. Besides nanoreinforcements, nanoparticles can have other functions when added to a polymer, such as antimicrobial activity, etc. in this review paper, the structure and properties of main kinds of nanostructured materials which have been studied to use as nanofiller in biopolymer matrices are overviewed, as well as their effects and applications. PMID:24798951

  15. Biopolymer colloids for controlling and templating inorganic synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Preiss, Laura C; Landfester, Katharina

    2014-01-01

    Summary Biopolymers and biopolymer colloids can act as controlling agents and templates not only in many processes in nature, but also in a wide range of synthetic approaches. Inorganic materials can be either synthesized ex situ and later incorporated into a biopolymer structuring matrix or grown in situ in the presence of biopolymers. In this review, we focus mainly on the latter case and distinguish between the following possibilities: (i) biopolymers as controlling agents of nucleation and growth of inorganic materials; (ii) biopolymers as supports, either as molecular supports or as carrier particles acting as cores of core–shell structures; and (iii) so-called “soft templates”, which include on one hand stabilized droplets, micelles, and vesicles, and on the other hand continuous scaffolds generated by gelling biopolymers. PMID:25551041

  16. Dynamics of Actively Driven Crosslinked Microtubule Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Vikrant; Stanhope, Kasimira; Evans, Arthur A.; Ross, Jennifer L.

    We have designed a model experiment to explore dynamics of crosslinked active microtubule clusters crosslinked with MAP65. Microtubule clusters are allowed to settle on a slide coated with kinesin-1 molecular motors, which move microtubules. We systematically tune either concentration of cross linkers bound to microtubule (ρc) or the global concentration of microtubules (ρMT) . We quantified the shape of the cluster by measuring the standard deviation (σ) of the cluster outline. At low ρMTor ρc the network is in an expanding state. At higher ρMTor ρc expansion slows down, reaches zero at a critical density, and become negative indicating contraction. Further increase of ρMTor ρc halts any kind of dynamics. The ρMT-ρc phase space shows distinct regions of extensile, contractile and static regimes. We model these results using active hydrodynamic theory. Microtubules are modeled as active rods whereas effect of crosslinkers is modeled using a collision term that prefers anti-parallel alignment of microtubules. A linearized analysis of hydrodynamic equation predicts existence of density driven expanding, contracting, and static phases for microtubule clusters.

  17. Rheology and interfacial tension of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandadai, Madhuvanthi A.

    The rheology and interfacial tension of biomaterials are important factors governing their potential use in biomedical applications. This dissertation presents a study of the rheology and interfacial tension of three very different biomaterials: (1) A hydrophobically modified Hyaluronic acid (HA) with polypeptide side chains, (2) Actin fibers and (3) a highly hydrophobic fluoroalkane, Perfluoropentane, and the effect of various surfactants and their mixtures on lowering its interfacial tension in an aqueous interface. In Chapter 1, we present a description of the properties and applications of these materials and a detailed literature review relevant to our studies to better understand the motivation of our work. In Chapter 2 we describe the techniques used for our studies. In Chapter 3, we present our studies on the hydrophobically modified HA with polyleucine side chains and compare them to unmodified HA of same or similar backbone molecular weights. We found a significantly enhanced viscosity for the modified HA compared to unmodified HA at the same concentration. We also found a viscoelastic behavior that was dependent on the concentration of the solution and grafting ratio of the hydrophobic side chains. The associative thickening properties of modified HA investigated with various rheological experiments and simulation results are presented in this chapter. In Chapter 4, we present our studies on the properties of actin fibers. We used a novel microrheometer VROC(TM) (Viscometer-rheometer-on-a-chip) for studying actin fibers at very high shear rates. We show that at very high shear rats, the actin filaments show irreversible network breakdown. We also studied the surface tension of actin filaments and monomer solutions at the interface with air and report induction times of these materials. In Chapter 5, we study the interfacial tension of a highly hydrophobic fluoroalkane, Perfluoropentane, in the presence of different surfactants and their mixtures. The

  18. Network Patch Cables Demystified: A Super Activity for Computer Networking Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Douglas L.

    2004-01-01

    This article de-mystifies network patch cable secrets so that people can connect their computers and transfer those pesky files--without screaming at the cables. It describes a network cabling activity that can offer students a great hands-on opportunity for working with the tools, techniques, and media used in computer networking. Since the…

  19. Competition and cooperation between active intra-network and passive extra-network transport processes

    PubMed Central

    Maruyama, Dan; Zochowski, Michal

    2014-01-01

    Many networks are embedded in physical space and often interact with it. This interaction can be exemplified through constraints exerted on network topology, or through interactions of processes defined on a network with those that are linked to the space that the network is embedded within, leading to complex dynamics. Here we discuss an example of such an interaction in which a signaling agent is actively transported through the network edges and, at the same time, spreads passively through space due to diffusion. We show that these two processes cooperate or compete depending on the network topology leading to complex dynamics. PMID:24920178

  20. Spatially resolved electronic detection of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pouthas, F.; Gentil, C.; Côte, D.; Zeck, G.; Straub, B.; Bockelmann, U.

    2004-09-01

    An integrated array of field-effect transistor structures is used to detect two oppositely charged biopolymers: poly(L-lysine) and DNA. Local deposition of polymer solutions on part of the array induces sizeable variations in the dc current-voltage characteristics of the transistors exposed to the molecular charge. The whole transistor array is measured in the presence of a common electrolyte. Differential signals are studied as a function of electrolyte salt and polymer concentrations. The measurements provide information on the interface electrostatic potentials of the (semiconductor/biopolymer/electrolyte) system and the experimental data are compared to an analytical model which accounts for screening of the adsorbed charge by mobile ions.

  1. Nanoconfinement and the strength of biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Giesa, Tristan; Buehler, Markus J

    2013-01-01

    This review examines size effects observed in the mechanical strength of biopolymers that are organized in microstructures such as fibrils, layered composites, or particle nanocomposites. We review the most important aspects that connect nanoconfinement of basic material constituents at critical length scales to the mechanical performance of the entire material system: elastic modulus, strength, extensibility, and robustness. We outline theoretical and computational analysis as well as experimentation by emphasizing two strategies found in abundant natural materials: confined fibrils as part of fibers and confined mineral platelets that transfer load through a biopolymer interface in nanocomposites. We also discuss the application of confinement as a mechanism to tailor specific material properties in biological systems. PMID:23654307

  2. Scleroglucan biopolymer production, properties, and economics

    SciTech Connect

    Compere, A. L.; Griffith, W. L.

    1980-01-01

    Production and solution properties which may make scleroglucan polysaccharide economically advantageous for onsite production and use in tertiary oil recovery were investigated. Scleroglucan, which is similar in viscosity and shear thinning to xanthan, can be produced in a 3-day batch or 12 h continuous fermentation. Yield is nearly 50% based on input glucose. Gross biopolymer-biomass separation may be effected using microscreening, a low energy process, followed by polish filtration. Polymer flux may be improved by hydrolysis with an endolaminarinase from Rhizopus arrhizius QM 1032. Simple feedstock requirements and low growth pH, together with the difficulty of resuspending dried polymer, may encourage field biopolymer fermentation and use of purified culture broth.

  3. Biopolymer hairpin loops sustained by polarons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrabarti, B.; Piette, B. M. A. G.; Zakrzewski, W. J.

    2012-08-01

    We show that polarons can sustain looplike configurations in flexible biopolymers and that the size of the loops depend on both the flexural rigidity of the polymer and the electron-phonon coupling constant. In particular we show that for single stranded DNA (ssDNA) and polyacetylene such loops can have as few as seven monomers. We also show that these configurations are very stable under thermal fluctuations and so could facilitate the formation of hairpin loops of ssDNA.

  4. Long-range charge transfer in biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Astakhova, T. Yu; Likhachev, V. N.; Vinogradov, G. A.

    2012-11-01

    The results of theoretical and experimental studies on the charge transfer in biopolymers, namely, DNA and peptides, are presented. Conditions that ensure the efficient long-range charge transport (by several tens of nanometres) are considered. The known theoretical models of charge transfer mechanisms are discussed and the scopes of their application are analyzed. Attention is focused on the charge transport by the polaron mechanism. The bibliography includes 262 references.

  5. Nano-Fibrous Biopolymer Hydrogels via Biological Conjugation for Osteogenesis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huinan; Xing, Xiaodong; Jia, Yang; Mao, Jiahui; Zhang, Ziwei; Tan, Huaping

    2016-06-01

    Nanostructured biopolymer hydrogels have great potential in the field of drug delivery and regenerative medicine. In this work, a nano-fibrous (NF) biopolymer hydrogel was developed for cell growth factors (GFs) delivery and in vitro osteogenesis. The nano-fibrous hydrogel was produced via biological conjugation of streptavidin functionalized hyaluronic acid (HA-Streptavidin) and biotin terminated star-shaped poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-Biotin). In the present work, in vitro gelation, mechanical properties, degradation and equilibrium swelling of the NF hydrogel were examined. The potential application of this NF gel scaffold in bone tissue engineering was confirmed by encapsulation behavior of osteoblasts. Osteoblasts seeded directly in NF gel scaffold containing cell growth factor, e.g. bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP-2), was to mimic the in vivo microenvironment in which cells interface biomaterials and interact with BMP-2. In combination with BMP-2, the NF hydrogel exhibited beneficial effects on osteoblast activity and differentiation, which suggested a promising future for local treatment of pathologies involving bone loss. PMID:27427597

  6. Topological evolution of virtual social networks by modeling social activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xin; Dong, Junyu; Tang, Ruichun; Xu, Mantao; Qi, Lin; Cai, Yang

    2015-09-01

    With the development of Internet and wireless communication, virtual social networks are becoming increasingly important in the formation of nowadays' social communities. Topological evolution model is foundational and critical for social network related researches. Up to present most of the related research experiments are carried out on artificial networks, however, a study of incorporating the actual social activities into the network topology model is ignored. This paper first formalizes two mathematical abstract concepts of hobbies search and friend recommendation to model the social actions people exhibit. Then a social activities based topology evolution simulation model is developed to satisfy some well-known properties that have been discovered in real-world social networks. Empirical results show that the proposed topology evolution model has embraced several key network topological properties of concern, which can be envisioned as signatures of real social networks.

  7. Identities in flux: cognitive network activation in times of change.

    PubMed

    Menon, Tanya; Smith, Edward Bishop

    2014-05-01

    Using a dynamic cognitive model, we experimentally test two competing hypotheses that link identity and cognitive network activation during times of change. On one hand, affirming people's sense of power might give them confidence to think beyond the densest subsections of their social networks. Alternatively, if such power affirmations conflict with people's more stable status characteristics, this could create tension, deterring people from considering their networks' diversity. We test these competing hypotheses experimentally by priming people at varying levels of status with power (high/low) and asking them to report their social networks. We show that confirming identity-not affirming power-cognitively prepares people to broaden their social networks when the world is changing around them. The emotional signature of having a confirmed identity is feeling comfortable and in control, which mediates network activation. We suggest that stable, confirmed identities are the foundation from which people can exhibit greater network responsiveness. PMID:24576631

  8. Molecular entanglement and electrospinnability of biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Kong, Lingyan; Ziegler, Gregory R

    2014-01-01

    Electrospinning is a fascinating technique to fabricate micro- to nano-scale fibers from a wide variety of materials. For biopolymers, molecular entanglement of the constituent polymers in the spinning dope was found to be an essential prerequisite for successful electrospinning. Rheology is a powerful tool to probe the molecular conformation and interaction of biopolymers. In this report, we demonstrate the protocol for utilizing rheology to evaluate the electrospinnability of two biopolymers, starch and pullulan, from their dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)/water dispersions. Well-formed starch and pullulan fibers with average diameters in the submicron to micron range were obtained. Electrospinnability was evaluated by visual and microscopic observation of the fibers formed. By correlating the rheological properties of the dispersions to their electrospinnability, we demonstrate that molecular conformation, molecular entanglement, and shear viscosity all affect electrospinning. Rheology is not only useful in solvent system selection and process optimization, but also in understanding the mechanism of fiber formation on a molecular level. PMID:25226274

  9. Repairability of cross-linked biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Balkenhol, M; Michel, K; Stelzig, J; Wöstmann, B

    2009-02-01

    Repair of biopolymers is a critical issue, especially with aged restorations. Obtaining a chemical bond to the repair surface might solve this problem. We hypothesized that certain repair liquids are suitable to establish a strong bond to an artificially aged dimethacrylate-based biopolymer for temporary restorations. Specimens made of a self-curing temporary crown-and-bridge material were prepared and thermocycled for 7 days (5000x, 5-55 degrees C). Cylinders made of light-curing composites (n=10) were bonded onto the specimen surface, either after grinding or after the application of 4 different experimental repair liquids (Bis-GMA:TEGDMA mixture=bonding, methylmethacrylate=MMA, bonding & acetone, bonding & MMA). A shear bond strength test was performed 24 hrs after repair. The highest bond strength was obtained with the bonding & acetone liquid (20.1+/-2.2 MPa). The use of MMA significantly affected the bond strength (6.8+/-1.9 MPa). MMA is inadequate as a repair liquid on aged composite-based biopolymers. PMID:19278987

  10. Competing dynamic phases of active polymer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freedman, Simon; Banerjee, Shiladitya; Dinner, Aaron R.

    Recent experiments on in-vitro reconstituted assemblies of F-actin, myosin-II motors, and cross-linking proteins show that tuning local network properties can changes the fundamental biomechanical behavior of the system. For example, by varying cross-linker density and actin bundle rigidity, one can switch between contractile networks useful for reshaping cells, polarity sorted networks ideal for directed molecular transport, and frustrated networks with robust structural properties. To efficiently investigate the dynamic phases of actomyosin networks, we developed a coarse grained non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulation of model semiflexible filaments, molecular motors, and cross-linkers with phenomenologically defined interactions. The simulation's accuracy was verified by benchmarking the mechanical properties of its individual components and collective behavior against experimental results at the molecular and network scales. By adjusting the model's parameters, we can reproduce the qualitative phases observed in experiment and predict the protein characteristics where phase crossovers could occur in collective network dynamics. Our model provides a framework for understanding cells' multiple uses of actomyosin networks and their applicability in materials research. Supported by the Department of Defense (DoD) through the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) Program.

  11. Brain Network Activity in Monolingual and Bilingual Older Adults

    PubMed Central

    Grady, Cheryl L.; Luk, Gigi; Craik, Fergus I.M.; Bialystok, Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Bilingual older adults typically have better performance on tasks of executive control (EC) than do their monolingual peers, but differences in brain activity due to language experience are not well understood. Based on studies showing a relation between the dynamic range of brain network activity and performance on EC tasks, we hypothesized that life-long bilingual older adults would show increased functional connectivity relative to monolinguals in networks related to EC. We assessed intrinsic functional connectivity and modulation of activity in task vs. fixation periods in two brain networks that are active when EC is engaged, the frontoparietal control network (FPC) and the salience network (SLN). We also examined the default mode network (DMN), which influences behavior through reduced activity during tasks. We found stronger intrinsic functional connectivity in the FPC and DMN in bilinguals than in monolinguals. Although there were no group differences in the modulation of activity across tasks and fixation, bilinguals showed stronger correlations than monolinguals between intrinsic connectivity in the FPC and task-related increases of activity in prefrontal and parietal regions. This bilingual difference in network connectivity suggests that language experience begun in childhood and continued throughout adulthood influences brain networks in ways that may provide benefits in later life. PMID:25445783

  12. Sustainably Sourced, Thermally Resistant, Radiation Hard Biopolymer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pugel, Diane

    2011-01-01

    This material represents a breakthrough in the production, manufacturing, and application of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and radiation shielding, as this represents the first effort to develop a non-metallic, non-ceramic, biomaterial-based, sustainable TPS with the capability to also act as radiation shielding. Until now, the standing philosophy for radiation shielding involved carrying the shielding at liftoff or utilizing onboard water sources. This shielding material could be grown onboard and applied as needed prior to different radiation landscapes (commonly seen during missions involving gravitational assists). The material is a bioplastic material. Bioplastics are any combination of a biopolymer and a plasticizer. In this case, the biopolymer is a starch-based material and a commonly accessible plasticizer. Starch molecules are composed of two major polymers: amylase and amylopectin. The biopolymer phenolic compounds are common to the ablative thermal protection system family of materials. With similar constituents come similar chemical ablation processes, with the potential to have comparable, if not better, ablation characteristics. It can also be used as a flame-resistant barrier for commercial applications in buildings, homes, cars, and heater firewall material. The biopolymer is observed to undergo chemical transformations (oxidative and structural degradation) at radiation doses that are 1,000 times the maximum dose of an unmanned mission (10-25 Mrad), indicating that it would be a viable candidate for robust radiation shielding. As a comparison, the total integrated radiation dose for a three-year manned mission to Mars is 0.1 krad, far below the radiation limit at which starch molecules degrade. For electron radiation, the biopolymer starches show minimal deterioration when exposed to energies greater than 180 keV. This flame-resistant, thermal-insulating material is non-hazardous and may be sustainably sourced. It poses no hazardous

  13. Fate of biopolymers during rapeseed meal and wheat bran composting as studied by two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy in combination with multiple fluorescence labeling techniques.

    PubMed

    Wang, Li-Ping; Shen, Qi-Rong; Yu, Guang-Hui; Ran, Wei; Xu, Yang-Chun

    2012-02-01

    Detailed knowledge of the molecular events during composting is important in improving the efficiency of this process. By combining two-dimensional Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) correlation spectroscopy and multiple fluorescent labeling, it was possible to study the degradation of biopolymers during rapeseed meal and wheat bran composting. Two-dimensional FTIR correlation spectroscopy provided structural information and was used to deconvolute overlapping bands found in the compost FTIR spectra. The degradation of biopolymers in rapeseed meal and wheat bran composts followed the sequence: cellulose, heteropolysaccharides, and proteins. Fluorescent labeling suggested that cellulose formed an intact network-like structure and the other biopolymers were embedded in the core of this structure. The sequence of degradation of biopolymers during composting was related to their distribution patterns. PMID:22182472

  14. Neural network with formed dynamics of activity

    SciTech Connect

    Dunin-Barkovskii, V.L.; Osovets, N.B.

    1995-03-01

    The problem of developing a neural network with a given pattern of the state sequence is considered. A neural network structure and an algorithm, of forming its bond matrix which lead to an approximate but robust solution of the problem are proposed and discussed. Limiting characteristics of the serviceability of the proposed structure are studied. Various methods of visualizing dynamic processes in a neural network are compared. Possible applications of the results obtained for interpretation of neurophysiological data and in neuroinformatics systems are discussed.

  15. The salience network causally influences default mode network activity during moral reasoning

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Stephen M.; D’Esposito, Mark; Kayser, Andrew S.; Grossman, Scott N.; Poorzand, Pardis; Seeley, William W.; Miller, Bruce L.; Rankin, Katherine P.

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale brain networks are integral to the coordination of human behaviour, and their anatomy provides insights into the clinical presentation and progression of neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, which targets the default mode network, and behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, which targets a more anterior salience network. Although the default mode network is recruited when healthy subjects deliberate about ‘personal’ moral dilemmas, patients with Alzheimer’s disease give normal responses to these dilemmas whereas patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia give abnormal responses to these dilemmas. We hypothesized that this apparent discrepancy between activation- and patient-based studies of moral reasoning might reflect a modulatory role for the salience network in regulating default mode network activation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging to characterize network activity of patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia and healthy control subjects, we present four converging lines of evidence supporting a causal influence from the salience network to the default mode network during moral reasoning. First, as previously reported, the default mode network is recruited when healthy subjects deliberate about ‘personal’ moral dilemmas, but patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia producing atrophy in the salience network give abnormally utilitarian responses to these dilemmas. Second, patients with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia have reduced recruitment of the default mode network compared with healthy control subjects when deliberating about these dilemmas. Third, a Granger causality analysis of functional neuroimaging data from healthy control subjects demonstrates directed functional connectivity from nodes of the salience network to nodes of the default mode network during moral reasoning. Fourth, this Granger causal influence is diminished in

  16. Hydrogels from biopolymer hybrid for biomedical, food, and functional food applications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hybrid hydrogels from biopolymers have been applied for various indications across a wide range of biomedical, pharmaceutical, and functional food industries. In particular, hybrid hydrogels synthesized from two biopolymers have attracted increasing attention. The inclusion of a second biopolymer st...

  17. Generating Coherent Patterns of Activity from Chaotic Neural Networks

    PubMed Central

    Sussillo, David; Abbott, L. F.

    2009-01-01

    Neural circuits display complex activity patterns both spontaneously and when responding to a stimulus or generating a motor output. How are these two forms of activity related? We develop a procedure called FORCE learning for modifying synaptic strengths either external to or within a model neural network to change chaotic spontaneous activity into a wide variety of desired activity patterns. FORCE learning works even though the networks we train are spontaneously chaotic and we leave feedback loops intact and unclamped during learning. Using this approach, we construct networks that produce a wide variety of complex output patterns, input-output transformations that require memory, multiple outputs that can be switched by control inputs, and motor patterns matching human motion capture data. Our results reproduce data on pre-movement activity in motor and premotor cortex, and suggest that synaptic plasticity may be a more rapid and powerful modulator of network activity than generally appreciated. PMID:19709635

  18. Google matrix of the world network of economic activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandiah, Vivek; Escaith, Hubert; Shepelyansky, Dima L.

    2015-07-01

    Using the new data from the OECD-WTO world network of economic activities we construct the Google matrix G of this directed network and perform its detailed analysis. The network contains 58 countries and 37 activity sectors for years 1995 and 2008. The construction of G, based on Markov chain transitions, treats all countries on equal democratic grounds while the contribution of activity sectors is proportional to their exchange monetary volume. The Google matrix analysis allows to obtain reliable ranking of countries and activity sectors and to determine the sensitivity of CheiRank-PageRank commercial balance of countries in respect to price variations and labor cost in various countries. We demonstrate that the developed approach takes into account multiplicity of network links with economy interactions between countries and activity sectors thus being more efficient compared to the usual export-import analysis. The spectrum and eigenstates of G are also analyzed being related to specific activity communities of countries.

  19. Structure and Properties of Polysaccharide Based BioPolymer Gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prud'Homme, Robert K.

    2000-03-01

    Nature uses the pyranose ring as the basic building unit for a wideclass of biopolymers. Because of their biological origin these biopolymers naturally find application as food additives, rheology modifiers. These polymers range from being rigid skeletal material, such as cellulose that resist dissolution in water, to water soluble polymers, such as guar or carrageenan. The flexibility of the basic pyranose ring structure to provide materials with such a wide range of properties comes from the specific interactions that can be engineered by nature into the structure. We will present several examples of specific interactions for these systems: hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic interactions, and specific ion interactions. The relationship between molecular interations and rheology will be emphasized. Hydrogen bonding mediated by steric interference is used to control of solubility of starch and the rheology of guar gels. A more interesting example is the hydrogen bonding induced by chemical modification in konjac glucomannan that results in a gel that melts upon cooling. Hydrogen bonding interactions in xanthan lead to gel formation at very low polymer concentrations which is a result of the fine tuning of the polymer persistence length and total contour length. Given the function of xanthan in nature its molecular architecture has been optimized. Hydrophobic interactions in methylcellulose show a reverse temperature dependence arising from solution entropy. Carrageenan gelation upon the addition of specific cations will be addressed to show the interplay of polymer secondary structure on chemical reactivity. And finally the cis-hydroxyls on galactomannans permit crosslinking by a variety of metal ions some of which lead to "living gels" and some of which lead to permanently crosslinked networks.

  20. Impact of Network Activity Levels on the Performance of Passive Network Service Dependency Discovery

    SciTech Connect

    Carroll, Thomas E.; Chikkagoudar, Satish; Arthur-Durett, Kristine M.

    2015-11-02

    Network services often do not operate alone, but instead, depend on other services distributed throughout a network to correctly function. If a service fails, is disrupted, or degraded, it is likely to impair other services. The web of dependencies can be surprisingly complex---especially within a large enterprise network---and evolve with time. Acquiring, maintaining, and understanding dependency knowledge is critical for many network management and cyber defense activities. While automation can improve situation awareness for network operators and cyber practitioners, poor detection accuracy reduces their confidence and can complicate their roles. In this paper we rigorously study the effects of network activity levels on the detection accuracy of passive network-based service dependency discovery methods. The accuracy of all except for one method was inversely proportional to network activity levels. Our proposed cross correlation method was particularly robust to the influence of network activity. The proposed experimental treatment will further advance a more scientific evaluation of methods and provide the ability to determine their operational boundaries.

  1. Coalitions and networks: facilitating global physical activity promotion.

    PubMed

    Matsudo, Sandra Mahecha; Matsudo, Victor Rodrigues

    2006-01-01

    This article aims to synthesise the experience of coalitions and networks working for physical activity promotion. By introducing the concept of partnerships, especially within the Brazilian context, the authors outline the factors that comprise a successful partnership, describing key elements, such as, financing, membership and methods of empowerment. Agita São Paulo, the Physical Activity Network of the Americas-RAFA-PANA and Agita Mundo are used as examples. The article shows that local, national and global programmes, partnerships and networks at all levels are essential to guarantee the success of physical activity promotion as a public health strategy. PMID:17017291

  2. Strong, Thermally Superinsulating Biopolymer-Silica Aerogel Hybrids by Cogelation of Silicic Acid with Pectin.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Shanyu; Malfait, Wim J; Demilecamps, Arnaud; Zhang, Yucheng; Brunner, Samuel; Huber, Lukas; Tingaut, Philippe; Rigacci, Arnaud; Budtova, Tatiana; Koebel, Matthias M

    2015-11-23

    Silica aerogels are excellent thermal insulators, but their brittle nature has prevented widespread application. To overcome these mechanical limitations, silica-biopolymer hybrids are a promising alternative. A one-pot process to monolithic, superinsulating pectin-silica hybrid aerogels is presented. Their structural and physical properties can be tuned by adjusting the gelation pH and pectin concentration. Hybrid aerogels made at pH 1.5 exhibit minimal dust release and vastly improved mechanical properties while remaining excellent thermal insulators. The change in the mechanical properties is directly linked to the observed "neck-free" nanoscale network structure with thicker struts. Such a design is superior to "neck-limited", classical inorganic aerogels. This new class of materials opens up new perspectives for novel silica-biopolymer nanocomposite aerogels. PMID:26447457

  3. Botulinum Toxin Suppression of CNS Network Activity In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Pancrazio, Joseph J.; Gopal, Kamakshi; Keefer, Edward W.; Gross, Guenter W.

    2014-01-01

    The botulinum toxins are potent agents which disrupt synaptic transmission. While the standard method for BoNT detection and quantification is based on the mouse lethality assay, we have examined whether alterations in cultured neuronal network activity can be used to detect the functional effects of BoNT. Murine spinal cord and frontal cortex networks cultured on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays allowed monitoring of spontaneous spike and burst activity with exposure to BoNT serotype A (BoNT-A). Exposure to BoNT-A inhibited spike activity in cultured neuronal networks where, after a delay due to toxin internalization, the rate of activity loss depended on toxin concentration. Over a 30 hr exposure to BoNT-A, the minimum concentration detected was 2 ng/mL, a level consistent with mouse lethality studies. A small proportion of spinal cord networks, but not frontal cortex networks, showed a transient increase in spike and burst activity with exposure to BoNT-A, an effect likely due to preferential inhibition of inhibitory synapses expressed in this tissue. Lastly, prior exposure to human-derived antisera containing neutralizing antibodies prevented BoNT-A induced inhibition of network spike activity. These observations suggest that the extracellular recording from cultured neuronal networks can be used to detect and quantify functional BoNT effects. PMID:24688538

  4. Botulinum toxin suppression of CNS network activity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Pancrazio, Joseph J; Gopal, Kamakshi; Keefer, Edward W; Gross, Guenter W

    2014-01-01

    The botulinum toxins are potent agents which disrupt synaptic transmission. While the standard method for BoNT detection and quantification is based on the mouse lethality assay, we have examined whether alterations in cultured neuronal network activity can be used to detect the functional effects of BoNT. Murine spinal cord and frontal cortex networks cultured on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays allowed monitoring of spontaneous spike and burst activity with exposure to BoNT serotype A (BoNT-A). Exposure to BoNT-A inhibited spike activity in cultured neuronal networks where, after a delay due to toxin internalization, the rate of activity loss depended on toxin concentration. Over a 30 hr exposure to BoNT-A, the minimum concentration detected was 2 ng/mL, a level consistent with mouse lethality studies. A small proportion of spinal cord networks, but not frontal cortex networks, showed a transient increase in spike and burst activity with exposure to BoNT-A, an effect likely due to preferential inhibition of inhibitory synapses expressed in this tissue. Lastly, prior exposure to human-derived antisera containing neutralizing antibodies prevented BoNT-A induced inhibition of network spike activity. These observations suggest that the extracellular recording from cultured neuronal networks can be used to detect and quantify functional BoNT effects. PMID:24688538

  5. Detecting eavesdropping activity in fiber optic networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald, Gregory G.

    The secure transmission of data is critical to governments, military organizations, financial institutions, health care providers and other enterprises. The primary method of securing in-transit data is though data encryption. A number of encryption methods exist but the fundamental approach is to assume an eavesdropper has access to the encrypted message but does not have the computing capability to decrypt the message in a timely fashion. Essentially, the strength of security depends on the complexity of the encryption method and the resources available to the eavesdropper. The development of future technologies, most notably quantum computers and quantum computing, is often cited as a direct threat to traditional encryption schemes. It seems reasonable that additional effort should be placed on prohibiting the eavesdropper from coming into possession of the encrypted message in the first place. One strategy for denying possession of the encrypted message is to secure the physical layer of the communications path. Because the majority of transmitted information is over fiber-optic networks, it seems appropriate to consider ways of enhancing the integrity and security of the fiber-based physical layer. The purpose of this research is to investigate the properties of light, as they are manifested in single mode fiber, as a means of insuring the integrity and security of the physical layer of a fiber-optic based communication link. Specifically, the approach focuses on the behavior of polarization in single mode fiber, as it is shown to be especially sensitive to fiber geometry. Fiber geometry is necessarily modified during the placement of optical taps. The problem of detecting activity associated with the placement of an optical tap is herein approached as a supervised machine learning anomaly identification task. The inputs include raw polarization measurements along with additional features derived from various visualizations of the raw data (the inputs are

  6. Observations on Electronic Networks: Appropriate Activities for Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levin, James A.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Discussion of the use of electronic networks for learning activities highlights the Noon Observation Project in which students in various locations measured the length of a noontime shadow to determine the earth's circumference. Electronic pen pals are discussed, and the roles of the network and of the class are described. (LRW)

  7. The Global Space Geodesy Network: Activities Underway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearlman, Michael R.; Ipatov, Alexander; Long, James; Ma, Chopo; Merkowitz, Stephen; Neilan, Ruth; Noll, Carey; Pavlis, Erricos; Shargorodsky, Victor; Stowers, David; Wetzel, Scott

    2014-05-01

    Several initiatives are underway that should make substantial improvement over the next decade to the international space geodesy network as the international community works toward the GGOS 2020 goal of 32 globally distributed Core Sites with co-located VLBI, SLR, GNSS and DORIS. The Russian Space Agency and the Russian Academy of Sciences are moving forward with an implementation of six additional SLR systems and a number of GNSS receivers to sites outside Russia to expand GNSS tracking and support GGOS. The NASA Space Geodesy program has completed its prototype development phase and is now embarking on an implementation phase that is planning for deployment of 6 - 10 core sites in key geographic locations to support the global network. Additional sites are in the process of implementation in Europe and Asia. Site evaluation studies are in progress, looking at some new potential sites and there are ongoing discussions for partnership arrangements with interested agencies for new sites in South America and Africa. Work continues on the site layout design to avoid RF interference issues among co-located instruments and with external communications and media system. The placement of new and upgraded sites is guided by appropriate Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) conducted under the support of the interested international agencies. The results will help optimize the global distribution of core geodetic observatories and they will lead to the improvement of the data products from the future network. During this effort it is also recognized that co-located sites with less than the full core complement will continue to play an important and critical role in filling out the global network and strengthening the connection among the techniques. This talk will give an update on the current state of expansion of the global network and the projection for the network configuration that we forecast over the next 10 years.

  8. Biopolymer based nanocomposites reinforced with graphene nanoplatelets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botta, L.; Scaffaro, R.; Mistretta, M. C.; La Mantia, F. P.

    2016-05-01

    In this work, biopolymer based nanocomposites filled with graphene nanoplatelets (GnP) were prepared by melt compounding in a batch mixer. The polymer used as matrix was a commercial biodegradable polymer-blend of PLA and a copolyester (BioFlex®). The prepared materials were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), rheological and mechanical measurements. Moreover, the effect of the GnP amount on the investigated properties was evaluated. The results indicated that the incorporation of GnP increased the stiffness of the biopolymeric matrix.

  9. Monitoring Biopolymer Degradation by Taylor Dispersion Analysis.

    PubMed

    Chamieh, Joseph; Biron, Jean Philippe; Cipelletti, Luca; Cottet, Hervé

    2015-12-14

    This work aims at demonstrating the interest of modern Taylor dispersion analysis (TDA), performed in narrow internal diameter capillary, for monitoring biopolymer degradations. Hydrolytic and enzymatic degradations of dendrigraft poly-l-lysine taken as model compounds have been performed and monitored by TDA at different degradation times. Different approaches for the data processing of the taylorgrams are compared, including simple integration of the taylorgram, curve fitting with a finite number of Gaussian peaks, cumulant-like method and Constrained Regularized Linear Inversion approach. Valuable information on the kinetics of the enzymatic/hydrolytic degradation reactions and on the degradation process can be obtained by TDA. PMID:26633075

  10. Using biopolymers to remove heavy metals from soil and water

    SciTech Connect

    Krishnamurthy, S.; Frederick, R.M.

    1993-11-19

    Chemical remediation of soil may involve the use of harsh chemicals that generate waste streams, which may adversely affect the soil's integrity and ability to support vegetation. This article reviews the potential use of benign reagents, such as biopolymers, to extract heavy metals. The biopolymers discussed are chitin and chitosan, modified starch, cellulose, and polymer-containing algae. (Copyright (c) Remediation 1994.)

  11. Fine Structure of Starch-Clay Composites as Biopolymers

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Midsol 50 wheat starch and 5% Cloisite clay with or without the addition of glycerin were used to prepare biopolymers in a twin-screw extruder. Early trials of sectioning the unembedded biopolymer resulted in the immediate absorption of water and subsequent dissolution of the sample due to the the ...

  12. USING BIOPOLYMERS TO REMOVE HEAVY METALS FROM SOIL AND WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Chemical remediation of soils may involve the use of harsh chemicals that generate waste streams and may adversely affect the soil's integrity and ability to support vegetation. his paper reviews the promise of benign reagents such as biopolymers to extract metals. he biopolymers...

  13. Active Sampling in Evolving Neural Networks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parisi, Domenico

    1997-01-01

    Comments on Raftopoulos article (PS 528 649) on facilitative effect of cognitive limitation in development and connectionist models. Argues that the use of neural networks within an "Artificial Life" perspective can more effectively contribute to the study of the role of cognitive limitations in development and their genetic basis than can using…

  14. Biopolymer capped silver nanoparticles with potential for multifaceted applications.

    PubMed

    Vanamudan, Ageetha; Sudhakar, P Padmaja

    2016-05-01

    A sustainable, green and low cost method for the synthesis of silver nanoparticles at room temperature has been developed using guargum as a reducing and stabilizing agent. The synthesized silver nanoparticles (GAg) were characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy, FTIR, EDS, Raman, XRD and TEM. The interaction of the functional groups present in the biopolymer Guargum (G) with the silver nanoparticles (GAg) were responsible for the nanoparticle surface to function as active substrates for Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopic (SERS) detection of cationic and anionic dyes. The catalytic degradation of a copper phthalocyanine based dye- Reactive blue - 21(RB-21), an azo dye- Reactive red 141(RR-141) and a xanthene dye- Rhodamine - 6G(Rh-6G) as well as binary mixtures of the three dyes was evaluated using the synthesized nanoparticles. The catalyst also caused a significant reduction in Total Organic Carbon (TOC) suggesting the formation of smaller degraded products. PMID:26800899

  15. Gold Nanoparticle-Polymer/Biopolymer Complexes for Protein Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Moyano, Daniel F.; Rana, Subinoy; Bunz, Uwe H. F.; Rotello, Vincent M.

    2014-01-01

    Nanoparticle-based sensor arrays have been used to distinguish a wide range of biomolecular targets through pattern recognition. Such biosensors require selective receptors that generate a unique response pattern for each analyte. The tunable surface properties of gold nanoparticles make these systems excellent candidates for the recognition process. Likewise, the metallic core makes these particles fluorescence superquenchers, facilitating transduction of the binding event. In this report we analyze the role of gold nanoparticles as receptors in differentiating a diversity of important human proteins different, and the role of the polymer/biopolymer fluorescent probes for transducing the binding event. A structure-activity relationship analysis of both the probes and the nanoparticles is presented, providing direction for the engineering of future sensor systems. PMID:22455037

  16. Distal gap junctions and active dendrites can tune network dynamics.

    PubMed

    Saraga, Fernanda; Ng, Leo; Skinner, Frances K

    2006-03-01

    Gap junctions allow direct electrical communication between CNS neurons. From theoretical and modeling studies, it is well known that although gap junctions can act to synchronize network output, they can also give rise to many other dynamic patterns including antiphase and other phase-locked states. The particular network pattern that arises depends on cellular, intrinsic properties that affect firing frequencies as well as the strength and location of the gap junctions. Interneurons or GABAergic neurons in hippocampus are diverse in their cellular characteristics and have been shown to have active dendrites. Furthermore, parvalbumin-positive GABAergic neurons, also known as basket cells, can contact one another via gap junctions on their distal dendrites. Using two-cell network models, we explore how distal electrical connections affect network output. We build multi-compartment models of hippocampal basket cells using NEURON and endow them with varying amounts of active dendrites. Two-cell networks of these model cells as well as reduced versions are explored. The relationship between intrinsic frequency and the level of active dendrites allows us to define three regions based on what sort of network dynamics occur with distal gap junction coupling. Weak coupling theory is used to predict the delineation of these regions as well as examination of phase response curves and distal dendritic polarization levels. We find that a nonmonotonic dependence of network dynamic characteristics (phase lags) on gap junction conductance occurs. This suggests that distal electrical coupling and active dendrite levels can control how sensitive network dynamics are to gap junction modulation. With the extended geometry, gap junctions located at more distal locations must have larger conductances for pure synchrony to occur. Furthermore, based on simulations with heterogeneous networks, it may be that one requires active dendrites if phase-locking is to occur in networks formed

  17. Epidemic spreading and immunization in node-activity networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Qingchu; Chen, Shufang

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, we study the epidemic spreading in node-activity networks, where an individual participates in social networks with a certain rate h. There are two cases for h: the state-independent case and the state-dependent case. We investigate the epidemic threshold as a function of h compared to the static network. Our results suggest the epidemic threshold cannot be exactly predicted by using the analysis approach in the static network. In addition, we further propose a local information-based immunization protocol on node-activity networks. Simulation analysis shows that the immunization can not only eliminate the infectious disease, but also change the epidemic threshold via increasing the immunization parameter.

  18. Active system area networks for data intensive computations. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    2002-04-01

    The goal of the Active System Area Networks (ASAN) project is to develop hardware and software technologies for the implementation of active system area networks (ASANs). The use of the term ''active'' refers to the ability of the network interfaces to perform application-specific as well as system level computations in addition to their traditional role of data transfer. This project adopts the view that the network infrastructure should be an active computational entity capable of supporting certain classes of computations that would otherwise be performed on the host CPUs. The result is a unique network-wide programming model where computations are dynamically placed within the host CPUs or the NIs depending upon the quality of service demands and network/CPU resource availability. The projects seeks to demonstrate that such an approach is a better match for data intensive network-based applications and that the advent of low-cost powerful embedded processors and configurable hardware makes such an approach economically viable and desirable.

  19. How new biopolymers can improve muds

    SciTech Connect

    Dino, D.; Lindblad, D.E.; Moorhouse, R. )

    1993-11-01

    Xantham gum was introduced as a drilling-fluid component in the mid-1960s, but its use has risen noticeably since 1970, as prevalence of inhibitive polymeric drilling fluids has increased. Xanthan is known for its ability to build viscosity in both fresh water and salt solutions, its exceptional shear-thinning properties, and its tolerance to pH, all without environmental problems. Although biopolymers like xanthan typically represent only 0.25--1.5 lb/bbl of a drilling fluid, they are critical in building rheology, from spudding to the special demands of angled drilling and well completion. They add properties to muds which expand their use across a variety of formations and over a wide temperature range. Beyond xanthan, another useful class of biopolymers are the guar gums. Just as muds incorporating xanthan have been in the mainstay in rheology building over the years for many muds, fluids incorporating guar have long been the backbone of fracturing fluids. Guar and its derivatives are extremely versatile as rheology modifiers, particularly when used in conjunction with xanthans. In fact, xanthan/guar combinations have already been enhancing the effectiveness of muds at drill sites in the US. This paper reviews the performance of mixed xantham/guar additives to obtain an even better mud control system.

  20. Systematic fluctuation expansion for neural network activity equations

    PubMed Central

    Buice, Michael A.; Cowan, Jack D.; Chow, Carson C.

    2009-01-01

    Population rate or activity equations are the foundation of a common approach to modeling for neural networks. These equations provide mean field dynamics for the firing rate or activity of neurons within a network given some connectivity. The shortcoming of these equations is that they take into account only the average firing rate while leaving out higher order statistics like correlations between firing. A stochastic theory of neural networks which includes statistics at all orders was recently formulated. We describe how this theory yields a systematic extension to population rate equations by introducing equations for correlations and appropriate coupling terms. Each level of the approximation yields closed equations, i.e. they depend only upon the mean and specific correlations of interest, without an ad hoc criterion for doing so. We show in an example of an all-to-all connected network how our system of generalized activity equations captures phenomena missed by the mean field rate equations alone. PMID:19852585

  1. Activator-inhibitor systems on heterogeneous ecological networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaides, C.; Cueto-Felgueroso, L.; Juanes, R.

    2012-12-01

    The consideration of activator-inhibitor systems as complex networks has broadened our knowledge of non-equilibrium reaction-diffusion processes in heterogeneous systems. For example, the Turing mechanism represents a classical model for the formation of self-organized spatial structures in non-equilibrium activator-inhibitor systems. The study of Turing patterns in networks with heterogeneous connectivity has revealed that, contrary to other models and systems, the segregation process takes place mainly in vertices of low degree. In this paper, we study the formation of vegetation patterns in semiarid ecosystems from the perspective of a heterogeneous interacting ecological network. The structure of ecological networks yields fundamental insight into the ecosystem self-organization. Using simple rules for the short-range activation and global inhibition, we reconstruct the observed power-law distribution of vegetation patch size that has been observed in semiarid ecosystems like the Kalahari transect.

  2. pH-induced contrast in viscoelasticity imaging of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yapp, R. D.; Insana, M. F.

    2009-03-01

    Understanding contrast mechanisms and identifying discriminating features is at the heart of diagnostic imaging development. This paper focuses on how pH influences the viscoelastic properties of biopolymers to better understand the effects of extracellular pH on breast tumour elasticity imaging. Extracellular pH is known to decrease as much as 1 pH unit in breast tumours, thus creating a dangerous environment that increases cellular mutatation rates and therapeutic resistance. We used a gelatin hydrogel phantom to isolate the effects of pH on a polymer network with similarities to the extracellular matrix in breast stroma. Using compressive unconfined creep and stress relaxation measurements, we systematically measured the viscoelastic features sensitive to pH by way of time-domain models and complex modulus analysis. These results are used to determine the sensitivity of quasi-static ultrasonic elasticity imaging to pH. We found a strong elastic response of the polymer network to pH, such that the matrix stiffness decreases as pH was reduced; however, the viscous response of the medium to pH was negligible. While physiological features of breast stroma such as proteoglycans and vascular networks are not included in our hydrogel model, observations in this study provide insight into viscoelastic features specific to pH changes in the collagenous stromal network. These observations suggest that the large contrast common in breast tumours with desmoplasia may be reduced under acidic conditions, and that viscoelastic features are unlikely to improve discriminability.

  3. Decorrelation of Neural-Network Activity by Inhibitory Feedback

    PubMed Central

    Einevoll, Gaute T.; Diesmann, Markus

    2012-01-01

    Correlations in spike-train ensembles can seriously impair the encoding of information by their spatio-temporal structure. An inevitable source of correlation in finite neural networks is common presynaptic input to pairs of neurons. Recent studies demonstrate that spike correlations in recurrent neural networks are considerably smaller than expected based on the amount of shared presynaptic input. Here, we explain this observation by means of a linear network model and simulations of networks of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons. We show that inhibitory feedback efficiently suppresses pairwise correlations and, hence, population-rate fluctuations, thereby assigning inhibitory neurons the new role of active decorrelation. We quantify this decorrelation by comparing the responses of the intact recurrent network (feedback system) and systems where the statistics of the feedback channel is perturbed (feedforward system). Manipulations of the feedback statistics can lead to a significant increase in the power and coherence of the population response. In particular, neglecting correlations within the ensemble of feedback channels or between the external stimulus and the feedback amplifies population-rate fluctuations by orders of magnitude. The fluctuation suppression in homogeneous inhibitory networks is explained by a negative feedback loop in the one-dimensional dynamics of the compound activity. Similarly, a change of coordinates exposes an effective negative feedback loop in the compound dynamics of stable excitatory-inhibitory networks. The suppression of input correlations in finite networks is explained by the population averaged correlations in the linear network model: In purely inhibitory networks, shared-input correlations are canceled by negative spike-train correlations. In excitatory-inhibitory networks, spike-train correlations are typically positive. Here, the suppression of input correlations is not a result of the mere existence of correlations between

  4. Turing patterns in network-organized activator-inhibitor systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakao, Hiroya; Mikhailov, Alexander S.

    2010-07-01

    Turing instability in activator-inhibitor systems provides a paradigm of non-equilibrium self-organization; it has been extensively investigated for biological and chemical processes. Turing instability should also be possible in networks, and general mathematical methods for its treatment have been formulated previously. However, only examples of regular lattices and small networks were explicitly considered. Here we study Turing patterns in large random networks, which reveal striking differences from the classical behaviour. The initial linear instability leads to spontaneous differentiation of the network nodes into activator-rich and activator-poor groups. The emerging Turing patterns become furthermore strongly reshaped at the subsequent nonlinear stage. Multiple coexisting stationary states and hysteresis effects are observed. This peculiar behaviour can be understood in the framework of a mean-field theory. Our results offer a new perspective on self-organization phenomena in systems organized as complex networks. Potential applications include ecological metapopulations, synthetic ecosystems, cellular networks of early biological morphogenesis, and networks of coupled chemical nanoreactors.

  5. Connectivity, excitability and activity patterns in neuronal networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    le Feber, Joost; Stoyanova, Irina I.; Chiappalone, Michela

    2014-06-01

    Extremely synchronized firing patterns such as those observed in brain diseases like epilepsy may result from excessive network excitability. Although network excitability is closely related to (excitatory) connectivity, a direct measure for network excitability remains unavailable. Several methods currently exist for estimating network connectivity, most of which are related to cross-correlation. An example is the conditional firing probability (CFP) analysis which calculates the pairwise probability (CFPi,j) that electrode j records an action potential at time t = τ, given that electrode i recorded a spike at t = 0. However, electrode i often records multiple spikes within the analysis interval, and CFP values are biased by the on-going dynamic state of the network. Here we show that in a linear approximation this bias may be removed by deconvoluting CFPi,j with the autocorrelation of i (i.e. CFPi,i), to obtain the single pulse response (SPRi,j)—the average response at electrode j to a single spike at electrode i. Thus, in a linear system SPRs would be independent of the dynamic network state. Nonlinear components of synaptic transmission, such as facilitation and short term depression, will however still affect SPRs. Therefore SPRs provide a clean measure of network excitability. We used carbachol and ghrelin to moderately activate cultured cortical networks to affect their dynamic state. Both neuromodulators transformed the bursting firing patterns of the isolated networks into more dispersed firing. We show that the influence of the dynamic state on SPRs is much smaller than the effect on CFPs, but not zero. The remaining difference reflects the alteration in network excitability. We conclude that SPRs are less contaminated by the dynamic network state and that mild excitation may decrease network excitability, possibly through short term synaptic depression.

  6. Stimulus information stored in lasting active and hidden network states is destroyed by network bursts

    PubMed Central

    Dranias, Mark R.; Westover, M. Brandon; Cash, Sidney; VanDongen, Antonius M. J.

    2015-01-01

    In both humans and animals brief synchronizing bursts of epileptiform activity known as interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) can, even in the absence of overt seizures, cause transient cognitive impairments (TCI) that include problems with perception or short-term memory. While no evidence from single units is available, it has been assumed that IEDs destroy information represented in neuronal networks. Cultured neuronal networks are a model for generic cortical microcircuits, and their spontaneous activity is characterized by the presence of synchronized network bursts (SNBs), which share a number of properties with IEDs, including the high degree of synchronization and their spontaneous occurrence in the absence of an external stimulus. As a model approach to understanding the processes underlying IEDs, optogenetic stimulation and multielectrode array (MEA) recordings of cultured neuronal networks were used to study whether stimulus information represented in these networks survives SNBs. When such networks are optically stimulated they encode and maintain stimulus information for as long as one second. Experiments involved recording the network response to a single stimulus and trials where two different stimuli were presented sequentially, akin to a paired pulse trial. We broke the sequential stimulus trials into encoding, delay and readout phases and found that regardless of which phase the SNB occurs, stimulus-specific information was impaired. SNBs were observed to increase the mean network firing rate, but this did not translate monotonically into increases in network entropy. It was found that the more excitable a network, the more stereotyped its response was during a network burst. These measurements speak to whether SNBs are capable of transmitting information in addition to blocking it. These results are consistent with previous reports and provide baseline predictions concerning the neural mechanisms by which IEDs might cause TCI. PMID:25755638

  7. Stimulus information stored in lasting active and hidden network states is destroyed by network bursts.

    PubMed

    Dranias, Mark R; Westover, M Brandon; Cash, Sidney; VanDongen, Antonius M J

    2015-01-01

    In both humans and animals brief synchronizing bursts of epileptiform activity known as interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs) can, even in the absence of overt seizures, cause transient cognitive impairments (TCI) that include problems with perception or short-term memory. While no evidence from single units is available, it has been assumed that IEDs destroy information represented in neuronal networks. Cultured neuronal networks are a model for generic cortical microcircuits, and their spontaneous activity is characterized by the presence of synchronized network bursts (SNBs), which share a number of properties with IEDs, including the high degree of synchronization and their spontaneous occurrence in the absence of an external stimulus. As a model approach to understanding the processes underlying IEDs, optogenetic stimulation and multielectrode array (MEA) recordings of cultured neuronal networks were used to study whether stimulus information represented in these networks survives SNBs. When such networks are optically stimulated they encode and maintain stimulus information for as long as one second. Experiments involved recording the network response to a single stimulus and trials where two different stimuli were presented sequentially, akin to a paired pulse trial. We broke the sequential stimulus trials into encoding, delay and readout phases and found that regardless of which phase the SNB occurs, stimulus-specific information was impaired. SNBs were observed to increase the mean network firing rate, but this did not translate monotonically into increases in network entropy. It was found that the more excitable a network, the more stereotyped its response was during a network burst. These measurements speak to whether SNBs are capable of transmitting information in addition to blocking it. These results are consistent with previous reports and provide baseline predictions concerning the neural mechanisms by which IEDs might cause TCI. PMID:25755638

  8. A neural networks study of quinone compounds with trypanocidal activity.

    PubMed

    de Molfetta, Fábio Alberto; Angelotti, Wagner Fernando Delfino; Romero, Roseli Aparecida Francelin; Montanari, Carlos Alberto; da Silva, Albérico Borges Ferreira

    2008-10-01

    This work investigates neural network models for predicting the trypanocidal activity of 28 quinone compounds. Artificial neural networks (ANN), such as multilayer perceptrons (MLP) and Kohonen models, were employed with the aim of modeling the nonlinear relationship between quantum and molecular descriptors and trypanocidal activity. The calculated descriptors and the principal components were used as input to train neural network models to verify the behavior of the nets. The best model for both network models (MLP and Kohonen) was obtained with four descriptors as input. The descriptors were T5 (torsion angle), QTS1 (sum of absolute values of the atomic charges), VOLS2 (volume of the substituent at region B) and HOMO-1 (energy of the molecular orbital below HOMO). These descriptors provide information on the kind of interaction that occurs between the compounds and the biological receptor. Both neural network models used here can predict the trypanocidal activity of the quinone compounds with good agreement, with low errors in the testing set and a high correctness rate. Thanks to the nonlinear model obtained from the neural network models, we can conclude that electronic and structural properties are important factors in the interaction between quinone compounds that exhibit trypanocidal activity and their biological receptors. The final ANN models should be useful in the design of novel trypanocidal quinones having improved potency. PMID:18629551

  9. Probing mechanics and activity of cytoskeletal networks using carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fakhri, Nikta

    2013-03-01

    We use single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) as multi-scale micro-probes to monitor transport and fluctuations in cytoskeletal networks. SWNTs are nanometer-diameter hollow carbon filaments with micrometer lengths and a tunable bending stiffness. Their persistence length varies between 20-100 microns. We study the motion of individual SWNTs in reconstituted actin networks by near-infrared fluorescence microscopy. At long times, SWNTs reptate through the networks. At short times, SWNTs sample the spectrum of thermal fluctuations in the networks. We can calculate complex shear moduli from recorded fluctuations and observe power-law scaling in equilibrium actin networks. In the non-equilibrium cytoskeleton of cells we have targeted SWNTs to kinesin motors and thereby to their microtubule tracks. We observe both transport along the tracks as well as active fluctuations of the tracks themselves. Human Frontier Science Program Cross-Disciplinary Fellow

  10. Chronic electrical stimulation homeostatically decreases spontaneous activity, but paradoxically increases evoked network activity

    PubMed Central

    Goel, Anubhuti

    2013-01-01

    Neural dynamics generated within cortical networks play a fundamental role in brain function. However, the learning rules that allow recurrent networks to generate functional dynamic regimes, and the degree to which these regimes are themselves plastic, are not known. In this study we examined plasticity of network dynamics in cortical organotypic slices in response to chronic changes in activity. Studies have typically manipulated network activity pharmacologically; we used chronic electrical stimulation to increase activity in in vitro cortical circuits in a more physiological manner. Slices were stimulated with “implanted” electrodes for 4 days. Chronic electrical stimulation or treatment with bicuculline decreased spontaneous activity as predicted by homeostatic learning rules. Paradoxically, however, whereas bicuculline decreased evoked network activity, chronic stimulation actually increased the likelihood that evoked stimulation elicited polysynaptic activity, despite a decrease in evoked monosynaptic strength. Furthermore, there was an inverse correlation between spontaneous and evoked activity, suggesting a homeostatic tradeoff between spontaneous and evoked activity. Within-slice experiments revealed that cells close to the stimulated electrode exhibited more evoked polysynaptic activity and less spontaneous activity than cells close to a control electrode. Collectively, our results establish that chronic stimulation changes the dynamic regimes of networks. In vitro studies of homeostatic plasticity typically lack any external input, and thus neurons must rely on “spontaneous” activity to reach homeostatic “set points.” However, in the presence of external input we propose that homeostatic learning rules seem to shift networks from spontaneous to evoked regimes. PMID:23324317

  11. Optical properties of DNA-CTMA biopolymers and applications in metal-biopolymer-metal photodetectors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Bin; Kim, Sung Jin; Bartsch, Carrie M.; Heckman, Emily M.; Ouchen, Fahima; Cartwright, Alexander N.

    2011-09-01

    The potential of using a DNA biopolymer in an electro-optic device is presented. A complex of DNA with the cationic surfactant cetyltrimethylammonium-chloride (CTMA) was used to obtain an organic-soluble DNA material (DNA-CTMA). Poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) was added to the DNACTMA to increase the electrical conductivity of the biopolymer. The CW absorbance and time-resolved photoluminescence of the resulting DNA-CTMA and DNA-CTMA-PEDOT:PSS were investigated. Both DNA materials have absorbance peaks at ~260 nm and a broad, Stokes shifted, photoluminescence peak around 470nm. The photoluminescence lifetime of the materials was observed to decrease with increasing UV excitation. Specifically, excitation with a high power ultrafast (~150fs) UV (266nm) laser pulse resulted in a drastic decrease in the photoluminescence lifetime decreases after a few minutes. Moreover, the observed decrease was faster in an air ambient than in a nitrogen ambient. This is most likely due to photo-oxidation that degrades the polymer surface resulting in an increase in the non-radiative recombination. In order to investigate the photoconductivity of these two materials, metal-biopolymer-metal (MBM) ultraviolet photodetectors with interdigitated electrodes were fabricated and characterized. The photoresponsivity of these devices was limited by the transport dynamics within the film. The prospects for the use of these materials in optical devices will be discussed.

  12. Biopolymer-protected CdSe nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Bozanić, D K; Djoković, V; Bibić, N; Sreekumari Nair, P; Georges, M K; Radhakrishnan, T

    2009-11-23

    A synthetic procedure for the encapsulation of cadmium selenide (CdSe) nanoparticles in a sago starch matrix is introduced. The nanocomposite was investigated using structural, spectroscopic, and thermal methods. TEM micrographs of the nanocomposite showed spherical CdSe particles of 4-5 nm in size coated with a biopolymer layer. The absorption edges of both the aqueous solution and the thin film of the CdSe-starch nanocomposite were shifted toward lower wavelengths in comparison to the value of the bulk semiconductor. Infrared measurements revealed that the interaction of CdSe nanoparticles and starch chains takes place via OH groups. Although the onset of the temperature of decomposition of CdSe-starch nanocomposite is lower than that of the pure matrix, thermogravimetric analysis also showed that introduction of CdSe nanoparticles significantly reduced starch degradation rate leading to high residual mass at the end of the degradation process. PMID:19772959

  13. Locust bean gum: a versatile biopolymer.

    PubMed

    Prajapati, Vipul D; Jani, Girish K; Moradiya, Naresh G; Randeria, Narayan P; Nagar, Bhanu J

    2013-05-15

    Biopolymers or natural polymers are an attractive class of biodegradable polymers since they are derived from natural sources, easily available, relatively cheap and can be modified by suitable reagent. Locust bean gum is one of them that have a wide potentiality in drug formulations due to its extensive application as food additive and its recognized lack of toxicity. It can be tailored to suit its demands of applicants in both the pharmaceutical and biomedical areas. Locust bean gum has a wide application either in the field of novel drug delivery system as rate controlling excipients or in tissue engineering as scaffold formation. Through keen references of reported literature on locust bean gum, in this review, we have described critical aspects of locust bean gum, its manufacturing process, physicochemical properties and applications in various drug delivery systems. PMID:23544637

  14. Dual production of biopolymers from bacteria.

    PubMed

    Sukan, Artun; Roy, Ipsita; Keshavarz, Tajalli

    2015-08-01

    Rapid depletion of natural resources with continued demands of an increasing population and high consumption rates of today's world will cause serious problems in the future. This, along with environmental concerns, has directed research towards finding alternatives in variety of sectors including sustainable and environmentally friendly consumer goods. Biopolymers of bacterial origin, with their vast range of applications, biodegradability and eco-friendly manufacturing processes, are one of the alternatives for a more sustainable future. However, the cost of their production is a drawback. Simultaneous production processes have always been an option for researchers in order to reduce cost, but the variable requirements of microorganisms to produce both different and valuable products are a hindering factor. This review will look at some examples and identify ideas towards developing a successful strategy for simultaneous production of bio-products. PMID:25933521

  15. Pattern Formation on Networks: from Localised Activity to Turing Patterns

    PubMed Central

    McCullen, Nick; Wagenknecht, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Networks of interactions between competing species are used to model many complex systems, such as in genetics, evolutionary biology or sociology and knowledge of the patterns of activity they can exhibit is important for understanding their behaviour. The emergence of patterns on complex networks with reaction-diffusion dynamics is studied here, where node dynamics interact via diffusion via the network edges. Through the application of a generalisation of dynamical systems analysis this work reveals a fundamental connection between small-scale modes of activity on networks and localised pattern formation seen throughout science, such as solitons, breathers and localised buckling. The connection between solutions with a single and small numbers of activated nodes and the fully developed system-scale patterns are investigated computationally using numerical continuation methods. These techniques are also used to help reveal a much larger portion of of the full number of solutions that exist in the system at different parameter values. The importance of network structure is also highlighted, with a key role being played by nodes with a certain so-called optimal degree, on which the interaction between the reaction kinetics and the network structure organise the behaviour of the system. PMID:27273339

  16. Pattern Formation on Networks: from Localised Activity to Turing Patterns.

    PubMed

    McCullen, Nick; Wagenknecht, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Networks of interactions between competing species are used to model many complex systems, such as in genetics, evolutionary biology or sociology and knowledge of the patterns of activity they can exhibit is important for understanding their behaviour. The emergence of patterns on complex networks with reaction-diffusion dynamics is studied here, where node dynamics interact via diffusion via the network edges. Through the application of a generalisation of dynamical systems analysis this work reveals a fundamental connection between small-scale modes of activity on networks and localised pattern formation seen throughout science, such as solitons, breathers and localised buckling. The connection between solutions with a single and small numbers of activated nodes and the fully developed system-scale patterns are investigated computationally using numerical continuation methods. These techniques are also used to help reveal a much larger portion of of the full number of solutions that exist in the system at different parameter values. The importance of network structure is also highlighted, with a key role being played by nodes with a certain so-called optimal degree, on which the interaction between the reaction kinetics and the network structure organise the behaviour of the system. PMID:27273339

  17. Pattern Formation on Networks: from Localised Activity to Turing Patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCullen, Nick; Wagenknecht, Thomas

    2016-06-01

    Networks of interactions between competing species are used to model many complex systems, such as in genetics, evolutionary biology or sociology and knowledge of the patterns of activity they can exhibit is important for understanding their behaviour. The emergence of patterns on complex networks with reaction-diffusion dynamics is studied here, where node dynamics interact via diffusion via the network edges. Through the application of a generalisation of dynamical systems analysis this work reveals a fundamental connection between small-scale modes of activity on networks and localised pattern formation seen throughout science, such as solitons, breathers and localised buckling. The connection between solutions with a single and small numbers of activated nodes and the fully developed system-scale patterns are investigated computationally using numerical continuation methods. These techniques are also used to help reveal a much larger portion of of the full number of solutions that exist in the system at different parameter values. The importance of network structure is also highlighted, with a key role being played by nodes with a certain so-called optimal degree, on which the interaction between the reaction kinetics and the network structure organise the behaviour of the system.

  18. Submicro foaming in biopolymers by UV pulsed laser irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oujja, Mohamed; Rebollar, Esther; Gaspard, Solenne; Abrusci, Concepción; Catalina, Fernando; Lazare, Sylvain; Castillejo, Marta

    2006-05-01

    Microstructuring of polymers and biopolymers is of application in medical technology and biotechnology. Using different fabrication techniques three-dimensionally shaped and micro structured constructs can be developed for drug release and tissue engineering. As an alternative method, laser microstructuring offers a series of advantages including high resolution capability, low heat deposition in the substrate and high level of flexibility. In this work we present evidence of laser microfoam formation in collagen and gelatine by nanosecond pulsed laser irradiation in the UV at 248 and 266 nm. Irradiation at 355 nm produces melting followed by resolidification of the substrate, whereas irradiation at 532 and 1064 nm induces the formation of craters of irregular contours. Single pulse irradiation of a collagen film with an homogenized KrF microbeam yields a 20 μm thick expanded layer, which displays the interesting features of a nanofibrous 3-dimensional network with open cells. In gelatine, irradiation at 248 and 266 nm produces similar morphological modifications. The effect of the structural properties of the substrate on the laser induced microfoam is studied by comparing gelatines differing in gel strength (Bloom values 225 and 75) and in crosslinking degree. While results are discussed on the basis of thermal and photomechanical mechanisms and of the role played by the water content of the substrates, it is thought that such structures could have a biomimic function in future 3D cell culture devices for research.

  19. Dynamic light-scattering monitoring of a transient biopolymer gel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostko, A. F.; Chen, T.; Payne, G. F.; Anisimov, M. A.

    2003-05-01

    We performed dynamic light-scattering (DLS) monitoring and a rheological study to characterize the formation and destruction of a transient (limited lifetime) gel formed from the biopolymers chitosan and gelatin. Gel formation, initiated by the enzyme tyrosinase, is followed by spontaneous gel breakage. Our DLS results demonstrate that this material passes through five stages in which the gel forms, consolidates, “lives”, softens, and eventually breaks. We speculate that the existence of the transient gel is caused by a competition between two processes: a fast-rate chemical reaction leading to formation of a branched-copolymer network and a slow-rate diffusion-like rearrangement of the gelatin branches resulting in eventual gel breakage. Despite a dramatic difference in the characteristic times of the gel formation ( tg) and gel breakage ( tb)-the ratio tb/ tg is of the order 10 3-DLS has revealed an intrinsic monitoring-time symmetry in the formation and destruction of the gel provided that a proper physical choice of the reduced temporal scale is used. In this scale the slow-mode relaxation time for both sides of the process, gel formation and gel destruction, exhibits a power law in the spirit of percolation theory.

  20. Collective versus hub activation of epidemic phases on networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferreira, Silvio C.; Sander, Renan S.; Pastor-Satorras, Romualdo

    2016-03-01

    We consider a general criterion to discern the nature of the threshold in epidemic models on scale-free (SF) networks. Comparing the epidemic lifespan of the nodes with largest degrees with the infection time between them, we propose a general dual scenario, in which the epidemic transition is either ruled by a hub activation process, leading to a null threshold in the thermodynamic limit, or given by a collective activation process, corresponding to a standard phase transition with a finite threshold. We validate the proposed criterion applying it to different epidemic models, with waning immunity or heterogeneous infection rates in both synthetic and real SF networks. In particular, a waning immunity, irrespective of its strength, leads to collective activation with finite threshold in scale-free networks with large degree exponent, at odds with canonical theoretical approaches.

  1. Non-equilibrium States of Active Filament Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackwell, Robert A.; Betterton, Meredith D.; Sweezy, Oliver M.; Glaser, Matthew A.

    2014-03-01

    Active networks of filamentous proteins and crosslinking motor proteins play a critical role in many cellular processes. Among the most important active networks is the mitotic spindle, an assembly of microtubules and crosslinking motor proteins that forms during cell division and that ultimately separates chromosomes into two daughter cells. To evolve a better understanding of spindle formation, structure, and dynamics, we have developed course-grained models of active networks composed of filaments, modeled as hard spherocylinders, in diffusive equilibrium with a reservoir of crosslinking motors, modeled as Hookean springs that can adsorb to microtubules and translocate at finite velocity along the microtubule axis. We explore the phase diagram and other characteristics of this model in two and three dimensions as a function of filament packing fraction, and of crosslink concentration, velocity, and adsorption and desorption rates. We observe a variety of interesting emergent behaviors including sorting of filaments into polar domains, generation of extensile stress, and superdiffusive transport. DMR-0820579

  2. Correlated gene expression supports synchronous activity in brain networks

    PubMed Central

    Richiardi, Jonas; Altmann, Andre; Milazzo, Anna-Clare; Chang, Catie; Chakravarty, M. Mallar; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J.; Bokde, Arun L.W.; Bromberg, Uli; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia; Fauth-Bühler, Mira; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Gallinat, Jürgen; Garavan, Hugh; Gowland, Penny; Heinz, Andreas; Lemaître, Hervé; Mann, Karl F.; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Paus, Tomáš; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Robbins, Trevor W.; Smolka, Michael N.; Spanagel, Rainer; Ströhle, Andreas; Schumann, Gunter; Hawrylycz, Mike; Poline, Jean-Baptiste; Greicius, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    During rest, brain activity is synchronized between different regions widely distributed throughout the brain, forming functional networks. However, the molecular mechanisms supporting functional connectivity remain undefined. We show that functional brain networks defined with resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging can be recapitulated by using measures of correlated gene expression in a post mortem brain tissue data set. The set of 136 genes we identify is significantly enriched for ion channels. Polymorphisms in this set of genes significantly affect resting-state functional connectivity in a large sample of healthy adolescents. Expression levels of these genes are also significantly associated with axonal connectivity in the mouse. The results provide convergent, multimodal evidence that resting-state functional networks correlate with the orchestrated activity of dozens of genes linked to ion channel activity and synaptic function. PMID:26068849

  3. Dispersion of cellulose nanofibers in biopolymer based nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Bei

    The focus of this work was to understand the fundamental dispersion mechanism of cellulose based nanofibers in bionanocomposites. The cellulose nanofibers were extracted from soybean pod and hemp fibers by chemo-mechanical treatments. These are bundles of cellulose nanofibers with a diameter ranging between 50 to 100 nm and lengths of thousands of nanometers which results in very high aspect ratio. In combination with a suitable matrix polymer, cellulose nanofiber networks show considerable potential as an effective reinforcement for high quality specialty applications of bio-based nanocomposites. Cellulose fibrils have a high density of --OH groups on the surface, which have a tendency to form hydrogen bonds with adjacent fibrils, reducing interaction with the surrounding matrix. The use of nanofibers has been mostly restricted to water soluble polymers. This thesis is focused on synthesizing the nanocomposite using a solid phase matrix polypropylene (PP) or polyethylene (PE) by hot compression and poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) in an aqueous phase by film casting. The mechanical properties of nanofiber reinforced PVA film demonstrated a 4-5 fold increase in tensile strength, as compared to the untreated fiber-blend-PVA film. It is necessary to reduce the entanglement of the fibrils and improve their dispersion in the matrix by surface modification of fibers without deteriorating their reinforcing capability. Inverse gas chromatography (IGC) was used to explore how various surface treatments would change the dispersion component of surface energy and acid-base character of cellulose nanofibers and the effect of the incorporation of these modified nanofibers into a biopolymer matrix on the properties of their nano-composites. Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) based nanocomposites using cellulose nanofibers were prepared by extrusion, injection molding and hot compression. The IGC results indicated that styrene maleic anhydride coated and ethylene

  4. Development of Budesonide Loaded Biopolymer Based Dry Powder Inhaler: Optimization, In Vitro Deposition, and Cytotoxicity Study

    PubMed Central

    Mali, Ashwin J.; Pawar, Atmaram P.; Purohit, Ravindra N.

    2014-01-01

    The progress in the development of DPI technology has boosted the use of sensitive drug molecules for lung diseases. However, delivery of these molecules from conventional DPI to the active site still poses a challenge with respect to deposition efficiency in the lung. At same time, serious systemic side effects of drugs have become a cause for concern. The developed budesonide loaded biopolymer based controlled release DPI had shown maximum in vitro lung deposition with least toxicity. The subject of present study, lactose-free budesonide loaded biopolymer based DPI, further corroborates the great potential of antiasthmatic drugs. This technology is expected to revolutionize the approaches towards enhanced therapeutic delivery of prospective drugs. PMID:26556201

  5. Coordinating Computing, Network and Archiving activities within INAF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasian, F.; Bodo, G.; Fini, L.; Garilli, B.; Longo, G.; Massimino, P.; Nanni, M.; Smareglia, R.

    When INAF was reformed, it was decided to create a `Computing, Network and Archives Service' within the Projects Department, in order to coordinate all computer-related activities and to properly harmonize management and development policies in the field. A `Computing, Network and Archives Committee' was immediately nominated for the duration of one year to cope with the immediate needs. The Committee has the task of identifying and making operational strategies to coordinate activities in the areas of interest, improving service to all users, implementing synergies and economies, while guaranteeing a single INAF contact point for all external institutions working in the field.

  6. Fast transient networks in spontaneous human brain activity

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Adam P; Brookes, Matthew J; Rezek, Iead A; Smith, Stephen M; Behrens, Timothy; Probert Smith, Penny J; Woolrich, Mark

    2014-01-01

    To provide an effective substrate for cognitive processes, functional brain networks should be able to reorganize and coordinate on a sub-second temporal scale. We used magnetoencephalography recordings of spontaneous activity to characterize whole-brain functional connectivity dynamics at high temporal resolution. Using a novel approach that identifies the points in time at which unique patterns of activity recur, we reveal transient (100–200 ms) brain states with spatial topographies similar to those of well-known resting state networks. By assessing temporal changes in the occurrence of these states, we demonstrate that within-network functional connectivity is underpinned by coordinated neuronal dynamics that fluctuate much more rapidly than has previously been shown. We further evaluate cross-network interactions, and show that anticorrelation between the default mode network and parietal regions of the dorsal attention network is consistent with an inability of the system to transition directly between two transient brain states. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01867.001 PMID:24668169

  7. BRAIN NETWORKS. Correlated gene expression supports synchronous activity in brain networks.

    PubMed

    Richiardi, Jonas; Altmann, Andre; Milazzo, Anna-Clare; Chang, Catie; Chakravarty, M Mallar; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J; Bokde, Arun L W; Bromberg, Uli; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia; Fauth-Bühler, Mira; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Gallinat, Jürgen; Garavan, Hugh; Gowland, Penny; Heinz, Andreas; Lemaître, Hervé; Mann, Karl F; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Paus, Tomáš; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Robbins, Trevor W; Smolka, Michael N; Spanagel, Rainer; Ströhle, Andreas; Schumann, Gunter; Hawrylycz, Mike; Poline, Jean-Baptiste; Greicius, Michael D

    2015-06-12

    During rest, brain activity is synchronized between different regions widely distributed throughout the brain, forming functional networks. However, the molecular mechanisms supporting functional connectivity remain undefined. We show that functional brain networks defined with resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging can be recapitulated by using measures of correlated gene expression in a post mortem brain tissue data set. The set of 136 genes we identify is significantly enriched for ion channels. Polymorphisms in this set of genes significantly affect resting-state functional connectivity in a large sample of healthy adolescents. Expression levels of these genes are also significantly associated with axonal connectivity in the mouse. The results provide convergent, multimodal evidence that resting-state functional networks correlate with the orchestrated activity of dozens of genes linked to ion channel activity and synaptic function. PMID:26068849

  8. End-of-life of starch-polyvinyl alcohol biopolymers.

    PubMed

    Guo, M; Stuckey, D C; Murphy, R J

    2013-01-01

    This study presents a life cycle assessment (LCA) model comparing the waste management options for starch-polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) biopolymers including landfill, anaerobic digestion (AD), industrial composting and home composting. The ranking of biological treatment routes for starch-PVOH biopolymer wastes depended on their chemical compositions. AD represents the optimum choice for starch-PVOH biopolymer containing N and S elements in global warming potential (GWP(100)), acidification and eutrophication but not on the remaining impact categories, where home composting was shown to be a better option due to its low energy and resource inputs. For those starch-PVOH biopolymers with zero N and S contents home composting delivered the best environmental performance amongst biological treatment routes in most impact categories (except for GWP(100)). The landfill scenario performed generally well due largely to the 100-year time horizon and efficient energy recovery system modeled but this good performance is highly sensitive to assumptions adopted in landfill model. PMID:23131650

  9. Laser-induced periodic surface structuring of biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez, Susana; Rebollar, Esther; Oujja, Mohamed; Martín, Margarita; Castillejo, Marta

    2013-03-01

    We report here on a systematic study about the formation of laser-induced periodic surface structures (LIPSS) on biopolymers. Self-standing films of the biopolymers chitosan, starch and the blend of chitosan with the synthetic polymer poly (vinyl pyrrolidone), PVP, were irradiated in air with linearly polarized laser beams at 193, 213 and 266 nm, with pulse durations in the range of 6-17 ns. The laser-induced periodic surface structures were topographically characterized by atomic force microscopy and the chemical modifications induced by laser irradiation were inspected via Raman spectroscopy. Formation of LIPSS parallel to the laser polarization direction, with periods similar to the laser wavelength, was observed at efficiently absorbed wavelengths in the case of the amorphous biopolymer chitosan and its blend with PVP, while formation of LIPSS is prevented in the crystalline starch biopolymer.

  10. Bioactivity of noble metal nanoparticles decorated with biopolymers and their application in drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Rai, Mahendra; Ingle, Avinash P; Gupta, Indarchand; Brandelli, Adriano

    2015-12-30

    The unique properties of nanomaterials can be applied to solve different problems including new ways of drug delivery. Noble metal nanoparticles are most promising because they have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient time. It is evident from the past studies that the metallic nanoparticles are much more effective against various microorganisms when compared to their conventional counterparts. However, decoration of such nanoparticles with biomaterials add more advantages to their antimicrobial activity. Decoration of metal nanoparticles with biopolymers is a quite new area of research. Studies performed hitherto shown that nanoparticles of noble metals like silver, gold and platinum demonstrated better antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activities when conjugated with biopolymers. The development of such technology has potential to develop materials that are more effective in the field of health science. Considering the importance and uniqueness of this concept, the present review aims to discuss the use of biopolymer-decorated metal nanoparticles for combating various diseases caused by microbial pathogens. Moreover, the nanotoxicity aspect has also been discussed. PMID:26520406

  11. Nanoencapsulation of the Bioactive Compounds of Spirulina with a Microalgal Biopolymer Coating.

    PubMed

    Greque de Morais, Michele; Greque de Morais, Etiele; Vaz, Bruna da Silva; Gonçalves, Carolina Ferrer; Lisboa, Cristiane; Costa, Jorge Alberto Vieira

    2016-01-01

    Microalgae have been studied in biotechnological processes due to the various biocompounds that can be obtained from their biomasses, including pigments, proteins, antioxidants, biopeptides, fatty acids and biopolymers. Microalgae biopolymers are biodegradable materials that present similar characteristics to traditional polymers, with the advantage of being rapidly degraded when discarded. In addition, nanoencapsulation is capable of increasing the availability of bioactive compounds by allowing the release of these biocompounds to occur slowly over time. The use of polymers in the nanoencapsulation of active ingredients can mask the undesired physicochemical properties of the compounds to be encapsulated, thereby enhancing consumer acceptability. This covering also acts as a barrier against several foreign substances that can react with bioactive compounds and reduce their activity. Studies of the development of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) nanocapsules from microbial sources are little explored; this review addresses the use of nanotechnology to obtain bioactive compounds coated with biopolymer nanocapsules, both obtained from Spirulina biomasses. These microalgae are Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) certified, which guarantees that the biomass can be used to obtain high added value biocompounds, which can be used in human and animal supplementation. PMID:27398435

  12. Network effect of knowledge spillover: Scale-free networks stimulate R&D activities and accelerate economic growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Konno, Tomohiko

    2016-09-01

    We study how knowledge spillover networks affect research and development (R&D) activities and economic growth. For this purpose, we extend a Schumpeterian growth model to the one on networks that depict the knowledge spillover relationships of R&D. We show that scale-free networks stimulate R&D activities and accelerate economic growth.

  13. Persistent Activity in Neural Networks with Dynamic Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Barak, Omri; Tsodyks, Misha

    2007-01-01

    Persistent activity states (attractors), observed in several neocortical areas after the removal of a sensory stimulus, are believed to be the neuronal basis of working memory. One of the possible mechanisms that can underlie persistent activity is recurrent excitation mediated by intracortical synaptic connections. A recent experimental study revealed that connections between pyramidal cells in prefrontal cortex exhibit various degrees of synaptic depression and facilitation. Here we analyze the effect of synaptic dynamics on the emergence and persistence of attractor states in interconnected neural networks. We show that different combinations of synaptic depression and facilitation result in qualitatively different network dynamics with respect to the emergence of the attractor states. This analysis raises the possibility that the framework of attractor neural networks can be extended to represent time-dependent stimuli. PMID:17319739

  14. Patterns of Neural Activity in Networks with Complex Connectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solla, Sara A.

    2008-03-01

    An understanding of emergent dynamics on complex networks requires investigating the interplay between the intrinsic dynamics of the node elements and the connectivity of the network in which they are embedded. In order to address some of these questions in a specific scenario of relevance to the dynamical states of neural ensembles, we have studied the collective behavior of excitable model neurons in a network with small-world topology. The small-world network has local lattice order, but includes a number of randomly placed connections that may provide connectivity shortcuts. This topology bears a schematic resemblance to the connectivity of the cerebral cortex, in which neurons are most strongly coupled to nearby cells within fifty to a hundred micrometers, but also make projections to cells millimeters away. We find that the dynamics of this small-world network of excitable neurons depend mostly on both the density of shortcuts and the delay associated with neuronal projections. In the regime of low shortcut density, the system exhibits persistent activity in the form of propagating waves, which annihilate upon collision and are spawned anew via the re-injection of activity through shortcut connections. As the density of shortcuts reaches a critical value, the system undergoes a transition to failure. The critical shortcut density results from matching the time associated with a recurrent path through the network to an intrinsic recovery time of the individual neurons. Furthermore, if the delay associated with neuronal interactions is sufficiently long, activity reemerges above the critical density of shortcuts. The activity in this regime exhibits long, chaotic transients composed of noisy, large-amplitude population bursts.

  15. Impact of Network Activity on the Spread of Infectious Diseases through the German Pig Trade Network

    PubMed Central

    Lebl, Karin; Lentz, Hartmut H. K.; Pinior, Beate; Selhorst, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The trade of livestock is an important and growing economic sector, but it is also a major factor in the spread of diseases. The spreading of diseases in a trade network is likely to be influenced by how often existing trade connections are active. The activity α is defined as the mean frequency of occurrences of existing trade links, thus 0 < α ≤ 1. The observed German pig trade network had an activity of α = 0.11, thus each existing trade connection between two farms was, on average, active at about 10% of the time during the observation period 2008–2009. The aim of this study is to analyze how changes in the activity level of the German pig trade network influence the probability of disease outbreaks, size, and duration of epidemics for different disease transmission probabilities. Thus, we want to investigate the question, whether it makes a difference for a hypothetical spread of an animal disease to transport many animals at the same time or few animals at many times. A SIR model was used to simulate the spread of a disease within the German pig trade network. Our results show that for transmission probabilities <1, the outbreak probability increases in the case of a decreased frequency of animal transports, peaking range of α from 0.05 to 0.1. However, for the final outbreak size, we find that a threshold exists such that finite outbreaks occur only above a critical value of α, which is ~0.1, and therefore in proximity of the observed activity level. Thus, although the outbreak probability increased when decreasing α, these outbreaks affect only a small number of farms. The duration of the epidemic peaks at an activity level in the range of α = 0.2–0.3. Additionally, the results of our simulations show that even small changes in the activity level of the German pig trade network would have dramatic effects on outbreak probability, outbreak size, and epidemic duration. Thus, we can conclude and recommend that the network activity

  16. Homeostatic Activity-Dependent Tuning of Recurrent Networks for Robust Propagation of Activity

    PubMed Central

    Evers, Jan Felix; Eglen, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Developing neuronal networks display spontaneous bursts of action potentials that are necessary for circuit organization and tuning. While spontaneous activity has been shown to instruct map formation in sensory circuits, it is unknown whether it plays a role in the organization of motor networks that produce rhythmic output. Using computational modeling, we investigate how recurrent networks of excitatory and inhibitory neuronal populations assemble to produce robust patterns of unidirectional and precisely timed propagating activity during organism locomotion. One example is provided by the motor network in Drosophila larvae, which generates propagating peristaltic waves of muscle contractions during crawling. We examine two activity-dependent models, which tune weak network connectivity based on spontaneous activity patterns: a Hebbian model, where coincident activity in neighboring populations strengthens connections between them; and a homeostatic model, where connections are homeostatically regulated to maintain a constant level of excitatory activity based on spontaneous input. The homeostatic model successfully tunes network connectivity to generate robust activity patterns with appropriate timing relationships between neighboring populations. These timing relationships can be modulated by the properties of spontaneous activity, suggesting its instructive role for generating functional variability in network output. In contrast, the Hebbian model fails to produce the tight timing relationships between neighboring populations required for unidirectional activity propagation, even when additional assumptions are imposed to constrain synaptic growth. These results argue that homeostatic mechanisms are more likely than Hebbian mechanisms to tune weak connectivity based on spontaneous input in a recurrent network for rhythm generation and robust activity propagation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT How are neural circuits organized and tuned to maintain stable function

  17. Citation Networks as Indicators of Journalism Research Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tankard, James W.; And Others

    1984-01-01

    Reviews citation networks and discovers that the six major areas of activity in mass communication research are (1) television and politics, (2) sociological studies of journalists, (3) agenda setting, (4) the effects of mass communication, (5) the credibility of various news media, and (6) the characteristics of users and nonusers of mass media.…

  18. Kainate-induced network activity in the anterior cingulate cortex.

    PubMed

    Shinozaki, R; Hojo, Y; Mukai, H; Hashizume, M; Murakoshi, T

    2016-06-14

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) plays a pivotal role in higher order processing of cognition, attention and emotion. The network oscillation is considered an essential means for integration of these CNS functions. The oscillation power and coherence among related areas are often dis-regulated in several psychiatric and pathological conditions with a hemispheric asymmetric manner. Here we describe the network-based activity of field potentials recorded from the superficial layer of the mouse ACC in vitro using submerged type recordings. A short activation by kainic acid administration to the preparation induced populational activities ranging over several frequency bands including theta (3-8Hz), alpha (8-12Hz), beta (13-30Hz), low gamma (30-50Hz) and high gamma (50-80Hz). These responses were repeatable and totally abolished by tetrodotoxin, and greatly diminished by inhibitors of ionotropic and metabotropic glutamate receptors, GABAA receptor or gap-junctions. These observations suggest that the kainate-induced network activity can be a useful model of the network oscillation in the ACC circuit. PMID:26993576

  19. California Health Services/Educational Activities. Consortium Network.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Charles H.

    Profiles are presented of each of the 10 consortia that make up the California Health Services/Education Activities (HS/EA) network (new relationships between educational facilities where health care manpower is trained in the community settings where they practice). The first part of the booklet is a comparative analysis of (1) Area Health…

  20. Photonic network R and D activities in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitayama, Ken-ichi; Miki, Tetsuya; Morioka, Toshio; Tsushima, Hideaki; Koga, Masafumi; Mori, Kazuyuki; Araki, Soichiro; Sato, Ken-ichi; Onaka, Hiroshi; Namiki, Shu; Aovama, Tomonori

    2005-11-01

    R and D activities on photonic networks in Japan are presented. First, milestones in current, ongoing R and D programs supported by Japanese government agencies are introduced, including long-distance and WDM fiber transmission, wavelength routing, optical burst switching, and control plane technology for IP backbone networks. Their goal was set to evolve a legacy telecommunications network to IP over WDM networks by introducing technologies for WDM and wavelength routing. We then discuss the perspectives of so-called PHASE II R and D programs for photonic networks over the next five years until 2010, by focusing on the report which has been recently issued by the Photonic Internet Forum (PIF), a consortium that has major carriers, telecom vendors, and Japanese academics as members. The PHASE II R and D programs should serve to establish a photonic platform to provide abundant bandwidth on demand, at any time on a real-time basis through the customer's initiative, to promote bandwidth-rich applications, such as grid computing, real-time digital-cinema streaming, medical and educational applications, and network storage in e-commerce.

  1. Biopolymers production with carbon source from the wastes of a beer brewery industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Phoeby Ai Ling

    The main purpose of this study was to assess the potential and feasibility of malt wastes, and other food wastes, such as soy wastes, ice-cream wastes, confectionery wastes, vinegar wastes, milk waste and sesame oil, in the induction of biosynthesis of PHA, in the cellular assembly of novel PHA with improved physical and chemical properties, and in the reduction of the cost of PHA production. In the first part of the experiments, a specific culture of Alcaligenes latus DSM 1124 was selected to ferment several types of food wastes as carbon sources into biopolymers. In addition, the biopolymer production, by way of using malt waste, of microorganisms from municipal activated sludge was also investigated. In the second part, the experiments focused on the synthesis of biopolymer with a higher molecular mass via the bacterial strain, which was selected and isolated from sesame oil, identified as Staphylococcus epidermidis . Molecular weight and molecular weight distribution of PHB were studied by GPC. Molecular weight of PHB produced from various types of food wastes by Alcaligenes latus was higher than using synthetic sucrose medium as nutrient, however, it resulted in the reverse by Staphylococcus epidermidis. Thermal properties of biopolymers were studied by DSC and TG. Using malt wastes as nutrients by Alcaligenes latus gave a higher melting temperature. Using sucrose, confectionery and sesame oil as nutrients by Staphylococcus epidermidis gave higher melting temperature. Optimization was carried out for the recovery of microbial PHB from Alcaligenes latus. Results showed that molecular weight can be controlled by changing the hypochlorite concentration, the ratio of chloroform to hypochlorite solution and the extraction time. In addition, the determination of PHB content by thermogravimetric analysis method with wet cell was the first report in our study. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  2. Detection of interplanetary activity using artificial neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gothoskar, Pradeep; Khobragade, Shyam

    1995-12-01

    Early detection of interplanetary activity is important when attempting to associate, with better accuracy, interplanetary phenomena with solar activity and geomagnetic disturbances. However, for a large number of interplanetary observations to be done every day, extensive data analysis is required, leading to a delay in the detection of transient interplanetary activity. In particular, the interplanetary scintillation (IPS) observations done with Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT) need extensive human effort to reduce the data and to model, often subjectively, the scintillation power spectra. We have implemented an artificial neural network (ANN) to detect interplanetary activity using the power spectrum scintillation. The ANN was trained to detect the disturbed power spectra, used as an indicator of the interplanetary activity, and to recognize normal and strong scattering spectra from a large data base of IPS spectra. The coincidence efficiency of classification by the network compared with the experts' judgement to detect the normal, disturbed and strong scattering spectra was found to be greater than 80 per cent. The neural network, when applied during the IPS mapping programme to provide early indication of interplanetary activity, would significantly help the ongoing efforts to predict geomagnetic disturbances.

  3. Bifunctional carbohydrate biopolymers entrapped lipase as catalyst for the two consecutive conversions of α-pinene to oxy-derivatives.

    PubMed

    Tudorache, Madalina; Gheorghe, Andreea; Negoi, Alina; Enache, Madalin; Maria, Gabriel-Mihai; Parvulescu, Vasile I

    2016-11-01

    Bifunctional catalysts designed as carbohydrate biopolymers entrapping lipase have been investigated for the biotransformation of a natural compound (α-pinene) to oxy-derivatives. Lipases assisted the epoxidation of α-pinene using H2O2 as oxidation reagent and ethyl acetate as both acetate-supplier and solvent affording α-pinene oxide as the main product. Further, the biopolymer promoted the isomerization of α-pinene oxide to campholenic aldehyde and trans-carenol. In this case, the biopolymers played double roles of the support and also active part of the bifunctional catalyst. Screening of enzymes and their entrapping in a biopolymeric matrix (e.g. Ca-alginate and κ-carrageenan) indicated the lipase extracted from Aspergillus niger as the most efficient. In addition, the presence of biopolymers enhanced the catalytic activity of the immobilized lipase (i.e. 13.39×10(3), 19.76×10(3)and 26.46×10(3) for the free lipase, lipase-carrageenan and lipase-alginate, respectively). The catalysts stability and reusability were confirmed in eight consecutively reaction runs. PMID:27516324

  4. Optimal active power dispatch by network flow approach

    SciTech Connect

    Carvalho, M.F. ); Soares, S.; Ohishi, T. )

    1988-11-01

    In this paper the optimal active power dispatch problem is formulated as a nonlinear capacitated network flow problem with additional linear constraints. Transmission flow limits and both Kirchhoff's laws are taken into account. The problem is solved by a Generalized Upper Bounding technique that takes advantage of the network flow structure of the problem. The new approach has potential applications on power systems problems such as economic dispatch, load supplying capability, minimum load shedding, and generation-transmission reliability. The paper also reviews the use of transportation models for power system analysis. A detailed illustrative example is presented.

  5. Proton Conductivity Studies on Biopolymer Electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Harun, N. I.; Sabri, N. S.; Rosli, N. H. A.; Taib, M. F. M.; Saaid, S. I. Y.; Kudin, T. I. T.; Ali, A. M. M.; Yahya, M. Z. A.

    2010-07-07

    Proton conducting solid biopolymer electrolyte membranes consisting of methyl cellulose (MC) and different wt.% of ammonium nitrate (NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}) were prepared by solution cast technique. Impedance spectroscopy was carried out to study electrical characteristics of bulk materials. The ionic conductivity of the prepared samples was calculated using the bulk resistance (R{sub b}) obtained from impedance spectroscopy plot. The highest ionic conductivity obtained was 1.17x10{sup -4} Scm{sup -1} for the sample with composition ratio of MC(50): NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}(50). To enhance the ionic conductivity, propylene carbonate (PC) and ethylene carbonate (EC) plasticizers were introduced. It was found that the ionic conductivity of polymer electrolyte membranes increased with the increase in plasticizers concentration. The ionic conductivities of solid polymer electrolytes based on MC-NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}-PC was enhanced up to 4.91x10{sup -3} Scm{sup -1} while for the MC-NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}-EC system, the highest conductivity was 1.74x10{sup -2} Scm{sup -1}. The addition of more plasticizer however decreases in mechanical stability of the membranes.

  6. Formatting and ligating biopolymers using adjustable nanoconfinement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berard, Daniel J.; Shayegan, Marjan; Michaud, Francois; Henkin, Gil; Scott, Shane; Leslie, Sabrina

    2016-07-01

    Sensitive visualization and conformational control of long, delicate biopolymers present critical challenges to emerging biotechnologies and biophysical studies. Next-generation nanofluidic manipulation platforms strive to maintain the structural integrity of genomic DNA prior to analysis but can face challenges in device clogging, molecular breakage, and single-label detection. We address these challenges by integrating the Convex Lens-induced Confinement (CLiC) technique with a suite of nanotopographies embedded within thin-glass nanofluidic chambers. We gently load DNA polymers into open-face nanogrooves in linear, concentric circular, and ring array formats and perform imaging with single-fluorophore sensitivity. We use ring-shaped nanogrooves to access and visualize confinement-enhanced self-ligation of long DNA polymers. We use concentric circular nanogrooves to enable hour-long observations of polymers at constant confinement in a geometry which eliminates the confinement gradient which causes drift and can alter molecular conformations and interactions. Taken together, this work opens doors to myriad biophysical studies and biotechnologies which operate on the nanoscale.

  7. Dynamic Elasticity Model of Resilin Biopolymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao; Duki, Solomon

    2013-03-01

    Resilin proteins are `super elastic rubbers' in the flight and jumping systems of most insects, and can extend and retract millions of times. Natural resilin exhibits high resilience (> 95%) under high-frequency conditions, and could be stretched to over 300% of its original length with a low elastic modulus of 0.1-3 MPa. However, insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for resilin elasticity remains undefined. We report on the dynamic structure transitions and functions of full length resilin from fruit fly (D. melanogaster CG15920) and its different functional domains. A dynamic computational model is proposed to explain the super elasticity and energy conversion mechanisms of resilin, providing important insight into structure-function relationships for resilins, as well as other elastomeric proteins. A strong beta-turn transition was experimentally identified in the full length resilin and its non-elastic domains (Exon III). Changes in periodic long-range order were demonstrated during this transition, induced either by thermal or mechanical inputs, to confirm the universality of proposed mechanism. Further, this model offers new options for designing protein-based biopolymers with tunable material applications.

  8. Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task.

    PubMed

    Garrison, Kathleen A; Zeffiro, Thomas A; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R Todd; Brewer, Judson A

    2015-09-01

    Meditation has been associated with relatively reduced activity in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in self-related thinking and mind wandering. However, previous imaging studies have typically compared meditation to rest, despite other studies having reported differences in brain activation patterns between meditators and controls at rest. Moreover, rest is associated with a range of brain activation patterns across individuals that has only recently begun to be better characterized. Therefore, in this study we compared meditation to another active cognitive task, both to replicate the findings that meditation is associated with relatively reduced default mode network activity and to extend these findings by testing whether default mode activity was reduced during meditation, beyond the typical reductions observed during effortful tasks. In addition, prior studies had used small groups, whereas in the present study we tested these hypotheses in a larger group. The results indicated that meditation is associated with reduced activations in the default mode network, relative to an active task, for meditators as compared to controls. Regions of the default mode network showing a Group × Task interaction included the posterior cingulate/precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings replicate and extend prior work indicating that the suppression of default mode processing may represent a central neural process in long-term meditation, and they suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task. PMID:25904238

  9. Reactivation of visual-evoked activity in human cortical networks.

    PubMed

    Chelaru, Mircea I; Hansen, Bryan J; Tandon, Nitin; Conner, Chris R; Szukalski, Susann; Slater, Jeremy D; Kalamangalam, Giridhar P; Dragoi, Valentin

    2016-06-01

    In the absence of sensory input, neuronal networks are far from being silent. Whether spontaneous changes in ongoing activity reflect previous sensory experience or stochastic fluctuations in brain activity is not well understood. Here we demonstrate reactivation of stimulus-evoked activity that is distributed across large areas in the human brain. We performed simultaneous electrocorticography recordings from occipital, parietal, temporal, and frontal areas in awake humans in the presence and absence of sensory stimulation. We found that, in the absence of visual input, repeated exposure to brief natural movies induces robust stimulus-specific reactivation at individual recording sites. The reactivation sites were characterized by greater global connectivity compared with those sites that did not exhibit reactivation. Our results indicate a surprising degree of short-term plasticity across multiple networks in the human brain as a result of repeated exposure to unattended information. PMID:26984423

  10. Dynamical state of the network determines the efficacy of single neuron properties in shaping the network activity

    PubMed Central

    Sahasranamam, Ajith; Vlachos, Ioannis; Aertsen, Ad; Kumar, Arvind

    2016-01-01

    Spike patterns are among the most common electrophysiological descriptors of neuron types. Surprisingly, it is not clear how the diversity in firing patterns of the neurons in a network affects its activity dynamics. Here, we introduce the state-dependent stochastic bursting neuron model allowing for a change in its firing patterns independent of changes in its input-output firing rate relationship. Using this model, we show that the effect of single neuron spiking on the network dynamics is contingent on the network activity state. While spike bursting can both generate and disrupt oscillations, these patterns are ineffective in large regions of the network state space in changing the network activity qualitatively. Finally, we show that when single-neuron properties are made dependent on the population activity, a hysteresis like dynamics emerges. This novel phenomenon has important implications for determining the network response to time-varying inputs and for the network sensitivity at different operating points. PMID:27212008

  11. Dynamical state of the network determines the efficacy of single neuron properties in shaping the network activity.

    PubMed

    Sahasranamam, Ajith; Vlachos, Ioannis; Aertsen, Ad; Kumar, Arvind

    2016-01-01

    Spike patterns are among the most common electrophysiological descriptors of neuron types. Surprisingly, it is not clear how the diversity in firing patterns of the neurons in a network affects its activity dynamics. Here, we introduce the state-dependent stochastic bursting neuron model allowing for a change in its firing patterns independent of changes in its input-output firing rate relationship. Using this model, we show that the effect of single neuron spiking on the network dynamics is contingent on the network activity state. While spike bursting can both generate and disrupt oscillations, these patterns are ineffective in large regions of the network state space in changing the network activity qualitatively. Finally, we show that when single-neuron properties are made dependent on the population activity, a hysteresis like dynamics emerges. This novel phenomenon has important implications for determining the network response to time-varying inputs and for the network sensitivity at different operating points. PMID:27212008

  12. Optimal stimulus scheduling for active estimation of evoked brain networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kafashan, MohammadMehdi; Ching, ShiNung

    2015-12-01

    Objective. We consider the problem of optimal probing to learn connections in an evoked dynamic network. Such a network, in which each edge measures an input-output relationship between sites in sensor/actuator-space, is relevant to emerging applications in neural mapping and neural connectivity estimation. Approach. We show that the problem of scheduling nodes to a probe (i.e., stimulate) amounts to a problem of optimal sensor scheduling. Main results. By formulating the evoked network in state-space, we show that the solution to the greedy probing strategy has a convenient form and, under certain conditions, is optimal over a finite horizon. We adopt an expectation maximization technique to update the state-space parameters in an online fashion and demonstrate the efficacy of the overall approach in a series of detailed numerical examples. Significance. The proposed method provides a principled means to actively probe time-varying connections in neuronal networks. The overall method can be implemented in real time and is particularly well-suited to applications in stimulation-based cortical mapping in which the underlying network dynamics are changing over time.

  13. 3D Actin Network Centerline Extraction with Multiple Active Contours

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2013-01-01

    Fluorescence microscopy is frequently used to study two and three dimensional network structures formed by cytoskeletal polymer fibers such as actin filaments and actin cables. While these cytoskeletal structures are often dilute enough to allow imaging of individual filaments or bundles of them, quantitative analysis of these images is challenging. To facilitate quantitative, reproducible and objective analysis of the image data, we propose a semi-automated method to extract actin networks and retrieve their topology in 3D. Our method uses multiple Stretching Open Active Contours (SOACs) that are automatically initialized at image intensity ridges and then evolve along the centerlines of filaments in the network. SOACs can merge, stop at junctions, and reconfigure with others to allow smooth crossing at junctions of filaments. The proposed approach is generally applicable to images of curvilinear networks with low SNR. We demonstrate its potential by extracting the centerlines of synthetic meshwork images, actin networks in 2D Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy images, and 3D actin cable meshworks of live fission yeast cells imaged by spinning disk confocal microscopy. Quantitative evaluation of the method using synthetic images shows that for images with SNR above 5.0, the average vertex error measured by the distance between our result and ground truth is 1 voxel, and the average Hausdorff distance is below 10 voxels. PMID:24316442

  14. 3D Filament Network Segmentation with Multiple Active Contours

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Ting; Vavylonis, Dimitrios; Huang, Xiaolei

    2014-03-01

    Fluorescence microscopy is frequently used to study two and three dimensional network structures formed by cytoskeletal polymer fibers such as actin filaments and microtubules. While these cytoskeletal structures are often dilute enough to allow imaging of individual filaments or bundles of them, quantitative analysis of these images is challenging. To facilitate quantitative, reproducible and objective analysis of the image data, we developed a semi-automated method to extract actin networks and retrieve their topology in 3D. Our method uses multiple Stretching Open Active Contours (SOACs) that are automatically initialized at image intensity ridges and then evolve along the centerlines of filaments in the network. SOACs can merge, stop at junctions, and reconfigure with others to allow smooth crossing at junctions of filaments. The proposed approach is generally applicable to images of curvilinear networks with low SNR. We demonstrate its potential by extracting the centerlines of synthetic meshwork images, actin networks in 2D TIRF Microscopy images, and 3D actin cable meshworks of live fission yeast cells imaged by spinning disk confocal microscopy.

  15. CRAFFT: An Activity Prediction Model based on Bayesian Networks

    PubMed Central

    Nazerfard, Ehsan; Cook, Diane J.

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in the areas of pervasive computing, data mining, and machine learning offer unique opportunities to provide health monitoring and assistance for individuals facing difficulties to live independently in their homes. Several components have to work together to provide health monitoring for smart home residents including, but not limited to, activity recognition, activity discovery, activity prediction, and prompting system. Compared to the significant research done to discover and recognize activities, less attention has been given to predict the future activities that the resident is likely to perform. Activity prediction components can play a major role in design of a smart home. For instance, by taking advantage of an activity prediction module, a smart home can learn context-aware rules to prompt individuals to initiate important activities. In this paper, we propose an activity prediction model using Bayesian networks together with a novel two-step inference process to predict both the next activity features and the next activity label. We also propose an approach to predict the start time of the next activity which is based on modeling the relative start time of the predicted activity using the continuous normal distribution and outlier detection. To validate our proposed models, we used real data collected from physical smart environments. PMID:25937847

  16. Inorganic polymers: morphogenic inorganic biopolymers for rapid prototyping chain.

    PubMed

    Müller, Werner E G; Schröder, Heinz C; Shen, Zhijian; Feng, Qingling; Wang, Xiaohong

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, considerable progress has been achieved towards the development of customized scaffold materials, in particular for bone tissue engineering and repair, by the introduction of rapid prototyping or solid freeform fabrication techniques. These new fabrication techniques allow to overcome many problems associated with conventional bone implants, such as inadequate external morphology and internal architecture, porosity and interconnectivity, and low reproducibility. However, the applicability of these new techniques is still hampered by the fact that high processing temperature or a postsintering is often required to increase the mechanical stability of the generated scaffold, as well as a post-processing, i.e., surface modification/functionalization to enhance the biocompatibility of the scaffold or to bind some bioactive component. A solution might be provided by the introduction of novel inorganic biopolymers, biosilica and polyphosphate, which resist harsh conditions applied in the RP chain and are morphogenetically active and do not need supplementation by growth factors/cytokines to stimulate the growth and the differentiation of bone-forming cells. PMID:24420716

  17. COMMUNICATION: Neuron network activity scales exponentially with synapse density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brewer, G. J.; Boehler, M. D.; Pearson, R. A.; DeMaris, A. A.; Ide, A. N.; Wheeler, B. C.

    2009-02-01

    Neuronal network output in the cortex as a function of synapse density during development has not been explicitly determined. Synaptic scaling in cortical brain networks seems to alter excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs to produce a representative rate of synaptic output. Here, we cultured rat hippocampal neurons over a three-week period to correlate synapse density with the increase in spontaneous spiking activity. We followed the network development as synapse formation and spike rate in two serum-free media optimized for either (a) neuron survival (Neurobasal/B27) or (b) spike rate (NbActiv4). We found that while synaptophysin synapse density increased linearly with development, spike rates increased exponentially in developing neuronal networks. Synaptic receptor components NR1, GluR1 and GABA-A also increase linearly but with more excitatory receptors than inhibitory. These results suggest that the brain's information processing capability gains more from increasing connectivity of the processing units than increasing processing units, much as Internet information flow increases much faster than the linear number of nodes and connections.

  18. Permeability Modification Using a Reactive Alkaline-Soluble Biopolymer

    SciTech Connect

    Snadra L. Fox; X. Xie; K. D. Schaller; E. P. Robertson; G. A. Bala

    2003-10-01

    Polymer injection has been used in reservoirs to alleviate contrasting permeability zones. Current technology relies on the use of cross-linking agents to initiate gelation. The use of biological polymers are advantageous in that they can block high permeability areas, are environmentally friendly, and have potential to form reversible gels without the use of hazardous cross-linkers. Recent efforts at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) have produced a reactive alkaline-soluble biopolymer from Agrobacterium sp. ATCC no. 31749 that gels upon decreasing the pH of the polymeric solution. The focus of this study was to determine the impact an alkaline-soluble biopolymer can have on sandstone permeability. Permeability modification was investigated by injecting solubilized biopolymer into Berea sandstone cores and defining the contribution of pH, salt, temperature, and Schuricht crude oil on biopolymer gelation. The biopolymer was soluble in KOH at a pH greater than 11.4 and gelled when the pH dropped below 10.8. The Berea sandstone core buffered the biopolymer solution, decreasing the pH sufficiently to form a gel, which subsequently decreased the permeability. The effluent pH of the control cores injected with 0.01 {und M} KOH (pH 12.0) and 0.10{und M} KOH (pH 13.0) decreased to 10.6 and 12.7, respectively. The permeability of the sandstone core injected with biopolymer was decreased to greater than 95% of the original permeability at 25 C in the presence of 2% NaCl, and Schuricht crude oil; however, the permeability increased when the temperature of the core was increased to 60 C. Residual resistance factors as high as 792 were seen in Berea cores treated with biopolymer. The buffering capacity of sandstone has been demonstrated to reduce the pH of a biopolymer solution sufficiently to cause the polymer to form a stable in-situ gel. This finding could potentially lead to alternate technology for permeability modification, thus

  19. Force spectroscopy of complex biopolymers with heterogeneous elasticity.

    PubMed

    Valdman, David; Lopez, Benjamin J; Valentine, Megan T; Atzberger, Paul J

    2013-01-21

    Cellular biopolymers can exhibit significant compositional heterogeneities as a result of the non-uniform binding of associated proteins, the formation of microstructural defects during filament assembly, or the imperfect bundling of filaments into composite structures of variable diameter. These can lead to significant variations in the local mechanical properties of biopolymers along their length. Existing spectral analysis methods assume filament homogeneity and therefore report only a single average stiffness for the entire filament. However, understanding how local effects modulate biopolymer mechanics in a spatially resolved manner is essential to understanding how binding and bundling proteins regulate biopolymer stiffness and function in cellular contexts. Here, we present a new method to determine the spatially varying material properties of individual complex biopolymers from the observation of passive thermal fluctuations of the filament conformation. We develop new statistical mechanics-based approaches for heterogeneous filaments that estimate local bending elasticities as a function of the filament arc-length. We validate this methodology using simulated polymers with known stiffness distributions, and find excellent agreement between derived and expected values. We then determine the bending elasticity of microtubule filaments of variable composition generated by repeated rounds of tubulin polymerization using either GTP or GMPCPP, a nonhydrolyzable GTP analog. Again, we find excellent agreement between mechanical and compositional heterogeneities. PMID:24049545

  20. Imperfection sensitivity of pressured buckling of biopolymer spherical shells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Lei; Ru, C. Q.

    2016-06-01

    Imperfection sensitivity is essential for mechanical behavior of biopolymer shells [such as ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) and spherical viruses] characterized by high geometric heterogeneity. In this work, an imperfection sensitivity analysis is conducted based on a refined shell model recently developed for spherical biopolymer shells of high structural heterogeneity and thickness nonuniformity. The influence of related parameters (including the ratio of radius to average shell thickness, the ratio of transverse shear modulus to in-plane shear modulus, and the ratio of effective bending thickness to average shell thickness) on imperfection sensitivity is examined for pressured buckling. Our results show that the ratio of effective bending thickness to average shell thickness has a major effect on the imperfection sensitivity, while the effect of the ratio of transverse shear modulus to in-plane shear modulus is usually negligible. For example, with physically realistic parameters for typical imperfect spherical biopolymer shells, the present model predicts that actual maximum external pressure could be reduced to as low as 60% of that of a perfect UCA spherical shell or 55%-65% of that of a perfect spherical virus shell, respectively. The moderate imperfection sensitivity of spherical biopolymer shells with physically realistic imperfection is largely attributed to the fact that biopolymer shells are relatively thicker (defined by smaller radius-to-thickness ratio) and therefore practically realistic imperfection amplitude normalized by thickness is very small as compared to that of classical elastic thin shells which have much larger radius-to-thickness ratio.

  1. Active transport and cluster formation on 2D networks.

    PubMed

    Greulich, P; Santen, L

    2010-06-01

    We introduce a model for active transport on inhomogeneous networks embedded in a diffusive environment which is motivated by vesicular transport on actin filaments. In the presence of a hard-core interaction, particle clusters are observed that exhibit an algebraically decaying distribution in a large parameter regime, indicating the existence of clusters on all scales. The scale-free behavior can be understood by a mechanism promoting preferential attachment of particles to large clusters. The results are compared with a diffusion-limited aggregation model and active transport on a regular network. For both models we observe aggregation of particles to clusters which are characterized by a finite size scale if the relevant time scales and particle densities are considered. PMID:20556462

  2. Time-resolved microrheology of actively remodeling actomyosin networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, Marina Soares e.; Stuhrmann, Björn; Betz, Timo; Koenderink, Gijsje H.

    2014-07-01

    Living cells constitute an extraordinary state of matter since they are inherently out of thermal equilibrium due to internal metabolic processes. Indeed, measurements of particle motion in the cytoplasm of animal cells have revealed clear signatures of nonthermal fluctuations superposed on passive thermal motion. However, it has been difficult to pinpoint the exact molecular origin of this activity. Here, we employ time-resolved microrheology based on particle tracking to measure nonequilibrium fluctuations produced by myosin motor proteins in a minimal model system composed of purified actin filaments and myosin motors. We show that the motors generate spatially heterogeneous contractile fluctuations, which become less frequent with time as a consequence of motor-driven network remodeling. We analyze the particle tracking data on different length scales, combining particle image velocimetry, an ensemble analysis of the particle trajectories, and finally a kymograph analysis of individual particle trajectories to quantify the length and time scales associated with active particle displacements. All analyses show clear signatures of nonequilibrium activity: the particles exhibit random motion with an enhanced amplitude compared to passive samples, and they exhibit sporadic contractile fluctuations with ballistic motion over large (up to 30 μm) distances. This nonequilibrium activity diminishes with sample age, even though the adenosine triphosphate level is held constant. We propose that network coarsening concentrates motors in large clusters and depletes them from the network, thus reducing the occurrence of contractile fluctuations. Our data provide valuable insight into the physical processes underlying stress generation within motor-driven actin networks and the analysis framework may prove useful for future microrheology studies in cells and model organisms.

  3. Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task

    PubMed Central

    Garrison, Kathleen A.; Zeffiro, Thomas A.; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R. Todd; Brewer, Judson A.

    2015-01-01

    Meditation has been associated with relatively reduced activity in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in self-related thinking and mind wandering. However, previous imaging studies have typically compared meditation to rest despite other studies reporting differences in brain activation patterns between meditators and controls at rest. Moreover, rest is associated with a range of brain activation patterns across individuals that has only recently begun to be better characterized. Therefore, this study compared meditation to another active cognitive task, both to replicate findings that meditation is associated with relatively reduced default mode network activity, and to extend these findings by testing whether default mode activity was reduced during meditation beyond the typical reductions observed during effortful tasks. In addition, prior studies have used small groups, whereas the current study tested these hypotheses in a larger group. Results indicate that meditation is associated with reduced activations in the default mode network relative to an active task in meditators compared to controls. Regions of the default mode showing a group by task interaction include the posterior cingulate/precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings replicate and extend prior work indicating that suppression of default mode processing may represent a central neural process in long-term meditation, and suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task. PMID:25904238

  4. Ultrananocrystalline diamond thin films functionalized with therapeutically active collagen networks.

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, H.; Chen, M.; Bruno, P.; Lam, R.; Robinson, E.; Gruen, D.; Ho, D.; Materials Science Division; Northwestern Univ.

    2009-01-01

    The fabrication of biologically amenable interfaces in medicine bridges translational technologies with their surrounding biological environment. Functionalized nanomaterials catalyze this coalescence through the creation of biomimetic and active substrates upon which a spectrum of therapeutic elements can be delivered to adherent cells to address biomolecular processes in cancer, inflammation, etc. Here, we demonstrate the robust functionalization of ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) with type I collagen and dexamethasone (Dex), an anti-inflammatory drug, to fabricate a hybrid therapeutically active substrate for localized drug delivery. UNCD oxidation coupled with a pH-mediated collagen adsorption process generated a comprehensive interface between the two materials, and subsequent Dex integration, activity, and elution were confirmed through inflammatory gene expression assays. These studies confer a translational relevance to the biofunctionalized UNCD in its role as an active therapeutic network for potent regulation of cellular activity toward applications in nanomedicine.

  5. Energy-aware Activity Classification using Wearable Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Dong, Bo; Montoye, Alexander; Moore, Rebecca; Pfeiffer, Karin; Biswas, Subir

    2013-05-29

    This paper presents implementation details, system characterization, and the performance of a wearable sensor network that was designed for human activity analysis. Specific machine learning mechanisms are implemented for recognizing a target set of activities with both out-of-body and on-body processing arrangements. Impacts of energy consumption by the on-body sensors are analyzed in terms of activity detection accuracy for out-of-body processing. Impacts of limited processing abilities for the on-body scenario are also characterized in terms of detection accuracy, by varying the background processing load in the sensor units. Impacts of varying number of sensors in terms of activity classification accuracy are also evaluated. Through a rigorous systems study, it is shown that an efficient human activity analytics system can be designed and operated even under energy and processing constraints of tiny on-body wearable sensors. PMID:25075266

  6. Renewable Cathode Materials from Biopolymer/Conjugated Polymer Interpenetrating Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milczarek, Grzegorz; Inganäs, Olle

    2012-03-01

    Renewable and cheap materials in electrodes could meet the need for low-cost, intermittent electrical energy storage in a renewable energy system if sufficient charge density is obtained. Brown liquor, the waste product from paper processing, contains lignin derivatives. Polymer cathodes can be prepared by electrochemical oxidation of pyrrole to polypyrrole in solutions of lignin derivatives. The quinone group in lignin is used for electron and proton storage and exchange during redox cycling, thus combining charge storage in lignin and polypyrrole in an interpenetrating polypyrrole/lignin composite.

  7. Surface enhaced raman scattering (SERS) with biopolymer encapsulated silver nanosubstrates for rapid detection of foodborne pathogens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A biopolymer encapsulated with silver nanoparticles was prepared using polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) solution, silver nitrate, and trisodium citrate. Biopolymer based nanosubstrates were deposited on a mica sheet for SERS. Fresh cultures of Salmonella Typhimurium, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus a...

  8. Network feedback regulates motor output across a range of modulatory neuron activity.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Robert M; Blitz, Dawn M

    2016-06-01

    Modulatory projection neurons alter network neuron synaptic and intrinsic properties to elicit multiple different outputs. Sensory and other inputs elicit a range of modulatory neuron activity that is further shaped by network feedback, yet little is known regarding how the impact of network feedback on modulatory neurons regulates network output across a physiological range of modulatory neuron activity. Identified network neurons, a fully described connectome, and a well-characterized, identified modulatory projection neuron enabled us to address this issue in the crab (Cancer borealis) stomatogastric nervous system. The modulatory neuron modulatory commissural neuron 1 (MCN1) activates and modulates two networks that generate rhythms via different cellular mechanisms and at distinct frequencies. MCN1 is activated at rates of 5-35 Hz in vivo and in vitro. Additionally, network feedback elicits MCN1 activity time-locked to motor activity. We asked how network activation, rhythm speed, and neuron activity levels are regulated by the presence or absence of network feedback across a physiological range of MCN1 activity rates. There were both similarities and differences in responses of the two networks to MCN1 activity. Many parameters in both networks were sensitive to network feedback effects on MCN1 activity. However, for most parameters, MCN1 activity rate did not determine the extent to which network output was altered by the addition of network feedback. These data demonstrate that the influence of network feedback on modulatory neuron activity is an important determinant of network output and feedback can be effective in shaping network output regardless of the extent of network modulation. PMID:27030739

  9. Optically controlled multiple switching operations of DNA biopolymer devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Chao-You; Tu, Waan-Ting; Lin, Yi-Tzu; Fruk, Ljiljana; Hung, Yu-Chueh

    2015-12-01

    We present optically tunable operations of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) biopolymer devices, where a single high-resistance state, write-once read-many-times memory state, write-read-erase memory state, and single low-resistance state can be achieved by controlling UV irradiation time. The device is a simple sandwich structure with a spin-coated DNA biopolymer layer sandwiched by two electrodes. Upon irradiation, the electrical properties of the device are adjusted owing to a phototriggered synthesis of silver nanoparticles in DNA biopolymer, giving rise to multiple switching scenarios. This technique, distinct from the strategy of doping of pre-formed nanoparticles, enables a post-film fabrication process for achieving optically controlled memory device operations, which provides a more versatile platform to fabricate organic memory and optoelectronic devices.

  10. Optically controlled multiple switching operations of DNA biopolymer devices

    SciTech Connect

    Hung, Chao-You; Tu, Waan-Ting; Lin, Yi-Tzu; Fruk, Ljiljana; Hung, Yu-Chueh

    2015-12-21

    We present optically tunable operations of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) biopolymer devices, where a single high-resistance state, write-once read-many-times memory state, write-read-erase memory state, and single low-resistance state can be achieved by controlling UV irradiation time. The device is a simple sandwich structure with a spin-coated DNA biopolymer layer sandwiched by two electrodes. Upon irradiation, the electrical properties of the device are adjusted owing to a phototriggered synthesis of silver nanoparticles in DNA biopolymer, giving rise to multiple switching scenarios. This technique, distinct from the strategy of doping of pre-formed nanoparticles, enables a post-film fabrication process for achieving optically controlled memory device operations, which provides a more versatile platform to fabricate organic memory and optoelectronic devices.

  11. A study of epidemic spreading on activity-driven networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Yijiang; Deng, Weibing; Li, Wei; Cai, Xu

    2016-03-01

    The epidemic spreading was explored on activity-driven networks (ADNs), accounting for the study of dynamics both on and of the ADN. By employing the susceptible-infected-susceptible (SIS) model, two aspects were considered: (1) the infection rate of susceptible agent (depending on the number of its infected neighbors) evolves due to the temporal structure of ADN, rather than being a constant number; (2) the susceptible and infected agents generate unequal links while being activated, namely, the susceptible agent gets few contacts with others in order to protect itself. Results show that, in both cases, the larger epidemic threshold and smaller outbreak size were obtained.

  12. A neural network model for olfactory glomerular activity prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soh, Zu; Tsuji, Toshio; Takiguchi, Noboru; Ohtake, Hisao

    2012-12-01

    Recently, the importance of odors and methods for their evaluation have seen increased emphasis, especially in the fragrance and food industries. Although odors can be characterized by their odorant components, their chemical information cannot be directly related to the flavors we perceive. Biological research has revealed that neuronal activity related to glomeruli (which form part of the olfactory system) is closely connected to odor qualities. Here we report on a neural network model of the olfactory system that can predict glomerular activity from odorant molecule structures. We also report on the learning and prediction ability of the proposed model.

  13. Tera-node Network Technology (TASK 4) Network Infrastructure Activities (NIA) final report

    SciTech Connect

    Postel, John; Bannister, Joe

    2000-03-15

    The TNT project developed software technologies in scalable personal telecommunications (SPT), Reservation Protocol 2 (RSVP2), Scalable Computing Infrastructure (SCOPE), and Network Infrastructure Activities (NIA). SPT = developed many innovative protocols to support the use of videoconferencing applications on the Internet. RSVP2 = developed a new reference model and further standardization of RSVP. SCOPE = developed dynamic resource discovery techniques and distributed directory services in support of resource allocation for large distributed systems and computations. NIA = provided policy, operational, and support to the transitioning Internet.

  14. Active defense scheme against DDoS based on mobile agent and network control in network confrontation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Rong; Li, Junshan; Ye, Xia; Wang, Rui

    2013-03-01

    In order to effective defend DDoS attacks in network confrontation, an active defense scheme against DDoS is built based on Mobile Agent and network control. A distributed collaborative active defense model is constructed by using mobile agent technology and encapsulating a variety of DDoS defense techniques. Meanwhile the network control theory is applied to establish a network confrontation's control model for DDoS to control the active defense process. It provides a new idea to solve the DDoS problem.

  15. Taurine activates GABAergic networks in the neocortex of immature mice

    PubMed Central

    Sava, Bogdan A.; Chen, Rongqing; Sun, Haiyan; Luhmann, Heiko J.; Kilb, Werner

    2014-01-01

    Although it has been suggested that taurine is the main endogenous neurotransmitter acting on glycine receptors, the implications of glycine receptor-mediated taurine actions on immature neocortical networks have not been addressed yet. To investigate the influence of taurine on the excitability of neuronal networks in the immature neocortex, we performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from visually identified pyramidal neurons and interneurons in coronal slices from C57Bl/6 and GAD67-green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic mice (postnatal days 2–4). In 46% of the pyramidal neurons bath-application of taurine at concentrations ≥ 300 μM significantly enhanced the frequency of postsynaptic currents (PSCs) by 744.3 ± 93.8% (n = 120 cells). This taurine-induced increase of PSC frequency was abolished by 0.2 μM tetrodotoxin (TTX), 1 μM strychnine or 3 μM gabazine, but was unaffected by the glutamatergic antagonists 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione (CNQX) and (±) R(-)-3-(2-carboxypiperazine-4-yl)-propyl-1-phosphonic acid (CPP), suggesting that taurine specifically activates GABAergic network activity projecting to pyramidal neurons. Cell-attached recordings revealed that taurine enhanced the frequency of action potentials (APs) in pyramidal neurons, indicating an excitatory action of the GABAergic PSCs. In order to identify the presynaptic targets of taurine we demonstrate that bath application of taurine induced in GAD67-GFP labeled interneurons an inward current that is mainly mediated by glycine receptors and can generate APs in these cells. We conclude from these results that taurine can enhance network excitability in the immature neocortex by selectively activating GABAergic interneurons via interactions with glycine receptors. PMID:24550782

  16. Adhesion of pancreatic beta cells to biopolymer films.

    PubMed

    Williams, S Janette; Wang, Qun; Macgregor, Ronal R; Siahaan, Teruna J; Stehno-Bittel, Lisa; Berkland, Cory

    2009-08-01

    Dramatic reversal of Type 1 diabetes in patients receiving pancreatic islet transplants continues to prompt vigorous research concerning the basic mechanisms underlying patient turnaround. At the most fundamental level, transplanted islets must maintain viability and function in vitro and in vivo and should be protected from host immune rejection. Our previous reports showed enhancement of islet viability and insulin secretion per tissue mass for small islets (<125 mum) as compared with large islets (>125 mum), thus, demonstrating the effect of enhancing the mass transport of islets (i.e. increasing tissue surface area to volume ratio). Here, we report the facile dispersion of rat islets into individual cells that are layered onto the surface of a biopolymer film towards the ultimate goal of improving mass transport in islet tissue. The tightly packed structure of intact islets was disrupted by incubating in calcium-free media resulting in fragmented islets, which were further dispersed into individual or small groups of cells by using a low concentration of papain. The dispersed cells were screened for adhesion to a range of biopolymers and the nature of cell adhesion was characterized for selected groups by quantifying adherent cells, measuring the surface area coverage of the cells, and immunolabeling cells for adhesion proteins interacting with selected biopolymers. Finally, beta cells in suspension were centrifuged to form controlled numbers of cell layers on films for future work determining the mass transport limitations in the adhered tissue constructs. (c) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 91: 676-685, 2009.This article was originally published online as an accepted preprint. The "Published Online" date corresponds to the preprint version. You can request a copy of the preprint by emailing the Biopolymers editorial office at biopolymers@wiley.com. PMID:19353639

  17. The contribution of raised intraneuronal chloride to epileptic network activity.

    PubMed

    Alfonsa, Hannah; Merricks, Edward M; Codadu, Neela K; Cunningham, Mark O; Deisseroth, Karl; Racca, Claudia; Trevelyan, Andrew J

    2015-05-20

    Altered inhibitory function is an important facet of epileptic pathology. A key concept is that GABAergic activity can become excitatory if intraneuronal chloride rises. However, it has proved difficult to separate the role of raised chloride from other contributory factors in complex network phenomena, such as epileptic pathology. Therefore, we asked what patterns of activity are associated with chloride dysregulation by making novel use of Halorhodopsin to load clusters of mouse pyramidal cells artificially with Cl(-). Brief (1-10 s) activation of Halorhodopsin caused substantial positive shifts in the GABAergic reversal potential that were proportional to the charge transfer during the illumination and in adult neocortical pyramidal neurons decayed with a time constant of τ = 8.0 ± 2.8s. At the network level, these positive shifts in EGABA produced a transient rise in network excitability, with many distinctive features of epileptic foci, including high-frequency oscillations with evidence of out-of-phase firing (Ibarz et al., 2010). We show how such firing patterns can arise from quite small shifts in the mean intracellular Cl(-) level, within heterogeneous neuronal populations. Notably, however, chloride loading by itself did not trigger full ictal events, even with additional electrical stimulation to the underlying white matter. In contrast, when performed in combination with low, subepileptic levels of 4-aminopyridine, Halorhodopsin activation rapidly induced full ictal activity. These results suggest that chloride loading has at most an adjunctive role in ictogenesis. Our simulations also show how chloride loading can affect the jitter of action potential timing associated with imminent recruitment to an ictal event (Netoff and Schiff, 2002). PMID:25995461

  18. The Contribution of Raised Intraneuronal Chloride to Epileptic Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Alfonsa, Hannah; Merricks, Edward M.; Codadu, Neela K.; Cunningham, Mark O.; Deisseroth, Karl; Racca, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    Altered inhibitory function is an important facet of epileptic pathology. A key concept is that GABAergic activity can become excitatory if intraneuronal chloride rises. However, it has proved difficult to separate the role of raised chloride from other contributory factors in complex network phenomena, such as epileptic pathology. Therefore, we asked what patterns of activity are associated with chloride dysregulation by making novel use of Halorhodopsin to load clusters of mouse pyramidal cells artificially with Cl−. Brief (1–10 s) activation of Halorhodopsin caused substantial positive shifts in the GABAergic reversal potential that were proportional to the charge transfer during the illumination and in adult neocortical pyramidal neurons decayed with a time constant of τ = 8.0 ± 2.8s. At the network level, these positive shifts in EGABA produced a transient rise in network excitability, with many distinctive features of epileptic foci, including high-frequency oscillations with evidence of out-of-phase firing (Ibarz et al., 2010). We show how such firing patterns can arise from quite small shifts in the mean intracellular Cl− level, within heterogeneous neuronal populations. Notably, however, chloride loading by itself did not trigger full ictal events, even with additional electrical stimulation to the underlying white matter. In contrast, when performed in combination with low, subepileptic levels of 4-aminopyridine, Halorhodopsin activation rapidly induced full ictal activity. These results suggest that chloride loading has at most an adjunctive role in ictogenesis. Our simulations also show how chloride loading can affect the jitter of action potential timing associated with imminent recruitment to an ictal event (Netoff and Schiff, 2002). PMID:25995461

  19. Models of the solvent-accessible surface of biopolymers

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, R.E.

    1996-09-01

    Many biopolymers such as proteins, DNA, and RNA have been studied because they have important biomedical roles and may be good targets for therapeutic action in treating diseases. This report describes how plastic models of the solvent-accessible surface of biopolymers were made. Computer files containing sets of triangles were calculated, then used on a stereolithography machine to make the models. Small (2 in.) models were made to test whether the computer calculations were done correctly. Also, files of the type (.stl) required by any ISO 9001 rapid prototyping machine were written onto a CD-ROM for distribution to American companies.

  20. Nonlinearities of biopolymer gels increase the range of force transmission.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xinpeng; Safran, Samuel A

    2015-09-01

    We present a model of biopolymer gels that includes two types of elastic nonlinearities, stiffening under extension and softening (due to buckling) under compression, to predict the elastic anisotropy induced by both external as well as internal (e.g., due to cell contractility) stresses in biopolymer gels. We show how the stretch-induced anisotropy and the strain-stiffening nonlinearity increase both the amplitude and power-law range of transmission of internal, contractile, cellular forces, and relate this to recent experiments. PMID:26465519

  1. Nonlinearities of biopolymer gels increase the range of force transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xinpeng; Safran, Samuel A.

    2015-09-01

    We present a model of biopolymer gels that includes two types of elastic nonlinearities, stiffening under extension and softening (due to buckling) under compression, to predict the elastic anisotropy induced by both external as well as internal (e.g., due to cell contractility) stresses in biopolymer gels. We show how the stretch-induced anisotropy and the strain-stiffening nonlinearity increase both the amplitude and power-law range of transmission of internal, contractile, cellular forces, and relate this to recent experiments.

  2. Conducting and non-conducting biopolymer composites produced by particle bonding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this report, we introduce two types of processes for the production of biopolymer composites: one is fabricated by bonding biopolymers with corn protein or wheat protein and the other by bonding starch with a synthetic polymer. These two types of biopolymer composites make use of the strong bon...

  3. Active multi-point microrheology of cytoskeletal networks

    PubMed Central

    Paust, Tobias; Mertens, Lina Katinka; Martin, Ines; Beil, Michael; Walther, Paul; Schimmel, Thomas; Marti, Othmar

    2016-01-01

    Summary Active microrheology is a valuable tool to determine viscoelastic properties of polymer networks. Observing the response of the beads to the excitation of a reference leads to dynamic and morphological information of the material. In this work we present an expansion of the well-known active two-point microrheology. By measuring the response of multiple particles in a viscoelastic medium in response to the excitation of a reference particle, we are able to determine the force propagation in the polymer network. For this purpose a lock-in technique is established that allows for extraction of the periodical motion of embedded beads. To exert a sinusoidal motion onto the reference bead an optical tweezers setup in combination with a microscope is used to investigate the motion of the response beads. From the lock-in data the so called transfer tensor can be calculated, which is a direct measure for the ability of the network to transmit mechanical forces. We also take a closer look at the influence of noise on lock-in measurements and state some simple rules for improving the signal-to-noise ratio. PMID:27335739

  4. Innovation diffusion on time-varying activity driven networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzo, Alessandro; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    Since its introduction in the 1960s, the theory of innovation diffusion has contributed to the advancement of several research fields, such as marketing management and consumer behavior. The 1969 seminal paper by Bass [F.M. Bass, Manag. Sci. 15, 215 (1969)] introduced a model of product growth for consumer durables, which has been extensively used to predict innovation diffusion across a range of applications. Here, we propose a novel approach to study innovation diffusion, where interactions among individuals are mediated by the dynamics of a time-varying network. Our approach is based on the Bass' model, and overcomes key limitations of previous studies, which assumed timescale separation between the individual dynamics and the evolution of the connectivity patterns. Thus, we do not hypothesize homogeneous mixing among individuals or the existence of a fixed interaction network. We formulate our approach in the framework of activity driven networks to enable the analysis of the concurrent evolution of the interaction and individual dynamics. Numerical simulations offer a systematic analysis of the model behavior and highlight the role of individual activity on market penetration when targeted advertisement campaigns are designed, or a competition between two different products takes place.

  5. Extraction of Multilayered Social Networks from Activity Data

    PubMed Central

    Bródka, Piotr; Kazienko, Przemysław; Gaworecki, Jarosław

    2014-01-01

    The data gathered in all kinds of web-based systems, which enable users to interact with each other, provides an opportunity to extract social networks that consist of people and relationships between them. The emerging structures are very complex due to the number and type of discovered connections. In web-based systems, the characteristic element of each interaction between users is that there is always an object that serves as a communication medium. This can be, for example, an e-mail sent from one user to another or post at the forum authored by one user and commented on by others. Based on these objects and activities that users perform towards them, different kinds of relationships can be identified and extracted. Additional challenge arises from the fact that hierarchies can exist between objects; for example, a forum consists of one or more groups of topics, and each of them contains topics that finally include posts. In this paper, we propose a new method for creation of multilayered social network based on the data about users activities towards different types of objects between which the hierarchy exists. Due to the flattening, preprocessing procedure of new layers and new relationships in the multilayered social network can be identified and analysed. PMID:25105159

  6. Application of neural networks to seismic active control

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Yu

    1995-07-01

    An exploratory study on seismic active control using an artificial neural network (ANN) is presented in which a singledegree-of-freedom (SDF) structural system is controlled by a trained neural network. A feed-forward neural network and the backpropagation training method are used in the study. In backpropagation training, the learning rate is determined by ensuring the decrease of the error function at each training cycle. The training patterns for the neural net are generated randomly. Then, the trained ANN is used to compute the control force according to the control algorithm. The control strategy proposed herein is to apply the control force at every time step to destroy the build-up of the system response. The ground motions considered in the simulations are the N21E and N69W components of the Lake Hughes No. 12 record that occurred in the San Fernando Valley in California on February 9, 1971. Significant reduction of the structural response by one order of magnitude is observed. Also, it is shown that the proposed control strategy has the ability to reduce the peak that occurs during the first few cycles of the time history. These promising results assert the potential of applying ANNs to active structural control under seismic loads.

  7. Unconscious activation of the prefrontal no-go network.

    PubMed

    van Gaal, Simon; Ridderinkhof, K Richard; Scholte, H Steven; Lamme, Victor A F

    2010-03-17

    Cognitive control processes involving prefrontal cortex allow humans to overrule and inhibit habitual responses to optimize performance in new and challenging situations, and traditional views hold that cognitive control is tightly linked with consciousness. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate to what extent unconscious "no-go" stimuli are capable of reaching cortical areas involved in inhibitory control, particularly the inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA). Participants performed a go/no-go task that included conscious (weakly masked) no-go trials, unconscious (strongly masked) no-go trials, as well as go trials. Replicating typical neuroimaging findings, response inhibition on conscious no-go stimuli was associated with a (mostly right-lateralized) frontoparietal "inhibition network." Here, we demonstrate, however, that an unconscious no-go stimulus also can activate prefrontal control networks, most prominently the IFC and the pre-SMA. Moreover, if it does so, it brings about a substantial slowdown in the speed of responding, as if participants attempted to inhibit their response but just failed to withhold it completely. Interestingly, overall activation in this "unconscious inhibition network" correlated positively with the amount of slowdown triggered by unconscious no-go stimuli. In addition, neural differences between conscious and unconscious control are revealed. These results expand our understanding of the limits and depths of unconscious information processing in the human brain and demonstrate that prefrontal cognitive control functions are not exclusively influenced by conscious information. PMID:20237284

  8. Social status modulates neural activity in the mentalizing network

    PubMed Central

    Muscatell, Keely A.; Morelli, Sylvia A.; Falk, Emily B.; Way, Baldwin M.; Pfeifer, Jennifer H.; Galinsky, Adam D.; Lieberman, Matthew D.; Dapretto, Mirella; Eisenberger, Naomi I.

    2013-01-01

    The current research explored the neural mechanisms linking social status to perceptions of the social world. Two fMRI studies provide converging evidence that individuals lower in social status are more likely to engage neural circuitry often involved in ‘mentalizing’ or thinking about others' thoughts and feelings. Study 1 found that college students' perception of their social status in the university community was related to neural activity in the mentalizing network (e.g., DMPFC, MPFC, precuneus/PCC) while encoding social information, with lower social status predicting greater neural activity in this network. Study 2 demonstrated that socioeconomic status, an objective indicator of global standing, predicted adolescents' neural activity during the processing of threatening faces, with individuals lower in social status displaying greater activity in the DMPFC, previously associated with mentalizing, and the amygdala, previously associated with emotion/salience processing. These studies demonstrate that social status is fundamentally and neurocognitively linked to how people process and navigate their social worlds. PMID:22289808

  9. Platelet Serotonin Transporter Function Predicts Default-Mode Network Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kasess, Christian H.; Meyer, Bernhard M.; Hofmaier, Tina; Diers, Kersten; Bartova, Lucie; Pail, Gerald; Huf, Wolfgang; Uzelac, Zeljko; Hartinger, Beate; Kalcher, Klaudius; Perkmann, Thomas; Haslacher, Helmuth; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Kasper, Siegfried; Freissmuth, Michael; Windischberger, Christian; Willeit, Matthäus; Lanzenberger, Rupert; Esterbauer, Harald; Brocke, Burkhard; Moser, Ewald; Sitte, Harald H.; Pezawas, Lukas

    2014-01-01

    Background The serotonin transporter (5-HTT) is abundantly expressed in humans by the serotonin transporter gene SLC6A4 and removes serotonin (5-HT) from extracellular space. A blood-brain relationship between platelet and synaptosomal 5-HT reuptake has been suggested, but it is unknown today, if platelet 5-HT uptake can predict neural activation of human brain networks that are known to be under serotonergic influence. Methods A functional magnetic resonance study was performed in 48 healthy subjects and maximal 5-HT uptake velocity (Vmax) was assessed in blood platelets. We used a mixed-effects multilevel analysis technique (MEMA) to test for linear relationships between whole-brain, blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) activity and platelet Vmax. Results The present study demonstrates that increases in platelet Vmax significantly predict default-mode network (DMN) suppression in healthy subjects independent of genetic variation within SLC6A4. Furthermore, functional connectivity analyses indicate that platelet Vmax is related to global DMN activation and not intrinsic DMN connectivity. Conclusion This study provides evidence that platelet Vmax predicts global DMN activation changes in healthy subjects. Given previous reports on platelet-synaptosomal Vmax coupling, results further suggest an important role of neuronal 5-HT reuptake in DMN regulation. PMID:24667541

  10. Temporary seismic networks on active volcanoes of Kamchatka (Russia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakovlev, Andrey; Koulakov, Ivan; Abkadyrov, Ilyas; Shapiro, Nikolay; Kuznetsov, Pavel; Deev, Evgeny; Gordeev, Evgeny; Chebrov, Viktor

    2016-04-01

    We present details of four field campaigns carried out on different volcanoes of Kamchatka in 2012-2015. Each campaign was performed in three main steps: (i) installation of the temporary network of seismic stations; (ii) autonomous continuous registration of three component seismic signal; (III) taking off the network and downloading the registered data. During the first campaign started in September 2012, 11 temporary stations were installed over the Avacha group of volcanoes located 30 km north to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in addition to the seven permanent stations operated by the Kamchatkan Branch of the Geophysical Survey (KBGS). Unfortunately, with this temporary network we faced with two obstacles. The first problem was the small amount of local earthquakes, which were detected during operation time. The second problem was an unexpected stop of several stations only 40 days after deployment. Nevertheless, after taking off the network in August 2013, the collected data appeared to be suitable for analysis using ambient noise. The second campaign was conducted in period from August 2013 to August 2014. In framework of the campaign, 21 temporary stations were installed over Gorely volcano, located 70 km south to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Just in time of the network deployment, Gorely Volcano became very seismically active - every day occurred more than 100 events. Therefore, we obtain very good dataset with information about thousands of local events, which could be used for any type of seismological analysis. The third campaign started in August 2014. Within this campaign, we have installed 19 temporary seismic stations over Tolbachik volcano, located on the south side of the Klyuchevskoy volcano group. In the same time on Tolbachik volcano were installed four temporary stations and several permanent stations operated by the KBGS. All stations were taking off in July 2015. As result, we have collected a large dataset, which is now under preliminary analysis